#Sale – The Secret Diary of Alice In Wonderland by Barbara Silkstone

alice_ebook_new

AMAZON

***

The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters

Alice Harte’s life is falling apart. Her boss at the real estate firm where she works is a litigious and murderous man with ties to “The Mob” in Florida. She KNOWS he has literally beheaded someone in the past.

Her whole life she has dreamed of living in England and meeting a man similar to John Cleese. In an attempt to break away she flies to England to meet Nigel Channing, who has been charming her through e-mails and phone calls.

As her life in Miami falls apart, with mobsters and a pending fraud lawsuit, her romantic savior in England looks more and more tarnished by the hour. And then she stumbles across a beheaded mob boss. How will she ever keep her head and win the lawsuit? And what about love?

***

The 99 cent price begins today, to be precise it started at 7 am.That’s a 61% discount.

The price goes up to $1.99 at 1 pm on Tuesday

and back to full list price of $3.99 on Wednesday.

***

barbara%20silkstone1[1]About the Author

Barbara Silkstone is the best-selling author of the Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider series that includes: Wendy and the Lost Boys, London Broil, Cairo Caper, Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider Boxed Set. Her Criminally Funny Fables Romantic Suspense series includes: The Secret Diary of Alice in Wonderland, Age 42 and Three-Quarters; Wendy and the Lost Boys; Zo White and the Seven Morphs. For a squirt of paranormal comedy try: Cold Case Morphs. True fiction fan? Try: The Adventures of a Love Investigator.

Silkstone’s writing has been described as “perfectly paced and pitched – shades of Janet Evanovich and Carl Hiaasen – without seeming remotely derivative. Fast moving action that shoots from the hip with bullet-proof characterization.”

Barbara can be followed on her blog, websiteFacebookTwitterPinterest, and her Amazon Author’s page.

Swimming Upstream by Ruth Mancini

A beautiful cover for an intriguing book I am happy to promote.Front Cover

AMAZON | B&N | KOBO | iTUNES

“I once read that the end of a relationship is like being involved in a road traffic accident. Which is quite fitting really, given what happened.”

After seven years, Lizzie wonders whether she’s truly happy with her long-term boyfriend. When one wrong step and a chance meeting set off an unexpected chain of events, her life begins to unravel. On the same day that she meets Martin, an attractive lifeguard, her old friend, Catherine, re-appears. But is Martin really all he seems? And what is the secret that Catherine is hiding? As Lizzie struggles to confront the ghosts of her past, can she survive the shocking twist that will change the course of her future?

Swimming Upstream is a life-affirming and often humorous story about a young woman’s pursuit of happiness. It is also a story of female friendship, love, and divided loyalties – and the moral choices that we find ourselves making when the chips are down.

If you want to read more before you go and get your own copy, read teh excerpt below.

