Guest Author G. Mitchell Baker

INTERVIEW:

A LITTLE ABOUT G. MITCHELL BAKER

I love to spending time with my children, who make me proud with their efforts to keep up, while achieving great things for their age, in this day-and-age.  In the balance, I love the process of writing involved stories with purpose.  Writing has become a productive obsession, however, when it comes to time to remove myself from writing, I also enjoy interacting with other writers in writing groups. Or, if I need to explore, find new geography, there is always the Subaru with the Thule car topper and bike rack loaded and ready to head into the Rockies, or to find that special place where The River Runs Through It.

TELL US YOUR LATEST NEWS?  

‘LETHAL BELIEVERS: THE INNOCENTS’ I am pleased to share with your readers that my latest novel in paranormal, “Lethal Believers: The Innocents” is on the verge of eBook release by Master Koda Select Publishing.  This is intense paranormal effort with elements of mythic horror and the supernatural of the currandera in the contemporary setting. Find this intense paranormal  read about mythic horror merging with a purpose for protecting The Innocents then buy it, comment, tell your friends and suggest to your paranormal groups there is a great eBook for your paranormal pleasures. I have included an excerpt below and thank you for your interest.

Master Koda Select Publishing, http://masterkodaselectpublishing.com/

THE INVOLVEMENT OF EMERSON’ I am also pleased to announce the release of this book in paperback. This novel is the first in an edgy series of novels about family, relationships, and fatherhood.  Available in print on Amazon.com beginning March 8, 2013; Amazon UK and Europe March 8, 2013 this book will also be available in expanded distribution channels to include circulation to academic and retail book buyers. Find this wonderful read about family and friend relationships then buy it, comment, tell your friends and suggest to your local bookstore that there is a great paperback for their contemporary fiction shelves. I have included an excerpt below and thank you for your interest.

Amazon, http://www.amazon.com/Involvement-Emerson-Mr-Mitchell-Baker/dp/1482632551/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362498950&sr=1-6

SOCCER TOMMIES BASEBALL MOMMIES’ Then, and as of this week, I am again pleased to announce terms are agreed with Master Koda Select Publishing to publish this family buddy sport comedy about saving a small town and its community from ruin. This YA novel is scheduled to be forthcoming Fall 2013.

SOCCER TOMMIES BASEBALL MOMMIES’ Also of this week, I am so pleased to announce terms were reached with international film producer, who has agreed to option with terms of purchase in the mid to high five figures with share and minimums negotiated and agreed to as well.

WHEN AND WHY DID YOU BEGIN WRITING?

In late 1997 I took sabbatical from the practice of law, set up shop in a small apartment in Seattle and spend 8-16 hours a day writing my first novel. While wearing the letters off the keys to my laptop the first novels in contemporary fiction was followed by the second, a Novellum written in Science Fiction.

 I then moved down I-5 to San Diego and learned to write screenplays. I have not stopped writing and after fifteen years of writing, I then considered relationships with those in the entertainment industry who indicated an interest in my work.

WHEN DID YOU FIRST CONSIDER YOURSELF A WRITER?

The first time I considered myself a ‘writer’, was when I first found myself experiencing my work emotionally, the first time my writing delivered to me the emotion leading to tears. The next time I considered myself a ‘writer’ was when the editing staff and I had ‘finished’ with a project, and then I spend the next week with the publisher ‘tightening’ the work and making it special.  To experience the emotion, to have someone expend the effort to make your work special is the stuff every writer should strive for and hope to attain.   

HOW DID YOU COME UP WITH THE TITLE FOR LETHAL BELIEVERS: THE INNOCENTS? 

When I started writing “Lethal Believers: The Innocents” you could not find the term on the Internet. The term Lethal Believers is a relatively new term in popular, Western culture. I first came across the term when researching another project, and came across a Central Intelligence Agency report actually trying to define the concept within the context of Middle East tensions. 

What occurred to me at that time was the term did not necessarily apply only to religious zealots within the context of intermittent acts of terrorism. I thought the premise would make for a great story in broader contexts.  Now I notice the term “Lethal Believers’ is becoming a term of use, perhaps better known.

The actual title “Lethal Believers: The Innocents” evolved during the editing of the book.  The title was changed, when I was about to be interviewed in London.  The interviewer indicated she was not going to work with the original title.  It turns out the title then, meant one thing in North America, and meant something quite heinous in the United Kingdom.  Thankfully, the interviewer offered a lot of feedback and even suggested the book would not sell in the UK unless the book title was changed.  Within twenty-four hours of this rather amazing, and timely revelation, the title “Lethal Believers: The Innocents” was created, pitched to the publisher and agreed to in the course of a rather tense series of events leading to publication.  “The Lethal Believers: The Innocents” is and remains an enthusiastic choice for publication

IS THERE A MESSAGE IN YOUR NOVEL(S) THAT YOU WANT READERS TO GRASP?

There are many ‘messages’, but a primary missive in LETHAL BELIEVERS: THE INNOCENTS is there are always people serving, sacrificing, doing a lot of work on behalf of the well-being, or for the betterment of the public, and society as a whole. In this story, Malachi Danta-Mercadel is dedicated to protecting ‘The Innocents’. In the LETHAL BELIEVERS series, The Innocents are first the innocent children, then good-natured people and defenseless animals, and then, in the final installment, Danta sets out to protect the addicts, and others who simply cannot defend themselves, perhaps out of fear and phobia.

Whether it is THE INVOLVEMENT OF EMERSON series or THE LETHAL BELIEVERS series, a core theme is protection and healing when faced with the ruin of most incredible of circumstances.  Whether it is Emerson, or Danta, or Lamia, or Dana, we are talking about men and women who sacrifice to protect what is meaningful. Perhaps they may be models for modern day warriors.

I also hope a message is there should and must be appreciation for these modern day warriors who are willing to take on, and face-up to issues involving family, relationships, fatherhood and the most difficult of societal ills . I believe we in society need to understand there should always be those preparing to fill in behind the fathers and those warriors who give a damn, and we must acknowledge there are those protectors out there who willing to act on behalf of The Innocents.  If the reader is interested in stories about warriors dealing with the successfully sinister elements in modern times, then my work may be of interest, THE INVOLVEMENT OF EMERSON and LETHAL BELIEVERS: THE INNOCENTS are for those who would care, read, and share stories about protection and healing after ruin given the most incredible of circumstances.

HOW MUCH OF THE BOOK IS REALISTIC?

On one level, they are pure contemporary/paranormal fiction. On another, I research my material and I hope there are ‘realistic’ portrayals of fictional characters and supernatural circumstances in the balance when writing to create plausible creative tension between the realm(s) of the ‘realistic’ and the mythic, the supernatural, the paranormal and certainly the preternatural.

ARE EXPERIENCES BASED ON WHO YOU KNOW OR EVENTS IN YOUR OWN LIFE? ALTERNATIVELY, ARE THEY A FIGMENT OF YOUR IMAGINATION?

Oh, I am quite content to suggest that all my work is quite the ‘figment of my imagination.”  *grins* “What was the question?”  *wink, wink, and a nod*

WHAT BOOK(S) ARE YOU READING NOW?

I just finished reading El Sicario, an autobiography about an assassin working in and for the narco-culture of South America (Molloy, Molly and, Charles Bowden, editors 2011).  Before that, I read a book entitled The King of Gypsies by Peter Maas (1975).  I found it interesting that the author of Serpico and The Valachi Papers would write a novel about the Gypsy/Rom culture in North America. Other material I may pick-up now and again include, Cassell Dictionary of Superstitions (David Pickering, 1995) or something like 1,000 Places to See Before You Die (Patricia Shultz 2003)

WHAT ARE YOUR CURRENT PROJECTS?

