• Virtual Book Tour

    No Innocent Affair by Edward F. Mrkvicka Jr.

  • Science Fiction

    Renegades by Sara Mason

  • Inner City Strength by Dwight Slaughter

    Sometimes the game is all you have to save your life.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Chatting with Kiki and Steven Howell - The Sorcerer's Songs and Weathervanes


Today I am pleased to welcome Kiki and Steven Howell.  I have had the pleasure of interviewing this couple and it's quite an interesting story on how The Sorcerer's Songs came about.  So I will be joining them on Kiki's favorite dock by Twin Lakes as we discuss her newest release along with her husband's Weathervanes CD.

Hello Steven and Kiki.  Thank you so much for chatting with me today.  I love the cover art for both the book and the CD,  they are absolutely inviting.


BK:  (Kiki) What inspired this novel?

KH:  This story was inspired by my husband’s music which has touched me in indescribable ways, and not just the songs he has written for me ;) He is an amazing singer/songwriter, I think, because he is so compassionate as well as a deep thinker. His song, “The Road,” has always got to me, stayed in my mind long after listening to it. There is just something about it, something that boarders on fear actually. Having regrets has always been a scary idea for me.

Plus, I have always marveled at how my husband can tell a story in under four minutes in his songs. And, “The Road,” well it said so much that it conjured a whole story in my head. While the song does not mention a sorcerer in any way, it seems writing about more mystical things is just what I do. So, before I knew it, the hero had powers, ones often shown in his music which made perfect sense in my mind. 

BK:  (Steven)  What are your thoughts on Kiki using your music to write a novel?

SH:  I was actually asked this question before in another interview, so I hope you don’t mind if I give you the same answer.

“I have to say that, at first, I had no reservations about the marriage between this book and my music; a marriage seemed appropriate, after all. But I must say that I began to feel a bit anxious as Kiki asked repeatedly if I thought this might not be a good idea. I guess I imagined that she was worried about something, and that maybe I should be worried about something too. But I couldn’t find anything to be fearful about. Once I read the book, I was not just relieved, I was fascinated – intrigued by what the music had led her to imagine and ultimately create. It was very rewarding. For years, she had inspired my writing, and it was moving to know that I inspired hers as well.”



BK:  That is fantastic,  I find it so...well lack for a better word,  beautiful that you two have brought your art together in such a manner.   When did you start playing guitar?

SH:  I started relatively late - 18 years old.

BK:  Kiki said that your song "The Road" is what inspired this story,  how did this song come to be?

SH:  "The Road" is the result of one of those moments when you look at your life, the choices that you made, and any regrets that you have about them, and then making peace with them. It's really the moment of realization that only I am responsible for who I am.

BK:  How hard is it for you to compose your music?

SH:  Writing music is not difficult for me because I tend to avoid it until it knocks on the door. If I wrote like my wife, each day for so many hours, I'm sure I would answer differently.



BK:  (KIki)  How different was it to write a story based on your husbands music?

KH:  I can’t tell you what a HUGE responsibility it is to take someone else’s creative work and then use it in your own. With this story I not only put myself out there, but I dragged my husband along with me for the ride. I can’t say thanks to him enough for allowing me to do that. I’m sooo fortunate to have such a loving husband, a best friend, who has always gone above and beyond to support my dreams. This story is just another in an endless line of examples of that during our marriage.

BK:  How difficult was plot and character development?

KH:  Not at all. The story kind of snowballed into existence actually, then practically wrote itself. Once I started the story from the original song, other songs my husband recorded started coming to me as well. So, I sat down one afternoon and listened to his newest CD. I got an idea, started sorting the songs and building a plot. In the end, each song seemed to have it’s place. My husband said it was amazing how songs he wrote for completely different reasons started to feel like the sorcerer had written them to perfectly match his fictional life.

Back to the paranormal element though, to me music often has magical effects on my own moods, etc. So I started researching the idea. I wasn’t alone in my thoughts finding music studies in psychology, but also used in Wiccan spells. I started to weave this in to the developing story line, to the reasons he sang his songs. It just all seemed to fit together so easily. One idea rolled into the next until I think my snowball ended up a snowman. It is amazing what the right inspiration can do!!!