I once read that the end of a relationship is like being involved in a road traffic accident. Which is quite fitting really, given what happened. Only you’d probably think of an accident as something sudden, out of the blue, and I suppose breaking up is like that for some people. For me, though, the road had been rocky for some time, and I could see all too clearly what was about to happen: a multi-car pileup. People screaming and car horns blaring. And here we were, me and Larsen, gliding towards it, the wheels beneath us slipping and spinning out of control.
It was Spring 1992, a typical blustery April afternoon. The streets of Cambridge were gloomy, the pavements wet, and the turrets and spires of the city in the distance were lost in a sepia haze. A strong gust of wind and a smattering of chilly raindrops assaulted me as I jogged across Parker’s Piece, and crossed the road at Gonville Place to cut through to the red and grey brick building on the corner that housed the College of Arts. Even after over seven years of living in Cambridge, it still surprised me that such an ancient and architecturally stunning city could be cocooned within the boundaries of what was, on the outer fringes, a perfectly modest late twentieth century town. But this very building, of course, was where it all started for me; this was what had brought me here, to Larsen’s home, and into his life. It suddenly seemed a very long time ago.
I cut through the cemetery behind the college and paused for breath, ignoring the droplets of rain that were dribbling over my forehead. I looked back again at the brick and glass building behind me and the strangest of feelings washed over me, something that I could only describe as homesickness. But for what? I had my own home — a pretty two-bedroomed Victorian terraced house in Vinery Road — and a stable life with Larsen. I had friends. I had a budding career in broadcasting. My life was full and busy and I had no reason to feel insecure. And yet, something was missing.
I shifted my swimming bag on my shoulder and set off again down Coldham’s Lane, breaking into a jog, and a few minutes later I pushed through the revolving door into the swimming pools complex. I was met by a welcome wall of heat and the familiar scent of chlorine. I picked up my ticket and walked into the changing room, hot steam from the showers rising up to greet me. I didn’t in fact much feel like taking off all my clothes and immersing myself in cold water; I was wet and cold enough already. There was also a knot in my stomach and a heaviness in my chest that was more than the predictable outcome of having drunk the best part of a bottle of wine by myself and smoked numerous cigarettes the night before. I knew that I should have talked to Larsen long ago about the way I was feeling, about the thing that had come between us. But I couldn’t name it; I didn’t know what it was. So I carried on as if nothing was wrong. Because even thinking that I could lose him made me hold my breath until it stopped short in my lungs and nothing came back out again. Because saying it would make it real for both of us and I didn’t know how or why it had come to this.
My heart sank even further as I exited the changing rooms onto the pool side; there were no lap lanes marked off. The pool was packed full of dive-bombing eleven-year-olds and elderly people doing widths. (“You’re going the wrong way!” I always wanted to shout.) It wasn’t the tranquil haven I had expected; it was one big wet free-for-all. I sighed, pulled on my goggles, took a deep breath, and plunged in, fighting my way in a frustrated crawl down to the shallow end. A girl on her back clipped me on the right ear as she meandered past me in an aimless kind of circle, then carried on regardless, while I wobbled around in her slipstream. I could feel the tension creeping up my shoulder blades and setting into my jaw. A length and a half later, there was a huge splash to my left and an elbow jabbed painfully into my hip. I was in mid stroke. I swallowed a large mouthful of water, choked and gasped for breath. My goggles filled up with water. I shot an angry and waterlogged glance around me and grabbed for the edge of the pool.
A face appeared. “You okay?”
I pulled off my goggles and hauled myself up onto the edge. “It’s supposed to be lengths,” I said, making no attempt to mask my irritation. “Two ‘til four.”
“Sorry, love,” said the lifeguard. “Not in school holidays. Different timetable.”
“So where’s that advertised? How is anyone supposed to know that?” I was simultaneously angry and ashamed at the tone of my voice. I seemed to have been speaking like this to people a lot lately. I pulled the elastic back on the strap of my goggles. They pinged out of my hands and landed at the lifeguard’s feet.
“There’s a new timetable in reception.” The lifeguard bent down beside me and, seated on his haunches, picked up my goggles and began adjusting the strap. I watched him with a confusing combination of irritation and gratitude. I knew how to fix my own goggles, for Christ’s sake. But then, despite what Larsen thought, I didn’t always enjoy doing everything myself. I just never seemed to have had much choice.
“There you go,” said the lifeguard, rubbing at the plastic lenses with his t-shirt, and handing my goggles back to me.
“Thanks.” I looked at him more closely. He was tall, well over six feet, with thick sandy-coloured hair, hazel eyes, and, I noticed, eyebrows that met slightly in the middle. “Never trust anyone whose eyebrows meet in the middle,” Larsen had told me once. I had forgotten to ask him why. I smiled involuntarily at this thought, and the lifeguard smiled back. His eyes met mine and I turned away, embarrassed.
“So, do you come here often?” he asked. I looked back at him, incredulously. Was he really trying to chat me up? “I just mean… you’re a strong swimmer,” he added. “Your technique’s good. I was wondering if you had ever competed?”
“I used to,” I said. “County level. The ASA. It was a while ago.”
“You should give it another go.”
“I don’t know. I haven’t got time for that amount of training.”
“Well, if you change your mind… I do a bit of coaching. I’ve got time for a few private lessons, if you’re interested?” There was something suggestive in the way that he said this and he backed it up with a raising of his eyebrows and a smile.
“I’ll think about it. Anyway… must get on,” I muttered, embarrassed at his attentions and feeling disloyal to Larsen. I stood up to dive back in but became suddenly very conscious of the slippery tightness of my Speedo, which was more than a little chlorine-worn round the chest area. I had been meaning to buy a new one. I lowered myself back down again and glanced back over my shoulder. The lifeguard was still smiling at me.
“Hey,” he said. “What’s your name?”
“Lizzie.”
“See you again, Lizzie?”
I nodded without meaning to. “Maybe,” I added, then turned and plunged awkwardly into the water.
At precisely twenty-nine lengths, I went through the pain barrier, the lifeguard was forgotten, and the kids went home for tea. As my body grew lighter and my strokes became effortless and even, my thoughts drifted back to Larsen. The ephemeral nature of everything scared me. Why did nothing last? I couldn’t bear the thought of failure, of losing him, of giving up. And yet I wasn’t happy. I just didn’t know why. Was it me? Was I congenitally dissatisfied? And if so, what did it matter whether I was with Larsen or… or that lifeguard, for instance? How could I be sure that I would not arrive back here again in another seven years’ time, in this fog of unhappiness, the pain of yet another break-up looming up ahead in the distance? This is what scared me the most: how could I be sure that I would ever be happy again?

