Tag Archives: Books

#GuestAuthor Jenn Bregman

Jen BregmanJenn Bregman is a white-collar criminal defense lawyer turned novelist. Her first book, The TimeKeepers, was published in May of this year. She is also the mother of five-year-old twin boys. I expect the latter is a much more daunting role. 😊 But do read on and decide for yourself. Welcome, Jenn!

Buy Jenn’s book HERE

Tell us a little about yourself.  I am a passionate life enthusiast. I love my family, friends, animals, nature, exploring this wondrous world, and the peace and joy that come through the grace of a close connection to the universe. I love music and was an opera singer before turning to law. I am a pug dog addict and have been known to run across crowded NYC streets to squeeze one! I do, at least, one scary thing a day.
What is the title and genre of your latest book? Who published it?  My debut novel is a legal thriller called The TimeKeepers, published by Triborough Publishing.

Tell us a little about your book.  The TimeKeepers centers on a young, idealistic, naïve lawyer named Sarah Brockman who leaves Big Law in search of work that would make a difference, only to find herself barely scraping by working for clients who can’t pay and pursuing causes she can’t win. Then a random horrific car crash changes everything and she is thrust into a tangled web of massive corruption, fraud, and greed that twists and turns through the highways of Southern California, Mexico, and the Cook Islands – all while kindling a tender romance with her new love, Sam, who’s been following the same trail…but from the other end, and the wrong side of the law.

What inspired you to write it?  I have always been a voracious reader and writer but hadn’t really considered the idea of a novel until these crazy, persistent voices started waking me up in the middle of the night! Literally! Three of the main characters just kept popping in – wholly uninvited. I decided that the only way to get some sleep was to write down what they had to say. And, boy, did they talk! 😊

The TimeKeepers by Jen BregmanWhat is your current writing project?  I am currently working on the sequel, set in NYC. It takes place a few years later, so the characters in Book One are older, possibly wiser, and definitely naughtier! It is set to publish in 2018. The last of the series, set in Colorado, is set to publish the year after.

Do you ever get writer’s block? If so, how do you deal with it?  The key is just to know that it, like most things, will pass. That helps you relax and focus on getting through quicker! Movement is best for me. If it’s “writer’s hiccup,” then pacing around the house will help. If it’s more severe, then a long hike in nature, or a long swim, or even a long yoga session can help. I think it’s because the physical discomfort of doing one of these gets you out of your head and into your body. When you get back in your head, it’s usually clearer!

How do you schedule your time between writing and keeping your physical life together?  My morning time is critical. With rambunctious twin five-year-old boys, the only guarantee I have of quiet work time is in the morning. So tushie is in the chair from 5:00 – 7:00 a.m.  No excuses. Ok. Rarely excuses. Then, I fit in two or three more hours during the day in blocks as I can. In all honesty, sometimes the words don’t flow and I stare at the screen for most of the two hours, but I think the discipline of doing (even when it’s crummy) outweighs the “not.”

How and where have you marketed your work?  The paperback is available on Amazon and e-book is available through Amazon’s Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook. After the review by Publishers Weekly, where they said: “The TimeKeepers should appeal to John Grisham fans,” many bookstores are stocking it as well. If your bookstore is not presently carrying it, ask them to order it.

The TimeKeepers by Jen BregmanWhat advice would you give a new writer?  My advice is basic, but true. “Just do it!” Make your decision, your plan, and then execute your plan. There will be many, many times when you will feel like quitting for all kinds of reasons, but don’t. Stay the course. Resolve to finish your work. There is much to be said for finishing and very little to be said for not. I guess there’s even less to be said for not starting in the first place! Ha! When you have finished, you may review, edit, wrangle your words in ways that you can’t do when you don’t have the words. Trust yourself and have faith.

What do you hope will be the everlasting thoughts for readers who finish your book?  My hope for my readers is that they will embrace the depth of this book. Even though it’s a thriller, I have woven allegorical themes of service, charity, and justice into the story. There are questions of income disparity and greed – issues that are relevant to us right now! Many of these questions are in the Book Club section of my website. I hope that book clubs, as well as individual readers, will consider these broader ethical themes, reflect, and take away something of deeper value.

