Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Storm Winds: An Outer Banks Mystery Book Blast!


We welcome K.S. David and her STORM WINDS Book Blast today! Please leave a comment to let her know you stopped by!


Title: STORM WINDS: AN OUTER BANKS MYSTERY
Author: K.S. David
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 180
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Moving to the North Carolina Outer Banks was a chance for Leah Kymes to put her life back together, after her marriage went sour. But peace and quiet evade her, when her father is discovered murdered in his fish and tackle shop. Not willing to wait for authorities to solve the crime, she begins to delve into recent events involving her Dad. What she uncovers shatters her understanding of the man she thought she knew so well. 

At Leah's side is her old flame, Officer Aden Parker, who runs interference between Leah and the salty detective who sees her as a hindrance. Ignoring Aden's warnings, she deepens her probe, but soon draws the attention of a handsome stranger. Is this new man just competing for her affection - or a vicious killer intent on making Leah his next victim? 

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Amazon


Book Excerpt:


Perched on top of a sand dune, Leah looked across the ocean as waves curled and crashed against the shore. Behind her, stalled traffic lined North Carolina's Highway 12, six miles deep. Residents of the Outer Banks fled their homes days earlier as the dark clouds of a Category 3 hurricane raced toward them. Now they were headed back to whatever the storm had left behind.
Leah's father, Rex, had ignored the warnings. "I ain't scared of no damned storm," he'd said. "It's the price we pay for living in paradise, honey."
Rex had been born and bred on the North Carolina coast. He was sun-tough, with seawater for blood. An average-sized man with a shock of white hair, a face lined by hard living, and eyes as blue and alert as a clear summer sky, he feared no man, and believed destiny was his to write. She believed that he was invincible when she was a child. She knew better now. After a week without a word from him, Leah's frustration was speeding toward fear.
She dug her toes beneath the warm sand, ran her hands through her thick auburn hair, and twisted it into a bun. She'd spent nearly four days huddled in a hotel room, watching hours of new reports as the storm tracked toward the Outer Banks. Afterward, she searched photos of the destruction, straining to see if the home she shared with Rex and their businesses had been spared.
Leah picked up her cell phone and tapped the photo of her father. Since the storm hit, communication had been spotty to the Outer Banks. Like all the times before, her call went straight to Rex's voice mail. Instead of leaving another agitated message, she ended the call, picked up a stick, and jammed it into the sand.
She was irritated. If she knew him well, and she did, her father hadn't thought once about the worry he caused. The old cuss was probably fine, but it was strange that he hadn't called to check on her, not even once. When her mind pondered over that loose detail, she pushed it to the furthest spot in her brain.
The blare of horns signaled that it was time to move. She skidded down the dune that hugged the road. Course granules of sand shifted underfoot as she descended. Heat pressed against her bare feet as she fished her keys out of the pocket of her cutoff shorts. Gaps in the line had been created by drivers who'd already moved forward and the woman parked behind Leah laid on her horn and growled, "We're trying to get home today, please!"
Leah sighed, grit her teeth, and gave a quick wave. "Sorry." Beneath her breath, she mumbled, "Go to hell." They were all in the same predicament and moving a few feet forward wasn't going to get either of them on the ferry any faster. She'd been in line for nearly two hours on the southern tip of Ocracoke Island. It would take another hour before she reached the pier for a forty-minute boat ride before landing on Hatteras Island, then another fifteen before she got to her father's house in the town of Frisco.
A hand tapped her on the shoulder. "Excuse me, ma'am. Are you Ms. Leah Kymes?"
A Hyde County police officer stared down at her. Sometimes, cops issued tickets to drivers who walked away from their cars when they were in the line for the ferry, especially at times like this. A ticket was the last thing she needed.
"I'm getting ready to pull up. We've been sitting here--"
The cop threw a hand up to stop her. "It's okay." He stepped closer and asked again, "Are you Leah Kymes?"
She frowned and looked down the line of cars. Eying him, she answered, "Yeah, I'm Leah Kymes."
"I'm Officer Alfred Hawkins. The Dare County Police Department requested that we locate and help you back over to Hatteras."
She stepped back. "Why?"
He shrugged, "Don't know. I was just told to find you."
"Is this about my father?" Her stomach turned at the thought that something bad had happened.
Hawkins held up a hand, "Ma'am, I don't know." He was a tall man, with smooth dark brown skin and an open face. "I was asked to get you back over to the island."
She looked at the backed-up traffic. There were still six miles to go before getting to the landing.
As if reading her mind, Officer Hawkins added, "I can take you back on one of the guard boats. Your car won't fit but another officer will get it on the next ferry."
At first, only a few drivers showed any interest when Hawkins first appeared beside Leah, but radios quieted and chatter ebbed when a second cruiser pulled alongside them and deposited another cop. Hawkins called over his shoulder to a female officer, "Direct the rest of the cars around us."
This officer was young. She'd chopped her brown hair into a pageboy and appeared to be losing the battle against acne. Giving Leah a quick, dismissive glance, she turned and waved the other cars along.
The woman who'd shouted at Leah earlier eased by slowly, but kept her curious gaze locked on the action.
"You sure you don't know anything?" Leah asked, searching Hawken's face.
"No," he said. Dark shades covered his eyes. Leah couldn't read his face but there was something in the brevity of his reply that worried her. Before she could question him any further, he said, "That's Officer Maynard." He pointed to the woman directing traffic. "She'll drive your car to the ferry. Someone on the other side will make sure it gets to Hatteras."
Maynard didn't look old enough to drive, and Leah didn't like the idea of leaving her car in someone else's hands, but what choice did she have. The line wasn't getting any shorter and she needed answers. Eyeing Hawkins again, she worried that he was being evasive. Cops never tell the whole story until they're ready. She opened the car door, pulled out her shoes and handbag, and tossed her keys on the seat. "Okay, I'm ready," she said to Hawkins.
He raced them along the shoulder of the highway, past the line of cars waiting for the next ferry. He parked against the edge of a sand dune and then escorted Leah to a small, white police boat. "We'll ride over together," he said.
He separated from her as soon as they hit the boat's deck and nudged himself into a corner with four other cops. Leah sat alone on a small portside bench and watched them watching her. They kept their voices low and, every so often, shot skimming glances in her direction. Hawkins had been sent to find her--to look specifically for Leah Kymes. There were thousands of people trying to get back on the island and every resource was tied up in the restoration effort, yet some official had seen fit to use Hawkins and a police boat to fetch her. Why?
