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The Three Books I Would Read if Stuck on a Deserted Island

The Three Books I Would Read if Stuck on a Deserted Island by Ronald L. Ruiz @iReadBookTours

The first would be Tolstoy's War and Peace. I believe that War and Peace is the greatest novel ever written. I have already given my reasons for that thinking to another guest spot who I don´t think would mind sharing those with you.

The Three Books I Would Read if Stuck on a Deserted Island by Ronald L. Ruiz @iReadBookTours
The second would be Cormac McCarthy's All The Pretty Horses. That’s a close call because McCarthy's The Road is as spectacular a display of sheer craftsmanship as any I’ve read. His description of the protagonist’s and his son’s bleak exodus with such few words and the absence of other characters and scenery is remarkable. But McCarthy deals with a variety of subjects and topics in All the Pretty Horses and does so extraordinarily well.

There's the oncoming loss of John Grady Cole's identity as a Texas cowboy. He flees into Mexico. His knowledge of and description of the campesinos and the landscape beauty of northern Mexico is admirable. John Grady falls in love with the heiress of Mexico´s new ruling class. McCarthy understands that new class but he also understands the old class who he leaves in the book as the girl´s aunt mother. The doomed love fails and John Grady lands in a Mexican prison which McCarthy accurately paints and returns to Texas. Cormac McCarthy is a genius and the last four sentences of All The Pretty Horses sustain my claim.

The third book I would want is Juan Rulfo's Pedro Paramo. (The University of Texas Press markets an English translation) This is a small 125-page novella about a ruthless Mexican land baron who owns and controls everything around him for miles and miles, except for the woman he loves who does not love him. It is the introduction of magical realism. I have read it five times in English and each time I have understood it a little more. It is a fascinating book. The story goes that in 1985 when Gabriel Garcia Marquez met Juan Rulfo in Mexico City, he hugged Rulfo and said that he so loved Pedro Paramo that he had memorized every line of it.

The Three Books I Would Read if Stuck on a Deserted Island by Ronald L. Ruiz @iReadBookTours
Born and raised in Fresno California - Educated at St. Mary´s College California, University of California Berkeley, University of San Francisco - Practiced law from !966 to 2003 as a Deputy District Attorney, a criminal defense attorney, and a Deputy Public Defender - Appointed to the California Agriculture Labor Relations Board by Governor Jerry Brown in 1974 and later served as the District Attorney of Santa Cruz County California.

Ronald L. Ruiz has published 5 novels and a memoir. Happy Birthday Jesus (1994), Giuseppe Rocco (1998), The Big Bear (2003), A Lawyer (2012), Jesusita(2015). and Life Long (2017).

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook


Book Showcase: Alycat and the Monday Blues by Alysson Foti Bourque

Book Showcase: Alycat and the Monday Blues by Alysson Foti Bourque @AlyssonFBourque @iReadBookTours

Title: Alycat and the Monday Blues
Author: Alysson Foti Bourque
Illustrations by: Chiara Civati

Genre: Children's Picture Book
Book Showcase: Alycat and the Monday Blues by Alysson Foti Bourque @AlyssonFBourque @iReadBookToursPublisher: Mascot Books
Release date: Sept 12, 2017

About the Book:

Alycat wakes up with the dreaded Monday Blues and is certain that nothing will go right. But when a mishap sends her astray, she discovers that helping a friend will help her discover her own hidden talent—curing her Monday Blues.

To read reviews, please visit Alysson Foti Bourque's page on iRead Book Tours.

Purchasing link: http://amzn.to/2yaYznI

Watch the book trailer:

About the Author:

Book Showcase: Alycat and the Monday Blues by Alysson Foti Bourque @AlyssonFBourque @iReadBookTours
Alysson Foti Bourque is the author of the Rhyme or ReasonTravel series, and the multi-award winning Alycat series. Alysson received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette and a law degree from Southern University Law Center in Baton Rouge. She believes that there is an Alycat in all of us, encouraging our imaginations to guide us through new opportunities and adventures.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook


Excerpt: Shadowzone by Simon Rose

Excerpt: Shadowzone by Simon Rose

Title: Shadowzone
Author: Simon Rose
Release Date: August 2017

Excerpt: Shadowzone by Simon Rose
About the book:
While watching intense flashes of lightning during a violent storm, Ben experiences mysterious and disturbing visions of another world, one very different from his own.
In the chain of events that follow, Ben encounters Charlie, a girl from a dark version of Earth, a planet doomed by the effects of environmental catastrophe, where the leaders will stop at nothing to complete their deadly mission.


