Today I’m really excited to be able to take part in the cover reveal for ‘The Rigel Affair’ by L M Hedrick!! What makes this even more exciting for me is that I get to showcase a New Zealand Author writing about New Zealand 🙂
What I love about this cover is that it immediately give you a sense of not only the time period but also draws you in with the amount of action just in the bottom half.
Abandoned by his part-Cherokee Ma, Charlie Kincaid escapes servitude with his uncle. He jumps a boxcar, accompanied by his schoolmate Roxy, who is escaping troubles of her own. Charlie becomes a US Navy Diver.
Mattie Blanc is from a genteel New Zealand family. But when her brother’s friend persuades her to take a ride, it all goes horribly wrong. Desperate, she flees her family’s stifling expectations for a new life in Auckland.
After the 1941 Pearl Harbor attack, Charlie sets sail for Auckland aboard the USS Rigel. And there she is, the girl of his dreams. Mattie is everything that Roxy isn’t—sophisticated, tender, and patient. But the war intervenes… Rigel embarks for the Pacific war zones.
Charlie’s letters are sporadic. Mattie is tormented by doubts; did he truly love her, or was it only a dream?
The Rigel Affair produces a rip-roaring wartime romance and chilling danger unknown to most.
Pre – Order Special Offer
If readers purchase The Rigel Affair prior to the publication date of December 27, 2018, through the BRW Link below, they may use the promo code: PREORDER2018 to receive a 15% discount!!
Or available at full price for pre-order at:
Lynette grew up listening to her mother Mattie’s stories about her WW2 love for US Navy Diver Charlie. She used Mattie’s 30 letters from Charlie, and together with her insightful editor/advisor husband, Bud, they completed extensive research to give reality to The Rigel Affair. Lynette has published multiple short stories for NZ magazines. Both Lynette and Bud have completed numerous Creative Writing courses at Auckland University. Lynette is an accomplished expressionist Artist, with works sold internationally.
Website Blog: https://lmhedrick.com/category/blog/
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Today I’m really happy to be able to bring you an interview with author Isabel Scheck. Isabel is a self-published author who currently has 6 books published; 3 poetry books, 2 short stories, and 1 novella!
You can find Isabel at:
What is your work schedule like when you are writing?
When I’m writing I usually write in a notebook first and type later. I set 30 minutes of actual writing and an additional 10 or so for typing it up.
Is there lots to do before you dive in and start writing the story?
No, not really. I mostly just start the story. Sometimes I write a few notes or an extensive summary so I know vaguely where the story is headed
What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?
Have you written anything online like Wattpad, Inkitt, etc and do you recommend it?
I have written and am still writing on Wattpad (Stormwolfwriters) and I would definitely recommend it. I’ve met some lovely supportive people there and it feels like a community. I’ve been on Wattpad for about 6.5-7 years now.
What was the hardest part of writing your author bio?
The hardest part of writing an author bio for me is finding something interesting to say about me rather than talking about my much more fascinating stories ☺️
Any advice for others who have started on their own book writing journey?
Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?
Personally, I’ve never considered writing under a pseudonym because my real name is my identity and I would want people to know who I am. (But that’s just my opinion)
5 Star Reviews
‘I don’t normally leave reviews but sometimes you just have too. Isabel Scheck is a phenomenal up and coming writer and poet who will one day be across several best seller lists. This is one of the best collection of poems you’ll find and I’ve instantly become a huge fan.
Scheck strings her words together magically and paints a simplistic picture that tugs at your heart strings. She truly had a way with words and I cannot wait to see what’s next from her. You definitely need to check this book out!’
If you’re a fan of poetry Isabel is one to check out!
For Alexa, the answer to everything comes down to numbers. Three sons. One divorce. One great life…except her boys are getting older and they really need a man in their lives. Enter the number twenty, as in after twenty minutes with someone she knows whether or not she wants them in her life. So, she hatches a plan to meet any man who even remotely strikes her interest—for a twenty-minute date at her favorite coffee shop. It’s the perfect plan to find her perfect match in the most efficient way possible.
Too bad coffee shop owner Marshall isn’t keen on the idea. He doesn’t want his shop to be her speed dating zone—especially since she’s made it clear he’s too young to be a contender. But Alexa finds herself drawn to Marshall in ways she can’t quantify. There’s no easy answer, and once the kids become involved, her well-ordered world threatens to fall apart—twenty minutes at a time.
