Book Spotlight – Second Sight – Debbie Mumford – Paranormal Romance/Mystery

Title: Second Sight

Author: Debbie Mumford

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Main character description (short): When Zach Douglass’ best friend dies in his arms from a psychic trauma, he finds himself devastated and beyond his abilities. He must enlist help to solve the murder.

Jenny Murdoch repressed her potent psychic talent for years, believing the tiger that stalks her mind killed her parents. Unwilling to trust that tiger, she must face her own ability and accept her past.

Synopsis:

Zach Douglass, a psychic with minimal ability, must work with powerful but untrained Jenny Murdoch to gain control of her vast powers and discover who committed two brutal murders, one of whom was his lifelong friend. And maybe along the way Zach and Jenny can find each other.

Brief Excerpt 250 words:

Death has a unique stench, unpleasant and distinctive. The moment the elevator doors slid open, a whiff of the sickly-sweet, slightly rusty tang alerted Zach Douglass he’d arrived at the correct floor of the posh downtown Portland hotel. He strode down the thickly carpeted hall, followed closely by his partner. They rounded the corner into the hotel’s east wing and the heavier reek of feces assaulted his nostrils. He grimaced, erected a mental barrier against the offensive odor and paced off the final steps to the open door of the room.

The uniform stationed in the hall stood with legs braced and thumbs hooked under his gun belt. His stance bespoke authority, but the green cast to his skin and beads of perspiration on his upper lip screamed unease. He glanced warily at Zach, dilated pupils darkening his eyes. Zach tightened his mental shield, nodded to the man, flashed his security clearance and slipped under the bright yellow crime scene tape.

The spacious room hid its secrets behind a swarm of investigators performing their meticulous duties. A quiet buzz of voices whispered into individual recording devices, providing a white-noise barrier to the outside world. Zach elbowed his way in, clearing a path for his petite partner. Moving with hive-like choreography, the crowd shifted to reveal a man’s naked body in all its grim degradation.

Why should readers buy this book? It’s a riveting paranormal romance, laced with murder.

Second-Sight-Generic

 

Links etc.

Available for pre-order now:

Amazon:Amazon

Barnes & Noble: Barnes and Noble

Kobo: Kobo

Coming soon in print!

Debbie’s Website: http://debbiemumford.com/

Newsletter: https://landing.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/f5a0z0

 

 

 

Dirty Dozen Character Interview – Kate Williams – Chief of Police – Mystery

CHARACTER NAME: Kate Williams, Chief of Police of Mendenhall, Manitoba

  • Tell us a little about yourself.

Let’s see. I’m a career police officer, over 30 years now, and I’ve served in big cities all across Canada. Now I’m the chief of police in Mendenhall, Manitoba, population 16,514, and to my surprise, I love it. I’m 54, 5’3” and usually a little rounder than I like. Lately, however, I’ve been looking a little gaunt, but can you blame me, after everything that’s happened?

  • Tell us why you’re embarking on this adventure?

I took the job of Chief of Police of Mendenhall two years ago, when the politics of the job in Toronto got to be too much. For some reason, I had thought policing in a small town would ease me nicely into retirement. So far, I’ve been shot, attacked by a madwoman, had my car destroyed by a sniper, been freaked out by a long-dead woman, and now I have to deal with bull semen and arsonists. And office politics? I had to get shot before my detachment finally pulled together behind me. The big city was never like this.

  • Do you have a moral code? If so what might it be

Well, of course I have a moral code. Every good police officer has one. Mine is simple: Do the right thing, for the right reason.

  • Who is your greatest friend?

Huh. I never thought of that. I’m a bit of a loner and don’t make friends easily. I have friends, of course. Well, maybe they’re friendly acquaintances. The people I’m closest to are my colleagues, especially my deputy chief, Rob McKell. Which is surprising, really, when you consider that he was supposed to be a shoo-in for the job of chief of police and I swooped in from “outside” to take it from him.

  • Who is your greatest enemy?

I don’t have any personal enemies. Or, if I do, they’ve never identified themselves as such. There are people I don’t like, of course, but I avoid them. On the professional front, well, that’s a different story. You can’t be a police officer—a good one—without making enemies of the people you arrest. For me, it’s rarely personal. For them, it’s very personal.

  • How do you define ‘heroism’?

Doing what needs to be done even when you’re afraid or could get hurt.

  • Tell us about your family?

How much time do you have…?

My dad’s been dead for 15 years but Mom’s still hale and hearty, in spite of the accident that almost killed her last year. At 78, she’s met someone and is planning to move in with him. Took me a bit to get used to that idea, let me tell you. I have a brother, Charlie, who lives in the Maritimes. Like me, he never married. Then there’s Rose, my sister. She’s a few years younger than me, high strung, and every once in a while, a serious pain in the ass. She’s married to John, a university professor and a peach of a man with the patience of a saint. They have two kids: Sean, who’s travelling in Europe right now, and Amanda, who is the apple of my eye and who—to my joy and her mother’s outrage—has moved to Mendenhall.

  • What is your greatest skill/asset

Who the heck knows? I think it’s my stubbornness, but my family and colleagues would argue that’s a failing.

