Featured Author · Featured Author Wednesday

Spotlight Interview with author V.S. Kemanis

Wednesday Spotlight

 
Genre: 
Short stories, Thriller, Mystery, Romance
Publisher: Opus Nine Books
Publication Date: May 1, 2017
Pages: 304
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About the Book

Loves big and small, crimes forgiven or avenged. These are the themes that drive the eleven diverse stories in this new collection of psychological suspense from storyteller V.S. Kemanis.

Meet the husband and wife team Rosemary and Reuben, master chefs known to sprinkle a dash of magic into every dish. Lucille Steadman, a dazed retiree who can’t explain why she’s left her husband, only to discover, too late, the meaning of love and commitment in the most surprising place. Franklin DeWitt, an esteemed ballet critic who witnesses—or abets?—a bizarre criminal plot to topple a beautiful Soviet ballerina. Rosalyn Bleinstorter, a washed-up defense attorney whose stubborn belief in her own street savvy leads her unwittingly into a romantic and criminal association with an underworld figure.

These are just a few of the colorful characters you’ll get to know in these pages, where all is fair in love and crime. While the endings to these tales are not always sweet or predictable, and self-deception is rarely rewarded, the lessons come down hard and are well learned.

Where to Buy

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple | Smashwords

Interview

Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?
I grew up in California, went to law school in Colorado, and now make my home in New York. My years of experience in criminal law inspired my legal mystery novels featuring prosecutor Dana Hargrove (Thursday’s List, Homicide Chart, and Forsaken Oath). I also love to write short stories, and Love and Crime includes my latest work. Another passion is dance—I’ve taught, performed, and choreographed contemporary styles and ballet.

What inspired you to write?
I have an active imagination in need of outlet! This is much better than TV.

What inspired your novel?
Love and Crime is a collection of short fiction, each story inspired by a different idea or event. For example, the opening story, “Rosemary and Reuben,” features characters who are challenged emotionally and physically by their heightened senses of smell and taste. The story was inspired by the fact that I’m extremely sensitive to smell.

What is the genre?
Literary short stories of psychological suspense.

What draws you to this genre?
Writing the short form is very satisfying for me because it fits a busy schedule. A complete work can be written quickly. I love language, and every word counts. It’s also a challenge to see how much depth of meaning and emotion can be conveyed in a short work.

How did you develop your plot and your characters?
The stories come to me as small ideas that hang around for weeks, months, or years, either at the back of my mind or on a scrap of paper. They develop gradually, as other events in my life add to the idea over time. At some point, I wake up and say, “I’m ready to write this one!”

What inspired your protagonist?
These eleven short stories feature many protagonists from different walks of life. I’m fascinated by situations involving self-deception or disillusionment. Each protagonist faces a unique challenge of this kind, developing to the point of crisis or leading to revelation and change.

What inspired your antagonist?
My antagonists are people or emotions or doubts that challenge the protagonist to act or change. I’m a big fan of ethical dilemma!

What was the hardest part to write in the book?
The hardest part, always, is the beginning. I tend to write and rewrite the opening lines of every story or novel many times.

What was your favourite part of your book to write?
For every story, the end. I become completely immersed. It’s exciting to reach a resolution or a lesson or a change in the character, and sometimes, the characters lead me to places I hadn’t anticipated.

Are you a full time or a part time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?
Part time for now. I work for an appellate court, where I’m a supervising editor.

What are you currently reading?
To the Bright Edge of the World, by Eowyn Ivey, and Glory over Everything, by Kathleen Grissom.

Who would you say are your favourite authors?
In legal thrillers, Adam Mitzner. In literary fiction, Ian McEwan.

How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?
Homestead, by Rosina Lippi; Atonement, by Ian McEwan; The Snow Child, by Eowyn Ivey; Bel Canto, by Ann Patchett; and Ladder of Years, by Anne Tyler

What are your future projects, if any?
I’m currently working on the fourth novel in the Dana Hargrove legal mystery series.

What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?
I can always be reached through the contact page on my website, www.vskemanis.com

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors? 
If you love to write, persevere. Your craft will steadily improve. Take heed of Ernest Hemingway’s “Iceberg Theory” (sometimes less is more):

“If a writer of prose knows enough of what he is writing about he may omit things that he knows and the reader, if the writer is writing truly enough, will have a feeling of those things as strongly as though the writer had stated them. The dignity of movement of an iceberg is due to only one-eighth of it being above water. A writer who omits things because he does not know them only makes hollow places in his writing.”

Audio Tour · Book Tour · Giveaway

The Good Spy Dies Twice Audio Tour

 
Genre: 
Mystery, Thriller
Length: 10h 19m
Narrator: Mark Hosack
Publisher: Wide Awake Audio| 2017
Publication Date: January 19, 2017
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About the Book

Jake Boxer, investigative journalist and host of the conspiratorial news show Bullseye, is in serious trouble. Not only is his soundman murdered by Russian intelligence agents while reporting on a secretive New World Order, but his network cancels his show, leaving Jake humiliated and spiraling into a deep dark depression.

