with author Joel M. Andre
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
Guest Blog and Giveaway
with author Joel M. Andre
with author Joel M. Andre
I am one of those people who have a really hard time talking about themselves. I know people that can spend hours telling fascinating stories about their lives, but I tend to be more reserved than that. While I love to share the world of fiction, I find that my real world life tends to be a little more simplistic.
However, since I am so passionate about writing, I am always willing to touch on that topic. I am honored to be able to share some of my habits that I have with you today. Perhaps the best place to begin is how I come up with ideas.
While some people sit in front of a piece of paper trying to force out content, I try to take a different approach. Instead of trying to focus on an idea or topic, I will go do something else. Normally if I clean or find some kind of task that allows me to think while I am active, I can get a series of ideas that come to mind. At that point, I can jot down the idea and roll with it. In some cases, such as Brutal and A Death at the North Pole, I had the title rather than the actual story line in mind.
Once I am ready to write, I go into my writing room and begin to craft the story. Usually, I will have several stories going at one time and will flip between them to help offset writer’s block. When I am done, it is off to the editor before it goes live. The overall time frame on them can vary. For example, I wrote, A Death at the North Pole over a long weekend. The Black Chronicles: Cry of the Fallen took me a few months to write. A lot of it depends on how much fun I am having I think.
When it does come to writing, I will sit down and craft a story whenever I have a chance. Sometimes I get up early enough to watch the sunrise and I will go to work after that. Work and other factors do come into play as I am setting up my schedule for the day. However, I do my best to ensure that I have a block of time to write.
In this post, I think I have given a little more insight into what I do and how I approach writing. While I could be wordy and rehash information, I tend to be more to the point. I think the biggest thing is to give people what they are looking for, without going overboard. Don’t get me wrong, I love to paint a scene and give detailed accounts of things, but there are times when a short and simple block of text is just as valuable.
I’d like to take a moment to encourage all of you to find the time to write every day. I hear how people dream of writing, but never take the steps to make it happen. With as little as 500 words a day, you can craft your own tale in just a few months. That means you can knock something out in about 10 minutes or so each day.
For now, I am headed on out to continue working on a paranormal story I have coming out around St. Patrick’s Day. It does have an Irish theme and I can’t wait for all of you to have a chance to read it.
Link to tour page:http://www.
partnersincrimetours.net/2012/ 02/brutal-perfection-short- stories-by-joel.html
Brutal Purchase Link:http://www.amazon.com/
Brutal-ebook/dp/B003AKY3QE/ ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid= 1329075695&sr=8-1
One dark and warm October night in the heart of Arizona, a group of friends are out for an evening of fun. It was a night for celebration, and to draw them away from the world.
As they drink the night away, a dark and handsome stranger watches them in the distance. His observations going unnoticed as the girls focus on their own conversation.
Too drunk to make it home on their own, the stranger offers the group a ride home in his taxi. Reluctantly, the girls agree.
What follows is a dark and brutal act of revenge decades in the making.
Joel M. Andre was born January 13, 1981. At a young age he was fascinated with the written word. It was at fourteen that Poe blew his mind, and Andre began to dabble with darker poetry.
Between the years of 1999 and 2007 Joel was featured in various poetry anthologies and publications. In 2008 he released his first collection,Pray the Rain Never Ends.
Knowing there was something deeper and darker inside of his soul, Joel decided to take a stab at commercialism. Releasing the dark tongue in cheek, A Death at the North Pole, created a dark world among the death of Kris Kringle. Ultimately providing a tale of redemption.
October of 2008 saw Joel release his second book, Kill 4 Me. A tale in which a woman is haunted by a vengeful spirit through text messages and instant messaging.
Taking some time off and doing a lot of soul searching, Joel took things in a new direction and dabbled in the Fantasy Genre with, The Pentacle of Light. The tale dealing with five major races battling for control of Earth, and the acceptance of their God.
Finally, after missing his detective Lauren Bruni, he released the book The Return in October 2009, this time moving the action from the North Pole and placing it in the small Arizona community he was raised in.
