Author Wednesday – James Moushon

typewriter.jpgIt’s another edition of Author Wednesday here at Writing Whims. Today I am pleased to feature James Moushon who is a stellar promoter of Indie Authors through various blogs (The eBook Author’s Corner, HBS Author’s Spotlight, and HBS Mystery Reader’s Circle). When he’s not promoting the rest of us, he’s busy writing his own mystery and thriller novels. He’s just released the second book in the Jonathon Stone Mystery Novels, Game of Fire. moushon1-gamefire

James, welcome to Author Wednesday. It’s a pleasure to return the favor by featuring you today as an author. Let’s talk a bit about your writing life. What’s an average day for you as writer, blogger, and promoter of Indie Authors?

I usually spend the first two hours working on a book I’m writing or a short story. Then I switch gears and start working on my three blogs. I try to do at least one post a day. All my blogs are book and author related so my research is sort of mixed together. In the evening I try to relax and do some social media things. Boring right.

I think it sounds very organized. For someone who does so many different things, it’s probably essential. Put your writer hat on now. Who has most influenced your writing and why?

Ernest Hemingway. I was fortunate enough to meet a Hemingway scholar when I was in college. I write about things I have experienced and visualized.

There’s no one better to serve as an example. You’ve been writing mystery/thriller novels. Is there another genre or form you’d like to try?

Short stories. I plan on publishing a bundle of six short stories this summer, featuring my leading character, Jonathon Stone.

Speaking of Jonathon Stone, do all your books have a common theme or thread?

All my books, so far, have a Mystery and Espionage theme with a CIA agent chasing down the bad guys and terrorists. One of the things that makes it unique is the action for the most part is in the United States, which is an off-books adventure.

Tell us about your favorite character from your novels.

Jonathon Stone, CIA agent at large. He likes action. He likes to gamble. He likes the ladies with drinking a close second. Although I am not as lucky as Jon, I like to gamble.

That’s the beauty of writing fiction. We can make our characters into the person we’d most like to be. What’s the best thing said about one of your books by a reviewer?

Here’s my favorite review of Game of Fire: “That’s pretty much my criteria for how good a book is. If I keep putting it down, I probably won’t finish it. Trust me, you won’t be putting Game of Fire down. The story of former CIA Agent Jonathan Stone and his relationship with Jodi Shannon is wonderful, as is the fast-paced unfolding of the plot. I live in the part of California where the novel takes places and because of the author’s integrity to time and place, I can only assume that the bomb making and everything else is just as valid. I didn’t just like this book, I’m hooked on Jonathon Stone and the author’s style of writing. Thank you for providing such a great read!”

That’s a wonderful review, which gives us a view into the plot. What’s your one sentence pitch for Game of Fire?

CIA agent Jonathon Stone hunts for an arsonist linked to terrorism and espionage.

I’m hooked. How did you choose the title?

Game of Fire: The story starts with an explosion in Little Saigon, California during the Tet Festival Parade. The year was 2007 and the Vietnamese were celebrating the year of the Fire Pig. The cover has the Chinese characters announcing the event.

What type of research did you do in the writing of this book?

I lived in the area for years and experienced the celebration many times.

With your busy schedule, it’s hard to imagine you having down time, but when you do, what do you like to do?

Right now it is summer time, and I’m watching baseball almost every day. I love the game. Oh yeah, I watch the game with a laptop close by.

I bet you do. It’s been a pleasure to get to know you a little better, James. I appreciate all that you do to support us Indies. Thanks for stopping by.

Thanks for having me.

moushon1About James Moushon – Born in Illinois, James Moushon is a published writer in the electronic document field. Moushon is a graduate of Bradley University in Peoria, IL.

He is the author of the Jonathon Stone Mystery Novels. moushon1-bms300He has published three books: Call Off the Dogs, Black Mountain Secrets, and newly released Game of Fire.

Starting more than fifteen years ago, he helped lead the start up of the electronic forms industry in the creation, conversion, and usage of electronic forms by supplying that industry with a continuing source of published literature, software products, and training seminars. In 2003, Moushon changed his focus to eBbooks and their development.

