• 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.

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Justin Bog Stops In - Guest Post & Tour for Sandcastle and Other Stories



The Secrets Characters Keep.

First, before I speak about secrets, I want to thank BK for hosting a stop on my Sandcastle and Other Stories virtual book tour. I have loved meeting so many great writers, bloggers, and book lovers along the way. Being on this tour has taught me to stay focused and also to meet deadlines -- the creative part is wonderful -- and has made me look at the stories in the book from different angles. Thank you very much for allowing me to speak about the short sharp tales, and what went into creating them.

Philosophy stirs me. In Sandcastle and Other Stories I tried to understand each character's philosophy, even if this philosophy differed greatly from my own; I wanted to come close to figuring it out so that I could better reveal this on the page. People who wrestle with why and how we go about our lives; people who try to answer deep questions, who are yearning for closure, often never find anything close to an end point. As I started writing these stories, some in early form, complete on one page before I expanded the tales into their current form, long ago, I would begin with a character or an image of a character doing something, or thinking something odd, or mundane. The story would blossom from that one thought.

In Sandcastle and Other Stories, there are two tales where a character is said to have "wanted to be a tree." In Cats In Trees, this character is a young adult named Jacqueline, and she mimics a tree's life, a movement as wind flows through the branches. Rachel, in The Virtue of Minding Your Own Business, also finds herself drawn into a world where trees engage her every thought. In both stories it is the characters surrounding these girls, who try to figure them out, to maybe help them, for good or bad. They are caught up in the mindset of someone a little bit off kilter. We all have met people who choose to live in a much different manner than the way we would go about life. Sometimes there really isn't a choice; sometimes people just try to live. I hope to capture these oddities in my stories, share the secrets people hide.

Keeping secrets is something we all do, big or small. Why a character breaks and reveals a secret is a moment for the best fiction. I love reading literary, psychological, and suspenseful short fiction. The tales often deal more with the interior mind rather than the exterior action of a character's journey, although both are very important. Every single person has a story to tell. I find the people with secrets the most interesting to write about. Why people conceal them, and how this affects their lives and the lives of their friends and family, or even a complete stranger, is my own operating system, a jumping off point, when I sit down to write a story. 

Do your characters have secrets they want to reveal but can't? Or, does the struggle to keep a secret consume them? What motivates your characters' actions? Authors have to walk in so many different shoes, move around, and try to talk about what they find by writing it down for readers. That's the fun part of the writing life. Creating rich, thoughtful, deep, comedic, murderous, empathetic, trashy, youthful, ancient, godlike, mundane, fantastical, characters who reveal themselves in the narrative, is the icing on the cake. In one tale, Poseidon Eyes, a young girl catches the eye of an old god who isn't worshipped anymore. She refuses his advances, and he changes her perception to try to rein her in. From this moment in the story, the girl wrestles with her new situation and chooses whether or not to keep her condition a secret from the people she meets on a daily basis. 

I hope you enjoy meeting all of the characters in Sandcastle and Other Stories. They wanted their stories told, but they hoped to cling to their secrets. 

Best to you and your reading and writing lives, Justin




The ten literary, psychological, and suspense tales collected in Sandcastle and Other Stories are nothing short of an escape into a roiling sea of emotion. You will meet an old man twisted by fate and a lost love . . . a young girl playing on the ocean shore who becomes entangled in the nets of a mercurial god . . . a divorced man mired in his troubles who is pressured into taking a singles cruise . . . a Hollywood actor in a night time television drama who is always typecast as the bad boy . . . a family on the edge trying to live with a troubled daughter who they believed they'd never have to coexist with again . . . a young adult bruised and torn by a secret past who watches the world around her teetering on the brink of chaos . . . a new mother of twins who finds it difficult to say no to the pushy, energetic President of the local Mothers of Twins Club . . . a child kept awake by night terrors, and a woman who hides her secretive personality from everyone on the beach one sunny day. Upon reading, you will meet several more people who view life as a constant struggle, and others who resist this mindset, some with grace, some with humor, and others with acts of hubris. The genuine voices of the characters, mixed with a clear-eyed tonal simplicity, make this a series with mesmerizing psychological interplay. All of the stories span a broad depth of human understanding and build a bridge between the deepest chasms of pain and the highest portals of joy. Read Sandcastles and Other Stories and you will stand witness to unspeakable hate sitting with cozy wile right beside unconditional love -- a true fictional study of the human condition.

