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Around The Globe With Carla Rehse

MoabMy final author of the morning takes me all the way out to Moab, Utah. We spend some time rock climbing in a Jeep and enjoying the dry heat of the desert. After awhile, we stop and let the breeze and some cold drinks cool away the sweat. I will have to wash out the sand that’s worked its way into…uh, hey, this is a good time for an interview.

Pink Lock Picks and Sequined Witch Hats Banner 851 x 315

1. Who are you and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?

I’m not sure how fascinating I am—I would describe myself as quirky. By day, I’m a supervisor at a government job, which is similar to herding cats. At night, I listen to Dutch symphonic metal and dream of the day I retire so I can dye my hair blue.

2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?

Ha! I’m sure people at work would be very surprised by my musical choices.

3. What interested you to become a writer rather than something else such as rock star? Reading has always been a huge part of my life. As an Army brat, houses and friends came and went, but my books were always constant. About eight years ago, I read an interview about JK Rowling. That inspired me to try and write down the stories that have always been running around my head.

4. Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?

JK Rowling, I’d love to meet her but would be too awed to eat.

5. If I were stranded on a deserted island or suffering from a four hour layover at the airport, why would your book(s) be great company?

I wrote Pink Lock Picks and Sequined Witch Hats with the idea to keep the humor running through it. I think the title shows that. It was inspired by Clueless and Ocean’s Eleven.

6. Share your process of writing in regards to: plot and character development, story outline, research (do you Google or visit places/people, or make it up on the spot), writing schedule, editing and number of rewrites.

I always have the first and last chapters set in my mind before I start writing a new story. I also have three chalkboards in my office for an outline, plot threads, and characters. I’m very visual and organized. I do a lot of Googling when I write—sometimes too much as research can take away from my writing time. Usually, I have several plot ideas churning in the ‘ol brain pan. The trick is tying them all together. I have a daily writing goal, but don’t always make it. I’m thinking of adding a word counter widget to my website. If I can get that synched with my Fitbit, then my self-harassment will be complete. For editing, I edit each chapter before starting the next. Then I edit the entire book at least twice. If I get hit with writer’s block, I usually edit the chapters I’ve completed to see if I’m missing something in the plot that’s causing the block.

7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”

Sometimes just writing down an idea helps. Build off the original thought. It helps to focus on a single character or plot thread.

8. I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day which read, “Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?

I so want that T-shirt. My main philosophy is “have a plan. Then have a backup plan. And then have a third ‘Just In Case’ plan.” It has been pointed out to me that I have some OCD issues.

9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing?

What’s next for you? I’m currently writing the sequel: Pink Duct Tape and Glittery Broomsticks.

10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?

I’m on Twitter @CRehse. You can also find me at my website, carlarehse.com


coverPink Lock Picks and Sequined Witch Hats

Carla Rehse

Genre: YA Urban Fantasy

Date of Publication: 7-24-17

ISBN: 978-1546514534

Number of pages: 286

Word Count: 78k

Fashion. Dead bodies. And magic.

In this fantastical and mysterious tale, seventeen-year-old lock pick Gracie Mason finds herself inadvertently caught up in a world involving witches, bizarre rituals, romance—and murder.

Book Description:

Witches must bond with humans in order to produce children—and once the bond is made, it cannot easily be unmade.

Imagine seventeen-year-old Gracie Mason’s surprise when she accidentally bonds with a witch named Asher. Sure, he’s cute, but that’s beside the point. She’s not going to settle for a guy just because she’s magically bound to him.

To dissolve the bond, Gracie must seek out another witch to perform a magical rite. However, matters become considerably more complicated when witches begin turning up dead. Wanting nothing more than to get on with her life, Gracie must now team up with her enchanter and wade deeper into a complex world of enchantment and intrigue.

Pink Lock Picks and Sequined Witch Hats is an enthralling story of magic, mystery, and murder—and each new twist will draw you further under its spell.

Amazon

Excerpt:

Daddy told me years ago that to succeed in life I need a strong plan, the right tools, and the gumption to follow through. His words of wisdom helped me get elected homecoming queen, become co-captain of the cheerleading squad, and voted on the student council. Now I plan to use them to help me pull off my first burglary.

My plan is solid. I’ve also never backed down from a challenge, not even last year when Brittany Thomas became overly friendly with the entire football team in a sad attempt to deprive me of my crown. People say I started the rumor about the rash of STD cases spreading through the boys’ locker room faster than a brush fire. I didn’t, of course. Why start gossip when the squad of doctors from the local Health Department did it for me?

I take a deep breath as I enter the Trinity Building. At almost four o’clock on a Friday before a three-day weekend, the place is deader than a PTA meeting. It helps that today is the hottest July first on record for Central Texas and the air conditioning in this building is dismally subpar. The Trinity Corporation may claim to have the most upscale rental space in town, but one look at the gold leopard granite floor paired with peach-painted walls shows that’s a downright fib.

The only guard on duty leans back in his chair and sucks down a Sonic Route 44 Coke like his life depends on it. I wave as I pass the security desk, wearing a megawatt smile and fully confident in the strength of my lavender-scented Lavanila deodorant—vegan, of course. Deputy Dawg gives me his usual perv stare before returning to the comic book balanced on his knee.

Centex Therapy, LPC occupies most of the first floor office space. A small bell tinkles when I open the frosted glass door. What decorum the overall building lacks, the waiting room has in spades. Brown leather chairs sit on a bamboo rug and pastel paintings from local artists brighten the walls. A tall grandfather clock in the corner softly chimes four times. This late on a Friday means the room is empty of other patients. Perfect.

Jane, the receptionist, fans herself with a copy of Country Living. “Cutting it awfully close, Gracie. Go on in.”

Dr. McDozzle gives me a pained smile as I enter the room.

Good afternoon, Miss Mason. Have a seat.” For a head shrinker, he’s incredibly formal. And a non-Texan, who hates football and sweet tea. I haven’t learned much more about him in the last month, but that’s enough to get him tarred and feathered if word got out.

The leather recliner squeaks when I sit down. “Thanks for seeing me on a Friday, Doc.” I twirl a strand of newly highlighted platinum hair around my finger. It goes wonderful with my bubblegum pink manicure. “Mr. Anderson, Daddy’s new lawyer, is now insisting I have two sessions a month with you. Of course, Mama’s lawyer says once a month is just fine, seeing how I’m such a well-adjusted high school senior and all. Almost a senior, I guess, since school’s not started.”

Dr. McDozzle straightens his glasses. “Yes, well, your parents do seem to have quite the barrage of attorneys involved in their divorce. Have you worked on the homework I gave you during our last session?”

This is such a waste of time. My parents have spent the last five years embroiled in a divorce dirtier than a greased pig-wrestling contest. Both sides of the family have more money than sense, much to the delight of every lawyer in the tri-county area. Not that I want my parents to get back together. Anytime they’re within spitting distance of each other, the tension between them gives me a migraine. Besides, if they hadn’t split up, I never would’ve met Ben.

Ben’s the son of Daddy’s ex-girlfriend. Until four months ago, they all lived together in Daddy’s condo. Ben is a sophomore at the local college and is truly hot, in a geeky, stud muffin, save-the-world, kinda way. Crushing on my almost stepbrother might seem a bit sketchy, but it’s legal—I Googled it twice.

