🏰 Rik's Book Trailer Blast

Tuesday, May 23, 2017





About the Book:

Title: RIK’S   
Author: dhtreichler
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 483
Genre: Thriller

“The entire affair began with sheep brains and falafel -- Saddam Hussein's favorite dish.”
It is 1990 and in Baghdad two lovers are separated by the impending First Gulf War. CIA operative Rik Bogart is desperately seeking television correspondent Ingrid Johannson -- but is instead picked up by  Saddam’s Secret Police and thrown into Abu Graib -- the Prison of the Dead. Ten years later, he must make a fateful decision after finally reuniting with her -- one that may keep them apart forever. How far would YOU go for your true love?
This heart-pounding thriller is written by a former international defense contractor who brings incredible realism and arresting insights into the days leading up to Saddam’s invasion of neighboring Kuwait, and provides a chilling account of life inside the infamous Prison of the Dead.
"It's as much a love story as it is a runaway thriller." Midwest Book Review

RIK’S IS AVAILABLE AT AMAZON


Book Excerpt:


Despite the blood flowing from my side and my exhausted condition, we wrestled for control of the weapon.

I rolled him over, coming up on top, and pinned him to the ground as we continued to wrestle for control of the Glock. I pushed his arm down to my left, held his arm with my left hand and punched him in the face, which loosened his grip just enough. I gained control of the gun. Now Tariq stared down the barrel of his own weapon with me on top of him.

“So this is the end, my friend?” Tariq asked as he looked beyond the barrel pointed at his head.

“No, Tariq, this is just the beginning. The ring?”

Tariq nodded in understanding and held his hand up for me to remove my Academy class ring, which I did and slipped it into my pocket.


About the Author

As a defense contractor, award-winning screenwriter and novelist, dhtreichler has wandered the world, visiting garden spots and more.  Having lived and worked with our intelligence agents and soldiers, witnessing the conflicts and the turmoil of recent decades, he paints vivid backdrops for his stories. Like him, the men and women he portrays attempt to make sense of our fast-changing world. He has held a lifelong interest in the profound influence of rapidly changing technology on our lives and relationships. Exploring that power (what has changed and what might come) forms an insightful theme of his novels. His stories also reflect the universal desires and fears of real people everywhere.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

 

🏰 AUTHOR INTERVIEW: 'Surgeon's Story' Mark Oristano

Monday, May 15, 2017


Mark Oristano has been a professional writer/journalist since the age of 16.

After growing up in suburban New York, Oristano moved to Texas in 1970 to attend Texas Christian University.  A major in Mass Communications, Mark was hired by WFAA-TV in 1973 as a sports reporter, the start of a 30-year career covering the NFL and professional sports.

Mark has worked with notable broadcasters including Verne Lundquist, Oprah Winfrey and as a sportscaster for the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network and Houston Oilers Radio Network.  He has covered Super Bowls and other major sports events throughout his career.  He was part of Ron Chapman’s legendary morning show on KVIL-FM in Dallas for nearly 20 years.

In 2002 Oristano left broadcasting to pursue his creative interests, starting a portrait photography business and becoming involved in theater including summer productions with Shakespeare Dallas. He follows his daughter Stacey’s film career who has appeared in such shows as Friday Night Lights and Bunheads.

A veteran stage actor in Dallas, Mark Oristano was writer and performer for the acclaimed one-man show “And Crown Thy Good: A True Story of 9/11.”

Oristano authored his first book, A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America’s Favorite Game. A Sportcaster’s Guide offers inside tips about how to watch football, including stories from Oristano’s 30-year NFL career, a look at offense, defense and special teams, and cool things to say during the game to sound like a real fan.

In 2016 Oristano finished his second book, Surgeon’s Story, a true story about a surgeon that takes readers inside the operating room during open heart surgery. His second book is described as a story of dedication, talent, training, caring, resilience, guts and love.

In 1997, Mark began volunteering at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, working in the day surgery recovery room. It was at Children’s that Mark got to know Kristine Guleserian, MD, first to discuss baseball, and later, to learn about the physiology, biology, and mystery of the human heart. That friendship led to a joint book project, Surgeon’s Story, about Kristine’s life and career.

Mark is married and has two adult children and two grandchildren.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK


As a book bloggin’ and book luvin’ Princess, I’m always curious to find out how authors got the ideas for their books.  How did you come up with the idea for your book?

I got to know the surgeon, Dr. Kristine Guleserian, because I’m a longtime volunteer at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas.  The more I found out about her, the more I was convinced it was a book.

Can you tell us what your book is about?

About a pediatric heartsurgeon who can stand at the operating table for 17 straight hours with no breaks, cut open a kid’s chest, remove the heart, and sew another heart in its place.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would that be?

Don’t get it right, get it written.

What would you say is one of your interesting writing quirks?

I listen to jazz while I write.

Do you hear from your readers?  What do they say?

I do. So many of them have children with heart issues, and they say it’s really great to understand how dedicated the people in pediatric heart surgery are.

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

Unless it’s from somebody I respect, I pay no attention.

What has been the best accomplishment?

Telling such a unique story.

