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Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Book in the spotlight: Angels Don't Fall in Love

Branden Szabo

He's a passive college boy, she's an aggressive soldier girl.

Only the smartest and most talented young women can join the Seraphim Corps, an organization created to monitor Earth’s contact with extraterrestrial species. James Walker is a teenage congressional staffer who is lucky enough to see this special force in action at Haywood Naval Air Base. Until a series of suspicious meteorites crash nearby. Now James finds himself fighting for survival in a base overrun with hellish monsters that even the Seraphim Corps can’t control. 

Sci-fi/horror novella
James is just a staffer, handicapped by a lack of courage and faith in his abilities. Thankfully, he befriends Armina Harp, a young and fiery member of the Seraphim Corps. Armina detests James for being what she calls a push-over, picking on him whenever she can. And likewise James finds Armina’s excessive zeal very unattractive. If only she weren’t so attractive on the outside.

Haywood is under quarantine until the monsters can be exterminated. And for reasons unknown to James, the women of the Seraphim Corps aren’t allowed to leave. As their story grows darker, James and Armina’s mutual dislike for each other begins to evolve into something much different - Love.

Contact Branden Szabo  direct 


Sunday, 24 March 2013

What happens when a moody and bad-tempered 'chick lit' character is interviewed.

Character Interview
Valerie Anthrope from the novel The Fall of the Misanthrope: I bitch therefore I am

Welcome, Valerie. How are you today?
I’m here aren’t I? *Looks at watch* Can we get on with it. I haven’t all day.

Er, sure. Tell us about yourself? Where were you born/grew up? Your background?
I’m twenty-six and I was born in North Finchley in London. I grew up there too. I lived with my parents and brother until—

Until things started to go wrong. Oh, I suppose I should tell you. They say it’s therapeutic talking about ones problems, don’t they? I was eight years old, and Mum had always been neurotic, guess that’s where I get it from, and when I was eight she had a baby. All was fine until we went to that funfair and I met a witch *embarrassed cough*. Oh, I know she wasn’t a witch now, but tell that to an eight year old kid.

Go on.
The witch told me that everyone I loved would die. I’d have forgotten about it in time, I suppose, only that night Sean, my brother, died. My mum, as I’d said, was already over-anxious and became obsessed with my heath after his death. Dad had withdrawn, so I felt I was on my own. Imagine having your health analysed all the time and vitamin tables wrapped up so they looked like sweet, and then not being about to discuss it with anyone. That’s what it was like. But, anyway, she committed suicide when I was sixteen, so—

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Meet character Wil Driscoll, from Kevin Moore's novel SEVEN OUT.

Seven Out: A Wil Driscoll Adventure
Kevin Moore

An ex-pilot from the Great War has turned treasure hunter. 

When a gun goes off on board the steamer DeSoto's Glory, the adventurous and sardonic fugitive Wil Driscoll abandons his plans for buying information on a priceless artifact to make a quick getaway
Wil had booked passage down the Mississippi River in order to learn the whereabouts of a century-old pistol used by President Andrew Jackson to kill an opponent in a duel. Wil and his partner, who have made a lucrative career during the Prohibition years not by selling booze but by finding (or as of late, stealing) historical artifacts for sale to the highest bidder, discover their informant shot and dying in a pool of his own blood, rambling, "He took it." With an armed killer on the loose, the boat sets course for the port of Lake Providence to rendezvous with the Louisiana State Police, who have been hunting Wil and his accomplice for a decade. With less than an hour to jump ship, they must track down the pistol’s murderous thief.

Who are you? What makes you you
My name's Wil Driscoll. My old man always told me I wouldn't make of myself and I suppose he was right. He wanted me to take over the farm that's been in our family for generations, but I left Iowa in '17 and never looked back. I signed up underage to be a pilot in the Great War, but they signed the Armistice before I could ship out. I ended up working for my uncle in Sarasota flying bootleg tequila up from Mexico. It wasn't the best gig but it kept me fed and gave me something to do. Then I met Albert Crow at a hotel in New Orleans. I was hiding from the state police and he was looking for lost artifacts in the bayou. We figured out we made a decent team, and we've been inseparable ever since.

