Sunday Book Review – Waiting for Westmoreland by John Maberry

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My Sunday Book Review is featuring Waiting for Westmoreland by author John Maberry. John survived a hard childhood, drugs, the Vietnam war, became a lawyer, decided to leave law for writing, and decided to write this fascinating memoir about his life.

waiting-for-westmoreland

 

Get This Book on Amazon! 

 

Blurb:

 

Those seeking happiness amidst the suffering or disillusionment of day to day life will find hope in reading Waiting for Westmoreland. Those seeking redemption for past mistakes, will also find a means to achieve it. The book is the true story of a 20th century Candide-an innocent growing up in America in the fifties. As a boy, the author suffers the death of loved ones. Spending a year in Vietnam corrupts him. Then the political realities of the war and Watergate shatter his idealistic illusions about America. He searches for tools to reform the country that failed him. His quest becomes a frustrating pursuit. Finally, he meets a person who tells him about the life philosophy of Buddhism. He learns that the credit or blame for all of life’s events lies within-not from others. Looking for happiness outside oneself is fruitless. Only by taking personal responsibility for one’s own life can one be truly happy. Reforming oneself, rather than changing others, leads to a better world.

 

My Review 5 Stars

 

The author takes us on his journey from childhood where he lives through the loss of both parents and moves around different states, different jobs, Viet Nam war, where he shares his candid views and experiences through his struggles physically and internally. His mission to become successful in job and relationships becomes a driving force which keeps him motivated through adversity, and rejection is an inspiration for many to take something from his journey.

 

Mayberry’s resolution to succeed finds him learning about Buddhism, which became the vehicle that propelled him to finding happiness, understanding of life, and solidifying a relationship with a woman who would eventually share the journey with him.

Guest Author Friday – Who Has a New Book? – Deborah Jay – The Prince’s Son

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Today I’m excited to have author/blogger and horse trainer, Deborah Jay here to share some of her experiences as an author, and about her newest labor of love, The Prince’s Son, sequel to The Prince’s Man, an epic fantasy.

 

deb-jay

Deborah is a prolific author who draws a lot of her writing inspiration from the Scottish Highlands where she is known to take off on her little ventures for a dose of inspiration from her home near London, England. Her day job and passion for horses also keeps her busy as a rider and trainer, and she also judges at horse dressage competitions. I would like to also add that Deborah was one of my first blogging pals when I became a blogger 3 and a half years ago. She is a huge supporter of Indie authors and does a lot of sharing and promoting book blasts and book promos of others on her blog. So without further ado, let’s get to know a little more about Deb.

 

About Deborah:

 

Deborah Jay writes fast-paced fantasy adventures featuring quirky characters and multi-layered plots – just what she likes to read.

Living mostly on the UK South coast, she has already invested in her ultimate retirement plan – a farmhouse in the majestic, mystery-filled Scottish Highlands where she retreats to write when she can find time. Her taste for the good things in life is kept in check by the expense of keeping too many dressage horses, and her complete inability to cook.

Jay’s debut novel, epic fantasy THE PRINCE’S MAN, won a UK Arts Board award, and was an Amazon Hot 100 New Release.  She is also the author of several non-fiction equestrian titles published in her professional name of Debby Lush.

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Get this book on Amazon Here!

Blurb:  

This epic fantasy can be read as a stand alone story.

Nessa Haddo has been raised to pursue what every young noblewoman needs: a suitable husband. Unfortunately for her, as a younger twin, her prospects are limited. Things start to look up when she lays eyes on the handsome foreign envoy sent to escort her sister to an arranged marriage, but her romantic fantasies quickly entangle her in events beyond her darkest nightmares.

Compared to his last mission, ex-spy Rustam Chalice’s new assignment sounds simple: wrangle an unwieldy bridal caravan across a mountain range populated by bandits, trolls, werecats, and worse, try to cajole a traumatized princess out of her self-imposed isolation, and arrive on time for the politically sensitive wedding. What could possibly go wrong?

Meanwhile, Lady Risada—the woman who haunts Rustam’s dreams—is struggling to adjust to a normal life. All her carefully honed assassin’s instincts scream warnings of foul play, yet she can find nothing obviously amiss.

And deep in the halls of a mountain clan, an old enemy plucks his victims’ strings with expert malice.

 

1. Tell us a little about your life working with horses, and about how you manage to fit in the time to write books.

Do you know the saying, ‘if you want something doing, ask a busy person’?

Well that person’s me. I’m incredibly lucky to be able to make a living doing my hobby at a professional level, and I wouldn’t give it up for anything, even a lucrative publishing contract, so writing has to fit around my working life.

