Monday, October 13, 2014

Blog Tour: The Murders at Astaire Castle by Lauren Carr


Welcome to The Wormhole and my stop on the tour.

About the Author:

Lauren Carr is the best-selling author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. Twelve to Murder is the seventh installment in the Mac Faraday Mystery series.

In addition to her series set on Deep Creek Lake, Lauren Carr has also written the Lovers in Crime Mysteries, which features prosecutor Joshua Thornton with homicide detective Cameron Gates, who were introduced in Shades of Murder, the third book in the Mac Faraday Mysteries. They also make an appearance in The Lady Who Cried Murder.

Lauren launched the Lovers in Crime (first introduced in Shades of Murder) mystery series in September 2012 with Dead on Ice.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This year, several books, over a variety of genre, written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services, which is currently accepting submissions. Visit Acorn Book Services website for more information.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV

For More Information
Trailer:


Book Blurb:
 Mac Faraday Meets the Wolf Man!

Never tell Mac Faraday not to do something.
In The Murders at Astaire Castle, Spencer’s police chief, David O’Callaghan, learns this lesson the hard way when he orders Mac Faraday to stay away from the south end of Spencer’s mountaintop—even though he owns the property. It doesn’t take long for Mac to find out what lies on the other side of the stone wall and locked gate, on which hangs a sign warning visitors to Keep Out!
Topping the list of the ten most haunted places in America, Astaire Castle is associated with two suicides, three mysterious disappearances, and four murders since it was built almost a century ago—and Mac Faraday owns it!
In spite of David’s warning, Mac can’t resist unlocking the gate to see the castle that supposedly hasn’t seen a living soul since his late mother had ordered it closed up after the double homicide and disappearance of Damian Wagner, a world-famous master of horror novels.
“Halloween has always been a fun time,” best-selling author Lauren Carr explains in a note at the beginning of her fifth Mac Faraday mystery. “It’s the time to break out and be someone else. As a child, I would pretend to be one of the Bobbsey Twins searching for clues to lead me to a secret treasure. If I was lucky, it was made up of chocolate. As a teenager, I was Nancy Drew. Always, when October rolled around, I craved mysteries with something extra added—something beyond the normal—something supernatural. As an author, I couldn’t resist taking this one Mac Faraday Mystery on a scary Halloween adventure.”
In this latest installment of Carr’s hit series, what starts out as a quick tour of a dusty old castle turns into another Mac Faraday adventure when Astaire Castle becomes the scene of even more murders. Mac is going to need to put all of his investigative talents to work to sort out this case that involves the strangest characters he has run into yet—including a wolf man. No, we’re not talking about Gnarly.
Giveaway:

Lauren is giving away one paperback copy, two ebook copies and three audiobooks of THE MURDERS AT ASTAIRE CASTLE!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • Six winners will be chosen via Rafflecopter.
  • This giveaway begins October 6 and ends October 31.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, November 3.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!



