Oct 142014
 

Pigeon River Blues

by Wayne Zurl

Book Details:

Genre: Police Procedural / Mystery

Published by: Iconic Publishing

Publication Date: May 31, 2014

Number of Pages: 258

ISBN: 1938844025 / 978-1938844027

Purchase Links:

Synopsis:

Winter in the Smokies can be a tranquil time of year—unless Sam Jenkins sticks his thumb into the sweet potato pie.

The retired New York detective turned Tennessee police chief is minding his own business one quiet day in February when Mayor Ronnie Shields asks him to act as a bodyguard for a famous country and western star.

C.J. Profitt’s return to her hometown of Prospect receives lots of publicity . . . and threats from a rightwing group calling themselves The Coalition for American Family Values.

The beautiful, publicity seeking Ms. Proffit never fails to capitalize on her abrasive personality by flaunting her alternative lifestyle—a way of living the Coalition hates.

Reluctantly, Jenkins accepts the assignment of keeping C.J. safe while she performs at a charity benefit. But Sam’s job becomes more difficult when the object of his protection refuses to cooperate.

During this misadventure, Sam hires a down-on-his-luck ex-New York detective and finds himself thrown back in time, meeting old Army acquaintances who factor into how he foils a complicated plot of attempted murder, the destruction of a Dollywood music hall, and other general insurrection on the “peaceful side of the Smokies.”

Read an excerpt:

Prologue

An oddball named Mack Collinson sat in his mother’s office discussing the upcoming auction of farmland straddling the border of Prospect and neighboring Seymour, Tennessee.

Jeremy Goins, part-time real estate salesman at the Collinson agency, defrocked federal park ranger, and now full-time maintenance man in The Great Smoky Mountains National Park, walked into the room and tossed a newspaper on Mack’s lap.
Collinson, a short, dark man in his late-forties, had close-cropped, almost black hair, a single bushy eyebrow spanning his forehead, and a thick beard that covered his face from just below his eyes and disappeared into the collar of his sport shirt.

“You seen this article in the Blount County Voice?” Goins asked.

Mack shrugged. His mother neither commented nor gestured.

Goins sighed and continued, seemingly unimpressed with his male colleague. “’Bout how Dolly’s havin’ a benefit show and that lezzy bitch—‘cuse me, Ma—C.J. Profitt’s comin’ back home fer a week a’forehand.”

People showing deference to her age referred to Collinson’s mother as Miss Elnora. Those who knew her more intimately, called her Ma.

“Lemme see that,” Elnora snarled, screwing up her wide face, one surrounded by layers of gray, arranged in a style the locals called big hair.

“Yes, ma’am.” Anxious to please his employer, Jeremy snatched the newspaper from Mack and handed it to Mrs. Collinson.
The Collinson Realty and Auction Company occupied an old and not very well maintained building on McTeer’s Station Pike just below the center of Prospect. Sixty-five-year-old Elnora Collinson had been a realtor for more than forty years, first with her late husband and now with her son. In either case, Ma represented the brains of the operation.

After allowing the woman a few moments to read the article, Jeremy Goins continued the conversation.

“I hated that bitch back in hi-skoo,” he said. “And I hate her even more now that I know what she is and what her kind means ta the rest o’ us.”

Goins was a stocky, rugged-looking man, approaching fifty, with a liberal mix of gray in his dark brown hair. The gray hair was the only liberal thing about Jeremy Goins.

“I s’pose she’s fixin’ to stay around here and mebbe bring some o’ her pur-verted women friends with her,” Mack said. “This world’s goin’ ta hell when ya got ta be subjectedsta the likes o’ her on the same streets good Christian folk walk on.”

“Amen ta that,” Jeremy said.

When Ma finished reading she snorted something unintelligible, rolled up the paper, and threw it at a wastepaper basket, missing by a foot.

“Boys, this is shameful.” She took a long moment to shake her head in disgust. “Downright shameful.”

Both men nodded in agreement.

“When that girl went ta Nashville an’ become a singer, I thought Prospect was rid o’ her and her kind once’t and fer all. Lord have mercy, but we’re doomed ta see her painted face on our streets ag’in.”