Excerpt :

From Sandcastle
From a beach towel space away, Brenda took the scene in. The beach was crowded, but the background noise didn’t bother her at all; Brenda believed she could hide in a crowd, and wondered why being alone was something she deserved. She found herself enjoying the discomfort in the mother and daughter’s close conversation; she almost laughed out loud when Jane’s mouth opened like an outstretched bow. The kid deserves what she gets, Brenda thought. She tilted her head away to make it look like she wasn’t paying attention, but only just slightly. She saw everything.
“But . . . I want my balloon.”
Brenda, her pistachio-colored beach chair squeaking when she moved slightly,
noticed a string of saliva dribble from Jane’s mouth and down her chin. Jane’s mother pushed her octagon-shaped sunglasses into the hair above her forehead and stared, her eyes somehow cold and reflecting nothing, at her daughter. “What did I just say to you, Jane? Forget the goddamn balloon. I told you I didn’t want to buy it for you . . . you’re blocking my sun. If you don’t leave me alone and go play, you’ll find yourself at home right now. Be a big little girl for Mommy. If you can do this, I promise I’ll give you another swimming lesson later. Your dog paddle is coming along fine. Go play.”
Brenda tried to smile, but couldn’t, as she thought about her life and what it
would’ve been like if her baby had lived, would this new presence in her family be
capable of healing a prickling rift under her heels, make her husband’s boots stop flailing about – always making contact by accident, didn’t mean to do that, you know me, you know me, you know me. Her life could be broken down into a twisted children’s rhyme.
Right, Brenda, first comes love, then comes marriage; then comes miscarriage, and her goals and planning stopped there. She hated the simple way her life unfolded and the way it seemed so goddamn planned. Ever since she was little she’d been under someone else’s control. When she was twenty, almost two years away from graduation at the community college, she met Jake and they moved in together. Brenda’s parents never trusted Jake; they could tell the first second they spotted him hoisting himself off his motorcycle, then slicking back his sun-bleached hair and finally tugging at the devil-pointed goatee that he was just putting on a big show (her father’s words). They wouldn’t speak to her for months until her twenty-first birthday when they relented and finally knew Jake would, for better or worse, be a part of their daughter’s future. They stopped asking Brenda if she was going to finish college. All they could do was warn her when Jake wasn’t around, try to undermine what was happening all along. “Is he hitting you again, Brenda?” her mother would whisper to her when Jake and Father were in the living room watching the
Sunday football extravaganza, neither of them speaking to the other, just grunting from their Lazyboys, the kind with the built-in beer holders on the arms. All her parents could do was watch and say “I told you so” later, which they did all the time.
How could Brenda reply? Her control had shifted territory, from one of family
questionings and buttonholes, to the scary realm of Jekyll and Hyde. It was one thing she wanted to handle alone, without her parents’ interference. Jake was the sweetest man she had ever met, at first, before the wedding, and wouldn’t even lay a finger on her neck to caress her. It started after the wedding when he slapped her on the butt too hard, a prelude to lovemaking he said, and when she complained, he hit her harder. Of course, he always tried to make it up to her afterwards. He took her to movies she wanted to see, to the roadhouses for drinks, and took her shopping, but never at the good stores, just the second hand malls where he worked in rotation as a night security guard.
Another thing Brenda hated was the way she often caught her mother scrutinizing
her. Her mother’s chin wrinkled up, and her eyes opened just almost all the way and sly, as if her mother had foreseen Brenda’s downfall, as if she was used goods now and any other man could smell Jake’s lousy scent all over her and she would never hear the sound of grandchildren. She said to Brenda, with her patented matter-of-fact tightness, “A lot of women have miscarriages. And a lot of women, today anyway, fail at meeting the right man.” What her mother didn’t have to say was “How dare you do this to our family;” the tone of her voice was enough. At times, Brenda liked to picture her parents, naked, with witch paint splashed across their bodies, dancing around an effigy of Brenda. In her daydream, she would force the effigy to come to life and make it bash her parents’ heads together to let them know they were not always right.
Their spoken predictions of failure had started when she brought her fiancé home for the first time, when Brenda was helping her mother cut salad cucumbers and rip iceberg lettuce, when her mother, in a voice of thinly veiled anger, asked her how long she’d known Jake and asked her if she was really serious about ruining her life with a man like that. Now, her mother gives her books on how to choose your mate and her father still curses her former husband at the dinner table, even though it’s been two years since the divorce. He looks at Brenda and chuckles, wisely, and says he told her not to marry the bastard.
Brenda watched as Jane ran into the water and yelled something to a boy named
Danny Richards. She didn’t know whether Jane’s mother would’ve actually taken the girl home, but it did seem as if Jane didn’t want to stick around and find out. I wouldn’t even bring the whiny girl, Brenda thought, which made her remember her own lost child, the image of a dashed possibility always close to the surface, and Brenda frowned even more because she knew she was a liar. There was a time in her marriage when she fervently believed this surprise baby could’ve saved her, and that her husband could’ve changed if he only held a tiny baby in his arms, focus on something good and pure for once — she knew this was a ridiculous thought. If her baby had lived she would’ve taken her everywhere and she’d never send her away with an imperious flick of the wrist.
The mother readjusted her sunglasses on her nose and then lowered her bikini top an inch, giving anyone trudging by in the sand a tantalizing view. Brenda envied the
woman’s body. It was what her magazines called sumptuous and glandularly flawless.



