Sunday, June 30, 2013

Introducing Forbidden Conversations and Interviewing the two authors Eric Dietrich and Tara Fox Hall

Welcome!! Thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. Let's get started by telling a brief Blurb about Forbidden Conversations.

Forbidden Conversations is social and political criticism.

Forbidden Conversations is the record of a series of conversations over eight days between three friends on topics which Americans are actively prevented from discussing, except perhaps in private, behind closed doors. An example is gun control.  The prevention of these discussions is destructive both to American society and to the future of our democracy.

The conversations are rendered as dialogues.  Dialogues are not plays. They are an ancient and venerable technique for exploring controversial or difficult subjects, and have been used to great effect by well-known philosophers and scientists, such as Plato and Galileo.

Though the topics of the conversations recorded are themselves quite controversial, the fact that they are now in readers' hands is due to something even more controversial: one of the participants of these conversations died in an effort to bring them to the reading public. Whether that death and its accompanying violence were worth it, we will leave to the reader to decide.

Does sound very interesting, that is for sure. Now just a few questions for you.
What lead you to write Forbidden Conversations?
 The discovery that crucial topics like gun control cannot be discussed openly, rationally, calmly, and in public in the U.S.  We came to this discovery slowly.  The suppression of debate in the U.S. was slow, taking many years, so its increase was not easily noticeable.

Tell us about the characters in Forbidden Conversations.  Are they based on real people?
 There are three main characters in Forbidden Conversations: Raquel, Shannon, Sophia.  In the first draft of FC, the three were modeled on Simplicio, Salviati, Sagredo – the three characters from Galileo’s famous book Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems which argued that the Earth goes around the sun, rather than the reverse.  Raquel was supposed to be Simplicio, Shannon, Salviati, and Sophie, Sagredo.  Simplicio defends the old and wrong Earth-centered view of the solar system; Salviati defends the (then) new and correct sun centered view, and Sagredo is a more or less neutral discussant who, in Galileo’s book, becomes swayed by Salviati’s arguments.    But, we realized that Galileo’s characters, who were engaged in a scientific debate, didn’t translate well into modern political and cultural discussions.  So, as we continued to work, Raquel morphed into an intelligent and robust Christian who’s beliefs about Jesus and Christianity are decidedly not mainstream.  Shannon is a thoughtful firebrand, an atheist, and a revolutionary.  And Sophia is a wise and moderating influence on them both.  There are two more characters who are based on real people.  The book starts off with a recounting of an event that happened in real life.  In Casper, Wyoming back in the early 1980s, there were two gentlemen discussing the then hot issue of breaking up the U.S.’s large oil companies.  They really did get in a fight with several “oil men,” who were intent on shutting the two up.  In the book, the two gentlemen are murdered by the oil men, but in real life, the two gentlemen escaped more or less unharmed.

What is your background before writing Forbidden Conversations?
Tara is a paranormal romance author who has published several novels.  She’s also a health and safety inspector at a local metal fabrication factory.  She has degrees in science and math.  Eric is a professor of philosophy who teaches philosophy, mathematics, and computer science.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading Forbidden Conversations?
 Immodestly, we hope to reinvigorate informed debate in the U.S. on the issues pressing in on us as a country.  More modestly, we hope to have a positive and informative impact on our readers.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Working together.  Specifically, working out the characters of Sophia, Shannon, and Raquel was difficult.  Also, Tara and Eric are very different kinds of writers.  Tara is a fiction writer, primarily, and Eric is a non-fiction, academic writer.  We did know that there was a difference, but we didn’t know at the time that the difference between these two kinds of writing is huge.  It took us a while to bridge the gap.  The task would’ve been much harder except for the fact that this was our second collaboration.  Our first was writing an essay together entitled “The Allure of the Serial Killer,” which came out in Serial Killers and Philosophy, edited by In Sara Waller and published by John Wiley. 

Now Eric please tell us something about you and how we can connect with you.
 Eric Dietrich is a professor of philosophy at Binghamton University. Before studying philosophy, he was a concert pianist and mountain climber. He has a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the University of Wyoming, and a doctorate in philosophy from the University of Arizona. Between those two degrees, he worked for a Nasa/Defense Department contractor in their artificial intelligence unit. His most-read paper is "There is no progress in philosophy." He is the co-author of Sisyphus’s Boulder: Consciousness and the Limits of the Knowable, a book on consciousness's resistance to scientific explanation.  With Tara Fox Hall, he wrote "The Allure of the Serial Killer," which came out in the book Serial Killers.  He is also the founder and editor of the Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence.

Wonderful, Now Tara let's hear about you and how we can contact you as well.
Tara Fox Hall is a safety and health inspector at a metal fabrication shop.  She received her bachelor's degree in mathematics and chemistry from Binghamton University.
Her writing credits include nonfiction, horror, suspense, erotica, and contemporary and historical paranormal romance. She is the author of the paranormal action-adventure Lash series and the vampire romantic suspense Promise Me series. She also coauthored (with Eric Dietrich) the essay “The Allure of the Serial Killer,” published in Serial Killers - Philosophy for Everyone: Being and Killing  (Wiley-Blackwell, 2010).  She divides her free time unequally between writing novels and short stories, chain-sawing firewood, caring for stray animals, sewing cat and dog beds for donation to animal shelters, and target practice.