  • What is your greatest weakness (we won’t tell).

Kids. I’m deeply uncomfortable around kids. The younger they are, the worse it is. They look at me as if I’m some kind of alien. May have something to do with the way I talk to them. ::sigh::

  • How would you describe yourself?

I’m a police officer. A good one.

  • How do you think others see you?

First, they see the woman, even when I’m in uniform. Almost without exception they are surprised that I am the chief of police. Then they accept and we move on. Mostly.

  • What is your greatest fear?

That I’ll let another child killer go.

Books in which this character appears:

Kate features in the Mendenhall Mystery series, along with DC Rob McKell, Constable Marco Trepalli and Kate’s niece, Amanda Coburn. The series consists of: The Shoeless Kid, The Tuxedoed Man, The Weeping Woman, The Untethered Woman and The Forsaken Man.

 

Links, short author bio…

Marcelle Dubé grew up near Montreal. After trying out a number of different provinces—not to mention Belgium—she settled in the Yukon, where people still outnumber carnivores, but not by much. Her short fiction has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies, and her novels have been published by Carina Press and Falcon Ridge Publishing. Her best-known work is the Mendenhall Mystery series, featuring Chief of Police Kate Williams, “a heroine for our times,” as one reviewer named her.

 

Dubé writes mystery, science fiction and fantasy fiction. Her work is available as print and e-books.

 

Web: www.marcelledube.com

Twitter: @MarcelleDube

Facebook: www.facebook.com/marcelle.dube.3

Dirty Dozen Author Interview – Marcelle Dube – Mystery – Winter Warmer Bundle

Author name: Marcelle Dubé / The Tuxedoed Man

Winter Warmer Cover Fan

*Please tell us about your publications.  I’ve written and published many short stories, much to my surprise. I always thought of myself as primarily a novelist, but in recent years, I’ve written more and more short stories, sometimes at the request of a publisher or to meet a thematic need, but more often because an idea got caught in my head and wouldn’t shake loose until I wrote it down.

My novels range from fantasy to mystery to modern gothic to “women’s thrillers.” I find that no matter the flavour of the novel, most of my stories end up with a mystery at their heart. For instance, Backli’s Ford features an alien species trying to fit in on earth, but really the story is a murder mystery at the heart of a greater conspiracy. Then the Mendenhall Mysteries (including The Tuxedoed Man) are straightforward mysteries

Are you a ‘pantser’ or a ‘plotter’? Definitely a pantser. I’ve tried many techniques for writing novels and learned that plotting is not for me. I’ve written beautiful plot outlines and never wrote the novels because I didn’t see the point. I’d already written the story. As a pantser, I never really know what’s going to happen next, and that keeps me on my toes. Of course, it also means a lot of backtracking to take a different path.

What are your views on authors commenting on reviews? Don’t do it. Step away from the keyboard. Don’t freak out the reviewers. They’re entitled to their opinions, whether they love your story, or hate it.

How do you deal with bad reviews? ::big sigh::  Every time I see a bad review, I have to go find my big girl panties and put them on. Then I get over it.

Sort these into order of importance:

  1. Great characters

Character is all. Period.

  1. Good plot

A close second to great characters. You need great characters, in a good story.

  1. Awesome world-building

Setting matters. Your reader has to be able to see, smell and hear the setting, whether it’s a house in a Canadian suburb or a generation ship heading for a new planet.

  1. Technically perfect:

Well, what the heck is that? I’ve never seen it and doubt I’ll ever achieve it. As long as I write a good story that resonates with my readers, I’m happy.

How much research do you do for your work? What’s the wildest subject you’ve looked at? I don’t really like to research but I am driven by insecurity. When I wrote Ghosts of Morocco, I did a *ton* of research. I’d never been there, was unfamiliar with the geography, politics, culture, languages… I have no idea why I set half the story there, but that’s where it had to be, so I researched.

The wildest subject I’ve looked at? To date, artificial bovine insemination. You wouldn’t believe how they go about it…

What’s the best piece best advice you’ve received about writing/publishing? Apply seat of pants to seat of chair. As in, don’t wait for “inspiration.” Write every day and exercise that writing muscle.

What is your writing space like? I have a ridiculously large bedroom, so I use a corner of it for my writing space. I use a long, narrow table and prop my laptop up on the Canadian Encyclopedia. On the wall in front of me are small cork boards with various cards, sayings and photos that inspire me. From the vantage of my writing chair, I can see the roofs of the houses across the way, and above them, Haeckel Hill and its windmills.

Tell us about your latest piece? I’ve just published The Forsaken Man, the fifth in my Mendenhall Mystery series featuring Chief of Police Kate Williams and her intrepid band of constables. I’m not really sure how I ended up with a series. It started with The Shoeless Kidand I found that I really liked the characters of the small police detachment in Mendenhall, Manitoba. Technically, the series is a police procedural, but it is very much character driven and feels “cozy.”

