Watch the #booktrailer for EMILY STONE THRILLER SERIES by @JChaseNovelist

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Jennifer_Chase_-_Postcard_Front

Inside the Series

Title: EMILY STONE THRILLER SERIES
Author: Jennifer Chase
Publisher: JEC Press
Genre: Crime Thriller

Vigilante detective Emily Stone hunts serial killers and child abductors, covertly and under the law enforcement radar. She uses her fine-tuned skills of criminal profiling and forensic perceptiveness to locate predators that cops cannot or will not find. She is trained, she is tough, she is serious, and she gets results.

With Stone’s toughest cases yet, the killer immediately crosses her radar and sends her into the dark territory of a serial killer’s mind—to the point of no return.
Take your pick of any of the award-winning, stand-alone books and tag along with a serial killer hunter.

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Jennifer Chase is a multi award-winning crime fiction author and consulting criminologist. Jennifer holds a bachelor degree in police forensics and a master's degree in criminology & criminal justice. These academic pursuits developed out of her curiosity about the criminal mind as well as from her own experience with a violent sociopath, providing Jennifer with deep personal investment in every story she tells. In addition, she holds certifications in serial crime and criminal profiling.  She is an affiliate member of the International Association of Forensic Criminologists.

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Watch the #BookTrailer for DON'T CALL ME CRAZY! I'M JUST IN LOVE WITH GOD by @swiyyah

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Title: DON’T CALL ME CRAZY! I’M JUST IN LOVE WITH GOD
Author: Swiyyah Woodard
Publisher: Swiyyah Productions, Inc.
Pages: 229
Genre: Inspirational / Motivational / Romance / Christian




BOOK BLURB:
Because of God, nothing will stop Anika from marrying the love of her life, not even paranoid schizophrenia. You don’t want to miss this spiritual journey filled with inspiration and power.
This book is insightful and perceptive. Inspired by a true story. Few people consider the God factor in mental health. Join Anika and journey with her as she receives revelations from God while on her walk to overcome mental illness and naiveness towards religion. Required reading for High schools and colleges.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble




     Anika begins to lose her mind. While continuing to stare at the television set, Anika sees a vision of Jesus. He appears to her in just as perfect form and image as the paintings on Mary’s wall. She then hears Jesus speak, “I am the son of God.” Then just as fast as he appears, he leaves her vision.
     “Did you see him? Did you see Jesus?” Anika turns and looks at her friends. Words are stuck within their throats.
     “Did you see him? Did you see Jesus?” Anika repeats once more.
     “Anika, you’re really scaring us. I thought you were Muslim?” Mary says.

Anika then feels as if someone was controlling her thoughts. “Forgive yourself.”  

She then begins to ramble, “Atoms are neither created nor destroyed. There was always an existence. You have to take baby steps to understand how this existence works, where we came from, how it started. Don’t jump from A to Z. No, you must go from A to C. Take a break. It has been painted. First there was nothing; it was blackness, pitch blackness. There was first the black hole. A plumber can understand the black hole. There was a white light. The creator is positive energy. We all have a little bit of positive energy. A person of positivity can change your life without saying a word. We try to increase positive energy which is the same as increasing spiritually. Once we are of that same positivity as the creator, we become one with him. Only a few souls have reached this level of existence. The rest of us are growing spiritually so we can reach that level.“

     It appears to Anika that she is making sense as she began to explain herself, justifying her words.

   “Positive times positive equals positive. Negative times positive equals negative. Therefore, if you have any negativity in you, you cannot become one with positivity.”

   “The creator is all positive energy. Negative times negative equals positive. If you learn from loads of negativity you will learn from your mistakes and become all positive. It’s mathematics. Everything stems from mathematics. Less than a cup of wine is what I need to rest. Don’t want to scare away this beautiful spirit controlling my thoughts.” While holding the sides of her head trying to rid her racing thoughts, she runs into the kitchen and pours herself a cup of wine. She then thinks, “no one will ever have to go through what I went through again!”

Anika takes a look at her past to see how in the world she got to this point in her life.



Swiyyah Nadirah Woodard was selected as a Bay News 9 Everyday Hero, which was seen by two million viewers, for publishing a book and teaching the community about her own battle with mental
illness. She was hospitalized six times and misdiagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Her first book, Don't Call Me Crazy! I'm Just in Love, became required and suggested reading in Reading, Writing, Abnormal Psychology, and General Psychology classes at a four year Institution. 

She was born in the housing projects of
Saint Petersburg, FL. Her father left when she was three so she was raised in a single parent home. At the age of five she was
molested by her eight year old brother. She later started school, she had slurred speech and didn't care to make friends so she was bullied by her peers. At the age of eight, she wanted to kill herself because a girl wanted to fight her. She looked into the medicine cabinet for medication. Thank God, she couldn't find any.

