New Release

I’m happy to announce the release of my new novel, COOPER.

BookCover_Cooper_Final

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Interview with Carl Brush

Today I’m happy to have author Carl Brush stop by and talk about his latest book.

Tell, thanks a bunch for the opportunity to talk a little about myself and my work on your website. I had a good time responding to your questions, and I hope your readers enjoy the answers.  Here goes:

1. Greetings, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I once answered that question by saying that I’m a retired teacher/school administrator turned writer, but I figured out that was defining myself by my past, rather than my present and future. So what’s important about me now is that is that I’m a writer, musician (alto sax), theater director, grandfather, husband. And, oh, I once taught English and drama and played at being a middle-school principal.

2. What genre, or genres, do you write?

 I like flash fiction for modern settings, but my first love is historical fiction novels, thrillers set in California/San Francisco of the past couple of centuries.

3.  What is your latest book called and what it is about?

 THE MAXWELL VENDETTA tells the story of Andy Maxwell’s attempt to keep one foot in his family’s Sierra Nevada ranch and the other in the San Francisco world of academe while simultaneously fending off the onslaught of a powerfully evil avenger intent on destroying his family and ranch alike.

 4. If you had to rate your book, would it be G, PG, PG-13, or R?

I guess I’d go with PG-13. It’s almost PG, but there are a couple of suggestive scenes. The prequel, THE SECOND VENDETTA, which has already been published, heads into R territory.

 5. What makes your book unique?

I don’t think you’ll find another work that combines the intricacies of ranch, university, and city life with the excitement of a western novel. It’s got cowboys and Indians, yeah, but it’s got depth and texture that transcend all that, so I think it’s special.

 6. Do you plot ahead of time, or do you let the plot emerge as you write?

I have my beginning and end pretty in mind from the git, plus a few key points along the way; but all the outlines I’ve ever made dissolve once the action starts. So, for the most part you’d put me in the “emerge as you write” category.

7. Where can we buy your books?

Thought you’d never ask.

For the e-book THE MAXWELL VENDETTA, go to http://amzn.to/16KTlyU

You’ll find both e-book and paperback of its sequel, THE SECOND VENDETTA at http://amzn.to/PXmxt8

8. What’s next?

I’m almost finished with the third novel of the trilogy. This one is set way earlier, 1842-1854 in a San Francisco when it was called Yerba Buena. Working title: BONITA about a 12-year-old girl who thinks she’s the niece of a prominent rancher who has raised her as a daughter, but discovers she’s actually a wayward waif he came by almost by accident when she was an infant. The book is about her search for her identity and her struggle to make a place for herself in a world that suddenly has no use for her. The Maxwell patriarch who is spoken of but never appears in the VENDETTA novels is a vital factor in the action.

latest5_13              CARLWEB2

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Interview with D.M. Harrison

Today I’m happy to have author DM Harrison stop by.

1. Greetings, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Hi Tell. Thank you for inviting me onto your blog. It’s good to have the opportunity to meet up with another Western writer.

I’m a mother of three children; all grown up, in fact my eldest son moved to America fifteen years ago and now lives in Texas. I didn’t realize the differences in the US and UK language until then. ‘Apartments’ instead of ‘Flats’! ‘Elevators’ instead of ‘Lifts’! ‘z’ in place of ‘s’.

Thankfully my two daughters are closer to home.

My husband is very supportive. He doesn’t mind late dinners and the place piling up with research books etc. Of course I don’t complain when he disappears off to play golf/cricket/bridge. Works both ways.

And my mother lives with us and she needs me around to care for her.

2.  What genre, or genres, do you write?

I write Westerns. Yes, perhaps strange for a woman living in the UK, in fact I write under D M Harrison rather than Diana, so men who read Westerns wouldn’t be put off the books. Although I don’t think it’s a problem with any other western genre writers I’ve met.

It’s said ‘write about what you know’ – well I was surrounded by Western films in the cinema and television and the many Western series, such as Wagon Train and Rawhide as a youngster. Later the Spaghetti Westerns drew me back to the cinema. So that’s my main influences.