Which means it’s time to start step one in my Get Ben Plan.

I toss my hair over my shoulder before pulling out a pink glitter notebook from my Eiffel Tower-shaped mini-purse.

You wanted me to write down my feelings about my parents’ shared custody thing. Honestly, I don’t understand why the lawyers are so panty-twisted about me spending a week with Mama and the next with Daddy. It means I get double the wardrobe. Hello? What girl would say no to that? It’s way better than Heather’s situation. I told you about her last time, I think. The girl with the hideous frizzed-out curls but drives a cute BMW Z4 roadster? Anyway, her parents are insane.” I continue a steady stream of babble until Dr. McDozzle’s eyes glaze over.

There’s no clocks in the room, but Dr. McDozzle keeps checking his watch. I’m sure the poor man created a nice therapy plan for me, but I’ve completely derailed it. Mama always says a girl has many tools to choose from in her arsenal—perfectly curled hair, well-placed boobs, and endless chatter are my faves. Besides, Daddy’s been paying therapists a fortune for years to show the divorce court how concerned he is about me. Dr. McDozzle’s earning his car payment today.

KODAK Digital Still CameraAbout the Author:

Although not a native Texan, Carla prides herself on having mastered the correct usage of “y’all” and “bless your heart.”

Carla is owned by a persnickety kitty, who rules the computer keyboard and only allows Carla to write when demands for cat treats are met.

https://carlarehse.com/

https://twitter.com/crehse

Tour giveaway

2 $25 Amazon gift cards.

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Spotlight on Ann Gimpel

Demon Assassins Banner 851 x 315Through Her Eyes

The Mind’s Eye Series

Book Four

Deborah Camp

Genre: Romantic Suspense/Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication: July 24, 2017

ASIN: B071KC41NB

Number of pages: 415

Word Count: 92418

Cover Artist: Patricia Schmitt

Tagline: She can see evil and evil can see her

Book Description:

Psychic detectives Levi Wolfe and Trudy Tucker comb the streets of New Orleans in search of a serial killer who has claimed 19 lives and counting.

The suspect was in an accident almost two years ago that left him paralyzed in a wheel chair, but the murders continue. Is he faking it or has he enlisted a protégé to continue his reign of terror?

As Levi and Trudy draw closer to the truth, Trudy discovers new and unsettling psychic abilities in herself.

Amazon

Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/_JwHgbn0T5c

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000035_00023]Excerpt:

So, tell me about your experience,” Trudy said, sitting next to Levi.

It was strange. Very strange. I was contacted – during a business meeting, mind you – by the dead son of the new contractor I was speaking with in my office. This kid – a salvage yard murder victim – popped into my head and started yelling at me. I tried to shut him out, but I couldn’t. I had to actually stop the damned meeting and tell the man that his deceased son was demanding an audience. Gonzo thought I’d lost my noodle.”

Good Lord!” She covered her parted lips with her hand. “I’d say that was a heck of a coincidence, but . . .it seems to be so much more than that.”

Yeah, right.” He sat back and drummed his fingers on the table for a few seconds. “Anyway, the kid – Clayton Nelson – was hitchhiking in New Orleans when a guy in a pickup stopped for him. He couldn’t see much of the man’s face because he wore a ball cap and sunglasses. He had a mustache that looked fake to me. He used the ploy of something being wrong with his truck to get the kid to look under the hood and then he knocked him out with a blow to the head. Clay came to in a basement, his wrists and ankles bound with plastic ties and chains.” He shuttered his gaze from her. “That’s where he was murdered.” A few seconds ticked by before his lashes lifted to reveal his dark blue eyes that never missed much. “You’ve been in contact with the murderer already, haven’t you?”

Her heart jolted. He was uncanny. “I was in contact with someone who’s warped. I don’t know if it was the salvage yard killer.”

Was he murdering someone?”

Something. A cat.”

Levi’s upper lip lifted in disgust. “Jesus.”

Yeah. He was practicing, I think.” She shuddered and blocked out the memory.

The kid in my head showed me a compass and pointed to the N on it.”

She gasped at the reference. “Your true north?”

Bingo. His way of telling me that you were already part of this.”

She reached for her glass of juice. They must be destined to examine this case. How else could she explain what happened to Levi and what she’d already experienced?

GimpelAbout the Author:

Deborah Camp is the author of more than 50 romances, both contemporary and historical. She received the first Janet Dailey Award (given to a romance novel that best addressed a social problem). “My Wild Rose” dealt with battered women and children.

A bestselling author, Deborah’s books have been praised by reviewers, bloggers, and readers who love complex characters and clever plotting. She always mixes in a bit of humor, even in her romantic suspense novels.

Communicating with readers and other writers is something she enjoys, so don’t be shy about visiting her online. If you post a review of her books, you’ll probably receive a personal “thanks” even if the review isn’t entirely favorable!

Deborah lives in Tulsa, OK where she is continually inspired by real cowboys, real Indians, and real heroes and heroines.

http://www.deborah-camp.com

http://wwww.facebook.com/officialdeborahcamp

http://www.pinterest.com/debbycamp44/

www.deborahcampwritersdesk.blogspot.com

www.twitter.com/authordebcamp

Tour giveaway

5 $20 Amazon gift cards

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https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.jsDemon Assassins: 3 Book Series

Three full-length urban fantasy romances, each with its own Happy Ever After.

These books are also available as individual titles in e-book and print format.

Listen to Hollie Jackson narrate a snippet right here!

Witch’s Bounty

One of three remaining demon assassin witches, Colleen is almost the last of her kind. Along with her familiar, a changeling spirit, she was hoping for a few months of quiet, running a small magicians’ supply store in Fairbanks, Alaska. Peace isn’t in the cards, though. Demons are raising hell in Seattle. She’s on her way to kick some serious demon ass, when a Sidhe shows up and demands she accompany him to England to quell a demon uprising.

Witch’s Bane

Demons strike in the midst of Colleen’s wedding, and Roz launches desperate measures. As she shape-shifts to keep one step ahead of evil, it takes her mind off her other problems. Personal ones. She burned through a couple of marriages and hooked up with a string of loser men before, after, and in between. Though she wants to be happy for Colleen, the jealousy bug bit deep.

In Roz’s secret heart, she’s attracted to Ronin, one of the Daoine Sidhe. He’s so profanely beautiful she can barely breathe around him, but he’s also headstrong and arrogant. Not good partner material – unless she wants to end up dusting her heart off one more time.

Witches Rule

Jenna’s a special witch, sort of, when her magic works, which it often doesn’t. Frustration about her limited power eats at her. It would be pathetic to get killed for lack of skills a teenager could master.

Tristan is a Sidhe warrior. He fell hard for Jenna, but hasn’t had an opportunity to act on the attraction beyond a few kisses. Kiernan is haunted by visions, particularly an apocalyptic sending that seems to be coming true. A confirmed bachelor, he doesn’t understand his attraction to Jenna, but it’s so strong he can’t fight it. After a while, he doesn’t even try, despite recognizing Tristan’s claim to her.

Startling truths surface about Jenna’s magic, and then there’s the problem that she’s falling in love with two very different men.

Audible Amazon iTunes

About the Author:

Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains. It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved. Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company. Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel.

Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist.

In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family.

