Mar 222017
 

Lisa Brunette

GUEST POST

The Book-Body Connection:
How One Author Integrated Body and Story

I wrote Cat in the Flock, the first book in the Dreamslippers Series, around an incredibly demanding full-time job as a game writer, with twelve-hour days spent sitting at a computer, either playing through or writing and editing games. To counteract all that chair time, I kept up a yoga practice. And that practice crept into the story I wrote in Cat in the Flock.

The plot centers on Cat McCormick, a recent college grad with a unique psychic ability: to slip into other people’s dreams. Her grandmother shares the ability and has used it as a private investigator. Cat enters into an apprenticeship with Grandmother Grace, but this means more than honing her dreamslipping skill; Grace is a lifetime practitioner of yoga, meditation, and other disciplines as well and uses them in tandem with her psychic ability.

At age 77 when the series opens, “Granny” Grace is a master on the mat:

Cat followed her grandmother in a series of sun salutations: downward dog, a lunge forward with one leg, and a standing salute to the sun. Then Granny Grace moved into crow pose, crouching forward till her knees touched her upper arms and then lifting her legs so her whole body was balanced on her arms. Cat couldn’t do that pose yet, so she sat in a wide-legged squat, watching her grandmother with admiration.

If you think this is pure fiction, think again. The inspiration for Grace came from the real-life examples I’ve read about and witnessed in my own life of women who’ve chosen movement practices that give them impressive longevity and vitality.

Grace draws upon the moving meditation of yoga when seeking insight into their criminal cases as well. In Framed and Burning, the second book in the series, she experiences a foreboding vision while practicing yoga on the beach in Miami:

And there, holding that pose, it was as if an energy whispered to her. She closed her eyes to hear it better, tuning it in. The energy was dark and red, vibrating to some frequency that wasn’t positive. She thought she heard the sound of large wings beating. Her eyes flew open. Breathing hard, losing her ujaiyi breath, she carefully extracted herself from the pose and took a resting pose on her knees, her hands in her lap. The place where her heart chakra should be ached.

Spiritfire came over to her and whispered, “Are you okay?”

Grace nodded. “I need a minute.”

“Ustrasana, camel pose, can reveal so much,” he said. “And it’s not always pleasant.”

She nodded again, rubbing the space that ached. It was an emotional ache, not a physical one. And it had to do with whoever set that first fire. The energy there was intensely negative, not accidental.

I loved writing about yoga in this way as much as I enjoyed the practice itself. But by the time I began to write the third novel in the series, I’d suffered a yoga heartbreak.

After a lifetime battle with scoliosis that often brought me pain both on and off the mat, I had to stop practicing yoga. Because yoga so often relies on arm-balance poses based on the classic downward dog and more advanced poses, I found it tough to modify around severe pain in my left shoulder. Since writing takes such a toll on the body, I felt bereft, not having a practice I could count on to undo the damage of sitting, typing, and using the mouse for long stretches at a time.

The experience forced me to acknowledge limitations, as well as the need to heal. While we all want to be Granny Grace showing up the twentysomethings at age 77, the fact is that conditions like scoliosis present challenges that can lead to frustration and chronic pain if pushed, or ignored.

I decided to try a different movement practice, one that promised to focus on self-healing and the joy of movement. Nia is a barefoot, non-impact dance that can be done by anyone at any level of fitness or with virtually any condition. The healing was slow and utterly worth it. Which is not to say that my spine miraculously straightened or I can do backflips, but I have better strength, flexibility, and mobility, as well as a growing awareness of what my body really needs.

With this experience as my inspiration, I challenged myself to confront the body’s limitations and ways of healing in my writing, within the “Amazing” Grace storyline.

So in book three, Bound to the Truth, our master yogi suffers an injury.

It’s one that would be considered “debilitating” by most. But like me, Grace discovers the healing aspects of dance. In the end, it becomes life-changing for her, in the most positive ways imaginable, bringing her a new movement practice that will carry her through the rest of her life as well as a love unlike any she’s ever experienced before, over a lifetime of fleeting romances.