I train competition horses and riders in both dressage and eventing. I’ve had a successful competing career, representing GB internationally in 2007, and riding Grand Prix dressage at National level for the past 7 years. I’m currently bringing on a new young horse, having just retired my long term partner, appropriately (considering I write fantasy) called Merlin. I have a couple of clients on the UK World Class programme, so I’m hoping one day to make it to the Olympics as a coach. Oh, and I’m also one of the UK’s top judges, which can keep me very busy at certain times of year.

My coaching work is highly variable – time of year, weather and financial climate all come into play, so I may end up with a ridiculous run of work (flat out for months at a time), or a slack period lasting weeks, and it’s in those slack times I get much of my writing done. Also when the weather is really bad and I don’t feel guilty about sitting indoors!

I know all the advice is to ‘write every day’, and, ‘cultivate a writing habit’. I simply can’t do that, I have to take opportunities when they appear, and make the most of them. I do try to write every evening (my favorite time of day, when distractions are minimal), but I’m often too tired.

As a result, my books take longer to write than many indie authors. I also write large books – this latest is a chunky doorstop of a 500 page paperback – but I figure I’m in it for the long term, and I can’t, sadly, magic more time into the day, so I’ve finally stopped beating myself up for not publishing new work every few months.

 

 2. Was there something in particular your read or watched when you were young that inspired you to write in the fantasy genre?

I actually started out reading and writing science fiction. I loved the old TV series, like Star Trek and Thunderbirds, and the incredible scope for imagination hooked me.

My first fantasy read was at school – A Wizard of Earthsea, by Ursula K. Le Guin – and that introduced me to not only the genre, but also the concept of flawed characters, leading on to amazing possibilities in character development.

My first serious attempts at book writing (I can’t really class the children’s book I began writing when I was 8 as serious), were both SF. Then I came across a publisher calling for short fantasy novels, so I swapped an idea I had for an SF book into a fantasy setting, and hey presto! My first fantasy novel was born.

Annoyingly, the publisher folded just as I sent my manuscript…

 

3. Are you content to continue writing in the fantasy genre, or perhaps contemplating exploring writing in another genre in the future?

I’m sure I will go back to SF sooner or later, and I write in two very different sub-genres of fantasy (epic and urban), all of which satisfy my vivid imagination. I’ve had two non-fiction (horse training) books traditionally published, I’m collecting funny stories on the horse judging circuit for what I hope will be an illustrated humor book, and I have a yen to put together a writer’s guide to horses in fiction. Not sure that leaves me time for much else!

 

4. What types of posts do you write about and share on your blog?

To quote my blog mission statement: To write primarily, but not exclusively, for readers.  There are tons of blogs out there giving advice on the nuts and bolts of writing, and I’m more interested in connecting with readers, so I host other authors with blog tours and occasional interviews, and I review books when I can find the time. I focus mostly on fantasy novels (surprise, surprise), but I also like a cozy mystery, and an odd delve into something totally different, like a memoir!

I blog a little about my job, and how some sports coaching techniques can be applied to writing, and I share pictures and videos from my frequent visits to the beautiful Scottish Highlands, where one of my novels series is set.

 

5. Of course I’m going to ask you for a nugget of wisdom you can offer new writers from your own experience.

Read widely, particularly in your chosen genre. From well written novels you can pick up a feel for pacing and technique without formal study. Also read poorly written books and notice what annoys you about them, then don’t make the same mistakes!

You can pick up a lot about pacing and storytelling from watching films and, bizarrely enough, soap operas – script writers are expert at manipulating our emotions and keeping us hungry for more.

 

  6. I remember reading a post on your blog, talking about the intricate details of what to beware of when writing a sequel to a previous book. Can you share what you’ve gleaned from the process?

The first thing I learned was to not allow myself to feel pressurized by the reviewers of the first book. Many expressed opinions of what they would like to happen in the sequel, and at first I felt obligated to try and incorporate those ideas in an effort to please everyone.

Then I got sensible. I have a plan for the overall arc of the series, and I’m going to tell it the way I see it.

It’s also a challenge to make the stakes bigger second time around, even when you felt your first book climax was massive. When you set out to write your first book you throw everything into it, to make it the best you possibly can. Then suddenly, you have to top that. This leads to a lot of self-imposed pressure, which for me, dried up my creativity for a while.

Eventually, I gave myself a good talking to and got back to writing, putting off that pressure for another day. And it really worked. This book was a new challenge, with four view point characters and even more plot strands than the first, but somehow it all came together when I stopped focusing on the pressure to produce, and just got on with it.

The last piece of advice I would give for those writing a sequel, is to go back and re-read your first book, and make sure your ‘bible’ (character details, important plot points etc.) is in order. You don’t want to find you’ve changed something in the second book without realizing it. I was very fortunate one of my writers group pulled me up over a detail I’d inadvertently altered that was fundamental to my world building. Phew!