As a teenager she was physically abused by her step dad. The abuse was so severe, God blocked it from her memory. At the age of 20 the brother that molested her committed suicide, which was devastating to her and the entire family. Swiyyah has always viewed herself as normal. She never received any disciplinary problems in school, made good grades, and received her BA degree in Psychology from the
University of South Florida.

When the doctors misdiagnosed her with the most debilitating mental disorder known in mental health, paranoid schizophrenia, she denied it. She questioned their expertise. She refused to take medication. She was then hospitalized six times. Her family took a picture of her at her worst and that's when she knew she needed help. She has been taking medication now for ten years without a relapse.

She is now a published author and a National Inspirational Speaker. Her first book is entitled, “Don't Call Me Crazy! I'm just in Love,” and is inspired by her true story. 

She was raised Muslim and the revelations she received from God and placed in her books, didn't make any since until she meet her Christian husband 14 years after her first relapse. 

Please contact Swiyyah to book speaking engagements, life coaching, author and speaker coaching, radio and TV interviews, or to purchase her books at 727-495-3217, Swiyyah@swiyyah.com.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK



Book Feature: Reflections: A Journey to God by Gary B. & Susan Eby

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Title: REFLECTIONS: A JOURNEY TO GOD
Author: Gary & Susan Eby
Publisher: Christian Faith Publishing
Pages: 268
Genre: Spirituality/Self-Help/Healing/Poetry

Our disclaimer: you are completely free to reject everything we have to say about spirituality. What we believe in is not that important. What really counts is what you believe that gives your life meaning, direction, and purpose.
This book is about our personal stories with Spirit and what we've learned along our journeys. We're sharing it with you because it might help you on your own journey to God. We only ask that you read this book with an open mind and heart.
We suggest you pick one of these spiritual essays. Ponder it, meditate for a while, even read it out loud. Allow yourself to feel the words and the light, which may lead you to discover the better life you truly deserve.

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Emotional Healing
In the twilight of an Oregon summer night, the half-moon projects a mystical glow. Cool mountain air flows with the gentle sounds of cricket music. A glimmering star curtain unfurls to reveal a celestial vision of power and energy that transcends all human worry, doubt, and fear.
Tonight I am at peace, yet I still struggle with discouragement. A part of me obsesses and worries about an unsure financial future. This negative side is unforgiving, self-critical, and emotionally abusive.
At age 60, it appears overwhelming and even impossible to change the direction and course of my life. As I try out new ideas and new technology to achieve my dreams and goals, I stumble and fall. So many barriers and obstacles loom on the horizon. The prospect of giving up and throwing in the towel appears seductive.  Why not just give up?   What's the point anyway?
I ask myself why am I trying so hard to achieve my dreams, when reality smacks of karma, suffering, powerlessness, and death?  We all know about all of those 'bad things' that keep happening to 'good people'. Right?
I accept that evil and injustice exists in this world.  I know random or calculated acts of violence, painful relationships, disease and the loss of loved ones, cause untold pain and suffering.  In these moments of despair, frustration, and discouragement, my consciousness returns to the power of the half-moon.
There is darkness but the moonlight always conquers the night. Even when no moon can be seen in the sky, the moon is there.  Tonight, I choose to thrive on the Light living within all of us.
Much of life will remain a mystery. The stars above and the universe within will sustain me through predictable trials and life challenges. I choose to embrace the majesty of life made sublimely radiant by those infinite, flashing, celestial spheres.
I feel myself merging with the universe and my thoughts begin to turn toward God.  This is the place I want to be.  This is the space I want to be in.  This is where I want to live my life.  I refuse to let the negative overtake me.  
I emotionally reach out toward the lights dancing in the sky and accept what is always, always true.  I am forever guided by God, and whatever happens in my life, I know Spirit will show me through.  No fears, worries or negativity can touch me when I am existing in the Love Light.
Link to Trailer:



Gary Eby is a retired social worker, mental health counselor and addiction therapist. He writes about self-help and spirituality. Gary loves playing the piano, the drums and walking on the beach with his wife, Susan. His motto is "Choose the positive, because it's all good!"

Susan studied philosophy in college. Some of her favorite philosophers are Socrates, Plato, William James and St. Thomas Aquinas. She is currently enjoying Emerson's mystical essays. We have conducted an interview with them.

Their current book is Reflections: A Journey to God.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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Interview with Swiyyah Woodard, Author of Don't Call Me Crazy! I'm Just in Love with God

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Swiyyah Nadirah Woodard was selected as a Bay News 9 Everyday Hero, which was seen by two million viewers, for publishing a book and teaching the community about her own battle with mental illness. She was hospitalized six times and misdiagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia. Her first book, Don't Call Me Crazy! I'm Just in Love, became required and suggested reading in Reading, Writing, Abnormal Psychology, and General Psychology classes at a four year Institution. 