Author Bio:

Lisa was born in Santa Rosa, California, but that was only home for a year. A so-called “military brat,” she lived in nine different houses and attended nine different schools by the time she was 14. Through all of the moves, her one constant was books. She read everything, from the entire Nancy Drew and Trixie Belden mystery series to her mother’s books by Daphne DuMaurier and Taylor Caldwell.

A widely published author, game writer, and journalist, Lisa has interviewed homeless women, the designer of the Batmobile, and a sex expert, to name just a few colorful characters. This experience, not to mention her own large, quirky family, led her to create some truly memorable characters in her Dreamslippers Series and other works, whether books or games.

Always a vivid dreamer, not to mention a wannabe psychic, Lisa feels perfectly at home slipping into suspects’ dreams, at least in her imagination. Her husband isn’t so sure she can’t pick up his dreams in real life, though.

With a hefty list of awards and publications to her name, Lisa now lives in a small town in Washington State, but who knows how long that will last…

Lisa publishes a bimonthly newsletter. Sign up and receive a free book!

You can also visit Lisa on her Website 🔗, on Twitter 🔗, & at Facebook 🔗.

Lisa will be back on March 29nd….Don’t miss the 5th, and final, installment for Author Of The Month and get a sneak peek for what’s next!!

Check out my Review of CAT IN THE FLOCK here.

THE DREAMSLIPPERS SERIES

Click on titles below for synopsis via GR:
CAT IN THE FLOCK (Dreamslippers #1) Check out my review here.
FRAMED AND BURNING (Dreamslippers #2)
BOUND TO THE TRUTH(Dreamslippers #3)

Praise:

“A fascinating tale of mystery, romance, and what one woman’s dreams are made of. Brunette will keep you awake far into the night.” — Mary Daheim, bestselling author of the Bed-and-Breakfast and Emma Lord/Alpine mysteries

“Already hooked, this reader intends further sojourns in Cat’s dreamslipping world. Highly recommended.” — Frances Carden, Readers Lane

“Gripping, sexy and profound, CAT IN THE FLOCK is an excellent first novel. Lisa Brunette is an author to enjoy now and watch for the future.” — Jon Talton, author of the David Mapstone Mysteries, the Cincinnati Casebooks and the thriller Deadline Man

“A little Sue Grafton and a dose of Janet Evanovich… is just the right recipe for a promising new series.” — Rev. Eric O’del

“The launch of an intriguing female detective series… A mystery with an unusual twist and quirky settings; an enjoyable surprise for fans of the genre.” — Kirkus Reviews

AUTHOR OF THE MONTH ~ GIVEAWAY EXTRAVAGANZA


Entry link is located on the sidebar.

Read an excerpt:

Prologue

Sherrie marched into her daughter’s bedroom and dragged a child-sized roller bag suitcase out of the closet. The girl stood in the middle of the room, still in her pajamas. Milk from breakfast had dried around the edges of her lips.

“Ruthie,” the mother said. “I need you to get dressed. We’re going to take a…trip.” Sherrie tried to make her voice sound cheery, but the desperation she felt came through in her tone.

“What’s wrong, Mommy?”

Sherrie set the suitcase on the bed. The bubble- gum pink had once seemed innocent but now looked fleshy and indecent. She glanced at the clock over the bed. He’d been golfing for a good fifteen minutes by now, long enough for her to make sure he didn’t come back for a favorite club or the right gloves. She wanted to be on that morning flight by the time he got home and discovered them gone.

She flung open the chest of drawers and grabbed all of the girl’s socks and underwear, a pair of corduroy pants, black cotton tights, a sweater the color of a Midwestern sky. Nothing pink. Only warm things. Seattle in her memory was cold and wet. It was a grey city; grey clouds over grey buildings. Even the water was grey.

One doll would fit. Made of cloth, it could be folded in on itself and slid down the backside of the suitcase.

“Can I bring the ballerina skirt?”

Any other day, she would have corrected her daughter, who needed to learn the precise names of things. Tutu. There it was in the closet, hanging because it took up too much room in the drawer. She yanked it free, sending the hanger to the floor. Ordinarily, she would pick that up; her house was so clean it hurt her eyes with its spareness—as if theirs were a showroom house, not lived in. She left the hanger there, aware of the thrill this fraction of disobedience gave her. She shoved everything into the little pink case, but with the fluffy tulle taking up so much space, the zipper would not close. The choice was clear. The doll would be a comfort to Ruthie in Seattle, but the tutu would not.

