Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Q&A: John P. Adamo, Author of Amiranda: Princess Amiranda and the Tale of the Deciduous Forest #Q&A #Interview

John Adamo is a Long Island-based author and songwriter who has copyrighted more than four hundred poems and has both written and composed numerous songs and short stories. Music has always been an integral part of John’s life, as he has performed at different venues all across Long Island—both as a professional pianist since the age of seventeen (one year after his father passed away) and also as a disc jockey / emcee for various private parties and public events.

Amiranda: Princess Amiranda and the Tale of the Deciduous Forest is John’s first formal work, which was originally written as a screenplay and copyrighted in 1998. John has always had the visualization that an animated movie would one day be made from his work. The author wanted to put together a story unlike any other, and one that could be enjoyed by people of all ages … both young and old alike. A story that reinforced good values, covered common ethics, and taught morals as John feels those important criteria are so often left out in today’s modern fairy tales.

After having the screenplay sit on his shelf for nearly fifteen years, John felt that it was finally time to let the world know the life and world of Amiranda—a Cinderella-type princess who has everything in the world that a princess could possibly ask for, but is still missing something more in her life. With your help, John hopes that he can help fulfill Amiranda’s aspirations, hopes, and dreams. Last but not least, John hopes you like Amiranda’s story just as much as he enjoyed writing it … Enjoy!

Visit John at Facebook!

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

     I have been a musician for most of my life, writing songs and creating music, so I really like that and I have incorporated some of that into my work “Amiranda.”  I am fortunate enough to like music so much that I also DJ for various events, which although can be work, can also be fun and relaxing for me.   

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

     One thing that makes my book stand out from the rest is that I am not a writer, nor do I claim to be one.  My book was mainly to be a basis on what I envisioned a classic animated fairly tale should be… similar to older ones like “Snow White”, “Cinderella” or even “The Brave Little Toaster.”  Today we see so many animations where they use “cheap slapstick humor” or “toilet humor” to get laughs from children or fast paced non-stop action to keep and hold their attention, but these values doesn’t really teach them core values or incorporate on how they should behave or interact when dealing with one another.  When writing Amiranda, I wanted to step back and bring back the basics of fairy tale storytelling, or at least that is what I envisioned.  

    The other thing that makes my book stand out from the rest is, I believe, my use of characters.  I thought long and hard about the characters… their names, their behaviors, their reactions, their strengths and weaknesses, etc.  I also got to help create what these characters look like working with the illustrator Christopher Donovan, who I think did a remarkable job in depicting what I envisioned.  I believe this really helps the reader get a true feel for these characters, and even a good look at Amiranda herself… her gazing out to the countryside at her vast town of Luxing which she does not know much of.  I think the illustrations and caricatures really set apart my book from just words on a page, had I otherwise not included them.   

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

     A stately dressed butler hurries into the room.  He is properly dressed in tails, medium in height, lean in stature, with balding gray and silver hair.  

     “Amiranda, hurry down here!” the proficient butler calls out to her, careful not to shout, as that would be undignified.  “…Already you are way off your schedule!  You know if you’re not down here promptly for your swimming practice, your father will have my hide!”  

     The butler is hasty in his routine around the manor as he always tries to maintain a rigid schedule, and is fervent as far as his duties are concerned.  Ritualistically, he prepares some garments and towels, folding them and draping them over the changing partition. 

      A young girl’s voice replies politely.  “Can't I have breakfast first today, Jove?  It's too early to go swimming; I just woke up.”  Although she cannot be seen, the girl’s sweet voice rings clearly from the top of the stairs.  She has the kind of voice that resonates in the purest of tones and with the most perfect pitch, yet remains timid and not overpowering. 

      The young girl slowly makes her way down the marble staircase; seen only by her bare feet first, and then the frilled lace bottom of her long and flowing white nightgown, hemmed neatly at ankle-length.  Pitter-pattering at her feet, the paws of her puppy move closely along beside her.  The young pup makes his way clumsily down the stairs, too small yet to manage proficiently by himself, although he tries.  He consistently trips on the young girl’s toes as she descends the stairway, but she remains diligently careful not to step on her faithful companion.  

