Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Book Spotlight: Tribal Affairs by Matt Dallmann

Tribal Affairs
By Matt Dallmann
Genre: YA Fantasy

Brief Description

Dahlia, a centuries old genie, lies hopelessly trapped in a damaged golden locket charm attached to an ankle bracelet. Its owner, sixteen-year-old Liana, wears it for the first time during her father Jamison’s opening night illusion spectacular. Not only does its presence cause Jamison to folly his performance, but it also starts a chain of bizarre events that lead to a showdown with Dahlia’s mortal enemy, Stefan, and an unsuspecting romance between Liana and his son.

About the Author

Matt Dallmann has a background in acting and holds a BFA from Marymount Manhattan College in New York City. His films and screenplays have been featured at film festivals across the United States including Cinequest, Big Apple Film Festival, Seattle’s True Independent Film Festival, DragonCon and Zero Independent Film Festival. His piano compositions have been published for commercial use and he is a member of ASCAP. Matt is also the Co-Founder and Vice President of the boutique medical billing firm VGA Billing Services, Inc. in New York City. He lives in New Jersey with his wife and two daughters. 





The author is hosting a Goodreads Giveaway (50 kindle copies) from 5/3 to 5/31! Enter here: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36547842


Wednesday, April 18, 2018

Interview with Philip Becnel (Freedom City)

What inspired you to write Freedom City?

I took a sabbatical in 2017 from the private detective firm I manage to write a book. It was historical fiction set in 14th Flanders, with sieges, swordfights, disease, famine, lots of death, among other unpleasantness—all narrated by a dead knight stuck in purgatory.  It was only after I’d written that book that I drew the connection between the tortured narrator and myself. I spend the better part of that year fuming about Donald Trump’s presidency, and it showed in my writing. I decided that novel that was too dark for mainstream consumption, so I tucked it away—almost a year’s worth of work—and started a new book.

Once I identified the source of my angst, I discovered there was actually a lot to laugh about all the scandals that had so enraged me before. I resigned to write a novel that would capture that. Trump and his ilk are villains of comic book proportions, and by looking at things through that lens I began to feel better. I needed only invent heroes who might stand up to the villains. I was inspired in part by The Monkey Wrench Gang, a campy novel from the 1970’s about a band of saboteurs defending the environment against over-development.

Ultimately, the dark fantasies that plagued me through the past year took on a farcical theme, and I was able to channel my emotions into a humorous and hopeful story, one without any gratuitous bloodshed.

How long did it take you to write your book?

I started Freedom City around September 2017, at the time demoralized from having “wasted” so much energy on the historical novel. By the time I wrote the first three chapters, I knew—I just knew—that I was writing something special. Since the book is set in the present, I was extremely concerned that some major event, like impeachment or a war, would punch a hole in my plot, so I extended my sabbatical and spent the next three months writing twelve-hours days until I was finished.

How long have you been publishing your work?

I published two nonfiction books related to my investigations job: Introduction to Conducting Private Investigations and Principles of Investigative Documentation. Both have been very successful, given their niches. I published the first one in 2009. I’ve also published a myriad of articles in various legal and popular journals, the most noteworthy being Time Magazine.

I’ve wanted to be a writer since I was twenty. I saved up money from my job as a motorcycle mechanic in college and bought a computer and a plane ticket to Morocco with the goal of writing an acclaimed novel. Then I read The Sheltering Sky by Paul Bowles and realized I lacked the life experience to write anything truly great. Now that I’ve worked as a private investigator in Washington, D.C. for nearly twenty years, I’ve returned to my dream of writing professionally.

What does your writing environment look like? 

There’s a sword on my desk and a shield on the wall. Pinned to the shield is a photo of Emiliano Zapata Salazar, a leading figure in the Mexican Revolution. Artwork abounds. I also dabble in oil and watercolor.

Do you have any routines to help you write?


I was able to write Freedom City so quickly because I mapped out ahead of time what each chapter would look like. Except for the first few chapters, I refused to allow myself to edit anything until the whole thing was down in a first draft. I realize this is common wisdom for many writers, but if I’m not disciplined I tend to get hung up making edits ad nauseum without advancing the story. I start each morning with a clear goal, consume copious amounts of coffee, and I write until my brain turns to mush. Then I drink, sleep, and repeat.   

About the Author

I was born in San Francisco and raised in Cotati, California, but I spent my formative years in New Orleans and then Northern Virginia. I now live in Washington, D.C., where I've been a private detective for almost twenty years.

