Friday, November 28, 2014

#Interview Betrayal by @JohnW_Adams

JOHN WENDELL ADAMS has a master’s degree in management development and is currently president of AMS Strategic Solutions. He is the creator of a motivational series for men called “A Man’s Story.” This is his first novel. He and his wife, Grace, have five children and live in Skokie, Illinois. Visit him online or Twitter.

Researching tips;    
There are a few approaches that I have used associated with my writing.  I’m not certain it will work for anyone else but it seems to work for me.
1)     If I writing about people from a different era or place, I try to amass as much information about that time or place as possible.  If it’s a place that I know well or not, my approach is still the same.  I will get as much information as possible, how it began, who the founding father were, what it is famous for, key land marks, troubles that the place might have had, famous people, etc.  Once all of the data has been collected, then I try and locate someone who can tell me some important or special facts that might not be common knowledge.  When I am writing about that particular place, it’s as if I have been there.  I can write in a manner that allows me to combine both fact and fiction.
2)     If my story has some legal aspect to it, I will research what the legal descriptions are, what the legal ramifications are of a criminal act, and the view of an action through the eyes of an officer of the law.  I have contacted the FBI associated with research having to do with crimes against the government.  I was pleasantly surprised by how willing the agency was to give me information that helped me better understand the legal implications of a criminal act.
3)     If I am writing about a person in a particular setting, business, marriage, love relationship, a gang, or a resident of a foreign country, I will try and interview people who can give me their opinions on life in that environment.  My questions are a combination of predetermined ones and ones that I make up on the spot.  Generally, I ask open ended questions, interrogatives because they require respondents to provide real feedback instead of yes or no answers.  As a result, when I am involved in character development, I have a better grasp on the character’s thoughts and actions. 

Jack couldn’t wait until church was over on Sunday. It was a train and a bus ride for Jack and his sisters. His mother was comfortable with letting the four of them go alone since his oldest sister was very responsible. They talked as they went but Jack was consumed with his thoughts about spending the day with his dad. Janice, his big sister told them,

 “Mama said that we have to stay together. So hold hands and make sure we don’t get separated.”  As they walked the two blocks from the bus to the address Jack’s dad gave them, he almost couldn’t contain himself.

 “Are we almost there?” He asked his sister.

 “We’ll be there in a few minutes. Just stay together,” she reminded them.

 When they got to the address his father gave them it turned out to be a parking lot.  Janice looked at the addresses on both sides of the parking lot to determine if maybe he’d written down the wrong number. They then walked to a corner store; found a pay phone, and Janice called the phone number they had. She tried it three times. Each time the recording was the same…

 “I’m sorry, the number you’ve dialed has been disconnected. Please check the number and try your call again.” She then called their mother, explained the situation, and asked her what to do. Their mother’s answer was clear,

 “Just get back on the bus and the train and come home.”

   When Janice told her siblings that they were going back home Jack started talking and crying at the same time.

 “Wait, why are we leaving? We haven’t seen Daddy yet. Maybe he’s out looking for us. If we leave, he won’t find us. We can’t leave.” But Janice was direct.

 “Mama said we need to go back home. So, let’s get going.”  Jack couldn’t stop crying. He couldn’t believe that he wouldn’t see his dad. It was as if all hope was gone. Jack was sad all the way back home. He never saw his dad again until he was grown, married, and had two children.

 It was clear that Jack’s dad didn’t really care about his son or helping Jack through life. Jack developed a hard inner shell, trusting no one, not wanting to be hurt like that ever again. And while he didn’t trust Art completely, he did appreciate Art’s care and concern for him from a business perspective.

John will be giving away one $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to one commentor during the tour.

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#NewRelease: Curve My Song by Sarah Gai @SarahGaiCurvy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Curve My Song is now free everywhere, so be sure and pick up your copy today!

Follow the amazing plus size trio, The Curvies, as they find love, drama, tears, laughs and a song to match every situation. Bree Carson loves her life, friends and little town, but something is missing. Taylor Cole returns home after ten years and old flames reignite. Can he break through Bree’s walls? This book is the first in a three novella set following the lives of three curvy best friends: Bree, Elise and Skyla. The first book follows Bree and her life as she fumbles her way through letting down walls and letting love in. This novella has a lot of laughs and a little drama and introduces the readers to the rest of the characters leading into the second book, which builds up suspense for the third and final installment. These novellas will appeal to plus size or curvy women everywhere, especially those who enjoy books in the BBW (big, beautiful women), chicklit and women’s fiction genres. It’s just one of those reads that busy women of today can enjoy while they relate to the curvy ladies who aren’t super models but representative of your average everyday beauty.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Forty-five minutes later, I rush through the front door of the shop. Tables and sofa seats are filled with customers, and people are lining up at the counter to place or pay for their orders.