After a moment, she stood and turned away from the cops. Leaning against the rails, she closed her eyes, pushed her face into the wind, and tried to concentrate on the roar of the boat's engine, the swish of the wake created as they cut through the waves, the call of the seagulls sailing overhead, anything but the sound of doubt coming from deep inside her own chest.
She had tried not to get anxious over the twenty-four-hour media coverage. She left the hotel room as often as she could, sped through several novels, caught up on emails, and even allowed herself the luxury of uninhibited sleep. None of it managed to shake loose a growing sense of foreboding. Something bad must have happened to Rex, a thought that drove her to file a missing person's report. Her father would be furious with her for doubting him. There was, of course, another issue. Rex loathed the police, a fact that made Leah pause each time she started dialing the emergency hotline. There were some cops he'd warmed to over the years but, as far as he was concerned, most could pucker up and kiss his crotchety old ass.
On Hatteras Island, Officer Hawkins walked her to a squat, yellow building known as the Inlet. Hugging the tip of the pier, the Inlet served as a visitor's center. A balmy wind pushed three blue signs that advertised snacks, restrooms, and ferryboat information. Across the lot was Hatteras Landing, where a collection of tourist shops and eateries were housed in a blistering white stucco building. It was usually overrun with tourists this time of year but stood empty because of the storm.
Rex had to be okay, she thought. Then, like an erratic wind, her mind shifted, and the voice in her head would shout, they don't send police escorts for a simple missing person's report, or do they? Maybe it was because Rex was elderly and kind of like a town fixture. If he were the only citizen unaccounted for, the officials wouldn't hesitate to put more effort into finding him.
Perhaps they had located Rex, but he'd been injured. The storm had been a whopper. It had raged against the coast for nearly eight hours. News reports showed cars and debris thrown all over the place, and homes and buildings had been torn apart like toys. A crack had appeared in Highway 12, severing lower Hatteras from the northern shores.
Immersed in her thoughts, she almost plowed into a man standing at the top of the ramp. She started her apology without even bothering to look up then began to move around the figure when a hand closed around the top of her arm.
"Lee?"
She raised her eyes to study the face of the man that had used her name. He was a head taller with soft brown eyes and tanned skin. A faint scar zigzagged from his bottom lip and disappeared beneath his chin. She'd given him that scar, slamming her Hello Kitty lunch box into his face after he'd popped the head off her Cabbage Patch doll.
"Aiden?" she replied. Then, more confident, she gushed, "Aiden Parker!"
She hadn't seen him since she was eighteen. A thousand questions popped into her head, as she considered his ruggedly handsome face. Was he married? Was he back in the Outer Banks? How was his family? Did he have kids?
Her mouth had started to quiver out the first question when Officer Hawkins moved past her, and like a pendulum swinging, her thoughts immediately shifted back to Rex. "I know this sounds rude, but I'll have to catch up with you later. I have an emergency right now. Maybe we can exchange information or something," she mumbled, already heading away.
"I know," he said, taking the crook of her arm again, to stop her.
She cocked her head. "You know what?"
"I'm a cop with the Dare County Police Department, and I know you made a call about Rex."
She narrowed her eyes and stared into his face for a moment. Like Hawkins, his expression was flat. "Where is he?"
"Come inside so we can talk," he said.
"Where's my father?" she insisted, determined not to move from that spot until she got an answer.
"Come on," Aiden said. He placed his hand on her shoulder and urged her up the last few feet of the ramp. They crossed the store and walked down the hallway past a set of restrooms. He opened a thick door with a sign, AUTHORIZED PERSONNEL ONLY. The building also housed offices for the Park Service and the North Carolina Department of Transportation, which operated the ferry service. Three uniformed officers chatted beside a bank of windows. Their conversation halted then picked up again in hushed tones.
Aiden pointed her to a conference room. "We can talk in here."
A large man with flaccid jowls and a rumpled brown suit stood at a window overlooking the sound.
"This is Detective Eric Lawson," Aiden said.
"Where's my dad?" Leah asked. This time, she didn't try to hide her irritation. Fear crawled up her spine, and she bound her prickly arms around her belly, as the big man turned to greet her.
Lawson pointed Leah to a seat at the table. "Let's talk for a moment."
She pulled back one of the chairs, barely noticing when the leg scraped against her foot. Lawson lowered his considerable frame into a seat opposite her, while Aiden replaced him at the window. Her leg shook and the sound of her flip-flops slapping against the sole of her foot broke the uneasy quiet in the room. Lawson leaned in and smiled but, despite the wide, toothy grin, Leah felt no warmth coming from the man. She recoiled, slight uncomfortable under the unyielding glare of his cold, gray eyes.
"I have a few questions," he said, "if you don't mind." He didn't wait for her to agree. "When was the last time you saw your father?"
She rubbed her hands together. "Um, the day before the storm. Why?"
He scribbled her response on a short, wire-rimmed notepad. "Home, or at his store?"
"At the house. He refused to leave, but wanted me to go."
"Was he planning to ride out the storm at the house?"
"I don't mean to be rude, but you gotta give me something." She tugged her hair out of the bun, twisted it tighter, and reset the scrunchie. "Is my father still missing?" Her head was spinning and all the horrid images of what that could mean rushed through her brain. She pressed the back of her hand to her upper lip, blotting away a light sheen of sweat. Despite the hum of the air conditioner and the bank of windows that stretched the entire length of the room, the space felt small and stifling. She asked again, "Is he still missing?"
Lawson pursed his lips. "No. He's not missing."
She let her head fall back and whispered a quiet prayer. "Thank, God." But her elation turned midstride as another wave of terror struck. "Is he okay?"
Rex wasn't a young man. That had been the point of their argument. Riding out a murderous storm was dangerous, but for a sixty-nine-year-old man, it was akin to lunacy.
Aiden turned from the window and slipped into the chair beside her. He grabbed the seat's edge and scooted closer. His face was hard and serious, but softened when he took her hands. "Leah, there's no easy way to say this." He stopped to swallow, the sound loud enough for her to hear. "Your father is dead."
She tilted her head and stared at him in disbelief. Her mind a blur, Leah struggled to process what he said. The air grew thinner, and she snatched her hands away from Aiden, held them in mid-air, then turned her gaze to Lawson, as if seeking confirmation.
He nodded. "He's dead, Ms. Kymes."
A long, sorrowful moan lifted from her chest, and Leah leaned forward, pressing hands to her eyes, as if trying to hold back the flood of tears. She turned suddenly to Aiden. "How?" she asked. "How?"
He inched closer, his knees pressing into hers. "Lee," which was the name he'd given her when they were children, "I need you to listen to me." The next words sliced into her like a knife. "Lee, your dad was murdered. Somebody shot him."