She was born in the housing projects of
Saint Petersburg, FL. Her father left when she was three so she was raised in a single parent home. At the age of five she was
molested by her eight year old brother. She later started school, she had slurred speech and didn't care to make friends so she was bullied by her peers. At the age of eight, she wanted to kill herself because a girl wanted to fight her. She looked into the medicine cabinet for medication. Thank God, she couldn't find any.

As a teenager she was physically abused by her step dad. The abuse was so severe, God blocked it from her memory. At the age of 20 the brother that molested her committed suicide, which was devastating to her and the entire family. Swiyyah has always viewed herself as normal. She never received any disciplinary problems in school, made good grades, and received her BA degree in Psychology from the
University of South Florida.

When the doctors misdiagnosed her with the most debilitating mental disorder known in mental health, paranoid schizophrenia, she denied it. She questioned their expertise. She refused to take medication. She was then hospitalized six times. Her family took a picture of her at her worst and that's when she knew she needed help. She has been taking medication now for ten years without a relapse.

She is now a published author and a National Inspirational Speaker. Her first book is entitled, “Don't Call Me Crazy! I'm just in Love,” and is inspired by her true story. 

She was raised Muslim and the revelations she received from God and placed in her books, didn't make any since until she meet her Christian husband 14 years after her first relapse. 

Please contact Swiyyah to book speaking engagements, life coaching, author and speaker coaching, radio and TV interviews, or to purchase her books at 727-495-3217, Swiyyah@swiyyah.com.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK



About the Book:

Because of God, nothing will stop Anika from marrying the love of her life, not even paranoid schizophrenia. You don’t want to miss this spiritual journey filled with inspiration and power.
This book is insightful and perceptive. Inspired by a true story. Few people consider the God factor in mental health. Join Anika and journey with her as she receives revelations from God while on her walk to overcome mental illness and naiveness towards religion. Required reading for High schools and colleges.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble



What’s inside the mind of a romance author?

I wanted to capture the feeling of being willing to wait an eternity to be with the love of your life. I wanted to express a love so strong that it can drive you crazy. Everyone has had that one true love that felt like a soul mate. I wanted to bring this out in my first two books. 

What is so great about being an author?

It’s great having an opportunity to touch a life, to have someone read your books and become greater than what they were. My books are fiction but I always include life and coping skills and goal development strategies, so readers can walk away with not only an unforgettable love story but also a story that will inspire them and teach them how to have everything they want in life.

When do you hate it?

I hate writers block. I get it with every book. I will come up with 14,000 words and then nothing and I will have to stop. For those books of mine that are inspired by a true story, I am always able to write more when I experience more. I hate that it took me ten years to get to where I wanted to be as an author. But I have realized that I was in the way of my own success. The advice that experts gave me in the pass to enact, I chose to ignore. I wanted to do things my way so it would be I that got the glory. I learned that I was my own worse enemy. Last year I made a pact with myself to get out of my own way and I’ve been seeing success ever since that declaration.

What is a regular writing day like for you?

When I am writing, I try to dedicate four hours a day. I write with mistakes first just to get my thoughts down on paper and then after I’m done, I edit my books over and over throughout the years.

How do you handle negative reviews?

I actually want to hear the truth.  I purposely asked for negative feedback from my first book, “Don’t Call Me Crazy!” so that I would know what the reader’s wanted. And this has helped me cater my books to the reader’s desires.

How do you handle positive reviews?

It’s nothing more exciting for an author than to get a positive review.  It let’s me know I’m on the right track. It’s a good feeling to know you took someone away from their everyday life and put them inside a story full of life. 

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?

They are always in shock. I only meet one other author before I finished writing my first book. People are always amazed that you can accomplish such a huge accomplishment.

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

I always take a break. I like to let the words come naturally. 

Any writing quirks?

When I write I have a general idea of the way the story will go but I never create an outline. Most of the time I have no idea what's coming next.  I get enjoyment in surprising myself with the actions of each character.

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?

People that are the closes to you will see you in a smaller light than people that don’t know you.  I have to put my energy in being the best author that I can be. Actions speak louder than words so eventually they will be able to see the fruit of my labor without me saying a word.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate?

Yes. I wish I could write constantly without writers block. I wish I wasn’t faced with stalling to release a book because I don't know if my audience will reject it or respect it.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?

