Tuesday, January 22, 2019

20 Questions with Duffy Brown, Author of Tandem Demise #cozymystery #20Questions #tandemdemise

12:00 AM 0 Comments

Duffy Brown loves anything with a mystery. While others girls dreamed of dating Brad Pitt, Duffy longed to take Sherlock Holmes to the prom. She is a National Bestselling author and now conjures up who-done-it stories of her very own. She has two series the Consignment Shop Mysteries set in Savannah along with rescue pup Bruce Willis and the Cycle Path Mysteries set on Mackinac Island with judgmental cats Cleveland and Bambino. 

Her latest book is the cozy mystery, Tandem Demise.

Website Address: www.DuffyBrown.com

1. Are you a morning writer or a night writer?Morning when I’m fresh and the day hasn’t intruded on my brain and eaten away all my creativity. 

2. Do you outline or are you a pantster?
Outline. For a mystery the clues need to be in place to get to the end…at least for me. Also when I plot it frees my brain to do the humor. Writing humor is really hard and takes a lot of thought to pull it off.

3. Which comes first – plot or character?
Plot. If I know what I’m trying to do then I can put in the people to carry it off. And the characters need to fit the story.

4. Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript?
Quiet! I run a fan in the background to blank out any noise and take me out of the moment.

5. Favorite TV show?
Funny mysteries. I love Midsomer Murders. And I love Tom more than John. Also loved Castel the TV show esp the early seasons.

6. Favorite type of music?
Symphony, Christmas, Beach Boys.

7. Favorite craft besides writing?
Gardening! Love to watch things grow and there is nothing better than picking flowers from your garden to put in your house.

8. Do you play a musical instrument?
I wish. It’s all black dots to me.

9. Single or married?

10. Children or no?
Four kids and four grandkids.

11. Pets?Cats. Dr. Watson and Spooky.

12. Favorite place to write?
My desk. I can only write at my desk.

13. Favorite restaurant?
Anyplace that will cook for me and clean up afterwards I’m in!

14. Do you work outside the home?
Yes, at a consignment shop. That’s how I got the idea to write the Consignment Shop series. LOL

15. What was the name of the last movie you saw?
Love Actually. It’s Christmas time and I watch it every year.

16. Favorite outdoor activity?
Hiking and gardening

17. Pet peeve?
Slow drivers. Lord save me.

18. Your goal in life?
Get the next book done. LOL

19. Your most exciting moment?
White water rafting though the Grand Canyon. Amazing!!

20. The love of your life?
My husband. I miss him every day.
About the Book:

Author: Duffy Brown
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 225
Genre: Cozy Mystery

Smugglers on the hunt, a police chief on the run, lost loot and a dead wedding planner have the Mackinac Island regulars riding in circles 

     After solving two murders, bike shop owner Evie Bloomfield thought life on Mackinac Island would settle into boredom until she finds out Nate Sutter, island police chief and once-upon-a-time under cover cop is on the run. Some badass guys from Nate’s Detroit days think he stole money from them in a champagne smuggling operation and now they’re headed to the island to get their loot. ​Evie is determined to help Nate because he’s a good cop. Nate is determined to keep interfering Evie and island locals out of harms way, and the crooks are determined to get their money.