Justin Bog, first and foremost, grew up a voracious reader, movie fanatic, and music audiophile. Justin always carried a stack of library books and collected way too many comic books from his local Ohio small-town drugstore. More than one teacher scolded Justin to put his "suspect" reading materials away and join the class. Justin began to make up stories of his own, using an old typewriter he found in the attic.

Growing up in the 70s, Stephen King was about to publish his first novel and John Updike had only published the first of his Rabbit books. Along with so many cinema buffs, I witnessed the huge change in the way movies were distributed — from artistic, Director-driven films backed by huge studios to the dawn of the Blockbuster and popcorn summer films, like Jaws, Rocky, and Star Wars. I was drawn to the music of these decades as well,” says Bog.

So it comes as no surprise that Justin pursued an English Degree at the University of Michigan, followed by Film and Music Appreciation classes -- finally graduating from Bowling Green State University with an MFA in Fiction Writing. After teaching creative writing, Justin began apprenticing in a number of bookstores and editing fiction for a midwestern journal. Justin ended up on the management team at Chapter One Bookstore in the Sun Valley resort area for a decade, offering book recommendations to its local celebrities, skiing fanatics, and tourists. Currently residing in the San Juan Islands just north of Seattle, Justin has the opportunity to focus on his own novels and short stories, while contributing commentary and reviews of Pop Culture. Justin continues to engage his lifelong passion for writing in combination with his curious mindset as the Senior Contributor and Editor at
In Classic Style.
Publisher - Convenient Integration
Release Date - May 8, 2012
Website - www.justinbog.com
Purchase Link - Amazon



June 28 - Reviewed at The Story of a Girl...
July 2 - Guest Blogging at AZ Publishing Services
July 6 - Interviewed at Mass Musings
July 9 - Guest Blogging at From The TBR Pile
July 13 - Reviewed at B00k R3vi3ws
July 16 - Interviewed at Reviews & Interviews
July 18 - Reviewed & Interviewed at A Book Lover's Library
July 18 - Interviewed at Brenda & Steve's BlogJuly 20 - Interviewed at Unnecessary Musings


Monday, June 25, 2012

VBTC: Interview & Giveaway with The Mystery Lady!



Welcome to BK Walker Books Etc. I'm so happy you could join me today with Lauren Carr at her mountaintop home in Harpers Ferry, West Virginia.


BK: Please tell us a little about yourself...


LC: The easiest way to describe Lauren Carr is in a bullet. “Lauren Carr is a middle-aged church lady who writes murder mysteries.” 


My mother used to read Perry Mason to me at bedtime. She was not into Dick and Jane. I’ve always been a reader and a writer. When I started reading, I would rewrite the book’s storyline in my head. It was only natural for me to start writing my own books … and since I cut my teeth on murder mysteries … What else could I write.


The first installment in the Joshua Thornton mysteries, A Small Case of Murder was a finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award. A Reunion to Die For was released in hardback in June 2007. Both of these books are in re-release.


The Mac Faraday Mysteries takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. The first two books in this series, It’s Murder, My Son and Old Loves Die Hard have been getting rave reviews from readers and reviewers. The next book in this series, Shades of Murder, was released last month. That is my fifth mystery.


BK: Please tell us a little about your book....


LC: In Shade of Murder, we have two mysteries to solve simultaneously. 


In Deep Creek Lake, Mac Faraday is once again the heir to an unbelievable fortune. This time the benefactor is a stolen art collector. But this isn’t just any stolen work-of-art—it’s a masterpiece with a murder attached to it.


Ilysa Ramsay was in the midst of taking the art world by storm with her artistic genius. Hours after unveiling her latest canvas, which she has declared to be her masterpiece—she is found dead in her studio on the shores of Deep Creek Lake in Maryland;  and her painting is nowhere to be found.
A decade later, the long lost Ilysa Ramsay masterpiece has found its way into Mac Faraday’s hands and he can’t resist the urge to delve into the case.


Meanwhile, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; former JAG lawyer Joshua Thornton is tasked with granting a condemned serial killer’s last wish—solve a murder wrongly attributed to him. He finds an unexpected ally in Cameron Gates, a spunky detective who has reason to believe the young woman known to the media only as Jane Doe, Victim Number Four, was the victim of a copycat. Together, Joshua and Cameron set out to light a flame under the cold case only to find that someone behind the scenes wants the case to remain cold, and is willing to kill to keep it that way.


