Godiva’s Ancient History, a Guest Post from Eliza Redgold (@elizaredgold) #giveaway @hfvbt

Naked Blog Tour

Godiva’s Ancient History: Pagan goddess or Christian saint?

This blog post comes to us from Eliza Redgold, author, academic and unashamed romantic. Her new novel Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva was released by St Martin’s Press in July.

After dinner, the gleeman took up his usual place in front of the fire. For the first time since the festival of Easter we had supped on hare stew. Many of my people, Aine included, still celebrated the Christian feast as well as honoring Eostre, our goddess of Spring. Since hares were sacred to Eostre they would not eat them until after her feast day.

Quote from NAKED: A Novel of Lady Godiva

Eliza Redgold at Amazon.com

How old is the legend of Lady Godiva? The tale of her famous naked ride is over a thousand years old. So the story goes, Godiva of Coventry begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. He demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town.

Lady Godiva (or Countess Godgyfu, in the Anglo-Saxon version of her name) was a real person who lived in 11th century Anglo-Saxon England. Yet her myth goes even further back in time.

There are many ancient stories linked to Godiva. Her tale is connected to Greek and Celtic myths and sacred, semi-clad female processions. The Teutonic goddess Hertha made a procession through the woods after her ritual bath, while in Greek legend there is the secret woodland bathing of the goddess of the hunt, Diana. Godiva’s ride may well have descended from one of these rites.

In another version, Godiva’s ride is not a procession, but a love-chase. In this story, Leofric sets his wife a riddle to test her. She must come to him neither being clothed or unclothed, without a foot touching the ground. Cleverly, Godiva rides rather than walks and covers her naked body with a golden net of her hair. In some tellings of this love chase, Godiva is accompanied by a hare – connecting her to the Celtic goddess of Spirng, Eostre. She also strongly resembles another spring goddess who took a woodland May-Day procession to summon the new season. Her name? The goddess Goda.

Like many pagan myths, such stories were absorbed into Christianity. In the Middle Ages Goda’s tale became connected with the real and genuinely philanthropic Countess Godgyfu and the old pagan love-chase became a Christian procession celebrating her piety. Godiva’s story has also been Biblically linked to that of Mary Magdalene, twisted with her long hair and the idea of a ride made in repentance of sin. Even more powerfully are threads of Godiva’s ride interwoven with the tale of third century martyr, St Agnes. The beautiful Agnes was forced to walk naked through the town as a punishment for refusing to give up her faith. Agnes’s hair miraculously grew long enough to cover her, and such a bright angelic light surrounded her that no man could see her.

Godiva’s story has come down to us through the ages in a mix of fact, folk-lore and legend. Some call her a goddess, some call her a saint. All we know for certain is that her extraordinary story continues to catch us in the net of her long, golden hair.


About the book, Naked: a Novel of Lady Godiva Naked, a Novel of Lady Godiva

Publication Date: July 14, 2015
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Formats: Ebook, Paperback
Pages: 320

Genre: Historical Fiction

We know her name. We know of her naked ride. We don’t know her true story.

We all know the legend of Lady Godiva, who famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long, flowing hair. So the story goes, she begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to lift a high tax on her people, who would starve if forced to pay. Lord Leofric demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town. There are various endings to Godiva’s ride, that all the people of Coventry closed their doors and refused to look upon their liege lady (except for ‘peeping Tom’) and that her husband, in remorse, lifted the tax.

Naked is an original version of Godiva’s tale with a twist that may be closer to the truth: by the end of his life Leofric had fallen deeply in love with Lady Godiva. A tale of legendary courage and extraordinary passion, Naked brings an epic story new voice.

Buy, read, and discuss Naked: a Novel of Lady Godiva

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | BOOKS-A-MILLION | ITUNES | INDIEBOUND | KOBO | GOODREADS


About the author, Eliza Redgold Eliza Redgold

ELIZA REDGOLD is based upon the old, Gaelic meaning of her name, Dr Elizabeth Reid Boyd. English folklore has it that if you help a fairy, you will be rewarded with red gold. She has presented academic papers on women and romance and is a contributor to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction. As a non-fiction author she is co-author of Body Talk: a Power Guide for Girls and Stay-at-Home Mothers: Dialogues and Debates. She was born in Irvine, Scotland on Marymass Day and currently lives in Australia.

Connect with Eliza

Website | Facebook | Twitter


BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, August 10
Review at Bibliophilia, Please

Tuesday, August 11
Spotlight at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, August 12
Guest Post at The Maiden’s Court
Spotlight at A Book Geek

Thursday, August 13
Spotlight at Just One More Chapter

Friday, August 14
Review at 100 Pages a Day

Saturday, August 15
Guest Post at Mina’s Bookshelf

Monday, August 17
Review at A Bookish Affair

Tuesday, August 18
Review at Book Nerd
Guest Post at A Literary Vacation

Wednesday, August 19
Review at Unshelfish
Review at Svetlana’s Reads and Views

Thursday, August 20
Spotlight at Historical Fiction Connection
Guest Post at A Bookish Affair

Friday, August 21
Review at History From a Woman’s Perspective

Monday, August 24
Review at I’m Shelf-ish
Review at Please Pass the Books
Guest Post at Bibliotica

Tuesday, August 25
Review at A Fold in the Spine
Review & Interview at History Undressed
Guest Post at Curling Up By the Fire

Wednesday, August 26
Review at Bookish
Spotlight at The True Book Addict

Thursday, August 27
Review at With Her Nose Stuck in a Book
Review & Guest Post at Romantic Historical Reviews
Guest Post at The Lit Bitch

Friday, August 28
Review at A Book Drunkard
Review at Book Lovers Paradise
Interview at Let Them Read Books


 

GIVEAWAY

To enter to win a copy of Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva or a $50 Amazon Gift Card, please enter via the GLEAM form below. Three winners will be chosen.

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on August 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
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– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva Blog Tour

Guest Post: Cooking Up Stories by Judith Ryan Hendricks, Author of Baker’s Blues

COOKING UP STORIES Baker's Blues

My career as a novelist began in a bakery, which seems to me totally appropriate, because the longer I practice both writing and baking, the more similarities I see between them. Bread is a process—slow, arduous, messy, unpredictable. You can say all the same things about a book. Bread is composed of distinct ingredients—flour, water, yeast, salt—that merge and become dough—a completely different entity, a living entity which then undergoes the transformation of fire. A book is made of setting, characters and conflict and it follows the same kind of transformation process.

I think of Bread as a calling and a baker as a person who can’t not make bread. Likewise a writer is someone who can’t not write. This is something you don’t discover until you’re ready. Whether it happens early or late in life is immaterial. I was 55 years old when my first novel was published. Until then I was just a woman with a very short attention span.

Working in the bakery influenced not only my writing, but my whole life. There’s a kind of bonding that takes place when you cook with someone that’s hard to duplicate in any other kind of job. Sharing recipes and the act of cooking creates the very same kind of bond that sharing a story creates. It’s mostly about commonality, acceptance—the ways in which we’re all alike, rather than the ways in which we differ, the sharing of food is an act of intimacy, and so is the sharing of our stories.

