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Love For The First Time

Véronique Iswery Pasquet Author Interview

The Four Lives of Robinson Appleson follows a man living with a curse who must find a way to break it if he ever wants to experience love and happiness. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

First of all, my aim when I started to write this book was to create an unconventional hero. I wanted to make him being hated by the readers in the beginning and then slowly through the pages, I wanted to bring them to forgive him and like him at the end. Second, one of my favorite tales is “the Beast and the beauty.” So, I took inspiration from that to create this story. In both, the hero is cursed, and only true love can liberate them from the spell.

What do you think were some of the defining moments in Robinson’s development?

Actually, two things. First the encounter with Oscar, his cousin, who become his mentor. And second, the encounter with Gwendolyn, his sweetheart.

Robinson is a spoiled young man, until he met Oscar who teach him about self-discipline. Despite being surrounded by people, Robinson lacked of a guide. So far no one had the gut to tell him his wrong doings. When Oscar did, he recognize his faults. We all need a mentor to walk straight in life. That mentor could be parents, a teacher or God.

With Gwendolyn, my hero experience love for the first time. From a selfish human being, he becomes a caring man who is ready to sacrifice his life to save hers. This was only possible thanks to the unconditionally love he got from her. The more you receive, the more you give. That’s the law.

What were some themes that were important for you to explore in this book?

The themes that I wanted to explore are about romance, emotion and love. How far a human beinggoes on and on to forgiving someone? My heroine, out of love forgive his lover for murdering her. She knew that he is doomed to kill out of love. Instead of escaping her fate, she embraces that. Only out of love. Love is a powerful weapon thanks to what the impossible can become possible. Many parents have forgiven the blunders of their child. How they managed? It’s all out of Love. Thanks to that gesture, the criminals got a chance to express remorse, redeem themselves.   

What is the next story that you’re writing and when will it be published?

The next book is about a paranormal romance. It tells the story of young woman who lives in Mackinac Island. When her grandma and cousin died. She has to come to her hometown to assist the funeral. Unfortunately, she has to stay a few more weeks to take charge of her parent’s hotels while their absence. A few days later, she is victim of aggression from an invisible entity during her sleep. She wakes up with scratches and bites on her body. Thanks to the friendship of a hitchhiker whom she met on her way home, she will find the courage to get rid of that entity.

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Can a killer turn a new leaf?
Robinson Appleson is one lucky bastard!
We get only one life. He has had four so far.
And it’s not like he deserved them, either.

In his first life, he was a Porcian prince who was known to devour humans. His obsession with eternal youth and beauty made him addicted to the
taste of human flesh, much to the dismay and terror of his kingdom’s subjects.

Reborn as a rich kid in Beverly Hills, California, he has no recollection of his past life and thinks of himself as a blessing to mankind. He holds no respect or feelings for women and treats them like objects. It leads to everyone avoiding him like the plague.

His third life is different, as he is born as a jaguar in the African savannah. Filled with new wisdom, he fights against his instinct to hunt while the smell of prey drives him mad with hunger.

His last life lands him in the body of a beautiful but poverty-stricken Black woman who was also unfaithful!

Each of his lives has been different from the last, except that it looked as if he was doomed to make the same blunders. The woman he loves dies in his arms in all of his lives, because of a curse placed on his family.

Having been selfish and cruel in his previous lives, he attempts to change this forever. Using a range of tricks learned from Oscar, his mentor, he hopes to suppress and destroy the evil lurking inside him.
Would he manage to escape from his fate?

Can You Hear The Trumpets? – Book Trailer

Joel Adelman was celebrating his Bar Mitzvah when his cruise ship was taken over by Islamic extremists. When they start executing the Jewish passengers, Joel uses the power of the shofar horn his grandmother gifted him, to call forth the Destroyer and his army of angels.

Excitement, Danger, And Romance

Author Interview
Steven Donahue Author Interview

Unfriendly Fire follows two firefighters in a small town who find romance while trying to catch an arsonist. What was the inspiration for the setup of your story?

I like the metaphor of fire to show the passion between two people. I wanted to examine how that passion can motivate people to do good or bad deeds and how far someone will go to protect the ones they love. I chose the firefighting profession for its excitement, danger, and romance. 