Yes. It should be every author’s goal to become a best-selling author.  Our goal is for others to read our work through first purchasing our books. I would never advise an author to give away free copies of their book unless it’s for a book giveaway promotion as a way to spread the news about their books. Generally if people get your book for free they will not see the value in it and never read it, unless they have won it. I’ve been able to put on events and have sponsors buy books for the audience but I haven’t given physical copy’s away free except during a book giveaway promotion. 

What has writing taught you?

I have learned that God has been with me every step of the way, even when I didn’t know him. I was raised Muslim and when I wrote the first edit of, “Don’t Call Me Crazy,” 14 years ago I received many revelations from God and placed his wisdom throughout my book. At the time those revelations made little sense. Now 14 years later, becoming Christian and reading the bible, I see the same wisdom that I placed in my book is found in the bible.

Leave us with some words of wisdom.

As authors we start off with high expectations for our books and when we don’t see those expectations fulfilled right way we want to give up. We go into it thinking we know exactly what it takes to become a best seller. We think that all we need to do is write the book, send it to some agents or publishers, place it on amazon, and then we are done. After ten years of experience I’ve learned the biggest challenge I have had is getting away from my, “know it all,” attitude.  I’ve been able to step aside and allow experts to take my book to places that I just can’t. I’ve learned to research different ways to market a book. I meet Zane and she said her publishing company only markets three of their many books per year. It is up to us authors to do research to find out the best ways to promote our books. It’s up to us to further our writing expertise. It’s up to us to constantly develop ourselves in order to become better people. “You can’t change the world until you change yourself.” -Diddy

Interview with Greg Messel, author of San Francisco Nights

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Greg Messel has spent most of his adult life interested in writing, including a career in the newspaper business. He won a Wyoming Press Association Award as a columnist and has contributed articles to various magazines. Greg lives in Edmonds, Washington on Puget Sound with his wife Jean DeFond.

Greg has written ten novels. His latest is "San Francisco Nights" which is the seventh in a series of mysteries set in 1959 San Francisco. "Shadows In The Fog," "Fog City Strangler," "San Francisco Secrets," "Deadly Plunge" are sequels to the first book in the series "Last of the Seals." His other three novels are "Sunbreaks," "Expiation" and "The Illusion of Certainty." For a more detailed summary of Greg's novels go to www.gregmessel.com 

Greg is currently working on his eleventh novel "Dreams That Never Were" which is not part of the mystery series.

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What’s inside the mind of a mystery author? 

Always looking for a potential mystery and caper to put your characters through. I’ve come up with some really challenging dilemmas for my protagonists but some times they are too good. You don’t want to write yourself into a corner that you don’t know how to escape. The way you roll out the story takes some finesse because it’s what you don’t know that makes for tension and suspense. You can have a bad guy come up the stairs but it way more interesting to have someone in a dimly lighted room and they suddenly hear footsteps on the creaky stairs. 

What is so great about being an author? 

I love creating a new world for me and my readers to inhabit. I love the writing process and am driven to try to get better and better with each novel. 

When do you hate it? 

Editing is a tough process but very important. I usually write a first draft then start over again going through the story in great detail. Then I do a third round of polishing before I turn it over to an editor. 

By the time my book is published I’ve probably read it and analyzed it ten times or so. You can get kind of sick of your story after a while. 

What is a regular writing day like for you? 

I like to write in the afternoon when I’m home alone especially in the fall and winter in Seattle. On rainy days it’s very conducive to writing in my office alone. I try to write several hours each day when I’m on a roll. I find if I try to write more than that it becomes too forced. I’ve found it best to write for a few hours and then step away and think about it. I can be in the shower and suddenly realize I have a hole in my plot or whatever. After several months of intense writing to produce “San Francisco Nights” I’m taking the rest of the summer off to recharge a bit and read some other people’s books. However, I’m still thinking about the two books I’ve started that I will get back to this fall. 

How do you handle negative reviews? 

I know the standard answer is don’t take them personally but that’s kind of hard to do. There are some negative comments I think about because I feel it’s constructive criticism. So much that you read on the internet is just snarky and mean-spirited. On Amazon you will two reviews side-by-side—one says you are a genius and the other says you are a terrible writer. Neither comment is true. Sometimes you’d like to respond because the criticism is so unfair and invalid but you can’t do that. You can also see the same type of comments about James Patterson, Mary Higgins Clark, John Grisham, etc. I would love to be a bad writer like them. I hate negative reviews but readers and reviewers have been very nice to me so far. My favorite negative review said they couldn’t finish the book because it was too confusing. Confusing? Then she said all the pages fell out of the book and she could figure out what order they should be in. (Try the page numbers). This reviewer hoped my writing and the glue I use on my books improves in the future. 

How do you handle positive reviews? 

It is very gratifying when people enjoy your books.  It’s fun when someone really gets the story you were trying to tell. You do need to realize that everyone will not love your book for a whole variety of reasons. I’m happy with 3, 4 or 5 star reviews. 