What’s your next writing adventure? Right now, I’m working on my second A’lle Chronicles mystery. The first one, Backli’s Ford, introduced the reader to Constance A’lle:

In the early 1700s, an A’lle generation ship crashed in the woods of Lower Canada. Survivors stumbled out of the wreckage to find French settlers working the land. While many of the colonists sheltered the injured A’lle, some reacted with fear and loathing. Two centuries later, nothing much has changed.

This is the world Constance, first A’lle investigator for Lower Canada, must deal with when she investigates the beating death of an A’lle boy in the small village of Backli’s Ford.

Set in 1911, Backli’s Ford follows Constance as she survives an ambush that would have killed a human, fights prejudice in the constabulary, and discovers a terrible secret that risks destroying the delicate balance that has endured for two centuries between A’lle and humans.

The second book, tentatively titled Plague, follows Constance and her sister Gemma as they work to discover who is murdering A’lle, and try to prevent a smallpox epidemic.

What is the last book you’ve read? Glass Houses, by Louise Penny—one of my favourite mystery writers. Right now, I’m halfway through Wolf Winter by Cecilia Ekbäck and while I’m getting a little freaked out, I can’t seem to put it down…

Are indie/self-published authors viewed with scepticism or wariness by readers? Why is this? I don’t think readers care if an author is indie published or traditionally published. As long as the cover is well designed and the story well written and well edited, why should they? Nobody buys their books based on who the publisher is. At least, I don’t.

Links:

Web: www.marcellemdube.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarcelleDube

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marcelle.dube.3

Bio:

Marcelle Dubé grew up near Montreal. After trying out a number of different provinces—not to mention Belgium—she settled in the Yukon, where people still outnumber carnivores, but not by much. Her novels are published by Falcon Ridge Publishing and Carina Press, and her short fiction has appeared in a number of magazines and anthologies. Learn more about her and her published work at http://www.marcellemdube.com.

The Tuxedoed Man appears in Winter Warmer Bundle

Tales of the Seasons – volume 1

Winter Warmer on Bundle Rabbit

Winter Warmer on Amazon

Winter Warmer on Nook

Winter Warmer on I-tunes

Winter Warmer on Kobo

Reblog – spotlight – Historical Fiction

Today’s team review is from Liz, she blogs here https://lizannelloyd.wordpress.com/ Liz has been reading The Betrayal by Anne Allen The Betrayal is set mostly in Guernsey but in two eras. First, we find ourselves in 1940, where Teresa Bichard is distraught at leaving her husband, Leo, on the island while she flees to her family on […]

via Rosie’s #BookReview Team #RBRT #Guernsey #HistFic #Mystery The Betrayal by @AnneAllen21 — Rosie Amber

Book Spotlight – Don’t Look Back – SW Frontz – mystery/romantic suspense

 

Title:  Don’t Look Back (Book Two in the Land’s End Series)

Author:  S.W. Frontz

Genre:  mystery, romantic suspense

Main character description (short).  Kellyn Grindstaff, forty six years old, college professor and former sex crimes cop

Synopsis: Last autumn Sheriff Andy Patrick rescued his wife, Samantha, after being kidnapped by Matt Ruiz. Since then, Samantha has retreated into a protective shell. She won’t leave her home, and worse, she has pushed away the people that love her the most.
Her daughter, Delaney, decides to enlist the help of family friend, Kellyn Grindstaff. As a former sex crimes cop, therapist, and now professor of psychology, Kellyn has had plenty of experience helping victims of sexual crimes. Kellyn comes to Land’s End, unknowingly bringing her own troubles with her. By saving Samantha, will Kellyn be able to save herself?

Brief Excerpt 250 words: prologue

Coral Gables, Florida

Christmas Eve, 1995

Kellyn Garcia snapped the lid shut on her husband Danny’s lunch box.  She had just finished packing it full of Christmas goodies, along with a couple of sandwiches made from the meat of the roast pig that had finished cooking earlier in the day.  Usually the traditional Cuban way was to roast a whole pig outdoors on the day before Christmas Eve.  Kellyn was eight and a half months pregnant and Danny was working the third watch, which meant he went to work at four p.m. and didn’t get off until midnight which made it difficult for them to be able to roast the pig outside.  Kellyn had decided to put one in the oven late the night before.

Danny came into to the kitchen buttoning up his uniform shirt.  He was a patrolman for the Coral Gables Police Department.  The two of them had met about three years ago at the police academy.  They both started as patrol but where Danny was content to stay in uniform, Kellyn was ambitious and wanted to become a detective.  A spot had opened up in the sex crimes unit and she had applied.  It wasn’t the sort of position that many people wanted because of the type of cases that were investigated so Kellyn got the job.

Danny and Kellyn had gotten married two years ago, and Kellyn became pregnant in the spring of this year.  She had worked up until her seventh month and the doctor told her to go home and take it easy. 

Danny walked up to her and put his arms around her.  Kellyn stared up into his dark brown eyes framed by outrageously long eyelashes.  His hair was almost black and he kept it cut short. 

He stroked her blond hair away from her face and said, “I guess it’s time for me to leave for work.  I hate to leave you here alone with your due date so close.”

“I’ll be fine,” Kellyn replied.  “Don’t worry about me; You take care of yourself and come home to us. Just think, this time next year we’ll celebrate Christmas with our baby.”