With LETHAL BELIEVERS: THE INNOCENTS now final and scheduled for release from the Master Koda Select Publishing list, I am turning my attention to the young adult novel and screenplay adaptation for SOCCER TOMMIES BASEBALL MOMMIES (with Master Koda). My efforts will be to make these works the best possible, and, in anticipation of further need for editing for continuity and delivery given the interest of both publisher and producers.

With THE INVOLVEMENT OF EMERSON released in paperback in the U.S., UK, and Euro zone, I will turn certain of my intention to THE CONSISTENCY OF EMERSON, the second novel in this series.

IF YOU COULD PICK ANY CELEBRITY TO STAR IN THE MOVIE VERSION OF YOUR BOOK, WHO WOULD IT BE?

The main character in LETHAL BELIEVERS: THE INNOCENTS, Malachi Danta-Mercadel, is a gentle man forced to come out of retirement from INTERPOL and the Secret Service, again, to battle the successfully sinister.  I believe would be a stellar privilege for Russell Crowe to bring this character to life.

CAN YOU SHARE A LITTLE OF YOUR CURRENT WORK WITH US? (A SHORT EXCERPT WOULD BE GREAT)

This is from ‘Chapter 1 Hurricane Ruined’ from LETHAL BELIEVERS: THE INNOCENTS, forthcoming from Master Koda Select Publishing, March 2013.

Chapter 1

Phoenix, Arizona

 

November 2000 is hot as the intense, blinding beam of an oncoming vehicle reveals Lamia, a darkened, illusive figure in smoky silhouette. Lamia looks down at a neatly folded, red poncho, resting on the passenger seat of the speeding sedan still accelerating onto an exit ramp. The brakes light up late, toward the end of the ramp as the car slows, executing a right turn into a cluster of houses under construction. The development is Lamia’s destination as the car slowly approaches, and then stops at a new house. Climbing out, Lamia stands tall to stretch, casually donning the bright poncho, appearing to belong in the neighborhood.

      Lamia is confident, striding up the walkway, deliberately drifting onto the fresh sod-grass. Knocking down the “Quality Home by Sapphire Builders” sign, the lawn sprinklers rise to spit and chatter.  Lamia, illusive, disappears into the black Arizona night.

      It is not long before morning nautical time allows for recognition of once darkened figures like Lamia in the evolving light of day. A pick-up, with the “Sapphire Builders, LLC door signs pulls to the curb. Climbing down, Collin Sapphire, a southern beach survivor from southern California sweeps the yard with the robust flashlight beam. The muscular man of otherwise average appeal pauses to re-stake the downed lawn sign before walking to the front door. Finding the door locked, he complains, “The key? Where’s the damn key?”

      Walking to the back of the house, Sapphire’s sandals slap against the concrete sidewalk and echo in the early morning silence. Sapphire’s figure gets darker the farther away he walks from the street lamps. Relying more on his flashlight, Sapphire looks on as the narrow beam passes Lamia, standing just outside the flashlight’s shifting span.

      Sapphire does not see Lamia as he opens the unlocked door. Pausing, Sapphire checks the lock to find nothing wrong. Shrugging at the inconsistencies of both locked and unlocked doors, with no key accounted for Sapphire reaches in to flip the kitchen light. Learning of no power, no lighting, he flicks the switch up and down in frustration. Shining the flashlight across the kitchen area, he enters the tiled rear entryway. Pausing to sniff the pungent air with disdain, Sapphire growls, “What the hell is that smell?”

      Straining for eyes to adjust in the confusing, altering light, Sapphire looks close and sees a mop and bucket in a far corner, smoking and smoldering.

      “And what the hell is that?”

      Stepping onto the tiled kitchen floor, Sapphire looks down to see dark stain on the tile, but it is too late. His right sandal contacts the unstable surface, triggering an intense, searing burst of flame under his planted foot. The flashlight flips from his grasp, crashing to the floor, causing its own burst of green then yellow flame.  The beam is now small, intense, and useless as its only direction is tight up against the wall.

      Reeling in pain, Sapphire dances, stepping impulsively to re-gain his balance, but the effort leads to more brilliant, violet-green flashes of successive, snapping explosions. White smoke dances, swirling through the room as Sapphire struggles to escape. Falling forward, then backward and onto his side, he cannot escape the intensifying series of blasts and flash-bang, sensory deprivations.

      Falling face first, trying to find clean air Sapphire tries to break the fall with his hands, but there is only more of the searing ignition, followed by brilliant flashes blowing from beneath his now burning bare hands. The scream is of agony as Sapphire jumps to his feet, but there is again the brilliant flash and pains manifest everywhere as he again contacts the floor.  With the intense, blinding detonations now taking away his oxygen, Sapphire’s sanity in the moment is lost. He scrambles, flailing in an attempt to survive, to reach the kitchen door he recalls, must still be open.

      Sapphire jumps up, then lowers his head to bull rush into the yard, a place he can only guess means safety. He makes it to the back doorway, believing his escape is clean, falling out of the house, gasping for clean air, panicking, running, rolling into the cool sodden grasses of the yard. Collapsing, Sapphire tears at his feet, trying to remove the remaining sandal for relief, but cannot grip the footwear without suffering agonizing pain in his feet, his burning hands, and forearms.

      More lawn sprinklers rise to spit and chatter, soaking Sapphire with the comfort of cooling water on newly burned skin. Distracting movements close in through the lessening darkness of the emerging daybreak, under cover of the incessant sprinklers.

      With a look toward the movement, only his eyes moving, Sapphire listens enough, inventorying the sounds he recognizes through the sprinkler chatter, to determine there are footsteps along the same sidewalk he had walked only moments before.

      Lamia strides toward Sapphire, confident, purposefully.

      “What did you do?” snarls the pained Sapphire, not yet willing to move, but willing to confront.

      Emerging, wielding roughhewn truncheon in each hand held at arm’s length, Lamia approaches most deliberately, at the ready for the deliverance of more battery upon the motionless Sapphire.

      “Ever hear of an eye for an eye?” rasps Lamia, there being no sentiment from the oblique silhouette.  Lamia raises both truncheons high overhead and into the broken waters falling upon them.

      “What?” fears Sapphire, raising his arms as a defensive measure, “What are those things?”

      Swinging down hard, the first blow knocks Sapphire’s face to his right, flat into the dewy morning grass.

      Sapphire screams, “No!” The intense blow causes a grand mal shake and the uncontrolled quiver of suffering further indicating the beginning of a certain process of death.

      “No!” Sapphire whispers, repeating his succinct plea for life as the synthetic rains fall upon him and then not, and then finding him again in regular intervals.

      Sapphire rolls slightly, pleading “Please!” Desperately, begging for his remaining life, Sapphire sobs, “I need to live!”

      Swinging down hard, the second blow knocks the man’s face left and flat into the cool, wet grass.

“Please…” Sapphire mumbles, rolling onto his face, assuming the only defensive position possible, given the weakness delivered with the original, stunning blows.

      Lamia cross-examines, “And when The Innocents begged the same from you, what did you tell them?”

      There is only silence, interrupted by the remote moan from Sapphire.

      Kneeling, Lamia rolls Sapphire to his back, enough for Sapphire again, to stare into the stars and the falling, fragmented waters. Lamia steps over Sapphire, straddling the stricken, demanding, taunting, “Oh come now. Tell me. When they begged the same from you, what did you tell The Innocents?”

      A third blow, this time quicker and more efficient, strikes without waiting for any answer.

      “When they pleaded with you through their screams,” Lamia insists, “what did you do tell them?”

