<![CDATA[Ally Shields, Author - Blog]]>Sun, 25 Jun 2017 10:38:19 -0700Weebly<![CDATA[Too Many Women in the Room: Book Spotlight]]>Sat, 24 Jun 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://allyshields.com/blog/too-many-women-in-the-room-book-spotlightPicture
                                       NEW RELEASE!                           

                           Too Many Women in the Room
                                 (A Gilda Greco Mystery)
                                     by Joanne Guidoccio


When Gilda Greco invites her closest friends to a VIP dinner, she plans to share David Korba’s signature dishes and launch their joint venture-- Xenia, an innovative Greek restaurant near Sudbury, Ontario.

Unknown to Gilda, David has also invited Michael Taylor, a lecherous photographer who has throughout the past three decades managed
to annoy all the women in the room. One woman follows Michael to a deserted field for his midnight run and stabs him in the jugular.

Gilda’s life is awash with complications as she wrestles with a certain detective’s commitment issues and growing doubts about her risky investment in Xenia. Frustrated, Gilda launches her own investigation and uncovers decades-old secrets and resentments that have festered until they explode into untimely death. Can Gilda outwit a killer bent on killing again?



EXCERPT:

“I’m a nobody here,” David said, glancing down at his plate. “And with my credit rating, none of the banks would endorse a loan. I’m screwed.”

“What if I backed you?” I couldn’t believe I was speaking so casually, all the while my heart beat at an alarming rate.

David rubbed a hand over his chin and flashed a grin at me. “Gilda, darling, you’re sweet to offer, but I don’t think you know what’s involved here.”

Susan nodded in agreement.

Were they playing me, I wondered. Since winning nineteen million dollars in Lotto649, I had encountered many sharks who hoped to prey on my easy-going nature. A quick Google search would have revealed my three-year-old lottery win. Old news, but still there on the second and third pages.

“Would one hundred thousand dollars be enough?” I asked. “In case you don’t know, I won a major lottery several years ago.” Since winning, I had received many proposals from across the province and had backed three local ventures. In each case, I had chosen to remain a silent partner.

David’s right hand trembled as he poured himself another glass of wine. Susan’s mouth dropped open, and she gave a little gasp.

“I take it that’s a yes,” I said.

More mild protests followed, and another bottle of wine disappeared. We were all a bit tipsy when we shook on the agreement. And so Xenia was born.

 
Book Trailer:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CORaCadAnbA

Buy Links:
 
Amazon (US):  https://is.gd/NRjAXT
Amazon (Canada):  https://is.gd/1pX3Bn
Kobo:  https://is.gd/5VwbTf
Indigo:  https://is.gd/o3ZKRW
The Wild Rose Press:  https://is.gd/1mns8Q
Barnes & Noble:  https://is.gd/NFHdlS


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About the Author:

In 2008, Joanne took advantage of early retirement and decided to launch a second career that would tap into her creative side and utilize her well-honed organizational skills. Slowly, a writing practice emerged. Her articles and book reviews were published in newspapers, magazines, and online. When she tried her hand at fiction, she made reinvention a recurring theme in her novels and short stories. A member of Crime Writers of Canada, Sisters in Crime, and Romance Writers of America, Joanne writes cozy mysteries, paranormal romance, and inspirational literature from her home base of Guelph, Ontario.

Where to find Joanne...

Website: http://joanneguidoccio.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/joanneguidoccio
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjoanneguidoccio
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/joanneguidoccio
Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/jguidoccio/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7277706.Joanne_Guidoccio



Giveaway:
 
Click on the Rafflecopter link below for your chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card.
 
https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/628069205/


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<![CDATA[Coffee Chat Author Interview: B.K. Stevens]]>Wed, 21 Jun 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://allyshields.com/blog/coffee-chat-author-interview-bk-stevensPicture
Welcome to our Wednesday book chat!

This week's guest is mystery author B.K. Stevens, who brought her YA martial arts mystery, Fighting Chance.

Thanks for visiting the blog, Bonnie! What may I get you to drink?

BK: I hate to admit this on a blog called Coffee Chat, but I’ve never finished a cup of coffee in my life. I’ve tried many times, but I simply don’t like it. I love hot tea—nothing fancy, just regular old tea loaded with caffeine. Lipton’s suits me fine. And I don’t put anything in it.

Ally: We consider ourselves equal opportunity drinkers! :) I suspect some of our readers in parts of the world where it isn't morning are drinking something a bit stronger. I'll have your tea ready in a moment. Meanwhile, please introduce yourself.



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About the Author:

B.K. (Bonnie) Stevens is the author of Fighting Chance, a martial arts mystery for young adults (Agatha and Anthony finalist). She’s also written a traditional whodunit for adults, Interpretation of Murder, which offers insights into deaf culture and sign language interpreting. In addition, she's published over fifty short stories, most in Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine. Some of those stories are included in Her Infinite Variety: Tales of Women and Crime, a collection published by Wildside Press. Some of B.K.’s stories have been nominated for Agatha, Anthony, and Macavity awards; one story won a Derringer. Another story won a national suspense-writing contest judged by Mary Higgins Clark. Currently, one of her stories is nominated for an Anthony. B.K. and her husband, Dennis, live in Virginia with their self-satisfied cat.
 
Not in my regular bio: "When I was in high school, I spent a summer working illegally in Canada, as the mother’s helper for a wealthy family."
 
Website:  www.bkstevensmysteries.com
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/author/bkstevens
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003534785806



INTERVIEW:

Ally:  How did you select the mystery genre? What about it intrigues you and readers?

BK:  I enjoy the challenge of constructing a whodunit—that’s a lot of fun—but I write other kinds of mysteries, too, including ones that aren’t built around puzzles. Basically, I read and write mysteries because I have old-fashioned tastes, and mysteries have the same elements as the nineteenth-century novels I love. Among other things, mysteries have real plots—plots with a beginning, a middle, and an end, plots shaped by the choices characters make and the actions they take. And most mysteries have at least some characters who, despite any flaws and limitations they may have, struggle to uncover the truth and see that justice is done. Modern literary fiction often portrays human beings as helpless victims of absurd circumstances, but mysteries usually insist we can and should try to understand the circumstances that shape our lives, can and should try to set things right. On the whole, I agree with the way mysteries see the world, and that’s why I write mysteries. (On my website, I explore these ideas further in an essay called “What’s Wrong with Mysteries?” You can find it at http://www.bkstevensmysteries.com/thoughts-about-mysteries/.)
 