Andre’s latest book is The Black Chronicles: Cry of the Fallen about a dead man who seeks revenge on the woman that tormented him in peaceful Northern Arizona.
Currently, he resides in Chandler, AZ.
You can visit his website at www.joelmandre.info
Contest: one eCopy (open internationally) of Joel M. Andre's Kill 4 Me:
February 29-Guest Post@ Reviews By Molly
Friday, February 24, 2012
Guest Post and Excerpt of
Louisa and the Crystal Gazer
by Anna MacLean
Have you ever attended a séance? Tales of the supernatural and other-worldly events have always fascinated me, so when it came time to write the third Louisa May Alcott mystery, Louisa and the Crystal Gazer, I knew I wanted to include a séance.
Imagine the very intelligent, and very curious, young Louisa May Alcott sitting down at a séance table with characters such as P.T. Barnum, busily looking for new acts for his ‘museum,’ and others who, while fictional, represent some of the people Louisa might actually have encountered: impoverished upper-class ladies, still single and on their way to become ‘old maids,’ retired army majors with tales of India and the opium wars, and her own best friend, Sylvia, newly longing to speak with a long-dead father.
Louisa, at this time, is still in her early twenties, still very attached to home and family – and still facing tremendous financial problems. Her father, the famous philosopher Bronson Alcott, doesn’t bring in much income, and how much can Louisa earn stitching shirts and teaching geography to the neighborhood children?
Louisa has already solved two previous murders, in Lousia and the Missing Heiress, and Louisa and the Country Bachelor, so when a murder victim appears soon after attending her first séance, she’s ready, and more than willing to dive back into detective work.
What many readers don’t know about the beloved author of Little Women is that she was very active and very involved in her world. Her parents were abolitionists involved with the underground railroad, helping slaves make their way to Canada and Louisa kept fascinating diaries and journals about her own real adventures, including being a nurse in the Civil War. She was no shrinking violet, hiding in the parlor! That was the Louisa I worked with, when creating this murder mystery about spiritualists and heiress and lost love.
An excerpt from Louisa and The Crystal Gazer
“I miss Father,” Sylvia signed one morning as we took our walk along the harbor. It was a misty cold day, and the harbor waves were tipped with frosty white.
“Unfortunately, your father passed away when you were a child,” I answered gently. “You barely knew that long-enduring man, so how do you now claim to miss him?”…
“My point exactly,” my companion responded…“I feel the need for a masculine presence in my life, and would like to converse with my father. I will, with the assistance of Mrs. Agatha Percy. Please come with me to one of her sittings!”
I groaned and jammed my hands deeper into my pocket, despite the stares of several passersby; a lady did not put her hands in her pockets. She did if they were cold, I thought. Ship rigging creaked in the wind and bells chimed the start of a new watch, and I pondered Sylvia’s statement of that questionable group of individuals known as ‘spiritists,’ or mediums…
“I can think of better ways to spend time and money than sitting in the dark and watching parlor tricks. I would much rather, for instance, attend one of Signor Massimo’s musical evening.” The signor, a famous pianist, was touring the United States from his home in Rome and had decided to winter in Boston. He was giving a series of performances – performances I could not afford, since the tickets were as much as three dollars apiece, even when they were available.
“Mother tried to get tickets and could not. She was furious,” Sylvia said. I could understand; women with Mrs. Shattuck’s family name and wealth were not accustomed to hearing no.
“Look, there is ice in the harbor,” I said, putting my hand over my eyes to shield them from the glare.
“I will have your answer,” Sylvia persisted.
I introduced several new topics of conversation, hoping to distract Sylvia from her mission – Jenny Lind, the Wild West, a newly published travel book about France that was flying off the shelves – but each topic she cleverly rejoined and detoured back to Mrs. Percy…
“Don’t you see?” Sylvia sighed in exasperation, pulling at my hand to prevent me from taking another step. “The spirits themselves wish you to visit her. They put those very suggestions in your mind!”
“Then they should put a plot or two in my mind,” I said, remembering the still-blank sheet of paper before which I had sat that morning at my desk. Being between stories was an unpleasant state for me, when no plot or story threaded the random thoughts of every imagination.