      “Please,” Sapphire begs, “I just…”

      Both Sapphire and Lamia now dripping with the cold waters, unable to squelch Lamias heated, rising passion. “They pleaded for the remainder of their lives.” Lamia does not let up as a fourth blow brings Sapphire’s death nearer. “Their need to live was announced for the entire world to hear, but every scream you suppressed with first your threats, then by exploiting their hope, promising them if only they would not cause trouble.”

      Sapphire cries the cry of a predator, now the fallen prey.

      “What did you do?” Lamia demands. “What did you say?”

      Without an answer from Sapphire, the pace of the striking, and now stomping, accelerates into a flurry of raging energy. There is now the unrelenting, blurring, stamping, and the shearing blows erupting from the roiling, churning arms of Lamia and the extensions that produce the results of a mule flailing, its fore legs in panic, flicking and stamping the air to defend, to cause harm.

      Now with the intent to kill undeniable, Lamia strikes, the hooves at the eyes, the teeth, and the hands of Sapphire, destroying the perpetrator, who would not answer to Lamia’s challenge on behalf of The Innocents. Kneeling over the now motionless Sapphire, Lamia rises up and then down to reposition beside the punished, lost soul staring up at the Arizona stars. With eyes staring empty, filling with blood, the synthetic rains fall to begin the washing of gore from Sapphire’s eyes. Breathing hard, Lamia rises to stand over the battered and now silenced target. “That is right,” Lamia lowers the mule forelegs with damp, bloodied hooves to each side. “You did not answer, as I have not been responsive to you.”

 

This is ‘Chapter 12 Hurricane Ruined’ from THE INVOLVEMENT OF EMERSON, published in Paperback, March 2013.

The rain is light, just enough to render things wet, light enough to endure for a day or two, as long as the wind stays down. Turning back to business, Chilly looks hard at Jon, asking, “Was sup?”

“Not sure,” answers Jon, appearing unsure.

“Hmmm,” Chilly nods, concluding, “For a guy like you, ‘not sure’ means you got fired or something.”

“Frankly,” Jon stares hard at Chilly. “I was ruined.”

“Ah,” says Chilly, grinning, rubbing his hands, “Here comes more of his story.” Chilly shifts, like settling into his chair to watch a football game long anticipated. “Now tell me, what you mean by ‘ruined’?”

“Rendered extinct from the all American dream,” Jon sighs, “Run off from a wonderful family.”

“Whoa,” Chilly hollers, raising his hands. “Let’s hear a halleluiah and call for the big time out!” Chilly waves his arms high and everywhere, “Hold on right there, because I just want to hear one ‘American dream gone bad’ and ‘it’s not your fault story’ at a time.”

“Okay,” Jon plays along, rather enjoying Chilly’s antics in the balance, “How about how I quit working for one of the richest men in the world?”

“You ‘quit’,” Chilly teases, “Why you ‘quit’?” he asks, obviously anxious to hear more.

“Well,” Jon’s face reveals the pain of drawing into the mock torture given his forced recollection, “One Wednesday morning I picked-up the Seattle Union Tribune off my porch, and my wife, a rather destructive thing of a particularly hostile vintage, locks the door behind me.

“And you got no key stuff in your underwear,” Chilly laughs.

“And she calls the police,” Jon continues, “Next thing I know there was a response to a domestic altercation at my own home, an altercation that never happened.”

“Had you taken a piss yet,” Chilly asks, appearing genuinely curious, grinning.

Jon answers, “No.”

“Then there was no,” Chilly pauses, “What you call it — ‘domestic altercation’ or something cause you would have pissed before you went outside and–”

“Right,” Jon agrees, nodding stupid.

“She was playing the old, but effective, lock ‘em and cop ‘em routine,” Chilly quips, his interest growing. “The civilian version–”

“’civilian version’,” Jon repeats, asking curious.

“We used to call it, ‘Family Frag’ on base,” says Chilly, “Always saw that shit on base … calling the MPs an all. Is her daddy military?”

“Family Frag,” Jon repeats, nodding in agreement, “Yes he was, and no I never heard of it before.”

“You never lived on base much did you?”

“Well no,” answers Jon. “Anyway, enough was enough.”

“The wise woman builds her house,” Chilly recites from the thin and rarified air of a self-proclaimed pastor in vicarage, “But the foolish woman pulls it down with her hands.”

“Where you get that from,” Jon asks with all sincerity.

“I learned it from the ‘Book of Proverbs, Chapter 14, and Verse 1.’”

“But I never see you with a bible,” Jon’s query is out of a genuine curiosity, but Chilly ignores the question.

“So here you are,” Chilly yawns, “’ruined’ huh?”

“What?” the filthy asphalt at Jon’s feet has his full attention, “You don’t believe me?”

Waiting until Jon looks up again, Chilly locks on Jon with a hard gaze, a hard, penetrating stare. “Believe what exactly?” Chilly stalls the conversation.

“You ever think what happens to people who work for the wealthiest, the most powerful people and end up with nothing?” Jon asks.

“Oh yeah man,” Chilly snorts. “I am meditating about the rich and beautiful set all the time.”

“What do you think happens when you screw-up in a world like that?” Jon pushes, hardened by his own recollection of the experience, “Or, get screwed in a world like that?”

“I don’t know,” says Chilly, balking, “Maybe if I knew who is asking, I could–”

“It is like this,” Jon interrupts, with a series of nervous coughs, unexpectedly seizing him in mid-sentence.  “Consider that the Universe I speak of is generally indifferent to the destruction of trees, property, people, even planets.”

“Sounds impressive,” comments Chilly, rolling his eyes, sarcastic, “freaking impressive.”

“Now wait a minute,” Jon begins to argue, as Chilly pauses, unsure, thinking his own thoughts.

“You mean like a hurricane not giving hooey about anything it runs through,” Chilly asks.

“Okay,” Jon smiles, enjoying both the interruption and the metaphor, “That’s right.”

“My daddy used to say all the time: “Here comes a good old ‘who gives-a-shit hurricane’,” Chilly seems proud of the recollection at first, and then goes awkwardly silent.

“What is wrong Chilly,” Jon asks, not sure, what just happened.

“Son-of-Bitch never moved a muscle for one of them hurricanes running up to him,” Chilly laments.

“How is he doing anyway?”

“Andrew got him,” Chilly recounts, “I survive two combat tours, the leading edge on Force Recon and the old man gets wacked facing off with a stinking Category 4.”

“What got him,” Jon asks politely, appropriately reserving his full curiosity for the complete story.

“A frigging baseball,” Chilly looks skyward, most serious.

“A baseball,” Jon parrots, “Which team he play for anyway?”

“Nope,” Chilly gives me his best ‘dumb shit’ look, “He didn’t play for anyone. It was the hurricane played him.”

“’hurricane’,” Jon repeats, “A baseball got him in a hurricane?”

“The fastball to the head was actually his autographed ball from Hammer’n Hank Aaron.”

“And, you know it was that baseball because–?” Jon pauses, still not believing much of the tale.

“Listen man,” Chilly turns to Jon, impatient, “When a hurricane hurls a fastball at your head it is not like any old Baker Bean Ball,” Chilly pauses, preparing to explain more. “That sucker had to be moving a hundred-twenty plus. The stitching and the ‘Ha–’ from the ‘Hammerin’ Hank Aaron’ autograph were tattooed into his left temple.”

“Whoa,” Jon backs off real quick, more the believer.  “Sorry man, I–”

“Never mind,” Chilly does not skip a beat, “They called that tattooing thin ‘Stitch Burn’. The threads hit on him so hard it left those ‘V’ marks on branded into him.

“’Stitch Burn’”, Jon repeat, incredulous, “Left those chevron patterns on his head?”

“He was a righty and took it in the left temple,” Chilly pauses, “Makes sense I guess. I always wondered whether the ‘Ha–’ was for the “Hammer’n’” or the ‘Hank’ part of the autograph.  Buried the ball with him,” Chilly mumbles, drifting off–

“And you?”