Find Ann At:

www.anngimpel.com

http://anngimpel.blogspot.com

http://www.amazon.com/author/anngimpel

http://www.facebook.com/anngimpel.author

https://twitter.com/anngimpel

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The Birth Of A Notion

It’s a triple feature this week, for one low price.

First up is an author who really believes in her work.

Through Her Eyes Banner 851 x 315

Writers start off with an inkling . . . a notion, if you will, of a story. From there characters are created and placed within the story outline. Scenes are imagined. Dialogue is designed. A book blooms and comes to fruition.

I’m often asked where I get my ideas and I reply (sarcastically), “The idea store at Third and Main.” Then I laugh because I have no idea where I get my ideas. They pop into my brain and some of them pop right back out and some remain. Some take seed and grow from a notion to a good idea to a full-blown plot.

Months go by as I commit that idea/plot to paper. It’s not easy, but I know I can do it.

Then the real labor begins. Pushing that baby out so people can see it! Unlike the birth of a child, when people gather around to “oooh” and “aaah” and strangers say, “Can I see your baby? Let me see your baby,” a book’s first few months can be lonely and discouraging. Often, only a few people arrive uninvited to praise your newest production.

Listen, I used to think I had it bad when I birthed a book for a mass market publisher like Harlequin or Avon. I had autograph parties and I went to book signing after book signing. I visited bookstores and put my books at eye level. This was nothing compared to what independent ebook writers go through. At least with mass market novels they are out there. Everywhere. Every bookstore and every library. With ebooks, if you don’t let people know, then your book will be read by a handful of people who personally know you or are related to you.

Money begins flying out from PayPal for blog tours, advertising, contests, etc. Indie writers spend hours writing to bloggers and reviewers and asking them (how to ask without sounding as if you’re begging when that’s what you’re doing – begging) to read and review their books. Of course, most reviewers have their favorite authors (and it’s always a long list) and they don’t have time to read or review hardly anyone else. They can’t help every indie author, although they might wish that were possible.

Since the first book in my Mind’s Eye series was published (Through His Eyes), I’ve been drumming up business for it. If you join my Happy Campers Super Cool Readers Group via my website (www.deborah-camp.com), I’ll even send it to you free. Why? Because I believe in this series and 99 percent of the people who read it love it, too. I want you to look at my “baby.” It’s been a long gestation period and challenging endeavors, but I’ve persevered and have now given “birth” to my fourth one.

So, get ready to “oooh” and “aaah.” No frowny faces, please, because all my babies are budding bestsellers. As my grandmother used to say, “Every crow thinks hers is the blackest.”


Through her eyes coverThrough Her Eyes

The Mind’s Eye Series

Book Four

Deborah Camp
Genre: Romantic Suspense/Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication: July 24, 2017

ASIN: B071KC41NB

Number of pages: 415

Word Count: 92418

Cover Artist: Patricia Schmitt

Tagline: She can see evil and evil can see her

Book Description:

Psychic detectives Levi Wolfe and Trudy Tucker comb the streets of New Orleans in search of a serial killer who has claimed 19 lives and counting.

The suspect was in an accident almost two years ago that left him paralyzed in a wheel chair, but the murders continue. Is he faking it or has he enlisted a protégé to continue his reign of terror?

As Levi and Trudy draw closer to the truth, Trudy discovers new and unsettling psychic abilities in herself.

Amazon

Book Trailer:

https://youtu.be/_JwHgbn0T5c

Excerpt:

So, tell me about your experience,” Trudy said, sitting next to Levi.

It was strange. Very strange. I was contacted – during a business meeting, mind you – by the dead son of the new contractor I was speaking with in my office. This kid – a salvage yard murder victim – popped into my head and started yelling at me. I tried to shut him out, but I couldn’t. I had to actually stop the damned meeting and tell the man that his deceased son was demanding an audience. Gonzo thought I’d lost my noodle.”

Good Lord!” She covered her parted lips with her hand. “I’d say that was a heck of a coincidence, but . . .it seems to be so much more than that.”

Yeah, right.” He sat back and drummed his fingers on the table for a few seconds. “Anyway, the kid – Clayton Nelson – was hitchhiking in New Orleans when a guy in a pickup stopped for him. He couldn’t see much of the man’s face because he wore a ball cap and sunglasses. He had a mustache that looked fake to me. He used the ploy of something being wrong with his truck to get the kid to look under the hood and then he knocked him out with a blow to the head. Clay came to in a basement, his wrists and ankles bound with plastic ties and chains.” He shuttered his gaze from her. “That’s where he was murdered.” A few seconds ticked by before his lashes lifted to reveal his dark blue eyes that never missed much. “You’ve been in contact with the murderer already, haven’t you?”

Her heart jolted. He was uncanny. “I was in contact with someone who’s warped. I don’t know if it was the salvage yard killer.”

Was he murdering someone?”

Something. A cat.”

Levi’s upper lip lifted in disgust. “Jesus.”

Yeah. He was practicing, I think.” She shuddered and blocked out the memory.

The kid in my head showed me a compass and pointed to the N on it.”

She gasped at the reference. “Your true north?”

Bingo. His way of telling me that you were already part of this.”

She reached for her glass of juice. They must be destined to examine this case. How else could she explain what happened to Levi and what she’d already experienced?

About the Author:

Deborah Camp is the author of more than 50 romances, both contemporary and historical. She received the first Janet Dailey Award (given to a romance novel that best addressed a social problem). “My Wild Rose” dealt with battered women and children.

A bestselling author, Deborah’s books have been praised by reviewers, bloggers, and readers who love complex characters and clever plotting. She always mixes in a bit of humor, even in her romantic suspense novels.

Communicating with readers and other writers is something she enjoys, so don’t be shy about visiting her online. If you post a review of her books, you’ll probably receive a personal “thanks” even if the review isn’t entirely favorable!

Deborah lives in Tulsa, OK where she is continually inspired by real cowboys, real Indians, and real heroes and heroines.

http://www.deborah-camp.com

http://wwww.facebook.com/officialdeborahcamp

http://www.pinterest.com/debbycamp44/

www.deborahcampwritersdesk.blogspot.com

www.twitter.com/authordebcamp

Tour giveaway

5 $20 Amazon gift cards

<a class=”rcptr” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/ba112ffc1640/&#8221; rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”ba112ffc1640″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_p89fzn1p”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

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Around The Globe With Russ Colchamiro

cape-mayThis week I pick up not just my featured author, but his family, too. We take a short hop to Cape May, NJ. Sunning on the beach, his children (the Ninjas), playing in the sand, the wife working on her tan. Out farther, dolphins play. What a cool place for an interview.

1. Who are you and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?

A: If I’m the most fascinating person in New York City than Manhattan has gotten awfully boring! LOL! I’m Russ Colchamiro, a science fiction and fantasy writer predominantly focusing on humor, mystery, and action adventure. I’m married with twin ninjas—a boy and a girl. I work in Manhattan, and live in Northern NJ. I also have a crazy dog, Simon, who may or may not be an alien himself.

Genius cover2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?

