Book Blast and Giveaway A Menu of Death by Lucy Pireel

by Lucy Pireel
A collection of stories centered around vengeance, obsession, cravings, and life.
Pick one item of the Menu or devour the entire buffet
Make sure you don’t bite off more than you can chew
Read, but not with greed
for Death awaits, ready to come and collect its due
These eight short stories revolve around obsession, revenge, craving, love, and Death.
A woman in need of rescue, a man who hungers for his wife, a demon lost, or wishes coming true, all characters want something.
Badly.
But …
You can’t always get what you want, but you might just get what you need.
***
About the author
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Lucy Pireel is a writer who doesn’t let herself be restricted to any one
genre. She loves to write in whatever direction her current story
leads her.
When she’s not writing, or reading, she is practicing or teaching yoga,
her other passion. Or she could be on a long hike somewhere in the
beautiful British nature.
Being an author it is almost a given she has a great love for chocolate and
coffee to live on while writing, but she doesn’t shy away from trying
to prepare intricate dishes, for cooking is another thing she enjoys.
Should you want to follow her she can be found at:
If you want to keep track of what she is reading follow her on BookLikes.
***
For now I’ll let you read a small teaser from one of the stories in this Collection,
Hunger

They had walked for days without seeing any of the lush greens the others had said he’d be able to eat. Gwars hadn’t had any food before they left, because a part of the initiation had been a fast and now his beast clawed at his bindings. Flesh, red, fresh meat, bloody, alive, ready to grab and devour. He shook his head to rid these thoughts.

“When will we eat?” Gwars asked Twark.

“You’ll eat when we are back. Be strong, prove you are worthy to be in our coven. It’s not much further before we will be at our destination.”

Puzzled Gwars recognised the street they had started out from and looked around to see if he was right. At that moment the sound of a rift closing caught his attention and he turned.

***
And then we come at the end of things, where all that is left is the Giveaway! Yay!
Stuff to win:
1 $25 Amazon Gift Card
One of five digital copies of Red Gone Bad by Lucy Pireel
One of five digital copies of Shadow People by Jo Robinson
One of five digital copies of African Me by Jo Robinson 
Click on the link to go to the Rafflecopter giveaway

Guest Blogger Day – Christopher Fisher on The Reason

 Why I wrote “Sebastian”

cover Sebastian

AMAZON US

As a gay man I was always fascinated and frightened by the ideals of ‘real’ men and strength and masculinity as their main attributes and a requirement to finding love. I was not the strongest and sportiest of children and that probably leaked into Sebastian’s character. Expectations of what a man is supposed to be like feeds into his own journey of finding self-worth and confidence, something most of my characters in Sebastian have to struggle with, not just Sebastian

Sebastian is based on an idea I had of my grandfather who lived with his new family on the other side of the Berlin Wall. I never met them until the late Eighties, by which time my grandfather sadly had already passed on. Like Sebastian in my book my grandfather had lost his leg due to an accident. How can men like them find love? Unfortunately I was able to learn only a little about my grandfather and his life from my aunt. Much of the details she gave me about his life and his rather philosophical and wonderful outlook on life have found their way into the actual grandfather figure in my book, Oscar, who becomes Sebastian’s best friend in my story and who helps him to find the right attitude.

The other important theme in “Sebastian” is the National Idea and how meaningless such concepts can become in the face of human suffering. I was raised in Bavaria but thanks to my father I spoke in a different accent. I was singled out for it and queried about my origins almost on a daily basis because I did not fit in linguistically. I moved to the North where they spoke ‘proper’ German, but to them I was clearly from the South. Now I am a German living in the UK and yet another type of ‘alien’. I hope to show in Sebastian how destructive false boundaries can be.

Have you ever ran into a false boundary? And how did you handle getting past it?

Should you want to connect with Christoph, he can be found online at his site.

Featured Author Jams N Roses

Me in hat

Hi Jams, I’d like to start with a few personal questions. Just so the readers can get a bit of a feel as to who you are. If that’s okay with you?

Oh, he can’t answer me right now.

*Jams grabs two more chocolate biscuits and shoves them in his mouth. Then washes them down with a cup of tea while motioning it’s okay for me to go on.*

Are you a rooter, or a traveler? I mean, have you always lived in the same town?

I am a traveler… or at least a bit of one! I’m English, very much so, but I’ve spent nearly three years living in Spain, and I’m currently in my fifth year in France. Am I planning to travel the world? No. I love “western comforts” too much, so if I relocated out of Europe for a change, I think it’d the US or maybe Australia… boring? Horses for courses, I say!

What do you prefer, reading or watching a movie?

I’m a big film fan. I love films. I watch a couple of new films a week, which is more frequent than new books to be honest. But that isn’t to say I don’t rate being a reader. On a quiet, lazy afternoon, there doesn’t get much better than curling up on the sofa and opening up that book that I haven’t stopped thinking about since the last cliffhanger.