I see Skyla running around, trying her best to keep pace, and looking flustered. Throwing my things under the counter top, I make my way to the cash register and begin working.

When Skyla sees that I have finally arrived, a look of anger and frustration floods her face. After staring me down for what felt like hours (okay, like ten seconds), the ‘I’m-so-mad-at-you’ face is suddenly transformed into a look of relief as she drops her shoulders and breathes a sigh.

About the Author:
Sarah Gai is the author of The Curvies series. Living in Victoria Australia. As a devoted wife and mother of three, when Sarah is not writing she will be found reading in a quiet corner somewhere or out for coffee with her own real life Curvies. Being a busy mum she was always trying to find a quick and fun read to squeeze in and that is when the idea for the three novella set sparked into her mind. Wanting to write for all the women out there who want a good short read about strong friendships, romance and body positive, love the skin you're in kind of fiction.

Goodreads -

Get the book at Amazon, Smashwords, iTunes, or Barnes and Noble.

Thursday, November 27, 2014

#NewRelease Thief by @CLStoneX

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly drawn commenter will run a $25 Amazon/BN gift card via Rafflecopter. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Kayli Winchester is a dirt-poor girl living out of a hotel, forced to be the parent for a drunken father and teenage brother who she’s desperate to keep in school. The only way she scrapes by is to utilize her one skill: pickpocketing. But even though she’s a thief she has a moral code: no kids or old ladies, only targets who can defend themselves. Not that they see her coming…

Thinking she’s been working under the radar, Kayli has no idea The Academy has been watching and taking notice. Now a team that needs her skill has offered her a way out of her predicament and it’s her last chance: work with them, or face jail time. Kayli resists at first, but slowly the boys reveal they can be trusted. With Marc, the straight man, Raven, the bad-boy Russian, Corey and Brandon the twins as different as night and day, and Axel their stoic leader, there’s a lot Kayli can learn from these Academy guys about living on the edge of the law. If only she can stay on the good side instead of the bad.

Especially when the job they offer her is more than any of them bargained for. After it’s done, the hunters have become the hunted and their target is now after Kayli. The Academy boys do their best to keep her hidden, but a thief like Kayli will never sit still for long.

Meet an all-new Academy team in Thief, the beginning of the Scarab Beetle series.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Men are brilliantly stupid.

For one thing, guys carry the most cash with them anywhere. Didn’t anyone ever tell them cash was dead?

I nestled myself in one of the side branches of Citadel Mall. I picked my way through a Claire’s but the lights were too bright reflecting off the sparkling plastic and crystals of the teeny bopper jewelry and handbags. I ducked into a shoe store where the lighting was dimmer and the window wasn’t as obstructed. Waiting was the hardest part.

My favorite place to find dumb guys with lots of cash was the mall. Always fairly crowded on a weekend; I could count on at least a couple of twenties for every wallet I temporarily borrowed.

I never kept all of it. Forty to sixty dollars at the most. Not enough to bother reporting to the cops. I didn’t mess with credit cards, or bother with selling ID cards. That’s the kind of crazy stuff that gets you sent to prison. I always left the wallets and the rest of the leftovers tucked away in the food court and on benches where management would see it and find the owner. That way, the people wouldn’t have to get new ID, which is a huge hassle.

And they never suspected a thing. All they saw when I accidentally bumped into them was batting eyelashes and as much cleavage as I could muster the absurdity to expose without dry heaving.

About the Author: C. L. Stone once lived in Charleston, SC, and currently lives among Cajuns. She writes about cute boys and uncomfortable situations, usually mixed together. You can email her at Sign up for email updates, get exclusive info on upcoming release dates, get notified when freebies are offered, and sometimes sneak peeks!

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iTunes, Google, or All Romance eBooks.

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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

#Interview with Phil Lecomber for Mask of the Verdoy @GHMysteries

Phil Lecomber was born in 1965 in Slade Green, on the outskirts of South East London—just a few hundred yards from the muddy swirl of the Thames.

Most of his working life has been spent in and around the capital in a variety of occupations. He has worked as a musician in the city’s clubs, pubs and dives; as a steel-fixer helping to build the towering edifices of the square mile (and also working on some of the city’s iconic landmarks, such as Tower Bridge); as a designer of stained-glass windows; and—for the last quarter of a century—as the director of a small company in Mayfair specializing in the electronic security of some of the world’s finest works of art.

