Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Daithi Kavanagh: The Gun

It's our pleasure to welcome Daithi Kavanagh to Heart of Fiction.

First thing, readers, Daithi is Irish for David and pronounced Daw-hee. How cool is that?

Daithi comes to us today from County Wexford in Ireland, where he lives with his lovely wife and two teens. He's a professional musician who plays guitar, and now he's become a professional author. The book he introduces us today is called The Gun, and is book one in the Tadhg Sullivan series (Tadhg being another Irish name, meaning Tim and pronounced Ty'g).

Garda Detective, Tadhg Sullivan works for Ireland's police services called the Garda Síochána, roughly translating to Guardians of the Peace. Within the service, Tadhg works in a special unit which investigated politically motivated crimes. With Ireland's troubled history, it's easy to see that this is an active branch. And much fodder for this series.

In The Gun, Tadhg is investigating a scourge of the Irish political system, a man going by the handle, The Deerstalker. But Tadhg isn't the only one after him. The CIA is too. When a copycat killer surfaces, the CIA realize they've taken down the wrong man, a man called Tommy Walsh. When Tadhg realizes the two agents are in Ireland and on the trail of The Deerstalker too, the race is on to see who will capture the killer first.

But it's not as clear cut as that. As the investigation deepens, Tadhg's partner, Pat Carter, starts having doubts, and Tadhg's trust in Pat starts wavering as the man's alliance seems to be shifting closer to the Garda Commissioner and offers less partner support. Feeling left on his own in this investigation, Tadhg turns to Irish journalist, Helen Carty, for help. Together they sift through the facts to catch a killer. If things weren't complicated enough, Tadhg is falling in love with Helen.

The Gun is a fast-paced, complicated collection of twists and turns that is guaranteed to keep readers on their toes. This is an excellent start to a new Irish detective series. Kavanagh's voice rings true and clear through the story, keeping readers engaged. His protagonist, Tadhg Sullivan, is a wholly believable character who we're instantly drawn to from page one. The opening scene, where he's instantly drawn to the aid of a young girl, introduces us to the sensitive side of a police detective who's day-to-day job is bringing down killers and dark, nefarious baddies. There's a great plot here, drawing on modern Irish history. Kavanagh pulls us into a completely believable situation and keeps us engaged through master storytelling. This is a great start to a new series. I can't wait to see what's in store in book two.

Before we get to the blurb and excerpt, Daithi has taken some time to chat with us about his life beyond the keyboard.

Thank you, Daithi, for joining us today and congratulations on the publication of your first novel. It sounds like you have a very interesting life. Working as a professional musician must keep you busy. How do you find time to write? What is your daily writing routine like?
My preferred time for writing is the morning. I am attending a third level course in Culture and Heritage four days a week in Wexford so this takes up quite a lot of my time. My writing routine isn’t as smooth as I’d like it to be but I don’t consider this to be a negative. I believe the pressure I find myself under adds an edge to my writing. I also believe it creates a pace in my story telling that otherwise mightn’t be there. My writing more often deals with the emotions of the characters. These emotions which I give to my characters are also affected by where I write. For instance, if I’m writing in my living room my writing can come out very cold.
The Writing Chair
If I write outside on a chair under the trees at the side of my house my writing often comes out much softer. Hence the mood of the characters can be affected as well. 
My preferred time for writing is during the summer holiday months. Then I can stay in bed in the mornings and write to my hearts content. Usually I would get up, have breakfast and head back to bed and start writing. I find I am far more creative when I can stay in bed and work. The dreamy sensation of being able to nod off to sleep when I feel like it helps to spur my imagination on. I also have a small space a.k.a. our spare room where I can go if the house is particularly busy. This adds another dimension to my routine. I can lock myself away in this room in an attempt to block out the hustle and bustle of family life. 
Another big part of my writing routine is my wife Caroline. Without Caroline I would probably find it impossible to write at all. Caroline is my secretary, editor, advisor and spiritual and moral compass. She encourages me in every way. From dealing with the technical aspects of the internet to bringing me a cup of tea in bed when I’m writing. Caroline is the person who has inspired me to believe in myself. Without her I doubt I would have ever accomplished what I have. 
The final part of my writing routine is living life. Living through the ups and downs, the sadness and joy, the excitement and boredom or in other words the routine of living is the real inspiration for writing. How can people feel empathy with my writing if I know nothing of life. The worst routine a writer can have is to lock oneself away from life’s realities. Only by living yourself can you connect with the lives of others.
Daithi, I know the ladies reading this interview have suddenly all sighed, reading your declaration to Caroline. Having met her myself, I must say she's indeed a very special lady. And Culture and Heritage courses? We might have to chat about this some time!

You've describe your writing spaces pretty well already, but is there anything you want add about the places where you write?
My writing space is varied. Due to my hectic life style I tend to write wherever I can but as I said earlier my preferred space for writing is in bed. Here I get the best of all worlds. I get comfort, inspiration, imagination and the odd cup of tea from my wife! There is nothing I like more than to wake up and have nothing to do but write. This alas is not always possible but when it is, it’s  great. I wake up, head downstairs for breakfast. While eating I usually get the news on the internet, then head back to bed.
The Dream Maker
To describe my bedroom is pretty difficult but I can be confident when I say it doesn’t look like the most inspirational of spaces. But it works for me. The bedroom is dormer style with a velux window in the ceiling at the back of the room. A chimney breast about five feet wide runs up the centre of the gable wall. The lack of inspiration that prevails in my mundane bedroom is outweighed by the comfort of laying in a double bed with a mountain of cushions behind my head. This comfort allows me to drift off to sleep on occasion and seek the inspiration so lacking in the room itself. 
Like everything in life I can’t always get my way about where i write. Quite often I’m pushed into the dreaded spare room. In this tiny space I am surrounded by abandoned musical instruments, school books and an assortment of objects which are no longer of use. This said it is a handy place to sneak away to. Here, I can hide away from the family and scribble down a few hurried lines! 
If the weather permits I have a comfortable haunt at the side of the house. A few years ago I carved  out a quiet spot in the middle of a bunch of sally trees with my trusty hedge trimmer. Here I can while away a few quiet hours on my deck chair. A gentle atmosphere prevails in the corner of the garden and makes for a more passive style of writing. 
On occasion some of my best writing can be produced when I am not within a mile of a pen and paper, laptop or any means of recording what I’m thinking. On these occasions I am quite often up in the woods at the back of my house. There the mind itself can record ideas, plan twists and conclusions that spring from some inner source. Here I only have my two dogs Sam and Rosie to share my thoughts with. 
Ultimately what is most important to me when I am writing is that I am close to the people and things that I love. My family and home are an integral part of my writing. I believe the need to be close to and protective of the people we love is embedded in the characters I write about.
Sometimes there's nothing like a walk in the woods with your two best doggy buddies to clear the cobwebs of a creative mind and sort out plot elements. Inspiration comes from everywhere. Sounds like a wonderful part of the world where you live. Which brings me to my last question, what do you enjoy doing when you're not writing?
This is a hard question to answer. A lot people who know me would say I’m not one to enjoy anything! I wouldn’t paint quite as gloomy a picture as that but I have been known to say “I’d rather receive a summons than an invitation to a party!” 
Luckily for me, once again, life steps in and gets in the way of my solitary existence. Necessity forces me in fact to be quite the party animal. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Wexford town (recommended) there is hardly a night in the week that you won’t catch me warbling away whilst playing my guitar in one of the many watering holes which festoon this ancient viking town.  
Under the trees at the Sally Gap
I took up playing the guitar later in life about fifteen years ago. Prior to this I was a builders labourer. Eventually I started to play and sing in several pubs around Wexford and up until the recession was making a comfortable living from playing music. Music has been very good to me and my family and it gives me great satisfaction and a feeling of independence knowing that I was able to contribute to the family finances. 
I have to say, music, culture and the Irish way of life are very close to my heart. There is nothing I enjoy more than to go with my family for a night of Irish ballads and music. It’s a great honour for me to have my daughter Ella and my son Rory join me in a nights music on the fiddle and flute. 
Culture aside, I also enjoy a lazy night in front of the television. I don’t get to do it very often but I must admit, to junk out for a couple of nights is a great way to recharge the batteries. 
Often the most joy comes from the simplest things in life. I always get a fantastic sense of peace and balance when Caroline and myself walk our two dogs in the woods. The other week we both picked blackberries and Caroline made jam from them when we got home. I felt a wonderful connection with the natural world as we strolled through the forest picking the wild fruit. 
Another thing that brings happiness and balance into my life is to visit my mother. She will be ninety years old on Christmas Eve please God. She still reads everyday and her mind is as sharp as a blade. I received so many gifts from this great woman, in particular a love for my country and a strong empathy with the downtrodden people of the world. 
The things I enjoy the most today are the things that would have bored me to death when I was young. Thank God I have been allowed to live long enough that today I can enjoy these simple, beautiful things.
Now I understand more how romance sneaks into your writing. You definitely have some strong women in your life who have and continually do influence you. And we'll definitely have to find our way to Wexford to catch the Kavanagh clan gigging! Sounds fabulous.

Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with us and for sharing the intimate details of your life.

As we come to the blurb and excerpt, remember that we're giving away a copy of The Gun today. All you need to do is leave Daithi a comment here, with your email address so we can contact you if you win. Questions or comments, all are welcome!

• • •

Garda Detective Tadhg Sullivan leads a special unit that investigates politically motivated crime. A man known only as The Deerstalker is a cancer who has infected the Irish political system. 

Sullivan teams up with journalist Helen Carty, and together they try tracking down the mysterious killer. Carty adds to Sullivan’s problems, when he finds himself falling in love with her. And further complicating things, he starts losing trust in his partner, Detective Pat Carter, who appears to be on the side of the Garda Commissioner, who Sullivan is rapidly falling out with. 

Sullivan’s case is further thrown into confusion when a copycat killer, Tommy Walsh, is shot dead by the CIA. When the CIA discovers that they've killed the wrong person, the two agents involved--Simon, who has become disillusioned by his time stationed in the Middle East, and Joey, a psychopath who confuses zealotry with patriotism--are also in pursuit of The Deerstalker. 

Sullivan finds himself in a race against time, if he is to arrest The Deerstalker before the CIA take him out, and use his death as a pawn in a political game of chess. 

Who will win out in the end?

He stared at the gun lying on the bed.It was in his possession for nearly half his life and he’d never known what to do with it. The funny thing was, he’d always hated guns and yet, here he was.
He heard his wife moving around downstairs and knew that very soon she would call him for a cup of tea. He had to get the gun back into its hiding place.

He thought back to the first time he’d seen it. A late night knock at the door and a man from down the street had handed the gun and ammunition to him, wrapped in fertiliser bags.

“What the hell is this?” he’d blurted out.

“It’s a gun,” the man had said showing no expression.

“What are you giving it to me for?” he’d whispered, not wanting his family to hear them.”

“Because I trust you,” he’d replied.

“What the hell do you mean, you trust me? You hardly know me! And all I know about you is that you’re mixed up in the IRA. I have a family and I don’t give a damn about the North. Now please get away from my door and take that thing with you.”

The man had stared at him, but all calm had disappeared from his features. Then he spoke through gritted teeth.

“Now listen to me. The guards are going to be here shortly. Something serious happened tonight and now you’re mixed up in it, whether you like it or not. If you don’t take the gun from me now, when the guards arrive here and see us together, I’ll implicate you. Even if they don’t believe me, it will mean that you’ll have to stand up in Court and give evidence against me. Do you want that for your family? It would be much easier for you to stick the gun in the boot of your car drive off somewhere and hide it. But you’d better make your mind up fast, before they drive up and arrest us both.”

He often wondered why he’d taken it. Was it because he’d had sympathy for the man?He didn’t think so. Maybe it was the fear of being implicated, or like the man had said, being branded an informer. He wasn’t sure, but whatever the reason, it seemed like providence.

He heard his wife again. He heard her wheelchair go over the door saddle in the kitchen. He knew she was sitting there in the hallway looking up the stairs. He was safe upstairs, yet he always felt panic when he knew she was listening.

“Is that you love?” he called down.

“Yes, what are you doing up there?”

“I’m just checking my fishing gear.”

He hated lying to her but what could he say? That he was checking out his sniper rifle?

“Well I’m putting on a cup of tea, so finish up whatever you’re doing and come down and get it with me.”

“Right you are, just give me a minute. Cut up some of that Swiss Roll I bought yesterday.”

He pulled back the carpet, lifted the floorboards he’d loosened, and put the gun back in its hiding place. He felt a jolt of excitement. He’d already set his little plan in motion. They’re going to find out the hard way, that no matter who you are, you can’t escape justice.

• • •

Daithi Kavanagh lives in Trinity, County Wexford with his wife and two teenage children.

He has worked for several years as a musician.

In the last couple of years, after taking up adult education, he began writing.

His debut book is ‘The Gun’ and has now started the second book in the series.

Find Daithi online --

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/caroline.kavanagh.543
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Gun-by-Daithi-Kavanagh/1523825464506331
Twitter - https://www.twitter.com/Daithik3
Blog - http://www.caroldaithi.blogspot.com
Tirgearr Publishing - http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Kavanagh_Daithi

Grab your copy of The Gun at Tirgearr Publishing today for just $3.99.

Don't forget to leave a comment with your email address for the draw!

Friday, 26 September 2014

Cass Peterson: One Night in San Francisco

We're giving a big, warm welcome to Cass Peterson today, who is sharing with us her latest publication.

First, let's meet Cass. She's a self-confessed lover of writing, chocolate, wine, cake, curry, gin, sunlit beaches, moonlit bedrooms, and good novels, but not necessarily in that order! She works full time, and writes full time . . . hey, there *are* 24 hours in a day and the day job only takes up 8 of them ;-) In her spare time, that is, when she's not working or writing, she fits in time to walk, paint, review romance novels, and she loves cooking. Add to that a great and supportive family, and this is a lady with a very busy, but very full, life. Also self-confessed . . . she loves comedians Bill Bailey, Victoria Wood, Michael Palin and Eddie Izzard, and would love to have one of them as a neighbor.

Cass is not new to publishing. She has two previous titles included in the anthologies Smut Alfresco (Absolute Erotica Book 9) and Smut by the Sea Volume 2 (Absolute Erotica Book 11), both by House of Erotica publisher.