Thank you so much, Tina, for hosting me on your beautiful blog. Such an honor.

You’re most welcome, Jenn. It has been my pleasure to host you. I wish you every success with your writing and your books.

Bio

Jenn Bregman is a white-collar criminal defense lawyer who has practiced in both Los Angeles and New York City, where she worked on some of the most notorious cases of our time. A veteran of Big Law and a graduate of the University of Denver and UCLA Law School, her writing has been published in the UCLA Law Review and Los Angeles Lawyer magazine. A marathoner who loves pugs and hiking giant mountains, Bregman lives in Los Angeles and is a member of the State Bar of California, the Women Lawyers Association of Los Angeles, California Women Lawyers, Gamma Phi Beta, and Mensa. The TimeKeepers is her first novel, with a sequel planned for release in 2018.

The TimeKeepers by Jen Bregman Blurb

A fast-paced thriller, The TimeKeepers plunges headlong into the depraved underbelly of Big Law and big money where greed is king, murder is incidental, and winning is the only thing that matters. Attorney Sarah Brockman is young, idealistic, and naïve. Having left Big Law in search of work that would make a difference, she finds herself barely scraping by running her own personal injury law firm working for clients who can’t pay and pursuing causes she can’t win. Then a random horrific car crash shatters everything. Now she’s staring into the darkest shadows of the very system she’s dedicated her life to upholding, filled with corrupt judges, dirty cops and attorneys, offshore banking, massive fraud, and twists and turns through the highways and byways of Southern California, Mexico and the Cook Islands. Facing off against a cunning and deranged adversary, Sarah is aided by a sharp-witted socialite, a felon and occasional crackhead, and a shameless Mexican raconteur. All while kindling a tender romance with Sam, her boyishly handsome new love, who has been following the same trail but from the other end–and the wrong side of the law. Sarah feels invisible strings pulling her ever closer to the core of the conspiracy. But if she’s just a pawn in someone else’s game, are the strings being pulled for good or for bad? Or, even, both? And will she be on the side that wins?

Learn more about Jenn:   Website/Blog    Amazon    Facebook         Twitter    Instagram  

 

 

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#BookRelease – Plateau: Beyond the Trees

I am pleased to announce the release of the 2nd edition of my first novel, PLATEAU.
Plateau: Beyond the Trees by Tina FriscoAvailable in both eBook and paper.

They will show in the Amazon store within 3-5 business days but are available now through the Kindle and CreateSpace stores. The old version is still showing on Amazon but will be removed.

To celebrate, the eBook will be free to download from the 15th through the 19th.
Download it HERE.

I’m so grateful to have this task behind me! It took quite a bit longer than I expected, largely due to how poorly I wrote five years ago compared with now. I decided to give the book a quick overhaul, forgetting it was not a vehicle that merely needed an oil change. And once I started, there was no turning back. I did all the formatting, which can be a nightmare. But I learned a lot when I published my book Vampyrie last December, and fortunately I remembered most of it.

I also needed to make a cover. On the front I wanted to use the same image, which was created by a friend of mine and was easy to upload. I used GIMP  to apply the text. Since CreateSpace’s cover design choices are limited, the back cover was more of a challenge. How to get the color I wanted? I was blessed with a light-bulb moment. I scanned a sheet of white paper into my computer, uploaded the image into GIMP, applied color, and added the text. This project was a full day’s work. When I uploaded it to CreateSpace, it looked fine. But CS said the text went too far to the border (even though it was within the border shown), so I had to redo the text, which took another half day. (I need to go to GIMP school.)

During all of this, my mum became seriously ill and had to be hospitalized. I thought I might have to hop a train and travel cross country. Thankfully she recovered and is doing well.

Now that the dreaded book business is completed (I need to go to formatting school), I can resume writing posts and visiting blogs. I can tackle that collapsing pile of books on my TBR. I can open the stack of mail on my desk.  Maybe I’ll get around to cleaning and doing the laundry. My neglected little car needs a bath, and I really should jump in the shower. Wash my hair? Yes, I need to do that as well. I even hope to go out to dinner or the movies before the end of the year. An author’s work is never done.

