BLOG – NEW RELEASES, BOOK REVIEWS, AND ANNOUNCEMENTS
Thank you, Cloe Michael’s Reads for the reviews of all four of the books in the Behind the Love series.
As you get ready for the Fourth of July, it’s time to load up the Kindles with plenty of exciting and romantic beach reads. To help you achieve that very goal, you can download Behind the Altar, Book One, for free June 27 and 28. Behind the Bar, Book Two, will be on sale for $0.99 cents.
Behind the Altar, Book One I could not put this book down I am not big on religion but it worked in this book because of the lessons learned in it. I loved how Dean and Leah had a strong connectio…
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Since I started writing and editing fulltime in 2012, I’ve always had looming deadlines, either set by my clients, other authors or even by myself. While preparing to do a series of presentations on my great grandfather’s Civil War journal that I published several years ago, the most pressing deadline of the summer fell away when a group of us decided to disband a box set of paranormal romances. About the same time, I completed a large project for a client when his book was published successfully. The opening months of 2017 found me diligently working on the revisioning of the first three books in the Behind the Love series and writing the fourth book, Behind the Door. I finished all the revisions, editing, and promoting by the end of May.
I finished the presentations by mid-June. I came home with all work pressures lifted. And now I scan my desktop, book shelves, and notebooks filled with notes for partially started novels. While working with the Civil War book, I decided to re-do it and add additional material that I discovered while preparing and then meeting Civil War buffs in Michigan. I probably will do a whole new book after I finish the research.
But which of these projects shout out to me? Which one is the over-eager student in the classroom, bouncing up and down and raising her hand to be noticed?
The truth? None of them. I have glimmers of interest in one or the other, but the glimmer fades before I have time to turn on the lamp above my computer. I wrote some in my novel notebooks while traveling as ideas came to me, but nothing leaped off the page and grabbed me by the fingers and pressed my hands to the keyboard.
I’m not panicked, and it’s not writer’s block. I’ve been writing steadily since I returned home. This post marks my fourth blog piece in three days.
I’m not even marketing this summer. People don’t buy books during good weather and vacations with family and friends. I’ve wasted more marketing dollars in June, July, and August than I’m willing to admit. This year, I decided to gear up for the fall with the publication of the second book in Rivals in Love series. I released the first book, Love on Trial, in May but didn’t do any marketing for the book since I wanted to release it when the second book was nearly done in September. Two chapters and lots of notes are all I have for Love on Board.
My first paranormal romance awaits creation. I have copious notes and had begun reading paranormal romances exclusively. I’m reading a book on writing the paranormal novel. Several chapters are written. This was going to be my summer project so I could meet an early September deadline for a multi-author box set. When we canceled that project, my enthusiasm for the project deflated. I can’t say why because the research and elements of the plot were coming together for me. And I love the setting in North Florida. The working title is Suwannee River Dreams. Maybe if I go back to my notes and the opening chapters, I’ll be inspired once again.
Another novel rests in the back of my mind and in a journal notebook set aside specifically for this contemporary work of fiction. It’s a saga and will explore the lives of five people from college in the 1970s to the present day as they face empty nests, retirement, illness, and deaths. The working title is Four Women and a Man. All their lives are intertwined, but until one of them dies, they have no idea how much. Only two of them know everything, and one ends up dead, and the other is the man in the title. I’ve been taking notes on this one for a few years. I’ve developed character backgrounds and worked on how I might handle POV. It’s time to work on this one, but I find myself unable to sit down and devote the time necessary to develop what I believe will be a lengthy work covering four or five decades.
Perhaps I should start by writing a short story. I have made a commitment to other authors to write a time travel short for inclusion in a time travel anthology. This topic intrigues me. I’ve decided my heroine will travel back to the 1920s Chicago to the place where her grandmother found her first true love, but she had to leave him without explanation. A locket she inherits with her grandmother’s picture inside from that time sends her back to that place to help the man left behind find resolution.
I’m ready to explore other genres in my writing, and I believe I’ve come to the crossroads of where I want to venture next. It’s not a bad place to be, but it certainly is a departure from my usual modus operandi.
If you made it this far in my ramblings around the corners of this junction, thank you. I’m writing this post in hopes it might make things clearer for me and give me focus. Perhaps it has done just that because what I’ve accomplished in the first half of this year might indicate I need a vacation. A real vacation where I don’t feel the pressure to constantly push and push to write and sell books. If you’re an Indie Author, you know the challenges to continue to sell. When I’m away from my desk, my sales trickle down to almost nothing. It’s the nature of this path I’ve chosen, but I’m burned out with it all.