He is currently wearing three hats. He is a mystery writer, book publishing blogger, and a computer consultant. He has spent the majority of his adult life developing computer systems and thinking about writing.

James can be found all over the Internet. Click on titles below to find him.

Links to books

Black Mountain Secrets

Game of Fire

And social media sites

Twitter: @jimhbs

Email    james.moushon@gmail.com

Facebook

Pinterest

Linked In

Google +

Goodreads

And blog/site links

Website: James Moushon – Mystery Writer:

HBS The eBook Author’s Corner

HBS Author’s Spotlight

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#Florida Setting for My Novels

Florida Setting 1I’m featured today on Francis Guenette’s blog Disappearing in Plain Sight in a guest post on the location of my novels. Please check it out and Francis’s wonderful review of Trails in the Sand. 3-D1

 

Click here for the guest post and the insightful blog.

 

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Book Review Friday – Gone Girl

GoneGirl

Click for Amazon page

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn surprised me. I thought it was simply a novel about a disintegrating marriage. There is nothing “simply” about this story. Since my review is the 19,852nd of Gone Girl, others must have some strong feelings about the novel as well.

I really don’t know how I feel about it. Is it well written? Absolutely. Is it suspenseful? Without a doubt. Is it surprising? There’s nothing mundane and ordinary about this plot or its characters. For those reasons, the novel deserves somewhere around ten stars instead of the standard five stars. The score balances out in the creepy department. Gone Girl thoroughly creeped me out and made me thankful that the significant relationships in my life thus far resemble a television series similar to Leave it to Beaver.

The author changes point of view in each chapter. Just when I thought the husband Nick was the bad guy, the wife Amy jumps in with her story, and the pendulum swings. It’s interesting that the person narrating in any particular chapter doesn’t always come off as the good guy. Nick represents himself as shallow, sneaky, and uncaring. Amy can show a side that’s, well, just plain creepy. No other word for it. Then when it’s almost unbearable, Amy becomes the victim once again.

Because every single chapter is its own little mystery verse, I can’t say much else without giving a spoiler. If you can stand folks who are usually unlikable; if you like a unique storytelling technique; if you like to explore the nether regions of the human psyche; and if you “simply” want a read where you are reluctant to put the book down, then read Gone Girl. It’s worth any stain of creepdom left on your brain.

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Author Wednesday – J.J. DiBenedetto

???????????????????????????????I welcome J.J. (James) DiBenedetto to Author Wednesday. James is the author of the paranormal romance Dream Series. The seven books in this series are James’ first published work, but it’s a prolific batch of fiction. The titles: Dream Student, Dream Doctor, Dream Child, Dream Family, Waking Dream, Dream Reunion, and Dream Home.EbookDreamStudentCoverSmallerDreamDoctorCoverSmaller

 

 

 

 

Hello, James. It’s nice to have you here today. You’ve written seven books in your Dream Series, which is very impressive. I wonder if you convey the same messages or themes in all of your books. 

I didn’t really set out to preach or to convey any particular message, but as the books have gone on, I see my beliefs coming through. I think the books emphasize the importance of compassion, and empathy, and a healthy respect for the power you have (whatever kind of power that is) and the importance of taking responsibility for your actions, no matter the cost.

That’s interesting. I do that with my own work, and before I know it a message emerges, which conveys my own belief system. Do you have a favorite character that you created?

Sara, the heroine of the Dream Series – I couldn’t have written seven (and counting!) books about her if I didn’t love her. What I like best about her is that while she is the heroine, and she does save the day, she’s definitely flawed and very human. She gets jealous and angry and has very irrational moments. And while she always tries to do the right thing, she sometimes has a lot of trouble figuring out what that actually is.

I bet you have fun putting her in new situations and deciding how she will react. What’s the best thing said about one of your books by a reviewer?

I really loved one review of Dream Doctor, which takes place during Sara’s first month of medical school, where the reviewer wondered if I was a doctor or otherwise involved in medicine, because the book rang so true. That was high praise for the research I did, because other than going to the doctor myself when I’m sick, I’m about as far as you can get from that!

What’s your one sentence pitch for the series?

“What if you could see everyone else’s dreams?” – that’s the pitch for the entire series, really.