“We’ll come back for this later,” she said, tossing the tutu onto the bed. The zipper closed, the sound of it satisfying.

“No, Mommy!” Ruthie stomped her foot. “I want it now!”

“Then you’re going to have to wear it. Now get dressed while I pack my clothes.” But she felt a pang of guilt for her reprimanding tone, and for having to leave the tutu. Bending down, she used her thumb to wipe some of the milk crust from her daughter’s face. “I’ll let you wear anything you want on this trip, okay, sweetheart? And clean your face with the cloth in the bathroom, like Mommy showed you.”

The girl nodded, as if sensing this was not the time for a tantrum.

Sherrie’s own packing, she did with even less consideration. Under things, shirts. A fleece hoodie. Warm socks. She remembered she needed layers in Seattle. Sometimes it could seem warm even though it rained and the sun had not come out for weeks. Her keepsakes in their tiny, locked chest would not fit. They were the only things she had to remind herself of her life before this, but she would have to leave them behind.

Sherrie kept watch on the clock and glanced out the window twice to make sure his car wasn’t out front even though she knew he wouldn’t be home for another hour. The sun had risen blood-red over the cornfields in the distance, lighting them as if on fire. She’d miss that. And she thought of thunderstorms, which seemed never to occur in Seattle. She’d miss those, too.

Ruthie appeared in the doorway. Her face was clean, but none of her clothes matched. She was wearing pink high-tops that seemed wrong for the city they were going to, the situation, and everything else, but she had apparently decided not to wear the tutu.

“Time to leave.” She took the girl’s hand, promising to herself she’d never let go.

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Mar 172017
 

A Ghostly Mortality

by Tonya Kappes

on Tour February 28 – March 30, 2017

Synopsis:

A Ghostly Mortality

That ghost sure looks . . . familiar

Only a handful of people know that Emma Lee Raines, proprietor of a small-town Kentucky funeral home, is a “Betweener.” She helps ghosts stuck between here and the ever-after—murdered ghosts. Once Emma Lee gets them justice they can cross over to the great beyond.

But Emma Lee’s own sister refuses to believe in her special ability. In fact, the Raines sisters have barely gotten along since Charlotte Rae left the family business for the competition. After a doozy of an argument, Emma Lee is relieved to see Charlotte Rae back home to make nice. Until she realizes her usually snorting, sarcastic, family-ditching sister is a… ghost.

Charlotte Rae has no earthly idea who murdered her or why. With her heart in tatters, Emma Lee relies more than ever on her sexy beau, Sheriff Jack Henry Ross…because this time, catching a killer means the Raines sisters will have to make peace with each other first.

Book Details:

Genre: Cozy Mystery, Paranormal

Published by: Witness

Publication Date: February 28th 2017

Number of Pages: 336

ISBN: 0062466976 (ISBN13: 9780062466976)

Series: Ghostly Southern Mysteries #6

Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

Lawdy bee.” Granny scooted to the edge of the chair and lifted her arms in the air like she was worshiping in the Sunday morning service at Sleepy Hollow Baptist and the spirit just got put in her.

I sucked in a deep breath, preparing myself for whatever was going to come out of Zula Fae Raines Payne’s mouth, my granny. She was a ball of southern spitfire in her five-foot-four-inch frame topped off with bright red hair that I wasn’t sure was real or out of a L’Oréal bottle she’d gotten down at the Buy-N-Fly.

“Please, please, please,” she begged. “Let me die before anything happens to Emma Lee.” Her body slid down the fancy, high-back mahogany leather chair as she fell to her knees with her hands clasped together, bringing them back up in the air as she pleaded to the Big Guy in the sky. “I’m begging you.”

“Are you nuts?” My voice faded to a hushed stillness. I glanced back at the closed door of my sister’s new office, in fear she was going to walk in and see Granny acting up. I sat in the other fancy, high-back mahogany leather chair next to Granny’s and grabbed her by the loose skin of her underarm. “Get back up on this chair before Charlotte Rae gets back in here and sees you acting like a fool.”