“I know,” Danny said.  “I can’t wait.”  He kissed her cheek and said, “I gotta go.”

Kellyn picked up his lunch box and gave it to him.  “I put in a couple of roast pig sandwiches.”

He smiled and made a big smacking noise as he kissed her cheek again. “Babe, you’re the best.  I can’t wait until lunch time.”

She walked him to the front door and watched as he pulled out of the driveway.  She went back to the kitchen to clean up her mess.

Danny called her on his supper break to thank her for the sandwiches and tell her how delicious they were.  He told her he loved her and would see her about 12:30 a.m.

Kellyn was dozing on the couch in front of the Christmas tree when a sharp rapping noise woke her up. Disoriented, she stumbled to the front door and looked out of the peep hole.  There stood Danny’s partner, Kevin, looking at the ground.

 

 

 

KODAK Digital Still Camera

 

Links etc.

Amazon Link

http://swfrontzauthor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/swfrontzauthor/

https://twitter.com/swfrontzauthor

https://www.instagram.com/s.frontzauthor/

https://plus.google.com/u/0/103970886480515076244

https://www.pinterest.com/sfrontz/

 

 

 

 

 

Book Spotlight – When the Morning Comes – mystery/romantic suspense

Title:  When the Morning Comes (Book One in the Land’s End Series)

Author:  S.W. Frontz

Genre: mystery, romantic suspense

Main character description (short).  Samantha Patrick-mid-fifties-wife, mother, grandmother. She is a survivor, having lived through her mother’s savage murder, and  being kidnapped and raped as a teenager.

Synopsis:  Samantha and her husband, Sheriff Andy Patrick live on the quaint island of Land’s End.  They moved here thirty-seven years ago to start a new life after Samantha’s father committed a horrible crime that got Samantha’s mother murdered and Samantha kidnapped and raped.  Samantha had kept a secret all these years but when her past comes back to haunt her, there’s no way to keep her secret without putting her family in danger.

Brief Excerpt: Samantha Patrick’s eyes popped open and she sat up abruptly in bed, breathing like a locomotive.  She looked around the room, disoriented, not sure if she were still in the old warehouse or in her room.  She sat there for a minute.  She put her hand out to her right, patting the bed to see if her husband Andy was there.  Touching the softness of his white hair, she sighed in relief.  It was only the nightmare.  Thankful that she was safe in her own bed she glanced at the clock.  The red numbers glowed at her.  One fifteen a.m. Sighing, she reached behind her to plump the pillows and she settled back down under the covers.  No more sleep for her.  She had gotten another letter this morning.  It said: “I’m watching you.”  She didn’t want to disturb Andy so she turned onto her left side to wait for the morning to come.

Why should readers buy this book? It has something for everyone, mystery, crime, romance,  and a pretty decent ending with the promise of more to come.

 

book-cover-1

http://amzn.to/2i1t9Yy

https://twitter.com/swfrontzauthor

https://www.instagram.com/s.frontzauthor/

http://www.swfrontzauthor.com/

Author Interview Number Ninety-Six – Nikki Andrews – Mystery

Welcome to Nikki Andrews

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B005VW8J28

Where are you from and where do you live now? I was born in New Jersey a long time ago, but since then I’ve mostly lived inside my head.

Please tell us a little about your writing – for example genre, title, etc. My latest book, Framed, is a cozy mystery set in a New Hampshire art gallery. More books in that setting are in the works. I also dabble in sci-fi and just started a romantic thriller.

Where do you find inspiration? The world is so full of a number of things…Normal everyday life, with a twist.

Are your characters based on real people? Yes and no. I’ve used real people as a baseline for characters, but I blend in traits, habits, or idiosyncrasies from other people. So far, no real people have recognized themselves in my books.  

Have you ever used a person you don’t/didn’t like as a character then killed them off? Oh yeah! (rubs hands together) That’s part of the fun.

Research can be important in world-building, how much do you need to do for your books? Do you enjoy this aspect of creating a novel and what are your favourite resources? For Framed, I drew on my nine years as a picture framer, and did research into police procedures and messenger services. Like many writers, I’m a bit introverted, but I’m better at finding a person to talk to than I am at book/Google searches. And as I get older, I’ve gotten bolder at walking up to people who snag my interest. Once you get someone talking about their passion, it’s almost impossible to shut them up.

Is there a message conveyed within your writing?  Do you feel this is important in a book? Books that beat you over the head with a “message” bore and annoy me. Story first, always. There is a–let’s call it a theme–that runs through my books, but I’d rather let readers discover it for themselves, if they are so inclined.

In what formats are your books available? (E-books, print, large print audio) Are you intending to expand these and if not, what is the reason? Framed is available as an ebook or print. Large print and audio would be lovely, and in my spare time I’m looking into it.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited? I also work as an editor, and I’ve learned that no one can adequately self-edit. Every writer needs someone else to insist “this beloved passage adds nothing” or “you really need to expand that thought.” Even before I started thinking about becoming an editor, I used to mark up books where I thought changes would improve them. So yes, I think all books should be professionally edited.