Tara's Facebook Page:

Awesome! Now how about a little excerpt to leave our readers with?
Raquel:  At what age is suicide okay?  I don't know.  But you need to be an adult, maybe even an old adult.  And you need to be already dying -- the doctors have to have done as much as they can, and you have to have lived a life that you are proud of, then maybe suicide is okay.

Shannon:  But that is too strict if that is the only condition under which suicide is allowed.  Don't you think living wills should also be honored? If we are giving the right to die to terminally sick older people, we should also give it to those who are healthy, but are anticipating the worst.

Raquel:  No.  Again, only if you are already going to die, then, perhaps you can morally commit suicide.  Actually, I'm not really sure even in this case.

Shannon:  But does it make sense that you have the right to choose death if you’re incapacitated and can't implement your decision, but you don't have that right if you’re even remotely healthy – talk about a catch-22!

Raquel:  No, you're right about that.  I think that imminent painful death in old age is the only reason death can be a choice, but, yes, you have to be able to implement your decision.  Still, I have my doubts.

Shannon:  Then you’re saying death isn’t an allowable choice unless it is painful and immediately around the corner.  That makes it not a choice at all, just a more quickly reached destination.

Raquel:  That’s right. Taking it a step further, I'm worried about who gets to make the decision.  A teenager whose girlfriend or boyfriend has broken up with him might think she or he's facing imminent painful death and then commit suicide.  That is wrong.  Someone with professional expertise has be involved.  Perhaps suicides should only be allowed in hospitals.

Shannon: I thought you wanted smaller government involvement in our lives.  Now you’re arguing for government involvement in our most private and personal decisions.

Raquel: And I thought you wanted larger government involvement in our lives -- to protect us.  Now you are arguing for a hands-off approach to those about to make an irrevocable uninformed decision.

Shannon: Uninformed only according to you Christian people.  But, yeah, I see your point: Our views are not only mutually but internally contradictory.

At this moment, Sophia shows up, carrying a cup of coffee.

Sophia: Hi, you two.  What are you talking about?

Shannon:  My father has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's.  We are discussing whether suicide is a good option for him or not.  I say suicide is a good option; Raquel thinks it is an immoral option.

Sophia:  Really. Sounds like an important conversation. But are you two whispering?

Raquel: Whispering?  No, why would we whisper?

Sophia: Don’t you watch the news? Two guys in Wyoming were in a bar discussing breaking up the oil companies and were later found murdered.  The local police suspect that their murder might have something to do with their having that conversation.

Raquel: I don't think anyone is going to murder us for discussing suicide.

Sophia: Don't be too sure.  These are "interesting" times.  And a conversation involving the plusses of suicide might be forbidden.

Shannon: Sophia, please join us. I think we’re safe here.  We would certainly value your insight.

Sophia: I’m honored.  Shannon, I missed your side of the conversation about suicide. What do you think?

Shannon:  I think suicide is my right.  I find Raquel’s view that suicide is usually wrong and therefore not allowed an infringement on my rights.  Raquel, suicide's a freedom we should have just by virtue of being the conscious animals we are. We should all have the freedom to die, just like the other freedoms we enjoy.  In fact, in some sense, suicide is our first freedom.  This is because the individual is sacred.

Sophia:  You sound like the famous philosopher Ayn Rand, who said her philosophy was ". . . the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute."

Shannon:  That evokes a nice sentiment, but I don't agree with it.  I would put it this way: All humans should strive to be heroic, their flourishing is the central purpose of their lives, but no one who is sane and rational can be happy when others around him are suffering, so the flourishing of all of life, our own included, is our noblest activity, and there are no absolutes.

Sophia: Very nice, Shannon.

Raquel:  I see now why you are so pro-suicide.  There's nothing in that statement about respecting the dictates of God.

Shannon:  You don't respect the dictates of God, Raquel.  If I give you a gun will you go kill a homosexual for Him, just as He commanded in Leviticus 18:22, and 20:13?  I don't think so. Appeals to God and what God wants are so small-minded.  The Bible contains some very nasty stuff which I find both blatantly immoral and personally offensive.

Sophia: I think we had better stop for the day.  Tempers are beginning to rise.  Let's adjourn and agree to return to this "forbidden" conversation when we meet again.  Say tomorrow, at this location at this same time.

Raquel:  Agreed.

Shannon: Tomorrow, then.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

New Romantic-Suspense SPLIT DECISIONS by bestselling author Carmen DeSousa is now available!

Split Decisions is a follow-up novel to the romantic-suspense bestseller She Belongs to Me. While you do not have to read the first book to enjoy the second, we believe you should have the option, so click here to avoid spoilers.

If you’re still here, read on for a first peek at Split Decisions and a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.

Book Description:

Sometimes you want something so badly you are willing to abandon everything you’ve ever known—including yourself.

Eighteen years ago, Jaynee Monroe married the man of her dreams, became the mother of four, and fulfilled her career goals. About to turn forty, she senses something is missing from her idyllic life. While Googling her name in an attempt to find herself, she unearths something so impossible, she contemplates her own sanity. Seeking answers, she embarks on a journey to discover the truth, only to end up abducted by a deranged stranger who insists on calling her Caycee.

Caycee took the road less traveled. Rejecting a marriage proposal from the only decent man she ever knew, she ventures to California to become famous. Eighteen years later, success has left her alone and miserable. Attempting to locate her lost love on Facebook, she discovers his infatuation with her. Not only does his presumed-dead wife have Caycee’s uncommon middle name, it appears he has photo-shopped her face over hers.