“I do not want any heavy discussion about any of this,” Chilly sets the boundary, firm.

“Listening carefully, Jon thinks it wise to respect Chilly’s signal, “I am all okay with that–” Jon cuts off his comment in mid-thought, leaving everything on the table left to ride.

“So what does it mean?” asks Chilly, immediately, inconsistently disregarding his own boundaries.

“I guess it is people being able to care,” offers Jon, “Maybe not to care about what happens in their universe.”

“What?” Chilly answers with a question, perturbed.

“What do you mean, ‘What’?” Jon’s voice is thin, impatient.

“Is this about learning what one thinks is his own ‘universe’,” Chilly argues.

“And how you either think I’m part of your universe or you do not,” Jon suggests, hesitating.

“Not really, “Chilly replies, confusing Jon. “Listen, I allowed a lot of people to get close to me in my universe and they screwed with it,” Chilly’s answer is slow, most deliberate.

“Sounds familiar,” Jon’s affirmation becomes kind of a common ground between the men conversing.

“Do not think I am some kind of universe for others,” Chilly smiles, until his expression gets a little awkward, given the abstraction just described.

“Sure,” Jon’s answer is lost in the blast of a blaring boat horn. “Besides, Jon has no idea what Chilly means by ‘universe for others’.”

“Horn took you out,” Chilly snorts, “Happens all the time.”

“Do you have any idea how strong the universe is I live in,” Chilly asks, then shrugs confident, nonchalant.

“I know what billions can do,” Jon offers, believing the reply to be a strong one.

“No,” Chilly has his own thought to convey. “I know people sometimes get beat-up in hurricanes, but I’m talking when people, not money are worth stuff to others.”

“Of course,” Jon’s answer is only to keep Chilly talking, thinking.

“What good are billions,” Chilly implores, “if the final decision is to leave one’s home?”

It is Jon’s turn to shrug, nonchalant.

“He did not want to leave his things,” Chilly explains, “His autographed baseball stayed with him.”

Jon is thinking of an answer, when Chilly fills in the conversation ahead of him.

“But hey,” Chilly says, matter of fact, “Sometimes when billions aren’t worth nothing they rebuild after the ruin anyway.”

Jon’s proffer is pessimistic, “Even when no one can afford to rebuild?”

“Some can. Some can’t, some will and some won’t,” Chilly philosophizes, “Who cares right?”

Bug Dog snorts at what sounded like the old AMWAY sales slogan. Shaking his huge head, Bug Dog curls away into a half-turn.

“Yeah,” Chilly looks down at Bug Dog, “Like you would do something better for this world.”

Bug Dog looks up at Chilly, glaring, defiant, then sleepy again.

Drifting into his own thoughts, not really hearing Chilly say much of anything more, Jon eventually hears himself, “She filed for divorce within a week of my leaving–”

“And that my friend is your hurricane,” Chilly preaches confident.

“Only difference is you moved your ass out of the way of that hurricane to survive the storm.”

Jon is not reassured, nor emboldened by the fact he ran from the impending storm. Sensing Jon’s dilemma, Chilly offers, “It will pass,” Chilly’s voice rises, “And you will gain control of your life again.”

Jon has nothing to say.

“Listen,” Chilly continues his outreach, “There is nothing noble or righteous in what my father did,” Chilly wants to straighten Jon out, “Truthfully–” Chilly continues to admit, while Jon sees as much is hard for Chilly, “The guy was just plain lazy is all.”

Jon sits quiet, listening carefully.

“Son-of-a-bitch could have just put the damn ball in his pocket, could have got the hell out of the way, instead, he just sat in his chair.”

Jon says nothing, having nothing at all to add, given the wisdom from hindsight already spoken.

“So you going to rebuild,” Chilly asks, “Start over or what?”

Jon still has nothing to add, thinking hard about the chevron, baseball stitching with the letters “’Ha–’ tattooed to Chillys dad’s deadening, numbing skull.

“Okay,” Chilly says, concentrating hard despite the drunk, foolish look on his face, “So your destroyer wife won’t let you get on with your life?” Chilly at once appears to demand the right answers, struggling to say anything to provide an appearance of competency. “I don’t believe you because every hurricane moves on and gets tired.”

“No,” Jon’s response is terse. “You were right that is what hurricane’s do, but the Mary’s of this world turn families into savage excuses for fragging on one another over and over without end.”

“Then what is the use of getting out of the way of the storm?” demands Chilly, pleading as Jon contemplates Chilly’s apparent role as the reckless pastor in vicarage.

Silent, mostly embarrassed at the implication he was letting others control his life, Chilly reads Jon’s frustration from his face.  “Man, you are more hurricane-ruined than anybody I know,” Chilly summarizes. “Hell, at least my old man was standing for something when he took that hurricane fastball. It may have been stupid to some, but at least he was standing in the batter’s box waiting for that pitch.”

“Won’t matter how hard I work,” Jon’s sigh is that of resignation. “I won’t get back what I had.”

“More like you have not decided to put your life back together after the hurricane,” Chilly concludes.

The conversation has not been what Jon expected this evening. Too troubled to attempt sleep, Jon eventually claims a couple of hours of wracked slumber. Recalling nothing after his eyes fix on a street light burning consistently bright at the end of the alley, Jon soon dreams about being blown from his office desk, newspaper in hand, trying desperately to stay in front of a baseball chasing him around his office.  Like some broom chase scene out of a witch movie, it all was so fast, so mind numbing that relief eventually comes only in Jon hearing a Dinosaur in the distance, and then there is the heavy breathing first of Bug Dog, then that of Chilly Belly.

What the hell am I doing here,” Jon ponders in his private panic, closing his eyes tight, crying for the first time, since walking onto the unknowing murk of the Seattle streets. “You are learning,” an unexpected voice drifts through the fog created in Jon’s mind. “Buddy,” says Chilly, offering in the most compassionate tones. “You are learning life and more.”

All Jon musters is a saddened mumbling.

“Jon,” Chilly offers again, knowing Jon needs some talking through the tears. “If you are indeed crying, you need to know you are far from hurricane ruined if that’s what you decide.”

Jon looks up, his expression conveying the message of doubt.

“It is time to get things moving in a positive direction again,” Chilly urges through his waking slumber.  Jon notes, and appreciates the forward thinking, positive life philosophy Chilly is disclosing, wondering how a person who thinks like he does, ends up on the Seattle streets. Exercising his Miranda privilege to remain silent, not really wanting to put out his own statement, his own life philosophy for the matter, Jon wonders how others are going to draw down on their own conclusions about how really ruined is, ‘Hurricane Ruined’.

 

WHO DESIGNED THE COVER(S)?

 I worked closely with Rebbekah White, of Master Koda Select Publishing to create the cover for LETHAL BELIEVERS: THE INNOCENTS. I would like to thank Rebbekah for creating not only a great looking cover, but a cover chock full of hints, foretelling and confirmation for the reader who is interested in that sort of thing.  For many readers, they may read the book, and along the way refer and re-refer to the cover and find themselves enjoying the cover, and the story more than first believed — the stuff of paranormal mystery.

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR OTHER WRITERS?

I participate in writer’s groups, for the specific purpose of sharing from my experience, but I always learn from others in the balance as well. My advice here, and to other writers is to not forget to leave the writer’s cave (or in my case the tired barn) once and a while and work on and enjoy relationships in the writing/entertainment communities  If bent on publishing or having your work considered for production, understand the story one writes is only the starting point.  The remainder of the experience is working, collaborating with others to accomplish great things.  There is indeed the solitude of writing, but that solitude must give way (at least a little), when you decide your work is worthy of consideration in the ‘public’ domain.

