Thursday, February 28, 2019

A World of Mystery from Down Under

As a longtime mystery reader, I am always looking for new and different authors in that field. Then I heard about Stephen B. King.  No, not that other Stephen King, but west Australian author Stephen B. King, who writes wonderful mystery novels filled with enough suspense to keep you looking over your shoulder. His latest, due to be released soon is Glimpse, a Beautiful Death, the second book in his Glimpse Series. I got an opportunity to ask him about his writing. 

Have you always wanted to write fiction?
All my life I wanted to write, and tell stories, but for most of it I made excuses not to do so, which makes me a late bloomer. I was, in my wild days, a rock guitarist, poet, songwriter, living the dream of sex, drugs and rock and roll, and gave it all up for love. Then I was busy raising children, renovating houses and working sixty plus hours a week. I will always be grateful to my wife for buying me a laptop and telling me “no more excuses go and write that damn book,” when I pestered her once too often about an idea I had for a story. That was inspiration from a song by Leonard Cohen, Nevermind, which became my first book, Forever Night.

Sometimes, I think she regrets that now as book number ten is contracted and eleven is 15000 words in.

What are some of the challenges of being a writer?

Time. One of my characters in a time travel/romance/thriller I wrote called Thirty-Three Days says at one point: “Tine, yes, if only there was more time.” Whilst Jenny said that in a different context the line echoes my life in writing. I manage a Kia dealership for sixty hours a week plus travel to and from time. I have a family, and my wife and I love to renovate. So, I never have enough time to write as I’d like to.

Promotion. Because of the point above, finding time to promote myself and my book(s) is very challenging. I love doing it, but not as much as I love writing – so something has to give.

Tell us about your road to publication – how did it happen?

I was very lucky, and very unlucky. That book I mentioned, Forever Night, was accepted by the first publisher I approached with it. So it was lucky in that sense. I got to work with some brilliant editors in bringing it, and other projects I was working on, to life, and learnt a great deal about how to tell a story. But the unlucky part was that they got bought out before Forever Night was published by one of the big houses, and they in their wisdom shut down the line I was contracted to: Evidence Press. 

That’s was the start of a nightmare time for me as I found myself in limbo. Because it got so messy I had little choice but to self publish the next four books which was how long it took to work it all out. Once it was, I came to The Wild Rose Press, and it’s been a delightful experience ever since.

You’re writing in different genres, including time travel and mystery.  How did you decide to do that and how does that work for you as a writer?

This is a fantastic question, and it deserves a good answer. When I was at school, and at times ever since, the thing I’ve enjoyed most, was writing to a challenge. For example a teacher would say write two thousand words starting with: ….., When I was in rock bands I wrote a lot of songs, some to a deadline for other people to sing – which was fun. I’ve won three short story competition, for example one where the subject had to be about a note found on the ground. Another time a publisher asked me to contribute a story to an anthology in a genre I’d never written in before, and the story was very well received.

What I’m trying to say is just because the majority of my books are in the Serial Killer/crime/police procedural/thriller mold, it doesn’t mean I have to be there  – its just where I love to be at that time. 

Thirty Three Days, and Repo are books that do not fit into that category, and one I’m working on now, called Winter at the Light, is a romantic thriller about a young woman living on a remote island lighthouse when her father breaks a leg, which is set in 1952.

For me it’s all about inspiration, and when I get an idea, the only way I can explore it to write from that point forward. I’m not criticizing authors who stick to one genre; we can all beat to the sound of different drums. The other Stephen King got so typecast that his publisher would take nothing that wasn’t in his genre so he wrote under Richard Bachman, and lots of other writers are the same. I don’t want to limit myself but be free to write what excites me, and I think if I’m excited, hopefully that transfers onto the reader.

You’re also writing several different series. How do you keep everything in order?