Friday, January 18, 2019

Researching - The Backbone of any Novel by John R. Beyer @drjohnrbeyer #writing

12:00 AM 0 Comments

Researching – the Backbone of any Novel
John R. Beyer

When the concept of writing my fourth novel teaming up my protagonists, Jonas Peters and Frank Sanders (their first book together), I knew there would have to be deep research to ensure the readers would believe the words I put down onto the paper. There was no chance I was to spend a year or more writing a tale involving these two fine men without the diligence of powerful exploration and research.
That is the hallmark of any good writing. Without painstaking research a writer ends up with only a tale without merit. Fictional writing may be what wordsmith’s make out of their creative memories but good fiction must resemble non-fiction to the audience.
When I read a novel I want to be taken away from the present reality and thrust into a new reality. What I did not realize when the idea for ‘Iquitos – the Past Will Kill’ sprang into my head was that I would be spending a month in the darkness of the Peruvian rainforest.
The jungle comes alive at night and hunkered beneath mosquito netting and swinging in the heavy and moist air in a hammock one thinks it is safer to be inside than outside. More than once each evening something outside would let loose with a scream and suddenly nothing but silence invaded the night.
During the daylight all one did was sweat in the ninety percent humidity
The rainforest on the Amazon just a short distance from Iquitos, Peru is a dangerous place to reside – for both human and the other creatures who roam the dark paths below the sky hiding branches.
On previous trips to Peru, my spouse (Laureen) and I had made close friends with a naval commander who set up the Amazon adventure including riding for hours in a fast boat. This navy small boat was capable of over sixty miles per hour on the wide and dark river and sported two fifty caliber machine guns. It was a fitting place for Jonas (who was the only character to venture into the Amazon) to hitch a ride and find out firsthand the magnitude of one of the largest rivers in the world.
Islands would appear out of nowhere – the shores teaming with life. Howler monkeys kept eyes on us as we swept by the land masses as well as Toucans and Macaws flying overhead. The skies were often covered with rain fat clouds ready to deluge us at any minute – often without warning the sky would open up. Suddenly drenched and smiling we would understand the thrill of research – to be somewhere not expected and enjoying every minute of it.
A month on the trail to making sure the research was correct left my spouse and our good friend Paul Bakas (photographer for our blog – jandlresearchandexploration) satisfied with that research and an understanding of the difficulty of living in such a primitive place as the Amazon. It takes a special type of person to make it day to day – we made it a month but with a guide, prepared food, constant warnings of the dangers behind every bush, and an overall appreciation of where we were and why.
As Laureen stated as we headed back to the states; “That was the best trip I never want to repeat.”
‘Iquitos – The Past Will Kill’ was a novel based on a past event involving Jonas Peters which brings that past rushing to the future. Fatal events occur at the beginning of the novel.
About the Author

John R. Beyer spent nearly ten years in law enforcement in Southern California as a street cop, a training officer and a member of the elite SWAT team. After leaving the force, he continued in public service entering the field of education. During his tenure, he served as classroom teacher, school administrator and district administrator, and was an integral part of the gang and drug force in San Bernardino. While in both worlds he earned a Doctorate in School Administration and a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

During all those years, he never gave up the passion for writing – both fiction and nonfiction. He has been published in numerous magazines, newspapers and the like for decades, writing on a variety of topics. His latest short stories in the past year can be found in Foliate Oak Literary Magazine (2016) and GNU Journal (2017). He is also the author of three highly praised internationally known novels – Hunted (2013), Soft Target (2014) and Operation Scorpion (2017).

He won the 'Write Well Award' in October of 2018 from the Silver Pen Writer's Association for a fictional short story.

His newest novel, ‘Iquitos – the Past Will Kill’, was released in November of 2018 by Black Opal Books bringing two of his protagonists together for their first investigation. Jonas Peters and Frank Sanders will work hand in hand with an international incident which left undetected could cause a catastrophic issue for the United States. They are friends and they are good at they do. Catching the bad guys.

Website Address:    http://johnrobertbeyer.weebly.com/
Twitter Address: @Drjohnrbeyer

About the Book:

Author: John R. Beyer
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Pages: 353
Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Jonas Peters and Frank Sanders team up to solve a string of murders, starting with the intentional and fatal bombing of a local coffee shop in downtown Riverside—a usually calm city in Southern California. Dozens are dead after an explosion rips apart the Coffee Grind, leaving dozens of others gravely wounded. Frank soon finds himself up to his elbows assisting the bombing victims, especially when he discovers that Jonas was walking to the Coffee Grind to meet up with his fiancée, but he never made it. In an instant, all their lives are thrust into a trail of death and destruction carried out by an unknown psychopath.


Wednesday, January 16, 2019

20 Questions with Michael McMenamin, Author of The Liebold Protocol

6:02 AM 0 Comments

Michael McMenamin is the co-author with his son Patrick of the award winning 1930s era historical novels featuring Winston Churchill and his fictional Scottish goddaughter, the adventure-seeking Hearst photojournalist Mattie McGary. The first five novels in the series—The DeValera Deception, The Parsifal Pursuit, The Gemini Agenda, The Berghof Betrayal and The Silver Mosaic—received a total of 15 literary awards. He is currently at work with his daughter Kathleen McMenamin on the sixth Winston and Mattie historical adventure, The Liebold Protocol.

Michael is the author of the critically acclaimed Becoming Winston Churchill, The Untold Story of Young Winston and His American Mentor [Hardcover, Greenwood 2007; Paperback, Enigma 2009] and the co-author of Milking the Public, Political Scandals of the Dairy Lobby from LBJ to Jimmy Carter [Nelson Hall, 1980]. He is an editorial board member of Finest Hour, the quarterly journal of the International Churchill Society and a contributing editor for the libertarian magazine Reason. His work also has appeared in The Churchills in Ireland, 1660-1965, Corrections and Controversies [Irish Academic Press, 2012] as well as two Reason anthologies, Free Minds & Free Markets, Twenty Five Years of Reason [Pacific Research Institute, 1993] and Choice, the Best of Reason [BenBella Books, 2004]. A full-time writer, he was formerly a first amendment and media defense lawyer and a U.S. Army Counterintelligence Agent.  