DO YOU HAVE ANYTHING SPECIFIC THAT YOU WANT TO SAY TO YOUR READERS?

I think it is so important for readers of my material to know and understand how much effort others, like Master Koda Select Publishing bring to a project like LETHAL BELIEVERS: THE INNOCENTS.  I think it is important for readers to have confidence not only in the story, but to understand how important it is for an author to have confidence in those he works with long after the writing of the story. I am fortunate to be in great working relationships and want my readers to know there are many people delivering wonderful efforts long before they lay eyes on any given work produced for their enjoyment.

PLEASE SHARE YOUR BLOG/WEBSITE/FACEBOOK/TWITTER HERE WITH US. 

MASTER KODA SELECT PUBLISHING

http://masterkodaselectpublishing.com/

TWITTER FOR G. MITCHELL BAKER:

G. Mitchell Baker@G_MitchellBaker

FACEBOOK PAGES:

‘Lethal Believers: The Innocents’

 https://www.facebook.com/LETHALBELIEVERSNOVELS

‘The Involvement of Emerson’

https://www.facebook.com/TheInvolvementOfEmerson

AMAZON

‘Lethal Believers: The Innocents’

                        Forthcoming from http://masterkodaselectpublishing.com/

            ‘The Involvement of Emerson’

                        http://www.amazon.com/Involvement-Emerson-Mr-Mitchell-Baker/dp/1482632551/ref=sr_1_6?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1362498950&sr=1-6

 

Karen Magill author of Missing Flowers – my special guest.

Please welcome my special guest author Karen Magill.  She is amazing and so fun to visit with.  Here is the interview we did together.

Where are you from?

I was born in Victoria, BC Canada and moved around a lot as a child. Now I call the beautiful city of Vancouver Canada my home.

 Tell me a little about yourself

 I come from a family of writers – my paternal grandmother was a published author – and creative people have surrounded me all my life. Even though I have always written, I explored many areas for a career for years. But I always came back to the writing. When I was forced out of the work force in 2000 by MS, I saw this as an opportunity to pursue my writing goals.

 I am single and don’t have any children. I love music and walking. I walk around the city and take photos then come home and post those on my blog with a little bit of history.

 Tell us your latest news?

  My latest book, Missing Flowers, is now appearing in libraries around the world. With the help of my Facebook  friends that are requesting their local libraries buy it. My next book is coming along.

 When and why did you begin writing?

 I started writing from the moment I learned how to put words together. Writing was, and still is, my way to escape the drudgery of reality.

 When did you first consider yourself a writer?

 I think the first time I considered myself an actual writer was when I had a poem accepted for publication in Modern Romances magazine. Someone besides my family actually liked what I had written.

 What inspired you to write your first book?

 A broken heart. I was mooning over my first boyfriend and thought this was the way to get him back. I wrote a really bad love story that later fell victim to a shredder!

 Do you have a specific writing style?

 When I write I tend to write scenes as they come to me then write the filler that will make it into a book. I don’t really plan though I am trying to be more disciplined and organized.

  How did you come up with the title? 

 Missing Flowers refers to the prostitutes in Vancouver’s east end that have gone missing. A friend of my parents calls the prostitutes in that area ‘Hastings Street Flowers’ so I combined the two.

 Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

 I write paranormal because I believe those powers are within us all. I want my readers to finish a book I have written and think that that could happen. Realize that events in my books may actually happen.

 How much of the book is realistic?

 In this series of books of which Missing Flowers is the first, I am referencing true crimes. There was a case in Vancouver where a serial killer was taking prostitutes from Vancouver’s east end and it inspired this book. The history I relate is fact. The places I describe like Carnegie Centre and Sunrise Market are real. However, the killer I used, the cop, the psychic, the prostitute and the other characters and events are fictional.

 Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life, or are they a figment of your imagination? (i.e. – is your hero/heroin you? – is your ‘bad guy’ you or someone you know?)

 Some of the experiences that Julie Seer has on her walks happened while I was walking around Vancouver.  No one is entirely based on a real person.

 What book(s) are you reading now?

 Right now, my reading is mainly for my blog so I am reading parts of books on history. I am trying to finish Digitus 233 by K.D. Emerson though.

 Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

 I am enjoying K.D. Emerson’s book and I do like Martin Crosbie. I have on my list to read What She Knew by T.L. Burns and K.R. Hughes. I am looking forward to that.

What are your current projects?

 I am working on the next in the Julie Seer series, working title is A Little Poison. It will be another paranormal mystery that combines fiction with historical facts.

 Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

Only one? John S. Hardin from Virginia has been a great supporter ever since I met him in a Bruce Willis chat room. John is also a talented writer.

If you could pick any celebrity to star in the movie version of your book, who would it be?

So many people to choose from. For the part of the drug addicted prostitute trying to get clean, I would like to see Miley Cyrus play the part. I think she could do a great job and I think that she is a better actress than many realize. As for the parts of Julie and Santoro, I think Maggie Siff for Julie and maybe Christian Kane for Santoro.

If you could pick a celebrity to play one character in the movie version, who would it be?If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

I don’t think so. I read people’s reviews and what some dislike others appreciate so there isn’t anything I can think of that needs changing.

 Can you share a little of your current work with us? (a short excerpt would be great)

 I will share a bit of Missing Flowers of you. This is part of Chapter One.

 The view was another thing Julie found comforting about this area. The lights from North Vancouver lightened the night darkness. The North Shore Mountains were an intense dark blue right now and seemed to be standing guard over all beneath them. The orange cranes from the Port of Vancouver were manmade sentries, their lights blinking messages to the peaks. The normalcy of it all was very soothing. Julie leaned back and began to take a few deep breaths. Walking to a plastic moulded chair and sitting down, she closed her eyes and started piecing together the fragments of the dream that still haunted her. She hadn’t seen what happened, but experienced everything from the viewpoint of the victim. It was always that way it seemed. Julie swallowed and fought to clear her mind so the dream would return.

It started with a droning sound. Julie was in a room with wooden benches, like the pews in a church. Yet not quite, something was off.  This wasn’t a church. She could feel the hardness of the wood floor beneath scrawny, malnourished knees. In the dream, her arms were covered with track marks from years of drug abuse, her skin felt slimy and dirty yet it didn’t bother her.  Julie had the impression that this slovenly state was normal for her. And besides, there were more important things to worry about, not that Julie was sure of what those concerns were. She did know she was going to get money from whoever brought her here. In the dream, that was the only reason Julie had agreed to come; she really needed the money.

Someone was chanting or praying. Ah, that was the droning noise. But everything else seemed so quiet, almost as if she and the voice were in a mausoleum or something. No noise from vehicles or people penetrated the stillness, it was so silent. She couldn’t really tell what was being said or where the other person was, but she was aware of a voice murmuring in the background. She sensed movement behind her, but it was so slight that she wasn’t sure if she’d imagined it.

I wish he would shut up and get on with it, she thought, so I can get outta here. She shifted position; the pressure from the floor was uncomfortable. Yet she knew that she had to stay like this, had to appear pious. Not that she was but that was how the game was played. She hoped the speech would end soon and she could do what she had to do and leave. She knew she was supposed to be repenting for something, but Julie wasn’t sure what. And still the droning continued.

She blinked. Her vision was hazy but it wasn’t anything to do with her. She could smell the cloying odour of too much incense and the smoke drifted lazily around her. Lemon scented furniture polish didn’t improve the atmosphere nor did the smells wafting from her unwashed body. Dream Julie sniffed.

I hate it here. Usually it is just in and out, give me my dough then we bugger off wherever. But not today. Dream Julie giggled inwardly at her thought ‘in and out’. That’s what it was usually. Nothing spectacular, nothing special.