Visiting my son, and his wife, in America has given me the opportunity to see where the wagon train trail ended in Oregon, visit ghost towns along the west coast, enjoy the immense landscapes and seeing snow capped mountains through a haze of heat.

I might try another genre just to stretch the mind but not at the moment.

3. What is your latest book called and what it is about?

‘The Comanche Fights Again’ is coming out in 28th June, published by Robert Hale Ltd.

It’s a follow up to ‘The Comanche’s Revenge’, which describes what life is like for a young boy kidnapped by the Comanche and how he settles back with his family.

‘The Comanche Fights Again’ follows the young man as he tries to rescue a friend from suffering a similar fate. 

4. If you had to rate your book, would it be G, PG, PG-13, or R?

I write my books for an adult audience.

However there is no gratuitous violence, sex, drugs or nudity. Words used as profanities like ‘damn’, darn, fit in with the time the books are set. Relationships are within a framework of marriage, not casual.

I believe the choices we make are our own. And place importance on right and wrong, justice and punishment.

I would rate my books PG-13 only because they do raise questions, which a youngster might want to discuss with an adult.

5.  What makes your book unique?

I try to show how rich and varied the West was – that it is made up of many races, creeds and colors. And men and women conquered it together.

‘The Buffalo Soldier’ has a black cowboy as the main character who’s hired to fight cattle thieves.

‘Going to See the Elephant’ Rose Mahoney has a strong Irish girl who manages a 4000-mile journey with a wagon train.

My first book, ‘Robbery in Savage Pass’, has a Chinese-American as its protagonist.

6.  Do you plot ahead of time, or do you let the plot emerge as you write?

My books develop with an idea – a robbery, a kidnap, or a railroad coming through the town – and then I put it in a time and place. I see the main character and how he/she is involved in the situation. Then I build on that. I don’t like to be restricted by the plot, too much.  I write the story from beginning to end. And then I write it over and over again until I’ve checked all my facts and I’m satisfied with it. After that I send it to a publisher and hope they like it!

7.  Where can we buy your books?

solsticepublishing.com

amazon.com

amazon.co.uk

8.  What’s next?

‘The Comanche Fights Again’ a BHW is out June 28th.

My latest book, ‘Incident at Fall Creek’ has been accepted by Robert Hale and will probably be out in 2014.

I am waiting for a release date for ‘Justice for Hangtown’ published by Solstice Ltd. It’s a follow up to going to see the Elephant’.

‘The Unforgiven’ will be out August with Piccadilly Publishing Ltd.

I have started on another Western but it is a ‘horror’ book (based on an Indian myth I read) not sure how that will develop but sometimes I think you have to ‘go’ with the words! 

I also aim to finish the ‘Comanche’ series.

I have another book for Rose Mahoney in mind.

I do enjoy writing. It’s not a career or hobby that will make you rich – unless you’re one of the lucky few – but doing something I want to do and seeing other people enjoy my books is enough for me.

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Interview with James Clay

Today I’m happy to host a good friend, author James Clay

1. Greetings and welcome! You have a lot of experience in the publishing business. Can you share with us a little about your background?

Thanks for allowing me to clutter your blog with my self-serving prattle, Tell. And thanks for referring to me as your friend. A man who works as an agent is a bit like a gunfighter in a western novel, not many pals.

The turning point in my career came when I was making the transition from being a struggling young writer to being a struggling middle-aged writer. I met Howard Pelham, a literary agent who also wrote westerns. I went to work for the Pelham Literary Agency and Howard persuaded me to try writing westerns. I am embarrassed to admit that, while I have always loved sage brush sagas, I had avoided writing them because the market was so limited, or seemed to be.

Howard taught me an important lesson: write in a genre about which you have a passion.

 2. A lot has changed in the publishing business these past few years. From your experience, what do you think will be the challenges new writers face in the future?