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

      Not to be religious, but I would have to choose Easter for a couple of reasons.  One is that is marks the beginning of spring, which is what I akin Princess Amiranda to be like… new, curious and teaming with life (but forced to keep it all bottled up in a jar). The other is because it is like a rebirth of the Earth, where flowers come back to life after a long season of winter, animals come out of hibernation, and helpful insects begin to emerge (like bees and butterflies aid in pollination).  

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

      In writing Amiranda, I often thought about a prequel and perhaps a sequel to help fill in the gaps.  There is not much told by way of the story of the protagonist and I feel like I wanted to keep that as a whole ‘nother tale, as this story was about Amiranda specifically.  The king is another character where much is not divulged, but again a lot of that is specifically intentional.  Also Adam, who becomes a main part in the story of Amiranda later on, I feel has some history I also left out for a prequel.  

When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or full-time profession?

     I have written a few short stories and I copyrighted two books of poems and quite a few songs.  I think I always wanted to be a writer, but more of original songs and rather a producer of a “completed work” such as a movie or animation.  Since I really don’t read many books (I often do not have the spare time to do so), to me a finished polished work would be more of an accomplishment.  Again, I am not a writer nor do I claim to be.  To me the ultimate goal would to see “Amiranda” on the big screen, as a completed work, and having Amiranda-based toy figurines given out with McDonalds happy meals (lol, a pipe-dream, I know).  

What’s next for you?

      Who knows what the future holds.  As an ancient Chinese proverb cleverly states… “He who deliberates fully before taking a step will spend his entire life on one leg.”  That being said, my goal in writing “Amiranda” (and producing the story as a novel) is to do just that… initially get it out on paper as a “completed” initial story, which is why in some places it is written more like a transcript that a typical novel.  From here my ultimate dream would to have someone look at it, read the premise and say, “yeah… I could really see that being something” and help turn it into an animation just as I originally intended it to be.  Just like J.K. Rowling turned Harry Potter into an everyday household name (and movies were produced based on her creation), I feel that Amiranda could ultimately be the same (or at least similar in that regard).  Again, who knows what the future holds, but at least I made the first step in creating Amiranda and turning her from an internal creation in my mind to a “living” character, at least on paper and in the imaginations of all who read her story “Princess Amiranda and the Tale of the Deciduous Forest.”  Happy reading!!! 

An instant classic tale portraying the life of “Amiranda,” an innocent and brave princess, who unwittingly sets out on a quest that will ultimately determine the fate of her entire kingdom. From her castle window, Amiranda would gaze at the beautiful countryside below-always watching carefully, always observing everything. Gradually the princess realizes that she knows very little of the small kingdom over which she would one day reign. Nevertheless, Amiranda would never disobey her father’s wishes, especially the one to never enter the mysterious dark forest, which borders their kingdom. That is, until one day when she would have no other choice.

 Amiranda will take a journey that will lead her on a wild adventure, where the decisions she makes will determine the fate of many lives-the lives of her animal friends, her family members, those who dwell in her kingdom, and her very own life as well. Travel along on this trip where Princess Amiranda hopes to find the missing piece in her existence and ends up trying to achieve the impossible….

Book Information

Release Date: May 8, 2012

Publisher:  Legwork Team Publishing

Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-1935905417; 275 pages; $13.95; E-Book, FREE on Kindle Unlimited

Amazon: https://amzn.to/2FxWgRu

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/2QBqk5d

Thursday, August 4, 2022

Q&A: Jeanette Baker, Author of Birthright #Q&A #Interview

Jeanette Baker is the award-winning author of twenty paranormal, historical and contemporary novels, most of them set in the lush countryside of Southwest Ireland where she lives with her husband and writes during the “Seasons of Silence,” the autumn and winter months. Her ancestors, the O’Flahertys, hail from the counties of Kerry and Galway. She takes great pride in the prayer posted by the English over the ancient city gates, “From the wrath of the O’Flahertys, may the good Lord deliver us.”

Jeanette spent many years teaching 6th grade in a small school nestled under a canopy of Eucalyptus trees where the children consistently surprised her with their wisdom, their hopefulness and their enthusiasm for great stories. Currently, she enjoys the company of her own grown children and her precious grandchildren.

Jeanette graduated from the University of California at Irvine and holds a Master’s Degree in Education.

She is the Rita award-winning author of NELL.

Her latest book is the women’s fiction, Birthright.

You can visit her website at www.JeanetteBaker.com  or connect with her on Facebook.

Thanks for this interview, Jeanette.  Congratulations on your new book! 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?

