Author Deanie Humphrys-Dunne (USA)

Charlene The Star and Bentley Bulldog by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne

Charlene the Star makes new friends in this exciting adventure. She wants to win a special award for jumpers. She must learn important things if she wants to reach her goal. Does she succeed? How does Hattie react when she sees the headline in The Gazette? Why is Cherish so afraid? Your child will be fascinated with the amusing adventures of Charlene and her friends. Children will be entertained and learn important life lessons.

Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog is Deanie’s fifth book. It’s the third in her series of Charlene the Star books. Her other books include her award winning autobiography, Tails of Sweetbrier, as well as, Charlie the Horse, Charlene the Star, and Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes. All of Deanie’s books encourage children to persevere and strive to do their best.

Deanie is a graduate of The Institute of Children’s Literature. She enjoys music, singing, spending time with her family and their dog, Elliott. Deanie is also an avid fan of baseball and equestrian events.

Holly’s passion for Art began at an early age under the guidance of renowned artist, Ray Quigley. She earned a Fine Arts degree from Southern Methodist University. She devotes her talents to equestrian and family portraits, as well as children’s book illustrations. Holly has beautifully illustrated all of Deanie’s books.

Cold Coffee Book Review: Charlene The Star and Bentley Bulldog – by Deanie Humphrys-Dunne is the newest release in her children’s adventure books.

Among some of the characters in this enchanting adventure include Charlene The Star (a horse) from Jumping For Joy Farms who is a competitive jumper, Mary Harris who is Charlene’s owner and rider, Hattie the chicken who loves to wear bonnets, and Bentley the bull dog who learns a valuable lesson about bullying.

Charming animals with unique personalities teach children life lessons on having proper manners, the value of friendships, sportsmanship, accepting and owning our mistakes, apologizing and making amends when we have hurt someone, and even when winning there is always room for improvement.

Parents and teachers should know that at the end of the book there are 8 questions and answers that challenge the child to remember what they have read (enhancing reading comprehension) and congratulates them for what they do remember.

Delightful hand drawn illustrations by Holly Humphrys-Bajaj bring the story and characters to life.

Other adventures that are available include Charlene The Star, Charlie The Horse, Charlene The Star and Hattie’s Heroes and Tails Of Sweetbrier.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Charlene The Star and Bentley Bulldog along with author Deanie Humphrys-Dunne other books as educational tools with pure reading enjoyment for young impressionable minds. This review was completed on December 26, 2014.

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Deanie Humphrys-DunneDeanie Humphrys-Dunne is a children’s book author with five books published at this time: Award-winning autobiography, Tails of Sweetbrier, Charlie the Horse, Charlene the Star, Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes and Charlene the Star and Bentley Bulldog.

All of her books offer positive messages for children. Her sister, Holly Humphrys-Bajaj, beautifully illustrates her books. All books are available on Kindle.

Tails of Sweetbrier is an inspirational award-winning autobiography about a little girl whose one desire was to become a champion equestrian, in spite of her handicap. This book has won the Silver Medal in the Feathered Quill Book Contest and was a finalist for the Clipp Awards. Tails of Sweetbrier will show children that anything is possible if you persevere. This book was chosen “Most Inspirational” by the staff of the Pawling Book Cove in 2009. (first edition)Tails of Sweetbrier is now published in a second edition. The most recent award for this book is Honorable Mention in the Purple Dragonfly Book Contest in 2015. Deanie’s other books, Charlie the Horse, and Charlene the Star, and Charlene the Star and Hattie’s Heroes, are amusing, fictional tales, which contain important life lessons. All of these books are available on Kindle.

Deanie is a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature. She has been featured on several author websites. She has been interviewed several times by renowned, award winning author, Claire Power Murphy on Claire’s program, “Improve Every Year. Her interview with Claire, “Building character Through Children’s Stories” received top billing. Deanie has just been selected as “Author of the Year” by author/reviewer, Geri Ahearn in 2013.

She has recently received the following blogging award nominations: Liebster Award (2), Shine On Award, Sunshine Award, Dragons Loyalty Award, Very Inspiring Blogging Award, the Super Sweet Award and the The Shauny Award and the One Lovely Blog Award. She’s most grateful to everyone who nominated her.

Deanie is secretary for the Claire Power Murphy Foundation. She enjoys watching equestrian events, and figure skating competitions, music and singing, spending with her family, and their dog, Elliott. She is also an avid Yankee fan.

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Author Dan Trumpis (Sun Lakes, Arizona-USA)

Welcome-To-Harmony-by-Dan-TrumpisWelcome To Harmony by Dan Trumpis

Being twelve years old is already hard enough. Being a werewolf makes it even harder. Dillon Howell and his parents have just moved to Harmony, a small town in Northern California. Like all kids, he just wants to fit in and make friends, while keeping his “condition” a secret, of course. But Dillon quickly finds out he’s not the only person in town who isn’t what he appears to be. Welcome to Harmony, Dillon Howell. Your life is about to change forever.

Cold Coffee Book Review: The township of Harmony in Northern California could be like any small town in America, but it isn’t. Like in most small towns secrets are desperately tried to be kept and the Harmony forest is the keeper of many secrets.

For Dillon Howell moving to Harmony with his parents gives him a new chance to fit in and make new friends. If just being a teenager isn’t enough of a challenge for Dillion, being a Werewolf presents its own set of challenges.

As Dillion and his family settle into the normal day-to-day life at home and at school the supernatural forces in the dark forest beckon to him and he finds that he is not the only one in this town with a secret. Come with Dillon to Harmony and see what life has in store.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Welcome To Harmony by Dan Trumpis. The author skillfully writes this epic middle grade fantasy (PG) in a way that encourages teens to read. Life in Harmony might mirror their life in some routine ways and then again it might just be a little darker, more intense, and hairier than normal. Reviewed on November 6, 2014.

Book Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy, Children’s, Fiction

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Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Dan Trumpis

Dan-TrumpisDan Trumpis was born in Los Angeles and spent most of his life in California. He has always loved telling stories, for as long as he can remember, and has practiced writing in a variety of mediums – prose, comic books, stage, and screen. Since becoming an elementary school teacher, he settled into writing books for kids after being exposed to a broad range of classic and contemporary children’s literature.

Currently, he resides in Sun Lakes, Arizona and teaches fifth grade language arts at C.O. Greenfield in Phoenix, where he hopes to inspire within his students a love for writing and literature.

Interview:

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I write middle grade fiction – although many teens and adults have read and enjoyed my books. My stories are about magic and monsters, two subjects I have been interested in for as long as I can remember. It wasn’t my original intention to write middle grade fiction. I originally set out writing for adults, but when I became a teacher, I began reading more middle grade fiction and decided to write for that age group. I had a lot of fun doing it – and even landed an agent for a while – and haven’t looked back since.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? Gosh, almost fifteen years ago, I made the switch from screenwriting to prose – which, let’s face it, was my first love. I went to workshops and attended writing groups to hone my craft. Those were some rough years as I was also learning to manage clinical depression. It wasn’t until 2009 I felt ready to begin submitting manuscripts to agents.

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? For Welcome to Harmony, I wanted to do a story about the importance of friendship for middle school age kids – probably because I didn’t have a lot of friends growing up. However, as a twist, I thought I’d give them all supernatural gifts.

For Gwen Gladstone: A Tale from the Town of Harmony, I wanted to write a book that centered on magic (In each book, I’m trying to explore a different aspect of the supernatural.). Also, like Harmony, I wanted to tell the story of an outcast who finally finds a place to fit in.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? I love the rush that comes when everything is flowing, and you don’t have to think about what you’re doing. The story is unfolding on its own, and the characters are telling you what they want to say and do.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Not long after I published Welcome to Harmony, I got a really nice Facebook message from a man in New York who’d purchased my book on a whim and absolutely loved it. He went on to write a glowing review on Amazon.com. It felt amazing to touch someone so much with my writing. Speaking of which, at the last school I worked at, I inspired a whole fifth grade class – who’d read Welcome to Harmony – to want to become writers. That was also a pretty amazing feeling.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write like you’re already famous.

Who is your favorite author and why? I’d have to say Neil Gaiman. I’ve been a fan of his since his Sandman comic book. I’m blown away by how he’s able to write for all ages, from picture books to books for adults. The Graveyard Book will probably go down as one of my all-time favorites.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? For any aspiring and already published writers reading this, I would like to leave you with a quote from the great Ray Bradbury: “You only fail if you stop writing.”

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Author Claudette Alexander (Toronto, Ontario-Canada)

Sunrise From An Icy Heart by Claudette Alexander

Do you want to overcome betrayal, grief, and/or manage a chronic health condition, and find fulfilling love?

‘Sunrise From An Icy Heart’ will take you on a discovery of the human need to find a special kind of love, raise loving sons and rise above the strangling odds that face immigrants.

Alexander chronicles her transformational journey into womanhood from age 22 to 59. Her first love left her alone and pregnant. She searched for love but encountered stormy weather until her heart grew as frigid as the North American winters. It would take a special man to crack through her icy heart. After four failed relationships and two sons: Terence, as charming as a sunrise and Kriston, her sunshiny star, she struck gold with Malcolm whiles battling chronic kidney failure.

A story of survival and determination, from St. Lucia to Canada through a midst of rejections, abandonment and the power to smash through the fence of fear and fly. A sensual, amusing, and fun read that will stimulate your senses, make you laugh, cry and learn some essential life lessons. This book is intended for mature readers.

Cold Coffee Book Review: ‘Sunrise From An Icy Heart’ by Claudette Alexander is a memoir. Keep in mind that Memoirs allow the reader to go back in time with the author to relive people, places and events.

Claudette’s memoir begins at age 22 and ends when she is 59. Her story comes from a single mother’s perspective giving us a glimpse into St Lucian customs.

Quote from her book: “A thousand buds of happiness exploded in me. A heat-wave engulfed me. I could feel my face ablaze. My smile was as calm and wide as the Caribbean Sea. Yes indeed, this was the moment I had waited for. My big elaborate wedding was happening with my soul mate, the man who knew how to love me. The man who knew how to marry me. The man who knew how to get the sunrise from my icy heart. There was a peace flowing from his heart into my heart.”

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Sunrise From An Icy Heart by Claudette Alexander as a wonderful Memoir. This review was completed in July 2014.

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Cold Coffee Spotlight Interview With Author Claudette Alexander

Claudette Alexander was born in St. Lucia and has been living in Toronto for the past 40 years. Retired, her past experiences involve work in accounting and union activists. She has been battling chronic kidney failure for 10 years and currently volunteers leading workshops on living healthy with chronic health conditions.

Her memoir ‘Sunrise From An Icy Heart’ is about her transformational journey into womanhood, her search for a special kind of love, the tears and joys of motherhood, and her fight to remain among the land of the living.

Interview:

What makes you proud to be a writer from Canada? I am proud that Alzheimer’s has not overtaken my mind as yet and I can still rememberscenes from my past that I can recreate on paper.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? My children inspired me. They did not grow up with their fathers and I always had the desire to let them know of the love that preceded their birth.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I have always wanted to write a book. In 2005 I spent three months in the hospital fighting for my life. When I got out the desire to tell my story become more pressing.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? My environment had everything to do with my writing. I wrote about the life I lived.

Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? I started with one title and changed it several times but when I came to the end of my story the appropriate title came to me.

My initial intentions was to write children books so I did some training in that genre however when I started to write about a love I once had and then my quest to find fulfilling love, the writing took a different turn and I ended up with my experiences from age 22 to 59. This became MY Memoir.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? At this stage of my life I am beginning to forget things, people and places. I am so thankful that I was able to complete and publish this novel knowing that it will be there years after I have departed this earth. As someone with a chronic health condition, I inspire many people and will continue to do so.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? I have been on a constant learning curve. I amaze myself with how much I have learned and how much I am yet to learn in this industry.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Read read read and read again.

Who is your favorite author? I do not have one favorite author because I like many. I like Eckhart Tolle, Nicholas Sparks, Terri McMillan and many more.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? Never give up on your aspirations. Many days when I sat down on the dialysis chair I would be writing and the nurses kept asking, “What are your writing?”

“My book” I replied. Then it became, “When is that book going to be published?” with a smile of course. Then it became a laugh. Well now they are in awe and so is everyone else.

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Author Bernadette Rowley ( Brisbane, Queensland-Australia)

The Lady and The Pirate (The Wildecoast Saga Book 3) by Bernadette Rowley

Lady Esta Aranati, burdened by an impoverished estate, has turned her hand to smuggling. She leads a double life, a mask and wig the only shields that protect her reputation. Swashbuckling pirate Samael Delacost craves her cargo and her heart. But before he can be worthy of her love, he must exorcize the ghosts of his past. An irresistible connection binds them but will that be enough to convince Samael to turn his back on the sea, or for Esta to take a chance on happiness she doesn’t think she deserves?

The Lady and the Pirate continues The Wildecoast Saga, with popular The Lord and the Mermaid characters Nikolas Cosara and his wife Merielle featured in this latest installment from Bernadette Rowley.