I’ve written two trilogies, and continuity is challenging. In my case, the reason I wrote them was because I wanted to tell a story about the central characters, and knew I need more than one book to do so. Three Deadly Glimpses is a case in point, it’s about the attraction between two married people across three murder investigations, that they are thrust together to work on. It also explores the effect on their marriages if, and when they act on the desires they harbor.
When I’m writing I keep a notebook by my side and write down things like: the timeline for events, and also peoples names (it’s really frustrating three chapters later when a previous character comes back and I can’t remember their name).

When Book 3 was completed (Glimpse, The Tender Killer) I did five re-writes and read-throughs, trying to make sure I hadn’t done something in the wrong order – it was very taxing. When an author gets a trilogy right it can be an amazing journey because he, or she, has the time to really develop the characters and the situations they are placed in. Have I done a good job? Boy, I hope so. 

Tell us about your upcoming release and what made you want to write it?

I have two releases in Early April, and I am really thrilled about them. Firstly Book 1 of the trilogy (already published) Glimpse, Memoir of a Serial Killer will be released on audio. The narrator has done a breathtaking job, bringing just about the most evil man imaginable to life. He emailed me several times during production, because he was so taken with the book, he wanted to get the characters just right. It was very humbling, and he’s done an incredible job. While not a story for the fainthearted, it is a powerful story of a serial killer’s journey, from his perspective We also get to meet the two people who have to work together to catch him, and the instant attraction they feel for each other.

The second release is the print and E Book for Book 2 of the trilogy, Glimpse, The Beautiful Deaths and will be released worldwide on April the 10th.

As to why did I want to write it? It was the juxtaposition of two ideas I had at the same time, firstly a child, witnessing someone bleed out, and the effect it had on him, and secondly two married people working together who fancy the hell out of each other, but, they are married and come from different walks of life. In my life, some of my best friends have been women, some of who I’ve worked with, and I have felt that attraction. For me I love being attracted to a woman, flirting, and having fun, without actually taking that irrevocable step of doing something about it. I wanted to write about that, and the Glimpse series allowed me to do it.  

What are you working on right now?

One day, I was driving along, and an idea snuck into my head (this happens to me frequently) the idea was: The Lighthouse Keeper’s Daughter. Now I wasn’t thinking what to write next, I wasn’t thinking of lighthouses, it was just a random thought. So my next thought was: what about her? I then imagined her being alone on a remote island, her father gone to hospital and she is the temporary keeper of the light so he doesn’t lose his job. Then I thought, how can she fall in love on a lighthouse? Because a man washes ashore in a lifeboat, with a total memory loss, I answered………………

I’m now 15000 words in, it’s set in 1952 which was the era that lighthouses began to lose keepers to automation, so for me it’s romantic. This book becomes a thriller when two men turn up looking for the other man, and on a lighthouse, there is nowhere to hide.
Not a serial killer in sight!

If you would like to get in touch with Stephen, here are his contact links:
twitter: @stephenBKing1
Facebook: @stephenbkingauthor

Thank you, Stephen, for being my guest. 

I’d like to offer my sincerest thanks to Rebecca for hosting me, and asking such great questions. I’m always available by email, Facebook or Twitter, and I always respond. So if anyone has any other questions, fire away.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

A Lyrical New Romance

February is the perfect month to celebrate romance writers and that is just what we've been doing for the past few weeks. Today we present another writer who writes romance, but she is also bringing in a touch of suspense. That's always been my favorite type of romance. My guest in My Writing Corner is Amber Daulton. 

Tell us about how you became a writer. 

After I read my first romance book when I was 12 years old, I realized what I wanted to do with my life—write my own stories! And so I did. I got to work on a romantic suspense novel and finished it within six months. It’s my first attempt at writing, and though I've revised the MS several times over the years, it’s currently not published. My first published book finally hit the digital shelves in 2012, when I was 26. Lyrical Embrace is now my eleventh publication, and I have about ten more manuscripts on my computer just waiting to see the light of day.

Have you always wanted to write fiction?
Oh, yes. Fiction is so much more fun to me as both a reader and a writer. The real world is hard enough, so I gravitate to fantasy.

What are some of the challenges of being a writer?

For me, I sometimes have a hard time finding the time and the drive to write. Then there’s all the promoting and marketing I have to do. It gets overwhelming.