Do you Google yourself?

Doesn’t everybody?

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

None.

Do you have anything specific that you would like to say to your readers?

Surgeon’s Story, available in paperback, hardback, and Kindle format at Amazon.com.

🏰 AUTHOR INTERVIEW: 'Mystery at Manatee Key' Nancy Stewart



Nancy Stewart has been an elementary school teacher and a professor of education.  Having lived in London for ten years, she was a consultant to the University of Cambridge. She is the author of the Bella and Britt series picture books and the authorized biography of Katrina Simpkins, a young girl whose life was forever changed by Winter, the dolphin (Guardian Angel Publishing.)  Her writing of One Pelican at a Time was featured on the PBS special, GulfWatch in 2011.  Nancy’s YA-LGBT novel will be published by Interlude Press autumn of 2017.  She is a member of the Rate Your Story organization as a critique judge.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK


About the Book:

Bella and Britt love to explore along the beach and at more remote places like Manatee Key as well.  It is there that they discover a manatee smuggling ring. 

The manatees have already been netted, so the girls must act fast!  But a kidnapper snatches Bella, hustling her into their hideout.  When Britt sneaks a look in the window, she discovers that the ranger is being held, too.  Now it’s up to Britt.  But what can a single girl do?

Mystery at Manatee Key is available at Amazon


As a book bloggin’ and book luvin’ Princess, I’m always curious to find out how authors got the ideas for their books.  How did you come up with the idea for your book?

Mystery at Manatee Key is the fourth in the Bella and Britt Series, all of which take place at/or around the beach where the girls live.  (And so do I!) Manatees, timid and peaceful mammals, are favorites of mine, and I wanted to showcase them.  It was also time for Britt to shine as the lead character, so she’s the one who solved the mystery and saves the day!

Can you tell us what your book is about?

Mystery at Manatee Key is the story of Bella and Britt’s happening upon a ring of manatee poachers.  Bella is kidnapped, and it is up to Britt alone to rescue her and the beach ranger who has gone missing as well.

Can you tell us a little about the main characters of your book?

Bella and Britt love exploring the beach.  Bella is impulsive and spontaneous.  Britt is serious and thoughtful.  Opposites do attract, and these best friends complement each other as they set out to have fun or solve a problem or, in this case, a mystery at the beach.

If you could tell your younger writing self-anything, what would that be?

Read the genre in which you are writing constantly.  Always have a book at hand.  Listen to how children speak; how they interact and relate to adults.  Do your research thoroughly—and then do some more!  And always have fun with your writing.

What would you say is one of your interesting writing quirks?

I have to edit as I go.  I think it’s the teacher/professor in me, because it is an obsession.  I cannot allow a comma out of place, a dangling participle to remain.  It even took me a while to allow myself the freedom of beginning a sentence with “And.”  Definitely a quirk!

Do you hear from your readers?  What do they say?

Yes, I do.  Generally, they love the books and find them “happy reading.”  I even had one fan (if I can use that word) make me the most beautiful plastic’ish painted pelican, from the book One Pelican at a Time, to slip onto a wine bottle.  Each time I use it, I think gratefully of her!

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

Fortunately, I don’t have many.  One reviewer, however, said I didn’t dig deep enough into my character’s personality to find the truth.  (This was not one of the Bella/Britt beach books.)  Although I didn’t like it at the time, she was right, and I owe her a debt of gratitude because it raised my awareness of mining the depths of a character’s soul until I find the ultimate reality.

What has been the best accomplishment?

This is a hard question.  I suppose the hurdle of actually being published could rank right up there.  But another accomplishment is the growth one experiences with honing his/her craft and becoming a better writer.  And finally, being able to successfully make the leap from one genre to another, from picture books to young adult, is one as well.  

Do you Google yourself?

Not very much at all.  I just don’t think about doing it.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I have no half-finished books.  As to unpublished works, I have very early ones which should never see the light of day!  Writing is a lifelong process, so many of us have stories that are, shall we say, trial balloons.  I have three or four unpublished later manuscripts.  Will I revisit them?  Maybe.  Someday.

Do you have anything specific that you would like to say to your readers?

Foremost, I’d like to thank them for supporting my books.  If it weren’t for them, authors would not stay in business.  Also, I love to get feedback from my readers.  I believe they keep me honest, and level-headed, and true to myself.  So, a heartfelt thank you!  And thank you for showcasing me on your lovely blog!



🏰 AUTHOR INTERVIEW: 'No More Magic Wands' George Finney

Thursday, May 4, 2017




GEORGE FINNEY, ESQ., has worked in Cybersecurity for over 15 years and is the author of No More Magic Wands: Transformative Cybersecurity Change for Everyone. He is currently the Chief Information Security Officer for Southern Methodist University where he has also taught on the subject of Corporate Cybersecurity and Information Assurance. Mr. Finney is an attorney and is a Certified Information Privacy Professional as well as a Certified Information Security Systems Professional and has spoken on Cybersecurity topics across the country.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS




Once upon a time there was a company that made magic wands, but when they were hacked all the magic in the world couldn’t prevent their data from being stolen. If that company had a chance for a clean start, what would they have done differently? The unlikely hero isn’t a security guy. She’s a business elf who makes it her mission to change the way her company does business from the top down.