Plateau: Beyond the Trees by Tina FriscoI wrote and first published PLATEAU: Beyond the Trees in 2012, because I wanted to put a message of hope into the world. December 21st of that year was the end of the Mayan long count calendar. This inspired the making of documentaries that aired over several months. Most of them evoked fear by focusing on the doomsday aspect of apocalyptic prophecies. Many of us wondered if love could prevail in an atmosphere of dread and panic.

PLATEAU offers hope with its underlying message: We must keep our hearts open and act from love instead of reacting from fear; we must practice gratitude and compassion within every moment and with every breath, so that we might help elevate the human species to a higher consciousness and facilitate personal and global peace. Within this vision – this practice – the human species will continue into the Golden Age of Enlightenment.

Novel reading can increase our understanding of who we are. I hope PLATEAU will advance this understanding. I hope it will encourage empathy, compassion, and tolerance for diversity. I hope …

I will leave you with this quote by one of the indigenous shaman women of the Sisterhood of the Shields:

You have the choice to nourish or you have the choice to destroy with your power. –Ruby Plenty Chiefs quoted in Spirit Woman,     The Teachings of the Shields by Lynn V. Andrews

Until the next time, my friends …  Namaste ❤ 

#Blogging Break

I’m taking a short break from blogging as I reclaim my first book from the publisher.
I published PLATEAU in 2012 through FriesenPress in Canada. At the time, I knew nothing about self-publishing and was grateful to find an ethical company that could assist. Distribution channel fees were free for the first two years. I since have paid a reasonable annual fee but have decided I want to republish the book myself. And I have only a few short weeks within which to do this.

Plateau by Tina Frisco

I do all of my own formatting. Those of you who have traveled this treacherous road are aware that, although it is a labor of love, it is time-consuming. It also can be damn exasperating frustrating! However, the satisfaction of having accomplished such a daunting task is a reward in itself.
Unlike many of my fellow bloggers, I haven’t found my way to blogging/commenting/sharing/replying, keeping my physical life together, and having a life. So with the added task of formatting a book and preparing it for publication, I won’t be visiting blogs for the next few weeks. But please know I’ll be thinking of all of you and will return when the dreaded deed is done 😊
I know I’d freak out stress about not replying to comments ~ and would most likely give in to curiosity ~ so I’m closing them on this post. My inner taskmaster has spoken! I suspect, however, many of you would have much to say that I’ll surely regret missing 😊
Happy blogging to all of my friends, whom I love and cherish ❤

Interview with Tina Frisco

Thank you to the lovely Cathleen Townsend for inviting me to be interviewed on her blog. Aside from being a prolific fantasy writer, Cathleen is also an animal lover, plane crash survivor, and has lived to tell the tale of scuba diving with a mako shark! Needless to say, I’m thrilled to be interviewed by such a colorful and dynamic person ❤

Cathleen Townsend

Tina 4aTina Frisco is an author, singer-songwriter, RN, activist, a student of shamanism, and our guest here today. Born in Pennsylvania USA, she attended nursing school in New York and lives in California. She began writing as a young child and received her first guitar at age 14, which launched her passion for music and songwriting. She has performed publicly in many different venues. Her publishing history includes book reviews; essays; articles in the field of medicine; her début novel, Plateau; her children’s book, Gabby and the Quads; and her latest novel, Vampyrie. She enjoys writing, reading, music, dancing, arts and crafts, exploring nature, and frequently getting lost in working crossword puzzles.

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Thank you so much for hosting me, Cathleen. I appreciate your support and the opportunity to be featured on your wonderful blog.

It’s my pleasure to have you here, Tina. Let’s dive right in. Who’s…

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Guest Post: Tina Frisco – On Facing Death

Friend and blogger John Fioravanti kindly invited me to guest post on his impressive blog. I was thrilled to accept and am delighted to share this with you. John is a historian who blogs on issues of contemporary importance, health, writing tips and more. He also supports other authors by reblogging and guest posting. Please visit his blog and enjoy his excellent posts. Thank you so much for hosting me, John, and for sharing my work ❤

Shortly after John invited me to be his guest, I received an email from a friend telling me his wife and my dear friend had just been diagnosed with Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia. Upon sending my condolences, Payson replied: 

Persevere…the dice keep rolling…and one adapts with as much detachment as possible.
The work of a lifetime….that drawing closer to the Event Horizon makes one more present.
Such good work…a blessing to be aware!