Thank you to NetGalley for for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.
I went into this book hoping for a fun tongue in cheek sort of romance book, it is my first book by Julie Particka and I was not sure what to expect. Luckily this was exactly the type of book I was looking for!
We start of by meeting Alexa a single mum of three who likes to plan her life down to the last detail. After deciding she knows if a relationship is going anywhere after the first 20 minutes she decides to optimise her time by setting 20 minute dates one after another to help find her perfect match. Alexa herself I found to be a hard character to like and it did take a little while for me to warm up to her. In all honesty she is a little too cold and organised I guess. I know she does need to be to be able to set up these types of dates but it did make it a little bit harder to really be rooting for her when everything is seen to be so clinical. Marshall makes himself so much easier to like simply by being more open, he does know what he wants and he is not afraid to try. He did surprise me as a character by not always going in the direction I thought he would which is always a good surprise!
The story itself followed pretty much how I expected it would and at a pace that I thought was really good for the book itself. It did take me a little longer than usual to actually get into the book but I think this was due to not being able to connect with Alexa. While there are not too many ‘surprising’ moments I didn’t feel like there needed to be. Either way an enjoyable sort of Sunday afternoon read.
Would I read again: Maybe
Would I Recommend: Yes
Would I read another book from this author: Yes
Today I’m really happy to be able to bring you an interview with Michael Spinelli author of Wake and his newly released book Target!
A dark and dangerous man powers a boat out to sea in the middle of the night. Another man lay bound and unconscious in the bottom of the small craft, unaware of the true terror that is piloting him and his cold, cruel purpose. Why is he here? Who is this seemingly insane man? Will he survive long enough to find out?
Make sure to check it out on Amazon!!
Author Interview with Michael Spinelli
What did you enjoy most about writing your book?
I really enjoy the surprises I find. I love it when I think I know what I want to happen but then things go left on you. It all ends up making sense in a way you could never have anticipated and it was all thanks to something a character did without your permission.
How do you feel about ebooks vs. print books and alternative vs. conventional publishing?
I like that people have the ability to read on a tablet or their phone. I prefer the real deal. When I was a kid my favorite store in the small town in which I lived was a used book store. I love the cover art, the feel of the paper and the smell. You also see your progress go from few pages to many-an odd sense of accomplishment I suppose. I’m weird that way I guess.
Are you a full-time or part-time writer? How does that affect your writing?
I am a part time writer as in I have a full time career in banking. But my wheels are always spinning on writing when not working that job. I am constantly working out story ideas and scenarios and trying to find my way through certain ideas I may be stuck on. How that affects my writing is actually positive. I will write and write and write like a madman. Then I’ll get stuck. Rather than force it, I drop it and focus on work or family or some other idea I may be developing. Then when I least expect it, BAM. The idea I was stuck on comes to me. That works for me. If I could do it full time I would. I’d be able to juggle tons that way and produce much more.
What was the hardest part of writing your book?
The hardest part of writing my first book WAKE, was keeping the books secrets before they needed to be revealed. Every detail of that book has plates spinning on sticks. I felt like I was performing a high wire act. The most difficult thing about my upcoming book TARGET was a very tough emotional scene between these two characters. They just meet and have to share a painful and real moment in a short period of time. It is the emotional core of the book. I was terrified it would not feel genuine.
What inspired you to write your book?
What inspired me to write my first book was actually Stephen King (although he doesn’t know it). I have always written, even as a young boy. But mostly short stories. I tinkered. I read ON WRITING by King and was inspired. Between the ideas I’d bounce of my wife and that book, she recommended I make a real go at it. WAKE was originally going to be a film my friends and I were going to do but it fell through before it could really get started and what started out as a screenplay I ended up writing as my first book.
What is your favorite time to write, and why?
The best time for me to write is late at night when the whole house has gone to sleep and I have no distractions. I can write things considered creepy if not horror, and the dark quiet always helps bring the mood. BUT when an idea comes it doesn’t matter what’s happening. I write a note or text myself or if I’m home I’ll just grab a notepad and go to town.
What is the most important thing about a book in your opinion?