Even though I was there just under a year, it was one of those interludes—we all have them. They exert a kind of gravitational pull on you. You keep revisiting them and reliving them in your mind. They assume a significance in your life all out of proportion to their actual duration. I’ve never forgotten the place or the women I worked with or the great stuff we made. Other than writing, it was the only job I’ve ever had where I felt absolutely free and totally myself.

*

If you read a lot of books you learn to recognize certain writers’ favorite emotional landscapes. Amy Tan’s is the mother/daughter relationship. Ann Patchett says the basic plot of all her novels has been a group of strangers thrown together by circumstance arranging themselves into a functioning society. My own is apparently the main character loses her way and finds herself. I say apparently, because I never set out to use this story, but it always seems to happen anyway.

Obviously these basic plots are only sketches of a fully developed story, and every writer’s tool box contains subplots, subtext, metaphors, symbols, and many other devices to use in producing a novel. For me, probably the one I lean on most heavily is food. (I’m one of those people who keeps cookbooks by the bed to read at night as well as novels.)

When I was writing Bread Alone, I remember asking one of my writing teachers if he thought anyone would be interested in a story about a woman who bakes bread. His answer was, “Don’t worry about what people want to read. Just write what you have to write.”

As it turned out, a lot of people were and are interested in reading stories with food woven into them. Sometimes the tendency is to view foodie fiction as a fairly recent development, but in fact, there are lots of wonderful descriptions of food in Charles Dickens. And what about Proust and his madeleines? In To the Lighthouse by Virginia Woolf, the famous dinner party scene has Mrs. Ramsay, the one character who is able to successfully connect with other people, serving her family and friends a beautiful meal that embodies all the nurturance and good will that Mrs. Ramsay displays throughout the novel.

Food serves multiple functions in my stories. First of all, it’s a touchstone for my characters, which is how I feel about it in my own life. In nearly every memory stuck in my head and heart there’s food lurking in the background. What I ate is inextricably linked with who was with me, where we were, and how I felt. I guess that’s why I can never remember where I put my sunglasses or whether I locked the back door, but I have perfect recall about the carrot cake I shared with my mom in a little café in LaConner, WA thirty years ago.

Second, food is a metaphor for love, for sharing, in many cases for work, and even for life itself. Since I love to cook and eat, alone as well as with friends and family, it’s inconceivable to me that I might write a story that doesn’t include food in some way.

Food and eating can telegraph information about a character without coming out and saying it. What and how you eat says a lot about who you are. For instance: My father will eat one bite of each thing, going around his plate repeatedly in the same order. Everything has to come out even. If he has mashed potatoes left, but no peas, he’ll take just enough peas to finish off that last bit of potatoes and the last piece of meat.

*

In Bread Alone, I wanted to reveal Wyn’s character using the way she thinks about food, especially bread. This is the first book of the trilogy and it includes flashbacks to a much younger Wyn and the discoveries she makes about bread and also about herself.

“It wasn’t until I went to France that I tasted bread that wasn’t full of additives and air. It was like a religious conversion for me. In fact it’s kind of like sex—one of those things that everyone thinks they know all about and they tell you how great it is, but which is actually pretty uninspiring until you have it one time the way Nature intended it to be.”

Food can have other subtexts, too. It’s not always warm and fuzzy. Think Snow White and the poisoned apple. It can be used to seduce or bribe or deceive. In The Baker’s Apprentice, there’s a scene in a café where the food—wonderful as it may be—is only the tip of the iceberg.

“Our dinners are beautiful. Mac has medaillons of New Zealand lamb with a Dijon crust, and sumptuously artery clogging scalloped potatoes. I go with seafood, since we’re on an island, even if it’s not local. But it’s so fresh it might as well be—a fat tuna steak, grilled with garlic and herbs just to medium rare. The salad of spring vegetables is local—tiny perfect squashes, new potatoes the size of your thumb, sugar snap peas and haricots verts—everything fresh and sweet, tossed in a warm hazelnut vinaigrette. Even the bread for each dinner is different. He has buttery whole wheat dinner rolls and I have a chewy peasant bread, rubbed with garlic and bearing the marks of the grill.

Instead of dessert, we opt for a cheese plate to go with the rest of the expensive-but-worth-every-penny wine. With it comes a little bowl of partially frozen red grapes.

When the check comes, he barely looks at it, just pulls out his virginal MasterCard and tucks it inside the folder. I reach for my wallet.

“Wyn,” he says, “don’t do this, okay?” His eyes are a warning all by themselves.

I say, “I was just getting my lipstick.”

In Baker’s Blues, it’s about the fire, about reducing breadmaking—and paring down life—to its most essential elements.

“By the following week, baking every morning, I bring forth some ciabatta that Alex is willing to use in the café. It’s not my finest effort, but people go nuts over it, ripping off chewy hunks and dipping them in the golden green olive oil and sea salt he’s started putting on all the tables.

On the menu he calls it pain d’autrefois or bread made the old way. I prefer the literal translation, bread of another time. It evokes the smell of the fire and the mark of the oven and the rustic taste of real bread—just flour, water, yeast and salt—baked in the most primitive, elemental way.”

*

So now you’ve had a small taste of some of the stories I’ve cooked up. One thing is certain: each one is a different process. Sometimes words pour out as if there were a direct pipeline from my heart to the keyboard. Sometimes it’s more like a day job. The truth is…the book that you finish is not the book that you started. The writer—just like her characters—is not the same person at the end that she was at the beginning. That’s what’s so amazing and engrossing and frustrating and exhilarating about cooking up stories. And that’s why, so long as I can see the computer screen and prop myself upright in my chair, I’ll probably never stop.

###

About Judith Ryan Hendricks Judith Ryan Hendricks

Judith Ryan Hendricks was born in San Jose, California, when Silicon Valley was the Santa Clara Valley, better known for orchards than for computer chips.

Armed with a degree in journalism, she worked as a journalist, copywriter, computer instructor, travel agent, waitress and baker before turning to fiction writing. Her experiences at the McGraw Street Bakery in Seattle led to her first novel, Bread Alone and the sequel, The Baker’s Apprentice.

A life-long infatuation with the Southwest provided inspiration for Isabel’s Daughter and her fourth book, The Laws of Harmony. Hendricks’ fiction has been translated into 12 languages and distributed in more than 16 countries worldwide.

Her nonfiction has appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle and Tiny Lights, A Journal of Personal Essay, Grand Gourmet in Italy and The London Sunday Express. Her short fiction has appeared in Woman’s Weekly in Britain and AMERICAN GIRLS ON THE TOWN, an anthology, in the U.S. and U.K.

She lives in New Mexico with husband Geoff and dog Blue.

Connect with Judi at her website, judihendricks.com.

Food, Memories, and Love in Cauchemar, by Alexandra Grigorescu (@a_grigorescu) – #GuestPost @ecwpress #Bibliotica

I didn’t set out to write a book in which food figures so heavily. But I love talking about food. Food, to me, can be magic, and good cooks elevate the merely necessary into the extraordinary.

I can tell you in five seconds flat where I love to eat in my city. As a diner who gets legitimately upset when my local bakery is sold out of the particular pastry I’ve been craving, and as a cook who routinely doubles the recommended quantity of the “good stuff” (shrimp, pesto, spices, and oils, oh my!), food was bound to worm its way in.

