Tag Archives: blog tour

Author Linda Mims Stops by The Indie Spot!

It is my privilege and honor to introduce to you indie author Linda Mims. Take a few minutes to read about this talented writer and show your support by leaving a comment for her. Take it away, Linda…

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An interview with the Author …

 

Why did you write this story? I wanted a story that would resonate with the Millennials who are moving away from the inner cities. I wanted them to see the affect that not giving back to the community will have in the long run. It’s for the Black and Brown Lives Matter advocates who must also teach that education matters. Voting matters. Stopping the violence matters. Breaking the code of silence matters. LOVE matters. I put it in a mystery because people like them, but I hope they will still hear the message.

 

Who is this book for? Originally, it was for the New Adult category, but as it grew, it became a story that any adult could read and relate to. I’d like for teachers in the inner-city to recommend it to students who are mature enough to handle adult themes.

 

How did you come up with the title? When I was writing the scene where Cameron Reed explains to his son-in-law, Dickey, how Noel received her sight, I was in the “zone”. Dogs were meowing, cats were barking, and the houses were sizzling with electric lightening. I saw them glowing in bright, neon orange and yellow.

 

Why did you give your main character paranormal powers? As I was writing I wanted her to have a secret and I decided, “wouldn’t it be great if her own husband didn’t really know the extent of her secrecy?” Also, paranormal is a popular trend and I wanted to keep it current for my readers.

 

You say this is a series. When can readers expect the next installment? The outline has been created and the rough draft is swimming around in my head. I’ll say before the end of 2017.

 

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Author Bio:

Linda Mims started creating tales in her head as a child. At age 12, she knew she was onto something when she sold a story to her grandmother for a quarter, but it was her dad’s more practical advice, to get a good education and find a real job, that she followed.

After retiring from her “real job” as an educator, Linda began her writing career as an indie author. The tale of The Neon Houses was born out of a careless comment that people had lost interest in reading. The joke was that decades from now we’d need to hold reading nights in neighborhood parks for citizens who wouldn’t be able to read.

Linda rolled that idea around in her head until it turned into a whole society of have-nots. Once the idea got rolling, she worked nonstop until she’d finished the first draft. Writing is now her real job!

Linda Mims resides in a small suburban town 30 miles outside of Chicago, IL where she likes to cook, garden, and blog, sometimes simultaneously. She is married to her long-time love, has two grown daughters and one bossy, bichon-pom, Alexis.

Twitter – http://www.twitter.com/boom_lyn

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLindaMimsmbria

Website – https://lindamims.com/blog/

 

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THE NEON HOUSES
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01M8P63E3

Dr. Noel Kennedy hears screams inside her head, but the screams aren’t hers. While preparing for her annual end-of-summer barbecue, Noel hears her young friend—twenty-year-old Zarah Fisher—screaming for her life. However Zarah is miles away!

Noel knows the exact moment Zarah takes her last breath because Noel has a secret! It’s a secret that not even her husband Richard knows.

As the Deputy Chief of Schools of Gang Territory, Noel has perfected her life. She is a solid, middle-class citizen from New Chicago, Incorporated. New Chicago and Gang Territory have become vastly different societies since the early Urban Wars. Now, year 2087 finds New Chicago’s military-trained police determined to enforce laws that keep “gang people” out.

Harlem Pierce, a New Chicago police detective, has been warned to stay away from this case and he urges Noel to let it go. But a new killing involves Noel’s younger cousin and her boyfriend and links Noel to it in a startling way.

Who can Noel draw on? Must she turn to Warren Simpson—the menacing, treacherous boss of Gang Territory? Or … could he be the killer?

https://youtu.be/_JrglVENUOs

“The tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”

Author Tia Shurina Pays Us A Visit!

Time to introduce you to another talented indie author. Today, fresh on her global blog tour, is Tia Shurina, author of the memoir Everything and a Happy Ending. Take it away, Tia…

tia-shurina-author-pic

DAY 2

A blessed begin in gratitude to Beem Weeks for sharing your sacred spotlight… your blog space with me & to the Rave Reviews Book Club members who organized this tour.

From the moment I closed the cover of EAT PRAY LOVE, I somehow sensed it would be made into a movie… so important was its message about staying true to self I felt.  That book ending was also a beginning for me, of a challenging time, as I faced myself in my mirror everyday day, moved in a very sad way, by my cowardice & lack of courage to be true to my own self.   Who knew where the start of that particular reflection would ultimately lead & how the Universe would guide that cowardice inside…who knew?!   I not only didn’t, but detoured, delayed & deterred that journey for a great deal of time.

Years passed, & gratefully, my reflection slowly passed some important seasons as well.

Quite a bit of time later, an old friend & I re-connected.  As Ray & I began to round an old sacred circle of friendship that birthed something new & beautiful together, we both also moved through our own challenging times separately.  Our new story, already a bit complex in its roots, grew more complicated as our circle rolled ‘round.   I had already been trying to release the last little grip I was hanging onto in a relationship that was ready to die, so that I could finally, fully, honor my own self above all else.  As I struggled to let go, my husband struggled to hang on to our marriage, with all his might.   Ray’s wife was sick with cancer.  Who he was, & what his celebrity symbolizes in the world, called for a hyper-sensitivity on our part to those around us as we tried to stay sensitive to our own wants, needs & desires at same time.  That very important career, & who he is, along with our holy honoring of those other important people, also “set the stage” tho, for a fantastical love story, fueled by a most unique way to be able to communicate.  It is an extraordinary, beautiful story, yet, balanced by an ordinary, bittersweet sadness.

Since I feel so strongly that the struggle to honor our own selves is so hard for so many of us, for so many reasons, &, as a longtime lover of movies, feeling equally as passionate about the power of Hollywood to inspire & influence so positively, I was especially thrilled to be invited recently to a Q&A with Matthew Welsh of SpiritualMediaBlog.com, a site devoted to spirituality in entertainment in Hollywood.  I’m honored to share it with you here.