Ally:  Did someone or something inspire you to write? If so, in what way?

BK:  My father definitely inspired me to write. He was an English professor (as I was for over thirty years—he inspired my choice of career, too). In any spare time he could find, he loved to write—novels, plays, humorous verse. He didn’t have much luck at getting published, but I think he was very talented. I can remember sitting on the floor in his study, reading or doing my homework while I waited for the next page to emerge from his manual typewriter. We discussed what he was writing, I made comments and suggestions, and he treated them with respect. He encouraged my writing, too: Even before I could read, I’d dictate poems and stories to him, and he’d type them up and bind them into folders. My father always made writing seem like the most fascinating, exciting thing a person could do. I should also mention my mother. When I was in second grade, she gave me a diary and told me to write something every day. It’s a good habit, and it made a difference.
 
Ally:  Have you thought about one of your books being made into a movie? Who would play the parts, if you could choose?
 
BK:  Of all the books and stories I’ve ever written, I think Fighting Chance would make the best movie. It’s like a cross between The Hardy Boys and The Karate Kid—it’s a fair-play whodunit laced with action and adventure, but it’s also a coming-of-age story about a teenager growing into adulthood as he studies a martial art. As I was writing the book, I had one actor clearly in mind—Chuck Norris. He’d be perfect in the role of Aaron, the Krav Maga teacher who becomes Matt’s mentor.  Thanks to my fifth-degree black belt husband, I’ve seen all of Mr. Norris’s movies (most many times), and I think his gentle, encouraging demeanor is just right for Aaron. As for Matt and Graciana, I don’t know the names of many teenaged actors, so I’ll say Matt could be played by a seventeen-year-old Mark Wahlberg, and Graciana could be played by a seventeen-year-old Eva Mendes. And I think William H. Macy and Karen Allen (first and fourth Indiana Jones movies) would be great as Matt’s parents.

Ally: I know we're going to learn more about Fighting Chance, the YA novel you're featuring today, but tell us about the main character and what kind of person he is.

BK:  Seventeen-year-old Matt Foley is a thoroughly nice guy with good instincts and a generous nature—for example, he won’t stand idly by when someone else is being bullied. But he sometimes gets taken in by a pretty face or a smooth talker, he's too quick to believe gossip, and he tends to think the people in his own popular crowd at school are superior to the misfits. He’s also a star basketball player and a talented martial artist who sees himself as a jock who’s bored with school—but he’s smarter than he thinks he is, and reading and writing interest him more than he’ll admit. Although he loves his parents and knows they’re good people, he can’t help feeling distant from them. By the end of the novel, Matt’s taken some important steps toward growing up.

Ally:  What is your next writing project?

BK:  Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine has accepted a story called “Death under Construction,” which will appear in the November/December 2017 issue; AHMM has also accepted a story called “One-Day Pass,” but that hasn’t been scheduled for publication yet. I’ve just about finished revising a novel featuring characters from one of my series for AHMM (the Iphigenia Woodhouse/Harriet Russo series) and plan to send it out during the next week or so. And I’m in the early stages of working on a nonfiction project, a collaboration with another writer.

Ally:  Since I enjoy urban fantasy so much, I have to ask this question. If you could have a supernatural power, what would it be and why?

BK:  Without a doubt, I’d choose super-speed. I could fix dinner in thirty seconds, clean the house in two or three minutes. And how wonderful it would be to pack an hour of exercise into a minute—provided, of course, that I’d still burn off the same number of calories I would in an hour. Another few minutes would be enough for me to zip through e-mail, tend to promotion, and take care of other routine tasks. Then I’d have lots of time left for reading and writing. I’d slow down and enjoy myself for those.

Ally:  It's time for one of my favorite parts, the short answer questions:
  • a.  Favorite book:  Jane Eyre
  • b.  Book you’re currently reading:  Taking the Stand: My Life in the Law (Alan Dershowitz)
  • c.  Favorite television program:  Columbo
  • d.  Favorite movie:  Casablanca
  • e.  Your pet:  Ari, our fifteen-year-old enormous gray calico
 
Ally:  It was terrific to have you visit, Bonnie! Thanks for stopping by. Before you go, let's check out your novel, Fighting Chance.

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Blurb for Fighting Chance (Poisoned Pen Press):
Genre: Young Adult mystery PG


When seventeen-year-old Matt Foley’s coach and mentor is killed in a sparring match at a tae kwon do tournament, the police decide it was a tragic accident. Matt’s not so sure.

With help from a few friends, including the attractive but puzzling Graciana Cortez, Matt learns the coach’s opponent, Bobby Davis, is a brutal, highly skilled martial artist, the central attraction at an illegal fight club. Now, Matt’s convinced someone hired Davis to murder the coach. But who would want to harm the coach, and why do it at a tournament?

Matt’s efforts to find the truth pull him into some dangerous conflicts. To improve his self-defense skills, he joins a krav maga class taught by a man who becomes his new mentor. Matt suspects that he’s going to need those skills, that some day he’ll have to face Bobby Davis himself.

Fighting Chance was an Anthony and Agatha finalist. Kirkus Reviews calls it “a smartly crafted mystery filled with suspense and intrigue.”
 
You can find Fighting Chance on Amazon— here.
or Barnes and Noble— here.




Hope to see everyone back next week!

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<![CDATA[Coffee Chat Author Interview: Nina Mansfield]]>Wed, 14 Jun 2017 01:18:10 GMThttp://allyshields.com/blog/coffee-chat-author-interview-nina-mansfieldPicture
Happy Wednesday, Booklovers!

Join me in welcoming Nina Mansfield and her YA mystery, Swimming Alone, to this week's Coffee Chat!
How do you take your coffee, Nina?

NINA:  I used to just drink it black, no sugar. Then I started adding a bit of milk. But I think I am going back to black!
 
Ally: Then black it is. My magic pot makes a smooth brew. :) While I do the honors, please introduce yourself to readers.


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BIO:
 
Nina Mansfield is a Connecticut based writer. Her debut novel, SWIMMING ALONE, a YA Mystery, was published in 2015 by Fire & Ice YA. Her short mystery fiction has appeared in Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine, Mysterical-E, Kings River Life Magazine, and anthologized in Fast Women and Neon Lights: Eighties-Inspired Neon Noir. Her graphic novel FAKE ID: BEYOND RECOGNITION (illustrated by Leyla Akdogan) will be published in installments online by PlumeSnake.com. Nina began her writing career as a playwright; she has written numerous plays, which have been published and produced throughout the world.
 