“Momma,” Mack said, “we ain’t gotta take this.”

He spent a moment shaking his head, too. Then he decided to speak for the rest of the population.

“Don’t nobody here want her back. Mebbe we should send’er a message if the elected leaders o’ this city won’t. We kin let her know.”

“You’re rot, son. Ain’t no reason why that foul-mouthed, lesbian should feel welcome here.” Ma Collinson, who resembled a grumpy female gnome, sat forward in her swivel chair and with some difficulty, pulled herself closer to the desk. “Jeremy, git me that li’l typewriter from the closet. I’ll write her a note sayin’ as much.”

Goins nodded and moved quickly.

“And Jeremy, afore yew git ta work at park headquarters, mail this in Gatlinburg so as ta not have a Prospect postmark on it.”

Goins stepped to a spot where he could read over her shoulder and said, “Yes, ma’am, I’ll do it.”

After inserting a sheet of white bond paper under the roller, Elnora Collinson began to type:

Colleen Profitt we know you. We know what you are. All the money you made don’t make no difference about what you have became. You are a shame to your family and the city of Prospect. Do not come back here. We do not want you. God does not want you.

SIGNED

The Coalition For American Family Values

That was the first of six messages sent to country and western star C.J. Profitt.

The last letter, typed almost two weeks later, said:

CJ Profitt you have not called off your visit to our city. We repeat. You and your lesbian friends are violating God’s Law. You must not come here. If you do you will regret it. The people of this city will not suffer because of you. Your ways are the ways of Sin. Your life is a life of SIN. If you come here YOU WILL suffer and then burn in Hell. Do not show your painted face here again. If you do you better make your peace with GOD. You will face HIM soon enough. Sooner than you think.

The Coalition for American Family Values

<><><>

On Friday morning, February 2nd, Mack Collinson slammed the front door to the real estate agency, shrugged off his brown canvas Carhartt jacket, and tossed it on an old swivel chair. He spent a moment blowing his nose in a week-old handkerchief and stormed into his mother’s office.

“Well she’s here,” he said, putting his hands on his hips. “She never done took your warnin’s serious-like.”
Ma Collinson looked at her son over the tops of reading glasses she recently purchased at the Wal-Mart Vision Center.
“This mornin’ Luretta and the kids was watchin’ that Knoxville mornin’ show,” he said. “And there she was—film o’ her at the airport ‘long with some others goin’ ta perform at Dolly’s benefit thing. She never listened ta ya, Ma. Now she’s here.”

At five after nine, a coo coo clock in Elnora’s office struck eight.

Mrs. Collinson pulled off her glasses and tossed them onto the desk. She wrinkled her brow and puckered her mouth in disgust. Elnora did not look happy.

“She’ll be talkin’ ‘bout her ideas and her ways like she always does,” Mack said. “It’s un-natural is what it is. Against God’s way. Why does God let people like her live, Ma? Makes me jest so gat-dag mad. Makes me think we ought ta kill her. Kill her our own selves.”

Are the Sam Jenkins books imitating life or the other way around?

Guest Post by Wayne Zurl
Good cops are born actors. All you have to do is watch a pair of world-class interrogators go through
their routine and you’d become a believer. And all cops have stories to tell. In many cases, their reality is that which much fiction is based. I’m surprised more cops don’t write books when they retire.
What a reader likes is very subjective. But I’ve heard that some people like my stories. That may be true, because I sell a few books. Here’s where I confess—I have more of a memory than imagination. Most of my stories are based on actual incidents I investigated, cases I supervised, or things I just knew a lot about. Often, I composite incidents into a single storyline and embellish and fictionalize it to make the finished product more readable. Not all police work is a thrill a minute. Recently, I’ve combined things I’ve seen since retiring and incorporate them as components of a story that originated in New York, but as ever, gets transplanted to Tennessee.

PIGEON RIVER BLUES is one of these eclectic blends of numerous vignettes surrounding one story-
worthy plot.

The Collinsons and their henchman, Jeremy Goins, that trio of right-wing morons who threaten country singer, C.J. Proffit, are based or real characters I’ve met.