Never could Caycee and Jaynee have imagined decisions they made years earlier would threaten not only their lives but also their loved ones. Caycee must now reunite with the southern gent she dismissed eighteen years ago and convince him to accompany her to New York to locate his wife, the most important person in both their lives.

Download Split Decisions here:

Now all you have to do to register to win the $10 Amazon Gift Card is share this page via Raffle Copter. Contest ends 7/1/13 at 12:00 a.m. EST and you can share daily if you want. Good luck!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Alex's Lemonade Stand~~Foundation for Childhood Cancer

The Event Details:

** During the month of June, $1 of every Kat Fight, Collision Course, and Dracian Legacy purchase will be donated to Alex's Lemonade Stand - Foundation for Childhood Cancer **

PLUS: Author Rebecca Donovan from the Breathing series will be matching
every dollar they donate!

Alex's Lemondae Stand

Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation (ALSF) emerged from the front yard lemonade stand of cancer patient Alexandra “Alex” Scott (1996-2004). In 2000, 4-year-old Alex announced that she wanted to hold a lemonade stand to raise money to help find a cure for all children with cancer. Since Alex held that first stand, the Foundation bearing her name has evolved into a national fundraising movement, complete with thousands of supporters across the country carrying on her legacy of hope.

Featuring three wonderful books and authors. 

The first of them is Kat Fight By Dina Silver
Kat Fight: The seriously funny, fabulously flawed Kat Porter has arrived, and she may just steal your heart—not to mention your boyfriend. Readers everywhere will revel in this sharp-witted, well-meaning whirlwind in author Dina Silver’s hilarious new novel, Kat Fight. In her quest for love, Kat makes every wrong turn, juggling two men, one best friend, and her own deeply confused heart’s desires.

Kat Porter is a consummate romantic, eager for her chance to find love and commitment. But after her boyfriend of four years, Marc, begins to grow apathetic and sends her calls straight to voicemail one too many times, Kat finally musters the courage to confront her so-called sweetheart, who seems more interested in dodging her than courting her. Though she’s no fan of ultimatums, Kat is at the end of her considerable wits, and lobs a massive one his way, completely confident that he'll make the right decision when faced with losing her. He doesn't.

With radio silence from Marc, Kat’s lifelong dream of finding a husband and forging a family is decidedly on the skids. That’s when her childhood friend Julie steps in, forcing Kat on a blind date to help her move beyond the break-up. Not only does Kat botch the setup, she instead finds herself in hot pursuit of Julie’s love interest, Ryan Sullivan. A man who, in addition to literally taking her breath away, is the living, breathing personification of everything Kat wants in a husband.

Can Kat connect with the man of her dreams without hurting two of the people she cares most about? At the same time, she must also contend with the quips of her beloved catty coworker Adam, her bi-polar boss Brooke, and a string of comic, unpredictable plot twists. All the while, Kat’s cheeky perspective and generous heart will leave readers adoring every moment of her journey while chuckling and cheering for the ever cute, razor-sharp Kat as she fights to land the love of a lifetime.

About Dina Silver: A graduate of Purdue University, Dina Silver has spent the past fifteen years feeding her red wine habit by working as a copywriter in the advertising industry. After seeing the bulk of her professional prose on brochures and direct mail pieces, she is delighted to have made the transition to novelist. She currently lives with her husband and son in suburban Chicago. Additionally, she loves talking about herself in the third person.

Then we look at Collision Course By S.C. Stephens
Collision Course: Lucas had it all – popularity, a devoted girlfriend, a brotherly best friend, and a loving mother who would do anything for him. His life was right on course to be a successful and fulfilling one, until the crash changed everything. It happened late one night during a sudden downpour. That evening, three young lives were lost and one life was left irrevocably altered. As the lone survivor, Lucas finds himself surrounded by swirling gossip of reckless drunkenness from the small town he used to warmly call home. Amid his own guilt and self-hatred, Lucas struggles to find hope, find peace, and maybe, even find love again.

About S.C. Stephens:

S.C. Stephens is an independent author who enjoys spending every free moment she has creating stories that are packed with emotion and heavy on romance.

Her first attempt at a full-length novel was Thoughtless. She wrote the angst-filled love triangle in early 2009 and published it that summer on FictionPress. Amazed and surprised by the response, more stories were quick to follow.

Conversion, the first novel in a three story vampire series, was released in the fall. Collision Course, a tragic, yet hopeful tale of love and loss was released in early 2010. The second Conversion novel came out next, along with It’s All Relative, a different take on a one night stand story.

In addition to writing, Stephens enjoys reading other people’s fabulous novels, loading up her iPod with writer’s block reducing music, heading out to the movie theaters, and spending quality time with her children.

Next we have Dracian Legacy By Priya Kanaparti
Dracian Legacy: Ren and Axel are caught between two powerful magical races: one destined to end the bloodshed, the other out for vengeance.

Seventeen-year-old Ren Pernell is prophesied to end the war between the Dracians and the Telalians. So when a Dracian, Axel Knight, is sent to find and bring back the prophesied one before she turns eighteen and Telalians discover of her existence, unexpected sparks start to fly between the two. Once Ren finds the truth behind Axel’s arrival, she wants everything to do with him and nothing to do with his mission.

Things prove to become difficult as Ren’s life is constantly threatened by the Goarders, humans who sold their souls, a Proxy Succubi, and the leader of the Telalians, who has been searching for her as well.