Something unique that isn't in your regular bio:  "My first language is Russian."
 
Contact Links:

 
My website: http://www.ninamansfield.com
My blog: http://notevenjoking.ninamansfield.com/
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/NinaMansfieldWriter
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NinaJMansfield
Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/ninamwriter/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4279557.Nina_Mansfield


INTERVIEW:

Ally:  How did you select your main genre? What about it intrigues you and readers?
 
NINA:  I’m not sure that I have a main genre! SWIMMING ALONE is a YA mystery. I’ve loved mysteries forever—started with Nancy Drew at a young age, and then discovered Agatha Christie, Lois Duncan, etc.—so I think it was natural for me to write mysteries. When I wrote the first draft of SWIMMING ALONE, I had just finished my first year teaching high school—so I think I had all of those young adult voices swirling around in my head. And because I still teach high school, I think those voices will continue to swirl for the foreseeable future. I’m currently working on another YA novel (which is sort of paranormal romance-thriller).
 
My short stories, however, aren’t YA, but some do feature characters in their late teens. I’m not sure why this age attracts me. Maybe it’s that young people often think they know everything, and they think they are invincible. This of course can lead to all sorts of problems, and problems lead to plots.
 
I also write plays that are neither YA nor mysteries. I tend to write a lot of 10-minute relationship comedies, but some of my plays are longer, and very serious in nature.
 
One of these days I would love to write a really dense and intricate historical mystery, because I really enjoy reading them!
 
Ally:   Do you have a writer's cave?
 
NINA:  My husband and I bought a 1900 Victorian last summer that really looks a bit like a haunted house. When I first stepped into the house I thought, “This is perfect for a mystery writer!” There were creaky stairs, doors that lead nowhere and stained glass windows. There’s a turret at the top of the house, and that is where I have my little writing office. And I need quiet! I have to be able to hear all the voices in my head!
  
Ally:   How do you spend your non-writing/non-editing time?
 
NINA:  I’m a high school drama teacher, which takes up a great deal of my time. I direct the school fall play—last year we did THE CRUCIBLE—and I advise a student directed spring play. I also produce a One Act Festival composed of student written work, which is quite fun!
 
I also have a three-year old daughter, who is very energetic and keeps me busy! Often I find myself in her world of make believe.
 
Other than that, I get to the theater whenever I can. I also enjoy gardening, yoga and cooking. One of these days, I will get back to my scrapbooking hobby too. I think it’s important for a writer to find non-writing ways of staying creative.
 
Ally:  Does your real life show up in your writing? In what ways?
 
NINA:  Oh yes, all the time! The town of Beach Point in SWIMMING ALONE is a fictionalized version of the oceanfront Rhode Island town where my grandparents would rent a cottage each summer. I often take real life locations, people and situations, and fictionalize them in my work. My upcoming short story “An Actor Prepares” refers back to the time I spent studying at the Moscow Art Theater in Russia, and drew upon some recent trips I took to the Bronx Zoo. The murders are always made up though!
 
Ally:  What is your next writing project? Anticipated release date?
 
NINA:  My graphic novel FAKE ID: BEYOND RECOGNITION is soon to be released online in installments at PlumeSnake.com. Seventeen-year-old Minnie VanCutler suffers an identity crisis after using the wrong fake ID. Aside from waking up with the world’s worst hangover, and being chased down by Russian mobsters, Minnie must battle her over-active conscience and rescue her doppelganger from a human trafficking ring.
 
I also have two short mystery stories that are scheduled for publication. “Gods and Virgins in the Big Easy,” will appear in issue three of Crime Syndicate Magazine, which should be out soon. “An Actor Prepares” is scheduled to be published in When Crime Never Sleeps (Murder New York Style 4), the fourth crime fiction anthology by members of the New York Tristate Chapter of Sisters in Crime, which should be out September 2017.

Ally:  And now for the short answer questions...
  • a. an item on your bucket list: Visit the Great Wall of China
  • b. manicure or pedicure:  Pedicure.
  • c. favorite tv program:  Currently, The Americans
  • d. high heels or sneakers:  Sneakers!
  • e. favorite book boyfriend:  Mr. Rochester.

 Ally:  Thanks so much for visiting the blog. Before you go rushing off to the rest of your busy life, let's show readers your YA mystery, Swimming Alone.

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BOOK BLURB:
 
SWIMMING ALONE
GENRE: YA Mystery, PG rated
 
The Sea Side Strangler is on the loose in Beach Point, where fifteen-year-old Cathy Banks is spending the summer with her aunt (who happens to be mystery writer Roberta McCabe).  Although thrilled to be away from her psychotic, divorcing parents, with no cell phone or internet access, Cathy is positive that her summer is going to be wretched. Just when she begins to make friends, and even finds a crush to drool over, her new friend Lauren vanishes.  When a body surfaces in Beach Point Bay, Cathy is forced to face the question:  has the Sea Side Strangler struck again? 
   
Buy Links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013Y4WE48
Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/569442
Fire & Ice:
http://www.fireandiceya.com/authors/ninamansfield/swimmingalone.html


Thanks for having coffee with us. Come back soon!

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<![CDATA[Coffee Chat Author Interview: Sandra de Helen]]>Wed, 07 Jun 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://allyshields.com/blog/coffee-chat-author-interview-sandra-de-helenWelcome, booklovers!
This week's guest is mystery writer Sandra de Helen.
Ally:  Good Morning, Sandra! Thanks for visiting the Coffee Chat. What may I get you to drink?

SANDRA:  I don’t drink coffee, I drink Irish Breakfast Tea with a bit of milk.
I got hooked on tea when I went to Ireland for a writer’s residency, and have been a tea drinker ever since.

Ally: My magic pot is excellent at tea also. So while I pour, please introduce yourself to readers.


About the Author:

Sandra de Helen, author of the LGBTQ thriller Till Darkness Comes also pens the Shirley Combs/Dr. Mary Watson series. She is a poet and a playwright. Her plays have been produced in the Philippines, Ireland and Canada, in thirteen of the United States, as well as Chicago and New York City. She is a member of Sisters in Crime and the Dramatists Guild. Her poetry chapbook All This Remains to be Discovered is available online and at Another Read Through Bookstore in Portland, Oregon. Samples of her work are available on her website.
Something not in my regular bio: "I was born and raised in rural Mid-Missouri. My latest play, The Missouri Cycle, is about my own family from 1951 to 1977, including my coming out as a lesbian in 1977. It includes four generations of women, drama, and humor."