Since I began writing, I’ve been looking for the right place to introduce retired Detective John Gallagher, the goofy-acting but extremely competent former colleague of Sam Jenkins, who suffers from a severe case of malapropism. “John,” who is now a regular cast member at Prospect PD, is also based on a real person with whom I worked for many years.

Giving Sam and company an unwanted job of providing personal security for the famous singer allowed me to recall a few assignments I had in the Army and the reoccurring VIP security details we were bamboozled into taking on during my time in one command of the police department where I worked.

Originally, I had included an addendum or author’s disclaimer at the end of the novel—sort of a “don’t try this at home” statement about some of the things Sam pulled off during this adventure. But the publisher didn’t want it, and he was probably correct because they were all things that in reality, whether good police practice or not, are done for the sake of expedience.

You’ll read a statement at the beginning of all my books sounding something like this: ‘This book is a work of fiction. Any similarity to persons living or dead or to actual incidents is a coincidence and a
figment of the author’s imagination.’ Yeah? Nuts. I was there. I knew these people. But I take iterary license to change things as I see fit. I make incidents more exciting, people more beautiful or uglier, and to paraphrase Jack Webb’s weekly statement on the old TV show DRAGNET, I change the names to protect the guilty . . . and keep me out of civil court.

Cheryl,
Thanks for inviting me to your blog to meet your fans and followers. To all those who take the time to read my guest posting, I wish you the best and hope you enjoy the rest of the autumn and have happy holidays and a healthy and prosperous new year.

Author Bio:

Wayne Zurl grew up on Long Island and retired after twenty years with the Suffolk County Police Department, one of the largest municipal law enforcement agencies in New York and the nation. For thirteen of those years he served as a section commander supervising investigators. He is a graduate of SUNY, Empire State College and served on active duty in the US Army during the Vietnam War and later in the reserves. Zurl left New York to live in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains of Tennessee with his wife, Barbara.

Twenty (20) of his Sam Jenkins mysteries have been produced as audio books and simultaneously published as eBooks. Ten (10) of these novelettes are now available in print under the titles of A MURDER IN KNOXVILLE and Other Smoky Mountain Mysteries and REENACTING A MURDER and Other Smoky Mountain Mysteries. Zurl’s first full-length novel, A NEW PROSPECT, was named best mystery at the 2011 Indie Book Awards, chosen as 1st Runner-Up from all Commercial Fiction at the 2012 Eric Hoffer Book Awards, and was a finalist for a Montaigne Medal and First Horizon Book Award. His other novels are: A LEPRECHAUN’S LAMENT and HEROES & LOVERS. A fourth novel, PIGEON RIVER BLUES, was published in 2014.

For more information on Wayne’s Sam Jenkins mystery series see www.waynezurlbooks.net. You can read excerpts, reviews and endorsements, interviews, coming events, and see photos of the area where the stories take place.

Catch Up With the Author:

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Oct 072014
 

Blond Cargo

by John Lansing

Visiting with the Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tour Company

Oct 8 – November 30, 2014

Blond Cargo by John Lansing | Coming Soon

Book Details:

Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Series: Jack Bertolino, 2nd
Published by: Karen Hunter
Publication Date: 10/20/2014
Number of Pages: 320
ISBN: 9781476795515

Purchase Links:
* Blond Cargo does include some graphic violence.

Synopsis:

“A pulse-pounding thriller with a charming protagonist” (Kirkus Reviews), this gripping ebook continues the story that began in The Devil’s Necktie.

Jack Bertolino’s son, Chris, was the victim of a brutal murder attempt and Vincent Cardona, a mafia boss, provided information that helped Jack take down the perpetrator of the crime. Jack accepted the favor knowing there’d be blowback. In Blond Cargo the mobster’s daughter has gone missing and Cardona turned in his chit. Jack discovers that the young, blond, mafia princess has been kidnapped and imprisoned while rich, politically connected men negotiate her value as a sex slave.

A sizzling whodunit for fans of James Patterson and Patricia Cornwell, Blond Cargo taps into the real-life crime world to deliver a thrilling, action-packed story that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the explosive, unprecedented finale.