1.What is your book about & why did you write it?

My book, Everything and a Happy Ending, is a memoir that shares my journey with 3 separate, different, yet similar & very interconnected relationships & love stories with the 3 most important men in my life. I share a very full circle journey with each man which details that connectedness & sheds light on how each impacted me & has helped move me around my circle of life.

I wrote the book, & published the book for 2 different reasons. I wrote it to be another tool for one of the men, the 3rd of the special trio, that had been using my writing for quite time some very privately, with a beautiful, almost heavenly, holy, success. He’d been struggling to shed the persona he had created for himself & our relationship was the key he needed to unlock the hold from a role everybody loves for himself. The 3rd part of the trifecta is an extraordinary spectacular love story along the lines of the Oscar winning movie, Marty. He’s a writer himself & was wanting to do the re-make but still needed a little more help from me at that point, so I decided to ghostwrite it. I still felt strongly it was his story, & his desire, to tell, along with his own equally moving story about his relationship with his own dad. He’s the writer & the one I felt most would want to hear it from. At a certain point, though, I started to gain clarity & accept the possibility that maybe the story was meant for me to tell, from my perspective. I began to realize it might be “meant to be”, for me, to be the one to share it & communicate it in order for it to have the impact it’s meant to have & to be seen in a different light than if he was the one to write it. I began to understand that him telling it actually held potential to do a dis-service to our story, simply because of his name…. who he is might taint the story for many, before it could be told through in its entirety. I felt many would judge it, criticize it & label it for no other reason than his identity. I also realized as a young woman petrified of ever being looked at or stared it, for fear I was surely being judged, it might be an important opportunity that was being gifted to me to step outside my comfort zones that I had realized along my way I was desperate to do in my life.

I decided, eventually, to publish the book as a way to help me regain the financial security I gifted to him along our journey together. It was an incredible gift of trust that I’d never been able to give in my life before that I felt strongly I not only wanted to give another, but finally felt the confidence in myself & had the tools, the faith, & the strength, thanks to my father, who is one of the men I share about, to give another. In giving him “everything”, I showed him, the Universe, & most importantly, myself, I was capable of giving the exact kind of love I wanted to allow myself to receive in my life. To experience a mature, healthy, adult, romantic relationship with a beautiful balance rooted in a true love, not in guilt or entitlement or fear or obligation…just pure desire & free choice to be in the relationship. And with that, I handed him my heart, my soul, & my wallet too …I offered up my mental, emotional, spiritual & physical well-being as I risked “everything”, in an “All-in” act of complete & total trust. Our re-connection, & my influence, moved him powerfully, & I ultimately decided it was powerful enough to move another, if one was wanting to move themself, to a metamorphosis & transformation like I had helped my dad with, then he helped me with as I moved myself through one & then held the 3rd man’s hand through his own after his own dad passed.

When I ended my 20-year marriage, a 25-year union with a very important man I loved very much but was not “in love” with, on the heels of my dad’s death, I was ready to move on to a new start & a new “mini life” as my old boss used to say. I put that new start on hold to help an old special friend. I am thrilled for him for where he is at this point in his life. His happiness is very, very important to me. But, so is my own, & I would like the same for myself & I’d like to re-turn to the new start I had taken a big step towards but then stuck myself in a standstill of stagnation after re-connecting with him & committing myself very privately to him. Stillness & stagnation are two very different things & I allowed myself to blur some lines while I waited which was a very unhealthy thing for me to do. Publishing my writing, my story, was a firm faithful step towards moving in stillness again, allowing myself to be led out of an unhealthy standstill as I re-committed to myself, 1st & foremost, & going with the flow of my life instead of trying to push against it in fear.

 

  1. You have written your journey almost destroyed you. How did your journey almost destroy you?

When I ended my long marriage, it was a complete flip of almost everything that had been put in place in my life up to that point. I had chosen, when I was much younger, a very safe life because I was scared of so much. I was afraid as a child & I grew into an afraid adult. Ending my marriage was part of a process of reversing a lot of choices I had made as a younger woman, of my own free will, but wound up in my life, as a woman of a certain age, with a lot of dissatisfaction & sadness. The life of security & protection I had chosen as a younger woman, I realized along my way, may have protected me from SOME certain things that I felt strongly at the time I wanted & needed protection from, brought a whole different set of worries, pains, & insecurities that I had not had the maturity nor the health of body mind & spirit to help me understand would be waiting down the line for me as my choices caught up with me. When I made the flip, I turned everything on a dime as I rounded a soulful circle & in order to balance out a life of safety I had lived up to that point, I wound up out on an incredibly lovely, but very scary, unsafe limb. It would have been challenging enough, given my age, & statistics that surround long term committed couples splitting, & society’s view of divorce equaling failure for the most part…but, the story took an incredible turn that upped those stakes with risks worthy of a Las Vegas casino & craps table when I crossed paths with an old special friend at the exact precise special moment I embarked on that change for myself. The story, & our journey is detailed in the book, but I’ll share here that at a certain point along the way, a very private, very personal, very intimate prayer for him was shared with God, & with him, & what unfolded, as the Universe answered my prayer is our extraordinary story. That it came on the heels of his own prayer, a very public, very specific prayer, shared with his fans &, of course with God, makes our story that much more spectacular. Our journey together “almost” destroyed me, as I gave every single sacred spec of trust I finally felt safe enough & intimate enough with another to give & made the choice to leave myself totally, completely vulnerable, for the 1st time in my life, at an age when many are deepening their footholds on security & safety. The shit really hit the fan for me & my life as I went All-In, and stayed all-in instead of folding, but I kept my faith, thanks in good part to my dad, a real & true gambler, & my story wound up my saving me, not destroying me.

