Friday, April 18, 2014

Spotlight on Game of Fire by @jimhbs

Jonathon Stone battles his love for gambling and drinking and the ladies to help solve the mystery of the Game of Fire.

An explosion and fire rocks a Southern California mall and it is quickly determined it is arson. The timing of the incident is special because it interrupts the Tet New Year’s Festival and Parade in Little Saigon, an area just east of Long Beach.

Had the old wounds of Vietnam been opened again or was there a different game being played?

Enter veteran CIA Agent Jonathon Stone. Already in pursuit of the gun-running Minh family, he connects with a special FBI task force to assist in the investigation of the explosion and Minh quickly becomes their number one suspect.

Stone teams up with FBI Agent Jodi Shannon to pursue the people behind the arson fire. Jodi is a serious, no nonsense agent who leads the FBI Arson Task Force. While she fights to solve the mystery, she also fights Stone’s advances. As always, he tries to mix business with pleasure.


As the game takes its twists and turns, Stone’s assignment leads to a shootout in Las Vegas and a car chase down the coast of Southern California.

Game Of Fire is the third book in the Jonathon Stone Mystery Series.

Buy now on Amazon

Excerpt of Game of Fire: Chapter 1

The salty ocean air filled my nose as I jogged along the running path. It was a typical Sunday winter morning in the Long Beach area. The marine layer would last until noon or so and then break apart.

This was my morning routine now that my CIA assignment had changed to an on-call asset. Chasing terrorism had been my job for a while now. From day-to-day I never knew where in the world I was going to wind up.

I could see my most favorite coffee shop in the world, Essie’s, several hundred yards down the pathway to the green belt that separated the Pacific Ocean from an area called Belmont Shore. I had lived in the area for a couple of years now and since I could catch an op anywhere in the world, it was a good base location for me. The ocean, the mild weather and a gambling casino just five minutes away was my way of living.

I grabbed a newspaper at the door and headed to my usual table in the corner. A crowd of locals were intently watching TV and talking politics. It was funny. No matter where I went in the world, this scene was repeated. The scuttlebutt could become very heated at times.

Roxie, the morning waitress at Essie’s Coffee Shop, headed toward me with a steaming pot of coffee.

“Hi, Rox. I’ll have a bagel with cream cheese.”

Everybody called her Rox. I could never understand how you could shorten someone’s name when it was already short. Now I could understand people cutting my name from Jonathon to Jon.

She poured my coffee with a quick flick of the wrist. She was good at what she did.

“Coming right up. Toasted lightly, right?”

“You got it. How are the Lakers doing?” I asked, knowing they were leading the league.
Roxie’s answer always depended on the night before. If the Lakers won she was all smiles. If they lost, look out.

“Those bums lost in overtime. They should play that one tall rookie more.”

I started reading the front page. A large picture of a fire jumped out at me. Now I know why the television was turned loud this morning. I turned my attention to the TV in the front of the room. I watched the fire scene as the firemen sprayed the structure with large hoses. That looked bad.

I stood and walked closer to the TV. I knew the area of the fire. I recognized it from the large mall sign in the parking lot in front of the complex. We had closed a surveillance op there just five months ago.

I returned to my table and started reading the paper.

2/18/2007, Orange County Daily News
FIRE MARS TET FESTIVAL IN GARDEN GROVE

Last night at around ten o’clock, a fire broke out in the Le Hi Shopping Mall on Bolsa Ave. in Garden Grove and quickly went out of control, completely destroying the complex. Hours earlier the street in front of the Mall was filled with party-goers celebrating the Annual Tet Festival Parade. There were thousands of people along the parade route in the Little Saigon area during the day….

I got up and moved closer to the TV again. A fire chief was giving a briefing.

“Good morning. I am Eddie Lam, Garden Grove Fire Chief. I am here to report on the fire last night at the Le Hi Shopping Mall. The cause of the fire is currently under investigation. It appears that something exploded or caught on fire which immediately hit the gas line and spread rapidly through the complex. Multiple fire departments responded, but there was little they could do, but contain the fire from spreading to surrounding structures and neighborhoods. We were lucky that the crowd from the parade had dispersed already.”

“Was anyone hurt?” one of the reporters asked.

Fire Chief Lam continued, “There was one casualty reported. The victim was a male, but at this time he has not been identified.”

“How many fire departments responded?” another reporter asked.