What was your approach to writing the interactions between characters?

I wanted to have a near 50-50 split with the main characters’ POVs to illustrate how and why they reacted to the events in the story. I tried to get inside the minds of Wyatt and Kasey to fully explore their desires, fears, and aspirations.  

What was the hardest part about writing a mystery story, where you constantly have to give just enough to keep the mystery alive until the big reveal?

Providing just enough clues to the reader without giving too much away is a tricky tightrope for any writer. Pacing is important as you want to dish out important details at a proper rate. The other big challenge is keeping everything consistant throughout the story. Adding surprising twists and turns to a story is the most exciting challenge of writing a mystery. 

What is the next book that you are working on, and when will it be available?

I am working on a novel about JFK’s assassination that I plan to self-publish later in 2023. This coincides with the 60th anniversary of the event. 

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook

Pedaling West

It’s no exaggeration that life can change in the blink of an eye, and no one knows that better than Carrie Brinkley. IT Manager of Pilgrim Burgers, LLC, Carrie, is shocked to find her position is being eliminated. Doubtful as to her boss’s real intentions, she heads home only to receive a citation for an expired inspection sticker on her way. But, unfortunately, her string of bad luck doesn’t end there. Her boyfriend Trey is waiting in her driveway to announce that he is leaving town to return to Alabama and consequently breaking up with her. All Carrie wants at this point is to run away from it all, and when her bike calls, she answers.

Pedaling West, by E.A. Coe, follows the journey of one woman impacted in multiple ways by the 2020 pandemic. The face of the world, as Carrie Brinkley knows it, has changed, and she wants more than anything to run away from it all. So she concocts a plan to bike across the country, and even her parents’ words of wisdom can’t stop her from setting out to cover the nation from coast to coast between June and October.

Carrie’s story is unique in many ways yet typical of far too many others since 2020. Coe does a fantastic job of covering the mania that ensued when COVID-19 hit the United States. From misused funds to the countless ways our day-to-day lives changed at the drop of a hat, Coe covers it all in a short amount of time.

Carrie is a true force. She represents strength and determination on an entirely different level. Coe’s depiction of a woman on a mission is one to behold. As Carrie encounters one roadblock after another on her journey west, she meets each head-on and with renewed confidence. Her character development is unmatched. Though Coe’s story is fiction, I can easily picture this as a true story and one that would definitely inspire much-need confidence during the pandemic.

There exists within Coe’s writing an ideal amount of intrigue and mystery. It is difficult to peg Pedaling West as part of any one genre–it contains all the best parts of several. I enjoyed the blend of current events, action sequences, and the focus on Carrie’s character development throughout the book.

We won’t soon tire of reading about the many ways COVID has impacted our world, and E.A. Coe has gifted readers with a fantastic version of events in one neat package. I highly recommend Coe’s work to any mystery fan who appreciates a novel grounded in current events and is driven by a strong female main character.

Pages: 366 | ASIN: B0BTM1KRWF

Buy Now From Amazon

Both Sides Of The Hacking Equation

Author Interview
Susan Rogers & John Roosen Author Interview

“Cobra Pose” follows a solicitor turned yoga instructor and her photojournalist love interest as they race against time to stop a group of hackers from destabilizing financial institutions worldwide. What were some new ideas you wanted to explore in this book that were different from book one?

We have been fascinated with the concept of hacking for almost ten years. We started researching various groups that were involved in hacking, as well as their methods. Hacking often leads to theft, fraud, or other scams, and often appears more efficient and less costly than other methods. We also wanted to know what counter measures were available to prevent hacking.  To us, it was always a race, a contest if you will, between the two opponents. Just when one method seems to be the solution to prevent hacking, hackers come up with means to overcome the countermeasures.  It’s the ultimate chess game. The stakes are high, and we have definitely seen an uptick in the volume hacking over the years.   

We wanted the reader to become immersed in both sides of the hacking equation. We developed a stable of characters who are orchestrating the hacking, as well as a counter-group trying to prevent or at least control the outcomes of the hacking event.  We also identified the White Hat Hackers that hack for justice and Black Hat Hackers who hack for gain and disruption.

