Friends, Can You Help?

 

Secrets Of Hallstead House (eBook)

My first novel, Secrets of Hallstead House, is now available for free download on BookBub. Here’s the link: https://www.bookbub.com/books/secrets-of-hallstead-house-by-amy-m-reade?ebook_deal.

And here’s the tagline: After moving to a private island in upstate New York to provide nursing care for an elderly widow, Macy must uncover secrets from her past before they destroy her future.

I’m trying to spread the word far and wide. Would you consider reblogging and telling your friends? Every download counts!

Many thanks,

Amy

 

Let’s get one thing straight!

More words of wisdom from Susan Toy!

Books: Publishing, Reading, Writing

I can’t believe that, after all this time since eBooks first hit the market, I would need to write a rant like this, so please bear with me …

On June 1, 2014, I published this blog post, No more “vs.” – Okay?, because I was weary of all the adversity that has proliferated in this writing and book business over the decades I’ve been part of it. I don’t know that my post made the slightest bit of difference, but getting all that off my chest at least made me feel a bit better.

There is one “vs.” though that still seems to be prevalent out there. And I see this being said often enough to make me want to reach into cyberspace and shake those who continue to do this, telling them to “Stop Right There!”

Stop referring to Print books as “REAL” books! Just stop it right…

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You Have Homework

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I’ve spent much of the last two weeks researching the history of the county where I live in preparation for a new series I’ll be starting soon. I’m nowhere near done, but I’ve enjoyed the journey and I’ve learned a lot. It struck me while I was working that I always assume the history of the place where I live is boring–it doesn’t matter whether I’m talking about the town where I grew up, the town where I went to college, or any of the other places I’ve lived–but time and again, I’ve been proven wrong.

History takes place everywhere, so it stands to reason that every place has a history.

Sounds pretty simple, doesn’t it? But it’s easy to forget.

The county where I live now has been plagued by pirates, fires, disease outbreaks, wars and battles, natural disasters, and any number of other horrors. It’s fascinating! And as has been the case with my other books, I’ve enjoyed the research so much that I have been reluctant to put on the brakes and actually start writing.

This misconception of mine, this belief that nothing interesting has ever happened where I live, reminded me of a similar phenomenon that I’ve noticed before. I call it “ignoring my own backyard” and I’ll give you an example. I lived in and near New York City for almost nine years. I never visited the Statue of Liberty. Never saw Ellis Island. Here’s another example: I lived in Louisville, Kentucky, during late spring/summer one year. Never visited Churchill Downs (not that I’m a fan of horse racing, but the racetrack looks pretty interesting).

I could give anecdote after anecdote until I’m blue in the face, but you probably get the picture. It’s easy to get caught up in the routine of your own life and never venture out to see what your community or your environment has to offer. Sometimes those offerings are tourist traps, but often they’re not. I think we get involved in the busyness of every day and when we contemplate visiting some of those places, we tend to think, “I can visit that place anytime. It’s just down the road.” Or “My kids went there on a school trip, but I just haven’t had time. I’ll get there one of these days.” But very often we never get there.

I’m thinking of one place in particular, a place near my home, a place I’ve never been, a place I’m planning to visit soon. It’s been there for three hundred years and it deserves a closer look. It’s on my list of places to see before summer is over. Who knows? It may end up in my next book.

So that leads me to your homework assignment. Try visiting someplace new this week-someplace near your home, someplace you’ve never been. A place you’ve overlooked driving down the road, a place you pass every day on your way to work. If it’s a museum or other facility that helps you learn more about the history of where you live, you get bonus points.

Where are you going to go? I’d love to hear about it.

Until next week,

Amy

Dennis Hart Interview

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Good morning! Today is the second in my three-week series of interviews with other authors. Welcome, Dennis Hart, author of Sand Key.

Tell me about your new book.