Cold Coffee Book Review: Book three in the Wildecoast Saga is a stand-alone book that any fantasy romance reader will enjoy whether you have read The Lord And The Mermaid or The Elf King’s Lady sagas first.

Twenty five well-written chapters with realistic characters bring the reader into Lady Esta Aranati’s double life.

Even though the author places this at the end of the book, I think it will benefit you to know the meaning of these two terms upfront. Lenweri (the elven people, they have dark skin, pointed ears and are tall and elegant) and Sis Lenweri (the faction of dark elves that wishes to take over the kingdom of Thorius).

Chapter one opens with some suspense aboard the ‘Sea Sprite’ when captain, Lady Esta Aranti’s first mate wakes her up from deep sleep to inform her they have a visitor on board. I quote: “Esta drew a deep and heavy sigh, her heart kicking up a notch as she contemplated who the visitor might be. On a ship miles out to sea at night, there were few possibilities and none of them good.”

In chapter three the mood shifts and I quote:

“Esta moved to the bow and stood with the wind in her face, the black strands of her wig streaming behind her. It was chill but not wet and she reveled in the dance of her ship over the waves. Sea Sprite was one of the joys of her life and sailing one of her great loves. When she was on the ocean, she was free of earthly ties and a little of its wildness seeped into her, giving her strength for the trials of estate life. Lately, she had found it almost impossible to return to the estate without a nagging sense of dread.

“You seem almost happy tonight, sister,” Katrine said, joining her in the bow. Katrine was wildness personified, with a lithe body and long black hair that she rarely tied back. Not for her the wig as she had less need for a full disguise, shunning public life as she did. She wore leather breeches, flowing black shirts and a broad black satin mask decorated with stars. Her piercing blue eyes were now fixed on Esta.

“I am happy, Katrine,” Esta said. “What makes you think I am ever unhappy?”

I invite you to join Katrine and Esta as they sail the sea with visions of finding treasure on their minds.

I hope the quotes above whet your appetite for strong female characters, rugged men, pirates, treasure maps, adventure, sword and sorcery and of course romance.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse The Lady And The Pirate (The Wildecoast Saga Book 3) by Bernadette Rowley. I purchased this book from Kindle. This review was completed on May 3, 2017

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The Elf King’s Lady: Wildecoast Saga Book 2 by Bernadette Rowley

In the midst of a war between elves and men, two unlikely companions find love. But in this battle of ages, can they defy the very blood that courses through their veins?

The human kingdom of Thorius is once again under threat from the dark elven menace. General Kain Jazara has sworn to protect Thorius from all danger, magical or otherwise – but first he must rescue the highborn family of alluring healer Lady Alique Zorba.

Thrown together in their quest to save Alique’s family, and eventually themselves, from the merciless elven clan, the pragmatic General and the impulsive Lady Alique discover an undeniable passion. But when Kain’s world is torn apart by a personal revelation, he turns his back on both Alique and his homeland.

Can Kain find a path back to love and victory in time? Or will he allow revelations from his family’s mysterious past to destroy his relationship, his happiness, and his kingdom?

Perfect for fans of Nalini Singh and C.L. Wilson.

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The Lord and The Mermaid: Wildecoast Saga Book 1 by Bernadette Rowley

Fans of C.L. Wilson will love this fantasy romance about two lovers from different worlds who will break the laws of land and sea in their quest to be together.

Mermaid Merielle has fled the sea, disgusted at the actions of her people and desperate to build a life for herself on land. But to truly live as a woman, she must

Lord Nikolas Cosara has lost his brother at sea, and is driven to discover whether his sibling has died at the dangerously seductive hands of a mermaid. But when Nik finds Merielle washed up on the beach, he reluctantly saves her. Despite his antipathy for her kind, Nik is increasingly drawn to Meri, who is slowly working her way into his damaged heart.

Can Nik surrender to his love for Meri before her hopes of a human life are lost forever? Or will a devastating secret bring all her efforts to naught?

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Princess Avenger: Brightcastle Saga Book 1 by Bernadette Rowley

Princess Alecia Zialni is no ordinary noblewoman but a crusader for Brightcastle’s miserable subjects, disguising herself to exact revenge and minister to the poor. So it is irksome in the extreme when the dark and dangerous Captain Vard Anton rescues her from a mercenary she has attacked. Alecia manages to slip from his grasp only to discover he has been appointed her protector.

How is she to maintain her secret life with Vard watching her every move? More importantly, how can she safeguard her heart from this mesmerising man?

Vard knows he cannot remain Alecia’s protector and fulfill his mission to kill her father, Prince Zialni. Neither can he defend her when his control of his transformations is so tenuous.

Will the attraction that sizzles between the courageous princess and the daring captain be enough to overcome Vard’s obligation to his heritage and Alecia’s duty to the Kingdom?

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Princess In Exile: Brightcastle Saga Book 2 by Bernadette Rowley

Princess Alecia flees her arranged marriage with the help of the dangerous Vard Anton, shapeshifter and former army captain. Blinded by love, they believe they can have a life together but every encounter with the mercenaries sent to find them, pushes Vard towards his least controllable form- the gigantic brown bear.

Desperate to find a mentor who will help him control his transformations, Vard and Alecia travel to a forgotten city where a powerful sorcerer resides. But this wizard is in league with the dark elves and the lovers soon discover he has his own dangerous agenda.

Will Vard and Alecia escape the clutches of the sorcerer who would use Alecia’s position to advance the dark elven cause? Can their love survive despite Alecia’s fear of Vard’s animal transformations? What secret does the princess hold that has the power to destroy the trust Vard has in her?

The answers to all this and more are contained in the pages of Princess in Exile, the dark sequel to Princess Avenger.

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The Lady’s Choice: Will Love Conquer Duty
(A Spin Off From Princess Avenger) by Bernadette Rowley

Lady Benae Branasar will sacrifice her ‘happily ever after’ for an arranged marriage with a powerful prince. But can she turn her back on her feelings for the prince’s squire, Ramón Zorba?

Ramón is obsessed with the prince’s daughter and tries hard to ignore fiery Benae. As they are drawn inexorably together, Benae and Ramón must choose between keeping personal vows and being true to each other.

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World Of Thorius Boxed Set-Princess Avenger and The Lady's Choice by Bernadette Rowley

World of Thorius Boxed Set: Princess Avenger
and The Lady’s Choice by Bernadette Rowley

Princess Avenger: Passionate Princess Alecia sets out to avenge the slaying of her first love. Captain Vard Anton is dealing with his own dark secrets. When he is appointed Alecia’s protector, both find it hard to ignore the chemistry between them. Can Alecia resist the enigmatic Vard while trying to exact revenge? Will their fatal attraction ultimately lead to tragedy or can love unite Alecia and Vard forever?

The Lady’s Choice: Lady Benae Branasar will sacrifice her ‘happily ever after’ for an arranged marriage with a powerful prince. But can she turn her back on her feelings for the prince’s squire, Ramón Zorba? Ramón is obsessed with the prince’s daughter and tries hard to ignore fiery Benae. As they are drawn inexorably together, Benae and Ramón must choose between keeping personal vows and being true to each other.

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 Cold Coffee Press Interview With Author Bernadette Rowley

Bernadette RowleyBernadette Rowley is a lover of epic fantasy who is a veterinarian by day and an author by night. She is currently published in the genre of fantasy/paranormal romance and has six books published, all set in her fantasy world of Thorius.

When she was a young teenager, an aunt gave her a copy of The Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks and Bernadette has lived in various fantasy worlds ever since. So it’s no surprise that her chosen genre when writing romance is fantasy.

“I can see these settings so vibrantly in my mind and hope my readers can too.”

But Bernadette has no desire to spoon-feed her readers by laboriously describing her fantasy settings. She would rather the reader use their own imagination a little.

Along with sword and sorcery, dashing heroes and stunning heroines, this author includes strong healing themes in many of her books- an element which is central to her everyday job.

“When I started writing this series, I never imagined my day job would force its way into my stories as it has.”

And of course there are animals, especially Bernadette’s beloved horses, as well.

Bernadette lives in Brisbane, Australia, with the four heroes in her life- her husband Michael and three grown sons.

Interview:

What makes you proud to be a writer from Brisbane, Australia? First and foremost, I’m proud to be an Australian romance author. I believe this genre is incredibly powerful in its message of hope and happily ever after. Secondly, I love the Brisbane fantasy scene which is vibrant with well-known authors in all subgenres of fantasy. There is always something happening here!

What or who inspired you to become a writer? I’ve loved reading from a very young age and still do. I guess that was the driver, but the biggest single thing that happened was when my aunt introduced me to the fantasy genre with Brooks’ The Sword of Shannara. I absolutely love high fantasy and it continually inspires my stories, particularly themes of ‘coming into power’ and ‘the quest’.

As far as writing is concerned, I discovered a serious desire to write a book through a goal setting workshop nearly twenty years ago and since then it has been stepping stones with lots of help from mentors along the way.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? I think the major way my upbringing played a role in my writing was to make me rather self-sufficient. I can easily work alone and don’t need anyone to motivate me. I don’t use critique partners or beta readers but probably should. I do of course use professional editing and love this part of the process. Also, I learned early to accept criticism so I’m not precious about writing critique and have rather a hard skin which helps when you put your work out there.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I began writing towards publishing in 2007 when I spent a year working on the first book in my space opera series with Louise Cusack. I’d taken this year off work and had moved to regional Queensland so it was the perfect opportunity to devote some time to my writing goals. That series is yet to be published but there are some crazy good ideas in there. Louise urged me to try my hand at romance and I had my first romance published –Princess Avenger- by Penguin in 2012. 

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? I would have to say working with editors has been amazingly rewarding. I learn something new from each editor I work with. I really love the process of polishing my work.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? There have been so many, it’s difficult to pick just one. I guess getting the call from my Penguin editor to let me know they wanted to publish Princess Avenger has to be right up there and then the email from Pan Macmillan with my two book contract offer was pretty amazing as well.

How many published books do you have? I have six published books. Two of them, The Lord and the Mermaid and The Elf King’s Lady, are published by Pan Macmillan Australia and the others are self-published. Princess Avenger and The Lady’s Choice were my titles originally published by Penguin Australia.

Please list the titles of all your books:
Princess Avenger- Brightcastle Saga Book1
Princess in Exile- Brightcastle Saga Book 2
The Lady’s Choice: A Spin Off From Princess Avenger
The Lord and the Mermaid- Wildecoast Saga Book 1
The Elf King’s Lady- Wildecoast Saga Book 2
The Lady and the Pirate- Wildecoast Saga Book 3

Please tell me the genre of each of your books. All my books are the same genre which I call fantasy romance or paranormal romance

Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? A little of each. Princess Avenger was always exactly that. The Lady’s Choice was written as For Love or Salvation and I was asked to come up with a new name. Princess in Exile and The Lady and the Pirate were written under those names and my Pan Macmillan editor came up with the names for my mermaid and elf king titles. I would say from now on the name will come first.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? I love high fantasy- I adore everything about it- swords and sorcery, paranormal characters, the themes previously stated, the epic nature of the stories and the fact that it lends itself so well to series which I also prefer to read. I never want a story to end when I’m enjoying it. All the books I’ve listed are actually one big series although you can read them on their own. Each of my titles describes a romance and they are principally romance stories set in my fantasy world of Thorius

Which book title would you like featured in this interview? The Lady and the Pirate, please.

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? The Lady and the Pirate came about from the ship that’s featured on the cover of The Lord and the Mermaid. An author friend mentioned pirates when we were discussing that book and that’s what gave me the idea for a pirate hero. It’s utterly amazing where inspiration comes from but you have to be open to it.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write what you know in a genre you’re passionate about.

Who is your favorite author and why? I have so many favorite authors but number one at the moment would be Marie Force. I’ve enjoyed every book Marie has written but especially her romantic suspense Fatal series. A new author for me who I’m really enjoying and who writes historical fantasy mystery is CJ Archer.

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Author Else Byskov (Denmark-Spain)

The Downfall of Marriage by Else Byskov

Do you have marital problems?

Do you find it difficult to live in harmony in marriage?

Have you never married?

Do you think there is something wrong with you for being single or divorced?

If your answer is yes, then this book is for you. It reveals the real reason for our relationship problems.

There is nothing wrong with you.

The reason is an organic / sexual / mental / emotional change that is happening to all human beings as we evolve. Today we are simply not as suitable for marriage as we were in the past.

It is time we realize that our sexual pole transformation is recreating us to becoming whole, independent and freedom seeking individuals with a corresponding lesser ability to live in relationships.

This book explains the reason for our degenerating ability to live in marriage. It is a helping hand to all those who are confused, insecure and depressed about why their marriages are not working. The book is based on Martinus´ clear, logical and intelligent analysis of the transformation of our sexual poles on our way to becoming real, all-loving human beings.

This book also reveals the real reason for the existence of homosexuality. The real reason for the growth of same-sex relationships has been a mystery until now. This book is a revelation for anyone who is struggling to understand why they are gay.

It is all explained logically in The Downfall of Marriage.

