Angela Henry – Schooled in Lies

Title: Schooled in Lies

Author: Angela Henry

ISBN: 978-0615334325

Page count: 354

Genre: Mystery

Price: 14.95

 

Author Bio:

Angela Henry was once told that her past life careers included spy, researcher, and investigator. She stuck with what she knew because today she’s a mystery writing library reference specialist, who loves to people watch and eavesdrop on conversations. She’s the author of four mysteries featuring equally nosy amateur sleuth Kendra Clayton, as well as the romantic thriller The Paris Secret. She is also the founder of the award-winning MystNoir website, which promotes African-American mystery writers, and was named a “Hot Site” by USA Today.com. When she’s not working, writing, or practicing her stealth, she loves to travel, is connoisseur of B horror movies, and an admitted anime addict. She lives in Ohio and is currently hard at work trying to meet her next deadline.

 

Tell us about your book:

Schooled in Lies is the fourth book on my Kendra Clayton mystery series. I took over the publication of my series when my publisher decided not to continue it. Here’s the  synopsis:

GED instructor Kendra Clayton’s high school days were nothing to brag about. So she’s not too thrilled when on top of having to take a class to renew her teaching certificate or be fired, she gets roped into serving on her high school’s reunion committee.

Spending time with her former classmates is even less fun than having a root canal. Then to make matters worse, Kendra and the other committee members start receiving strange messages and having freak accidents. When one of the accidents results in a death, Kendra is convinced it’s murder. Unfortunately, neither the reunion committee nor the police take her seriously.

To try and prevent another death-and to keep from worrying about all the time her sweetie, Carl, has been spending with his scheming ex-wife-Kendra digs into the lives of her fellow committee members and uncovers enough secrets, lies, and betrayal to make her head spin. When a second murder occurs, Kendra realizes she needs to watch her back in her search for the truth before a killer turns her into another buried secret.

 

How long did it take to write the book?

About eight months.

 

What inspired you to write the book?

Well, my sleuth,  Kendra Clayton,  and I had fairly similar experiences in high school. Neither of us  was  popular and I wanted to explore her background a little more  than I had in the previous books. I’ve never been to any of my high school reunions. But I wanted to see how Kendra would deal with the people from her high school days.

 

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?

I try and write about 1,000 words a day, sometimes more if I’m being ambitious. One of the best things about writing my series is that it’s set in a fictitious college town. So, I can pretty much make everything up without having to do much research.

 

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

Since I write humorous mysteries, I’m hoping readers will feel they’ve been entertained by a quirky cast of characters that made them laugh.

 

Where can we go to buy your book?

Amazon – http://is.gd/q0gsst

Barnes & Noble – http://is.gd/szC5xM

Booksamillion – http://is.gd/eOECOF

 

Any other links or info you’d like to share?

Angela Henry Website

http://www.angelahenry.com

http://www.twitter.com/mystnoir

 

Excerpt from book:

She woke up in the dark. Confused and disoriented, she lay still for a few seconds and tried to get her bearings and figure out where she was. She tasted blood in her mouth. Tentatively, she touched her lower lip and discovered it was split. There was also an egg-sized knot on the back of her head, causing pounding that made even thinking painful. Curled into a fetal position on her side, she slowly turned onto her back and reached out a hand hitting something hard and unyielding mere inches from her face. She tried to straighten out her cramped legs but couldn’t. Where the hell was she and why was it so dark? Then another sensation cut its way through the mind-numbing pain in her head. Movement. She was moving.

A familiar smell filled her nose. Exhaust fumes. Car exhaust fumes. She was in a moving car. Judging by the enclosed space she was in, she quickly realized she was in the trunk. Panic welled up inside her and she started screaming and frantically beating on the inside of the trunk. But the car didn’t stop and after a few minutes both her throat and hands were sore. She was feeling around the trunk for something to pry open the lock with when the car came to an abrupt stop. She heard the opening and closing of the car door and footsteps crunching on gravel.

Fumbling around in the dark, her hand came to rest on a hard, round, plastic cylinder. A flashlight. She felt for the switch to the sound of a key being inserted into the trunk lock. When the trunk flew open, she flashed the light into her captor’s face. When she saw who it was, memories suddenly came flooding into her head, jolting her back in time, making her remember how she came to be in the trunk of a car with a murderer staring down at her.