As it turns out, just when we were in Australia ‘ground-truthing’ all the locations for Cobra Pose, our communications company was hacked. It was such a massive hack that half of Australia was affected (about 12 million people).  Driver’s licenses, streets names, phone numbers etc were up for grabs.  We happened to be two of the people that were affected. 

As writers we do love irony, and we thought this was the greatest irony of all.

What were some challenges you felt were important to developing Elaina Ric’s characters in this book?

Our books focus on classic literary fiction writing.  We spend a considerable amount of time working on the plot of one book, while we may be writing others in the series.  Since the characters and books have plots and direction that may overlap, it becomes a tracking process which includes spreadsheets, tables and lists.  The plots are paramount to us as they  become the coat hangers on which we fashion our characterizations. However, we also have a specific issue or flaw that our characters work on during the course of each book.  As we have two main characters, we alternate who is the ‘lead’ or protagonist for each book.  Occasionally, some of the sub-characters will feature in a strong way and down the track line have a book of their own.

The challenge of course is to make each character seem real and multi-faceted.  We actually try to make each character have small characteristics that allow them to be visualized in the mind of the reader. We rely on the readers imagination to form the construct of what our characters appear like and act like. The word-smithing plays an important part in this.

Writers have the delicious opportunity to use a smorgasbord of options at their fingertips when building a character. Just like any artist they can dabble in one method and then switch to another if that isn’t working. 

Knowing the right balance can be a method of trial and error where we work at something over and over again until it reads and sounds right.  Sometimes the character comes to life with little or no effort, like they are ready to jump out from the computer keys onto the page.  Those are the magic moments every writer loves.

Many of our characterisations are based on people we have met and interacted with over the years. 

We hope people enjoy the many characters we have created in both Dead Man’s Pose and Cobra Pose. Our books are the combination of a wide variety of quirky characters and a well-crafted plot.

What scene in the book did you have the most fun writing?

For us, it is hard to choose one scene over another, as our writing is very layered.  Working separately and then together as a team, then apart again, we tend to go back and forth on the various scenes within each book. 

This includes both reading the book ourselves, and then reading to each other.  In Dead Man’s Pose, when twelve characters come together in The Crime Solver’s Potluck, we basically acted out what we wanted each character to do and say.

You can imagine what occurred when someone came to our front door, and we were dressed in an array of clothing and hats to quickly go from one character to another.

In Cobra Pose, we ground-proofed each of the streets, locations, and areas we wrote about as we did in Dead Man’s Pose That means we walk or drive, take a boat or a plane to get to where the characters are going to move around.

If there isn’t a building that meets our needs, we do have the ability to create one, as we did with The Observatory.  However, in this case, we both have about 20 years of emergency management experience each, to build our ideal of what a multi-agency operations centre might include.  So that combines the mix of: years of experience, within the plot developed for that book, with the creative need for the actions envisioned.

The scene that stands out in Cobra Pose is near the end. Of course, we aren’t going to give away any spoilers away, but there is a massive response effort that takes place.  It was complex and exhilarating to write and gave us an adrenalin rush just reading it to each other. 

What can readers expect in book three in the Yoga Mat Mysteries series?

Book 3 in the Yoga Mat Mysteries series is Tree Pose.  In book 1, Dead Man’s Pose we explored the theme of corruption, fraud and justice, along with a budding romance. In book 2, Cobra Pose, we explored the theme of hacking and a potential collapse of financial institutions.

In a similar manner, for book 3, we have chosen an ‘overarching’ theme which we have explored along with the individual flaws and themes of our main characters.

We interweave all this with romance. What’s not to like about that? We often think there is something universal about love that makes it so very compelling to write about. So, the reader will see this overarching theme played out as well.

By the way, for those wondering how far we are going with the series, buckle up.  We have book 3 – Tree Pose, drafted; book 4 – Warrior Pose drafted; book 5 – Half Moon Pose drafted.  Our goal is always to try and maintain a quality fiction approach, so we spend a lot of time perfecting each one.  We hope this gives the reader a desire to ‘read that one again … and again’.