Sand Key is the sequel to my first book Gulf Boulevard published by The Permanent Press. It continues with the story of Jason Najarian, a burned out accountant, who dreams about escaping the cold of New England for the warm embrace of a tropical island. On a cold and snowy day, Jason’s wish came true in the form of a multi-million dollar Powerball lottery ticket. He quit his job, packed his bags, and moved to a barrier island off the west coast of Florida.  But as Jason will tell you, be careful what you wish for. In Sand Key, Jason has fallen in love with Fiona Tallahassee, the international assassin who was hired by the mafia in the first book to kill a hitman hiding on Jason’s island. Now Jason is living with her in the Bahamas until she suddenly disappears. Not knowing what to do, Jason returns to Sand Key where he hopes Fiona will someday return. But, unbeknownst to him, a drug cartel has designated his island the perfect spot for the import of their drugs. With a cast of colorful characters, Jason must maneuver through all the obstacles that continue to keep him from a life of solitude.

Who is the audience for the book?

I’d like to think anyone who enjoys a comedic adventure would enjoy these books. My writing has been compared by Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist, and Kirkus, to name a few, to that of Carl Hiaasen, Tim Dorsey, and Laurence Shames.

Tell me about the setting of your book—how did you choose it, what kind of research did you have to do, why did you choose it?

I vacationed and then bought property on Palm Island, a barrier island just south of Sarasota. I chose the setting because it was idyllic and ripe for mayhem.

What was the hardest thing about writing the book?

The hardest thing was fighting with my characters. I had originally planned to write a serious thriller, but the characters kept chirping funny lines back at me. So I acquiesced.

If your book were made into a movie, who would you like to see playing the main characters?

The role of Sal Santini, the hitman that befriends Jason and is killed by Fiona, would be played by perfectly by John Goodman. I think Jason Bateman would make a good Jason Najarian. Keira Knightly has the look for Fiona Tallahasse, and Jason’s ex-wife, Megan O’Malley could be played by Amy Pollack.

Have you written any other books?

My titles are: Life Minus 3 ½, Gulf Boulevard, and Sand Key. My latest book, Pictures of Children, should be out by the summer of 2015.

Are you in one or more critique groups or partnerships?

None that I’m aware of.

Do you write every day?

I write myself a million-dollar check every day in the hopes that one day I’ll cash one.

When you read a book, what authors do you like best? What genres do you like best?

John Grisham, Carl Hiaasen, Vince Flynn, Amy Metz and a host of others. I’m eclectic as long as the writing/story holds me.

Where would you like to go more than anywhere else on earth?

My garden. Nothing arrests the aging process better than a vegetable garden.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

I’m really not qualified to give advice, but I would offer a flashing neon sign as a warning that there are many people in the book industry willing and able to rip you off.

What is your favorite movie and why?

Braveheart. As emotions go, it had it all. I don’t think I blinked once.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

1) Only do one poop per diaper. 2) Concentrate on schooling because you’re never going to be tall enough to play professional sports. 3) Stay away from women.

Describe yourself in three words.

Ambitious. Entrepreneur. Casual.

Is there anything I haven’t asked that you wanted me to?

We’re good.

Where can readers connect with you?

writingsbyhart@yahoo.com

Where can readers find your books?

On Amazon, hardcover, soft and e-book. Some book stores carry my books, and if they don’t, they can order them. Or contact me at writingsbyhart@yahoo.com and I can ship you one.

Publication Date: February 28, 2014

About the book:

Every night, Jason Najarian dreams of a secluded tropical island where he fantasizes about living the good life as a hermit. No more rat-race. No more people. When a long-odds occurrence compels him to buy a lottery ticket, the resultant $63 million jackpot sets in motion a series of events that allows him to depart snowy Boston forever and begin living out his dream in comfort and style. But as Jason soon discovers, not even financial security can rid a man of life’s little annoyances. Having settled in to his new gulf-front home on Sand Key, a barrier island off the west coast of Florida with turquoise water, gentle breezes, and spectacular sunsets, Jason quickly learns that his idyllic life of solitude will require more effort than he anticipated. From the opposite end of the island comes a rotund and frustratingly nosy neighbor, Salvatore Scalise, who turns out to be a contract killer and a marked man. The unlikely friendship between the two leads to a madcap caper involving an unbearably clingy ex-wife seeking a share of Jason’s windfall, an expletive spewing parrot, a revenge-seeking mafia family, two mysterious men dressed in black, and a gorgeous young woman called Running Bush who catches Jason’s eye. If Jason hopes to escape unharmed with the woman of his dreams, he must determine how to safely extract Sal from his life. But in this hilarious tale of misplaced intentions and mistaken identity, no one is quite who they seem.