Both Payson and Kamla are authors and devoted to a spiritual path. I read Kamla’s book, The Singing Guru, during one long night of sitting with a dying friend. Kamla writes: 

The Divine “is everywhere, in every direction, in every space, without exception.”

Payson produces DVDs he calls VideoTonePoems, which are a blend of exquisite visual art, intriguing sound, and the poignant written word.

I’m sharing their work with you here, because it’s relevant to the subject matter of my guest post  ❤  

Words To Captivate ~ by John Fioravanti

It is my pleasure and privilege to welcome Tina Frisco, author, blogger, singer-songwriter, RN, activist, a student of shamanism and friend, to Words To Captivate. Death is a difficult thing to face, but Tina puts a different face on it.

On Facing Death

Facing death is a life-changing experience and one that most of us fear. The first time I faced this monster, I paced and cried, ranted and cursed its arrogance. The second time, I tightened my mid-section and refused to acknowledge it; but I couldn’t sleep. The third time, I took in a deep breath, sat down, and closed my eyes. In a flash, I saw myriad lifetimes pass before me – incarnations I was fortunate to have lived.

What is it about physical death that throws so many of us into a tailspin of grief, anger, and denial? Is it not knowing whether life continues beyond the…

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#Sacha Black #Author Interview

Sacha BlackI am delighted to feature Sacha Black today.  For those of you who don’t know Sacha, she is the founder of the Annual Bloggers Bash and Bash Awards. (More about the Bash at the end of this post).  Please join me in congratulating Sacha on the release of her first book, 13 Steps to Evil:  How to Craft Superbad Villains, a step-by-step guide to creating multi-dimensional villains and much more.

Buy the book HERE and HERE  

13 Steps to Evil by Sacha Black

Welcome, Sacha!
Why did you write this book?   This book started out as a couple of blog posts. Everything I’ve learnt on my journey to publishing, I’ve blogged. I guess as both a consolidation of my learning and a way to give back and share the lessons and mistakes I’ve made so others don’t have to. When I was studying villains it was no different. I wrote up the things I’d learnt as blog posts and I was fortunate enough they proved popular. But that told me that kind of content was not only wanted but needed too. So the seed was sown for 13 Steps To Evil.
Did you feel there was a gap in the market for this type of book?   Absolutely, because of the popularity of the posts, I did some research and discovered that although there were lots of blog posts, there were only a couple of books out there that covered the topic and none were as in depth as I wanted. So absolutely there’s a market.
Does the book shed new light on a common issue?  I think so. It comes at villain-creation from a different angle. For a start, it’s based on a myth busting concept. Your hero is not the most important character in your book. Your villain is.
Most writers have hero-worship syndrome. Blindly concentrating on their hero and creating his or her depth of character and forgetting that a novel isn’t just one character.
So 13 Steps To Evil tries to blow that concept apart by suggesting the villain is actually the most important character in an author’s book. Why? Because a villain is the source of conflict, and without conflict, there is no story and no need for a hero.
Is it a topic that a lot of people can easily relate to?  Absolutely. This isn’t a stuffy textbook. I purposely use really well known character examples from books, film and TV because most people will have heard of all, or at least most of the examples. I try to sprinkle a little humor and sarcasm into the book and provide a couple of thought provoking exercises at the end of each chapter.
How will the book help writers?  The book is an easy to understand, step by step guide to creating Superbad villains. Each step has bite size chunks of info a summary and a couple of useful questions/exercises. There’s also a free checklist to go with the book, a short course and I’m also opening up a Facebook group for the short course completers where they can discuss their ideas/feedback with each other, and I will be in there monitoring it as well.
It will take writers from the basics all the way up to their ultimate warlord.
Who’s your favorite villain?  Can you ask me that? That’s totally not fair! Honestly, I have a penchant for anti-heroes. The first anti-hero I ever fell in love with was Beetlejuice, I secretly wanted to wear his stripy suit. I love Deadpool too, with his ego and outrageous sense of humor, Loki, Patrick Bateman, Dexter, GAH there are so many. If we’re talking pure villain, then one of the best has to be Hannibal Lecter, surely? 