Author Links: GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook | Website | LinkedIn | Instagram

Australia is a surfers’ paradise … but this nefarious surfing is on the ‘net’ … and will destroy the global financial system.

It’s not just a rippling ‘scam’ job. Has Australia been infiltrated at levels they’ve never known?

Elaina Williams uses a Cobra Pose in her Yoga studio to boost her energy – she will need it! Elaina’s father, Edward, is in trouble. He’s disappeared. 

As a solicitor and now yoga instructor, Elaina drags Ric, a man she’s fallen for, into the bursting web of techno-thrilling intrigue.

Ric Peters has just returned from a disastrous trip to Indonesia. Ric bills himself as a photojournalist. Elaina suspects he shoots more than just photographs. Ric has insight into the journey he and Elaina must take. He knows Elaina isn’t ready for what’s going to happen. There are too many moving parts for him to control. 

Time is running out before The Cobra and The Wolf strike with their heist. They are extending their fangs towards Australia’s ‘golden coastline’ to bite into and destabilise financial institutions worldwide. 

The sparkling sub-tropical city of Brisbane, Queensland, is the epicentre of this hacking tsunami of the century! But these hackers are good at hiding. They make a living out of it. They are submerged Phantoms leaving no tracks.

Can the burgeoning amateur sleuth Elaina piece this puzzle together before her father’s fate is sealed? How far is Ric willing to go in deciding to save Elaina … or Australia?

Cobra Pose is the suspense-thriller and second novel in the Yoga Mat Mysteries series. This book is filled with a snappy plot, dynamic prose, witty dialogue, and slow-burn chemistry. You’ll love Susan Rogers and John Roosen’s atmospheric whodunit. Click Cobra Pose to stretch your sense of adventure today!

The first book, Dead Man’s Pose, is available online. Next in the YMM lineup is Tree Pose – coming soon!

A Crisis Of Confidence

Tracy Grogan Author Interview

Jetsam follows a divemaster collecting water samples who stumbles upon terrorists and smugglers putting her life in danger. What was one of the hardest parts of this novel for you to write?

My concept for the series has always revolved around evolution. Each book takes place in a new setting (first, Palau in Micronesia, then Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula, and now in Thailand and Myanmar), brings in both new characters and prior characters in expanded roles, and, most critically, Ricky Yamamoto’s evolving personality and ability to interact with others. In this book, I chose to bring some of Ricky’s vulnerabilities to the forefront. This series is written in the first-person, requiring I put myself into the head of a narrator struggling with a crisis of confidence. It was an uncomfortable space to live in as I wrote and refined the book.

Some events in the book were chillingly similar to real-life events. Did you take any inspiration from real life when developing this book?

I love to research. I spent quite a bit of time researching the various locales, issues, and people before deciding where and when this story took place. Each book in the series weaves some sort of environmental or social issue into the story line. In the case of Myanmar, I had so much to choose from. As I wrote, and deepened my research, the story changed dramatically to integrate what I found to be a more interesting and less publicized aspect of the events of the past decade.

How do you balance story development with shocking plot twists? Or can they be the same thing?

As often as not I’m also shocked by the plot twists. Although I tend to loosely block out the book, I seldom know which character will be taking a given action and how others will react. That often leads to twists I never expected. I try to let the story write itself and I enjoy going along for the ride. So, yes, absolutely, they are the same thing — at least when it involves a Ricky story. I seldom know what that woman is going to get into next.

I hope the series continues in other books. If so, where will the story take readers? 

The fourth book, Lagan (it is a real word and related to Flotsam, Jetsam, and Derelict as a term related to shipwrecks), finds Ricky back home in Hawai’i. But her itchy feet lead her on a deep adventure to the bottom of the Bikini Atoll, a Cold War scar, site of dozens of nuclear tests, and resting place for a ghost fleet of ships committed to the deep during those tests.

Author Links: GoodReads | Facebook | Website


Book Review

Jetsam by Tracy Grogan is the third book in the A Divemaster Ricky Adventure series. It is a story about Ricky’s involvement in a mission where she was supposed to collect water samples to gauge the water pollutants in the sea. It seemed like a simple mission on the surface, but as Ricky dives deeper into the ocean, the mission begins to churn into a mill of deception and fake identities. With multiple close combats where she can lose her life, she surfs through several legal and illegal activities throughout the book.