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 About the author:

Dennis Hart is the owner of an environmental equipment rental company in Massachusetts. He was an active member of a writer’s forum since 2010 called “The Next Big Writer,” where his work was well received and critiqued by other authors. His memoir, Life Minus 3½, was ranked number one for several weeks out of hundreds of submissions. In a separate writing contest judged by published authors, the memoir was selected third best out of 427 entries. It has also received a recommended review by KIRKUS.

His full-length novels include Gulf Boulevard, which has been sold for publication, Pictures of Children, Flight of the Owl, and his short stories include “Storms, Bandits, and Heat Wave.” Sand Key is the sequel to Gulf Boulevard.

 

Website: http://writingsbyhart.com/about/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Writings-By-Hart/234772429878204

Buy the book: Sand Key: http://www.amazon.com/Sand-Key-Dennis-Hart-ebook/dp/B00SZCDQYM/ref=la_B0039X0AIM_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431606370&sr=1-1

Gulf Boulevard:  http://www.amazon.com/Gulf-Boulevard-Dennis-Hart-ebook/dp/B00ISATAT6/ref=la_B0039X0AIM_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431606430&sr=1-2

Life Minus 3 ½ : http://www.amazon.com/Life-Minus-3-1-2-ebook/dp/B00AES0MEW/ref=la_B0039X0AIM_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1431606478&sr=1-3

 

Annie Miles Interview

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Good Tuesday morning! This week I welcome Annie Miles, author of Misled.

Tell me about your new book.

Misled is based on a true story and is told through flashbacks, letters, and present-day narration. It spans thirty years of a mother/daughter relationship and competition that lasted a lifetime. It’s about relationships, marriage, caring for an aging parent, and coping through trying times. It’s about deception, betrayal, love, and forgiveness.

Who is the audience for the book?

Anyone from nineteen to ninety. It’s categorized as women’s fiction, but men have read it and told me they enjoyed it. If you’re interested in human psychology and relationships, or if you want a really juicy, shocking story, you’ll probably like this book.

Tell me about the setting of your book—how did you choose it, what kind of research did you have to do, why did you choose it?

Since the book is based on real life, I didn’t choose the setting—it chose me. The setting isn’t a major player in this book—the characters and events are more central to the story.

What was the hardest thing about writing the book?

Reliving a lot of painful moments, both from the past and present. The book dates back to the 70s, but a lot happens in the present day. When I wrote the book, I came home and wrote about things that happened that day, and it was tough to live through it twice. But I also had to reflect on the past and revisit old wounds, which is never easy.

If your book were made into a movie, who would you like to see playing the main characters?

Meryl Streep hands down would make a great Diana—the mother. I think she could even carry off playing her in her 40s all the way to her 70s. You would need two actors each for the Annie and Daniel characters—one for the teenage/young adult years and one for their 40s and 50s. Maybe Kyra Sedgwick for the older Annie, and Emily VanCamp for the younger Annie. Russell Crowe would be a good adult Daniel, and Rupert Grint could be the young Daniel.

Have you written any other books?

I’ve written the first two novels in a mystery series under my real name.

Are you in one or more critique groups or partnerships?

I was when I wrote Misled, and I highly recommend them. I was in an online writers group, and it was enormously helpful.

Do you write every day?

I try to. I’ve just recently moved, so my life is completely upside down right now. I can’t focus on anything but unpacking boxes and finding all the stuff I need but that’s missing! I’m anxious to get back to writing.

When you read a book, what authors do you like best? What genres do you like best?

