Monday, May 23, 2022

πŸ“š Back Story: Ticket to Ride by Winona Kent #BackStories @winonakent

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 Back Story: Ticket to Ride

By Winona Kent

The inspiration for this book actually came from the novel I wrote just before it – Lost Time. Normally, my main character, Jason Davey, can be found at the Blue Devil Club in London’s Soho, where he has a permanent gig with his jazz combo. But in Lost Time, Jason has taken a leave of absence from his Blue Devil residency, and is rehearsing for a tour of England with his mum’s old folky-pop band, Figgis Green, while he solves the mystery of a young woman who went missing in the 1970s.

I had so many notes, and so much wonderful  research left over from Lost Time, that I thought it would be a great idea to write a novel about the actual tour. So in Ticket to Ride, Jason and the Figs are on the road, travelling around England, while he tries to get to the bottom of who his maternal grandfather really is—and deals with a series of seemingly-unrelated mishaps.

It's only after Jason is attacked and nearly killed in Cambridge, and a fire alarm results in a very personal theft from his mother’s hotel room, that it becomes clear they’re being targeted by someone with a very serious grudge.

To assist Jason, I decided to bring back a character I’d created in 2012, in my novel Cold Play. The story introduced Jason as an entertainer on board a cruise ship in Alaska. He was very active on Twitter, and he’d attracted a follower named Jilly, who identified herself as his “guardian angel”. Indeed, in the novel, she ended up saving Jason’s life. After which, he never heard from her again.

In Jason’s world, six years have passed between what happened in Cold Play, and what now happens in Ticket to Ride. Since I was dealing with all sorts of paranormal and “other-worldly” events—ghosts, gargoyles, fortune tellers and unexplained incidents—I thought it might be fun to give Jilly another chance to watch over Jason and, possibly, to help save his life one more time. I also updated Jason’s social media presence—he’s moved on from Twitter and is now posting his daily tour diary entries on Instagram, which is where Jilly ultimately connects with him.

As for the actual mysteries that Jason has to solve in Ticket to Ride…my own research into my own family tree has resulted in the discovery of some rather interesting characters. Jason shares my passion for family tree research…and his own investigation turns up some fairly surprising—and shocking—results.

By the way, Brian Richardson (my publisher) and I have created a rather clever Figgis Green website which gives you the look and feel of a real touring band to go along with Ticket to Ride, the novel. Please do drop by and visit:

Winona Kent
 is an award-winning author who was born in London, England and grew up in Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada, where she completed her BA in English at the University of Regina. After moving to Vancouver, she graduated from UBC with an MFA in Creative Writing. More recently, she received her diploma in Writing for Screen and TV from Vancouver Film School.

Winona’s writing breakthrough came many years ago when she won First Prize in the Flare Magazine Fiction Contest with her short story about an all-night radio newsman, Tower of Power.

Her spy novel Skywatcher was a finalist in the Seal Books First Novel Competition and was published in 1989. This was followed by a sequel, The Cilla Rose Affair, and her first mystery, Cold Play, set aboard a cruise ship in Alaska.

After three time-travel romances (Persistence of MemoryIn Loving Memory and Marianne’s Memory), Winona returned to mysteries with Disturbing the Peace, a novella, in 2017 and the novel Notes on a Missing G-String in 2019, both featuring the character she first introduced in Cold Play, professional jazz musician / amateur sleuth Jason Davey.

The third book in Winona’s Jason Davey Mystery series, Lost Time, was published in 2020.

Ticket to Ride is the fourth book in Winona’s Jason Davey Mysteries.

Winona has been a temporary secretary, a travel agent, a screenwriter and the Managing Editor of a literary magazine. She’s currently the BC/YK/NWT rep for the Crime Writers of Canada and is also an active member of Sisters n Crime – Canada West. She recently retired from her full-time admin job at UBC’s School of Population and Public Health, and is now happily embracing life as a full-time author.

You can visit her website at and connect with her on TwitterFacebook and Goodreads.

In Lost Time, the third book in Winona’s Jason Davey Mystery series, professional musician / amateur sleuth Jason Davey was rehearsing for Figgis Green’s 50th Anniversary Tour of England. Now they’re on

the road in Ms. Kent’s fourth book in the series, Ticket To Ride.