Author contact links:

Email:   sandra@sandradehelen.com
Website:  http://sandradehelen.com/wp/
Twitter: @dehelen
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/SandradeHelenAuthor/


Interview:

Ally:   How did you select your main genre? What about it intrigues you and readers?
 
SANDRA:  Mystery is my main genre, and I've been reading mysteries since I first read the Complete Sherlock Holmes when I was about ten. Later I read Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys when we moved into town where there was a library and I wasn't allowed to read adult books. Before then I read whatever was in the house. But mysteries are a puzzle for the mind, and I enjoy them. Conan Doyle was a master at having the detective solve the crime and then show the reader how it was done. As a writer, I enjoy putting the puzzle together and then taking it apart, scrambling it for the reader, and letting them watch as Shirley solves it, with Dr. Mary Watson as her sidekick and narrator.
 
Ally:  Describe your writing process.  
 
SANDRA:  I'm one of those annoying writers who work every day, including weekends and holidays. I avoid writer's block by having too many writing projects. <grin> I work on one project, then another, then another -- often in the same day. I currently have a weekly column, have just finished a new play, have a novel in progress, and am writing an essay a week for 2017. My goal is to produce as much written material as I can. I have more stories than I can tell in a lifetime.
 
Ally: If you met your favorite author Val McDermid, what would you talk about?
 
SANDRA:  First, I would tell her that I bought a scarf she knitted and donated for a silent auction at the Golden Crown Literary Society conference. I'm sure she'd be impressed. Then, I would tell her how much I appreciate that she was writing lesbian feminist crime fiction in the 70's and ever since. (She writes several series now, not all lesbian, but all great.) She'd probably want to know when I'm going to sell millions of books like she does, and I'd smile mysteriously and say, "any day now, Val."
 
Ally:  Have you thought about one of your books being made into a movie? Who would play the parts, if you could choose?
 
SANDRA:  Of course I have. I frequently think about seeing Shirley and Mary on the big screen. Or the little screen. I'd love it if the producer who options my books wants to make a movie from each book, rather than jumbling the stories, or worse, just making up their own story and using my characters. But when they come calling, I will keep an open mind. Shirley and Mary are in their 30's and early 40's, so I'd love to see some of the "older" women actors in the roles. Charlize Theron as Shirley and Teá Leoni as Mary would be interesting. But what if they wanted to use women of color in the roles? That would be fine by me. Viola Davis as Shirley and Gabby Sidebe as Mary would be amazing.
 
Ally: What is your next writing project?
 
SANDRA:  I'm currently working on the third Shirley Combs mystery, entitled A Valley of Fear. Dr. Mary Watson is engaged and Shirley Combs is engaged in learning new skills when they are pulled into the world of crime organized by Dr. James Moriarty. Expected release now set for May, 2018.
 
Ally: I always love the short answer questions. Are you ready to start?
 
  • a.  Book you're currently reading:  Kate Kasten's Too Happy.
  • b. What comes first - character or plot?  Character first. Then the story, then the plot.
  • something unique in your handbag:  I carry my own chopsticks because I hate plastic flatware.
  • c. Your hobbies:  Baking, sewing, designing wallpaper.
  • d. If you couldn't write anymore, what would you want to do? Travel if I could. And create something, anything I was able to.
  • e.  Favorite place to write:  in my Eames Lounge chair in the corner between two windows, with my MacBook Air and a bottle of club soda.
 
Ally: It was a pleasure to share coffee with you. Before I let you go, please tell us about the book you brought for this week's feature, The Illustrious Client...



Book Blurb:

Book Two of the Shirley Combs and Dr. Mary Watson series, THE ILLUSTRIOUS CLIENT, shows us the private investigator and her sidekick sharing an office, and introduces their receptionist, Lix. They are hired to influence a young international pop star, Oceane Charles, to pry her away from her older, richer, player of a girlfriend.

The cast is made up of people with various ethnicities and backgrounds, and of course the job soon includes solving a murder mystery. Along the way, Mary discovers her latent lesbianism. Set in Portland, Oregon on a superyacht, in a hospital VIP room, at Rose Festival, and other fun places.

Buy Links (Note: 18+, alternative lifestyle):

Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/ILLUSTRIOUS-CLIENT-Shirley-Watson-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00GZ4W4JK
Apple: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/illustrious-client-unabridged/id898136443
Audible: http://adbl.co/1TVy2RN
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/1Usz8Em
Bookmate: https://bookmate.com/books/JkXPYQbV
Powell's: http://www.powells.com/book/the-illustrious-client-9780991079209/61-0
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/dehelen
Tanum (Norway): http://bit.ly/1XNueEt


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<![CDATA[Coffee Chat Author Interview: Nupur Tustin]]>Wed, 31 May 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://allyshields.com/blog/coffee-chat-author-interview-nupur-tustinHappy Wednesday, Booklovers! Welcome to this week's Coffee Chat
with mystery author, Nupur Tustin.
Ally:  So nice to meet you, Nupur! How do you take your coffee?

NT:  Decaf—it's my second cup of the day— no sugar, with just a splash of Cinnabon-flavored creamer, please.

Ally:  I love a woman who knows just what she wants. :) While I prepare our drinks, please introduce yourself to readers.


Author Bio:

A former journalist, Nupur Tustin relies upon a Ph.D. in Communication and an M.A. in English to orchestrate fictional mayhem. Childhood piano lessons and a 1903 Weber Upright share equal blame for her musical works. She also enjoys writing mystery short stories set in contemporary California. Look out for "The Evidence Never Lies" and "Mrs. Sutton's Project," both available on Amazon.
 
Something unusual that isn't in your regular bio:  "Before the kids came along, I used to like taking my sketch book, color pencils, and pastels along on trips. I've included a couple of landscapes: one from our trip to Yosemite, and one of a sunset at Venice Beach."

Haydn Series: ntustin.com
Music: ntustin.musicaneo.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ntustinauthor
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/NupurTustin


Interview:

Ally:  Let's begin with the genre of the book you're featuring with us today.

NT:  A Minor Deception is an enticing blend of historical, biographical mystery and cozy, PG-13.

Ally:  What made you choose the mystery genre? What about it intrigues you and your readers?

NT:  I enjoy history and biography and I simply love mysteries. How could I not combine the two? Historical mysteries, any kind of historical fiction, in fact, stimulates our imagination and curiosity. A good writer will get you so interested in the time period, that you'll want to find out more. Take the movie, The Immortal Beloved. It posits a theory about the identity of Beethoven's "immortal beloved" that's so psychologically compelling ,you want at once to find out if it's true. To make a long story short, it isn't. But would one have bothered to find out if the movie hadn't been so compelling?  I think not.