Little do these detectives know that the paths of their respective cases are on a collision course as they follow the clues to bring them together in a showdown with killer who’s got a talent for murder!




BK: What inspired you to pen this particular novel?


LC: The request of readers of my first mystery series, the Joshua Thornton mysteries. 


I was at a different stage of my life when I wrote A Small Case of Murder and A Reunion to Die For. Those books are more serious and heavier. They have a completely different tone. Former JAG lawyer, Joshua Thornton is a widower with five children. He feels clueless as a father. 


The Mac Faraday mysteries are lighter and there is more humor. Mac is a homicide detective whose wife leaves him and takes everything. On the day his divorce becomes final, he inherits $270 million dollars and an estate on Deep Creek Lake.


Different strokes for different strokes. I had some readers wanting me to return to Joshua Thornton. So, after some thought, I decided to include Joshua in my next Deep Creek Lake mystery. I had to really think about where Joshua was at this stage in his life. It’s been five years since I had written A Reunion to Die For. Not only am I in a different place, so is Joshua. His children are leaving the nest. He’s got more independence and is ready for some romance in his life. 


Since Joshua and Mac don’t know each other, I had to come up with two murder mysteries that, on the surface, don’t appear to be connected, and then have there be a connection to bring them together. Coming up with this puzzle was a lot of fun.


Shades of Murder actually introduces two characters that I will use in my next book, Dead on Ice, which will come out this fall: Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates.




BK: When did you first consider yourself a writer?


LC: That’s a difficult question to answer. I think I started thinking of myself as a writer when I saw my income tax return and found that my husband had listed my employment as “Writer”.


BK: How do you keep your story flowing?


LC: When I get bored writing it, I assume the reader will get bored reading it. That’s when I know I need to mix things up.




BK: Do you ever run into writer's block, and if so, what do you do to get past it?


LC: Oh, yes! Once, for more than a year I stared at the computer screen. 


It was between drafts of It’s Murder, My Son. My father-in-law had passed away. I was looking for a new publisher because my traditional publisher for A Reunion to Die For did not do paperback at that time. They were willing to take It’s Murder, My Son, but I knew my next book had to come out in paperback. It is very hard to sell a $26 hardback when you’re an unknown.
  
After a year of penning nothing, I decided to quit writing. I walked away. I did volunteer work. I cooked. I exercised. Within a month, I was back at the computer. Then, I had an uh-huh moment and realized with all of my professional experience editing, layout design, journalism, why could I not independently publish my own books? I decided to publish my own books and forget about making best sellers lists or impressing literary agents or publishers. I was going to write what I want and if others want to read it, fine. If not, so what? I started writing for myself. 


One month later, I received an offer from a traditional publisher for It’s Murder, My Son. I turned them down.


What was the secret to getting over my writers block? American poet William Stafford offers this advice to poets who suffer from Writer's Block: "There is no such thing as writer's block for writers whose standards are low enough." This sounds terrible at first. "What? I'm supposed to write junk? I need to write the great American Novel! I'm better than that!" No, Stafford is not encouraging writers to produce garbage. He is suggesting, however, that it's easy to take yourself too seriously. When I walked away, when I stopped trying to find the next great publisher, when I stopped trying to impress literary agents and publishers and decided to write what I want for myself, my writers block went away and I am now the happiest writer in the world.


BK: What is your writing process like? Do you have any quirks, or must-haves to write?


LC: I’m always one book ahead. Right now, while I’m editing Dead on Ice, I am thinking about my next Mac Faraday mystery. I haven’t written a word. I’ll think about the murder and story-line and developing the characters while doing mindless tasks like cleaning up the kitchen and folding clothes. My husband has said that when suddenly a bunch of things get fixed about the house (I’m the fix-it lady in the house), he knows I’m working on a murder in my mind.


About the time that Dead on Ice is released in the fall, I’ll be ready to sit down to write my next mystery. It will take a couple of months of writing, three months of editing, and then six weeks before it will be released in the spring. 


Quirks. My dogs, Ziggy (Australian Shepherd) and Beagle Bailey are my muses. They follow me and my laptop everywhere. I write everywhere--a writer’s studio, the master suite, the living room in front of the fire. My muses are always at my feet while I’m writing. 


BK: Where do you hope your books/writing will be in the future?


LC: I’d love to see one of my series made into a series. It would be great to have the Mac Faraday mysteries shot on Deep Creek Lake. 


BK: What do you hope readers will take away from your books?


LC: An escape. The mystery is a literary puzzle that readers have the joy of putting together to take their minds off their problems and the stresses in their lives and have a sense of satisfaction when they read that last line. 


BK: What is one piece of advice you received that you carry with you in your writing?


LC: Never give up.


BK: What is one piece of advice you would give to new and aspiring writers?