It’s time to give myself permission to stop, look around me, and feel the spark of creativity once again. If I don’t sell books, I don’t sell books. And I will survive, and those notebooks and partially written chapters will be waiting for me when it’s time.
Perhaps it’s that invisible muse telling me it’s all right to rest and recharge. If that is the case, I’ve been given a great gift. Time to sit on the porch and gaze at the mountains and hold hands with my husband who sometimes feels neglected when I push myself so hard.
What are your thoughts? Does any of this sound familiar to you? And how do you handle it? I would love to know.
The Fall and Rise of Tyler Johnson – Based on the journals and actual events of a young man turned fugitive By Patrice Johnson
Disclosure from P.C. Zick: I grew up in the same small town as the author. However, I have not seen her in nearly fifty years. My sister-in-law showed me the book on a recent visit. I immediately downloaded a copy and read the lengthy book in two days while traveling.
Riveting. Horrifying. Thrilling. And unbelievable, yet the book is not a work of fiction. This is the story of Patrice Johnson’s son, Tyler, and the choices he made while in panic mode in a post 9/11 world.
Once I began reading this nonfiction account that includes the journal writings and scientific ramblings of a young genius, I read late into the night and risked missing a family reunion. The story captured my attention at first because I knew the author. But the writing of both mother and son kept me glued to my Kindle whenever I could steal away from others on our recent trip to Michigan.
Tyler Johnson wasn’t a typical college student in some ways. His future lay before him as a physicist with papers published on quantum physics and artificial intelligence. But in other ways, he was typical. A last night of revelry at Caltech before he headed to the University of New Mexico to enter into a doctoral program led to some misguided decisions fueled by alcohol. One of his buddies, Danny Blair, threw a gasoline-filled bottle into a car lot filled with SUVs as a protest to the gas-guzzling vehicles. When several Hummers burn up in Danny’s stupid act of a drunken activist, the full force of the newly implemented national security laws come down hard on the head of Tyler, and he suddenly finds himself labeled as a domestic terrorist.
He panics, and his fear led him to the life of a fugitive on the island of Corsica with some furtive trips to Paris and Marseilles to seek a way out to another country that wouldn’t extradite him.
The story is about this young man’s journey told through his journals and his mother’s superb prose. Tyler and his girlfriend Yuki tremble in the dark shadows of crags, mountains, and woods. Survival in the most elemental way becomes the overriding agenda for each day. Not being captured sits on their shoulders and weighs much more than their hastily packed backpacks.
Through the creative nonfiction of Tyler’s mother, I became engrossed in the details that few of us ever have to think about. Where will they hide next? How will they find jobs without papers? Will they have water? These become the overriding thoughts of everyday life for the two. There are times when Yuki’s sanity seems in jeopardy, yet she always pulls through. Tyler keeps his sanity through his physics and math. The book includes his sketches of ideas and theorems far beyond anything I will ever be able to comprehend.
Most of the time while reading the book, I forgot who wrote it. I forgot everything except wondering if the people who sometimes befriended them could be trusted or if they’d ever find their beloved mutt that had adopted them while traversing the Corsican landscape. Sometimes, it came as a jolt to realize a grieving mother wrote this loving tribute to her son who became a victim of his own poor choices. I’ve made a ton of them in my lifetime, particularly when I was Tyler’s age. We all have. But most of our mistakes can either be swept away by moving forward or revoked through an apology or two. Tyler’s poor choice to flee the country rather than staying and working through the consequences with the support of his loving family ended in disaster.
At first, I thought the book ended abruptly. It left me with more questions than answers. But as I absorbed his story, I realized that Patrice Johnson ended a hopeless story with a note of hope. Then I read the title again, which I originally thought was The Rise and Fall of Tyler Johnson. But it is not. It is The Fall and Rise. Word order matters.
The love of a mother for her son shines through every word of this story focused on four years of his short life. I admire Patrice, Tyler’s father, and Tyler’s sister for bringing his tragic tale to the public. Since finishing the book, I have thought about the choices I’ve made in my life. And the poor ones almost always were made from a place of fear.
It is my sincere hope that others will read this book and learn from Tyler’s life. That’s the very best legacy of all.