Read an excerpt:

4

Jack carried a Subway turkey sandwich, a tall unsweetened iced coffee, a bottle of water, and a smile as he keyed the security gate that led to the dock in Marina del Rey where his boat was moored. The marina was always quiet during the week. Just the way he liked it.

He stopped to admire his twenty-eight feet of heaven before stepping onto his boat’s transom and then . . .

“Yo, Mr. B.”

Jack never forgot a voice, which explained his reluctance to turn around.

“Yo, yo, Mr. B.”

Miserably persistent, Jack thought. He turned to face Peter Maniacci, who was dressed head-to-toe in black. With his outstretched arms draped over the chain-link fence, Peter looked like an Italian scarecrow. The black circles under his eyes belied his youth. The sharp points of his sideburns, his boots, and the .38 hanging lazily from a shoulder holster added menace to his goofy grin.

So close, Jack thought. His only worry that day had been whether to eat his sandwich dockside or out on the Pacific with a view of the Santa Monica Pier.

“How you doing, Peter?”

“How you doin’?”

Jack let out a labored sigh. “We could do this all day. What’s up?”

“That’s funny, Mr. B. How’s the boy? How’s his pitching arm?”

Jack’s face tightened. He wasn’t happy that Peter knew

any of his son’s particulars. When he didn’t answer, Peter continued.

“Hey, nice boat. I used to fish for fluke off the north shore. Long Island. I think I must be in the wrong business.”

“Count on it,” Jack said. “What can I do for you?”

“My boss was wondering if you could spare a few minutes of your time.”

As if on cue, a black Town Car materialized behind Peter and came to a smooth, silent stop. The car rose visibly when Peter’s boss, a thick, broad-shouldered man, stepped out of the rear seat.

Vincent Cardona. Expensive suit, the body of a defensive linebacker—fleshy but muscled. Dark, penetrating eyes. Cardona looked in both directions before leveling his feral gaze on Jack. An attempt at a smile fell short of the mark. A thick manila envelope was tucked under one beefy arm.

Jack had been aware there would be some form of payback due for information Cardona had provided on Arturo Delgado, the man responsible for the attempted murder of his son. He just didn’t think it would come due this quickly. He opened the locked gate and let the big man follow him down the dock toward his used Cutwater cabin cruiser.

As Peter stood sentry in front of the Lincoln Town Car, Jack allowed the devil entry to his little piece of paradise.

“How’s your boy? How’s the pitching arm?” Vincent asked bluntly. Just a reminder of why he was there.

“On the mend.” Jack gestured to one of two canvas deck chairs in the open cockpit of the boat. Both men sat in silence as Jack waited for Cardona to explain the reason for his visit.

Jack wasn’t comfortable with Cardona’s talking about Chris, but the big man had taken it upon himself to station Peter outside Saint John’s Health Center while his son was drifting between life and death. Cardona’s enforcer had scared off Delgado, and that might have saved his son’s life. The unsolicited good deed was greatly appreciated by Jack. The debt weighed heavily.

“It rips your heart out when your children have problems and you can’t do nothing to help,” Cardona said with the raspy wheeze of a man who had abused cigars, drugs, booze, and fatty sausage for most of his life.

“What can I do for you?” Jack asked, not wanting to prolong the impromptu meeting.

Cardona, unfazed by Jack’s brusqueness, answered by pulling out a picture and handing it to Jack.

“Angelica Marie Cardona. She’s my girl. My only. My angel. Her mother died giving birth. I didn’t have the heart to re-up. I raised her by myself.”

Mobster with a heart of gold. Right, Jack thought. But Cardona’s wife must have been a stunner because Angelica, blond, early twenties, with flawless skin and gray-green eyes, didn’t get her good looks from her father. Cardona’s gift was her self-assured attitude, which all but leaped off the photograph.

“Beautiful.”

Jack Bertolino, master of the understatement, he thought.

“And doesn’t she know it. Too much so for her own good. You make mistakes, my line of business. Whatever.”

“What can I do for you, Vincent?” Jack said, dialing back the attitude.

Cardona tracked a seagull soaring overhead with his heavy-lidded eyes and rubbed the stubble on his jaw.