 

7. I know awhile back you were experimenting with promoting your books on other sites besides Amazon. What is your opinion from your findings, on staying exclusive with KDP Amazon, or distributing your books on other channels?

Jury is still out, I’m afraid. I have one set of books (the Sprite novels) in KDP, and the borrows bring in some income, plus the ease of running promotions is very attractive.

The other set (epic fantasy) is wide on lots of platforms, which is a pain when running a promo, but I sell a few copies on those other sites that I wouldn’t otherwise, which pretty much balances out the KDP borrows.

I think I favor the wide approach on principle, but I like the ease of being in KDP. For the moment, I shall continue with one foot in each camp.

 

8. Now please tell us about how your new book, The Prince’s Son, came to be, and please share a snippet for us to read.

The Prince’s Son is the sequel to my first published novel, The Prince’s Man, though I’ve worked hard to ensure each book can be read alone. I can’t abide cliff hangers!

My characters were begging to continue their lives, plus a few minor ones had a bit more to say, and I couldn’t deny them. I struggled to contain them to a degree, and ended up cutting out a couple of threads which will now form the core of a companion novel, so those people will all get their share of the limelight.

The logline for The Prince’s Man isThink James Bond meets Lord of the Rings’.  The Prince’s Son goes by ‘Think Lord of the Rings with a Game of Thrones edge’.

                                                 * * * * * * *

Excerpt from Chapter 1

Nessa flung the doors open and hurried into the pleasantly appointed sitting room. Enya appeared scant moments later through the connecting door from the servants’ quarters.

Nessa pounced. “Enya, who is the delectable young man with the scar?”

The maid’s pretty round face lit with an impish smile. “That, my lady, is Rustam Chalice.”

“No!” A shiver of excitement ran up Nessa’s spine. “The Rustam Chalice? Really?”

“Yes indeed, my lady.”

Enya bobbed her head in emphasis and several blonde curls slipped from beneath her cap. She reached up, trying to stuff them back in, and Nessa stepped over to help her. The young noblewoman sighed in envy of her maid’s crowning glory. Not that she begrudged the girl her doll-like prettiness or her mop of golden curls, but as ever Nessa wished she had been born with something more striking than her straight brown hair and hazel eyes. While her irises had unusual streaks of light and dark coloring—the only visible difference between her and Julin—people had to inspect them closely to notice.

And surely it would take something special to get a second glance from the infamous Rustam Chalice.

Even Julin appeared mildly interested and asked: “Did he come by that mark in the fire? How sad; he must have been very handsome before.”

So Julin had noticed, but she was wrong—the scar made him all the more attractive. Nessa dragged her attention back to Enya.

“… already had it when he was captured. The way I heard it, it was punishment from the goddess for being vain, although some say it was for daring to use magic.”

Nessa pursed her lips. In her opinion anyone who looked that good had a right to be vain. And as to the other, she found it hard to believe the power responsible for saving their kingdom from the vile pretender might be abhorred by the goddess.

Magic! Ugh.” Julin shuddered. Nessa opened her mouth to point out where they might be now if Rustam Chalice hadn’t used magic when something else struck her.

“But how come he’s here? I thought using magic got him exiled, with his life forfeit if he entered Tyr-en ever again.”

“He’s here under diplomatic protection,” explained Enya, who had obviously quizzed the other servants. “He’s a special envoy for the Kishtanian king.”

“Oh!” exclaimed Nessa as a thrilling notion struck her. “Do you suppose he’ll be travelling back to Kishtan with us?”

Buy Links for Deborah’s Books:

 

Amazon smart link myBook.to/PrincesSon

Applehttps://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1174703435

Kobohttps://www.kobo.com/gb/en/ebook/the-prince-s-son-1

B&Nhttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1125111472;jsessionid=433BF90CDEE4859A8CCC483CBF36BA80.prodny_store01-atgap04?ean=2940153478920

 

Visit Deborah’s Amazon Author Page to view all of her books! And drop by her blog and say hello at DeborahJayauthor.com 

 

Follow Deborah on Social Media:

 

Twitter https://twitter.com/DeborahJay2,

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DeborahJay

Pinterest  http://www.pinterest.com/debbylush/ ,

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7172608.Deborah_Jay

 

 

Breaking Down the Walls with One Random Act of Kindness

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Sometimes when life is throwing you more than you feel you can handle, you have to find a way to compartmentalize your worries and woes to keep from being overwhelmed on a daily basis. Some people need a sounding board to spill their woes to, seeking words of comfort or perhaps solution to their problems. Many others, like myself, tend to put all worries in their own special boxes and deal with them one at a time by lifting off the lid and confronting issues singularly without trying to take in the whole picture at once when it seems walls are crumbling from all directions. This is a method I try to use to prevent myself from being riddled with anxiety when all is not right in my world and prevent me from putting too much focus on the mountain of shit I’m dealing with; a method I use to cope without having to burden others.