Actually, writing my books and having them published has always been smooth sailing. It’s the promotion that is difficult for me. Transitioning from a large publisher to a more hybrid form is something I knew very little about. With the demise of large publishing houses, I needed (still do) a lot of direction in getting my manuscript out there in front of readers. I’m thankful to Teri Rider of Top Reads Publishing for her consummate patience and kindness.

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

I love reading, and I love traveling, both relaxing and fun.

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

I started out writing Irish and Scottish paranormals and had great success with them. NELL was a Rita Award winner, which was exciting for me. After writing several of those published by Pocket Books, I wanted to change it up for a bit and write Irish contemporaries as well as some American novels, which I did with MIRA books. I then took my chances with Indie publishing which didn’t work for me. I’m not well-versed in advertising which is necessary if a writer self-publishes. Again, I’m thankful that a friend suggested Top Reads Publishing.

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

Look at the time, half-eight, and not a child in the house washed. The expression was my late mother’s, voiced nearly every day in the house where I grew up, ten children tucked into two bedrooms with one bath upstairs.

We were never close, my mother and me, not for any particular reason I can remember; we just didn’t get on. It was Fiona and Kathleen she preferred and Jimmy, always Jimmy, her middle child, the ciotogach, the red-headed lefty of our family who wasn’t supposed to amount to much and ended up in America with more in the bank than all of us put together.

The funny thing is Jimmy loved Tralee, still does, more than Keith or Liam or Michael, certainly more than I ever did. I was desperate to immigrate and wouldn’t have come back, not after Boston, but some things can’t be planned and shouldn’t be remembered.

Never mind all that, my mother would say. Memories never emptied the sink or hung out the washing. All they’re good for is regret. She was right. I know now that she was a font of wisdom I didn’t appreciate. It was my dad I preferred, the jokester, the man’s man, always ready with a wink, a story and a pint. Even when he told me bees could be captured in a can without a lid because they never looked up, and I tried it and nearly died from the experience, I blamed myself and never doubted him. Interesting how perspectives change after six decades.

 Speaking of the washing, it’s a good day for it, breezy without a hint of rain. I’m moving slowly today, feeling unsettled, looking for an excuse to avoid housework. Fergus Murphy, the postman, on his way to the door, is as fine a reason as any to sit down for a pot of tea and a scone.

“Good morning, Mrs. Malone,” he calls out. “How is the day treating you so far?”

“It’s a bit early to weigh in on the day, Mr. Murphy. Have you time for a cup of tea. It’s just made, and the scones are fresh.”

He scratches his head, checks to see that his few remaining wisps of hair are positioned over the shiny dome of his head, and winks. “Wasn’t I just thinking how I’d like one of Mrs. Malone’s scones?”

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

Thanksgiving. I love the gold and amber colors, the richness of the food and the gathering of family.

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

I’m not really enthusiastic about writing a series. When I’m through writing a book, I feel as if I’ve given it my best, and I can’t imagine returning to the same characters and their conflicts.

When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or full-time profession?


What’s next for you?

I’m anxious to return to Ireland. I haven’t been since the pandemic, and all my ideas come from visiting the home place of my ancestors.

Two women on a course to confront the past, one to expose its secrets, the other to bury them. 

Claire Williams travels halfway across the globe from Southern California to Ireland to find the mother who gave her up and the questions that need answering. Norah O’Connor is equally determined to avoid revisiting the most shameful time of her life and the devastating decisions she was forced to make.

Claire’s presence fifty years later is the engine for the confrontations to come when neighbors Norah has known forever recognize Claire’s resemblance to a younger sister. Norah must face the man who fathered both her daughters, and decide to either hold the secrets that continue to embitter her or release them for the shame that will surely mark her.

“Jeanette Baker’s award winning novels have earned her a place in the paranormal genre beside giants such as Barbara Erskine and Kristin Hannah. Now she brings her unique writing style and compelling characters to the stage of contemporary Ireland, sharing a world as alluring as its secrets are opaque.”
Lauren Royal, New York Times and USA Bestselling Author.

“Gorgeously descriptive and unforgettably moving, Baker’s novel is a wondrous journey of the heart.” 

—Candi Sary, author of Magdalena 

Birthright will find a welcome place in any library strong in stories of mother/daughter relationships, Irish culture, and the special conundrums faced by adult children who seek answers to the decisions their birth parents made.”