With the clock ticking and Ren’s life in jeopardy, it is no longer just a mission for Axel. It becomes a personal endeavor to save the only one he’s ever loved. In a heart racing ending, they must find a way to evade the preordained war that won’t also end Ren’s life.

 About Priya Kanaparti:

Indie YA/NA Author. DRACIAN LEGACY, a YA Paranormal Romance releases in 2013. Priya strongly believes that true love concurs all and that's what she writes about

She live in beautiful city of Boise, ID. She’s a full time working mom and part time YA Novel Author.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Author Melynda Price is Stopping by today.

Welcome Melynda  Price!
We are so happy to have you back with us once more.

Today we want to learn more about you-the author.
Let's get started shall we.

What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
I love creating and world building. Being an author of paranormal romance, I get to create characters that are larger than life and stretch beyond the borders of our world as we know it. My only challenge is to make the unbelievable believable. I love it when someone asks me, “Is that really a place, or did that really happen?” Then I know I’ve done my job well.

What genre(s) do you write?
Paranormal Romance

What genres and authors would we find you reading?
I only read Paranormal Romance and I prefer series. It’s so sad when a good book ends, I like series because it keeps the characters alive. The bigger the book the better, I don’t like investing my time into a shooting star story. I want development, strong plotting and believable world building—that takes time.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
Writing the ending. It’s hard for me to say goodbye to the characters I’ve fallen in love with. I also find it the most challenging to wrap up a story that brings good closure and a conclusion that doesn’t leave that reader feeling cheated or rushed.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m a pantser by nature. Most of the time I don’t know what’s going to happen in the story until I’m writing it. But, I have been doing some plotting when it comes to the endings. I just don’t have the patience to plot out an entire storyline before I start writing it. I like being surprised by my characters, lol. J

Why do you think people should choose your books over another author?
I wouldn’t necessarily say that a reader should choose me over other people. I don’t believe in putting others down to build yourself up. All I can say is that I believe I have a very original storyline and a good “voice” in my writing, that I hope people enjoy.

Well I can tell all our readers out there that this book is amazing!! I also loved Shades of Darkness. We are looking forward to book 3 of course. So we will gladly have you back when that is released.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

New Release for 5 Prince Publishing, Re-release of Matchmakers By Best Selling Author Bernadette Marie

Available from 5 Prince Publishing
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Release Date: June 13, 2013
Digital ISBN 13:978-1-939217-56-1  ISBN 10:1-939217-56-3
Print ISBN 13:978-1-939217-55-4  ISBN 10:1-939217-55-5

Cellist Sophia Burkhalter thought ten years in Europe performing with an exclusive ensemble would have made it clear that she wasn’t a candidate for her grandmother’s matchmaking. After all, she’d walked away from the man she loved, leaving him back home in Kansas City.
David Kendal had fallen in love with Sophia, a match orchestrated by her grandmother and his aunt. However, the unexpected appearance of the daughter he never knew he had—and Sophia’s sudden, subsequent departure for Europe—thrust him into the role of single father.
Carissa Kendal has only ever wanted the best for her father. It doesn’t take long for her to realize that the very woman who broke her father’s heart might be the one to make them a real family.
Can Carissa and the women who originally played matchmaker to the duo convince them that love is worth a second try? Or will careers and past mistakes tear them apart forever before they have a chance to reconcile?

About Bernadette Marie:
Bernadette Marie has been an avid writer since the early age of 13, when she’d fill notebook after notebook with stories that she’d share with her friends.  Her journey into novel writing started the summer before eighth grade when her father gave her an old typewriter.  At all times of the day and night you would find her on the back porch penning her first work, which she would continue to write for the next 22 years. 
In 2007 – after marriage, filling her chronic entrepreneurial needs, and having five children – Bernadette began to write seriously with the goal of being published.  That year she wrote 12 books.  In 2009 she was contracted for her first trilogy and the published author was born.  In 2011 she (being the entrepreneur that she is) opened her own publishing house, 5 Prince Publishing, and has released contemporary titles and began the process of taking on other authors in other genres. 
In 2012 Bernadette Marie found herself on the bestsellers lists of iTunes and Amazon to name a few.  Her office wall is lined with colorful PostIt notes with the titles of books she will be releasing in the very near future, with hope that they too will grace the bestsellers lists.
Bernadette spends most of her free time driving her kids to their many events—usually hockey.  She is also an accomplished martial artist with a second degree black belt in Tang Soo Do.  An avid reader, she enjoys contemporary romances with humor and happily ever afters.