13 Steps to Evil by Sacha Black

BIO
Sacha Black has five obsessions; words, expensive shoes, conspiracy theories, self-improvement, and breaking the rules. She also has the mind of a perpetual sixteen-year-old, only with slightly less drama and slightly more bills.
Sacha writes books about people with magical powers and other books about the art of writing. She lives in Hertfordshire, England, with her wife and genius, giant of a son.
When she’s not writing, she can be found laughing inappropriately loud, blogging, sniffing musty old books, fangirling film and TV soundtracks, or thinking up new ways to break the rules.
BLURB
Your hero is not the most important character in your book. Your villain is.
Are you fed up of drowning in two-dimensional villains? Frustrated with creating clichés? And failing to get your reader to root for your villain?
In 13 Steps to Evil, you’ll discover:
  • How to develop a villain’s mindset
  • A step-by-step guide to creating your villain from the ground up
  • Why getting to the core of a villain’s personality is essential to make them credible
  • What pitfalls and clichés to avoid as well as the tropes your story needs
Finally, there is a comprehensive writing guide to help you create superbad villains. Whether you’re just starting out or are a seasoned writer, this book will help power up your bad guy and give them that extra edge.
These lessons will help you master and control your villainous minions, navigate and gain the perfect balance of good and evil, as well as strengthening your villain to give your story the tension and punch it needs.
If you like dark humour, learning through examples and want to create the best villains you can, then you’ll love Sacha Black’s guide to crafting superbad villains. Read 13 Steps to Evil today and start creating kick-ass villains.

13 Steps to Evil by Sacha Black

EXCERPT
Why Writers Fudge Up Their Villains
Villains are like newborn infants. So much glorious potential. Until we writers get our grubby mitts on them and balls it up. With the careless flick of a pen, we can turn a finely sculpted baby villain into a cringe-worthy cliché because we didn’t make him bad enough, or we create something so heinously evil it’s unrealistic.
A villain might be a plot device, but he still needs a purpose and a goal, or he’s unworthy as an opponent for your hero (See STEP 3 for motives and goals).
While researching this book, writers told me all kinds of problems they encountered while creating their villains. From getting the dialogue right and avoiding clichés, to knowing how evil to make a villain, to how to reveal her motives without using blatant exposition.
Behind all these issues lie two basic barriers that are the Achilles in every writer’s villainous heel:
   1. Depending on the point of view (POV) the book’s written in, the villain is usually seen through the eyes of your hero.
A solitary POV gives you a page-limited amount of time to show your villain’s best, most authentic and devilishly evil side. Page-limited to the point it makes it eye-wateringly difficult to convey her backstory effectively without information dumping. You have to be better, clearer, more tactical and more concise with your words to create superbad villains.
   2. Writers are hero worshippers.
We love our heroes and protagonists more than our spouses. And as a result, we spend shameful amounts of time honing our protagonist’s muscular heroics into shape. But that relegates our villain (the plot-driving conflict-creator) to the corner of our book, complete with a nobody-loves-you-anyway hat. In other words, writers don’t pay enough attention to their villain.
Learn more about Sacha:    Non-Fiction Website            Fiction Website    Amazon UK   Amazon US   Twitter   Facebook   Pinterest   Instagram   Tumblr   Google+   LinkedIn   Goodreads Non-Fiction   Goodreads Fiction
Annual Bloggers Bash
Sacha organizes the #AnnualBloggersBash along with Ali Isaac, Geoff LePard, and Hugh Roberts.  This year, the Bash will be held on June 10th in London.  If you haven’t yet voted for your favorite blogger, you can do so HERE.  But hurry, because voting closes on June 2nd at 12 p.m. BST ❤

John W. Howell – A Tribute

John Fioravanti writes an outstanding tribute to John Howell on the occasion of his birthday. I’m sure I speak for all in our blogging community in wishing John a very Happy Birthday and many more to come ❤

Words To Captivate ~ by John Fioravanti

It is May 22nd – Happy Birthday, John!