So, when I, to my great surprise, discovered that I was writing a book set in the South (as a longtime resident of chilly Canada), food was an easy way to evoke that atmosphere.

My husband and I went down to Louisiana, and (over)ate ourselves silly. It’s my opinion that you can’t return from the South without talking about the food. Personally, I do so in tones that are reverential and cowed. I loved it, but it also weighed me down. It made me groggy and sluggish—and so, so happy. There were po’boys, and etouffee. There was cornbread and grits. There were fried oysters, and fried alligator, and donuts. There was chicory coffee and absinthe sipped in the company of a black cat. There were dive bar nachos, and white napkins in a romantic courtyard on New Year’s Eve. Much of what made me fall in love with the South is deeply connected to the food I ate there.

But almost without my noticing, food also became a narrative tool in Cauchemar: a way of contrasting between the familiar and the unnatural. Mae, Hannah’s adoptive mother, rules in the kitchen, and she’s immediately established as a healer. By contrast, Christobelle (Hannah’s birth mother) is extremely thin, and doesn’t seem to eat—at least, not in the human sense. She’s almost a succubus or vampire, feeding on the grief of the living and the spirits of the dead.

Finally, Hannah falls somewhere in the middle. Over the course of the book, she oscillates between the two extremes, which is an echo of her internal struggle, as well as the struggle between the worlds of the living and the dead.

The book opens with food—Hannah arriving too late to save Mae because she was eating a piece of pastry. In her grief after Mae’s death, she fails to eat properly, and turns to other people’s casseroles. In the blush of first love, she begins to experiment. She over-spices to echo her own overstimulation, and as a result her dishes are out of balance.

Then, as things start to get frightening and the stakes are raised, Hannah tries to find Mae’s recipes, hoping for some semblance of familiarity. Hannah searches her memory, too, and finds comfort in recalling Mae’s advice, so often spoken in the kitchen. There’s a long stretch in the book where both Callum and Hannah lose their appetite (and Hannah ends up eating something decidedly unappetizing), and this mirrors the blurring of the lines between this world and the next.

One very real way for Hannah to choose life, to embrace memory, and to honour Mae is through cooking. Some of the dishes mentioned in the book are ones I’ve made in my own kitchen, but more importantly, ones I’ve improvised on—in essence, letting Mae guide my own hands. I blackened some catfish for my husband one night, channeling Hannah and Mae in the book, and yes, I did fill the kitchen with billows of spiced smoke. I listened to the fish crackle and exhale, and I, too, squeezed lemon juice over it, and thought of it as a balm for that poor, overworked fish filet. I imagined someone older and wiser instructing me as I did so, but I was also aware of trying to impress someone I loved. I put myself in Hannah’s skin through cooking what Hannah might cook.

Eating engages multiple senses, and is a powerful grounding tool. Hannah uses food and cooking as a way to center herself. For me, food summons memories. It harkens back to my own Maes—my grandmothers. Food and cooking recalls my grandmother’s cabbage rolls, her flaky mushroom pastries, and her chocolate cake. When I think of sour vegetable preserves, I think of red peppers in jars on her balcony. I think of her smile, her voice, and I remember taking the photo that now sits by my bedside. In this way, food resurrects her. Food, as the privilege of the living, brings life.

I remember watching my grandmothers in their respective kitchens and being, on some level, aware that I was being initiated into a tradition. Now, that memory is coloured by the knowledge that one day, if I’m lucky, I too might be watched by a curious munchkin as I measure out ingredients.

Finally, cooking is love. It is familial love: me sitting in the sunlit attic of my childhood home as one of my grandmothers prepared a pot of soup. It is romantic love: my husband and I working in tandem over a new recipe, or the memory of baking my first-ever batch of cookies with him. It is the joy of cooking something for someone, and what a pleasure and honor that is.

Cauchemar is, to me, a book about many things. Family, love, danger, death—and hopefully they all coexist on the page. It took me a while to get to a place where I’m comfortable cooking by smell and taste alone. It is a coming into oneself, and also, a homecoming.


About the author, Alexandra Grigorescu Alexandra Grigorescu

Alexandra Grigorescu has a Master’s degree in creative writing from the University of Toronto, where she attended writing workshops led by George Elliott Clark and Jeff Parker and wrote her thesis under the guidance of Camilla Gibb. She works as a freelance writer and lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Connect with Alexandra

Website | Facebook | Twitter


About the book Cauchemar Cauchemar

Paperback: 316 pages
Publisher: ECW Press (March 17, 2015)

Gripping, fast-paced, gorgeously written, and with unforgettable characters, Cauchemar tells the story of 20-year-old Hannah, who finds herself living alone on the edge of a Louisianan swamp after her adopted mother and protector dies. Hannah falls in love with Callum, an easy-going boat captain and part-time musician, but after her mysterious birth mother, outcast as a witch and rumoured to commune with the dead, comes back into Hannah’s life, she must confront what she’s been hiding from — the deadly spirits that haunt the swamp, the dark secrets of her past, and the nascent gift she possesses. Like the nightmares that plague Hannah,

Cauchemar lingers and haunts.

Buy, read, and discuss Cauchemar

ECW Press | Amazon (US) | Amazon (CA) | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


Alexandra Grigorescu’s Blog Tour Stops Cauchemar

This review is part of a blog tour sponsored by the publisher, ECW Press. For the complete list of tour stops, see below. For more information, click HERE. For my review of the book, click HERE.

MARCH 1: Review and giveaway at The Book Binder’s Daughter
MARCH 2: Review and guest post at Bibliotica (That’s ME!)
MARCH 3: Review and excerpt at Bella’s Bookshelves
MARCH 4: Guest post at Write All the Words! for their International Women’s Week feature
MARCH 5: Interview and excerpt at Editorial Eyes
MARCH 7: Review at Lavender Lines
MARCH 9: Review at Svetlana’s Reads
MARCH 10: Review and interview at The Book Stylist
MARCH 11: Review, guest post, and giveaway at Booking it with Hayley G
MARCH 12: Guest Post at Dear Teen Me
MARCH 13: Review and giveaway at The Book Bratz
MARCH 14: Interview and excerpt at Feisty Little Woman

The Art of Short Stories, by Rebecca Adams Wright (@rvleeadams) – #GuestPost #Bibliotica

The Art of Short Stories

a guest post from Rebecca Adams Wright

I love little things. Shiny things. Broken bits of larger things. I am a human magpie, tucking crumbling robin’s eggshells or eye-catching pebbles into my pockets when I find them on the street. I cannot walk past a dropped coin even if it turns out to old be an old button. I like old buttons.

 

My husband laughs when he sees me pick up these treasures, because, of course, I almost never find a use for them. But they are food for the imagination, my beautiful scraps. I hoard them in little boxes and cluster them in drawers. I stumble upon them later, having completely forgotten their context, not at all sure where they came from, but still admiring. I turn them over in my hand as if for the first time and marvel at the sheen on the feather, the perfect divot in the stone.

I am a collector of odds and ends. I appreciate when the edges are ragged or the provenance unknown.

 

This love of small and cryptic things is one of the qualities that make me a natural short story writer.