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author? 

Usually they say “You are! What kind of books do you write?” When I say I write mysteries that usually gets a startled response. Most people have never met anyone who writes mysteries. 

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break? 

There’s a fine line between discipline and forcing it. I try to write every weekday but sometimes you are tired, at a crossroads in your plot or for some other reason just not feeling it. I tell people that writing is not like turning on a faucet. You have to get your head in the story. If I take a trip or something that causes me to stop writing for a couple of weeks, I find that I have to go back to the beginning of the book and work my way forward again so I’m immersed in the plot. 

Any writing quirks? 

Quirks? Me? I’m normal. I’m sure I have some. I like to listen to music while I’m writing but mostly I like for it to be quiet. I can’t multi-task when writing. 

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby? 

I have had that comment before and it drives me crazy. I’ve written ten novels—that way past a hobby. 

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate? 

I can. Sometimes when I’m stressed out or have anxiety about writing, I step back and say “I don’t have to do this.” But the truth is that I “do have to do this.” I’m driven and don’t want to step. 

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money? 

Money is nice but not I don’t. There are some absolute poorly written pieces of trash that have made millions. Yeah, I’m looking at you Fifty Shades and the vampires. I would like to make more money from my writing but it’s wonderful when your books are something you can be proud of and bring joy to people’s lives. 

What has writing taught you? 

It helps me to be more self confident and perserve.  I keep writing, keep trying to get better and one day one of my books is going to hit it big. 

Leave us with some words of wisdom. 

 I heard some great advice from a best selling novelist at a writing conference. He said most writers are nice people and wouldn’t think of doing some of the things described in their books. However, you need to let go. He put it this way—pull up a big dump truck full of “poop” (but he didn’t say poop) and dump it on your lead character and let them work their way out of it. Don’t hold back. Let your imagination run wild. 

A Long Ways From Home Book Blast!

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Title: A LONG WAYS FROM HOME
Author: Mike Martin
Publisher: Friesen Press
Pages: 364
Genre: Mystery

A weekend visit to picturesque Newfoundland by a large crew of outlaw bikers leaves
behind another mess for Sgt. Windflower to clean up. This time he’s facing violence, murder, mystery and intrigue. This adventure has Windflower questioning everything he thought he knew. There are troubles on the home front, cutbacks in the policing budget, old friends leaving and new ones not quite here yet. Windflower is seeking to find answers in territory that is both dangerous and unfamiliar.
A Long Ways from Home explores more than just homicides or the dirty dealings of outlaw bikers. It’s also about some old and some very new challenges and hard choices facing an uncertain future in small communities all over this part of the world. 
Windflower relies on his friends and allies, sometimes four-legged ones, to help him find the answers. Sometimes those answers will find us, and like Windflower, we discover that we are never really alone, even if we are a long ways from home.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon



He drove the short distance to Sheila’s, and by the time he pulled up at her house he was certifiably starving. When he opened the door and smelled the roast beef he felt his knees go weak.
“Hi, Sheila,” he called out as he took off his hat and coat and hung them on a hook in the hallway. “That smells fabulous.”
Sheila came out of the kitchen with her apron on and went to Windflower to meet his embrace. “I’m glad you’re home.” She hugged him closely.
“Me too. Dinner smells delicious.”
“I could probably have come out here naked and you would have still talked about dinner,” said Sheila with a laugh.
“No, I might have asked for my dessert first though,” Windflower said
“Go get cleaned up. Dinner is almost ready.”
Windflower gave her another squeeze and went to the small bathroom in the hall to wash up for dinner. By the time he got back, Sheila had placed two bowls of vegetables on the table along with a small, perfectly-browned roast. She handed him the carving knife and fork and went back to the stove to pour the gravy into a serving dish.
The sharp knife slid smoothly through the peppered crust of the meat revealing a ring of growing pink towards the middle. Windflower tried to keep from drooling as the room filled with the aroma of the meat and the newly released juices. He placed a large slice on each of their plates, which Sheila had already prepared with scoops of mashed potatoes and steaming vegetables. She poured a ladle full of gravy over the meat and smiled at Windflower.
But he was long gone to meat heaven and for a few minutes all Sheila got in return was the murmured sighs of her hungry man. Finally, the muted Windflower awoke and raised his plate to Sheila for another slice of meat. “This is so good, Sheila,” he said as she handed him back his refilled plate. “What did you use for spices?”
“Nothing special. Some black and white pepper, salt, thyme, garlic powder and onion powder. Plus, my secret ingredient.”
“Secret ingredient?” mumbled Windflower with a mouth full of beef.
“If I told you, I’d have to kill you,” said Sheila. But by now Windflower had drifted back into his food, and she knew all conversation with Windflower would be one-sided and futile until he was done.
Once Windflower’s appetite had been satiated he gave Sheila his undivided attention. She gave him an update on the latest plans for the wedding, including who had confirmed they would attend and those sending their regrets. One of the positive replies was from Guy Simard, who sent along a little note saying he and the missus would happily be attending the festivities.
“And by the way my cousin, Carol, is coming to visit,” Sheila said. “She’s a bit of an outlaw in the family. Rides a big motorcycle. Has never been married. She lives up north in Ontario now but every couple of years takes a big trip on her Harley. This year she is heading down our way. I was expecting to see her show up by now.”
“What does she look like?” asked Windflower.
“She’s tall, pretty. The last time I saw her she had long blond hair. Liked to wear it up in a ponytail.”
“That’s interesting. I might have seen her at Goobies. Or someone fitting that description anyway. But I didn’t see her on the way down. Maybe she stopped off in Marystown along the way.”
“Maybe,” said Sheila.
Then Windflower remembered the motorcycle and trailer he’d seen parked along the highway. That might have been her bike, he thought. But he didn’t want to alarm Sheila. Not yet anyway. Instead he said, “I’ll get Tizzard to start looking out for her.”
“Thanks,” said Sheila. “Any word on Eddie yet?”
“I haven’t heard anything new, but I’ll ask him about it when I see him tomorrow.”
“We’re all going to miss him,” Sheila said. Windflower just nodded at this last remark. It was still a little too painful for him to talk about. Sheila reached out and took his hand in hers.
“What’s new at the Council?” asked Windflower, trying to move the conversation to safer and less emotional grounds.
“Well, Francis Tibbo made it official today. He’s going to run for the mayor’s job again!”
“That officious little prig,” started Windflower, but Sheila cut him off.
“Stay out of the politics, Sergeant,” she cautioned. “The RCMP has to stay neutral in this race. You have to work with whoever gets elected.”
“That doesn’t mean I don’t have an opinion.”
“I appreciate the support, but I can fight my own political battles, thank you very much,” said Sheila. “I’m not worried about Francis Tibbo. I’m not even worried about getting elected again. We’ve already got things moving in the right direction.”
This time Windflower simply nodded his agreement. It was clear from the coat of fresh paint on the aging properties on the wharf to the popular new programming at the museum that things were headed in the right direction.
Sheila got up. “If you really want to help, you can do the dishes while I make us some tea.”
“Finally something I’m allowed to do.” Windflower smiled. Sheila laughed and threw a dishcloth at him while she put on the kettle to boil.
“Let’s watch a movie tonight,” she said as she went to the fridge to look for something.
“Okay.” Windflower had his hands in a sink full of soapy water and his eyes firmly fixed on her activities. When she pulled a small cardboard box out of the refrigerator he almost started to glow.
Sheila pretended to ignore him as she took their dessert out of the box, cut it into two pieces and put it along with her tea pot onto a small tray. “See you in the living room.”
Windflower finished the chore in record time and was soon sitting next to Sheila on the couch with half of his dessert, the fabulous chocolate peanut butter cheesecake from the Mug-Up CafĂ©, already gone. He barely breathed as he finished it off. “Mmmmmm,” was his only response.
Sheila laughed at his post-meal antics as she looked for a movie on T.V. “Let’s watch ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’,” she said. “I just picked up the new Harper Lee book and I’d like to see the old movie before I dig into the new story.”
“That would be great. “I love that movie. Atticus Finch has always been a hero of mine.”
“I love Scout,” said Sheila. “This was one of my favourite books growing up.”
“Me too. Although I hear the new story is a bit more revealing of the racist attitudes that existed back then.”
“That was always the reality. In some ways, the new book may be closer to the truth. I’m glad we had a kinder version of that truth when we were kids. It doesn’t make it any easier to take, just the same.”
“Let’s just enjoy the movie. It’s been a long week. We both deserve a break. And it’s good to know that at least in the movies there’s a possibility of a happy ending.”
The pair snuggled up on the couch and totally enjoyed both the classic film and their time together. When the movie was over Windflower went back to his house for the final walk of the evening with Lady. Once again she was very pleased to see him and bounded out the door when he held it open for her. They did the extended loop that led them down near the brook where Lady had a good, long drink and then they darted around the perimeter of the wharf.









Mike Martin was born in Newfoundland on the East Coast of Canada and now lives and works in Ottawa, Ontario. He is a longtime freelance writer and his articles and essays have appeared in newspapers, magazines and online across Canada as well as in the United States and New Zealand. He is the author of Change the Things You Can: Dealing with Difficult People and has written a number of short stories that have published in various publications including Canadian Stories and Downhome magazine.