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VH Folland – Fire Season

Title: Fire Season

Author: VH Folland

ISBN: 978-0954122775 (Paperback)

Page count: 300+

Genre: Adventure

Price: £6.99

 

Author Bio:

VH Folland is a British author with a lifelong interest in aviation and engineering. On a school trip to Kew Gardens most of the class were looking at the plants, and one small child was staring up at the planes on Heathrow approach. A career spanning media, defence and engineering gave this interest plenty of time to grow.

 

Tell us about your book:

Fire Season is my first novel, an adventure story set on a remote airstrip.

Built on bedrock, safely upwind, Matt’s airstrip is protected from the fires that threaten the local communities. As he sees it, volunteering to fly fire prevention missions is just being a good neighbour. Then a rash of fire bugs, unseasonal conditions, and the sheer scale of the fires leave the emergency services stretched beyond the limit, and the crop-sprayer pilot and his flying club find themselves in a situation they never expected.

 

How long did it take to write the book?

Writing it? About six weeks. It was a story that just seemed to flow, so I wrote it down and worried about fact-checking later. Once I’d finished the first draft, editing it, doing the research, and correcting facts all took rather longer.

 

What inspired you to write the book?

There were a mix of sources. A report of forest fire reaching a gated community a few years back made me wonder what it would be like if the peat fires I’d experienced growing up reached such an isolated village. Then a friend mentioned the eerie experience of packing for evacuation while in the distance she could see the fire front creeping slowly but visibly down the hillside towards the houses. She wondered why they never used cropsprayers for firefighting, and it started me thinking. When I looked into it, it turned out to be more complicated than you’d expect which added a lot of twists and turns to the plot.

 

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?

The writing part was the simplest. That usually involved going to a café or sitting on a train and thinking up some challenge to put the characters through and then scribbling down their reactions and what happens next.  The research was more in depth but more interesting, since it involved talking to people who had actually been there in those situations, watching videos of the aircraft in flight, checking procedures and then seeing how it changed the story.

Researching the Shackleton gate guardian could have been more difficult. I was very lucky as the Gatwick Aviation Museum has two of them, so between the information they provided and a chance to actually have a look inside one I got a better idea of the aircraft.

I ended up toning down a lot of the technical detail to avoid slowing the story, but hopefully there’s enough in there to give people an idea of what the club goes through, and what the risks are.

 

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

I hope they enjoyed it. It’s an old-school adventure (one reviewer described it as a “romp”) and meant as escapism for a few hours. Ideally I’d like them to want to turn back to page one and read it again!

 

Where can we go to buy your book?

Fire Season is on bookshelves at Waterstones and in the independent bookshop Farthing Books.

Online, the obvious place is Amazon, although the book is available from most online stores in the UK. If you want to support your local independent bookstore, the book is Nielsen-listed so they can order it from anywhere.

The Bookdepository offers free shipping on Fire Season worldwide.

 

Any other links or info you’d like to share?

Fire Season has received favourable reviews, e.g. Clover Hill Book Reviews or CR5 Magazine.

http://www.fireseason.co.uk – a mini-site about the book, with order details.

http://www.vhfolland.com/ – The author’s website

 

Excerpt from book:

“Just remember, the spray is start and stop. That’s one use.”

“’kay.” They had flown out beyond the valley entrance, now at almost a thousand feet. Both pilots paused for a moment and stared. At this distance, the air above the fires danced and shimmered in a heat haze that ran across the sky. Only the plumes of smoke rising to form black and grey clouds showed where the individual blazes were. As the winds drove the smoke clouds towards the valley, they could only hope that the flames below them would not follow.

Matt swallowed for a moment, trying not to think of Rob out there in the chaos. Jim obviously had similar thoughts.

“So, how does this spray work?” Jim asked, trying to divert the conversation back to their current flight. Matt collected himself.

“Usually you’d do it at fifteen feet above the fields.” As Jim spluttered, Matt grinned wickedly. There was a small element of jealousy in his comment, as Matt well knew. He would have given his eye-teeth for a chance to fly the large four-engined military transports that were the younger pilot’s bread and butter, and it was nice to have something he was better at. “But we won’t ask you to do that, and treetops are a bit uneven. Drop to two hundred feet and fly the pattern I showed you. I’ll talk you through it.”

Radioing his intent, in case anyone else was flying, Jim pulled a low turn and descended to bring himself at the right angle to fly across the valley entrance. As he approached, Matt settled himself more comfortably and began to issue instructions.