The internet is such a vast, untamed frontier that writers will have a problem getting noticed. There is so much stuff out there! I hate to say this, Tell, but the current situation favors those writers who have a gift for self-promotion. That is a shame, because the skills that make one a good writer aren’t much help with selling a book.

Of course, promoting a book has never been easy. I like to think of my awkward efforts as making a vital philosophical point. I have so many vivid memories of sitting alone at a table in a bookstore, smiling lamely over unsold stacks of my tomes. People would walk by pretending they didn’t see me. Anyone who witnessed this pathetic spectacle would realize immediately that John Donne got it wrong; one man CAN be an island.

3. You write westerns, as I do. Do you think westerns are making a comeback?

If by a comeback you mean will westerns regain the popularity they had in the first seventy years of the20thCentury,the answer is no. But I think westerns are doing better now than they did in the last two decades of the 20th Century when it appears that Louis L’Amour single handedly kept the genre alive. The western is finding a better reception in the post 9/11 world than it did in the post -Vietnam era.

Western movies are finding a new audience on cable TV. But western fans will have to be alert to catch everything that is going on in the genre. For example, some interesting developments are taking place in that very under the radar medium, radio. Imagination Theater is a nationally syndicated radio drama. On the first week of the month, they present a western series, Powder River. PR is on hiatus at the present time but it will return in September. This program is worth checking out: go to harrynile.com.

Harry Nile is a private detective and the main character in Imagination Theater’s most popular series. All the usual disclaimers apply here. I have no financial interest in the show, no relatives or friends are involved. But, hey, I am a tad sentimental and would like to think that two troubled art forms, the radio drama and the western, are making a modest comeback together.

4. Tell us some about your books. I’ve read your first three, and I enjoyed them all. Where can we buy them?

I thought you’d NEVER get around to that question!

I have written three novels: Boyd Matheson, Matheson’s Legacy and Dusty Barnett. All three are traditional westerns. I believe the traditional western allows for much more variety in plotting and character development than many critics contend.

I try to give readers all of the excitement and suspense of a traditional western and a little more besides. I try to present scenes and characters that will stay with a reader when the plot begins to fade from memory. All of my books are available on Amazon.

5. If you had to rate your books PG, PG-13 or R, which would it be and why?

I am so ancient, I can remember when authors felt compelled to explain themselves if they had “R” material in their novels or short stories. Today, you have to defend yourself if you don’t have any explicit sex. Someone is always accusing you of being represssedor…well…no need to go on.

My western novels are PG. I am most comfortable writing that way and prefer to read westerns that are PG or…gasp!…even “G.” I believe a wholesome approach is best when writing western fiction.

There are some very talented western writers who disagree with me on this issue. I respect and admire their work.

6. Do you plot ahead of time, or do you let the plot emerge as you write?

I have a general idea of where I am going when I begin a novel but there are many changes and detours along the way. The plot doesn’t always “emerge” sometimes it must be painstakingly extracted.

7. What’s next for you?

With my agent days behind me, I am enjoying being a full time western writer. My next novel, Reverend Colt, will be published early in 2014 by Robert Hale. I also enjoy reading western novels by a new crop of talented young writers who are entering the genre. Tell Cotton is at the top of that list. Confessions of a Gunfighter is a major achievement and I am looking forward to reading Entwined Paths.

http://www.amazon.com/Boyd-Matheson-ebook/dp/B00BSRYZOQ/ref=sr_1_sc_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1368286706&sr=1-1-spell&keywords=Boyde+Matheson

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Interview with Jessica Tornese

Jessica Tornese stops by today, who was recently voted Solstice Publishing’s 2012 Author of the Year!

1. Greetings, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I am a mother of three, a preschool teacher and was a volleyball coach for many years before I moved to Florida. I am an avid reader and love the outdoors. Camping, the beach, four-wheeling…all of it! I also am a big lover of chocolate and ice cream. Favorite flavor-cookie minster from Cold Stone!

2. What genre, or genres, do you write?

I write YA (young adult). My first two books, Linked Through Time and Lost Through Time are part of a trilogy and my first efforts at published books. I also have a self -published children’s book out that I am considering writing a series for. I have had some great reviews for it.