Ally:  How do you pick your characters and their names?

NT:  Since most of my characters for the Haydn Mystery Series were real-life personages, I'm forced to use the names they were christened with. So, in addition to Joseph Haydn, there's an Archduke Joseph, Holy Roman Emperor at the time. Joseph's younger brother was Johann. His mother was Anna Maria and his wife, Maria Anna! It's the kind of confusion no author would willingly wish upon their reader.

For my fictitious characters, I take recourse to the biographies and original material I study. I also look up names on the Internet, taking care to use only traditional names. But I like looking at the meanings of names, and thinking about whether they fit the character I have in mind.
Gerhard, for instance, means courageous. It makes me think of a tall, broad-shouldered, handsome Germanic male. But it also makes me think of a man who's loyal, whose love would never waver. A man a woman could fall in love with. In the second Haydn novel, Aria to Death,  Rosalie, the palace maid, finds herself attracted to Gerhard, the tavern-keeper of Kleinhöflein. Should it develop into a love interest? I don't know.

Ally:  I've found even mystery authors would like to have supernatural powers. Which one would you want, and why?

NT:  Well, since I write historical mysteries, it would be wonderful if my mind could roam easily back to eighteenth-century Austria. So much of history is conjecture and interpretation. I was reminded of this quite forcefully when a reader asked me about shaved heads and wigs. The historians I turned to couldn't agree on the subject. So, it would be fantastic to travel back in time and get ready answers to all my questions.
I'm told psychics can go into the immediate past to pick up images from crime scenes. I wonder if a psychic could go back a few hundred years, perhaps even be transported back to the past by the simple ruse of touching a garment that an individual had worn or an object they had owned. It's quite fascinating.

Ally:   How do you spend your non-writing/non-editing time?

NT:  I have three young children, so much of my time is spent with them. We go to the library together—the youngest, 22 months, in the stroller and the two older kids, 5 years and 3, respectively, pushing him. We read books. There are diapers to be changed. The kids have to be coaxed into eating their meals. There are frequent messes to clean up. Hunter, my youngest, loves bringing in buckets of sand and dumping it all over! I find piles of sand, with trains buried in them, in the most unexpected places.
Evenings are spent with my husband watching the Murdoch Mysteries while the kids watch Clifford or SuperWhy in their room. When I can, I play the piano, and we all like singing and listening to music.

Ally:  What is your next anticipated project?

NT:  I'm editing Aria to Death, the second Haydn novel and researching Prussian Counterpoint, the third novel in the series. I'm often asked whether Haydn uses his musical expertise to solve mysteries—the assumption being that as a musician he must be a musical-minded version of Neal Caffrey, who in the show White Collar uses his art expertise to solve art and other white collar crimes for the FBI.
Well, I'm happy to report that Haydn does a sort of Caffrey in Aria to Death. Apparently the entire set of Monteverdi's operatic works—mostly lost to us—have surfaced. The works are so valuable that quite a few people are willing to kill for it. Haydn needs to find the killer, and is called upon to authenticate the scores.

Ally: Let's wind up with a few short answers questions. Ready set go...
  • a.  Favorite Book:  This is a tough one. I have so many. It's hard to choose between Stephanie Barron's Jane Austen series, Susan Wittig Albert's Beatrix Potter and China Bayles series, Anne Perry's inimitable Victorian mysteries, and Victoria Thompson's Gaslight Mysteries.
  • b.  An author living or dead that you'd like to take to lunch:  I'd like to take two: Agatha Christie and Arthur Conan Doyle. We'd probably have fun dreaming up ways to murder people! It would all have to be done in a way that would eventually lead to the killer being apprehended, of course.
  • c.  Favorite TV program:  It's a toss-up between the Murdoch Mysteries and Person of Interest.
  • d.  A guilty pleasure:  Coffee. I was raised to believe that caffeine, especially the kind in coffee, is very bad for you. To have more than one cup makes me feel I've sinned—but it's such a delightful sin, who can resist? I mostly drink decaf, of course.
  • e.  Your hobbies:  I enjoy painting and playing the piano. I don't suppose I can call writing a hobby any more. But it sort of still is.
Ally: Thank you for joining us today. Before you go, please tell readers more about A Minor Deception.

Blurb:

Kapellmeister Joseph Haydn would like nothing better than to show his principal violinist, Bartó Daboczi, the door. But with the Empress Maria Theresa's visit scheduled in three weeks, Haydn can ill-afford to lose his surly virtuoso. 

But when Bartó disappears--along with all the music composed for the imperial visit--the Kapellmeister is forced to don the role of Kapell-detective, or risk losing his job.Before long Haydn's search uncovers pieces of a disturbing puzzle. 

Bartó, it appears, is more than just a petty thief--and more dangerous. And what seemed like a minor musical mishap could modulate into a major political catastrophe unless Haydn can find his missing virtuoso. 
 
Amazon, B&N, iTunes, Kobo 


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<![CDATA[Memorial Day 2017]]>Sun, 28 May 2017 15:49:57 GMThttp://allyshields.com/blog/memorial-day-2017]]><![CDATA[Coffee Chat Author Interview: Marilyn Levinson]]>Wed, 24 May 2017 07:00:00 GMThttp://allyshields.com/blog/coffee-chat-author-interview-marilyn-levinsonHappy Wednesday, Booklovers!
Welcome to this week's coffee chat with mystery/romantic suspense author,
Marilyn Levinson.
Ally:  Good Morning, Marilyn. I'm making coffee. How do you take yours?

ML:  I grind French roast coffee beans for my morning coffee, which I drink in a mug with a teaspoon or so of Carnation milk. Never any sugar. I sometimes have coffee after lunch and/or in the evening after dinner. If I have coffee in the evening, I mix coffee beans – half French roast, half decaffeinated French roast.

Ally:  I believe my magic pot is up to fixing your usual morning brew. While I'm busy with that, please introduce yourself to readers.


BIO:
A former Spanish teacher, Marilyn Levinson writes mysteries, romantic suspense and novels for kids. Ghosts, witches and cats appear in many of her books. Marilyn’s Young Adult novel, THE DEVIL’S PAWN, includes horror and supernatural elements against an ordinary background.
DEATH OVERDUE, the first in her Library Ghost mystery series and written under the pseudonym Allison Brook, will be out in October, 2017.
 
