Saturday, February 16, 2019

Welcome to author Karen Fritz

Hello, Karen, welcome to my blog! Congratulations on your book release. Let's hear a little about it.

The Shop 'N Hop convenience store sat in the middle of Southside, the worst part of Winston.  It was a potpourri of crack houses, prostitutes, homeless and vermin, and not the four-legged kind.  It was a place only the strong survived.  Parker figured every town had a Southside--not a place anyone chose to live.  This was where you ended up when life grabbed you by the balls and slung you as hard as it could. 


Pair a cynical, veteran homicide detective, Gabe Parker, with a rookie, playboy detective, Alex Garcia. Drop them in the seediest part of town with a high-profile murder. Toss in compassion, personal issues and a passion for the job. The result, is a lot of snarky banter, clever detective work and a begrudging mutual respect. 

About the author:

Crossroads is Karen's second novel.  She lives in North Carolina with her husband, two daughters, two dogs and an overly curvaceous cat. 

Buy here: 

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Welcome to author Usher Morgan

Hello, Usher, congratulations on your book release, Lessons from the Set, about filmmaking!


Lessons from the Set: A DIY Guide to Your First Feature Film, From Script to Theaters is a step-by-step filmmaking guide that takes a cinephile’s “Do It Yourself” approach to low-budget indie film production and distribution. This book will offer you some valuable, practical insight into the process of making a commercial feature film on a low budget and releasing it to theaters – whether you’re starting with $1,000 or $1m.

Lessons from the Set will guide you through the process of writing, planning, directing, producing, marketing, and releasing your first feature film. You’ll learn how to overcome writing challenges and improve the quality of your screenplay, how to make $0 budget short films and perfect your craft, how to plan your film, master filmmaking tools, and set the stage for your upcoming shoot.

This book is peppered with life-saving tips, tricks, and filmmaking techniques that will save you a lot of time, money, and energy on set, in pre-production and in post. You’ll learn how to release your film to theaters, how to tackle festivals and win awards, how to handle press and get reviews, execute marketing efforts, and approach the filmmaking process with both an artistic soul and an entrepreneurial mindset. Lessons from the Set was designed to give you all the tools and resources you’ll need to complete and release your film successfully in any market and help you set the stage for a prosperous career as a full-time indie filmmaker.

It’s Saturday night, and you find yourself inside your local movie theater. You take a seat in a dimly-lit room with a bucket of popcorn and an oversized cup of soda. The previews are kicking in – all the movies that are yet to come; the personal dreams of folks who have spent years of their lives making a single product that is now trying to grab your attention. You watch trailer after trailer for what seems like an eternity when, finally, the lights begin to dim and that infamous studio logo kicks in and everyone goes quiet – it’s starting.

At that moment, you and everyone else around you are under the spell of the dominating voice inside that room – that is the voice of the filmmaker. You have willingly given your time and money to a deity whose sole purpose is to entertain you – and you want to be entertained; you want to feel, think, cry, laugh, and applaud as the story takes you into another time and place. You want to be enchanted, taken by the hand, and given a new experience (all within the course of 100 or so minutes), and every once in a while, you get your wish. Every once in a while, you leave the theater with a smile. The filmmaker to whom you’ve given your precious time and hard-earned cash delivered the goods; they succeeded in meeting your expectations and that feels good. That movie was “amazing!” It was worth the investment; it was something to remember, and more importantly to the filmmaker, it was something to talk about. 

But every so often, the cards are not stacked in your favor. Every once in a while, you go into the theater with the same expectation but leave with a frown – the story wasn’t funny or sad; it didn’t make you “feel” anything; you didn’t laugh, or cry, or applaud; it didn’t take you anywhere or give you any new experiences, and, if anything, it left you with a feeling of annoyance or disappointment. In short, you were not entertained. The filmmakers had taken your hard-earned money, stolen your time, and failed to deliver on the promise they made. Your expectations were shattered, and you feel bad. 

Most of the time, however, something else happens, and that something is... well, “nothing.” Most of the time, you walk in, watch a movie, and walk back out when it’s over, and the film you’ve just watched slips your mind by the following morning and rarely ever enters it again. This is where 50% of movies exist, in my opinion; they’re good, but not great; they’re entertaining, but not memorable. When someone approaches you in December and asks for a list of this year’s “favorite films,” these movies will never be on that list, mainly because you don’t remember seeing them.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Usher Morgan is an award-winning screenwriter, film director, producer and studio executive residing in New York City. Morgan started his career in book publishing and later became involved with film production and distribution. He produced his first documentary film The Thought Exchange starring David Friedman and Lucie Arnaz in 2012, followed by his directorial debut, the award-winning short film Prego.