Jack would have paid good money to change places with the gull.

“I shoulda never moved out here. L.A. I’m a black-socks- on-the-beach kinda guy. East Coast all the way. Never fit in. But I’m a good earner and the powers that be decided they were happy with the arrangement. Everyone was happy except Angelica and me.

“She turned thirteen, didn’t wanna have nothing to do with her old man. Turned iceberg cold. I tried everything— private schools, horses, ballet, therapy, live-in help; nothin’ worked. She closed up tighter than a drum. I finally threatened to send her to the nuns.”

“How did that work out?”

“I’m fuckin’ sitting here, aren’t I? On this fuckin’ dinghy . . . no offense meant,” he said, trying to cover, but the flash of anger told the real story. “I hear you’re an independent contractor now.”

It was Tommy Aronsohn, his old friend and ex–district attorney, who had set him up with his PI’s license and first client, Lawrence Weller and NCI Corp. But Jack Bertolino and Associates, Private Investigation, still didn’t come trippingly off his tongue.

And thinking of the disaster up north, he said, “We’ll see how that goes.”

“This is the point. I haven’t seen my daughter in close to a month. Haven’t heard word one since around the time your son was laid up in Saint John’s,” he said. Reminder number two. “It’s killing me,” he continued. “I’m getting a fuckin’ ulcer. Then this.”

Cardona pulled out the L.A. Times with the front-page spread reporting on the woman who had died when her boat crashed on the rocks at Paradise Cove. As it turned out, a second woman down in Orange County had washed up on the beach a few weeks earlier at the Terranea resort, scaring the joy out of newlyweds taking photos at sunset. Talk about twisted memories, Jack thought. As if marriage wasn’t tough enough. He’d already read both articles with his morning coffee and hadn’t bought into the pattern the reporter inferred.

“And the connection?”

“I got a bad feeling is all. She’s never disappeared like this before—not for this long anyway,” he said, amending his statement. “And then . . .” Cardona said, waving the newspaper like it was on fire. “It says here they were both blonds. Both about Angelica’s age. They could be fuckin’ cousins. Could be nothing.”

“Did you file a missing-persons report?”

Cardona gave him a hard side eye. “Jack, don’t fuck with me. We take care of our own.”

Jack thought before he spoke. “I’m not one of yours.”

“Semantics.”

“What about your crew?”

Cardona flopped open his meaty hands. “I get angina, I don’t call my cousin Frankie, who has a certain skill set but stinks when it comes to open-heart surgery. Look, I get it. You were on the other team. But this is straight-up business. One man to another. One father to another. I need you to find my girl. You got my number. Use it, Jack. Money’s no object. Find my baby.”

Strike three.

Jack didn’t answer. He stared out at the navy-blue water of the marina, past row upon row of beautiful yachts, symbols of dreams fulfilled, and knew they were empty notions compared to family.

Cardona hadn’t actually spoken the words you owe me, but they filled the subtext of everything he’d said. He was not subtle. The big man had reached out when Jack was in need, and Jack had accepted the offer. Now Vincent Cardona wanted his pound of flesh.

“This is everything I know. Last address, phone numbers, phone bills, e-mail accounts, bank, credit cards, friends and whatnot. The whole shot,” Cardona said, holding the manila envelope out in Jack’s direction.

“I have other commitments,” Jack stated.

“You look real fuckin’ busy, Jack, if you don’t mind my sayin’.” His eyes crinkled into a sarcastic grin. Vincent Cardona does charm.

Jack accepted the overstuffed envelope with a sigh.

“If she don’t want to come back, fine. No funny business, no strong-arm bullshit from my end. You got my word. I just need to know that my blood is alive. I’m fuckin’ worried and I don’t do worry too good. Sleep on it, Jack. But do the right thing.”

Cardona’s eyes locked on to Jack’s. Jack remained silent. He’d take a look. No promises, not yet.

Vincent’s knees cracked and the canvas chair squeaked like it was in pain as he stood up. He covered a belch behind his fist and rubbed his gut as he moved stiffly past Jack. The boat rocked when Cardona stepped off and walked heavily away, his Italian leather shoes echoing on the wooden dock.