“I am unconvinced that ‘fun’ is the correct word to describe an hour of sitting in the dark, pretending to speak with the dead,” I said.
“Spirits,” corrected Sylvia. “The dead don’t like to be called dead. Such a harsh word.”
Neither of us was yet aware of exactly how harsh that séance would become.
Jeanne Mackin is the author of several novels: The Sweet By and By (St. Martin’s Press), Dreams of Empire (Kensington Books), The Queen’s War (St. Martin’s Press), and The Frenchwoman (St. Martin’s Press). She has published short fiction and creative nonfiction in several journals and periodicals including American Letters and Commentary and SNReview. She is also the author of the Cornell Book of Herbs and Edible Flowers (Cornell University publications) and co-editor of The Norton Book of Love (W.W. Norton), and wrote art columns for newspapers as well as feature articles for several arts magazines. She was the recipient of a creative writing fellowship from the American Antiquarian Society and her journalism has won awards from the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education, in Washington, D.C. She teaches creative writing at Goddard College in Vermont, has taught or conducted workshops in Pennsylvania, Hawaii and New York and has traveled extensively in Europe. She lives with her husband, Steve Poleskie, in upstate New York.
Book Link: http://us.penguingroup.com/nf/Book/BookDisplay/0,,9781101506141,00.html?Louisa_and_the_Missing_Heiress_Anna_Maclean
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
Excerpts and Review
Title: Painted Jezebel (A Jezebel Jinx Mystery, Book 1)
Author: Jolie Pethtel
Publisher: Museitup Publishing
Length: 65,000 Words
Sub-Genres: Comedy, Contemporary, Mystery/Thriller
Museitup Buy link:
Amazon Buy link:
Publicist Finn Mackenzie has always been lucky, until an ill-fated affair with a vindictive writer leaves him one chance for redemption: a spectacular public appearance by the elusive best-selling romance author, Jezebel Jinx.
Unfortunately, the cute but kooky writer refuses to cooperate. Jezebel believes she’s cursed with bad luck. Riddled with anxieties, she never leaves her home--until the gorgeous, albeit desperate Finn whisks her away to a writer’s conference, against her will.
After the initial shock wears off, Jezebel’s dormant hormones kick into high gear around the hunky Finn.
When his ex turns up murdered and Jezebel is the prime suspect, ill-planned sexcapades are the least of their worries.
“Someone was just murdered and I’m the prime suspect. Detective Tyler has gone around smearing my good name with everyone at the conference and here I am strutting around in a bikini. Don’t you think a one piece might have been more—I dunno—respectful?” Jezebel hovered uncertainly in front of the door marked heated pool. “Maybe a black one piece to show I’m in mourning.”
“You can’t flirt with lifeguards in a one piece. It just isn’t sexy enough. Besides, you aren’t in mourning. No one is. Did you see the celebrating going on in the bar? ‘Ding dong! The witch is dead’ is pretty much the attitude in there. If they could give you an award for killing her, they would.”
“I didn’t kill her,” Jezebel hissed.
“No, you didn’t, but if you want to prove your innocence you need to seduce some information out of that lifeguard.”
“My boobs are too small to seduce anyone. My legs are really my best asset, which I could display just as well in a one piece.”
“Rick might be a boob man. That is why you are wearing a size too small and we bought a bikini that lifts.” He mimicked cupping and lifting with his hands, without actually touching her breasts.
“I’m going in.” Jezebel stated as she rolled her eyes, and then stepped toward the pool area entrance.
“Think sex goddess,” she ordered herself, adding some strut to her walk.
Finn insisted on the fire engine red bikini and matching strappy high heeled sandals. Who wore high heels to the swimming pool? This was wrong on so many levels.
“You look smokin’ hot, babe,” Finn called out. His idea of encouragement. Well, that was nice to know. Jezebel added a little roll to her hips just for his benefit, before pushing open the door and disappearing from sight.
She spotted Rick right away. He sat on his chair like a Greek Adonis, wearing nothing but snug bathing trunks, a whistle and a smile. The pool was filled with women vying for his attention. Her self-confidence slipped a notch.
