Blog Tour Stop – A Glimpse into World-Building And Endless Possibilities

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Bask Cover-1

 

 

–By Nathan Goyer

 

Since the release of my novel Bask, I have been asked a few times already just how I came up with a story this complex and large. It was a difficult task, but not as difficult as many readers would believe. This blog post will give you a bit of insight into how a certain type of fantasy stories are created, and how you have likely already seen it in action without realizing it.

World-building is a type of writing that is a bit different than your average fantasy-fiction book. It is a type of fiction that goes beyond what a reader can discover in only a single book most of the time. When writing a novel or series that has a focus on world- building, the author comes up with the history and natural laws of the world their story takes place in. Is this fictional world filled with monsters and wizards and dragons? Or is it mostly like the real world but with a few quirks? What interesting things can my characters do, and can they do it in a way that makes sense to the reader? A world-building author has to be able to answer questions like these before they can even get started writing.

The best example of a story that focuses on world-building is the classic series “Lord of the Rings.” Tolkien built an entire history in the Silmarillion that covers everything you could think to ask about the world of Middle-Earth. Anything important that happened in the “Lord of the Rings”   books made sense in the context of the Silmarillion, the same way that you can look at the history books of the real world and see how one event can lead to another.

All this may seem convoluted, but the key thing to realize is that if done right, novels where world-building took place by the author should still provide an enjoyable and easy to understand story for any reader. And then as the fans of the stories continue to read the author’s works, they can come to understand the big picture of the story as the author intended.

My own novel of Bask utilizes this method of writing. I wouldn’t dare consider myself to be a Tolkien, but the world that the story of Bask takes place in goes beyond what the novel has been able to show so far. Questions that the readers of Bask may wonder like “what are those ruins in the prologue?” and “where did the Bask stones come from?” and even “how does a normal modern day setting exist in the same story as the Kingdom of Nont?” all have answers! They may not be apparent right now, but hopefully readers will be interested enough to continue reading the stories of Bask, and other works to come, to learn all of these details over time!

World-building is used by famous authors like J. R. R. Tolkein, Brandon Sanderson, George R. R. Martin, and even christian authors like Wayne Thomas Batson. It adds more reason to stories on the why and how important events take place. And, most importantly, world-building offers the chance to bring readers right alongside the author in understanding the big picture.

— — —

Bask: City of Shadows is a story that shows the importance of God. That without him the world would continually degrade until all kindness, all life, and all hope disappears. It shows the dangers of what the world may be like if humans were to get their way and God was kept out of their lives.

This novel can be found exclusively on amazon.com at $3.99 for the Kindle edition, and $12.99 for a paperback copy.

Log onto the author’s page on Amazon (amazon.com/author/nathangoyer).

 

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Book Review – A Tale of Two Kitties by Sofie Kelly, Magical Cats Mystery Author

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9780399584572

A Tale of Two Kitties

A Magical Cats Mystery

By Sofie Kelly

Berkley Prime Crime

Hardcover

Set in Minnesota (Mayville Heights)

Sept. 5, 2017

326 pages, which includes a short story

$23.00

I received the book in exchange for an honest review.

In Sofie Kelly’s new Magical Cats Mystery, Mayville Heights librarian, Kathleen Paulson takes on the task of reuniting a box of undelivered photos to their owners. The photos, along with other mail, had been found after a wall was torn down during the library’s renovations. The staff volunteered to handle the situation.

Shortly after, Kathleen takes a walk during her lunch break and happens to meet Victor Janes who needs directions to the library. Turns out that Victor, who is Simon Janes’ uncle, has been out of town for a number of years. He had an affair, years ago, with his sister-in-law and allegedly convinced her to run off with him. Whether that was the truth or a fabricated rumor, Victor’s sister-in-law died in a car accident.

Kathleen meets Leo Janes, who is nearly identical in appearance to his twin brother. The exception being, love and genuine warmth are part of who he is when it comes to his granddaughter, Mia, who works at the library, and his son. The first sign that something isn’t kosher in Mayville, with regards to Leo, is when Kathleen witnesses Leo arguing with Harry Taylor. Though she couldn’t hear what they were arguing about. The strange thing is that Harry got along with a lot of people and Leo seemed like a decent man.

A second mysterious situation arises when Kathleen picks up her friend, Rebecca, for tai chi class. Kathleen notices a woman rushing out of Rebecca’s boyfriend’s two-story Georgian brick house, where Leo lives. Then while attending the class, Kathleen learns that one of her friends was followed by a drone. Shortly after, Kathleen finds Leo Janes dead in his apartment.

Now, Detective Marcus Gordon, Kathleen’s boyfriend, has to learn who murdered Mia’s grandfather and why? Is there a connection between Leo and the photos? Did his brother arrive to right the wrong he committed years ago? Did the mysterious woman have anything to do with Leo’s death? Was Leo involved in something his family didn’t know about? Chances are Kathleen is going to do some investigating along with her magical cats Owen and Hercules.