How do you come up with characters?

I’m not really sure. I just think about the types of people I admire, and sometimes I think about bad situations and the type of person who would be strong enough to come out the other side still standing.

Tell us about your new release and what made you want to write it?

Lyrical Embrace is book four in the Deerbourne Inn series (a multi-author collaboration of stories), and one of the requirements for submitting to the series was that the story has to have a “small town” feel. With that in mind, I right away pictured a young woman running away from the big city to escape her abusive boyfriend. It just kinda popped in my head. Since I mostly write romantic suspense, this idea worked.

My heroine, Erica, was in a bad relationship and finally found the courage to break free. Even though she found help, a new love, and a chance for a better future, the past was still looming over her. 

I think a lot of readers can sympathize with such a situation, especially those who have experienced abuse and neglect from someone claiming to love them.

I also love stories about music and rock stars, but I don’t like the cheating and drugs that go along with the lifestyle. I haven’t published a story featuring a musician yet, so I figured I should get on the ball and do it.

My hero, Dylan, has retired from the New York music scene, and he now teaches kids how to play instruments. He’s gotten his life back together after all the drama of being a semi-star, and he and Erica have an instant connection.

Despite the dark undertones, this story is fun, uplifting, and hot. The characters are real and flawed. I really enjoyed writing it, and I hope readers will love it.

What are you working on right now?

I’m currently revising book 2 in the Arresting Onyx series for submission to The Wild Rose Press. Arresting Jeremiah follows hardnosed parole officer Jim Borden and his obsession Calista Barlow as they stick their noses where they don’t belong and fall deep into the trouble with the criminal organization known as Onyx.

What different genre would you love to write in the future?

Sci/fi romance. I love stories about aliens, world invasions, and kinky sexual habits. Unfortunately, I don’t have any ideas for a story like that, but maybe one day my muse will speak to me about it. *Fingers crossed*

Let's hear more about Lyrical Embrace.  Here's the blurb:

Out-of-work violinist Erica Timberly decides enough is enough. She leaves her abusive boyfriend and flees the big city, but then her car breaks down in the middle of the night. Though wary of men, she accepts help from Dylan Haynes, a stranger driving by on the road, and soon recognizes him as the sexy former drummer of her favorite indie rock band. Maybe, just maybe, her run of bad luck is finally turning around.

Music teacher Dylan Haynes knows Erica is in trouble, and her black eye is only the first clue. The stubborn yet vulnerable woman needs a friend, but he’s determined to give her everything she deserves.

Will Erica listen to the music in her heart and trust Dylan, or will her past always threaten her future?

And here are the buy links:
Barnes and Noble –
Google Play –
The Wild Rose Press store –

If you would like to get in touch with Amber or learn more about her, here is her contact information:

Facebook Author Page –
Amazon Author Page –

Thank you, Amber, for introducing us to your latest work and the Deerbourne Inn series.
Comments or questions for Amber?

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Happy Valentine's Day with a New Romance

Happy Valentine's day to all and to celebrate I have the perfect book to recommend to readers looking for something romantic to read.  It's A Hundred Breaths, written by author Jean Grant and the best part is that this is part of a series so if you love this one, you'll have another to read in the future.

Jean writes historical and contemporary romances as well as women's fiction. She also writes articles for family-oriented travel magazines. Her background is in science and she draws from her interests in history, nature, but she says she also looks to her family for inspiration.  When she’s not writing or chasing children, she enjoys tending to her flower gardens, hiking, and doing just about anything in the outdoors.

I have featured her work before and always always enjoyed reading her books.  When I asked her to be a guest I told her I had one question for her about  her newest romance. The cover is gorgeous. I wanted to read it just from looking at the cover.

Why did you write the prequel and not a sequel?