Years later, a condemned murderer, who claims he was abandoned by the CIA, and who starred in an early episode of Bullseye, is finally executed for killing two supposed Soviet spies back in the 1970’s.

Jake Boxer, still trying to piece his life back together, is on his honeymoon in a posh ski resort in the Alaskan mountains when he gets word of the inmate’s execution . . . and the old killer’s final words: “The good spy dies twice.”

Those five words, seemingly meant for Jake, draw the ex-reporter from his forced retirement and into a complex and deadly global conspiracy involving his newlywed wife, the secretive New World Order, and the hotel’s hundred or so “guests.”

Everyone is a suspect.

Described as James Bond in a Stephen King novel, THE GOOD SPY DIES TWICE is the explosive first book in the Bullseye Series. Part spy thriller, part whodunit, this fast-paced novel introduces an exciting new hero, the intrepid, conspiratorial journalist, Jake Boxer.

Where to Buy

Audible | Amazon | iTunes

About the Author


Mark Hosack is the author of THE GOOD SPY DIES TWICE (Book 1: The Bullseye Series, nominated for the 2016 RT Source Award), and IDENTITY (Simon & Schuster). He also wrote on the web series SEQUESTERED for Sony Crackle, the screenplay for GIVE ‘EM HELL, MALONE (Thomas Jane, Ving Rhames), and he both wrote and directed the award winning independent film PALE BLUE MOON. Mark lives in Los Angeles with his wife and a brood of gremlins who insist on calling him Dad.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Good Reads

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Treacherous Deceit Book Tour & Giveaway


 
Genre: 
Adventure, Thriller, Mystery
Publication Date: November 14, 2016
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About the Book:

In the Yukon, nothing is more important than family. Loyalty to her family is what Mona must face when her Grandfather, who rescued her from death as a child and raised her as his own tells her she must return to the Yukon from New York to go into the mountains and search for the ancient village of gold that is her legacy.

Convinced that the ancient village exists, her grandfather sent his team on ATV’s to find it while commissioning his adopted son Jonas to lead the others, including his cherished granddaughter.

Jonas is happy to lead the expedition while planning on somehow getting Mona alone. His plan goes astray when they are forced to team with four other unexpected seekers, including Bryan, a geologist who immediately falls for Mona and becomes an interference for Jonas. The team overcomes severe obstacles, setbacks, and loss of lives while traveling through water filled caves and treacherous mountain passages.

Where to Buy:

Amazon CAN | Amazon US | Smashwords| Barnes & Noble

Excerpt

Tricks Upon the Mind
After the meal they rested, and at least for now everyone appeared calm. Mona was glad for that. While they sat around a small fire burning in the hibachi, an enchantment she could not explain had seized her. “This area has always been known for its abundance of caves and caverns. That is why my people settled here in the first place my Gee-pa told me; the grottos were great protection and shelter for the women and children,” she said, tranquility and peace with her surroundings satiated her.

“Yes, I read that too,” Bryan replied. “I am assuming these caverns were once safe havens in the rock cliffs. They said the village buried itself beneath the ground when it disappeared.”
“Yes, we were cliff dwellers,” she said smiling.
Bryan smiled back at her, reached over, and took her hand in his; she moved closer to him.
“What are cliff dwellers?” asked Sean.
“Well, my Gee-pa told me, in the village of Goldum all the houses were built within the cliffs; the only way out was through passages built within the mountains,” she answered.
“Oh I bet that was fun to live in,” giggled Tracy, she felt lightheaded and blithe; she leaned her head against Willie’s shoulder.
“Oh this is very exciting I am sure,” Willie said, his words reeking with sarcasm, “but I didn’t come all this way for a history lesson. Did he tell you how much gold was there?”
“That what I want to know too Willie,” Sean laughed.
“Oh Willie, you are so funny,” Tracy giggled playfully throwing her arms around his neck. “It does not hurt to know about the mountains, after all, we are beneath them.”
“Anything for you baby,” Willie replied and kissed Tracy on the nose. “Anyone want a drink?” Willie asked holding up a bottle of brown Bacardi rum.
“I do,” answered Sean.

The blue haze surrounding the stalactites hanging from the ceiling gave him migraines. The intimacy of the room had a different reality and made Jonas feel confined; his only point of sanity was the sound of rushing water running through the river behind him.

The mugginess of the cavern, accompanied by the feeling of being trapped and the presence of more people than he was accustomed to, created an uneasiness within him. Jonas’ recluse lifestyle never afforded him much socialization with others, and except for the occasional chat with his prey, and the dinners at Hattie’s, he never spent time listening to others. Jonas made it a point to isolate himself; he found people, and their pathetic ways uninteresting and superfluous.

The redhead’s playful giggling taunts and the girly man’s unintelligible slang made no sense to Jonas; they seemed to speak in a language he did not understand. For her obnoxious silliness all Jonas could think of was stuffing her mouth with one of the ball gags he kept in his workroom. Jonas rarely gave his prey the ability to communicate. He glared scornfully at Mona then Bryan; watching the two of them chat like old friends made him angry.