Excerpt:
Prologue

November 2002 – Astaire Castle, top of Spencer Mountain, Deep Creek Lake, Maryland
Shivering, Rafaela turned up the fan for the heater in her old Plymouth. The weather channel was calling for snow. With an eye on the storm clouds heading straight for Spencer Mountain, she picked up the speed a notch. Her car bumped along the worn road cut through the trees and rock to take her to Astaire Castle.
The notion of being trapped at the castle by a winter storm made her curse the day she had accepted the job as housekeeper at the Astaire estate. The young illegal immigrant thought her prayers had been answered by landing the job at the luxurious estate. Not only was it prestigious to work in a castle, but lucrative since Damian Wagner was paying almost twice her normal hourly wage.
What a gem to put on my housekeeping resume! To be hire by only one of the world’s most famous authors of horror books—even more famous than Robin Spencer—to clean an honest-to-goodness castle. So what if the Astaire Castle has a reputation of being haunted? I’ll be making a bundle for cleaning five days a week in the daylight. Besides, I don’t believe in no ghosts.
Rafaela regretted her decision the first time she walked into Astaire Castle.
At first, she dismissed her cleaning supplies moving from where she had left them as forgetfulness.  Then there was the time she kept hearing someone whispering her name. She had looked around, but never saw anyone. Same with doors closing or opening or footsteps coming up behind her, and the old-time music and party noises in empty rooms when no one was there—she tried to tell herself that it was all her imagination.
None of that was anything compared to the Wolf Man who she had seen in the dining room mirror while she was cleaning it.
She had heard all about the Wolf Man who lived in the woods surrounding Astaire Castle. The woman with two teenagers who lived in the apartment next to hers was quick to tell her about him. Rafaela had dismissed it all as ghost stories made up by her neighbor’s kids to scare her—until she had seen him with her own two eyes.
That day she ran out of the castle. She returned only after Genevieve, Damian Wagner’s daughter, had promised that her father finish his book and be moving out of the castle by the end of the year—at which time he would pay her a handsome bonus that would give her enough money to visit her family in Brazil for Christmas.
Rafaela caught her breath when her Plymouth entered through the gate at the end of the road to pull into the front courtyard and fountain.
The fountain was off. Damian Wagner had never bothered to turn it on. He wouldn’t notice if it was. He spent his time banging away on his computer in the study on the top floor. He wouldn’t eat if it weren’t for his daughter bringing food to him.
Then there was the editor—Mr. Jansen.
He reminded Rafaela of a bird with his bony frame, high cheekbones over a pointy chin, and thick eyeglasses with his blinking eyes magnified behind them. He sounded like a squawking bird with his high-pitched voice no matter what his mood or what he was saying. Ready to pounce in anticipation of any need from Damian Wagner, he was always lurking nearby.
Damian’s daughter, Genevieve, was as charming as beautiful. She often asked Rafaela about her family in Brazil and about her life in Deep Creek Lake.  For the new immigrant to America, Rafaela felt as if she was making a friend who would give her good references for more housekeeping jobs in the resort town of Spencer—more millionaire estates to clean—estates that weren’t haunted.
Rafaela pulled her car around the circular drive and parked at the bottom of the steep steps that led to the front door. When she got out of her car, the wind howled and whipped her long dark hair around her head. The wind actually seemed to want to rip her thin coat off her body. Grabbing her box of cleaning supplies, she squared her shoulders, and sucked up her nerve to go inside.
Need to make this quick. They don’t have enough money to make me stay here during that storm.
The wind yanked the heavy wooden door from her grasp to slam it against the side of the house.
“Stupid door!” Rafaela set the box inside the foyer and went outside to grab the door and pull it shut. “Mr. Wagner! Mr. Jansen! Genevieve! It’s me, Rafaela! Hope I’m not disturbing you.” She picked up the box and made her way through the foyer.
“Raf-aela …”
She stopped. With wide eyes, she peered up the staircase to the second floor balcony. “Is that you, Mr. Wagner?” She paused to listen. “Genevieve?”
“Get out. Now.”
Has to be my imagination. She reassured herself. “There’s no such thing as ghosts. There’s no such thing as ghosts,” she muttered over and over to herself while hurrying to the back of the castle.
“I don’t suppose you had any trick-or-treaters last night, did you?” she called out to ease her nerves with the sound of her own voice. “Not up here I suppose.”
She waited for an answer. She heard footsteps on the floor up above.
The smell of burnt meat came to her nose. It smelled like steak that had been left on the grill for too long.
They must have grilled steaks last night.
“Lots of little children stopped by my apartment.” Feeling braver as she rattled on, Rafaela set the box of cleaning supplies on the kitchen table and gathered together her duster and furniture polish.
Best to start in the living room. The antiques, wood, and silver takes the longest.
Admiring the decades-old priceless china encased in the china closet, she went through the dining room. With her cleaning lady’s eye, she gauged what needed to be addressed on this visit that she may have missed before. She stopped when the blotch of red on the doorframe through the kitchen caught her eye.
What’s that? Catsup?
It wasn’t until she spotted a spot on the floor that she first considered that it wasn’t a condiment, but something much more sinister.  She spotted another. Bigger this time … and another.
There was a red pool in front of the kitchen door that opened out onto the back patio and deck that projected out over the rocks to provide a massive view of the valley down below. All of the drops and splatters and pools led to the common source—the fire pit outside.
She saw the flames and smoke wafting in the wind whipping around her where she stood in the open doorway. She stared at the blackened objects in the pit. What at first appeared to be a burnt log projecting out of the flames took shape.
The hand and fingers reached out to her.
The index finger was pointing at her.
Through the rapid beating of her heart, Rafaela could hear the footsteps behind her coming closer.
“Get out!”
His image was reflected in the glass pane of the door. The wild hair. The crazed eyes.