About the Author

K. S. David lives in the Mid-Atlantic with her husband, their three children and a spoiled sheepadoodle. She’s addicted to true life mysteries and crime shows, both of which marry well with a great romance. Some of her favorite things are long walks, reading in bed, baking and, of course, writing her next novel.

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Monday Musings: Author Interview: Daniel A. Blum, author of 'The Feet Say Run'



Daniel A. Blum grew up in New York, attended Brandeis University and currently lives outside of Boston with his family. His first novel Lisa33 was published by Viking in 2003. He has been featured in Poets and Writers magazine, Publisher’s Weekly and most recently, interviewed in Psychology Today.

Daniel writes a humor blog, The Rotting Post, that has developed a loyal following.

His latest release is the literary novel, The Feet Say Run.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK



About the Book:

At the age of eighty-five, Hans Jaeger finds himself a castaway among a group of survivors on a deserted island.  What is my particular crime?  he asks.   Why have I been chosen  for this fate?  And s
o he begins his extraordinary chronicle.

It would be an understatement to say he has lived a full life.  He has grown up in Nazi Germany and falls in love with Jewish girl.  He fights for the Germans on two continents, watches the Reich collapse spectacularly into occupation and starvation, and marries his former governess.  After the war he goes on wildflower expeditions in the Alps, finds solace among prostitutes while his wife lay in a coma, and marries a Brazilian chambermaid in order to receive a kidney from her. 