Learn why the present state of the world is a result of our unfinished state as emerging humans.

Get an intimate look at the bigger picture. It is both mind-blowing and positive.

With The Downfall of Marriage we are on the leading edge of thought. After reading this book, you will never look at relationships or sexuality in the same way again.

Cold Coffee Book Review: I find it interesting that Author Else Byskov was born in Denmark and it is there where she became fascinated with the visionary and mystic work of Martinus. It is her mission to bring the ideas of Martinus to her readers and I have to give her 5 stars for her knowledge, research and passion. Else writes, “Martinus was born in Sindal in the North of Jutland in August 1890. His mother was unmarried and the boy, born to a single parent, was baptized Martinus Thomsen. He grew up at the smallholding of Moskildvad (1) with his uncle and aunt, as his mother could not have him living with her. He grew up in very modest circumstances and spent much of his childhood herding cows and helping out at surrounding farms. He had a very modest schooling, and since the family could not afford to let him study, he was apprenticed as a dairyman at an early age.”

This book contains 13 well written chapters with titles geared for mature audiences: The divorce culture of today, Why Martinus?,The transformation of the sexual poles, The one-poled being, What is sexuality?, On the way to becoming double-poled, The growth of universal love, Homo- or pansexuality, Sexual derailments, The double-poled human being, The master plan, Notes, and Bibliography.

The author writes with intelligence and passion as she warns, “This book should not be read by people in love, newlyweds or happily married couples. It has not been written for them. This book has been written for those who are unhappy in their relationships, the divorced, the involuntary singles, those who have several broken relationships behind them, and for those who cannot figure out how to live together as a couple. It has especially been written for the homosexuals who will find a logical explanation to their sexual structure and special preferences in this book – an enlightening explanation that they will not find anywhere else. All open-minded people are invited to read this book, especially those who have realized that we still do not know the whole truth about life, death and our own evolution.”

Opps, I have been happily married for forty-two years and yet I found the book’s prospective interesting because I have an open mind. However, I personally feel that the success of marriage is as simple as genuine love, respect and a common sense approach to give and take.

I always quote a passage of each book that I read so you can judge for yourself.

“The real human being. Many people would probably argue that we are real human beings today and will protest against being called unfinished human beings, so let’s just look at what, according to Martinus, it means to be a ´real´ human being. A real human being is somebody who is filled with universal love for all other beings, be it humans, animals or plants. It is a being whose selfishness is dead and who cannot cheat, lie, brag, steal, deceive, hate, injure, maim, kill and feel envy or jealousy. S/he does not want to have goods or gold but lives humbly and only wants to be a source of joy and assistance for others. S/he lives to serve his or her neighbour. A real human being does not want to shine and impress, s/he does not want to be admired, worshipped and made much of, but only wants to live in quiet obscurity and do the best for her or his fellow beings. A real human being does not participate in the killing of animals and therefore lives exclusively on a vegetarian or vegan diet (8).

In stark contrast to the real human being, we find the one-poled predator. The predator lives exclusively to please itself and is basically selfish in everything it does. As an offshoot of the animal selfishness, we find, when the animal has evolved in the human direction and has a human body, the desire to have power over others and to brag, boast, steal, shine, lie, decorate himself with borrowed feathers, deceive, hurt, maim and kill. These ´offshoots´ from the animal selfishness extend their ramifications far into the human kingdom. We can say that to the extent that we are still able to do any of those things, to the same extent do we have an animal mentality. It is only when we have outlived the need to exercise the aforementioned ´activities´ that we can rightly call ourselves real human beings.

Today there are probably not very many people who can say that they are completely free from having one or more of the above tendencies, and in this way it becomes clear that we are not quite finished, real human beings yet.

Now, there is probably someone who would like to know how the process from animal to human takes place. How do we become real human beings, not only physically but mentally and emotionally? How do we throw off our animal skin and become finished, all-loving human beings?”

I encourage you to read The Downfall of Marriage by Else Byskov as it is a perspective that you probably haven’t been exposed to. I, Theodocia McLean endorse this book in the genre of religion, spirituality, personal growth and mysticism. This author has books written in English, Danish, German and Spanish. Her English titles are ‘Death Is An Illusion’, The Undiscovered Country-A Non-Religious Look At Life after Death’, ‘The Art of Attraction’ ‘The Beginning Is Near’, ‘The Downfall of Marriage-The Great Transformation of Our Sexual and Marital Relations’ and ‘On Foot on Andalucía -40 hiking excursions in Southern Spain’. I purchased this book from Kindle. Review was posted on March 5, 2017.

Genre: Religion & Spirituality, Religion (Non-Fiction)

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Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Else Byskov

Else Byskov-FixedElse Byskov is an international authority on the groundbreaking work of Martinus (1890-1981), the Danish philosopher, visionary and mystic. Before she came across the Martinus material (comprising over 9000 pages), Else was a convinced atheist for many years, so it came as quite a surprise to her when she became the author of a series of spiritual books. During a period of intense soul-searching and seeking more meaningful answers to life’s big questions, an astonishing dash of universal wisdom led Else to a book about the Danish mystic – it literally fell into her hands. She was so enthralled by what she found, and the incredibly logical answers that she had never been able to find anywhere about life, death, and the mystery of both, that she had to tell people about it. Her passion was so intense that she wrote her first book, ‘Death Is An Illusion’, (a general introduction to Martinus´ fantastic world picture), in order to bring the incredible Martinus wisdom to a wider audience.

Else has written 4 more books covering the profound aspects of Martinus’ world view: ‘The Art of Attraction’ (about the law of attraction, including totally unknown aspects of the law), ‘The Undiscovered Country’ (presenting all the evidence for life after death), ‘The Beginning Is Near’ (previously called ‘Ten Great Ways to Understand the World’) (a short introduction to the Martinus material in 10 easy steps) and ´The Downfall of Marriage – The Great Transformation of our Marital and Sexual Relations´ (an explanation of why our divorce rates are soaring and why same-sex relationships are on the rise).

Else Byskov is Danish, has two university degrees in Spanish and English philology and she writes mostly in English, so that Martinus’ work can reach a wider audience. Four of her books have also been published in Danish (‘Loven for tiltrækning’, ‘Ti nye måder at se verden på’, ‘Døden er en Illusion’, ‘Ægteskabets nedtur’), one in German (‘Der Tod ist eine Illusion’) and the Spanish version of ‘Death Is an Illusion’ entitled ‘La muerte es una ilusión’ was published in 2011.

In addition to this, Else, a lover of hiking and the outdoors, has also written three highly successful hiking books: ‘Fod på Andalusien’ , ‘Fod på Andalusien 2’ og Fod på Andalusien 3. They have been published in Danish, and one has been published in English: ‘On Foot in Andalucía’. This book is an Amazon bestseller and has also been published in German (‘Zu Fuss in Andalusien’).

Today she is no longer an atheist, is vegetarian and is fully convinced that there is no death: death is an illusion. All her books present the logical basis for this claim. Else lives in southern Spain with her husband.

Interview:

What makes you proud to be a writer from Denmark / Spain? Had I not been born in Denmark and had Danish as my mother tongue, I would not have been able to read the fascinating work of Martinus, the Danish visionary and mystic. Reading his work changed my life and made me become an author. It is unbelievable that the work of Martinus is not better known in the world, and I am doing my best to make this mind-blowing spiritual insight known to a wider public. Here you get answers to all the big questions and then some. The answers are logical, intelligent and they appeal to your intellect. You don´t have to believe in anything, Martinus´ work is not an object of faith.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? Well, Martinus did. When I had read his main work Livets Bog (The Book of Life) consisting of 7 volumes and 3000 pages, I was so enthusiastic that I thought: I have to tell somebody about this. My first book titled Death Is an Illusion is a general introduction to Martinus´ world picture and it was published by Paragon House Publishers in 2002.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? I was brought up by parents who had opposing views of spiritual concepts. My mother was a believer and my father was not. I think this gave me a good basis for the work I was later to do.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I began writing Death Is an Illusion around the year 2000. I immediately knew that I wanted to get it published.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? The work of Martinus comprises more than 9000 pages of spiritual wisdom and studying them has been an exciting journey of discovery and insight. It is a total joy to be immersed in this spiritual cornucopia and I have enjoyed every second of it.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? I love writing about aspects of Martinus´ work, but I am not good at marketing. I was very much in doubt about what to do to get the word out there, and I prayed and prayed for guidance. Then one day out of the blue, a person came into my life, who offered to help me with marketing and promotion. She had just read Death Is an Illusion and was over the moon about it and she had just moved to a place that is 20 km. from where I live. We obviously became friends immediately. These synchronicities are so uplifting!

How many published books do you have? I have 17 titles in print, but some are translations. For instance, Death Is an Illusion has been published in 4 languages.

Please list the titles of all your books: Here I will list only the titles in English:

“Death Is an Illusion” (Paragon House Publishers, USA 2002)

“The Undiscovered Country – A Non-religious Look at Life after Death” (Create Space, USA 2010)

“The Art of Attraction” (Create Space, USA 2011)

“The Beginning Is Near” (Create Space, USA 2016)

“The Downfall of Marriage – The Great Transformation of our Sexual and Marital Relations” (Create Space and Kindle USA 2017)

”On Foot on Andalucía – 40 hiking excursions in Southern Spain” (Create Space, USA, 2014)

Do you come up with your title(s) before or after you write the manuscript? I normally come up with the title first, but it may change later.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? My genre is spirituality and as I said, I was so inspired by the work of Martinus that I did not feel I had a choice. I simply HAD to write about it to make his work reach a wider audience. His work is in the process of being translated into 20+ other languages, but at the moment it is still only available in its totality in Danish. This gives me the huge advantage because I can read it all and then present aspects of it in English. My university degree in English philology gives me a sound basis for writing in English although I obviously rely on native speakers to check my writings.

Which book title would you like featured in this interview? “The Downfall of Marriage – The Great Transformation of our Sexual and Marital Relations”.  This book has just been published (February 2017) and it is a highly relevant book for the time we are living in. So many people experience problems in their relationships and they get depressed and blame themselves that they cannot make their intimate relationships work. But it is really not their fault, but a result of the transformation of our sexual poles. With this transformation, we become more and more freedom seeking and less and less fit for marriage. Our masculine and feminine sexual poles are in a process of becoming balanced and this explains not only why the divorce rates are soaring, but also why same-sex relations are on the rise. It is the first time that the real reason for the emergence of homosexuality is explained logically and intelligently. It is a natural consequence of our pole transformation. But please read the book to get a full understanding of this.

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book (one book) that you are seeking promotion for? Oh, when you look at the world and see the soaring divorce rates and you see that many more people enter into same-sex relations, and at the same time have read what Martinus writes about the transformation of our sexual poles, then you simply HAVE TO get this vital information out to a wider audience. It explains so much and not only about our problems with relationships but also about the present state of the world. It is leading edge and also absolutely necessary information for this time and age.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Keep writing. You need more than one title to make it.

Who is your favourite author and why? Well, as I said, my favourite author is Martinus. His production is huge and I have read it several times. You never tire of it and each new time you read it, you peel off another layer. It is extraordinary spiritual wisdom and it has all the answers to the big questions. It is impossible to exaggerate the importance of Martinus´ work.

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Author Linda Maria Frank (Massapequa Park, New York-USA)

The Mystery Of The Lost Avenger by Linda Maria Frank

The wreckage of a World War II plane is found in the mountains of Appalachia. It mysteriously crashed in 1943 on its way to a naval base. Inside the plane is a note, written by Annie Tillery’s great-grandmother, Charlotte, who was in love with a fighter pilot. Young Charlotte tested the planes and flew them to naval bases; her fiance flew the planes in battle.

While investigating the crash site, NCIS finds the note in the plane, which they trace to Charlotte and then to her surviving family members, Annie and her mother Carol. The mystery begins. Why did the plane crash, and what does Charlotte’s note mean? Annie and her mother decide to dig into Great Grandmother’s past by way of the aged family attic.

There, they find love letters written by Charlotte and her Navy pilot fiance. There is a code to be broken in those letters and The Mystery of the Lost Avenger to be solved. As they explore, Annie suspects Charlotte’s ghost is reaching out to tell her something, but what? She enlists the help of her boyfriend, newly licensed pilot Ty Egan, but Annie feels she may be the key to her great-grandmother’s top-secret life.”

Cold Coffee Book Review: Good news for all Annie Tillery Mystery Followers. The Mystery Of The Lost Avenger (book 4) is finally here. This book educates young minds using this fictional mystery that involves NCIS investigating the crash site of a World War II plane.

Turns out the pilot was Annie Tillery’s great-grandmother Charlotte who was a test pilot for Grumman and actually flew in battle. Annie, her mother Carol are intrigued by Charlotte’s note and decide to dig through the old family attic to see what they can find out about this mysterious family member. What they discover in the attic only adds to the mystery and soon Annie suspects that Charlotte’s ghost is reaching out to them from beyond the grave with an important message.

Annie’s decides to get her boyfriend Ty Egan who happens to be a pilot involved. Here is their conversation.

