Excerpt: The Diplomat's Daughter by Karin Tanabe

Excerpt: The Diplomat's Daughter by Karin Tanabe

Title: The Diplomat's Daughter 
Author: Karin Tanabe

Excerpt: The Diplomat's Daughter by Karin Tanabe
About the book:

Author Karin Tanabe’s Japanese father was three years old when the firebombing of Tokyo and Yokohama occurred in May of 1945—his very first memory was seeing his city on fire and hearing the cries of babies on the shore, where they had been carried for safety. While many Americans associate World War II with a parent or grandparent who fought bravely in Europe, Karin’s understanding of the war started with her father being attacked by American bombs.

These memories, as well as those of a family friend whose own wife and family were interned in a war relocation center, and additional friends who were born in captivity, piqued Karin’s curiosity, and spurred her to write a love story born out of one of the most unlikely places: a mixed-race internment camp. THE DIPLOMAT’S DAUGHTER is a captivating and informed tale of three young people divided by the horrors of World War II and their journey back to one another.


A week later, Helene started to feel the baby kick. Christian was walking back from his second day at the German school when he saw his mother approaching. She had a smile on her face that belied her dismal surroundings. Christian had planned to tell her how his German abilities did not extend to writing essays in the language, but when he saw her happiness, he decided to delay the bad news. Within just a few days of his arrival, he’d learned why he couldn’t attend the American school. The elected spokesman for their side of the camp was intensely pro-German and anyone who sent their children to the American-style Federal School was deemed a traitor. There were whispers that one family’s food had been withheld for several days because their daughter, who spoke no German, enrolled there.

“Put your hand here,” Helene said when she’d reached Christian. She placed his right hand on the top of her stomach. She was wearing the dress that was given to women when they arrived, and Christian thought it made her look plain and homespun, definitely more Mrs. Tomato Soup than Mrs. Country Club.

They waited a few minutes, but nothing happened. Christian started to fidget, and his mother laughed at him. “Do you have somewhere to be? Wait to feel the baby.”

So they waited. Mothers walked by them and smiled, teenagers coming out of school slowed down and whispered, and finally, when Christian was about to pull his hand away, embarrassed, the baby kicked.

“I felt it!” he said, pressing his hand harder against his mother’s belly.

“I told you it would be worth the wait,” said Helene, her voice full of delight.

Christian thought of the tiny body inside his mother bursting with life. He imagined the growing organs, the heartbeat, the developing brain and he felt sorry for it. He wished it could be born far from loaded guns and barbed wire. At least it would have love, he thought, looking at his mother’s joyful face.

Helene kissed her son’s hand and walked off, letting him catch up to the other boys who were making their way from the school to the German mess hall, where they worked prepping the next day’s milk delivery. Internees in the camp woke up to a bottle of fresh milk on their stoop every day, one of the measures that the camp’s warden took to show that he was going well beyond the laws of the Geneva Convention.

The camp, it was whispered among the internees, was one President Roosevelt took great pride in, and the guards didn’t want any suicides or fence jumpers to ruin his vision. “They want happy prisoners,” his father had told him. “So just remember, it could be much worse.”

For Christian, sharing seven hundred square feet with another family and sleeping on floors with scorpions did not make for a happy prisoner. The view of miles of barbed-wire fencing him in did not help, either. The orphanage had changed him—he felt it in his newfound patience. Even gentleness. The way he felt toward Inge, had guarded her on the train, he was sure the old Christian would not have been as kind. But it didn’t mean he was elated about his circumstances.

Then there was the camp’s segregation. In two days, Christian had learned how bad it was. Though he had seen the large group of Japanese internees when he came in, invisible lines kept them apart inside. The Germans and Japanese, despite being allies in the war, occupied separate sections of the camp, ate in separate facilities, worked different jobs, and played different sports. The only places where they mixed were the hospital—as illness never discriminated—and the swimming pool. The few Italians were sprinkled among the Germans, but they kept to themselves, too.

Excerpt: The Diplomat's Daughter by Karin Tanabe

About the Author:

Karin Tanabe is the author of The Gilded YearsThe Price of Inheritance, and The List. A former Politico reporter, her writing has also appeared in the Miami HeraldChicago TribuneNewsday, and The Washington Post. She has made frequent appearances as a celebrity and politics expert on Entertainment Tonight, CNN, and The CBS Early Show. A graduate of Vassar College, Karin lives in WashingtonDC. To learn more visit KarinTanabe.com and @KarinTanabe.


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How to keep your ideas organized

How to keep your ideas organized, guest post by Gaudys Laxury @GaudysLaxury @iReadBookTours

As a writer, there may be thousand ideas constantly cross your mind all mixed up like a jigsaw puzzle. Here are five tips to keep those thoughts organized.

1.    Don’t Rush the Process

As a writer, sometimes you have a million thoughts running through your mind and sometimes none at all—either path is okay. If your mind is a constant chatterbox, allow the process to flow and let those ideas go.  It may be a bit annoying to never have peace in mind, but those ideas appear for a reason. At the same time, sometimes there is a writer’s block, where not even one thought comes to mind. That is fine as well because it’s the sub-conscience alerting your body to take a break. Don’t rush the process because when you are ready to write, the words will just flow from pen to paper. Don’t worry about organizing just yet.

How to keep your ideas organized, guest post by Gaudys Laxury @GaudysLaxury @iReadBookTours
2.    Keep a pen or pencil handy

Whatever you do, always have a pen, pencil, or marker handy because you never know when an idea might strike. A pen may be a better option out of the three because sometimes you might not have a pencil sharpener to sharpen the pencil or the sharpie pen may suddenly dry out and your idea might fly right out of the window.