The most important thing about a book I feel has to be two things. I think first and foremost it has to entertain you. Whether that is laugh, cry, scare the hell out of you or whatever. But grab my attention and do it well. That is the only thing I am thinking about when I am thinking of writing something. -Can I entertain myself? If I can’t, then how do I expect anyone else to be entertained. I generally write for me and a few others close to me and hope everyone else enjoys it as much. The second thing a book has to do is talk to me. If you have a horror novel, fine-scare me. Scare the life out of me. But teach me something about myself. Or YOUR SELF as the author. Same thing with any genre. Relate to me as a fellow human. I try to leave a little piece of my heart and soul in everything I write.
Any advice you would like to give to your younger self?
The advise I would give to myself. Hmm. First, write more often! I have forgotten more ideas than I can remember. Second, stop and smell the roses. It all goes by so fast. And third, Heck-don’t do a darn thing different. You have a good wife and kids and job and a book coming out. Crap could be worse.
Do you have a daily habit of writing?
I have a daily habit of not having a daily habit of writing. I do write every day-just not always on the same projects. I do movie reviews on my Facebook page (@popchatmoviesbookstv) almost daily and work in a book or short story or some idea in between all of that. So I guess I do, it’s just less focused on any one thing.
My new book TARGET is inspired by actual events that took place a few years back in Oklahoma. Pretty scary stuff. It will be published through Kindle Direct Publishing in the next 2 weeks and available on Amazon and Kindle.
5 Star Reviews for Wake
‘This page turner is incredibly intriguing with outstanding and unpredictable twists and turns. This story is fraught with questions that deliberately evoke the readers internal dialog. The eerily calm plot development creates an increasing urgency to have the answers revealed. Although occasionally verbose, the novice author has created a well written story culminating in a conclusion that brings this literary journey full circle. I can’t wait to see what he writes next and how his talent develops!’
‘Wow what an amazing and intense story. It sure kept me on the edge of my seat. Great story…a must read for those who likes suspense!!!’
You can take the boy out of the darkness. But you can’t take the darkness out of the boy.
All Susannah Simon wants is to make a good impression at her first job since graduating from college (and since becoming engaged to Dr. Jesse de Silva). But when she’s hired as a guidance counselor at her alma mater, she stumbles across a decade-old murder, and soon ancient history isn’t all that’s coming back to haunt her. Old ghosts as well as new ones are coming out of the woodwork, some to test her, some to vex her, and it isn’t only because she’s a mediator, gifted with second sight.
What happens when old ghosts come back to haunt you?
If you’re a mediator, you might have to kick a little ass.
From a sophomore haunted by the murderous specter of a child to ghosts of a very different kind—including Paul Slater, Suze’s ex, who shows up to make a bargain Suze is certain must have come from the Devil himself—Suze isn’t sure she’ll make it through the semester, let alone to her wedding night. Suze is used to striking first and asking questions later. But what happens when ghosts from her past—including one she found nearly impossible to resist—strike first?
So this is one of those books that I have meaning to read for a little while now and just haven’t got round to, which is odd as I loved the mediator series growing up and was really excited when I learnt of its existence, but for some reason I never made the effort to actually sit down and read it, well until now.
It was great being back in the world of Suze and Jesse, I do love these novels where you get to find out what happened to everyone after the book ends or in this case after high school and into the real adult world, this may have something to do with just being plain nosy but there we go. I have read the proposal so I did have some idea but this book just made it all the more satisfying with all those extra details! What I did love about this book in particular (apart from the fact it was another mediator novel) was that there were certain points where you could see real growth from the characters Suze in particular, sure she swore a tad too much, but there was a few great moments of clarity and maturity. Unfortunately it was also paired up with moments of, well stupidity, and a few more moments of me screaming internally. The communication issues were rough! Now Paul was always a character that I had problems with but this is the first book I didn’t even really feel sorry for him, I just sort of wished he went away.
The story itself followed the normal sort of pattern you would expect from a mediator novel and came with a few surprises along the way. It was also a bit more ‘grown up’ I suppose in the story and did touch a few more sensitive matters. All in all it was an enjoyable nostalgic read. I have rated it at three and a half stars mainly because I just couldn’t get over the areas of the story which made me want to just rage at the characters.
Would I read again: Maybe
Would I Recommend: Yes, if you read the others in the series definitely
Would I read another book from this author: Yes
Today I am super excited to bring you a Halloween special guest post from Jonathan Whitelaw author of Hellcorp
This is definitely one to check out!
