Tuesday, March 5, 2013

When the Dam Breaks

Let the nightmares begin!!! My new Psychological Thriller When the Dam Breaks just released. Wow! I'm both excited and nervous about people seeing another side of me, a bad girl side. But it's a book I loved to write, I loved to read, and I know people are going to love it and be...
Absolutely blown away!                                

When Kelly’s husband, homicide detective Bob Martin, starts to pursue a serial killer it soon becomes clear that his new found passion, the one which ignites his sexuality into a raging force is his passion for the kill itself.

Her world spirals out of control as she realizes the murders are not the work of an amateur, but of a manipulative, well-organized, and lethal mastermind. What Kelly doesn’t realize, is that Bob is only the tip of the iceberg, for what lies beneath the surface, is more sinister then anything she could have ever envisioned.
Champagne Books

Friday, January 25, 2013


What you might not know about fiction novelist is we’re all just a bunch of liars. Well liars might be a bit extreme, so let me put it another way. We’re the ones who exaggerate the truth to excessive levels.

Let’s say a group of twenty geese flew overhead… the want-to-be writer would say there were thirty. But the best of the best fiction novelists would say there were hundreds, and if feeling more creative than normal that day, thousands.

Then the story takes on it’s own set of wings, as we now remember one of these geese leaving the formation to swoop down and attack a little old lady who with her failing eyesight, never saw him coming.

Okay now we feel bad about tormenting an old lady, so we must develop a hero, often an alter ego of ourselves. Maybe we saved the lady alone, forget the alter ego.
Moral to my story, if you catch me in a lie, just remember I’m only trying to be the best, or……

I just can’t help myself.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Book Giveaway


Book Giveaway For After the Mist
Five Autographed Copy Giveaway

Get ready for the adventure of a lifetime... but be warned

It may be a bit more than you bargained for

Seven people forged ahead on a perilous mission to locate a missing team member in the Bermuda Triangle

A dire adventure beyond anything they could have foreseen or imagined
They find themselves in direct confrontation between life and death... love and something else... An unlikely place for evil to be hiding or should we say...
                                                     To Be Waiting


Monday, November 12, 2012

Free e-book & Print signed copy

Leave a comment by 11/16/2012 win a Free E-Book for either After the Mist or When the Dam Breaks.
One person will be picked to receive a signed copy of After the Mist

 Coming March 2013 . . .

A promise to scare the whatever out of you!

Have you ever had one of those dreams where you want to run, need to run, your very life depends on you running but you can’t make your feet move?

Kelly Martin’s life mirrors one of those dreams. She needs to escape the most dangerous man she could ever imagine, her husband.

When Kelly’s husband, Homicide Detective Bob Martin starts to pursue a serial killer it soon becomes clear that his new found passion, the one which ignites his sexuality into a raging force is his passion for the kill itself.

Her world spirals out of control as she realizes the murders are not the work of an amateur, but of a manipulative, well-organized, and lethal mastermind, for the killer Bob pursues is none other then Bob, himself.

What Kelly doesn’t realize, is that Bob is only the tip of the iceberg, for what lies beneath the surface, is more sinister then anything she could have ever envisioned

To get your free e-book leave comment please specify which book you'd like and add your e-mail address either in the comment box or e-mail me catcobu@q.com but please still leave a comment as books are giving from here not my e-mail address.
Note: If you want When the Dam Breaks it will be sent as soon as it releases. After the Mist will be sent right away.

One person will be picked to receive a signed copy of
After the Mist

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Rucluse, sounds pretty good right now

Sometimes I can see why some authors and artist become recluse. For me I get so deeply into my stories I don't wish to be disturbed. For others there are vast reasons why they want to live in their own worlds. No matter their motivations or preferences, these artists and writers only become more fascinating with their decision to live their lives shunning the world, hiding from fame, fortune, and glory.

J.D. Salinger, 91; 'Catcher in the Rye' author became a famous recluse. Only a short time after "The Catcher in the Rye" was published, Mr. Salinger withdrew to the hills of rural New Hampshire, there he lived out the rest of his life in seclusion. He shunned the media and the public, and he filed lawsuits to block publication or quotes from his letters. He continued writing, but not since a short story appeared in the New Yorker in 1965 has any new writing of his been published. Earlier, the New Yorker had published J.D. Salinger short stories, but to most of the reading public, he was known only as the author of 'The Catcher in the Rye.'