FREEDOM CITY, an anti-Trump satire about resistance to American fascism, is my debut novel, but some years ago I published two nonfiction books about investigating: Introduction to Conducting Private Investigations and Principles of Investigative Documentation. I've also published articles in a variety of legal and popular journals, including Time Magazine.


On Amazon
On B&N

Excerpt (First paragraph)

Despite the odium and widespread condemnation of Donald J. Trump, 45th President of the United States of America, he passed with all the fanfare of a fart in a mesh sack. Medical examiners said it was a thrombotic stroke, likely exacerbated by obesity and high blood pressure. Some said cocaine and opioids had been found in his system, but these reports were never confirmed. Trump was dead, and now it was time to start glossing over his dismal legacy and perpetuating his vision, posthumously, for Making America Great Again…

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Interview with Talek Nantes (Don't just travel to Cuba, experience Cuba like a local)

What inspired you to write Don't just travel to Cuba, experience Cuba like a local?

I’ve been to Cuba several times. I fell in love with this beautiful country especially its people, culture, food and music.  I noticed that there were many misconceptions about visiting the island and I wanted to set the record straight. I saw that many potential visitors were confused about many aspects of visiting such as visas, flights, customs, U.S. regulations for visiting.  I made it my mission to provide updated and clear information so everyone that wanted to visit could do so easily.

How long did it take you to write your book?

In order to write the book, I had to visit Cuba frequently.  I wanted to make sure I could personally vouch for every recommendation I made.  Once I gathered the information I thought would be of interest to my readers, I organized it and created the book. Altogether I’d say it took me one and a half years to produce the book.
 
How long have you been publishing your work?

This is my first published book although I have had several articles published in various travel related publications.

What does your writing environment look like?

My desk is unfortunately more cluttered than I would want.  Nevertheless, I manage to find whatever it is I am looking for.  I’ve got my supplies close by.  I also have a cat that loves to sit next to my computer as I write. Every once in a while, he’ll walk across my keyboard – sometimes as I am most inspired to write.  
 
Do you have any routines to help you write?

I find that if I begin writing an email to a fictitious recipient explaining what I am writing about, the words begin to flow. The ideas come quickly when you imagine that you are speaking to a trusted friend.  Another tactic I employ is to just start. Even if it is nonsense, once you start it is easier for the words to materialize. I do my best to not procrastinate. It helps when you are writing about something that is fun and that you really care about.  

About the Author

Talek Nantes is an author, travel consultant and founder of the travel blog, www.travelswithtalek.com. She is a passionate travel enthusiast and enjoys sharing her travel experiences with others. In her blog, Talek shares information on unique destinations and provides actionable travel tips and advice to help travelers make the most of their time away from home. Her focus is on cultural immersion and interaction with local people to help travelers create their own unique travel experiences. Her work has appeared in several publications. 

Talek’s personal and professional background have led her to travel to over 100 countries. She has lived and worked throughout the world and speaks several languages. Talek is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and lives with her husband in New York City and Miami.

Links:




Thursday, March 29, 2018

Book Blitz: Promises To Keep by Claire Yezbak Fadden


Promises To Keep
By Claire Yezbak Fadden
Genre: Women's Fiction, Mystery,Thriller

About the Book

Love, Secrets, and Lies…

Kate Jameson married the man of her dreams. Her real-life hero. A man who wouldn’t abandon her the way her father had—or so she thought. Weeks after their son’s birth, her husband is suddenly pulled away for a business trip that takes him out of the country. But something isn’t right. His truths aren’t adding up. Kate digs into his past, determined to learn what he’s hiding. But unraveling this endless mystery draws her into a maze of lies, family secrets and deadly consequences.

For twenty years, undercover CIA agent Eric Wiley lived for one reason—to avenge his parents’ brutal deaths. Until he marries Kate. Eric promises her a life of love and commitment, but competing promises constantly collide, offering him little chance of keeping either. When an informant lures him to Mexico, Eric thinks his goal of apprehending an elusive killer will be realized. Leaving his family for a few short days, weeks at the most, would be worth the prize.
Can this final mission bring closure and allow Eric to be the husband Kate deserves and the father he yearns to be? Or will their destiny remain mired in the secrets of his past, leaving them powerless to embrace their present?

About the Author 

When she’s not playing with her granddaughters, Pennsylvania native Claire Yezbak Fadden is writing contemporary women’s fiction. Her books feature strong women who overcome life’s challenges, always putting their families first.

There's a special spot in Claire's heart for carousel horses – quite possibly the result of watching “Mary Poppins” 13 times as a young girl. She loves butterflies, ladybugs and confetti! Just ask anyone who's received a birthday card from her.

The mother of three lives in Orange County, California with her husband, Nick and three spoiled dogs.