Morgan’s first feature film, Pickings was released to AMC theaters on March 2nd, 2018 and made its way to VOD in August of 2018. His directing style is influenced primarily by film-noir and spaghetti westerns. The Los Angeles Times calls Usher Morgan, “a talent to watch”. 


Please follow the tour and comment. The more you comment, the better your chances at winning. 

The tour dates can be found here:

GIVEAWAY: Usher Morgan will be awarding an autographed copy of the book to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

Monday, February 11, 2019

Book review and Giveaway contest with author Chrissy Brown

Hello, and welcome to author Chrissy Brown. I was given a free copy of this book for an honest review.

Giveaway contest:

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Chrissy Brown will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner, also an ebook of the second installment of the series Come a Little Closer (tentatively to be released 2/9), to another randomly drawn winner, both via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Follow the tour and comment. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

A sweet, yet steamy new adult romance about a girl who's not ready to fall in love and a boy who isn't ready to let her go.

She is beautiful, probably the most beautiful girl I've ever seen, but she's damaged.
Her a-hole exboyfriend broke her.
I still want her.
I can show her that all men aren't the same
That I'm different.

He's everything I need to stay away from, and I try.
I really do, but he's relentless.
So, I give in and let him have me.
All of me.
I should have known better.

Read an Excerpt:

I throw the valet at the Sheraton Hotel my keys and hurry up the steps. A sign in the lobby welcomes guests for the Cross and Doyle wedding.
What kind of last name is that? Tristan Doyle. It’s a stupid name. No hesitations. Placing both hands on the white wooden door, they fly open with a thud that echoes throughout the room.
“Don’t do it!”
At least a hundred eyes turn to me, bride and groom included. It’s then I notice the bride. She’s breathtaking in her big white dress, but she’s not Mallory. Mallory stands beside the bride in a long coral gown. Her jaw is dropped. Face pale. Eyes wide. My stomach sinks to my feet. She’s horrified to see me.
Maybe this was a bad idea.
“Shoot, everyone,” I say, hands up in surrender. “Sorry. I thought Mallory was the one getting married.”
“What the fuck are you doing here, Beau?” Mallory yells from the front of the room.
“Beau?” The groom says. It’s more of a statement than a question. Mallory’s head nods once. I’m not sure if even she knows she did it.
I start up the aisle. It’s a f’ing long aisle. Or at least it feels that way. The groom meets me a few feet from the first row. He has the same dark hair and blue eyes as Mallory. This must be her brother.
He draws back. I know what’s coming. There’s no point in stopping it. I deserve this. I crushed his sister’s heart. I barged into his wedding. My face jolts to the left when his fist connects with my cheek. A sticky liquid leaks from my nose. I wipe it with the back of my hand. Blood. Great.

About the Author:
Chrissy Brown is a Contemporary Romance and New Adult Romance author. She lives in Central Florida with her husband, twin girls, two dogs, and the neighborhood cat.

She enjoys the simple things in life, like cuddling on the couch watching movies with her family, reading, Netflix, and beach trips. She reads two to three books a week, but favors stories with strong women, true love, and steamy scenes.

When Chrissy is not sitting at her computer, fantasizing about gorgeous country boys, she is teaching third graders how amazing books are...and writing, and math. She has also been an amateur wedding photographer and a CNA (to which she gives kudos but says never again.)

My Review: 
Poignant young love in this story is a bit honest and spicy. When Mallory goes up north to Georgia from Florida and meets Beau, her life changes. Beau’s world gets turned upside down when he first encounters Mallory. We are lucky to get the story through both of their eyes, and the effect is marvelous. Readers come to understand Mallory’s pain through her eyes and then see Beau’s reaction to the damaged young lady, through his eyes. This makes for a more profound understanding of the development of their relationship.

Beau wants Mallory to see and know the real him. These two characters are full of surprises. Mallory stretches herself to try to be more interesting to Beau. He has some appealing, real friends who will do what they have to in order to keep him on track with Mallory during their well-written ups and downs. The secondary characters are a good foil to the protagonists and add just the right touch to the story. 