At the present I am writing two novels at the same time. One is a novel I promised my readers I'd finish, the second in the Mist trilogy. The other is my second thriller the first is set to release in March. Though these two books are vastly different from each other I alternate daily between them. They are the good and bad in me. They have captured both sides of my personality. Each day I have to put my mind in a different mind set.

So now I must get back to work, today is my thriller 'Ruby.' My Psychological Thriller, 'When the Dam Breaks' will release in March. My Editor now calls me one scary lady, I like that.


Monday, August 27, 2012

Ute Carbone

I’d like to welcome Author Ute Carbone to 'In the Spotlight' this morning. Ute’s an aspiring Romance Novelist who had many dreams of what she wanted to be when she grew up from, fanciful- ballerina, trapeze artist, world class ski racer, doctor, oceanographer to bookstore owner. So now we’re going to find out what brought her to write.

Welcome Ute, thank you for joining us this fine day. Please tell us what life is like in your corner of the world.

Hi Duaine and Cathy. Thanks for having me on your blog. And for the chocolate. There is chocolate, right?

The weather has been wonderful in my little corner of New England, sunny and warm with temperatures in the seventies (that’s degrees Fahrenheit!) The garden tomatoes are ripe. Yum!

Sorry, maybe next time I’ll have to offer the chocolate the most I can do at present is a stupid diet bar. . . Okay, no on the diet bar, so let’s get started, Tell us about you, who is Ute Carbone.

I'm a novelist and sometimes poet who lives in Southern New Hampshire. I’ve been married to the same great guy for a lot of years. We have two grown sons. I love hiking, skiing, and generally communing with nature. I'm a big fan of chocolate, theater, and really good stories.

I write women’s literary fiction, romantic comedy, and just a bit of romance. I have two books currently available: a women’s literary novel, Blueberry Truth, and a romantic comedy, The P-town Queen, My time travel romance novella, The Whisper of Time, is due to be released in later in 2012. Two more romantic comedies are due for release in 2013: Afterglow, in January and Searching for Superman in June. And my short story trilogy, I’ll be Seeing You, will be released in summer 2013.

Sometimes the hardest part about being a writer is getting support from the family, what does your family think about your writing? Have they read your books?

They’ve always been very supportive. They do read my stuff! Well, sometimes anyway.

If you were a superhero, what would be your name and superpower?

Stiletto. She has six inch heels and knows how to use them. She’s my alter ego. I stagger about if I have to wear heels, which is (luckily) not very often.

What interview question have you never been asked that you’re dying to answer? Answer it now.

Hmm, I love music, so maybe a question about that? I listen to a lot of music as I write and have playlists for my books. I have pretty eclectic tastes, but my favorites are rockers like Springsteen, Petty, and Billy Joel. I love singer-songwriters.

It's always interesting to know what authors read. Who is you favorite author?

It’s hard to pick one favorite. My faves often change over time. Right now, I’d have to say Alice Hoffman and Elizabeth Berg are high on my list.

With so many other directions you wanted to go in, at what point in your life did the little light go on that told you, you wanted to be an author?

I was a biology major in school, then sweitched to education. I taught Special Education for about eight years. Then I was a stay-at-home mom. When my kids got to be school age, I started writing poetry and over time got more and more serious about writing.

Can you have it all as an author?

I hope so! I like that writing (and reading) can take you just about anywhere.

What aspect of the writing process do you enjoy the most? What part of the process do you dread?

I love creating characters. I like, too, when the writing surprises me—after a while the story takes on a life of its own and I love that aspect of discovery. I’m not too fond of promo. I’m not the world’s greatest salesperson, so selling myself and my work is hard for me.

Tell us a little about your books? Please give us a little preview. Tempt us.

How much time do you have? LOL.