3. What is your latest book called and what it is about?

My sequel, Lost Through Time, is a time travel book with some hints of mystery. The first had a little more romance, but the second focused more on the plot and the development of the villain. They both take place in my hometown in Minnesota and are based on my father’s family and some events that actually happened; the fire in my second book is an historic fire from 1910 that wiped out over 300,000 acres.

4. If you had to rate your book, would it be G, PG, PG-13, or R?

PG-13. I do have some romance scenes (mainly kissing) and refer to some tension building, and I do have a very intense moment in each of my books that is definitely for mature readers that understand relationships and what is appropriate and not. I try to teach the importance of recognizing the good and bad parts of a partner and when to get out. But I always write my books so that I wouldn’t be ashamed if my mother, grandmother, or daughter were reading it.

5. What makes your book unique?

I guess because my books have a lot of personal stories woven inside the fictional time travel , which means they are my own stories and can’t be many others. In my first book, I mention a family with girls who are abused and left outside in the cold while the boys are treated like kings. My father actually knew a family like that growing up and it is really sad. All of my writing has to be personal or I wouldn’t be invested in it. That’s why I find it unique.

6. Do you plot ahead of time, or do you let the plot emerge as you write?

I outline a little, but develop as I go. I always have a general idea, but often something strikes me while I am writing.

7. Where can we buy your books?

They are available in ebook and paperback at amazon, barnes and noble, and smashwords. I have reviews for both books on goodreads and amazon. I will be doing a print giveaway soon on goodreads, so join up and watch for it!

8. What’s next?

I will finish the trilogy and either start my children’s series back up (M&M Twins-Lost in Browser Cave) or start another YA book that I’ve had waiting in the background. Depends on what the summer brings!

Blurbs:

Linked Through Time-

Fifteen year old Kate Christenson is pretty sure she’s about to experience the worst possible summer at her grandparent’s farm in rural Baudette, Minnesota. Without cable, cell phones, or computers, Kate is headed for total isolation and six tedious weeks of boredom. Until the storm.

               A freak lightning accident has Kate waking up in 1960. But she is not herself. She is the aunt she never met, but has eerily resembled her entire life. Thrust into living a dirt poor, rural farm life, Kate struggles to make sense of her situation- a boyfriend with a dark side, a “townie” who steals her heart, and the knowledge that 1960 is the very summer her aunt drowns in the local river.

               Even with every precaution, Kate cannot stop fate, and an unexpected twist adds to her dilemma. To her horror, Kate finds out firsthand her aunt’s death was not an accident or a suicide, but something much, much worse.

Lost Through Time-

“There never was a body, you know.”

Such is the bizarre statement from Gran only weeks after Kate has returned from an accidental time traveling incident, surviving certain death…twice. Capturing Sarah’s killer seemed to be the reason for Kate’s disappearance, but Gran believes otherwise.

Learning of Kate’s power to time travel loosens memories and desires Gran has long since buried. Gran is set on finding Sarah, who she believes never died the night Dave Slater threw her in the river, but instead, went back in time through the Rapid River portal. With rudimentary research and analysis, Gran thinks she has unlocked the secrets to controlling the time traveling link that she and Kate share with their ancestors and she plans to use Kate to bring Sarah back.

               When Kate agrees, she is shocked to find out that in the more aggressive form of time travel, she doesn’t become Sarah, but trades places with her, sending Kate to Baudette, Minnesota in the year of 1910, and Sarah ahead to the year 2000.

Baudette’s catastrophic 1910 fire and typhoid epidemic are the least of Kate’s worries once she discovers what has happened. Her chances of a return trip are thwarted with the struggle just to survive, and Sarah, reliving her lost childhood in the ease of current day life, decides to never return to the past, leaving Kate to suffer the life she has left behind.

               Gran is torn- get rid of the daughter she has dreamed of finding for four decades, or rescue the precious granddaughter who risked everything for her selfish dream? And to what lengths will Sarah go to destroy any chances of Kate coming back? Will Sarah succeed in severing the link?