Marilyn likes traveling, foreign films, reading, knitting, Sudoku, dining out, and talking to her grandkids on Face Time. She lives on Long Island.
 
Something about you that isn't in your regular bio: "While I love to spin my tales, I find it difficult to sit down to work on my WIP. Therefore, I write best in the late afternoon, when the words pour out and my pages get written."
 
website: http://www.marilynlevinson.com
my Amazon page:
https://www.amazon.com/Marilyn-Levinson/e/B001KHVLUU
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/marilyn.levinson.10?ref=ts&fref=ts
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/161602.Marilyn_Levinson
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MarilynLevinson
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/marilev/ 


Interview:

Ally: While you frequently write mystery and romantic suspense, I understand you've brought something a little different today.
 
ML:  Yes, THE DEVIL’S PAWN is a YA with some horror and supernatural elements and no romantic scenes.
 
Ally:  As long as we're talking supernatural, what kind of supernatural power would you like to have and why?
 
ML:  I would love to have the ability to travel instantaneously from one place to another. My second favorite supernatural power would be to be invisible. These are two powers that Rufus Breckenridge, my protagonist in RUFUS AND MAGIC RUN AMOK is working to develop in the second book in the series, RUFUS AND THE WITCH’S SLAVE.
 
Ally:  Talk about the main genres you write and why you chose them.
 
ML:  Perhaps it’s because I’m a Gemini that I write in two main genres, mysteries and novels for kids, and love writing them both. I didn’t choose them—they chose me. I started writing novels for kids when my two sons were small. I still enjoy writing from the point of view of a young person who is first experiencing his or her sense of self and abilities.
 
I love writing mysteries because of the danger and solve-the-puzzle elements. Writing mysteries allows an author to explore the dark side of human nature. I love to write about my characters’ relationships with one another and to delve into their past secrets which impact their present decisions and actions. Writing mysteries gives me free rein to do this and more.
 
Ally: Where do you write? Do you have a writer's cave? Do you listen to music?
 
ML:  I write in my upstairs office. I have a large computer screen because my vision isn’t the greatest. I hate to admit that my desk is covered with papers of all sorts. I always mean to clear it up; I even start to put things in order, but I don’t get very far. I’m surrounded by books—in book cases, piled on another desk, stacked on a low filing cabinet, and I’ve small pictures of cats I’ve cut out and pasted on the side of one of my bookcases. I’ve a printer, of course, pictures and small tapestries on the wall from places I’ve visited. My red cat Sammy always sleeps on the floor a few feet from my chair.
 
I don’t listen to music when I write. I prefer silence. I occasionally look outside my window.
 
Ally:  What is your next writing project?
 
ML:  My cozy mystery, DEATH OVERDUE, the first in my Haunted Library Mystery series, will be out in October. Carrie Singleton forgoes her purple hair and Goth attire to become head of programs and events of the Clover Ridge Library. She finds herself embroiled in solving a cold case and a new murder with the occasional help of the library’s sixty-something ghost amid family squabbles, romance and discovering her place in life. Those who have already read DEATH OVERDUE find it fun read.
 
Ally: It sounds like an enjoyable read. I'll put it on my Watch For list. Okay, now, I love quick answer questions. Shall we try a few?
  • a. favorite book: I’ve two favorite books that are as different as night and day (remember, I’m a Gemini) One is Edith Wharton’s HOUSE OF MIRTH; the other is Vikram Seth’s A SUITABLE BOY
  • b. book you're currently reading: I’m reading Tracy Weber’s A FATAL TWIST (a mystery) and Margaret George’s THE CONFESSIONS OF YOUNG NERO
  • c. favorite tv program:  “Blue Bloods” is one of my favorite shows 
  • d. favorite accessory: I love earrings. And shoes. I wear 8 narrow, and it’s difficult to find many shoe styles in narrow sizes. I don’t wear very high heels any longer. Love sandals.
  • e. What are your hobbies? Reading, doing crossword puzzles, Sudoku, knitting
 
Ally: I've enjoyed our visit today. Thank you for coming. Before you go, let's show readers your YA book. Please tell them a little about your main character and the plot of The Devil's Pawn.

Simon Porte is a fifteen-year-old boy who is suddenly orphaned and brought to live in an upstate New York town by a relative he’s never met before. Simon doesn't trust Uncle Raymond, and for good reason. Raymond is dying and using his powers to take over Simon's body. Simon and his allies—his dotty great-aunt Lucinda, his sister whom he finds living with another relative, and a pair of odd twins—wage war against the evil Raymond and his cronies. 

Buy Links:

Amazon:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01HF6PBQO
B&N:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-devils-pawn-marilyn-levinson/1122618948?ean=2940153383200
Kobo: 
https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-devil-s-pawn-4 

 Don't forget to check out her mysteries too!
https://www.amazon.com/Marilyn-Levinson/e/B001KHVLUU


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<![CDATA[Armed Forces Day 2017]]>Sat, 20 May 2017 15:04:10 GMThttp://allyshields.com/blog/armed-forces-day-2017Thank you for your service.
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<![CDATA[Coffee Chat Author Interview: S. L. Smith]]>Tue, 16 May 2017 23:53:46 GMThttp://allyshields.com/blog/coffee-chat-author-interview-s-l-smith

Welcome to the Coffee Chat!
This week's guest is S.L. Smith, author of the Pete Culnane Mystery Series.

Ally:  It's nice to meet you, Sharon. What may I get you to drink?

SL: I never got into coffee. Each morning, I depend on Diet Coke, preferably lime flavored, to wake me up.

Ally: Since I keep a fully stock fridge, I'll grab a diet coke while I'm pouring my coffee. Okay, now, shall we get right to it?
Tell us what kind of mysteries you write.

SL: They are as close as you can get to a cozy with cops doing the investigating. Romantically, they're G-rated. Don’t even merit a PG.

Ally:  What influenced you choose to write mysteries? What about this genre intrigues you and readers?
 
SL:  Mysteries have been my favorite genre for as long as I can remember. I love trying to solve the crime before the cops, PI, amateur sleuth, whomever. I also feel compelled to understand what drove the criminal. A bonus is that this genre permits me to utilize my career in public safety and my degree in psychology.
 
While reading mysteries, I often wondered if I could write one that succeeded in entertaining readers. I also took on this genre because writing a novel requires immersing myself in the story for hundreds of hours. Since I appreciate a touch of humor and a bit of romance, both find their way into my novels.
 
While speaking with my readers, I regularly hear that they didn’t figure out who dunnit until the very end. I often hear they anxiously await the next book, because they want to know what happens to my two protagonists and their families.
 