By turns sardonic and tragic and surreal, Hans’s story is the story of all of the insanity, irony and horror of the modern world itself.  

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble



Thanks for this interview, Dan.  Can we begin by having you tell us about yourself from a writer’s standpoint?

Perhaps the most interesting part of my background is that my entire family – both parents and both siblings – are either psychiatrists or psychologists.  My father is a well-known psychoalanalyst.   This affected me in all kinds of ways, although I hope I keep it all well-concealed in my fiction – which I want to be fun and full of life, and free of self-reference, over-analysis, and all the other the sins of contemprary literature. 

I always get a smile when I read Nabokov’s many anti-psychoanalytic comments.  In the preface to “King, Queen, Knave,” he wrote, “As usual…the Viennese has not been invited.”  I read that and think, “I’m quite familiar with that delegation.”   In an interview, Nabokov once said, “I don't want an elderly gentleman from Vienna with an umbrella inflicting his dreams upon me.”   I grew up with that elderly gentleman.  I get it. 

As for my fiction, I took one or two classes in creative writing along the way, but I have to say I found them to be essentially useless.  I am still unsure, after two published novels, what exactly, ‘show it, don’t say it’ even means.  So I suppose I am essentially self-taught.  My interests range from literary fiction to humor and back again.  Art and its inverse, I suppose.   My new novel, The Feet Say Run, is finally a synthesis of the two – existing in some Limbo between comedy and tragedy, veering perilously from one to the other. 


When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?

I relax with family and friends.  I play tennis and chess and do crosswords.  I like to travel when possible.   I write a humor blog, “The Rotting Post,” which helps keep my inner artiste in check. 


Congratulations on your new book! Can you give us the very first page of your book so that we can get a glimpse inside?

If there is an actual name to this island, it is unknown to us.  We have chosen to call it Illyria.  We’re not exactly sure where the name comes from.  Some book perhaps.  But it no longer matters.  The name has become our own—mythic and melodic-sounding.  As though, if we keep calling this place Illyria, keep pretending it has some magical allure, people will want to come.  Someone will come rescue us.  
I am not complaining, particularly.  Well, maybe I am.  But I probably shouldn’t be.  So far fate has proven a fair enough agent.  The beaches are sandy, the water clear and turquoise, the reefs plentiful.  The island is wreathed in a soothing white foam.  On shore there is the shade of palms and palmettos and eucalyptus.  At least we think it is eucalyptus.  We call it eucalyptus.  Maybe it is just some kind of fancy magnolia though.  Who the hell knows? 
There are fruits in relative abundance—though what they are, we aren’t sure.  Some are purple.  Others are yellow.  Some vaguely sweet, others sharp and abrasive on the roof of the mouth.  There is a variety of coconut that grows in conjoined pairs to look like the buttocks of an African woman.  We call this ass-fruit.  When I offered some to Conrad, he said to me, “I’m not into that shit.”  As though I were suggesting something perverse.  As though fear of this fetish object outweighed the need for sustenance. 
“What shit are you not into?” I asked. 
“Ass fruit,” he said.  “Ass.”
“It’s not real ass, Conrad,” I said.
“Well, it’s not a real fruit either,” he said. 
“What do you think it is then?” I asked.
“A joke,” he said.  “A sick joke.  Like the rest of this place.” 

God is playing a joke on us.  That is a common theme here. It was funny the first time someone said it.  Now it is just annoying, like a child saying, “knock-knock” to you over and over, more and more emphatically, as you refuse, just as emphatically, to ask, “Who’s there?” 
The other common theme here is that none of it is real.  We all died when the boat went down.  And this is all just a dream.  Conrad suggests this a couple of times a day, each time choosing a different angle, a different inflection, in a vain attempt to keep the joke fresh.  If you suggest, gently, that this joke no longer strikes you as uproarious, Conrad will immediately jump into a long denial that he is joking.  “I’m not fucking kidding,” he will tell you.  “I really mean it. I think this is all a dream.” 
Perhaps Conrad is right.  Because honestly, I did not believe, until my current predicament, that deserted islands still existed.  I thought these islands were all owned by former tennis pros and former tyrants, or inhabited by caricatures of primitive tribes who sell carved bamboo flutes to flabby tourists in checkered shorts. 
If it is a dream, if this is my Land of Oz and I am soon to wake up, then it is curious how, from time to time, little bits of Kansas wash up upon our shores.  Whenever we wander further down the beach, away from our settlement, we find Styrofoam packing peanuts, Styrofoam bowls, #3 plastic take-out containers with their familiar, triangular recycle symbols (apparently the previous owners of these containers ignored this particular environmental imperative).
The restaurant take-out containers are the most distressing.  More mockery from The Almighty.  More of his levity.  Ha ha.  We bring them back to our camp and wonder what twenty-first century foods they once held.  Pad Thai or Kung Pao Chicken or Shrimp Korma.  From some restaurant from the other world.  Thank you, God, for delivering us this practical joke.  Ha ha.  You’re fucking hi-lar-ious.


Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing?  Can you tell us about your journey?

My previous novel, Lisa33 was an avante-garde sex comedy set on the internet.  I had received a large advance for it, but in the end the publishing experience was quite disastrous.  So I wanted to get as far away from it as possible.  A harrowing war story set in Nazi Germany was surely about as far from an internet sex farce as one could get. 

Of course, there is more to it than that.  I had grown increasingly interested in the idea of literary fiction that also made for a gripping page-turner.  And I was drawn to the idea of telling a big, epic tale of human comedy and tragedy, of cruelty and compassion and blindess and brilliance, through a single, long life.  Gradually, from these disparate threads and ideas, the book began to take shape.  I honestly never had a moment where I decided, “I am going to write another novel.”  I just began poking around.  And then I was in too deep, immersed, and – to borrow a war metaphor – there was no retreating.  The only way out was forward. 

As fas as finding a publisher, that is itself rather interesting.  I had lost most of my supposed connections in the publishing world.  And of course, with a book to my name that had received a large advance and few sales, I represented something rather awkward, something not to be mentioned.  I was a mistake, a failed experiment.  Worse than an unknown.  So I had to more or less start over. 

As it turned out, my new publisher found me.  I had posted a few poems on a public website, and the publisher had admired them and commented.  This started an email exchange and my forwarding, The Feet Say Run.  I have to believe I am one of the few writers who was “discovered”, then entirely forgotten, then once again “discovered” for something new, with no awareness that I was already a published novelist.   


If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be?

All of the greatness and tragedy and comedy and foibles of mankind, in a single, long, war-weary, extraordinary life. 


What makes your book stand out from the rest?

I feel strongly that too much serious fiction is just too slow, too ponderous.  It fails the basic artistic test, “Did this novel draw in the reader at the start, and hold the reader until the end?”  The Feet Say Run is a serious novel that is taut and suspenseful, that is emotionally gripping and difficult to put down.  This was what I wanted to create because it is what I most love to read.  I’m already seeing many readers really excited about it in the way I had most dearly hoped. 


If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?

Well, at it’s heart is a war story, and a rather harrowing one, so I suppose it would be Memorial Day.  Although…I am not aware of any great book-buying surrounding Memorial Day, so this is not a serious recommendation.


Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?

I always want to be experimenting and doing something new.  I never want to write the same sort of book twice.  So I do not see a series here.  What’s more, the story is complete as it is - unless characters miraculously come back from the dead. 

On the other hand, I do have someone looking at film rights for it, and here I could easily see that it could be a mini-series of sorts. 


What’s next for you?

I have a couple of things nearing completion – one serious and one much lighter.  I’m unsure which I will want to publisher first – or which my publisher would prefer.  So we’ll have to see.  

A Bookish Conversation with Thriller Author Darin Gibby & Win $25 Amazon Gift Card! #giveaway #thriller


In addition to a thriving career as a novelist, author Darin Gibby is also one of the country’s premiere patent attorneys and a partner at the prestigious firm of Kilpatrick Townsend (www.kilpatricktownsend.com). With over twenty years of experience in obtaining patents on hundreds of inventions from the latest drug delivery systems to life-saving cardiac equipment, he has built IP portfolios for numerous Fortune 500 companies. In addition to securing patents, Gibby helps clients enforce and license their patents around the world, and he has monetized patents on a range of products.

Darin’s first book, Why Has America Stopped Inventing?, explored the critical issue of America’s broken patent system.  His second book, The Vintage Club, tells the story of a group of the world’s wealthiest men who are chasing a legend about a wine that can make you live forever. His third book, Gil, is about a high school coach who discovers that he can pitch with deadly speed and is given an offer to play with the Rockies during a player’s strike. Gil soon discovers, however, that his unexpected gift is the result of a rare disease, and continuing to pitch may hasten his own death.
With a Bachelor of Science degree in mechanical engineering and a Master of Business Administration degree, he is highly regarded in Denver’s legal and business community as a patent strategist, business manager, and community leader. He is also a sought-after speaker on IP issues at businesses, colleges and technology forums, where he demonstrates the value of patents using simple lessons from working on products such as Crocs shoes, Izzo golf straps and Trek bicycles.
An avid traveler and accomplished triathlete, Darin also enjoys back country fly-fishing trips and skiing in the Rocky Mountains. He lives in Denver with his wife, Robin, and their four children.

His latest book is the thriller, Chasing Hindy.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK


About the Book:

Title: Chasing Hindy
Author: Darin Gabby
Publisher: Koehler Books
Pages: 284
Genre: Thriller

ADDY’S DREAM AS a patent attorney is to help bring a ground breaking energy technology to the world. Addy’s hopes soar when she is wooed by Quinn, an entrepreneur, to join his company that has purportedly invented a car that can run on water using an innovative catalyst. After resigning her partnership to join Quinn, Addy discovers things aren’t as they seem. The patent office suppresses the company’s patent applications and her life is threatened by unknown assailants if she doesn’t resign.

