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And Alexandrea talks: tbc guest post waiting

The Secret Brokers Book Cover The Secret Brokers
(Secret Brokers, #1)
Alexandrea Weis
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense, Thriller
Vesuvian Books
April 7th 2020

Dallas August runs a dangerous business—an organization of elite spies for hire.

The secrets trade.

Nothing is off limits, and no price is too high.

When asked to uncover what recluse Gwen Marsh knows about a Mafia kingpin’s death, Dallas poses as a bodyguard to get close to his target, but the stubborn Asian beauty wants nothing to do with him. As the FBI and the Mafia close in, danger drives them together, but can he protect Gwen, or will Dallas be the one risking everything to discover what she is really hiding?

Dallas August is about to find out how dangerous life can be as one of the Secret Brokers.

Once you are in, there is no turning back.

Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

The tale of the undercover spy has always intrigued me. The danger and surreal settings have drawn me as a reader since I was young. A big influence on my desire to write in this genre was Ian Fleming—yes, the creator of the James Bond Series. His take on the character, and his details into Bond’s psyche, riveted me to every page. If you haven’t read the books, I highly recommend that you do. Fleming presented an in-depth course on how to write a character—one to which readers are drawn. Yes, James Bond was sexy, dangerous, and intriguing as a character, but he also had a vulnerability not captured in the films. Many of the James Bond novels were about the evolution of the character. His mistakes, broken heart, and failures as a spy made him confoundingly appealing. When I set out to write The Secret Brokers Series, I wanted to recreate the same flawed character in Dallas August that Fleming had mastered. After all, it’s the humanity of a character that draws us in. Knowing someone can be as unsure gives us hope that we’re not as different as we feel.

What makes The Secret Brokers stand out from other thriller genres will be the characters. They will be human, weathered by their flaws, but also retain a humorous side that makes them unforgettable. The world in which they live will be unique. As spies for hire, Dallas and his specialists—that is the term for his spies—steal secrets and sometimes sell them to the highest bidder. Their assignments will not always be deadly, some will be comical, but the dark world where many of Dallas’s specialists work will provide countless tales of deceit, infidelity, theft, betrayal, and murder. Stories will take place in museums, governments, colleges, hospitals, labs, drug companies, businesses, homes, and will involve men, women, children, cheating husbands, desperate wives, business moguls, leaders, diplomats, dictators, nurses, doctors, and politicians. The plotlines won’t be fantastical but relatable. In the stories, many may see their experiences mirrored. Adventure, romance, intrigue, and humor will be the cornerstones of The Secret Brokers Series. I hope it will entertain readers for a long time to come.     

Author Bio

Alexandrea Weis is an advanced practice registered nurse who was born and raised in New Orleans. Having been brought up in the motion picture industry, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her award-winning novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story memorable. A permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries, Weis rescues orphaned and injured wildlife. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans.WEBSITEGOODREADSFACEBOOKTWITTER

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Hidden where?

All That’s Hidden Book Cover All That’s Hidden
(Sugar Shack, #2)
Susan Golden
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Humour
Susan M. Golden
August 12th 2019

Pet sitter turned entrepreneur, Jennifer Albright thinks she has it all: an expanding business, a new, blissful marriage to a very sexy husband, a dog named Rupert that people frequently think is a bear, and a parrot named Sugar that Jennifer’s pretty sure is psychic. But her idyllic life begins to unravel when a series of creepy incidents threatens to sabotage the launch of her doggie day care center, and the discovery of a hidden treasure thrusts her into the world of federal agents and international thievery. The chaos soon spills over onto her home life and Jennifer reluctantly begins to suspect that her seemingly perfect, unbelievably supportive husband is hiding something from her. There’s just so much that doesn’t add up. Tech-mogul Ryan has found the love of his life in his adorable new bride, Jennifer. But trouble seems to follow her like a basset hound. When one strange twist of events offers Ryan an opportunity he feels he can’t pass up, he unknowingly launches himself down the road of suspicion and mistrust. But he’s got this covered. She doesn’t suspect a thing.

Review

I loved this story – so much that I went back and read book 1 in the Sugar shack series too.

I especially liked in book 1 ‘Fate’. Fate who spun her top, or got dressed up to suit the occasion. And finding out how Simon was first introduced to Jennifer and Ryan was a gas. [Book 1 is called Catnapped]

There is gentle humour and lots of shaggy dog stories here.