I have two novels currently available. Blueberry Truth is literary women’s fiction. It’s the story of a teacher who fosters a troubled little girl. The P-Town Queen is romantic comedy. It’s about a guy who’s running from the mob and pretends to be gay as a cover-up. The heroine in the story is a shark researcher who hires him. And of course, they’re attracted to each other but she thinks he’s gay and he’s pretending to be gay and there in lies the rub.
  I also have a few things in the works. A Time-Travel novella, called The Whisper of Time, will be out later this year. It’s about a young veterinarian who buys a farm sight unseen and ends up going back in time forty years to find the hero she’s destined for. My next romantic comedy, Afterglow, is coming out in January. The heroine is a fifty-something woman who’s getting divorced and gets her life back on track with a little help from her friend, her kids and the handsome young doctor she falls for. Another romantic comedy, Searching for Superman, is out next June. The heroine works in theater that’s in danger of being torn down. The hero, of course, helps save the theater and proves he’s the guy she’s been looking for all along. Then I also have a short story trilogy coming out next July—three stories of three generations of women and the men they love.

And that’s just what’s getting published! I also have…no, I fear I’ve lost you. So I’ll stop. For now!

If you could change anything about yourself to match a secondary character in one of your books, who would it be and why?

Interesting guestion! Maybe because I was recently working on edits, I’m thinking about Eva, the heroine’s best friend in Afterglow. She’s one of those slightly brash, take charge kind of people. She’s bold and outspoken. I could use a touch more Evaness in myself!

What can readers expect in the coming months? What are you working on now?

Right now, I’m doing a short story for an anthology about weddings. And I’m working on another romantic comedy. The Champagne Authors are also working up a short story anthology, so I’ve begun thinking about a story for them.

Where can we find you on the web?

You can find me and my books at UteCarbone.com. I also have a blog at ute-carbone.blogspot.com

My books are available as e-books from a lot of e-book stores including Amazon.

The P-Town Queen was published by Champagne Books and is available at their site as well.


Thank you Ute, it’s been a pleasure.

Monday, August 13, 2012

January Bain

I’d like to welcome January Bain to our In the Spotlight this morning. January brings her own unique version of Vampire’s in her Forever Series. Her first book Forever Man has jumped right up charts from the get go. So before we begin let’s find out a wee bit about her.


January Bain, Storyteller, hails from Ashern, Manitoba, Canada. Married to the love of her life, her husband Don, she has combined her love of romance with her interest in vampires to create the FOREVER SERIES of books. She teaches high school Computer and Business courses during the day and writes in every spare moment she possibly can.

If she could be a super character, she has said it would be “super-teach” endowed with the gift of healing like the heroine in her first novel, Forever Man, to help heal broken spirits. She hopes her characters will touch your heart. She loves to be approached about the journey of writing and can be reached at www.januarybain.ca

She also has a keen interest in hard sci-fi and writes a blog a few times a week about writing time travel novels and future world fiction at http://january-bain-science-fiction-musings.blogspot.ca/

January is also a monthly contributor at The Writers Vineyard.

Welcome January, thank you for joining us this fine day. Please tell us what life is like at this very minute on your spot of earth.

Oh, it’s awesome! Summer time is when I get to write full bore. I’m allergic to sunshine so it’s easy to hunch over my computer and dream away!

Before we get on to the serious stuff, let’s start right out with the fun stuff.

I’ve seen other interviews of you each saying you married to the love of your life tell us a little about how that came to be.

I am blessed! I’m married to the perfect man for me. He’s romantic, hard-working (at this exact moment staining the deck he built), trustworthy, protective and he says he looking forward to my going grey someday! We even get to go to work together as we both teach in the same small town high school. He’s also my dream guy!

Sometimes the hardest part about being a writer is getting support from the family, what does your family think about your writing? Have they read your book?

My sister-in-law is always asking to read my next book. (I’ve finished four from the Forever Series alone, not to mention two science fiction books, one on time travel and one set well into the future), one fun zombie short story and one longer one that is a work-in-progress and two erotic novellas that were written under a different name, one still in progress this summer.) I find her input very helpful. Also, one of my half-sisters loves vampires so she’s very supportive and all my family is darn nice about handing out bookmarks to promote my work. My parents are also supportive.

If you were a superhero, what would be your name and superpower?

Well, in the past I have said “super-teach”, but now I’m thinking “Healer” would work better as the moniker for the superhero that could help heal those in need. The best part of writing Forever Man was experiencing Ellie’s (the heroine) healing power through living her experience in my mind. Of course, there was a small down side of it exhausting her for a few days.

What interview question have you never been asked that you’re dying to answer? Answer it now.

Can you have it all as an author?