When I wrote A Hundred Kisses it was set to be a standalone book. In fact, I had been writing stories set in 12th century Scotland for over a decade. After three practice novels, and much learning of the craft and business, I decided to leap forward to the 13th century and sprinkle in paranormal/mystical elements. Therein I found the magic! From that exploration arose Deirdre and Alasdair’s story in A Hundred Kisses: a ruthless baron, a dark past, a curse, deep secrets, and the mystical power of the Ancients. Not bad for a first book! (A little plug for Rosalind Ashford who narrated the audio book — her voice swept me away.).

I felt compelled to dig deeper into the mystical Silver Veil because Deirdre’s mother, Gwyn, also had a story to tell. It so happened to be a pivotal time period for the [end of the] Norse (Viking) reign. The stars aligned and what came forth was a story about a merciful Healer, a scarred man hellbent on vengeance, and several unrelenting Nordmen.

What's next? 

I'm writing the final book in the trilogy (hint: it’s about Deirdre and Alasdair’s child). Each story in my “hundred” series explores the powers of the Ancients: Healing (water), Feeling (fire), Seeing (Wind), and the grounding force of Earth. Each book is steeped in Scottish-Norse-English history. I’m looking forward to wrapping up my medieval Scotland adventure and excited to see where the next inkling takes me… A Hundred Kisses (book 2 in the trilogy), also available: Amazon and other online retailers.

Here's the blurb:

Healing his heart…with her last breath.
 1263, Scotland
 Simon MacCoinneach’s vengeance runs deep. The blade is the only way to end the blood-thirsty Nordmen’s reign upon Scottish soil. His soul might be lost, but the mystical Healer he kidnaps from the isles could be the answer for his ailing mother…and his heart.

Isles-born Gwyn reluctantly agrees to a marriage alliance with this heathen Scot in return for the sanctuary of her younger brother from her abusive Norse father. Her brother’s condition is beyond the scope of her Ancient power, for larger healings steal breaths of life from her own body.

As Simon and Gwyn fight to outwit her madman father and a resentful Norse betrothed, Gwyn softens Simon’s heart with each merciful touch. Gwyn’s Seer sister foresees a bloody battle—and an end to the Nordmen—but Simon will also die. Will Gwyn save Simon on the battlefield even if it means losing her last breath?

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Dreams Spark A Romantic Return

February is the month when I love to focus on reading romance, and I am always looking for wonderful new romantic adventures or those stories that let me close the book with a sigh of happiness at the happy ending.  That's why I was excited to find author Roxanne Howard's new book, When you Close your Eyes. 

Roxanne D. Howard is a U.S. Army veteran who has a bachelor's degree in Psychology and English. She loves to read poetry, classical literature, and Stephen King. Also, she is an avid Star Wars fan, musical theater nut, and marine biology geek. Roxanne resides in the western U.S., and when she's not writing, she enjoys spending time with her husband and children. Roxanne loves to hear from her readers, and encourages you to contact her via her website and social media.

Let's get the details on that new book, and it sounds like it is perfect February reading:

Dreams are the perfect shelter for fantasies, safe havens to step inside without changing our daily lives. For Lark Braithwaite, all that is about to change. During the last six months, Lark has dreamt of a mysterious Irish lover who knows what she wants and gives her exactly what she needs. In her waking life in busy London, things aren't as ideal as her long-term relationship with her controlling fiancĂ© Charles has hit a dry spell. 

When Lark is called home to Oregon for her father's funeral, she comes face to face with the demons from her past, but she never expects to meet her dream lover in the flesh. 
 Niall O'Hagan steps straight out of her fantasies and into her life, and the powerful connection they share rocks her foundation. Although she's dealing with the bitterness of her fiancĂ©'s betrayal and his jealousy, Niall soon stirs Lark's awareness of her superficial existence and reawakens her sexuality....and her soul.

Add to GoodreadsWhen You Close Your Eyes
by Roxanne D. Howard
Genre: Supernatural Romance

If you would like to learn more about Roxanne:

Follow the tour HERE for exclusive content and a giveaway!

Thank you, Roxanne, for being my guest.  Any questions or comments for Roxanne?

Mysterious Doings

As the  summer begins, it is time to start selecting those books we want to take on vacation or for sitting around the pool or at  the beach...