There are some tender moments as well as  some startling ones. Mallory and Beau’s developing relationship is filled with a deep feelings but uncertainty. Things escalate, and stronger feelings come out. Something threatens to come between them permanently. Can their unspoken feelings be enough to get them back together, or is it too late?

With what these two go through together, they both experience character growth. Their love is put to the test and makes for a page-turning story.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Books around the world: Scotland

Hello, I just finished a book, The Daughter Of Time, by Scottish author, Josephine Tey (Elizabeth MacKintosh), a great mystery writer. This book version is the one with the introduction by crime novelist Robert Barnard. The Daughter Of Time aims to solve an historical mystery: Did Richard III of England really murder his nephews, the princes in the tower? I was drawn to this topic because I've written about it myself. My first paper in grad school was an historiographic exploration of it. I looked at five-hundred years of historians' writings about Richard, looking for the trends. I've also written a time travel novel where one of my characters who believes in Richard's innocence goes back in time and warns Richard about an important battle, saving his life, and therefore changing the history of England.

In The Daughter of Time, an injured police inspector for Scotland Yard is in the hospital recovering and needs something interesting to occupy his time, so he decides to look into the Richard mystery. He had seen his portrait, and it just didn't seem as if the man could be the evil one who killed his own nephews and took the throne after his brother, the king, died.

With the help of a researcher, the inspector studies primary source documents as well as secondary sources. He's not impressed with the account of historians who seemed to gloss over the topic, so going right to the original sources helps him delve deeper and gain a richer understanding.

What's really impressive about this book is that obscure documents are discussed, and these bridge gaps between the larger events that happened in history. Near the end of the book, when the inspector puts information about the two suspects side-by-side (King Richard III and his successor, Henry Tudor--King Henry VII), patterns and probabilities of who killed the boys become exquisitely clear. What convicted Richard in the eyes of many would not hold up in a court of law nowadays. It was very flimsy circumstantial evidence that turned him into a villain.

The exploration, the investigation, using real evidence, was very well done in this book and is quite convincing. Also, the story was in the form of a mystery novel and so was entertaining. For those who like a good mystery, especially cold cases--this one's over five-hundred years old--you are likely to find this book compelling.

Friday, February 1, 2019

Book review of Tailwinds Past Florence and GC Giveaway contest

GC Giveaway contest:

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions
Doug Walsh will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour. Follow the tour and comment. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning.

After getting blacklisted from the venture capital industry, twenty-nine-year-old Edward Vaughan will do anything to avoid telling his wife what happened. Even if it means agreeing to her dream of bicycling around the world. Kara, tired of being married to a workaholic, was readying for a divorce. Now, she’s packing bags of a different kind. Together, they pedal away from Seattle, headed east on the open road across America, Europe, and beyond.

Theirs is a decision that reverberates across centuries, shattering a continuum that bound their souls throughout time, and traps Edward in a battle with a past life over an eternal love.

As the miles roll by, and the couple's sordid secrets begin to surface, the couple encounters several men plucked from history, each one a vessel of Edward’s soul in a prior life. Of them, a 19th century art dealer proves dangerous, believing Kara is his ticket back to the past.

Tailwinds Past Florence is a contemporary love story with a magical twist, landing readers in the saddle of a global bicycle adventure.

With no kids on the horizon or in-laws willing to travel all that way, the second bedroom had become a land of forgotten hobbies. Dust-covered mountain bikes leaned where a dresser may have stood, a paint-splattered drop cloth took the place of a guest bed, an empty easel in lieu of a mirror.
As he rose from picking up the shoe, an unexpected absence caught his eye. The map was gone. For months it had hung opposite the door, above a bookcase lined with old college texts and a copious collection of brushes and paint tubes. Now, in its stead, only thumbtack holes in the same not-quite-white (Kara called it Saffron Lace) that covered every wall in their Seattle apartment.
She brought the map home last fall, a laminated Rand-McNally depicting every country on earth in shaded relief. Accompanying it was a proposal to bicycle around the world. She wanted him to take a sabbatical—a laughable notion in the world of venture capital—and spend a year or three traveling.
Issues of Adventure Cyclist appeared in the bathroom soon after, borrowed travel guides rotated across her nightstand, and seemingly every conversation held an air of wanderlust, with Kara pining for small towns and country roads, campfire beers at sunset. Just the two of us, she’d say in a coquettish whisper. While we’re still young. Edward could only guess what spurred her restlessness and expected it to vanish as abruptly as it emerged.
The map hadn’t gone far. A quick search found it crunched into a football of discarded fantasy, punted behind a pile of bags and boxes. By the looks of things, she’d cleaned out the closet.
He unfurled the map, exposing a runaway squiggle of black ink. His eyes locked on the map’s northwest corner, where a star marked the departure point. Home. From there, the line dipped and danced across the northern United States and Canada before dashing south from London to Spain. Onward it went, around the Mediterranean to Greece, Turkey, and beyond. Edward followed the trail, past a who’s who of countries he knew nothing about, to China and Vietnam and a hand-drawn smiley face clear on the other edge of the poster, in Bali.
She’d given up on it. No. She gave up on me.

