Title: Old Wounds
Author: Giacomo Giammatteo
About the Book:
Gino Cataldi loved three things: his wife, his son, and his job as a cop. Cancer took his wife. Drugs have his son. And Gino is pulling desk duty, suspected of killing a drug dealer.
Every night he dreams of a chance to make things right. That chance comes when a high-society woman is brutally murdered, her body parts spread all over town. The investigation quickly hits a dead-end…until a late-night caller with too much information contacts Gino. Between the mystery surrounding what she knows and his penchant for helping women in trouble, more than Gino's curiosity is aroused. He only hopes she's not the killer.
About the Author:
Giacomo Giammatteo is the author of gritty crime dramas about murder, mystery, and family. He also writes non-fiction books including the No Mistakes Careers series.
When Giacomo isn’t writing, he’s helping his wife take care of the animals on their sanctuary. At last count they had 45 animals—11 dogs, a horse, 6 cats, and 26 pigs.
Oh, and one crazy—and very large—wild boar, who takes walks with Giacomo every day and happens to also be his best buddy.
Author: Vanessa Wester
Genre: Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Steven Thorn has no trouble settling in at university. He is confident, hardworking and intelligent. When Caitlin Chance catches him off guard he is bemused by the instant attraction, and the more he gets to know, the more he likes.
Yet, Steven has a secret past that is destined to reveal itself, and he is soon to become a stranger to everyone. The wheels are set in motion for his radical upheaval. But first love is a powerful thing, and the connection forged between Caitlin and Steven is not easily broken.
The impossible is only the beginning...
Vanessa Wester's debut novel takes you from the University of Southampton to the depths of the Amazon jungle. An imaginary citadel is waiting to be discovered full of interesting characters,traditions and cultures. There are so many twists and details you will not be able to put this book down.
*~HYBRID has some scenes of an adult nature. It may be considered unsuitable for younger readers~*
About the Book
Steven Thorn has had a nightmare year... He finds out he is not normal. His life gets erased. He starts a new life in the amazon, and then he ends up with a debilitating injury. Life could not get any worse - he thinks.
Yet luck is on his side as his injury leads to freedom and his eventual return to Southampton. His new home is a Victorian house on the outskirts of Southampton, a place close to his first love, Caitlin Chance. Now that he is back, he intends to find a way into her life, but he has no idea if she will even remember him.
Caitlin is about to discover the reason for her unexplained sadness over the past year, and will find it hard to resist Steven's magnetic pull. She has never been good at avoiding things that are bad for her, and the return of Steven is about to challenge her willpower in an unimaginable way.
As begun in Hybrid, Vanessa Wester takes you back to the University of Southampton to reveal more twists and turns in The Evolution Trilogy. Life is full of complications, and sometimes it is hard to know if you made the right choice.
About the Book
Steven Thorn and Caitlin Chance are meant to be together. At least, when they first fell in love it seemed inevitable. But love is sometimes not enough. It makes them act irrationally, it tests family loyalties, breaks and makes friendships, and causes physical and mental pain.
Yet, without love, Steven and Caitlin are lost.
As they return to the community and discover the possibilities open to them, all is not what they hoped. Steven has impacted the lives of many since he was discovered, and the choices he made have led to events beyond anyone's control.
Love brought Steven and Caitlin together and fate is playing with their emotions, constantly undermining their willpower and determination. In the game of love, destiny is always the winner.
As continued from COMPLICATIONS, Vanessa Wester takes you back to the Amazon as Steven and Caitlin return to the community and try to figure out their future. Finally, you will discover the next steps for the community, its inhabitants, and humanity.
About the Book
Emily has not changed in fifty years. An accident made her immortal, a vampire freak.
Finally allowed to return to her beloved England, all is not as expected. So much has changed. The past she was holding on to does not exist. Since the Second World War, people have embraced a new age. In this era, people have an obsession with gadgets, strange clothes and weird music.
Added to this her blood-lust has become insatiable and her promise to control herself is torn to shreds. That is until she meets Paul. She never expected to find love after all this time. Fate has never been kind to Emily, and it gives her everything she wants at a cost. She must pay a price for being a murderer.
Within Emily’s twisted heart lies a dark soul.
Vanessa developed her writing bug in 2010 and has not looked back since. Her main published work is ‘THE EVOLUTION TRILOGY’, which is comprised of HYBRID, her debut novel, followed by COMPLICATIONS and RETURN. The prequel to the Trilogy, EMILY, is also now available.