For the millennial, always have your cell phone, I-pad, or laptop close to heart for the same reason—to quickly type the idea ready for the cyber world to hear. Don’t worry about organization just yet.

3.    Jot it Down—Quick!

As soon as an idea comes to mind, quickly jot it down. It does not matter where you write it or how you write—just write it! Even if you are sitting on the toilet, if you followed point number two above, you’ll be ready to grab that piece of toilet paper or digital software and jot down the idea. Even if it’s a simple thought or two, it does not matter because later it will all make sense. Patience is a virtue, so don’t worry about organization at this point.

4.    Categorize the Idea

So by now you have a whole bunch of ideas written on paper, on post-it notes, on toilet papers, and on napkins, but what to do with all of this valuable information? Now is the moment to start organizing.

If you are tech savvy, start creating file folders on your desktop by genre or by characters. Similarly, if you are a traditional writer, take the information written on paper and sort them by theme, character, or genre. What will happen is that eventually out of all those ideas, one or two will start to be more important than the other. There will be “that one” that will stand out of the rest and come closer to your heart; that will just feel right. Go with your instincts and follow that idea through. Little by little the idea will mold into a prologue, chapter, opening, and closure; but go back to number one and don’t rush the process. Slowly start to place each piece of the puzzle together until you have the full frame. Follow your instincts and your heart.

5.    Let It Settle and Walk Away

Once you have organized the concept, it won’t be right the first, second, or third time. It takes patience to get the idea sorted. It’s a constant evolution and will always change direction. Let it settle and walk away for a bit by taking a brisk walk, meditating, going out, hanging out with family or friends, watching a movie, etc. You may not even touch the idea for five months, but if you organize the idea early on, it will make the process that much easier later in the game. Walk away without fear or doubt, but with confidence that upon your return—you will have a masterpiece.

How to keep your ideas organized, guest post by Gaudys Laxury @GaudysLaxury @iReadBookTours
Gaudys Laxury is a visionary autodidact artist, writer, and poet. She studied politics, law, and communications during her graduate years, while incorporating her passions for creative arts.

As an artist, Gaudys learned to be open and creative. As a writer, she learned that words are the gateway to communicate and inspire lives. As a poet, Gaudys learned the subtleties and transformative discipline of the arts — the power to bring words together and unify on an abstract and metaphorical level; to make us think to the highest virtue.

The first book written by Gaudys, The Pearl inside the Orchid, was designed to inspire, channel emotions, and connect readers on a deeper and spiritual level. Life From A to Z is her second book, which reflects an expression of life, relationships, and inspirations. Both books have been dedicated to her family and muses.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Instagram


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Interview with David Burnsworth

Interview with David Burnsworth

Tell us about your latest book.

The first book in my new series, IN IT FOR THE MONEY, is a mystery set in Charleston, South Carolina. Blu Carraway, my protagonist, is a PI about to lose everything because he hasn’t had a job in a long time. His specialty is the rough cases, the ones most other PI’s don’t want. Except everyone’s scrounging these days so his competition is less selective than it used to be. And then a potential client shows up. The best kind of client, the rich kind. And all of a sudden, Blu’s got a missing person case. He has to find a spoiled brat of a twenty-something whose mommy checks on him by making sure he makes daily withdrawals from his trust fund. When the brat hasn’t in two weeks, mommy gets nervous and Blu gets work.

What starts out as a simple job turns into something less so when Blu finds out why junior is off the grid. And it will take almost every skill Blu has, from his Army Ranger training to his twenty years as a PI, to survive.

Interview with David Burnsworth
Who are your favorite authors?

John Sanford, Michael Connelly, James Lee Burke, Elmore Leonard, CJ Box, Lee Child, Spencer Quinn, Susan Boyer, Hank Phillippi Ryan to name a few.

What advice do you have for other writers?

Decide what your goals are and don’t quit. It took me six years and thirty rejections to get a contract on my first book.

What’s the best thing about being a writer?

My mind is always running. I used to daydream way too often as a kid. It didn’t go away when I became an adult. Now, I’ve tricked my daydreaming into plotting my books for me.

Where can people find out more about you and your writing?


Who is your favorite character in your book and why?

Mick Crome is Blu’s business partner. Like Blu, he’s an ex-Ranger. Unlike Blu, his only loyalty is usually only to his Harley Davidson. Crome also doesn’t like to play by too many rules. He’s tough and calm under pressure. And he comes back to town to buy into Blu’s Investigation business after a three year sabbatical in only God knows where.

Interview with David Burnsworth
Who designed the cover?

My publisher is Henery Press and the person there who designed the cover is Kendel Lynn. She did an amazing job, capturing both the beauty of Charleston in the image of the battery, and the dramatic fierceness in the colors of dawn.

What is your work in progress?  Tell us about it.

I just submitted the manuscript for the second Blu Carraway novel. Blu’s business is now thriving and things are going well, until of course they don’t. There’s tragedy in the family and Blu risks everything to right all wrongs. He and Mick Crome have to look into their past to find the answer.

What are your thoughts on self-publishing versus traditional publishing?

My goal from the start was to be traditionally published and I did not waiver. Self-publishing can be a successful avenue and I know of authors who are doing very well with it.

When you’re not writing, how do you spend your time?

My biggest fan is my wife. When I am not writing, or working at my day job as an engineer, I enjoy taking her out to dinner and going on vacation. Of course I like to read, a lot, as the list of my favorite authors shows.

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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


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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


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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. 

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