The Walker on the Cape was his first full fiction book and the premiere of the Sgt. Windflower Mystery Series. Other books in the series include The Body on the T, Beneath the Surface, A Twist of Fortune and A Long Ways from Home.

A Long Ways from Home was shortlisted for the 2017 Bony Blithe Light Mystery Award as the best light mystery of the year. A Tangled Web is the newest book in the series.

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http://www.pumpupyourbook.com

 

#blogtour #Christian #dystopian Interview with Brett Armstrong author of Day Moon @BArmstrongWV

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Brett Armstrong, author of the award-winning novel, Destitutio Quod Remissio, started writing stories at age nine, penning a tale of revenge and ambition set in the last days of the Aztec Empire.  Twenty years later, he is still telling stories though admittedly his philosophy has deepened with his Christian faith and a master’s degree in creative writing.  His goal with every work is to be like a brush in the Master artist’s hand and his hope is the finished composition always reflects the design God had in mind.  He feels writing should be engaging, immersive, entertaining, and always purposeful.  Continually busy at work with one or more new novels to come, he also enjoys drawing, gardening, and playing with his beautiful wife and son.
His latest book is Day Moon (Tomorrow’s Edge Book 1).

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What’s inside the mind of a Christian author?

It depends on the time of day. Life always interdicts, but I'm the type who fairly easily slips into daydreams and that usually leads to writing a story mentally, that I eventually try to get typed up. I don't really hold to any one genre in my writing. I try to seek out stories worth telling, whatever genre they fall in. When I say stories worth telling, I mean those that I feel like the Lord is leading me to, the kind that hold a kernel of insight that might benefit readers of the story as much as it would benefit me to uncover in the writing process. So at various times my mind is fixated on 4th Century AD Rome. Other times its in 2039 with the characters of my latest novel Day Moon. Then still other times it's roving into Renaissance era fantasy world of a work in progress I have. Then there are the handful of short story ideas or novel ideas that aren't fully formed yet that I pop in and out of at any given time.

What is so great about being an author?

First it's a tremendous honor to have people feel like your thoughts are worth reading and to trust you to guide them through an unknown landscape safely and to their good. I think the most rewarding part of being an author happens when someone reads the book and then tells you it really made an impact on him or her. A couple people who read my first book told me they wanted someone they each cared about to read the book, because they thought it would help those persons. That's really special and makes any struggle along the way worthwhile.

When do you hate it?

Whenever it comes time to do anything that looks like salesmanship. I'm not a very business-minded person and I don't like viewing books in terms of their bottom lines or how to boost sales and so on. It's not why I write and I try to think as little about it as possible while writing. I know that isn't the wisest way to do things if you want to get a book on the New York Times Bestseller's list, but I can't help it. I want the books to be more than a product or subject of a monetary transaction, so any time I feel like I'm starting to become a "Buy this!" advertisement I feel awful.

What is a regular writing day like for you?

A regular day consists of me going to work full time as the web designer and infectious disease data manager at the state health department. During breaks and lunch I try to do writing and writerly reading/activities. When I get off, I head home and run circles around the house playing with my little boy, who is growing up way too fast, while trying to cook dinner and help keep the house in some semblance of order.  After our little one is off to bed, my wife and I catch up on each other's days and usually watch part of a movie or something on Netflix to relax. When my wife goes to sleep, that's my pure writing time and I try to dive deep into it when I can. That usually consists of about two hours of solid writing, though on weekends I tend to do much better.

How do you handle negative reviews?

Rather poorly for about the first day or two after. I'm the type of person who wanted not just straight A's but A+'s on assignments I really cared about in school and take it very personally whenever someone doesn't like some aspect of a book I've written. Once I get past the initial shell-shock and self-deprecation and doubt, then I try to read the reviews again and glean from them something positive and something constructive to work on in the future. Then I just try not to read the reviews again, because it really just pokes at mostly healed wound at that point. Though even bad reviews are still something. Sometimes I get suspicious if I see all positive reviews for something and honestly, if you're saying something that is intended to make a deep impact on someone's life, you really can't help but have some people reject that irrespective of writing quality, which people have preferences and preconceived notions they bring along as well.

How do you handle positive reviews?

Probably equally poorly. I bounce up and down for a couple hours and re-read the review a few times. After I remember it's not about me in the first place, I get over myself and try to comb through the review for lessons to apply to writing in the future and sentiments that might be in common across other reviews, because those tell you something about what consistently comes through in your writing to those who are most likely to be an audience for the writing. Like negative reviews, I try not to re-read the review at that point, because it's a bit like staring at a bunch of ribbons or trophies. It's looking into the past and no one wins an event by obsessing over the past. Not to mention spiritually, you want to throw any laurel, however big or small, at Christ's feet, so it's really about pressing on and keeping things in perspective whether a review is good or bad.