Chapter One
In the Shadows
A burst of bright light briefly illuminated the gloom of the musty storage area. A dark-haired young woman wearing a plain black uniform stepped out of the shimmering light before it faded into nothingness. She stood between the crowded bookshelves and quickly scanned her surroundings. The room had no windows and the only door was firmly closed. She ran her gloved fingers along the nearest shelf, disturbing a layer of dust. As she suspected, the room was rarely used. It would be an ideal hiding place.
She shuddered when she recalled the day that she’d learned of the Ministry’s plans. Despite the risk to her friends and family, the woman felt that she had no choice but to safeguard as many copies of the cure as she could. She’d considered hiding them in her own house, but several weeks earlier she’d arrived home and immediately noticed that a handful of items were slightly out of place. Nothing had been taken and there was no damage, but she was experienced enough to know that her home had been expertly searched.
The air shimmered slightly at the far end of the room. The woman reached into her jacket pocket displaying the triple-w symbol and took out her phone. Her time was almost up. She stepped back from the shelves and smiled. The vials would be safe here. The air shimmered again and the woman disappeared in another burst of bright light.
She emerged into the control chamber and the intragate closed behind her. The pulsing blue light in the large circular structure’s outer ring was replaced by cold steel. The chamber was shrouded in semi-darkness, the terminals, consoles, and control stations silent. She often worked late but tonight had stayed well after everyone else had left for the evening. She couldn’t run the risk of discovery.
She coughed slightly as she quickly went over to the main panel to deactivate the intragate. Even inside the building the air was tainted these days. She glanced at her reflection in the glass on the terminal’s screen, quickly sweeping a loose strand of hair into place. Her dark hair was pulled back from her face and twisted into a tight bun when she was working at the Ministry. She quickly keyed in the code to switch off the intragate followed by another code to delete her recent activity. She’d learnt how to cover her tracks after her unauthorized trips through the intragate but thankfully this had been the last one.
She opened the door into the dimly lit hallway, where the lights were operating on low power to save energy. She hurried along the deserted hallways, swiping her ID card and placing her forearm’s small tattoo under the scanner’s pale blue light in order to pass through the three security checkpoints. She was then startled by a familiar voice as she reached the top of the ornate stone staircase that led down to building’s main entrance.
“Working late, Charlotte?”
She turned to see her colleague, Major Sebastian Grayson, emerge from a darkened doorway. He was tall and slim, with closely cropped blond hair. Like Charlotte, his rank was indicated on the collars and upper sleeves of his black uniform, which also bore the triple-w symbol.
“Yes,” she replied. “Just a few small issues with the intragate’s alignment earlier today.”
“Nothing too problematic, I hope?” he said, with a thin smile, his pale blue eyes studying her face.
“No,” said Charlotte, retaining her composure. “It just took a while for me to resolve after everyone had gone home, that’s all. Everything’s fine.”
“Good,” said Sebastian. “Anyway, I should let you go.”
Charlotte gave him a brief smile as he turned to leave then went down the staircase to the entrance. At the main doors, she put on her facemask before she left the building. Her eyes stinging, Charlotte hurried down the steps to the sidewalk then quickly walked through the empty, smog-filled parking lot to her car. Sebastian watched from the upper window until Charlotte’s car was out of sight, before turning away.

About the Author:
Simon Rose is the author of The Alchemist's Portrait, The Sorcerer's Letterbox, The Clone Conspiracy, The Emerald Curse, The Heretic's Tomb, The Doomsday Mask, The Time Camera, The Sphere of Septimus, Flashback, Future Imperfect, Twisted Fate, and the Shadowzone series. He is also the author of The Children's Writer's Guide, The Time Traveler's Guide, a contributor to The Complete Guide to Writing Science Fiction and has written many non-fiction books. Simon offers a wide variety of presentations, workshops and author in residence programs for schools, along with virtual author visits by video. He is an instructor for adults with the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University and offers a variety of online workshops for both children and adults. Simon offers a number of services for writers, including coaching, consulting, editing, and writing workshops. Full details can be found at his website http://www.simon-rose.com. You may also visit his channel on YouTube, follow him on Twitter, or connect on Facebook. 