It’s the Wolf Man!

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Blog Tour: The Shadow Academy by Adrian Cole

Tour Page HERE.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Adrian Cole was born in PlymouthDevonshire in 1949. He is currently the Director of College Resources in a large secondary school in Bideford, where he now lives with his wife, Judy, son Sam, and daughter Katia. He remains best known for his Dream Lords trilogy as well las his young adult novels, Moorstones and The Sleep of Giants.


The Shadow Academy

Genre: Science Fiction
Paperback, 224 pages
Expected publication: September 1st 2014 by Hades Publications
ISBN 1770530649 (ISBN13: 9781770530645)
After the Plague Wars they waited for the invasion. And as the new Dark Age dawns… there is one who can bring light.
In a world little more than a whisper away from ours, the islands of Grand Brittannia lie just off the shores of the deeply forested content of Evropa, the dark and forbidding realm of legends scarcely remembered. 

Grand Brittannia, itself almost completely a place of deep forest and mystery, has at its heart the crumbling, anachronistic administrative city of Londonborough. From here the Central Authority wields power over the Islands and exercises its control rigidly and clinically. Since the rigours of the Plague Wars, some hundred years in the past, when almost the entire population of the world was wiped out and the gradual decline of civilization began, industry and technology have atrophied, their development now strictly vetted by the Authority. 

Out on the far-flung coasts, a network of ancient fortress ports wait in readiness for an invasion that some say will never come, their ancient, declining Academies committed to the rigours of training the defenders of the Islands. These Academies are subjected to regular inspections by Enforcers from Londonborough, and their native inhabitants are constantly being swelled by the young military graduates from the Authority’s own Military Academies in the center. Into a cauldron of intrigue and subterfuge that is the town and Academy of Petra comes Chad Mundy, the Authority’s replacement for Drew Vasillius, a veteran teacher who has committed suicide. At least, that is what he’s been told…



Review: Winning Love (Love to the Extreme Book 3) by Abby Niles


Winning Love by Abby Niles
Mac “The Snake” Hannon has spent years throwing himself into cage fighting as a way to lash back at the natural disaster that destroyed his future. A call for help has Mac returning to the one place he swore never to return: Kansas—in the height of tornado season.
There he meets free-spirited Gayle Matthews. At first he wants nothing to do with the infuriatingly persistent woman, but the crazy challenges she tosses his way are impossible to resist. As she thaws years of bitterness, bringing back the Mac he believed long gone, he starts to make peace with the past and see the future again. Until he learns she chases his worst nightmare—then he can’t get away fast enough.
Meteorologist and storm chaser, Gayle Matthews is no stranger to being left behind and now believes in living in the moment. She wants to do just that with the handsome extreme fighter with the achingly sad eyes. As she works to replace the sorrow with desire, she finds herself breaking her one rule: have fun but don’t fall in love. When he suddenly pushes her away and she discovers the horrifying reason why, she issues one more challenge: face his fear and come on a chase with her.
Will squaring off with the past lead to a victory for heartache or love?

Buy Winning Love HERE


My thoughts:
I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, it was my first Abby Niles read.  I was thrilled by what I discovered as I read.  The characters are interesting and wonderfully created.  I found it easy to invest in both the characters themselves and their lives.  Gayle (I loved the play on the name) is the strong, independent, capable woman we all want to be; although the history that created her isn't something any of us would willing go through to get there.  

There were many times that I found myself laughing out loud at Gayle's behavior and Mac's reactions, but there were also times that my heart went out to them.  There was a depth to the story that I didn't anticipate.  The multitude of emotions that course through the story keep you hoping for the best for them all. 

I enjoyed the book and plan to read more from this series.