 

  1. What did you do that helped you through your journey and make it so your journey did not destroy you.

I leaned on my dear, but very dead dad, in the same way I had finally allowed myself to lean on him as an adult in the few years before he passed as our relationship changed. And I prayed, with the same faith, to the same Universe & life force that I had prayed along my way in my story…the perfect power that my dad was now a part of. The unbreakable bond of love reached through time & space & would not let me give up. I gave up so easily as a young woman. My dad came to know this, as well as the why’s that was as we forged a new relationship later in our lives & I opened my soul to him. And he truly reached from heaven I feel, to hold my hand through a very challenging transition & metamorphosis long in the making for me. The power that our transformed relationship held, changed my life, my “story” & then that same unbreakable bond of love changed another’s.

 

  1. What is your—or the book’s—connection to Ray Romano? How does he tie in to the journey or the book?

Ray is the 3rd man in the trio. He is called by another name, Emilio, a private nickname between he & I that he gave himself many years ago, when we were much younger. An amazing faithful foresight the divine gifted our story at that perfect time as a special seed was planted given who he would eventually become & the need for such privacy many, many years later. I lived a few years with his need for complete & total privacy and discretion at the very top of my list. Unfortunately, it came at the exact time I had finally felt ready to put myself 1st & foremost in my life. And there was a clash as I tried to do what I felt was best for myself, for my ex & for my old special friend at the same time. And, that clash came with incredible consequences to me. Trying to juggle all 3 wants & desires exhausted me. I used his nickname as I wrote as a way to stay in the authenticity of the way I had lived my life for those few years, & stay true to the spirit of the life I had been living …. very privately, very much committed to keeping the identity of the very special man in my life private, at all costs.

 

  1. What advice would you give to other people who are trying to love themselves but are often too hard on themselves?

I will share my athlete dad’s most profound advice to his children as we were growing up, “hold your form”, as I offer up that in my case, the gift of patience & fortitude I finally gave myself made a huge difference. When I finally started to be gentler with myself & take the time to “just breathe” through some certain difficult times instead of feeling a failure because I had allowed them in the 1st place, it was then that “everything” started to change for me. I baby-stepped through a complete & total transformation, with a few faithful fantastical leaps thrown at the right & perfect time to balance those baby steps, but, for the most part…I moved slowly, & thoughtfully & instead of losing patience & scolding myself for all the things we can usually find to berate & betray our own selves, I decided to keep the faith. Whether it’s a new weight, a new job, a new relationship, or a whole new life one is wanting for themselves… it can be daunting & overwhelming & certainly discouraging when only focused on the end result. Holding your vision is so important, yet, holding your form the best you can through each & every day is what moves you to that vision & often, just zeroing in on the baby steps necessary to make it through one beautiful but brutally challenging day is the most important thing we can do for ourselves. If anyone had told me after my dad passed how long, how challenging, & how much heartbreak & sadness I was going to have to move through to make it through to the other side I feel quite certain I would have turned around & ran the other way, as I did for much of my life. Suffering is different than sadness though, & when I began to give myself some patience as I committed to “holding my form”, I began to see the difference & was able to start inching through the sadness as I released my grip & my choice to stay & suffer by shutting the uncomfortable down or ignoring it or trying to move through it quickly as if it didn’t exist.

 

  1. Anything else?

As a piggyback & a p.s. to #6, I’d like to share the importance of gratitude. It is so challenging sometimes when we are faced in real life with the pains & struggles & sufferings we are witness to as well as have to move through ourselves in our human life. But, in my own story, when I began to search for the blessing, & the meaning that might be held for me through any given experience, especially the hard & painful ones, instead of allowing myself to play the victim as I asked “why me” as I had done often in my younger years, it was a powerful gift & shift that helped me immensely as I embarked on the journey to change the ending for my story.

 

Everything and a Happy Ending, an award-winning memoir published by Mascot Books, details the soulful shift of a story as Tia shares her holy grail & trail she took to transform her life.  After moving through her own metamorphosis, she then helped an old friend, Ray Romano, move through his own transition, going with the flow very privately, but most profoundly.

“My journey almost destroyed me.”  Almost.  Boy, have I come to like that word.  What a pleasurable word “almost” can be.  You may almost be ready to buy my book.  You may almost be ready to begin an exciting new journey of your own.  You may almost be over that rainbow Judy Garland sings about.  What great potential “almost” can hold if you can flip your way of thinking.  Just imagine, controlled pessimism, doubt & fear flipped into blind optimism, faith & love.

That flip helped Tia move to a place where heaven meets earth…the pearly gates of her own happy ending.  Changing the ending for her story brought a pure, precious peace of heart, but kicked her butt a bit as she made her way… committed to keeping her faith. The book was a plan C, maybe even D, but Tia was determined, after a dedicated intention & divine decision to start swimming more with the current of her life, instead of bucking that flow.  Her ordinary, relatable story took an extraordinary, fantastical turn when she showed the Universe she was committed to her intention & her desire to be given an opportunity to make some new, different choices for herself.  EAAHE is a memoir that shares the “how’d that happen?” & the “how’d she do that?” in a holy hope of helping others to see life in a new way.

EAAHE recounts 3 interconnected relationships & stories that enable Tia to love truly, deeply, & most of all, love herself.  Three special circles she rounded with Ray, her dad, & her ex-husband.  A woman’s full circle journey to learn how to really trust, how to “thine own self be true,” & then, the “real & true” love it led her ‘round back to.  It shares how the power of love & a journey to intimacy helped her make a faithful flip which began a sacred circle and new chapter… one that would allow a different ending for a story she had begun writing for herself when she was much younger.  One that Tia feels strongly will inspire other women of a certain age keep faith that it’s not too late to write a new ending for their own, as they embrace their history, not try to re-write it.