I’m a person who carries a load internally and never wishes to dump her crap on others, wallow in self pity, show weakness, and always looks to seek my own resolution. But make no mistake, this year has certainly been trying. It seems that once I think I’ve got one dilemma solved the next one presents itself. Barely a moment of breath between worry. And the point I want to make about this, is that no matter how strong we think we are, there’s always that little weak point within us, just ticking like a time bomb, that can set off an emotional release at an unexpected moment from the simplest of gestures. This is about a scenario which took place today with a phone conversation I had with my pharmacist.

Before I share the conversation I will share with you that these past few months have been grueling for me with family issues, financial issues, and most importantly on the list of worry, my husband’s health. I don’t share my daily gruel with anyone except my one sister. We have both been tested this year in our resilience to health scares and difficult times, for her financially and with health concerns with her children, and for me with my own concerns, and my added concerns for my sister. And as many of you may already know, I almost lost my husband this year and it’s been quite a journey getting him back to health. Recently his progress has been regressing, so there have been more frequent doctor visits, many more questions, and we will now be experimenting with a new IV therapy to be given twice a month in hospital to my husband. As I am an investigative person, I’ve been doing my homework diligently to comprehend what this therapy will entail, and what to expect from it. As we just found out about this new therapy yesterday at the doctor’s and I’m awaiting the hospital to call to schedule the first visit, I took it upon myself to call my pharmacist who is more knowledgeable of medications than a doctor is. In past years my husband and I have moved several times, but we’ve never changed pharmacies because they know us, they know our illnesses and are familiar with our frequent changes in prescriptions, and because of our rapport, they go beyond the call of duty when we need a favor.

Today when I called the pharmacy, I was thrilled that one of my favorite pharmacist’s answered the phone because she is always so kind and helpful and takes the time to look up things for me and share her opinions on my questions regarding potential risks and conflictions with medications, checks if our plan covers certain meds, and sometimes finds an alternative method of charging the cost for meds to be paid through other avenues. After our conversation today, and after I once thanked Rosie for her time to explain things to me, this is what she said to me, almost word for word:

“Mrs. Gies, I just wanted to tell you that you are not only beautiful on the outside, but so beautiful in your heart. I am not just saying this because you are a customer. I know what you have been going through with your husband, yet you always come in here greeting everyone with a beautiful smile on your face. You always call to make sure the new drugs are appropriate for your husband, second guessing a doctor’s prescription, curious to learn about potential side effects and what precautions you can take to ensure best efficacy from medications. You are a wonderful caregiver and I wish there were many more like you who would have the same concern and compassion for their loved ones. I hope your family recognizes this about you.”

That was it! That was the moment I broke down. Everything in my heart that I’d worked so hard to conceal just poured out of me in a meltdown of tears. After somewhat composing myself, I thanked Rosie for her own kindness. My husband was beside me while I was on the phone. He leaned over and gave me a big hug with tears in his eyes, told me how much he loves me, apologized for being a burden, and once again thanked me for taking such good care of him. That didn’t help to alleviate my moment of tears.

After I once again regained my composure, I reminded him, he is no burden, he is my husband and I will do whatever it takes to keep him well. I am a force to be reckoned with. I apologized for my moment of weakness and told him that what the pharmacist had said had spawned my emotional spill out, and how deeply it had touched my heart that a pharmacist had complimented me in recognition for the things I do instinctively which I never thought of as praiseworthy, rather just being who I am. Rosie had clearly targeted a point of overflowing emotion I had buried deep within, with her heartfelt comments, reminding that we are judged by our actions when we think nobody is watching. It was truly touching for me to find that someone was.

Getting it “Right” on Twitter

Social marketing

 Doris Heilmann of Savvybookwriters has written an excellent and in-depth post on how to use Twitter for branding and marketing and how to use it to get the full benefits of using for marketing our brand.

 

Never too early to start:  Building your brand on Twitter – or any other social media site – doesn’t work overnight.  It takes time and as earlier you start as better for you as an author.  You will want to have a large following long BEFORE your book is finished (maybe even before you start writing) in order to have a great start when launching your work.  .

 

Twitter is wildly popular and it’s a great way for you to interact with your community and reader audience.  Introduce yourself on Twitter, similar how you do on all social media sites, in a way that makes people interested in who you are..

 

Perfecting Your Twitter Name.

The best part of your brand is your name, but your author photo, typography, and colours are also part of your brand.  Brand recognition means that those who remember your name are more likely to pick up and promote your work.  That’s also true for your social media platforms, such as Twitter for example.  Carefully choose your twitter name, background image and your logo.