BK:  How long have you been writing?

KH:  I got back into it in 2007 after over a decade away. But, prior I had been going to college to teach English and was just writing stories for classes and such. I had that dream of being a writer though my whole life.

BK:  How many titles do you have under your belt now?

KH:  Ah, I am at 21 published stories now if you count all the short stories I have out in different anthologies. Plus, I have five stories with release dates in 2011 already, and 6 currently submitted. I keep a very detailed submission and publishing history. I’m a list maker like that.

BK:  (Steven)  Have you read your wife's other books?

SH: - I'm embarrassed to admit that I haven't read everything that she's written  - it is on my "to do" list, but I have read her work.

KH: – As the wife I would like to interject here, that my husband is too hard on himself when it comes to this. And, given what I write, romances where men are not really the main target audience, I have often told him to not even try to read it all. He was the one who endlessly encouraged me to start writing again, who  read and encouraged me to submit my first stories, and who after getting my first contracts told me to make writing my full time job.

BK:  I have to agree with you there,  about romance not usually being a man's cup of tea.  Kudos to you Steven for having read her work though.  Steven I have one last question for you,  Do you feel the same way about your music as Kiki does?  Does it move you in some way after you have the finished product?

SH:  If it doesn't seduce me at the beginning, I usually won't return to it. So, I am usually moved in one way or another when the song is finished.

BK:  (Kiki)  What is the one piece of advice that you were given that you still use today in your writing?

KH:  Actually, I have picked up many great ones along the way from various editors I’ve worked with.  Let’s see, one issue that comes up a lot for a paranormal author is building a believable world without info dumping. A good fix for this is a good conversation. In my latest work, my character was often alone, so praise the cell phone and calling the best friend option!

BK:  What advice can you give to new and aspiring authors?

KH:  Best thing I ever heard was to write the story in your heart. It was on a submissions guidelines page somewhere. The acquiring editor said it shows in the work, and I believe it does. When you stop writing to an audience who will one day read the story and just let the story inside of you come out freely, it really makes a difference. I can look back now at the writing processes I went through, my states of mind as I wrote my different stories, and pretty much show this result in relation to reviews.

BK:  Are you working on any projects?

KH:  Yes, I just finished my first draft on my first mainstream novel. I am really excited about it. First story also where I actually went on a trip to do the research for it.

BK:  Do you have any upcoming events you would like to share?

KH:  I have my first full-length novel, Torn Asunder, releasing in late Jan 2011. The book tour for it so far, plus all the information on the book is on my website at http://www.kikihowell.com/2010/09/torn-asunder.html

BK:  Where can your book be purchased?

KH:  The ebook for The Sorcerer’s Songs is up at Amazon, All Romance Ebooks, etc. Because it is only a novella, and due to the unique situation with my husband’s CD, I handled the print version on my own, so it can be purchased through my website (with or without the CD) at http://www.kikihowell.com/2010/06/sorcerers-songs-trade-paperback-novella.html There is also a Book Trailer Video there which lets you hear a sample of three of the songs from the story.





BK:  Where can readers find you?

KH:  My website is http://www.kikihowell.com/
On Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/kikihowell and Fan Page is http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kiki-Howell/22225069684?ref=mf
Or, you can follow me on twitter at http://twitter.com/KikiHowell

BK:  Thank you so much for joining me today Kiki and Steven.  I am very excited to receive the book and cd.  Wishing you much success.

KH & SH:  Thanks Brandi. We’ve enjoyed being here

NOW for information about the book and my review!  YAY!

~All song lyrics in this story are from the CD, Weathervanes, by Steven Howell~www.stevenhowell.com

If I knew then, what I know now
I’d like to think I’d choose a different way to go
But, my mistakes have paved the way
Down this dark and lonely, dead-end road

Poised on a stool in a corner of yet another bar, in front of a crowd of maybe fifty, the harmonies he played reached out to those around him. The rhythms in his head stirred his heart. For a man of magic, a sorcerer with powers he had never asked for, his musical talents were sung spells. They were his weapon of defense against loneliness, bringing people to him like a siren’s song. Yet, for the most part, he let his music haunt the deeper needs of those who listened—letting musical phrasings stir wants unnamed or purposely forgotten. Although he felt but a living and breathing jukebox, these strangers who came to see him play were the only lives he could touch. He reached out to them with his songs.