LC: Writers are born. If you’re a writer, you’re going to be writing. You’re going to be making up stories, telling stories, putting storylines together. Even if you’re not published anywhere, you’re still going to be writing. No one is going to stop you because they can’t stop you because that’s what you are. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.


BK: Are you currently working on any new projects? What can we expect from you in the future?


LC: Dead on Ice is coming this fall. Dead on Ice introduces a new series featuring Joshua Thornton and Cameron Gates. In Dead on Ice, Pennsylvania State homicide detective Cameron Gates is tasked with solving the murder of a porn star whose mummified remains are found in an abandoned freezer in Joshua’s cousin’s basement.


For this book tour, I am holding a contest for readers to name the female porn star found in the freezer. Not only are they to supply the stage name the star used in her films, but her real name from her childhood in the Chester, West Virginia/Pittsburgh area. The winner will receive all three Deep Creek Lake mysteries, plus a print edition of Dead on Ice upon its release, as well as a Lovers in Crime coffee mug. Contest is running from June 1-July 31.


Readers are to submit their entries to me via e-mail: writerlaurencarr@comcast.net. Subject line is to read Name the Porn Star. Be sure to include your name, e-mail address, and mailing address. The winner will be decided by me and my muses.


BK: Where can readers find you?


LC: Readers can find me and my books at http://mysterylady.net. They can also find out about my publishing company Acorn Book Services at http://acornbookservices.com/




Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a pleasure having you and I wish you much success in the future.




Giveaway: A copy of Shades of Murder (print (US only) or e-book, winner’s choice. Leave a comment for Lauren with your email address to enter, winner will be announced July 9th.



Praise for Lauren Carr
It’s Murder, My Son
“To say this novel is a page-turner is an understatement.” Edie Dykeman, BelleOnline Mystery Book Editor
It's Murder, My Son is not a read that should be missed for mystery fans.” Midwest Book Reviews
Old Loves Die Hard
“Carr keeps the plot twisting and turning so guessing the bad guy is quite a challenge. Mac's wry humor adds just the right seasoning to make a well-rounded mystery.” Maria Waddell, To Read, Perchance to Dream
A Small Case of Murder
A Small Case of Murder is a GRAND case of murder.” New Mystery Reader.

Shades of Murder
Question: What do you get the man with everything?
Answer: When that man is the heir of the late mystery writer Robin Spencer, retired homicide detective Mac Faraday, you get him cold case to solve.
In Shades of Murder, Mac Faraday is once again the heir to an unbelievable fortune. This time the benefactor is a stolen art collector. But this isn’t just any stolen work-of-art—it’s a masterpiece with a murder attached to it.
Ilysa Ramsay was in the midst of taking the art world by storm with her artistic genius. Hours after unveiling her latest masterpiece—she is found dead in her Deep Creek Lake studio—and her painting is nowhere to be found.
Almost a decade later, the long lost Ilysa Ramsay masterpiece has found its way into Mac Faraday’s hands and he can’t resist the urge to delve into the case.
A world away, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; former JAG lawyer Joshua Thornton agrees to do a favor for the last person he would ever expect to do a favor—a convicted serial killer.
The Favor: Solve the one murder wrongly attributed to him.
Joshua finds an unexpected ally in Cameron Gates, a spunky detective who has reason to believe the young woman known to the media only as Jane Doe, Victim Number Four, was the victim of a copycat. Together, Joshua and Cameron set out to light a flame under the cold case only to find that someone behind the scenes wants the case to remain cold, and is willing to kill to keep it that way.
Little do these detectives know that the paths of their respective cases are on a collision course when they follow the clues to bring them together in a showdown with a killer who’s got a talent for murder!



Lauren Carr fell in love with mysteries when her mother read Perry Mason to her at bedtime. The first installment in the Joshua Thornton mysteries, A Small Case of Murder was a finalist for the Independent Publisher Book Award. A Reunion to Die For was released in hardback in June 2007. Both of these books are in re-release.

Lauren is also the author of the Mac Faraday Mysteries, which takes place in Deep Creek Lake, Maryland. The first two books in her series, It’s Murder, My Son and Old Loves Die Hard have been getting rave reviews from readers and reviewers. The next book in this series, Shades of Murder, will be released May 2012. This will be Lauren’s fifth mystery.

Lauren’s sixth book, Dead on Ice, will be released in Fall 2012. Dead on Ice will introduce a new series entitled Lovers in Crime, in which Joshua Thornton will join forces with homicide detective Cameron Gates.

The owner of Acorn Book Services, Lauren is also a publishing manager, consultant, editor, cover and layout designer, and marketing agent for independent authors. This spring, two books written by independent authors will be released through the management of Acorn Book Services.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She also passes on what she has learned in her years of writing and publishing by conducting workshops and teaching in community education classes.