The answer is no (for me anyway) at this time of my life what with full time teaching most of the year, a family to support, and three furry children that love attention. I’ve invested hundreds, if not thousands of hours, in writing novels, something has had to give. For me, it’s been social time, though I am still working on that and am truly trying to achieve a better balance in my life. Maybe when I can retire from teaching it will be more possible, but that’s quite a ways away yet!

It's always interesting to know what authors read. Who is you favorite author?

So many wonderful authors… I can say it was Stephen King who first introduced me to modern vampires, followed by Anne Rice. Of course, Bram Stoker’s Dracula has had a big influence on me. I’m also reading a lot of the work by fellow author’s at Champagne Books because the writing is truly stellular!

What point in your life did the little light go on that told you, you wanted to be an author?

Well, not long after I taught myself to read before I went into grade one. I literally found a primer on the street and took it home and taught myself. Then, with a ridiculously overactive imagination, the rest has been history. My fingers literally will not keep up with the output…

What aspect of the writing process do you enjoy the most? What part of the process do you dread?

I actually love all of it. Though, to be honest, if I’m going full bore on an idea I don’t like to stop and go back to work on another book that requires editing so much. I’m trying my hardest to write better first time round to avoid too many rewrites. And yet, as soon as I do get to this very necessary work, I always re-fall in love with the work. To date the timing of things has been pretty darned good. Sometimes it’s almost like the universe is helping!

Now the important stuff, tell us a little about your books? Please give us a little preview. Tempt us.
I think I’ll talk about the next book in the Forever Series, Forever Woman. The heroine, Winter Kennedy, is a nurse dying of ALS and goes to Nome, Alaska to try to find the vampire that has been plaguing the town. She wants to trade the vampire for the gift of immortality. But she unexpectedly falls in love with a wonderful man, Aiden. Unfortunately, the vampire she has already contacted will not take “NO!” for an answer now and kidnaps her. Will Aiden be able to save his love? You’ll have to wait till October 1, 2012 to find out!!!

What can readers expect in the coming months? What are you working on now?

I have entered the most imaginative outpouring of words and ideas of my life. I’ve got a lot of proverbial irons in the fire. I made a list a couple of days ago of my creative journey and output since I wrote Forever Man and it literally stunned me. And it was very gratifying as well to know that I have so much to do yet. I keep an idea file so that nothing is lost, because that would be so easy when so many characters are clamoring for attention!

If you could change anything about yourself to match a secondary character in one of your books, who would it be and why?

  Lighten up! I’m way too serious about my work. I need to laugh more, work at being a better human being like Arc (the former Joan of Arc) in Forever Woman.

Why should readers read your books, what is it you January Bain have to offer them?

  I think I’ve seen a lot in my lifetime, lived many places, been a big observer of people and I still have a great deal of hope that this world can be a better place. I think that’s an underlying message to all my work. Julie Eberhart Painter, a wonderful author, picked up on this thread for me as she said I wanted to save everyone. I just wish I could…

Now that you’ve tempted us where can we buy your book?

Champagne Books has done a brilliant job of getting my work out all over the place. Thanks guys!

Thank you for joining us today January, now before we leave tell us where can you be found on the web? (Website, blogs, social network links)


Oh, lots of places! And I love to hear from people!

January Bain


Forever Man

Forever Woman

Forever Clan










Monday, July 16, 2012

Jim Woods has a long list of writing accomplishments. He has published more than 400 articles in Outdoor Life, Popular Mechanics, Petersen's Hunting, Guns & Ammo, Shooting Times, Guns, Southern Outdoors, Western Outdoors, Gun Digest, and other national periodicals.

He’s a novelist and short-story author, with a long list of novels to his credit. When he’s not writing novels he edits other authors' novels and nonfiction book-length works under private arrangement. He conducts writing-technique workshops for authors' groups and writing conferences.

He’s worked as Editor, Editorial Director, Managing Editor, and Field Editor. He has worked as an engineering writer-editor in the aerospace/defense industry, and served, honorably, with the U.S. Navy, four years.

I don’t know about you all but I getting exhausted just listing some of Jim’s accomplishments. Oh and by the way he’s listed in WHO'S WHO IN AMERICA 58th Edition, 2004. So before I run out of room ;-) Let’s meet the man of the hour.

Welcome Jim, thank you for joining us this fine day. Please tell us what life is like in your spot on the planet.