This book actually already has quite a few good reactions to its name. Take a look on Goodreads to see what some readers think of it. Oh, and did I mention it has a 3.5 on the Masq Scale?

***

The author

Ruth Mancini

Ruth Mancini was born in South-West London and educated in London and Cambridge where she gained a Bachelors degree in languages and a post-graduate diploma in law. For several years she worked in the publishing industry before becoming a practising lawyer, author and freelance writer.

She now lives in Oxfordshire with her husband and two children. She blogs and can also be found on Twitter as @RuthMancini1 but don’t forget to look for her on Facebook!

Featured Author – DV Berkom

SONY DSC

Today DV Berkom joins me on my blog to be questioned to the third degree. 🙂

Hi D, great to have you on my blog today. I’d like to get started by asking you a few personal questions so that we can get a feel of the person behind the author. If that’s okay with you?

Absolutely. I’m an open book.

Great,that means I won’t have to use my truth serum. Let’s not waste any time and get started then.

I know you are a literate woman, but given the choice what would you rather read, a sit down, dig in and don’t put aside mystery or an action packed spy novel?

Definitely an action packed spy novel. I enjoy a good mystery now and then, but I prefer more of a fast-paced, heart-pounding kind of read. Writing a book is enough mystery for me–especially trying to keep all the sub plots and characters and past plots straight, making sure there are no plot holes or inaccuracies, keeping the tension building throughout, etc. When I read, I want action!

Another choice question. Live on a boat, or on dry land with no water even near?

Most definitely on a boat. I grew up in the Midwest and although there were a gazillion lakes to choose from, it was still landlocked. I tried living in Arizona, and yes, it’s gorgeous and I love the place, but I realized I need to be close to a large body of water, preferably an ocean. After dozens of moves trying to find a place that fit, I finally found a home when I moved to the west coast. Prior to that, my favorite place to live was on a sailboat in Mexico. That experience was formative, to say the least, and started me on my quest for the perfect place to call home.

Being well educated (I know you have a BA in Political Science) do you ever find it pleasurable to watch/read mindless entertainment?

Define mindless 🙂 . But seriously, you have to give your brain a rest or it does it for you. My favorite ‘mindless’ stuff is along the lines of most of the shows on television. I avoid watching crime shows when I’m writing a novel, as I’d hate to have the inaccuracies that are (always) in them filter into my subconscious and then into my writing. It’s hard enough keeping your facts straight. I find a good comedy works wonders to keep me from being too serious.

It does! There’s too many people forgetting how healthy a good belly laugh is, and not only for the mind. Well, that wasn’t too bad, or was it?