Claire’s work as an award-winning journalist, humor columnist and editor has appeared in more than 100 publications across the United States, Canada and Australia. Promises To Keep is the second novel in her Begin Again series.

Buy Links.


Follow Claire @claireflaire, 
Email her at claire@clairefadden.com,
Like her Facebook Fan Page
Visit her at clairefadden.com.
Join her mailing list.

EXCERPTS

ERIC
He walked to where she stood and kissed her cheek before embracing his wife and son in a group hug. “I feel damn lucky this emergency didn’t come up sooner.”
He brushed her arm, noting the goosebumps prickling against his palm.
“If that call had come before Benjamin’s birth, would you have left and missed seeing your son be born?” she asked.
How could he answer without adding more lies to the growing mountain of falsehoods he’d already fabricated? As far as she knew, he was committed to his profession as an importer for his parents’ chain of discount stores. The success of his mission—and possibly his safety—depended on her believing that version.
“Of course not.” Eric told her what she wanted to hear.
KATE
Kate smiled at the way Eric’s eyebrows arched in his hopeless attempts to get Benjamin’s attention. For the past twenty minutes, she held their son in an awkward posture in front of her desktop computer camera, coaxing a somewhat sleeping baby to greet his father. Up until a few seconds ago, their son displayed little interest. She knew the squirming had more to do with hunger than his eagerness to interact with his dad.
Kate had waited all day for Eric to call. She needed to see his face, stubbled with a five-o’clock shadow, even if it was through her computer screen. She shifted Benjamin to her other arm. This must be how military families with one parent deployed feel.
This wasn’t the marriage she signed up for. Twenty minutes over a video call couldn’t substitute for his presence. It could be exhaustion or not getting regular sleep, but she wondered if the man she married was more like her father in ways she hadn’t anticipated. Eric wasn’t an alcoholic, a wifebeater or a deadbeat. But neither was Monica’s husband, Brad. Kate had witnessed how her brother-in-law’s sins nearly ripped the soul of their family apart.


There were all sorts of ways to abandon your wife and desert your family. Just because she was most familiar with the ones her father implemented, didn’t mean that she and her sisters wouldn’t suffer from other approaches. Separated by hundreds of miles without knowing when he would return qualified as desertion of a type. At least in Kate’s mind.

Monday, March 19, 2018

Cover Reveal: Don't just travel to Cuba, experience Cuba like a local by Talek Nantes

Don't just travel to Cuba, experience Cuba like a local: The Ultimate Cuba Travel Guide
By Talek Nantes          
Genre: Nonfiction, Travel guide

Want to experience Cuba like a local? This is the guidebook for you. Talek Nantes, Cuban-American author and founder of the travel blog, TravelswithTalek.com, has traveled to Cuba numerous times. Her detailed explanations will guide you through all aspects of travel to Cuba and help you make the most of your time while in this unique and culturally fascinating country. 

Talek’s passion for Cuba is evident in every information-packed chapter from the classic Havana itineraries you cannot miss to the little-known gems pulsating under the radar in hidden Havana. Visit colonial military forts in Cuba’s eastern capital, Santiago de Cuba. Experience Cuba’s spectacular biospheres and animal preserves. Explore the French-influenced cities of central Cuba with their graceful architecture reminiscent of southern France. Sail the calm waters of underground rivers. Take salsa lessons, learn Spanish, cook a Cuban meal. It’s all here. 

Beyond a mere directory of attractions, this guidebook delves into the history of Cuba from the pre-colonial days through the present. Special focus is given to understanding Cuba’s fight for independence from Spain and the Cuban revolution of 1959 along with its key participants. 

This guidebook is packed with useful information, facts, and actionable tips:
•Updated guidelines on travel to Cuba for U.S. citizens.
•All you need to know about currency conversion.
•How to locate and reserve the ideal accommodation in any city.
•How to save money and travel comfortably anywhere within Cuba.
•Where and what to eat in Cuba from street food to top cuisine. 
•Highlights of the major Cuban cities from Havana to Santiago.
•Walking maps of the key Havana neighborhoods. 
* Directory of restaurants, galleries, attractions and music and dance venues in all key cities. 
* Current scams and how to avoid them.
* Budgeting for your Cuba trip
* Over 60 full-color photographs 

In addition to key tips and advice, this guidebook provides cultural insight gleaned from conversations with local Cubans from the bici-taxi driver to the attendant at a cemetery gate. Explore places and topics tourists rarely see like religious Afro-Cuban dance performances, the hottest jazz clubs in Havana, remarkable art museums and stunning natural beauty. 