Most books on Cybersecurity are written for highly technical professionals, focus on specific compliance regulations, or are intended for reference. No More Magic Wands is different...it takes complex security concepts and puts them into practice in easy to read, relateable stories.

No More Magic Wands is available at AMAZON


As a book bloggin’ and book luvin’ Princess, I’m always curious to find out how authors got the ideas for their books.  How did you come up with the idea for your book?


I was teaching a class on cybersecurity for undergrads a few years ago. The students in the class had never taken any cybersecurity classes before, and it made me look at security with new eyes. The more technical I made the class, the less approachable the material became. I started to try and find ways to make the material more relatable to someone who wasn’t technical at all, and the students really responded. I hope to bring this experience to everyone since it’s such an incredibly important issue right now.


Can you tell us what your book is about?


Much of what is written about Cybersecurity focuses on technology or compliance, so I wanted to write a book that was approachable and understandable by everyone. No More Magic Wands is a book for non-technical managers or executives inside corporations to help them better understand the basic concepts of Cybersecurity and how they can play a role in protecting their companies from cyber criminals. The book tells the fairy-tale story of a company using a case study model, with each chapter giving a new lesson for readers to digest.



Can you give us an excerpt?


Suddenly, the clouds broke and a rainbow began to descend toward Harmony. Its colors were vivid, unlike any rainbow she had seen before. In fact, it seemed solid and tangible, as if she could stand on it. The rainbow traveled downward until it ended right at Harmony’s feet. A door opened up between the yellow and indigo stripes, and a smallish man with a bushy red beard and a green top hat stepped through. He wore a huge smile and looked at Harmony as if he were an old friend.
The door, which was made of two giant stripes of green and blue, closed behind him and began to fade slightly. The leprechaun waddled the short distance to Harmony and introduced himself. “I’m Chatty McPatty,” the leprechaun snorted. “I’ve been trying to get in touch with you for some time.”
“You found me,” Harmony said. “Do I know you?”
“I just want to take a second of your time and introduce myself. You seem like an elf that is coming up in the world. And I hear that you’re leading your company into a more secure future. Congratulations.”
“Thank you. It’s good to know that our reputation for security is starting to get out there, I think. How did you say you heard about it?”
“Just a whisper in the air. The will o’ the wisp. If you don’t mind me askin’, what type of firewalls would you be usin’?”



If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would that be?


It took a long time to find my own routine that works for my schedule working a full time job. I wish I had been able to fall into a rhythm earlier in my life to spend more time honing my craft. And I think my biggest regret is not joining a writing group or taking writing classes earlier on.


What would you say is one of your interesting writing quirks?


I always make a mix tape for every project I work on.  Whenever I write, I want the same mix playing, like I’ve made a soundtrack for each project. I think it keeps me in the same frame of mind and helps keep the atmosphere of whatever I’m working on the same as I work on it over the course of weeks or months.


Do you hear from your readers?  What do they say?


Whenever I talk to someone who has read my work, they’ll have a favorite quote. I don’t think I’m particularly quotable and I hardly ever remember my own quotes. Sometimes I’ve even asked, hey, that’s cool…who wrote that?


What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?


I actually think I don’t get enough tough criticism. People want to be so supportive that it’s been hard to get honest feedback.


What has been the best accomplishment?


I gave a talk several years ago at a conference. I didn’t think it was a big deal, I just wanted to give back to the community on a particular topic. But it has been amazing that several years later, I still run into people that tell me how they still go back and reference their notes from that talk.


Do you Google yourself?


I love it when I Google my books and I see that someone has written a blog post about my book or something I said at a conference that made them think.


How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?


I’ve got a few more than I’d like to admit. The challenge of being a part-time writer is that time is at a premium. Working on a project is a commitment, and that means you’re not working on other ideas, so when I don’t finish one, it feels like I’ve wasted a few months or a year.


Do you have anything specific that you would like to say to your readers?


Going through the process of writing the book helped me discover what is really important to me in my own career and how that connects to Cybersecurity. I feel like I have a direction that I couldn’t have envisioned just 12 months ago. I hope that people find it, not just valuable, but enjoyable as well.


🏰 AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Laura Evans Serna, author of Desert Melody

Tuesday, May 2, 2017



Laura Evans Serna grew up in Albuquerque wandering the Sandia mountains and enjoying magnificent sunsets each night. She was spoiled by the mountain and desert wilderness and the freedom it offered. Now that she’s lived in Oxford, Washington, DC, and Tokyo, she knows how rare and precious that kind of experience is. 
           
As a teenager Laura would lie on her concrete driveway with her siblings and friends, watching Hale Bopp slowly cross the sky. She discussed science and theology with no reservation. What are the laws of physics, and where did they come from? What do they mean? Where do humans fit into all of this? What binds society together? Laura believes that these are the questions that make us human. They don’t belong to the scientists, philosophers, or theologians. Everyone has a right to make them their own.
        