So we have Rufus: and of course the Cockatoo Sugar as prime characters in both books as well as John for security and more. We have a really intelligent in an engineering way guy in Ryan and a somewhat flaky woman in Jennifer. Not that she isn’t bright but… They are fated to be together and these series see them get into scrapes together – see marriage – and then find interesting and novel ways out – see garbage trucks, sewers and 3 D printers. Not to mention Jennifer imitating scoundrels – quite poorly.

A very affectionate bird it can live upto 70 years in captivity and forms a strong bond with its owner. it grows to around 21 inches or slightly more and can be destructive if bored, as well as loud. Known to ‘dance’ to a beat/
originally used as a working dog to pull nets for fishermen and haul wood from the forest. He is a capable and hardworking dog, well suited to work on land or water. He is a strong swimmer and equally strong “pack horse.” Sweet-natured and responsive, he makes a wonderful family companion as well. Some 100-150 pounds and over 2 foot tall, but dislikes being alone.

AUTHOR BIO

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Retired federal government employee turned accidental author. 

https://susangoldenauthor.com/

https://www.facebook.com/Susan-Golden-Books-1849620365326979/

https://twitter.com/susangoldenbook

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Who lives next door?

The Neighbours Book Cover The Neighbours
by Nicola Gill
General Fiction (Adult) , Women's Fiction
Avon Books
Pub Date 6 Feb 2020

Meet Ginny, 34, and Cassie, 55. Neighbours, and (very) unlikely friends. Some women have it all. Others are thirty-four and rent a tiny flat alone because they recently found their long-term boyfriend in bed with their boss. Ginny Taylor is certain her life can’t get any worse. But then she meets her downstairs neighbour… Cassie Frost was once a beloved actress, but after a recent mishap she desperately needs a new publicist. And Ginny is a publicist who desperately needs a job – but can she be persuaded to work for the prickly woman who lives below her floorboards? Ginny and Cassie are two very different women, but they have more in common than they’d care to imagine (or admit). And when their worlds collide, they realise that bad neighbours could become good friends… A funny, honest and moving exploration of life, love, friendship and navigating the emotional rollercoaster of your thirties… and beyond. Perfect for fans of Beth O’Leary’s The Flatshare and Ruth Jones’s Never Greener.

This is an interesting book as it defies the commonly promulgated idea that we don't know, or care about, or neighbors in London. My personal experience is that this is not true. 
In London, we live in small communities, towns if you will, where, when you walk out the shop owners know you, the station staff recognise you, and you always bump into, and talk with, a neighbor. True, you need to smile and say 'Hello' first and maybe join in a community activity, of which there will be lots to choose from. 
Not so in  Commuter Land. 
I lived there for 19 years and barely knew nextdoor. 
Here in London I know lots of people & even have had drinks with
the people upstairs.
That said, this is a warm story, almost sentimental, with a young person befriending the grouchy neighbor below stairs, and as such helping her turn
her life around

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The spy that was

Madame Fiocca Book Cover Madame Fiocca
Suzy Henderson
adult, history, YA,
Avis Press
December 2019

A must-read gripping adventure based on the true story of Nancy Wake, Gestapo’s most wanted. Soon to be a major feature film.

February 1933: Nancy Wake is a gregarious twenty-year-old looking for adventure. Having fled her unhappy family home in Sydney, she becomes a journalist and is thrilled when she is posted to Paris. The city is glamorous, brimming with journalists, artists, and a growing number of refugees.

Later, in the French Riviera, she uncovers more than news following a chance encounter with wealthy industrialist, Henri Fiocca. Their relationship blossoms as Hitler makes waves across Europe. While on an assignment in Vienna in 1938, she witnesses Nazis whipping Jews on the street and she vows to fight for justice if ever the opportunity arises.

When Henri is called to the Front to fight, Nancy, determined to help the war effort, joins the Red Cross as an ambulance driver. Every day she witnesses atrocities. When Paris falls, Nancy flees the German oppressors and returns to Marseille.

A chance encounter with a British officer draws Nancy into the heart of the Garrow escape network, despite Henri’s reservations. Soon she finds herself caught in a deadly game of espionage.

As the iron fist of the enemy tightens, neighbours denounce neighbours. When the enemy closes in, Nancy and Henri face an impossible choice. Has she done more harm than good?

Based on a true story, Madame Fiocca weaves an extraordinary tale of survival and redemption in wartime.

Interview The story of the Book

Suzy Henderson – and Madame Fiocca

Q: Can you tell your readers something about why you chose this particular topic to write about? What appealed to you about it? Why do you think it is different and your approach is unique?