A Tale of Two Kitties is a small-town mystery that has two curious magical cats working right beside Kathleen. Like most small towns, everyone knows everyone’s strengths and flaws and if there’s a rumor it gets around like electricity in an electrical outlet. These people also look out for each other. This book was tricky, setting you up with a car accident, told through a memory, that ends the life of Leo’s wife. That leads into the possibility of a confession in an undelivered letter, several possible suspects, and which has you wondering why they’d want to kill a man who lost his wife years ago and was a loving grandfather. Several possible explanations could lead to the truth so the reader really doesn’t know until the end. I liked that Kathleen was responsible and tapped into natural intuition. That she wasn’t afraid to stick her neck out for justice and to protect Mia. Would have loved to learn more about how she connected with her magical cats and their history. Would also have liked for Detective Gordon to have played a more official role. It always seems that amateur sleuths know more than the police department.

Three and a half Funky Chicken cat toys out of five

Denise Fleischer

gottawritenetwork.wordpress.com

September 24, 2017

 

 

 

Blog Tour Stop – Chapter One “Bask” by Nathan Goyer

Bask Cover-1

©Nathan Goyer

 

Chapter One

It’s a strange feeling when someone in your life vanishes, never to be seen again.

It makes you realize how much people affect each other. And, whether the interactions were good or bad, how much the loss of a single person can change your entire outlook on life.

This feeling is one that most people get at some point in their lives; it’s inevitable. But my question is, why do I feel it?

More importantly … why do I be feel it now?

 

Eric Dunst sat behind his post watching the same people move past his station as he did every day. He looked alert—that was his job. The people would sometimes comment on how he paid close attention to their every move as they passed by, making sure they weren’t breaking any codes. He would usually play along and hold up a pointed finger as they passed.

Truth was, he was lost in thought during these long shifts, and he paid very little attention to his actual duty. In his defense, he’d thought that a top-secret research facility would be more … exciting. They had their inventions, but most of the time the scientists talked and schemed and theorized about things they were too fearful to attempt.

Even worse, he wasn’t a scientist himself. Merely a Marine who’d been asked to secure the facility. It was secure. No one attempted to get in. His biggest adrenaline rush had come from a few squabbling researchers who’d been far too easy to wrangle.

            What am I doing here?

This wasn’t his passion. He’d joined the military because he needed a job, an income.

He wasn’t even sure what he wanted from life. He’d be willing to search, if he knew what he was searching for. Was finding a purpose in life too much to ask? And maybe a pretty girl to share it with?

Eric relaxed his shoulders, his spine. When no one was looking, he released a sigh, hanging his head. I wish I could have stayed back on the aircraft carrier. At least there I always had something to do. It wasn’t a purpose, but—

“Hey, Eric.”

Eric started. He wasn’t supposed to be at ease, no matter how worn out he was. Glancing up, he saw another security unit stride toward him. Just another macho guy who wondered what he was doing protecting secret labs of bubbling ooze.

Nick Barrier stroked his chin and paused in front of Eric’s cage. “Couldn’t wait a few more minutes to relax? Your shift is over, you know.”

            Finally.

“I lost track of time.”

“Oh, I understand how time flies as this exciting post.” The man playfully shoved him. Eric nearly tumbled off the stool, but he righted himself.

“Git. You shoulder the most boring shift. Go on and do something fun.”

Eric nodded. Then he hopped off the stool and headed down the hallway towards the exit.

            Something fun, huh?

He didn’t normally do anything. He didn’t have any friends in this town. Anyone he had previously called “friend” would not be someone he would associate with anymore. There was one person he tolerated more than others. And instead of heading back to his apartment, Eric made a snap decision and turned down a hallway, toward the offices.

The smell hit him first as he entered one of the labs, something he now referred to as “genius smell”—a mixture of body odor and the leftovers from a dozen different food items. He gagged and tried to cover his disgust as best he could.

Almost unchanged from when Eric first arrived for today’s shift, James was still plugging away at his computer keyboard. The wrappers from yesterday’s lunch cluttered his desk.

James was young, one of the youngest in the facility. From what Eric had been told, he’d been recruited while he was still only halfway through high school. A prodigy.

He was a nice enough kid, too. Eric had trouble understanding him when he started going into the details of his research, but he found they both shared a few common interests. He was as close to a friend as Eric had here.

But true friendship with James would require patience. Based on the volume of garbage scattered across the floor and his greasy unkempt hair, James probably hadn’t left the office in days.

“James. You’re leaking again,” he said with a smirk.

The young man seemed confused for a moment, having not noticed Eric’s arrival until he’d spoken. Then, with a smile, he twisted around in his swiveling chair, looking for the drink he had spilled. He found one tipped over on the floor and promptly tossed it into the already over-filled trash can.

“I swear,” Eric said, “they’re gonna quarantine your office one day. You really should clean up occasionally.”

“I don’t have time for that.” The boy grinned, waving him over like he often did when he’d discovered something. “Look at this! I just found something insane.”

“Oh yeah?” Eric tried his best to sound interested as he stepped the chair, looking at the screen. It was covered in various graphs that, while Eric was somewhat educated on the subject, were far above his intellect.

“I found these meteoroids just now. We didn’t see them at all, and we should have, based on where they came from.”

A chill traveled up Eric’s spine. “That’s comforting.”