That is until one night one of Adam’s songs lures him back toward his hometown, and he calls out for Stacey, the one he was forced to leave behind all those years ago. Only this time she wants answers as to why he left, and maybe a bit of revenge for the heart he destroyed.

I wrote The Sorcerer’s Songs using my husband's song lyrics to create the plot. It was a lot of fun to write, and a great writing exercise! I think I was so inspired by his music that the story practically wrote itself. Click Here to listen to the song that inspired the story called "The Road" from Steven's "Weathervanes" CD. I am just so excited, and so grateful to my husband, Steven Howell, for letting me use his music!

My Review:

The Sorcerer's Songs by Kiki Howell is a book that will have you still thinking about it long after you've finished reading it. 

Adam is struggling within himself,  in search of acceptance,  stability and love.  When he learns that he possesses the same magic within himself that supposedly killed his mother,  he vows to protect the ones he loves. 

Leaving the only life he's ever known behind,  he leaves his farm,  his best friend Pete,  and the love of his life Stacey in order to keep them safe from his magic. 

Playing gigs from bar to bar,  seeking the only thing that can keep him from feeling lonely if only for a night,  he uses his magic on woman to help them acknowledge what they are already feeling,  and keep him company.

When he decides its time to go home,  he swears he would never use his magic on those he loves.   When he runs into Stacey,  it stirs up old feelings that never died,  between both of them.  Stacey demands answers as to why he left and Adam struggles to find the courage to tell her the truth.  Will he tell Stacey his secret?  If he does will she accept it?

The Sorcerer's Songs was absolutely beautiful.  I don't know if it's because I first listened to the CD,  Weathervanes,  written and composed by Steven Howell, and the whole inspiration for the book,  but this book is truly moving.  Kiki has implemented songs from the CD into the book,  with such a description and connection to the story itself that you are literally moved by the words she's written.  I do know because I listened to the CD,  I was able to imagine Adam actually singing the words as they sound on the album,  placing myself right in the scene.

I also know I found myself struggling right along with Adam,  hoping that he will decide to tell his loved ones everything and that it wouldn't be a mistake in the end.  A true battle of magic vs love.  I loved it.

I give The Sorcerer's Songs ***** (5) Stars,  BK Walker


I just want to add as well,  the CD was wonderful.  I totally encourage you to purchase the book and the CD so you can get the full feel for the book.  I think it makes the read that much better,  though the book could stand on its own :).


Kiki Howell ~where love is a mystical thing~ 
NY Times Bestselling Author, Hannah Howell, says of Torn Asunder"Kiki Howell spins a wonderful tale of passion, magic, betrayal, and a love that conquers all. Enjoy."  Coming January 2011
Please visit http://www.kikihowell.com to see all available titles!





Please be sure to stop in to Kiki's site to see all her work.  You can purchase The Sorcerer's Songs and Weathervanes CD together right from her site as well - Don't miss out!  Purchase also available at Amazon.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Dream Bigger Contest - Ends November 29

In light of my upcoming guest Julie Wise,  she is having a great Dream Bigger Reinvention Contest on her site.  She is scheduled to appear here with me December 1,  but her contest deadline is November 29,  so I wanted to share it with you allowing you a chance to enter. 


IT’S AS EASY AS ONE, TWO, THREE!

  1. Post your dream story or video   Be concise. All entries must respond to questions on the entry page. Videos must be under 4 minutes.
  2. Get Votes   Share your dream details with fans, family and friends and ask them to vote for you. Invite them to enter too!
  3. Win a Great Prize   To help guide you in making your dream come true! The list of prizes can be found here.

INVITE ALL YOUR FRIENDS TO ENTER TOO!