Author Contact Info:
@writesromance on Twitter

EXCERPT of Matchmakers:
Sophia filed off the airplane along with the other groggy passengers. The red-eye flight to Kansas City had knotted up her stomach. What in the hell was she doing back here?
Perfect persuasion and just the right amount of guilt had gotten her on that plane. Perhaps the tightening of her stomach wasn’t the flying—it could very well be that she’d returned to the very place she’d run from ten years ago.
She’d run from a man and shattered the hearts of people she loved. The guilt stung a little deeper. She should have come home years earlier.
Sophia followed a small group of women from the plane into the ladies’ room. Exhaustion weighed down her shoulders. Within the hour, she’d be at her grandmother’s house, tucked into her childhood bed, and asleep. In the meantime, she splashed cool water on her face to keep herself alert.
She dried her face and hands and adjusted the scarf at her neck to ensure it hid the secret she kept from the world. She picked up the carry-on luggage at her feet and headed toward baggage claim.
The husky voice was soft and male and made her knees weak when she heard it. She knew that voice as well as she knew her own. The knot in her stomach returned, but this time it was like a fist in her gut.
She turned to see him standing there in his pilot’s uniform with his suitcase at his side—David Kendal, the very man she’d run from so many years ago.
He took his pilot’s hat off and revealed the dark, wavy hair that she’d once run her fingers through. It was now speckled with hints of sophisticated silver. His uniform was striking on him—just as it had always been. Even in the early morning hour, she felt her skin tingle when she looked at his broad shoulders and knew what it was like to rest her head against his chest.
“David.” His name floated from her lips in a sigh. Ten years had passed since she’d last laid eyes on him, and now he was as large as life standing before her.
“I thought that was you on the plane.” He was walking closer to her, and her trembling knees wouldn’t allow her to run the other direction.
The scent of his cologne washed over her. His dark eyes were smoky and wide as she watched him take in the sight of her.
“You look wonderful.” He stepped closer, and Sophia gripped her bag tighter and tried to swallow the ball of fear that had lodged in her throat. He gripped his hat tighter. “I’ve been following your career.”
“Really?” The muscles in her shoulders tensed. “Why?”
“Why?” He chuckled and took one more step closer, and her throat constricted. “Sophia, you’re…” He shrugged as though brushing off a thought. “You’re very talented.”
Sophia shook her head, trying desperately to remove all thoughts of him from before—of what she’d lost. She sighed. “David, it was nice to see you. I really need to get my luggage.”
She turned from him, head up, shoulders back, and strode toward the elevator, stepping in as the door closed. She leaned her head against the back wall and closed her eyes.
How was it possible that after ten years he could stir such feelings in her? Sophia took inventory of what she was feeling. There was a surge of attraction between them. Then the anger she’d felt for years accompanied the thought of him. She’d walked out on him. His betrayal was much stronger than the attraction. It had given her purpose to make something of herself. Her success as a concert cellist sprang as much from her desire to succeed as it did from a need to escape her feelings for David.
Sophia opened her eyes when she heard the elevator doors open. The small group of others who had been aboard the plane with her stood watching the empty luggage carousel go around. Sophia waited for her cello case to arrive in the oversized luggage. It killed her to have to check the instrument, but there were no other choices. It was times like this she wondered why she didn’t play the violin. She could carry that onto the plane.
Relief flooded her as a man brought her the case. She quickly opened it and examined the instrument to assure herself it had arrived in one piece.
Her trip was to last two weeks. She’d wanted to pack only one bag, but against her better judgment, she’d packed two. When the two suitcases dropped to the carousel, she pulled them off and stacked them. One hung from the other, and she slung her carry-on over her shoulder. With a grunt, she hoisted her cello to her side. She started toward the curb to collect a cab.
Footsteps clattered on the tile floor behind her.
She wouldn’t let herself turn to see him hurrying to her.
“Let me help you.”
“I travel like this all the time. I do not need your assistance.” Her voice was cold.
“I wouldn’t be a gentleman if I didn’t offer to help a lady in need.”
“A gentleman?” He’d already taken her suitcases from her and wheeled them out to the sidewalk. “Mr. Kendal, I assure you I do not need you.”
“No, you made that perfectly clear when you disappeared and left your engagement ring in the sink.” He kept walking, forcing her to follow.
“Where are you going?” She tried to keep up with him, but his long stride kept him a hefty distance ahead of her.
He pointed off into the parking garage. “My car is parked just over here.”
“Your car?” She trotted to catch up with him. “I’m taking a cab.”
“I don’t want you in a cab in the middle of the night,” he said, unwavering from his path.
She grunted and quickened her step again.
“I don’t care what you think—”
“I know.” He darted a stare in her direction.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Interview with Phyllis Humphrey

It is a great honor to work with Page Turner Book Tours and 5 Prince Publishing to bring you an interview with Phyllis Humphrey, author of The Italian Job, today. Phyllis Humphrey’s writing credits include thirteen romance novels, a mainstream novel, a memoir about her husband’s aunt and a non-fiction book. In addition, she’s sold several short stories

and many articles to national magazines, and her two 30-minute radio plays were produced by American Radio Theatre. She’s a member of Romance Writers of America, where she was a Golden Heart finalist. Another novel won the San Diego Book Award in 2002, and she’s a member of Mensa.

Links to all the purchase sites can be found at

What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

My favorite thing about being a writer is that I get a chance to indulge my greatest desire, and people often tell me how much they enjoy what I write.

What genre(s) do you write?

My genre is Romantic suspense, but not the “thriller” type. I add a suspenseful problem to solve in order for the H/H to reach their HEA.

What genres and authors would we find you?

Most of my published books are Romances.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The hardest part of writing this book was keeping the glorious Italian scenery from taking too much page space.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?

I’m definitely a Plotter. I need to know where I’m going.

Why do you think people should choose your books over another author?

I think my books reflect my careful attention to detail and the good writing techniques I learned from experts, as well as being able to tell an interesting story.