Sometimes even the Devil deserves a break! Life is hard for The Devil and he desperately wants to take a holiday. Growing weary from playing the cosmic bad guy, he resolves to set up a company that will do his job for him so the sins of the world will tick over while he takes a vacation. God tells him he can have his vacation just as soon as he solves an ancient crime. But nothing is ever easy and before long he is up to his pitchfork in solving murders, desperate to crack the case so he can finally take the holiday he so badly needs…
Check it out on Amazon or if you have Kindle Unlimited download for free!
Halloween is a very magical time of the year. It’s when the real world and the supernatural combine to create this strange, exciting atmosphere that’s enjoyed by all ages. There’s literally something for everybody at Halloween. If you’re a young kid you can dress up like your favorite heroes. If you’re a student you can dress up and go out partying. If you’re an adult you can add a touch of class for some swanky Halloween themed ball. And if you’re a pensioner, you can turn out the lights and pretend you’re not home. Like I said, something for everyone.
As a writer though, Halloween has provided plenty of inspiration for my work over the years. Apt, then that my new novel – HellCorp – is about The Devil. Old Nick might want a holiday but things are never that simple for him. And when God challenges him to solve a murder, soon he’s up to his pitchfork in trouble.
The supernatural has always fascinated me and that’s one of the reasons I wrote HellCorp. I’ma huge fan of crime fiction but I’ve always felt that we’re running out of ideas for anti-heroes and cops on the edge. How many more times can we read or watch an alcoholic, workaholic, holic-o-holic? I resolved that if I was going to write a crime novel I wanted to put my own stamp on things. And that brought me back to my love of the supernatural and mythological.
The Devil, therefore, seemed like a perfect choice for a main character. While I was brought up in an agnostic household, I did get a broad education in all the religions of the world at school. I respect everybody who find solace and something from religious dedication and HellCorp is by no means a preachy book. But instead it’s an ode to my love of the mysterious and rich tapestry of cultural and social history of storytelling down through the ages.
It’s also quite a good laugh… at least so I’m told. The tricky part of having somebody as ghoulish and, well, devlish as a character like The Devil is that most people know who or what he is. So I really wanted to make him my own kind of Devil. He’s snarky, sarcastic and sadistic. But he’s also highly intelligent, strong moralled and determined. And the dialogue and scenes he shares with God are among my favourites in the novel.
Which brings me on to a particularly funny story I remember from writing the book. It was Halloween week and my now wife rang up as she was coming home from work. We both work full time, I juggle being a journlaist with being a full-time writer. But I’m normally home before her. This evening, as the dark nights drew in, there was a chill in the air as the Halloween spirit took a hold of us all. She called me and asked me to put the dinner on.
Now, in my defence, I maintain that I was gripped, enchanted if you will, by the aforementioned Halloween spirit. He had a stranglehold on me, so much so I didn’t think straight. My answer was
thus: “Sorry darling, I can’t put the dinner on. I’m writing dialogue between The Devil and God. They’re talking about the end of the world. Sorry.”
I should point out at this stage that my wife has the patience of a saint. She would have to to put up with me! And bless her, she didn’t shout, scream, bawl or divorce me – despite having very good reason not to. Instead she came home and cooked dinner for both of us. For the record, I’ve cooked dinner every night since the book was finished.
Above and beyond the jokular nature of that Halloween story, my wife has been a wonderful supporter of my writing. Both of my published novels are dedicated to her and there’s a reason. I wouldn’t be anywhere near to where I am today without her. So I think she forgave me… I think so anyway.
But enough of my blabbing. I’m sure I’ve bored you more than enough by now. I thought I’d end with a very short extract from HellCorp. It’s a scene with The Devil and Dr Jill Gideon – the human who helps him in his mortal investigations. He’s in human form, they’ve fled from the hospital where the good doctor works, and they’re getting to know each other. Have a happy Halloween!
“Come in, don’t mind the mess,” said Jill. She stepped through the door and started gathering up dirty towels and pairs of pants that were strewn along the hallway. The Devil followed her at a distance.
“My dear,” he said, wafting away the smell of damp from his face. “I was at the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah, the start of the flood, Woodstock in 69, 79, 89 and 94, although I did miss the 1999 version, spot of tummy trouble. Believe me, Gideon, whatever forsaken mess your flat is in I’ll be able to handle it…”
He trailed off as he entered the living room. In the centre of the room was a large, cast iron bathtub. Cardboard boxes were piled high within its chipped sides, books spilling out over the top like the froth of a pint of beer. The Devil caught himself staring and closed his mouth.