Would you ever want your work to be made into a movie?

Yes. 100% yes. Selling books means a great deal to me, to have people willing to spend some of their hard-earned cash on my work; it’s a great feeling. And then an even bigger boost comes along; the good reviews, which are fantastic. That’s a real buzz generator. But ultimately, being the film fan that I am, if I ever get to see one (or more) of my titles on the big screen, I’ll happily fall to the floor in fits of giggles.

Is the way your work is set up, psychological, twisting, and crime leaden with a touch of humour a reflection of you, or is it all pure fiction? i.e. what do you pour into your work that’s really a part of Jams?

Absolutely, it’s a reflection of me, the people I know or knew, and the life I once led and now avoid like the plague – except the humour, that is. However, don’t get me wrong, everything in my books has had the ‘fiction” wand firmly shaken at it. I can genuinely say that I am one of the good guys.

And now what you really came here for. *drumroll*

What is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

I guess I should talk about my most successful book so far, Son of a Serial Killer. It has recently had a stint in the Amazon top 100, which made me so happy I fell to me knees and had to hug my son. He thought something was wrong; I had to explain why I had tears in my eyes!

SoaSK Front Cover

AMAZON

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

No, I never really do either – it’s the rest of the book I have trouble getting down! I think a title, just on its own, should give the reader at least a clue of what the book is about. I feel that “Son of a Serial Killer” does that.

Can you tell me how you celebrate finally getting that tricky chapter (or para) right?

Alcohol, cocaine, and nights out at the casino. Is there any other way?

Oh, you like to party! 🙂

If you would have to change the genre in order to be able to publish it, what would it be then? i.e. would you conform to the market?

I don’t think I would – maybe if there were large bundles of cash on the table, but otherwise, no. “SoaSK” actually had interest from an agent, but she stressed that I would have to make the book longer – the word count was around 10,000 less than she thought she could push for me. But in my eyes, the book was done, the story was told. My work is what it is; changing it to suit the market, instead of writing honestly how I feel the story needs to be told is perhaps a skill I lack.

What do you do marketing wise and what do you think generates the most attention to your books?

With a new release, I give the book away – literally, I’m out there on the streets and shoving paperback copies into the hands of anyone who’ll let me. Ok, that’s not true at all, but I do give e-copies of my books away when they are first released, to give them a bit of a boost and to let the world know it is there. I’ve also got a couple of titles listed as giveaways on Goodreads; this gives readers the chance to get a paperback copy of my work, and also acts as advertising for those of haven’t yet heard of me (that would be most of you).

Right with that out of the way and to confuse you we’ll take the alternative route now.

What don’t you like about writing?

Actually, there’s quite a lot of it…I don’t like how long it takes. I don’t like the fact that when I’ve figured out the plot, created some great characters who develop in interesting ways and whose paths meet and incredible things happen, that I still have to sit down and write it. And then edit it. And then edit it again. There’s just so much work involved in writing a book! And then the marketing! Don’t get me started on the marketing. I can summarise and say that it is the initial creation of the story and its characters that brings me joy, not the non-stop, tedious and lonely slave-labour that comes afterward.

Is there any food or beverage that is a constant factor in either your books or life?

Well, I don’t really drink alcohol anymore, just on special occasions (like nailing that tricky chapter), so I guess my main drink is tea*. I drink gallons of the stuff when writing or marketing online.

*Best consumed with chocolate digestive biscuits.

Hahaha, the mark of an author. He loves chocolate!

What is your favourite dish and can you give me the recipe?

I’m a single dad, with no culinary training and living on a writer’s budget – you do not want to know what we eat chez moi! But I can give you my 5-star vegetable soup from scratch.

All the vegetables you have in the house cut in little chunks.

A pan of vegetable broth, from a cube.

Boil the vegetables in the broth until tender and then chuck it in the blender to turn it into a chunky mess.

Serve with toast and spreadable cheese. Oh, and a bowl of crisps in whatever flavour you prefer.

Would you be able to come up with a credible excuse why you haven’t written a whole day? Remember, I have to believe it!

Seriously, there are many days I can’t write. But the best excuse, I would say, is when you’ve finished a draft, before editing it in any way, I find it best to leave it well alone and concentrate on something else, anything else. That way, when you go back to the “finished” story, you’ll go back with fresh eyes, and you’ll see the obvious flaws in the plot and bad grammar usage.

And finally why would you ever want to live life behind a keyboard slaving over a manuscript?

I don’t! I don’t know how I ended up here! I thought I was signing up for a dating agency and I wound up a bestseller on Amazon!

Okay now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. But please no cat’s, dogs, or children. Make me laugh, or cry, or even envious. Tell me something none has ever heard before from you. hehehe, love those little dirty secrets, real or make believe. 🙂

If I told you my dirty little secrets, we’d never be able to look each other in the eyes again, and I couldn’t risk losing you, any of you!