Wait—that was it? Aren’t you going to ask me about that time in the Mexican cantina with the cute windsurfer…er, well, maybe not.

What! That was you? Best not mention that again. Hahahahaha.

But you’ve come here to talk about your work, so can you tell us the title of the book you would like to talk about?

Sure. The name of the book is Yucatan Dead. It’s the sixth in the Kate Jones Thriller Series, but you don’t have to read the others to enjoy it. The series deals with the fallout of a bad decision Kate made in her twenties when she took off for the border with a pack full of stolen money from the ruthless leader of a Mexican drug cartel. In Yucatan Dead Kate’s offered the chance to fight back. Here’s the description:

DVBerkom_YucatanDead_333x500

AMAZON | B&N | iTUNES | KOBO | SMASHWORDS

She was a dangerous man’s lover…now she’s his dangerous enemy.

For Kate Jones, being on the run from her former lover–the vicious leader of a Mexican drug cartel–was never going to be easy. But with a new identity, a new lover, and a new life in Arizona, she was beginning to believe she’d made it through the worst.Then, in an act of twisted revenge, Kate’s kidnapped and imprisoned by her deadly enemy, his intention to force her to pay back the money she stole before he kills her.

Fate intervenes and she finds herself working against the cartels deep in the Yucatan with a group of off-the-grid commandos. From peaceful northern Arizona to the steamy jungles of Mexico, Kate Jones must decide for herself if she’ll continue to run…

…or turn and fight the evil that pursues her.

Did you have difficulty coming up with this title?

Actually, no. It’s a line from a scene in the book and when I wrote it, I knew it was the one: “I’ll give you a worst-case scenario. Yucatan Kate is going to be Yucatan dead.” I am having a heck of a time with the one I’m working on, though. Once I’m finished with the book if I haven’t figured out the title I’ll open it up to my writing group and do some brainstorming.

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?

Not a chance. I write what I write because I love to read those kinds of books. I’ve been extremely fortunate in that some people like to read what I write. If there comes a time that no one is buying or reading my books, I’d still write the story in my head. On the other hand, if I woke up one morning inspired to write something completely different, then yeah, I’d write it, whatever the genre. But conform to the market, nope. I’m afraid I’m not built that way. Probably make a ton more money, but it is what it is.

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

I usually save the celebration for when I finish the final draft. Then it’s a glass or two of good champagne with my best friend. If I celebrated each little victory, I’d probably still be writing Bad Spirits and awfully drunk.

Sounds like that could be a good book too. 🙂

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

I’ve found that good reviews and running a sale now and then work well, but really, the best marketing in the world is word of mouth from satisfied readers. If I didn’t have that, I doubt my books would sell half as well as they do.

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

Tequila. Don’t ask. 🙂

Hahahaha, okay, if you insist. Can you tell me instead what your favourite dish is and can you give me the recipe?

I’ve been enamored of late with the wild mushrooms available here in the pacific northwest like chanterelles and matsutakis, so a good chicken and chanterelle dish with garlic mashed potatoes, or sliced grilled matsutaki mushrooms with lemon-soy dipping sauce. The lemon-soy dipping sauce is just that: equal parts lemon juice and soy sauce, but the chanterelle concoction is my sweetie’s who’s an ex-chef, so if I told you the recipe I’d have to kill you…

Bugger! But I can come up with my own variation on the theme. 🙂 Click here if you want to see my chicken and chanterelle dish.

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!

I was snorkeling in the Caribbean and didn’t have a waterproof laptop?

Sounds plausible enough. 🙂 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. 🙂

I’ve been extremely fortunate in finding great contacts who have the experience and expertise in the things I write about. Every time I write a book I find out how much I don’t know. I can’t tell you how many times serendipity has struck and someone appears with the knowledge I lack.