 

Necessarily more compact than novels and more prosaic than poetry, short stories both speak our language and plunge us into mystery. They will present some kind of familiar anchor (though that anchor can be as small as the recognizable tweed on a button), but they may well make no other explanations. Novels unfold before you—they offer you an entry hall, a place to hang your jacket, they take you on the grand tour of all the rooms in the hotel. Novels want to offer you a whiskey and soda. Novels, even aggressive and fast-paced ones, want to be with you for a while. They want to take time.

 

Short stories cannot and will not offer you this. Short stories do not expect you to stay the night and order room service in the morning. They are likely to introduce you to the world by handing you a bag of untraceable gemstones and they may never get around to explaining the origins of the one-eyed ravens. Short stories can be many things: elegant, expansive, brutal, humane, lyrical, piercing, inventive. But they are never long. That means they always leave at least one thread dangling on the loom, a little spot of mystery trailing behind them.

 

Producing a delightful sense of mystery is not the same thing, of course, as leaving important aspects of narrative untold. The best stories are as tight and complete as nautilus shells. They create a sense of fullness precisely because they contain all that they need, and nothing more. These stories are not mysterious because they are vague. Rather, the specificity of the text’s images, characters, and situations compels the reader to keep asking questions, to imagine more than is on the page. Short stories are often compared to snapshots, and we all know that some of the best photographs manage to imply whole worlds in a space no larger than four inches by six.

 

The other great appeal of short stories, at least to me, is the fact that they allow for such a diversity of themes and topics, investigations and explorations. From the writer’s perspective, working in short form means that (usually) a story can be finished and shared in a fraction of the time of a novel, and without as much editorial input. Individual stories, because they do not have to represent the trajectory of a career, can take more risks, push more boundaries, wander out of comfort zones. Serious authors can be silly, mainstream authors can go genre, authors of timeless novels can engage with current events.

 

From a reader’s perspective, short stories can offer new angles from which to view well-known authors. Even more importantly, they create opportunities to explore new voices, unfamiliar genres, or nontraditional narrative structures without the commitment of three-hundred-plus pages. Short stories allow both writers and readers to take risks that sometimes pay enormous dividends.

 

All this is not to imply that I myself won’t release a novel someday. Novels offer their own set of rewards, among them the great pleasure of long immersion. I am, in fact, at work on a novel right now. But I cannot imagine ever turning my back on the short story, just as I cannot imagine walking down the street without stopping when a glint in the road catches my eye.

 

Look, I just found something breathtaking. Hold out your hand—I’m offering it to you.


About the author, Rebecca Adams Wright Rebecca Adams Wright

Rebecca Adams Wright is a 2011 graduate of the Clarion Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers’ Workshop and a former University of Michigan Zell Writing Fellow. She has an MFA in fiction from the University of Michigan and has won the Leonard and Eileen Newman Writing Prize. Rebecca lives in Ypsilanti, Michigan, with her husband and daughter.

Connect with Rebecca

Website | Facebook | Twitter


About the book, The Thing About Great White SharksThe Thing About Great White Sharks

  • Paperback: 182 pages
  • Publisher: Little A (February 10, 2015)

In this collection’s richly imagined title story, our brutal and resourceful protagonist is determined to protect her family from a murderous, shark-ridden world—at any cost. Elsewhere, an old woman uncovers a sinister plot while looking after a friend’s plants (“Orchids”), and a girl in the war-torn countryside befriends an unlikely creature (“Keeper of the Glass”). In “Barnstormers,” a futuristic flying circus tries to forestall bankruptcy with one last memorable show. At the heart of “Sheila” is the terrible choice a retired judge must make when faced with the destruction of his beloved robotic dog, and “Yuri, in a Blue Dress” follows one of the last survivors of an alien invasion as she seeks help.

Extending from World War II to the far future, these fifteen stories offer a gorgeously observed perspective on our desire for connection and what it means to have compassion—for ourselves, for one another, for our past…and for whatever lies beyond.

Buy, read, and discuss The Thing About Great White Sharks

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Books-A-Million | Goodreads


Rebecca Adams Wright’s TLC Book Tours Tour Stops: TLC Book Tours

This guest post is part of a tour organized by TLC Book Tours. For my review of this book, click HERE. For the complete list of tour stops, see below. For more information, click HERE.

Friday, February 13th: Book Snob – author guest post

Monday, February 16th: No More Grumpy Bookseller

Monday, February 16th: Bibliophilia, Please

Wednesday, February 18th: From the TBR Pile

Thursday, February 19th: 5 Minutes for Books

Thursday, February 19th: Diary of a Stay at Home Mom

Monday, February 23rd: Conceptual Reception

Tuesday, February 24th: Bibliotica review and author guest post

Tuesday, February 24th: Savvy Verse and Wit – author guest post

Wednesday, February 25th: Bibliophiliac

Thursday, February 26th: The Relentless Reader

Monday, March 2nd: A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall

Tuesday, March 3rd: Patricia’s Wisdom

Thursday, March 5th: Guiltless Reading

Monday, March 9th: Kahakai Kitchen

Thursday, March 12th: The Book Binder’s Daughter – author guest post

TBD: Bound by Words

TBD: Life is Story

Guest Post: Paul DeBlassie III, author of The Unholy

About the book The Unholy The Unholy

Title: The Unholy
Publisher: Sunstone Press (200 pages)

A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, The Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.

Buy, read, and discuss The Unholy

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads


Guest post from Paul DeBlassie III: Using Reality to Write Great Horror Novels

I’ve always believed that you should write what you know when it comes to writing books. Some authors might be able to get away with using their imagination and implementing research (good for them!), but in my own experience it really helps to log into my past experiences and expand on the ideas in order to come up with a terrific storyline.

Paul DeBlassie III did just that. The Unholy comes out of over thirty years of treating patients in his psychotherapy practice who are survivors of the dark side of religion. Can you imagine all the storylines he could come up with? These patients have all been used and abused and cast to the side.

Paul says, “I’ve seen that when this happens to people, those around the victim, to include family and friends, often turn a blind eye and deny what has happened. Rather than writing a self help book, I decided to approach this realm of human suffering in fiction. To tell a story moves the reader into a deep and unconscious dimension that bypasses conscious defenses, leaving us open to truths that otherwise would be blocked. So, dramatizing the dark side of religion, pulling what can be the most vile and evil, and pivoting it against an innocent and sincerely searching soul leaves the reader on edge, hopeful, but unsure as to what will happen and who in the end will survive.”

“To have written out a list of what to do or not to do in the midst of religious abuse might have helped some individual,” he continues, “but would have left many people stone cold because there is no emotion in such guidance.”

Paul tells us that The Unholy is a story of pure emotion, fear and rage and hope and challenge, that inspires and frightens and causes us to stay up late at night in order to finish the story. “Dream and chronic nightmares plagues people who’ve gone through the horror of being abused within a religious system. It could be emotional, spiritual, physical, or sexual torment—or all of the above—a true encounter with the unholy—that people undergo during childhood or adolescence or adulthood.”


About the author, Paul DeBlassie III Paul DeBlassie III

PAUL DeBLASSIE III, PhD, is a psychologist and writer living in his native New Mexico. A member of the Depth Psychology Alliance, the Transpersonal Psychology Association, and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, he has for over thirty years treated survivors of the dark side of religion.

His latest book is the psychological/paranormal thriller, The Unholy.