“Fire and police units from Garden Grove, Westminster, Huntington Beach and Long Beach responded to the three alarm fire. One final note. It is expected that the area will be cleared for tonight’s Chinese New Year parade. The Westminster Parade is scheduled to start at 6 PM today. I need to go. We will try to keep you updated as much as we can.”

The fire chief turned and disappeared into the crowd.

There was a video store in the mall that the Agency had been watching for over a year. Our group had been waiting for an international terrorist named Tay Minh to show up. We had shut down the surveillance when chatter had placed him living and operating in Hong Kong.

About the same time our CIA undercover operation in downtown Long Beach had been compromised and the staff was scattered to the wind. I had stayed in the area and become an at-large asset.

Since then I had caught a couple overnighters as we call them. It had been about six months since my last full assignment. That was okay with me, but I did miss the action. At least I got to do some gambling and continue my drinking and running around with my on-again, off-again girlfriend, Jill. She was a cocktail waitress at the Ocean Queen Casino which seemed to make things more complicated at times. She still bought my cover as a freelance writer, but she didn’t understand why I was always carrying a gun.
Several years ago, I was moved from Europe to the Long Beach area to a new CIA secret division called Domestic Operations-Terrorism. It was simply called DOT. It was created to handle terrorist threats inside the US that originated outside our borders.  

About James Moushon

Born in Illinois, James Moushon is a published writer in the electronic document field. Moushon is a graduate of Bradley University in Peoria, IL.

He is the author of the Jonathon Stone Mystery Novels. He has published the 'Black Mountain Secrets' and recently released 'Game of Fire'.

Starting over 15 years ago, he helped lead the startup of the electronic forms industry in the creation, conversion and usage of electronic forms by supplying that industry with a continuing source of published literature, software products and training seminars.

In 2003, Moushon changed his focus to ebooks and their development.

He is currently wearing Three Hats. He is a mystery author, book industry blogger and a computer consultant. You can find his blogging at: HBS Author's Spotlight, the HBS Mystery Reader's Circle and the eBook Author's Corner.

He has spent the majority of his adult life developing computer systems and thinking about writing.

His website is: www.jamesmoushon.com

To contact him e-mail: james.moushon@gmail.com

Visit his blogs, as follows:
eBook Author's Corner blog: http://hbspublications.blogspot.com/
 HBS Mystery Reader's Circle: http://hbsreaderscircle.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

New Release: Vacation is Murder #mystery #romance

If you love your mystery with romance, you won't want to miss my new series--McKinley Mysteries. With the exception of the introductory short story, each installment is novella length, designed with the busy reader in mind. Today sees the official release date of VACATION IS MURDER, the 2nd installment.

If you haven't meet Sean and Sara yet, you might also want to pick up a copy of THE DAY JOB IS MURDER, for only 99 cents. 
Here’s the overview for VACATION IS MURDER (available now!):
There's only so much relaxation two former detectives can handle—even if they're on their honeymoon. With their recent fall into money, Sean and Sara McKinley should be living it up, enjoying the sun and beaches of Cancun. But heading into their third week they've had just about enough lying around.
When the husband of a couple they've befriended is kidnapped and held for ransom, it has the McKinleys putting their experience to use. As they set out in the unfamiliar landscape of paradise, the investigation will have them risking their lives to stop a killer.

VACATION IS MURDER is available for your e-Reader whether you buy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Apple, or Kobo. It’s also available in print if you prefer to hold a real book in your hands.


P.S. Below are the links for where you'll find VACATION IS MURDER:



Amazon US - http://ow.ly/vPIiX 
Amazon UK - http://ow.ly/vPIm5 
Print - http://ow.ly/vPIkd 
Apple - http://ow.ly/vPIfc 
Barnes & Noble - http://ow.ly/vPHGg





Monday, April 7, 2014

Interview with USA Today Bestselling Author @Rebecca_Forster

Often, books hit the USA Today and New York Times Best-selling lists have been out for a number of years. Was that case in your experience? No, Keeping Counsel hit the USA Today bestseller list within the first month of its release.

Social media has a very important role in marketing these days, but how did you extend your reach beyond that, or did you? I have a different 'list' story. My recent work has consistently been on the Amazon bestseller lists (legal thrillers, political thrillers, suspense, thrillers) for almost three years now, but my USA Today bestseller happened in 'the old' days. I was writing for Kensington Books and Sarah Galen was my editor.