When Your Publisher Closes

When Your Publisher Closes, guest post by Virginia Jennings

Mid July my publisher PDMI Publishing LLC announced that it was closing its doors. I had been with PDMI Publishing for almost four years, so the news came as quite a shock. All rights were to be released back to their respective authors. 

As it typically happens when a publisher closes, the authors are all left to figure out what their future holds; find a new publisher or go self-published.

When Your Publisher Closes, guest post by Virginia Jennings
There are inherent downsides to being with a traditional publisher, one is you don’t always have access to the digital files of your book to just give out to reviewers left and right. Second, if you want to try something new, like produce an audio book, you have to make sure you check with your publisher because often times your contract reserves those rights for your publisher. But say you keep those rights, running an audiobook without your publisher’s blessing could serve to tarnish your book’s branding as well.

The upside to being with a traditional publisher, you write the book and then later help with marketing. The publisher will have editors, cover designers, layout artists, and sometimes even a marketing team to help make your book sell. Because your book has to go through all these people, many publishers have a limit on how often they will release a new book from you. Depending on your marketing strategy, this could be a good thing or a bad thing.

I knew that it would be difficult but not impossible to find a publisher that would be willing to take on a book that had already been released twice. You see, I started off in the world of self-publishing before PDMI picked up my books. I knew I also wanted to do paperback, ebook, hard back, and audiobook editions of my book. As smaller publishers don’t have the time or the resources to do all of that for each of their authors, I leaned more towards going the self-published route once more.

In order to keep from infringing on the cover artist, and the layout designer’s work, this meant I needed all new layouts, and covers for my book. Having a new cover also helps readers find the new edition instead of tripping over the edition that is no longer available. I treated this new edition release as though I would any other release with guest blog posts, cover reveals, and interviews, just in a bit more subdued manner. I’m not going to stress about scheduling every day of the month with a tour spot, but I did want to get the word out there. I also joined instafreebie and started a newsletter.

For Self Published Authors, you make the decisions. Sink or swim, your book relies on you and you alone. You could give away all your books for free if you want because now you don’t have to worry about a publisher needing their cut of the profits. Go produce that audio… just make sure the producer does a good job! You find the editor, and cover designer… and pay them. You are typically doing all the marketing. But now you have all the freedom in the world to do what you want with your book. The only thing you have to worry about now is if people will buy it!

The biggest downside to being self-published is navigating how to upload your book onto all the different types of self-published sites out there, Createspace, Lulu, Nook Press, KDP are the main ones that distribute directly to their respective online retailers. They each have their own requirements and specifications. They each have their own peculiarities that can make the process a bit frustrating at times, but rewarding when you finally get it right!

Am I happy with my decision? Sure! I love my new cover and am thrilled to be able to offer a large print and hardback edition of my book! Do I miss being traditionally published? Sort of. I do miss being able to SAY that I have a publisher backing my books. I miss knowing that everything to get my book published is being taken care of and all I have to do is approve the final copy.

Being self-published is a LOT of work and certainly not for the faint of heart. Somewhere amongst all of this I still have to find the time to go to school and finish going through the edits on my next book!

To make a long story short, know what you are getting into before making your decision as to whether to go with a traditional publisher or self-publish. I choose self-publishing this time around because it works for me. I can re-release my back list and move on. I don’t have to worry about rebranding my books again when yet another publisher closes because… I am my own publisher. I do have to do all the work though. The next book I write, who knows, I may change my mind. Until then you can now find my book in paperback, hardback, large print, and kindle. Links to all these editions can be found here: http://www.virginialorijennings.com/p/the-alien-mind.html  While you are at it, feel free to leave me any questions you might have in the comments here at Writers and Authors! I’d be happy to hear from you!