That’s an intriguing concept. No wonder you’ve written seven books with a character you love and a great idea. How long do you estimate it took you to take the series from an idea to a finished, published?

Fifteen years or so! I had the first idea in 1997 or so, and I wrote a (pretty bad) novel-length first draft. Then, I rewrote that to a slightly better second draft. And then it just sat there on my computer for a really long time, until, in 2012, a friend sold her first novel to a publisher, and I said to myself, “Hey, if she can do it, so can I!” I dusted off the old draft, rewrote it again–changing the whole thing from third person POV to first person, which was what the story needed all along, only I hadn’t realized it for such a long time–and then the next three books followed, one right after the other.

Without giving us a spoiler, tell us a little bit about your favorite scene in one of the books

My favorite scene in Dream Student is a quiet and touching scene between Sara and her father, where she admits to him how much she loves her new boyfriend.

Let’s talk about your writing life. If you listen to music while you’re writing, what is it?

Usually classical music, and always something I’m very familiar with. If it’s music with lyrics, or something new, I get distracted too easily – it has to be something that’s just “there” so that it provides some comfort but I can still keep focused on what I’m doing.

I’m the same way. No lyrics allowed while writing. How about setting. Do you set your books in the place you live?

Places I live, places I used to live, places I visited, all of that! Sara’s college in Dream Student is my college with the names changed; the apartment building she lives in in Dream Family is the building I lived in when I first moved to Washington, D.C.; her mother-in-law’s house is modeled on my cousin’s old house. “Write what you know,” right?

Thanks for stopping by today, James. It’s been a pleasure to learn a bit more about you and your work. Happy writing.

IMG_1771About J.J. – J.J. (James) DiBenedetto was born in Yonkers, New York. He attended Case Western Reserve University, where as his classmates can attest, he was a complete nerd. Very little has changed since then.

He currently lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his beautiful wife and their cat (who has thoroughly trained them both). When he’s not writing, James works in the direct marketing field, enjoys the opera, photography and the New York Giants, among other interests.

Links to books and social media sites

http://viewAuthor.at/JJDiBenedetto (Amazon Author page)

http://getBook.at/DreamStudent (book #1 on Amazon)

http://getBook.at/DreamStudentAudio (book #1 on audiobook)

http://getBook.at/DreamDoctor (book #2 on Amazon)

http://getBook.at/DreamHome (latest book – #7 – on Amazon)

http://www.writingdreams.net (blog)

http://www.writingdreams.net/audio (audiobook samples of all books available on audiobook)

Twitter

Facebook

 

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Book Review Friday – Go Away Home

Click for Kindle version

Click for Kindle version

In an Author Wednesday interview with author Carol Brodensteiner, I asked her the best thing someone could say about her novel Go Away Home. She said, “I think the best thing someone could tell me is that they were touched by the characters and the story. That would mean they felt the story was well told, which was my goal in the first place. The second best thing is that they came away from the book knowing more about life in the early twentieth century.”

Go Away Home, Ms. Brodensteiner’s first novel, scores on both counts. The story touched me, and I learned a few things in the process.

The main character, Liddie, yearns for a life outside of her family’s Iowa farm as the novel opens in 1914. She’s sixteen and has yet to deal with life’s harsh realities. The novel’s coming of age theme isn’t old-fashioned despite its historical setting. The same universal characteristics apply whether a novel is set in the 1900s or 2000s. Liddie must come to terms with the world, not as black and white, but as shades of gray. It’s the same for everyone. Those who adapt can enjoy fulfilling lives no matter the circumstances.

I particularly enjoyed one of the messages in Go Away Home. If offers the encouragement to keep doing something no matter how dire life may seem. We can sit and do nothing, but if we do there’s no hope for anything miraculous to occur. Liddie must keep moving and doing things even when the most precious things in life have been taken from her. If she sits and does nothing, that’s exactly what will happen. I loved Liddie and her determination. Yet, Ms. Brodensteiner created a very real character in this woman. In one particular scene, Liddie has made a dire mistake with a lovely dress made for a client of the dress shop where she works. She prays no one will notice, but of course, the owner of the shop does. Liddie’s horror, fear, hope, and embarrassment are the emotions we all share in the same type of circumstances. It’s a brilliant piece of writing and characterization.