“Now’s the best time. Turn the spray on. Straight ahead. Now turn right, little faster, good.” Matt paused to let Jim finish his second run. “Now, turn left, not quite so hard, she’s pretty responsive. Too far, don’t worry, just correct. Good.” The next run was completed to his satisfaction, but he knew what Jim had forgotten, simply from the way the aircraft was handling. “Turn the spray off. Don’t forget your trim control. Wider curve to the left. You’re aiming for the gap. Try to line up parallel to the big green trees.” The big green trees – two large conifers towering above the forest – were a landmark known to all the Vale pilots. Positioned across the entrance to the Vale, forming a neat cross with the road, the two green trees in the middle of the gold forest were on the course they needed. Jim struggled slightly, and then Matt felt the aircraft lift away from the treetops.

“Sorry. I need to go around.”

“Don’t apologise for flying safe! Do a wider turn right round to the right and you can get back in position to get your approach lined up.” Matt already knew his instructions were not necessary. Jim probably had more flying hours than he did, just not with this type of aviation. If Matt had not been confident in Jim as a pilot, he would never have let him near his beloved cockpit in the first place.

“Right,” Jim said. “Lined up on the trees, approaching at two hundred feet, spray…” Matt waited as Jim paused.

“Turn it on,” Matt confirmed and Jim did so, before he continued the pass, matching the crop sprayer’s movements to his words.

“So we cross the valley at a steady two hundred feet and then turn left again, tighter turn to bring us back over this bit and then final pass to spray the bit we missed, and then finish and lift away.” Jim completed his monologue proudly. A moment later he remembered to turn the spray off as Matt coughed.

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Dennis R. Blanchard – THREE HUNDRED ZEROES

Title: THREE HUNDRED ZEROES

Author: Dennis R. Blanchard

ISBN: 1450557465

Page count: 342

Genre: Outdoor Adventure, Non-fiction

Price: $17.95 print, $9.99 Kindle

 

Author Bio:

Dennis Blanchard was born in Bristol, Connecticut. After serving with the U.S. Air Force he and his wife, Jane, moved to New Hampshire.

Never living very far from the Appalachian Trail, there was always that seductive siren’s call to hike it. In 2007 he set off to do so. That became much more of an adventure than was anticipated and eventually led to the book.

Additionally, Blanchard is a serious mountain bike racer, having won the 2002 Masters Division New England Championship racing series with the Eastern Fat Tire Association (EFTA).

To support his hiking and biking addiction he has spent most of his life working as an electronics engineer. Engineering was a natural outgrowth of his amateur radio interests as a youngster. He’s still an avid ham radio enthusiast, (call letters K1YPP), and has authored many pieces for magazines such as the amateur radio journal, QST and other technical magazines.

He is also a lifelong motorcycle enthusiast. Over the years he’s also penned a number of motorcycle magazine adventure articles. One journey was to the Arctic Circle by motorcycle in 1987. All told it was a 10,028 mile (16,139 km) trip that took 28 days. A friend and he rode from New Hampshire to British Columbia, then up to the Yukon and Northwest Territories and then over to Alaska.

Blanchard is a member of a number of organizations, including The American Bicyclist Assoc., Adventure Cycling, American Radio Relay League (ARRL), AARP, Appalachian Trail Club (ATC), ATC Florida, National Org. for Women (NOW), and a host of local groups.

When not off wandering in the woods he lives in Sarasota, Florida.

 

Tell us about your book:

Dennis Blanchard’s promise to his brother haunted him for over forty years. Finally, when there were no more excuses, he set out on the Appalachian Trail to fulfill that promise. He learned that walking in the wilderness can reconnect one with a Norman Rockwell America that at times seems long lost and forgotten. The difficulties encountered walking over 2,200 miles are easily underestimated and trouble can begin long before setting a first step on the trail. Blanchard’s introspective demonstrates that bears, rattlesnakes and challenging terrain may be far less formidable than some of life’s more subtle dangers. THREE HUNDRED ZEROES was a Finalist in the 2010 Next Generation Indie Book Contest.

 

How long did it take to write the book?

6 Months

 

What inspired you to write the book?

During the hike, I was invited to speak at a few Appalachian Mountain Club (AMC) huts in the New Hampshire White Mountains. Their scheduled speaker didn’t arrive, so I filled in. Following the presentations, individually, practically the entire audience convinced me that I HAD to write a book about my experiences.

 

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?

My research involved hiking the Appalachian Trail for six months and living out of a backpack. Most of the information in the book was collected along the way. I kept a journal in a notebook and did some online blogging along the way. Once I seriously started writing the book I did go back and do considerable fact checking but found that, most of the time, my notes were reasonably accurate.