Laura started her undergraduate degree in Chemistry at the University of New Mexico. At the time, she was tired of Albuquerque. Until she left she didn’t appreciate the unique mix of cultures or the abundance of intellectual activity of her home town. She married a man in the Air Force and followed him to Colorado, where she spent her time teaching English with Catholic Charities and finishing up a degree in math at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Next Laura moved to the UK where she had the opportunity to study at the University of Oxford. She earned an MSc in Mathematical Modelling while pregnant and experiencing motherhood for the first time. (It was a struggle, to be sure!) Laura found Oxford to be a fantastic, walkable city perfect for pushing a newborn around in a pram. Although they only spent three years in Oxford, she will always feel as if it is a home of sorts for them.
       
Laura spent periods of time teaching math and doing technical editing, but motherhood suits her more than any other hat she’s worn. Her three daughters are a constant joy. She has come to the conclusion that the world over needs more, not less, of the maternal touch, and she wants to write stories featuring strong, intelligent mothers.

You can visit her website at www.lauraevansserna.com or connect with her on Facebook.


About the Book:

For generations the Ahn, Voyan, and Humans have thrived living side by side. The ambitious Ahn need solitude.  The communal Voyan thought share and hear the voices of the sacred dead around them.  Now Humans are becoming more like the Ahn, and the Voyan are struggling. 
 Teagan is a single Voyan mother and wet nurse. She lost the ability to thought share.  Though she
spends hours walking in the desert searching for the voices she once heard, she embraces her new found intellectual focus and is drawn into the Human world of Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Teagan plans to go into hiding to avoid being forced back to a Voyan community where her daughter would be an outcast. However she meets Josh, a generous and handsome man who understands her better than anyone.  She loves him, and Josh takes an active role in parenting Teagan’s daughter.
Teagan discovers that her behavior is more Human than Voyan because she has been unknowingly medicated.  She is part of a secret and manipulative eugenics program designed by Josh’s best friend. Teagan questions her faith in Josh while needing him in her life more than ever. Once off the medication, Teagan loses her focus, and her dream of helping her people through research slips away. 
Teagan is kidnapped by the Voyan and put into a lucid trance for months.  During this time she feels the desperation of her people.  But Teagan hears the call of the Kokopelli’s flute. She knows she is called for a purpose, and she escapes back to Human society.  At this point, though, Teagan can no longer speak verbally.  She asks the Ahn to continue providing her the medication so she can live as a Human and stay with her daughter and Josh.  She knows she is called to help her people.
Desert Melody is available for purchase at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

Can you tell us what your book is about?


My book is about Teagan, a young single Voyan mother struggling to find her path in life. The Voyan are a sister people to humans on Earth. They are struggling to avoid extinction. Some women have a special protein in their breastmilk that increases the chances of survival for sick Voyan newborns. Teagan is one of these women. She strives to balance the needs of herself and her daughter with her duty to her people.     


Can you tell us a little about the main characters of your book?


I’ve already mentioned Teagan and her daughter. Teagan’s daughter is half human and is not accepted by her family or her people. Teagan’s sister and brother-in-law support her. Together they plan on escaping from the Voyan world and living fully in the human world. Then there’s Josh, the human lawyer Teagan meets and falls in love with. Teagan doesn’t know what to make of him. She starts to trust him just as she finds out there is more to Josh’s past than she realized.


Can you give us an excerpt?


I lay in bed, enjoying the morning quiet as I watched my sleeping daughter. Her jet-black hair fanned out across our pillow. Thin white drapes over the window swelled gently as the cool morning air washed over us.
I traced the scars up and down my arms and chest, my hand stopping as usual on the jagged scar across my lower back. Would I ever forget? Did I want to? Thankfully, my Brianna stirred just then, bringing me back to the present. She opened her chocolate-brown eyes and melted my heart with her smile. I sent her off into the kitchen with my aunt Eva so that I could begin my morning ritual. I pulled out my electric breast pump and set it on the dresser.
My milk has Factor K, a protein known to significantly improve surviv­ability for weak Voyan newborns. Only about 10 percent of Voyan women produce Factor K. Even without this protein, though, Voyan milk is invalu­able because many postpartum Voyan have found they can no longer produce milk. Despite the efforts of a handful of dedicated Human biochemists, no suitable formula has been developed for Voyan babies. Donors save babies from starvation.
The buzz in my head grew stronger. Unintelligible whispers sneaked in to taunt me, to remind me of my damaged state. I could no longer pick up the thoughts of my family, and they couldn’t pick up mine.
I stepped into the shower, letting the thrum of water on my head chase the mumblings away. As I got dressed, Eva peeked her head in. In the light of the morning sun, the delicate scars across her chest looked like fine lace.
“Teagan, I made cinnamon rolls. Brianna’s favorite.” Her voice was slow and sweet.
“Everyone’s favorite,” I said, winking at Eva. She turned to go but remem­bered something.
 “Going out?”
Eva couldn’t understand my desire to get away from my Voyan family. With the Voyan, I was deaf and mute. I was disabled. Out in the city, I could pretend to be Human.
“I was, unless you need me here.”
“Just a few moments?” she asked nervously. I knew exactly what she meant. Eva wanted me to spend time with our ancestors. Picking up Brianna, I headed to the tiny golden room behind the kitchen.
Brianna was mesmerized by the candles that lit up the small ancestor room. A few silver and gold urns sat together in a corner. I could tell that at one time the urns had engraved designs, but now they were worn from years of being touched and rubbed. They held the ashes of my ancestors as well as those of many other Voyan my family happened to meet.
I closed my eyes, listening for something I knew I could no longer hear. The air was thick, and not just from smoke. I could almost feel the voices of the dead around me, but not quite. And the more I tried to feel them, the harder it was.