What are your likes/dislikes? Anyone you truly hate? 
I like gambling. I like scotch. Money is always good too. As far as thing's I don't like, the dry law has to be number one. Don't get me wrong, it's good for business but I hate the thing just on principle. Most of the people I hate end up dead so let's talk about those I love. It's a very short list, maybe too short. But that comes with the territory. I've traveled the globe; met a lot of great, loyal people. I've also been sold down the river some great, loyal people too. My mother's philosophy's was always if you can make it through life with at least one good friend, you're doing all right. Well, Al's stood by me for nearly ten years. I'm doing all right.

Friday, 15 March 2013

Character and author interview with Tory Richards' erotic romance:

Instant Attraction
Tory Richards

Thomas is a motorcycle cop, new to the rural area. He needed a change from the hectic big city, and the pressures of being on the swat team. A little more peace and quiet to reflect on what he wants in life, and maybe find someone to share it with along the way.

He never expected to find his perfect match in the form of one sexy little animal activist. From the moment they meet their attraction is hot and out of control.

Julie is an animal lover and works at a no kill shelter. Living next door to the new cop in the area, she’s asked by someone at the small town hall to welcome him to the neighbourhood. When she meets Thomas for the very first time instant attraction causes the sparks to fly. And they can’t keep their hands off each other. The hot anywhere, any time sex is great but they both want more. Can instant attraction turn into love?

Reader Advisory: This book contains scenes of anal sex.

What’s your background? What makes you you
Well, my name is Thomas and I was born and raised in Boston, where my parents and younger brother, Donald still live. He’s a fireman and my folks are veterinarians. After I returned from a stint in Iraq my Uncle Jack talked me into entering law enforcement. For a while I served on the SWAT team but decided I wanted a change of scenery. A place more laid back and peaceful, to be exact. So I picked up and moved to a rural area outside of Boston.

What is your main goal in life? 
(big sigh) I wasn’t sure until I met Julie. I mean, I know I wanted to meet someone I could share my life with. I thought I had in Boston but it turned out she only wanted fun and sex. Julie is different. I knew that the moment I looked into her eyes. So in answer to your question, my main goal in life is keeping her in mine. We’re good together. (he smiles)

How do you see yourself? 

I’m pretty easy going I guess. Family is important to me. And though I’ve always liked animals, Julie has turned me into an activist. I actually stopped to help Harriet, the resident pond turtle, cross the street the other day. That old girl is lucky she lives where we live.

Sunday, 10 March 2013

Maureen Banks, a character interview from Jonathan Hill's...

Maureen goes to Venice

   Introducing the protagonist from Maureen goes to Venice, and what makes them them.
I’m Maureen.  Maureen Banks.  I’m a retired schoolteacher and live alone in London.  (My husband died not so long ago.)  What makes me me?  Well, people do say I attract disaster everywhere I go, and I was once called a mayhem magnet.  I’m not sure I’d agree with that.  It’s true that I don’t have the best of luck . . . oh flipping pancakes! There’s another dead bird on my lawn . . . sorry, back to the interview . . . yes, I don’t have the best of luck but I do try to make amends with my good heart. 

I was reading some reviews of my life the other day (Jonathan Hill is writing and publishing my biography in stages) and am surprised to hear of some reader reactions.  One reader gave the book five stars but said I was an atrocious monster!  Charming!!  And another advised readers to run the other way should they ever meet me in person.  Well, that’s just uncalled for if you ask me, but readers do seem to be enjoying my mishaps a lot.  I like to see people laughing and enjoying themselves; it’s just a pity that it’s at my expense!

What is your main goal in life?
It’s a simple goal and one that is what you might call a cliché.  I just want to be happy and live out the rest of my years enjoying each day to the full.  When Roy died (did I say earlier my late husband was called Roy?  Oh, well, you know now), I sent a promise up to him that I would not go with another man.  Will I keep to that?  Well, who knows?  And I wouldn’t want to spoil the recent chapter in my life if you haven’t yet read it. 