For example, before I began writing Bad Spirits (the first book in the Kate Jones series) I didn’t know much about the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) other than what I’d seen on television and in the movies and could look up online. Through asking a really stupid question on an online forum about prison time for one of my characters I met a retired DEA supervisor who took pity on me and has become my go-to source for information on the DEA and the drug cartels and how the various law enforcement agencies work together on both sides of the border. Without his knowledge and help my books wouldn’t be half as realistic and error-free (any errors or omissions having to do with guns, explosives, or anything remotely resembling law enforcement operations are all mine).

The same goes for the Leine Basso novels. A good friend of mine and her husband are retired detectives from Los Angeles and they’ve been invaluable in keeping the books true to life. I’ve interviewed other law enforcement personnel, soldiers, trainers, SEALs, you name it—along with some folks that I probably shouldn’t have. For me, learning what these people do and how they’d handle hypotheticals is one of the most enjoyable aspects of being a writer.

I’m glad you are one of the authors who does her homework. Thank you for being here and giving us the chance to get to know you a bit. If you ever want to come back with more news, or just to chat about something (you could be a Guest Blogger) holler and I’ll find you a spot.

I’d like to ask the readers at this point if they ever get put off when they read a book and tiny details aren’t right, or do you just ignore them and read on?

As a treat I’d like to offer the readers a sample of the book and wonder if after reading that they are curious enough to go and get it?

Chapter 1

The stench of decay rose from the unforgiving mattress as I shifted to a sitting position. My breath caught as sharp pain lanced through my body from the effort. I ran my hands over my torso, checking for injuries.
Good, no blood.
The watery gray light from a high window covered in metal bars illuminated the block walls that formed my prison. Musty air gave way to a whiff of mold and mildew, reminding me of an old flooded cellar. The thugs who brought me here had masks over their faces and smelled of stale cerveza and garlic, a familiar and unwelcome aroma.
Judging by what I saw in the short trip from the cargo van to the hulking concrete building, I was somewhere in the tropics. Dieffenbachia and philodendron grew in wild profusion while aggressive vines climbed stately royal palms, choking the life out of them. The air oozed damp.
How the hell did you wind up here, Kate? Abduction wasn’t an entirely foreign event in my life, it’s just that it hadn’t happened in a while. Groggy from drugs and a vomit-inducing flight tied up in the back of a Cessna, pictures of a woman with short, blonde hair and familiar green eyes skated through my mind. Tired and disoriented, I couldn’t catch and hold the images to remember her name.
That didn’t stop the incipient panic sliding up my throat.
Footsteps broke through the fog in my brain and a curious cockroach I’d been watching disappeared through a hole in the bricks. I wished I could make myself that small and follow it, but it appeared my fairy godmother had taken the day off.
Not that she would have been much help. Hell, if changing my name, address, daily routines, and hair color didn’t make me disappear, then nothing would.
The sound of a key springing the lock echoed through the room. The door’s hinges creaked and I tensed, waiting to see who or what would emerge, working to combat the fear slithering up my spine. I tried to take a deep breath but couldn’t.
Hyperventilating is annoying that way.
Sunlight blazed into the room as the silhouette of a man stepped through the doorway.
“Vamanos.”
The word came out as a deep grunt and matched the man who uttered it. Short and stocky with a deep scowl and no neck, his suave demeanor told me he probably wasn’t the resort director.
Although, the AK-47 in his hands might have been the clincher.
I rolled off the bed and limped out the door in front of him. The rough handling I’d received on the way to wherever I now found myself hadn’t exactly helped with my beauty regimen. It’s not like there’d been padding in the cargo area of the plane, which I could have used about half-way into the trip when we hit heavy turbulence. I could’ve also used an airsick bag, but that’s beside the point. Kidnappers R Us wasn’t known for their customer service.
It was early morning, judging by the sound of the birds and the lack of mosquitoes. Even though the sodden air clung to my clothes, the day’s heat hadn’t yet bullied its way through the relative coolness. We crunched along a gravel path, neither of us speaking. Palm trees dotted the landscape, interspersed with out-of-control tropical plants. The shriek of a howler monkey serrated the air. A couple of low block buildings with red tile roofs peeked through the vegetation.
We rounded a bend in the path and came upon a concrete drive lined with palms nestled in terracotta pots leading to a huge Spanish-style hacienda. The kind where an old colonial family had decided to recycle the current occupant’s building material for their own, whether a sacred temple or an ancient marketplace. The massive veranda spread across the entire front of the hacienda. Gleaming white marble steps climbed upward to meet an open doorway flanked by two wrought-iron chandeliers. Every few feet, a security camera dotted the roofline.
Evidently, this was the home of a wealthy and paranoid family. Judging by my guard’s use of Spanish and the surrounding vegetation we were somewhere in Latin America. My heart did a half-gainer into my stomach, wiping out any semblance of denial from which I might have been working. January in Siberia would have been preferable.
“Move.”
My talkative guard prodded me up the steps with his machine gun and I complied, hands cold and sweating, my heart racing past us, not waiting for me to catch up. I wondered how long I’d been unconscious from the drugs. By the taste in my mouth and the emptiness of my stomach, I’d guess quite a while.
We reached the top of the stairs and continued through a breezeway to an ornately carved desk with matching chair. A computer monitor rested on its surface, alongside a telephone and radio. Several more security cameras rested atop the ancient bricks in strategic locations.
“Stop,” he muttered as he keyed the mike. “We’re here,” he growled into the radio.
We waited in silence. His raspy breathing, too loud against the worn white bricks of the terrace walls, grated on my already frazzled nerves. A fly buzzed my face, trying to land; I slapped it away. My guard stiffened and repositioned his gun.
I decided to restrict sudden movements.
The radio crackled and a disembodied voice ordered us to proceed. The guard pushed me to the right, down another set of steps that opened onto a lush inner courtyard surrounded by a walkway. In one corner stood a three-tier fountain flanked by royal palms and verdant vegetation. Two peacocks strutted nearby, jabbing at the ground for insects. Parrots and cockatoos created a riot of sound that ricocheted through the courtyard and out into the dense jungle surrounding us.
We turned right along the walkway and continued until we came to another section of the sprawling home that jutted out like the short end of an ‘L’. Framed by large windows and even larger foliage, the French doors reflected the two of us as we approached, making it difficult to see inside. An armed guard dressed in dull green military fatigues stood to one side. His eyes flicked over me once before he snapped back to attention. We stopped and waited.
Memories from a few days ago decided at that precise moment to come flooding back.
Cole.

