Posts Tagged ‘blog tour’

Summer Splash Blog Hop

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

Welcome to the Summer Splash Blog Hop!  Click on the image below to return to the main blog hop page for a gateway to the other participating websites.

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The Long Good-bye

Sunday, July 22nd, 2012

Today, as part of the Indie Writers Unite! bimonthly blog tour, I have author C. M. Barrett in the house, to discuss the relationship between a writer and well-loved characters, and how nothing lasts forever.

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Summer Splash Blog Hop

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

Shameless Plug:  The Summer Splash Blog Hop is just around the corner, from July 23-31.

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Hop Against Homophobia

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

As part of the Hop Against Homophobia blog hop (http://hopagainsthomophobia.blogspot.com) in honor of the International Day Against Homophobia (May 17), I have been asked to talk about my perceptions and experience with homophobia.  As a writer, I think the place where you can gauge social issues best is in the everyday entertainment that people seek out on their own.

Hop Against Homophobia

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The Dockland Murders

Friday, March 9th, 2012

Today, as part of the Indie Writers Unite! Blog Tour, I have indie author Alan Place in the house, to talk about his new book, Pat Canella – The Dockland Murders.

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Predatory Ethics

Friday, February 3rd, 2012

As an aside, please check out this blog post by Heidi Cullinan, author and president of Rainbow Romance Writers, the LGBT chapter of Romance Writers of America: http://heidicullinan.wordpress.com/2012/02/03/rwa-shouldnt-be-in-the-business-of-discrimination/.  She’s fighting the good fight, and deserves your support.

Now, on to more pleasant business.  Today, as part of the Indie Writers Unite! blog tour, I have author Athanasios in the studio to say a few words about his Predatory Ethics series of books, beginning with Mad Gods, a story about the Antichrist and a quest to change destiny.

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Blue Bells of Scotland

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

As part of the IWU blog tour, I have author Laura Vosika in the studio, author of the Blue Bells Chronicles.

Laura is also working on several other novels and a non-fiction book on raising a large family. Past publishing credits include an essay in Glamour magazine. Laura grew up in the military, visiting castles in England, pig fests in Germany, and the historic sites of America’s east coast. She earned a bachelor’s degree in music, and master’s degree in education, and worked for many years as a freelance musician, private music instructor, and school band director. She currently lives in Minnesota with her nine children, and assorted menagerie.

Let’s see what she has to say:

 

Q. Tell us a little bit about your book.

Blue Bells of Scotland is the story of two men, polar opposites but for their looks and love of music, who trade places in time. Shawn, a celebrated musician and philandering, gambling, drinking, self-centered scoundrel, finds himself caught in medieval Scotland with the fate of a nation on his shoulders, while Niall, a devout Highland warrior, must navigate the roiled waters of Shawn’s life–amorous fans, angry mistresses, pregnant girlfriend, and a conductor ready to fire him (an ominous notion to medieval ears!)–trying to get back to save his people.

Q. What excites you most about your book’s topic? Why did you choose it?

That’s a hard question to answer, because I can’t narrow it down to just one thing. I have loved researching the time of Robert the Bruce, and learning about the remarkable people of the time–the Bruce himself; James Douglas, or the Good Sir James as he was known by the Scots; Angus Og, Lord of the Isles; Isabel MacDuff who defied her husband and the king of England to crown Bruce king; Elizabeth Bruce, Robert’s queen and so many more.

I also love the aspect of time travel, but I think what interests me about time travel is the question of who we would really be in different circumstances, a different world, among different societal expectations and beliefs; the question of what happens when an individual is thrown out of their element and their whole world turned upside down.

So, I suppose if I had to narrow it down to one thing, it’s really the character exploration of how and why people make the decisions they do, become who they are, how they grow–or devolve–and change over time.

Q. How long did the book take you from start to finish?

Ignoring the many months I let it sit, before I really got serious about finishing it, maybe two years.

Q. Did you seek the support of a writer’s group or class?

Yes. I was lucky enough to be teaching music lessons at a community center which was also home at the time to the Night Writers. Each week, I’d walk out of my studio and see the notice, on the wall directly opposite my room, for their meetings. I called once in 2005 and never heard back. In 2006, I finished teaching at exactly the same time their meeting started, so I just walked down the hall and introduced myself. It’s been a match made in heaven. They’re a great group of people who know how to encourage, pick out the good parts, and also help move a piece of writing to a higher level.

Q. What surprised you the most about the book writing process?

As I wrote a book years ago, I think nothing new really surprised me this time around, but I think it’s always a little disconcerting how deeply our minds get sucked into the world we’re writing about. In The Minstrel Boy, someone talks about the disconcerting feeling, when he spends a great deal of time researching the past, of realizing these people are long gone. I suspect it’s similar for all writers, that we sometimes feel a little disoriented shifting into our ‘real’ lives, as as if we have literally just stepped out of the world we spent the morning writing.