Ally:  Do you have a writer's cave? Describe it or tell us where you do most of your writing. Does it have to be quiet or do you write with music or white noise (TV, etc)?
 
SL:  I’ll attack this question going back to the environs for my first 3-1/2 books. My computer is in my kitchen. It sits on a stand to the right of my kitchen table. There is no better location. My space is rather confined. Actually, this works quite well. When I’m immersed in the first draft, editing, etc., I tend to work 12 to 16 hours per day. In this location, I’m seconds away from the refrigerator and the microwave. Okay, I admit it. I don’t get carried away with food preparation. The fewer steps required, the more I like it. With this arrangement, I can prepare a meal and eat it while I work without breaking my train of thought. As you’ve no doubt deciphered, no one else is dependent on me for their sustenance.
 
I require white noise while I write. For that reason, the news version of my local NPR station is always on while I write. Occasionally, I catch a headline, but I’m typically oblivious to much of what is being said. I cannot listen to music while I write. It’s impossible to keep from singing along. Haven’t tried it, but it seems unlikely I could sing and write anything that made sense or was worth reading. Perhaps I shouldn’t be so closed minded. Maybe I should give it a try, huh?    
 
Ally:   Do you prefer to read standalones or series? Which do you prefer to write?

SL:  I prefer a series. When an author draws me in, when I grow attached to a character, they become a friend. I want to get to know them better than one book can reasonably reveal. I want to continue to experience life with and through them. Granted I can write my own ending, but I’m interested in more than the answers to the questions raised in the concluding pages or paragraphs and left to the reader’s imagination.
 
When I wrote Blinded by the Sight, the first Pete Culnane mystery, I didn’t envision it as the first book in a series. I became attached to Pete and his partner, Martin Tierney. The rest is history. I do not use an outline. When my fingers contact the keyboard, the story begins to take shape.
 
For that reason, I don’t know Pete and Martin’s futures beyond what each book reveals. For example, I know Pete, a widower, and his fiancée want children. I assume they will have some. I don’t know when, how many or if they will be boys, girls, or some combination. How long will Pete and Martin remain partners? Will Pete stay with the St. Paul Police Department? Will his fiancée be able to cope with the stress that now goes along with being married to a cop? Will there be a price to pay? What will Pete do after he retires from the PD?
 
Will Martin survive his son’s teen years? Will those years change their relationship? What impact will the undiagnosed illness plaguing Martin’s wife have on the family? And on and on and on.
 
Some day, I hope to know all these things. The answers must wait until Pete and Martin have a chance to tell me.
 
Ally:  How much research do you do?
 
I do a plethora of research for all of my novels. I’m talking more than a hundred hours per book. This research takes a variety of forms.
 
Telephone conversations and face-to-face meetings:
 
* I verify police procedures with a retired police chief, discuss what a cop would be thinking in a variety of predicaments, those sorts of things.
* While working on Blinded by the Sight, the First Pete Culnane mystery, I called the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office, seeking information on everything from what would be worn to a crime scene to procedures to documentation. I gave him a courtesy copy of that book. We became friends, and he is now a resource for all my books.
* I wanted to know how an emergency room would deal with a victim from arrival at the ER to declaring time of death and beyond. An emergency medicine physician has been a resource for books two through four.
* For book two, Running Scared, I did computer research and contacted an expert on cars to find a pre-air bags vehicle.
* I called the local high schools to find out about dress codes, times school started and ended, earliest time buses picked kids up, detention.
* My third book, Murder on a Stick is centered around the Minnesota State Fair. I spent hours on the Internet followed by days at the fair going from booth to booth, researching everything sold on a stick. I also spoke with firefighters and police officers working at the fair, regarding how they would hear about the incident and what they would do. I interviewed a former IBM employee to learn why an IBM plant was created in Rochester, Minnesota. I obtained State Fair trivia from an information booth volunteer. 
* For book four, Mistletoe and Murder, I went to and ate at the Greek restaurant where the crime occurs. The manager provided the New Year’s Eve menu. I checked out the restrooms and the skyways connecting the Union Depot with other downtown St. Paul buildings. I went to the condominium and apartment entrances at Galtier Plaza to learn the layout.
* An acquaintance with first-hand knowledge of recognizing a heroin user provided information on tell-tale signs.
  And so on. BTW, I’m amazed at how willing these people are to share their time, knowledge, and expertise.
 
Online research:
 
* I use Google Maps, and I drive and walk through areas where books are set, gathering important details about relevant neighborhoods.
* For book four, I did an Internet search for expensive shoes, the history of St. Paul’s Union Depot, the pandemic influenza outbreak of 1918 to 1919, soldiers returning from WWII by train, the polar vortex . . .
 
Did I hear someone scream, “Enough already!”  Okay. I’ll stop.
 
Ally:  What is your next writing project?
 
SL:  In 2014, I became my mother’s caregiver. Since then, I rarely have the solitude I require to write. Writing is now a luxury.  It took three years, but I succeeded in completing Mistletoe and Murder: The Fourth Pete Culnane Mystery. Prior to last fall, I doubted this would ever happen. That project turned the last six months into a series of marathons. Until recently, I’d given no thought to book five.
 
Now I’m permitting myself to believe there will be a fifth book. I’m currently evaluating potential sites, determining where the crime will occur. St. Paul has so many possibilities. They include: the St. Paul Saints baseball stadium, the State Capitol building, the St. Paul Cathedral, the location for the annual Red Bull Crashed Ice competition, the Ice Castle connected with the 2018 St. Paul Winter Carnival, and the Vikings stadium during the 2018 Super Bowl. 
 
Each of my novels touches upon a social issue. I’m planning on it being human trafficking in the next Pete Culnane mystery. I’m a pantser. I don’t outline. I just sit down and type away as the story comes to me. For that reason, the social issue could change, but that seems unlikely, and I’m currently researching the topic.
 
Ally:  Let's wind up with a few short answer questions:
  • a. favorite TV program: This is a tough one. I love both Blue Bloods and Designated Survivor. If I have to select just one, Blue Bloods.
  • b. favorite movie: The Lake House with Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves.
  • c. high heels or sneakers: Definitely sneakers! I’m long on comfortable.
  • d. hiking or sunbathing: Definitely hiking, unless I can sunbathe while doing something other than sitting on a chaise lounge or lying on a towel.
  • e. favorite song: There are lots of contenders. Since I can only name one, I’ll select Be Not Afraid. I was in church one weekend and feeling very low. Felt like I’d been abandoned. We sang that hymn, and the words struck a chord. An overwhelming  weight became bearable.
Ally: Thanks so much for visiting. Before you go, can you give us a sneak peek at the latest Pete Culnane, Mistletoe and Murder, releasing August 1, 2017? (That gives us plenty of time to catch up on the first three books!)