But when a fortune-teller in Sheffield warns them of impending danger, the band is suddenly plagued by a series of seemingly-unrelated mishaps.

After Jason is attacked and nearly killed in Cambridge, and a fire alarm results in a very personal theft from Mandy’s hotel room, it becomes clear they’re being targeted by someone with a serious grudge.

And when Figgis Green plays a gig at a private estate in Tunbridge Wells, that person finally makes their deadly intentions known.

Jason must rely on his instincts, his Instagram “guardian angel,” and a wartime ghost who might possibly share his DNA, in order to survive.

Book Information

Release Date: March 26, 2022

Publisher:  Blue Devil Books

Soft Cover: 978-1777329433; 230 pages; $15.70; E-Book, $3.93


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20 Questions with Roger Stark, Author of 'They Called Him Marvin' & Giveaway #20Questions

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 Today's guest is Roger Stark, author of the historical romance, THEY CALLED HIM MARVIN: A HISTORY OF LOVE, WAR, AND FAMILY. Roger is here today to answer 20 questions about his life, writing and goals.


1. Are you a mornning writer or a night writer?

Definitely morning, anytime after 3 am, am usually done for the day by 10 am.

2.  Do you outline or are you a pantster? 

I create a story arc and go from there, not quite an outline, but not a total pantster either.

3.  Which comes first – plot or character?

Plot then I go searching for characters.

4.  Noise or quiet when working on your manuscript? 

I wrote 90 percent of this book with the Last of the Mohicans blasting on my player. I used The Sounds of Silence by Disturbed, which I quite enjoyed, but since I don’t use head phones, it drove my wife nuts hearing it play over and over and over and….

5.  Favorite TV show? 

Gunsmoke…..that tells you how old I am.

6.  Favorite type of music? 

Folk, country. favorite groups, Gordon Lightfoot, Boston, Peter Paul and Mary.

7.  Favorite craft besides writing? 

Building things with my hands. I pretend I am a very good carpenter.

8.  Do you play a musical instrument? 

Not very well, but I strum my guitar occasionally.

9.  Single or married?

Very married, we are celebrating out 50th anniversary as I write this.

10.  Children or no? 

Seven. Four girls and three boys.

11.  Pets? 

A Black Lab mix named Turbo. A name he has earned!

12.  Favorite place to write? 

My office.

13.  Favorite restaurant? 

We are simple folk, Spaghetti Factory.

14.  Do you work outside the home?

I am essentially retired but still dabble in Addiction Recovery work.

15.  What was the name of the last movie you saw? 

The Power of the Dog

16.  Favorite outdoor activity? 


17.  Pet peeve?

Book Pirates!!!

18.  Your goal in life?

To be a good person….

19.  Your most exciting moment?

I haven’t had it yet!

20.  The love of your life.

Susan Lynn Jackson Stark.

I am, by my admission, a reluctant writer. But some stories demand to be told. When we hear them, we must pick up our pen, lest we forget and the stories are lost.

Six years ago, in a quiet conversation with my friend Marvin, I learned the tragic story his father, a WW2 B-29 Airplane Commander, shot down over Nagoya, Japan just months before the end of the war.

The telling of the story that evening by this half orphan was so moving and full of emotion, it compelled me to ask if I could write the story. The result was They Called Him Marvin.

My life has been profoundly touched in so many ways by being part of documenting this sacred story. I pray that we never forget, as a people, the depth of sacrifice that was made by ordinary people like Marvin and his father and mother on our behalf.

My career as an addiction counselor (CDP) lead me to write “The Waterfall Concept; A Blueprint for Addiction Recovery,” and co-author “Reclaiming Your Addicted Brain.”

My next project is already underway, a memoir of growing in SW Washington called “Life on a Sorta Farm.” My wife of 49 years, Susan, and I still live in that area.

We raised seven children and have eleven grandchildren. We love to travel and see the sites and cultures of the world. I still get on my bicycle whenever I can.

You can visit Roger’s website at or connect with him on Facebook or Instagram.