When she is arrested for stealing US technology from the patent office she realizes Quinn has used her. Now, Addy must find a way to clear her name while salvaging her dream of propelling this technology to the world, all while powerful forces attempt to stop her.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Thanks for this interview, Darin.  Can we begin by having you tell us about yourself from a writer’s standpoint?

I am a practicing patent attorney, finding time to write during every spare minute.  I’ve written three previous books: Why Has America Stopped Inventing?, The Vintage Club and Gil. I find that being a patent attorney gives me access to some really great ideas, including the idea behind my upcoming book, Chasing Hindy, that revolves around a car that purportedly can run on water.

When not writing, what do you like to do for relaxation and/or fun?

I love being outdoors.  Being from Colorado, I take advantage of skiing, hiking in the Rocky Mountains and running triathlons.

Congratulations on your new book! Can you give us the very first page of your book so that we can get a glimpse inside?
                       
Addy felt like jumping out of her car and doing a quick happy dance in the middle of stalled traffic. Her excitement at becoming the newest—and youngest—partner at the intellectual property law firm of Wyckoff & Schechter was nearly overwhelming.
She grinned at the shadow on the hood of Hindy, her treasured retrofitted cherry red Shelby Mustang. The shadow was created by a barrel-sized, hydrogen-filled balloon that floated above the Mustang’s roof. Gawkers pointed and laughed as the Shelby eased down El Camino pulling the tethered balloon as if in a Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. The balloon—which on one side sported her law firm’s logo, and on the other Hindy in giant cursive script—was just an advertising gimmick to show her passion for alternative energies. It was only strapped to the roof on calm, sunny days when she was travelling at slow speeds using routes that avoided overpasses. The retrofitted Mustang was really powered by four electric motors using electricity produced by solar panels and a conventional fuel cell.
At first, the Wyckoff partners questioned Addy’s prudence in strapping a floating balloon to the roof of any vehicle, but they’d come to admire the effectiveness of her marketing innovations. They even lifted their champagne glasses at the end of her mentor’s welcome speech acknowledging that her Shelby was responsible for bringing in increasing numbers of the “green” companies sprouting like weeds all over the Silicon Valley—inventive, entrepreneurial companies in need of legal advice and support for their patents.
While the traffic inched forward, Addy chuckled with excitement. “Hindy, ol’ pal,” she said, patting the dashboard, “you and I are going places now! Next time some overzealous cops accuse you of being a traffic hazard, I’ll stare them down and inform them they’re messing with the partner of a highly prestigious law firm.”
Would you say it’s been a rocky road for you in regards to getting your book written and published or pretty much smooth sailing?  Can you tell us about your journey?

Chasing Hindy has been quite the journey. Unlike my other books, this one took fifteen years to write. The struggle wasn’t explaining how it really is possible to run a car on water, but finding a character that readers could fall in love with. What made the story finally click was my discovery of Addy—a patent attorney with a dream to change the world. I decided on a female character (who was also a patent attorney) for several reasons. Perhaps the main reason was that female patent attorneys are in short supply and I wanted to encourage women to enter the profession. So I created Addy to hopefully show what a difference one person can make, and through her experience more women would want to become patent attorneys. What I love about Addy is her determination to make the world a better place, no matter the cost.  But you’ll have to read the book to see what obstacles she must overcome.


If you had to summarize your book in one sentence, what would that be?

Chasing Hindy is about a patent attorney who thinks she’s landed her dream job with a company who has invented a technology to let cars run on water only to discover that there are other interests who are poised to make sure it never comes to market.

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

I don’t know of any thrillers centering around a technology that could change that world by letting cars run on water. And what’s really exciting is that it is possible.


If your book was put in the holiday section of the store, what holiday would that be and why?

I would want the book in the “new year’s section” because of the concluding scene that happens during the Super Bowl.  Chasing Hindy would be really fun to read right before the Super Bowl.

Would you consider turning your book into a series or has that already been done?

Probably not.  This isn’t a book that lends itself to a series.

What’s next for you?

I am currently working on a piece of historical fiction based in the mid-18th century.  I was just at the New Jersey Historical Society doing research.  I’m going to tell about an important and fascinating part of American history that has somehow been overlooked.


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  • This giveaway ends midnight June 30.
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Blog Tour: The Mountain Goddess + Book Giveaway!

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We invite you to Shelley Schanfield's THE MOUNTAIN GODDESS Blog Tour! Please leave a comment to let Shelley know you stopped by and while you're at it, enter to win a free e-copy of THE MOUNTAIN GODDESS! 
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Title: THE MOUNTAIN GODDESS
Author: Shelley Schanfield
Publisher: Lake House Books
Pages: 471
Genre: Historical Fantasy

A beautiful warrior princess. A tormented prince. A terrible choice between love, duty, and spiritual freedom.