Connect with Paul

Website | Blog | Facebook | Twitter


This post is part of a blog tour sponsored by Pump Up Your Book. For more information, and the complete list of tour stops, click HERE.

Spotlight & Guest Post: Of Dreams and Shadow by D.S. McKnight

About the book Of Dreams and Shadows by D.S. McKnight

Of Dreams and Shadows

We live. We die. Is there anything more? Jenna Barton is about to find out. After moving to the coastal North Carolina town of Parson’s Cove, Jenna has unwittingly stepped into the middle of a mystery involving a missing child. Unfortunately, the predator is still on the loose and Jenna has become his new obsession. With a little luck and a bit of paranormal help, Jenna might survive.

Read and Discuss

Amazon | Goodreads


About the author, D.S. McKnight

D.S. McKnight

D.S. McKnight has enjoyed a varied career—from working as a radio DJ on a small AM station to serving as president and co-owner of a marina, until Hurricane Ophelia took aim at the Carolina coast. Currently, she works at an insurance agency as well as hosting her blog – Novel Notions.

It is her love of the North Carolina coast that fueled her desire to write. Of Dreams and Shadow: Forget Me Not (book 1) is her first novel.

Connect with D.S.

Web | Blog | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads


Read a Guest Post from D.S. McKnight

 

For approximately 2 1/2 years, I spent every available moment in Parson’s Cove – the fictional town where Of Dreams and Shadow takes place.  I knew the town – the name of the streets as well as the locations of shops and restaurants.  I knew the characters, how they looked and what they liked. I witnessed the tragedy that set the story into motion.  So, I found it difficult to let go when it came time to say goodbye.  Fortunately for me, I was able to visit the story in other ways.  One way was to become the reporter for The Parson’s Cove Daily News:

 

The Parson’s Cove Daily News

 

June 19, 1997

 

(Parson’s Cove)  Area authorities continue to search for Sarah Jones.  The four year old girl was last seen the morning of June 17, while playing outside of the family home located on Sandpiper Drive.  Parson’s Cove Police Department spokesman,  Sgt. Joe Wilkes confirmed that there was a witness to the abduction.  The suspect is described as a male however there was no further description available.  The suspect is believed to have been wearing dark clothing.

 

Neighbor Bob Williams spoke for the family.  “At this time, the family is asking for prayers for the safe return of their daughter.”  When asked how the family was doing, Williams became visibly upset.  “I guess they are doing as good as possible considering the situation.”

 

Besides canvassing local businesses, search and rescue teams have been called in.   “Bloodhounds are a valuable asset in this type of investigation,”  Sgt. Wilkes said.

 

Sarah is described as a white female child approximately three feet tall with light brown hair and green eyes.  She was last seen wearing pink shorts and a white top.

 

Residents are asked to contact the police department if they remember seeing anything suspicious in the area.


Watch the Trailer


Read an excerpt

Prologue

June 17, 1997

Details…they were the making or breaking of any plan and he

felt sure that his plan was perfect. He surveyed the yard one last

time, slid back into his hiding place and waited. It wouldn’t be

long now. She would open the door and come out to play as she

did every morning: swinging, pulling her wagon, playing with her

doll. Only this morning would be different, this morning would

be special.

Laying in her wagon was his gift, a necklace he had taken from

his mother. He was certain Sarah would love it. A door slammed,

pulling his attention from the wagon to the patio where the little

girl stood.

“Big…black…bug’s blood,” she said slowly. And then, looking

rather pleased with herself, she continued a bit faster, “Big, black

bug’s blood, big black blugs blug, blig black blug’s blug.” Shaking

her head, she stepped off the patio, “I don’t like bugs anyway…well,

maybe ladybugs…and butterflies,” Sarah added as a swallowtail

fluttered by.

Sarah found herself following the butterfly’s trail, stopping

when it lit upon a flower and continuing on as it once again took

flight. “Come back butterfly,” she called as the butterfly

flitted from place to place, always just out of her reach. The

tinkling sound of her laughter floated across the yard to his

hiding place. He couldn’t believe his luck. It seemed that fate

was lending him a hand as the butterfly fluttered ever closer to

the wagon.

     Just a little further, sweet Sarah.

She stopped, looked up at the butterfly as it changed course,

then set off in the opposite direction. He clinched his fist. Fate,

he thought, is like a fickle strumpet. But patience on the other hand,

was quite the virtuous lady. Damn. He hated virtuous ladies. And

strumpets…they weren’t any better.

The swallowtail, perhaps tired of playing the game, circled

around and carried Sarah back toward the wagon. Its flight was

now one of purpose. It had nectar to collect and flowers to pollinate

and a curious little girl was a hindrance. The butterfly, however,

didn’t need to worry. It had lost Sarah’s attention. She had seen the

Picking up the silver chain, she watched as the blue stones

glistened in the sunlight. It was the most beautiful thing she had

ever seen. Sarah slid the necklace over her head and ran back to the

house calling out for her mother.

Liza Jones opened the door. “Is everything okay, Sweetie?”

Sarah lifted the pendant. “See what I found.” Her voice dropped

to a whisper, as she looked over her shoulder. “Do you think a fairy

dropped it?”

Liza shook her head. “I don’t know about a fairy, but someone

certainly did.” She put out her hand. “I think maybe you should

give the necklace to me. We don’t know whose it is.”

Sarah’s lip began to tremble. “But I found it and it’s so pretty.

Can’t I please wear it for a little while? I won’t lose it.”

Liza smiled as she touched her daughter’s cheek. She hated

telling her no. “Okay, as long as you’re careful. But when we find

out who owns it, no tears.”

“No tears, Mommy,” Sarah agreed. “I promise.”

Liza closed the door, her mind already going over the phone

calls she needed to make. She felt certain that one of the neighbor’s

children had been exploring in their mother’s jewelry box.

Smiling, Sarah whirled around and set off for the swings. Her

soft caramel curls, caught in a ponytail, danced about as she skipped

across the backyard. She hoped her mommy couldn’t find the owner

of the necklace.

As she sat in the swing and pushed off with her feet, Sarah

noticed her shadow. It moved along the sand, stretching out just as

she did. Higher and higher she went, her shadow following below.

Taking a flying leap from the swing, Sarah sailed through the air,

landed on the soft grass and toppled over. Giggling, she righted

herself. Her shadow did the same. And so the game of chase began.

Like a small rabbit, Sarah scampered across the lawn, her

little feet swiftly changing course. Sometimes, depending on the

direction she was going, Sarah noticed that she was being chased by

her shadow. Other times, she was doing the chasing.

The slamming of the neighbor’s back door didn’t go unnoticed.

Boys! She thought to herself as she wheeled in the opposite direction,

making sure to avoid the fence. Glancing over her shoulder, she saw

the neighbor boy peeking over the pickets.

As she neared the back of the yard, Sarah slowed to a walk,

sat down, and leaned against a large boulder, her shadow all but

forgotten. She fingered the silver chain before carefully lifting the

pendant. Blue stones surrounded a small crystal, reminding her of

the flowers that grew in her mother’s garden. “Buttercup, Poppy,

Forget-Me-Not,” Sarah recited her favorite nursery rhyme, “These

three bloomed in a garden spot—” her soft voice trailed away to

nothing as the sensation of being watched rolled over her.