Thank you, Cathy. My spot on the planet is southern Arizona, and it’s July. It’s hot, but just one of our 100 days of 100 degrees. (But it’s a dry heat!)

I understand Arizona's dry heat as I too live here. But hot is hot and lately it's just plain hot.

Before we get on to the serious stuff, your books for instance (like that’s why we’re here) let me ask you some of the fun questions asked of me in the past.

If you were a superhero, what would be your name and superpower?

In my comic book literary era, I liked Superman; the man could fly! I’d be him. My real superheroes were the western movie cowboys, Roy Rogers and Gene Autry. I was to meet them both, professionally and socially, in later life but even as an adult I still was star-struck. I could be the guitar-strumming cowboy who ropes the outlaws and gets the girl.

What interview question have you never been asked that you’re dying to answer? Answer it now.


I was born in a grassy ditch alongside a deserted Arkansas dirt road, and life just got better from then because it could get no worse. I’m the second of eventually eight children spread over twenty years. With school and work I hardly knew my very youngest siblings and in fact didn’t really get to know them until we all were adults. I’m a current world traveler, a former big game hunter and always a writer. With these background bits forming me, I’ve come to depend on myself for most things and tend to be a bit short with people who demand service rather than offering it, and who are ready to place blame on others for their own setbacks or failures.

I’ve faced and emerged from some uncommon dangers. I rolled three vehicles on the highway; the only contributing influence was a zeal for speed. I detained and turned over two rogue biker/home invaders to the sheriff who didn’t come for two hours because of my remote location. After pursuing a wild boar across Texas with a pack of hounds, I wrestled and dispatched the boar by hand and a knife just to get a story for my magazine. Swimming in Australia, I didn’t recognize the shark bell, never having been exposed to such an alarm before. Finally I realized I had the entire ocean to my self and the crowd lined up on the beach was screaming at me. I got the message and swam ashore, and never saw the shark.

In Zimbabwe, I was handshake-close to being gored and/or trampled by a Cape Buffalo that turned on me when I became the hunted. And, I was taken prisoner by Cubans in Angola. For almost a day, until my release, my total concentration, and I have to admit, my fascination, was locked onto the muzzle end of a nasty-looking AK-47. The weapon was pointed my way by an equally nasty-looking camo-clad Cuban mercenary. It occurred to me his obvious tenseness in the situation could cause him to reflexively tighten his finger on the trigger, and I hoped he had been warned against allowing that to happen to the Americans.

Wow I’m breathless after all that . . . breathe . . . Okay let’s continue. It's always interesting to know what authors read. What are you reading these days?

I have four books open, three on Africa, one fiction and three nonfiction: Wilbur Smith’s latest novel, THOSE IN PERIL, moves away from his more familiar South Africa setting to East Africa, specifically Somalia. It’s a modern day story, released in 2011, dealing with the oil industry. THE OLD TRANSPORT ROAD, published in 1914, is a journal chronicling development of Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe, and the country’s dependence on ox wagon commerce during the Anglo-Boer War of 1899. I discovered it when researching my recently complete novella. A third book, one less serious that I’m reading piecemeal, like when I have a half hour wait when taking my granddaughter to her orthodontist, is THE GARNER FILES, actor James Garner’s ghosted bio. The most serious book I’m reading concurrently with the others mentioned is FEARFUL HARD TIMES, a study of one of the more obscure Zulu Wars incidents.

What aspect of the writing process do you enjoy the most? What part of the process do you dread?

The high is the sudden intrusion in my mind of a potential plot and storyline. The low is finishing a story or novel. During work I can be frustrated or exhilarated or simply pleasantly busy, but when I write “The End” I’m completely worn out and somewhat saddened to be done. The Rx is to start the next one.

Would you tell us a little about your books? Please give us a little preview. Tempt us.

In nonfiction, I have a writing tutorial re-titled and published a second time; and a memoir of my world hunting experiences published three times under different titles. I have three current collections of short fiction. Every short story was generated to solidify the concept and characters to be transposed to a novel to come, someday. I have two novels published and a third in work. All three, THE OUTLANDER, ASSASSINATION SAFARI and GEMSTONE are set in South Africa, and my research has been with boots on the ground. Each novel features an American in South Africa as the primary character, and playing on my editorial background in guns and hunting magazines, each story includes use of firearms by those characters:

THE OUTLANDER is an American businessman in charge of his company’s satellite branch office in South Africa. He becomes the prime player in a murder for hire—the rewards being both money and sex—but the situation evolves into one of betrayal, kidnapping, blackmail, extortion, cover-up murders, and anxious flight through exotic countryside before culminating in revenge and retribution. This short novel is the centerpiece of the Champagne Books crime collection, GUNSHOT ECHOES.