Kathleen, the other half of the father-daughter writing team, has been editing her father’s writing for longer than she cares to remember. She is the co-author with her sister Kelly of the critically acclaimed Organize Your Way: Simple Strategies for Every Personality [Sterling, 2017]. The two sisters are professional organizers, personality-type experts and the founders of PixiesDidIt, a home and life organization business. Kathleen is an honors graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and has an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University. The novella Appointment in Prague is her second joint writing project with her father. Their first was “Bringing Home the First Amendment”, a review in the August 1984 Reason magazine of Nat Hentoff’s The Day They Came to Arrest the Book.  While a teen-ager, she and her father would often take runs together, creating plots for adventure stories as they ran.



1. Are you a morning writer or a night writer? Morning.
2. Do you outline or are you a pantster? outline
3. Which comes first – plot or character? Characters. Can’t have a plot until you have characters.
4. Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript? Quiet
5. Favorite TV show? Of all time? Young Indiana Jones Chronicles. Right now? Lethal Weapon or Outlander.
6. Favorite type of music? Classical and the Beatles
7. Favorite craft besides writing? Jury trials, but that was a good 15 years ago.
8. Do you play a musical instrument? Nope
9. Single or married? Married
10. Children or no? Three children and eight grandchildren
11. Pets? Winnie, a black miniature schnauzer
12. Favorite place to write? My study
13. Favorite restaurant? Fire on Shaker Square in Cleveland
14. Do you work outside the home? Not any more. I was once a lawyer, but now I write full time.
15. What was the name of the last movie you saw?  Allied” with Brad Pitt
16. Favorite outdoor activity? Tennis and downhill skiing
17. Pet peeve? People who make fun of the Cleveland Browns. We are about to get even with all of you.
18. Your goal in life? To write more books.
19. Your most exciting moment? In this order: 1) our wedding; 2) the birth of our first child Katie; 3) publication of my second book—Becoming Winston Churchill, the Untold Story of Young Winston and His American Mentor; 4) publication of my first novel—The DeValera Deception.
20. The love of your life? My wife, the artist Carol Breckenridge.

About the Book:

Title: THE LIEBOLD PROTOCOL: a Mattie McGary + Winston Churchill World War 2 Adventure
Author: Michael & Kathleen McMenamin
Publisher: First Edition Design Publishing
Pages: 389
Genre: Historical Thriller

Winston Churchill’s Scottish goddaughter, Mattie McGary, the adventure-seeking Hearst photojournalist, reluctantly returns to Nazi Germany in the summer of 1934 and once again finds herself in deadly peril in a gangster state where widespread kidnappings and ransoms are sanctioned by the new government.

Mattie turns down an early request by her boss Hearst to go to Germany to report on how Hitler will deal with the SA Brown Shirts of Ernst Rohm who want a true socialist ‘second revolution’ to follow Hitler’s stunning first revolution in 1933. Having been away from Germany for over a year, her reputation as “Hitler’s favorite foreign journalist” is fading and she wants to keep it that way.

Instead, at Churchill’s suggestion, she persuades Hearst to let her investigate one of the best-kept secrets of the Great War—that in 1915, facilitated by a sinister German-American working for Henry Ford, British and Imperial German officials essentially committed treason by agreeing Britain would sell raw rubber to Germany in exchange for it selling precision optical equipment to Britain.  Why? To keep the war going and the profits flowing.  After Mattie interviews Ford’s German-American go-between, however, agents of Scotland Yard’s Special Branch are sent by Churchill’s political opponents in the British government to rough her up and warn her she will be prosecuted under the Official Secrets Act unless she backs off the story.

Left no choice, Mattie sets out for Germany to investigate the story from the German side and interview the German nobleman who negotiated the optics for rubber deal. There, Mattie lands right in the middle of what Hearst originally wanted her to investigate—Adolf Hitler believes one revolution is enough—and she learns that Hitler has ordered the SS to assassinate all the senior leadership of Ernst Rohm’s SA Brown Shirts as well as other political enemies on Saturday 30 June, an event soon known to History as ‘The Night of the Long Knives’.