A: I think most people have that ‘one in a million’ experience once in their lives. For some reason I’ve had about a dozen of them. I have no idea why. But for someone who generally speaking stays close to home—except when I travel the world!—I seem to have a knack for getting looped into the unpredictable scenarios that seem to be influenced by cosmic forces. Oh, the stories I could tell. Oh … wait …

3. What interested you to become a writer rather than something else such as a professional wrestler?

A: I can barely wrestle the Netflix remote away from my ninjas, much less get in the ring. When it comes to writing, the best way I can say it is this: being a writer isn’t what I do, it’s who I am. Not writing simply isn’t an option for me.

4. Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?

A: Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, Harlan Coben, Carl Sagan, and Sara Gran. Besides being great writers they’re all brilliant in their own ways and have (or had) a life perspective—and experiences—different from mine. I’m a bit of a philosophical guy with a curiosity I’m never able to satisfy.

FK cover5. If I were stranded on a deserted island or suffering from a four hour layover at the airport, why would your book be great company?

A: Love, Murder & Mayhem is a new anthology from Crazy 8 Press, with 15 stories from 15 authors. While I’m typically a novelist, I served as editor for this one, and contributed one of the stories. Each tale contains at least one act of love or romance, at least one murder, with lots of mayhem, all in various science fiction settings. We have superhero and supervillain stories. Off-world and space cruiser stories. We’ve also got A.I., private eyes, sleep surrogates, time travel, an aliens/monsters mash-up and … one DuckBob! Perfect reading for a layover.

6. Share your process of writing in regards to: plot and character development, story outline, research (do you Google or visit places/people, or make it up on the spot), writing schedule, editing and number of rewrites.

A: I tend to do a lot of ‘pre writing’—a combination of outline, story concepts, and character arcs. I take a lot of notes, and try to work out most of the plot—like storyboarding a movie—before I sit down and clack the keys. Once I have it all down, then I start digging in, following my chapter outlines. After the manuscript is written, I go back and do anywhere from 5 to 10 revisions, tightening up the prose, rewriting where needed, and layering in details, descriptions, and dialogue to fill in the gaps. Then I show the manuscript to my trusted inner circle, and then make additional edits after reviewing their feedback. I’m process oriented in this way. I edit, edit, and edit again until I feel like I’ve nailed it.

Astro cover7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”

A: Don’t over think it. Start writing. Doesn’t matter if what you write makes sense or not, if it’s good or not. It’s irrelevant. Just get the ideas flowing. There’s an old saying from my hero Zig Ziglar I adhere to: You don’t have to be great to get started, but you have to start if you want to be great. Just write and write and write, ignoring any doubts or confusion. Just go. You’ll get there.

8. I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day which read, “Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?

A: My overriding philosophy is this: Every day my goal is to be a better man today than I was yesterday, and to be a better man tomorrow than I am today.

9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?

A: I’ll probably stop writing when I’m dead. Maybe. My next project is going to focus on my private eye character Angela Hardwicke. She’s in that classic Sam Spade style, fedora, pinstripe suit, knows the angles. She’s appeared in three of my books so far—including Love, Murder & Mayhem—but it’s time for her to get her own book. My plan is to do an entire series with her. I’m also working on a top secret project which I can’t talk about just yet. But stay tuned!

Colchamiro10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?

A: You can find me on Amazon, Goodreads, my Web site and the Crazy 8 Press Web site. Plus Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. And when I’m on book tour. And … Links here:

Love, Murder & Mayhem at Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Love-Murder-Mayhem-Cosmic-Deadly-ebook/dp/B072W6GYDL/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1499887347&sr=1-1

Russ books at Amazon

http://amzn.to/2ufa8Me

My Web site

www.russcolchamiro.com

Crazy 8 Press Web site

www.crazy8press.com

Twitter

@AuthorDudeRuss

Facebook author page

www.facebook.com/RussColchamiroAuthor

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U & I – Questions

time for questionsLast week, I invited readers to ask me questions regarding my experiences with Uber. During my time as a driver I talk with passengers and they also have questions they like to ask. I’ve noticed many, many repeat questions. Today I’d like to mention some and give my answers, which, unfortunately, have become pretty standard. Not sure how to answer the same question week after week with different words.

  1. How long have you been driving for Uber?

Two years in September, 2017

  1. How long have you been driving today?

(This answer, of course, depends on when I started so this is the exception to the standard answer.)

  1. Have you been busy today?

It’s been pretty steady.

  1. Do you like to drive for Uber?

It’s not too bad. (Actually, I think this is sort of a dumb question. Uber isn’t my primary job and I set my own schedule. If I didn’t like it, I wouldn’t do it.)

  1. Do you do this part time and what Is your regular job?

Yes. Assistant Graphic Designer for Gannett.

  1. Do you mainly stay in downtown?

I cover the metro. I’ve driven in all of the suburbs and even farther out. Usually, I stick around downtown during Friday afternoons and sit at the Kum and Go on University by the Interstate on Saturdays, covering the west side.

  1. What’s your longest trip?

Either from the airport to Grinnell or the airport up to Ames, then back to the airport. (A guy left his identification on his dresser. That was fun because snow fell during the trip and we were caught in a three-mile single file lane due to an accident.

  1. What’s your craziest Uber story?

I really don’t have any wild and crazy stories. Most of the people are pretty cool. Some of them like to play music and turn up the volume. Some talk loud. Couples will kiss and snuggle in the back seat (no outright making out…yet.)

I’ve had some unusual trips. *I took two guys from the strip club back to home so they could get more money, then back to the strip club. *I took a young couple out to a west side night club where they tried to get in without an ID, then took them back to the east side. That one lasted 45 minutes. *I took a quartet home while one guy was upset because he was thrown out of the bar and the front seat girl tried to calm him. *I took another quarter of girls to various homes while they argued amongst themselves on trying to recover their cars the next morning. One girl said she wouldn’t pick up the others, then didn’t understand why they were mad at her.

  1. Do you make good money with Uber.

It pays the gas and a little bit more.

10.. Have you had anyone puke in your car.

No. Many of the drunks fall asleep. I’ve had two almosts. New Year’s Eve 2015. I pulled over to the side of the road so one guy could get out and do his business. Ditto with the drunk girl, who dry heaved. Then at the motel, she was out before the car stopped and kneeled in the snowdrift to finish her business.

No, I haven’t had any puking, but…

This last weekend I picked up a trio from one of the bars down on Court Avenue and took them out to the west side. The first girl crawled in and sprawled in the back seat. The guy entered the passenger seat and said the first girl was pretty drunk but wouldn’t throw up. He proceeded to play loud music for the entire trip. The second girl kept telling me she loved the song Africa by Toto. When I dropped them off, they hauled out the drunk girl and I discovered that…she had urinated. It had spread to cover the entire back seat. Uber said they’d charge her extra and reimburse me for cleaning costs. Needless to say, but I will, that was the last trip of the night. Which was fine. It was 2 a.m. and I had planned on heading home anyway.

Any more questions?

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U & I – Hello

20121231new_uber_logo2A couple years ago I kept hearing advertisements for Uber. You know, the taxi’s competition, where citizens drive their own cars, and pick up passengers through an application. So, I invested in an upgraded phone, signed up and have been driving since September 2015.

In the almost two years, I’ve discovered the many areas in which to create blog topics. So, in an ongoing series, I present U & I.