In addition, she has written a novelette called FIRST DATE, which is based on her true story. She has also published, and included stories in, six anthologies to raise money for fantastic causes.
Writing is one of her passions, reading the other. The day she decided to start writing her ideas down she found another way to lose herself in a book, whilst finding an outlet for her imagination. It is the best way she can think of to escape from everyday life. She is currently working on a historical fiction novel based on the life of her great, great, grandparents... and is finding the research fascinating!
Readers can find Vanessa Wester online at:
What genre do you write and why?
The Santa Fe Café Mysteries are culinary cozies. They combine the two genres I can’t resist: cookbooks and mysteries. I’ve long loved cozy mysteries for their fun themes—cooking, crafts, DYI—and for their every-woman heroines who solve crimes and would also make great friends in real life. They’re also fun to write. In what other genre can you combine sleuthing with recipes?
Tell us about your latest book.
Feliz Navidead, the third book in the Santa Fe Café Mysteries series, came out last month (Oct. 25). It’s Christmas in Santa Fe, and Rita Lafitte has convinced her Midwestern mom to come for a visit. Hoping to win over her Southwest-skeptical mother, Rita plans for good food, jolly activities, and most of all, no amateur sleuthing.
However, the holiday peace doesn’t last long. Rita stumbles on a dead man during the premier performance of her daughter’s Christmas pageant. The prime suspect is as obvious as his bloody Santa suit. Rita steers clear of the case, until she learns her daughter might still be in danger. With the help of her elderly boss, Flori, and her coterie of senior rogue knitters, Rita strives to salvage her mother’s vacation, unmask a murderer, and stop this festive season from turning even more fatal.
Who is you favorite character in your book and why?
I have a soft spot for Flori. She’s not exactly a sidekick. Octogenarian instigator is probably a better description. Flori owns Tres Amigas Café, where my protagonist, Rita, works as a chef. Flori teaches Rita about New Mexican cuisine and spices up the story with hobbies such as deadly tai chi and illicit knitting on statues and lamp posts. Flori is also a renowned amateur sleuth, a bold flirt, and a pincher of handsome men’s behinds. One of these things was inspired by my beloved grandmother, but I won’t reveal which.
Why do you think readers are going to enjoy your book?
I love the characters and hope readers will too! Rita isn’t perfect. But while she might flub up dancing or spill soup on customer’s laps, she’s always there for her friends and family. Flori and her Senior Center pals get into fun trouble in each book too. Then there’s the food. Rita and her friends whip up some fabulous dishes—all calorie free to read about. Each book also contains recipes for a complete meal, including treats like anise-spiced pan de muerto in Bread of the Dead, a yummy green chile and cheese soufflé in Cinco de Mayhem, and pumpkin pie with gingersnap crust in Feliz Navidead.
How do you research your books?
Here’s another reason I love culinary cozies: eating at Santa Fe cafés counts as research! Eating aside, I take the setting and culinary aspects of my books seriously. I’m fortunate to spend a lot of time in New Mexico thanks to my husband’s job and the generosity of Santa Fe friends. I also try to keep up on current events in Santa Fe, as well as history, culture, and culinary traditions. Sometimes, my over-prepared-student nature goes too far. Like do I really need to know about nixtamalization, a millennia-old process to chemically transform cornmeal into more nutritious masa dough? A wise editor nixed nixtamalization in an early draft of Cinco de Mayhem. Yeah, I can see how it weighs down dialogue, but I still think about it when I eat tamales. It really is fascinating….
How long did it take you to write your book?
I wrote the first draft of Feliz Navidead in about six months. I won’t say it was easy, but because it’s the third book in the series, I knew the main characters well. I started with just the title—and the accompanying season—and plotted out a story that involved a fun, devilish feature in Santa Fe’s Christmas pageant.
What advice do you have for other writers?
Stop tinkering and finish your book! The exclamation point is there because I’m yelling this at myself (I’ve just been fussing with a first chapter). If I’m stuck in the middle of a story, it always seems easier to go back and edit earlier chapters. But obsessing over perfect wording in a first draft doesn’t get you to the end, and you might change whole sections in revisions anyway. Keep moving forward. Write a full draft and then go back to revise and edit. Hear this, self? Move away from Chapter 1.
What's your favourite quote about writing/for writers?
It’s hard to choose a favorite, but I like this quote by Margaret Atwood: If I waited for perfection, I would never write.
Where can a reader purchase your book?
The Santa Fe Café Mysteries are available as paperbacks, e-books, and audio books at
Amazon http://amzn.to/2gHNdQB, or
Barnes & Noble http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Feliz+Navidead?_requestid=687360.