When Your Publisher Closes, guest post by Virginia Jennings
When V.L. Jennings isn't traveling to other worlds through her imagination, she calls Dillon, South Carolina her home. She is the author of science fiction novels "The Alien Mind" (recipient of the Readers Favorite Five Star Review Award), and "Visionary From The Stars". 
But what motivates Virginia to create, to illustrate, to prognosticate? Virginia is a speculator, the kind of person who always debates the "what if?" of where stories both true and fantastical are leading themselves to, which explains her love of post-apocalyptic fare such as "The Walking Dead." Through her writing, she enjoys trying to figure out what our human potential is, and where our innate desire for a better world could lead us.
Overall, Virginia is just about as real as a person can get. Yes, even authors love to sing along with their favorite local radio station while driving, and Virginia is no exception to this rule. She enjoys watching Doctor Who or Star Trek with her family over dinner, and also watching the latest sci-fi and action movies with her husband. On the weekends, you may even find Virginia and her family at the local comic book store, hunting down more comics to add to their collections.
V.L. Jennings spends her free time writing flash fiction on her blog and working towards her degree in Electronics Engineering. You can find out more about V.L. Jennings as well as join her newsletter at: www.virginialorijennings.com

Interview with Andrea Kane

Interview with Andrea Kane

What genre do you write and why?

I write psychological suspense thrillers.  They’re based on the workings of the characters’ minds and motivations, rather than a more blood-and-guts approach.  I find the human mind to be fascinating, whether I’m writing a strong protagonist or an equally strong (and often terrifying) antagonist.
Interview with Andrea Kane
Tell us about your latest book.
A Face to Die For interweaves two overlapping cases and throws them into the laps of the Forensic Instincts’ team.  It’s the story of two lookalike women searching to find the truth behind their birth and about those who would do anything to keep them from finding out that truth.  It’s about family and loyalty and betrayal and about the lengths the guilty will go to to protect their secrets—including murder.  I loved creating the characters and relationships in this book, as well as building the escalating suspense.  And, as always, to bringing in Forensic Instincts to uncover the pieces of the puzzle and to fit them together so they can save the day!
What formats is the book available in?
A Face to Die For is available in hardcover, eBook, and audiobook formats.
What's your favorite quote about writing/for writers?
“There are three rules for writing a novel.  Unfortunately, no one knows what they are.” – W. Somerset Maugham
What's the best thing about being a writer?
The ability to do what you love (most of the time) and, at the same time, to bring enjoyment to your readers.  For me, it’s also the sheer joy of creating equity in a real world where little exists.  It’s great to see the “bad guys” get theirs!
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
The best place to go is to my website at: www.andreakane.com.  The entire site has been revamped (the design is absolutely awesome!) and is being published simultaneously with the release of A Face to Die For.  So by visiting there you’ll be current on everything and able to keep up with me, my books, my blogs, and links to buying options.  Also, visit my Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/AuthorAndreaKane where I love to chat with my readers and always keep them up-to-date on all my book news.
Who is you favorite character in your book and why?

No matter how much I care about the new characters in a specific storyline, the Forensic Instincts team themselves are always my favorites.  I feel as if they’re longstanding friends, and I absolutely love writing and developing each member of the team.  I have some new favorites in A Face to Die For, but I can’t give explanations without ruining the revelations!

Interview with Andrea Kane
How long did it take you to write your book?

It always takes me at least a year to write a book.  Between my ongoing and intensive research, and my thorough character development (not to mention the unexpected twists and turns the book takes, together with the unexpected red herrings that pop up), I can’t seem to write a complex thriller any faster than that.

Who or what inspired you to become a writer?

Without a doubt, my parents.  Even though I’ve been telling stories in my head since I was about 4-years-old, they were the ones who told me how talented I was, who advised me to put my stories down on paper, and who were ultimately the ones who convinced me to take that first scary step into the world of getting my work published.  Having them behind me was a true blessing.

Does your family support you in your writing career? How?

My family is the front line in my writing process.  We brainstorm together throughout my intensive creative and research processes, discuss the main characters and plot as I’m developing them, and even toss title suggestions back and forth among us.  They read my book in chunks, probably a third at a time, so I don’t miss a crucial thread that has come undone or a red herring who needs to be better addressed.  Throughout my many years as a writer, they’ve attended conferences with me and visited cities and countries where my research took me.  Through good times and bad, they’ve cheered me on, never wavering in their belief in me (even during those times when I did).  In short, they are truly indispensable and I know that my writing is, and always has been, tremendously enhanced by their involvement.
When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

I spend most of my non-writing time with my family.  The hours we all find to be together are few, given our crazy work schedules and outside commitments.  So I treasure those moments—things like watching a movie together, either laughing or getting into a deep discussion over it—those hours are my favorite.  When I’m on my own and not writing (which is infrequent), I love playing word games and doing crossword puzzles.  I’m also a Fitbit fanatic and faithfully walk an hour a day (even though I’m still trying to find the “zone” that others tell me they lose themselves in—I just plow my way through them and anticipate them being over!).  And I always love watching my New York Yankees games, cheering on the Bronx Bombers and hoping they’ll win!