How to contact Phyllis:

Twiiter: @ PhumphreyAuthor

EXCERPT of The Italian Job:
I landed the assignment to go to Rome—not because I was the best writer on the staff of L.A. Life Magazine, nor because I could speak Italian (because I couldn’t). My incredibly important skill was availability. Time was short. Jason was on his honeymoon. Pamela was very pregnant. And no less than three staff members were out with the flu—or so they said. In May, go figure. Or perhaps it was because no one else was willing to fly 3,000 miles on two days notice. Shows what a stunningly bad social life can do for you.
Even so, my boss, Mr. Hardcastle, the first part of whose name should give you an idea of his personality, hesitated long enough before giving his assent to grow mold on my sweaty palms.
“You aren’t going to mess up again, are you?”
Like I planned to. Like climbing into the window of a strange person’s hotel room on my previous assignment for the magazine had been a well thought out decision. In truth, it was nothing but a fluke, the unavoidable result of making a serious miscalculation. Which, I fervently vowed, would never happen again.
“No, of course not.” I straightened up to my full five feet, six inches and shook my head. Which unfortunately set my ponytail swinging, not a good thing.
Hardcastle frowned. “So go already. My secretary will give you the tickets and itinerary. Take your laptop and be sure it works this time.”
I’d only made that mistake once so he had no call to remind me. And anyway, even without the laptop, I’d remembered almost the entire interview from that assignment and my article was highly praised in some circles.
“And, Sydney, don’t forget this is your last chance.”
He meant that threat, so I smiled and hurried from his office before he could change his mind about Rome.
The next day I found my never-used passport, had my hair trimmed, and packed my itinerary, tickets and laptop. I planned to record every minute of my first European experience into my journal and tucked it into my seriously overpriced handbag. I went to bed before nine in order to catch a very early flight out of Los Angeles the next morning.
However, as so often happens with me, I couldn’t fall asleep for hours. My brain wanted to replay the episode of the window, perhaps to reinforce in my conscious mind that the entire thing had not been my fault.
I’d been given the assignment to interview a minor local politician running for office in the next election, and I sat opposite him in an armless chair in his hotel room. I asked questions and he answered politely but softly, in what I later realized he considered a sexy voice. As I leaned forward to hear him, my skirt hiked up over my knees. I attempted to pull it down, dropped my notebook and bent to pick it up, and suddenly he was all over me like a case of hives.
I managed to get out of his clutches and protested in no uncertain terms, but he would have none of it. We did a little cha-cha around the sofa, and then, after slowing him down by pushing an end table in front of him, I grabbed my purse, dashed into the bedroom, and slammed the door.
Yes, that might sound like a foolish thing to have done, but I knew that old hotel. The windows were actually French doors and led to outside balconies. My aim was to get out there and call for help.
Much to my surprise, he didn't follow me. Maybe he had a phone call, or he fell over the end table, or someone came to the door, but my problem remained. It was dark—he had set the interview time for evening—and the balcony was two stories above the street, too far for jumping even if I were an Olympic athlete instead of someone whose only exercise is changing the sheets on her bed.
However, the next balcony being merely a foot away, I decided to swing over to it, enter the next room by way of those French doors, and return to the hotel hallway. The next room, which I could only see through a crack in the closed drapes, seemed dark and empty. I paused but reasoned that even if someone were staying there, chances were slim it would be another man bent on hanky-panky.
So I hiked up my skirt, swung my legs over the two balcony railings, and gently tried the handle of the door. It was jerked open from inside, and suddenly I was face to face with a fledgling actor who was in town to audition for a part in an upcoming film.
Of course, I didn't know his occupation at the time. That came in the next day’s newspapers. Even so, it could all have ended unobtrusively except that someone had apparently called a paparazzo, who flashed a bright light at me. I froze like a safe-cracker with his hand on the dial. Mr. Actor pulled me into his room, and I found myself among a dozen people watching a film clip on the room’s DVD player.
I was labeled a “groupie,” handed an eight-by-ten glossy signed by the actor, and laughingly sent on my way.
     Except that, while climbing over the balcony, my handbag slipped off my shoulder and the paparazzo found the magazine's business cards. That wasn't the end, of course, the photographer had taken pictures and released them to the newspapers. As a result of the sudden publicity, Mr. Actor got a role in an action-adventure film. Nevertheless, Mr. Hardcastle was not amused.
I wrote up the interview as if none of that had occurred because I preferred to think the politician, perhaps, had never behaved that way before. Also, I learned a long time ago that I have plenty of faults of my own, so I lean toward forgiving others for theirs.

Let's sit down and get to know Phyllis Humphry

Welcome Phyllis

Let's get started shall we.........

What is your favorite thing about being a writer?
My favorite thing about being a writer is that I get a chance to indulge my greatest desire, and people often tell me how much they enjoy what I write.

What genre(s) do you write?
My genre is Romantic suspense, but not the “thriller” type. I add a suspenseful problem to solve in order for the H/H to reach their HEA.

What genres and authors would we find you?
Most of my published books are Romances.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing this book was keeping the glorious Italian scenery from taking too much page space.

Are you a plotter or a pantser?
I’m definitely a Plotter. I need to know where I’m going.

Why do you think people should choose your books over another author?
I think my books reflect my careful attention to detail and the good writing techniques I learned from experts, as well as being able to tell an interesting story.

What do you hope readers take with them after reading one of your stories?
 I hope readers take away a feeling of satisfaction, that the story characters they followed reached their goals.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
I seldom have messages in my books, but this one shows a teenaged girl accepting advice that will improve her life.