What would you change about yourelf if you could wave a magic wand?
I don’t really have to think about this one.  I’d wave the wand to break this run of misfortune I’ve had for the last fifty years or so.  It’d never happen though.  I don’t believe in magic.  Not real magic anyway.  I’ll tell you who is a good magician, although he isn’t really that.  He’s more a mind bender.  Derren Brown.  Or is it Darren?  I can never remember.  Well, this Darren Brown - no, it’s definitely Derren – he did this show the other night where he promised to glue a certain percentage of the TV population to their sofas.  I was a cynic at first but I allowed him to have a go on me.  The TV played all these weird sounds and images and I couldn’t believe it when I found myself stuck to my chair.  I thought it had worked but then I realised my cardigan buttons had caught on some of my seat cushion’s loose threads.  Time for a new chair, I think.

*Laughs* Oh, Maureen, you seem like such fun! So, imagine you're in a lift with your favourite TV movie star, how would they react?
I’m not really fazed by celebrity, to be honest.  I’d probably act casually and just give a friendly nod.  The whole incident would pass by without hitch.  What’s that look on your face?  You don’t believe I’m capable of the ‘without hitch’ bit, do you?  Actually, I tell a lie.  If it were him off Downton Abbey, I’d probably swoon.  Now he is a true gentleman!  Goodness knows how I’d contain myself in a lift all alone with him.  I’d probably giggle nervously and tell him I’d drop everything to be his maid and turn back his bed for him every night...oh, that sounds a bit naughty doesn’t it.  Stop it, Maureen!  Behave yourself!  *giggles*

Are you happy now that your story has been told? Or is there more to come?
I’m reasonably happy, yes.  It seems to be factually accurate in the main.  Jonathan Hill, my biographer, has done a good job in recreating my life’s ups and downs so far.  Someone once approached me in the street and asked me if my trip to Venice had really been that bad.  The chap was sure the trip had been embellished to get more laughs.  He said that no-one could possibly be that disaster-prone.  I just looked him in the eye and said, “Unfortunately, they can and I am living proof of that.”  With that, he twitched nervously and ran away from me as fast as possible.  It was almost as if he feared for his life.

And a chat with the author of Maureen goes to Venice -
Jonathan Hill.

Thursday, 7 March 2013

To all editors out there--you're bloody AMAZING!

I got into trouble on Amazon recently. I joined a group of writers with the aim to write a collection of shorts for a novel. I was designated 'gatekeeper' (knocking back the bad, and allowing the good to pass through). The stories were interesting, that's just keep it at that. But I couldn't say no to anyone! The passion, the heat, love and tears had gone into those stories and so I decided to edit them, every last one.

And some of you may know, I take it VERY seriously. I'm anal about commas, apostrophes and all things punctuation--as one should be in writing. I'm sharp on POV, dialogue and tightening up.

The only thing I'm not too hot on is grammar and spelling (why I hire editors for my own work, and probably why the odd error is found on this blog).

Anyway, I settled down to edit the entries often staying up late to get finished (there was a deadline), and I think I forgot that these stories weren’t mine. I highlighted every little POV slip, put an exclamation against any errant comma, made comments against over-wordiness then basically rewrote the entire thing!

Did I say I was anal about editing?

It didn’t go down well with the authors. Where’s my voice, they cried.

Er, I wrote it out, said I. Want it back?

Well, duh, yeah.

I unedited, and they were happy.

My point, apart from discovering how anal I was about editing, is that the next time you see your editor give them a big sloppy kiss.

They deserve it!

Come here, John! MuuuuuuaaaaaaaaaaaaahhHHHH !

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Old Age Ain't for Sissies!

An interview with Cindy McDonald

Vic Deveaux’s glory days as a winning jockey have ended, but he refuses to accept that pile of horse hockey!

When the West family asks Vic to take an easier position at their Thoroughbred farm, Westwood, he becomes enraged and teams up with two greedy stable hands in a scheme to kidnap the youngest son, Shane. 

Things turn ugly when Vic discovers that his new-found friends have murder on their minds. Suddenly Vic finds himself between a rock and a hard place. He has betrayed his good friend, Eric West, but will he participate in his son’s murder as well?