 

If your bio, along with your name and @name, is searchable on Twitter, which means people can type it into Twitter’s search engine and find you, without even having to type the account name.  With your @name, try to get the actual name of your small publishing business.  Keep it short to give others more space to retweet your content or send a direct message (DM). . . Continue Reading 

Source: Getting it “Right” on Twitter

5 Indicators Your Partner May Feel Insecure with Your #Success and How to Rectify

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It happens. Sometimes we get so wrapped up in our work and our horizons start to broaden, and perhaps this expansion brings travel opportunities for conferences etc., and maybe our partners don’t fully comprehend the scope of our business, or perhaps don’t show any interest. What’s behind the silence or the snarky remarks?

 

Often, when one partner experiences growth in their business, the other tends to feel left out. Not necessarily left out of the celebration or understanding of the business, but they may begin to experience feelings of unworthiness, insecurity in the relationship, fears of being abandoned, or perhaps just some plain old fashioned envy.

 

No applause, no kudos received for our accomplishments in praise or recognition can also become an imagined insult for the successor too. They may feel that they no longer wish to share their achievements with their partner, either to avoid sounding superior, or because they feel if they’re not being supported, why bother sharing their victories? Quite often there is much to analyze behind the emotions exhibited by the partner who feels left behind.

 

What Lies Beneath?

  • Insecurity – Your partner may feel that your growth is eating into your relationship time with them and quite possibly going to create a distance in the relationship.

  • A sense of unworthiness – Your partner may experiences feelings of inadequacy. They may feel they’re not on the same level of recognition anymore.

  • Fear – Your partner starts to develop fears that because they aren’t sharing in your new world of success that they’ll be left behind in the relationship, with fears of abandonment.

What Does This Mean?

 

The new feelings of inadequacy can begin to eat away at the relationship. The left out partner may react in various ways, depending on the nature of their character.

 

They May Choose to:

  • Recoil by refraining from talking about things in their world, feeling as though their life has become insignificant compared to the successor’s.

  • Become sarcastic in response to anything the successor has to share, which is always a sign of jealousy.

  • Begin to ignore the successor by not wanting to share any personal feelings, creating an emotional distance.

  • Choose to retaliate for their perceived feelings of being left behind. These tactics can range anywhere from staying out late to avoid confronting their partner with concerns, or possibly looking for an outlet such as: company, drugs or alcohol to mask their unhappiness.

What Can You Do?

1. Speak. Talk to your partner. Don’t let the distance grow between you as time passes. Ask them why your achievements are causing them anxiety. Offer them assurance that your accomplishments are helping to grow your income and that it shouldn’t make them feel as though they aren’t as important to you as your business. People want to feel secure.

 

2. Listen. Ask your partner to share their fears with you. Often suppressing fears and worries grows into bigger issues. These issues will eat into a relationship down the road. Discuss their fears with them and give them positive feedback on how you will work together on your relationship so they don’t feel left out in the cold.

 

3. Share. Keep the dialogue alive between you. Even though your business may not be understood by your partner, keeping them abreast of daily dealings will make them feel they are still a part of your world.

 

4. Strengthen. Keep your relationship alive with common interest. Ask them about their job or hobby, or simply, how their day went. Make date nights. Watch a movie together. Talk about friends and relatives together. Plan a vacation with no work. Create events that you can both look forward to sharing.

 

5. Include. Ask your partner to attend functions with you, business or otherwise. Ask them to look at some of your work and offer suggestions on how you may be able to improve something. Ask them what they would do if they were faced with a business dilemma you may be encountering. Everybody needs to feel important in a relationship whether business or emotional. The best way to do that is to keep them included and abreast of your work.

 

Remember: Silence speaks volumes. If you notice the behavior of your partner is changing as your success expands, begin taking action before it escalates into something unpleasant and grows into something larger than the original issue.

 

This post recently won Blogger’s Pit Stop Feature of the week from Mostlyblogging.com

The Blogger's Pit Stop

 

 

 

Sunday #BookReview – Featuring Ludwika by Christoph Fischer

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Today’s book feature is Ludwika, by Christoph Fischer. I recently had Christoph over to my blog as my Friday Guest Author, featuring his newest book, Body in the Snow. But this book is in the genre that many of his books are written in, historical fiction. Christoph’s books, although fiction, are fact-based historical settings, often with events and characters written from actual people and places. I’m a huge fan of Christoph’s writing and storytelling, and this book in particular, has won many awards, recently, The Readers Favorite Book Award 2016.

 

ludwika

Get this book on Amazon Here! 