First up, I’ll introduce Uber to those who may not be familiar. I don’t know all the ins and outs of the technical side but basically, you download the Uber application to your phone, input your information, including a debit/credit card. When you want a ride, you input your pick-up address and destination. The call goes out to the closest Uber driver and in minutes, you have a ride. Riders can, for the most part (although lately their have been system glitches) chart the progress of the driver, know the first name of the driver, and the make/model/color of the driver’s car. Riders can change the destination at any time, including during the trip. Riders can share the cost of the trip with other passengers.

For the driver, he/she downloads the Uber Driver application. This person has gone through uploading insurance, registration, license plate, an image of the car, and a head shot to the Uber system. The driver has also uploaded a bank account for the weekly deposits on trips made. Drivers are paid each Wednesday for the previous Monday through Sunday trips. Lately, though, drivers have the option of early deposit for a fifty cent fee.

Once the application is downloaded, the driver activates it, and goes online. He is now ready to make trips.

For the best impression, it is always advisable to have a clean car, in and out, a full tank of gas, and maybe some extras for the passengers. I’ve heard one woman has devised a basket of treats and water bottles for riders. The driver must be well groomed, should know the traffic laws, and speak English. This last is not to be discriminatory, but I have heard of one driver who couldn’t speak English and was let go.

When the driver receives a call for a ride, there is a flashing beeping circle showing amount of time to the pick-up point. The driver will either tap the screen to accept or not tap and 15 seconds later, the call is dropped and goes to the next closest driver. Once accepted, the system shows the location of the rider. The driver has the option of plotting out the route through whichever GPS maps system has been connected to the system. I’ve chosen Google Maps. It’s not always reliable, but works well.

At the pickup point when the rider enters the car, I always confirm the name, because I have had the wrong person enter the car. (Which means, the person is not paying attention to the phone, which shows the make/model/color of the car. Mine is an orange Dodge Caliber, and used to be a gray Ford Escape. They’re not too difficult to recognize.) Anyway, I swipe the Start Trip which shows the destination which I also confirm. I can also plot it through the map if necessary. At the drop-off point, I then swipe the End Trip and then rate the passenger. The passenger will have ample time to rate the driver. Five stars is great, and currently I have over 700 five star rides. The system averages the rankings and a driver must stay above a certain percentage to be allowed to drive.

Payment is made through the card the rider has uploaded. The driver never knows the last name of the person or sees any cash payments for the ride. Tips are different and many people do tip which is a bonus to the driver. I’ve had tips from $1 to $20.

The system is set up so that driver and rider can communicate with each other but neither sees the other’s phone number. Calls and texts are sent through the Uber system.

Benefits to the rider:

– Faster service. I have heard from many riders how the regular taxis can take up to an hour or more to pick-up. The longest I’ve had to travel is about 23 minutes.

– Cheaper ride. One of the frequent comments I hear from riders is that Uber is cheaper than cabs. I know from personal experience when I was forced to take a cab (because no Uber driver was out at 5 am) and I had to go to work because of my car being down. The driver wanted to take me on an out of the way route to pad his fare. I had to keep redirecting him to the correct route. The trip from my house to downtown was $55. About twenty cents for each tenth of a mile. An Uber ride from a gas station near Southridge to my house was about $9 and would have been less than $15 or $20 from downtown. There are exceptions in that a lot of time there are Surges. Increased cost for increased demand. Better for the drive, but it costs a bit more for the rider. However, I think it’s still cheaper, because the cabs will also increase their prices.

– Friendly drivers. I enjoy conversing with the riders and have shared a laugh or two with many.

– Navigation. Riders are intelligent and they know if a driver has missed a turn. That’s why there is the map system. Drivers want to earn higher ratings so they’re going to be more honest and not try to pad the fare.

Benefits for the driver:

– For me, it’s a chance to get out of the house instead of spending time at home doing nothing or trying to think of something to do.

– Ease of payment as explained above.

– Drivers choice. I think this is the biggest asset to the driver. I can choose when I go online and offline. I have no boss over my shoulder telling me to get out and drive. (Well, not since I stopped the irritating texts from the system. Lol) My schedule is usually Friday nights and Saturdays. But not always. I drove the evening of July 3 since I had the holiday off. I drive until I feel tired or just don’t want to drive anymore. A cool aspect of the system that is recent is that they’ve set it up to where I can plug in my home as destination and the system will look for rides going my way.

I have met a wide variety of people, and have seen more of Des Moines and the suburbs than I ever imagined I would.

So, that’s Uber. There are other details I could have gone into, but I thought a nice intro would be good. I’ll delve into other aspects of Uber-ing in future blogs.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or want to know something specific about Uber, please, ask them in the comment section and I’ll include them in future blogs.

If you need a ride, try Uber. I might show up in your driveway.

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Spotlight on: Gabriele Russo

Inclement Gods Banner 851 x 315

3D Inclement GodsInclement Gods

Gods Inc Series

Book Two

Gabriele Russo

Fiery Seas Publishing

June 2017

Book Description:

When you live in a world pullulating with gods, can you truly be an atheist? Well, yes…if you know a way to get rid them.

Mysantheos, a fanatic atheist at the head of a powerful lobby/terrorist organization, has created a weapon able to kill gods. All he needs is a disruptive figurehead to attract the masses. Goblin, who has just tried to supplant Queen Louhi as CEO of Gods Incorporated, has been deemed the right kind of unworthy. Mysantheos breaks him out of the Queen’s prison and the godslaughter begins.

As the divine bodies pile up, panicked gods blame the CEO Queen for Goblin’s escape. Resentment builds in the company and violent factions start pushing for the extermination of the human race. Will Queen Louhi’s Nerd Squad, a group of angry gods, and Richard (a down-on-his-luck private eye), manage to find Mysantheos in time to prevent what promises to be the bloodiest conflict between men and god ever?

Excerpt 1

“LET’S KILL ‘EM ALL!” YELLED MARS, presiding in lieu of Jupiter. Ahura-Mazda* sighed wearily. These young gods were exasperating, and now that the meeting was in its fiftieth year, there were always a few standing in for their elders. Mars, always hot under the helmet, was one of the worst.

He smoothed his long curly beard, rose and rearranged his silken robes. “How many times must we explain this? We tried that before. Does the Deluge ring a bell? And now we’re back to square one. There has got to be a better way.”

“Not to mention how much work it was,” said Vishnu, playing with his nose ring. “Exhausting! All that rain…and then having to recreate everything.”

“Well, I for one wouldn’t mind getting a good storm on,” said Thor. “It would be more interesting than this meeting.”

“You gods do what you want with your humans.” Inti’s sun-disk crown of feathers was disarrayed from shaking his head so much. “My believers are still faithful, and no one isdumping a shitload of water on their heads.

Excerpt 2

“So we’ll kill’em all!” repeated Mars. “They’ll believe in us then.”

“Who?” Athena’s voice dripped with sarcasm. “The dead ones?”

Amun stood up before Mars could reply. “Talking of death, what about Anubis’s proposition the other day? That thing about us going back to earth to live with the humans.”

“Might not these scientists interpret this move as one of weakness?” asked Inti.

“Not if we kill them all!” shrilled Mars with mounting anguish, cheeks now red under his strawberry blond peach fuzz of a beard.

“Ah yes, good idea,” said Athena. “Live with humans and piss them off so they revolt.”

Thor twirled his hammer. “How can they revolt? We’re gods.”