I like chick lit and mysteries. Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz, Stephanie Bond, Jennifer Cruise, Suzanne Brockman, Kyra Davis, and Michael Lee West are just off the top of my head. So many to love.

Where would you like to go more than anywhere else on earth?

A private beach with a room that’s all glass and looks out onto the water.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Read, read, read, write, write, write, and always always have beta readers and professional editors and proofreaders.

What is your favorite movie and why?

I love the movie version of Pride & Prejudice because I’m a hopeless romantic.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Trust your gut. It’s seldom wrong.

Describe yourself in three words.

Mother, writer, loner.

Where can readers connect with you?

https://www.facebook.com/anniemilesauthor

https://www.facebook.com/AuthorAnnieMiles

https://twitter.com/AuthorAnnieM

http://anniemiles.us/

Where can readers find your books?

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VALUFNU

 

About the book: When Diana, a lonely housewife, falls for Daniel–her daughter Annie’s teenage crush—she will stop at nothing to ensure he stays in her life. In Machiavellian style, Diana betrays her daughter, secretively designing, controlling, and planning Annie’s future. It isn’t until years later, when Annie discovers letters exchanged by her mother and Daniel, that she learns the truth and sees the manipulation and lies that led her to a doomed marriage.

Twenty years later, when Diana is diagnosed with dementia and Annie is forced to be her mother’s caretaker, she must come to terms with her mother’s betrayal, her husband’s deceit, and her own desire for love and happiness, all the while managing to maintain her sanity and sense of humor. Based on a true story, this book will shock, entertain, and astound you.

Annie Miles

 About the author: Annie Miles is the pseudonym for the real woman portrayed in Misled. In real life, she writes a mystery series and is the mother of two sons and the legal guardian of her mother, who gives her new material daily. Annie is a firm believer in the saying, “People are put into your life as either a blessing or a lesson.” You will find both in the characters of Misled. It is the lessons that fuel the book and the blessings that fuel Annie. She lives in the South where she enjoys reading, writing, baking, and photography. She welcomes correspondence, particularly from women who are suffering through trying times. You can reach Annie at anniem828@gmail.com or http://authoranniemiles.us.

authoranniemiles@gmail.com

authoranniemiles@yahoo.com

Until next week,

Amy

 

 

My Blog Tour: The End

Thank you to everyone who visited any of my guest blogs over the last couple weeks, who left a comment, who read the book, and/or who reached out to tell me they enjoyed it. You have made the release of The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor a rewarding and successful experience for me.

As I await my editor’s comments and suggestions on my third novel (which doesn’t have an official name yet), I have begun research on my fourth novel. As you may know from reading some of my previous posts on this blog or on other blogs, research is my favorite part of preparing to write a novel. So I’m having a great time and I may even take a couple of local field trips for this one.

I have just one place to send you today: it’s an interview I did for the Dames of Dialogue and you can find it at https://damesofdialogue.wordpress.com/2015/05/06/amy-reade-answers-the-dames-dozen/#comment-12664. I hope you’ll take a minute to visit!

Until next time,

Amy

Blog Tour Visits for Sunday, May 3rd

Hi everyone! Today marks the last day of the blog tour for The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, and I have four places for you to visit.

First, there’s a wonderful review, a guest post, and a giveaway opportunity at Brooke Blogs. Here’s the link: http://www.brookeblogs.com/the-ghosts-of-peppernell-manor-by-amy-m-reade-guest-post-giveaway/

Second, Readalot has another great review and another giveaway opportunity. You can find Readalot at http://readalot-rhonda1111.blogspot.com/2015/05/the-ghosts-of-peppernell-manor-by-amy.html

Third, Libri Amori Miei has a third lovely review and a third giveaway opportunity! http://libriamicimiei.blogspot.com/2015/05/review-giveaway-ghosts-of-peppernell.html?showComment=1430687633849#c3843781678270772947

Finally, there’s a fun interview at Susan Whitfield’s blog: http://www.susanwhitfield.blogspot.com/2015/05/amy-reade-dark-secrets.html

See you Tuesday!

Amy