Nancy was, like so many of her generation, amazing, determined, and an exceptionally strong spirit. When I first read about her, some years ago, I was quite amazed, just as I was when reading about all of the women who joined the Special Operation’s Executive to carry out clandestine work in enemy territory during WW2. All of the biographies and news articles portrayed her as this fierce Guerrilla fighter and I marvelled at how brave she was, and how dangerous the work was. How cruel war is. But then I went digging and uncovered more of the real Nancy. What I discovered both saddened and amazed me and I was entranced. The main points most people know about her are that she joined SOE, dropped into France, fought and led thousands of Maquisards into battle against the Germans. Half true. I wanted to show her other side, her feminine side and her life before the war. No other novel to date has done that.

Q: How long do you think about a topic before deciding to write about it? Do you have a set of notes or a notebook where you write down topics that appeal before making a decision as to which topic this time?

Deciding what to write about is a good question! I read widely, and my main interest lies in the WW2 period. I’m still not sure why that is, but that’s how it is. So, I retain all relevant newspaper articles for my own interest, as one never knows whether they’ll provide a glimmer of inspiration one day. If a story or a person piques my interest, I will note that down. For me, the process involves making notes, physical or mental, as I go along. Sometimes an idea pops up and it’s something I can make a story from. Sometimes, as in the case of my last two books, the inspiration came from real people and real events.

Q: How long does it take to research a topic before you write? And for this book?

Research can be so lengthy, but I feel it’s a much longer process with the first book. My first novel, The Beauty Shop, took around a year or so to do the basic research, and then another two years of writing, edits and further research.

Writing about real people is definitely a complex process. I have to know enough about the person’s character, their personality, how they spoke, dressed, the list is endless. That takes time. In another period of history, I might have been forgiven for using more creative licence there, but for my time period, the real people in my books have descendants alive today, along with friends and others who knew them.

Q: What resources do you use? In general and for the last book that you wrote?

When writing and researching, I utilise numerous military history books, personal biographies and newspaper articles. I also use Google a lot to conduct research. I also make use of the BBC Archives from WW2 which is a fascinating resource brimming with first-hand witness accounts from the war – locals and veterans. There are also sites such as Bomber Command, the Imperial War Museum and the National Archives where I was able to purchase copies of Nancy Wake’s war records.

Q: How helpful do you find authority figures such as the police, medics etc when you say you want to write about them? Is there a good way to approach them in your experience?

So far in my writing, the only people I have approached for information or interviews have been either related to veterans, or veterans themselves. For my debut novel, I contacted a very helpful person from a museum which is dedicated to the men of the RAF Guinea Pig Club. Everyone has been most generous with their time and help. In seeking help, I have found the best way is to contact via email or letter in the first instance. Occasionally I have made enquiries via a third party who has managed to pass me a telephone number, having gained the person’s consent first. With regards to police or medics, I have never had any need to contact them for research. With medicine, I have quite an extensive knowledge myself as I previously worked in healthcare.

Q: If you need specialist knowledge to write a book, how do you obtain it? For instance, do you interview people? Go to the location? Use Google Earth? Apps?

I’m in the process of completing a contemporary romance, a brief escape from my beloved hist fic genre, but even that has required research. It seems there’s no escaping it. The general advice is write what you know, but if you do that there will still be things you need to research. One can never know everything. However, in search of the story, I’m a big fan of writing what you don’t know. So, a number of writers will blog about their recent adventures in Spain, or Canada, or somewhere exotic, all in the name of writing research. The reality is that unless it’s your family holiday, many people will not be able to make those trips and thanks to the internet, it really isn’t essential. I’ve been fortunate to have travelled to various places around the world, and also within my own home country. So, I’ve found that I can make use of my travels, and my memories of places quite well. As for the locations I use and have never visited, Google Earth is fabulous. I love how you can zoom right in and even drop the wee yellow man onto a street.

Q: Would you recommend self-publishing and building an audience before approaching a publisher? If so, what benefits do you see that it might have for the aspiring novelist?

I would definitely advise any new writers to establish a platform for themselves prior to approaching agents and publishers. I think that if you’re writing stories, then keeping a blog is a great idea. It’s a great base to grow from, and you will gradually discover an audience there. At the same time, set up your social media accounts. For me, I believe Twitter is vital. It delivers and I reach a wide audience. Facebook is useful as even if you don’t find much of an audience there, it’s full of useful groups for writers so it’s a valuable resource of information. Instagram is growing and reported to be a great platform for writers. So yes, do all that before pitching to agents. There is no need to self-publish first if having an agent or a publisher is important for you. Yes, it will bring you more experience, but it also means you have all the financial outlay. No agent or publisher worth their salt will expect this of any writer. They will take you on based on the quality and marketability of your writing. It’s that simple. And even the greatest writers get rejections. In building your platform, you will have a leg-up when you finally have your first book published, and that is so beneficial.