 

The Blurb:

 

It’s World War II and Ludwika Gierz, a young Polish woman, is forced to leave her family and go to Nazi Germany to work for an SS officer. There, she must walk a tightrope, learning to live as a second-class citizen in a world where one wrong word could spell disaster and every day could be her last. Based on real events, this is a story of hope amid despair, of love amid loss . . . ultimately, it’s one woman’s story of survival.

 

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My Review: 5 Stars

 

In keeping with historical fiction of World War II, Fischer takes us on a journey of one woman’s life in Poland, living on a farm in a small town, where the Germans are beginning to occupy. She is faced with a decision to go to Germany with a German SS officer who has taken a shining to her in exchange for safety, and the safety of her family who are to remain on their farm. Her biggest fear is having to leave her daughter behind, a heart tugging decision, which reminds me a lot about the book Sophie’s choice.


Once in Germany, and the beginning of the third Reich occupying much of Europe, Ludwika finds herself in the midst of several occurring circumstances while trying to find work, as a Pole, to survive and hide from the Nazis after unfortunate circumstances happen with her German suitor.


This book takes us through the trials and sufferings of one courageous woman, her sacrifices and sufferings to survive, and her undying desire to find her family.


A deep look into humanity, humility and determination, Ludwika will capture your empathy as she takes us with her on her perilous journey to survival.
Though parts of this story are true, the author notes about his research and his choices to use fiction to help create this incredible story. A captivating read!

 

Visit Christoph’s Amazon Author Page to see all of his wonderful books!

Saturday Special Edition – Tell Me A Story/Blog Talk Radio

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I wanted to share my Blog Talk Radio interview here today that I did yesterday with Annette Rochelle Aben, on her podcast series, Tell Me A Story. I was thrilled to be invited over to the podcast, and you can tell by listening to the interview, we both had fun doing it . . ..minus the glitch, where for the first few minutes she couldn’t hear me, lol. But nevertheless, Annette held the fort and became a wonderful publicist and spokesperson for me and my books.

 

I have to admit, even though I’m a great conversationalist, never lost for words, it was intimidating to step away from my little 4 walls in my office behind the computer and speak live through the cybersphere. A great stepping stone for getting myself out of seclusion and testing the waters for some potential public speaking down the road.

 

Grab a coffee, and or, erm, maybe a glass of wine, and enjoy our little half hour chat!

 

 

 

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/themagichappens/2016/11/11/d-g-kaye-on-tell-me-a-story

Who Has a New Book? – Guest Interview with Christoph Fischer

 

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Today’s featured guest is the talented and compassionate writer, blogger and multi – award winning author, Christoph Fischer.

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I’m thrilled to have Christoph here to share some of himself and his time talking about his writing and his newest book, The Body in the Snow.

 

About Christoph:

 

Christoph Fischer is an Independent writer from Germany, based in the UK.

Christoph Fischer was born in Germany, near the Austrian border, as the son of a Sudeten-German father and a Bavarian mother. Not a full local in the eyes and ears of his peers he developed an ambiguous sense of belonging and home in Bavaria. He moved to Hamburg in pursuit of his studies and to lead a life of literary indulgence. After a few years he moved on to the UK where he now lives in a small town in West Wales.  He and his partner have three Labradoodles to complete their family.

Christoph worked for the British Film Institute, in Libraries, Museums and for an airline. ‘The Luck of The Weissensteiners’ was published in November 2012; ‘Sebastian’ in May 2013 and ‘The Black Eagle Inn’ in October 2013 – which completes his ‘Three Nations Trilogy’. “Time to Let Go”, his first contemporary work was published in May 2014, and “Conditions”, another contemporary novel, in October 2014. His medical thriller “The Healer” was released in January 2015, his latest historical novel “In Search of a Revolution” in March 2015 and his latest thriller “The Gamblers” in June 2015.

He has written several other novels which are in the later stages of editing and finalisation.

Find more about him on ChristophFischerBooks

Christoph Fischer is also a reviewer of independent books and on his recommendation pages on this site he features interviews and reviews of the books that have most captured his attention and appreciation by genre.

 

Christoph is a multi-talented writer who is known for his award winning books such as: Ludwicka, The Luck of the Weissensteiners, The Healer, The Gambler, just to name a few. He is a dedicated supporter of Indie authors and a most versatile writer, quickly becoming a multi-genre writer from historical and contemporary fiction, and now with his latest book, he dives into the cozy mystery genre.

 

body-in-the-snow

 

                                            Get This Book Here!