The novel’s setting of eastern rural Iowa during the years 1914 – 1919 sets the tone for Go Away Home. First, the farming life creates a tableau of innocence and simple pleasures. Fresh baked bread, gooey chocolate cake, cows bearing calves, and shirts sewn with fanciful embroidery seem romantic to us living in the twenty-first century. However, to Liddie and her family those were the everyday occurrences on the farm. The world of wars and suffragists intrudes into the drum beat of everyday living. Letter writing brings news of family far away, but with great gaps in time. This simple way of life confines Liddie—or so she thinks—until she goes out into the world and discovers that life in the city isn’t as satisfying as she thought. The sister who must leave home in shame when she becomes pregnant without the benefit of wedlock affects the entire family. It seems so silly now, but then it was considered the worst thing that could happen—until the worst thing does happen and then priorities must be rearranged.

Liddie hopes that women’s suffrage will bring freedom for her to choose how she wants to live her life. The draft at the beginning of the United States’ entry into World War I creates fear among the family, although no one close to them is drafted. Automobiles are beginning to appear, even on the farm. And the telephone is a novelty, but one that soon proves to be invaluable.

We believe that technologies are changing at a rapid speed now. Imagine what it must have been like to suddenly go from horse-powered transportation to a machine filled with gasoline. Or what it meant to suddenly be connected to someone living hours away through the black device on the wall. We have no idea what it must have been like in those days of discovery and invention. However, through novels such as Go Away Home, we learn about those times and how it must have been for our ancestors.

The research is impeccable in this novel. Ms. Brodensteiner has proven herself as an exceptional storyteller in her first novel. If you enjoy rich characters and historical fiction, you won’t be disappointed in Go Away Home.

Disclosure: I was provided with an Advanced Review copy of Go Away Home in exchange for an honest review.

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#New Release – Murderous Lies by Chantel Rhondeau

Title: Murderous Lies

Released: July 11, 2014
Author: Chantel Rhondeau
Genre: Romantic
Suspense/Murder Mystery
Length: 61,000 words

Imprisoned for murders he
didn’t commit, Max Kensington is exonerated after eight years when a new
witness steps forward. He returns to his hometown and no one’s happy to see him,
least of all his ex-fiancée, Rosemary Spelling.


Max’s return forces Rose to
confront her feelings about the past. The day he killed her sister ruined Rose’s
life, destroying her family and landing her mother in a mental institution.

When someone leaves a bloody
threat on Rose’s porch, the police jump to conclusions, assuming Max is after
revenge. Rose isn’t so sure. She begins questioning Max’s guilt, wondering if someone
is trying to cover up what really happened to her sister.

All Max wants is his life
back and a chance to regain Rose’s love. To get that, he has to catch the
killer. His obsessive need for justice drives his actions, but the murderer
seems a step ahead. When new bodies surface, evidence points to Max as the
culprit. Now he could lose everything when the killer zeroes in on a new target…Rose.

Content Warning: Language,
Violence, and Sizzling Love Scenes


“Exciting cat-and-mouse mystery full of surprising twists and scorching second chances.” ~ Rachelle Ayala – Romantic Suspense Author

Read the
first two chapters: http://bit.ly/1p780vQ


On Sale for only 99 cents for two weeks only! Buy it Now!
Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/1nisHlm
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1p786Uq 
Apple iBooks:  http://bit.ly/UEU9SR 
All Romance eReads: http://bit.ly/1qZf11n
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/1qngtgs

Add to
Goodreads:  http://bit.ly/SMFGlS  







Author Bio
Chantel once thought a great mystery or fantasy book with strong
romantic themes was the highest level of reading bliss. After reading her first
romantic suspense novel, she never looked back. Before long, the need to create
her own stories took over. She spend her days in the clinical profession of
medical transcriptionist, but her passion is in the hours spent with her
characters in the evenings.
She live in the western United States, and when she’s not writing
she love playing cards with her family, bowling on leagues, and snuggling with
her lazy kitties.
 
Want to contact Chantel?