If you could provide 5 integral steps that you took to reach best-seller status, what were they and can you elaborate on each step? I can't tell you five steps that got me to this list but I can tell you two: craft and marketing. I remember this book so well because my editor pushed me to write an ever better, ever more intense manuscript. She didn't just inspire me; she had the whip out. At the time, I am not sure I understood the full importance of her involvement. It would have been easy for her to say the second draft was good and pass it along. Instead, she kept at me until she knew it would be right. I should have asked 'right for what?' I didn't and no one was more surprised at the next step than I was. She created a marketing plan.

Remember, there was no social media back then so Sarah advertised Keeping Counsel in newspapers.  The book was also promoted to buyers. She sent me on a trip to meet distributors. It was featured prominently (and beautifully) in the catalogue. And then Sarah took the final, absolutely amazing step that propelled this book to bestseller status: she got creative with the cover and the distribution.

I walked into my local bookstore on release date and asked if they had Keeping Counsel. The salesperson pointed to the wall next to the register and there was my book: covering the entire wall, floor to ceiling! Not only that, but the cover had been produced in two different colors - light green and dark green. The gold embossing sparkled from a hundred books on that wall. It took my breath away.

I knew this was big. The well thought out marketing strategy and the insistence on creating a book that was equal to the exquisite graphics were testaments to what can happen when an editor has faith and an author is willing to go the extra mile for her.

Of the 5 steps listed above, if an author would apply even one which would you place the greatest value on? Craft. Above all I would advise every author to push themselves to improve with each book they write. I've written 28 books now and I learn something new with each one.

Last, but not least, I am a firm believer in the law of attraction. Did this play a role in your journey and if so, please tell us more about it.

I firmly believe that people come into your life for a reason. Not everyone is a person of importance in the grand scheme of things. Some simply pass a word as you wait in line or give you a smile on the street. These small courtesies can change a moment, even a day. Then there are the other people who enter your life with purpose and change it without you realizing it.

My husband is one of those people. We were the "When Harry met Sally" couple. A little oil and water, a little firecracker meets slow smolder. Yet, we married and have been joined at the hip for 37 years. For the first fourteen of those years, I was an advertising executive. My wardrobe consisted of sincere suits and brief cases; I traveled more than I was home. I started writing on a dare. I laughed in disbelief when my first book was published. My husband took me out to dinner to celebrate but he wasn't laughing, he was beaming. Somewhere along the way writing became my calling. I went from corporate to creative and received no resistance from him. I agonized over the difficulty of getting my work noticed. I worried about money since I had quit my career in the hopes of making a living writing. I promoted and wrote and cried and wondered what in the heck I was doing. I was not, after all, a writer. I just had some good luck with publishing my early books.

Then Keeping Counsel hit the USA Today bestseller list. I wanted to hear my husband say, "I can't believe it"; instead, he said, "no surprise".  I realized in that moment while I had changed as I pursued that elusive acceptance as an author, he had not. He constancy allowed me to take baby steps and then flight, his surety in my abilities made it possible for me to continue to push for - if not excellence - solid growth with each book. In his wisdom, he realized all the self-examination and tears were just expressions of someone feeling their way through unknown territory. And, in his kindness, when I that book hit a bestseller list, his pleasure at my success was selfless.

While we spoke of all the serendipitous things that came together to make Keeping Counsel a bestseller - a wonderful editor, booksellers who plucked it off the wall to give to customers, reviewers who gave it solid ratings, and readers who gave my work a shot - I realized what had really changed my life was not a list or the publication of a book but my husband's unwavering willingness to walk a road that was not one of his own choosing.

I wish every author the success of a bestselling book, but what I truly hope is that they will find that one person who believes in what they are doing. That's all any creative person needs to grow and succeed. That is what is life changing.

About Rebecca Forster by Rebecca...

I marketed a world-class spa when it was still called a gym and did business in China before there were western toilettes at the Great Wall. Then I wrote a book on a crazy dare and found my passion.

Now, I am a USA Today and Amazon best selling author with more than 26 books to my name - and if you ask me where all those words came from I'd be hard pressed to tell you. All I know is that I wake up with a story in my head and go to bed the same way.

website: rebeccaforster.com
Twitter:  @Rebecca_Forster
Facebook: Fans of Rebecca Forster
              Rebecca Forster
LinkedIn:  Rebecca Forster

Monday, March 31, 2014

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author @cherylbradshaw

I believe there are many authors out there, myself included, who treasure the craft and publishing industry, view it as the business it is and want to take it to the next step. That includes hitting The NY Times or USA Today Bestselling lists, but for most of us, the question comes up, how can we make our dream a reality?