“Perhaps,” said Ahura-Mazda. “But we are few and they are many. Personally, I preferred Mwari’s idea about creating a new dimension, even if it does mean leaving what’s left of my believers without guidance.”

“Both ideas have merit,” said Athena, “and their faults: I think the disbelief runs too deep here for our presence to do any good. What if we tried a combination of the two?”

“You mean create a new world AND live with the humans?”

Vishnu’s voice became pensive.

“No!” Mars’s whole face turned vermillion. “Killing them is the solution! A nice little blood bath…Ah! Come on!”

Excerpt 3

The two men watched him leave. When the sound of his footsteps died away, they detached themselves from the wall, unhooked the ladder and lowered it into the pit. As the prisoner started moaning that he had had enough, the big man hurried down, made a shushing gesture and clubbed him hard on the head.

Two minutes later the ladder was back on the wall and the big man, now carrying a black duffel bag across his shoulders, followed his accomplice out in the maze of corridors. Silently, they made their way through twists and turns until they reached an open sewer grate.

The big man dumped the bag down in the hole and sat on the ledge. “Now get back to your post,” he whispered, “be ready for the next extraction.” Lithe as a tiger, he jumped in the dark tunnel.

Dragging the grate back in place, his accomplice wondered in what sort of unholy mess he had gotten himself into.

Fiery Seas

authorAbout the Author:

Gabriele Russo, AKA Lucie-Gabrielle Jolicoeur-Rousseau, was born in Quebec City amidst a family of book lovers – her father had dreamed of being a writer and both of her brothers are published authors.

Since she earned her Bachelor’s in History, it was no surprise (except to her) that she ended up working in restaurants, eventually owning two, which almost drove her mad. She sold them and was nursed back to pseudo-sanity by Douglas Adams and Terry Pratchett.

That’s when she answered the family calling and decided to write. Armed with her ideas for the Gods Inc. series she went back to the University and got her Master’s in Creative Writing.

She now lives with her husband in Culpeper, Virginia, where she divides her time between painting, ripping apart and reconstructing her recently bought historical home, playing tennis and, of course, writing more books.

https://www.facebook.com/GabrieleRussoLGJR

https://twitter.com/lugabirusso

www.russogabriele.com

Tour Giveaway

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Fun In The Sun

floridaThis morning I receive the knock on the door and when answered, I’m whisked away to Florida…okay, not quite, but this week’s guest blog loves Florida and sun and summer…as do I.

Ruin Banner 851 x 315I love summer. There. I said it.

I’m from Florida, which isn’t so much the land of sunshine as people would think, especially in the summer when it rains three out of five days. The humidity is so thick you can slice it with a knife and let’s not even talk about what it does to your hair if you weren’t born with stick straight locks. There are also bugs the size of your hand. And unless you’re one of the lucky few, it’s almost a guarantee you’ll get sunburned at least once.

Still—I love summer.

I love the longer days—so long, I have to wear sunglasses until close to nine at night. I like being able to sit on a patio at seven in the evening with a beer and a book and just relax. I am sweaty and possibly getting sunburned? Yes, but it’s a small price to pay.

I love the water, specifically the coast. I’m a little over an hour from the coast and from now until sometime in early October, the water is in the upper seventies to mid-eighties. Are there jellyfish and seaweed and Cthulhu? Yes, yes, and I hope to hell not but again, those are all a small price to pay. Well, Cthulhu would be a large price but I still think it would be worth it.

Finally, I love how quiet my city gets. Granted, we’re still a city but in the summer most of the college students go home and we have about two and a half months where it’s mostly locals and it’s a completely different vibe. Traffic is lighter, people are more relaxed, the pace is slower. Don’t get me wrong—we’re a college town and the students are a major part of our economy. But it’s nice to have a break from the shenanigans of teenager freshly released in to the wild for a bit.

So I don’t mind the heat. Or the bugs. Or having to slather myself with sunscreen in order to not turn a hundred shades of red, all of them unflattering. I love summer.

Except for the humidity.


RUIN EXCERPT

Is it done?” Cam strapped the saddle bags he’d somehow managed to stuff all my clothes in to the little bike—not quite a motorcycle but bigger and less dorky than a scooter. When I didn’t answer right away, he stepped over to me, grabbing my face in his hands and squeezing. “Coniglietto. Is it done? Did you take care of her?”

“Yes.” Even to my own ears my voice sounded dull and lifeless. Considering the fact I felt high as fucking kite, I could only assume it was shock. “I took care of her.”

Not in the way he meant, not exactly, but I’d taken care of her the best way I knew how.

I’d done a lot of horrible things, on purpose and accident, and I had no doubt I would do more horrible things still. But I’d be damned even more than I already was before I actually killed my sister.

“Good girl.” Cam pressed a quick, hard kiss to my forehead before steering me toward the bike. “I have little doubt the archangels will be here soon—so we shouldn’t be.”

“Where are we going?” It didn’t matter. I had, for all intents and purposes, hooked my wagon to his. If anyone threw doubt on my commitment to the so-called cause, all Cam would have to do was point out what I’d done to Joanne. Sure, there might be trouble when it came out she wasn’t actually dead but it could all be explained away as yet another newbie mistake.

After all, they taught us how to not kill people. Not the opposite.

“I’m thinking Prague.” He settled himself on the bike, gesturing for me to do the same. He handed me a helmet, his lips curving upward when I stared at it blankly. “Safety, little rabbit. And a disguise. It’s safer for us to blend in at the moment.”

“Right.” My hands felt thick and clumsy as I struggled to strap on the protective headgear and I cursed under my breath when Cam finally took pity on me and did it himself. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

“Change is hard, little rabbit.” He brushed his lips over mine before flicking the tip of my nose. “Now, let’s go take over the world, hmm?”


coverRuin

LM Pruitt

Release Date: May 31, 2017

Book Description:

I can resist everything except temptation—Oscar Wilde

But what happens when temptation is everywhere?

Cam is tempting to me toward the darkness.

Barry is tempting me toward the light.

And I want them both. I want it all.

Temptation will be my salvation. Or my ruin.

authorAbout the Author:

L.M. Pruitt has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember. A native of Florida with a love of New Orleans, she has the uncanny ability to find humor in most things and would probably kill a plastic plant. She knows this because she’s killed bamboo. Twice. She is the author of the Winged series, the Plaisir Coupable series, Jude Magdalyn series, the Moon Rising series, and Taken: A Frankie Post Novel.

http://www.lmpruitt.org

https://www.facebook.com/pages/LM-Pruitt/364776895104

https://twitter.com/lmpruitt

http://www.amazon.com/L.M.-Pruitt/e/B00427WOW4/

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4320796.L_M_Pruitt

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Loyalty

loyalty-quoteOnce again I bring you short essays on monthly themes from Brayton’s Black Belt Academy. This time around is Loyalty

Ethan –

Loyalty is standing up for your friends. For example, let’s say a friend told you a secret. Being loyal means you keep that secret. Another example is watching and making sure they’re safe. I am loyal to my family because I watch my sister when I promise to.

Stella –

I think loyalty means learning from and listening to my Mom and Dad. It is speaking up and saying “Yes, Sir!” at karate when we are being asked to do something. It is trying my hardest to do things the right way. It is also helping my brother and my family and my friends when they need it. At school, I am loyal to my teacher by showing up on time, doing my homework, listening, taking turns and trying my best.