“Ty, you won’t believe what Mom has been telling me about a mystery concerning my great-grandmother. Mom, this is your story, and maybe Ty can see something we don’t. Can you fill him in on the details, so far? I’m just hearing this story for the first time, too.”

“Well, let me start with . . .” She shuffled the papers in her lap. “Here’s the letter we received from the Department of the Navy. And here’s a copy of a note we found in the plane. The note is written on some sort of a company form with and identification number on it. The number belonged to Charlotte, my grandmother.”

“I also have a letter from the Naval Crime Investigation Service about the condition of the plane where they found the note, and the pilot they found in the wreckage. There are skeletonized remains of a person whose identity they are trying to confirm. They know who flew the plane when it went missing, but they must confirm that it is that person. It is a woman.”

Mom added a new thought, “You know, it’s ironic. Charlotte did die in a plane crash many years later. She continued to fly recreationally after the war. When I went to Maryland to see if there was any record of her time at Grumman, I found these letters in the house where Charlotte spent her last years.”

Students and young adults of all ages will enjoy The Mystery Of The Lost Avenger. Although a series each book is unique and stands alone with no need to read in a particular sequence.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse The Mystery Of The Lost Avenger and all the books in the Annie Tillery Mysteries by Linda Maria Frank. I purchased this book from print. This review was completed on June 24, 2016.

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Secrets In The Fairy Chimneys by Linda Maria Frank

Amateur sleuth Annie Tillery has been warned to stay away from Nevshehir, Turkey, where she is heading to meet her boyfriend, Ty Egan, and Cedric Zeeks, Ty’s best friend. Intent on helping the two excavate an archeological site where they hope to link human remains to the first African ancestors, Annie does her best to shakes her foreboding feelings as her plane lands in Istanbul and she prepares to embark on her next adventure.

But when a stranger claims he is there to pick her up and then disappears once he sees Ty, Annie is immediately thrown back into worry mode—especially after Ty tells her there is unexplained tension surrounding the dig and she receives a threatening note at the hotel. Still, as the three head to Nevshehir, Annie is buoyed by the excitement surrounding ancient Turkey and the possibility of uncovering secrets. The dig is plagued by accidents and theft, however, and the three friends, assisted by the head archeologist’s twins, must search the ancient city of Istanbul and the caves of fantastic Cappadocia to find who is sabotaging their work.

In this young adult thriller, detective Annie Tillery must once again walk on a dangerous path in an attempt to unravel a complicated mystery and solve the secrets in the fairy chimneys.

Cold Coffee Book Review: Annie Tillery Mysterys book three ‘Secrets In The Fairy Chimneys’ can be summed up as Indiana Jones meets Nancy Drew with the skills and precision of CSI. A mystery unfolds amidst a mix of ancient history and modern innovation, in an ageless Eastern country where time moves at a camel’s pace.

Dedicated research by author Linda Maria Frank leaves no stone unturned while great description text transports the reader to the streets of Turkey with it mosques and minarets, towers and modern buildings. One of my favorite quotes from the book is “Water droplets plunked into the pool from the vaulted ceiling. After the heat of the bazaar and the street chase, it was deliciously cool. Ornate columns with carved capitals supported the ceiling. The bases were decorated with animal and human figures. There were a few visitors, but the enormity of the space muffled their conversations.”

Strong characters with great dialog brings us to dusty archeological site in one of the oldest towns in human history called Catalhoyuk. Nothing can explain it better than this quote: “We were in a valley of shapes I couldn’t believe were not made by humans, humans with a fabulous imagination. Conical formations called fairy chimneys in various sizes spread away from us in every direction. The color of bleached bones, they sat majestically among the gray-green brush and white claylike soil. The air shimmered from the heat. I could smell the odor of clay mixed with a faint herbal scent that must have come from the brush.”

Cosponsors from Vermont University are looking for a DNA connection between residents of Catalhoyuk and our original nomadic ancestors in Africa. Annie Tillery and her team go to work excavating this archeological site with all its inherit dangers and a mystery brings out the detective in Annie.

From the spell of an Ouija board to a magical balloon ride in the sky nothing is lost as this time and space makes all their senses come alive with amazing black and white graphics that bring the main characters to life.

Students and young adults of all ages will enjoy Annie Tillery Mysteries. Although a series each book is unique and stands alone with no need to read in a particular sequence.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse ‘Secrets In The Fairy Chimneys’ and the Annie Tillery Mysteries by Linda Maria Frank. I purchased this book in Kindle. This review posted on February 5, 2015.

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery

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Girl With Pencil, Drawing by Linda Maria Frank

Seventeen-year-old amateur detective Annie Tillery is at it again. After she wins a series of art lessons at a prestigious art gallery, Annie shows up for her first lesson to find her instructor, Francesca Gabrielli, in a volatile argument with John DiCristiani, the art gallery’s director. He is demanding that she illegally copy art masterpieces. Unwittingly, Annie is about to be drawn into the illicit, treacherous, and unpredictable world of art forgery. When DiCristiani is found murdered in cold blood, Francesca becomes the prime suspect. She calls upon Annie to help solve the crime along with her NYPD detective aunt, Jill Tillery. They must brave the dangers of an international art fraud ring in an attempt to clear Francesca’s name. They discover that the key to solving the case revolves around a mysterious brownstone in Brooklyn whose inhabitants present tantalizing and elusive clues. As Annie and company attempt to stay one step ahead of DiCristiani’s murderer, they escape one deadly trap after another. The stakes are high in the glamorous yet dangerous world of illegal art trafficking. Annie must solve the crime to save her life and that of her friends.

Cold Coffee Book Review: Annie Tillery Mysterys book two Girl with Pencil, Drawing is a spectacular read for students and young adults of all ages. Each book in the Annie Tiller Mystery Series is unique and stands alone with no need to read in a particular sequence.

The story line in ‘Girl with Pencil, Drawing’ by Author Linda Maria Frank draws the young reader into an adventure where young Annie Tillery goes for her first art lesson at a prestigious Art Gallery. With youthful exuberance and an eagerness to advance her drawing skills Annie arrives early. When she enters the studio she overhears a heated argument between two people who turn out to be her Art Instructor Francesca Gabrielli and the Art Gallery Director John DiCristiani.

Annie’s empathy for others and her sleuth personally draws her into a murder mystery when John DiCristiani turns up dead and Francesca Gabrielli is the prime suspect, Annie enlists the help of her Aunt Jill who is a NYPD Detective to help clear her new found friend and art mentor’s name.

With strong characters, flowing dialog and layers of mystery, soon everyone is caught up in a real who-dun-it that involves a long lists of suspects and hidden clues. Twists and turns with all the dangers that come into play when an International Art Fraud has been perpetrated.

I invite you to go beyond this headline: “Manhattan Business-Man Found Slain in Chelsea. John DiCristiani, a wealthy business man, whose financial interests reached as far as Hong Kong and Istanbul, was found shot to death in his posh apartment overlooking the Hudson River. Mr. DiCristiani’s body was found by an employee from his Soho gallery. The police questioned the employee, Ms. Francesca Gabrielli, at headquarters, but subsequently released her. Police would only confide that the murder weapon was found at the scene and that all other leads were being investigated. Mr. DiCristiani is survived by a son, Mark, twenty-five, a law student at New York University.”

Learn the ins and out of the art world that include how scientists tests for authenticity in original paintings by world renown artist like Renoir and the lucrative forgeries that make this underworld as treacherous as any international mob association.

Follow the clues, wait for the DNA evidence and sift through the ashes left by an arsonist. Inspire a young reader to discover the innate detective skills of Annie Tillery who is fast becoming the next Nancy Drew. This series should be placed on our schools’ summer reading list.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse ‘Girl with Pencil, Drawing’ and the Annie Tillery Mysteries by Linda Maria Frank. I purchased this book from Kindle.Review completion date March 24, 2015.

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery

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The Madonna Ghost by Linda Maria Frank

Seventeen-year-old Annie Tillery and her Aunt Jill set off for Long Island’s Fire Island for a vacation of surf, sun, and sailing. Annie is happy to leave behind the stress of her relationship with her parents. Aunt Jill, who is an NYPD detective, is mixing her vacation with a case she must keep secret from Annie, who is suspicious nevertheless. Annie finds romance and intrigue when she meets Ty Egan, the nephew of their host on the island. They find themselves in the middle of an eerie adventure when she and Ty investigate the tragic and perplexing story of a local ghost. Annie becomes increasingly uneasy and the investigation turns sinister when Aunt Jill goes missing, the ghost appears, and the troublesome neighbors in the cottage next door become hostile. When they find one of Aunt Jill’s special earrings on the neighbor’s porch, they begin to wonder what she was doing there. Will they find Aunt Jill before it’s too late? In the breathless conclusion to their investigation, Annie and Ty narrowly escape death solving the mystery of The Madonna Ghost.

Cold Coffee Book Review: Come on vacation with Annie Tillery and her Aunt Jill to Long Island’s Fire Island. Stand with Annie on the Ferry and recall what she sees; “Looking out across the Great South Bay, I could see Fire Island in the distance, a long stretch of dunes and scrub pines across the horizon. At the western end of the island, was the black and white striped tower of Fire Island lighthouse, blinking away. Sailboats maneuvered across the dark blue waters of the bay in ballerina fashion, their sails puffed out by the wind like dancers’ gauzy skirts.”

Walk along the boardwalk which “opens onto a broad cement lane where homey little cottages, each with a tiny garden” stretch as far as the eyes can see. Relax with Annie and Aunt Jill in the charm of “Windalee” one of the oldest houses on the island where secret a secret passage was used to smuggle liquor onto Long Island in the twenties. The Long Island coastland has always been the perfect environment for shipwrecks, lost treasure, pirates, bootleggers, drug runners, kidnapping and terrorists.

Learn the history of settlers coming to Long Island as far back as the early 1800s and how Fire Island got its name. Become aware that men, women and children enduring treacherous seas in wooden ships came to Fire Island and some were forced to wade cold ocean water to make it to Bay Shore. Join Annie and TY on their quest to see ‘The Madonna Ghost’ as past accounts and island legend recalls seeing her walking on the Bay Shores in the mist of the salt water air to protect the grave of her infant child who perished while she was trying to make it to shore.

Mystery and suspense develops when Annie discovers that her Aunt Jill, who is a NYPD detective is not really on vacation, but working an active case. Watch Annie’s sleuth abilities interrupt her own vacation when her beloved Aunt Jill is missing and some unscrupulous neighbors beside “Windalle” are on the top of her short list.

Enjoy a youthful budding romance and see for yourself that “Fire Island must indeed be a paradise where dreams come true.”

Annie Tillery Mysterys book two ‘The Madonna Ghost’ is an enjoyable read for students and young adults of all ages. Each book in the Annie Tiller Mystery Series is unique and stands alone with no need to read in a particular sequence. Author Linda Maria Frank uses her own background in forensic science, great research, delightful writing skills, intensive character development and interesting dialog to keep her readers engaged in each one of her mysteries. The Annie Tillery Mystery series should be placed on our schools’ summer reading list.

I, Theodocia Mclean endorse ‘The Madonna Ghost’ and the Annie Tillery Mysteries by Linda Maria Frank. I purchased this book from Kindle. Review completion date March 27, 2015.

Genre: Young Adult, Mystery

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Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Linda Maria Frank

Linda-Maria-FrankMessage from Author: Hello, fellow mystery lovers. As a teacher of forensic science for almost 20 years, I decided to create mysteries around the science I found most interesting. I also wanted to create a smart, edgy, young female detective to solve my cases. The result was Annie Tillery. I like to call my books “Nancy Drew meets CSI”. My books capture, not only my love of mystery and science, but those things I found most exciting in life; sailing, falling in love, and my fascination with New York City.

Currently, I am living on Long Island and working hard to promote my books. The third Annie Tillery mystery will revolve around another topic I find fascinating, and that is archeology. It takes place in Turkey. Stay tuned for more thrilling and dangerous adventures for Annie and that oh-so-sexy Ty.

After many years in the teaching profession, Linda Maria Frank, the author of Annie Tillery Mysteries, has launched a new career. Inspired by a childhood passion for the Nancy Drew series and the popular television series, CSI, she successfully married an appealing heroine (Annie Tillery) with gripping story plots to create these new fiction books for mystery readers.

THE MADONNA GHOST has earned the distinctive “Editor’s Choice” and “Rising Star” awards. As a result of this book, Frank is included in the Authors Show 2013 Edition of “50 Great Writers You Should be Reading”.  GIRL WITH PENCIL DRAWING, the second book in the series, ramps up the adventure and suspense. Annie stays one step ahead of the bad guys by the skin of her teeth. The third Annie Tillery Mystery, SECRETS IN THE FAIRY CHIMNEYS, takes Annie to Turkey where caves, treasure pirates and saboteurs threaten to close down the archeological dig where she and her friends are working to unlock the secrets in the oldest town ever discovered.