Today, Cheryl Bradshaw has taken the time to give us insights into her journey and provided five things she feels were instrumental in reaching that goal. In fact, she’s not just reached the USA Today Bestseller list once, but twice.

First, a little bit about Cheryl.  Tell us about yours books that hit the list.

I’ve made the USA Today bestsellers list twice in the last seven months, and I will make it again this week. My first book to make the list was my Sloane Monroe Series Boxed Set, Books 1-3. The second time was last week with a group I’m in called The Twelve. Our boxed set was titled Deadly Dozen.

It’s common for books to take a number of years before hitting the bestseller list. For example, Jack Canfield’s first book didn’t hit the list until 10 years after it came out. What was your experience?

My boxed set had been out for a year, and it had consistently sold well. It would have made it when it was first released, but at the time, I had it in the Amazon KDP Select program, and it wasn’t eligible. Deadly Dozen made it after being out for a month. The time frame of when a book makes the list is dependent on how the book is promoted.

Social media has a very important role in marketing these days, but how did you extend your reach beyond that, or did you?

I have a Twitter following of almost 50,000, a Street Team, and I try to keep up with all the various kinds of marketing. I find author friends I’ve made in the business are also key. We promote each other.

If you could provide 5 integral steps that you took to reach bestseller status, what were they and can you elaborate on each step?

1.      When I published my first book, I created Indie Writers Unite, a group for writers on Facebook. I now have over 2,200 writers in the group. The group enabled me to make several author friends and to learn a lot about the business.

2.      Twitter. I love to interact with Fans, and Twitter is a great way to do that. I see most authors on there for the wrong reasons—just to promote their books, and not much else. I like to talk about all kinds of things that aren’t related to my novels. I try to keep my promoting to once a month when I run an ad.

3.      KDP Select. The program was fantastic when it first started. The ability to make my books free for a few days enabled readers to take a chance on me when they otherwise wouldn’t have. This is how I gained a following and devoted fans who read anything I put out. I am no longer in the program, but it was a good stepping stone to get me where I am today.

4.      Promoting. One can never stop promoting. I run one big ad each month, and smaller ads here and there. I am always running contests, engaging my readers, getting involved with other authors, doing anything and everything to further my brand.

5.      A good work ethic. I give myself deadlines. I set goals. I meet them. I never stop writing. I never stop trying to improve myself. I never stop learning, growing, doing what I need to do to continually get better.

Of the 5 steps listed above, if an author would apply even one which would you place the greatest value on?

#5

Last, but not least, I am a firm believer in the law of attraction. Did this play a role in your journey and if so, please tell us more about it.

Yes. I have this quote on my blog: “Follow your bliss, and the universe will open doors where there were only walls.” –Joseph Campbell.

What an inspiring message. It reminds me that not only can I make a better life for myself, I can inspire others to find bliss in their own lives. We all have a role in this life, the chance to help each other. I use my words, my writing, to do this. Last week I was given the opportunity to speak to a group of girls at a troubled youth center. It was one of the best experiences I’ve ever had. If I can inspire even one to seek out a better life, it will make all I have achieved worth so much more.

I have the words “Follow Your Bliss” tattooed on my foot in cursive writing. I want to see it every day. I want to remember that I can do anything, I can be anything. I truly believe there are no limits to what I can achieve in this life. It’s this belief that has allowed me to get where I am today.

I’ve watched The Secret several times over the last six years. I still remember the first time I saw it. I was at a low point in my life, dealing with something out of my control. Hearing about how I could use the law of attraction to draw the right things into my life really transformed me. Since that time, I’ve applied many of its principles to my life. I believe in meditation and in things like vision boards. I also believe in myself. Even when it’s hard. Even when I’m not having the best day. My fans lift me up. The emails I receive and their comments about my work empower me to keep writing stories. 

~~
CHERYL BRADSHAW is a USA Today Bestselling Author.
 
Born and raised in Southern California, Cheryl Bradshaw became interested in writing at a young age, but it was almost two decades before she put pen to paper. In 2009 Bradshaw wrote Black Diamond Death (Book One: Sloane Monroe series). Within six weeks it entered the top 100 in two different categories and remained in the top 100 for over a year. Since that time, Bradshaw has written four additional novels in the series, and is busy penning two additional novels this year.
 