And we wouldn’t want that to happen, not now that we just get to know each other! To give the folks a chance to stalk you, erm, I mean to find out more about you. Where are you to be found online?

I have my own Website, an author page on Amazon, I’m on Goodreads, and on Twitter.

Oh, and I’ve organised for a giveaway on Goodreads, So if people would like to stand a chance of winning one of my books click the links and enter the funzone!

Want to win Son of a Serial Killer? Click here!

Or are you more interested in Finding her Feet? Click here!

That’s it, Jams. Thanks for stopping by and if the fans have more questions they can always leave a comment and I’m sure you’ll be back to answer them. Right?

Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing, Book Two

Casa de Naomi Book Two - Jacket SM

Amazon | Barnes and Noble

After reading the first book in this series by Paula Rose Michelson the choice to read the second book was easily made. It suffices to say, I made the right choice. This book, like its predecessor did not disappoint. In fact it was hard to put down.

But let’s not spoil your fun by posting my review. Instead I’ll give you a short blurb to entice, but I must stress the fact the full pleasure of reading this book can only come upon you by actually submerging yourself in the world Paula has created.

Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing, Book Two

Naomi wants Chaz’s love. Chaz loves Naomi, but will not forgive his wife’s lying to him. The attorney wants Naomi’s estate. The Padre wants the couple to reconcile. Nicco wants to marry Lucinda. Lucinda wants to marry Nicco. Neither will wed until Chaz and Naomi are standing with them when they say their wedding vows. Who will get what they want? Find out when you read the second volume of Paula Rose Michelson’s saga, Casa de Naomi: The House of Blessing.

Take a look at the trailer, which I enjoyed watching, and tell me what you think of it.

How To Use Adverbs and Adjectives

Adverbs, let’s look at them and determine what they are and if we really need them.

From the Oxford Dictionary:

noun

Grammar

  • a word or phrase that modifies the meaning of an adjective, verb, or other adverb, expressing manner, place, time, or degree (e.g.gentlyherenowvery). Some adverbs, for example sentence adverbs, can also be used to modify whole sentences.

Origin:

late Middle English: from Latin adverbium, from ad- ‘to’ (expressing addition) + verbum ‘word, verb’

And let’s also look at Adjectives, the words we need to set the scene.

Again from the Oxford Dictionary:

Noun

Grammar

  • a word naming an attribute of a noun, such as sweetred, or technical.

Let’s start with looking at the real troublemakers among the adverbs,  those that answer the question how.

SIDEEEYE

Generally speaking, if a word answers the question how, it is an adverb. If it can have an -ly added to it, place it there. But do you, as an author, really want to use the adverb when you can describe a scene instead? Isn’t using the adverb the easy way out?

Ask yourself this, “If I use an adverb for every ‘how’, would my story not be filled with -ly words?” The answer is yes. The next question, “Should you use a description/show for every ‘how’ instead of using an adverb?” The answer is no. You must find the right moment to use an adverb and the right moment to set the scene, because some ‘how’ moments require a show while others can do with an adverb. And that’s when your craft/writing skill is needed, because it all depends on how well you have already established the character’s traits and mannerisms to be able to use an adverb for example or if you are still building your character. Or still are setting a scene. An adverb is often an easy way out for those who forget they can use more words to show.

Example:

He quickly walked past her nervously rubbing his palms on his trousers.

or:

He walked–almost ran–past her, eyes cast down, rubbing his sweaty palms on his trousers.

In the first sentence there are two adverbs which could have easily been left out to create a more descriptive sentence to present the reader with more of a picture. i.e. you show instead of tell in the second sentence.

His sweaty (adjective to show he is nervous and eliminating the need for that adverb) palms show what you told the readers in the first example.

So where an adverb can cripple your story the adjectives can give it colour and flavour, if used in moderation.

minion What

Which leads us to adjectives and when to use them, or how much of them we need.

The first thing we need to know is if that detail which is revealed by the adjective is really necessary for the reader to know now or later on in the story.

Example:

The woman had dark brown, big, almond-shaped eyes.

Do we need to know her eyes are big, or almond-shaped? Does the colour matter? Or is it all just filler?

Another one:

The blood red, frayed velvet curtains framing the stained windows didn’t block out all the light, but still the room darkened enough when I closed them to lure the creature out of the closet.

The adjectives used here show us the house we are in is in kind of a decrepit state.

Ergo, adjectives are very useful, if used when they are needed and not just to add more words to your story. Remember, it is always better to show than tell.

up

But then again, there are writers who have a flowery, over-descriptive style and get away with it, because they write such great stories we gobble up everything they have ever written.

Mary Poppins baffled

Who do you think writes stories with an abundance of adjectives and gets away with it? And how do you feel about the use of adverbs?

If you want to discover more about the rules concerning adverbs click here and read up on the matter.