More info about Jessica!

Jessica Tornese’s debut novel, Linked Through Time, was inspired by her home town Baudette, MN. She graduated from high school there and continued her education at Minnesota State University – Moorhead where she earned a degree in education. She spent several years coaching in the Junior Olympic volleyball program in Minnesota as well as the junior varsity team for Lake of the Woods High School in 2010.

 Her favorite hobbies include reading, scrapbooking, playing volleyball, and extreme outdoor sports like caving, ziplining, and white water rafting. Jessica is also active in her church and has run several Vacation Bible School programs and Sunday school programs. She enjoys working with kids of all ages!

She hopes to finish her Linked trilogy soon, and continue writing. Recently, she self-published her first juvenile fiction book for kids online. (see M&M Twins)

Jessica is married and has three children. Her family recently relocated to a small town in south Florida.

Links:

http://www.amazon.com/Lost-Through-Time-ebook/dp/B009ZUKKR4/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1365111338&sr=1-1&keywords=lost+through+time

http://www.amazon.com/Linked-Through-Time-Jessica-Tornese/dp/1477570799/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1365111662&sr=1-1&keywords=linked+through+time

http://store.solsticepublishing.com/

Facebook- https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Linked-Through-Time/392292227468460?fref=ts

Twitter- @jltornese

Blog/Website- http://www.jessicatornese.com

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Interview with Lizzy Stevens

 1. Greetings, could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Thanks for having me on your blog today. I have been writing a long time but I got my first contract in 2007. I’m married with two kids. My family is the number one most important thing to me. I love to write when time allows. I’m currently an Amazon Best Selling author and I’m very active with twitter and blogging.

2. If you had to rate your books G, PG, PG-13, or R, which would it be and why?

All of my books are PG-13. I wouldn’t say they are Young Adult or Adult. I write stories that anyone can pick up and read and feel like they got a good story. I write things that if my kids wanted to read a book that I wrote I wouldn’t be embarrassed for them to see it or tell their friends that their mom is an author but on that same note if an adult read it they wouldn’t feel cheated either.

3. What can we expect from you in the future?

I have several sequels coming soon. Book 3 in the Rachel Connors Saga, Book 2 to Midnight Falls, a couple stand alone stories coming.

4. How do we find out about you and your books?

I am very active on twitter and you can follow me at @lizzystevens123

5. Generally, how long does it take you to write a book?

When time allows. Generally about a month.

6. What does your husband think of your writing?

My husband is my biggest supporter. He has actually even wrote two books with me. Those are my favorite books to date. “Blackbeard’s Treasure” and “A Lost Memory” I love it when we find the time to sit down and hash out a story outline together.

7. Do you ever ask him for advice?

Sure. I always bounce ideas off of him. He will tell me honestly if something is good or if it sounds stupid LOL

8. Among your own books, have you a favorite book?  Favorite hero or heroine?

My favorite books of my own like I said are the ones I wrote with my husband. But my favorite character is Rachel from “Rachel’s Legacy” She is  a strong women who goes through a lot in that story. She has to face difficult decisions and experiences love and loss.

 9. What is the most rewarding thing about being a writer?

The most rewarding thing as an author that has ever happened to me was one day when my son brought in his papers from school. I was reading over a paper that he did in class and the question said “Who is your favorite author” he put “my mom” I thought I was going to break down and cry right there on the spot. I’m getting all teary eyed and he is looking at me like I lost my mind. LOL

10. Are there any words of encouragement for unpublished writers?

My advice to authors is just write because you love writing, but also be prepared to work. After the book is published then your work just begins. That’s when you have to put the time and energy into the marketing of the book. Nobody can sell your story better than you. You have to be active on social media such as twitter, facebook etc. You have to get out there. There is a huge difference in being a writer and being an author. Anyone can write something but it takes a lot to be an author. An author has to be willing to put the work in and go that extra mile.