This extensive guidebook will save you time and money and help you truly experience Cuba like a local. 

About the Author

Talek Nantes is an author, travel consultant and founder of the travel blog, www.travelswithtalek.com. She is a passionate travel enthusiast and enjoys sharing her travel experiences with others. In her blog, Talek shares information on unique destinations and provides actionable travel tips and advice to help travelers make the most of their time away from home. Her focus is on cultural immersion and interaction with local people to help travelers create their own unique travel experiences. Her work has appeared in several publications. 

Talek’s personal and professional background have led her to travel to over 100 countries. She has lived and worked throughout the world and speaks several languages. Talek is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and lives with her husband in New York City and Miami.

https://www.facebook.com/travelswithtalek/ 
https://twitter.com/travelstalek
www.travelswithtalek.com

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Book Blitz: Watching You by Leslie A. Kelly

Watching You
By Leslie A. Kelly
Genre: Romantic Suspense

In the first book of a thrilling new romantic suspense trilogy, USA Today bestselling author Leslie A. Kelly shows just how hot - and how dangerous - Hollywood can be.

In the shadows, someone is always watching

Aspiring screenwriter Jessica Jensen grew up on movies starring heartthrob Reece Winchester, the eldest brother of a Hollywood dynasty. She never thought she'd meet the man in person, though. Actor, director, millionaire, and gorgeous mystery man-he's every woman's fantasy.
Reece wants Jessica the moment he sees her, and he's a man who always gets what he wants. At first he was only after a night in her bed, but as he comes to know the smart, confident woman beneath the stunning exterior, he realizes once will never be enough.
Unfortunately, Jessica's real-life Cinderella story is about to take a deadly turn...
Reece's world is filled with fierce ambition and dark family secrets the Winchesters desperately want to hide. But he and his brothers aren't the only ones who know those secrets. Someone else is out there, waiting to strike. Waiting-and always watching.
When danger finally steps out of the shadows, Reece will have to face his past. And Jessica will have to decide just how far she can trust the man she loves with her heart...and her life.

About the Author 

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Leslie A. Kelly writes dark and sexy paranormal thrillers and romantic suspense. As Leslie Kelly (no middle initial) she writes light and sexy contemporary romances. The winner of numerous writing honors, including two National Reader's Choice Awards, Leslie is also a 4-time finalist for the most prestigious award in romance writing, the RWA RITA Award. 




Friday, February 16, 2018

Book Blitz: The Senior Sleuths: Dead In Bed by M. Glenda Rosen

The Senior Sleuths: Dead In Bed
By M. Glenda Rosen
Genre: Mystery

Like Nick and Nora Charles from “The Thin Man” series, Dick and Dora Zimmerman solve crimes, especially murders.” Along with Zero the Bookie (fashioned after the authors father) and a fascinating cast of other characters (such as Frankie Socks fresh out of the Witness Protection Program) the Zimmerman’s have the time-the money, the smarts and the chutzpah-to get involved in murder and mayhem, even when warned by the police to stay away…or else.

In these modern noir stories, the hard-boiled detectives are soft-boiled sleuths whose inner shell is softer and gentler, although their outer shell is still tough and determined. Of course, they can still be nearly beaten by the bad guys. But it is the puzzle of the mystery and putting the pieces together to solve it that matters.

“No doubt, thanks to my father, writing mysteries is in my DNA!  My father was a small time gangster. Really! So, it wouldn’t take a genius, a psychiatrist or a palm reader to figure out the geneses of my fascination with crime and criminals.  In my series, “The Senior Sleuths,” Zero the Bookie is a version of my dad and several other characters are based on his associates who I met, like Doc, The Gimp, Johnny the Jig, Fat Lawyer and others. What a wealth of material there was for me to claim! Believe me, I saw and heard a lot.”

This series is the senior version of Nick and Nora Charles, with a humorous touch, a splash of noir, cracker-jack sleuthing, unusual, captivating characters, and fascinating mysteries.                                                                                  
Marilyn Meredith, Author of the “Deputy Tempe Crabtree Mysteries

About the Author 

Marcia Rosen has previously published four books in her mystery series, “Dying to Be Beautiful.”  Rosen is also author of “The Woman’s Business Therapist” and award winning “My Memoir Workbook. For a dozen years she has given writing workshops on "Encouraging and Supporting the Writer Within You!" and "Now What? Marketing Your Book.”  She was founder and owner of a successful Marketing and Public Relations Agency for many years, created several radio and TV talk shows and received numerous awards for her work with business and professional women.  She currently resides in Carmel, California.  www.theseniorsleuths.