Check out the other books in the Love to the Extreme series:

Fighting Love by Abby Niles
Talk about kicking a fighter while he’s down.
Former Middleweight champion and confirmed bachelor Tommy "Lightning" Sparks has lost it all: his belt, his career, and now his home. After the devastating fire, he moves in with his drama-free best friend, Julie. One encounter changes everything and Julie is no longer the girl he’s spent his life protecting but a desirable woman he wants to take to his bed. Knowing his reputation, he’s determined to protect Julie more than ever—from himself.
Veterinarian Julie Rogers has been in love with Tommy since she was ten, but would love to get over the man. She’s quiet nights at home and a glass of wine. He’s clubbing all night and shots of tequila. As friends they work great. As a couple? No way in hell. She just can’t get her heart to agree. When she starts spending time with another fighter, the man who’s always treated her like a sister is suddenly not being very brotherly and enflames her body like never before.
Can two childhood friends make a relationship work, or will they lose everything because they stopped FIGHTING LOVE
Buy Book 2 HERE

Dante “Inferno” Jones is used to winning in the ring. But when the MMA fighter meets pretty Caitlyn Moore, he seems to be striking out left and right. The more Cait denies his advances, the more intrigued he becomes by the sharp-tongued beauty. She’s a challenge he can’t resist.

Comfortable with the average Joe, Cait doesn’t get it when the ultra-masculine Dante walks into her life and expresses an interest in her. Sure, she’s shed eighty pounds and her confidence is building, but there's nothing spectacular about her. Certainly not enough to hang onto a ripped babe-magnet like Dante, whose violent profession, catty groupies, and cruel competitors are already making her life a living hell.

Dante’s light-hearted pursuit quickly becomes a battle to win her heart as they find themselves thrown together again and again—and it’s affecting his training. Cait won’t let him lose the biggest fight of his career because of her, but when her plan to keep him focused lands her in the dangerous clutches of Dante’s vicious opponent, there is more at stake than just the championship belt.

Buy Book 1 HERE

Friday, October 3, 2014

Blog Tour: Crazy is Normal by Lloyd Lofthouse

This virtual book tour is presented by:
Click HERE for more tour information.

Welcome to The Wormhole and my stop on the tour.

Publisher: Three Clover Press (June 14, 2014)
ISBN: 978-0986032851
Category: Biographies and Memoirs, Educators
Tour Date: October, 2014
Available in: Print & ebook, 386 Pages
Multi award winning author, Lloyd Lofthouse kept a daily journal for one-full school year and that journal became the primary source of this teacher’s memoir.
“Readers who envision eager students lapping up learning led by a Tiger Teacher will be disappointed. Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.
Throughout this memoir, though, Lofthouse seems able to keep the hope alive that there’s a future for each student that doesn’t include jail—thanks in large part to his sixth period journalism class and its incredible editor, Amanda.” – Bruce Reeves


About Lloyd Lofthouse:Lloyd Lofthouse
Little did Lloyd Lofthouse know in 1999, when he married Anchee Min, that he was beginning a journey of discovery. His first trip to The Middle Kingdom was on the honeymoon with his bride, who introduced him to China and Robert Hart (1835-1911), the main characters in Lloyd’s first two novels, My Splendid Concubine andOur Hart. The next decade was a journey of discovery. Lloyd now lives near San Francisco with his wife–with a second home in Shanghai, China.
Lloyd earned a BA in journalism in 1973 after fighting in Vietnam as a U.S. Marine. While working days as an English teacher, he enjoyed a second job as a maitre d’ in a multimillion-dollar nightclub. His short story, A Night at the ‘Well of Purity’ was named as a finalist for the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards.
Lloyd has won 15 awards for My Splendid Concubine and 5 awards for Running With the Enemy.
Buy ‘Crazy is Normal:  Amazon 
Lloyd Lofthouse guest post:

Guest Post:
How did you get started writing a memoir?
The memoir, “Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé” was born, first, in 1994 as a daily journal, when I decided to document my job as a high school English [four classes] and journalism [one class] teacher.
At the time, I had no way to know that in the future, I’d actually use the journal to write a memoir. But without it, there was no way I would have ever remembered what happened on a daily basis. I’m not one of those rare individuals who have flawless memories that forget nothing and have instant recall for any moment in time.
But twenty years of teaching proceeded the year where I took the first step toward writing a memoir.
I started teaching in 1975-76, as a full-time intern in a master teacher’s fifth-grade classroom in an elementary school that had a high rate of childhood poverty and too many at-risk children.
The internship was followed by two years as a substitute teacher that included one semester as a long-term substitute in an elementary school where I replaced a teacher who had a heart attack and then died a few weeks later. At the time, I didn’t know that I was the twelfth substitute in twelve days, and two weeks after I arrived, the principal asked me to stay until the end of the school year. After I started working with those at-risk children, I understood why the former teacher probably had the heart attack.
When I was teaching at that elementary school in 1977, there was concertina wire strung along the roofs to keep the gangs off. It wasn’t unusual to arrive in the morning to see the custodians filling bullet holes in the doors with putty, and covering graffiti on the walls with fresh paint.
That elementary school was a few blocks from Nogales High School where I would eventually end up teaching children from the same community for sixteen years starting in 1989.
My first full-time contract as a teacher, in the same school district, was in 1978-79, at an intermediate school that had a high rate of child poverty in addition to children who belonged to violent and dangerous street gangs—the principal warned us to never leave the campus and walk into the local community, because it was too dangerous even during the day.
It wasn’t until 1993, that I’d work with high achievers, when I agreed to teach that one period of journalism. It made sense. After all, my BA was in journalism and my MFA was in writing.
Near the end of that school year in 1994—working with those incredible high achievers in journalism—it occurred to me that this was a unique experience and one day I might want to write about it, so I decided to keep that daily journal.
After I left teaching in 2005, and had published my first two novels, “My Splendid Concubine” and “Running with the Enemy”, I was copy editing the completed rough draft of my wife’s eighth book, a memoir, “The Cooked Seed” by Anchee Min, and I remembered that long-forgotten journal. I searched the garage where it had sat on a shelf gathering dust for 17 years.
I dusted the journal off, read it to see if there was enough material for a memoir; decided there was, and “Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé” was born. The journal is much longer than the memoir.
While I was writing the memoir, I became aware of the growing resistance across the country against the Machiavellian Common Core Standards that were funded mostly by Bill Gates, who partnered with the White House in an obvious attempt to destroy democratic public education in the United States and turn our children over to profit-driven Charter schools run by corporate managers and CEOs, and not elected school boards.
This insanity started with President G. W. Bush’s No Child Left Behind, which mandated that 100-percent of children ages 17/18 had to be college/career ready by 2014-15.
President Obama then launched his Race to the Top and Common Core State Standards designed to use standardized tests to rank and the fire teachers even though there is no evidence that these tests were a valid method to determine the quality of a teacher. In fact, there is a host of evidence that proves the opposite—that using the results of student tests to judge teachers was wrong.

I think my memoir offers dramatic, narrative evidence that it’s impossible to achieve a goal that mandates 100-percent of children by age 17/18 must be college/career ready—after all, at no point in history in any country in the world has this been achieved. In addition, there are already about three college graduates in the United States for every job that requires a college degree.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Blog Tour: Ursa Unearthed by JL Madore

This virtual book tour is presented by Bewitching Book Tours.

Welcome to The Wormhole and my stop on the tour.


Ursa Unearthed: Scourge Survivor Series: Book 2
JL Madore

Genre: Fantasy Romance
Number of pages: 340

Book Description:

Mika’s life has never been normal, but it’s hers.

After being told by the Great Spirit to stand up for the Earth Mother’s children and “save the great species from extinction,” she buries herself in an investigative journalism career hunting down poachers and exposing illegal trade in wildlife exotics. A survivor by nature, she would rather fight injustice than maneuver the hassles and heartache of relationships anyway.

When danger suddenly finds her unprepared, Mika’s perception of her life is shattered and she is hurled into a realm of magic and murder she does not understand. Seduced by Bruin, the powerful and sexy warrior who saves her life, Mika is catapulted into a world where Were-creatures and Scourge assassins threaten not only her life but her heart as well.