Or your favorite local independent bookstore. A shout-out to some of my favorites:
From My Shelf Books and Gifts (http://www.wellsborobookstore.com/, Wellsboro, PA), Hooked on Books (http://hookedonbooksco.com/, Colorado Springs, CO), Garcia Street Books (http://garciastreetbooks.com/, Santa Fe, NM), and Tattered Cover (http://www.tatteredcover.com/, Denver, CO).
Where can people find out more about you and your writing?
Please stop by and say hi or catch up on book news on my Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AnnMyers.writer/
I also have some recipes and photos at http://www.annmyersbooks.com/
Continuing on with our series of applying acting techniques for writers (read part 1 here), here are a few more ideas.
Since all stories build on conflict, even non-fiction, using the three sources of conflict are a great tool. These are the standard sources:
· Conflict from Within the Character (Man Against Self)
· Conflict Between Characters (Man Against Man)
· Conflict from Without (Man Against Universe)
Start planting the seed for each of these early on in your story. Your Act 1 Climax can feature one of these conflicts. Your Act 2 Climax can have two of these sources colliding and Act 3 has all three at once. Think of James Bond in Act 2 having to save the girl and let the villain escape. Now in Act 3, James has to kill the villain, save the girl all while the island is crashing and sinking into the ocean.
Creating interesting characters is key for writing and for acting. As an author, it is important to understand these so that we can create characters different from our own psychology. Try using a basic profile for characters that falls into three psychological types found in all great spiritual traditions. Many authors instinctively use these and it helps to know why it works and how to consciously use it.
Here is a brief description of each type followed by a paragraph exaggerating the use of the elements of the type. Each paragraph is a variation of this basic statement:
“She is touching a table, walks across the floor to a window and looks out.”
· The Thinker – This person operates out of their intellect, speaks in monotones, uses air based imagery (air-head, thoughts fly) and lots of fricatives and plosives (air-based sounds like T, B, P, and K). They wear tailored clothes with straight lines, and move in straight lines-pacing, etc. They are direct. Primary blue, purple, white are great colors for them. The top parts of the body lead this person: the head, the eyebrows and forehead, the fingertips, the index finger, the toes.
o She tapped the tips of her fingers crisply on the table. Then her eyebrows hiked high. She flew up and stalked straight across the tile to the window and scanned the sky.
· The Feeler – This person acts out of their emotions, speaking melodically, uses water based imagery and emphasizes vowels and “L, W, Y”. They wear flowing, curving clothes, in pastels, pinks, greens and golds. They are indirect. The curvy middle parts of this person carry the most energy: The eyes, the torso, the palm, the arches of the feet, the middle finger.
o She floated her palms along the curve of the table. Then a wave of hope washed into her heart. She danced across the carpet to the bay window and inhaled the horizon.
· The Willer – This person acts out of their will and does what they are going to do regardless of how logical it is or how it might hurt them or anyone else. They emphasize the lower parts of their body: The limbs, the groin, the heels-both of the feet and hands, the jaw (iron or glass), the thumbs. The line of movement is frequently in angles. They emphasize guttural and jaw based sounds like G, D, R, J, N. The element of earth is dominant for imagery.
o Her thumbs gripped the table tensely as she dug her heels into the stone floor, gritting her teeth. Suddenly, she shoved the chair over and stormed to the broken window, grinning at the ground beyond.
I love using the Wizard of Oz as an example: the Scarecrow needed a brain (Thinker), the Tin Man needed a heart (Feeler), and the Cowardly Lion needed courage (Willer).
The Good Girl by Mary Kubica is a great example of a current author using the three different psychologies for her three narrators. The mother is a feeler, the detective is a thinker, and the kidnapper is a willer.
Each type can have many different qualities. The perfect qualities will help generate the desired conflicts and dynamics for great story telling. Play with the idea of inviting the character to appear in your imagination using the techniques outlined in Part 1.
Invite your character to appear before you and do something for you. Imagine you see, feel, hear or sense the colors, vocal quality, patterns of movement, etc. See if they fall into one of the above categories. Look for the line of the movement, the metaphors, where they lead from as they walk, etc.
Ask questions to lead your imagination to generate answers:
· Is this person a predominantly thinking, feeling or willing dominated character?
· What kind of thinking force does she have? Fast, Slow, Smart, Hesitant, Witty, Dull, Scientific, Artistic, Narrow, Broad, Spacey?