Continuing her passion for her former career in education, she has put lesson plans for her books on her website, www.lindamaria.com, and other teacher websites. Her conviction is that you can make your child a life-long reader by introducing them to exciting fiction that will provoke them to ask questions about the world they live in, or would like to know about.

Before venturing into writing, Frank’s first love was teaching science, her assignments ranging from Middle School to graduate level courses at Hofstra and Adelphi Universities. She was the science chairperson for the last five years of her career at Seaford, L.I. Schools. She was awarded teacher of the year in Seaford High School in 1989. She won an award from the American Association of University Women for her ability to inspire young women to pursue careers in science.

 At Hofstra University she taught courses in forensic Science and Biotechnology at Hostra College, as well as Science Methods courses in the School of Education. It was the Forensic Science courses that gave her the story lines for her heroine, Annie, who is based on a composite of former beloved students.

She recently retired from Adelphi University where she supervised science student teachers. To quote, “Writing, publishing, and marketing books is a full time job, and it’s time to change careers.”

Today she collaborates with children’s author, Karen Bonnet, to do presentations about their books and their journeys in self-publishing. Linda and Karen give a portion of the proceeds from their books to the Interfaith Nutritional Network, and are planning a series of programs for the Boys and Girl Club.

She also collaborates with author, Lois W. Stern, on a project called Tales2Inspire, a writing contest, an anthology of inspiring stories, and a marketing platform where authors help authors.

Presently Frank is involved in a project at LTV in East Hampton called “The Writer’s Dream”, an interview show where authors discuss the many different aspects of the profession. The show is aired on Cablevision 20.

Her ultimate goals are: to find an agent who will present my books to TV or film, to find venues to present my books and programs, and to organize book fairs as events for non-profit organizations to raise money.

Interview:

What makes you proud to be a writer from greater NYC? Being a writer in the greater NYC area is a challenge due to the competitive environment. There are many writers here in my little town of Massapequa Park. Long Island is proud to have many writers’ groups, organizations and Meet-ups. (My Meet-up is called FABLE of Massapequa Park). To have written, published and become active in marketing my Annie Tillery Mystery series is an accomplishment alone, and it is a second career. It’s been a great learning experience for me, as well as a teaching opportunity by way of sharing my experiences with others, both young students and other writers. I do a workshop on the ins and outs of self-publishing with another author. It’s called “So You Want to Write a Story”.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? The inspiration to write this series comes from my teaching days. I enjoyed exploring the world of science with my students. In particular, it was a pet project of mine to encourage my female students to peruse science careers, for which I won an award from the American Assn. of University Women.  When I started writing and creating the character of Annie Tillery, I drew from the characteristics of my female students. Secondly, I love the field of forensic science which I taught for over twenty years. And who of American adult women didn’t love Nancy Drew?

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? The first two books were written when I took a writing course. I really didn’t know how to write a book, so I took a course in novel writing. My mentor said they were good, but it would take time to get them traditionally published. I put them aside. When self-publishing became a recognized entity, I decided to publish, picked a company, and in 2010 had my first published book.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? My parents were well educated, encouraged higher education, and fostered a love of reading. The schools I went to and the friends I had aimed for intellectually challenging careers. My first writing pieces were all about my life at home and the warm nurturing environment it provided.

Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? The first two books, The Madonna Ghost, and Girl with Pencil Drawing had titles from the start. Secrets in the Fairy Chimneys came to me at the very end of writing the book. I am writing book #4 and it has a working title for the purpose of filing, but I think this one will have to come after I have done significant work on the book.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? My genre is often listed as either YA mystery or Children’s Mystery. I am more comfortable with Mysteries for Girls of Any Age, because that is where I find my audience. The plots are intricate enough for adult readers, as is the CSI science. My heroine is 17 going on 19 as the books progress, and that’s what makes the series for young readers.

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? I love archaeology. I read an article about an archaeological dig in Turkey. I thought, what a great setting for a mystery. I researched the area of Turkey which, by the way, has the weirdest landscape, and I went from there, even visiting Turkey.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? When my book club, Seaford Bookies, comprised of my teacher contemporaries, read my first book, The Madonna Ghost, and one of them said, “I love Annie”, I believed there was no greater reward. They continue to read and purchase my books. Who better to know a great teen girl than the teachers who spent their lives teaching, guiding and nurturing them?

Have you had a negative experience in your writing career? If so please explain how it could have been avoided? A fellow author said he knew an agent, and would I like him to give her one of my books. Of course I said yes. Her opening comment to me was, “I didn’t really read your book, but . . .” Her comments were the exact opposite of any reader comments I had received. Lesson: Never ask an agent for a favor. Their time is too precious to give you a comment based on actually reading your book. You must approach and agent in the proscribed professional way laid out on their websites. Breaches of this protocol are not well received.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Having the first copy of The Madonna Ghost sent to me in the mail, opening the package and holding it in my hand. I had just completed medical procedures for a bout with cancer, and this was very sweet indeed.

Have you had a negative experience in your publishing journey? If so please explain how it could have been avoided? I have had to argue some points with editors about plot elements and science which they are not too up on, but otherwise, it’s been a good experience. The self-publishing companies offer many marketing packages for very steep prices. I tried one of the promotions that came with my publishing package and it was not effective.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Search the internet for free help with your writing. Join a writing circle. If one doesn’t suit your needs, try another one. There are lots out there. When your manuscript is done, get the best professional editor you can afford.

Who is your favorite author and why? Don’t laugh. Charles Dickens. His stories are rich with, not only language, but plot twists. His characters are masterpieces of humanity. The social themes of his stories are cogent today. He has crafted wonderful, colorful stories.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? I would like to see more books written where girls are smart, strong, courageous, and independent.

I do a workshop on “Daydreaming”, because I think it is important to know the things you really love, and will lead you on a road to what you really want to be in life. Take your favorite daydream, and take baby steps to make it happen. Research it. Find out how to accomplish your dream. And soon, “wishing or rather, daydreaming, will make it so.”

Linda writes Great Teen Mystery Books – Where Nancy Drew Meets CSI

Do you love a Mystery? How about a Ghost Story? Grab some pure entertainment!

Enter the world of “Nancy Drew Meets CSI” and follow new girl detective, Annie Tillery, as she navigates her way through intriguing plots with good forensic science, narrowly escaping the dangers that keep those pages turning.

Author Linda Maria Frank’s Websites and Related Links
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Author J. A. Hunsinger (Colorado-USA)

Assimilation: An Axe of Iron Novel by J. A. Hunsinger

Assimilation will wet the appetite of the fans that have developed a fascination with the plight of the Greenland Viking settlers in the first two novels of the series, The Settlers and Confrontation.

The twists and turns of this continuing tale will engage the reader from the outset as the tall, fair-skinned invaders, knowing it is their key to survival, gradually assimilate with the savage natives of the pre-historical land that will become the Hudson Bay and Great Lakes regions of Canada and the US.

In a scenario ordained by the gods, this assimilation process has a thin chance of success through the forced involvement of two of the Viking settlers with tribes of natives that are habitual enemies of one another. Against overwhelming odds that can have but one successful outcome for the settlers, daily life becomes a balancing act where one word, one gesture, one innocent mistake, can spell disaster in this hostile setting.

Cold Coffee Book Review: Assimilation is the final novel in the Axe of Iron series by J. A. Hunsinger. The author asks that you read or reread the ‘Historical Perspective’ that is located in ‘The Settlers’ which is the first volume in this series. The author’s research into the historical time frame and authentic pre-historical Indian names is irrefutable. The ‘Historical Perspective’ goes into the whole concept of the Norse sagas. Even though each book stands alone, as a reader who has enjoyed the entire series, I encourage you to purchase all three books.

As the author states in his book’s description, the first two books in this series (The Settlers and Confrontation) “dealt with the plight of the Greenland Viking settlers”.

Assimilation begins with a map showing where the settlements are and opens with two Naskapi warriors hidden from view, surveying the river valley below. The saga continues with descriptive writing that puts you the reader on the ground experiencing the mysteries of the Viking period. Smell the earth and lush dense forests, travel the routes carved out of the land by natives and take up residence in the villages and experience the hardships of this pre-historical land that we now call the Hudson Bay and the Great Lakes of Canada and the US.

Eavesdrop on Nipishish and Ingerd as they lay in each other’s arms, engaged in whispered conversation like couples do.

Join warriors in their canoes as they glide in the chill of pre-dawn morning heading toward the Haudenosaunee Village.

Stand at the rail of a Viking ship called Steed of the Sea and feel the motion of the sea as the ship heads towards a distant beach.

After the storm, the Norse society dries out and attends to the damage that Njord and Thor (the gods of weather) have forced upon them. Catch a glimpse of the smoke that curls into the calm skies over the cook fires where fish, meat and stew aroma awaits the barley bread and other leftovers that will nourish the community and reward the daily chores.

Reconnect with the characters that you have come to know like Halfdan, his dog Fang, Tostig, and experience the council meetings where men discuss their destiny, when in reality it is the gods like the “mighty Thor” who have the final say.

Strong women who cook and weave on looms by the light of seal oil lamps, teach their girls to spin fibers of wool into skeins of thread, care for the children and their men with tenderness in a world where both beauty and harshness intertwine. Communities where communication and yes even gossip are the norm, and where the outsider might find rest if assimilation is acquired.

Drumbeats of war are as common as the moon rising over the snow, so too are the tracks of snowshoes where the trappers are as important as the warriors for a civilization that exists within a fine balance between preservation and extinction. Here is a quote: “Nipishish, Kejo, and Lothar returned to their village as quickly as possible after the parley with Nesatin. Word spread faster than normal through the Nitassinan that the Anishinabeg had rejected Sachem’s peace offering regarding the people of Haldansfjord.”

I invite you to read Assimilation and discover for yourself where the legend of the Death Wind came from and what it meant for the earliest American colonies. Enjoy the detailed glossary at the end of this book which will help you understand the authentic names and terms used in this book series.

Let me take this moment to thank Author J. A. Hunsinger for his time, research and engaging storytelling that has made An Axe of Iron series possible. I sincerely hope that he will continue to write as some storytellers have one story to tell, others have infinite stories that need to be told and preserved for generations to come. The Axe of Iron novels are one of those series that time will not forget.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Assimilation: An Axe of Iron Novel by J. A. Hunsinger. Assimilation is book three in the fictional historical accounting of exploration and settlement of Vinland (North America). I purchased this book from Kindle. Review posted on October 1, 2016.

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Confrontation: An Axe of Iron Novel by J.A. Hunsinger

Second Book In An Axe of Iron Series

In Confrontation, two calamitous events occur that pave the way for the hostile beginnings of an assimilation process between the Greenland Norse settlers and the natives of Vinland. The first mixing of cultures occurs when a woman of the Northmen, Thora, and Deskaheh the Haudenosaunee, marry. This union, accepted enthusiastically by the Northmen, opens a window into the native mind.

For all the people of this land the way is rocky and fraught with danger at every turn, but the acceptance and friendship that develops between the Northmen and the Naskapi, another native tribe, over an affair of honor, the eventual acceptance of a young boy of the Northmen by his Haudenosaunee captors, and a scenario that seems ordained by the will of the gods, makes it all begin to fall into place, as it must for the Northmen to survive.

Will this developing relationship allow the Northmen to remain in the homeland of the Naskapi, or are they doomed to failure?

The settlers must deal with that question on a daily basis. Standing in their way are uncounted numbers of indigenous peoples, the pre-historical ancestors of the contemporary Cree (Naskapi), Ojibwa (Anishinabeg), and Iroquois (Haudenosaunee) Indians. From the outset, the warriors of these various tribes violently resisted the incursion of the tall, pale-skinned invaders. The overwhelming numbers of the native peoples in Vinland hold the fate of the Northmen in their hands. The success or failure of the settlement at Halfdansfjord hangs in the balance.

Cold Coffee Book Review: This character driven, action packed historical fiction saga continues from ‘The Settlers: An Axe Of Iron Novel’ where 163 Greenlanders and 152 Icelanders (including men, women and children) set sail with horses, cows, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats, equipment ( tents and parts to horse drawn carts) and supplies to explore areas of what they call Vinland (North America).

Confrontation – An Axe Of Iron Novel cover with the Viking battle axe reflecting warriors gives us the first clue regarding the brutal facts of survival and desperate measures taken by men to protect their women, children and settlement with blood sweat and tears. Author J. A. Hunsinger has provided an in-depth ‘Glossary of Norse Terms’ and ‘Native Terms’ to help readers understand the people and culture.

Settling into a new land will prove challenging when the indigenous tribes who have a distaste for any fair skinned men due to those who cheated them in trade, abused them and killed their tribesmen in the past. Apart from expected interaction with the variety of native cultures, life in the new settlement is forced into daily and seasonal routines out of necessity.

Halfdan Ingolfsson and Gudbjartur Einarsson (his second in command) walk the settlement commons overseeing the duties pertaining to survival like the grueling process of filling the Kiln (furnace) with dry birch wood, burning the wood until only charcoal is left and then storing this precious commodity under the shed roof to be used for heat and cooking during the harsh winter months.