DEADLINE FOR ENTRIES: NOVEMBER 29, 2010

 

So stop into her blog for full details and enter for some great prizes!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Upcoming Interview with Kiki and Steven Howell! Nov. 29, Don't miss it!

Hello everyone!  I had the pleasure of interviewing both Kiki and Steven for the new release of The Sorcerer's Songs and cd Weathervanes,  which is what inspired the novel.  Fun fun fun interview so mark your calendars and stop back on Monday,  November 29 to see what we had to chat about.


See you again on Monday :).  Yippee!


Friday, November 19, 2010

I'm So Excited and Can't wait to read The Sorcerer's Songs!

Kiki Howell wrote this book based on the lyrics to her husbands music and CD "Weathervanes."  I've listened to some cuts from this album and it's fantastic!  Kiki created a book trailer show casing some of the songs and the quote to her by her husband at the end was BEAUTIFUL!  Kiki,  you're one lucky lady!

Visit Kiki online at http;//www.kikihowell.com 

Purchase The Sorcerer's Songs with Weathervanes CD -  CLICK HERE.

I am hoping to interview Kiki and will let you know what I thought of the book after I read it!  Oh and the CD after I listen to it :).  I'm sooooo excited I can't wait for these items to come in the mail!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

5 Stars for The House With 9 Rooms by Stacie Williams

The House With 9 RoomsThe House With 9 Rooms by Stacie Williams

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


Reviewed by Daniel Dietz

The House With 9 Rooms by Stacie Williams, with Illustrations by Syanne Djaenal was a fantastic read. Full of adventure suitable for any child.

With 9 rooms in the entire house, each room holds within its walls a special feature. There are rooms for girls, some for boys, and some for everyone.

I would have to say the adventures in each room are all great, but my favorites would have to be Room 4 where you are led into Disney Land, meeting Donald and Daisy Duck, Mickey and Minnie mouse and all the attractions such as 3D and 4D shows.

I also liked Room 9, which was the wishing room. Anything you wished for, you got it. If you wished for a drink, "POOF", a drink started pouring from the ceiling. How cool would it be to just automatically say you wanted something and then receive it?

Williams did a fabulous job describing the adventures throughout the rooms, making you wish you could actually be there. The illustrations were perfect in helping you to imagine the rooms in your mind. I would recommend this book for any child, even a 6th grader.

The House With 9 Rooms gets ***** (5) Stars, Daniel Dietz. Childrens Book Reviewer for BK Walker Books.
BK Walker Books - All Rights Reserved
http://bkwalkerbooks.weebly.com



View all my reviews

We received this book as a complimentary review copy from Decent Hill Publishers.  In return Daniel gave his honest opinions in his review, and did not receive any monies for his thoughts.  Thank you Stacie and Decent Hill Publishers for sharing this great book.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Book Promotion and Marketing


Are you looking for a way to market and promote your book(s)?  I know I've come across many frustrated authors that aren't sure where to turn to get their book into the public eye.  This is why I created The Virtual Book Tour Cafe'.  Definitely created with Authors in mind to give their books the attention it deserves.  We started on a trial run back in April,  where I put 30 authors on tour to over 20 pit stops.  We had such a great turn out that I decided to continue on to keep helping authors learn how to promote their work.  Virtual Book Tours are a great way get your book into the public eye,  especially those that would not normally see your book or know who you are.

Here's what some of the authors that were on tour had to say:

-The Virtual Book Tour has opened up a great learning experience for me, not to mention how much fun I have been having! I love writing up blogs for the tour and being interviewed by the hosts! I loved being interviewed on Blogtalk radio with Brandi Walker. That was fun!I have received three great reviews for my book, The Forest Portal since I joined Authors Supporting Authors and The Virtual Book Tour!  ~Melody Dempsey  www.authormelodydempsey.com 

-As the Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma, I have been blessed to have been a part of the Virtual Book Tour as I endeavor to fulfill her Royal Command and tell the story of her new Royal Magician of Oz. Princess Ozma also feels that the Virtual Book Tour is a most unique experience, although she does not quite understand the Internet, or even computers.~James C. Wallace II Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma http://magicianofoz.blogspot.com