· What kind of feeling force does he have? Expressive, Repressed, Melancholy, Light-hearted, Mercurial, Steady, Stoic?
· What kind of will does she have? Steady like a tortoise, Erratic like a hare, Stubborn, Weak, Impulsive, Bulldozer, Reluctant, Lazy, Fiery?
· How are the thinking forces of each character different from each other?
· How are the feeling forces of each character different from each other?
· How are the will forces of each character different from each other?
Simply playing with these questions will provide great inspiration for crafting creative characters that can spice up our writing and lead into the necessary conflicts between and within the characters. Because each person has all three forces and each force has its own way of operating, a great way to create inner conflict–man against self–is to have the heart battle the mind or the will.
I happened to love to act and to write and find I use my tools in a crossover fashion. So today I want to share a basic concept from acting that I use in writing. As an actor/teacher/director/producer, I use Michael Chekhov’s imagination driven approach for creating characters, script analysis and emotional connection with the audience. Here is a three part series that looks at using Michael Chekhov’s acting techniques for writing.
What if there are Pre-Existing Images?
While it calls me to write a whole book on this, the most basic principle that distinguishes Mr. Chekhov’s approach offers the idea that the stories and characters already exist. The artistic work has already been created in some other dimension and yearns to be expressed by you. He suggests that this is why Michelangelo knew David was inside the rock and Beethoven was haunted by melodies insisting they be written.
IF this is true, then your story already exists. Now, let’s look a little more closely at that “IF”. By the way, we don’t actually need to believe our story exists in order to use this tool. You can pretend as if it does. This “Magic If” says: If this story already exists, then all I need to do is allow it to be revealed through me.
Many artists sense great relief in this concept. Finding and downloading a pre-existing word doc. image from the cloud is easier that creating it from scratch. Trying this approach is free and it just might help!
P.S. My first two books were written in a weekend with this approach under the guidance of Tom Bird, whose approach happens to coincide with Michael Chekhov’s idea. Clearly, neither of them created it, and to both of them I am grateful for imparting it.
Tapping Into Your “I” Cloud
What if we each have our own “cloud” of images that live in our highest realm of imagination. Pretend that your imagination is such a huge cloud that it envelops the whole planet, outside the ozone layer. Like on Star Trek, you have the ability to beam yourself up to it, and explore it. At the same time, you can beam stories, plot points, and characters down to your Earth.
In a quiet state, center your concentration on a point near your heart, about three inches down from your collarbone and right in the middle of your chest. Imagine there is a powerful radiant energy like the sun right there inside of you.
Pretend that this sun inside of you fills your whole being with creative juices that stir a vibrancy inside of you. Now, focus a beam of energy from the center point, up through the ceiling, the sky, the ozone layer, bursting into your unlimited cloud of images. Invite your story to appear to you.
Listen and write as quickly as you can when something begins to appear. Avoid correcting, researching, judging what is coming through. Just let everything flow. Don’t stop for research. Just keep writing quickly with abandon.
After you have downloaded the inspiration the image has given you, you can click the “save” button of your mind, sending the image back to your I-cloud (Imagination Cloud) for the next time you want inspiration.
Defining the Plot
Whether telling a true story, presenting a set of non-fiction concepts or pure fiction, audiences have responded for millennia to a fundamental rhythm that we use in theatre to generate compelling dynamics for the audience.
In the Michael Chekhov acting/directing technique, all stories are seen to consist of three acts-your basic Beginning, Middle, End. Each of those acts will have their own beginning-middle-end and each will have one climax and two lesser climactic events. These are sometimes called turning points. Three events in each of three actors creates a total of nine major events.
None of the events has exactly the same dynamic and the energy rises to a peak in each act and each succeeding act rises higher and falls deeper than the previous, until the resolution.
To qualify as an “EVENT,” something must happens that affects all of the major characters and if it does not happen, the story cannot continue as it does.
Sometimes, there are subplots that have their own line of events.
When writing using the free-flowing Images mentioned above, when you are done, then you can go back to identify whether you have the needed events. You can rearrange the story in non-linear fashion, build up or lessen an event to create the arc.
If you like storyboarding or outlining before you write, you can create these events first and build around them. Next up we will talk about building dynamics and then creating contrasts, characters and atmospheres.
Dalton appeared in more than 200 films, television shows and commercials in New York, Hollywood and Texas, including work in Ghostbusters, Money Pit, Crocodile Dundee, Married to the Mob, FX, Legal Eagles, and Splash on the big screen and ER, HBO’s Carnivale, Dr. Quinn and Melrose Place among her many TV credits.