“What?” Granny quirked her eyebrows questioningly as if her behavior was normal. My head dropped along with my jaw in the “are you kidding me” look.

“Well, I ain’t lying!” She spat, “I do hope and pray you are the granddaughter that will be doing my funeral, unless you get a flare up of the ‘Funeral Trauma.’ ” She sucked in a deep breath and got up off her knees. She ran her bony fingers down the front of her cream sweater to smooth out any wrinkles so she’d be presentable like a good southern woman, forgetting she was just on her knees begging for mercy.

“Flare up?” I sighed with exasperation. “It’s not like arthritis.”

The “Funeral Trauma.” It was true. I was diagnosed with the “Funeral Trauma” after a decorative plastic Santa fell off the roof of Artie’s Meat and Deli, knocking me flat out cold and now I could see dead people. I had told Doc Clyde I was having some sort of hallucinations and seeing dead people, but he insisted I had been in the funeral business a little too long and seeing corpses all of my life had brought on the trauma. Truthfully, the Santa had given me a gift. Not a gift you’d expect Santa to give you, but it was the gift of seeing clients of Eternal Slumber, my family’s funeral home business where I was the undertaker. Some family business. Anyway, a psychic told me I was now a Betweener. I helped people who were stuck between here and the ever after. The Great Beyond. The Big Guy in the sky. One catch . . . the dead people I saw were murdered and they needed me to help them solve their murder before they could cross over.

“I’m fine,” I huffed and took the pamphlet off of Charlotte Rae’s desk, keeping my gift to myself. The only people who knew were me, the psychic and Sheriff Jack Henry Ross, my hot, hunky and sexy boyfriend. He was as handy as a pocket on a shirt when it came time for me to find a killer when a ghost was following me around. “We are here to get her to sign my papers and talk about this sideboard issue once and for all.” Granny stared at me.

My head slid forward like a turtle and I popped my eyes open.

“I’m fine,” I said through closed teeth.

“You are not fine.” Granny rolled her eyes so big, I swear she probably hurt herself. “People are still going around talking about how you talk to yourself.” She shook her finger at me. “If you don’t watch it, you are going to be committed. Surrounded by padded walls. Then—She jabbed her finger on my arm. I swatted her away with the pamphlet.

“Charlotte Rae will have full control over my dead body and I don’t want someone celebrating a wedding while I lay corpse in the next room. Lawdy bee,” Granny griped. I opened the pamphlet and tried to ignore Granny as best I could.

“Do you hear me, Emma Lee?” Granny asked. I could feel her beady eyes boring into me.

“Don’t you be disrespecting your elders. I asked you a question,” she warned when I didn’t immediately answer her question.

“Granny.” I placed the brochure in my lap and reminded myself to remain calm. Something I did often when it came to my granny. “I hear you. Don’t you worry about a thing. By the time you get ready to die, they will have you in the nut-house alongside me,” I joked, knowing it would get her goat. The door flung open and the click of Charlotte Rae’s high-dollar heels tapped the hardwood floor as she sashayed her way back into her office. The soft linen green suit complemented Charlotte’s sparkly green eyes and the chocolate scarf that was neatly tied around her neck. It was the perfect shade of brown to go with her long red hair and pale skin.

“I’m so sorry about that.” She stopped next to our chairs and looked between me and Granny. She shook the long, loose curls over her shoulders. “What? What is wrong, now?”

“Granny is all worried I’m going to get sent away to the nuthouse and you are going to lay her out here.” The words tumbled out of my mouth before I could stop them. Or did my subconscious take over my mouth? It was always a competition between me and Charlotte, only it was one-sided. Mine. Charlotte never viewed me as competition because she railroaded me all my life. Like now. She’d left Eternal Slumber with zero guilt, leaving me in charge so she could make more money at Hardgrove’s Legacy Center, formerly known as Hardgrove’s Funeral Homes until they got too big for their britches and decided to host every life event possible just to make more money.

Excerpt from A Ghostly Mortality by Tonya Kappes. Copyright © 2017 by Tonya Kappes. Reproduced with permission from Witness. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

Tonya KappesTonya Kappes has written more than fifteen novels and four novellas, all of which have graced numerous bestseller lists including USA Today. Best known for stories charged with emotion and humor and filled with flawed characters, her novels have garnered reader praise and glowing critical reviews. She lives with her husband, two very spoiled schnauzers, and one ex-stray cat in northern Kentucky. Now that her boys are teenagers, Tonya writes full-time but can be found at all of her guys’ high school games with a pencil and paper in hand.