Mattie must flee Germany to save her life. Not only does the German-American working for Henry Ford want her story on the optics for rubber treason killed, he wants her dead along with it. Worse, Mattie’s nemesis, the ‘Blond Beast’ of the SS, Reinhard Heydrich, is in charge of Hitler’s purge and he’s secretly put her name on his list…



Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Impetus and Research in Josh Hickman's The Kinfolk: Cult of Sex and Cheese & Giveaway! #interview #giveaway @thenoblegasses

12:00 AM 0 Comments

Impetus and Research in Josh Hickman’s The Kinfolk: Cult of Sex & Cheese

By Josh Hickman

Sometimes you have the impetus for your next book right in front of your face, and you can’t even see it. I did quite a bit of research for my new comic novel The Kinfolk: Cult of Sex & Cheese, but what I hadn’t realized is I had already done a lot already. I had been interested in cults since college or before and for years had read books and watched documentaries about them, at the time, daily checking news on Scientology and the falling NXIVM cult. Out on one of my soul-searching early morning walks, browbeating myself for an idea for my next book, it hit me. I called a friend of mine and gleefully admitted the obvious, “A comedy about a cult! Of course! I’ve already done half the work!” Well, I hadn’t done half the work as I was to find out, but I had made a very good start, and not only was the inspiration and interest already there, they had been for years. So, for the next month or two, I refreshed my memory on tales and facts I had known, and I dove far deeper into the shadowy subject. I read books and articles and watched videos on every cult I found quirky or interesting, also bothering to absorb information on some I didn’t. And I consciously chose to research a broader spectrum—not just making notes on Synanon, Jonestown, the Manson Family, Scientology, the Source Family, the Center for Feeling Therapy, and a dozen or more others, but I also read at least portions of Without Conscience by Dr. Robert D. Hare, Cialdini’s Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion, and Snapping: America’s Epidemic of Sudden Personality Change by Flo Conway, among several other excellent books. Don’t just stick to Wikipedia, obviously. I think researching a little beyond your original intended scope can often give you a broader, better perspective. I also found lectures on youtube easy, helpful, and concentrated, such as those on cult thinking and mind control by Robert Jay Lifton and Margaret Singer. I usually find a point, after a certain amount of work taking notes and jotting down ideas, scene scenarios, and snippets of possible dialogue, when I say to myself, “I think I kind of know what I’m doing now. I know what this is about and what I’m going to say.” And then I start writing. That is not to say I don’t go back often for new details and information, or that I don’t get stuck at times and have to momentarily return to the drawing board or even clean the slate partially. In the end, a fact-based or fact-inspired novel should, of course ,still be your own, coming from your own mind, in your own voice—be it a faux biography, a historical parody, fictional political satire, whatever. Your book should not just be a dry collection of slightly altered facts or a pile of rehashed internet searches. Keep most of the harsh facts in your head and more of your voice at your fingertips.

About the Author

Equally fascinated with horror movies, comedians, and true crime since early childhood, Josh Hickman spent equal time wading in the heady waters of Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine, the Three Stooges comedy shorts, and Helter Skelter while growing up in various parts of Texas. When he became a writer, Hickman incorporated his comedic sensibility and lifelong love of the horror and true crime genres into his satiric writings. His past comic novels also include the fictional comedy bio THROUGH TICK & TINN: THE TRUE STORY OF THE GREATEST UNKNOWN COMEDY TEAM EVER KNOWN and the illustrated surreal, cautionary high-seas treasure-hunt saga AMBERGRIS. Hickman lives and works in Hollywood.
His latest book is the satirical fantasy, The Kinfolk: Cult of Sex and Cheese.
Visit his website at http://www.joshhickmanbooks.com.



About the Book:

Author: Josh Hickman
Publisher: Polyester Press
Pages: 299
Genre: Satirical Fantasy

Hollywood Author Josh Hickman will release his latest brand of satirical, humorous books in mid-November. In the author’s new book, THE KINFOLK: CULT OF SEX AND CHEESE  he explores the maddening world of cults.  Mr. Hickman’s new novel follows his last satirical fantasy book, FIVE SLICES OF FEAR, that has received much critical praise from book reviewers.
Hollywood writer Mr. Hickman releases his new book as the fourth in a fantasy book series he has created and published.  In THE KINFOLK: CULT OF SEX AND CHEESE he chronicles the rise and fall of a “seductive, fanatical cult” led by the enigmatic Dillman “Papa Dilly” Bradford.
With THE KINFOLK: CULT OF SEX AND CHEESE once again fact meets fiction in the funny fantasy worlds author Josh Hickman creates. This time his fascination with cults has produced a fresh, yet familiar cast of charlatans, rubes, losers, and lucky fools, finding laughs in the cult impulse, religious fervor, and the common pathos of the average person who will do anything to find solace and belonging. Once more, author Hickman focuses his gaze on tragic comedy that is human existence--with all its fears, pitfalls, trials, and triumphs--and again he speaks hilarious truth to power in his latest entry THE KINFOLK: CULT OF SEX AND CHEESE.
“For as long as I’ve read books I’ve always been a huge fan of comedic novels,” Hickman asserted. “It was time I decided to start expressing my own comedic side of creative writing.”




Josh Hickman is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway ends midnight January 31.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on February 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow Us @soratemplates