Check out all Chantel’s available titles: http://www.chantelrhondeau.com/p/my-available-titles.html


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Author Wednesday – Carol Bodensteiner

???????????????????????????????Welcome to Author Wednesday. Today I’m pleased to introduce you to Carol Bodensteiner. Carol released her first novel, Go Away Home, this past month, and she’s stopped by to talk a little bit about writing this World War I-era novel set in rural eastern Iowa. Her first book, Growing Up Country, is a memoir of growing up in Iowa in the 1950s. It’s so nice to have you visit today, Carol. Congratulations on publishing your first novel. Tell us about Go Away Home.Go Away Home Revised Ebook Final Cover Medium What’s the one sentence pitch for this work of historical fiction?

Thanks for inviting me to Author Wednesday, P.C. Go Away Home is the story of a young woman’s quest for independence and the right to decide her own future set against a twentieth century backdrop when options for women were limited yet social change was occurring and the Great War was on the horizon.

What is the main message you wanted to convey in this novel?

Go Away Home explores the reality that life is not as simple, or the choices as clear-cut, as we often hope they are, and that when confronted with the conflict between dreams and reality we learn there are tradeoffs. To get one thing, we often must give up something equally important.

We don’t really grow up until we’re confronted with those gray areas in life. This lesson is an important one to address. Tell us how you came up with the idea for Go Away Home.

Ever since I was a small child and learned that my grandfather died of the Spanish flu in 1918, I’ve been fascinated by my connection to that major world event. In a way my novel creates a life for the man I never knew and for the grandmother I only knew as a stern old woman. Since I never asked my grandmother a single question about my grandfather and their lives together, the story is entirely fiction.

I did that in my last novel with my grandfather. It was a way for me to create the grandfather I wanted. I’m glad you were able to do this in your fiction as well. Since this is set one hundred years ago, what type of research did you do? 

My research covered everything from photo studios, clothing, apprenticeships, boarding houses, electricity and telephones, to attitudes toward German immigrants during World War I. I roamed the Living History Farms, the State Historical Society Library, and the stacks at the public library. I spent hours with an uncle who grew up on a farm pre-electricity and with a high school classmate whose family owns a rural telephone company. I found on-line issues of Kodak magazines for photographers and YouTube videos about driving a Model T. I couldn’t have dreamed up things half as interesting as the reality I found through my research.

I was impressed with the wide range of issues you tackled in Go Away Home. I think it’s very interesting that YouTube helped you learn about the Model T. I know that both of your books are set in the same place in Iowa. What role does setting play in your novel?

Setting is critical to the story, representing one of the basic choices my main character Liddie faces. She grows up on a farm and though she wants desperately to get to the city with all the excitement and opportunities that represents, her connection to the farm and the kind of life she had there is stronger than she realizes.

I feel a strong connection to place myself and find conveying place is important to my writing. In addition to the larger “city vs. country” settings, there are smaller places very important to the story. Some readers have commented that the grove, which Liddie retreats to, is almost like another character.

I enjoyed the process Liddie went through in her discovery of what she really wanted in life. It’s a timeless study of maturing from a child to a woman. Without giving us a spoiler, tell us a little bit about your favorite scene in this book.

I have so many, but here’s one. Liddie relishes life and keeps adding more to her plate. In the effort to juggle everything, she makes a serious mistake. She hopes her employer won’t notice, but of course she does and calls Liddie out on it. While Liddie is ashamed of how she initially tries to hide the problem, she stands up and takes responsibility. A real growth moment for her.

I related to that moment. You captured the feelings perfectly. I’ve been there so I was rooting for Liddie all the way. What is the best thing someone could say about this book?

I think the best thing someone could tell me is that they were touched by the characters and the story. That would mean they felt the story was well told, which was my goal in the first place. The second best thing is that they came away from the book knowing more about life in the early twentieth century.

You scored on both counts with me. The characters have stayed with me after finishing the book, and I learned a few things about the life my father (born in 1904) and my grandparents might have lived. I hope you’ll come back and visit when you publish your next novel.

Thanks for letting me share my stories with your readers.

You’re very welcome, Carol. I enjoyed getting to know you a little bit better, and I enjoyed reading Go Away Home.