If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would that be?


Keep writing! I wrote as a teenager and took a twenty year break. I’m so glad I found it again.


What would you say is one of your interesting writing quirks?


I will start writing before bed each night. In my sleep I often keep working on the story. Segments of dialogue will become clear. I’ll dream of interesting plot twists.


Do you hear from your readers?  What do they say?


Many of my readers appreciate the combination of science fiction and romance.


What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?


That I’ll never make any money. This is the toughest criticism because it means the critic doesn’t understand why I write. I write because I feel compelled to and because I love it. I write because other writers, many of them self-published, have told me stories that I carry with me each day. I hope I can do that for my readers.


What has been the best accomplishment?


Selling my first book. Writing is pure fun. Putting together a finished product, on the other hand, can be challenging. It is easy to let all of life’s other stressors get in the way.     


Do you Google yourself?


Only every once in a while. Perception matters, and the internet is powerful. You need to know what comes up with your name.


How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?


Three. They are different sorts of books. I find that I write more if I write what fits my mood rather than fitting my mood to one specific thing.


Do you have anything specific that you would like to say to your readers?


My language of love is time. Thank you for taking the time to read what I’ve written.

🏰 AUTHOR INTERVIEW: R.J. Blain, author of Playing with Fire + Win $25 Amazon Gift Card!

Monday, May 1, 2017


RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

When she isn't playing pretend, she likes to think she's a cartographer and a sumi-e painter.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | GOODREADS




Warning: This novel contains excessive humor, action, excitement, adventure, magic, romance, and bodies. Proceed with caution.

What do you get when you mix gorgons, an incubus, and the Calamity Queen? Trouble, and lots of it.

Working as the only human barista at a coffee shop catering to the magical is a tough gig on a good day. Bailey Gardener has few options. She can either keep spiking drinks with pixie dust to keep the locals happy, or spend the rest of her life cleaning up the world’s nastiest magical substances.

Unfortunately for her, Faery Fortunes is located in the heart of
Manhattan Island, not far from where Police Chief Samuel Quinn works. If she’d been smart, she never would have agreed to help the man find his wife.

Bailey found her, all right—in the absolutely worst way possible.

One divorce and several years later, Bailey is once again entangled in Chief Quinn’s personal affairs, and he has good reason to hate her. Without her, he wouldn’t be
Manhattan’s Most Wanted Bachelor, something he loathes. Without her, he’d still be married.

If only she’d said no when he asked her help, she might have had a chance with him. While her magic worked well, it came with a price: misfortune. Hers.

When Quinn’s former brother-in-law comes to her for help, he leaves her with a cell phone and seventy-five thousand reasons to put her magic to the test. However, when she discovers Quinn’s ex-wife is angling for revenge, Bailey’s tossed in the deep end along with her sexiest enemy.

Playing With Fire is available at Amazon.


As a book bloggin’ and book luvin’ Princess, I’m always curious to find out how authors got the ideas for their books.  How did you come up with the idea for your book?

You and me both! Every book is different for me, but Playing with Fire was one of the strangest ideas I’ve come up with—which is perfect, since it’s a strange book. It all started when I was looking for a romantic comedy to read. I often write what I want to read, and well, the romantic comedy field was far too sparse for my liking, especially when I was in a mood for a little bit of fun, a little bit of magic, and a little bit of romance.

So, off I went. I wanted something funny, something magical, and something romantic, so I went to town. How would society change if pixies were real and their dust made humans happy? What would life be like as one of the few, rare humans incapable of finding happiness with a flutter of pixie wings? What would life be like in a world where magic reigns supreme?

One question led to another, and thus the adventures of Bailey and Quinn came to life. I wanted over the top fun, and so I got to writing. And so the Magical Romantic Comedy (with a body count) series was born.

And… yes. There are bodies. A lot of them. At heart, I’m an action-adventure-thriller girl, and while you can dump me in the romantic comedy pool, it seems I just can’t get through a book without death, doom, and destruction becoming involved.

So, why fight it? I embraced it instead.

Can you tell us what your book is about?

What do you get when you mix gorgons, an incubus, and the Calamity Queen? Trouble, and lots of it.

Working as the only human barista at a coffee shop catering to the magical is a tough gig on a good day. Bailey Gardener has few options. She can either keep spiking drinks with pixie dust to keep the locals happy, or spend the rest of her life cleaning up the world’s nastiest magical substances.

Unfortunately for her, Faery Fortunes is located in the heart of Manhattan Island, not far from where Police Chief Samuel Quinn works. If she’d been smart, she never would have agreed to help the man find his wife.