In ASSASSINATION SAFARI, also by Champagne Books, an American becomes embroiled in South African white supremacist politics in the role of hit man. His day job income doesn’t permit as many safaris he would like, so he becomes susceptible to a proposal to become a paid assassin. His recruiter is a professional hunter by trade but also the clandestine leader of a white supremacist organization in post-Apartheid South Africa. Once reluctantly on board with the plan, enticed by hunting Africa’s most cunning quarry—man—my man stalks and studies his prey much as he would a trophy animal in the wild, locating where he roams and lays up and the confines of his territory. A subsequent assignment causes him conflict; the intended target is a friend. Once again the hunter must study his quarry’s habits and bring him to bag. He just didn’t count on the intervention by a determined investigative reporter.

GEMSTONE is fact-influenced fiction. Safari operators of the very early years, the literary and legendary “white hunters,” were isolated adventurers. The start of major changes from a cottage adventure trade to an industry of global influence can be traced to the mid 1960s. About that time a professional hunter in South Africa, revamped the fragmented safari business concept to include capture and relocation of huntable species, game ranching, worldwide marketing, and perhaps most importantly, creation of a professional organization whose creed was to foster conservation of wildlife resources and promote ethical and lawful hunting. Enter the fictional protagonist of GEMSTONE: The forward-looking prophecies of the real safari outfitter are transferred to a young American in South Africa in the 1950s. Jim Stone, as Gemstone Safaris, becomes the visionary force that builds the region’s modern-day safari industry. In so doing, his influence throughout the GEMSTONE saga is reflected in the economic, social, racial and political facets of the country. Like South Africa, the country, GEMSTONE, the novel, is a work in progress.

Which are your favorite books you have written and why.

I’ve written sixteen books in all, some in e-book but most in paper-print. My current favorite novel is ASSASSINATION SAFARI but I suspect GEMSTONE will move to the front, when I get moved to finish it. In nonfiction, it’s a tossup between my writing tutorial and my big-game hunting memoir, but since I’ve hung up my guns I re-read my own safari experiences regularly.

What can readers expect in the coming months? What are you working on now?

With GEMSTONE consuming most of my time, and that effort expected to continue for another year or so, I interrupted work on it with a couple of shorter works to keep my name in front of my publisher and my readers. The novella, SILVER SPOON, a modern day drug running story set primarily in Bolivia, is slated for release from Champagne Books early next year. The other novella that broke my concentration, OXWAGON, is a historical, circa 1900, set in colonial Africa. Unfortunately, it did not pique the interest of my publisher, so I’m pitching it elsewhere but I’m hopeful to see it available later this year.

If you could trade places with a secondary character in one of your books, who would it be and why?

In ASSASSINATION SAFARI, the bad guy is brought down by a newspaper reporter. I’d be him; a hero with a literary bent.

Why should readers read your books, what is it you Jim Woods have to offer them?

My unique strong suits are my passion for and knowledge of southern Africa. While on staff with Guns Magazine in 1983, I was presented with an invitation to an advertiser-subsidized safari to Zimbabwe. The sponsoring company, Zeiss Optics of Germany, wanted promotional coverage on a new line of riflescopes. What better way to get effective marketing press than to have well known gun writers favorably report on the products in the field? I was one of four national outdoors magazine writers asked along on the junket. Two years later, a similar invitation came from the South African Tourist Board. They wanted press coverage of the recreational opportunities in their much-maligned country, and planned on good press to counter their politically tarnished image at the time. I was one of seven international writers, three of whom were hunters, which included me, and four fishermen, participating in the event.

Those two fixes of Africa hooked me. I bragged on it too much and my wife declared the next time she would go too. Next time came the following year and we spent six weeks on our own budget—no more press promo free pass—driving through South Africa. We’ve been back several times since, once more to Zimbabwe, and several times to southern and central Africa. We even entertained the notion of immigrating to South Africa, but too many of my new friends there were bugging out for Canada, Australia and the U.S. We figured they might know something we didn’t, and dropped our plans to move there, but I’ll still go to experience the country again as a temporary explorer. But if I never return physically, I’ll continue to educate and entertain my readers with tales of the Dark Continent.