Diane Donovan, Sr. Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

Book Information

Release Date: June 21, 2022

Publisher: Top Reads Publishing LLC

Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-1970107296; 254 pages; $16.99; eBook $4.99

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3HJjpzA 

Barnes & Noble: https://bit.ly/3tTpSlU 

Monday, July 25, 2022


 About the Book

Crease Williams lived a charmed life with a bright future. Only in his junior year at Texas Christian University, his skills as a wide receiver had already captured the attention of NFL scouts.

Then a tragedy cost him his family and his desire to play football. Personally devastated, he left his old life behind and got as far from Ft. Worth, TX, and football as he could get.

Keeping mostly to himself, he became a float-plane pilot in the far north of Minnesota. Flying fisherman and hunters into remote locations was how he spent his time. When a group he had flown to Roudy’s Cabin goes missing, he faces accusations and more turmoil than he could have ever imagined. To make matters worse, his quiet existence is upturned by an element from his past bent on vengeance.

Half Moon Lake is Steve Brock’s first novel. A suspenseful mystery written with likable characters and a lighthearted flavor.

Book Information

Release Date: March 30, 2022

Publisher:  Steve Brock

Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-0578391977; 187 pages; $9.99; Kindle Unlimited FREE

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3knaPfd

I’ve been an author in search of a novel for just about forty years now. Writing was the first thing I ever wanted to do seriously. Over the years I’ve done quite a variety of things. My first real job, the kind where you have a schedule and get paid hourly, was as a cook at the local Sonic Drive-In. I’ve been a machinist, a forklift driver, a production worker, a computer programmer, an IT guy, an installation manager, a software trainer, and an education department manager. Those are just the employment highlights. Through it all, I was a husband and father, and I attended college at night to get my bachelor’s degree in technology management.

Before all that started, I wanted to be a writer. It just didn’t work out that way. Maybe that’s ok, I’ve had a good life and I have a wonderful family that I am proud to have. I don’t regret any of what I’ve done to support my family over the years. The desire to write has persisted, however, and I took a look at my odometer one day and it read 61 years old. None of us know how high our personal odometer will go, but I knew if I was ever going to be a writer, now was the time.

I’m bringing my lifetime of experience to my novel writing. Many of my characters are loosely based upon people I’ve known in real life. Some of my plot elements are also influenced by real-life experiences as well. As of this writing, my first novel, Half Moon Lake, will be published on Amazon in a few weeks. I have begun work on my second book as well. I hope you will take time to register your email address so I may keep you apprised of announcements and special offers. I’d be thrilled to count you as one of my first dedicated readers.

Steve Brock’s latest novel is Half Moon Lake.

You can visit his website at www.BrockNovels.com or connect with him at Twitter.

Book Watch: Seeking Tranquility: Chincoteague Sunsets Trilogy Book 1 by Amy Schisler #bookwatch

Title: Seeking Tranquility: Chincoteague Sunsets Trilogy Book 1
Author: Amy Schisler
Publisher: Chesapeake Sunrise Publishing
Pages: 345
Genre: Inspirational Fiction / Romantic Suspense

Christy McLane and her child prodigy sister, Molly, are alone in the world. Alone, until they arrive on the island of Chincoteague, Virginia. Like the famous ponies that roam the area, Christy and Molly flee to the island to take refuge after a tragedy leaves them marooned and unanchored. To stay afloat, Christy will need to make unforeseen sacrifices as she navigates the waters of life. 

Against the beautiful backdrop of the Virginia shoreline, caring islanders and shy, aerospace scientist, Jared Stevenson, help Christy find the faith and tranquility she seeks. However, just when everything seems perfect, Jared’s hidden past disrupts their peaceful existence, plunging the entire island into a sea of lies and danger that will change their lives forever. 

Book Information

Release Date: June 16, 2022

Publisher:  Chesapeake Sunrise Publishing

Soft Cover: ISBN: 979-8985223217; 345 pages; $15.95; eBook $7.99

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3OjMioj

Christy handed the police officer a bag containing a Pony Pork doughnut, a glaze-covered creation baked with brown sugar and bacon. Personally, Christy thought the mere idea of that combination was revolting, but it was a popular choice among their male clientele. 

“Have a great day, ladies.” Nick, a regular at the Sugar and Sand Donut Shop, tipped his hat as he walked out.