Please note that a portion of the royalties for The Fall and Rise of Tyler Johnson will be donated to Longmont Community Justice Partnership. LCJP is an alternative to the traditional criminal justice system and works with individuals such as Tyler if they are willing to take responsibility for their actions. Tyler’s sister, Kelsey, wrote the Foreword for the book and states, “To all of us who have made mistakes that seem irreversible, let us trust that repair is always an option. While we cannot take back our mistakes, we can mend the harms, and all parties may heal. No matter how badly we might mess up, potential for repair always exists. Like refuse composting and transforming into healthy soil that nourishes new life, our mistakes may fuel deep learning and relationships and wisdom.”
To purchase The Fall and Rise of Tyler Johnson, click the links below.
My friend and Amazon bestselling author, Effrosyni Moschoudi is running a wonderful giveaway this month! You will want to check this out!
Two winners will get a bundle of 12 Ebooks each!
Dozens more will receive individual ebooks, as well as paperbacks.
One lucky reader will get a copy of Effrosyni’s romantic comedy The Amulet (ebook) and a novelty bookmark to go with it.
The giveaway is open exclusively to Effrosyni’s email subscribers, who enjoy even more exclusive benefits while receiving very sparse emails from the author. To find out more, click here: http://effrosyniwrites.com/newsletter/.
Upon signing up, you will receive the exclusive link to the giveaway by email within a few minutes. Good luck!
If you have the time, stop by her blog, EffrosyniWrites.com and check out her books. I’ve read and reviewed her paranormal romance series, The Lady of the Pier, and you can find…
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So very pleased with these reviews for all four books in the Behind the Love Series.
Behind the Altar, Book One
I could not put this book down I am not big on religion but it worked in this book because of the lessons learned in it. I loved how Dean and Leah had a strong connection from the first moment and how it grew. I liked the dilemma that Leah was in trying to figure out why she felt a certain way with Dean and not Jacob even though she was with him. I liked how this story had a lot of real life things in it because it makes you think about how homeless people including the veterans are treated after they served our country. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series because this author is really great at capturing her audience and keep them intrigued.
Behind the Bar, Book Two
I really loved this story it had…
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It gives me great pleasure to announce the release of We Lived It and Laughed – Tales of Chuluota, Florida by Mark Perrin. This book of personal essays recounts life in the seventies while growing up in rural Florida.
I ran into Mark about six weeks ago while I was sitting at a book booth in Tallahassee trying to sell books. He had a notebook with him, and he wanted to ask some questions about publishing. He said he had some true stories from his youth he wanted to publish. I mentioned that I was an editor as well as an author, and further, I could help him take his manuscript from Word to a published book.
And here we are a few weeks laters with those essays now published in a lovely book of humorous tales from a time and place very far removed from where most of us are today. I laughed out loud while working on the essays because I knew these people! I grew up at the same time 1,000 miles away in Michigan. But I lived in a small town where teenagers had to find their own fun or suffocate on boredom.
Congratulations to Mark and his perseverance and hard work to turn his stories into a wonderful chronicle of a time fast fading from memories and wholly unknown to the youth of today who fight boredom with electronics!
Here’s a little bit about the book:
Mark Perrin recounts the humorous parts of growing up in a small rural town in central Florida in
Mark Perrin recounts the humorous parts of growing up in a small rural town in central Florida in We Lived It and Laughed. Boredom, dysfunctional families, and testosterone equal tales bigger than life.
The characters who populate the stories rise to mythical stature created by a storyteller who recounts some true tall tales from decades ago. Through it all, the author’s dry sense of irony, comedic overtones, and casual style paint a portrait of young men who found a way to survive the perils of adolescence without much supervision.
Instead of resorting to violence or crime, and relying mostly on humor, the boys of Chuluota form their own tribe and find a way to make something out of nothing. All the while, they raise themselves and learn together how to survive by using ingenuity born of boredom.
This collection of reminiscences will transport you back to a time before technology, cell phones, and iPads. Lazy summer days spent devising ways to defeat the boredom of poverty and abandonment from their parents remind us all that humor and ingenuity can create heroes.
From row boat ski tows to brick wallpaper to dead sharks, We Lived It and Laughed entertains with humor and enlightens with honesty.
About Mark Perrin – Mark Perrin grew up in the small town of Chuluota in central Florida. He lived there from 1962 to 1985 and remained in that area for a few more years before moving to Wakulla County, Florida, near Crawfordville, in January 1988. The love of nature and history has been a constant in his life, and the area where he now lives is rich in both.