Julie shifted position in her plastic chair. She sensed something wasn’t right. Something was going to happen. She felt a tightening in her chest and panic froze her throat.

I want to say something, she thought. I want to tell him to shut up, to get on with it. But if I do that he might get nasty and I need the money. He might hurt me or leave me someplace where I can’t get back. I gotta a bad feeling about this. Dream Julie felt a premonition of danger and was getting ready to stand and leave. To hell with the money and to hell with being stranded, she would survive, always had. She was tough, a survivor. That is when things changed.

 Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

Getting started is always hard. I have bits and pieces of A Little Poison and ideas running through my head but getting it on paper is the hard part.

 What is your particular writing quirk?

Whenever I need to really concentrate I put the phone on do not disturb, a CD in the computer and the head phones on. I write while I rock out to music. I can’t write when it is silent.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

Just around Vancouver. I am basing my future books essentially here so that makes it a little easier. 

Who designed the cover(s)?

I like to use artists to do my covers so I can get one of a kind pieces. Missing Flowers was done by ‘arty’.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

Missing Flowers revolves around prostitutes and a serial killer but I didn’t want it to be gory. There is a scene that may cause readers to gulp a bit though in most of the book I kept the explicit details to a minimum.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

I learned that there was a madam here in the late 1800s with the same last name as my great-grandmothers though I am told my relatives weren’t here at that time. I also learned a bit more about Vancouver history and the significance of some of the buildings here.

Do you have any advice for other writers?

You are going to get a lot of advice from many different sources. Follow your own instincts on what will work for you because not all advice is going to be good. And don’t be afraid of failing at first. Just keep trying until you find what works. And that old piece of advice to write what you know? It is still invaluable. I think that Missing Flowers is so much better than my previous two books not only because my writing has progressed but also because I am writing on what I love and know – Vancouver and its history.

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

First of all, thank you for reading. And please keep doing so. I would also like it if you would share my works with your friends, let them know how good my books are.

Please share your blog/website/facebook/twitter here with us.  

Blog is the Vancouver Vagabond http://karen-magill.blogspot.com

Website is www.karenmagill.com

Here is my Facebook page: http://goo.gl/1VL3f and I am @KarenMagill on Twitter.


Thank you Karen for being here with me today.  You’re a delight to interview.

Special Guest Caitlin Hensley

Paranormal Legacy

Today’s featured guest writer is Caitlin Hensley.  She is such a cutie! Thank you for being here today.

Our readers want to know more about you and what you do.

Where are you from?

 I’m from Criner, which is a rural Oklahoma community that’s so small it can’t really be considered a town. Except for a church and a few houses, there’s nothing but rolling hills

 Tell our readers about yourself.

I’m eighteen years old, and live with various family members and quite a few cats and dogs. I was homeschooled, so that gave me plenty of time for writing.

When and why did you begin writing?

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember, but I think I really became serious about it in late 2011 when I attended a class on writing, and actually had a few people outside my family read some of my work. The feedback I got was fantastic, and started me down the path I’m on today.

 What inspired you to write your first book?

One day several years ago, I overhead my sister on the phone to a friend, and what she said sparked an idea. I hurried to my room and started writing frantically in a notebook, and so was born the very first draft of Paranormal Legacy.

 Do you have a specific writing style?

 I like to write in first person, present tense. I used to write in past tense, but after reading several YA books in present tense, I decided that I really liked that style, and started using it for my own work.

 How did you come up with the title? 

 Paranormal Legacy was originally called “The Supernatural,” which is a very bland title. I came up with “paranormal” and started playing around with different ideas, and eventually came up with “legacy,” and those two words combined to perfectly match the theme of the book.

 Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life, or are they a figment of your imagination? (i.e. – is your hero/heroin you? – is your ‘bad guy’ you or someone you know?)

None of the events in Paranormal Legacy are based off anything that’s happened to me, since I’ve never met any British vampires or sarcastic hawk shifters. I tried to make my main character, Haily Long, as different from me as possible. For example, she’s addicted to coffee, but I can’t stand the stuff. Though, and this is kind of funny in a weird way, the main antagonist in PL is named Chris, and long after writing the book, I had some troubles with a guy named Chris. So that’s kind of strange.

 What book(s) are you reading now?

 I’ve been rereading all of Meg Cabot’s books; I really love her writing style. Also, I’ve just started The Indigo Spell, which is by Richelle Mead.

 Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

 To name a couple off the top of my head, Susan Kaye Quinn and Trish Marie Dawson.

 What are your current projects?

 I’m working on five separate books right now, and four of them are YA, while the last one is more adult. All of them are paranormal or fantasy, though the subject matter of each of them is very different.

 If you could pick any celebrity to star in the movie version of your book, who would it be?

 The first actor that popped into my head was Zac Efron. He has those gorgeous blue eyes, which means that he might work to play Jake West, the sarcastic hawk shifter I mentioned above.

 Can you share a little of your current work with us? (a short excerpt would be great)

 The books I’m writing at the moment are first drafts, so they definitely aren’t ready to be seen by anyone. 🙂 I’ll share a little from Paranormal Legacy.

 There’s a noise behind me, a floorboard groaning under a cautious foot. I start to turn, but a sweaty hand clamps over my mouth, forcing my lips shut.

My attacker shoves me down onto the bed, and I bounce twice on the mattress, smacking my head against the headboard.

I squint up at the figure looming over me, standing beside my bed. It takes a moment for the blur that’s his face to snap into focus, then I recognize him. It’s the guy from the coffee shop.

“What the . . . what are you doing in my room?”

His lips twist into a smirk. “Remember me?”

 

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

 I usually have trouble writing endings, since I don’t want them to be too dark, or too cheesy. And when I start the first book in a new series, it usually takes me a while to become acquainted with the characters.

 Do you have to travel much concerning your book?

 Only in my imagination. 🙂

 Who designed the cover?

 I came up with the design for Paranormal Legacy’s cover, and then Marcy Rachel from Marcy Rachel Designs helped me finalize it. I didn’t have Photoshop back when I was working on this cover, so I was having a rough time getting things to look right.

 What was the hardest part of writing your book?

 I wouldn’t say the writing was hard, but the editing was. I can’t even tell you how many times I’ve edited PL, but I know it’s up there in the double digits.

 Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

 I’ve learned a lot from the process of writing PL. I discovered so much about the structure of writing, such as how to avoid telling in favor of showing. I’ve also learned so much about the editing process, and the publishing process. So really, the book has been a journey of learning for me in every way you can imagine.

 Do you have any advice for other writers?

 Trust your dreams. If you want to write, write. And if you want to publish your books, do so. Don’t let other people crush your dreams and talk you out of them; if you have a goal, don’t give up.

 Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

 I just want to thank everyone who’s supported me so far, and I hope all of you enjoy reading Paranormal Legacy as much as I enjoyed writing it.

 Please share your blog/website/facebook/twitter here with us.  

 Blog Facebook Goodreads Amazon

Please welcome guest author Rachel Rossano

Profile2ADutyCover500

Thank you so much for joining me today Rachel.  I’m sure our audience wants to learn more things about you so I’ll just jump into the interview.

 Where are you from?

 Born in Michigan and transplanted multiple places progressively east, I am now residing in New England.

 A little about yourself (ie: your education, family life, hobby, etc.)

 Happily married with three children between the ages of two and five, my life is very full. Writing, book cover design, and book trailer creation are my hobbies, but I love to read as well. I am a stay-at-home mom and household manager in addition to my “hobbies,” which I am trying to turn into a business or two before the kids move out of the house. I have some time yet.

 Tell us your latest news?

 I just released my first full-length novel, Duty: a novel of Rhynan. Another one is slated to release later this year. After publishing two novellas and two short stories, I figured I should try my hand at publishing the bigger stuff.