She lives with her husband, son, and two dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Follow the Tour - http://www.virtualbooktourcafe.com/3/post/2012/04/shades-of-murder-by-lauren-carr.html



Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Why Don't You Just Kill Her? Charles Ducassse Joins Me In Canada



Welcome to BK Walker Books Etc. I'm so happy you could join me today in Saskatoon, Canada.




Beautiful isn't it? I've always loved Canada. Charles is on tour with his book, Why Don't You Just Kill Her? with the Virtual Book Tour Cafe'. You can follow his entire tour HERE.


BK: Please tell us a little about yourself...


CD: I’m a Microbiology major at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Canada, entering my 
     fourth and final year. I’m working as a hot dog vendor and driver over the summer. My interests 
     include music, dance, and inline skating. In the summer of 2013 I’ll be moving to Metro Vancouver to 
     work as a food technologist, antibiotic specialist, or a biofuels technician ( it all depends on which
     biotech company in Vancouver makes me the best offer within a few months of my graduation ). I 
     particularly want to live in Vancouver because of its diversity, its beautiful surroundings, and its
     fitness culture.


BK: Please tell us a little about your book....


     “ Why Don’t You Just Kill Her ? “  is a graphic drama which starts out innocently enough, with
     the question “ What would you do with absolute liberty ? “ It’s the question on the mind of our hero,
     Chili, as he’s confronted with evidence of the evil of the two villains of the drama, Scalper and Ticket.
     At first reluctant to join the fray, eventually our hero is forced to answer this question through his    
     actions. This sets the stage for a dramatic confrontation between good and evil and ultimately
     resolves the issue. 


BK: What inspired you to pen this particular novel?


     The subject of the drama is particularly important to me ( as an agorist ) since
     the world of Chili, Scalper, and Ticket is the kind of world I see looming on the horizon ten to
     fifteen years from now where such questions become particularly acute.     
     


BK: When did you first consider yourself a writer?


     I decided one morning that my latest work was strong enough a drama to be worthy of the name.
     That clinched it for me.


BK: How do you keep your story flowing?


     The tools I use to ensure flow are : dramatic structure, virtual camera technique, and careful crafting 
     of ( admittedly laconic ) dialogue. 


BK: Do you ever run into writer's block, and if so, what do you do to get past it?


    When this happens, I wander out into the world. and take pictures with my cell phone. I capture 
    textures created by the interplay of light. I take notes in a simple notebook. All this I do while  
    listening to music on my iPod. All the while I ask myself, what would a character in my book be doing 
    here ? What would be their motivation ?  I sit down ( in a coffee shop, on a bench, or at home ) and 
    start to write. The ideas just start to pour forth. Few tools have the immediacy of this technique
     


BK: What is your writing process like? Do you have any quirks, or must-haves to write?


    I spend a lot of time in internal dialoguing. It worked for Socrates and it works for me. 
    Really, all I need is a chance to wander around in the world, a place to sit down and write, 
    and comfortable shoes. That’s pretty much it.


BK: Where do you hope your books/writing will be in the future?


     If by that you mean, what will they be about, I’ll give you a clue. My next book or the one after that
     will be about a detective who is contacted by people through the shadier parts of the Internet 
     to solve their problems. It’s set in Vancouver in 2013. He’s not strictly a detective, though, he’s also 
     part vigilante. How he does this is quite possibly unique in the annals of fiction. Stay tuned.


BK: What do you hope readers will take away from your books?


     I hope readers will take away a sense of optimism about the world – a sense that ordinary people’
     can have an effect on the way the world works.


BK: What is one piece of advice you received that you carry with you in your writing?


     Isaac Asimov ( one of my influences ) once said, when asked to give advice to aspiring writers,
     “ Be Clear ! “. Clearly convey the intent of your writing. I’d part ways with Asimov on the possibility
     of writing dramatically AND clearly,which I think adds greatly to the import of your words.




BK: What is one piece of advice you would give to new and aspiring writers?


     Ignore everybody ! By this, I mean ignore advice given to you that doesn’t make sense to you.
     Consider what people have to say, though.


BK: Are you currently working on any new projects? What can we expect from you in the future?


    I’m currently working on a 3D Graphic Drama that follows a 21st Century off – the – grid detective
    with an unusual ( for a detective ) day job.


BK: Where can readers find you?


    You can find my work on amazon.com and createspace.com under “ Charles Ducasse “ or “ Why 
    Don’t you just kill her ? “. I can be reached at aspenglade@hushmail.com.


Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a pleasure having you and I wish you much success in the future.


A woman (?) chases down a balloon and ties it down to a sign extolling the virtues of the story’s main villain. She passes the scene of a victim of crime, continuing to observe as one the hero’s past girlfriends makes a play for the hero (in front of the hero’s current significant others ).