Catch Up with Tonya Kappes on her Website 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗

Tour Participants:

Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Tonya Kappes and Witness Impulse. There will be 1 US winner of one PRINTED set of The Ghostly Southern Mysteries #1-6 by Tonya Kappes. The giveaway begins on February 27th and runs through April 2nd, 2017.

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Mar 142017
 

Origins by AD Starrling Banner

Origins

by AD Starrling

Book Blast is March 14, 2017

Synopsis:

Origins by AD Starrling

The gifts bestowed by One not of this world, to the Man who had lived longer than most.

The Empire ruled by a King who would swallow the world in his madness.

The Warrior who chose to rise against her own kind in order to defeat him.

Discover the extraordinary beginnings of the Immortals and the unforgettable story of the Princess who would become a Legend.

In a time when sickness covers the world in shadows, Romerus, descendant of the first man and woman to walk the Earth, ventures into the desert to find a cure for his dying sons. The gifts he receives from the mysterious stranger he meets on his crusade turn his children into beings who can defeat death itself, carving a destiny that makes them Immortal kings of an empire spanning hundreds of years and thousands of leagues.

Mila, third daughter of Crovir and last-born grandchild of Romerus, knows the evil that resides in the heart of her father. When she dares challenge his increasing tyranny by sparing the life of a human governor, his twisted fear of her grows, triggering a chain of events that culminates in her witnessing his final, unforgivable sin. Accused of a crime she did not commit and forced to flee the empire of her birth, her path collides with that of an enigmatic captain who proves to be more than he claims.

As the promise of war darkens the lands, the most powerful and fearless of all the Immortals must shatter old alliances and create fresh ones in order to forge a new destiny for her kin and mankind.

Origins is the compelling fifth installment and genesis story of AD Starrling’s multi-award-winning, action thriller series Seventeen. If you like high-octane adventures that combine intrigue, history, and a dose of the paranormal, then you’ll love the world of Seventeen.

Book Details:

Genre: Action Thriller, Supernatural Suspense
Published by: AD Starrling
Publication Date: February 21st 2017
Number of Pages: 324
ISBN: 0995501327 (ISBN13: 9780995501324)
Series: A Seventeen Series Thriller, #5
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | iTunes 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Read an excerpt:

3156 BC

It came on the wind, the wild, shrill call of a hawk. In the valley below, soldiers paused, weapons aloft, hands crimson with the blood of their enemies, their own bodies weeping from stabs and slashes. The sounds of war abated for a frozen moment.

Heads rose. As one, the men stared at the peak of the ridge to the east. Hearts that already raced from combat accelerated with fear and awe as they beheld the figure on a large, black horse clad in plates of armor. A murmur ran through the troops gathered on the bloodied battleground.

‘The Red Queen! The Red Queen is here!’

Slowly, it grew, until it became a chant, a frenetic chorus that energized one army even as it sapped the other of its remaining strength.

The figure on the horse raised her arm in the air. The broadsword in her hand glimmered, impossibly big in her grip, the metal catching the sun at her back and casting sparkling jets onto her gilded battle suit and chainmail tunic. On her shoulders, a cape fluttered in the wind, blood red under the golden light. On her head and limbs, polished bronze gleamed. The soldiers held their breath.

She brought her sword down and pointed it at the battlefield, heels digging sharply into the flanks of the fearsome beast beneath her. The horse neighed wildly and reared up on its hind legs before bolting down the hill toward the soldiers.

The rest of the Red Queen’s army came behind her, weapons glinting, the beats of their horses’ hooves making the ground tremble, their cries darkening the sky. Above them, an armor-clad hawk hovered, a silhouette against the dazzling orb. It shrieked once more before diving after its mistress.

Excerpt from Origins by AD Starrling. Copyright © 2017 by AD Starrling. Reproduced with permission from AD Starrling. All rights reserved.

