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.”

Featured Author Wednesday · Spotlight Interview

Spotlight Interview with author Alan J. Field

Wednesday Spotlight

 
Genre: 
Thriller, Romance
Publisher: ThrillRide Media
Publication Date: July 24, 2016
Pages: 340 pages
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Can you tell us a little about yourself and your background?

I’ve always lived in New Jersey, except during a four-year stint at James Madison University and a few years living Manhattan. I transitioned from South Jersey to North Jersey after college and never moved back I had studied music to be a film score composer but ended up working in the music business before graduating from law school. I published a handful of newspaper articles and scholarly works about entertainment and intellectual property law issues. I married my lovely wife in 1998 and we now have one house, two cars and four children. After twenty years of practicing law, I knew it was time to try something new, and well, here I am.

What inspired you to write?

I had–what I thought–was this compelling idea for a story percolating inside my head for more than a couple of years prior to ever putting pen to paper. The Song of Ice and Fire series showed me how to write from multiple POVs, which was the way I wanted to tell this story. However, it was my teen aged daughter who ultimately encouraged me to dive head first into it. It happened right after Christmas day in 2013, when I told her about my plot idea which she adored.

What inspired your novel?

I’m a big fan of nostalgic spy shows from the 1960s, so I wanted to bring some elements of those into my story. One particular quote by Shalom Alechem that lamented the fact that “all scientists do is sell their ideas to murders”.

What is the genre?

I’m touting this as an espionage thriller. But actually, I first thought about this as chick lit! Yes, you heard that right. I front-loaded this tale with so many female characters, I would have liked nothing better than to market it to women. After the first draft, I even had to add male characters to balance it out, having ignored those guys’ character development altogether. I mean, a major plot point exposes the cosmetics industry so it makes sense. However, the dark and militaristic elements of the plot pulled me back to the y chromosome side. So I’d have to say that it’s an espionage/military/psychological/ urban thriller all rolled up into one.

What draws you to this genre?

I revel in all the betrayal, cat and mouse games and slights of hand that occur in these stories. The challenge for a new writer is to make all of these elements feel fresh, rather than like just another cliché.

How did you develop your plot and your characters?

During the initial stage, I focused on two or three critical scenes between the two primary female characters in the story, then built all the other characters, plot and subplots around them. While writing about the characters, I had specific Hollywood actors in mind for most of them.

What inspired your protagonist?

It’s funny you should ask that, because in the story’s original conception, the chemist herself, was the lead protagonist. However, after the first draft, I decided that Daniel Strong should be the primary one, mainly because I felt he would have more sequel potential than any other character.

What inspired your antagonist?

The question really is: which one are you talking about? There are several antagonists in this story who give Daniel trouble, but each one shifts in importance as the plot progresses. So let’s go through them. First, there is Sabir, who I wanted to be “Middle Eastern”, but not an Islamic Terrorist ala ISIS. This was my goal in making him a terrorist with a specific goal, one who had a legitimate beef with a people/country: Israel. Vanessa is a mashup of a few female bosses I’ve had throughout my career. Of course, none of them were as awful as she was, except maybe… . And then there is Joanne, another boss of a different kind. With her, I looked to other male versions of characters in her position from other spy novels I have had the pleasure of reading.

What was the hardest part to write in the book?

Romantic encounters and dialogue to go with it were challenging, to be sure. Mostly it was my attempt to attain an acceptable level of authenticity with the subject of chemistry, as well as in the military chapters that took the most extensive research to get right. I hope I came close.

What was your favourite part of your book to write?

I enjoyed a certain chase on foot chapter that took place underground in the Times Square subway station, an endless maze of tunnels and multiple levels and platforms that I’m most familiar with. The inspiration of this scene is two-fold. First, I had always adored the Audrey Hepburn/Carey Grant movie, Charade, where he chases her through a Paris Metro station. I wanted to attain that level of intensity in the prose. Second, I made a self- imposed pledge to my daughter that I would work in a subway station chase chapter. After all, it is New York City.

Are you a full time or a part time writer? If part time, what do you do besides write?

Part-time for now. Raising four children and practicing law require a significant time commitment.

What are you currently reading?

The Tomb, by F. Paul Wilson. Next, I’ll move on to The Assassination Complex by Jeremy Scahill. Then, I’ll read The Count of Monte Christo by Alexandre Dumas. I always like to sprinkle in an old classic or a comtemporary work that’s outside the thriller genre, like YA or middle grade stuff my kids are reading.

Who would you say are your favourite authors?

I consciously avoid reading too many books by any one author, for fear of starting to write like them.

How about your favourite books? What would be your top 5?

The Godfather
War and Peace
To Kill a Mockingbird
Storm of Swords (book three of The Song of Ice and Fire series)
The Patient

What are your future projects, if any?

I’m on to writing the second and third installments of the Daniel Strong trilogy. Meanwhile, I’m also drafting a screenplay for The Chemist. I also have an idea for another trilogy about an FBI agent in the future who has to deal with an international assassin as well as her own addiction of an unusual kind.