He reacts with indifference to his ex’s actions, just as he tries to ignore a later spat between his current girlfriends. We start to wonder if anything can awake this man’s callousness when the victim of the first crime bursts in on him and slams down an article stolen from the hero by his ex. His two girlfriends finally pull guns from under the table and take up defensive positions ( at least somebody’s pulling for our hero ! ). But what does our hero do ? 


He grabs his retrieved property and drives off the villain and her henchwoman. He decides to intercede on behalf of the victim. ( Why doesn’t he just kill the villain ? )


Cut away to a scene of the grand opening of a theme park built by the hero, his two girlfriends, and the former victim. All is well until the boss villain is spotted sneaking in, bearing a giant battleax. One of the hero’s girlfriends alerts the hero and the former victim to this fact, and the newly – formed team gets their defensive plan into action. In an act of personal courage, the newly – empowered victim stuns and trips the charismatic boss villain in front of her mesmerized followers. Meanwhile, the hero dispatches his ex ( driving a Blood Flag – bearing bulldozer ) with carefully prepared defenses. The boss villain is suddenly seen as a double failure, despite her hype. In the turning point of the novel, the crowd turns against the boss villain. Was this part of the hero’s plan to save the victim from his self – destructive tendencies?


The novel concludes with the band of friends enjoying supper at the theme park’s restaurant. One of them wonders about the origins of what they’re eating. ( Think about the nature of all the characters in the novel. It’s grimly funny.) Finally, the victim asks the hero why didn’t he just kill the villain ? The hero passes the article stolen from him to the victim with the words “ Pass it on“. Finally, we have the answer. The price of the victim’s Liberty was the showdown with the boss villain. Without that confrontation, the victim would carry his victimhood with him forever. Now, the former victim has the chance to be a hero to some other victim later on, breaking the cycle of victimhood and starting a new, better cycle.

Publisher : Createspace.com
Genre : Graphic novel / general
Release Date :Print version : March 27, 2012

eBook version : March 06, 2012Purchase Links :Print Version :http://www.amazon.com/Why-Dont-You-Just-Kill/dp/1470180359/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334621414&sr=1-2

eBook Version :http://www.amazon.com/Why-Dont-Just-Killebook/dp/B007HTL4IO/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1334621414&sr=1-1



Charles Ducasse is a 3rd Year Microbiology student at the University of Saskatchewan. He enjoys dancing, drama, and music. He urrently lives in Saskatoon, Canada but will be moving to Vancouver, Canada in the summer of 2013. This is his first book. He can be reached at
aspenglade@hushmail.com










Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Kids Read - The Delaware Detectives by Dana Rongione - Tour Pit Stop



Today we are pleased to introduce you to Author Dana Rongione. Welcome to BK Walker Books Etc. Dana, we're so glad you stopped in.


BK: Please tell us a little about yourself...

Dana: I am a full-time Christian author and speaker residing in Greenville, SC. On a typical day, I juggle writing, reading, marketing, teaching (part-time), housework, errands, exercise, dog-walking, and trying to find time to spend with my husband. On the rare occasions I get away from the house, I love to hike with my husband, Jason, and our two dogs, Tippy and Mitchell.

BK: Please tell us a little about your book....

Dana: The Delaware Detectives is a novel intended for readers in the age range of 8-14 years, though that's not to say readers of other ages won't enjoy it. In fact, one of the most enthusiastic responses I've received about the book was from a lady nearing her 70's. The story is about a brother and sister who discover a cryptic clue while visiting their grandfather for the summer. That discovery leads them on a hunt to try to uncover a secret fortune that may or may not truly exist. The book is filled with mysterious elements, comical characters and valuable morals.

BK: What inspired you to pen this particular novel?

Dana: As a child, my brother, sister and I often explored our grandfather's attic. It was full of unique and mysterious items that always brought about hours of fun and make believe. When it came time to write my first children's novel, I could think of no better place to start.

BK: When did you first consider yourself a writer?

Dana: I've dabbled in writing all my life, but I don't think I seriously considered myself a writer until I left my teaching job to write full time. Even after that, it took a couple of years before I could say, "I'm a writer" without getting a weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. Now that I have several publications, it's easy to say, "Yes, I'm a writer, and I'm proud of it!"

BK: How do you keep your story flowing?

Dana: Practice and a lot of editing. Sometimes, in order to give the story the proper flow, I had to cut out other elements, which is difficult to do. I worked so hard to craft the perfect paragraph that it just seems inhumane to cut it. But just as in gardening, it's often necessary to prune in order to produce the desired result. It also helps to have a really good idea of where the story is headed before beginning to write.

BK: Do you ever run into writer's block, and if so, what do you do to get past it?