The writing style of the book is engaging and fast-paced. I found myself stuck to the pages once the story caught momentum. Even though this is the third book of A Divemaster Ricky Adventure, you will find no difficulty in understanding the proceedings of the book. Multiple plots run throughout the story. The characters are well-developed. The twists of the stories never stop coming, and even when I predicted a few of them, reading them unfurl was an enjoyable experience.

The story is focused mainly on international waters and the Myanmar territory. Myanmar’s political and social conditions in 2016 form the central portion of the story setting. The terrorist groups, the smugglings, the role of US agencies, and the corruption prevailing in that have been explored by the author. It got heavy to read, at times, when things morphed into reality instead of fiction. The story is beautifully crafted, and the deaths keep the feeling of reality and morbidity alive in the narrative. I enjoyed the fun banter and the thrill that the book provides. Some heavy topics were explored in the book, but they add substance to the fictional events. Also, the in-depth discussions of the sea and the handling of the weapons left me with a feeling of actually being there with Captain Rich while he rants off about so many subjects he holds expertise in.

Overall, Jetsam is a thrilling mystery novel with nonstop action to keep readers hooked from start to finish. It will fill readers with a feeling of exhilaration and adrenaline rush after every ambush the characters step into. In addition, the book provides a heavy dose of reality checks with a shot of entertainment.

Pages: 358

The Scam Series

Scam at Old River
After a night out celebrating the conclusion of a successful assignment, computer forensic expert Jack Rhodes, wakes up with a beautiful woman in his bed, an almighty hangover, and someone is pounding on his door. He answers, and the large stranger asks for the woman by name. The stranger goes on the attack. Jack thinks he’s in the middle of a relationship drama.
Drawing on his martial arts training, Jack subdues the assailant. He calls the police, but not before learning the woman has hidden incriminating files from a dangerous man. When the police arrive, the woman has disappeared.
Through his connections on the force, Jack volunteers to go undercover and discover the truth. It becomes a dark and menacing path into the hidden underbelly of San Francisco’s business and criminal element where murder, exploitation, fraud, and betrayal are a way of life. He needs to make the connections, get the proof he needs and find the woman fast. But to do so means facing his demons, a darkness within, and a past he cannot escape.

Scam at Five Mile Road
Jack Rhodes’ latest assignment seems straightforward. Investigate Link Industries’ Plymouth factory in Michigan, locate the company’s missing money, track for possible theft, and investigate the deaths of three men. The company’s current management says there’s a possible systems glitch, no stock is missing, and the deaths are tragic accidents, nothing more. But the company owner and Jack’s sometimes lover, Stella West, disagrees.
Once he arrives at the facility, it’s clear not everyone is happy about his arrival. After a string of near misses, it is evident that someone wants him out of the picture and is not afraid to get their hands dirty.
As Jack closes in on the culprit, he inadvertently places everyone he comes in contact with in danger. If he doesn’t get results fast, there’ll be more to lose than the factory and the people he cares for. This time, there won’t be any escape from the darkness within.

Scam at Mount Diablo
Computer forensic expert, Jack Rhodes, doesn’t go looking for trouble … but it always seems to find him! Even on the first visit to his latest assignment, investigating a straightforward case checking warehouse management software, it’s clear that someone wants to scare him off. Throw into the mix a dangerous connection to one of San Francisco’s most notorious crime families, an ex-director of Mossad, and an illegal trading platform, and it’s not long before Jack finds himself fighting for his life in a 3am attack on his uncle’s Mt. Diablo ranch, from a group of highly trained international mercenaries.
Adding to the drama, there’s a serial killer heading towards San Francisco, and his sometimes-lover, Stella West, is a perfect fit for the victim profile.
Unassuming and always underestimated, Jack has to rely on his extensive MMA fighting skills, his next-level data analysis, and sharp, logical mind, to protect the innocent. But what if his data is incomplete? Who can he trust, and who will be the next victim?

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