Today, Cass shares with us her first novella length work, One Night in San Francisco, which is book five of the City Nights Series from Tirgearr Publishing.

City Nights is a unique erotic romance series with authors contributing to the collection. Each book title starts One Night in . . . and takes place within a 24 hour time frame in a city somewhere in the world. Previous cities include Boise, Idaho; Paris, France; Rome, Italy; and New Orleans, Louisiana. And today we'll lose our hearts in San Francisco.

OK, you know I couldn't pass up the chance to add Frank's song mention here. Besides, San Francisco was in my backyard growing up, so it should come as no surprise to learn that this story has a dear place in my heart.

In this edition, we meet up with Nicky and Liam. They've met on a flight to San Francisco and found an instant attraction to each other. So much so, they join the mile high club! While they both have baggage from the past, and neither looking nor expecting this attraction, they agree to meet in the city to see if there can be something more between them. But when they lose touch almost immediately after leaving San Francisco Airport, the hours tick away while they try finding each other again. They only have one day in the city and time is slipping by quickly.

One Night in San Francisco is an attention grabber from page one. From their first meet, to the frantic city search for each other, to the climactic reuniting . . . and I mean climaxtic! . . . this story will keep you reading. We can't help but endear ourselves to the characters, and a well written storyline tells a great story of finding love when we least expect it. This is another excellent edition to the City Nights series, and one readers will definitely lose their hearts in.

Before we get to the blurb and excerpt, this busy lady took some time from her schedule to have a chat with us.

Welcome, Cass. It's lovely to see you at Heart of Fiction. Thank you for sharing a bit about yourself, and your latest story!

I must confess, after hearing about your very full life, I wonder how you find time to fit everything into a single day. Especially finding the time to write. What is your daily writing routine like?
Pretty random, but here’s an example. On a completely free day I wake very early and then snuggle down for a big think/daydream while my cat, Prudence, sits on my legs and purrs. This thinking session sets me up for the day - I have my best ideas in bed, which is handy for someone who loves erotic romance!
I keep a kettle and coffee grinder in my room so the next thing is always a pot of strong black coffee. The sound of the beans grinding jump starts the day and I get back into bed and write for a couple of hours. Then I might get up, have a long bubbly bath and eat something yummy - croissants if it’s a decadent week, a bowl of fresh fruit if it’s health kick time.
A walk on the beach is next, then back for more writing  - downstairs this time, but if I carry on writing into the evening I get into my silkiest pjs and retreat to the bed again.
Hmm . . . sounds like the bed plays a theme here. No wonder you write erotic romance ;-) I was going to ask you next to describe your writing space, but I think I know where that is! What else can you tell us about this space? Let us into your boudoir, as it were.
You’ll see from above that my favourite writing place is my wonderfully comfy bed. You’ll also guess that I’m currently living alone! This sort of bed/office doesn’t work too well if there’s a man in my life. My bedroom is the best place in the house. It overlooks windswept salt marshes and has windows on two sides. I rarely draw the curtains unless the weather is really bleak so that I can appreciate the sunrise. My laptop is always plugged in and ready on the large bedside table and I’ve got  a selection of notebooks in shades of gold, red, dark green and purple - my favourite colours - and a pot of multi-coloured pens at the ready for inspirations that need to be hand-written.
Sounds like you have a wonderful location to write from. Not just comfy surroundings, but that view over the sea . . . must say my envy mode is on full right now!

So, as I mentioned above, you have a lot of interests. What do you enjoy doing most when you're not writing?
I love to cook - Italian, Thai and cake mainly. Filling the house with people for a huge feast is one of my favourite ways to spend Sunday. I read whenever I get a moment and the beach is my favourite place to do that. I used to be a sun worshipper to the extreme, basking on the sand for hours on end, but now I protect my skin with sun cream and cover up a bit more. I’ve recently joined a class to learn how to paint on glass so that I can make window pendants for my friends’ Christmas presents.
Glass painting is really cool but also a whole new learning process to painting. Your friends will be thrilled to know the lengths you've gone for their pressies this year.

Oh, wait! You said you love baking cake. I'll be right over . . .

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us. I'll let you get back to researching your next best-seller at the window overlooking the sea, with cake in one hand, strong black coffee in the other, and Prudence on your lap ;-)

As we come to the blurb and excerpt, remember that we're giving away a copy of One Night in San Francisco today. All you need to do is leave Cass a comment here, with your email address so we can contact you if you win. Questions or comments, all are welcome!

• • •

Nicky and Liam have only twenty-four short hours to find out if their instantaneous attraction can develop into something more than an electric mile-high fumble. San Francisco has everything they need to put their previous disastrous relationships behind them, but when they lose touch with each other almost immediately, fate seems to have other ideas. As the precious hours tick away, Liam moves heaven and earth to find the woman of his (filthiest) dreams before she leaves the city. Will he get to her in time?

‘That feels just amazing,’ he whispered, ‘but I really can’t. I’m sorry – I can tell you’re something of an expert in your field.’

I giggled. ‘I’ll take that as a compliment; not that I go around rummaging under men’s blankets on a regular basis, you understand.’

‘Of course not. Look, I’m in San Fran for a week – I’ll give you my card and you must call me if you’re staying long enough for a meet up? I’m free tonight, if you’d like dinner, maybe?’

‘That’d be nice - I’m only here for one night though. I’m on my way to stay with my brother in Southern California tomorrow evening, but I’ve never seen the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz, or the cable cars so I decided to stop off in San Francisco on the way and be a tourist for twenty four hours.’

‘Good place to have a brother.’

‘I know – he’s an actor. He lives somewhere in the hills in a huge house called Coast Starlight. He did tell me why he named it, but I can’t remember. Something sentimental, I’m sure – he’s a big softie.

‘It was a nice idea to have a pit stop in the City first.’

‘Jack paid for it – this is his treat. He’s doing really well these days. I’d never have afforded it otherwise. I’ve brought him some great presents though to remind him of home. Marmite, a novelty big red bus moneybox, that sort of thing.’

‘Sounds great. Well, I’d love to see you later if you’ve got time? Will you ring me?’

I dimpled at him. ‘Might do. But you don’t even know my name. And more to the point, I don’t know yours.’

He grinned back and reached for my hand, turning it over and kissing the back of it so lightly that I’d have thought I’d imagined it if my whole body hadn’t begun to throb with pleasure at the touch of his lips. He began to work on my fingers, taking each in his mouth by turn and sucking gently until I was almost at the combustion point again.

‘You really are a find,’ he said.

‘A what?’

‘A find. A lovely woman, easy in her own skin, sensual and ready for anything. I bet if I lifted you across my knee now and lowered you onto my cock, you’d come in seconds.’

‘Hmmm. Well, I’d like to answer that one, but it’s a long story.’ We were still whispering, but I noticed one or two nearby people starting to stir and look around to see who was disturbing the peace. ‘Are you going to give me your phone number then, or what?’ I murmured, mind agonisingly full of the images he’d put there. I took the outstretched card he offered after a brief rummage in his pockets, and tucked it away in my bag.

‘Oh, and I’m Liam,’ he said, as an afterthought, ‘I’m a literary agent. I specialise in crime thrillers.’