Children in the settlement (especially the boys) had to earn their place in their family and settlement by moving from boyhood into manhood by demonstrating skills taught and mirrored to them by their fathers, brothers, cousins and other men around them. Skills like hunting which was the core of survival. Unfortunately dangers exist when dealing with wild animals like a Bull Moose protecting his territory, cow and calf. Death can be mercifully quick and brutal. The burial ceremony, reverence for even the youngest hunter/warrior, tradition and spirituality (Gods Will) play a role for the dead and those who remain.

Seasons marked by the moon predict work, trade, play, marriage and birth. I quote Bjorn “as a pleasant smile curved his lips”. “Yes, it is time I thought of a mate. Another long winter comes and company in my bed would be welcome. Perhaps this is the one (as he recalls the tall blonde woman)”.

Confrontation is inevitable, warriors’ attack, prisoners taken, injuries sustained, spoils of battles and questions about their ability to live in peace brings us to the anticipation of the third book in An Axe Of Iron Series titled “Assimilation”.

J. A. Hunsinger’s series ‘An Axe Of Iron’ has been exhaustively researched and parallel the actually events as close as a historical fiction can. I recommend this series to both men and women and suggest that the series be placed on a high school/college reading list.

This reviewer is looking forward to ‘Assimilation – An Axe Of Iron Novel’ which is the third book in the series.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Confrontation: An Axe of Iron Novel by J.A. Hunsinger’s book two in the fictional historical accounting of exploration and settlement of Vinland (North America). Reviewed posted on October 20, 2014.

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The Settlers: An Axe of Iron Novel by J. A. Hunsinger

First Book In The Axe Of Iron Series

The Settlers: Axe of Iron is a tale of survival, strife, love, and the quest for a new home in the face of hostile opposition. Conditions of manifest destiny propel a large contingent of Norse Greenlanders from relative security into an odyssey of exploration and settlement out over the unknown waters of the North Atlantic, to a North America of one thousand years ago, to a land they called Vinland. The chieftain, Halfdan Ingolfsson and his second-in-command, Gudbjartur Einarsson, spend a winter gathering 315 men, women, and children from the two Norse settlements on the southwestern coast of Greenland.

Early in the spring of A.D. 1008, the company sets sail aboard six large cargo ships. Five days into the voyage, in the strait between Helluland and Markland, present day Hudson Strait, a gale holds the flotilla in its grip for four long and arduous days. Halfdan decides to seek shelter in a protected bay, so they can rest, repair the storm damage, and replenish food stores lost in the storm.

During the following weeks, the settlers reap a harvest of fish and game that is the best in living memory. When hunters discover a sheltered fjord, Halfdan orders a move. Tornit hunters from far to the north venture south to hunt, and the Northmen strike up a friendship with them. The Tornit tell the newcomers much about the local area and describe coastal waters far to the south.

It is this thought-provoking insight into the geography of this new land and the dawning realization that the storm god, Njord, seems to have led his people to this place, that cause Halfdan to revise his thinking and propose a new plan to Gudbjartur and the council of ship’s captains: sail south before choosing where to build their settlement.

Genre: Historical Fiction

Cold Coffee Book Review: The Viking ship called ‘Steed of the Sea’ sailing in the cold dark waters in the foreground of tall glaciers under a foreboding sky on the cover is just the beginning.

Whether you sat under the history lessons of Columbus discovering America or are more adventurous in your approach to history and have a yearning to know who was here when Columbus arrived and where did they come from, ‘The Settlers’ is a tale that should be on a mandatory reading list in all schools in order to provoke thought and discussion on native North America in the latter half of the tenth century. Scholars can’t agree but this tale offers a new perspective about America’s indigenous people, how they viewed explorers, handled settlers and coexisted on a bountiful body of land with all its beauty and treacherous environment.

It is important to read the ‘Author’s Note’, ‘Historical Perspective’ and the ‘Glossary Of Norse Terms’ provided by the author to educate the reader. In the Author’s Note you will meet Gudbjartur Einarsson who is an Icelander, a Northman or Norseman who is second in command under Halfdan Ingolfsson. Chapter one unfolds six wooden ships carrying 163 Greenlanders and 152 Icelanders (including men, women and children) set sail with horses, cows, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats, equipment ( tents and parts to horse drawn carts) and supplies to explore areas of what they call Vinland (North America).

Exhaustive research, realistic characters garbed in functional layers residing in a true to life story line that allows the reader to experience the sea voyage and land exploration with exquisite writing that creates a sense of being present in the story even when this first book in ‘An Axe Of Iron Novel’ series has been closed on a night stand.

Here’s a few of my favorite quotes from the book:

“He whistled tunelessly to himself, the notes blown away on the wind. His eyes darted over the sea ahead and aloft at the trim of the sail and rigging. The heart of the ship pulsed through the soles of his feet, vibrated up through the steering oar and the palms of his hands, an inaudible hum that told him all was well in his world.”

“Wind driven rain stung exposed skin like bees protecting their hive.”

“Several kettles of whale blubber boiled over individual fires on the beach to render the valuable oil. The thick, rich oil, skimmed of the connective tissue – the crunchy fried meat and curled pieces of skin were a delicacy-had many uses. It was a valuable food source, preservative, and lamp fuel.”

After the journey across treacherous seas land was a welcome sight with all of its wild game like “Grunting herds of Reindeer” not to mention the predators like wolves and bears. Women and children scour rocky cliffs for seabird eggs to add to their food supply giving the kids some stress relieving egg throwing activity.

Unforeseen and inevitable injuries, herbal treatments, Viking burial ceremony amidst deep held Christian beliefs.

Attraction and a “bed of soft, furry skins nestled in the scrub brush, well protected from the north wind’. Passion, “eyes smoldered with lust” hands explore, tongues probe, “locked bodies swayed in the throes of passion”.

Hunting and cooking for survival, sewing for protective covering, animal pelts and jewelry making for trade commodity. The best and the worst of human nature revealed in a hostile new world.

Now heading into the reading of ‘Confrontation: An Axe Of Iron Novel’ book two of the series gives clarity as to the sequence of history, characters and events that readers should follow in order to understand and digest the fiction history which is laid out in great detail, humanity and historical correlation regarding much debated events.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse The Settlers – An Axe of Iron Novel book one in the fictional historical accounting of exploration and settlement of Vinland (North America). Reviewed posted on October 18, 2014.

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Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author J. A. Hunsinger

j-a-hunsinger-2016J. A. Hunsinger is an Author, Publisher, Amateur Archaeologist and Historian. His Axe of Iron Series Details The Settlement Of A Large Group Of Norsemen On The North American Continent Beginning In 1008 AD.

J. A. Hunsinger’s Books Include Axe Of Iron: The Settlers, Confrontation and Assimilation.

J. A. Hunsinger lives in Colorado, USA, with his wife Phyllis. He writes and promotes full-time. His three book trilogy Axe of Iron Series can be purchased at Vinland Publishing. His books are also available from Amazon.

Although he has long been a writer, much of his adult life has been associated with commercial aviation, both in and out of the cockpit. As an Engineering Technical Writer for Honeywell Commercial Flight Systems Group, Phoenix, AZ, he authored two comprehensive pilots’ manuals on aircraft computer guidance systems and several supplemental aircraft radar manuals. His manuals have been published and distributed worldwide to airline operators by Honeywell Engineering, Phoenix, AZ. His first published work for the general public, Flight Into Danger, appeared in Flying Magazine, (August 2002). Many of his articles have been featured in other periodicals and websites or are featured on his blog.

After his flying career ended on his 60th birthday, he found himself with time to continue his writing; this first novel was actually begun more than twenty years ago. He attended many writing classes and seminars, but couldn’t sustain a head of steam as a writer. All of that changed abruptly in 2004, when he remarried. Phyllis provided the necessary push and as a result he treated writing as work, which it most certainly is.

Writing is a learned craft. In order to learn to write, you must write. Eventually the classes must be set aside; set a daily work schedule and stick to it. That is not to say you should stop taking classes altogether; learning is a lifetime experience. Sooner or later though, you must take the plunge and go at it on your own.

Have a story to tell, one that you like. Then sit down and get busy. Have your work professionally edited: rewrite, edit, rewrite, until you’ve gotten it as good as it can be.

That’s all there is to being a writer.

Interview:

Tell us what makes you proud to be a writer from Grand Junction, Colorado? Writing is the culmination of a lifetime of learning and working at my chosen profession. My first composition for hire was as an air transport engineering technical writer. Now, for the first time I am able to work at my own pace in response to my criteria for the task at hand. I always wanted to write, but my primary mission was to make a living for my family, so I had no time for pie-in-the sky dreams. Now that my career has ended and my life is settled I can write without the worry of making a living. If my books continue to find a market, one day I might perhaps make a success of this. In the meantime I am telling my stories, people are buying and reading my books, and that is what this is all about for me. It never was about the money; rather it is about telling the story.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? I have been a writer all my life, but I merely dabbled at writing. But I did have a story to tell that gradually possessed me, so I had to tell it. My wife, Phyllis provided the support and advocacy that I needed to actually write a novel.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? I began to write the story 20-years ago, but the time and desire to write and finish the work did not manifest itself until I retired from flying and remarried. My soul mate entered my life in Feb. 2004. From that point on she gave me the shove that I needed to organize the details of what had been rattling around in my head over most of my adult life.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and why? Yes, definitely! I came from a military family of readers and I was raised before TV ruined the family unit in American society. My Dad wrote many short stories and articles, so his grasp of the English language and his amazing vocabulary impressed me from the beginning. My entire education was in Parochial schools and Parochial College, so I received the best stimulus available to become whatever I wanted.

Do you come up with your title (s) before or after you write the manuscript (s)? I have all the titles of my Axe of Iron Series noted, as each covers a certain segment of the series and that title reflects a major scene of that particular book.

Tell us why you write the genre (s) that you write? I am an avid reader of both history texts and historical fiction novels. Written history has many holes, gaps if you will, that give an author an endless supply of fodder. It is natural for me to tell stories about subjects in which I have an interest. The Greenland Vikings and the medieval Viking culture in general have always been my focus. My Swedish/German heritage is another reason for my interest in the medieval Germanic tribes.

The Axe of Iron Series are character-driven, historical fiction books. My characters tell the story and the reader sees the events through their eyes. I have had a lifelong interest in the medieval Norse people. That interest became focused on the five hundred year history of the two known Norse Greenland settlements. The mystery surrounding their abandonment and the disappearance of every single person living therein has captured my imagination. My books offer a plausible story of what my reading and research has indicated may have happened to them.

Tell us your most rewarding experience while in the writing process? That would have to be when the rough draft is finished and I read the entire manuscript and realize that I have written a good story.

Tell us your most negative experience while in the writing process? The road to publication has been a nightmare because of the time and money wasted while I learned the business. I wish I could say that there is lots of help out there for the newbie’s, but actually, the reverse is true. You are prey swimming in the shark’s pool— take heed. Believe nobody, and get everything in writing, research, research, and research. Even then, you will have picked the worst time in the world’s economy to enter the business.

Dealing with agents is a most disheartening undertaking for a writer. Agents act like the writer exists because of agents, when in fact it is the other way around. I wasted a year trying to find an agent from among those professing to have an interest in my area of my genre only to find that there are not any in existence. I have no need for an agent. Having said all of that, though, clearing the air so to speak, I do have a few suggestions if you are interested.

Do your homework on the submission guidelines for any query. All literary agents will have their own guidelines; adhere to them absolutely. Do not ever send a manuscript unless it is requested. Hire professional editors to edit everything that another person will read, especially the final draft of your manuscript. Spell check, spell check, and spell check.

An English teacher is not an editor and you cannot edit your own work, so hire someone. Your professionalism will determine whether you ever make the grade. A shabby cover letter on your submission packet will guarantee its demise. Agents and publishers are busy people and they have no time to waste on people who do not follow their submission guidelines.Tell us your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? When you hold your finished book in hand. You will have been through a gut wrenching, mind-numbing roller coaster ride. You will have wanted to get off more than a few times, but you stuck it out and your finished book has made it worthwhile.

Tell us your most negative experience in your publishing journey? Having to learn the trade, write my book, take care of copyright, ISBN, barcodes, etc. and find a reputable house to print, manage, warehouse, and distribute my books was a negative from the outset. It made the process all uphill and much of the pleasure was lost as a result. I did find such a house in BookMasters, Inc., Ashland, OH, but it was a long search. Bookmasters can and will do everything they tell you. However, be aware that there are MANY unscrupulous people and companies out there waiting to take your money while promising the moon. Now that I know something about the business I have found this second book of my Axe of Iron series to be a satisfying experience. I would have preferred to hire a literary agent and publish my work through a large house. That did not happen due in part to the continued decay of publishing in this country. In this economy, which will continue to worsen at all levels, few large houses will survive, leaving the small independent publisher as one of the few avenues to publication for an author. Those publishers that survive, large and small, will be extremely selective in the books that they publish, leaving many authors to wither away.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Our mission as authors is to get published. Let’s assume that your manuscript is a first draft. Before you can send out query letters telling the world of the birth of the great American novel, your work needs editing. I do not mean having a friend, an English teacher, your boss, or any other layman read your manuscript, no, I mean that you must engage the services of a professional editor. Thus begins the process of polishing your manuscript until it is the best it can be. This process can involve numerous corrections and rewrites. Done correctly it is a lot of work. I do all editing electronically within MS Word. The time and expense involved varies with the quality of the work. One hundred thousand words will cost in the neighborhood of $2000.00, or more, by the time you get it right.