Be sure to watch for Book Review Friday and my review of Carol’s historical novel, Go Away Home.

BodensteinerCAbout Carol Bodensteiner – Carol is a writer who finds inspiration in the places, people, culture and history of the Midwest. After a successful career in public relations consulting, she turned to creative writing. She blogs about writing, her prairie, gardening, and whatever in life interests her at the moment. She published her memoir Growing Up Country in 2008. 9780979799709-207x300Go Away Home is her debut novel.

Links (Click below)

Go Away Home is available on Amazon in paperback and eBook.

Click here to read the first chapters now.

Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl is available on Amazon in paperback and eBook.

Website/blog

Tweet @CABodensteiner

LinkedIn

Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

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Author Wednesday – Courtney Giardina

???????????????????????????????Welcome to Author Wednesday. Courtney Giardina stops by today to discuss her novel Tear Stained Beaches. The novel explores what happens when a marriage the ideal marriage suddenly isn’t. Courtney says that “Tear Stained Beaches, is the story of one woman’s strength to stand up for what she believes is best for her despite the thoughts and words of others. This novel gives women hope and courage to live the life they see fit for themselves.” cover for web final

I’m so happy to welcome you today, Courtney. Your novel sounds fascinating. Let’s start with your writing life before we talk about your book. Do you have any writing rituals?

I always write at night. For some reason my creativity just doesn’t start flowing until 9pm or later. When that time comes I turn my music on to almost a whisper, open up my manuscript and begin to write.

That sounds like a very good ritual. Since I’m a writer myself, I’m always fascinated by other writers’ lives. What is your vision of yourself as a writer?

I love writing and always have. If I could continue to do so and keep gathering inspiration for many more books to come, I would be happy. I’ve met so many great authors and readers with just this one book, I’m excited to keep building relationships with people I wouldn’t have known otherwise. I’d also love to delve a little more into blogging as well to keep my writing up to speed.

I agree that the bonus of writing are the relationships formed with readers and writer. Tear Stained Beaches is your first novel, but you’re working on your second one. Are there common themes between the two books?

I’m just finishing up my second novel now–Holding on to Georgia. The official book trailer (click here to view) has been released and I’m gearing up for the cover reveal! I like to think that both of them have an overall message that readers can get out of it. It wouldn’t necessarily be the same for everyone, but I do want them to finish the book and be inspired by it. Carry it over to their everyday lives.

You’ve received a lot of reviews so far for Tear Stained Beaches, so what’s the best thing said about one of your books by a reviewer?

One of the greatest sentiments I’ve received from reviewers is how much they could feel the emotions of Haylie throughout the novel. The fact that my writing could really pull them in like that it such a sweet compliment.

I know how gratifying that is when you know a reader has really connected with something you’ve put on the page. We all receive them, so let’s talk about the bad review. What advice can you give to other writers about receiving one?

Learn from it, but don’t let it get you down. Not everyone is going to like your writing style or your story. You don’t write for them, you write because you love to write and your audience appreciates it.

Excellent advice, Courtney.  I love the title of this book. How did you choose Tear Stained Beaches for the title? Has it been the title from the very beginning?

I wish I knew how it came to me! I really wanted something different, something that would catch a reader’s attention immediately and still convey the meaning of the book. Since most of my main character’s soul searching is on the beach, I began focusing on that and then Tear Stained Beaches just popped into my head.

You mentioned you have a similar theme in both your novels. What is the specific message you’ve conveyed?

The overall message in this book is to always be true to yourself. We all have the strength and courage to do what it best for us, sometimes it just takes a little digging to find it.

You are right about that. Thank you for writing a novel that also provides inspiration. Without giving us a spoiler, tell us a little bit about your favorite scene in this book.

This book is quite emotional, but there is one scene in the book that made me laugh out loud while I was writing it. It’s when Haylie first meets Chase. Let’s just say, she didn’t quite make the best impression, but it was a head banging one.

That’s a good teaser. Tell us about your life away from the keyboard. What do you do during your down time?

I love to workout and find new ways to challenge myself. I’ve taken up many fitness classes here in Charlotte such as Pure Barre, bootcamp and dance classes. Right now I am a member of a boxing club, and I love to sign up for 5k races. My next challenge is going to be a Wipeout inspired 5k called Roc Race. I’m very excited!