‘Hi Liam. I’m Nicky. I’m thirty two, I guess I specialise in crime too – I’m a solicitor.’ He laughed and squeezed my hand, keeping hold of it and linking his fingers in mine. Settling down, we leaned together like old friends, and soon both drifted into sleep.

• • •

Cass Peterson lives in a house with way too many books, candles and wine glasses.

She loves painting (with oils, not emulsion, usually) and her ambition is to live near enough the sea to walk on the beach in sun, rain, and snow. She will then give in to her broody instincts and get a large, slobbery dog.

Cass is now writing a full length erotic comedy-romance featuring a young spinster in search of sizzling sex. The research is taking some time . . .

Find Cass online --

Website - http://casspeterson.co.uk
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/cass.peterson.7
Tirgearr Publishing - http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Peterson_Cass

Grab your copy of One Night in San Francisco at Tirgearr Publishing today for just $2.99.

Visit Tirgearr Publishing for the rest of the City Nights Series.

Don't forget to leave a comment with your email address for the draw! 

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Sharon Black: Going Against Type

Please give a warm Heart of Fiction welcome to Sharon Black.

Sharon hails from South County Dublin, Ireland, where she lives with her husband and three kids. She's trained as a journalist, working for some of Ireland's most upstanding periodicals (The Irish Examiner and The Evening Herald), but found her niche in fiction. And today, she introduces us to her debut novel.

Going Against Type is a story near and dear to Sharon's heart. Not just because it's her first published novel. It's because of the setting.

Charlotte 'Charlie' Regan works as a sports journalist and her contemporary, Derry Cullinane, works as a fashion writer and gossip columnist. This story blows stereotypes right out of the water from page one.

Some would say Charlie has the perfect life. She's gorgeous, smart, and has a dream job. Despite the recent breakup with her boyfriend, she's pretty happy. Except for one thing. Her big break. Being the only woman sports writer in the department, Charlie finds it difficult at best to get put onto really big stories.

Derry, on the other hand, has no trouble getting the big stories. Not only is he good at what he does, he's also very popular with ladies seeking expert advice on fashion, and of course, they want to know the latest gossip in the fashion industry. Derry is every girly-girl's go-to man. He's the quintessential 'tall, dark, and handsome', and straight. He's also part of the industry's gossip, as he has a reputation as a lady's man who dates only glamorous women. But even Mr Popularity is looking for some different excitement.

When Charlie is given the opportunity to write a new column, it's under the pen name, Side Swipe. It's not long before someone called The Squire focuses in on Side Swipe and the battle begins. While Charlie and Derry know each other professionally, neither know they're sparring with each other.

Going Against Type is an absolutely engaging story full of surprises. A lady in a male dominated occupation, and a straight man in an industry dominated by women and gay men -- Already, this story opens the door for all kinds of shenanigans. Add the element of secret pen names and a public venue in which to voice some rather strong opinions, and readers will be kept up at night turning pages to see what happens next. Sharon Black uses her wonderful author voice to spin us a great story with lots of twists to keep us on edge. Pitting her protagonists in occupations against stereotype means there's a lot of maneuverability for a quirky and interesting plot. And this story has it. This is a really fun read with believable characters, fun situations, and a well-developed plot. I say, great start to your fiction writing career, Sharon. Well done.

Before we get to the excerpt, we've had a quick chat with Sharon.

Welcome to Heart of Fiction, Sharon, and congrats on the release of your debut novel.

Please, tell our readers something about you, the author. Such as, what is your daily writing routine like?
I tend to write in the mornings, when my children are at school and college.  Sometimes I write as much as I can and then reward myself with a coffee in my local Italian cafe. Or sometimes I need the coffee just to write. I love when I have a clear plan in my head of a particular scene, because I can write that anywhere. If I’m feeling restless, I will take an A4 pad and go to the cafe, tuck myself away in a corner and write longhand. People wonder how I can work like that, but I worked as a journalist in busy newsrooms and features departments. People were always talking  and shouting around me, so you learn to tune everything out and just concentrate on what you have to do. 
In the evenings I might write a bit more, if I’m not too tired. Or I might read over what I’ve written that morning, and start to edit. 
It takes a lot of concentration to write, and a lot of the same concentration to tun out the noise around you. A busy newsroom sounds like the perfect place to hone that skill!

Now that you're home, and writing great fiction, tell us about your new desk . . . What's your writing space like?
At home, my writing space is a big, wrap-around desk at the very end of my kitchen. It’s an incredible mess, but actually I know where everything is! My back is to the wall and I have really big windows on one side, with a view of my garden. If I’m doing bits during the day, when the kids are home, the kitchen is always busy. But even though I’m aware of what’s going on, I can work away if I have to. And it’s handy to be able to check things or write something down if I think of it, during the day. It’s also a great way to keep an eye on my youngest, doing homework! 
Sounds like a great little niche for you. You're tucked away but also in a hive of familial activity.

What do you enjoy doing when you're not writing?
I love reading, so I do a lot of that. I also get to the theatre or the cinema when I can, although that’s not as often as I’d like. I live near the sea and there’s a nature reserve not too far, so I walk with friends. Despite (or maybe because of) the fact that writing is a very solitary thing, it’s really important to me to see friends. Living in a suburban village makes for a great community spirit and I’m lucky to know lots of people.
When we can, my husband and I have family or friends around for dinner. We both enjoy that, because I quite like cooking (although I hate baking!) and it’s always an excellent excuse to clean the house!!!
Apart from that, my week is pretty mad, weekend included, because my kids are busy. So there’s a lot of ferrying around and supporting them. Normal parenting stuff. I wouldn’t have it any other way.  
I know the reserve you're talking about. I've always enjoyed the view from the DART. Wonderful place to walk. And you're right about being social when you're not working. Getting out in the fresh air is also great for helping one work out those plot knots, as well as the knots in your back ;-)

Thanks for taking the time to chat with us, and best luck with this story.

Before we get to the excerpt for this story, don't forget that your comment could net you a free copy of this book. Be sure to leave your contact email.

• • •

Some would say Charlotte ‘Charlie’ Regan has it all. Beautiful, smart, athletic, and a great job working as a journalist – in the almost exclusively male sports department. But Charlotte is not quite so sure as she seem. Recently split from her overbearing boyfriend, she escapes for weekends surfing in the Atlantic, and spends her free nights watching sports, roaring at the TV.

Derry Cullinane is a fashion writer, gossip columnist, and sophisticated man-about-town – The go-to guy for any woman seeking expert advice on what fabulous outfit to wear for any given occasion. He’s also tall, dark, good looking . . . and straight! So what’s the snag? He has a track record of dating glamorous, vain, and shallow women.

Charlie gets an opportunity to write a new column under the pen name Side Swipe, but soon is drawn into a war of words and wit with a rival paper’s columnist, The Squire, and their verbal fireworks get readers and editors talking. Yet neither Charlie nor Derry knows just who the opponent is.

When Charlotte and Derry meet at the Races, the attraction is instant. As their relationship develops, so much more proves at stake than protecting their alter egos. But a blunder puts Charlotte’s job in jeopardy just as Derry’s past makes front page, and Charlotte begins to doubt her feelings. When Side Swipe and The Squire are finally forced to reveal themselves, will they revert to type – or confound everyone’s expectations?

Charlotte had waited years for Donal to utter those magical words. This morning he'd finally said them.