Connect with the author:
Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Pinterest ~ Youtube ~ Instagram
Title: For Duty and Honor
Author: Leo J. Maloney
Purchasing link: http://amzn.to/2cx5tcr
About the book:
In this action-packed novella, Black Ops veteran Leo J. Maloney delivers a heart-pounding tale as fast, cold, and sleek as a 9mm bullet…
For Duty And Honor
The unthinkable has happened to operative Dan Morgan. Captured by the Russians. Imprisoned in the Gulag. Tortured by his cruelest, most sadistic enemy. But Morgan knows that every prisoner has a past—and every rival can be used. With the most unlikely of allies, Morgan hatches a plan. To save what’s important, he must risk everything. And that’s when the stakes go sky-high. Dan Morgan’s got to keep fighting. For duty. And honor. And even certain death…
The prisoner’s body was a brick of exhaustion and pain.
Steel cuffs chafed against his raw wrists and ankles, the rough uniform scraping the burns and cuts that lined his arms and legs and pocked his torso. Even under the blackness of his hood, the prisoner smelled stale sweat mingled with his own breath: iron from the blood, acetone from the starvation. He could barely hold himself up against the jolting ride. All that was keeping him upright were the two thick guards at his sides boxing him in. At the outset, hours ago at the landing strip, the guards were in high spirits, joking and jesting in Russian, which the prisoner could not follow. Whenever he couldn’t hold himself up anymore and leaned into one of them or into the front seat, they would box the prisoner’s head and laugh, forcing him to sit upright again.
But as they drew nearer to their destination, and the car’s heating lost ground against the cold, the guards grew quiet, like there was something grim about the place even to them.
The prisoner swung forward as the jeep came to an abrupt stop, tires on gravel. The doors opened and the spaces on his sides cleared as the men got out, leaving him exposed to the frigid Siberian air. Against this cold, the canvas uniform felt like nothing at all.
The guards unlocked the cuffs and yanked the prisoner out. Too tired to offer any resistance, he walked along, bare feet on the freezing stony ground. Someone pulled off his cowl. He was struck by a hurricane of light that made him so dizzy that he would have vomited, if there were anything in his stomach. It took a moment for the image to stop swimming and resolve itself into the barren landscape of rock and creeping brush lit by a sun low in the sky.
The Siberian tundra.
They prodded him forward. He trudged toward the Brutalist conglomeration of buildings surrounded by tall mesh fences and barbed wire. Prison camp. Gulag. The prisoner’s trembling knee collapsed and he fell on the stony ground. A guard gave him a kick with a heavy, polished leather boot and pulled him to his feet.
They reached the top and entered the vakhta, the guardhouse. He passed through the first gate and was searched, rough hands prodding and poking at him. They then opened the second, leading him through, outside, into the yard. His gaze kept down, he saw guards’ boots, and massive furry Caucasian shepherds, each taller than a full-grown man’s waist. He didn’t look up to see the bare concrete guard towers that overlooked the terrain for miles around or at the sharpshooters that occupied them.
He was pulled inside the nearest boxy building, walls painted with chipping murals of old Soviet propaganda, apple-cheeked youngsters over fields of grain and brave soldiers of the Red Army standing against the octopus of international capitalism. On the second floor, they knocked on a wooden door.
The guards opened the door, revealing an office with a vintage aristocratic desk. They pushed him onto the bare hardwood.
A man stood up with a creak of his chair. The prisoner watched as he approached, seeing from his vantage point only the wingtip oxfords and the hem of his pinstriped gabardine pants, walking around his desk, footsteps echoing in the concrete office.
“Da,” a guard answered.
The man crouched, studying the prisoner’s face. “You are one of General Suvorov’s, are you not?” His voice was deep and filled with gravel and a heavy Russian accent.
The prisoner didn’t respond—not that he needed to.
“You are tough, if he did not break you.” He stood, brushing off unseen dust from his suit jacket. “And if he had broken you, you would be dead already. I am Nevsky, the warden. Welcome to my prison.”
About the Author :
Leo J. Maloney is a proud supporter of Mission K9 Rescue, www.missionk9rescue.org, which is dedicated to the service of retiring and retired military dogs and contract dogs and other dogs who serve. Mission K9 rescues, reunites, re-homes, rehabilitates, and repairs these hero dogs. Leo donates a portion of the proceeds from his writing to this organization. To find out more about Mission K9 Rescue, or to make your own donation, please visit www.missionk9rescue.org or go to www.k9gala.org