“I told you,” said Jill. “Don’t mind the mess.”
“What…” he pointed at the bath.
“Oh that, yeah, don’t mind that,” said Jill, skipping over to the bath. She threw the pile of dirty washing over the stack of boxes and books, trying to hide it. “Yeah, I’m going through a bit of a transition at the moment.”
“A transition?” The Devil scoffed. “It looks like a bomb of sadness and depression went off in here and wiped out the whole place.”
Jill sucked her lips and threw down the last of her towels. She took The Devil by the arm and forced him back into the hallway. She didn’t stop until they were in the kitchen, throwing him towards the windows.
“Steady on, would you,” said The Devil, rubbing his arm. “You know, you said I had a bad attitude. Maybe if you tidied up a bit here and there and didn’t shove people around, you wouldn’t be living with a bathtub in your living room. Did you ever think about that?”
She didn’t answer. She grabbed the kettle and filled it with water. When it had started to boil, she fetched two mugs and threw a teabag in both of them.
“I take it you drink tea,” she said.
“I’ve been known to,” said The Devil.
A sharp pain was racing through his jaw. The swelling was beginning to take shape, the whole lower left side of his face gradually getting bigger. His body hadn’t been made mortal for twelve hours and already it was in worse shape than it had been in twelve centuries. He cursed his luck and he cursed Him.
“We’ll have a cup of tea and then see to that,” she pointed at the blood patch in his gown.
“Shouldn’t you do that first,” he said. “I mean, I’m no doctor or anything, but this seems to be bleeding an awful lot.”
“How do you feel?” she asked.
“You mean apart from eternally pissed off, surrounded by all the worst aspects of creation and continually dumbfounded by humanity’s stupidity?”
“Apart from that,” she said.
“I’m actually in quite a bit of pain. Not that I talk about it of course.”
She stepped forward and took his face in her hands. She moved his head from side to side, tracing the swelling around the base of his jaw.
“I don’t think it’s broken,” she said. “Which is a minor miracle.”
“Ahem,” he coughed.
“Sorry. That wound though, in your side, it’s going to need more stitches and I don’t have any anaesthetic.”
“What else is new,” he groaned.
The kettle clicked, steam spewing from its spout. The Devil seemed a little surprised by this. He stepped over, cautiously, to the device and peered at himself in the chrome finish.
“You alright there?” she asked.
“No, I’m not,” he said, pulled the skin down from beneath his eyes.
He checked both cheeks, prodded at the swelling and bared his teeth. Finally, he let out a defeated sigh.
“Really, you would think He would give me something a bit more helpful to play with,” he said.
“What do you mean?” she asked, pouring the tea, she stirred in some milk and handed him a mug.
“This,” he pointed at his face. “It won’t do at all. Look at it, it’s all lopsided. I’m used to being handsome you know. Not like this, not like a shaved ape.”
“Beauty is only skin deep,” she said.
“Ha!” he snorted, taking his cup. “I assume this is still the same.”
He slurped quietly, raising his little finger as he did so. It took all of Jill’s effort not to laugh, her grunting causing him to level a look of suspicion at him.
“Are you alright there?” he asked suspiciously.
“Yes, fine,” she smiled.
“You know, if I wasn’t so blinded by agony, I’d say you were laughing at me.”
“Me, laughing? Not at all.”
“Well wipe that stupid bloody smirk off your face and sew me up.”
He stormed off into the living room, leaving her behind. She shook her head and left her tea. He was a demanding patient but not the worst she had ever had.
“I’m waiting!” he shouted.
“Alright, fine!” she yelled back. “Honest to god.”
“I thought I said I didn’t like you mentioning Him?”
“Yeah, something like that,” she fired back, pulling her doctor’s bag out of a cupboard near the door.
Jonathan Whitelaw is an author, journalist and broadcaster.
After working on the frontline of Scottish politics, he moved into journalism. Subjects he has covered have varied from breaking news, the arts, culture and sport to fashion, music and even radioactive waste – with everything in between.
He’s also a regular reviewer and talking head on shows for the BBC and STV.
HellCorp, from Urbane Publications, is his second novel following his debut, Morbid Relations.