I have known John for almost three years and I can’t think of another friend that commands my respect like this man does. I met him online through Rave Reviews Book Club not long after I joined in July of 2014. Not only was I new to the club, but I was also totally inept in using Twitter which is the social medium of choice there. It was John who took pity on me and began to give me informal lessons to master “Twitterese” – a bastardized form of English. I learned – after a fashion.

Not long after I assumed the position of Producer of the club’s Rave Waves BlogTalkRadio shows, John joined us as a host of the SPOTLIGHT HONORS show. It turned out that John is a natural behind the mike after spending some time in his youth spinning…

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The Decision to Go Dark (Guest Post)

Christy Birmingham hosts Charles Yallowitz talking about the 13th book in his fantasy series, Legends of Windemere: Ritual of the Lost Lamb. Is it acceptable for a Young Adult author to go dark? Nowadays, it seems young adults thrive on the gruesome, but read what Charles has to say…

Poetic Parfait

Profile Photo of Charles Yallowitz Meet Charles E. Yallowitz, Author of the Legends of Windemere Series.

Please join me in welcoming author Charles E. Yallowitz to the blog today! His fantasy stories are truly one of a kind, as shown by the Legends of Windemere Series. With the newest book in his series, Ritual of the Lost Lamb, going live within the past week, it’s an exciting time for Charles! He’s here with a guest post that talks about the darker side of this newest novel and why he chose to go that way with the series. Take it away, Charles:

The Decision to go Dark

Thank you to Christy for letting me write a guest post to help promote my newest book, Legends of Windemere: Ritual of the Lost Lamb.  This is the 13th book of my fantasy series and it’s where things start to take a dark turn for the heroes. Luke…

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Splendor. (London Jewel Thieves.) Shehanne Moore Chapter One

Shehanne Moore ~ prolific Smexy Historical Romance author and human mother to The Dudes ~ has released her 6th novel. The Dudes introduce Chapter One of Splendor in their charming and amusing style. Congratulations, Shey!

shehanne moore

Splendor CHAPTER ONE

London 1810

There was nothing wrong with pistols at seven paces at dawn. Except dawn was at eight o’clock tomorrow, and Splendor had a dressmaker’s appointment then. Three thimbles and the scissors had smacked into the back of the Chinese dressing screen the last time she’d wandered in ten minutes late. Madame Renare had said these were meant for her assistant, that paying customers, even those who were behind with their bills, were sacrosanct. Splendor knew she lied, that Lady Haskins, who always had the next appointment, would depart wearing Splendor’s guts for garters if she were late again. And if she didn’t bring the money to pay her the bill.

Despite the pulse beating in her throat and her desire for the black-and-white checkered floor she stood upon to open up and swallow her, she’d promised Gabe there was nothing to this. She wouldn’t do anything…

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Problem, Lesson, or Opportunity? – Guest Post by, Tina Frisco…

Our generous Story Reading Ape has granted me another guest post on his most informative blog. Thank you, Chris, for giving me the opportunity to share the little wisdom I have acquired throughout this earthly journey we call Life. And, if you haven’t already done so, remember to stop by the pearly gates and pick up your angel wings 💜

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Image is courtesy of Lucie Stastkova

When faced with an inexorable problem where emotions run high, knowing what to do can be a challenge. Rational thinking becomes obfuscated, forcing us into a holding pattern of circular thought.

Anger wants to place blame on others. Obsession with fine points masks the big picture. Abject frustration insists we bury our heads in the sand. Emotions churn and become ill-defined. Focus obscures. Common sense derails. Indigestion, insomnia, or worse take up residence.

None of these gets us anywhere. All of them threaten our sanity and plunge us into a maelstrom of inimical emotion. What to do?

Taking in a few deep breaths is a good first step toward relaxing. Listening to soothing music, meditating, or taking a long bath are a few ways to ease the constriction felt in the midsection. Relaxing the body helps mitigate mental and emotional distress. We all know…

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