Sarah lifted her eyes from the necklace and glanced toward the

wood line, looking for anything that seemed out of place. Seeing

nothing out of the ordinary, she continued to search the yard,

looking for the source of her discomfort. She paused, realizing that

the only place left to look was behind her. The hair on her arms

began to rise as did the instinctual feeling to run to safety. Slowly,

she turned her head to look over her shoulder. Her eyes rested on

the dark figure standing behind her right shoulder.

“Shadow?” she asked in a bewildered voice.

“Who else could it be?” hissed the childlike apparition as it

took position between Sarah and her house. A ragged whimper

wrenched from deep in Sarah’s throat, her eyes darted, looking for

an escape but seeing none. From across the fence, the frightened

eyes of the neighbor boy found hers, his small hand waved for her

to run.

“Mommy!” she cried out, her eyes welling with tears.

“Thy mother hearest thou not, sweet Sarah,” the specter hissed

as it took a step closer to the child.

Sarah’s mind told her to flee yet her body refused to move.

Tears streamed down her face. The shadowy figure looked over

its shoulder at the house. Satisfied, it turned its attention back to

Sarah. Cocking its head to the side as though in thought, Sarah’s

silhouette paused for just a moment before lunging and engulfing

the child. Sarah had no time to scream. She was gone, swallowed

by the blackness that was the shadow. The dark figure of the little

girl stretched upward and outward as it shifted into the dark shape

of a man.


Of Dreams and Shadow

This post is part of a virtual book tour sponsored by Pump Up Your Book. For more information and the list of tour stops, click here.

Guest Post by William Buisch, author of The Ark’s Cargo

About the book, The Ark’s Cargo

The Ark's Cargo by William Buisch

This memoir describes the challenges a young man faces in achieving his dream of becoming a veterinarian. Even a period of homelessness and limited resources do not interfere with his commitment to achieve success. And this is only the beginning! Soon he is faced with the challenges of working in the jungles of Panama, facing the ravages of a roaming black jaguar and the defenses of a native village against the entrance of man or beast.

Then, how about Haiti, where the Tonton Macoute militias believe in instant justice, rarely valuing life, or Columbia, where the drug lords have absolute rule. As if that isn’t enough, consider working in the African continent, along the tales surrounding the first shipment of Charolais cattle to the United States or the many facets of working with the wild mustangs in Colorado. Each exciting adventure is told with suspense, drama, and humor! Enjoy!

Buy a copy of your own!

The Ark’s Cargo at Trafford Publishing


About the author, William Buisch

Inspired by biblical passages and teachings, the author cherished his work as an international veterinarian. His passion for improving the health and welfare of domesticated and wild animals is most noteworthy. Working within diverse cultures, he observed vast health improvements in animals and, as a result, in people living nearby.


Guest Post from William Buisch

If you like romance, love, excitement, drama, adventure, exotic tales/tails and situational comedy, I have just the right book for you! And then with the ever present animalistic behavior and the discussion of male prowess while being, a bit bullish at times I am sure you will appreciate and love this collection of real life stories. Don’t be sheepish or cackle at the story line! But rather, enjoy the horsing around and the descriptions of unusual harems and the sexuality of a semen collection facility. All of this and more is included in the award winning book entitled, The Ark’s Cargo: For the Love of Animals!

The memoir is about an International Veterinarian who worked in poverty stricken areas of the world including that of working in Haiti, the jungles of Panama, in Colombia in areas under the control of drug lords, in Mali, along the road to Timbuktu and in Kenya where the Maasi believe they own all of the cattle in the world.

The stories include efforts to improve the health and welfare of both wild and domesticated animals in order to improve the well being of the human populations living near by. While the episodes may get a little wild at times, each adventure doesn’t necessarily achieve the success hoped for. Nevertheless, the lessons learned and the relationships developed established long lasting effects of international trust and respect that will last for years to come!

Having worked with the Wild Mustangs in Colorado and Nevada may be the highlight for some. But facing the terror of a black jaguar, or being “attacked” by a Battalion of Troops, or facing a native with a shield and spear aimed at one’s heart; will often attract the attention of others. And then there is the matter of the ever “screwing” Screwworm Fly; the experience of shipping cattle in a school bus; or the experience of being an unseasoned seaman in the North Atlantic. All I can say is; this is only the beginning! And as such, do enjoy!!!

In their Words: Scott Eder, author of Knight of Flame

Every time I talk with an author, one of the subjects that comes up is marketing. Most of them tell me that they never expected to be so involved with the process. Today, author Scott Eder, whose novel Knight of Flame I spotlighted yesterday, talks about marketing, and specifically about Local Independent Bookstores.


 

Working the Marketing Plan – Local Independent Book Stores 

 

With Knight of Flame coming out on October 15th, I turned the crank on my great wheel of marketing to the notch labeled—Local Independent Book Stores (LIBS). While a tremendous amount of work can be done online, there is no substitute for, or a peripheral device yet invented that replaces, a firm handshake, and that personal touch.

 

Building relationships is still important, still relevant, and a great way to garner support at your local independent book seller. It’s not a one visit, wham, bam, buy my book, kind of deal. It can be, if your end goal is to see your book on their shelves; but, if you actually want the store personnel to keep you in mind and recommend your books to their customers, it takes a little more time and attention. I learned a lot during my first visit, and would like to share it with you.

 

The LIBS I targeted is touted as one of the biggest new and used book stores in Florida. They host quite a few author events, as evidenced by the huge array of signed book cover posters along the walls. These guys have been around a long, long time, founded in 1933 to be exact. I haven’t been in a store like that in years. The arid smell—of old paper, dust, adventure, and wisdom—filled the place. I loved it.

 

Now, I’ve been in tons of bookstores before, but as a reader. This was my first sojourn with more on my mind than picking up the latest release from Brooks, Farland, Anderson, Owen, or several of my other favorites. So, my expectations were low. I wanted to go in, look around, introduce myself, ask how they made stocking decisions, buy a book (I didn’t want to take up their time without giving something in return), and call it a successful recon mission with a plan to come back in a few weeks.

 

It didn’t quite work out that way.

 

I struck up a conversation with one of the guys behind the desk. It only lasted a few minutes, but I got the chance to introduce myself, handed him my business card, and mentioned that I had a book coming out soon. He gave me the owner’s card in return and suggested I give him a call. Done. Nothing major, but I was nice, made the initial contact, and gained the information I needed. Mission accomplished.

 

Free to peruse the shelves, I found the Fantasy section. Being an avid Fantasy guy, most of the other shelves, and there were shelves everywhere, appear grayed out to me anyway. While perusing the new releases, the gentleman I had spoken to, Roger (name changed to protect the innocent), walked over and picked up the conversation where we left off. We talked about some of the different authors, and then changed topics to cover art.

 

Roger appeared to be roughly my age, give or take, and he’d worked in the store since he was three, THREE, said he started in the comic book room. Based on his confident demeanor, and the comfortable, familiar way he talked about the authors that had held signings over the years, I got the impression he’d seen just about every book that had come out in the last thirty years worth seeing.