 When and why did you begin writing?

 Writing didn’t come naturally. I wrote for school projects, but it wasn’t until my teenage years that I put words to paper outside of what was absolutely necessary. Sometime during my high school years, I caught the bug and I have been writing ever since.

 When did you first consider yourself a writer?

 When I first began going from project to project and constantly writing, I started thinking of myself as a writer.

 What inspired you to write your first book?

 Published or unpublished? My first unpublished book was more of a novella that I wrote for school. A non-magical fantasy with a fairy tale feel, it involved a prince, a noblewoman, and a vaguely described adventure.

 My first published book came about because I was battling writer’s block in a foreign country with nothing to read in my native language. I sat down to write a story I wanted to read and wrote The Crown of Anavrea.

 Do you have a specific writing style?

 My style is constantly changing. Of late, I am tending toward dialogue heavy prose, light on the description, and focused on interpersonal relationships, mainly romance, of a select cast against the backdrop of national or (in my current WIP) interplanetary strife. How is that for a description? My work tends to be written in first or third person past tense.

 How did you come up with the title? 

 Duty describes the reoccurring theme of the book. Brielle, the main character, and Tomas, her husband, are both responsible people who try to do what is right whether or not they like it. Throwing them into a situation that tests them each individually and their newly formed marriage of circumstance causes them to debate which is the best course. Should a husband value his obligation to his king higher than his vows to his wife? Does a wife honor her husband even when she doesn’t trust him? How does she do what she thinks is right when her decisions are not hers to make? When does she say, “Enough, I have to do this even if it means angering my new husband”?

 Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

 Not really. I just wanted to explore a few of the aspects of duty within the setting of nobles, kings, commoners, and marriage. I enjoyed testing my characters’ worth through their trials. Readers are welcome to interpret the individual messages for themselves.

 How much of the book is realistic?

 Despite the genre, non-magical fantasy, I strive for a high level of realism in my fiction. I want the reader to believe that the events could have happened.

 Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life, or are they a figment of your imagination? (i.e. – is your hero/heroine you? – is your ‘bad guy’ you or someone you know?)

 Very few of the situations in my books come up in my daily life. However, there are pieces of people I know in some of the characters. When my husband read Duty, he spotted a section where a character sounded just like him for a bit. My son’s habit of rubbing kisses in appears. Anise, the hero’s mother, is loosely based on a woman I know, but the similarities are very vague.

 What books have influenced your life the most?

 I am an avid author follower. Once I find one I like, I try to read everything I can by them. Diana Wynne Jones, Lloyd Alexander, Orson Scott Card, Donna Hatch, Sarah M. Eden, Patricia C. Wrede, Robin McKinley, and a couple others top my lists.

 Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

 A young friend of mine just released her first novella, Annabeth’s War, which I enjoyed. Aubrey Hansen’s skill is impressive. I am reading her Peter’s Angel right now.

 What are your current projects?

 I have a short story in the works, Isbet’s Disgrace, which I hope will eventually be published as a serial in a magazine.

 My next main project is a science fiction epic titled Diaspora. It is a love story between a genetically altered human and an Earth woman of pure lineage able to trace her bloodline to the kings of Europe. One touch calls into question everything they both know about their shared history and generations of war, slavery, and bigotry. More importantly, that touch sparks a conflict that could unravel the future of all humans, modified or not.

 Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.

 I have found support in various places, friends, fellow writers, readers, and others.

 If you could pick a celebrity to play one character in the movie version, who would it be?If you could pick a celebrity to play one character in the movie version, who would it be? If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

 Not yet. Give me a few more months and I will probably have something I would like to change.

 Can you share a little of your current work with us? (a short excerpt would be great)

 “The red one is mine,” he said.

I didn’t raise my head although instinct urged me to. Father had called me Red. He said I was born screaming, skin deep red like the beets in the garden and hair fiery like the setting sun. The man who spoke was not my father.

I glanced at him from beneath my cloak’s hood. Arrogant in his size and superior mass, his eyes picked me out of the writhing mass of captives. Early morning sunlight glinted off plain armor and an unadorned helm, yet the unwashed barbarians treated him with the respect due a commander.

The crowd of women around me parted for the soldier fulfilling his order. Mothers moved back with babes in their arms, toddlers clinging to their skirts. Their fingers clutched older children’s hands or shoulders. A living mass, their voices silenced by the army surrounding them. Their faces spoke eloquently of their fear.

The soldier, smelling of sweat and sour wine, grabbed my left arm and dragged me out from among them. I didn’t want to bring harm to the women around me. The soldier would injure many before subduing me. I allowed him to pull me toward the commander with only minimal resistance.

Once free of the captives, however, I yanked from the man’s grip in an attempt to run. Three pairs of rough hands caught hold of my arms before I managed more than a few steps. The stench of their unclean bodies turned my stomach. I gagged as I fought them. They dragged me through the dust and dumped me at his feet.

I struggled up only to be brought down again. Pressure behind my knees forced me to kneel.

I lifted my face to glare at the commander.

“Remove her hood.”

Someone pulled my cloak half off my shoulders in his enthusiasm. Red curls fell free in a wild mass about my shoulders.

Silently I cursed the color. If only I had been blessed with plain brown or even blond tresses, I could have hidden in plain sight.

“My Lady Brielle Solarius, I presume.”

He had the audacity to meet my glare. His eyes were only glimmers beneath the beaten metal and leather of his helmet. He made no bow or any show of the honor due me. I was a noblewoman. I didn’t claim the right of deference often, but still the fact remained.

“Might I know your name, barbarian?”

 Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?

 Finding the time to sit down, uninterrupted, and write remains a constant battle.

 Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?

 Nope. I have to use my imagination to transport me.

 Who designed the cover(s)?

 I created the cover for this one.  The picture seemed a perfect fit for Brielle, the narrator and heroine of Duty. It worked hard to give her a feel of an oil painting without losing clarity.

 What was the hardest part of writing your book?

 Finding the time to write when inspiration struck was my greatest challenge. The words came quickly. The writing became fast and furious, I wrote over seventy-eight thousand words in eight months on a part-time writing schedule.

 Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?

 Stories have a way of telling themselves. I planned on a short story. I ended up with a novel.

 Do you have any advice for other writers?

 Write. Write what you love. Read. Learn from what you read. Write some more. Edit. Repeat. Mix it up and keep at it.

 Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?

 I hope you enjoy reading this book as much as I enjoyed writing it.

 Please share your blog/website/facebook/twitter here with us.  

 Blog ~ http://rachel-rossano.blogspot.com/

Twitter ~ http://twitter.com/RachelRossano

Facebook ~ http://www.facebook.com/RachelRossanoRambles

YouTube ~ http://www.youtube.com/anavrea

Guest author Jamesina Greene

Please welcome featured author Jamesina Greene.  We set down and had a chat.  Enjoy her wisdom and insight.  I know I did.  Thank you so much for being my guest today.  I have some questions prepared for you.

Where are you from?  Virginia 

Tell us a little about yourself.  I am a mother and grandmother.  I am a self published author, ordained minister and counsellor.  I have two sons and four grandsons (kinda sick of little boys, lol).  I love to write, read and travel.

 Tell us your latest news?  I have currently self published 5 books and I am working on a novel and a book project which I began with my late father.

 When and why did you begin writing? I began writing as a child.  It was my way of dealing with being molested and other traumatic experiences.  I didn’t feel like I had a voice to TELL about it, so I WROTE about it.

 When did you first consider yourself a writer? Around 8 years old.

 What inspired you to write your first book?  I started a Journal after being hospitalized for Depression.  My Journal entries became the foundation for my first book.

 Do you have a specific writing style? I’m not sure.