Bailey found her, all right—in the absolutely worst way possible.

One divorce and several years later, Bailey is once again entangled in Chief Quinn’s personal affairs, and he has good reason to hate her. Without her, he wouldn’t be Manhattan’s Most Wanted Bachelor, something he loathes. Without her, he’d still be married.

If only she’d said no when he asked her help, she might have had a chance with him. While her magic worked well, it came with a price: misfortune. Hers.

When Quinn’s former brother-in-law comes to her for help, he leaves her with a cell phone and seventy-five thousand reasons to put her magic to the test. However, when she discovers Quinn’s ex-wife is angling for revenge, Bailey’s tossed in the deep end along with her sexiest enemy.

Can you tell us a little about the main characters of your book?

I can… a little. To say too much would spoil the fun! (and the book.) Bailey is about as normal as people get, or so she thinks. Sure, she’s immune to some of the most dangerous substances on Earth, but she’s a one-trick pony with three legs, or so she thinks.

Her trick is special, if she can accept who and what she is. And with Bailey, acceptance never comes easily…

Chief Samuel Quinn has his secrets, too. Divorced and too handsome for anyone’s good, he’s Manhattan’ Most Wanted Bachelor for a reason, as he’s got a serious case of good guy syndrome underneath his pretty veneer. He has one weakness, however, and she brings the best and the worst out in him: Bailey.

Together, they’re an explosive combination, if they can get over themselves long enough to realize they’re the best thing for each other.

For these two, that’s definitely not easy…

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would that be?

Learn to read before grade four. Seriously. I was functionally illiterate during part of grade four. I had no interest in school, no interest in books, no interest in education. I grew up in farm country, and the emphasis was sports. I wanted nothing more than to just go play outside, run around, and be… anything other than educated.

Ironically, I had perfect school attendance up until that point. Learning to really read spelled the end of my perfect attendance, as I discovered books and would much rather stay home reading.

So, thanks to Mrs. King for introducing me to a book I actually found interesting rather than sticking to the ‘normal’ curriculum. It made all the difference in the world to me.

What would you say is one of your interesting writing quirks?

I love weird words, and I love whenever I get a chance to use them. My editor has to rein me in, as I would use terms like defenestrate, immolate, abhor, exsanguination, and so on at every opportunity. I mean, can you really blame me? Those words are awesome.

Do you hear from your readers?  What do they say?

I do! Most of the time, they’re asking me about when a book is coming out. I’ve had a bunch of delays. One of the titles I meant to release late 2016 got delayed, and my editor is still working on it. So, I spend a lot of time telling people I’m waiting for edits back from my editor. That’s all right, though.

I love knowing there are people looking forward to an upcoming book!

I’ll just answer a few of these questions right now:

Water Viper is coming! My editor is working on it! It’ll release approximately a week after she has the final notes to me. It’s coming!

Silver Bullet is coming, too! I’m almost done it. It’ll release after Hoofin’ it, the second Magical Romantic Comedy… which is slated for after Water Viper.

Yes, I really will write Royal Slaves, but I don’t know when. And yes, The Tides of War is coming… eventually. Really hoping to be on schedule with it, but that one depends on a cover artist and my editor.

And yes, there will be more Magical Romantic Comedies. Hoofin’ It is completed and waiting for my editor, No Kitten Around is about half done, and Serial Killer Princess is well on its way towards being a book. I may be working on a fifth one in the series, too.

And yes, there will be a second Bailey and Quinn book, I just don’t know when.

What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?

Some jerk told me I should stop writing books. I ignored him. Criticism is a bit like clutter. Bag it, trash it, keep going until trash day comes again. If I listened to every bit of criticism flung my way, I’d never write anything.

What has been the best accomplishment?

I always wanted to be a part of Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, the professional authors guild for genre writers. As a self-publishing author, I’d pretty much given up hope of meeting the minimum requirements… but then they changed the rules, allowing any author with the appropriate earnings to join the fold.

I was honored and absolutely stoked to qualify when they opened their doors for self-publishing authors. I’ve been a member ever since, and I still grin like an idiot whenever I think about how I actually accomplished one of my bucket list dreams.

Do you Google yourself?

Too often for my own good, and sadly, it’s rather sparse. Mostly, I’m actually checking for piracy and deciding how to deal with it, but… there you have it. I totally do google for myself to see what’s going on.

Usually, it’s a big fat nothing, but that’s all right.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

Oh boy. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy. I have the shelf of shame, which are books that I’ll probably never finish—or original drafts of books I’ve since rewritten and published.

My shelf of shame easily has twenty or thirty books in it. I prescribe to the ‘it takes a million bad words to write a good word’ work ethic, so it probably won’t surprise many I have about that many words in my shelf of shame.

So, I’ll mostly ignore those and move on to the ‘half-finished but plan to publish’ category.

Here’s my list of finished books waiting for editorial love: Water Viper, Hoofin’ It, Wolf Hunt.