Auld Lang Syne with a Twist
 
As Collette Hammond orchestrates an elaborate New Year’s Eve wedding reception for her brother in St. Paul’s historic Union Depot, she never anticipates the evening might end in her own mysterious death.
St. Paul police detectives Pete Culnane and Martin Tierney are called away from their holiday celebrations to investigate, launching a trip through a labyrinth of intrigue and deception.
 
Buy Links books 1-3. Mistletoe and Murder isn’t available until August 1.:
 
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/S.L.-Smith/e/B005GVK1DO/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_6?qid=1493475810&sr=1-6
 
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/S.L.+Smith/_/N-8q8?_requestid=1153683



About the Author:
Bio:
S.L. Smith grew up in small town Minnesota, learned to love St. Paul while attending college there, and became rooted in the people-oriented atmosphere of the Twin Cities. Her long career alongside law enforcement and fire officials while with the Minnesota Department of Public Safety inspire and inform her novels.

Something not in your regular bio: "I was such a tomboy that in a moment of exasperation, my mom once said, 'Well, we always wanted two boys anyway.'”

Links:
 
Website: www.slsmithbooks.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100001627700301&ref=ts&fref=ts
Facebook Author Page: https://www.facebook.com/SLSmithauthor2012/?ref=ts&fref=ts
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4575682.S_L_Smith



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<![CDATA[Character Interview: Chrys from "The Pendragon Crystal" by Kath Boyd Marsh]]>Thu, 11 May 2017 04:39:54 GMThttp://allyshields.com/blog/character-interview-chrys-from-the-pendragon-crystal-by-kath-boyd-marshPicture

Welcome, Booklovers!

We're doing something a little different today. Instead of the author, Kath Boyd Marsh, we're visiting with Chrys, a character from Marsh's short story, "The Pendragon Crystal," on pre-order now in the anthology,
Dragons and Witches: Fairy Tale Villains Reimagined.

Ally: Nice to have you with us, Chrys.

Chrys: Hello Ally. Morgan and Myrlin are busy...doing stuff, so I volunteered to be your interviewee about Scribe Kath’s story in the new book: Dragons and Witches: Fairy Tale Villains Reimagined. Our story is The Pendragon Crystal. I'm Morgan's friend, and yes, we finally went on a date, but I don't want to discuss that.

You need to know I am not a Fairy Tale. And I am not a villain, and neither is Morgan. And of course Myrlin is a wizard, so he's not evil, just weird. You don't need to mention that to him either.

Ally: It’s nice Kath chose to write your true story. Many people think dragons are evil killers, and they're afraid of them.

Chrys: Uh, well… Humans can be kind of, no offense, but uninformed. I want to straighten that out. I’ve read your books--The Guardian Witch series is my favorite—and you know about Otherworld creatures. So you know what’s a fairy tale and what’s for real. You aren’t scared of me, are you? I mean since I’m real and all?

Ally: Are you kidding? I have fictional friends, such as witches, vampires, werecreatures, elves, and ghosts. There's even a dragon who makes a brief appearance in the book I'm working on right now.

Chrys: Excellent. I guess Kath did okay setting up this interview. So what do you want to know?

Ally: Let’s start with what the new book is about.

Chrys: It’s not a whole book about Morgan and me. It’s a YA anthology with ten stories by ten writers in all. The Pendragon Crystal is right in the middle. The best is in the middle, right? Did you see the Kirkus review of the book…and of our story? http://bit.ly/2ntTbXV. They liked our story!

Ally: Yes. Very nice. But what are the stories about?

Chrys: Like I said, ten stories, the fifth, ours being the best, all about … ‘Fairy Tale Villains’ only reimagined. Again, I am not a villain.

Ally: Okay, I believe you, Chrys. I'm still not clear on what you mean by 'reimagined.'

Chrys: That’s easy. All the book's scribes have written about the witches and dragons that people haven’t heard about. Like in Morgan and my story. Ours is kind of a twist on human Arthurian legends. Instead of Arthur Pendragon and his son Morgan being human, silly thought, our scribe Kath wrote the truth about the Pendragons being real dragons. Explains the magic better, right?

The story starts with a ‘normal’ day for Morgan. This was about six months after his father, King Arthur Pendragon, was kidnapped by his uncle Uthur. Morgan and the rest of his family have been hidden by Myrlin on the human plane. And, yes, everybody who is dragon looks human on the human plane. So Morgan goes to his Grove Township High School classes like usual, but that day everything changes. That’s where I step in. There’s a cool battle, and … you’ll have to read the book to find out who wins. And to find out why I’m in on this whole battle thing.

Ally: Since you're here talking to me, you and Morgan must have won.

Chrys: Are you sure? Maybe we were defeated, but I escaped. Maybe I’m here to recruit an army. Maybe I need your Guardian Witch and her crew to help us out.
Oh, did you hear that? No? Myrlin is calling me. Wizards can be so pushy.

Ally: Then I guess you'd better go. I hope you'll come back, and let us know how it turned out. Or I guess we can just wait and read the book on June 1! We'll be watching for it!



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Dragons and Witches
by Madeline Smoot (Editor)
 
Dragons and witches have traditionally been the creatures of nightmares, the villains of fairy tales that are intended to haunt readers long after the stories have finished. Ten authors reimagine these villains in different guises and styles and in new and meaningful ways. In the end readers will be left wondering, are bad guys always bad?

Kirkus Review: http://bit.ly/2ntTbXV

Purchase (Pre-Order):

Amazon - http://amzn.to/2nOX8tv
Barnes & Noble: http://bit.ly/2nmMhUh


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About the Author:

At seven years old Kath Boyd Marsh self-published her first fantasy on lined notebook paper, stapled together by her grandfather, and starring a creature based on her little sister. Before Kath moved to Richmond, KY to write about dragons, wizards, and other fantastic creatures, she lived in seven states, Panama, and one very haunted house. The Lazy Dr'gon and the Bumblespells Wizard was her debut novel.

Author links:

kathboydmarshauthor.com 
kath-lettersfromearth.blogspot.com
Twitter:
@kmarshfen



Watch for more from this author coming in 2017, 2018 and beyond!

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