Q. Did you have any favorite experiences when writing your book?

Without a doubt, traveling to Scotland for on the ground research was the best part of writing. I loved every part of that trip, from my unplanned stop at Linlithgow Castle and my discovery of the tiny ruin of Finlairig, hidden away in a copse, to exploring castles Urquhart and Tioram about which I’d read so much, and climbing hills myself in medieval-style leather boots.

I really enjoyed meeting people there–Judith at Eden Court Theatre, who gave me a full tour of the place where Shawn’s orchestra plays, Joe at the Bannockburn Heritage Centre, who showed me some of the highlights of the museum and took me around the battlefield, telling me all about what it’s like on the day of the annual re-enactment, and Wendy (I hope I’m remembering her name correctly) at the Loch Ness Backpackers where I stayed.

I loved trying haggis, walking around Inverness, and seeing Highland cattle. It’s an incredible experience for a suburban American to hear over and over that ‘there are no no-trespass laws in Scotland,’ and to be told we can go anywhere we like, as long as we shut the gates behind us and don’t let the sheep and cattle out. It’s a little intimidating, for someone who’s whole close-up experience with big animals is a Golden Retriever, to walk into a field with those big, shaggy cattle with their large horns, but I found they were more scared of me than I was of them. That experience also made its way into future books.

Q. What do you hope your readers will gain from reading your book?

I hope they’ll take whatever they like from it. If they want just a fun time travel and adventure story, it’s that. If they like history, I hope they’ll take an appreciation of the times of Robert the Bruce and the amazing Battle of Bannockburn from it. It’s also a story of change and redemption, for those who like that aspect.

Q. What projects are you currently working on?

I’m in the very final stages of putting out The Minstrel Boy, Book Two of the Blue Bells Chronicles. All that’s left is formatting and waiting for the new cover, as the title was changed from The Blue Bells Trilogy to The Blue Bells Chronicles.

When The Minstrel Boy hits the stores, so to speak, I’ll be editing the next three books. After that, I have another novel set in a Scottish castle, with dual storylines in both medieval and modern Scotland; however, this one doesn’t involve time travel, but rather an old mystery that needs to be laid to rest. I have a completely different novel, written years ago, set in Boston in the 1990’s, more contemporary-style fiction, which needs to be published, and I have two non-fiction books in progress, one on the history behind the world of the Blue Bells Chronicles, and one on raising a large family.

Q. Is writing your sole career? If not, what else do you do?

I was a freelance musician on trombone for many years, and later switched to harp. I still occasionally perform on harp if I’m asked, but rarely. In addition to writing, I currently teach music lessons on harp, piano, guitar, and wind instruments.

Q. What tips would you offer to anyone writing fiction for the first time?

Research, re-write, capture all the senses, use realistic dialogue, re-write, join a writers’ critique circle either in real life or online, and did I mention–re-write.

Q. Did you do any research for your books, or did you write from experience?

Both. I have very little actual experience with time travel or medieval Scotland. But the world of music in the Blue Bells Chronicles is largely my own personal experience from years of playing in orchestras

Q. How did you come up with your title?

Blue Bells of Scotland is taken from the title of a theme and variations, written by Arthur Pryor, to show off what a trombone is capable of–much more than people thought at the time he wrote it. His piece is, in turn, based on an old Scottish folk tune. Not only is Shawn Kleiner, one of the two main characters of Blue Bells of Scotland, a trombonist known for playing this piece at the end of his concerts, but the story also incorporates the ideas of streaming banners and noble deeds as per the lyrics of the song, and the idea that we as people can rise to the occasion and be so much more than what people think we’re capable of.

Q. What can we look forward to in your next book?

It’s rather hard to say without giving away the ending of Blue Bells of Scotland, but The Minstrel Boy we’ll see Amy become a much more major character, and we’ll see a minor character from Blue Bells come to the forefront. We’ll see much more of the thieving MacDougalls, including Duncan, the son. Both the modern and medieval storylines will take us to MacDougall’s dungeons, gallows are built, and whether they are used or not will ride on the timid shoulders of a terrified scullery maid.

That’s all the time we have.  Thanks for coming in!