Not content to sit at home and wait for her men to bring her brother home, Kate West convinces homicide detective, Carl Lugowski, to check out a hunch at an old abandoned mansion. Soon they’re trapped in a hornet’s nest of a notorious biker gang.

Oh yeah, Vic’s deception has placed the West family in more danger than they know what to do with!

Who is the protagonist; their background? What makes them them?
There are quite a few protagonists in the Unbridled Series, that said let’s just focus on one: Mike West. Mike is the oldest son of Eric West, the imposing patriarch of the successful Thoroughbred farm, Westwood. Mike grew up at the sprawling farm caring for the horses with his two siblings, Kate and Shane.

Mike tends to be on the OCD side. He has a “must win” attitude, and he takes being the eldest of the West children very seriously. He was married to Ava—Unbridle’s resident antagonist—for five years. But her wandering eye and vagina destroyed the marriage.  Regardless, she still owns a piece of Mike’s soul, and no matter how he tries not to, he still has feelings for Ava.

Mike deals with his loneliness by caring for the horses and the stable that he loves.

What are their likes/dislikes? Why do they hate/love character A or B?
Mike has a healthy dislike for Lieutenant Carl Lugowski. Why? Because he is the man Ava sleeps with. Much to Mike’s disgust he finds himself having to tolerate Lugowski more often than not. It seems the two men are thrown together when bad situations arise, and in the Unbridled Series those situations are always a heartbeat away.

Friday, 1 March 2013

A character interview with Karen Brown from Alison Morton's novel

Alison Morton

New York, present day. Karen Brown, angry and frightened after surviving a kidnap attempt, has a harsh choice - being eliminated by government enforcer Jeffery Renschman or fleeing to the mysterious Roma Nova, her dead mother's homeland in Europe.Founded sixteen centuries ago by Roman exiles and ruled by women, Roma Nova gives Karen safety and a ready-made family. But a shocking discovery about her new lover, the fascinating but arrogant special forces officer Conrad Tellus who rescued her in America, isolates her.

Renschman reaches into her new home and nearly kills her. Recovering, she is desperate to find out why he is hunting her so viciously. Unable to rely on anybody else, she undergoes intensive training, develops fighting skills and becomes an undercover cop. But crazy with bitterness at his past failures, Renschman sets a trap for her, knowing she has no choice but to spring it...

A character interview with Karen Brown from Alison Morton's novel INCEPTIO:

Who are you? Tell us about your background. What makes you you?
First interview with subject. Note on record: She is still in the Eastern United States.
Me? Karen Brown? I’m nothing special, just a normal twenty something, living in New York in the EUS. That’s the Eastern United States, north of Louisiane and south of Québec for those of you who are foreigners. My Mom, who was from Roma Nova in Europe, drove herself off a cliff when I was three and my Dad – I loved my Dad so much – he went when I was twelve. I cried when my cousins made me leave my beautiful New Hampshire home and live with them in the Mid-West. I ran away to the city the day after I graduated high school. I have a boring job, but love my weekends of fresh air in Central Kew Park where I volunteer. But last week, I had to give a presentation for a new foreign client. When I shook hands with his interpreter, who didn’t seem like any interpreter I’d ever met, my world shifted and not only because he was pretty hot.

So what are your likes or dislikes? What do you think of the interpreter you met recently?

I’m pretty easy going, I don’t like or dislike anything in particular. No, that’s not right – people being unfair or unkind bugs me. Why do they do that?
I jog, drink coffee, laugh with the kids in the park at weekends, but I often feel I’m in the wrong place doing the wrong thing. That interpreter turned out to be a spy and incredibly arrogant, which really irritates me. I was pleased when he said he was going back to Roma Nova. Okay, I wasn’t 100% pleased…

What is your main goal in life?
Who knows? I have a vague thought I’d like to do more than be a junior ad exec but at present, I have a safe job and one or two friends.

How do you see yourself?
Hey, are we going psych here? You sound like the student counselor at high school and she was lousy.

How do other people see you?
You think I go around asking them that? I don’t think so.

One year later . . . (Note: Subject is now generally adjusted culturally to Roma Nova)