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Author K.M Hodge Talks about Writing and a Current Promotion

We’re pleased to welcome to the blog today one of our thriller authors, K.M. Hodge, creator of the 4-book series “The Syndicate-Born Trilogy.” Yes, yes, we know… a trilogy doesn’t have 4 books. Well, we had originally planned to to stop this series after 3 books, and thus the trilogy, but when K.M. Hodge said, “Hey, I have an idea for a prequel that I think will be a lot of fun,” we said, “Let’s do it.” The trilogy then grew to 4 books.

First, let’s tell you about the author:

Award-winning and USA Today Bestselling author, K.M. Hodge grew up in Detroit, where she spent most of her free time weaving wild tales to spook her friends and family. These days, she lives in Texas with her husband and two energetic boys, and once again enjoys writing tales of suspense and intrigue that keep her readers up all night. Her stories, which focus on women’s issues, friendship, addiction, regrets and second chances, will stay with you long after you finish them. When she isn’t writing or being an agent of social change she watches old X-files episodes, does yoga, streams Detroit Tigers games, and binges on Netflix with her husband. K.M. Hodge truly enjoys hearing from her readers, so don’t be shy about dropping her an email or say hit on social media.

Find her online here:
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Google+ | Instagram

Be sure to follow her at:
Amazon | Bookbub

Finally, sign up for her mailing list & Get a Free Gift at:
www.kmhodge.com/subscribe

Second, let’s tell you about the promotion:

SALE/PROMOTION: $0.99 eBook at Amazon (All of June and July)
BOOK: Red on the Run
SERIES: The Syndicate-Born Trilogy – Book 1
GENRES: Crime Fiction, Thriller/Suspense, Women’s Fiction
 
ABOUT THE BOOK:
You can’t hide from The Syndicate. Run, Red. Run!

WINNER: Pinnacle Book Achievement Award – Fall 2016 – Best Thriller

In search of redemption from his sordid past, FBI Special Agent Alex Bailey takes on a new partner, Katherine Mitchel… and a new secret mission.

Before being assigned their first joint case, Katherine uncovers damning evidence against a major crime ring known as The Syndicate. The group controls key members of the D.C. Metropolitan Area Police, the U.S. Congress, even the FBI, and they will stop at nothing to protect their interests. With her life on the line, Katherine is forced to put her faith in Alex as she flees from Washington D.C. and enters the Witness Protection Program.

Yet there’s no hiding from The Syndicate.

In the most dangerous investigation of his career, Alex must decide how far he is willing to go to keep Katherine safe, and to stop The Syndicate.

WHAT READERS ARE SAYING:
“Ms. Hodge is adept at keeping the reader engaged and on the edge of their seats.” ~ LAS Book Reviews

“Move over Baldacci. Prepare for competition from this new author! Spellbinding – hard to put down.” ~ Patrisha Ehlert

“This adrenaline-fueled thriller captivates from the first chapter until it hurtles to the dramatic finale.” ~ RandomBadger

Third, let’s talk a little with K.M. Hodge:

QUESTION: When did you know you wanted to write a book?
Twenty years ago, I took on the challenge to write a novel. I got about a fourth of the way through writing the story, Red on the Run, before life happened and I stopped writing. I got married, worked full-time, and became a mom to two beautiful boys. Then, in October 2014, a friend challenged me to finish the novel during the National Write a Novel in a Month (NanoWriMo). I accepted her challenge and finished the novel at last! Another friend inspired me to self-publish the book, and in March 2015, I took the plunge. In August of that year, I signed the series with Evolved Publishing, which published the second edition in Fall 2016. In winter of 2016, I received the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award for Thrillers. “The Syndicate-Born Trilogy” series currently has three additional books: Black and White Truth, True Blue Son, and The Sally Ride Chronicle.

QUESTION: How did publishing your first book change your process of writing?
Oh so much! I did everything wrong the first time. I didn’t outline, the cover sucked, I didn’t have it professionally edited, and I rushed publication. It’s almost a “write” of passage for most authors to go through this when they’re first starting off. Three years later, I feel as though I am finally settling into my skin and writing to industry standards. I try and look at it all with a beginner’s mindset, because there will always be things to learn and improve upon.

QUESTION: What are your top five favorite books?
1. The Stand by Stephen King — I loved the characterization and suspenseful storytelling.
2. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen — …for its strong female characters.
3. Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver — I loved its varying points of view, and how each character had such a distinct voice.
4. Little Women by Louisa May Alcott — …for its exposition and characterizations.
5. Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood — I love everything Atwood has written. She’s clever and witty, and employs snappy dialogue. I enjoyed this book most of all for its story within a story. She also finds ways to bring environmental and women’s issues to the forefront in truly creative ways.

QUESTION: What are your future projects, if any?
I’m working on a 1970’s romantic thriller that will come out at the end of the year in the “Love Under Fire” boxed set. I’m also working on a flash fiction piece for a literary magazine, about one of my “The Syndicate-Born Trilogy” characters, Sally Ride.

QUESTION: Since you write thrillers, what are the Top 10 internet searches you’ve done for book research?
1. Gunshot complications that kill you weeks after being shot.
2. Treatment of sex addiction
3. Where to stab someone so they don’t die
4. What kind of gun and bullets to use to limit forensic evidence
5. Body farms
6. Kidney transplants with 3D printed organs and stem cells
7. Sex trafficking in the US
8. The history of FBI profiling
9. Culture and linguistics of the 70’s
10. Video footage of 9/11

In closing:

Hmmm… some of those searches sound interesting. Well, we hope you enjoyed discovering this talented author and her work, and that you’ll take advantage of the $0.99 eBook Sale on Red on the Run, which lasts the full months of June and July. If you’re a KindleUnlimited subscriber, you can download all 4 books in this series free.