The weight of the world. Jack could relate.

Peter Maniacci opened the gate for his boss and then the door to the Lincoln Town Car, which plunged to curb level as the big man slid in. Peter ran around to the other side of the car and tossed Jack a wave like the queen mum. He jumped into the Lincoln, which lurched forward before Peter could slam the door shut.

Jack walked into the boat’s deckhouse, grabbed a bottle of water, and downed two more Excedrin. He stretched his back, which was going into a spasm from yesterday’s violence, and chased the pills with a Vicodin to stay one step ahead of the pain that he knew was headed his way.

Jack had already decided to take the case.

Author Bio:

John Lansing started his career as an actor in New York City. He spent a year at the Royale Theatre playing the lead in the Broadway production of “Grease.” He then landed a co-starring role in George Lucas’ “More American Graffiti,” and guest-starred on numerous television shows. During his fifteen-year writing career, Lansing wrote and produced “Walker Texas Ranger,” co-wrote two CBS Movies of the Week, and he also co-executive produced the ABC series “Scoundrels.” John’s first book was “Good Cop, Bad Money,” a true crime tome with former NYPD Inspector Glen Morisano. “The Devil’s Necktie” was his first novel. “Blond Cargo” is the next book in the Jack Bertolino series. A native of Long Island, John now resides in Los Angeles.

Catch Up With the Author:

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Open from 10/7/2014 – 12/1/2014
 
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Sep 292014
 

 Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday was created by Marcia of A girl and her books and is  now hosted on its own blog.         

According to Marcia, “Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.
Click on title for synopsis via GoodReads
       
Saturday:
Blond Cargo by John Lansing from Simon & Schuster
Down Solo by Earl Javorsky from The Story Plant-Spread The Word Initiative
the fragile world by Paula Treick DeBoard from Harlequin
Sep 172014
 


WELCOME Sydney Avey

Sydney Avey

Sydney Avey is an author of historical and women’s fiction set in California. The Lyre and the Lambs is the sequel to her first novel, The Sheep Walker’s Daughter, which won an honorable mention from the Center for Basque Studies (University of Nevada, Reno) in their Basque Literary Contest. Both novels were published by HopeSprings Books, a small publishing house that promotes realistic Christian fiction.

Sydney and a lifetime of experience writing news for non profits and corporations. Her work is has appeared in Epiphany, Foliate Oak, Forge, American Athenaeum, and Unstrung (published by Blue Guitar Magazine). She has a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of California, Berkeley and has studied writing at the Iowa Summer Writing Festival. She lives with her husband Joel the Sierra Nevada foothills of Yosemite, California, and the Sonoran Desert in Arizona.

Visit Sydney and sign up to receive her monthly News for Readers and Writers.

WEBSITE TWITTER

Q&A with Sydney Avey

Writing and Reading:
Do you draw from personal experiences and/or current events?

Both. I write about the communications gaps between the generations. Members of different generations have different frames of reference. They struggle to understand and be understood in a family setting. I have experienced this in my own family. Current events help form frame of reference, so I research the “current” events in the time period I’m writing. For example, The Lyre and the Lambs is set in the Sixties, when President Kennedy’s assassination had a huge effect. I drew from my own experience of that event to show how society changed, partly as a result of having our sense of personal security threatened.

Do you start with the conclusion and plot in reverse or start from the beginning and see where the story line brings you?

I always know how my story ends, but I never know how my characters arrive at their destination until we get there together. I begin by identifying critical plot points and outlining chapters and scenes. I tweak the outline as I go, expanding some sections, adding or deleting others. My Scrivener software makes it easy to see the story flow. The process is like starting with a rough sketch, then thickening some lines and shading for depth. Gradually, an image emerges.

Your routine when writing? Any idiosyncrasies?