'We're trying you out as a columnist, Charlie. Go grab 'em by the–'

'Thank you, Donal,' Charlotte replied fervently. Yesssss!!!! She mentally punched the air. 'I won't let you down.'

Maybe not the magical words every girl longed to hear but for Charlotte Regan – sports reporter for Ireland Today – they were music to her ears.

Now she sat at a blank computer screen in the noisy sports department and thought hard about her first column. The sports editor had given her carte blanche. She grinned mischievously as she typed her introduction.

What witless wonder dreamt up the idea of men's underwear with the logo 'Small' emblazoned on it?

And what was English striker Adam Small thinking when he recently dunked his two big feet into the tacky world of big brand fashion?



'What are you down to do this weekend?'

Oh, let's see. Paint my toenails. Bathe in goats milk. Have wild sex with that gorgeous new reporter in the newsroom.

'I'm covering the hurling match on Sunday...'

'I need you to get down to Cork. There's open war! Nine months stand off and the players have called a strike from next week. No one gets that GAA bloodletting the way you can.'

'Uh hmm. I was there yesterday. Just drove up last night.'

'Yesterday? Monday? You were in Cork?' Donal's eyes widened. Charlotte nodded. What other yesterday was there? Maybe he was surprised she'd gone down on a day off.

'And I got a story.'

Donal rubbed his nose as he stared in bewilderment at Charlotte. 'What are you talking about, Charlie?'

She smiled patiently.

'I mean I went into the dressing room last night and got a story. JJ Nevin's not being disciplined. The selectors haven’t been stood down. Nevin’s switching codes. He’s going to sign for Galway. He’ll be playing soccer in the Airtricity League.'

Donal, Charlotte thought, not for the first time, did a great goldfish impression.

'When were you going to tell me?' he managed finally. Then, as an afterthought added, 'hang on, you went in where last night?'

'The dressing room.'

Donal glanced over at the deputy sports editor, Tim Hanlon, who grinned and shrugged. 'They let you in?' His eyes narrowed.

'Not the first time I've been in a men’s dressing room,' Charlotte said, enjoying herself now. 'Well yes, but...'

'What am I supposed to do? Let the male reporters steal a march? Who'd stop me anyway?

After JJ was substituted, he was taking a shower. I'd never get a story if I were shy!'

'Nobody could accuse you of being shy, Charlie,' John Dempsey, the soccer correspondent announced as he strode in and threw a newspaper down on the adjacent desk. 'We talking about the weekend activities?'

Charlotte rolled wide-set, hazel green eyes and grinned.

'Not yet.' She switched her attention back to Donal. 'Anyway, Nevin – clothed in a towel I might add – and I had a long talk. He filled me in on the whole thing. 
They're announcing the signing on Thursday.'

'And we lead with the story tomorrow in the supplement!' Donal said, slapping his hand down delightedly. 'You boys hearing this? None of you will ever be half the man Charlie is!'

• • •

Sharon Black trained as a journalist and worked for The Evening Herald and The Irish Examiner.

She has had short stories published and she won the 2010 Dromineer Literary Festival short story competition.

She lives in Sandymount, Dublin with her husband and their three children.

Find Sharon Online --

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/pages/Sharon-Black-Author-Page/1433997893531882
Twitter - https://twitter.com/Authorsharonb
Blog - http://www.sharonblackauthor.blogspot.com
Tirgearr Publishing - http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Black_Sharon

Don't forget that your comment could net you a free copy of this book.
Be sure to leave your contact email.

Friday, 19 September 2014

David J. O'Brien: Five Days on Ballyboy Beach

It's our pleasure to welcome back David J. O'Brien to Heart of Fiction. David was with us in May for the release of his debut novel, Leaving the Pack, book one in the Silver Nights Trilogy, the story of a young man in a world similar to ours -- werewolves. Man yet not fully, beast but not fully. When he meets his mate, leaving the pack isn't as easy at it sounds.

Today, David introduces us to another, and gentler, romance -- Five Days on Ballyboy Beach.

This is Derek's story. The quiet one within his social circle, but he has his eye on one of his friends. Usually quiet and reserved, Derek must take the leap if he wants this woman. Best laid plans often go awry. When tragedy strikes, this close knit group of friends is thrown into turmoil. What does that mean for Derek and his chances with the one he thinks is 'the one'?

Five Days on Ballyboy Beach a sensitive view of one man's bid to find a mate. How many times have we ever regretted not stepping up when we should have and regretted 'the one who got away'? Readers are brought into Derek's world and what it's like being a shy man in Ireland, surrounded by outgoing women and an active social group who, in a way, are all looking for the same thing he is. One wanting the brass ring can't just keep riding the carousel and hope one falls in his lap. You have to reach for it. This is Derek's reach story. Emotions run high, especially as the plot progresses. David draws readers in through Derek's point of view and lets us experience these five active and tumultuous days. Tensions run high as David pulls out all the emotional stops. Get your tissues handy for this one! This isn't just a great summer read, but a great year round read.

David took a few moments out of his busy schedule to have a chat with us.

Welcome back to Heart of Fiction, David.

You told us before that your writing spaces are many and varied. Where have you currently been writing?

Well, this summer I've spent over a month living in the country in my wife's family's village. I normally write in an upstairs office before a balcony doors with great views. However, I've had to exchange this for a blank white wall in front of my desk in my bedroom - for two reasons. One is that I was too distracted by the views - in some cases of the horses and cows, but also a little group of lizards that skittered up and down the walls in the sun. The other was that the upstairs office space was taken over by my daughter and her cousins: I call it an office space, and it has a desk and book shelves, but really it's a play room, with the floor strewn with toys! What with piano practice and squabbles added to the general noise, it was best to beat a retreat into the bedroom to get any work done. I can't complain, though, because there is a view of a hillside and the blue sky out my window when I needed to rest my eyes for a while!

Bundoran Strand, Co. Donegal
by Osioni - Own work.
Licensed under public domain
via Wikimedia Commons
Five Days on Ballyboy Beach is set in a place with lots of wonderful views. Is it based on a real place or does it only exist in your imagination?
Well, the basic plan of the beach - bounded on one side by cliffs along which you could walk to town and backed by dunes, was based on Tullan Strand in Donegal, where some friends and I stayed for a long weekend many years ago. I had to find a photo on the internet because that was back in the days before digital cameras and I haven't been back since. My old photos are packed away in a box in Ireland! Of course, the town of Bundoran is much bigger than Ballyboy, and in the book Ballyboy is situated in either Mayo or Galway - and has a large mountain overlooking it, similar to Mweelrea north of Killary Harbour. The actual village is all imagined, and since the surfing in Donegal is world famous, I'm not actually giving away anyone's secret surf break!
I've been to Bundorran and I know the area around Tullan. Really stunning views, and a very walkable beach.

What inspired you to write Five Days on Ballyboy Beach, besides the scenery of places you'd seen while "out west"?
I wrote this novel kind of using the Seat of Pants method. I started with a short story called Around a Campfire, which is the guts of Chapter One. The idea was just to contrast the idea of being able to name the people with whom you've been intimate with the fact that oftentimes the faces and names (if we even asked them) are lost to memory. I showed the story to a friend, who said he'd expected more. That made me think about what would have happened next in the story. I had five characters on a beach and could do anything with them I wanted, so I just kept writing the rest of their short holiday, adding some other characters as I needed them. I started writing in first person and it seemed a good fit, so I kept going, even naming the main character after myself and played with creating a fake memoir where it would be hard to know (if you didn't know me and my friends) exactly whether it wasn't true or not. I promise that it's not - bar a few basic truths that are common to us all!
It's really amazing what one comment can drive us to produce. We can thank your friend for giving us the novel we have today!