With the boundary between worlds crumbling, Mika realizes that her destiny to save the great species will draw her deeper into a reality more terrifying to her than anything she has faced before.

Trusting in love.

Available at Amazon

Excerpt:

Ambar Lenn – Fate's Journey

Alone in the dark, Aust sat at the bottom of the grand staircase of Jade's manse, staring at the cryptic words mounted on the foyer wall. Translated by the Centaur, Chiron of Deleran, the Queen Oracles' prophesy hung opposite the double entrance doors. Aust's Elven brothers and warrior friends boasted thoughts and theories as to its meaning, but theories they remained. And on nights when reverie evaded him—which occurred more oft than not—he sat within the silent stone walls of Jade's new home and tried to glean the prophesy's meaning:

Journey of Fate, two realms to purge
Weapons drawn against the Scourge
Blaze of passion,
Trust unearthed,
Cleansing of past,
Spirit rebirthed,
Fate or free-will, which to choose?
With love to gain and life to lose.
Darkness hides in familiar form
A brother's betrayal, a sister's storm
Empower lost souls or evil shall reign
Noble the child of argenteous mane

Journey of Fate—the first line referred to their Ambar Lenn, everyone agreed on that point. Four fortnights past, the inception of his, Galan's and Thamior's journey to manhood had triggered unforeseen events. On that night—the night the exile of his people was lifted—the three of them had set off from the Highborne village to find their path.
Aust had yet to find anything . . . save grief.
His Eda had been slain, his Naneth left heart-weary, and his people so offended by his goddess-given affinity to communicate with his animal brothers and sisters, they cast him out.
Galan fared well enough, and for at least that much, he rejoiced. Jade was a remarkable female, and to have Recognized with his mate . . . there was no greater blessing. Together, partners in life and purpose, the two now served Castian as Protectors of the Realm of the Fair.
Thamior's journey? Well . . . Tham remained Tham e'ermore. Aust marveled at the strength of spirit the male possessed, his love and wonder of all things, the simple joy he found in living free within the Realm of the Fair. Tham had yet to make any progress in his journey, yet paid it no mind.
Weapons drawn against the Scourge—Aust was more than ready to take up arms against the enemy of the realm. He yearned to prove his value, burned to avenge his dead. There were moments, the fury boiled so white-hot in his blood, he almost drowned in the lure of vengeance and pain. He quelled those impulses as best he could.
For the choices made to navigate the journey of the Ambar Lenn would determine if he could ever be thought of as a male of worth. And so he pushed back the anguish and the anger and waited . . . .

About the Author:

JL Madore, lover of family, animals and chocolate has a soft spot for romance and a hot button for sexy stories. She didn't find writing so much as it found her. Waking each morning with a vivid cast of characters tangled in chaos in her head, it seemed essential to capture them on the page.


Author web links: www.jlmadore.ca



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, September 29, 2014

Blog Tour: Twinkle by SJ Parkinson


Publisher: SJ Parkinson (July 14, 2014)
Category: Science Fiction, Thriller
Tour Date: October, 2014
Available in: Print & ebook, 600 Pages
In the newest book from award winning author, SJ Parkinson, The richest man in the world wants to celebrate the July 4th holiday as never before. In a bid to get into the record books, a global fireworks show is staged from orbit. Satellites drop pyrotechnics into the atmosphere, thrilling everyone from the Arctic to the Antarctic with their rich colors and massive explosions in every time zone.
The next day, people around the globe begin to lose their sight. Governments crumble, society degenerates, and infrastructure falls into chaos. Humanity finds itself stumbling in the dark and losing all hope.
A few fortunate individuals retain their vision. Attempting to deal with the growing despair around them, they come together to discover the true purpose and origin of the affliction. They race to find a cure before the world is subjugated under an invading power.
About SJ Parkinson:SJ Parkinson
Mr. Parkinson was an Air Force avionics technician, a decorated veteran of the Persian Gulf War, and several United Nations peacekeeping missions. He has lived overseas in numerous countries and travels extensively. His novels have been praised for their realism and sold in fourteen countries, winning multiple international awards.
Awards: Three “Outstanding in Genre” Gold Seal awards from Red Adept Publishing and Kindle Book of the Month award Oct 2013 by the People’s Choice Book Awards.
Interview:
* When did you first realize you wanted to be a writer?
I've written short stories since primary school days, which is a long time ago. Creating a world with words has always had appeal to me. As a child, I was a voracious reader and enjoyed losing myself in various books.