Not only do you write inspirational novels, but you’re an inspiration in your personal life. If a movie was made about your success as a writer, who would play you?

Ironically enough it would be the same person who I would pick to play Haylie if Tear Stained Beaches was a movie. That would be Sophia Bush. I really adore not only her acting skills, but who she is as a person.

Thank you for stopping by today, Courtney. It’s been a real pleasure to get to know you, and I look forward to reading Tear Stained Beaches. Please stop back when the new novel is finished.

cgiardinaAbout Courtney Giardina: Courtney is a Rochester, New York, native who currently resides in Charlotte, North Carolina. After nine months of wearing out the delete button on the keyboard, Tear Stained Beaches was completed. She is currently working on her second novel. When she’s not writing, Courtney is an avid health and fitness lover who has currently taken up a love of boxing as a member of Title Boxing Club and loves trying out new healthy recipes from Pinterest.

Click on links  below to find Courtney and Tear Stained Beaches.

Website

Amazon

Twitter

Facebook

 

 

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#Book Review Friday – Time to Let Go by Christoph Fischer

Click on cover

Click on cover

I’m used to being transported to another era when I read a novel by Christoph Fischer. Set in England, his latest offering, Time to Let Go, transports the reader, not through the years, but into the lives of one family dealing with the splintered effects of Alzheimers.

I’ve lost several relatives and friends to this devastating disease. I’m familiar with the stages for the patient and the ramifications on the care givers. And so is Christoph Fischer in his portrayal of Biddy Korhonen and her family members dealing with her descent into Alzheimers.

Mr. Fischer shows the various ways individuals deal with the illness. There’s the husband Walter who depends upon the routine and regimen of a scheduled life to keep his wife from falling into a deeper stage. He can keep control of the situation to a certain extent, only as far as Biddy’s mind will allow it. Nothing can bring her back to the loving wife she’d always been. When he can’t control his wife’s failings, he absorbs himself in creating a book of family memories. He can control what is remembered and how much is revealed about the individuals who make up the Finnish branch of the Korhonen family.

Daughter Hanna uses the mother’s illness as a chance to come home and hide out from the realities of her life as an airline stewardess when things go horribly wrong on her last flight. Her casual attitude toward schedules and regimens clashes with her father’s grip on his life with Biddy. Hanna runs into problems with this casualness, yet there are times when Biddy seems so happy with the change.

It’s all here in this novel, and it’s done in such a way that the reader is caught up in the lives of the Krohonen’s and rooting for the family to finally communicate with one another before it’s too late. I found myself agreeing with both sides in the debate on how to handle Biddy’s situation. Since I’ve seen the terrific toll Alzhemiers takes, I understand the complicated feelings and situations that arise. Mr. Fischer handles it deftly and with sympathy for both Hanna and Walter and Biddy. No one is right, and no one is wrong.

As he does with his historical novels set in the first half of the twentieth century in eastern Europe, Mr. Fischer manages to bring in the prejudices of a generation raised with biases toward people of different religions, races, and ideologies. It’s not an indictment of older generations, but it is a reality best met with honesty and acceptance.

Thank you, Christoph Fischer, for once again bringing us a work of fiction that asks us to examine our beliefs and open our minds to honest communication with those we love the most.

To purchase Time to Let Go, click on the cover below.

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Disclosure: I was given an advance review copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

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Interview with Annamaria Bazzi – Incantation Paradox

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I’m very pleased to welcome back Annamaria Bazzi to Writing Whims. She’s come by today during her new release Book Tour for Incantation Paradox.

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Cover Designer: Natasha Brown

About Incantation Paradox (Urban Fantasy) – A car accident cuts Dolores Reynard’s life short, leaving her with a long list of unfulfilled dreams. When she awakens in a strange bed, inside a much younger body, and living with a new family—she can’t worry she might be going insane. How can she be a teenager again?

Jason Richmond understands the danger awaiting his new houseguest. Wanting to ease her concerns, he works to earn Dolores’ trust. But attraction flares in the most unexpected way, and he finds himself caught between setting the situation right and following his heart.