Believe it or not, writing your book is only the beginning. With a final draft of your manuscript in hand, it is time to query. Famous people query with a proposal before writing the manuscript. I will assume that you are not yet famous. As an author, you cannot deal directly with one of the large publishing houses, so your next challenge is to interest a literary agent in your work. If you find a literary agent, your relationship will be contractual. Do nothing with anyone without a contract. Fully understand your part of the contract before signing, or hire an attorney versed in literary contracts to help you understand. There are numerous listings of literary agents on the Internet. Research each agent for their submission guidelines, select those receptive to your genre, be certain that they are accepting submissions, submit only what they require, and never send an unsolicited manuscript. They will not read it. Your literary agent will handle your contractual relationship with a publisher; they are your agent acting in your behalf.

If you are fortunate enough to become a published author through the literary agent/publisher/reader sequence of progression, congratulations, you have hit the big time. Your publisher will handle all the details of composition/format, cover design, printing/binding, fulfillment/marketing, and warehouse/distribution, leaving you free to crank out books. You will have little or no input regarding any of the production aspects of your book, nor will you retain any rights other than copyright. The publisher will own the ISBN and all future negotiations for anything concerning that work will be through, or with the permission of, the publisher.

Who is your favorite author? Why I am my favorite author, of course! But, I continue to read with pleasure: Cecil Scott Forester, Wilbur Smith, Ayn Rand, W.E.B Griffin, Ken Follett, and too many others to list in this space.

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J. A. Hunsinger’s Websites:
http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/
http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/reviews/
http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/order/
http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/articles/
http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/blog/
http://www.vinlandpublishing.com/contact/

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Author Kathi Wyldeck (Sydney, Australia)

English A Comprehensive Course Grades 7 to 9 – by Kathi WyldeckEnglish: A Comprehensive Course-Grades 7 to 9 by Kathi Wyldeck

This comprehensive English course is designed for children in Grades 7 to 9, for advanced ESL students, for remedial pupils who need more practice with basic skills, and for students who study at home. Every chapter consists of grammar, reading comprehension, phonic spelling, vocabulary, conversation, writing practice, and general knowledge. At the back of the book are several extra sections including conversation topics for ESL students, extra writing topics, a phonics summary, dictations, a book-list, and answers to all the exercises. This book is based on the “Essential English” series, but is an updated version, in a larger format and with the addition of general knowledge.

Cold Coffee Book Review: Comprehensive English (grammar, spelling, punctuation, reading comprehension, conversation and writing) is exactly what a student will learn. This book is designed to teach students between Grades 7 and 9, advanced ESL pupils, students in Grades 10 to 12 who need revision of basic skills and teenagers and adults interested in learning or need a review of advanced grammar. This book is designed for individual learning, classroom and home school environments.

This reviewer is particularly impressed that the author has included several sections for special needs: ESL pupils (a large choice of conversation topics is offered), students wanting more writing practice (extra topics are set), unconfident spellers (a phonics summary is provided), pupils keen to read more books (a book-list is included) and for parents and tutors (dictations and answers are supplied).

Author Kathi Wyldeck grew up in Sydney, Australia, won a Commonwealth Scholarship to the University of Sydney, studied Science and worked as a clinical and research technician at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, before becoming a full-time mum to raise her three sons (served as Cub Scout Leader). After returning to work, she switched careers and became a general education tutor to children, teenagers and ESL adults. Kathi has taught a variety of subjects, but developed an interest in the teaching of grammar and writing skills.

I, Theodocia McLean am familiar with and endorses Kathi Wyldeck’s educational books. The content, detail and clarity are worth the small monetary investment. Her sixteen educational books All You Need to Know About Grammar, English For Everyone: Book One and Two, English – A Comprehensive Course: Grades 3 to 5, 5 to 7, 7 to 9, Essential English Book 1, 2 and 3, Everyday Spelling and Grammar, Family Games, Games For Fun: Fitness and Learning, Grammar and Vocabulary Games for Children, How to Write – Writing Lessons for Middle School, How to Write an Essay, and Writing Practice Workbook can be purchased from Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and Lulu. Review date September 2014.

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Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author Kathi Wyldeck

 Kathi Wyldeck 2014 HeadshotKathi Wyldeck grew up in Sydney, Australia, won a Commonwealth Scholarship to the University of Sydney, studied Science and worked as a clinical and research technician at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, before becoming a full-time mum to raise her three sons.

After returning to work, she switched careers and became a general education tutor to children, teenagers and ESL adults. Kathi has taught a variety of subjects, but developed an interest in the teaching of grammar and writing skills.

Having been a Cub Scout Leader while her children were young, she also has a natural love of games – indoor, outdoor, active, quiet and educational – and this love has flowed through to writing three games books (“Family Games”, “Games for Fun, Fitness and Learning” and “Grammar and Vocabulary Games for Children”).

Her first two grammar books were published by Pascal Press in Australia (“All You Need to Know About Grammar” and “Everyday Spelling and Grammar”) and these became best-sellers. Since then, further books on Comprehensive English (“English – A Comprehensive Course: Grades 3 to 5; 5 to 7; 7 to 9” and “English for Everyone – Books 1 and 2”) and Writing Technique (“How to Write an Essay” and “How to Write – Writing Lessons for Middle School”) have become popular on the international market.

Kathi has a love of reading, and writes as a hobby. Other interests over the years have included skydiving, hot-air ballooning, hiking, surfing, travelling, astronomy and photography. She thanks you for taking an interest in her work.

Kathi Wyldeck grew up in Sydney, Australia, won a Commonwealth Scholarship to the University of Sydney, studied Science and worked as a clinical and research technician at the Garvan Institute of Medical Research, before becoming a full-time mum to raise her three sons.

After returning to work, she switched careers and became a general education tutor to children, teenagers and ESL adults. Kathi has taught a variety of subjects, but developed an interest in the teaching of grammar and writing skills.

Having been a Cub Scout Leader while her children were young, she also has a natural love of games – indoor, outdoor, active, quiet and educational – and this love has flowed through to writing three games books (“Family Games”, “Games for Fun, Fitness and Learning” and “Grammar and Vocabulary Games for Children”).

Her first two grammar books were published by Pascal Press in Australia (“All You Need to Know About Grammar” and “Everyday Spelling and Grammar”) and these became best-sellers. Since then, further books on Comprehensive English (“English – A Comprehensive Course: Grades 3 to 5; 5 to 7; 7 to 9” and “English for Everyone – Books 1 and 2”) and Writing Technique (“How to Write an Essay” and “How to Write – Writing Lessons for Middle School”) have become popular on the international market.

Kathi has a love of reading, and writes as a hobby. Other interests over the years have included skydiving, hot-air ballooning, hiking, surfing, travelling, astronomy and photography. She thanks you for taking an interest in her work.

Interview:

What makes you proud to be a writer from Australia? I’m proud to be a writer not so much because of where I come from, but because of the fact that my educational books are different from other books of this genre in my country. I like to feel that my books are unique and offer something that the others don’t. I wrote most of my books in Sydney, Australia, but have written a few more since moving down to Tasmania, the beautiful island-state of Australia.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? I’m surprised that I have become a writer! I never planned it that way! The stimulus that pushed me into writing educational books was the disappointment I felt when my three children went through school, and received a very mediocre education in the modern school system. Compared with when I was at school, the curriculum has been “dumbed down” here, and I would describe the Australian education system as indoctrinating and fact-free! I started by wanting to write a book that my own children could learn from, so that they could receive the grammar, spelling, punctuation, writing and general knowledge that the school system was no longer delivering.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? At first, I wrote just for my three sons and a few English as a Second Language (ESL) students whom I tutored after school. The lessons and exercises that I wrote down, I then compiled into a manuscript, and after about a year of success with these notes, I wondered if any publisher would find them useful. I started to send my manuscript to various educational publishers, and after about nine months, a very well-respected company offered to publish this first book. I was overjoyed, of course, and thrilled to see it hit the best seller list for an educational book. It has remained a top seller, even eleven years after first publication. This book was called “All You Need to Know About Grammar”, by Pascal Press. A short time after this book hit the shelves, the company invited me to write a second book, which also became a hit. It was called “Everyday Spelling and Grammar”. It was after the success of these first two books that I started to think that maybe I should write some more! That’s when I became a writer.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? My upbringing played an enormous role in my decision to write educational books. I was fortunate enough to attend a very good school which was rigorous in its teaching, and turned all its pupils into independent, knowledgeable, hard-working young adults. We left school feeling like walking encyclopaedias! We had the facts at our fingertips, a love of learning and the confidence to know that through our own hard work, we could teach ourselves anything in the future. We were made to write enormous quantities of work at school, and we were all so used to writing that it just flowed effortlessly. With a love of factual knowledge and a confidence that I could write well, becoming a writer was easy, all thanks to my schooling.

Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? Pascal Press chose the titles for my first two books, but when I became an independent publisher with Lulu, I was glad that I could choose my own. Because my books are educational, my titles do their best to explain what the books are about. They are just clear, simple titles – nothing fancy about them.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? My main genre is “Education”. Most of my books are comprehensive English books, created to suit a wide ability range of students, from ESL learners and those having trouble with the basics, to intermediate and more advanced students who needed harder work and greater challenges. Each chapter of these books contains grammar, reading comprehension, spelling and dictation, vocabulary, conversation and writing exercises, with booklists and answers at the back. My main titles in this category are the series entitled “English – A Comprehensive Course” for Grades 3 to 5; Grades 5 to 7; Grades 7 to 9. My other genre is “Games”. Having raised three boys, and also having been a Cub Scout Leader for many years, I have a natural love of games. As a Cub Scout Leader, I wrote a book of games for my Cubs, mainly to help me in programme preparation. My first two games books “Games for Fun, Fitness and Learning” (suitable for big groups of children at Cubs, school, church or childcare centres) and a similar book called “Family Games” (for small family groups and home-schoolers) consist of three sections: games just for fun and fitness; life skill games; educational games. The third book in this games genre is “Grammar and Vocabulary Games for Children” which is a big hit with school teachers and home-schooling families, especially in USA and Britain. After a lesson has been given on the topic, the children are given the chance to consolidate their learning by enjoying the fun and active games in this book that test their knowledge of grammar and vocabulary in a play-as-you-learn format.

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? “English – A Comprehensive Course: Grades 7 to 9” is my most recent work. It is the final in the series of three books, and it just seemed natural that this title would be the best one to promote. It is selling well on Amazon and Lulu, and is also available as a Kindle book, although I would recommend the paper version if I wanted to study the book with ease. I do love Kindle books for novels, but for educational books, I think the paper version is far superior and much easier to use.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? The most rewarding experience, I think, for any writer is the pleasure of knowing that people actually enjoy what is written and want to buy their books! I often wonder who has bought my books. What sorts of people are they, where do they live, what do they do, and why do they like the books? I would love to be able to meet the people who buy my books one day.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? Definitely my most rewarding experience was the acceptance of my first book for publication by Pascal Press and then the invitation to write a second book. Good royalties flow in every six months, and it feels fantastic!

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? If you are trying to publish a book through a conventional publishing house, be prepared for plenty of rejections of your manuscript before you get lucky. This is a normal part of the process. Keep trying and eventually you might achieve success. If you are an independent publisher, make sure you thoroughly edit your work for mistakes, and do not release your book onto the market until you are certain that it is perfect.

Who is your favorite author and why? I have many favourites – Edgar Allan Poe, Robert Louis Stevenson, Charles Dickens, Jane Austen, Isaac Asimov, Arthur Koestler, Douglas Adams, George Orwell and Richard Adams come to mind as great writers whose books I have enjoyed.

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Author J. A. Carlton (Austin, Texas-USA)

Wednesday’s Child (Freedom Fighter Book 1) by J. A. Carlton

In 2055 the U.S. is a 3,000 mile wide graveyard. Inside the country’s borders, a war against the world is about to begin.

After Commander Harold Mitchell’s murder, Stone Rivers, an idealistic young graduate is called in to head up Delta Squad. His first day in charge is the day he loses his second in command.

Lieutenant Jade McKay should’ve been given command of Delta, but instead was put in charge of investigating Mitchell’s murder, the very murder she’s been accused of committing. On the night she begins her investigation, a sinister branch of the government that will stop at nothing to unlock the classified secrets buried deep in her subconscious, takes her captive.

Elija Tyrell will do anything to destroy Jade, including going back through time to re-make the world they came from.

U.C. Director Antoine Pecho will do anything to get his “Pet Project” back home where she belongs, including giving her to Tyrell.