Author Bio:

AD Starrling

AD Starrling’s multi-award-winning thriller series Seventeen combines action, adventure, science, and a dose of the supernatural to make each book an explosive, adrenaline-fueled read.

When she’s not busy writing and reading, AD can be found looking up exciting international locations and cool science and technology to put in her books, eating Thai food, being tortured by her back therapists, drooling over gadgets, working part-time as a doctor on a Neonatal Intensive Care unit somewhere in the UK, reading manga, and watching action and sci-fi flicks. She has occasionally been accused of committing art with a charcoal stick and some drawing paper.

Find out more about AD on her website www.adstarrling.com; where you can also sign up for her awesome newsletter and never miss her latest release. You’ll also get a chance to read advance copies of her forthcoming novels, have access to sneak previews of her work, participate in exclusive giveaways, and get special promotional offers.

Catch Up With Ms Starrling On Her:
Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

Tour Participants:



Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for AD Starrling. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on March 13th and runs through March 21st, 2017.

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Mar 102017
 

WILDCAT: V. I. Warshawski’s First Case

by Sara Paretsky

on Tour March 7 – April 7, 2017

Synopsis:

WILDCAT: V. I.Warshawski's First Case by Sara Paretsky

Sara Paretsky, one of the most legendary crime writers of all time, presents an exclusive and thrilling short story featuring beloved investigator V.I. Warshawski as a ten-year-old girl on her first investigation.

V.I. Warshawski developed her strength and sense of justice at a very early age. It’s 1966 and on the south side of Chicago racial tensions are at an all-time high. Dr. Martin Luther King is leading marches at Marquette Park and many in the neighborhood are very angry.

With nothing but a bicycle, eighty-two cents in her pocket, and her Brownie camera hanging from her wrist, Victoria sneaks off to Marquette Park alone to protect her father Tony, a police officer who is patrolling the crowds.

What begins as a small adventure and a quest to find her father and make sure he is safe turns into something far more dangerous. As the day goes on and the conflict at the park reaches a fever pitch Victoria realizes she must use her courage and ingenuity if she wants to keep herself and her family members out of harm’s way.

MY REVIEW

4 stars

I can’t believe that this is the first book that I have read by Sara Paretsky. I surely have been missing out!

This novella is the start of it all. Victoria Warshawski’s introduction to crime and justice began when she overheard “the adults” talking, especially when her Uncle says he is going after her father.

Wanting to warn her father, she takes her bike in search of her father, who is a policeman on duty during the racial riots in Chicago, Illinois. She finds herself precariously in a car’s trunk, and even as a young child, escapes.

Reading how it all began, I need to do a lot of catching up with this series. A novella that will leave the reading wanting more!

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery, Thriller
Published by: Witness Impulse
Publication Date: March 7, 2017
Number of Pages: 45
ISBN: 0062689509 (ISBN13: 9780062689504)
Series: V.I. Warshawski
Purchase Links: Amazon 🔗 | Barnes & Noble 🔗 | Goodreads 🔗

Author Bio:

Sara Paretsky

Hailed by P.D. James as “the most remarkable” of modern crime writers, SARA PARETSKY is the New York Times-bestselling author of nineteen previous novels, including the renowned V.I. Warshawski series. She is one of only four living writers – alongside John Le Carré, Sue Grafton, and Lawrence Block – to have received both the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America and the Cartier Diamond Dagger from the Crime Writers’ Association of Great Britain. She lives in Chicago with her husband.

Before there was Lisbeth Salander, before there was Stephanie Plum, there was V.I. WARSHAWSKI. She took the mystery world by storm in 1982 with her first appearance in Indemnity Only. A gifted private eye with the grit and smarts to tackle the mean streets, V.I. transformed a genre in which women were typically either vamps or victims. As a “courageous, sexually liberated female investigator,” she “has a humility, a humanity, and a need for human relationships which the male hard-boilers lack” (P.D. James). She lives in Chicago with her dog.

Catch Up With Our Author On:
Website 🔗, Goodreads 🔗, Twitter 🔗, & Facebook 🔗!

Tour Participants:

Visit these other great tour hosts for review & more great giveaways!