James turned and changed screens on his computer. This one showed images of the rocks. “No need to worry. They won’t come too close. Close enough to see, but they won’t hit us. But if they did, that would be devastating. There’s a lot of them up there, enough to make us … well, all the USA would be wiped out for certain. The after affects would probably kill off the rest of the population in the following weeks as well …

James changed the window on his computer to a close-up image of one of the meteoroids. “Enough of that kind of talk. This is even more interesting—we’ve never seen anything like them. They look like they could be made of materials we haven’t seen before.”

“That is interesting. Could they have come from another solar system?”

“It’s not likely, but that would explain why they’re so different. We won’t know anything for sure until we get a closer look.”

“I hope you find out more about them and maybe see them coming next time.” Eric laughed. “Not to be paranoid, but how close will they come?”

“Not close at all. We won’t even be able to see them without a telescope on a day like today.”

A window popped open on the boy’s screen, instantly drawing his attention towards it. From the looks of it, Eric wouldn’t be able to pull him away a second time.

Shrugging, he turned and headed towards the door.

He walked, feigning purpose—a charade to the rest of the office that he had important things to do. Instead, he’d head home and sleep, like usual.

            This is my life, I guess. Eric exited the building and then hopped into his car with a grunt and half-heartedly jammed the keys into the ignition. The rusty old sedan started unusually quickly. It roared to life on the second try.

The skies above were a light gray, the clouds not allowing a single hint of blue through their canopy. Despite the warnings they gave, the clouds merely provided a drizzle over the city below. Not enough water to provide any real help for the vegetation, but the gray was as depressing as a real rainstorm.

A world of love, eh?

            His mother often said that when he was a child. She dreamed of the world’s potential. He had as well, long ago. But the pain of life had dashed those ideals. What love could there be when everyone who’d loved him was gone?

Eric turned and drove down a street. The sidewalks were covered by hundreds of people who scurried like ants over a rotting piece of fruit.

Eric looked up to the Space Needle in the distance, trying to recall the feelings of excitement it gave him when he’d first arrived. He looked at its magnificence, yet nothing inside him stirred. His soul felt as dreary as the streaks of clouds overhead.

Movement in the clouds caught his attention. A flash of red light that streamed in an arch. Even without a perfectly clear visual he could tell what it was.

            Didn’t James say they wouldn’t be able to see them?

Another larger one tore at the clouds, cutting a wide hole through the cloud blanket above.

Catching his breath, Eric cried out then made a U-turn at the next intersection, cutting off a white SUV. The driver blared his horn, but all Eric could think about was getting back to the laboratory,

He had to get back. He had to tell James—warn the others. When was the last time they’d done an evacuation drill on the building? Would anyone even know what to do?

Eric gripped the steering wheel, weaving his vehicle around those who’d stopped to watch the sky. He sped past a police officer, who was, like the crowd, gazing upward.

Eric’s heartbeat quickened. James’s predictions of what would happen if they hit were on the forefront of his mind.

City-wide alarms blared, confirming his fears.

            Something’s wrong.

James was wrong.

James was rarely wrong.

The people seemed confused at first, but all it took was one man running for a building for all the others to start to panic. The sidewalks cleared as people hurried into buildings. The street clogged with cars as an unfortunate amount of people attempted to merge. Most were in a rush to get out of the city, not to get back to work.

Eric turned on the radio. The warning service played a lovely screeching tune before the announcement. It advised everyone to remain indoors.  Eric pushed the car to its limits. He slowed briefly when a confused straggler scrambled down the street in a desperate attempt to escape. Eric passed the frantic man and then hit the gas again.

Finally, he arrived in the parking lot. The whole building seemed calm from the outside.

He ran up the steps leading to the front door, his hopes of a sane environment shattering at the top. He peered through the glass and watched as scientists ran from room to room, papers and documents in hand. They seemed to be looking for somewhere, anywhere to save themselves.

Eric swallowed hard. He pulled the glass door open, stepped into the chaos. He spotted James, wide eyed and pale, standing just outside his office. Eric approached. “What’s happening?”

James’s body trembled violently. “The meteoroids. They’re going to hit.”

“I know that already!” Eric grabbed him by the shoulders. “What do we do?”

James shook his head. “What can we do?”

“We’ve got to get underground, right?” Eric asked hopefully. “Just bunker down and hope for the best?”

“No, no … that isn’t going to help.” James’s eyes glazed over, and he looked past Eric. “From what I saw … hundreds, and very large …”

Anger, worry, fear rushed through Eric. He shook James harder. “James! Will it help? Can anything help?

“It’s better than nothing. But from what I saw, our very existence…”

“Attention!”

Eric recognized the voice of the director as it rang through the laboratory halls over the intercom. “As you know, a train of meteoroids have been spotted. They are on a direct collision course with earth. All personnel are ordered to stay in the building. Go immediately to underground testing section 703. Remain calm. All of you will be safe.”

703?

It was the room he guarded daily. Every time he’d asked, he’d been told the room housed a new, highly theoretical technology. He’d once heard a rumor that the device was supposed to allow the user to travel through space and time. He’d laughed at that thought. He’d believed they were pulling his leg, but now he wasn’t sure.

Could this be real?

Color rushed from James’s face. “703? But … it’s not ready for trials, let alone human trials …”

Did that mean this thing … was real?