Jezebel hesitated a fraction of a second too long as she neared his chair, and then kept on walking. No way was she going to humiliate herself like this. They would just have to find another way to acquire the information.
“Hello gorgeous,” the lifeguard drawled following it up with a whistle and not the ‘behave in the pool’ kind.
Jezebel froze and then slowly smiled. Ah, an ass man. She attempted to spin around gracefully, but grace and spiked heels did not go hand in hand. Just as she was face to face with her target, she slipped and tottered drunkenly on the tiles. In her defense, they were black and the wet spots weren’t particularly visible. She had a brief unpleasant flash of déjà vu, and then the life guard was on his feet, catching her in proper heroic fashion.
“Feel free to drop in anytime.”
Ugh! Did he just say that? The man was so much hotter when he didn’t speak. All brawn, no brain. How disappointing. So what did she say now? Jezebel wasn’t particularly good at suggestive small talk with half naked strangers. She tended to fluster easily. The hidden agenda only increased her nervousness. Where were the cue cards when you needed them?
“You saved my life! How can I ever thank you?” she gushed, fluttering her lashes.
“Do you have something in your eye?” He frowned down at Jezebel, before setting her on her feet.
“I was just a little—um—disoriented for a second.”
“Are you sure? It looked like you were having a seizure there or something.”
“I’m sure.” Jezebel was absolutely mortified. Thank God Finn wasn’t witnessing this. She would never live it down. Just then she caught a glimpse of him pulling off his T-shirt and diving into the deep end in nothing but a pair of modest swim shorts. Not fair. Not only had he overheard every embarrassing word, his smug grin left no doubt, but he was holding himself to a different standard. He should be demeaning himself for the greater good by wearing a pair of revealing swim trunks.
The women swarmed around Finn splashing playfully and damned if he didn’t love every second of it. Jezebel wanted to strangle him. So he wanted to play it that way, then fine. She could play too.
Jezebel’s stomach lurched abruptly, jarring her back to consciousness. Flashes of bright, white light burst behind her tightly closed eyelids and she knew this was going to be one killer hangover. Her memory was a bit hazy—a complete blank really. She didn’t recall getting drunk and blacking out, but she must have. Happy Birthday to me.
The day was a complete bust, of course. She’d have to write twice as much tomorrow to meet her deadline. All she wanted right now was some aspirin for her pounding headache and a good night’s rest. Maybe tomorrow her mind wouldn’t be so fuzzy.
Jezebel gingerly opened one bleary eye and then the other, trying in vain to focus on something—anything. She only succeeded in making herself dizzy and nauseous. The scenery passed by in a blur, with only one consistent focal point—a continuous row of palm trees and while Arizona was thick with palms, there weren’t any in her neck of the woods.
The implications were sobering. Dear God, this had to be a nightmare. Even in her present groggy state, she could tell she was no longer safe and secure in her cabin.
Worse yet, she deduced she was in a moving vehicle, being transported to God only knows where, and with each second that passed Jezebel sped further and further from the only safe haven she had ever known.
She would never have consented to such a thing of her own free will and with this realization confusion fled and panic set in. She was being kidnapped!
Jezebel wanted to scream and yell for help, but knew instinctively that if she did, her head would likely explode. The pain was excruciating.
She touched carefully around her skull with the tips of her fingers. She suspected a blow to the head had caused her current unfortunate circumstance, but no evidence supported that notion.
“Hello, sleepyhead,” the kidnapper greeted her in a cheerful tone. She knew that voice. The familiar Irish lilt. It was that attractive, if annoying, publicist. She knew he was desperate to attend some conference, but kidnapping? The man was a lunatic. She’d witnessed his desperation first hand, of course, but never imagined he would dare go this far. How had he managed to lure her out of her cabin and into his vehicle without a single protest? Jezebel fought to remember. She should have screamed the house down. What he accomplished was an impossible feat, but he was more devious than she had given him credit for. There was only one way he could have pulled this off.
The bastard drugged me.