 

We discussed some of the old Frank Frazetta and Boris Valejo covers from the ’80s, among other things. Then, in the midst of Roger bemoaning the trend of some Sci-Fi covers being too abstract, I offered to show him my cover art. I mean, what could it hurt? We were in the midst of the cover conversation and he seemed to know a lot about the topic. He said, “Uh, sure.” Not overly enthused, but willing to take a peek. (He mentioned earlier that the owner of the store gets at least twenty calls a day from authors asking for him to stock their books. I bet he sees all kinds of covers, all the time. By his demeanor I assume that most aren’t all that spectacular.)

 

So, I pulled my cover up on my cell phone. Did I mention that I love technology?

 

Roger’s eyes widened. His stance changed. He stared at the cover. “That’s a really good cover.” His voice sounded deeper, different than it was before the reveal. “You know, every book is judged by its cover. I don’t care what anyone says. And yours is really good.”

 

His demeanor changed. I felt he took me more seriously. That great conversation we were having before just took on a new level of subtext.

 

Still on the topic of cover art, he pulled me to another section in the store, explaining how one particular cover sold well. It was a serious military series with a rifle on the cover. Nothing else. It left no question as to what the story was about. He related that the publisher was concerned that the cover was too serious, and rebuffed some readers who were looking for an element of romance. But there was decidedly no romance in the series. At all. None. Still, they changed that cover, depicting an abstract human torso dressed in a nebulous uniform. It gave no clues as to what the story was about, and the artwork sucked (his words). Sales for that entire series tanked. Roger said that he practically had to force people to check it out. Once they did, though, the story sold the rest of the series.

 

Since our relationship had evolved, and we were talking about a series of cover, I boldly took another step forward. I explained the plan for the changing covers in my four-book series. There are three consistent POV characters throughout my series to ground the reader. In each book, there is an additional POV character, typically one of the other members of the Knights Elementalis. I explained that each cover would showcase the face of that new POV character in the same style as my Knight of Flame cover. The next book features the Knight of Air.

 

Again, he paused for a moment, taking in the new information. Eyes wide, assessing, mulling over the possibilities, he said, “That sounds really cool. That could work well. Very distinctive.”

 

I got the same impression as before, could even see it on his face.

 

We talked about a few other things, moseying about the store. He kept track of the work going on around him, making sure the guys behind the counter could handle the steady flow of customers. When we got to the subject of local writers using recognizable settings in their work, I couldn’t resist. I mean, he lobbed a big juicy pitch over the center of the plate, I had to swing for the fence.

 

“Hmm,” I said. “Knight of Flame takes place here in the Tampa/St. Pete area. There’s an epic battle atop the Sunshine Skyway Bridge, and major events take place on the top floor of the Regions Bank building in downtown Tampa. I’ve got a strong mix of real and fantasy settings in the story.”

 

He waited for me to continue.

 

“While the first book in the series is primarily local, the next book expands to the west coast, Canada, and Europe as the influence of the Gray Lord is felt on a more global scale. It escalates further from there until things wrap up in book four. My plan was to build a large story that would draw in readers all over the world.”

 

He smiled and nodded as I spoke. “Sounds really good.” That’s when he told me the process to win over LIBS. I’ll paraphrase.

 

  • When you go into an independent book store, don’t talk about the big retailers like Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. It really doesn’t matter to them how much you’ve sold through the other guys. Focus on the store at hand.
  • Be nice. Roger called out a number of the authors on the wall, all exceedingly nice people. He mentioned a few others, no posters marking their presence, giving examples of how not to behave.

 

That’s it. The key is to be nice. Got it. Roger that, er…uhm, Roger.

Business picked up in the store, so he excused himself. Not to belabor the issues, or to push my luck, I paid for my selections and left, exhilarated.

 

I’ve had a few days to mull this phenomenal adventure over, and I think there are more steps for a successful visit than Roger let on. I lucked out to some degree. I always try to be nice on general principal, and I have no past history with the big book dogs, so there was no way for me to cross the line there. Here’s the process I came up with:

 

  • Be Professional
  • Plan the trip – Don’t go in on a whim. Set the date and treat it like a business meeting.
  • Look decent – Look the part. Be the protagonist in your own author success story.
  • Leave a business card – A good looking, professional business card will enhance their perception of you, and leave a souvenir of your visit.
  • Be Nice
  • Courteous
  • Respectful
  • Watch language – treat the encounter like it’s a professional business meeting.
  • Get to the point – don’t waste their time.
  • Be Prepared – if you follow the first two points, especially number two, be prepared to take it to the next level. Create the opportunity to sell yourself and your work.
  • Cover art – my awesome cover art was done by Brad Fraunfelter – www.bradfraunfelterillustration.com
  • Back cover copy
  • Story pitch – you’re not selling to an agent or editor, but you are trying to interest someone in your work.
  • Anything else you might be able to use to tell your story
  • If you have the means, buy a book – the LIBS guys and gals need to eat too, and your to-be-read pile can never be too large.

 

That’s it. Simple, right? Now, go out and win over your LIBS.


About the Author, Scott Eder

Scott Eder

Since he was a kid, Scott wanted to be an author and explored many genres through high school and college. Fantasy, though, captivated his soul. Tales of Knights and magic, dragons and elves filled his dreams. After greasing the gears of the corporate machine for many years, he escaped the Information Technology vortex to focus full-time on writing. The stories he’d envisioned years ago—of nobility and strife, honor and chaos—demanded they be brought to life.

Scott lives with his wife, two children, and a giant Chihuahua on the west coast of Florida.

Connect with Scott

Website: ScottEder.net
Facebook: Scott Eder
Twitter: @ScottEder

In their Character’s Words: Kaylin McFarren’s Buried Threads

Kaylin McFarren interviews her character, Shinzo Yamada

Kaylin McFarren: “Hello everyone! Today I’m interviewing Shinzo Yamada, one of the main characters from my latest novel Buried Threads. This handsome gentleman is a Buddhist monk who has a remarkable gift of prophesy. He travels the world freeing trapped souls and can see into the past lives of people he meets. This non-traditional monk is 29-years-old, has a tan complexion and trendy haircut and wears stylist European suits. He is definitely a “metro sexual man” by Tokyo standards, at least according to a recent New York Times article I read. So tell me, Shinzo, are you happy with how you were portrayed in Buried Threads?”

Shinzo: “We all have parts to play in this world. Some of us are leaders, others are followers and some prefer to sit back and simply watch the world go round. As for myself, I do whatever I can to help the lost find a path to enlightenment and to realize their true potential and purpose in life. Although I would have been happier assisting your readers in finding peace and contentment, my preoccupation with preventing a natural disaster in Japan was most apparent in your book. So in answer to your question, under the circumstances, I would have to say you did a fine job.”

Kaylin: “As I’ve indicated in your introduction, you have the ability the visualize past lives. How did you acquire this ability, how do these visions come to you and how does the past impact our personalities?”

Shinzo: “I believe I was actually born with this gift, but with training and the guidance of my superior, who is a direct descendant of Moses, I’ve learned how to control it and use it in a positive way. When I close my eyes and put myself into a meditative state, I can telepathically transport myself into the inner consciousness of the person I’m with and visualize the soul’s memories of past-life activities. Of course, their memories of past-life actions influence how they react to others. Through the same eyes that the personality sees life, the soul sees it, but the soul looks with a memory covering centuries of passion and adventure, caring and love, hatred and revenge, doubt and fear. When we feel a seemingly unfounded fondness for another person, it is very likely due to soul memory of the positive role he or she played in our past lives. On the other hand, when we react with what seems to be an unfounded revulsion or hatred towards another person, you can be pretty sure it is because the soul recalls their past actions against us or our loved ones.