An enduring evil threatens not only the blossoming love but their lives as well. As Dolores and Jason struggle to unravel the truth behind her resurrection, they find themselves tangled in a web of murder, intrigue and magic. Only together can they hope to overcome the incantation paradox holding them captive.

Welcome back, Annamaria. Congratulations on the publication of your new book. Tell us about your vision of yourself as a writer.

I’ve been writing since a teenager, but once I had children I began to write for the young, wanting to instill in them the love of reading. As my children grew so did my novels. I occasionally write adult fiction, but mostly I concentrate on young adult in the hopes of capturing all those teens, who like my youngest don’t like to read. If I can turn even just one teenager to reading, my vision will be fulfilled.

What’s next for you?

Now that I’m done with Incantation Paradox, I’m working on the edits for White Swans A Regency World, which is a young adult story that takes place in a world mimicking the Regency Era. I originally started publish it as a short story series, but the idea never took off. I have now completed the entire novel, which, by the way, will also be a series about both Kendíka and Jillian.

How did you choose the title Incantation Paradox? Has it been the title from the very beginning?

When I first started writing the novel, I called it Trapped in a Nightmare. Later I Googled the title to see if other books had same title. I did find one and decided I wanted my book to have a unique title. Since I’m quite bad at coming up with interesting titles I solicited other author friends and Michael Drakich came up with title—Incantation Paradox.

It’s a great title. Michael is a great creative mind. How long do you estimate it took you to take the book from an idea to a finished, published novel?

To write the book, it only took me about three to four weeks; I can’t really remember, it’s been a while. I wrote it in first person. Submitted chapter to Critiquecircle.com and completed a second draft with the help of the critters. I stashed the novel away to distance myself from it. When I started working on it again, I became intrigued with Eric’s character and decided to rewrite it in third person so I could get into this character’s head. It took me another month or more to rewrite it since I was also writing White Swans A Regency World at the time. For the past few months, it’s been going back and forth between my editor and me. The novel will be coming out in mid May.

Is the book traditionally or self-published? Why did you choose one over the other?

Incantation Paradox is self-published. With the big six playing it safe and only publishing works from successful authors, ones that are known to have large following, translating in money, I’ve felt that I’d never be counted among these lucky few. Therefore, I’ve spent a great deal of energy on my platform and social media. If I had decided to go with a small press, I would still have to do most of the marketing, hence I’d rather be self-published and manage the book the way I want to.

You are a tireless marketer and promoter for other Indie Authors. Good job (and thank you!) Who is the antagonist in your book? Did you enjoy creating this character?

Eric is the antagonist, and he isn’t what he seems. Don’t want to spoil things, so all I’ll say is, he is pure evil. I did enjoy creating him, but to be honest I think he is a character that snuck up on me when I wasn’t paying attention and diligently working on my own edits. The evil exuding from him was too much and I had to investigate further.

Without giving us a spoiler, tell us a little bit about your favorite scene in this book.

My favorite scene is when Dolores wakes up in the hospital and sees Dr. Richmond. He looks and sounds familiar, but she cannot place him. Did she really meet him? Does she really know him? The questions build so much stress that she won’t eat until she has the answers.

Thank you for including Writing Whims on your blog tour. I wish you the greatest of success on Incantation Paradox and all your other endeavors.

annamaria authorAbout Annamaria Bazzi: Although born in the United States, Annamaria Bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country. Upon returning to the states, she promised herself she would speak without an accent. She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish.

Annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing.

Connect with Annamaria Bazzi

Blog – http://annamariabazzi.com

Website – http://www.annamariasbooks.com

Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/Author.annamariabazzi

Email – annamariascorner@yahoo.com

Twitter – https://twitter.com/AMBazzi

Goodreads – https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6890526.Annamaria_Bazzi

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=124386057&trk=nav_responsive_tab_profile

Kendíka’s Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/kendika.burkeshire

Book Links:

Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Annamaria-Bazzi/e/B00API579Q/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1397056372&sr=1-2-ent

Smashwords – https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/sobril

Barnes & Noble – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/annamaria-bazzi?store=allproducts&keyword=annamaria+bazzi

 

 

 

 

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