How did you come up with the title?  “Help, I Don’t Like Myself!” is the title and it is exactly how I felt at the time.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?  I want the readers to understand that the first step to getting healed is to be real.  It is OK and even necessary to acknowledge when things are going wrong and then proceed to make them right.

How much of the book is realistic?  100%

Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your own life, or are they a figment of your imagination? (i.e. – is your hero/heroin you? – is your ‘bad guy’ you or someone you know?)  The entire book is about me and my family members. 

What books have influenced your life the most?  I enjoy multiple genres and a variety of authors.

If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?  Victoria Christopher Murray

What book(s) are you reading now?  “Sing a New Song” by Michelle Lindo-Rice

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?  Michelle Lindo-Rice and Danielle Batiste-Bond

What are your current projects?  I am turning my first book, “Help, I Don’t Like Myself!” into a novel.  I am also working on a Children’s Book.

Name one entity that you feel supported you outside of family members.  Fellow authors and publishers.

If you could pick any celebrity to star in the movie version of your book, who would it be?  Angela Bassett

If you could pick a celebrity to play one character in the movie version, who would it be?If you could pick a celebrity to play one character in the movie version, who would it be? If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?  Yes

 Can you share a little of your current work with us? (a short excerpt would be great)

 Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing?  So far my work comes from personal experience and that alone is challenging when deal with those emotions.

 What is your particular writing quirk? I have to be done more than once thing at once.

Do you have to travel much concerning your book(s)?  Not right now.  I plan to very soon.

Who designed the cover(s)?  The original publisher.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?  Finding time.

Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?  To take the pain and move it into my pen and onto my paper.

Do you have any advice for other writers?  Just WRITE!

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?  Each of us has a Voice that is uniquely ours.  Don’t be afraid to really hear the Voice of someone else.

Please share your blog/website/facebook/twitter here with us.  http://www.jamee2001.wordpress.com

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Thanks for the wonderful glimpse of who you are and how you’ve gotten to this point.  It was a pleasure visiting with you today.

Romance is in the air. . .best story about love Contest

Ahhhh, Valentine’s Day is rapidly approaching and it always makes me wonder why we buy into this ‘holiday’.  Are we all just hopeless romantics hoping to find that amazing someone to make our lives complete?  Is there such a thing as true love?  Are the romance novels true or just fantasy?

I believed at one time true love was a myth.  No one could be blissfully happy with one person for a lifetime, right?  There is, well, life getting in the way of spending countless hours staring into the eyes of your soul mate, sweating palms after holding hands too long and just a general feeling of ‘go away’ once you’ve spent too much time with the same person.

My grandparents were an enigma to me.  They were a happy couple with a healthy respect and genuine love for each other.  My grand dad told her on their wedding day, “I love you Betty and if that ever changes I’ll let you know!”  It never did.

Do you or anyone you know have that ‘special, once in a lifetime love’?  Please let me know.  I’d love to hear your story. 

The best story will win a hard copy of “Treasured Love”.  (U.S. entries only for anyone else the prize is a Kindle version of the book.)

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Regency Era (1811-1819) romantic or not so much?

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I love the Regency Era.  Jane Austen, and all of those wonderful stories of hers only fan the romance of the period.  But what do we really know about the times?  Was it all romance and roses or did they have the same hardships we face today?

The Prince Regent took over for King William while he was locked in a turret in his mad state.  The prince enjoyed a lavish lifestyle and spent tons of the commoners money during these eight years. He threw expensive elaborate parties for the elite of society as well as hosting an opera dancer in his palace.

As crazy as King William was, the majority of the people wanted the old king back on the throne.  As the ton partied with the prince, the commoners became more incensed with the extravagance.

Meanwhile in London, the cream of society went about their daily summer business of courting and getting married.  Most of the elite would introduce their daughters to society when they turned eighteen, the term they used was ‘to make a come out’.   As a result of the come outs there would be parties, balls, routs and outings given in their honor.  One of the things that ‘made’ a girl was an invitation to the exclusive ‘Almack’s’ club.  Every mama aspired to have her daughter accepted into this circle of elite Elite.  The thing about Almack’s that is funny to us today is that they served stale refreshments and the men and women were highly chaperoned.

Hopeful mamas set about making their daughters popular and attractive by purchasing clothes from the fashionable shops and haberdasheries, in order that they would ‘take’ or be engaged by the end of the Season.  As expensive as the process of launching a daughter into society was, it became imperative that they find a mate to be a ‘success’.  Mothers were disappointed if their daughter wasn’t snapped up in the first month of the Season by a suitable bachelor.  If a daughter spent more than one Season looking for a mate she would be considered a failure by society and ‘on the shelf’ or ‘an old maid’.  These titles made it nearly impossible for a young lady to ever get married.  If that happened, the poor young lady was generally sent to be a chaperon or nanny to other relations outside of London to avoid the shame and embarrassment they had brought to the family.

I would say those aspects of the marriage mart would have caused anxiety and even depression among the young ladies.  The pressure of being a ‘perfect young lady’ must have been nearly unbearable for those young and often isolated girls.  If she was unfortunate enough to have the wrong figure or coloring then she would not be looked upon with favor, making it even more difficult for her to find a mate.  These poor young ladies would often have to marry someone lower in ranking without ever setting their sights on the handsome dukes or earls of the day.

Of course securing an earl or duke meant that you were of the prettiest most sought after girls and this automatically ‘made’ the young woman of the popular set.  When the parlor was filled with flowers from admirers and the tray full of invitations to balls, routs, parties and breakfasts the mamas would begin to relax a little that they would soon be well rid of their daughter and her expenses.  Getting engaged to a suitable mate was a business and had nothing to do with love or romance.  The elite looked for one of close rank and who would be best suited to fulfill the roles that were required; be it wife, hostess, mother or all of these.  Emotions were considered a silly consideration and once the wifely duties were fulfilled it was a well accepted practice that the couple would live in separate domiciles in different parts of the country.

Is today’s way of looking at marriage better or worse?  What do you think?

If you love regency, romance and history, then please check out my two books on Amazon:

treasured love Kim's book

Here are the links for Lord Tristan’s True Love:

US: http://www.amazon.com/Lord-Tristans-True-Love-ebook/dp/B00A6J6DVA/

Here is the link for the kindle version of Treasured Love:

Fun terms of the Regency Era (1811-1819)

I’ve decided to start blogging more.  I know, it’s rather shocking and a bit overwhelming, but I can do this.  One thing that came to mind as I began to consider possible topics for my Regency readers was interesting things they did then that we don’t do now.

It was popular during the summer months for the wealthy, Elite, or Ton as they were known to go to various parties.  One of these societal adventures was called a Rout.  It sounds like it would be great good fun but there was little purpose to a Rout except to see and be seen.

The ton would spend hours getting themselves ready for the Rout, then sit in a closed carriage for more hours waiting in line to make their appearance at the front gates, only to stand in line on a long and sometimes winding staircase to greet the host and hostess for a time frame of no less than two hours.  The cardinal rule of a Rout: No refreshments were served.

After the greeting was done, a simple head nod, hand shake or kiss on the top of the hand from the host to the ladies, the process would start all over. The guest would then turn and head back down a crowded staircase, where one awaited the carriage to be returned to them in the stifling heat of a summer day.

A Rout was considered a ‘success’ if one or more of the ladies fainted during the course of the ordeal of meeting the host and hostess.  In theory this seems like a colossal waste of a good day but it was the accepted way for anxious mama’s to ‘debut’ their daughters before the ‘Season’ began.  In this manner a daughter could make her ‘come out’ which is the time in a young ladies life to be introduced to polite society and become a member of the ton.

I can only be grateful that we no longer have to ride in carriages but we get air conditioned vehicles and water bottles!