Thanks for taking time to chat with us, David.

Before we get to the excerpt for this story, don't forget that your comment could net you a free copy of this book. Be sure to leave your contact email.

Also, Tirgearr Publishing is offering a promotional price on David's previous book, Leaving the Pack, at just 99c/77p for the next month.

10% of the author's royalties will be donated to WWF, the World Wildlife Fund.

• • •

A startling revelation - the long-time friend you never viewed romantically is actually the person with whom you want to spend the rest of your life.

But what do you do about it?

For Derek, a laid-back graduate camping with college friends on Ireland's west coast in the summer of 1996, the answer is … absolutely nothing.

Never the proactive one of the group - he's more than happy to watch his friends surf, canoe and scuba-dive from the shore - Derek adopts a wait and see attitude. Acting on his emotional discovery is further hindered by the fact he's currently seeing someone else - and she's coming to join him for the weekend.

As their five days on the beach pass, and there are more revelations, Derek soon realises that to get what he desires, he'll have to take it. Events conspire to push him to the forefront of the group, and, as unexpected sorrow begins to surround him and his friends, Derek grasps his chance at happiness. After all, isn’t life too short to just wait and see?

“Do you remember everyone you’ve ever kissed?”

We were sitting around the fire, which sent its flames up from the dry driftwood to spread light past us to the tents behind. It illuminated the hazel copse a little way off, but was beaten by the darkness before reaching the waves that softly washed up on the shore, thirty yards away.

Just the two of us, Sinéad and I, sat beside the fire. Sarah was in the dunes, and John and Bill had gone to the town to get more drink. We’d all thought that we’d have been drunk already, but we weren’t yet. We nearly were—at least I was—but not quite enough. The two lads had decided to walk the mile to the pub and get a dozen more cans of beer and a bottle of Jameson, and some lemonade for the two girls. Us men were fairly sure that by the time we’d finished the beers we’d be ready for the whiskey straight, or with just a little fresh, cool water from the stream beside the copse. It gurgled in the silence behind me, down a few rocks into a wide brackish pool that drained slowly down the beach at low tides, meandering through the sand.

I watched Sinéad looking back at me as she thought about the question. She was beautiful. I could see that in the firelight. Why couldn’t I see that during the day? Was it the night? Don’t be stupid, Derek, I told myself. It’s the booze! And the knowledge that you’re sharing your tent with two lads.

Still, she was beautiful. But she was better than just attractive— she was smart and funny and all those adjectives that people throw around when describing the people they fancy. She was one of my best friends—definitely my best female friends. That's why she was there, of course, because she was not just a pretty face. Yet that was a pity right now, when all I wanted was someone sexy.

“Yes," she answered. “I remember everyone. But then, I haven’t kissed very many people. Only twelve.”

I looked back at her eyes, my own betraying my surprise. “Really? You have only ever kissed twelve people?”

Sinéad laughed softly and nodded. “Yes! And I knew them all before I kissed them. Does that surprise you so much? Why do you ask anyway? Can you remember all those thousands of girls that you have kissed?” She asked this in a gently mocking way, and I blushed a little, though probably not enough for her to notice in the light from the fire.

I looked into the flames for a moment, then met her eyes again. “I haven’t kissed thousands of girls! And I am not that surprised about you only kissing twelve guys, though I am curious as to how that is,” I smiled, wondering how the hell it was possible. “But, I have to admit that I don’t remember every girl I’ve kissed. I don’t remember kissing some of them that I know I have kissed. It depends on the circumstances of the kiss. Sometimes I was fairly drunk.”

She laughed, and I laughed with her. I took a swig of beer and she did the same, then I looked at the fire again, not really wanting to look straight at her as I continued. “Sometimes though, I see a girl, and she looks so familiar, and yet I’m sure that I don’t know her, and she gives no indication that she knows me, or that I seem familiar to her. Or sometimes I see a girl who I don’t recognise or think I have met before, but who looks at me like she knows me or should know me, and I just wonder, if maybe a few years ago, I wasn’t holding her on a dance floor and kissing her. It’s really strange.”

When I raised my can again she was still looking intently at me. “Everybody forgets people. People don’t stay looking the same all their lives, so you are going to not recognise people, eventually, and if you didn’t know them all that well in the beginning, you're going to forget them sooner. I’ve forgotten lots of people I used to see around. I haven’t forgotten the people I have kissed because I knew them quite well, and I still know some of them very well. Why I haven’t kissed people I didn’t know is none of your business, really. But to be honest, it just happened that way: I was never not going out with someone for very long. But anyway, there have been lots of men I knew well and didn’t kiss, and I still remember them. Kissing doesn’t have that much to do with your memory—even if you think that you should remember the ones you kissed more than the ones you didn’t.”

I said nothing, but nodded and took another swig of beer, raising it high and draining the last of its contents into my mouth. She again took my cue and drank.

“What if the people you think you know are girls that you would have liked to kiss, but never did?”

• • •

David J O'Brien was born and raised in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland. He studied environmental biology and later studied deer biology for his PhD, at University College Dublin. Instead of pursuing his life-long interest in wolves and predator-prey interactions, after completing his doctorate, he taught English in Madrid, Spain, for four years while his girlfriend finished her doctorate in molecular biology. They married and moved to Boston, where they both worked for a time. A short time before their daughter was born, they moved to Pamplona, his wife's hometown, so she could set up her new research group.

David has loved writing since his teens. He began with poetry and had one of his first poems published in Cadenza, a small Dublin poetry magazine at the age of fourteen, and others followed. He began writing fiction in his late teens. While living in Madrid, he wrote some non-fiction articles for the magazine Hot English, and while in Boston for the newspaper, Dig. There, too, he took a feature-writing class in Emmanuel College. Though his academic writing has taken precedence, David continues writing fiction in his spare time.

An avid wildlife enthusiast and ecologist, much of David's non-academic writing, especially poetry, is inspired by wildlife and science, and he sometimes seeks to describe the science behind the supernatural. He has written a little bit of everything: to date a four-act play, a six-episode sit-com, various short stories and four more novels.

David is currently working on a long novel set in the pre-Columbian Caribbean, and a non-fiction book about the sociology of hunting. At the same time he is looking for outlets for his other works: two contemporary adult novels -- one set in the west of Ireland and the other set in Madrid -- as well as a young adult ghost story set in a town outside London, and a children's novel about a boy who can see leprechauns.

Find David online --

Website - http://davidjmobrien.wordpress.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/DavidJMOBrien
Google+ - https://plus.google.com/u/0/113200845633833272102
Tirgearr Publishing - http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/OBrien_David

Don't forget that your comment could net you a free copy of this book.
Be sure to leave your contact email.

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Kit Marlowe: The Big Spin

Image courtesy of SL Johnson
It's always a pleasure hosting Kit Marlowe. She's spunky and sassy, clever and creative, and the quintessential international woman of mystery. This is probably what makes her stories so fun and intriguing.