I write in the morning, at my desk in the mountains or the desert. I set fingers to keyboard, rejoin my characters by reviewing the last scene, and then move with them into the next scene. Sometimes I come out of the story to research details that makes the setting jump to life. For example, what kind of equipment did the news crew that showed up on Lundy Lane use when they tried to ambush the Dolds? On site reporting was very new in the Sixties. How did the cameras and microphones work? I go down lots of rabbit holes like that! Readers don’t want an explanation of cabling technology, but knowing how it all fit together helped me write a funny scene where aggressive “reporter girl” gets tangled in a microphone cable plugged into a heavy camera shouldered by the camera man.

Is writing your full time job? If not, may I ask what you do by day?

Writing is my full time occupation. I can’t really call it a job until I start making some money! I balance my writing life with nurturing family and friend relationships and participating in church and community life, but writing is the activity that takes priority.

Who are some of your favorite authors?

The writers who make my heart beat faster are those who use beautiful language and show a grasp of deeper truths, or those who give me a sense of place or the sweep of history. I love the classics. I like historical fiction, like Edward Rutherford’s books. I admire literary fiction, like John Updike’s stories. I enjoy women’s fiction writers who have a sense of humor and are kind to flawed characters, authors like Elizabeth Strout, Elizabeth Berg, and Anne Tyler.

What are you reading now?

I just finished Slugger, debut fiction by my former HP colleague David Price. His signature humor, depictions of heart wrenching struggles with addiction, and cutaways to drama on the baseball field were brilliant. Next up on my iPad Kindle App is Lady of Devices, A steampunk adventure novel, by Shelley Adina Bates. I’m looking to her for influence for a short story collection I am preparing, Pastor Jerry and Jesus at the Beanpunk Café.

Are you working on your next novel? Can you tell us a little about it?

My third novel is about a young man with unrecognized genius who flees rural poverty for the West coast. Shadowed by the mother who abandoned him and a mentor who pursues him for decades, he will receive help from a young woman who, despite their brief attachment, will play a big role in his future on the national stage. On Edge (working title) explores the unlikely connections that make us who we are.

Fun questions:
Your novel will be a movie. Who would you cast?

A Hallmark TV movie or an Indie film, I hope. I’d love to see new faces should my novel ever reach the screen.

Manuscript/Notes: handwritten or keyboard?

My handwriting is illegible, but I touch type like the wind.

Favorite leisure activity/hobby?

I gave up hobbies when I took up novel writing. I like leisure activities that counteract all the sitting I do, yoga and exercise classes, walking on the beach or hiking in Yosemite. Also, activities that refresh my soul, movies and plays, singing, laughing with my husband, seeing God show up in daily life.

Favorite meal?

Organic, local fare, but mostly whatever I don’t have to prepare or clean up. The savory buckwheat crepes accompanied by hard cider, served in a petite Montmartre creperie using recipes that originate in Bretagne come to mind. Ooh la la!

About The Lyre and the Lambs

It’s the Sixties. Modernity and tradition clash as two newlywed couples set up house together. Dee and her daughter Valerie move with their husbands into a modern glass house Valerie built in a proudly rural Los Altos, California neighborhood. When their young relatives start showing up and moving in, the neighbors get suspicious. Then a body is found in the backyard and the life they are trying to build comes undone.

Father Mike is back to guide Dee through a difficult time with humor and grace, even as his own life is unraveling. Now he’s going to have to take some of his own advice about love.

The Lyre and the Lambs explores the passions that draw people together and the faith it takes to overcome trauma.

BOOK DETAILS:

Number of Pages:
Genre: Romantic Christian Fiction Suspense
Publisher: HopeSprings Books
Publication Date: September 3rd 2014
ISBN-13: 9781938708312

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WINNER WILL BE CHOSEN BY RAFFLECOPTER AND NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL AND WILL HAVE 48 HOURS TO RESPOND OR ANOTHER NAME WILL BE CHOSEN

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YOUR JAVA SCRIPT MAY NEED TO BE UPDATED IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING DIFFICULTY USING THE RAFFLECOPTER ENTRY FORM

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.

 

Sep 162014
 


WELCOME ALI B.

Ali B.

Born and raised in farm country, Ali B now lives in San Diego with her husband, two kids, and a small herd of wily dachshunds. Books give her peace. Writing gives her life. Teaching gives her joy.
The Sixteen is her second novel and the second book in the Soul Jumpers series.