Dana: Oh, yes. Writer's block and I are good buddies. Well, at least, it seems to think so. I've spent a lot of time just staring at my computer screen, antagonized beyond belief by that blank page and blinking cursor. But I've found the thing that works best for me in times like these is to walk away and do something else, especially read. It's amazing how reading something totally unrelated will strike a chord and ignite a spark of inspiration. Then once I begin writing, the words just flow.

BK: What is your writing process like? Do you have any quirks, or must-haves to write?

Dana: Despite my young age (wink, wink), I have a lot of back and shoulder problems. Because of this, I can't spend long periods of time sitting at my desk. So my writing process usually involves writing for thirty minutes to an hour then getting away from my desk and doing something else for a while, whether it be doing the dishes, walking the dogs, reading a book, sweeping the floors, etc. Most of these things work as a good time for me to think about what I've just written and what I want to write next. Then I'll go back to my desk, write for another thirty minutes to an hour and then get up again to do something more physical. At first, I was afraid all the ups and downs would prove to be time-consuming and distracting, but I've actually discovered the opposite to be true. By taking breaks before my body grows tired, I'm able to get more writing done in any given day. Additionally, the time away from my desk gives my mind the time it needs to rehearse and compose what needs to be said when I get back to my writing. It's strange, but it works for me. As far as "must-haves", the only things I really "need" when writing is plenty of water and soft music playing in the background.

BK: Where do you hope your books/writing will be in the future?

Dana: I'd love to see my writing career and influence expand to where my work is more well-known and available in more places (bookstores, offices, etc.). I have no desire to be famous for the sake of fame or even money. But rather, I feel I have an important message to share, and I'd love to have the opportunity to get that message to as many people as possible.

BK: What do you hope readers will take away from your books?

Dana: More than anything, I hope readers walk away from my books with a renewed sense of hope and encouragement.

BK: What is one piece of advice you received that you carry with you in your writing?

Dana: "You don't have to be famous to be successful; you need only be faithful." When I'm discouraged by lack of sales or my lack of reach to readers, this quote reminds me that I'm not a failure. As long as I'm doing what the Lord told me to do, I'm a success. I feel called to write, and if I'm doing that faithfully, that's all that's required for me to be successful.

BK: What is one piece of advice you would give to new and aspiring writers?

Dana: Never compare yourself to another writer. It only serves to discourage you. Instead, focus on what kind of writer you desire to be and do everything in your power to reach that goal.

BK: Are you currently working on any new projects? What can we expect from you in the future?

Dana: I have several projects in the works at present. I'm writing the last chapters of a new Christian living book and compiling blog posts into two new devotional books. Additionally, my newest children's book is currently being illustrated and is scheduled to be published when the illustrations are completed. Beyond that, there are plans for a sequel to The Delaware Detectives.

BK: Where can readers find you?

Dana: I can be found at all of the following:
Twitter: @DRongione



Thank you so much for taking time to chat with me today. It's been a pleasure having you and I wish you much success in the future.

What do the following have in common: a muntjac deer, a toilet, and a hairless cat? They are three key factors in uncovering a treasure that may or may not exist. But for Abby and Jamie Patterson, these items are essential ingredients to fulfilling their grandfather's greatest desire. Is the fortune real, or are the siblings following a path to nowhere as set down by an eccentric old woman? The quest is on, and time is running out.

Excerpt : An inside look of the book can be viewed on the Amazon sales page:  http://www.amazon.com/The-Delaware-Detectives-Dana-Rongione/dp/1470007460/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1334771853&sr=8-2



Hi! My name is Dana Rongione. (Yes, I know that's a mouthful.) I live in Greenville, SC with my husband, Jason, and my two dogs, Tippy and Mitch.

Having been a Christian for nearly 28 years, I know what it is like to experience both joy in the journey and weariness in well-doing. Currently self-employed as a writer and speaker, I struggle (like many other Christians) to balance the demands of work, family, church, health, chores, etc.

I enjoy all types of writing, but my true joy lies in writing devotionals that will encourage and uplift the weak and weary Christian. This blog, A Word Fitly Spoken, is currently read in over 15 different countries, allowing me the opportunity to spread the message of hope and joy throughout the world. I also have another blog, Song of the Day, that offers the truth of the Word in song.

I currently have three published devotionals and numerous articles in magazines and e-zines across the country. I am available to speak at local ladies' meetings or writers' workshops. You can find out more about me and my ministry by visiting my website at DanaRongione.com.

On tour with the Virtual Book Tour Cafe', you can view her entire tour HERE or follow along below.

June 15 - Guest Blogging with Cindy Vine
June 19 - Interviewed at Unnecessary Musings
June 21 - Guest Blogging at Lori's Reading Corner
June 26 - Interviewed at Hardcover Feedback
June 28 -  Interviewed at Reviews & Interviews