People Loyal to me: Mom & Dad, Grandma & Grandpa, Grayson

People I am Loyal to: Mom & Dad, Mrs. Westhoff, Grandpa & Grandma, Mr. Brayton, my friends

Madison –

Loyalty is paying attention to others. I am loyal to my teacher, mom, dad, dogs. My teacher, mom, dad, and dogs are loyal to me.

Noelle –

What is loyalty. Well, the definition of loyalty is “faithfulness to a commitment”, but loyalty’s definition in my eyes is “staying true to your promises.” Loyalty is when you stand firm to your friends, to your family, and to your promises. It’s also when you can turn down temptation that would seem more fun to do at the time. Loyalty is always what I look for in a friend.

You can use loyalty wherever you go – school, outside, at home, or even in the small unimportant places. Loyalty is a key characteristic that you should look for in people. If you see allegiance and faithfulness shining out of someone’s personality, you know that they have a great loyal quality!

At school, loyal acts happen all over. If someone’s friends invite them to play, but that person had earlier promised to help another friend understand an assignment, it is a king and loyal act to stay and do what you’ve already told someone you’d do.

If, at a friend’s house, I am told to come home to help my cousin babysit like I promised earlier, staying at my friend’s house instead of helping my cousin, which was my earlier commitment, would not be an example of loyalty.

Loyalty is being faithful to what you’ve already told someone you would do. It’s helping out a friend in need, assisting your cousin, and even the small, unimportant things, like grabbing your friend a piece of paper like you earlier told them you would do instead of talking with another friend at the other table. Can you find loyalty in your friends? Can they find it in you? Look for loyalty.

Elijah –

The definition of loyalty is: the state or quality of being loyal; faithfulness to commitments.

I like loyal friends because they can help you out. In return, they expect you to help them our, too. Remember, a loyal friend will stay until the end. If you need to do something, but you don’t have time, you could ask your loyal friend.

So, no you have my opinion of loyalty. I hop that you can find a friend that is loyal. It is greatly beneficial to life.

Saleena –

Loyalty: faithful to a cause. Faithful to someone to whom fidelity is held to be don. Loyalty is also to the mother and father who gave birth to you. Loyalty must be instilled in you as a child from your parents.

Loyalty is something that cannot be bought. Loyalty must be earned. The nearest thing to loyalty is a mother’s love. Remain loyal when things are not going smoothly. The greatest loyalty in life is to “thine own self be true.” We also find our loyalty in God and Jesus. Loyalty for our teachers and instructors.

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Around The Globe With David H. Minton

opera hosueThis morning I enter the transporter to pick up this week’s featured author. Where are we going and what will be our experience when we get there? Well, here’s what happened, straight from the author:

We are enjoying a rich sea food dinner right on Circular Quay just across from the opera house in Sidney. The weather, as always, is remarkable, warm with a friendly breeze. As we are eating, we happen to notice a couple a few tables away eating together. They appear more simply dressed than most of the patrons and maybe the are drinking a bottle of champagne. Perhaps it is some sort of celebration, we don’t know, but they appear so happy together. Then we notice we have the same waitress, so that is when we decide to do what I call a RAK (Random Act of Kindness). We have learned from previous experience that if you don’t share the same wait person, it is nearly impossible to succeed with a RAK. We conspire with the waitress to pay their bill. She is delighted with the conspiracy, informing us that we couldn’t possibly have picked a more deserving couple. But then, suddenly, she wants to know what to tell them, so she hurries over to our table. We are speaking in low whispers, but I don’t think it matters, the couple have not taken their eyes off each other. I explain, wait until we are gone and then tell them their bill was already paid. And so we linger over coffee while they have their desert and then we settle their bill, and our bill, and then we are gone.

Somewhere in all that, there’s the following interview.

Where on Earth Button 300 x 225

1. Who are you and what makes you the most fascinating person in your city?

I’ve been called a renaissance man by many of my friends, enemies and co-workers and I believe one of the reasons this makes me different is that I never see obstacles to what I am trying to do, just interesting problems and challenges which I enjoy solving.

2. Without revealing a deep dark secret (unless you want to), what one thing would people be surprised to learn about you?

That I write award winning poetry and mathematical algorithms sophisticated enough to be patented.

3. What interested you to become a writer rather than something else such as rock star?

I did a lot of ‘something elses.’ I’ve played in a band, I’ve taught physics and engineering at the University level, I’ve done a variety of engineering jobs from refueling nuclear reactors to working targeting algorithms for missiles. So in short, I never experienced a “rather than something else.” If something else interested me, I did it. Being a writer interested me because of the attention to detail necessary to succeed.

4. Writers are readers. With which author(s) would you enjoy sharing dinner? Why?

Probably P. T. Deuterman, because of the wide variety of plots he has been able to come up with in his various books. I believe it would be quite interesting to brainstorm plots with him. I’ve read all his books, but I’ve never met him. Another great possibility would be Philip Kerr, for the same reasons.

5. If I were stranded on a deserted island or suffering from a four hour layover at the airport, why would your book(s) be great company?

It would be great for a four hour layover at an airport, because it is a single contained end-to-end adventure, virtually tailor made for situations like getting delayed for donkey hours at an airport. For being stranded on a desert island, I think it might not be so good, it is not dense enough. You would need a bible or koran for something like being stranded on a deserted island.

6. Share your process of writing in regards to: plot and character development, story outline, research (do you Google or visit places/people, or make it up on the spot), writing schedule, editing and number of rewrites.

I generally start my stories with a fairly loose or open outline of what I want the story to include. Then I spend some time filling in the main characters; finally the events that make the story happen. I do not find that doing a detailed framework or outline works very well for me. I need a looser framework and then I fill in he story as I go. One thing this method requires me to do however, is fill in the details of the characters a I write about them, so as to avoid contradicting myself later. Usually I’ve been to the places I write about. I may google a map to help me remember details of place or orientation. I am pretty careful not to use brand names in my stories and rarely use the names of specific places unless they are in the public domain–for example if I know there is a “Pizza Pirate” at a certain location, I will just call it a pizza place. If I name a specific place, it is made up and not real. I do this to avoid stepping on anyone’s toes.

7. “I think I have a good idea for a story, but I don’t know where or how to begin. Your process may not work for me. Any advice?”

When I am at a loss on how to start writing a section or a book or a scene, I have often found it helpful to write about what I want to write about. For example, I have a scene in which my characters are at dinner and are discussing something critical to the plot. I can’t quite get my head around how to write the scene. Usually, I can find a way by beginning with writing about the scene, what is important and why I want to include it.

8. I saw an amusing T-shirt the other day which read, “Every great idea I have gets me in trouble.” What is your philosophy of life?

“Make it happen.”

9. Please tell me you’re not going to stop writing? What’s next for you?

I’m working on the next “Where on Earth?” story, which is set on a new winery near Santa Fe New Mexico. I’m also working on a children’s book about an unlikely friendship between a pelican name “Fast Eddy” and a penguin named “Ibix.” Additionally, I am working on a novel about “Steel Helmet.” which is an “Iron Dome” like missile defense interceptor system being built in the Gulf States by an unlikely band of allied characters, including Israeli, Saudi, Swedish, Qatar and American engineers.