Giveaway:

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Sara Paretsky and Witness Impulse. There will be 5 winners of one (1) eBook copy of WILDCAT: V. I. Warshawski’s First Case by Sara Paretsky. The giveaway begins on March 4th and runs through April 10th, 2017. The giveaway is open to residents in the US & Canada only.

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REVIEW DISCLAIMER

This blog was founded on the premise to write honest reviews, to the best of my ability, no matter who from, where from and/or how the book was obtained, and will continue to do so, even if it is through PICT or PBP.
DISCLAIMER

I received a copy of this book, at no charge to me, in exchange for my honest review.
No items that I receive are ever sold…they are kept by me, or given to family and/or friends.
ADDENDUM

I do not have any affiliation with Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble. I am an IndieBound affiliate. I am providing link(s) solely for visitors that may be interested in purchasing this Book/EBook.

Mar 082017
 

Lisa Brunette

Hi, Cheryl! Thanks for hosting me on your blog, and hello to your readers! It’s an honor to be chosen as your Author of the Month. I also want to thank you for all you do for writers. So many of us depend on the time and talent of book bloggers like you, and we know you do this out of a love for the written word.

Here’s my official bio, by way of formal introduction to your readers:

Lisa Brunette is a novelist, game writer, and journalist. She holds a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from University of Miami, where she was a Michener Fellow. Her short stories and poetry have appeared in Bellingham Review, The Comstock Review, Icarus International, and elsewhere. She’s also received a major grant from the Tacoma Arts Commission, the William Stafford Award, and the Associated Writing Programs Intro Journals Project Award. Her Dreamslippers Series has been praised by Kirkus Reviews, Midwest Book Review, Readers Lane, BestThrillers.com, and others, and the first two books won the indieBRAG medallion. Framed and Burning was also a finalist for the Nancy Pearl Book Award and a nominee for the RONE Award.

Brunette’s journalistic work has appeared in major daily newspapers and magazines, including the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, Seattle Woman, and Poets & Writers. She’s interviewed a Pulitzer Prize-winning author, a sex expert, homeless women, and the designer of the Batmobile, among others.

She also has story design credits in hundreds of bestselling mystery-themed video games. A seasoned educator and public speaker, she’s won several teaching excellence awards, and her 2012 headlining talk at the Game Developers Conference was covered by Gamasutra.com. Brunette is a member of Mystery Writers of America, the Pacific Northwest Writers Association, and the Lewis County Writers Guild.

Now on to your excellent questions.

Writing:
Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?
Yes, all of the above. But I wouldn’t call my books autobiographical. It’s surprising to me that I have to explain this, but I don’t actually have the ability to psychically pick up other people’s dreams. Still, this question comes up often when I read my work publicly!

What was the inspiration for this book?
This book was inspired in part by my rekindled love of genre fiction. Back in 2008, I interviewed top mystery writers for a Seattle Woman cover story. Reading their work reminded me of when I first fell in love with reading as a child, and that was genre fiction like Nancy Drew. Academia had beat this out of me, unfortunately, so it was wonderful to be drawn back to it as an adult. After all, being an adult means you’re allowed to read whatever you want! After the Seattle Woman cover story, by 2009, I’d joined the game industry as a writer full-time, and by 2011, I was working on the story design for primarily mystery games. That led to a pent-up need to create my own plot and characters, since a lot of game writing happens by committee.

Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?
I plot the entire novel out in a very rough format, with questions and multiple possibilities noted, writing this in marker directly on my wall, which I’ve painted in whiteboard paint. Then I begin to write, and I give myself permission to explore questions, try different paths, and deviate when necessary. So I guess I’m a hybrid writer. Several times I didn’t know a character would appear and act that way in a scene until I was in the midst of writing it.

Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?
I don’t have a routine. I probably should, but I have to flex my novel-writing time around game-writing projects, and those have harder deadlines. The only thing I really need besides uninterrupted time and quiet is to make use of my laptop’s “wifi off” function, which is a lifesaver.

If you could co-author a book, who would that writer be?
Since so much of my game-writing work is collaborative, I don’t know that I’d co-author a novel. Perhaps something non-fiction, especially in the area of health and wellness. I’m a great generalist and a writing craft expert, so it would be wonderful to team up with a subject matter expert in a wellness field.