“He’s really cute,” Christy said in a matter-of-fact tone, watching the twenty-something in the crisp, blue Chincoteague Island Police uniform smile and wave at a couple passing by.

“And taken,” Diane said. She nudged Christy out of the way and placed a tray of fresh doughnuts on the counter.

“Story of my life.” Christy said with a smile and pulled a sheet of wax paper from the box to transfer doughnuts to the display case. 

“What are you, twenty-three? You’ve got plenty of time.” Diane smiled at the next customer and took their order. 

Christy bit back a sarcastic retort that she was twenty-four and had zero time in her busy days for men or anything else and finished unloading the tray of hot, fresh pastries. She could feel her hips expanding just from inhaling their mouth-watering aroma. Cinnamon, blueberry, chocolate, and lemon scents escaped from the case in a mixed wave as she closed the door and hefted the large tray back to the kitchen. When she returned, after making a stop in the staff bathroom, adjusting her ponytail, and washing her hands, a lull had fallen over the Sand and Sugar.

“What a story, huh?” Diane asked, wiping down a table.

“About the boater?” Christy asked. “Does stuff like that happen a lot around here?”

“Not usually with locals, more often with tourists who rent boats without any knowledge of how to use them. Just wait until summer. All kinds of crazy things happen once the island is crammed with people.”

“At least it keeps things interesting,” Christy remarked dryly. Though she liked the island well enough—it was pretty, and the people were nice—she missed the fast pace of life in and around D.C. 

“Any plans for the weekend?” Diane asked, moving to another table.

“Besides working?” Christy took a deep breath and blew it up, sending a stray hair flapping in front of her eyes. “All I ever do is work.”

“Things picking up at the store?” Diane walked behind the counter and tossed the rag into the basket under the sink and rinsed her hands.

“Yeah. It’s getting crazy. I must have made two dozen shirts on Saturday afternoon, and it’s only mid-May. That giant iron thingy scares me to death.”

Diane laughed. “Custom shirts are the most popular item sold here on the island other than toy ponies.”

“And doughnuts,” Christy said.

“And doughnuts.” Diane nodded and straightened the napkins, coffee stirrers, and smoothie straws on the counter as she talked. “Are you going to keep both jobs through the summer?” Diane glanced toward the door once the straightening was finished, and Christy wondered if she was avoiding her gaze. She knew that it was hard on Diane if Christy had to run out before everything was tidied and ready for the next business day, but Diane was willing to work with her—so far.

“Unfortunately, I have to. I don’t really have a choice.” Christy bit her lip and looked down at her hands. “Now that I’m Molly’s guardian, I’ve got to support us both. I’m going to make sure she has a good childhood and then goes to college. She’s so smart, and she has the ability to make more of her life than I have.”

Diane turned toward Christy and tilted her head, giving her a sympathetic smile. “You’re smart, too, and you’re still young. Don’t count yourself out yet. Your ship will come in someday.”

“Hmph. You mean the Titanic? It already sank.” Christy crossed her arms and leaned back on the counter. Behind her were an array of blenders used to make healthy, and not-so-healthy, smoothies. She wasn’t this pessimistic by nature, but today was one of those days. She felt the stress of their situation riding her like one of those mermaids with a whole ship perched on her back, taking the brunt of the wind and waves. And the ship that Christy carried on her back was in distress.

Diane gently laid her hand on the young woman’s arm. “Honey, you’ve got a big, happy life out there waiting for you. Anybody who’d do what you’ve done deserves only the best in life, and the good Lord is going to see that you’re rewarded for it.”

Christy sighed and shrugged. “I didn’t really have a choice, did I? Molly’s my half-sister, and I’m all she’s got with Mom and Fred gone.” She looked up and blinked the tears away. Even after two years, the reality of their deaths still stung. She supposed it always would.

“I know it doesn’t seem fair, but somewhere in this mess, God has a plan for you. Molly’s lucky to have you, and your mom’s watching over the both of you.”

The bell chimed, and both women looked up at the opening door.

“Good morning, Paul. How are things on the island today?” Diane asked, giving Christy a chance to turn away and wipe her eyes.

“Quiet, just the way I like it.” Paul took off his police cap and pointed to the coffee pot. “Could you make it a double, please? Stacey’s the best assistant the department’s ever had, but her coffee is like drinking brown water.”