Thank you for joining us today Jim, now before we leave tell us where can you be found on the web? (Website, blogs, social network links)

Thank you. My pleasure. My personal website is http://users.dakotacom.net/~jwoods

and my publishers are:



Monday, July 9, 2012

Spotlight J A Garland


Today’s In the Spotlight interview is with J.A. Garland.

J.A. is a full time firefighter in the state of California, an addicted trail runner, a connoisseur of all things cheese puff, and an author for BURST Books. When she isn't slogging through the obstacles at a mud run, you can find her hunched over her computer unleashing demons, vampires, and werewolves upon the world.

Please join me in welcoming J.A. Good morning J.A. grab a bowl of cheese puff and let us begin.

Yes, I'm a self professed cheese puff addict, but it's a little early -- even for me -- to partake. Check back in an hour, lol!

My first question is one maybe we’re all wondering, what does J.A. stand for?

Okay, so, J.A. stands for the first two initials of my name. "J" is for Jennifer and "A" is for Amy. When I heard the great news I was getting published, I had a 'closed door' meeting with my Division Chief. For those who don't know, those can either be a really good thing, or uh, a really painful thing. Turned out to be a good thing. He wanted me to know that because of certain clauses in my firefighting employment contract, it was in my best interest to use a pen name. But even without that, I would agree, it's wise to keep the two lives separate. So, the last name of Garland is just that, a pen name...the origins of which might or might not have to do with a great place to trail run...

What do people call you?

J.A. or Jennifer, what do people call me? Since I've been in the fire service for about 20 years, I've earned several nicknames. I'll share the PC ones, ha ha. When I'm being bossy, I'm called Captain, when I'm being tough, Jenzilla, because I'm short, J-Lo, and when I'm just 'being', Jen.

Okay Jen it is, I think I caught you on a good day so I’ll save the Jenzilla for another. Tell us Jen, a little about you, who is J.A. Garland? Your likes, pet peeves and such.

I like to exercise. Running is a personal fav, especially Mud Runs. If you haven't done one of those, you haven't lived. Mud, obstacles, beer, they are psycho fun! I've taken a spin at other working out options like kick boxing, P90x and Insanity, but I always seem to come back to running and old school weight lifting. For me, they have the best bang for my buck. Although, I do have a zombie run coming up, so you never know, I might have a new favorite workout!

I grew up with my own horses, dogs, goats, etc. so I feel I can classify myself as a pet lover. Unfortunately, with my busy schedule now-a-days, I can't have near as many animals as I'd like. I'm hoping to get a beagle when things slow down. Whenever that may be!

Pet peeves...well, you can't pick who you work with, and being on shift with at least 7 other firefighters for 72 hours straight per week for so many years, I'd like to think I've developed a tolerance for other peoples idiosyncrasies. That, or I've found really good hiding places at the fire station! See, being small does have its perks!

Reading. That's definitely a big part of who I am. I've been reading since forever. As far as genre, I started all over the spectrum. Louis L'amour's westerns, Robert Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land, Anne McCaffrey's Dragon Riders of Pern series, and L. Ron Hubbard's Battlefield Earth...they all appealed to me for different reasons. It was this love of reading that saved me when I hit middle school. My sister and I spent three hours each day riding school buses and sitting in shelters on the side of the road waiting for the connecting buses that would take us to and from town. During these periods of time, I would disappear into the worlds the authors had built. I remember once when a bus driver, (I shall call her Jaba the Hutt so you get the correct image) took away the current book I was reading. She told my mother Clan of the Cave Bear was smut, and completely inappropriate for someone my age. My mom, always the cool cat, laughed and said if I could read the words, then I was old enough to read the content. Besides, my mother knew if Jaba had bothered to ask, I would've told her I was an accomplished skimmer. Those racy chapters were of no interest to me yet, and as such, I barely glanced at them. But she didn't. So I light-sabered her in my mind until I was old enough to drive myself to school.

I'm also helplessly addicted to 'The Walking Dead', it's like chocolate covered cheese puffs. (Mmm, I might be on to something there).