Author: Roger Stark
Publisher: Silver Star Publishing
Genre: Historical Romance/WW2/Family Saga


18-year-old Pvt Dean Sherman goes to church with a friend in Salt Lake City. He meets 16-year-old Connie that will become his wife. After Pearl Harbor Dean applies for pilot training and is accepted. Dean joins Connie’s Mormon Church and they secretly become engaged.

By the time Dean has commissioned a pilot, Connie is 18 and they marry and are together for a year and a half before he ships out as an Airplane Commander of a B-29.  Connie is pregnant with their son, Marvin.

A Japanese family is introduced, the Kyoshis. She is an important member of the Community Council he is a builder of water guns used in fighting fires and is the neighborhood fire captain.  A son Reo will go off to war and train as a fighter pilot. 12-year-old Son Riku has a reappearing role in the story concerning the B-29’s bombing of Japan. They also have 6-year-old twin sisters that are sent to Hiroshima early in the story for their safety.

The crew of 44-69966 arrives in India after a month of flying. Letters start arriving for Connie. Discussion of the B-29s development of strategic purposes is explained.

In Japan Reo Kyoshi goes off to war and the Firebombing of Tokyo occurs. 15 Square miles burned down to the sidewalks. 100,000 casualties and a million people homeless. The Kyoshi survive the conflagration but lose their home.

Marvin is born. Dean returns to duty and his plane is transferred to the Marianna Islands in the Pacific. Some 67 love letters are exchanged between Dean and Connie.

Dean’s plane is shot down over Nagoya Japan, the crew is captured and sent to Tokai Army Headquarters. Connie keeps writing letters that cannot be delivered. She has no idea he is in a Japanese prison.

Prison conditions are horrible, beatings and interrogations constant. Connie receives the war department telegram listing Dean as MIA.

A sham trial is conducted the crew is found guilty and their sentence is carried out the next day.

Almost 50 years later, Dean comes to Connie in a dream/vision and confirms his love for her and that they will yet have a life together.

Book Information

Release Date: September 1, 2021

Publisher:  Silver Star Publishing

Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-0578855288; 333 pages; $17.43; E-Book, $2.99




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Roger Stark is giving away three autographed copies of his book, THEY CALLED HIM MARVIN!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Three winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one autographed paperback copy of They Called Him Marvin
  • This giveaway ends midnight June 30.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on July 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Book Teaser Trailer: Mendel by Damone Bester @damonebester #booktrailer #bookteaser

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Author: Damone Bester
Publisher: The Story Plant
Genre: Urban Fiction


Imagine the mid 1980’s, last day of school, summer break. A teen rushes to meet his mother, who is being released from the hospital after cancer surgery. When the teen arrives, he finds out his mother is dead, but his ex-gangbanging dad, who has been in jail the last seven years, is at the hospital ready to take the teen home.

Mendel, is a coming-of-age story about a senior at Chicago’s legendary Mendel High who must learn how to forgive as he navigates life without his mother. Things come to a head when the teen accidentally finds his mom’s diary. In the journal, he discovers his mother’s dreams of becoming a collegiate track star were derailed due to getting pregnant with him. To honor his mother, he joins Mendel’s track team and excels, but before he can cash in on any scholarship offers, his father’s thuggish past catches up with them when a gun toting nemesis comes seeking revenge. The teen must decide between saving his own life or sacrificing it all to save his estranged father.

Book Information

Release Date: April 26, 2022

Publisher:  The Story Plant

Soft Cover: ISBN: 978-1611883268; 288 pages; $16.95; E-Book, $7.99


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Damone Bester was born and raised on Chicago’s Southside to blue-collar parents who were married 49 years, and one older brother, whose backyard scuffles taught Damone one lesson: “Never quit.” He wasn’t just a student at Mendel; he lived and breathed “Blue Smoke,” the mantra of his track team brethren. A brief conversation with another Mendel alum stoked the fire to pen his first novel about the school he so loved.

Damone is an author, poet, aspiring screenwriter, and voiceover artist. He has a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Illinois State University and has spent most of his profession in the Social Services sector. He currently lives in the Twin Cities area and enjoys fishing, bowling, basketball (watching, not playing), bean bags, and bragging about his nephew and nieces.

You can visit his website at or connect with him on TwitterFacebook and LinkedIn.

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