In ancient India, rebellious Dhara runs away to a sacred mountain to study with the powerful yogi Mala, a mysterious woman with a violent past. Flung by war onto an adventure-filled journey, Dhara meets and captures the heart of Siddhartha, whose skill in the martial arts and extraordinary mental powers equal her own.

Worldly power and pleasure seduce Dhara, creating a chasm between her and her husband, who longs to follow a sage’s solitary path. She takes on the warrior’s role Siddhartha does not want, and when she returns wounded from battle court intrigue drives them further apart. As Siddhartha’s discontent with royal life intensifies, Dhara’s guru Mala, who has returned to her life as a ruthless outlaw, seeks her former pupil for her own evil purposes.

Dhara’s and Siddhartha’s love keeps evil at bay, but their son’s birth brings on a spiritual crisis for the prince.  If he leaves his kingdom to seek enlightenment, he turns his back on love and duty and risks destroying his people. Only Dhara can convince him to stay. 

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Book Excerpt:


The scouting party found the wild-looking woman at the waterfall, asleep by the pool.
“Stay, daughter,” Dhara’s father hissed. She pulled her pony’s reins and halted next to his sturdy horse.
“Who is she, Father?” Dhara whispered back, unable to look away from this apparition, whose skin was as dark as the fearsome goddess Kali’s. She wore a deerskin around her loins, and long, tangled black hair covered her breasts. Well-muscled arms and legs lay akimbo, as if the woman had fallen in exhaustion. A short sword in a jeweled scabbard was thrust into the faded red sash around her waist and a knife was tied to one leg.
“I see no one else, Chief Dandapani!” A young warrior crashed out of the dry underbrush. Monsoon clouds had yet to thunder against Himalaya’s peaks and drench the Koli clan’s high forest home, and dead twigs and branches crackled as he emerged.
The woman sat up straight, instantly awake. The scouting party drew swords or notched arrows, but she did not reach for her weapons. Instead, she stood up in one smooth motion, magnificent and tall. She swiveled her head with deliberate calm, as if measuring her chances against five armed men.
Who was this creature? Dhara sat proud and tall on her pony, trying to look older than her twelve years. Look at me, she wanted to shout, but the woman gave her only the briefest glance.
The woman and the chief locked eyes.
“Namaste,” she said, putting her palms together with that same deliberate slowness. “I am Mala.”
“Mala.” Dandapani gave a quick nod and shifted on his horse. “I am Dandapani, chief of the Kolis. These are our lands. Few travel them and none without our permission.”
“Chief Dandapani, my guru Asita sent me here to make a solitary retreat. I seek only to practice the Lord of Yoga’s disciplines at the mountain goddess’s sacred cave.”
 “Asita!” Dhara was astonished. She glanced up at Dhavalagiri’s snow-capped peak towering above them. It was hard to imagine that the skinny old yogi who had lived up there when Dhara was a little girl was guru to this woman, who looked more like a warrior than a wandering truth-seeker.
Dandapani cocked his head. “Asita was a great favorite among us Kolis.”
“He spoke highly of your clan,” Mala said.
Dandapani and Mala had not taken their eyes off each other. “You are hardly the first sage to seek shelter at the cave, but you may be the first woman.” He smiled faintly. “And the first to come with such a fine sword.”
Mala’s narrowed her eyes. “A woman faces many dangers when she travels alone. But now I have no further need of it. I offer the sword to you, Chief Dandapani.” 
“A fine gift. I accept.”
“Father,” Dhara said in a tremulous whisper. “We must offer hospitality to a truth-seeker…it’s dharma.”
Before Dandapani could reply, Jagai, the weapons master, spoke. “I don’t like this. How do we know who she is? They say Angulimala is hiding in the mountains with picked men, making bloody sacrifices to Black Kali and plotting against the lowland kingdoms. ”
Dhara took sharp breath. Even the isolated Koli clan had heard the rumors. The infamous outlaw queen Angulimala, who some said was Kali incarnate, had disappeared, leaving her renegade army leaderless.
Dandapani suddenly grinned. “How do we know she’s not a demoness? A mortal woman wouldn’t have dared such a journey alone.”
Mala laughed out loud. Jagai frowned and the other warriors looked startled. A powerful current was passing between her father and this woman that Dhara didn’t understand.
“Either way, we have no quarrel with you,” the chief said to Mala. “What happens in the kingdoms along Ganga’s river is no concern of ours. And even a demoness may seek wisdom.” 
“I assure you, my lord Dandapani. I am a simple yogi, seeking peace and solitude.”
A woman yogi! Seeking the highest knowledge, which once gained would make others strive to learn wisdom at her feet! Not just some clever Brahmin wife like those in the village priest’s instructive stories, who received all her learning from a wise husband but had no real mind of her own.
“Well, daughter.” Dandapani looked at Dhara. “What do you say?”
Dhara’s throat was dry. “N-namaste, Mala-ji.” She bowed her head. “Food and a bed await you in our village.”