My Review: I was given a free copy for an honest review:
Title: Tailwinds Past Florence                             

Author: Doug Walsh

Publisher: Snoke Valley Books

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Mainstream Fiction    

This is one of those adventurous stories driven by a touch of the paranormal, but readers don’t know this right away. A woman is at her wit’s end, tired of the long hours her husband works, and the neglect. She’s preparing to ask him for a divorce, until he comes home from work one day and suggests something amazing: that they follow one of her dreams and bicycle around the world.

Edward lost his job, but keeps this little secret and his motivation for his suggestion to travel from Kara. He and his wife sell their stuff and head out for their challenging adventure. It’s quite a change for the man with the MBA and the great-paying job. 

They face real dangers on the road: hunger, bad weather, even bears. Their marriage is sure to be tested. They have to get creative to survive, but this could prove to be fun—it all depended on perspective.

There’s also a mystery underlying the first part of their road trip. Whathad Edward done to get fired? During their exciting travels, beautiful scenery is described, and the couple has run-ins with interesting local people. They have some close calls, and though the journey is sensational, threats lurks everywhere, creating a sense of suspense.

The hardships test their marriage, and readers see how the couple interacts during these trying times. Kara, unbeknown to Edward, wants to save their marriage. He has no idea it’s in trouble. Kara hopes going from almost no time together to being together every moment will bring them closer together, but Edward would rather be working. Secrets and buried feelings come out. Can they survive this? We they change? Will they separate or grow closer? We witness their internal struggles.

Edward makes a great sacrifice for Kara, but then something changes—an offer to good to be true is made—and he accepts a challenging contest. Kara knows something is wrong by his sudden strange behavior, but he lies to her. Will he lose her over an important decision, a huge secret? The pressure is on. Ironically, as he keeps the truth from her, they grow closer for what they experience together on the road. But then, his guilt starts eating him up, and they have troubles.

There is a parallel character, Alessio, who is from the 19thcentury and wakes up in the 21st. His discovery of modern items is fascinating. He seems innocent enough…at first.
What will become of him when he ventures out of the apartment? When he does, his reactions to what he sees is often humorous. Another man from the past finds Alessio. They have some interesting conversations and come to some fascinating, profound conclusions.

Edward and Kara meet an interesting French-Canadian in Canada. He seems to be from the past, having grown younger, like Alessio in Italy, and searching for his girlfriend. Kara is drawn to him without knowing why. The stranger has a weird glow about him like a stranger that Alessio met. A pattern seems to be immerging of reincarnation. How fascinating to run into time-traveling people you knew in a past life. When they meet up, remarkable things happen.

Some of these returning people are kind and understanding. Others are not. The tension increases to a boiling point. Seeing if Kara and Edward will survive running into troubled past versions of themselves is exciting to see, and if they survive, will they work out the differences that have been plaguing their souls for centuries? 

This is a great book with a fresh take on relationship struggles. At the same time, it’s a travel adventure with paranormal elements, a page turner, whose tension just keeps rising to an exciting end.

About the Author:

Doug Walsh made his fiction debut with Tailwinds Past Florence, a road-tripping love story with a magical twist, inspired by the two years he spent cycling the world. The novel was a prizewinner in the PNWA Literary Contest. He's also authored One Lousy Pirate, a travel memoir, and over one hundred officially-licensed video game strategy guides. Travel guides to fictitious places, as he likes to call them. Originally from New Jersey, he now lives and plays in the mountains of western Washington.
Web/Social Links

Purchase Links:
Tailwinds Past Florence is available at the following locations:

Welcome to author Anne Holster

Hello, Anne, welcome. Congratulations on your YA Romance book release, Finding Jackson . BLURB: It's 1977 - Star Wars is ...