“What did you do to me?” Jezebel rolled her head to the side with considerable effort to give him her most fearsome glare. He didn’t even flinch.
“I just gave you some sleeping pills.” He shrugged.
“Some?” Her voice rose to a screech. “How many is some?”
“I don’t know. I just crushed a bunch and spread them over the pizza. Who would have thought such a dainty little thing could eat a whole pizza by herself?”
“You could have killed me!” Jezebel was horrified.
“You have been sleeping a long time,” Finn admitted. “I was starting to worry, but you seem fine now.”
“Fine? I am so not fine!” Jezebel began to hyperventilate. “Oh God! I—can’t—breathe!”
“Don’t worry. I came prepared for this.” Finn pulled over to the side of the highway and handed her a paper bag.
“What—the Hell—is this?” she wheezed, studying the bag as if it were a foreign object.
“What does it look like? It’s a paper bag. Cover your mouth with it and concentrate on breathing in and out slowly, until the feeling passes. You’re having a panic attack.”
Jezebel closed her eyes and did as instructed, albeit resentfully, holding the bag over her mouth until her breathing steadied. Still clutching the bag, she turned to face Finn. “Please tell me you brought my medication.”
“Medication?” he frowned. “I looked through your medicine cabinet and I only saw the prescription for sleeping pills. There were no other prescription medications.”
“I keep them in my nightstand in case I have an anxiety attack during the night,” she attempted to explain patiently. “Please tell me you brought them.”
“Sorry, no. It looks like for this trip we’re going to have to do it old school.” He gestured toward the bag. “No drugs.”
“Old school!” she shrieked, hitting Finn over and over with the paper bag. If only she had something harder that would inflict more pain. A blunt instrument maybe, but she had to make do with what was available. Heck, with a little luck maybe he’d suffer a nasty paper cut. “Are you out of your mind? You—are not—a doctor. You are not equipped to handle my condition. You have to take me home. Right Now!”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Jolie Pethtel was born in Ohio, but raised in Arizona, where she met her husband Jim. Jolie has since moved to Indianapolis, Indiana where she lives with her husband and their six rambunctious children. Jolie is a Domestic Goddess by day and Writer by night.
Author Website: http://www.jezebeljinx.com
Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/joliepethtel
One thing about this book is that it's a quick read, which is always a plus, in my own opinion. There's nothing worse than a book that drags along and makes you groan with its slow pacing (yes, I have actually encountered books like this and, yes, I have actually groaned in frustration with them). You want a book, especially a mystery, to whip along at a good clip - and drag you right along with it. The worst thing that can happen when you're reading is for the pace to be so slow, it gives you a lot of time to wonder why you're still reading the book. Luckily, that was not the case with Painted Jezebel. It might have started out a little slow, but once Finn got Jezebel out of hr cabin and to the conference, it picked up speed and kept me reading at a similar clip to the end. And boy, did a lot happen at that conference!
One thing I really liked about this book was the way the author kept the reader guessing. She provided a nice tableau of possible suspects for the murder of a not-too-beloved author and kept you guessing until the very end about which one actually did it. She even sent the characters after suspect after suspect, all of whom had motive, intent, and the opportunity to commit the murder. Nicely done. One thing I dislike about most so-called mystery stories is that (perhaps because I'm a writer myself) I can usually figure out who did it before the end of the story. I hate that. Although I want to try to figure it out, I want to be surprised by the end result. So I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome of Painted Jezebel.
Although there were some moments that I thought were a little over the top, for the most part, I enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who loves a good mystery.
Find out more about the Painted Jezebel tour at: http://cblspromotions.blogspot.com/2012/02/vbt-painted-jezebel-jezebel-jinx.html
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Little Bit of This,
Little Bit of That
Hello! Hope everyone had a fun and wonderful Valentine's Day yesterday. I had a great time at a week-long event sponsored by Ravencraft's Romance Realm in which each day described our firsts - first sight, first kiss, etc. It was a fun thing and you can still check out my posts, if interested, at
Today, I'm the featured author over at Books, Tours and More:
I'd love to see you there!