Author of historical romance with a twist, Kit previously introduced us to The Mangrove Legacy, the story of cousins who manage to get themselves kidnapped not once, but twice, first by highwaymen, then by rogues of the sea . . . pirates!

And more recently, Kit visited to tell us about the first book in a new series, The World of Constance and Collier. The first book published in January this year, The Big Splash. Kit took us back to London's Jazz Age . . . the Roaring 20s, English style. Music was lively, champagne flowed freely, and the women lived just as fast and free as their male counterparts. Through it all, one woman was looking for love, and even though men threw themselves at her feet, Constance Wynne only wanted the one man she couldn't have.

Today, Kit visits with the second book in this series, The Big Spin.

Constance thought her life couldn't get any better. But when she starts catching her fiancé flirting with other women, she hightails it to Monte Carlo, with her lady's maid, Collier at her side. There's only one way to wash that man out of your hair. The voice of reason, Collier does her best to keep her lady in check.

As with book one, The Big Spin is a big book contained in a smaller package. Kit does a superb job of not just pulling us into the story with Constance and Colliers' antics, but also paints a vivid picture of the south of France, and of the times. This is a wonderfully fun read. But as it's a sequel, first time readers are encouraged to grab book one and start from the beginning. You won't be sorry.

Before we get to an excerpt, be sure to drop Kit a note in the comments below **with your email address** to enter the draw for a copy of The Big Spin.

We should also note that book one, The Big Splash is at the promo price of just 99c/77p through September.

• • •

When her fiancé Mr. Wood lets her down by flirting with another woman, Constance Wynne Hare tears off to Monte Carlo to forget him in the world of high rollers in the flashiest casinos on the Riviera. Will the ever-reliable lady’s maid Collier be able to rescue her from a dissolute life on the Mediterranean? The Jazz Age adventures of Constance & Collier return!

“Her suitcase?”

Constance Wynne Hare stamped her well-shod little foot with vehemence as her mother stared with alarm. “Yes, her suitcase. That’s his claim. He only went with her to help with the suitcase, and somehow—mind you, he’s very unclear on the details—but somehow it turned into a wild party and they were all taken to the precinct house and not charged, but locked up all night.”

“Naturally,” her mother said, her tone cool and her eyes narrowed as if she had just spotted a partner trumping out of turn.

“I do think it entirely unnecessary that he escorted her home in the morning after such an arrangement, and even more so that he stayed to eat breakfast with the baggage! Insupportable.” Constance threw herself down into a chair, but even the violence of that action did little to assuage the peevish sense of being done very wrong indeed by the exasperating Mr. Wood.

It made it much, much worse that her mother regarded her with such pity now. “My dear child, I hate to say I warned you of this—”

“Then do not!” Constance knew that anger at her mother was the only thing keeping despair at bay. “Mother, I cannot bear you being beastly just at this moment. It’s the last thing I need. I may just have to run off and join a convent.” She folded her arms with decision.

Unfortunately, her mother only laughed. “My dear, the convent that takes you in would have to be a rather forward-thinking institution.”

“Don’t tease, Mamma.”

“Constance, you know well my opinion on Mr. Wood. I do wish you’d had the good sense to marry that nice young banker—”

“That boat has sailed.” Constance frowned. Bankers were less likely to be the stable wagers her mother thought, she knew all too well. Get them out of the counting house and the unaccustomed freedom quite turned their heads. “I need a change of scenery. I need to leave London.”

“Go to Bath.” Her mother said with suspicious quickness. “It ought to be quite lovely this time of year. I know many families who take their leisure there in the off-season.”

“Do you?” Constance gave her mother a shrewd look that would have recalled a mongoose to any careful observer.

“Oh yes,” her mother said casually, turning to adjust the flowers in the Sèvres vase on the little oak table. “Why, I believe the Worthingtons are there just now.”

“Are they?” It was a good thing her back was turned or Constance’s mother would have seen a most objectionable look on her daughter’s face, one she might have scolded as both unladylike and entirely unnecessary.

“Oh, they seem to be having a most delightful time. The Earl’s gout is clearing up at last and young Earnest has become quite the talk of the town—very popular among the ladies, as I hear it.”

“It must be his extraordinary fondness for cakes that has set the ladies all a-flutter.”

Her mother turned with snake-like speed. A more timid girl would have cowered, but Constance was no flibbertigibbet. “Are you objecting to his very large girth?”

“Not at all. I like to see a man of substance,” Constance said, her head held high, insulted both by the question and her mother’s tone. “However, I object to a gentleman so greedy as to roughly elbow a girl aside in the pursuit of said cakes. I have not forgotten the Duchess’ hunt dinner.”

“How awful of you to recall such an embarrassing evening, which I recall we agreed never to mention again.”

“Mother, you drive me to desperate measures. Earnest Worthington? I’d sooner marry a—a fishmonger.”

• • •

Kit Marlowe is a writer of historical romance with humour (although there are those who say she’s secretly an English professor who writes under other names). You can find her on Facebook, too. Her lovely author portrait was created by the fabulous artist S. L. Johnson.

Find Kit online --

Website - http://www.kit-marlowe.com
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/AuthorKitMarlowe
Blog - http://kit-marlowe.com/blog
Amazon US - http://www.amazon.com/author/kitmarlowe
Tirgearr Publishing  - http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Marlowe_Kit

Don't forget to leave a comment with your email address for the draw!
The Big Spin - Grab it Here
The Big Splash - Grab it Here

Friday, 5 September 2014

Tegon Maus: Bob

If it seems like Tegon Maus was just here visiting with us, it's because he was. Just last month, little more than three weeks ago, we helped Tegon launch the second book in his Eve Project series -- The Wishing Stone. And today, he brings us something completely different.

Bob is coming.

Bob is coming!

BOB is coming!!

Some may have heard the chants across social media over the last few weeks. Bob is coming. But who is Bob?

"Call me, Bob," he returned, rocking his weight from heel to toe, swinging his arms playfully.

"Bob? How the hell do you get Bob from Dimitri?" I asked, trying not to laugh.

"Bob is American, yes? I now American, so now am Bob."

Dimitri Rurik Petrova is hired to help veteran newspaper man, Peter Anderson, with a story. After 27 years, Peter is desperate to keep his career from being washed away by the incoming tide of younger news folks. One big story could make or break his career. He just has to convince his boss to stop sending him on nonsense stories, a fluff pieces as he calls them. But it's just one such fluff story that brings about some startling changes for Peter, not the least, meeting Bob. Lights in the sky in the Arizona desert, a woman held captive in a basement, strange happenings, and . . . well . . . Bob.

What more can I say about Tegon's storytelling ability that hasn't already been said? I love it. His stories are creative, his voice is unique, and one can't help but instantly like any character he writes. I'd love to sit beside him one day and watch him write. I want to see how he does it. This story is everything I look for in a fun read. It has action and adventure, some science fiction, some seat-edge drama, and some tummy ticklers. I mean, how can you not chuckle at some of those classic Tegon one-liners? Really, this book should be read by everyone who likes a great story and looking for something a bit outside the book box. Read it. Read it several times. The only thing you might be disappointed in is getting to the last page and Bob's story is over. Or is it?!