-As a participating author on Brandi Drury's Virtual Book Tour the value of coverage and feedback has been indispensable. Nowhere else can an author promoting their works receive this intensity of promotional focus. Authors Supporting Authors is a developed network that permeates the blogosphere. This book tour doesn't simply get the word out about your latest writing, it gets it to the exact recipients who want it and provides you with a super-niche for promoting your book.~Lee Libro http://literary-magic.com




So if you are looking for a way to get your book out there,  stop in and see what we are all about.  We are always OPEN.  All of our packages are budget friendly starting at $50,  and package costs go right back into your tour.  We will provide you with a press release,  a tour banner to place on your tour stops and website to let people know about your tour,  we will do giveaways of your book,  and depending on the package you choose,  you will get reviews as well.   Depending on your needs you will have choices on how your tour will run.  You're in total control.  You will have support 7 days a week as you sweep the blogosphere with author interviews,  guest blogs,  spotlight features,  reviews and giveaways,  and even a live interview on Blog Talk Radio.  We are continually learning new ways to promote your work and will add new features as we go.  You will also be introduced as a new author on tour at the Virtual Book Tour Cafe' Blog,  your entire tour will go into the calendar of events on our main site,  plus we will place your banner and book on the site with a link back to your own author website,  and it will stay there.  Compare us to other VBT organizers and see the difference.

We also offer additional services,  such as book cover design by the wonderful Debi DeSantis,  book trailer creation by myself and Ami Blackwelder,  and so much more.

So why not stop in and book your tour today?  The Virtual Book Tour Cafe'.


Our biggest package yet and the way to get the most out of your tours -

*NEW* Dream Big Publicity Tour - Take your book to 20 blog stops,  to include author interviews,  guest blogging and 4 Book Review Sites for reviews of your book,  a tour banner,  press release to announce your tour,  a Spotlight on the VBT Cafe' Blog,  an ad spot in From A Writer's POV Magazine,  an Amazon Gift Card Giveaway at one of your stops,  one copy of your book will go into rotation for reviews at the Review Book Swap,  PLUS you are assigned to a publicity coach where you will be provided with author contacts relevant to your book,  promotional goal suggestions,  building a community profile,  help contacting your local media and special interest groups,  aid in becoming a locally known author,  targeted promotional marketing,  help marketing your book to general online medias as well as different levels of media,  creation of unique online events,  and places outside of your tour to request interviews and author guest appearances.  This is our biggest package yet and we are proud to team with one of the best publicity coaches available.  This package will gain the most exposure for you and your book,  and right now you can get this promotional package at a discounted price of $300.00.  This will be a limited time offer and price is subject to change at any time.

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Are you interested in becoming a host for VBT's?  Drop me an email with VBT Hosting in the subject line to bkwalkerbooks@comcast.net and include your name,  blog/web address,  genre preference,  how many days a week you would be available to host and which day you prefer.


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Do you like to review books?  We are currently looking for reviewers at the Review Book Swap. This is where we all take turns reading a book,  write our review,  then send the book to the next person on the list.  It's fun,  simple,  and a great way to get some reviews.

Authors and Publishers are encouraged to submit their books for review.  If you're interested in joining in,  please stop in and sign up.  It is a brand new site so bear with us as we get off the ground,  please spread the word.  It's a great way to get some reading material.  We look forward to having you.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Winner of the Oh Snap Contest is......

Kalsuma!  Congratulations I will be sending you an email.  Just email me back within 48 hours with your choice of book so I can get it in the mail to you :). 

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Oh Snap! Picture Contest & Giveaway

So I've found some pretty weird pix and I want to know what you think.  Leave me a comment telling me your thoughts,  include your email,  and up for grabs is a signed CD (PDF) of your choice of book with case included for Dares And Dreams or Death Upon Me.






So let the weirdness begin!



 Not sure how they got there but that would suck!


Siamese Twins?




 Dude!




Mini Me?  LOL


Why????



Inbreeding?



That is just WRONG!



Ummm...Bubble Car?



Somebody please tell me what the heck were they thinking?
 