Cold Coffee Book Review: The world and the United States of America as we know it in 2015, is unrecognizable in 2055. The CIA, Homeland Security, ATF and DEA are all merged into one body now called the U.C. or Upper Command.

The Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines are merged into the New United Military Alliance or NUMA which is under the control of President Clayton Maxwell in 2055. History had repeated itself with mandatory DNA collection and the desire to create a perfect race. During this engineered holocaust America’s population was decimated forcing many of the remaining citizens’ into catacombs and tunnels, where they later became known as “Unders”.

Lieutenant Jade McKay is a trained assassin working between NUMA and the Unders to ‘take back the topside’. She has been implanted with a microscopic computer chip with “binary coding tendrils attached along her visual pathway” which make her memory almost photographic. Jade is able to carry out any mission as long as it doesn’t conflict with her basic principles. (Jade is not only hyper-kinetic and telepathic, she has to contend with the side effects of a hybrid drug that suppresses her neural impulses that cause nightmares.)

Upon return from an assignment to protect Darien Rivers, the man most directly responsible for helping NUMA break away from Maxwell’s control, Jade finds herself arrested and charged with the murder of her Commander, Harold Mitchell. But like all superior soldiers Jade has an enemy named Elija Tyrell who is out to destroy and even kill her. Working with the local UC branch Elija takes Jade prisoner determined to find out whether or not she can be compromised.

This adversary will stop at nothing to accomplish his goals including going back in time to change history. I like this quote from Jade, “Something’s going to happen today. I swear I’ll kill him if he keeps pushing.” The sense rushed through her veins, carried in every cell of her blood to every nerve fiber, axon and dendrite. As sure as she was breathing, something huge lay in the shadows of this little corner of the universe. “I wonder if anyone else feels it. Whatever it is, I’m not gonna like it.”

What a great read. Become mesmerized in Jades ice green eyes and her abilities as ‘Wednesday’s Child’ continues with book two of the series called ‘Into the Fire’ and book three ‘Fortune’s Tide’ in the ‘Freedom Fighter Series’.

I, Theodocia McLean endorse Wednesday’s Child by J. A. Carlton as a science fiction, action, suspense, mystery thriller. Review posted March 19, 2015.

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Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author J. A. Carlton

J. A. CarltonJ. A. Carlton has more than 8 books and 5 screenplays under her belt, J. A. Carlton has a mission that mainstream publishing doesn’t want you to know about. She’s the Author you’re NOT reading but SHOULD be!

Award Winning Author J. A. Carlton blasts through genre barriers, first with her horrifying psychological thrillers ‘Broken’ and Soul Hunter. With a penchant for epic series Jill has published ‘Wednesday’s Child’, ‘Into The Fire’ and ‘Fortune’s Tide’ of her ‘Freedom Fighter Series’. ‘Nick, Of Time’, ‘Second Hand’, and ‘The Third Race’ are the first three installments of her ‘Heroes Of The Line Series’.

Jill currently lives and writes in Austin, Texas. She is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Speaker, Author and Screenwriter.

 “A percentage of author proceeds are donated annually to the prevention of child abuse.”

Her Mission:

Entertain as many people as possible!
Inspire others to explore their creativity!
To learn something new!
To share something new with someone new!
And to urge others to do the same!

 

Interview:

What makes you proud to be a writer from Austin, TX? Austin has an absolutely incredible and supportive arts community. There’s an openness and appreciation for so many different mediums here.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? My mom. She’s the one who instilled a love of reading and literature in me. She’s the one who taught me to find the bliss within the pages. From there, writing I suppose was a natural progression.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? When I was twelve. Though I was in my mid thirties before I believed that what my characters had to say had validity.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and why? Absolutely. My mother was an English teacher who instilled in me a love of literature and the myriad worlds that could be mine if I only dared to believe and open my mind! I grew up with a family that cherished education and imaginative expansion.

Do you come up with your title (s) before or after you write the manuscript (s)? Usually the ‘logline’ holds the title. I also write screenplays, so once I have the concept, a working title comes relatively quickly.

Tell us why you write the genre (s) that you write? I like things a little spicy so work mostly with Thrillers and Supernatural themes.  I tend to think of genres as ingredients in a recipe, so I love mixing and blending their elements in the hopes of creating a unique flavor to my particular story telling voice. Also, exploring human behavior in relationships is utterly fascinating and employing multiple genres gives a far more well-rounded view of a character and how they interact with the world on different levels and under different circumstances

Tell us your most rewarding experience while in the writing process? The moment when you know your characters will prevail in spite of, AND because of whom their experiences have made them.

Tell us your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? The day a client told me she was going to start a small press so that she could put my works out there in the world. She believed in me so much that she started a press geared toward getting new authors with unique voices a chance to be read.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? If writing is what you love, don’t ever stop. Learn from others, how to run a business, learn to network. (I don’t mean slamming the keys at the local coffee shop… meet people, join writers groups. You will suck many lemons before you find the right people to work and grow with but when you do, it’ll all be worth it.).

Who is your favorite author? The first author who made me pursue her works was Marguerite Henry.

Books Available To Purchase Now:
Broken (psychological thriller)
Fortune’s Tide (Third – Freedom Fighter Series)
Into The Fire (Second – (Second – Freedom Fighter Series)
Nick, Of Time (First -Heroes Of The Line Series)
Second Hand Heroes (Second – Heroes Of The Line Series)
The Third Race (Third – Heroes Of The Line Series)
Touch Me-Nurturing Your Relationships Through Positive Touch (Stand Alone Book) 
Soul Hunter (psychological thriller)
Wednesday’s Child (First – Freedom Fighter Series)

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? Yes. Please, if you love to write do it! Invest in an editor, one you can meet with face to face. Believe in your voice BUT… understand your market. Do you have a point? If so, stick with it. Do you want to be the next Rowling? Meyers? Koontz? Learn the art and structure of story then as you write consider both the market and yourself. It can be a beautiful compromise! Just understand what you want and why.

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Author JD Kaplan (Northern Illinois-USA)

The Scary Girls

Cold Coffee Book Review

‘The Scary Girls’ contemporary urban fantasy by JD Kaplan will captivate your imagination and tease your own dreams. Kaplan’s descriptive writing will draw you into the plot by his use of vivid colors, musical concepts, space and time, people and places, romance and terror, reality and fantasy.

His main character named Patrick Benjamin MacKenzie, better known as Trick to his friends takes the reader into his world as a lead guitarist for a band named ‘Fishmonger’. Little does Trick know that by walking into ‘The Carpenter Creek Brewery’ for drink or two one night will change his reality!

Three women, all with the name of a flower will soon come into his life. His reaction: “The music we’d made together had been magical. Like good sex almost. No, amazing sex. I was hooked. I thought about them that entire night and when I finally I fell asleep my dreams were full of music and magic, all of it revolving around those girls, The Scary Girls.”

Characters that you might meet or hope not to meet somewhere at some time will overwhelm your senses. Music, romance, supernatural places, images, and characters from an ancient world take you on a journey to the “Dreamside”. When you wake there will be a lot of questions, but I guarantee that the read will be intense.

I, Theodocia McLean endorses ‘The Scary Girls’ by JD Kaplan as a contemporary urban fantasy that will stimulate your imagination. I purchased this book in Kindle. This review was completed on March 29, 2015.

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Headline: Your Journey To The Dreamside Begins Now

Book Description: “Male guitarist needed. Talented humans only. Ask for Forsythia.” Trick is looking for a new band. So what the hell, he makes the call. Which is how he meets the Scary Girls. Mysterious, Beautiful, and otherworldly, there’s something downright…scary about them. But the music he makes with them is incredible. Magical. Because of them, he discovers a world within the one he knows, just left of center, hiding around the next corner. A world of magic, improbability, and impossibility. Trick changes. He senses more—he is more. He’s always felt out of place, uncomfortable in his own skin. Now, he’s coming alive. But who is relentlessly and terrifyingly hunting him? Can Trick figure it out before someone gets hurt? All he can do it try. As it turns out, that’s a fine place to start…

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Welcome To The Dreamside

What is the Dreamside?

It’s the mystical and chaotic place where all dreams take place. It is an ever shifting landscape made up of a patchwork quilt crafted by the minds of people asleep and dreaming in the Waking World. Separated from our world by the Wall of Sleep, this is where the stories in my books take place.

So come on in and explore the Dreamside…

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Cold Coffee Press Spotlight Interview With Author JD Kaplan

JD Kaplan currently lives in Northern Illinois with his wife, two kids and very insecure Golden Retriever, Max. He has worked in the software industry for nearly 18 years after a period of failing to publish his poetry. At this stage in life he’s actively trying to change careers again to be a full time author of fantasy and science fiction novels.

Interview:

What makes you proud to be a writer from Chicago? I don’t know that pride comes into it but I grew up in the Chicago suburbs and after spending about 20 years living elsewhere (Austin, Tucson and San Jose) it’s really great to be home. It’s funny how the things that bugged me about this place have become a source of great comfort. I love the down to earth people here.

What or who inspired you to become a writer? At the age of 13 my aunt introduced me to Frank Herbert, Stephen R Donaldson and J.R.R. Tolkien and that year I wrote a 200 page book. It was the worst garbage ever but I did complete it and it had a story. I guess that’s a victory in itself. I’ve tried my hand at a few different styles of writing—poetry, short literary fiction and music—but in the end I have come back to the type of stories I loved as a child.

When did you begin writing with the intention of becoming published? When I first graduated from college I got a job in a bookstore in Tucson and spent all my free time writing poetry and short fiction. I basically collected rejection notices…this was at a time when you still got rejection notices from publishers and agents. Nowadays you’re lucky if you get a post it note with ‘no thanks’ scrawled on it.

Did your environment or upbringing play a major role in your writing and did you use it to your advantage? As a kid I was quiet, shy and a bit reclusive. I loved to curl up with a good book that featured impossible things. I didn’t have much interest about reading stories that were feasible—I wanted to escape. Both my parents were educators and reading was valued as a good pastime in our house.

Do you come up with your title before or after you write the manuscript? Sometimes I come up with a title before or during writing, but rarely do those titles survive to the end. The one exception to that is The Scary Girls. I tried different titles for that book but in the end that one just stuck.

Please introduce your genre and why you prefer to write in that genre? My writing falls somewhere into the broader range of urban or contemporary fantasy. There aren’t any vampires, werewolves or benevolent monsters in them. It’s more like the urban fantasy of Charles de Lint or Neil Gaiman, though I would never compare myself to them, of course. I’ve heard people refer to it as ‘slipstream’ lately. Stories with magic and fantasy elements but set in the modern world.

What was your inspiration, spark or light bulb moment that inspired you to write the book that you are seeking promotion for? Listening to Forsythia by Veruca Salt really loudly in my car as I drove somewhere. I just got this scene in my head where the main character first meets the Scary Girls. I ended up replaying that scene in my head over and over, tweaking it, adjusting it, even roleplaying it until it solidified. That was where the book was born.

What has been your most rewarding experience with your writing process? Every time I complete a book it’s so empowering. I’ve got two I’ve published and another three that I’ve completed but have shelved. That moment when you finish it is quite awesome.

Have you had a negative experience in your writing career? If so please explain how it could have been avoided? I had an agent request my manuscript then lose it, forget who I was and then eventually just blow me off. The entire process took 6 months and really almost killed my energy to get published. On the other hand, I guess I should thank her for driving me to self-publish, which has been an awesome experience.

What has been your most rewarding experience in your publishing journey? The first moment I held a trade paperback copy of my first book. Then again with my latest book. I had kind of thought it wouldn’t be as intense as the first, but I was wrong.

Have you had a negative experience in your publishing journey? If so please explain how it could have been avoided? Well, since I decided to go independent, I’ve not really had many negative experiences. Sometimes it’s disappointing at how hard it is to get noticed by readers. Marketing a book is hard. It takes a different skill set than is needed to write the book.

What one positive piece of advice would you give to other authors? Write every day no matter what. I liken it to running. If you’re a runner, you make sure to run every day. You build it up as a habit that you just do without having to convince yourself to do it. Even one missed day can take you out of your stride.

Who is your favorite author and why? I have two favorite authors. Neil Gaiman and Charles de Lint. Both of them write the kinds stories I love to read: lyrical, thoughtful and full of magic. Their stories draw on myth, folklore and other sources to inject magic and fantasy into our everyday world.

Is there anything else that you would like to share with us? I am really drawn to strong female characters. One of the things I love about the more mainstream urban fantasy genre is the wealth of strong female leads. Mercy Thompson (Patricia Briggs) is probably my favorite character currently. Some of my favorite characters in my own work are female. Penny from Waking Dreams, and Foxglove from The Scary Girls were so much fun to write. I really want to get to the point where I feel comfortable writing an entire book from the perspective of a strong woman.

Author JD Kaplan’s Website and Related Sites
http://www.thedreamside.com
http://onthedreamside.blogspot.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7363644.J_D_Kaplan
https://www.facebook.com/jd.kaplan.author
https://twitter.com/jedeleh
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