 

The Blurb:

Fading celebrity Bebe Bollinger is on the wrong side of fifty and dreaming of a return to the limelight. When a TV show offers the chance of a comeback, Bebe grabs it with both hands – not even a lazy agent, her embarrassing daughter, irritating neighbours or a catastrophic snowfall will derail her moment of glory. But when a body is found in her sleepy Welsh hamlet, scandal threatens.
Detective Sergeant Beth Cooper has a string of unsolved cases to her name. Her girlfriend left her and she’s a fish out of water in rural West Wales. Things couldn’t get much worse – until the case of the Body in The Snow lands in her lap.

 

Can Beth solve the case and save her career and can Bebe make her comeback? All will be revealed in this light-hearted, cosy murder mystery by best-selling and award winning historical and crime fiction novelist Christoph Fischer.

 

Let’s get more personal and learn a little bit about Christoph!

 

  1. You have so many successful published books, cranking them out at lightning speed it seems. I think we’d all like to know how you manage your busy life between writing, blogging and promoting your books, as well as other books of fellow authors?

 

I’m not sure how it all works out sometimes, myself. There are days when I feel time is stretching to help me. But, I’ve had a little head start by having finished seven of my novels before I published the first one. So, I’m not writing as much new materials as it seems. I have a deep passion for books, though, and I truly enjoy all that I do, which helps to get things done. I would like to do even more, so I keep going as fast as I can in the hope I get a little spare time for new projects. I guess I will sleep when I’m dead 😉

 

  1. Tell us a little about how and when you decided you wanted to become a published author.

 

I point blank refused to spend a lot of money on printing and sending off drafts and begging letters to agents or middle men to those agents. Without the right contacts the system seemed hopeless and a waste of time. Writing was always more like a hobby to me. After I had completed seven novels my friend and gifted cover designer Daz Smith suggested repeatedly that I self-publish one book to see if it would find an appreciate audience, which I did in 2012. My (relative) success took me by surprise and so I kept going.

 

  1. Do you have a set regiment you adhere to for writing time?

 

When I have an idea, I write and write until the first draft is done. I start early in the morning and go for as long as I can, only stopping to walk the dogs and eat. The story needs to come out and everything else becomes secondary. I prefer to write early in the morning but for that first draft, any time will do.

 

  1. Do you have some advice you can offer to new authors and writers you’ve found instrumental in becoming a successful author?

Invest in a professional editor and cover designer! The biggest prejudice against us indie authors is that we’re sub-standard and these two areas are most often mentioned as our shortcoming in comparison to traditionally published books. It’s worth it, because readers will judge us by the same standards and only pick up a book that looks good and that doesn’t feature lots of typos.

 

  1. As a writer who has written a few sequel series books, do you have some advice about how to engage readers in a sequel who may not have read the first book, without divulging too much backstory to get them up to speed?

 

I personally try to tell only what is really necessary for the sequel. Backstories are part of a previous book which can still be read and this should never get in the way of the new plot. After reading a second in the series, I often go back to the first. I love it when I find things there that I haven’t been told already, so I try to work on a tight ‘need-to-know’ basis.

 

  1. Many of your books are in the genre of historical fiction dealing with stories taking place in world and civil wars. Do you think because you were born in Germany and your compassionate nature, this led you to write your best selling trilogy – Luck of the Weissensteiners, Sebastian, and The Black Eagle Inn?

 

Those three books were close to my own family background, so being born in Germany had everything to do with them. Compassion is what makes us human and I couldn’t imagine reading the source materials and not think of how the people at the time were affected. The human factor is what interests me the most when researching.

 

  1. Much of your writing entails compassionate stories dealing with human condition and emotions, adversity, flawed people and even Alzheimer’s disease. Are any of these books taken from real life stories or people you know?

 

Many of my stories had a point of inspiration from real life stories and people I know. For example, we had Alzheimers’ cases in mine and my partner’s family. I had to read up about the disease and watched a lot of documentaries. This led to the desire to write about the topic, but not about the actual people I knew.

 

  1. What inspired you to jump into a completely different genre with your newest book, The Body in the Snow, a cozy mystery? And do you anticipate you’ll be writing more in this genre?

 

A few years ago I was snowed in at home with a power cut. My partner and I joked how our village would be the perfect setting for an Agatha Christie style murder mystery where none of the suspects can get in or out. Since then the idea has lingered. I’ve always had two fun characters in my head that didn’t fit into my serious dramas. They finally got their own book.

I have a lot of ideas for the faded singer and amateur sleuth Bebe Bollinger, so a series is definitely  in the cards.

 

  1. Your newest book, The Body in the Snow is acquiring rave reviews. Can you tell us a little about the book and perhaps share a snippet of an excerpt?