Jonas rubbed his temples with the tips of his fingers trying to ease the thudding within his head; breathing in deeply, the rich smell of metal excited his senses, relaxing him. Jonas gave in to the pull of the cavern’s life force. The intoxicating smell electrified him and Jonas breathed in a second time, immediately experiencing a euphoric intoxication within his mind, giving him a high beyond any he had ever experienced from drugs or his sexual games. Its metallic aroma eased his headache and he said, “Pass that bottle over here Willie.” Willie threw the bottle to him and Jonas poured a generous amount into his cold coffee and took a big gulp. The flavor made his head swell and gave him a momentary rush. “Damn that’s rough,” he commented.

Willie and Sean laughed.
“Yeah, Gi-I-Joe, that stuff ain’t for no titty slurpers,” Sean cried out; chuckling hysterically. He pushed his fist toward Willie and his buddy fist bumped him back.
Willie saw the bewildered look on Jonas’ face and realized the man did not understand Sean. He laughed and said, “Sean means it’s not for babies.”
“What, you don’t know what that means? You are lame Jonas,” Sean whooped.

Jonas ignored the young man and allowed the rum and the cavern’s natural attributes to mellow him. As if he were dreaming, Jonas watched the flames blazing into the heavens leaking out through the open roof. Jonas admired the long spirals of red and blue flame dancing upward releasing smoldering smoky wisps into the darkness. The sky was full of twinkling stars and the bright spots created a silvery shimmer against its thick blackness.

About the Author


When I allowed God to take over my life, over the years, he healed my heart and with the guidance of his Holy Spirit, a new life developed within me. God put a new dream in my heart. Over the years, I spent several years in the US Air Force, and later achieved a BA in Psychology and the academic level of Master’s Degree in Business and currently work as a professional in the insurance industry. Married, I live with my husband and sweet puppy Tomasina. I have two books currently published, Porcelain Doll and Treacherous Deceit and I am currently finishing my third, a fantasy series called “The Kingdom of the Mejuar.”

Links:

Website | Google+| Facebook| Twitter| Amazon Author Page| Good Reads

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Dirty Deeds Book Tour & Giveaway

 
Genre: 
Romance, Mystery, Suspense
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Date of Release: January 31, 2017
Pages: 285 pages
Links: Good Reads
Buy Links: AmazonAppleBarnes & NobleGoogle PlayKobo

An Eye for an Eye

As owner of Dirty Deeds, a tech-savvy company specializing in the age-old art of revenge, Eden Smith knows first-hand that secrecy is critical. But when a dead body washes up on the shores of Lake Michigan clutching her business card, Eden’s well-constructed world begins to fall apart. Apparently, she’s not the only one with a passion for payback, and staying alive to outsmart a killer has become her most important job of all.

A Game for a Game

Hardened homicide detective Kelly Riordan is convinced Eden Smith is hiding more than she’s willing to admit. Years on the force have taught him that nothing is what it seems, and that couldn’t be truer than when it comes to investigating the alluring owner of a revenge-for-hire business. But revealing her past could put everything Eden has worked for in jeopardy. And trusting a man like Riordan goes against the very instincts that have kept her alive this long.

As a general rule, I have what most would describe as a bubbly personality. Yeah, I know. I’m one of those good-girl types whose childhood resembled The Brady Bunch. But wait, it gets better. Because I’ve been lucky enough to have this same idyllic setting follow me into adulthood. I’ve been married to the same awesome guy for almost twenty years, have two amazing kids who blow me away on a daily basis and a set of dear, dear friends I’d be lost without. Overall, my life is normal, except—admittedly— for my chronic case of a writer’s overactive imagination.

It wasn’t surprising to me that, prior to delving into the world of romance suspense and writing DIRTY DEEDS, the first book in my A Likely Story series, I’d have to do a little research. Truth is, I have a hard enough time keeping secrets, much less channeling a set of characters who live in the revenge-for-hire world of disguises and schemes. Um…who knew washing a cheating ex-boyfriend’s underwear and tossing a small square of fiberglass into the dryer would make him itch for days? Or that taking bleach to said ex-boyfriend’s front lawn and spelling out a few choice words for the neighbors would destroy his grass, like, forever? This was news to me.

But I gotta admit, sitting down with Eden Smith and tapping into the more wicked side of my personality to write DIRTY DEEDS was also extremely…liberating. I’m a woman, after all, and I knew there was a devious side buried way down deep. Setting aside the rules so I could come up with the best way to exact some well-deserved revenge was just downright fun.

But this has also left me curious. Are you a good girl like me, willing to let the universe dish out its own brand of Karma? Or do you take matters into your own hands like Eden, and exact revenge in the best way you see fit? Do tell!



Multi-published, award-winning author and editor AJ Nuest resides in Northwest Indiana with her loving husband, two beautiful children, and a bevy of spoiled pets. Her four-part serial fantasy romance, The Golden Key Chronicles, was recently named the RONE Time Travel Romance of 2015 by InD’tale Magazine, and her contemporary romantic comedy, She’s Got Dibs, won First Place in the Heartland Romance Author’s Show Me the Spark! Contest, 2013.

Links:

A.J. Nuest Website | Facebook | Twitter


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