What is your preferred method for readers to get in touch with you and your books?

Email is best for now: contact@alanjfieldbooks.com or through goodreads.com

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Learn about and utilize all the tools out there on how to promote yourself and your book, start your own publishing company, write what you like, and never, ever give up. It is so worth it!

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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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Book Tour · Contests · Excerpts · Giveaway · Monday Book Tours · Silver Dagger Scriptorium

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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Book Tour · Contests · Giveaway

Text: A Thriller by Bryan W. Alaspa Book Tour and Giveaway

 
Genre: 
Horror, Thriller
Publisher: Guffawing Dog Publishing
Date of Release: August 26, 2016
Pages: 240 pages
Links: GoodReadsAmazonAuthor WebsiteTwitterGoogle+Pinterest

**A TERRIFYING NOVEL OF UNRELENTING SUSPENSE FROM AUTHOR BRYAN ALASPA**

Abe Yates is a successful true crime author. He makes a living writing about the crimes and deaths of others, but that living has allowed him to provide a great house and life for his wife and two kids. His latest novel is about a vicious hit-man and serial killer known as The Saint. It is already destined to become a runaway bestseller with a movie option at the ready. Life is good.

Until the morning he reaches for his cell phone and finds a mysterious video text. A text that shows something horrific. A video that appears to show something that hasn’t happened yet.

Now Abe and his family may only have days to figure out who created this video and who wants to do them harm. How far would you go to protect your family? For Abe, he may find that his own desire to protect his life and his home may take him to darker areas in his own heart than he ever thought possible.

A tight-knit supernatural thriller from the author of RIG, Gone, The Man From Taured, Sapphire and the Deklan Falls detective series comes an edge-of-your-seat look into terror and suspense – TEXT.

Sure enough, there were some texts from friends and people who knew Spencer and  whom Spencer had probably called about the party last night. Most of them Abe knew only  tangentially and he could not recall most of their faces and most of them expressed regret at not  being able to attend. He mused that they could have shown up or just not shown up and he  would never have known the difference. That was the thing that happened when you were a  reliable bestseller at the agency and publisher. People felt they had to bow down to you even if  you had no idea who they were.
Delete. Delete. Delete.
He came to a final message, near the bottom of the list, from a number that he did not  recognize. In fact, it was an impossible number to start with.
0000000000
Abe remembered getting weird phone calls from a number like that years ago when he  had first gotten a cell phone. They had finally come down in price and the phone companies  were finally offering decent deals on them and he had bought one of those obsolete flip phones.
He would find that he had a voicemail from a number that was all zeroes and when he listened  to it, it was just a bunch of weird noises. He hadn’t gotten a call like that in ages.
Abe opened up the message and saw that there was a black box in the middle of a  white field. There was a white arrow, pointing to the right, in the middle of the black box.
He frowned.
Who the hell would send him a video text? No one he knew was the type to do that.
Abe was not a video taker himself and he rarely even texted over photos. If he had a good  photo, he was told that social media was the best place to put that.
It was probably just someone who was at the party last night. Perhaps someone who  stayed later and maybe things got crazier after he and Shari had left. Hell, it was probably a  video from Sam or Spence trying to show him the fun he missed out on.
Abe hit play.
At first he was not sure at all what he was a looking at.
It was a weird video, shot poorly, that kept pixelating. It was dark and it was shot with  some night vision setting on the camera or cell phone, so everything had a weird greenish/white  glow. The colors were all inverted, too, so the black pants looked white. He saw legs and arms  and torsos, but the camera was mostly pointed at the ground.
There was sound, too. Men’s voices, from the sound of it, but the sound was tinny and Abe couldn’t make out any words. Someone was yelling.
Then there was screaming.
The camera swung up and suddenly Abe was looking into a face that he knew all too  well. Whoever was holding the camera was wearing a Henry the CrossEyed  Lion mask. One of  the cheap plastic ones that came out every year and sold at the large discount store around the  corner. The eyes, hidden behind that mask, looked empty and dark. There was just the smiling  lion and the areas around the eye holes had been painted to look comically crosseyed.
It was surreal.
Abe sat up straighter on his chair, absently licking his lips. He was distantly aware of  the fact that his throat was dry.
The camera swung around and now he could see that they were in someone’s house.
He could make out a large staircase and a hardwood floor. It was familiar. He could see at least  five other men. They were wearing suits, but all of them were wearing animal masks. Plastic  animal masks based on the characters in Shari’s books.

 Bryan W. Alaspa is a Chicago born and bred author of both fiction and non-fiction works. He has been writing since he sat down at his mother’s electric typewriter back in the third grade and pounded out his first three-page short story. He spent time studying journalism and other forms of writing. He turned to writing as his full-time career in 2006 when he began writing freelance, online and began writing novels and books.
He is the author of over 30 books of both fiction and non-fiction and numerous short stories and articles.
Mr. Alaspa writes true crime, history, horror, thrillers, mysteries, detective stories and tales about the supernatural.

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