Tia is, most days, filled with joy.  She is, every day, filled with peace.  She looks forward to a happy ending each new day now, however it unfolds, whomever it holds, & whatever way the Universe molds, as she continues to create a new “happily ever after”, staying committed to rising above her fears, moving out of her comfort zones, & going with the flow of her life.

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http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/will-tia-shurina-give-ray-romano-a-happy-ending-new-memoir-reveals-relationship-and-unveils-transformation-300212049.html

http://everythingandahappyending.com/

Here are what some customers are saying on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B015I13RDC/ref=dp-kindle-redirect?_encoding=UTF8&btkr=1#customerReviews

“The tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”

Writing Less To Say More!

Indie author Kim Cox is standing in the Rave Reviews Book Club Spotlight! I invite you to discover this talented writer in her own words! Take it away, Kim…

Words have power - handwriting on a napkin with cup of coffee

Last month I read a few articles about writing less to say more. I’ve come a long way but I still struggle with this. Writing a story came much easier before I learned so many rules about it.

Okay, I’m from the south, born and raised in North Carolina. I’ve lived in the southeast of the United States all my life. I moved to the western part of the state about twenty-seven years ago. I now live in the North Carolina mountains. People move here from everywhere. Most of those I work with lived somewhere else, Texas, New York, and Virginia are three of the places I know for sure.

Being southern, I naturally love to use lots of words to get my point across. I don’t really write flowery or try to use big words but I do talk and write in a wordy manner. Why use two words when I can use five or ten instead. For example, I used to say (until someone made fun of me), “I need to go do that now or I’ll be forgot.” Trying it again in a shorter manner, “I need to do that now before I forget.” Even shorter. “I’m doing it now.” See how easy that was. Not really but you get the idea.

In other words, coming from the south, I grew up in a passive speaking atmosphere. I try my best to write active instead. I even try to talk better.

At work, I write in a business manner, so I’m forever changing the words “You need to” or “You should” to “This needs to be” or “This should be” in order to not come off to others as accusatory.  So, sometimes I have to use more words than are needed to not sound harsh to the person I’m trying to train or explain something to. This doesn’t help my fiction writing where I need to write shorter and less stilted. Business writing is formal, especially the reports I have to write.

Does anyone have a trick they use to keep their writing short and less wordy?

For more information on the subject of Writing Less to Say More:

Write Less, Say More: The Power of Brevity

How to write less and say more

Embracing Brevity: How to Write Less and Say More

Saying It Short: A ‘Less Is More’ Guide to Effective Writing

About Kim Cox

KC - Author PhotoKim Cox is an author of Paranormal, Mystery, Suspense and Romance. She lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina with her chain saw artist husband, their West Highland White Terriers–Scooter and Harley, and a Yorkie mix, Candi. Kim is published in novels, short stories and articles.

Sign up for Kim’s Readers List for exclusive information, new releases, contests, giveaways, and free books.

Visit her at the following sites:

Author’s Website: http://www.kimcoxauthor.com

Blogs: Kim’s Musings, Kim’s Author Support Page

Amazon Author Page: http://amazon.com/author/kimcox

Social Media locations:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kimcoxauthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KimCoxAuthor

Google: https://plus.google.com/+KimCoxAuthor/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/kimcox

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/kimwrtr/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kimwrtr

ALL THIS TIME

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Style & Profile Series – Book 1

At thirty, Jenny Morgan’s biological clock is ticking. But as a fashion magazine CEO with a busy schedule and no significant other, her wish is unlikely to come true. When her father receives a potentially terminal diagnosis, he longs for a grandchild before he dies. With her religious beliefs, a sperm donor isn’t an alternative. Jenny’s only immediate available option is her single co-worker and best friend, Trevor Drake. Can she really trust him to be a good husband?

Trevor has loved Jenny since college, but she only sees him as a friend with no ambition. After he learns of her predicament, he proposes and sets out to prove he can provide everything she needs. Jenny is determined to have a prenuptial agreement with an “out” clause after one year. Can Trevor convince Jenny of his love by then?

As if they don’t have enough on their plate, someone at the magazine is out to stop their wedding and their impending parenthood, and destroy the magazine’s reputation. Jenny is nearly killed in a sabotage attempt. Can Jenny and Trevor to make a life together while uncovering a common enemy?

Available now in print and electronic formats through Amazon Kindle and Amazon Print,  24Symbols, Barnes & Noble Nook, iTunes iBook, Kobo, and Page Foundry.

Read more . . .

Coming up next in the Style & Profile series, book two, BEFORE WE WED: With her family visiting from Atlanta, Sarah Martin is left at the altar when her fiancée, Jon Clayton, is carried off in handcuffs for running a car theft ring. Is Jon being guilty or being framed? If was frame, can Sarah find out who’s behind it without getting herself killed?

SM - Book Cover 

The Hungary Eyes Blog Tour Featuring Maurice G. Miller

Greetings, dear readers. I am so excited to introduce to you my very special guest blogger today,  the talented indie writer Maurice G. Miller. Please make Maurice feel right at home by saying hello in the comments below.

Take it away, Maurice…

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Welcome to the “Hungary Eyes” Blog Tour with Maurice G. Miller

 

First, I would like to thank my gracious host for giving me the privilege to guest blog here on the fourth stop of my weeklong tour. Also, a debt of gratitude to 4 Wills Publishing for organizing all this. The tour runs today through October 14th. If you are interested in continuing with me on the tour stops (and I know you will), just click here for the dates and locations, and don’t forget to bookmark the page. Thanks!