As a lover of history, he joined the local historical society shortly after moving to Wakulla County where he’s been on the board of directors for many years. The thought of preserving a piece of history was one of the factors that led to the writing and recording of these stories for We Lived It and Laughed.
Mark Perrin operates a small home improvement business. The flexibility of this occupation allows him to pursue the hobbies he enjoys, such as hiking in the surrounding nature, fishing in local waters, searching for old bottles, and using a metal detector in his rural environment.
Behind the Love contemporary romance series continues with the release of the newest story in the saga of Victory, Florida. Behind the Door stars Sally Jean, who played pivotal roles in the three preceding books in the series. Often misunderstood and always seeking love, Sally Jean needed to have her story told to show why she sought love, yet felt at the same time she didn’t deserve it.
When I first started writing romances in 2014, I thought it would give me a break and help recharge my writing batteries. With the completion of the first book in the Behind the Love series, I’d been revitalized, and even though, there is a formula or pattern that most romances follow, I could write the plot happenings with my own touch.
I discovered romance didn’t have to be light and fluffy. It could deal with real life issues while still bringing the hero and heroine together in the end. It happened without much thought. I’ve always said language is the most powerful tool we have, and if we can tell a story to convey an important message, all the better.
Behind the Altar, Book One brings out issues of child abuse–sexual and mental–and domestic violence. It also starts a thread about homelessness and the tragedy of our veterans coming home to face an unwelcoming society. Leah, the heroine of Behind the Altar, helps the homeless in her small town by running a soup kitchen. Throughout the series, Soup’s On becomes a focal point for each plot as it grows and expands.
Behind the Bar, Book Two shows how the past can inform our present, and not always in positive ways. Domestic violence takes a starring role in the love complications between Susie and Reggie. Before they can give their love a second chance, they must unravel the complications caused by hiding secrets from their youth.
Behind the Curtain, Book Three follows Susie’s sister as she always struggles with the fallout from having an alcoholic father who beat his wife. Lisa protected Susie until the father left, and then Lisa became the sister who needed protection. Also, Soup’s On and its residents from homeless veterans to migrant farmers hoping for a better life play an integral role in the plot.
Behind the Door, Book Four covers PTSD and its fallout, particularly with veterans returning home with no safety net. Also, Sally Jean’s childhood comes to the forefront. She was a neglected child as her parents were more interested in one another than they were Sally Jean. She was an intrusion to their love affair, which caused her to seek love in all the wrong places and from all the wrong people. She reveals she doesn’t deserve to be loved, and the plot takes her on a journey to find out she does.
All of the books give glimmers of hope even in the face of tragedy. Readers have often responded to the stories and related the situations to their own lives. Maybe that’s not what romance should do. But it’s what I do. One reader suggested I should provide help information for the issues in my books, so when I revamped the first three books this year, I added phone numbers and websites to help with each of the issues profiled within the plot.
A reader recently received an advanced review copy of Behind the Door. She thought I’d captured the tragedy of PTSD vividly. She knew because she’d been suffering from it for years.
Click on the titles below to download your copies of all four books in the series.
Thanks to the Eternal Scribbler for hosting me on her blog today!
This week’s guest poster is the wonderful P.C. Zick, who discusses revamping her contemporary romance series. Enjoy!
Creating a functional family within fiction
By P.C. Zick
“I’m from a dysfunctional family.”
We’ve all heard this statement so much, it’s a cliché—overused and meaningless.
However, as an author, I can turn the cliché into something meaningful. But first, I must make my fictional families as dysfunctional as possible to create the necessary conflict and tension. Once I’ve done that, I can turn them into my ideal version of functional. I don’t mean the vision of what we’d been told a “real” family looks like. Those ideas were created with the 1950s sitcoms, and probably messed us all up when we realized we didn’t have Donna Reed in an apron in the kitchen cooking dinner. Or Mrs. Cleaver greeting the Beaver and Wally with homemade chocolate chip cookies and milk when they…
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Hello – It’s an exciting day for me. The past few months have been spent re-vamping my contemporary romance series, Behind the Love. Each of the first three novels, Behind the Altar, Behind the Bar, and Behind the Curtain have new covers and new content. All three are now full-length novels. And while working on them, I was also writing the fourth book in the series, Behind the Door, which is set to release May 16. Make sure you scroll all the way down this post to enter the giveaway for a $25 Amazon gift card to celebrate the reveal of the new and improved Behind the Love series.