People continued to rush past. No one seemed to have even heard the order. One woman cried. A man kept stumbling backwards as he held a hand to his forehead.

Eric turned back to James. “Go to room 703 like the director said. Forget everything else. Do not stop by your office.”

Surprisingly, James nodded and rushed down the hall. Satisfied, Eric turned back to the rest of the crowd. He spotted Nick. His co-worker wandered aimlessly in the center of the mob as if trying to figure out who to help first.

You would have been a lot more help at your post!

Eric ran up to him, shoving frantic people out of his way as he moved. “Nick! I need you to get the opposite side.” He motioned to the far side of the hallway’s entrance. “We have to direct the crowd to 703!”

Nick looked up, his eyes reigniting with life. He nodded and rushed to his designated location, tapping people on the shoulders and offering short directives as he moved past.

Eric moved back towards his spot, waving his arms. “People! Get to 703 now!” He grabbed a man who was frantically picking up papers scattered on the floor. “Leave those! Go to 703. Now.”

Finally, the scientists started to get the idea, allowing themselves to be directed. The progress was slow. There were many people in the facility, all attempting to pile through a single hallway.

Soon enough, the crowd had almost emptied from the foyer its end. Optimism buoyed in Eric until one woman made a sudden break for the door. “My kids! I have to go find my kids!”

            There’s always one.

Eric chased her. The female scientist was no match for his speed. He came upon her before she made it down the first step out of the building. He grabbed her shoulders firmly.

She cried out, pulling against his grip. “I have kids, a husband! I have to get them!” Her trembling hand reached toward the parking lot.

Sympathy shot through him, but how could he let her disregard her own safety?

“Your only chance is to follow directions. There’s no time.”

“I don’t care!” she wailed. “I won’t live if they can’t!”

Eric’s face darkened, and he lost the will to fight the woman any longer. He released her, and she scampered to her car.

            This could be it. He looked up to the sky. More flashes of light streaked across, only lasting a moment. They did no harm, but it heralded what was to come. The end for everyone.

Eric’s feet moved on their own. His body’s desire to live propelled him back into the facility.

            What do I do now? He didn’t have an answer, not now. But he still ran.

Eric entered the front doors of the large lab. He scanned the crowd. It appeared most people had made it into 703. He had to make sure though. With a jog that turned into a sprint, he moved from room to room to check for any stragglers. Thankfully there didn’t seem to be any, but he knew that he had just wasted a lot of time. Everyone was gone now, everyone except him. Seeing that his task was done and all the staff had been corralled, he made his way to room 703 and stepped into the elevator, finally going past the station he had guarded for so long.

The elevator whirred to a start and sped downward. Anxiety tightened Eric’s throat, making it hard to breathe. He’d wasted too much time. The meteoroids could crash at any moment. And if the facility lost power, he’d be done for.

            Would it really be that bad? Do I deserve to live?

He allowed thoughts—memories—to push into his mind. Ones he’d tucked away behind a brick wall around his heart. Money wasn’t the only reason he’d joined the Marine Corp—not really. He’d thought that maybe the only way to make up for his past sins was to give all of himself—to sacrifice his life for something useful. But it hadn’t worked out that way. He’d ended up here. Too safe.

Too safe.

He looked to his hands, hands that had caused so much pain. Why did he deserve to be here? After all he’d done…

The elevator opened revealing a massive room. Four large cylinders, one at each corner of the room, were filled with energy rhythmically pulsating through them. Connected to them with thick cords at the room’s center was a large machine.

It stood at least twenty feet high. Two large arches crossed over each other to form an X. A brilliant white light shone underneath them, giving the appearance of a large orb.           The last stragglers of the crowd fearfully made their way into the light. Good, he hadn’t been completely left behind yet.

 

Motion caught his attention, and he spotted Nick waving his arms from the machine’s base. “Eric! Quick! They said it’s unstable, we don’t know how long it will hold!”

A loud crack sounded from above. A great force rippled through the facility, rattling everything in the room. The generators started to grind, causing the light to fluctuate sporadically.

Only one explanation crossed Eric’s mind. The first meteorite has hit.

Eric frantically waved him forward, sprinting across the wide opening. Nick stepped into the light, melting into it during the last step as if he’d turned light himself. The sight stopped Eric in his tracks.

            I’m supposed to walk into something like that? Are they crazy?

Cautiously, he made his way towards it—the sheer brightness of the device now making his steps difficult. He lifted an arm to shield his eyes as he tried not to stumble up the last step.

His foot touched the step, and then the ground boiled and shook beneath him. The sickening sound of rock meeting rock thundered. They were deep underground. What did that mean for the world above? Did Seattle even exist anymore?

All four of the generators burst in unison, showering the entire room in sparks. The teleportation device wavered. Light and energy ebbed from it, twisting unnaturally. Yet despite losing its power source, it continued to run.

Eric’s whole body burned from the rivers of vibrations sent through him. It took all his strength not collapse. With a final effort, he threw himself forward, following Nick into the river of light.

White enveloped him.

And then, only darkness.