Characters:
Are any of your characters based on you or people that you know?
The character Amazing Grace is named after and inspired by my late mother-in-law. She wanted to legally change her name to just “Grace,” like Cher is known as Cher alone. But the authorities said she had to at least have another initial, so she picked “A.” When asked what the A stood for, she would answer, “Amazing.”

Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?
Meryl Streep as Amazing Grace. Jennifer Lawrence as Cat. Jeff Bridges as Mick. There’s also a character I love in book three, Bound to the Truth, who would be perfect for my friend Cammie Middleton-Helmsing to play. She’s an actress for whom there aren’t enough roles as an African-American woman, and she’d be a perfect Cecily Johnson.

What’s next:
Are you working on your next novel?
Right now I’m on deadline for a text-based game I’m both designing and writing for a Russian woman I’ve worked with before. She’s owner of a studio called Daily Magic and smart as a whip. I’m also writing and designing for another game studio, Magic Tavern, and collaborating with the creative director on that game, which will be really fun and casual.

Around those projects, I’m working on a standalone novel that really excites me, but I’m still in the beginning stages, working on the first third.

Can you tell us a bit about it? Title?
I don’t have a title yet; it’s too early. But it’s based on an actual news report for an alleged murder committed in a neighboring town. A woman called 911 to report that she shot her husband in self-defense. At first, it looked like the evidence supported her claim, since both spouses’ guns were out. But then things began to look fishy. The husband was shot in the back, and someone cleaned the crime scene, even going so far as to spackle over a bullet hole in the wall. I’m riveted by this. How does a woman with no priors or history of mental illness get to this point? That’s the question I’m attempting to answer in the novel.

When can we look for it? Approximate publication date?
It’s in the beginning stages, so this hasn’t been set yet. Since self-publishing the Dreamslippers Series over the last two years, I’ve had interest in my work from both Hollywood producers and literary agents. So rather than set a self-publishing date on this new manuscript, I’ll be exploring traditional options. But first I have to finish it!

Reading:
Tell us why we should read this book.
My goal with the entire Dreamslippers Series was to marry rich character development and an emphasis on human relationships to a brisk plot. I think on the whole I’ve accomplished that. Once the foundation for the psychic ability and the family tree is established in Cat in the Flock, readers say the books are real page-turners that keep them rapt and wondering whodunit to the very end.

Who are some of your favorite authors?
The best book I read in 2016 was Tana French’s Faithful Place. I liked it better than Girl on the Train, which I also enjoyed. I’ve read all of Gillian Flynn’s work and actually liked Dark Places the best, over Gone Girl. I’ve been influenced by cozy writer Mary Daheim and paranormal queen Jayne Ann Krentz, too, and I like my Jack Reacher novels. But having a BA in English and coming up through the MFA degree, I’ve been shaped by the academy, so a lot of my favorites tend to be literary writers like Elizabeth Strout and Colm Toibin. Then there are the classic writers I’ve both studied and taught, such as Shakespeare, the Romantic poets, the Harlem greats and those who arrived out of that tradition, like Toni Morrison and Gloria Naylor.

What are you reading now?
Oddly enough, I’m slowly making my way through The 48 Laws of Power, because it was referenced in the Luke Cage Marvel series. And I’m about to raid my local library for more Tana French.

Fun Questions:
Favorite leisure activity/hobby?
I practice a holistic barefoot dance called Nia. It’s the perfect antidote to a vocation that involves way too much sitting and typing at a keyboard.

Favorite meal?
I’m on a diet of what one friend of mine who’s a chef calls “meat and leaves.” So my favorite meal these days is a good grass-fed, organic steak with loads of vegetables not as the side but taking up most of the plate. I haven’t met a vegetable I can’t love, but broccoli is my favorite. I eat it like it’s candy!

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AUTHOR OF THE MONTH ~ GIVEAWAY EXTRAVAGANZA


Entry link is located on the sidebar.

THE DREAMSLIPPERS SERIES

Click on titles below for synopsis via GR:
CAT IN THE FLOCK (Dreamslippers #1) Check out my review here.
FRAMED AND BURNING (Dreamslippers #2)
BOUND TO THE TRUTH(Dreamslippers #3)

Lisa will be returning to CMash Reads March 15th….Mark your calendar. Hope to see you then!!!