I myself am a huge Walking Dead fan so we’re both happy today as it started up again last night. Okay back to you. I understand your first book is going to be released in September of this year, can you tell us a little bit (a sneak preview) of this book?

Yes, my first book, an urban fantasy called INSTINCT will be released September 3, 2012.

Lone wolf, Rory Archer, has never failed at a single mission. But then again, he’s never met a Halfling, either. Finding himself the hunted instead of the hunter, Rory unwinds a twisted trail leading back to Amber, a spirited Halfling with undeniable ties to his attackers.

Bound to vows initially forged out of necessity, Rory and Amber's relationship quickly surges into more than either of them had bargained on.

Scrambling to identify the mastermind behind their troubles before joining the casualty list himself, Rory is faced with doing the unthinkable, or watching Amber turn into a slave for his species.

What brings you write about such creatures?

I guess I've always wanted to believe there was some 'magic' in this world. So incorporating it into my books and characters just came naturally. Not that normal folks are boring or anything, lol, but you have to admit, super charged creatures are a lot of fun!

When did you first realize you were destined to be a writer? What inspired you?

One year for Christmas my parents bought my sister and I a state of the art Apple "green screen" computer. It was clunky and slow, but I was in love. I quickly learned how to program in DOS, and as the theme of my favorite books at the time, I made up fantasy games where the gamers' decisions would dictate their story. For example, "You come to a house in the woods. Do you knock on the door, or do you continue down the winding path toward the river?" If the gamer knocked on the door, a whole fantasy world would unfold inside of that house, but if they decided to go down the path, a headless horseman claimed their noggin as a souvenir. Game over.

As a full time firefighter and addicted trail runner when do you find the time to write?

I am very disciplined. Ha ha, seriously, it's a juggling game. I run early in the morning so there are no excuses, and I try to set aside time to write on my off-days. Some weeks it's easier said than done, but if I put it off for too long, I get crankier than normal.

What brought you to Burst Books?

I am one of those uber lucky people who are surrounded by great friends. One of which, is a sports editor. He read my manuscript and told me to go small press. He educated me about the EBook market and said it was the only way to fly. I wasn't totally sold, if you haven't noticed, I'm stubborn. I wanted one of those big NY print houses, right? (Ducking my publishers long reach right now, lol). I decided to appease him by sending my manuscript to two small presses that I'd researched a bit. The other one responded first, but I held out to hear from both. I'm glad I did, because when I heard from Champagne Book Group, which later created BURST Books for their SciFi/fantasy line, I knew they were right for me. They have open communication from top to bottom, great contracts, a wealth of supportive authors, amazing cover artists and caring mentors!

Can you tell us in your own words why we should read your book?

My writing style has been described as T.J. Hooker meets Twilight. I think that means I've got action, intrigue, and a splash of romance. If you're into that, you'll like my work.

Thanks Jen, Anything else you’d like to add?

I love getting and giving free things, as well as getting to know new people. If you

tell me about your favorite workout -- walking on the beach, hiking Mt. Kilimanjaro, snorkeling in the community pool, etc., I'll randomly select a winner who will receive a monogrammed coffee mug, tote bag, zombie soaps from AnaBanana, and a gift certificate for my book, INSTINCT.

Thanks for coming today -- I look forward to hearing from you!

J.A. Garland

"Where fantasy becomes reality."

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

The 777 Challenge

I was tagged by Jude Johnson along with six other authors. My challenge is to go to page 7 of my current work in progress and post seven lines. When I'm done posting, I get to tag seven other authors. Hmm, who shall I tag? Oh and once I'm done, I challenge those seven to do the same and tag seven more.Heh heh, keep the vicious circle spinning!
And now for my excerpt. This is from my current un-edited, When th Dam Breaks, signing contract today. 
Page 7, 7 lines: And remember, un-edited...

He carried me up the stairs toward the bedroom. Before laying me on the bed he stopped to turn on the television. I thought that odd, especially when he turned the channel to the news. A broadcast came on that seemed to ignite Bob’s sexuality into a raging force.

“Buffalo Homicide Detectives have identified the bodies of two victims brutally murdered today in their home. Police have been left baffled as they can find little evidence and no motive for the slaughter,”

My Seven Authors to tag:

Linda Rettstatt

Linda Smith LaRogue

Richard Hacker

Ashley Barnard

Donica Covey

Patricia A Florio

Daniel Audet