Before we get to the excerpt, Tegon stopped by with some insight into what's out there.

• • •

Do you believe in UFO’s?  It’s almost impossible not too. There are more than 4 billion stars in our galaxy… each of those has a string of planets…according to Drake's Formula (or The Drake Equation) that works out to a little over 26,000 civilizations at our level and or higher in our galaxy alone and we know about another 12,000 other galaxies in the observable universe so…  

When I was twelve, I lived close to Norton Air Force base. They carried out training exercises on a regular basis, doing what was called a “sac run” -- Giant planes called Star Lifters that roared from the sky one after the other to have their wheels touch down for a brief moment and then take off again.   

At that time there was a road at the end of the runway where you could park and the planes would pass no more than thirty feet overhead. Their power as they floated by shook me to the core. It filled me with fear, trepidation and excitement that has lasted a lifetime. 

Then, late one afternoon as I sat on the hood of my father’s car, I saw it. It gleamed with the brightness of unimaginable silver. It was stunningly thin from tip to tip with a recognizable bulge at its center... a saucer. It floated silently in place, hanging stationary in the air like a balloon and my heart jumped to my throat in surprise. I stared in disbelief as several minutes crept by and it inched closer and closer, inching its way to the ground and to me.        
My heart beat as never before and my mind filled with every cci-fi movie, every book, every abduction story I had ever been exposed too. I couldn’t breath; I couldn’t move. It was clear... they were coming for me.

At that instant as it was nearly overhead I crawled backward over the roof of the car to stand on the trunk. I was about to scream in terror and the craft turned slightly, banking to the right. 

It glided softly toward the runway becoming a Star Lifter once more as it roared over head. 

My father and I laughed wildly but to this day the image burns in my memory. 

I saw it for myself and real or not I believe.

• • •

As always, there's a free book on offer today. All you need to do is comment with your email address to put your name into the draw for an ebook copy of BOB. If you can't wait, just click on the link to grab your copy.

And on special offer from Tirgearr Publishing, one of Tegon's previous books, My Grandfather's Pants, is available through August for just 99c at Kindle!

• • •

After 27 years as a newspaper man, Peter Anderson’s career is slipping away, at least it was, until he stumbled upon the story of a lifetime. Sent to do a fluff piece about lights in the night sky over Arizona, he discovers far more than he ever expected when he comes upon a mysterious young woman held prisoner in a basement. After helping her to escape, she disappears before he can learn the truth about who she is or where she came from. His search for her leads him back to the lights in the sky and leaves him with more questions than answers. The only thing he knows for certain . . . the only thing he can count on are the two words offered repeatedly by his friend and guide . . . “IS BELT.”

The first time I heard it, I thought nothing of it…nothing. I've been in the newspaper game for more than twenty-seven years and that kind of experience gave a guy an edge but even that didn't prepare me for this.

I'd been beaten, shot at, even stabbed a couple of times over the years but I always got the story. Always. But this one was big. Too big perhaps. Maybe we were ready, maybe not. Either way, it wasn't my call.

None of which filled me with the fear, the trepidation, the anguish of five little words that still haunt me today…

"Is okay. I have cousin."

I felt as though I had been in a plane or a car for weeks sent from town to town, story to story without a break or at least a weekend to catch up. At the very least it was nice to return to a hotel I had been in several times before. Tired beyond words I was more than happy to have Carlos carry my bags to my room.

"Carlos, do you know where Payson is?" I asked as I slid the card, opening the door.

"Sure. It's about an hour and a half north of here, why?"

"I have an interview tomorrow at 10:00. I need a car and some directions," I said, tossing my laptop on the bed.

"I can arrange it for you. 7:00 AM good?"

"That would be great," I said, searching my pocket. "Thanks, Carlos," I said, holding out a five.

"Thanks, but that's not necessary," he answered, waving away my offering.

I shook his hand and he took his leave.

Alone at last, I collapsed on the bed, exhausted.

I lay there, staring at the ceiling, trying to control the personal demons that slowly began to chink away at my armor. I hated the quiet time, hated to be alone. I could only hope tomorrow proved to be less frustrating.

By 7:00 AM the following morning, I stood in the lobby, ready for the day. True to his word, Carlos arrived on time.

"Morning, sir," he said, offering his hand in greeting.

"Morning, Carlos," I returned, giving his hand a quick shake.

I followed him across the lobby and then outside to stand in the morning sun. We made small talk as the minutes slowly ticked away. I glanced at my watch several times, becoming more uncomfortable as each minute slipped by.

Carlos made no outward sign he noticed my discomfort. It was clear I was going to have to say something.

"Ah, here we are," he said cheerfully, raising his right hand to flag down a passing car.

I turned in surprise and disappointment as a faded blue sedan sputtered to a stop in front of us, belching out a small cloud of blue smoke with a sharp bang.

A mournful creak of metal pierced the air as the driver's door swung open.

Dressed in a rumpled black suit, a very large, heavyset man unfolded himself from behind the wheel, tucking his shirt into his slacks as he rounded the front of the car.

He ran his fingers through his hair frantically, trotting up the steps to the landing were we waited.

"Carlos, my friend," the man said loudly in a strong Slavic accent, throwing his arms around the young man, lifting him off the ground. At long last he set him down, patting him heavily on the back.

"Mr. Peter Anderson, this is Dimitri Rurik Petrova," Carlos said cheerfully, patting the large man affectionately on the chest as he spoke.

"Nice to meet you," I responded, offering my hand. "My friends call me Pete."

This close to me, Dimitri seemed even larger than I first thought. His face was square, his skin painfully pocked, but pleasant over all, giving him the appearance of an out of shape football player.

"You are friend to Carlos, you are friend to me. We are friends now. Yes?" he said before grabbing me, hugging me, giving me the same hello he had just given Carlos.

"We're late, Mr. Petrova," I admonished, now irritated with having been handled like a rag doll.

"Call me, Bob," he returned, rocking his weight from heel to toe, swinging his arms playfully.

"Bob? How the hell do you get Bob from Dimitri?" I asked, trying not to laugh.

"Bob is American, yes? I now American, so now am Bob."

• • •

Married forty-three years to a woman he calls Dearheart, Tegon Maus lives a contented life in a small town of 8,200 in Southern California. By day, Tegon is a successful home remodeling contractor, but his passion is storytelling.

Tegon's progatonists are frequently wedged between a rock and a hard place, but manage to work things out through the story. Like most when pushed into a corner, it only brings out the best in his characters and become the unstoppable force of a reluctant hero. Tegon's signature style is creating characters who are driven and believable, and who strive to find happiness.

Tegon is the author of The Chronicles Of Tucker Littlefield series.

Find Tegon online --

Tegon Maus - http://www.tegonmaus.com
Facebook - http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tegon-Maus/150255051766767
Twitter - https://twitter.com/TegonMaus
Amazon - http://www.amazon.com/Tegon-Maus/e/B009PFZILW
Goodreads -  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5808023.Tegon_Maus
Shelfari - http://www.shelfari.com/o1514811662
LinkedIn - http://www.linkedin.com/pub/tegon-maus/62/606/931
Pinterest - http://pinterest.com/tegon
Tirgearr Publishing - http://www.tirgearrpublishing.com/authors/Maus_Tegon

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