 

The Body In The Snow (A Bebe Bollinger Murder Mystery)” is a cozy murder mystery set in rural Wales during a snow storm. A reluctant fading singer, desperate for a comeback, gets involved in a murder investigation in her village. This all happens during the snowstorm of a century, which traps her with odd and quirky neighbours, a murdered body and a desperate detective

Excerpt:

 

She needed to take her mind off her troubles and decided to have a drink in the trendy bar next door. It was full of recording hopefuls and producers talking about contracts and demos, with more names being dropped than you’d find in a copy of Rolling Stone. It was enough to set Bebe’s teeth on edge.  She knocked back a Bloody Mary but the presence of so many young starlets with their ‘sponsors’ – usually twice their age – only made her feel worse, so she soon left and headed instead, to a piano bar not far from the studio. Maurice occasionally worked here. The lighting was low, so nobody would recognise her and she could take a moment to get over her worries and anger. There seemed to be a kind of tea dance or cabaret act in progress. Someone sang a very bad rendition of That Ole Devil Called Love – another Alison Moyet hit. Bebe had enough and turned round, ready to go back to her car and be done with London, when she heard a shrill voice screaming her name.

 

“Bebe Bollinger? Oh my god, it’s her!”

 

Instantly flattered and in a better mood she turned around and saw two middle-aged gay men with moustaches and jeans and leather attire fall over themselves to run after her. She couldn’t suppress a smile.

 

“We’re such big fans,” the two men gushed in unison and grabbed her hands “You must come inside and sing for us,” one of them insisted. “Please, please, please!”

 

Her face flushed with happiness.

 

“Darlings, my manager won’t let me sing without his cut,” she said evasively. “You need to book me properly sometime. I’d love to sing for you.”

 

She blew them an air kiss with her free hand and tried to free the other one, but her admirers didn’t loosen their grip.

 

“Just the one,” they insisted. “Losing My Mind. Please!”

 

Bebe turned her head left and right. The road was deserted, nobody had seen her; she could do this. This spontaneous gig was exactly what the doctor had ordered.

 

“Fine,” she said.

 

They led her into the piano bar where a crowd of drag queens were holding a karaoke event. Some of them had impeccable make-up on, Bebe noticed. It put her to shame. Glitter, feathers, disco-lights and size 11 heels – this place had it all.

 

“You look fabulous darling,” one of the drag queens reassured her.

 

“You think?” she asked. “People keep telling me I’m too old.”

 

“Nonsense,” her admirer said and waved his hand dismissively to the side. “Jealousy, that’s all it is.”

 

Here, she was a star and treated like royalty. Drinks were ordered for her, she was begged for autographs and people were reminiscing about their favourite moment in her career.

 

“Remember that time you were on Top of the Pops?” a guy asked her. He had a grey woollen vest on and wore thick glasses, like her. He looked like a librarian.

 

“Which time?” she said. “I managed a few gigs there, thank god.”

 

“The show with Renee and Renato,” he said. “You sang right after them and they stayed and brought you flowers afterwards, remember? Cabanero was your song. I remember it well.”

 

She looked at him with astonishment. Even she had forgotten about the flowers from Renato. Renee was nowhere to be seen. “Aren’t you a darling,” she said and kissed him on the cheek.

 

The man shrunk shyly and played nervously with his glasses.

 

“Bebe Bollinger to the stage,” the DJ called out, “Or we’ll all loose our minds.”

 

Her heart pounded with joy.

 

She sang four of her songs – pleased to see that almost her entire repertoire was in that karaoke machine. She made a note to get one of these things herself. It seemed a lot easier than her recording in the basement.

 

“So what is new with you?” another drag queen asked after the show. “Are you going on tour again sometime? I’ll be at every show.”

 

“He’s not joking,” said a stunning-looking woman, half Bebe’s age. “He really is your number one fan.”

 

“Well then I’m very pleased to meet you,” she said.  “And thank you for sticking by me.”

 

She found it very difficult not to spill the beans about her Engelbert gig or ask these fans about their opinion on her further career plans. As loyal as these guys were, they were only a fraction of the music market and she needed to think bigger.

 

“Come back soon,” the DJ said when she made her goodbyes.

 

 http://smarturl.it/BodyInTheSnowBB 

http://bookShow.me/B01LVYRI9L.

 

Thank you so much for guest appearing here today, Christoph. It was lovely getting to know more about you and your writing. As you know, I love your writing and am a dedicated follower of all your writing and thank you for being such a strong supporter of the Indie community.

Please visit Christoph at his blog where he shares, not only his work, but the work of fellow authors, book reviews, and keeps us abreast of oncoming bookfairs and events. He also has another blog, which gives us some greater insights into his books, Christophfischerbooks.com

 

Find Christoph and all of his books on his Amazon Author Page 

 

Connect with Christoph on Social Media:

 

Website: http://www.christophfischerbooks.com/

Blog: http://writerchristophfischer.wordpress.com/

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Twitter: https://twitter.com/CFFBooks

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