“Why don’t you just tell her that she needs to add more grounds to the pot?” Diane asked, pouring a large cup of steaming coffee.

Paul shook his head. “I have. She says it’s the maker and keeps saying we ought to get one of those fancy pod things.”

“No!” Diane gasped, her hand over her heart. “Not one of those ‘fancy pod things’!”

Paul smiled. “Laugh all you want. There’s a reason half the town comes here for their coffee, with or without a doughnut. Everyone else has switched over to those machines, and the fine art of brewing a good cup of Joe is dying faster than those machines can spit into the cup.”

“Well, you don’t have to worry about me switching over to a Keurig or any other fancy kind of coffee maker. I’m a little too old-fashioned for that.”

Christy rolled her eyes, wishing they did have a Keurig so that she didn’t have to clean out the giant, metal coffee maker every day. She hated that chore.

As usual, Paul tried to pay Diane, and Diane shooed him away. When the door closed behind him, Christy said, “You give half your inventory away to the local police and firefighters. Oh, and the Coast Guard, too.”

Diane lifted her shoulders and let them fall. “They deserve it. It’s the least I can do. Their jobs aren’t easy, especially this time of year and running through the fall. They make a lot of sacrifices in the line of duty.” She turned to Christy. “And we take care of our own around here. You remember that.”

Christy nodded. It was a nice sentiment, but she had to rely on herself. Nobody else was going to pay the bills or buy the groceries or make sure Molly was taken care of. Christy was on her own for all that.

Amy Schisler is a novelist, poet, children’s book author, spiritual writer, blogger, reader, and avid traveler with years of professional experience in all manner of writing-related endeavors. Whether she’s writing novels filled with faith and inspiration, books that children will love, or her weekly blog devoted to family life and faith, she loves connecting and resonating with her readers. Amy’s first novel, A Place to Call Home, a romantic suspense, debuted in 2014, and her much-loved Chincoteague Island Trilogy has won numerous literary awards. Amy lives on the Eastern Shore of Maryland with her husband, Ken, their daughters, Katie and Morgan (and sometimes their daughter and son-in-law, Rebecca and Anthony), and their dogs, Rosie and Luna. When she’s not writing, Amy can usually be found on a boat in the Chesapeake Bay or hiking in the Rocky Mountains, most often with a good book in her hand.

Her latest book is Seeking Tranquility: Chincoteague Sunsets Trilogy Book 1.

You can visit her website at www.AmySchislerAuthor.com  and connect with her at TwitterFacebookGoodreads and Instagram


Thursday, July 21, 2022

Q&A: Mike Martin, Author of Dangerous Waters #Q&A #Interview

Mike Martin was born in St. John’s, NL on the east coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a long-time freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand.

He is the author of the award-winning Sgt. Windflower Mystery series set in beautiful Grand Bank. There are now 12 books in this light mystery series with the publication of Dangerous WatersA Tangled Web was shortlisted in 2017 for the best light mystery of the year, and Darkest Before the Dawn won the 2019 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award. Mike has also published Christmas in Newfoundland: Memories and Mysteries, a Sgt. Windflower Book of Christmas past and present.

Some Sgt. Windflower Mysteries are now available as audiobooks and the latest A Long Ways from Home was released as an audiobook in 2022. All audiobooks are available from Audible in Canada and around the world.

Mike is Past Chair of the Board of Crime Writers of Canada, a national organization promoting Canadian crime and mystery writers and a member of the Newfoundland Writers’ Guild and Ottawa Independent Writers and Capital Crime Writers.

His latest book is the mystery, Dangerous Waters.

You can visit his website at https://SgtWindflowerMysteries.com/  or connect with him on Twitter and Facebook. 

Thanks for this interview, Mike.  Congratulations on your new book! 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?

This is my 12th book in the Award-Winning Sgt. Windflower Mystery series so the process is pretty smooth now. I write a book a year and that seems to work out fine.

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

I like to walk in nature, especially by the water. That always relaxes me.

What makes your book stand out from the rest?

It has a calming influence on people and it’s an easy, fun read. Plus, you get to make a connection with all the recurring characters. They become your family, too.

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

Chapter One

Eddie Tizzard looked down at the three files on his desk. Three men, all in their early sixties, reported missing from their homes and families in Grand Bank. One, Cedric Skinner, was found floating at the far end of Quidi Vidi Lake in St. John’s. The other two, Paddy Slaney and Leo Broderick, were still missing. 