What is the usual response when you tell a new acquaintance that you’re an author?

Like most writers, it's most often one of two very different responses. The first being, "Oh! I'm so proud of you!" where the person seems to think you've done something utterly stupendous and special (which a writer has in a sense). The second is more akin to, "Yeah. So?" where the person then begins to list everyone they've ever known with the intention of writing a book, because it is such an achievable and common thing (which it is in a sense). Usually it's other writers who have an in-between reaction that balances the two extremes.

What do you do on those days you don’t feel like writing? Do you force it or take a break?

It really depends on how sleepy I am. In all seriousness, if I'm just at an absolute road block and I don't feel the thrum of the story anymore then I take a break. I'd really have to have lost a grip on the story though for that to happen. If it is just a hard passage to write, I'll try to write around it or push through, because it's very easy once you pick up a new story that's interesting to let the one I was stymied by fall by the way side. More recently I've been trying to write several stories at the same time, so I don't leave any one fallow too long, but give myself some needed breaks to let fresh ideas work into the mix. And I do that to varying levels of success on a week-by-week basis.

Any writing quirks?

I'm awful about having a single notebook that has fragments of like five different stories scattered throughout it in a very haphazard way. I try handwrite from time to time to force myself to revise as I draft, but like I said I write more than one story at a time so a notebook quickly becomes a little hard to navigate. I'm trying to break myself of the habit by having a stack of notebooks to switch between, but even then, it gets messy.

What would you do if people around you didn’t take your writing seriously or see it as a hobby?

I'm very blessed in that I do have incredibly supportive people around me. Though to answer the question, since for so much of my life writing was a hobby (I've been writing stories since age nine) I would probably just keep at it. It's really hard for me to not talk about what I'm writing about, because for me writing a novel is a lot like reading it. When I get to a part that is exciting or unexpected, I want to tell someone! Currently my wife and mom catch all that excited chatter, but if they just quit I might have to reach out to readers who have expressed particular appreciation for my work and share with them. I think I would also work very hard to justify writing as something more than a hobby to my family by the writing I produce and letting the reception of the writing be evidence that it is meaningful.

Some authors seem to have a love-hate relationship to writing. Can you relate?

For me it's really been almost exclusively love. Of course there are things related to writing that I wish were different. For instance the amount of time I have to do. If I could add about five more hours to each day then I think I would be set.  I also, as mentioned before, do not really take to the business side of being a published author. Writing for me is an art form and a craft, but it is also an incredibly open art form that requires the participation of readers to really make it fully meaningful. The avenue by which readers join in on the artistic process, unfortunately, requires a lot of business-like activity.  I get through it, but if I could remove one aspect of writing, it would be to tone that part of publishing way down.

Do you think success as an author must be linked to money?

Not at all. A great many "classics" of Western literature were financial failures. Some of them were critical failures in their day. Some even the authors felt were a colossal disappointment. I think the only real metric for whether an author is successful or not is in the lives that are touched by the writing. If your writing affects people and makes them think and feel and then relate that to reality, then you've been quite successful. Of course everyone wants to have the financial boom and critical acclaim, but I try very hard to not fixate on that and I hope I never do however "successful" my writing becomes. Books are about writers and readers taking a journey together and so long as that happens, that is success for me.

What has writing taught you?

Patience and humility stand out to me. So often I want to have a manuscript done at a particular date and time. I want to be able send it to an agent or editor and then have it in print on my schedule, but it's not like that. You can't rush art and sometimes a story takes a long time to be properly represented by a manuscript. I have a fantasy series I've been working on for ten years now that is incredibly near and dear to me, but I've only just begun to get the manuscript for the first story into a form that I think it is truly ready to share.  And being humble enough to realize you aren't the only writer out there. The only voice or storyteller worth hearing has been good for me. With so many other writers out there that I'm suddenly aware of, I think I approach writing with the idea of how special it is for a reader to choose to pick up something I've worked on with much greater clarity. The idea that what I'm typing will be read by someone else, that they're giving their time and interest to something I've written is really incredible to consider.

Leave us with some words of wisdom.

I suppose when it comes to words of wisdom, I'll turn to a man much wiser than me: "Trust in the LORD and do not lean on your own understanding and He will make straight your paths." That's what King Solomon of Israel wrote as recorded in the book of Proverbs. Ultimately as a reader and a writer you have to have a purpose. Why am I reading and why am I writing respectively. 1924 Olympic gold medalist Eric Liddell is credited with saying, "God made me fast. And when I run, I feel His pleasure." It's like that for me and writing, and so long as I feel the Lord leading there, I'll happily follow that path. Everyone needs to resolve that question of where and what is my purpose?