What experiences can a book provide that a movie or video game cannot? A book is far more interactive than movies or games. Books allow, even demand, the reader’s participation in imagining the world and the characters described. Just as a for-instance, I had a very different image of Gollum than what Peter Jackson gave the world. Every time I open a book, I become a co-creator with the author. And that is far more exciting than watching a movie or playing a game.

What three pieces of advice would you give to new writers? Read widely, write daily, learn deeply.

Most authors like to read, what have you recently finished reading? Did you enjoy it? Just finished Ann Hillerman’s Spider Woman’s Daughter. I was pleasantly surprised and relieved to find she did an excellent job with her father’s characters, and I loved getting a feminine perspective on them. I’m curious to see what will happen if she goes on to create her own new characters and mysteries.

Can you name your favourite traditionally published author? And your favourite indie/self-published author? No, I couldn’t possibly name them. There are too many of each!

Can you name your worst job? Do you think you learned anything from the position that you now use in your writing?  I won’t name the company where I worked as an admin assistant, but that job from hell did provide a deliciously evil character that I managed to kill off three times in one book. Bwaa-ha-ha!

Can you give us a silly fact about yourself? I have been known to stand in front of the local planning board and make train noises at them.

Book links, website/blog and author links:

Website: http://www.nikkiandrewsbooks.com

Blog: www.scrivenersriver.blogspot.com

Twitter: @NAedits

Email: Nikki@nikkiandrewsbooks.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nikkiandrewsauthor

Print link: http://www.wildrosepublishing.com/maincatalog_v151/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=191&products_id=5515
                           

Author and Audio Book Producer – Lorna Collins

Today I welcome author and audiobook produce Lorna Collins.

My husband, Larry K. Collins, and I write both together and alone. After fifty years of marriage, we figured out how to do it.

We were both members of the team that helped to build the Universal Studios Japan theme park in Osaka. Our memoir of that experience, 31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park, was a 2006 EPPIE finalist and chosen one of Rebeccas Reads best nonfiction books.

We have also co-written two cozy mysteries set in Hawaii: Murder…They Wrote and Murder in Paradise, the latter a finalist for the EPIC eBook Award for mystery. We are currently working on more in the series. The Memory Keeper, is our historical novel set in San Juan Capistrano.

I co-authored six sweet romance anthologies set in the fictional town of Aspen Grove, CO: Snowflake Secrets, Seasons of Love, An Aspen Grove Christmas, The Art of Love, …And a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe, and Directions of Love, 2011 EPIC eBook Award winner.

My fantasy/mystery/romance, Ghost Writer, launched Oak Tree Press’s Mystic Oaks imprint. It combines elements of fantasy, romance, and mystery. It’s a beach read with a dog, and a ghost.

In addition, I am a professional editor.

How did you become involved with audiobooks?

A friend and fellow author had one of his books made into an audiobook. I was very impressed with the result. When I looked into the details, I decided to see about our books recorded.

Tell us about your the titles you’ve had narrated. Do you have a favourite amongst these? 

Our first audiobook was Ghost Writer. This is my solo “beach read.” It was published by mid-level independent publisher. The contract with her did not include the audio rights. However, I checked with her to be sure I could convert it and also for permission to use the cover art. She was enthusiastic and said she’d hoped one of her authors would try audio.

I must confess my favorite to date, however, is The Memory Keeper. This is our historical novel set in the 1800s in San Juan Capistrano, California. The story is told in the voice of a Juaneño Indian. We spent nearly three years researching and writing this book, so we were very particular about how it would be presented. The voice actor we chose, Aaron Miller, was nearly as much of a perfectionist as we were. He struggled through the Indian words as well as the Spanish ones. (He was born in Wisconsin and now lives in Tennessee where Spanish is not a common language.) The final book perfectly captures the voice of our protagonist along with all of the other characters in the story.

We liked him so much, he is now creating the audiobook for Larry’s short story collection, Lakeview Park.

The gal who did Ghost Writer, Jean Ruda Habrukowich, is now doing one of the sweet romance anthologies I was part of, …And a Silver Sixpence in Her Shoe.

How did you choose your narrators?

For an author, the process is quite simple. I uploaded an audition text. I chose a section of each book with several characters so I could see how the actor would interpret their voices. For Ghost Writer, the narrator had to be female since the story is written in the POV of a young woman. However, the other major character is a very proper British ghost, who is male. I wanted to be sure the actor found the right tone of voice for both. Jean nailed it.

For The Memory Keeper, we needed a male voice. Aaron had me as soon as he pronounced San Juan Capistrano with just the right touch of Spanish accent. He also indicated he would work with us on getting all the voices and pronunciation correct. A few of the words (like alcalde, noshuun, and Elena) gave him problems, but in the end, the book sounds better than we could have hoped for.

Are you planning on having more books made into audio?

Yes. We can only do the ones for which we have the audio rights, so we are limited. For some of our fourteen titles, the publisher’s contract gives them the audio rights. However, Larry has written a sci-fi series, The McGregor Chronicles. So far he has two books published in the series with the third due out before the end of the year. As soon as Aaron finishes Lakeview Park, we’ll get him started on the sci-fi books.