 

Moving away from the book and my writing for a day, I thought it would be interesting to take a look at the current conditions in Hungary, 25 years after the time period that the events in ‘The Budapest Experiment’ took place. It is amazing to me to watch the current resurgence of Russia, and Putin’s vision of a restored Soviet Union. During the recent season premiere, in an interview with 60 Minutes, Putin identified the fall of the Soviet Union in the late 1980’s and early 90’s as one of the great tragedies in Russian history. This, combined with the recent Middle East refugee crisis that has plagued Hungary, makes for some interesting situations. Below is a revised excerpt from my very first blog post ever in April of 2015. Please be sure to leave comments/questions/feedback at the end of the post, they are much appreciated.

Political Tug of War – Hungary Revisited

Looking through world headlines these days, you can’t help but take notice of all that is going on with Russia on the world stage. For me, an interesting sidebar to these global events are stories on the role that Hungary could potentially play in Russia’s plans.

The setting of my soon to be released fiction novel, “The Budapest Experiment”, takes place in Hungary in the year 1991. Having spent some time there in the early nineties, I have always held an interest in the progress of Hungary’s democracy, economy, and people. This is what prompted me to choose this topic for my first blog ever. Heavy subject matter, I agree, but I hope you find it to be interesting.

Region in Crisis

The annexation of Crimea and the support of rebel forces in eastern Ukraine have resulted in serious economic sanctions against Russia from the US, Western Europe, and other nations in 2014. Additional sanctions in 2015 seem inevitable. This, combined with falling oil prices, have done some serious damage to the Russian economy. Many are predicting a renewal of the Cold War, and every day there are stories of Russia flexing its military muscle, in one capacity or another, at different locations around the globe. On top of this, the recent assassination of Boris Nemstov, leader of a political opposition group against Putin’s policies, adds more fuel to the fire.

Recent assaults in the Ukraine cities of Donetsk, Lugansk, and Mariupol are evidence that the alleged Russian backed rebel movement is gaining momentum. Securing critical border locations and transportation routes between Ukraine and Russia would allow for covert movements of military resources between the two countries. I am certainly no expert in the area of global political, and military strategies, but it would not be surprising for me to see the rebels slowly gain more control of Ukrainian territory. Perhaps by the end of 2015 going so far as to make a move on Odessa, a major Ukrainian seaport on the northern shores of the Black Sea with key trade routes to Eastern and Western Europe. The big question is will the US and its allies have to become involved in some military capacity to stop the rebel advances, increasing tensions with Russia, and putting the world on the brink?

What’s Hungary Got To Do With It?

Much like the protagonist in my fiction novel, my first trip to Hungary was in January of 1991. It was fourteen months after the fall of the Berlin wall and the perceived end of the Cold War that had been going on for decades. I remember it as a time of great excitement, hope, and anticipation, as Russia and the former Soviet Bloc countries in Eastern/Central Europe were transitioning from Communism to Democracy, and from state to market economies. Hungary and Poland were at the forefront of this transition, with business laws in place to encourage foreign direct investment, privatization, and repatriation of profits.

As we look at Hungary 25 years later, there is an interesting dynamic going on with the current ruling Fidesz party and the Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban. Some experts feel the Hungarian government is shifting allegiances more toward Russia and away from the European Union. The country’s key geographical location in Central Europe could be a vital piece in the political strategy puzzle that Vladimir Putin may be trying to put together. While this may seem like a far-fetched idea, citizens of Hungary are concerned about this, evidenced by large demonstrations in Budapest recently. This dynamic was reinforced by a cordial meeting between Putin and Orban on February 17, 2015, where an agreement was reached over natural gas supplies and routes. Putin’s meeting was sandwiched in between the reportedly, not so friendly, meetings with European Union (EU) leaders the German Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Poland’s Prime Minister Ewa Kopacz. As all three of these meetings were taking place, Hungarians took to the streets of Budapest in protest, fears of a return to a Communist way of life living in the hearts of many.

Orban has recently come under scrutiny for returning the country toward centralized systems in public education and administration. Political corruption in the government has also been made to be a point of contention. The US recently denied six Hungarian diplomats entry into the country based on outstanding corruption charges. Orban is now faced with a political tug of war and the challenge of straddling the fence, trying to balance relations with both Russia and the EU. Hungary has been part of the EU since 2004. Will Hungary be the first EU country to defect and join instead the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU)? Will the EEU expand their integration to include military and political union?

Hungary ‘On the Fence’ – Blog Update

Anyone that is keeping track of world news lately is aware of Hungary’s dilemma in the middle of the overwhelming refugee crisis. Hundreds of thousands of Syrians and other Middle Easterners fleeing their war torn countries trying to make their way to asylum in Western Europe, look to choose the most expeditious route that goes through Hungary. In response, the Hungarian government has detained thousands of these refugees in camps and has built a fence to secure its border with Serbia, preventing refugees from passing through. Emergency legislation was passed allowing border patrols to use force as an additional means to keep the refugees out. The Hungarians are now building a similar fence along the border with Croatia.

As Russia is now running military air strikes against ISIS in Syria, and some claim against rebels/enemies of Syrian President Assad, it will be interesting to observe the unfolding of events in the months and years to come.

What will Hungary, the Middle East, Eastern/Central Europe, the former Soviet Bloc countries, and Russia look like 25 years from now?

On the next tour stop, some background on my initiation into the world of self-publishing.

In celebration of the blog tour, the Kindle version of The Budapest Experiment is available for download for just $.99 thru October 14th. Just click on the Amazon page link below.

http://www.mauricegmiller.com/

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00WHA3J0E

Maurice-G.-Miller

Author Bio

Maurice has been involved in the creative arts since his teenage years. Having worked and played in rock/blues bands for most of his adult life, the artistic role models that he came to admire were those authors, musicians, and philosophers that wrote the books, poetry, lyrics, and music that touched and moved the souls of generations. Counted among his favorites authors are J.D. Salinger, Earnest Hemingway, Dante Alighieri, and Kahlil Gibran. Deciding to take a break from the music career, he has rededicated his creative energies toward writing.