Connect with Author:

http://alibbooks.com/ TWITTER

What bothers Ali B when she’s writing?

Hmmm…. What bothers me most when writing? The first Soul Jumpers book, Iris Brave, was written in a coffee shop in San Diego. Iris’s adventure was plotted while nursing decaf lattes and refueling on bagels and cream cheese. For those of you troubled that I was there solely for the free Wi-Fi, I promise I wasn’t. I was there so I wouldn’t be bothered by my laundry.

Accumulating laundry is the bane of my existence. Okay, that might be an exaggeration, but I am really distracted by it. I tend to be a bit hard on myself, so even though I know writing is hard work, I still think I’d be a better human being if I could write a novel while simultaneously conquering household chores.

I solved the laundry problem by finding a spacious coffeehouse that serves a lovely latte and didn’t have metered parking. This charming place was miles away from my laundry room. I loved it! For about a week it was my literary oasis, but then someone sat in my spot.

I know what you’re thinking – that guy’s got a lot of nerve. That’s what I thought too. I was forced to sit at a lesser table across the room with people sitting behind me. I like my back against a wall – in case of an invasion, of course. It was unbearable. I clearly wasn’t going to get any work done. The first day he was in my spot I tried out my Vulcan mind meld powers on him. I’m sure they would have worked if I could have touched him (as is the Vulcan way) but that would have made me the creepy one.

He was there every day, in my spot, for about a week, but then he stopped. I was back where I belonged, blissfully sitting under the white rhinoceros sculpture that was oddly nailed to the wall at least two feet above anyone’s sightline. From that spot, without laundry and cheeky table stealers, I could write Iris Brave. For the most part.

Here’s a short(ish) list of other things that bother me when I’m writing.

1. Loud conversations.
2. Repetitive music.
3. Cell phone chatting.
4. Noisy eaters.
5. Noisy, slurping, coffee drinkers.
6. People who practice “spoken word” monologues at coffee houses.
7. People who meet their life coach at coffee houses.
8. People scraping their chairs at coffee houses.
9. People who stand outside the open door at coffee houses and smoke.
10. Needing to pee but not having anyone to guard your spot because everyone thinks your mean because you keep giving them dirty looks for the first nine things on this list.

ABOUT The Sixteen

There are people out there who don’t die with their bodies. Their souls live on in the bodies of others. Some good, some bad-they are soul jumpers.

Nothing in Iris Brave’s world makes sense anymore. Her father, Micah, is still alive-his soul survives in the body of a teenage boy.

It is up to Iris and a rogue group of soul jumpers called the Sixteen to save Micah. To do so Iris must take on the unscrupulous leaders of the Council. Can she save her father? Will she survive? Who can she trust when one mistake could cost her everything?

Scared and running out of hope, Iris doesn¹t know what her next move should be but she knows she must act to save the people she loves. A long way from home and surrounded by people who she knows are not what they seem, Iris jeopardizes her own freedom. Her brave rescue forces her on the run and changes her into someone she could’ve never imagined.

In the Soul Jumpers Series, Ali B. shares the message that we are more than the body we live in, everyone can be brave and while there is evil in the world, there is also infinite good.

BOOK DETAILS:

Number of Pages:
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction
Publisher: New Shelves Publishing Services
Publication Date: July 18th 2014
ISBN: 0988942216 (ISBN13: 9780988942219)

PURCHASE LINKS:

THANKS TO WOW! Women on Writing, I HAVE ONE (1) COPY TO GIVE AWAY.
OPEN TO U.S. and U.K. RESIDENTS
FILL OUT RAFFLECOPTER ENTRY FORM BELOW
GIVEAWAY ENDS 9/30 AT 6PM EST

WINNER WILL BE CHOSEN BY RAFFLECOPTER AND NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL AND WILL HAVE 48 HOURS TO RESPOND OR ANOTHER NAME WILL BE CHOSEN

a Rafflecopter giveaway

YOUR JAVA SCRIPT MAY NEED TO BE UPDATED IF YOU ARE EXPERIENCING DIFFICULTY USING THE RAFFLECOPTER ENTRY FORM

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.