All of which, of course, has provided wonderful material for a novelist’s inspiration.

Always an avid reader, a chance encounter as a teenager with a Gerald Kersh short story led to a fascination with the ‘Morbid Age’— the years between the wars. The world that Phil has created for the George Harley Mysteries is the result of the consumption and distillation of myriad contemporary novels, films, historical accounts, biographies and slang dictionaries of the 1930s—with a nod here and there to some of the real-life colourful characters that he’s had the pleasure of rubbing shoulders with over the years.

So, the scene is now set … enter George Harley, stage left …

Phil lives in the beautiful West Country city of Bath with his wife, Susie. They have two sons, Jack and Ned.

Special interview with Crime Fiction Lovers!

Where to Buy: Amazon
Book Depository 

 1. At any given time do you work on only one story at a time and maybe plot out the next one or are there many ideas racing around your head?

“Mask of the Verdoy” is the first in a series of period crime thrillers set in 1930s. All the books in the series will feature the main protagonist, George Harley, and many of the supporting characters will make reappearances. Whilst writing each book I tend to sow the seeds for a future story. For example, Harley’s arch enemy, Osbert Morkens (the serial killer responsible for the horrific murder of Harley’s fiancée) is only referred to and doesn’t actually appear in the first book—partly to build the back story, but also as a teaser for the second book “The Grimaldi Vaults” in which he’ll play a larger role. The second story is already fully plotted – I just need to find the time amongst all the marketing for the current book to actually get the first draft completed! I’ve also already planned the skeleton plots for at least another three main storylines for Harley’s future outings.

2. Is there a genre you haven't written in but would like to? Or wish you could write in?

That’s an interesting question. For the foreseeable future I think I’ll stick with this ‘period crime thriller, mystery’ genre. The previous (unpublished) short stories and books that I’ve written were less of a genre style, more along the lines of general literature. Although I think they had their merits, I don’t think I’d yet found ‘my voice’ so to speak. I went away and thought long and hard about what kind of a book would fire my imagination. For many years now I’ve had a fascination with the 1930s and with the history of London; so I began to read around the subject and then started developing the main character, George Harley. Part of this development was learning how George might talk – which led to some in-depth research on the street slang of the 1930s. After a while I found that I could ‘hear’ him, so to speak—I knew just how he’d respond in certain situations. After that it was a case of plotting the first storyline.

This particular genre gives me great freedom to be both playful with the plotline and to introduce some serious themes into the books: I’ve chosen a kind of retro style of storytelling (akin to those old 1930s adventure movies) which allows for a great dynamic in the pace of the plot; but the setting of the 1930s also allows me to explore some serious subject matter, such as the rise of extremist politics, police corruption, manipulation of the press and changes to the British class system.

3. Do you add an element of romantic suspense in your stories?

Yes, there is a little in there. In the first book George is still grieving for his fiancée, Cynthia; when he meets the beautiful and philanthropic aristocrat, Euphemia Daubeney (who bears an uncanny resemblance to Cynthia) he can’t help falling a little for her. And it soon becomes obvious that the feeling is reciprocated. Given Harley’s views on the British nobility this forces the private detective to do a good bit of soul-searching.

4. Say you have unlimited funds: What kind of writing office/cottage would you create for yourself?

Well, I now live in the beautiful city of Bath (a world heritage site) and have created my writing den at very top of a Georgian townhouse, so I’m not sure that I’d change the view from my window (a mixture of rolling Somerset hills mixed with stunning Georgian architecture) – but perhaps I’d make the window a little larger. And it’s the only room without central heating in the house – so it’s a little cold in the winter!

As far as an ideal writing environment, well maybe it would be interesting to have the interior decorated in the style of a fin-de-siècle decadent novel, a pad worthy of Des Esseintes or Dorian Gray. You know—all red leather reading chairs, wall-to-wall bookshelves and cabinets of curiosities full of shrunken heads, monkeys paws and occult paraphernalia. I’m not sure my wife would approve though.

But you know, if you’re focussed enough, you can write in almost any kind of surroundings; I wrote the majority of “Mask of the Verdoy” crammed into a commuter train on my daily four hour round-trip commute to London.

5. If you could turn your novel into a TV show, which novel or series would you do? Where would it be set? Network TV (ABC, NBC, CBS), Cable (AMC, BBC, Lifetime) or Premium Cable (HBO, Showtime, Starz)?