For more information on this author, check out the following links:

 

Web Address
www.bluebellstrilogy.com

http://bluebellstrilogy.blogspot.com

Book purchase links
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Blue-Bells-Scotland-Trilogy-ebook/dp/B002T460DG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&m=AG56TWVU5XWC2&s=digital-text&qid=1308762525&sr=1-1
BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/blue-bells-of-scotland-laura-vosika/1102513903?ean=2940011060083&itm=1&usri=vosika
itunes: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/blue-bells-scotland-blue-bells/id450416815?mt=11
smashwords: http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/16271

Other Social Media addresses
www.facebook.com/laura.vosika.author
www.twitter.com/lauravosika

 

Respectfully,

Arshad Ahsanuddin

Mesmerized

Thursday, December 15th, 2011

As part of the Indie Writers Unite! blog tour, I would like to give a shout out to indie author Julia Crane on her new book, Mesmerized.

Mesmerized by Julia Crane & Talia Jager

Seventeen-year-old succubus Lily Anderson can’t have a normal life: She isn’t allowed a boyfriend, she has no friends, and school is just one mess-up after another.

Lily’s parents send her away to the prestigious Emerson Academy. It doesn’t appear to be any different from the others. That is, until she meets her roommate, Hannah, and a blue-eyed boy named Jake.

Lily makes an almost deadly mistake, and Jake has a mysterious past that has come back to haunt him. Together, they must go on the run from things neither of them understand in order to save the people they love—and each other. But, Jake’s foe is more dangerous than they realized, and it will take the help of friends and family to save the man Lily loves.

She must learn to use her powers for good before it’s too late.

WARNING: This is a mature YA. Due to sexual content and some language it is not recommended for younger teens.

Approximately 44,000 words


Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mesmerized-ebook/dp/B006G24V7E/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1323753260&sr=8-1

 

Respectfully,
Arshad Ahsanuddin

Mementoes of Mai

Wednesday, December 7th, 2011

As part of the Indie Writers Unite! blog tour, I have Helmy Kusuma in the studio today to talk about his book Mementoes of Mai.

Helmy Kusuma was born in Palembang, Indonesia. He spent 18 years there and went to Jakarta to continue his education. Having been working for IT industry for a decade, he decided to turn the tide and became a writer.

Helmy Kusuma has published two novellas: ‘Mementoes of Mai’ and ‘Cinta 3 Sisi’, a thriller short story, ‘There Is Hope’, and a collection of flash fiction, ‘A Flash of Inspiration’.

Q. Tell us a little bit about your book.

Mementoes of Mai is a fictionalized story of my decision to become a writer. I had been working in IT industry for a decade and suddenly a fork was presented to me, a fork that forced me to choose between love, passion or comfort. I didn’t choose the latter.

Q. What excites you most about your book’s topic? Why did you choose it?

Absolutely love. Love has been the source of inspiration from old times and it will continue to do so. The profound subtlety of its meaning which give layers upon layers make love the perfect source of great story.

Q. How long did the book take you from start to finish?

I wrote most of Mementoes of Mai in two months and spent another two months on editing it.

Q. What surprised you the most about the book writing process?

Events tend to mold themselves around the characters and most of the times the characters demand different scenarios from the first ones I had in mind.

Q. Did you have any favorite experiences when writing your book?

It never cease to amaze me that I could write a certain event that made me laugh each time I read it.

Q. What do you hope your readers will gain from reading your book?

Understanding. I strive to depict as vividly as possible all events in my book so that readers could be personally involved and felt that those events were their own, thus giving them new perspective and understanding.

Q. What projects are you currently working on?

I am in the middle of writing my science fiction novel, Inverta, and in the process of formulating necessary seeds for my next romance novel. I don’t know which one of them would win my priority.

Q. Is writing your sole career? If not, what else do you do?

Beside writing, I do everything I can, legally, to gain money: export import business, retail business, freelancing, etc.

Q. Did you do any research for your books, or did you write from experience?

I mostly write from experience, but for my science fiction novel that would be near impossible, so a little research would be required.

Q. What can we look forward to in your next book?

Surprises, awesomeness and romantic moments.

Thanks for coming in!  You can find out more about Helmy Kusuma and his book Mementoes of Mai at the following links:

Web Address

www.helmykusuma.com

 

Book purchase links

A Flash of Inspiration

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/66603

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005BXU4M0

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005BXU4M0

 

There Is Hope

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/85561

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005L9B5S6

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B005L9B5S6

 

Mementoes of Mai

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/56911

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004YWKD3Y

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B004YWKD3Y

https://www.createspace.com/3631684

 

Other Social Media addresses

Goodreads http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4576592.Helmy_Kusuma

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/EL.Publish

Twitter @hanzpk

 

Respectfully,

Arshad Ahsanuddin

The Last Way Station

Monday, October 31st, 2011

And now for something completely different. In honor of Halloween, I have indie author Jon Riesfeld in the studio today to talk about his novelette focusing on one of the great monsters of history, a villain all the more terrible for the fact that he was completely human.

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