Then there is the “business geek” side of him. With an MBA degree, and having started several ventures, he has an obsession for creating new business ideas, digging into data analytics, and dissecting statistics. This passion for entrepreneurship is reflected prominently in his writing style.

Maurice’s debut fictional novel, “The Budapest Experiment”, an international thriller, was released on May 25, 2015 and is available now on Amazon.

Lots more can be found, including book info, social media contacts, and blog posts, at: http://www.mauricegmiller.com

Links

Web Site: http://www.mauricegmiller.com

Email: mauricegmiller@yahoo.com

Amazon Page: http://smarturl.it/budapestexp

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mauricegmiller  @mauricegmiller

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/1DO6y6k
Facebook: http://on.fb.me/1ESXMYv

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/MauriceGMiller/

Google +: http://bit.ly/1N1Jmdv

The Budapest Experiment – Synopsis

At what price would you sell your soul…?

This captivating thriller weaves business, politics, seduction, power, and religion all into a compelling tale of international intrigue.

Set in 1991, during the dawn of the Post-Communist era in Hungary, this novel chronicles the exploits of Michael, an adventurous but struggling American entrepreneur.

During this period of tumultuous political, economic, and social change, the Russian Mob is taking advantage of the ensuing turmoil to entrench itself deeper into the business landscape of the former Soviet Bloc countries.

Navigating through the streets of Budapest, Michael immediately senses an air of mysticism and lurking danger. After a few successes and trials, a series of business dealings leads him to a consulting position with the ‘Organization’.

Seduced by their women, money, and power, Michael becomes entangled in the web of Mob culture. Digging into his conscience, he encounters a spirit ravaged with feelings of guilt and betrayal, but a rapidly growing bank account serves as the means to justify his actions.

Pondering his future, Michael wonders if he can balance this extreme Budapest lifestyle with his ‘ordinary’ family life back home. After padding his wallet for the past several months, would the Organization let him just walk away, or would there be consequences?

This book is intended for mature audiences.

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A Novel Called Jazz Baby

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Hi and WELCOME to Rave Reviews Book Club’s BACK-TO-SCHOOL BOOK & BLOG BLOCK PARTY!  Location: Beem’s Blog, Lansing, Michigan. Leave a comment and you’ll be entered to win prizes!

Sorry, due to postal costs, my giveaways are open to those within the U.S.

 

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Here’s What I’m Giving Away Today:

* Autographed copies of the Jazz Baby paperback.

* Handy book/tote bags with a screen print of a classic novel on both sides.

* Bookmarks, so you won’t lose your place.

**This giveaway is now closed! But we have WINNERS!!!**

Congratulations to:

*Rea Nolan Martin

*Bette Stevens

*Nonnie Jules

*Marc Estes

*Joy Nwosu Lo-Bamijoko

 

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Number of Winners for this stop:  5

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Just what is Jazz Baby all about?

Emily Ann “Baby” Teegarten is a young girl with big dreams. She has the sort of voice that convicts sinners simply through song. But Baby has bigger aspirations than singing spirituals to that Mississippi congregation on Sunday mornings during the summer of 1925. The girl yearns to sing jazz in the clubs way up in New York City. Her father is her biggest supporter, standing behind the girl every step of the way—until he passes away suddenly. Her mother, accused in the father’s demise, follows him to the grave shortly thereafter.

So what’s a poor white-trash orphan girl supposed to do to answer the call of her dreams? Her strict, Bible-believing Aunt Francine has ideas of her own for this tiny girl with the big voice. She brokers a marriage between Emily and Jobie Pritchett, the preacher’s son.

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Emily Ann is a composite of several girls I’ve known over the years. There is a psychological element to this character that comes from reality, as harsh and dark as that might seem to some readers. She demanded to be written into existence. I could hear her voice, with that Mississippi lilt, calling out to me from the ether, arguing that it’s her time, so pick up that pen, author man, and get to writing.

What Jazz Baby is meant to be is a trip into the year 1925; a shared summer with one young girl trying to find her way in life, in the world of her day. I spent untold hours in researching the era and that region of the country, and human behavior in general. The thing about human behavior is, it doesn’t change, no matter the era in which we live. Stories from that era, told to me by my own grandfather, seem to suggest that the young people from the 1920s sought out the same things young people from the 2010s search after.

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These weren’t asexual, sober, boring people back then. Not at all. The stories I heard, either directly or through eavesdropping, told tales of young and vibrant lives, of men and women on the prowl for good times, cheap booze, and dirty sex. Not at all different from today. (Google “vintage porn” and see how many nudie pics from the 1920s pop up.) The thing is, today we see our grandparents (mine are long dead) as old people who spend a lot of time in church, doing good and Godly things. But they were young once. Young, and quite different from who they are today. Humans grow older, we mature, we change. It’s part of the life experience.

I found it interesting that opium was a popular recreational drug in use during that era. Marijuana grew wild in parts of the country, going unmolested by the local authorities, many of whom would consider it silly to dedicate time, money, and effort in trying to eradicate a weed. The young people of the 1920s, the partiers, were the very ones partaking of these forbidden fruits.

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One reviewer referred to the characters in Jazz Baby as “Blue Velvet-type characters.” I like that comparison, though that movie never once crossed my mind as I wrote the book. These are indeed a collection of strange and bizarre types. I’ve always loved stories that break from the normal novel template. Good, quirky characters are a blast to create. The idea for the character called “Pig” came from a documentary film on 1920s movie star Fatty Arbuckle. He’d watched his career ruined through a sexual scandal that had no basis in truth. But in Jazz Baby, this character truly is scandalous. He really has those “unnatural” appetites.