Early into the first draft of “Mask of the Verdoy” I was pulled away from writing the book to explore the possibility of adapting the story as an internet-streamed motion-capture animated series (I know, it sounds crazy, but it was a serious project for a while). Because of budget constraints this never got off of the ground, but I could still see the story working well in a TV series format.

Now, as it has a period setting (and being a Brit), I think it would be interesting to see what our BBC could do with it – they’re well-known for their exquisite renditions of period dramas. But, of course, it would also be great to see it realized as one of those big-budget HBO series (I was a huge fan of The Sopranos). But if we’re just playing around here with ‘what ifs’ why not Hollywood? …

6. Finally, tell us about your latest release!

As I’ve already mentioned, “Mask of the Verdoy” is a period crime thriller, set in 1930s London. In part an homage to Grahame Greene’s Brighton Rock, and to the writings of Gerald Kersh, Patrick Hamilton and the other chroniclers of London lowlife in the 1930s, it also tips its hat to the heyday of the British crime novel—but unlike the quaint sleepy villages and sprawling country estates of Miss Marple and Hercules Poirot, George Harley operates in the spielers, clip-joints and all-night cafés that pimple the seedy underbelly of a city struggling under the austerity of the Great Depression.

Hopefully the interwar period setting of the series should have an obvious resonance with the present day reader - with the Western world struggling in the grip of a global economic crisis, haunted by past military conflicts and turning to extreme politics as doom-mongers foretell the decline of civilization and the death of capitalism. Sounds familiar, right?

It’s early days, but we’ve already had some very encouraging appraisals. Here are a couple of quotes from recent reviews:

“The smoky and smoggy atmosphere of 1930s London is captured beautifully … The dramatic finale is magnificently melodramatic, and ends the book – an excellent debut – in fine style. 5 STARS!” - (CRIME FICTION LOVER)

“MASK OF THE VERDOY is an enthralling tale of murder and manipulation that’ll place you in 1930’s London. 4 STARS!” – (CRIME THRILLER HOUND)

There’s a lot of Harley’s back-story and further detail about the series on the website:, and to whet your appetite here’s a brief plot outline:

London 1932. A spate of terrorist bombings threatens the devastated residents, who begin to turn to desperate measures to make ends meet. This sense of desperation is reflected in the radical politics of the era; ominously the British Brotherhood of Fascists (BBF), led by Sir Pelham Saint Clair, is gaining popularity, and the Blackshirts’ attitude of prejudice and intolerance to immigrants is spreading fast.

            George Harley, a kind-hearted, cockney private detective with a strong but liberal sense of morality, is walking through Piccadilly late one night when he comes across a young rent-boy being roughed up in an alleyway. He scares off the attackers and brings the boy back to his house to recuperate. However, a few days later the house is targeted by a mysterious masked assailant and things take on a dark twist.

            Before long Harley finds himself working as a special consultant to the CID (something he swore he’d never do again following the Osbert Morkens case) and is partnered up with Albert Pearson – a young Detective Constable recently seconded to the Metropolitan Police from the West Country, and therefore as yet untainted by the rash of corruption currently infecting Scotland Yard.

            At first the streetwise cockney finds Pearson a little too green for city life and he has great fun ribbing this ‘farmer’s boy’ as he tries to get to grips with the perplexing attitudes and customs of the capital – especially its language. On many occasions Harley has to act as interpreter, with all the Yiddish, Polari and rhyming slang leaving the young DC feeling like he’s wandered into a foreign country. But he slowly gains Harley’s respect and they start to make some headway in the case.

            The investigation leads the new partners through a shadowy world populated with a cast of colourful and sometimes dangerous characters: in their search for clues they visit spielers run by Jewish mobsters, all-night Soho cafés frequented by jaded streetwalkers and their pimps, East End slums that have become the clandestine hideouts of political extremists, and the decadent and lavish freak parties of the young aristocracy (where Harley can indulge his love of the new Jazz music).

            Meanwhile—with the help of jingoistic articles in the Daily Oracle newspaper—the political juggernaut of the BBF trundles on, with Sir Pelham Saint Clair gaining evermore public support for his vision of a fascist Britain. Harley witnesses at firsthand the charismatic effect the Blackshirt leader has on his followers at a BBF rally at the Albert Hall—an event that quickly descends into a pitched battle between the police and the anti-fascist factions demonstrating outside.

            Surviving terrorist bombings, the machinations of the corrupt DI Quigg, and the stonewalling of the British nobility, Harley and Pearson follow the clues through the capital’s nefarious underworld eventually uncovering a plot that threatens to undermine the very security of the British nation.

Phil will be awarding a $40 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour!

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