AMAZON | B&N | iTUNES | KOBO | SMASHWORDS

DV Berkom can be followed, befriended, and kept under surveillance at:

 FacebookTwitter, her website, blog, on Pinterest, and her Amazon Author Pages in the US and UK.

***

I have read and reviewed this book. Loved it and will read it again at some point in time.

If you are  curious to my opinion click here. Have you read it, or any other book by this author, please let us know by leaving a comment below.

Review Yucatan Dead by D.V. Berkom

DVBerkom_YucatanDead_333x500

AMAZON | B&N | iTUNES | SMASHWORDS

This very witty, and skilful written chick-lit, crime, romance novel had me hooked from the start. It not only shows a woman on the run, but one that knows how to capture the reader and pull her (me) into her world where her adventures are very real.

This author knows how to use words to create real-life situations, even the ones most of us will never experience. Situations that make us hold our breath, sigh in relief and laugh at the characters as they are very human.

The protagonist has her dark side, as the antagonists have their good sides, although one of them is very easy to dislike. It only shows that DV Berkom is a true artist, she knows how to create characters that make us want to know about their life and adventures. Yes, most believable characters that hold the attention and make us root for them.

None of the dialogue is at any point contrived, it has the right amount of serious, humour, and normal foot-in-it awkwardness.

The scenery, and narration, is used to show us what our imagination fills in with details. What I mean is that the author gives us enough detail to set the scene, but never goes overboard in descriptions. A perfect balance between description to show, and room for the reader’s imagination.

I read this book as if watching an action movie with a great, female lead. There’s a love interest, action, a touch of sadness and lots of joy, even with all the things the main character encounters.

All in all a great four star read!