Roscoe 'Fatty' Arbuckle has his tie tightened in clip from the film 'When Comedy Was King', 1960. (Photo by 20th Century-Fox/Getty Images)

Roscoe ‘Fatty’ Arbuckle.

Even Emily Ann has a bit of the quirky in her. She’s fearless, reckless, and foolish, the way she traipses around the streets of New Orleans, running through the red-light district once known as Storyville, where she considers an invitation to allow her virginity to be auctioned to the highest bidder in a Storyville whorehouse. She’s a fan of bootleg whiskey, opium, and cigarettes, and she hasn’t a care in the world. Sexuality awakens in the girl, has her pondering the things that can take place between a boy and a girl–or between two girls. Is she bi-sexual? Labels mean nothing to Emily. And neither does race, as she spends much of her time in the company of “colored” jazz musicians, sharing intimacy with a certain piano player.

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But the streets are quite dangerous for a young girl of Emily’s size and age. Not everyone she meets has her best interests at heart. This is where that reckless side could cost her more than she’s able afford. Dark characters have their own ideas for this girl, how best to profit from her talents–even her father’s best friend proffers his own schemes.

It took me upwards near ten years to complete this novel, with all the rewrites, the research, and a two-year abandonment. It is available at Amazon http://www.tinyurl.com/bbj4my7 as a paperback or an ebook for Kindle.

The Jean Shorney Blog Tour Stops Right Here!

Hello, amazing readers! Today I am thrilled to introduce an incredible indie author on her blog tour. Please give a warm welcome to Jean Shorney.

Take it away, Jean…

 

INSPIRATION

 

Inspiration is all around us, it’s no wonder so many are writing, painting or composing. For me inspiration comes in many forms. From a snippet in a newspaper to a work of art. Or even a mural found on the side of a building in a London street.

 

I was writing Night Of All Evil at the time, and out in London in company with my son, his partner and my granddaughter doing  our own Jack the Ripper tour, which took us to Mitre Square where Catherine Eddowes was murdered. Not that I had plans to write yet another Ripper story. Atmosphere and emotion continue to remain in this part of London. One of my characters, a sadistic killer named Goethe, was inspired by the Ripper. Plus I saw  a wall mural depicting  a young woman whose features were obscured by black tape. Goethe’s victims were found this way.

 

Sometimes  a mere headline in a newspaper can spark off a character creation, or even an entire story. One of the Sunday papers carried the story of a woman married to a Greek restauranteur. When his wife had an affair, her husband hired someone to throw acid in the lover’s face. A twenty five chapter novel was written in the wake of that story.

 

Several  of my female characters might have stepped out of a Rossetti painting. The Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, a group of rebellious young artists in Victorian London, exemplified their own style of Art. It was ‘previously not seen in this England’, at least according to their patron, the writer and artist John Ruskin. The women invariably have long auburn  hair, as red as molten lava, flowing down their backs.

 

Art is an inspiration in itself. seventeenth, eighteenth and nineteenth century is my favourite. How often I have mentally utilised the paintings of Rossetti or Hogarth for creating a character or story.

 

Highgate Cemetery holds a fascination for me also. The old Victorian cemetery in North London is the perfect setting for a supernatural or Vampire story.

 

The Waltz tunes of old Country music are  another inspiration of mine. I listen to it while I write, losing myself in the music. The songs of Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins, Kitty Wells… Emmy-Lou Harris’ soulful voice does it for me every time. The music is also conducive to scene setting. However, for the action scenes, Meatloaf’s Bat Out Of Hell is pure inspiration in itself.

 

Of course there is another inspiration of mine, that some of my readers will already be familiar with. To write so many books about one character, in the first person, I needed a face. And no face comes more photogenic and good looking than the actor Aidan Turner (Poldark, Being Human and The Hobbit). Aidan Turner is the perfect inspiration for Aidan McRaney and all the situations my protagonist finds himself in.

 

Author Photo

 

Author Bio:

 

I live in a country village called Thatcham, in rural Berkshire, England. I am a widow with two sons and a granddaughter. My granddaughter also writes and is training to be a dance choreographer.  I love music, especially old Country, as I have since I was a child. I enjoy listening to Irish Country music, which I also write to. When I’m not writing, I work in a care home for the elderly with dementia. I enjoy watching movies and collect old gangster and horror films. I once owned over two hundred and fifty books on supernatural accounts, but was compelled to give them to charity shops as I had run out of room.

 

I own over five hundred movies, and enjoy old anthology series such as The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits. My favourite writers are Elliott O’Donnell, Robert Bloch, MR James and HP Lovecraft. I also enjoy the Irish terrorism thrillers of Jack Higgins.

 

I would like to post an acknowledgement to the lovely Helen Treharne, @Tea_Talks on # Twitter for recommending  Rave Reviews Book Club, and for her continued support.  She’s read all my books to date. Bless her.

 

 

 

Link to Blog: https://jmshorney.wordpress.com

Twitter: @jmshorney

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Stalking Aidan

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Stalking-Aidan-JM-Shorney-ebook/dp/B00FL0I35S

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/stalking-aidan-jm-shorney/1116997236?ean=9781909878662

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Progeny Of A Killer

Amazon: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Progeny-Killer-J-M-Shorney/dp/1910223050/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1426852661&sr=8-1&keywords=progeny+of+a+killer

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/progeny-of-a-killer-j-m-shorney/1119687532?ean=9781910223055

“This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”

Author’s Workshop

Hello, dear readers. I am pleased to once again participate in a blog tour. Please give a warm welcome to indie author J.L. McFadden as he discusses publishing! 

Take it away, J.L.!!!