New Title – Whispers of Warning by Jessica Estevao

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Book Review – Young Adult Contemporary Romance, Melody’s Key By Dallas Coryell

 

51flunry2nlMelody’s Key

By Dallas Coryell

Asher Rain Publications

305 pages

e-book Kindle

June 24, 2016

Young Adult Contemporary Romance

Tegan Lockwood put aside her desire to go to college so that she could help her parents with the family business: Lockwood Holiday in Southern England. It always seemed there was so much to be done and her family needed everyone aboard to care for guests in their historic home. Summer was even more hectic with one group after another demanding their attention: singles, retired folks, the LGBT group and young families. Until the end of summer bonfire, this was their life. Then they would venture to their autumn part time jobs to help make ends meet.

When guests shared the stories of their lives, the stories often found their way into her music. A talented musician, she escapes the hectic lifestyle by reading the long-written words of Violet and the man she loved, Jonathan. Sadly, she learned that an arranged marriage to Gregory Lockwood will forever keep the lovers apart.

Those historic love letters were one welcome distraction in her life to help her forget things she didn’t want to remember. The second comes in the form of a celebrity guest. Tegan learns from her sister that Mason Keane, an American pop star, is coming to their manor house. Her parents feel it’s an amazing opportunity for them. David Crandle and his assistant, Vivian, arrange it. Tegan feels he is everything that was wrong with the music industry, but sometimes the heart feels differently. When she truly gets to know the real Mason, she’ll learn she’s wrong.

Several things here. One, way to go for a man to write a romance. His story captures the heart of a woman. Melody’s Key is really descriptive, which at times I liked, or didn’t mind, but sometimes felt a little too much as it slows the storyline down. Loved the real relationship Tegan’s family had. They never held back on what they had to say. Liked that Tegan’s best friend had her full support. She respected him for who he was and even stood up to those who would bully him. Wish there was more about Violet and Jonathan. The truth is, Violet’s baby wasn’t Lockwood’s, so that would make them not the heirs of the manor. Hope no one finds out. Lots of personality, in this book with all the characters. Liked the ending, as well.

Four keys out of five

Denise Fleischer

Gottawritenetwork.wordpress.com

September 18, 2017

 

 

Blog Tour Stop: An Interview with Nathan Goyer About His First Novel

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Nathan Goyer is a new Christian author who is bringing the word of God to life in new ways. Fictional world building and fantastical settings are his way of tackling real issues and thoughts, as is seen in his first book series Bask. The Bask trilogy is about an alien world that has become dependent on a mysterious form of energy, and those in power have abused the population’s need for the precious resource and use it as a means of control.

Bask Cover-1Raised by author Tricia Goyer, Nathan has spent his life creating stories and building his writing skills. He took creative writing classes through high school, and was even recruited to be an intern at the writing center in University of Arkansas Little Rock.

GWN recently had the opportunity to speak with Nathan. Let’s welcome him into the world of authors.

GWN: What inspired you to write a book about one man being used by God in a world where God is unknown?

NG: It’s a thought I’ve had a few times before I started writing Bask: What would the world be like without God? What I imagined in my head was a world that was depressed. A world that no one found true happiness in. A world without hope. Then I kept those thoughts and wondered what would happen if someone who was being used by God was brought into it. What would he be able to change? How would the people of that world react to him? When I came up with the idea for the story of Bask, I decided that these thoughts should be the focal point of the story.

GWN: How did you transport your protagonist, who is a Marine, to another world?

NG: Eric was assigned to a special military research base due to his high performance as a marine. One of the projects they were working on there was a device that could send the user to a specific place in both space and time. After a potentially world ending calamity appeared, Eric, along with all the other staff at the base, tried to use this device to instantly travel all the way to Australia so they could have a chance at survival. It may seem convenient, but I assure you that the two events are not coincidental.

GWN: Why was he chosen and not a Reverend or a teacher of religions? Is he a believer in God?

NG: The world of Bask is a dangerous one that goes through constant wars and battles. Because of this, I felt that the main character should be someone who is already acquainted with combat. Throughout most of the first book Eric is not an active believer. He was raised as one as a child, but the troubles of life caused him to drift away. His journey back into a relationship with God is not an easy one, he fights it every step of the way. He feels confused, betrayed, and it takes a long time for him to realize that he was never as far away as he thought he was.

GWN: What does he encounter on this new strange world? Is he seen as a threat to those he encounters? Does he preach religion or compassion?

NG: Eric encounters a mess of politics and covert operations. He sees leaders that don’t care about their citizens, and common people that resort to violence at every given chance. At the start of this story, Eric is known only to a few. But as time progresses he leads by example and shows those around him that there are other methods than using evil to fight evil. These actions bring him both allies and enemies as his reputation grows.

GWN: Are there several races of beings there? Are they civilized? What climates, transportation, way of life can be found there? Are they more advanced than Earth? What are their basic beliefs? Is it government controlled? Or governed by powerful males?

NG: The people of Bask are for the most part human. The only difference from Eric is that they all have blue hair and glowing blue eyes. They are different from the people here on Earth, more advanced in some ways while less so in others. This is due to their utilization of the Bask stones for almost all forms of technology. Their government is a series of layers. There are your noblemen and women of varying importance, the archdukes and archduchesses who govern large provinces of the kingdom, and then the immortal and unstoppable King who has been controlling the known world with cruelty as far back as history goes.