My only other advice would be that you have to be thick skinned in this business. Don’t let a bad review get you down. Everyone is not going to like your story. If you get a bad review just laugh it off and keep writing. Don’t ever let a bad review keep you from writing.

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Interview with Marie Lavender

Today I’m happy to have author Marie Lavender stop by and talk about her latest book.

1. Greetings, can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

Sure.  I’ve been writing since I was a kid.  I’ve always wanted to be an author.  I have published sixteen books.

2. What genre, or genres, do you write?

I write romances, both contemporary and historical.  I have written literary fiction before, and I am trying to get into writing paranormal stories as well.

3. What is your latest book called and what it is about?

Upon Your Return is a historical romance novel.  It is about a young heiress who gets herself into all kinds of trouble by being in the wrong place at the wrong time.  This sets off a whole chain of events that is both challenging and compelling.  She has to rely on a strange man for protection, and of course, they cannot help but fall in love.  This book was released in e-book form on February 13th.  The print version will be out in May or June.

4.  If you had to rate your book, would it be G, PG, PG-13, or R?

LOL!  Well, I’d have to say R.  It’s not overly graphic, but I definitely wouldn’t let a child read it.

5.  What makes your book unique?

I think the character, Fara Bellamont, is a pretty strong character who, despite of all the social norms of the time period (Victorian France), still manages to be an individual.  She does not like to be dictated to, and she puts the hero in his place several times.  She makes some decisions that society probably would not have accepted then and she gets a lot of flak for it, but that is what makes her unique.

6.  Do you plot ahead of time, or do you let the plot emerge as you write?

A little of both.  I usually have a good idea of where the story is headed, but I also get surprised at where the characters want to go too.  The longer I write, the more I realize how important all those little things that go into a book are (setting, research, etc.).  So, even if it might take time, I do plot on some level.  I am pretty casual about my writing usually, letting it just come out however it wants, but when I’m focused on a book, I get kind of obsessed with it.  With Perfect Game, one of the books I released under the pen name Erica Sutherhome, I did a ton of research on that, and I think it turned out pretty well, even though when it was just a seedling, I had no idea where it was going.  The books still manage to surprise me!  In high school, if you had told me I’d not only have a historical romance novel published, but be writing the sequels, I’m not sure I would have believed it.

7. Where can we buy your books?

Upon Your Return is available on Amazon and Solstice.  You can also link directly to any of my books through my website at http://www.marielavender.webs.com/   The rest of my books are available through Amazon and Lulu Press.

8. What’s next?

I am working on the sequel to Upon Your Return right now.  It will be titled Upon Your Honor.   I also have plans for many other books in the coming years.  I am working on a romantic suspense, and as aforementioned, I would like to write paranormal books.  I have plans for a couple of series about witches, and two vampire books.

Book Blurb for Upon Your Return

Fara Bellamont has been back in society for a year after leaving Cluny Abbey, where her uncle sent her long ago. When he chooses a suitor for her for marriage, she fears that she will be forced to marry a stranger and live a miserable life.

But, Fara finds herself thrust into an adventure of a lifetime when unforeseen circumstances cause her to place her trust in a strange man for protection. His intervention not only saves her, but puts her in an even more compromising position.

Grant Hill, a trading captain, is enchanted by the young heiress not only because of her beauty, but because she is hardly conventional. Underneath her ladylike exterior lies a tigress. Grant cannot help but offer his protection as she is in need and he is far from immune from her charms.

Fara just never bargained on the passion that she feels for Grant Hill. As events unfold, she must decide whether her desires and the dictates of her heart should trump the rules of society in this exciting tale.

 

Author Bio

Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands.

At the tender age of nine, she began writing stories. Her imagination fueled a lot of her early child’s play. Even growing up, she entered writing contests and received a certificate for achieving the second round in one. She majored in Creative Writing in college because that was all she ever wanted – to be a writer. While there, she published two works in a university publication, and was a copy editor on the staff of an online student journal. After graduating from college, she sought out her dream to publish a book.

UponYourReturn_E-bookCover (1)

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