We also would like to have our memoir, 31 Months in Japan: The Building of a Theme Park, done in audio. We have had a couple of auditions for it, but the people had no knowledge of Japanese, and one had a New York accent. We have helped several friends embark on the audio process, and one of them is currently using a husband and wife team for their book. We have spoken to them about their doing ours when the other one is finished. Since our memoir is written in two voices, this will be the perfect solution.

*Tell us about the ACX process.

This turned out to be much simpler than I had imagined. Our last few books have been published through KDP and CreateSpace, so I was familiar with those processes. Amazon now owns ACX, so they have made it much simpler for everyone involved.

  1. Make sure you have the audio rights for your book.
  2. Choose a chapter or section for the audio audition. This should be a short section with multiple characters. (We did not want to have our books read, we wanted them to be acted out.)
  3. Upload the book details. (ACX guides you through the process and links the book to its Amazon listing.)
  4. Upload the audition text.
  5. Wait for auditions.

Some books garner more auditions than others. Some genres attract more actors. Within two days of posting Lakeview Park, Larry had three auditions. Since one was from Aaron, we decided to stay with him. However, either of the other two would have been terrific.

During the actual recording, the author and actor are in communication. When the chapters are completed, the actor posts them to ACX. The author can then listen and send back comments or corrections.

When the entire book is completed, the actor closes the file and the author approves the book for publication. It appears on ACX and Amazon in about ten days to two weeks.

What aspects do you find most enjoyable?

We were fortunate to find two excellent actors for our books. Both of them were nearly as picky as I am! Both were willing to make as many changes/corrections as necessary to ensure a quality product.

Hearing our books read added a whole new dimension to them. We knew what we thought they should sound like, but the final interpretations were far better than we could have hoped for.

Did you choose royalty share for your books? Why is this?

Confession: I’m essentially cheap. We have done (and plan to do) all of our books with a royalty share agreement. It is a win-win for both author and voice artist. From the time the book is listed for sale, passive income is generated for both parties.

Do you listen to audiobooks?

Yes. I have listened to more of them since our books have become available. They are great for long car trips. Larry used to listen to the text-to-speech feature on his old Kindle on long commutes for work. The actual audiobooks are much more enjoyable.

*With many people owning MP3 players, do you think this is the future of storytelling?

I don’t think books—ebooks and print—will ever go away. But many people enjoy the listening process. We are at an age where many of our friends have developed vision issues, including macular degeneration. They can now enjoy our books.

Why do you think audio books are becoming so popular?

They are now much more accessible, and more people are commuting. In addition, the actors producing them are getting better and better. The sheer competition is improving the quality.

Did you consider producing your own audiobooks, or do you prefer to look for an independent narrator? Why have you made this choice?

We had talked for years about producing our own books—especially our memoir. But the cost of renting a studio and the time required to get the task done seemed daunting. We have been very fortunate to have found exceptionally good actors who understood our books.

Has ACX/Audible fulfilled your expectations? (such as earnings, ease of use, workload etc.?)

So far, it has exceeded our expectations. We had anticipated having to work with the actors, monitor the completed chapters, convey our expectations to them, and the process was very satisfying. Of course, we were blessed with terrific actors. It made all the difference.

Please tell us a silly fact about yourself.

My husband, Larry, says I collect friends like other people collect stamps or coins. Very true. I strike up friendships in the supermarket line. I’m still in touch with nearly all of my friends from childhood, grammar school, high school, college, and nearly every place I’ve ever worked. I actually know who every one of my 1500+ Facebook friends is and how we met.

Where can we learn more about you?

You can find out more about me at our website: http://www.lornalarry.com

Follow my blog at: http://lornacollins-author.blogspot.com/

Social Media links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lorna.l.collins

Twitter: @LornaCollins

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/lkcollins75/

LinkedIn: Lorna Collins http://tinyurl.com/nunt9no

Returning Author Juliet B Madison – Thriller/Crime Best Served Cold Blog Tour

I’d like to welcome back author Juliet B Madison as part of the Best Served Cold Blog Tour

Please recap briefly about your books:

I have written five UK based Police procedural novels and 2 volumes of novellas about my detective creation DI Frank Lyle. The novels already published are Second Chances, Heir to Misfortune, Unholy Alliance, Murder in the Wings and Best served Cold, which was released this week after being available for pre-order since August.. The books are set in the 1980s and early 1990s when forensic science wasn’t advanced as today and people actually talked to each other without computers, ipads and cell phones.

Give us a bit of information about your primary character(s).

DI Frank Lyle is five months short of his fiftieth birthday at the beginning of the latest release, Best Served Cold.  He is dedicated to truth and getting justice for those with no voice. He is a devoted father and family man and even gets on well with his ex wife, Sarah, these days. In the last book Frank’s adult son, James, came out and is a relationship with one his father’s junior officers, DS Thomas Fox. Frank and his current wife, Jayseera, are very supportive of James & Thomas’ relationship.