* How many jobs did you have before you became a writer?
After my career in the military, I owned a computer gaming company for nine years. From there, I went to work in a series of IT jobs in the electronics, financial, confectionary, and education fields.

* What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?
I typically write from multiple POV's throughout the story. I was eventually told that this was the most difficult way to write, but I found it to come naturally. A lot of my books don't have a main protagonist either. My stories are told from the perspective of many people and I think that reflects real life. I don’t use overt sex, profanity, or extreme violence, but I do write for a mature reader.
I feel validated in that approach as my novels have sold in fourteen countries, won international awards, and are highly rated. I also have a dedicated group of readers who are incredibly supportive of my work.

* Where do you get your ideas or inspiration for your characters?
When I'm travelling and waiting for a connecting flight, I'll sit at my gate and people watch as they walk by my gate. Humanity is diverse and I always see people who inspire characters. I make mental notes of appearance and their actions then jot them down later for future reference. 
* How do you decide what you want to write about?
I have no shortage of ideas. My current project list has about twenty potential books at various stages of development. As an example, my wife went to the bathroom at a movie theater in Puerto Rico and while waiting those few minutes in the hallway, I thought of another sci-fi project. My biggest issue is time and being able to focus on getting a story onto paper.

* What books have most influenced your life?
That list is almost endless. I have read thousands of books which influenced me in some way. Dune by Frank Herbert, Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein, The Day of the Jackal by Frederick Forsyth, anything by Issac Asimov, etc. Good fiction lets you lose yourself in the world created by the author.

* What are you reading right now?
Today I usually read books to research future projects. However, the last book I read purely for entertainment was a biography of Nikola Tesla.

* What do you like to do when you are not writing?
I have many outside interests. I scuba dive, have dinner out with friends, and love to travel. My wife and I just got back from a long romantic weekend in Puerto Rico a few weeks ago. When at home, I watch documentaries, read books, maintain my website, and social media presence. Plus, my wife always has a 'Honey-do' list handy if she feels I am otherwise unoccupied.

* What is your favorite comfort food?
Rocky Road with hot fudge and sprinkles. Sprinkles make everything taste better.

* What do you think makes a good story?
I take great pains to make my stories believable. If the reader sees errors in how a world is constructed then it will fall apart. A credible setting, realistic characters, and natural dialog are the cornerstones of a solid novel regardless of genre.
Typically, I do at least a week or two of research for a novel before writing a word. Twinkle was so broad in scope that the research for that novel took me three months. At the end of that time, I know the places, settings, and descriptions of the various places intimately and as a result I can write a lot faster. Often the research will give me information to take a character in a completely different direction than what I had initially envisioned.

* Who would you consider your favorite author and why?
Frederick Forsyth, Michael Crichton, Bernard Cornwell, and Tom Clancy all inspired me deeply. Forsyth’s plots are so realistic you can imagine them coming from a newspaper headline. Crichton takes existing science and brings it one step further. Bernard Cornwell sets his fictional books against actual historical events and Clancy’s ability to create tension is unparalleled. I try to use elements of each in my writing.

Fun random questions:
• dogs or cats?
Am a dog person, but currently I have two cats.
• Coffee or tea?
Coffee. Just one cup in the morning.
• Dark or milk chocolate?
Milk, but with fruit and nut pieces.
• Rocks or flowers?
Flowers in the rocks. I love hiking and neither choice is a bad thing.
• Night or day?
I'm a night person, but love a blue sky sunshine filled day to get out and have fun with friends.
• Favorite color?
A majestic imperial purple.
• Crayons or markers?
Markers.
• Pens or pencils?

Pencils can be erased if you make a mistake. 

Buy Twinkle:

Giveaway:

a Rafflecopter giveaway