GWN: Who provides him shelter, food, and protection?

NG: Immediately after arriving in this alien world, Eric encounters a group of influential people who are planning a rebellion in the shadows. The other main character, a girl native to the alien world and part of this group, gets a sense that Eric can be trusted. The rest of her group soon sees the potential in Eric, as he is a man who isn’t bound to the rules of their world.

GWN: Are there those that want him dead?

NG: If they knew he was there already, absolutely! In the first book, Eric stays mostly unknown due to circumstance, and doesn’t even know that there are those who would hunt him down endlessly should they find out he is in their world.

GWN: Is he ever in contact with God?

NG: Of course! God is an active character in this story, he is constantly pulling the strings of various character’s hearts. And in a time of need, Eric gets to have a conversation with him directly!

GWN: When does he learn what his mission is?

NG: On Earth, Eric felt he was without a true purpose. Once he travels to the alien world and is fully exposed to the darkness there, he sees the needs of that world and how little the individual lives of its people are cared for. He takes it as his duty to stop the cruelty of the world’s leadership.

GWN: What did you find to be the most difficult scene to write?

NG: Aeia, the other main character of the story, has a rare ability to transfer her own consciousness into the minds of others. It’s a complex power and the representation of the sub-conscious was very difficult to write in a way that was both easy to understand, and still fun to read. I had at least a dozen different ideas on what it would be like before I decided on its current representation.

GWN: Is this your debut novel?

NG:  It is! I had many partial books written before Bask, but none of them quite met my expectations. Even Bask itself had many rewrites before I was satisfied with the final draft. But I am happy to say that this is the novel I can call my first!

GWN: Who inspired you to become an author?

NG: I’ve been telling stories for a long time. Even as a child playing with my friends I would come up with elaborate stories to why our toys were doing what they were doing. In fact, one time I was staying at a friend’s house for a week and had an “episode” planned for each day with our toys. My friend woke me up early on the third day because he wanted to find out what happens next! I also had the perfect upbringing for writing between my mother who is an author and my father who took time out of his day each night to read us Christian novels. I knew early on what I wanted to do, and now I’m happy to be doing it!

GWN: When was the book published? What do you feel are the benefits of self-publishing?

NG: Bask was published on July 29th, so very recently. I chose to self-publish on Amazon because frankly I was ready to start working on other projects! Choosing to find a publishing house would be an entire process that could take years for anything to happen with a first-time author like myself. I felt that I could move a lot quicker if I wasn’t forced to wait such a long time to be published.

GWN: What do you have planned for promotion?

NG: There is another Q&A in the works with Christen Krumm, as well as a Kindle Countdown Sale from September 20th at 8:00 AM to September 22nd at 8:00 PM where “Bask: City of Shadows” will be available at half price!

GWN: Are you already working on your next book?

NG:  Yes! I am hard at work on the second Bask novel, as well as another book I will provide more details on when it gets closer to completion!

An Interview with Andrew Grossett, bodybuilder & author of ‘Love Lust Love’

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Andrew_Grossett_AuthorAndrew Grossett is an established natural bodybuilder, Personal Trainer and Coach based in South East London. As a boy he enjoyed getting lost in the adventures of “The Famous Five” and “Secret Seven” and dreamed of one day writing books that enabled imaginations to thrive. After finally plucking up the courage to put pen to paper he wrote his first novel, “Love, Lust, Love,” Austin Macauley Publishers, Ltd.

  • So, tell us a little about your book and what it means to you personally.

9781786296634_adult“Love, Lust, Love” is a love story, it tells the tale of Stephen and Tina as they leave the world of being single and attempt to merge their lives. The story isn’t fanatical its real life told through their eyes, the situations they face are real and the feelings they embrace are, too. The really interesting part for the reader is that you get to hear both sides of the coin as its happening.

The book means the world to me especially because of the time in my life that it has come about and the circumstances surrounding it. While I have always had aspirations of becoming a novelist, I didn’t sit there and think, “Let’s write a book today.” The story found me at a point where I needed it most.

I had just left my company with nothing after working away at it for the past six years after suffering from what turned out to be a series of panic attacks induced through stress. I had various issues going on through my private life which left me in a position where I felt lost and alone. Don’t get me wrong. I had people around me, however even in a room full of people, I didn’t feel that I could reach out to anyone. I had built up a persona online as being a life coach and posted several videos a week trying to give people hope, little did they know that at this point all the messages that went out were personal and at times the only thing keeping my smile alive.

It was a Thursday and so I was preparing for a video to which my point was that two people couldn’t be the same after a significant event had occurred and so I used the metaphor of a first kiss, I thought everyone could understand that. I then thought it would be fun to write a paragraph of how a woman might feel after a first kiss had occurred. When I sent it to a friend of mine she nearly broke my phone with messages stating that I must have been a woman in a previous life to have known that level of detail. But then she said the it would be interesting from a woman’s point of view to understand what a guy was thinking as sometimes it was difficult to work out. After that the principal for the book was set.

  • What motivated you to write this book, and the biggest inspiration behind it?