Here’s my list of half-finished books being cycled through to join the list of finished books: Silver Bullet (80,000 words, either halfway to three-quarters done, we’ll see?), Rider of the Sun Horse (about halfway done), No Kitten Around (1/2ish), Serial Killer Princess (1/4ish), Magical Romantic Comedy #5 (1 page written… I just started it!), about ten other play projects I’m experimenting with…

I usually have one main project in the works with several play projects I’m working on when I need to clear my head or think about something else. This often results in suddenly finishing 2 or 3 books within a few days of each other.

My editor does not like that. At all. She gets mad at me, as she goes from “I’m almost done this book” to “What do you mean I have two more in line?!”

One day she might really come after me with a stick and beat me, and I’d deserve it.

Do you have anything specific that you would like to say to your readers?

Keep reading! Seriously. You’re the reason us writers often write. (And I’ll keep reading, too… just one more chapter, until it’s dawn, and I then remember sleep is necessary to function…)

Thanks for having me on your blog!

 

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🏰 AUTHOR INTERVIEW: 'I Would, But My Damn Mind Won't Let Me!' by Jacqui Letran

Thursday, April 27, 2017




Jacqui Letran is a passionate and energetic leader who is truly gifted at helping teens transform into confident, happy and successful young adults. Jacqui teaches teens that success and happiness are possible, regardless of their current struggles or circumstances.

Jacqui is an International Best Selling Author, National Speaker, and Founder of Teen Confidence Academy. She has 17 years of experience in Adolescent Health as a Nurse Practitioner, Success Coach and Teen Confidence Expert. Jacqui is passionate and committed to guiding teens to achieve remarkable success in their academic and personal lives.

She is also the winner of the:
2016 Literary Classics Lumen Award and Gold Medal for Youth Non-Fiction
2016 Readers' Favorite Gold Medal Award for Young Adult Non-Fiction

When not working with teens or writing, you can find her traveling in her RV, hiking with her dog or spoiling her three cats. She now lives in
Asheville, North Carolina.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK




Title: I WOULD, BUT MY DAMN MIND WON’T LET ME!
Author: Jacqui Letran
Publisher: A Healed Mind
Pages: 158
Genre: Youth/Nonfiction

Literary Classics' 2016 Lumen Award for Best Young-Adult Non-Fiction book of the year, "I would, but my DAMN MIND won't Let Me! is recommended for home, school and public libraries and for use in clinical settings."


Do you believe that life is unfair or that change is impossible? Are you unhappy and frustrated with your life? If you answered yes, you’re not alone! Teen Confidence Expert, Jacqui Letran, is here to show you a quick and easy path to a happier, healthier life. You can learn to create permanent changes for the better!
Your past can cause you to believe that making positive improvements requires a miracle. In Letran’s award-winning book, I would, but my DAMN MIND won’t let me!, you will learn the simple steps to overcome your obstacles and struggles. Once you understand how your mind works, you will have the knowledge and power to take control of your thoughts and feelings. The power to challenge your old negative patterns and create the exact life you want is in your hands.
In this book, you will discover:
·             How to challenge old negative beliefs and create positive new patterns
·             How to stay calm and in control of even the most difficult situations
·             How to keep unhealthy thoughts at bay and replace them with positive ones
·             How to use the power of your mind to create the success you deserve
·             How to create positive life experiences and much, much more!
·              
I would, but my DAMN MIND won’t let me! is a groundbreaking guide to help you take control of your life. If you like real-life advice that works fast and doesn’t talk down to you, then you will love Jacqui Letran’s game-changing book for teens and young adults. This book is recommended for teens, parents of teens, professionals working with teens, and anyone who is interested in learning how to take control of their mind.
Get the award-winning book today to give yourself an unfair advantage in life!

I Would, But My Damn Mind Won’t Let Me!
is available for purchase at



Can you tell us what your book is about?


“I would, but my DAMN MIND won’t let me!” is an easy-to-read primer that teaches how your conscious and subconscious mind work to create your life experiences, and how you can take control of your thoughts and feelings.  In a sense, it’s an Owner’s Manual for your mind.


Can you give us an excerpt?


“You might have guessed by now that your unconscious mind is your personal
assistant. Your unconscious mind's job is to deliver to you whatever experience you are looking for in the easiest and quickest way possible.

What you might not know is that every thought you have and every feeling you feel is a command to your unconscious mind to give you more of the same. That’s right. Every thought you have and every feeling you feel is a command to your unconscious mind, “This is what I want.  Give me more!”

So if you said, "I'm so stressed," your unconscious mind heard that as a command: "I want to be stressed. Look for evidence to support why I should be stressed. Give me more reasons to feel stressed." Once you give that command, your unconscious mind will immediately go to work to look for stressful details in your environment. Details that could stress you out get pushed to your IC so you become consciously aware of those details and can become more stressed. In addition, your unconscious mind will also look in your movie library to find your stressful movies to play in the background for you. You are the boss, so when you asked for stress, your unconscious mind is happy to deliver it to you.

Does this begin to sound familiar? How many times have you felt stressed out about something and then started having stressful thoughts about something else and pretty soon you were overwhelmed with stress and other negative feelings? This is because whatever you focus on grows bigger. Whatever you are focusing on, you are telling your unconscious mind to give you more of that thing. It's like feeding a monster food and watching it grow out of control right in front of your own eyes.