He had just finished talking to Leo Broderick’s wife. She was doubly distraught, first by the unexplained absence of her husband, then by the death of Cedric Skinner and the disappearance of Paddy Slaney. “What’s going on?” she’d asked Tizzard. He had few answers for her or the other women in this small community on the southeast coast of Newfoundland. 

“We’ll do everything we can,” he told Leo Broderick’s wife. But truthfully, right now, there wasn’t much anything he or anybody else could do to bring her husband back. He only hoped that it wasn’t too late.

Tizzard leaned back in his chair and looked out the window. There was snow on the ground and more falling by the hour. Nothing unusual there. February in Newfoundland at the easternmost tip of Canada was cold, wet, and snowy. What was unusual was the fact that this wasn’t his chair, and it wasn’t his office. He looked down and saw something else that was new: corporal’s stripes on his uniform. Two chevrons, to be exact, and an Acting Corporal title to go along with them.

He was acting head of the Grand Bank detachment of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, the Mounties. He had been a corporal before but was demoted when he had an altercation with a superior officer. But now they needed him, so they gave him back his stripes, at least on a temporary basis until they figured things out. What caused all of this to unfold was the sudden resignation of his old boss, Sergeant Winston Windflower. That’s whose chair Tizzard was sitting in as he looked out at the snowy morning in Grand Bank.

Winston Windflower wasn’t looking out the window, nor was he thinking about Tizzard or the Mounties this morning. He and his co-worker, Levi Parsons, were nearly done refinishing the hardwood floors at the beautiful old B&B that Windflower and his wife Sheila Hillier owned and co-managed. Levi was a shy and quiet young man who had somehow built a friendship with the much older Windflower, and under his tutelage, had been working at the B&B for a couple of years now. He was even taking hotel and hospitality classes to learn the management skills he needed to help run the B&B. 

But today the skills he needed were more of the manual labour type. They had already sanded and buffed the floors over the weekend, and now they were applying a new coat of stain. Tomorrow, they would start on the finish, and three coats of that later they would have perfect-looking hardwood floors to welcome their first dinner guests.

The B&B had been closed for over a year since the pandemic, and they were using this time, and Windflower had lots of it, to fix up the place before what they hoped would be a stellar tourist season. It had better be, thought Windflower. They would soon be without any steady income when his last few cheques from the RCMP dried up. Sheila had lots of business ideas cooking, but none were ready to provide them with the finances they would like to support their lifestyle and two small children. 

Levi went off to clean their brushes while Windflower poured himself a coffee in the kitchen and walked upstairs. He went to the small veranda on the second floor and opened the doors. The cool, fresh air flooded in, aided by the ever-present wind. He stared out, past the lighthouse and what was left of downtown Grand Bank, into the vastness of the ocean. It always calmed him to have this view, and today was no exception. He paused for a few moments, gave thanks for the view and the beautiful day, and went downstairs.

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

Probably Thanksgiving because there’s a lot to be grateful for.

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

Already done. Now there are 12 books in the Award-Winning Sgt. Windflower Mystery series.

When you were young, did you ever see writing as a career or full-time profession?

No, but I always read and I always wanted to write. I just never thought that writing as a career was a possibility.

What’s next for you?

Book #13? We’ll see next year

Old habits die hard…

Sgt. Windflower tries his best to ease away from life as a Mountie, but the lure of an investigation is too hard to resist.

After a missing man turns up dead, Sgt. Windflower is pulled in to investigate. Meanwhile, the arrival of a group of unique foreign visitors during a snowstorm in Grand Bank offers up another mystery. Even with so much going on, Windflower can’t resist the enticement of a good meal and a trip to the island of Saint Pierre off the coast of Newfoundland.

But when things get rough, Windflower can always rely on Eddie Tizzard and the gang to have his back.

As always, Windflower’s wife Sheila and their daughters are beacons of love and support as he navigates dangerous waters.

Grand Bank beckons you to another great story in the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series.

Book Information

Release Date: April 30, 2022

Publisher:  Ottawa Press and Publishing

Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-1988437828; 288 pages; $16.95; eBook $4.99: FREE Kindle Unlimited

Amazon: https://amzn.to/3RczNNA