Featured Author – Rich Meyer

newprofilepic001smallToday the stage is Rich Meyer’s. He loves questions, and so do I. 🙂

Hi Rich, thanks for taking the time to sit (offers him a chair and hides the rope ready to tie him done behind her back) and answer some questions. I promise it won’t hurt and be over in a jiffy.

Hold on, don’t go! The rope is to … to … to tie the lion in the kitchen down before is can come in and eat the chocolate brownies! Here have one.

Let’s not waste anymore time and get started. Is it true you have written over thirty! Thirty! books? Where do you find the time?

Well, it really wasn’t that hard. It’s not like these thirty are full-length novels. While it can take a bit of creativity to keep them interesting, I’ve really only got to write between a hundred and a thousand sentences to get them going.

I’m a long-time trivia player, so my quiz books are merely an extension of that hobby. I’ve got plenty of time, too. I’m disabled (my legs and back are rebelling on me after thirty-five years of preparing myself to play the role of Jabba the Hutt on Broadway), and I got nothing but time. I do a lot o’ reading and writing. Not too much ‘rithmetic, though. I did fail a semester of Algebra in high school.

Ha, that’s easy, I failed that one too. 🙂 What is your favourite thing in life? Eating chocolate, or Mr. Ed? Feel free to digress. 🙂

I could go all sappy here and say it’s spending time with my family (my wife Mona and our menagerie of li’l furballs), or admit my addiction to sweet stuff (oh, you sacrilegiously good Three Musketeers!), but let’s face it: I’m a bibiophile. I like reading. Give me a Hunter S. Thompson book and put a Frank Zappa guitar solo in my earbuds and I’m happy as a bug in a rug. Well, before the delousing, anyway.

I know your children are quite hairy, but after the fourth being that …. Well, different, didn’t you think it became time to try for the bolder kind?

Nope. Don’t care for children. I’m not exactly all here <points to cranium> all of the time, so I really wouldn’t want that sort of responsibility. And since I follow no religion, I’m not honor bound to “be fruitful.”

Personally, I think being a parent is something you should be licensed for BEFORE you’re allowed to play hide-the-sausage, but that’s just me.

I must agree with you on that one, Rich. It would mean a lot less problems, but a lot of social workers would be without a job if that were ever to become a law.  

Okay, I could talk for hours with you on all sorts, but that is not why you are here, is it? So, what is the title of the book you would like to talk about?

Well, right now I’ve published my second print book, The Monster Quiz Book. The_Monster_Quiz_Boo_Cover_for_Kindle

AMAZON | PAPERBACK

It’s a reformatted and revised version of an earlier e-book of the same title. I just added 200 questions to it and gave it the whole nine yards treatment on CreateSpace. The first movies I ever saw were Valley of the Dragons, Gorgo, and X the Unknown, so I guess technically we can mostly blame the United Kingdom for the way I am today.

Hahaha, those British do know how to get us laughing and questioning things. At least they have that effect on me. What has this effect on you, my dear readers?

Did you have difficulty coming up with the title?

Not really. It sorta wrote itself. I mean, the whole book is about monsters … it’s a quiz book … I don’t think Shakespeare had it as easy as that. I mean, “Two Gentlemen of Verona”? Pshaw.

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’m not exactly a conformist. I often tone myself down out of politeness and decorum, but I talk and act in real-life the same way I do on the net. I’ve been working on a couple of novels/novellas, and while one is a pulpy super-hero tale, the other’s more into bizarro fiction. I’m not going to get rich doing this, but it’s something to do and it’s fun. If people like it, cool. If they buy it, cool. If they don’t, I’m not going to get suicidal about it.

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

By taking a nap. I was three weeks working on a very short story for an anthology some friends were putting out, but every time I sat down to write, there was one crisis or another that prevented me. If you think your furnace might need repairs, or your car inspection went bad, or if one of your canine pals passes away (R.I.P. Montagoon Marie Meyer), it is VERY hard to be creative. Sure, you can use that frustration in your writing, but you have to have the time to marshal yourself as well. I actually finished the story just last night (as of this writing) and I went to sleep.

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.