Sort these into order of importance: Great characters; great world-building; solid plot; technically perfect. Can you explain why you chose this order? (Yes I know they all are important…)

In terms of crime fiction I believe a solid plot MUST come first. Great characters second because if you can’t like and believe in the detective solving the case then your readers will lose interest. You also have to portray interesting criminal types to keep the reader guessing. In terms of police procedurals you have to be technically and forensically accurate, for example there would be a real faux pas in describing DNA analysis in a crime novel set in the 1960s. World building, well I have developed the fictional city of Ashbeck over the course of the novels and if you’re writing in a series you can build. If you’re writing a stand-alone then world building would be higher on the list. so my order goes Solid plot, great characters, technically perfect and great world-building.

Do you self-edit? If so why is that the case? Do you believe a book suffers without being professionally edited?

My good friend, Katrina Bowlin-Mackenzie, edits my work for nothing because I can’t afford professional editing services. I have seen glaring errors in some traditionally published books as all writers and editors are fallible. I don’t know where I’d be without Katrina to be honest because she spots so many things I miss.

Do you think indie/self-published authors are viewed differently to traditionally published authors? Why do you think this might be?

Yeah, people tend to look down their snotty noses at Indie/self published authors, but anyone waiting to be snapped up by the so called Big 5 will have a long wait. Just because Indie’s don’t get 6 figure advances, in house publicity teams and 20 book contracts doesn’t mean we write less well. The Fifty Shades of Shit oops I mean grey trilogy is proof that traditional publishers don’t always know poor quality when they read it. And just don’t let me get started on Kobogate…

Do you read work by self-published authors?

Apart from the odd Agatha Christie or Peter Robinson I rarely read much else. My favourite Indie writers include John Holt, Gerry McCullough, Tricia Drammeh, David Menon, Tom Winton, Kristen Stone and Malika Gandhi.

What aspect of writing do you least enjoy? Why might this be?

The blurb is probably the worst bit as it’s a fine line between enticing the reader and giving too much away.

What are your best marketing/networking tips? What are your worst?

Be visible on social media, start your own Facebook pages about your characters or series, interview other authors on your blog. Have eye catching cover designs. My friend, John Holt (author of the brilliant Tom Kendall Private Detective series)  has designed all the DI Frank Lyle Mystery series covers. People who don’t help out others by sharing and tweeting their work can be hard to contend with as it should be a two-way street. It can be hard, but try not let bad reviews drag you down and keep moaning about them, okay so the reviewer probably only read the free sample, it’s their loss so move on. I don’t think I have any worst tips.

When buying a book do you read the reviews?

No, because they’re just one person’s opinion. I go by the product description, if I like the sound of the book from that I buy it.

Can you name your worst job? Do you think you learned anything from the position that you now use in your writing?

Yes, my current office cleaning job. Well I base descriptions of untidy people’s residences on the crap I have to clean up on a week nightly basis but you just can’t learn from a job that kills about 6,000 brain cells a minute due to acute lack of mental stimulation.

What are your plans for the future? When will we see your next book?  Tell us about it.

I have made a start on the next full length DI Lyle book Dead on Arrival, which should be out in the late spring. I am also working on a DI Lyle novella, A Murder-free Christmas, which will be available to pre-order from mid November. I’m also working to promote Best served Cold. This is the blurb.

.. DI Lyle is about to get a glimpse into the murky world of political activism and hate crime; the murder of a prominent city councillor is just the tip of the iceberg.

The city of Ashbeck is on high alert when news breaks that convicted triple murderer and paedophile Bob Kenyon has escaped from custody.

Can DI Lyle and his team get to the bottom of this murky mess before another atrocity occurs?

You can buy Best Served Cold

http://bookshow.me/B00MRIZQRU

You can catch up with Juliet B Madison

Blog:  http://julietmadisoncrimeauthor.wordpress.com/

Twitter @JulietBMadison

Facebook      There are a number of DI Lyle related pages on Facebook but here is a small selection.

https://www.facebook.com/servedcold/

https://www.facebook.com/Lylefanzunited/

https://www.facebook.com/JulietMadisonCrimeAuthor/

https://www.facebook.com/TheDIFrankLyleMysterySeries/

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Character Interview Number Nineteen – Taryn Estella Magill -Paranormal/Mystery

Tell Us About Yourself

Name (s): 
Taryn Estella Magill (My parents were really into “Great Expectations.” I have no idea where the “Taryn” came from.)
 
Age: I just turned 30 about two months ago. One of the paranormal experts I talked to told me it was this significant birthday that might have set the wheels in motion for my, um, new “gift.”

Please tell us a little about yourself. 
I work as a multi-media artist– photography and oil paints. Organizations, companies, and even private individuals pay me to recreate images of buildings and other structures that are dilapidated and in ruins. I work a lot with historical societies. In some cases, the buildings have been severely damaged in a fire or have fallen in. I use my imagination and degree in historical preservation to create a painting for my clients that shows them what the buildings would have looked like in their prime.
 
I USED to rely on my imagination and knowledge of architecture to do my job. But now, when I look through my camera, I can actually see the past. Sounds like a dream come true for someone like me, right? It would be, if the things my camera showed me didn’t keep pointing out death and murder.