However, the influences of past-life actions are rarely so clear cut. Often those with whom we have had many good lives and relationships are the same people with whom we have had many problems and disagreements, a mix of “good” and “bad karma,” so to speak. In fact, it’s rare that a past-life relationship has every aspect of life in good, clear focus. Those positive, well-developed aspects from our past lives will give us much pleasure and support in the present. Conversely, those aspects, which we did not have in proper focus, will give us opportunities for pain and growth in present relationships. Avoiding these influences is simply not possible. Whether we like it or not, the Universal Law of Karma constantly brings before each of us the meeting of our past use of free will and consciousness. Thus, what we have done to other souls and they have done to us is reflected in the circumstances surrounding our present relationships and the basic, innate urges, attitudes and emotions we feel toward each other.”

Kaylin: “Hmmm…I see where you’re going with this. But since my readers are not able to meet with you, can they personally acquire this ability on some level?”

Shinzo: “A past life meditation is an exercise you can do on your own, although it may take some practice and more than a couple of attempts to get anywhere. In a past life meditation, the Seeker uses meditation techniques to travel back to previous lifetimes. You can achieve this by allowing your mind to wander back through your current lifetime, to earlier memories, and then telling your mind to go back to an earlier period. Although this doesn’t always work for everyone, you may find yourself experiencing memories from what seems to be another lifetime.”

Kaylin: “Fascinating. I’m sure everyone will be trying this tonight. So going in another direction, were you able to win the affections of Mariko Abe, the beautiful geisha you fell in love with in Buried Threads?”

Shinzo: “Ah…I’m sorry, Kaylin-san. I’m not a fan of spoilers and would hate to ruin the fun, so I suggest having your audience investigate themselves by reading Buried Threads, since the answer is buried inside.”

Kaylin: “Thank you, Shinzo, and my thanks and best regards to readers who are sure to experience a wild, fun ride in this new steamy, non-stop action story.”

 


About the book, Buried Threads

 

Buried Threads 2

Rachel’s mouth sagged. “You mean you’re really a monk? But how’s that possible? You’re not even wearing a robe, and your hair…”

He simply smiled.

A disturbing prophecy sends a treasure hunting duo on an urgent race to rescue a country in Kaylin McFarren’s heart pounding new novel, Buried Threads. Full of erotic suspense and wild adventures, this is one trip that readers will never forget!

Rachel Lyons and Chase Cohen work together as the successful owners of a treasure hunting company. But a seemingly simply assignment – to track down a priceless gem that is believed to buried in a shipwreck deep within the Sea of Japan – takes a starling, and dangerous, turn.

Faced with a monk’s dark prophecy that a natural disaster will soon strike Japan, killing millions, Rachel and Chase must embark on the mission of a lifetime in order to uncover the three cursed samurai swords that can avert the catastrophe.

Chaos ensues as their adventure takes them from shark infested waters and creepy caves to haunted hidden tombs and a confrontation with Yakuza gang members.

Time is running out as the prophecy’s day of reckoning draws near. Will Rachel and Chase succeed before disaster strikes?

Buy a copy from Amazon.

Watch the Trailer on YouTube


About the author, Kayin McFarren

Kaylin McFarren

Kaylin McFarren is a California native who has enjoyed traveling around the world. She previously worked as director for a fine art gallery, where she helped foster the careers of various artists before feeling the urge to satisfy her won creative impulses.

Since launching her writing career, McFarren has earned more than a dozen literary awards in addition to a finalist spot in the 2008 RWA Golden Heart Contest. A member of RWA, Rose City Romance Writers, and Willamette Writers, she also lends her participation and support to various charitable and educational organizations in the Pacific Northwest.

McFarren currently lives with her husband in Oregon. They have three children and two grandchildren.

Connect with Kaylin:

Website: KaylinMcFarren.com
Facebook: Kaylin.McFarren
Twitter: @4Kaylin
Goodreads: Kaylin_McFarren


Pump Up Your Book and Kaylin McFarren are giving away a $100 Amazon Gift Card/Paypal Cash!

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash.
  • This giveaway begins October 7 and ends December 31.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on Monday, January 3, 2013.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
  • Only U.S. citizens can win the Kindle Fire.

Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!

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Buried Threads

In Their Character’s Words: A Guest Post from J.R. Rain’s SAMANTHA MOON

Moon River

Guest post from Samantha Moon

by J.R. Rain

Some call me a vampire.

I say, why use labels? I’m uncomfortable calling myself anything other than a mother. That’s the one label I am comfortable with. I’m a mom first and foremost. A private investigator next, even though that is fairly recent. Seven years ago, I wasn’t a private eye, but a federal agent.

So, even that was subject to change. Perhaps someday I might find myself better suited for a different job, although I will always help those who need help. Although I’d always admired Judge Judy, I would never want to be in her position: to judge the actions of others. That took wisdom…a lifetime of wisdom. Technically, I’m only in my mid-thirties, although I look much younger. Still, far too young to judge others.

Truth was, my current lifestyle was perfectly suited to private investigation. Other than meeting new clients, who tended to want to meet during the day, I got along just fine working the night shift.

So, yes, one of the constants in my life was that I was a mother. Of course, even that was threatened just a year or so ago, when a rare sickness almost took my son from me. A son who was growing so fast.

Supernaturally fast.

Don’t ask.

I have a daughter, too. A daughter who offered many challenges, the least of which was that she could read minds as easily as she read her Facebook newsfeed.

Yes, I was a mother…and a sister. My sister has had a rough time of it, of late. She’s recently been introduced to the some of the darker elements of my world, and might be holding a grudge against me. But she would get over it. She’d better. I need her in my life.

Of course, there was another constant in my life…a constant that I ignored. A constant that I denied. And, as they say, denial isn’t just a river in Egypt.

Denial is my sanity.

You see, I have to deny what I am. Who I am. Or I would go crazy. I know I would. In fact, a part of me is certain that I just might be crazy. But not let’s not go there.

Yes, call me anything. But please, just please, don’t call me a vampire.

At least, not to my face.

About the book, Moon River:

Moon River

Seven years ago federal agent Samantha Moon was the perfect wife and mother, your typical soccer mom with the minivan and suburban home. Then the unthinkable happens, an attack that changes her life forever. And forever is a very long time for a vampire.

Now in MOON RIVER, private investigator, Samantha Moon, is asked to look into a string of bizarre murders, murders that are looking more and more like the handiwork of a bloodthirsty vampire. But when her sister, Mary Lou, goes missing, Samantha, Allison and Kingsley take the fight underground…into the dark heart of a vampire’s lair.

Buy a copy from Amazon.com.


About the author, J.R. Rain:

J.R. Rain

J.R. Rain is an ex-private investigator now writing full-time in the Pacific Northwest where he lives in a small house on a small island with his small dog, Sadie, who has more energy than Robin Williams. He will be publishing a slew of new novels over the next five years, so stop by often and check out what’s new.

Connect with J.R.

Website: jrrain.com
Facebook: J.R. Rain, Mystery Author
Twitter: @jr_rain