How long have you been a writer? 
I’ve been writing for about 30 years. I started in grade school, sent stories to magazines when in high school and then graduated to novels.

How much time did it take from writing your first book to having it published?
My first book did not get published first, but did ten years later. My first published book went out nine times over four years before it sold.

What other careers have you had?
I’ve been a secretary, a public relations director, a Bridge teacher and art saleswoman. Plus I ran my husband’s side business for many years.

Do you write under more than one name? Why?
I wrote three books under my maiden name of Phyll Ashworth years ago, but now I use my married name.

Are any of your characters based on real people or events?
THE GREEN BOUGH is a memoir about when my husband’s aunt was a schoolteacher in a logging camp in Oregon in 1913. And COLD APRIL takes place on the Titanic where real people are mentioned and my characters are in jeopardy when the ship is sinking.

How would you describe yourself if you were “speed dating” your readers?
Speed dating? That’s a tough one.

What’s something fans would find fascinating about you?
My readers might be surprised to know I once ran an investment club, sold my non-fiction book about the stock market to John Wiley & Sons and sold many articles to investing magazines.

What else would you like readers to know about you or your work?
I’d love readers to want to read all my books because each one took much effort and was very special to me.

What books or authors have most influenced your life?
My favorite book is REBECCA by Daphne du Maurier and I still find it inspiring.

How do your family and/or friends feel about your book or writing venture in general?
Luckily my family is very supportive and a few brag about me. LOL

Where are you from?
I was born in Oak Park, Illinois (just like Ernest Hemingway) and moved to California to escape cold winters.

How do you come up with the titles?
Titles are fun and since they can’t be copyrighted I sometimes borrow them from movies. There are two films titled THE ITALIAN JOB and I recommend seeing both.

Has your life changed significantly since becoming a published writer?
Yes, writing changed my life. I used to drive all over selling artwork. Now I sit at my computer all day.

Do you work on one project at a time? Or do you multi-task?
I wrote a novel and my non-fiction book at the same time, but normally I work on one project because the characters live in my head and I can’t mix them up.

When not writing, how do you relax?
When not writing, I love to read or watch movies. I’ve also appeared as an actor and singer in shows put on by the local Performing Arts Club.

Please tell us 5 miscellaneous facts about yourself.
Five miscellaneous facts?  I’m a chocaholic. I love classic clothes and don’t buy “fads.”  I don’t like clutter. I sing in the car when we go on a long trip. I’m an extreme Introvert.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Launch Day for Author Susan Lohrer~~Rocky Road

Available from 5 Prince Publishing
Genre: Fiction, Romance, Contemporary
Release Date:June 6, 2013
Digital ISBN 13:978-1-939217-62-2  ISBN 10:1-939217-62-8
Print ISBN 13:978-1-939217-61-5  ISBN 10:1-939217-61-X

Rocky Road:
Physical therapist Nancy Anne Robertson has her sights set on her dream promotion. Problem #1: she’s engaged to one of her patients, and if her secret gets out, she’ll lose her job altogether. Problem #2: her ex-fiancé is back in town, shooting for the same promotion. Complicating matters are two mothers (and one fiancé) with alarming secrets, an autistic brother with a penchant for wandering off at the most inconvenient times, and four rings—the fake diamond kind, the stolen kind, the sticky wax kind that belongs under a toilet . . . and maybe, just maybe, the kind meant to make a girl say I do.

About Susan Lohrer:
Susan Lohrer grew up all over western Canada and lives in BC with her husband, their two children who are still at home, three dogs, and far too many aquariums. She believes life is always better with a healthy dose of humor.