What would you say are your strengths and weaknesses? 
My biggest strength is that I have a big imagination. I also work well alone and don’t always have to have someone standing over me; in fact, I kind of hate that! I might be single, but I don’t feel like I have to have a man in my life. I’m an adventurer at heart and have never felt the need to be tied down. My weaknesses? I don’t make friends easily. I feel awkward around people I don’t know and some people take that as bitchiness. Of course, I also have a huge weakness for peanut butter milkshakes. That will come back to haunt me and my waistline one day, for sure.

Do you have any relationships you prize above others? Why? 
My best friend, Matt, is someone I’ve known since I was a kid. He helped get me into the whole urban exploring thing which led to my career path. As soon as he could drive we would hop in the car and go looking for old houses, abandoned factories, ruined churches, etc. We’ve been known to crawl through windows and shimmy up drain pipes to get into some of those places so that I could take pictures. Well, now they call it “urban exploring.” I guess it really sounds more like breaking and entering!
 
Do you have a family? Tell us about them. My parents died in a car wreck when I was a kid. We were never really close. Before they died, they sent me to stay with my grandmother and she raised me. She’s gone now, too. The only living relative I have is my Aunt Sarah who lives in a wonderful old farm house up in New Hampshire. She’s a recluse and kind of a town character, but I think she’s fabulous. I haven’t seen her in many years, though. Matt is the closest thing I have to family.
 
Can you remember something from your childhood which influences your behaviour? How do you think it influences you?
When I was little, I was playing in an abandoned house with a group of other kids. I got separated from them and ended up down in the basement alone. Another little girl appeared and I followed her, thinking she was showing me the way out. She wasn’t. She took me to a small room in the basement and as I watched in horror, she settled onto the hard dirt floor and then disappeared. I tried to tell my parents about it but they thought I was making it up. Years later, when the house was demolished to make room for condos, the construction crew found the body of a child buried in the basement. She had been murdered. After that incident, I learned not to talk to people about anything I saw or felt. I pushed it away.
 
Do you have any phobias? I don’t do snakes or spiders. This is a challenge since most of the places I work in haven’t been taken care of and are wild with both. This might sound weird, considering that I almost always work alone and in some pretty isolated and creepy locations, but I’m really afraid of the dark. I don’t like sleeping by myself either. I have awful nightmares nobody has ever been able to explain. My parents tried to drug me as a kid, thinking it was everything from depression to ADD, but nothing worked. I just can’t take the night.
 
Please give us an interesting and unusual fact about yourself. Well, right now the most interesting thing about me is that when I look through my camera I can see the past. This doesn’t happen everywhere I go, and I can’t control it, but it’s something that I don’t think will get old any time soon.

Tell Us About Your World

Please give us a little information about the world in which you live. Well, it’s the present time in my world. Still, I live most of my life in the past, at least figuratively. I’m constantly surrounded by old houses, outdated furniture, and remnants from yesterday. I like to look at a place and try to imagine what the people who once lived there felt, looked like, and loved. Sometimes, I get so engrossed in a job that it’s a culture shock to step back into the 21st century and see a McDonalds.
 
Does your world have religion or other spiritual beliefs? If so do you follow one of them? Please describe (briefly) how this affects your behaviour. I am constantly amazed at how accepting the people I encounter are of the paranormal. I live in what’s known as the “Bible Belt” and not only are people seemingly okay with the fact that a place is haunted, they talk about ghosts as if they’re part of the family or community. I think this has to do with a strong sense of belief in the afterlife. I personally don’t follow any one spiritual path but I feel closer to a greater energy force when I’m outside, alone.
 
Do you travel in the course of your adventures? If so where? I’m always on the road. My job takes me all over the country. I’ve painted antebellum mansions in Mississippi, abandoned taverns in New York, and train stations in Massachusetts. I have an apartment in Nashville, but I’m hardly ever there. I live out of my car and suitcase. Most of my clients don’t have a ton of money so I can’t be extravagant when I travel. I consider a hotel with indoor corridors (you know, one where you can’t just drive your car right up to your door) to be the height of luxury.
 
Does your world have magic? If so how is it viewed in your world? When I first started seeing things in my camera I began looking around on the internet for some explanation. I was shocked to find out that there are so many communities for psychics, ghost hunters, and even vampires. Spending so much time thinking about the past, I’d forgotten how much things have changed and how magic is, in some ways, not only accepted now but encouraged. You can take classes these days to enhance your abilities! And then there are all the TV shows…I felt like I’d been living under a rock!
 
Does your world have any supernatural/mystical beings? Please tell us about some. My own personal world is dominated by ghosts. Not just as in dead people, but ghosts of the past. I see furniture, curtains, picture frames…It doesn’t happen everywhere I go, but if a place has held onto a memory for too long or there is some type of unfinished business then it seems I can pick up on that energy and the world around me transforms back to the time period it can’t let go of. The first time it happened, I thought it was a fluke. But now it’s happening more and more and there’s nothing I can do to stop it.
Book: Windwood Farm 
Author: Rebecca Patrick-Howard
Author website: www.rebeccaphoward.net
Book website: Taryn’s Camera