The good news is that the process works both ways. This means that when you focus on something positive, that positive thing will also grow. So if you are stressed out, you can choose to focus on being calm. Remember, you have an assistant who will obey your every command, so use her to your benefit. In stressful moments, you can say to yourself, “Even though I feel stressed, I choose to be calm.” Say, “I choose to be calm” several times to catch your assistant’s attention because this may be a new command for her. After saying that three times, start repeating “I am calm. I am calm. I am calm” over and over again. As you are repeating “I am calm,” imagine yourself doing something that calms you down. It might be reading a book, laying out on the beach, or taking a nice soothing bath. When you follow these steps, what you are doing is saying to your assistant, “Even though I am stressed, I choose to be calm. Calm looks like this. Go get it for me. Give me more of this.” It makes it super simple for your unconscious mind to bring you to calmness.


If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would that be?


My advice to my younger writing self is very simple. You have a unique message that only you can deliver, in a way that will reach the readers who need to hear that message, exactly as you have written it.  So keep writing from your heart.  Keep spreading your message.


What would you say is one of your interesting writing quirks?


I’m not sure if this is an interesting quirk, but rather a challenge to my writing ability.  I grew up in Vietnam, and in my country we don’t pluralize things by adding an “s” to the end of the word.  In my native language, it’s one banana, two banana, three banana. We also don’t have past or future tenses.  Instead, we say (roughly translated), “I go now” “I go yesterday” and “I go tomorrow.”  Because of this, I do have some difficulties with grammar and I must read and re-read what I’ve written several times to catch mistakes. Even with re-reading, there are many times that I would miss them entirely. Thank goodness there are editors I can hire to help review my work.


Do you hear from your readers?  What do they say?


I hear from my readers quite a bit, and I love it.  Most readers email me to thank me for sharing my case studies in the books.  Seeing how other people just like them overcame similar situations gives them hope and encouragement to go after what they want.  I also have many readers who contact me with questions about themselves, and some even become clients.  I love how my books have helped to remove a geographical boundary to allow me to reach and help so many more people.


What is the toughest criticism given to you as an author?


I remember the morning I woke up to a 1-star review of my book on Amazon.  I was in total disbelief at how mean the reviewer was.  They were not just attacking my writing, or the content of my writing, but me as a person.  I remember feeling so embarrassed, almost like a fraud.  After all, who was I to write a self-help book.  My confidence tanked, and for at least 30 minutes, I contemplated removing my book from circulation and retiring it completely. That was when I remembered something I’ve heard at a seminar along the line of, “You haven’t arrived until you pissed someone off.”  In that moment, I threw my arms up in the air, grinned wildly, and yelled, “I’ve arrived!” My confidence came rushing back and I knew I was on the right path.


What has been the best accomplishment?


My book, “I would, but my DAMN MIND won’t let me!” has won two Gold Medal Awards in the Youth Non-Fiction category from Literary Classics and Readers’ Favorite in 2016. In addition, it was awarded the Lumen Award by Literary Classics for best Youth Non-Fiction book of the year.  Walking across the stage to receive my awards, and connecting with other authors and readers were some of my best moments of the year!  I feel so blessed and grateful for all the support and praise that I’ve received for my effort.  


Do you Google yourself?


I google myself, my books, and my businesses on a regular basis -- in addition to having Google Alerts set up for them.  As a business owner and author, I like to know what is being said about me and my brand so I have the opportunity to correct any misperceptions and connect with the people who support my work.


How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?


I have two books in the works.  One is a second edition of my book, “5 Simple Questions to Reclaim Your Happiness!” I have been getting some awesome feedback and requests so I’m working new ideas into the next edition.  Many readers requested more case studies, so I’m adding in several more.  In addition, I’m making part of this edition a workbook so readers can follow along and use the questions and other tools to quickly reclaim their happiness.  

The second book I’m working on is called, “How to Unleash Your Inner Super Powers and Destroy Anxiety and Self-Doubt.”  This is the third book in my Words of Wisdom for Teen Series and the most fun to write so far.  I’m working toward a late August release, just in time to help teens to go back to school with increased confidence having learned about their own Inner Super Powers!


Do you have anything specific that you would like to say to your readers?  


One of the most powerful lesson I have learned is, “change your thoughts, change your life.”  It sounds simple, and it is very true because whatever you focus on grows bigger.  Your thoughts are like colored goggles. Whatever color your lenses are, you will experience the world through that tint. Your thoughts work the same way. Whatever your thoughts are about your situation become the experiences you live. Your thoughts are also like a giant magnet, pulling towards you more of the same.  If you have negative thoughts, you’ll attract more negativities into your life.  Conversely, if you have positive thoughts, you’ll attract more positives into your life. So, if you are having an experience you don’t like, challenge yourself to change your thoughts into more empowering ones and get ready to be amazed.  Grab a copy of my book, “I would, but my DAMN MIND won’t let me!” and learn how to easily and effectively change your thoughts.