My writing style, to quote Joanna Penn, Australian author and well known blogger, I’m a “binge” writer. I will dive into writing and lose totally track of the time and spend as much as twenty hours in a day writing. I just can’t seem to regiment myself to a routine. This is difficult for my spouse, she is exactly the opposite.

 

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?

Inspiration. Not so much that they would go off and live in the woods for six months, but rather that they get out and experience the world around them, take on challenges that they may think they are not capable of and laugh at themselves now and then. This may be a bit of a book-spoiler, but I think many already know it anyway, I had a six-artery heart bypass right in the middle of the hike; it made the story very interesting. I’m hoping that those that face serious surgery read the book and get inspiration and encouragement from it.

 

Where can we go to buy your book?

All the usual suspects: Amazon.com, (print and Kindle), Nook, Smashwords.com and some smaller book stores. Ask, if they don’t have it, they can order it.

 

Any other links or info you’d like to share?

Book site:  http://threehundredzeroes.com/

Appalachian Trail Conservancy:  http:// http://www.appalachiantrail.org/

Favorite hiking author, Bill “Skywalker” Walker:  http://skywalker-pct.com/

 

Excerpt from book:

I camped at the Wawayanda Shelter for my last night in New Jersey. The shelter is in the Wawayanda State Park. This state park is a very popular place for both New Jersey and New York residents to come and get away from it all. The park has a huge parking lot and is a very crowded place in the summer. The parking lot has a ranger station, numerous picnic tables and a tourist information building. The water source for the shelter is at a state park maintenance building at the parking lot.

I walked down to the maintenance building and filled my water bag and bottles. It was a very hot July afternoon and the water coming out of the tap on the side of the building was very warm. I decided this would be a great opportunity for a hot shower. My water bag holds about 5 liters of water and has a small spout that can be opened to use it as a field shower. I walked down off the parking lot into the woods and worked my way down into the forest so as not to be visible from the lot. I didn’t get too far when I spied a female bear tearing a rotted log apart looking for grubs. She didn’t appear to see me; I took her photograph, and then headed back up the hill toward the parking lot. The leaf cover was plentiful so even though I was fairly close to the lot I figured as long as I was quiet I wouldn’t be spotted.

I stripped down and all I was wearing was my Crocs™ so I could keep my feet from having leaves stick to them. I stuck my hiking pole in the ground next to me, found a nice limb to hang my water bag on and started the shower. Since the bag is a limited water supply, I wet myself up, turned off the water, scrubbed with soap, working up a nice lather, and then turned on the spout again. At this point my body was covered in a good layer of soap bubbles and suds. My face was covered in suds so I rinsed my face and then turned to rinse my back. Stunned, I couldn’t believe my eyes—there was the bear standing right in front of me, up on her hind legs! She was looking at me in complete fascination. She had the puzzled look of a child, looking at me as if to say, “What is he doing? What is that stuff on his body? Is it food? My, he’s handsome!” (Well, maybe not that fascinated…).

For a moment I froze. Here I was, standing buck naked in front of a female bear just about as tall as I, maybe twelve feet away. Panicked, I decided that the best defense is a good offense; so I grabbed my hiking pole and charged at her, screaming at the top of my lungs; gambling she would turn and run. Notice a pattern here? Remember New Hampshire, hanging in my hammock screaming at a moose? At least there was no blinding light this time.

My gamble worked, she dropped down on all four and made for the hills with me in hot pursuit. She crashed through the underbrush, destroying everything in her path. Wanting to ensure that she kept going I made chase for a considerable distance; I wanted to make sure she didn’t come back. In the ensuing chase the briars and thorns tore up my legs; adding to the intensity of my screams.

I stopped to catch my breath and regain my composure; my heart was pounding. It was then I looked up and realized I was standing next to the parking lot and a line of bug-eyed tourists were enjoying the show. All I could imagine were the conversations: “Hey Martha, check out the crazy thru-hiker. It must be mating season; did you see him chasing that bear? Poor thing, lucky he didn’t catch her.” Or “Henry, should we call the authorities; did you see all that foam? You don’t suppose he has rabies, do you?” “I guess there’s no telling what these thru-hikers will do in this heat.”

I timidly retreated to my gear, dressed and as quietly as possible made my way back up the Trail to the shelter, avoiding the parking lot. The rest of my night was uneventful and I slept well; hopefully the traumatized bear did the same. New York State was next.

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