I wrote the book to prove to myself that I wasn’t a loser, I wrote the book to silence the voices in my head that said I was a failure. You see at that point my life was on the ropes, at that point I was hanging over the edge and the project of writing something that most people couldn’t was my restoration point. The biggest inspiration behind it was my obsession with the ways that humans communicate and it gave me a medium to express those thoughts and theories. I wanted to do something that was for me, something that meant no matter how bad things got in the future no one could ever take away the fact that I had written a novel.

  • As you’re a personal trainer and coach, an erotic romance book is not something we would expect – did your career help the process of this book in anyway, or are they completely separate entities?

Believe it or not the book made me realise for the first time why I became a Personal Trainer in the first place, it wasn’t for the physical changes you could impact on an individual it was the mental and emotional. As a Personal Trainer you get to really connect with people and help them past the various issues that they face. When you spend an hour with someone two – three times a week they tell you all sorts. The two worlds are separate, though, as in there are no clients’ secrets in the book I couldn’t do that to anyone, but I may write “The diary of a Personal Trainer” in the future.

  • How you finding the journey of being a published author? (highs/lows, best bits and any tips

Being a published author is still sinking in, I get messages from people on social media with the book in their hands and too think that people are getting enjoyment out of something you have created is surreal. There haven’t been any lows so far really, I have loved every minute of it. Raising the finance for the contract I suppose was a challenge. As for highs, nothing beats when you receive the initial box of books through and smell that new book smell coming from your own title!!

  • Tell us what the biggest challenge around writing an erotic fiction book, as well as why you loved it.

The biggest challenge I found was keeping it real. There is a massive pull to write something massively fanatical and therefore take the story down the whips, chains and shinning castle route, but from what I have read and heard from others while those stories have been successful in the past people are wanting something more down to earth now. I loved writing the story because everybody loves falling in love, regardless of who you are, where you come from and whether you are falling personally or hearing someone else’s story. “Love, Lust, Love” is there to give everyone hope that in a digital age where everything comes next day delivery and mostly disappointing, there are somethings that may take a little longer, but last a lifetime.

  • Do you have any last motivational words for readers?

The plan for this book wasn’t originally to publish it, it was simply to write it and now it’s being sold and shipped all over the country. Whatever your dream is, dream it big, shout it loud and make a start at making it come true. You may not complete the journey in one step, but each step will be closer than yesterday.

 

 

 

Guest Blog Post – A Conversation with Margaret Coel on the latest Wind River mystery, Winter’s Child

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Where do you get your ideas?  Every author hears that question a lot. Out of the blue, is my answer.  Writing a series means I am always waiting for an idea to drop out of the blue for the next Father John O’Malley/Vicky Holden adventure. The idea for Winter’s Child did just that a number of years ago when I stumbled across the photo of an Arapaho couple, taken about 1920.  They wore traditional Arapaho clothing, headdresses and beaded necklaces, and stared poker-faced into the camera as if a camera wasn’t the most curious thing they had ever encountered.

An Arapaho couple, except that the woman wasn’t Arapaho.  She was white.  Married to an Arapaho man named John Brokenhorn and living on the Wind River Reservation.

Whoa!  I said to myself. A white woman who had become Arapaho?  How did that come about? This was the idea that eventually led to Winter’s Child.

What I found out about the woman was that she had been born Elizabeth Fletcher, the youngest child of a white family, who called her Lizzie.  In 1865, the Fletcher family was crossing the plains when Cheyennes and Arapahos attacked their wagons and captured two-year-old Lizzie.  From that moment her life changed into one her family could not have imagined. She grew up Cheyenne, but she married an Arapaho and began living with the Arapahos, eventually going with them to the Wind River Reservation.  She became Arapaho.

The idea of a white-Arapaho never left me.  A couple years ago, I started thinking again about Lizzie Brokenhorn and wondering what it must have been like for her to assume a new identity, become someone else.  She may have been very young when she was captured, yet everyday she had to see the whiteness of her skin, the reddish blond color of her hair and know that she was different. She was someone else.

I started asking the what if questions:  What if a white child appeared on the reservation today and became Arapaho? Where did this child come from? Who had brought her to the reservation and why? Where was her white family?  Now that she identified as Arapaho, what would become of her?  And the last what if question was this:  what might two white girls who lived a century apart have in common?

The more I thought about the idea, the more I realized I had hit upon a mystery wrapped inside an enigma wrapped inside—well, another mystery.  There were mysteries all around for Father John and Vicky to untangle, and plenty of reasons someone might not want them to succeed.  In fact, might do whatever it took, including murder, to keep the secrets of the past hidden.

Not the least of the mysteries Father John and Vicky must confront is that of identity.  Are we more than who we think we are? Do we create our identities, or do our identities create us?  When we find ourselves in places or circumstances we had never planned, as is the case with both Father John and Vicky, how do we plot our way forward?

Big questions to ponder, but those are the kind of questions that draw Father John and Vicky into the story and keep them involved until they find the answers. The questions certainly kept me involved as I wrote the story—or rather, as the story seemed to unfold on its own—and I hope they will  keep you involved as you go along on this adventure.