In 2013, Bradshaw introduced a new paranormal thriller series: Addison Lockhart, the first book titled Grayson Manor Haunting.

Bradshaw is the founder of IWU on Facebook, a writers group with over 2,000 members. In August 2012, Bradshaw was named one of Twitter's seven best authors to follow. In 2013, Bradshaw's novel, Stranger in Town, was chosen as a Shamus Award finalist in the category of best P.I. novel of the year. She was the only female nominated in her category.


Thursday, March 27, 2014

New Release: The Day Job is Murder

Reviewers have commented that they are hungry for more Sean and Sara—and they want them now. Today you can download the introductory short for my new McKinley Mystery series, THE DAY JOB IS MURDER, for only 99 cents!

The series promises no offensive language and graphic violence, and with shorter lengths is perfect for the busy mystery reader who desires a clean read.

Here’s the overview for THE DAY JOB IS MURDER:

For Sean McKinley, working in Albany PD Homicide is great except for one thing—he's in love with his partner Sara Cain. And even though she feels the same way about him, she convinced him they should just remain friends. Two years later, nothing has changed.

Yet, during the course of a murder investigation, when Sean finds out an old friend has died, it results in something that has the potential to change his life—and Sara's—forever.

It goes to prove one unexpected act of kindness has the power to ripple throughout the years and bring happiness...even when The Day Job is Murder.

While THE DAY JOB IS MURDER is a short story of 13,000 words, it is self-contained. I’d love for you to buy the short and meet Sean and Sara. It’s available for your e-Reader whether you buy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or Apple. It’s also available in print if you prefer to hold a real book in your hands.

Even if you are unable to buy the book, please go to the library and request it. Please spread the news of this release to family and friends.


Thank you and happy reading,
Carolyn Arnold

P.S. Below are the links for the different sites.

Amazon US - http://ow.ly/uW5vX
Amazon UK -  http://ow.ly/uW59I
Barnes & Noble - http://ow.ly/v01ZX 

The next in the series, VACATION IS MURDER, will be released April 16th.
For more information, see McKinley Mysteries on my website.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

New Release: Beginning Anew (The Naomi Chronicles) by @PaulaWordsmith1


Naomi and Chaz know that miracles really do happen, for at a friend’s wedding they reaffirmed their love and are Beginning Anew! Yet there are consequences that the couple must face. Will Chaz love and protect his wife? Will Naomi learn to trust Chaz? Find out in the first novel of Paula Rose Michelson’s four-book saga, The Naomi Chronicles. 

Buy on Amazon

What reviewers are saying:

"What a wonderful book by the talented Paula Rose Michelson. She gives great depth to all the characters in this well-written poetic story that draws the reader in. After a painful separation, Naomi and Chaz both set their minds to starting over and 'beginning anew' in their yet-to-be consummated marriage. With a faithful God, and being blessed with the love they have for each other-- as many secrets unfold, the two must now learn to respect, and be honest with one another as they grow in love." - Amazon Reviewer

It also left me wanting to know more about Chaz and Naomi.....I want them to have children and be happy and grow old together. - Amazon Reviewer

Chaz and Naomi’s story is about redeeming love and the importance of letting God lead you and carry you in times of turmoil. - Amazon Reviewer

As with the author’s other books this story is well written with a poetic quality that draws the reader in. - Amazon Reviewer

Thursday, February 27, 2014

NEW RELEASE by Best-selling Author @Richard_C_Hale

The truth will set you free. What a crock. 

Jaxon Jennings knows the lie in the cliché. He’s lived it his whole life. So when his partner witnesses the murder of their client’s wife, he isn’t surprised by the trail of deceit, corruption, drugs and rape underlying the façade of truth in his city. 


Paid to uncover the real murderer, Jaxon finds himself immersed in a world of treachery and lies. Lies so deep they cut like knives. 

And when his recently deceased father is somehow connected, he must find the man who pulls the strings behind the scenes. The man who has the answers to all the questions. The answers that send Jaxon over the edge. For he knows… 

Only the dead are set free by the truth. And the truth will burden you for life. 

Buy on Amazon


What early reviewers are saying:

"Hale had me from the gory opening of this book! I had trouble putting it down. The characters are drawn so completely that I feel that I know them and can't wait to get together again next time."

"The writing is concise and compelling, it takes the reader on a journey that always keeps the reader looking forward to what is next." 

"Hale's characters have personalities and motivations that kept my interest as much as the action did."