Interview with Andrea Kane

Getting The Most Out Of Your Virtual Book Tour

Getting The Most Out Of Your Virtual Book Tour, Guest post by Eileen Colucci

So you’ve self-published your book and now are ready to attack the marketing part of your venture. Authors who go the traditional route are lucky in that their publishers usually arrange book tours for them. Of course, this involves traveling all over the country (if not the globe) to book signings with the related lodging and dining costs. As an independent author you can pay a modest amount ($75-300 average) to have your book go on a Virtual Book Tour without leaving the confines of your home.

Engaging a Virtual Book Tour means that your book will be featured on various blogs on the internet, hopefully ones that specialize in your book’s genre. These types of tours have become so popular that even traditionally published authors are using them. A book signing can be a very ego-boosting event but unless you are a bestselling author you are probably not going to draw enormous crowds. A blog however has the capacity to draw many, many readers, depending on its popularity and renown.

Getting The Most Out Of Your Virtual Book Tour, Guest post by Eileen Colucci
By googling “virtual book tour” and your book’s genre you can find several places to promote your book. Not all the companies may be interested in your book but you will eventually find some that are willing to work with you. The tour organizers will provide you with detailed instructions on content you must provide them. This usually takes the form of a “guest post,” a short essay on a given topic, or an interview in which you’ll be asked to answer a list of questions, some more whimsical than others.

I have already taken my book on one blog tour and am in the midst of my second one, using two different companies. The organizers have been superb in their support and direction. I would like to share with you some tips I’ve gleaned from these tours so that you can get the most out of your experience.


Reviews are important for a writer. Most tour organizers will try to have your book reviewed on a maximum number of blogs. The actual number however depends on the willingness of the individual bloggers to read and review your book. I found that even though some bloggers featuring my book on their site had not signed up to review my book, I was able to approach them by email and to convince them to do so. In both cases, the bloggers wanted an original copy of the book (one a Kindle, the other a paperback). They did not want to read the mobi, epub or pdf files that I had provided to the tour organizers. So go ahead and contact the bloggers directly to ask for a review.


The tour organizers will encourage you to visit the blogs on the day that your book is being featured there and to respond to any comments that readers might leave. What they do not say, however, is that most blogs will leave your book on their Home page for several days, if not weeks. During this time, people may leave comments. I have seen authors miss the opportunity to engage with readers because they did not check back a day or two after their blog “date” to see if there were more comments. That said, just because people have not left comments does not mean people have not read the blog post.


One of the best things I got out of my first tour was a new image for the Home page of my website. One of the bloggers asked me for a Mood Board. I didn’t even know what that was so I had to google it. It turns out it is a collage of images and text that represents the main themes/aspects of your book. My husband and I worked an entire Sunday on this project and I was so pleased with the result that I incorporated it in my website when I updated it. Other content, such as responses to interview questions, was very useful in organizing my thoughts when preparing for subsequent presentations at Book Fairs and other venues. When people asked me for my inspiration for the book or about my favorite authors I had my response all ready.

You will probably find your own tips to pass on once you’ve taken your book on tour. It can be an exhilarating experience that might hopefully increase your readership. I highly recommend it. Happy travels!

Getting The Most Out Of Your Virtual Book Tour, Guest post by Eileen Colucci
A native New Yorker, Eileen Colucci has been living in Rabat with her Moroccan husband for the past thirty-plus years. She is a former teacher and recently retired after twenty-eight years as a translator with the U.S. Embassy, Rabat. Her articles and short stories have appeared in various publications and ezines including Fodor's Morocco, Parents' Press, The New Dominion and Expat Women. SHE'S LIKE A RAINBOW, which was recently published, is her second novel.

Colucci holds a BA in French and English from the University at Albany and an MA in Education from Framingham State University.

When not writing, Colucci enjoys practicing yoga, taking long walks and playing with her chocolate Labrador Retriever, Phoebo. Now that she and her husband have four grandchildren, they spend as much time as possible in Virginia with their two sons and their families.


Getting The Most Out Of Your Virtual Book Tour, Guest post by Eileen Colucci


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