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  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive an e-copy of THE MOUNTAIN GODDESS.
  • This giveaway ends midnight April 28.
Good luck everyone!

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About the Author


Shelley Schanfield’s passion for Buddhism and yoga arose sixteen years ago, when she and her son earned black belts in Tae Kwon Do. The links between the martial arts and Buddhist techniques to calm and focus the mind fascinated her. By profession a librarian, Shelley plunged into research about the time, place, and spiritual traditions that 2500 years ago produced Prince Siddhartha, who became the Buddha. Yoga, in some form, has a role in all of these traditions. Its transformational teachings soon prompted Shelley to hang up her black belt and begin a yoga practice that she follows to this day.

Because she loves historical fiction, Shelley looked for a good novel about the Buddha. When she didn’t find one that satisfied her, she decided to write her own novels based on the spiritual struggles of women in the Buddha’s time. She published the first book in the Sadhana Trilogy, The Tigress and the Yogi, in 2016 and will publish the second, The Mountain Goddess in early 2017. 

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Monday, April 10, 2017

Occult and Battery by Lena Gregory #BookBlast #mystery #books @lenagregory03

We welcome Lena Gregory's OCCULT AND BATTERY Book Blast today! Lena will be giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card at the end of her tour. Leave a comment on this blog for extra points!

Title: OCCULT AND BATTERY
Author: Lena Gregory
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 304
Genre: Cozy Mystery
A murder mystery weekend becomes a little too real in the latest Bay Island Psychic Mystery from the author of Death at First Sight—

Cass Donovan uses her skills as a former psychiatrist to get away with pretending to be psychic, but she’s not about to let anyone get away with murder...

The outlook is not so good for Cass’s psychic shop, Mystical Musings. With winter winds discouraging tourists from riding the ferry from Long Island to Bay Island, Cass hopes to draw in more customers by hosting a murder mystery weekend, complete with a séance, in a supposedly haunted mansion.

But Cass begins to lose her spirit when her ex-husband shows up, along with his fiancée—Cass’s ex-best friend. Then, after one of the guests is found dead, a blizzard blows in, trapping everyone inside with a murderer. Now Cass must divine who did the deed before her reputation and her livelihood fade away.

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Book Excerpt:
 

“Stop the car!”
Bee Maxwell slammed on the brakes, skidding to a stop on the sand-covered shoulder. Without loosening his white-knuckled grip on the steering wheel, he turned a glare on Cass. “Are you crazy? What’s the matter?”
Cass released her hold on the dashboard and shot him a grin. “We’re here.”
A hand the size of a baseball mitt fluttered to Bee’s chest, with all the drama of a true diva. “You nearly gave me a heart attack because we’ve arrived at our secret destination?” Gritting his teeth, he shifted gently into park. No way would he jam the shifter into gear, even though she could tell he badly wanted to. The black Trans Am was his baby, always to be treated tenderly. Cass, on the other hand, was a different story. Bee looked about ready to throttle her. “Wouldn’t it have been easier to just tell me where we were going?”
Stephanie Lawrence poked her head between the seats to stare at Cass. “Not that I want to agree with Bee, but really, Cass, you could have just told him where to go. Then maybe this maniac wouldn’t have nearly put us through the windshield.”
She shrugged. “I didn’t think he’d agree to take me if I told him where we were going.”
Bee waved a hand in dismissal and glanced out the window, as if realizing for the first time where they were.
The old, supposedly haunted Madison Estate perched in the center of the highest ground on the island, amid dried-up beach grass, trees long since devoid of leaves, and garbage from whatever kids were brave—or stupid—enough to ignore their parents’ warnings. Thick, grey clouds gathered overhead, lending credence to the haunted stories Cass had heard since childhood.
A dainty shiver ran through Bee’s bulky frame. “Well, if your destination has anything to do with that house, you can just count me out.”
“But it’s perfect.” She opened the door and shot him a quick grin over her shoulder.
“Hey. Where are you going?”
Ignoring Bee’s protests, Cass climbed from the car. She closed the door behind her, effectively cutting off any further arguments. Bee happened to be deathly afraid of ghosts. Not that he believed in them.


About the Author

Lena Gregory lives in a small town on the south shore of eastern Long Island with her husband and three children. When she was growing up, she spent many lazy afternoons on the beach, in the yard, anywhere she could find to curl up with a good book. She loves reading as much now as she did then, but she now enjoys the added pleasure of creating her own stories.
Her latest book is the cozy mystery, Occult and Battery.

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  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
  • This giveaway ends midnight April 31.
Good luck everyone!

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