From my own experience, keeping a history blog for a few years prior to my debut release brought me a fair bit of exposure. Interestingly, while I am based in the UK, around 75% of my audience was and still is in the USA. And now the majority of my book sales are in the USA.

Q: Does writing provide sufficient income to live on? And how long did it take before this happened?

Writing and income is such a sticky topic. For me right now, it’s not a sustainable income, but I’m relieved to say that it has at least paid for itself with more left over. My editing bill for each book has been around £900, and then there’s book covers, book tours, set-up costs for paperbacks (if not using Amazon), proofing, advertising. However, I’m thinking positively of the future and I hope to increase the number of books over the coming years and see my income grow.

I know of a handful of successful self-published authors who are not so prolific on social media, but by the power of advertising have a very nice income, in excess of $70,000 per year. And then I know of others with more books than them who make nothing like that. So, it’s quite a fickle topic to speak of as there are so many factors involved. The best advice is not to give up the day job, if you have one.

Q: What is your favourite genre?

Well, that has to be historical fiction. I can’t help it, and believe me, I’ve tried. I read widely but try as I might I have yet to discover a crime novel I can truly enjoy. With historical fiction, I don’t just read WW2 stories either. I read stories about the Tudors, Vikings, and the odd regency.

Q: Which of your books are you most proud of?

I’m most proud of my debut novel, The Beauty Shop, for a number of reasons. Firstly, I was astonished by the real character, Archibald McIndoe, a pioneering plastic surgeon that not only fixed up RAF pilots and crew, when they were badly injured, but he helped them psychologically too. And I was amazed at the camaraderie and support of the club those men belonged to – the Guinea Pig Club. Not many people knew about it, and that was one of the reasons I wrote the book.

The fact that I completed the book, and self-published it, also makes me proud. There were some moments along the way that really did test me, mentally, and it took a lot of courage and foresight to persist, make the book the best I could, and publish it. Had it not have been for my amazing editor at the time, I may not have made it. She believed in me and the book, and she helped me enormously. I learned more from her during the editing process than from any writing event I have ever attended. KT Editing – she is a remarkable person.

Goodreads Amazon

Author:

Suzy Henderson lives with her husband and two sons in Cumbria, England, on the edge of the Lake District. In a previous life she was a Midwife but now works from home as a freelance writer and novelist.

 While researching her family history, Suzy became fascinated with both World War periods and developed an obsession with military and aviation history. Following the completion of an Open University Degree in English Literature and Creative Writing, she began to write and write until one day she had a novel.

 She writes contemporary and historical fiction and is a member of the Alliance of Independent Authors. Suzy’s debut novel, “The Beauty Shop”, has been awarded the B.R.A.G. Medallion.

Her next novel, “Madame Fiocca” will be published in December 2019.

https://suzyhendersonauthor.com

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15954239.Suzy_Henderson

https://www.facebook.com/SuzyHendersonAuthor

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No mind-altering for me!

Lavendar Lace Book Cover Lavendar Lace
A Washoe Indian, Northstar, California Mystery
by Lynn A. Dalton
General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers
BooksGoSocial
Pub Date 07 Apr 2019

An 23-year old intern designed a mind altering device for the CIA. She goes to college to get her degree so she can become an agent with the CIA. A CIA operative sold Lavendar Lace's name to the Russian War Room and to the Russian Terrorists as the developer of this weapon. When Lavendar Lace goes on winter break to NorthStar skiing resort gunmen with automatic weapons try to kill her. The Russians are determined to capture Lavendar Lace and she is rescued and protected by a Washoe Indian. The CIA joins in on protecting Lavendar Lace as her mind is something the American Government wants.

I really couldn’t finish this book. I found the writing style uncomfortable and stilted.

I was also confused about Lavendar and what she was actually studying. Is design biotech weaponising mind control really a BSc Engineering? Surely this would be studied at Masters or Phd level? And Engineering? Maybe.

I also was not happy that this idea of mind control even existed, let alone that people were trying to design it, so it offended my pacifist nature

I was also confused about Lavendar and what she was actually studying. Is design biotech weaponising mind control really a BSc Engineering? Surely this would be studied at Masters or Phd level? And Engineering? Maybe.

I also was not happy that this idea of mind control even existed, let alone that people were trying to design it, so it offended my pacifist nature.

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