Author’s Workshop

First off, I want to say thank you for having me here for a humbling chance of doing a workshop for up and coming authors.  Besides the fears and self-doubt that besieges every new author’s mind, there is also the questions of how for so many different things in writing, so let’s start with the largest and most loaded question that we all have been faced with:

To Self-Publish or hunt for a Publisher?

By all means if a large publisher wants you, have a lawyer look over the contract and have at it, but without a Literary Agent none of the large publishers will ever take a look at your work. Literary Agents are very hard to get your hands on, so it leaves most to go with a smaller E-book Publisher, a Printing House that camouflages its self as a Publisher or go it alone.

Many pray for a publisher and there are some that curse their publisher – some of my published friends are very happy and others all anything but happy – the secret is all in the contract.  There are so many E-book publishers and printing houses out there that promise you the hills. Research everything and do not be afraid to reach out to some of their authors and ask questions – most authors are very kind and glad to answer any of your questions.

Some of the small E-Book publishers offer you to have your books go to print after so many E-books have been sold. Some of them do a good job at PR and others leave you out in the cold to do all your own.  It is best to vet anyone you are going to do business with.

Editing

This is more for a self-published author – because most publishers will have you use their own- I believe the editor makes or breaks the book. It is very important to find an editor that you feel comfortable with; because this is the person you are going to spend a lot of time debating parts of your book. Even if your grammar is perfect and you believe you have everything in order – because there are times when an author will write something that is obvious to them – but not to many of the readers – I have been guilty of this many times – just ask my editor – we have gone over this item a few times.

Distribution

There are a ton of options: Create Space, Smash words, Ingram Spark, lighting Source and many more.  You need to find the one or combination that fits your need in distribution.  Be careful, because some “publishers” or “printing houses” actually will be using one of the above as their printing house and distributor while taking a percentage from you or charging you an extra flat fee.  I believe that having your books on Amazon and BN is the most important of all of the companies.  One of the tips I would like to give is after a good book blits and you have some reviews to use, contact a smaller independent book store and try to have some sort of promotion there, to get your books on the shelves and their shoppers to know about you. We will talk a bit more about this in the next section – for it is more fitting since it is about PR.

PR

Now it is game time – you have gotten your books on to a distribution company and now you are waiting for the sales to flood in – and waiting. You will be waiting until after the cows come home if you do not get yourself some help. I know that a lot of people are misguided into believing that all they need is a Facebook page and Twitter account, but how many times can you ask you friends to pass your promo for your book around until they unfriend you or ignore you. A Publicist has connections with bloggers and these bloggers have various sized followings – followers of people that follow, because they trust this bloggers reviews and taste in books – these are the people you need to reach – not your friend’s great, great aunt that once read a romance novel.

When it comes to online book tours, this is when your Facebook and Twitter friends are good, because by now you already should have some friends that are authors, giving you a chance to ask what tour company is effective and which one is not.

Who doesn’t like a good giveaway? Or what about a fun filled scavenger hunt that not only can you get a gift certificate, but also a collection of books to go with it? These are all great tools, but do not forget about your locals that may not visit these blogs or sites, they are just as important; I suggest calling smaller independent book stores and offering some sort of promotion: Gift Card for that store, Signed books, free books, other merchandise you may have for your books at a speaking engagement for instance.
You always need to take a step back and ask yourself, “What parts of the market am I missing and how can I afford to get my iron into those flames?”

Formatting

The bulk of your money will come from your e-books, so you need to have a good format, so that you can get distributed on all of the sites. BN, Apple, Google, and Kobo all have strict regulations on the formatting of the books; usually, my books cost $35 -$50 for formatting – not much to gain a lot more ground on distribution.

Translation

After you have gotten your book onto your domestic market you may be thinking about expanding abroad – this is very tricky – because a translator may lose the entire feeling of your book. I have been blessed by not only finding a good translator, but having enough fans that read the books in English and were willing to proof read the translations in their native language. Ending up in a book that not only was these readers loved – but has opened my books up to so many more people – that I would never be able to reach without their help. You need to be very careful with translators, because many of them will to a literal translation and murder your story; it will be void of the emotion that it once had. Some things do not translate well – I speak four languages, so I can support this – idioms and certain things just do not translate to some cultures – so you need a translator that is just as gifted in their language as you are in your own.

Be yourself

There is only one of you and you should be proud of that; always strive to improve yourself, because all of us have room for improvement.

I hope you all have enjoyed this short workshop and a lot of success on your writing.

J.L McFadden

Author Photo

Author Bio:
J.L McFadden was born in  Pennsylvania and spent his life bouncing around the States until beginning to travel the world. Starting out he was a well-known musician in upstate New York that had a heavy playing schedule. Later he went back to his home state to work in the Lumber mills of the mountains. In California working in sales, management and even directed a small moving company until deciding to see the world. His travels around the world have allotted him to not only join an International Aikikai Aikido Federation, but have trained with Sanseis from Belgium, Ukraine, Russia and other European countries. He accounts his journeys and meeting of new people to his broad character types in his books.

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Book Blurb:
While still doubled over, picking up a book, Adela stated with a sultry voice, “One of these days, I am going to make you deliver on all of those promised ideas, running through your head when you watch me.” She had a playful sound to her voice with her smile, telling that fulfilling his dreams was not out of the question.

Site: http://jlmcfadden.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/officaljlmcfadden

Twitter: https://twitter.com/JamieLeeMcfadde

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20842432-choices

Purchase:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Choices-The-Guardian-Volume-2/dp/1492747246/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1423908742&sr=8-1

BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/choices-j-l-mcfadden/1121101320?ean=9781492747246

Rafflecopter Giveaway: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4af5be7f12/

Goodreads Event Page: https://www.goodreads.com/event/show/956279-choices-blog-tour

“This tour sponsored by 4WillsPublishing.wordpress.com.”

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