How to contact Susan Lohrer:
Twitter: @susanlohrer

EXCERPT of Rocky Road:
Wouldn't someone who really wanted to get married be a little more careful than this? Not that Ancy doubted Mark’s intentions. He was he One. And she wouldn't nag him about it.
Honestly though, severing most of the nerves in his hand should've been enough for one week—but no! He had to go and whop himself on the head too. It wasn't like Mark to be this accident-prone, and he’d been
getting worse over the last few months. Working too hard so he’d be a good provider, no doubt. that’s just the kind of guy he was. She smiled, visualizing him in a black tux.
Focusing on her impending nuptials usually distracted her from thinking about whether she’d make department head. And lately, her im-pending groom had been more than enough distraction.
She checked the temperature of the paraffin tub. “This’ll feel a little hot, but it’ll help with flexibility.” He grimaced as she dipped his right hand into the warm wax. Then he gave her bum a squeeze with the left
one. “Quit it before someone sees us.”
Since he wasn't dragging his feet—that much seemed obvious—why couldn't he stay in one piece long enough to put some professional distance between them?
“Mark, you've dropped a wall on your head, nailed your foot to the floor, and dislocated your shoulder. Are you trying to get out of our wedding?”
Whoops. She bit her lip and glanced over her shoulder. Outpatient Physical Therapy was crowded in the afternoon. he last thing she needed was for someone to overhear her in a lover’s spat… with her patient. That would not only prevent her promotion to department head, it would end her career. Instantly. Working quickly, she covered the warm wax with a plastic bag, then slipped a padded mitten over the whole thing to lock in the heat.
If only there were a simple way to get around the patient-therapist dating taboo. But because her specialty was post-traumatic hand rehabilitation, she was the therapist most qualified to care for Mark’s injuries—so she and Mark were forced into secrecy until he regained the use of his hand. “Well, couldn't you try to be just a little more careful?” She kept her voice to a low hiss. “At this rate, I’ll be ninety by the time we even set the date.”
“Aw Ancy, a few more weeks and this thing will be as good as new.” He grinned and held up his thickly swaddled hand.
Yeah, right. She’d treated her share of injuries. his one was far from pretty, even though she hadn't seen it until after the surgery. His poor body.
“Please just be more careful. I want to wear my ring on my finger, not on my necklace where no one can see it.” She displayed her perfectly healthy left hand, its third finger perfectly naked. Did Mark have any idea how hard it was on her to keep this a secret? And not just from the department—from Jen, her best friend in the whole world.
Though she was the one best qualified to treat Mark, Jen—perky, sexy Jen—could have treated his injuries. But then Jen and Mark—not that she didn't trust him—but why create temptation by throwing her beefcake fiancé into the capable arms of her best friend? Besides, every difficult PT case brought her another step closer to becoming department head. She couldn't risk losing that kind of security, not when she almost had it in her grasp.
“Promise me you’ll be careful.”
“You worry too much.” He looked so hot when he gave her that wink that said she could count on him no matter what.
“Mark, I’m serious.” She added a stern, professional note to her voice as Doris Ridgewood, the department head—who was due for retirement any second—passed by. “You have to take some time of work to rest. If you don’t, you’ll never regain full use of your hand.”
Doris nodded approvingly and continued on her way.
Mark leaned close. “It’s kind of exciting, don’t you think, Ance?”
“What is?” She checked her watch. Almost time to unwrap the hand and work on scar mobility.
“Knowing you’ll be mine to have and to hold.” He waggled his dark brows meaningfully. “His hand is going to make a full recovery, and you know what I’m gonna do with it.”
She could feel the blood rushing from her extremities, and probably from a few vital organs, straight to her face.
Jen, between patients, was walking past. Had she overheard Mark’s titanically not-suitable-for-work innuendo? She slowed. Cocked her head. Pivoted on her heels. Ancy’s promotion slithered down to the pit of her belly as Jen marched up to her and pulled her aside, a thunderstorm brewing in her eyes. “Is this guy giving you a hard time?”
Fresh guilt welled up inside Ancy, and she was sure her cheeks were as red as if Jen had targeted her with a laser pointer. Jen didn't have a clue, and it made Ancy feel like a big, fat liar.
“I um, got something in my eye.” Jen shot her a strange look. But it was the only thing Ancy could think of on such short notice. She turned away and pretended to wipe at her face. When she looked again, Jen was
with another patient. Ancy had never kept a secret from her best friend before, and she was starting to hate the way it made her feel.
Maybe she should tell Jen and just get this whole thing of her shoulders. But then Jen would be obligated to tell Doris, and Ancy wouldn't blame her if she did. And she’d lose her job. Her watch’s second hand swept up to the 12.
Back to Mark. The mitten, the bag, and the wax came of, and she began to manipulate his hand through range-of-motion exercises, bending and stretching all his fingers, careful not to apply too much pressure
to the still-healing surgery scars. His hands were muscular. Strong hands, dependable hands. the hands of a man who would stand by her through whatever life threw at them. And he wouldn't leave her the way Steve had. he way her father had left her family.
“Nice technique, Ancy.” Doris’s voice behind her shoulder made her flinch. The woman didn't approach like a normal person, she appeared. Ancy had never once heard her coming. “Young man,” Doris said, skimming over the floor and coming to stand beside Ancy, “our Miss Robertson is highly qualified in her specialty. She’s one of the best.”
Wow. It wasn't every day Doris handed out a compliment like that. Could it reflect an intention to recommend Ancy for the promotion?
“Of course, Fidelity General Hospital is soon to be blessed with a second, equally qualified therapist. He’s one of our alumni. Your case might prove especially interesting to him.” She glided away, and Ancy pictured Doris as a young, heavy-browed girl balancing a book on her head.
Her mind was racing. “Mark, do you realize what this means? It’s the answer to our problems.” Because an equally qualified therapist who didn't have her seniority could take over Mark’s case without threatening her
promotion. Then the bit about the alumnus sank in.
“Ouch, let go!” Mark’s face contorted.
Ancy loosened her grip immediately and banished the unsettling thought from her mind. “I’m sorry.” She returned to her work on his hand and whispered, “You can switch to the new therapist, and we can come out in the open.”
She pulled the curtain halfway around the bench for a little more privacy before starting to work on Mark’s other injuries. These weren't as serious as the one to his hand, and while she concentrated on deltoidius, trapezius, and rhomboideus major and minor, she couldn't help but notice Mark’s build on a more superficial level, which was part of the reason she’d pulled the curtain. Half the staff would be drooling over him if they saw his bare chest.
As it was, all she could manage to say to him when she finished the examination was, “Looks good.”
The curtain behind her swished open, and the scent of Obsession for Men filled her mind with images from the past.
Steven Stone.
Steve and her, training together, working together.
Steve, the only guy who’d ever made an effort to understand her autistic brother and had never made fun of him.
Steve and her, in his fossil fuel–burning Mustang….
Steve… the second and last man who’d walked out of her life. A wall slammed down in her heart.
It couldn't be him. She made herself turn around. Her arm brushed The paraffin tub, and liquid wax sloshed over the sides. A distant splash marked its landing on the floor.
Her heart did that funny flipping thing that made her breath catch in her throat.

It was him.