Other than the promotional and marketing aspects, I pretty much like everything. The hours are great. The rewards are okay, mentally and often financially. And I get to be me and no one can complain. Because if they do, they’re dead. In my next story, that is.

And writing the middle of a book. I have two or three novels with the beginning and the end finished perfectly. But there’s all that damn exposition and character stuff you have to put in between them. Very annoying.

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

I don’t do a lot right now, really. I occasional post a promo for a book or my book formatting service on a few Facebook pages (where it’s allowed, of course), but I’m not an in-your-face kind of person that way. And when you figure that most of the groups I belong to are made up of writers from various genres or industries (self-publishing, comic books, etc.), I don’t see the point of it – most of them are in the same financial straits as me, and I know I don’t like seeing a lot of spam for books I can’t buy. And really, if a friend wants a copy of one of my e-books, hell, I’d be glad to give it to them. That’s sorta the whole friend thing, ya know?

*I smile expectantly, but don’t say a word.* 

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

Pepsi or Diet Pepsi. Or whatever caffeinated soda happens to be on sale at the Giant. I have an allergy to coffee, so that’s how I get my caffeine. And my ability to cosplay Bouncing Boy. Go ahead and google. I’ll wait. <rimshot>

Click on the image and see why she’s so excited. 🙂

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

Oh jeez. I have so many “favorite” dishes (and things, movies, books, comics, etc.) that it’s hard to settle for just one. I’d have to say I love tabuli more than anything. It’s just so fresh tasting when it’s made correctly (i.e., not by me).

A delish salad with bulghur and tomato.

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!

I could not write yesterday because it was my turn to man the battlements on the main wall of the town! Jinkies! We can’t let the zombie racoons in, woman! Imagine if they had taken over the borough hall! Think about the children!

Hahahaha, yeah, I totally believe that one. 🙂 Okay, now that we have the mandatory questions out of the way, shoot your mouth off. Tell me whatever you want the blab about. 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. 🙂

Let’s see … I have been told I am somehow related to the guy who played The Flash on TV. Which would be cool if they remake it, ’cause then I’d have an ‘in’ to be Turtle-Man, the role I was BORN to play. I’m ready for my close-up, Mr. DeMille! Err. Sorry. I also once accidentally told Gary Gygax, the creator of Dungeons & Dragons that his game sucked. In my defense, he was dressed like a normal person and not a high-falooting wizard or anything. I’m also a mutant in the Marvel Comics Universe. And I’ve had my picture taken with both Fee Waybill AND Raymond the Amish Comic. Bow before me in envy, Lucy!

*Which I do, if only for this author’s cunning ways of captivating me with his words. Not to mention the fact he loves questions as much as I do!*

Most of what I do is just for a laugh. I do take most of my work over at Indies Unlimited quite seriously – there are a lot of people, places and websites out there that are preying on neophyte self-published writers. I call them vanity predators instead of publishers. I try to do what I can to root out the really bad ones and warn folks about them.

A self-publisher has have to have both confidence in yourself and a willingness to learn new things. You can save yourself a lot of money by doing some very simple aspects of book publishing process yourself. The one thing you need is INFORMATION! Check things out! Never take ANYTHING at face value! Putting out a book can be very painful, like a root canal, or a fairly pleasurable experience, like when the dentist gives you that wonderful, wonderful nitrous oxide. You as a writer have to take the responsibility to know what is going on and not get captured in the vanity predators’ traps!

<GUMP>And that’s all I have to say about that. </GUMP>

Well, it was very … informative? (laughs) I’m sorry, thanks Rich, you have been a great guest, I’d love to see the back of you, erm, I mean to see you back! Yes, please do come back when you have more news, or just some questions to ask my readers.

Before you run off tell us where we can find your book, and you online.

I am all over the place, but mostly at the following ones:

FacebookFacebook Author PageQuantum Formatting ServiceRich’s Random Reviews and RamblingsA Life of Temporal ConfusionAmazon Author Central, and Indies Unlimited.

My book is available at:

AMAZON | PAPERBACK