 

Book Review – (Cozy Mystery #2) Dead Air & Double Dares by Janis Thornton

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Book Review –  Dead Air & Double Dares

Elmwood Confidential Cozy Mystery #2

By Janis Thornton

Cup of Tea Books

306 pages

Trade paperback, $11.99

June 19, 2017

A double dare leads Elmwood Gazette editor Crystal Crooper into a federally approved aircraft that resembles a flying dune buggy. The bad luck of a goose sends the craft in a barely controllable descent during a Memorial Day celebration in town. Thankfully no one is severely injured. But someone was hurt, wants to sue the pilot, and has a nasty reputation for destroying people’s lives.

Shortly after, Horace Q. Ogilvie, Elmwood radio station’s owner, announced during a broadcast that he, and other innocent people, were nearly plowed down by the craft. The next morning, Alicia Featherstone, his personal assistant, finds him dead sitting at his desk in his home office.

According to his nephew, Tom Marlow, and other local residents close to him, Horace wasn’t always the most hated man in town nor did he always have a heart that refused compassion. His life grew dismally dark with the death of his son, who he could have stopped from being shipped to Vietnam. His son’s death led to his wife leaving him and his life being turned upside down from there. He became a social recluse and a radio broadcaster, which ironically are opposites.

Being the town’s newspaper editor, Crystal is drawn to what she knows is the biggest story of the year and she’ll do what it takes to gather clues and figure out who the guilty party is. Knowing Verlin Wallace, Elmwood County’s Sheriff, she has a way in the back door for viewing a crime scene, even if it’s against the rules.

Now the list of suspects, or those that would benefit from his death, are a mile long. Old Horace didn’t appear to have many friends or people looking out for him. But Crystal does learn that there was more to this man’s story. There are those who feel that Chip, the auto mechanic was out to get him as he’s being blamed for nearly plowing him down during the Memorial Day Service. Horace’s nephew, Tom, would appear as the main benefactor during his uncle’s will reading. Perhaps he’s impatient for his inheritance. Anyone Horace tried to bury reputation wise could be a suspect. There’s also the neighbors that hated the radio tower Horace put up in their neighborhood. And the former mayor who went to prison. Even Crystal, considering that the majority of his broadcasts focused on subjects she already published in the Gazette.

Dead Air & Double Dares is a character-based, small town mystery with residents you gotta love. The storyline has you following behind Crystal to figure out who killed Horace. I think I was cheering for housekeeper/source/friend Gertie Tyroo as much as the protagonist. Liked the fact that there were two sides to Horace’s life. There’s always something experienced that makes us more humble or total haters.

I think Crystal shouldn’t have disturbed the crime scene even if she was trying to save evidence that could be deleted by the guilty party.  But amateur sleuths take chances to solve crimes. I also don’t know why Horace could get away with stealing her stories. Hope to read the next book in the series.

Four radio towers out of five

gottawritenetwork.wordpress.com

Denise Fleischer

Sept. 4, 2017

 

Nathan Goyer

 

Guest Blog Post – The Many Joys of Pudding by Julia Buckley

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With the advent of my third UnderCover Dish mystery, PUDDING UP WITH MURDER, I thought it would be appropriate to talk about pudding, that comfort food thousands of years in the making.

According to Food Timeline, custard-like foods date back to the Middle Ages, but foods that were called “puddings” were initially sausage-like, contained within a skin. Eventually, sometime between the 17th and 19th centuries, pudding evolved until it was more like cake (as in the English puddings that we sing about in Christmas carols).

Somewhere in the 19th Century pudding was boiled, sometimes with chocolate added, and it came to have a new consistency and a new group of fans.  The original title of my book was THE RICE PUDDING PROBLEM because Lilah Drake, undercover chef, bakes a giant pan of rice pudding casserole for some children at a party. Rice pudding, like many puddings, is a comfort food, thick with rice and custard and sweetened with sugar and cinnamon.

According to this site (http://www.foodtimeline.org/foodpuddings.html), rice pudding was, in ancient days, a sort of medicine. “This ancient recipe was traditionally prescribed for the young and infirm. The formulae were inscribed in medical texts before they showed up in cookbooks. Tapioca, arrowroot, and cornstarch puddings (made from new world thickeners) were also recommended as restoratives.”

My own mother used to make rice pudding in a pot, with the “old fashioned” recipe of boiling the rice, then adding milk, sugar and salt until thick and creamy. It’s a simple recipe, but always seems to reach something in the soul, as do many foods that bring us gastronomical pleasure even while they connect us to some emotion—love, or nostalgia, or togetherness.

Thanks to my mother, I am a fan of many puddings; I love a nice bowl of chocolate pudding, or vanilla, or butterscotch (delicious!), but I also like the textual complexity of tapioca pudding, bread pudding, and rice pudding. She made them all when we were children, poured them from the pot into parfait cups, then stored them in the fridge so that they would gel and be the “fancy” dessert we ate after dinner. I used to open the fridge more than once to look at those gleaming vessels and anticipate the delicious dessert to come.

In PUDDING UP WITH MURDER, Lilah understands the connection between food and emotion; she is an alchemist in this sense, bringing more than flavor out of food, but finding ways to turn it into something deeper, richer, for her customers.

What’s your favorite pudding? And what emotion does it evoke in you?