10. Where can people find more information on you and your projects?

On the Fiery Seas publishing web site, http://www.fieryseaspublishing.com.

—————————————————————————————–

Excerpt 1:

Flying along in his Jet Ranger, Dan Richards knew they were just barely in advance of a storm closing in. Returning from his work in Fairbanks, Search and Rescue was the last thing on his mind. Besides, they didn’t have much time. They had to get this chopper on the ground and in a hanger or no one would be flying it, ever. If they didn’t make it to Base, which was the only hanger around, there was a very high likelihood the chopper would be damaged, even destroyed by the storm. Base was about twenty minutes away, so he figured they could just make it to safety. But, Base knew that as well; they wouldn’t have called him if it weren’t serious. In fact, a rescue beacon alarm was an urgent call for help. Someone was in great danger, or worse. That was something with which Dan was familiar. Although not his job, in the wilderness of Alaska, he often found it was his calling. If they thought he could help, maybe he could. He nodded to Ted Matthews, his fair-skinned, buzz-cut, no-nonsense co-pilot.

“Base, Red Wing. Go ahead.”

“Red Wing, Base. I have a constant SOS from a rescue beacon. It may indicate an avalanche victim, given the region and the weather.”

“Roger, possible avalanche victim. Where is it?”

Excerpt 2:

When he got back to the infirmary, he set his cup of coffee on the counter and put the water and chow down in front of the dog. She stood up, sniffed around, and began lapping up some water. Then, she moved to the meatloaf and pretty quickly had devoured the contents of the plate and licked it clean. Checking on the patient, he found her core body temperature up to normal now but she was still unconscious. He carefully lifted her out of the bath, placed her on a clean bed and tucked the blankets firmly around her to keep her body temperature up. Once he was satisfied she’d be fine for a while, he decided to go check on the boss, but first he asked the dog, “Do you want to take a trip outside? The weather is pretty bad, but I can let you out back if you like.” The dog looked attentively at him, but otherwise made no move. For no particular reason he would ever remember, he repeated, “Veux-­‐‑tu aller à l’extérieur?” (Would you like to go outside?) Immediately the dog came over to the door, right next to him. So, he thought, a French-speaking dog. What next? I assume that means the Mademoiselle speaks French as well. With that, he quickly made his way to Dan’s room. Once there, he opened the back door of the lodging and said to the dog,

Ici, rapidement!” Apparently understanding, the dog rapidly ran outside into the howling storm, disappearing in seconds.

Oh, mon Dieu! thought Frenchie, maybe I lost her in the storm. But, before he could even begin to worry that he didn’t know the dog’s name, she was back.

“Ah, merci,” he said as he held the door.

Excerpt 3

Turning to the frozen bundle, Dan asked, “What’s the matter, Larry?”

“Don’t know,” he mumbled, hardly understandable. “She’s hurting, can’t stand. Baby not due for 10 more weeks, last check-up everything fine. I left her with enough firewood for a couple of days, been walking all night.”

“Okay, you stay here and get warm and fed. Frenchie, have Ken break out the snowmobile, get it topped off and add a couple cans of fuel; take Larry to the infirmary and get him to bed. You are going with me. I’ll be ready in two minutes; we’ll take rescue kit C.”

“Roger,” Frenchie said and left the room.


“I’m going with you,” Larry said.


“No,” Dan was quite gentle. “We have to get her back here in this storm. I’ve done this before and so has Frenchie; you rest easy, we’ll make it back. Frenchie is a combat EMT. You’ve been up all night and need to rest up for what is to come. If I take you, I won’t be able to bring Frenchie back—nothing personal, but I’d rather have the medic in this case. We’ll be back in six hours, max. You sit tight.”

“I could walk back here again,” Larry said.

“Don’t be heroic, Larry. Anne will want you here when we get this done. Sit tight, go with Frenchie.” He checked his watch. “We’ll be back around lunchtime.”

Frenchie hurried out of the room, yelling to Ken. Dan rushed into his bedroom-bath area, quickly brushed his teeth, got dressed and picked up a Winchester 30-06 with a box of ammo on his way out the door. Samantha felt forgotten in the hubbub, but he stopped in front of her, gestured to the room, and said, “Mi casa, su casa. I’ll be back as soon as I can; you won’t be stuck here any longer once we can get a chopper out. I’m sorry to leave in such a rush.” And then he was gone and she was alone in the room.

Excerpt 4

As the flight got underway, Samantha, having never experienced a helicopter ride before, saw that the view below her was quite different, in an intimate way, than the view from a passengerplane window. She looked all around below and was amazed by the closeness and the individual features of the view. She now understood why it was sometimes called a ‘God’s eye view.’ Like God, one could stop and hover over one place, examining as long as needed. When she looked down on a scene from the chopper, it looked like what she imagined God might see if he looked down from heaven. The amount of detail she could see was amazing. She began to study the terrain, looking for anything familiar. Her reasoning was that one of the most important things in her life had happened not far from here, so she should at least be able to recognize major landmarks. It wasn’t to be, however, and she was entirely surprised when she heard Dan announce in her ear they had arrived and he would be putting the bird down. They would wait until the police caught up, in about five minutes. By this time, they were sitting on the ground, waiting.

At first Samantha didn’t recognize anything, but then as she scanned the scene, she realized her team was congregated off to the side and they were furiously active, barking and running. Suddenly, Dan leaped out of the cockpit and began running toward her dogs with a powerful-­‐‑looking rifle. When he started firing at the dogs, the noise blasted in her ears, and she was sure it was powerful.

“What’s he doing shooting at my dogs?” she shouted, “I have to stop him.”

Frantically, she undid her seatbelt and moved to the door, trying to figure out how to open it and get out. By the time she had figured this out and had landed in a foot of snow, the police department chopper had arrived. The Police Chief jumped out and began clambering through the snow after Dan, carrying a shotgun—and also shooting at her dogs. She bounded into the path Dan had cut and furiously followed the two men, yelling loudly at them as she went. Etoile ran beside her, undeterred by the fluffy snow that threatened to bury her with each step, even using Dan’s tracks.

coverWhere On Earth? An Alaska Adventure

By David H. Minton

Fiery Seas Publishing

May 30, 2017

Romantic Adventure

Book Description:

Dan Richards, an Iraq war vet, is a surveyor for the mining company, looking to open a new silver mine. Scrambling to establish his helicopter charter business in the wilds of Alaska, while trying to stay connected to his teenage daughter, his world soon turns upside down when he rescues a woman and her dog sledding team after an avalanche.

Samantha Bettencourt, an environmental engineer, is eager to begin her first project with the university. A spokesperson for an environmentalist group intent on preserving the wilderness, she is on the path to saving the wild, but when Dan walks into her life things start to change.

Sparks fly between Dan and Samantha as they find themselves running for their lives—from the good guys as well as the bad guys out to ruin the things they long to protect. Will they be able to escape before it’s too late? Will they get a chance at love or will they lose everything. . . including their lives?

About the Author:

After graduating college, David spent two tours in United States Military Assistance Command Republic of Viet-Nam, before beginning his career as a nuclear engineer, then electronics engineer, tele-communications engineer, and software security engineer. He has previously published three non-fiction books, several poems, and many non-fiction technical and historical articles.

https://www.fieryseaspublishing.com/david-h-minton

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