 
So there you have it!  Leave me a comment and let me know what you think!  Contest ends November 15.  I'm really wondering what that dude had in his tongue for a tongue ring that the hole was that big.  A grenade?  LOL crazy!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bookshelf Cleaning Party Winner!!!!

What a weekend lol.  Thanks to everyone that stopped into the blog over the weekend and entering my giveaway.  It is fun to try and figure out the mystery before the end of the book.  I love murder/mysteries too and you are going to enjoy these books by John Howard Reid. 

So without further ado.  our winner is Rubynreba!  Congratulations Rubynreba!  I will be sending you an email and you will have 48 hours to respond or the books will go to someone else.  Thanks for following and participating.

Hope everyone has a fantastic week! 

Friday, November 5, 2010

Blog Hop & Bookshelf Cleaning Party Starts Today!

Today starts our Bookshelf Cleaning Party and Blog Hop!  So where will you hop today?  I thought this was a fun way to clear my shelves and for you to win some really great books.  All books are gently used but in very great condition.

So up for grabs today:

Prize Pack for Mystery Lovers!

Merryll Manning:  The Health Farm Murders

Merryll Manning:  Trapped On Mystery Island

To win this prize pack just leave me a comment on why you love mystery novels.  Don't forget to include your email so I have a way to contact you!

Open to US and Canada only.

When your finished,  hop on over to the next blog on the list below.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Cym Lowell Book Review Wednesday Party


Book Review Wednesdays is back :).  Stop in to see all the great books that have been reviewed.  Just click the picture above to go to Cym's site :).  To see my review posted this week click Here.

Enter your own review and be entered to win a $15 Amazon Gift Card.  

Welcome to Book Review Party Wednesday.

It is real simple. Link up any (old or new, any genre) book review that you have written to the MckLinky at Cym Lowell's Blog.

A couple of things to remember while you're linking.

1. Add a permalink to your specific post, not the main page of your blog (only one review per blog).
2. Add Cym's Book Review Wednesday Badge or a link-back to the party at the end of your review post.  This code can be found at the beginning of her post for Book Review Wed.
3. List the name of your blog, Title of Book or Genre. Be sure to use spaces and limit characters to 50. For example: The Lost Symbol, thriller
4. Become a follower of Cym's blog, pretty please (not mandatory).
5. Visit the other linked up reviews and leave comments....it's a party, have fun!
6. Cym will announce the winner in a weekend post. The winner is chosen from the linked up reviewers using Random Number Generator. All included.



CymLowell

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Blog Hop Nov. 5 - 7


Blog hop and book giveaway.  Starts November 5 and ends November 7.  Join in the fun and see what books you can win.  Add your blog to the list below.



Seeking Guest Bloggers



Writing and Marketing Tips Blog The Flying Monkeys is seeking guest bloggers!  If you have writing or marketing tips for a specific genre that you would like to share then WE WANT YOU. 

If you know of anyone that would be interested in providing a guest post with tips on writing and marketing for books,  please send them my way.  You can email me at bkwalkerbooks@comcast.net

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Keep in the loop and become a follower of The Flying Monkeys blog.  We will have writing tips,  marketing tips,  writers workshops and guest speakers.  Don't miss out on a valuable resource.  Stop in today.

Monday, November 1, 2010

***** Review of South Of Heaven by Jamie Collins

South of HeavenSouth of Heaven by Jamie Collins

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


South Of Heaven by Jamie Collins was an absolutely wonderful collection of poetry.



Beautifully written collection of poems with a bit of inspiration, emotion, and meaningful insight.



I'm sure the poems in South Of Heaven all stem from personal truths, but Collins has held nothing back in portraying the beauty of well written poetry.




My Love Is Dying

My love is dying

and I don’t know what to do.

I tried to survive it

but I think I’m dying too.

I don’t know where I’m going,

only god knows where I’ve been.

I feel a river flowing,

through my veins again.

It runs as cold as ice

and as blue as the sky.

I feel it deep within

my love is dying tonight.



I give South Of Heaven **** (5) Stars, BK Walker Books

http://bkwalkerbooks.weebly.com







View all my reviews