As always, thank you so much for your continuing support. We couldn’t do it without you. And to make sure you never miss one of our blog posts, please sign up for our automatic feed by clicking on the image below.

Nillu Nasser Talks about the Writing of “All the Tomorrows”

We are pleased that author Nillu Nasser has stopped by to offer some insights on the writing of her new book, All the Tomorrows, which officially releases on Monday, November 6, 2017. And if you needed any more reason to be excited about this amazing book, just click on the picture below to see what 3 separate reviewers have said about it:

Without further ado, we turn this over to Nillu.

 

How I researched All the Tomorrows

by Nillu Nasser

 
Committing to a story idea is a funny thing, at least for me. It’s a decision that is made half with the heart, half with the head. My debut novel grew from an image I just couldn’t shake: a filthy, older, Indian man, pressed up against a window. That image refused to leave me for weeks, and my imagination began building on it. That’s when I know a story is worth investing in.

By the time I began writing the book in earnest, I knew the central character was a homeless man with a long lost love, and that he lived somewhere humid. Writing a novel, especially your first one, can be a daunting task. I had a hero, and the beginnings of a setting, but I decided to draw on my own experience rather than researching a setting from scratch.

I’m of Indian heritage, and so India seemed a sensible choice, and I loved the opportunities the setting brought to the story: the colour, the food and traditions. I knew my hero belonged here. That’s how All the Tomorrows was born, a story about second chances that unravels amongst the dust and grime of the Mumbai’s streets and behind the gates of opulent houses.

Still, there were gaps in my knowledge. I am at one Indian, and removed from India. My grandparents were born there, but I was born in the UK. My family traditions are rooted in both India and East Africa, with a splash of Britain thrown in. I have visited India twice, once as a child and once in my early twenties. My recollections are broad brush strokes: the smell of street food, the sticky heat, the palaces in Jaipur, the imploring faces of child beggars pressed against cool taxi windows.

For the details of my novel, I turned to travel guides and photo books. Cousins of mine, who live in Mumbai, provided eyewitness accounts. Friends sent me pictures of their own travels there. I watched Bollywood movies to drink up the setting. The internet opened up a wormhole, an unfiltered surplus of information, causing hours to disappear with the click of my trackpad.

How easy it is to get sidetracked. I needed to know the dates Indira Gandhi was Prime Minister, and within moments I was drawn into the tragic glamour of the Gandhi family, history I once knew, but which had all but escaped through the sieve of my memory: Indira’s rise to power, the loss of her politically-minded younger son in a plane crash, convincing her elder son to run for parliament and setting him on the path to his assassination ten years later, her own murder, and how the wives of her dead sons are on opposing sides of the political spectrum in today’s India.

Creativity is often about dreaming and drifting, as much as it is about perceiving and persistence. I liked how my research caused me to meander, how the novel was shaped by a chain reaction to materials I came across, and how my ideas morphed into something new.

For me, the best fiction shows glimpses of research but never burdens the reader; it is entertaining first and foremost. Fiction writers are not historians. Our magic power is making up worlds, with the hope that they are believable and authentic. Hopefully, I’ve achieved this with All the Tomorrows. I hope you’ll pick up a copy to find out.

Releasing November 6, 2017 (Now Available for Pre-Order): All the Tomorrows


Sometimes we can’t escape the webs we are born into. Sometimes we are the architects of our own fall.

Akash Choudry wants a love for all time, not an arranged marriage. Still, under the weight of parental hopes, he agrees to one. He and Jaya marry in a cloud of colour and spice in Bombay. Their marriage has barely begun when Akash embarks on an affair.

Jaya can’t contemplate sharing her husband with another woman, or looking past his indiscretions as her mother suggests. Cornered by sexual politics, she takes her fate into her own hands in the form of a lit match.

Nothing endures fire. As shards of their past threaten their future, will Jaya ever bloom into the woman she can be, and will redemption be within Akash’s reach?
 
For more on the author, please visit her page here: Nillu Nasser.

HAPPY READING!

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Author Dr. Richard Barager Talks about the Interesting Subject Matter of His New Book “The Atheist and the Parrotfish”

We are pleased to welcome to our blog today Richard Barager, the author of the exciting new upmarket literary novel, The Atheist and the Parrotfish. He speaks a little about his process, and about what led him to the unusual but compelling story he brings us.

 
A frequent question in author interviews is this one: “What made you decide to write this book, of all the books you might have written?” In the case of my latest novel, The Atheist and the Parrotfish, there were two images seared on my brain decades ago that lingered and refused to go away. The exploration of what they meant became the basis for my novel.

One was of an encounter with a patient of mine, years ago. He was a gruff tradesman who came to my office one day wearing a dress and a bra and female wig, at a time when public cross-dressing was rare. I asked him why he was dressed like a woman. “Because I like it,” he said. “And that’s all I want to say about it.” I wondered ever since what exactly it was that he liked about wearing a dress? My memory of him that day eventually gave rise, over two decades later, to my exploration of what it means to be transgender—and why—through the character of Ennis Willoughby, described as follows in the story.

“Hairless legs latticed by thick veins peeked out between the rims of his white socks and the hem of his dress. With caved in temples and sunken cheeks, a dusky wattle dangling practically to his chest, broken teeth, sallow skin, and a glaze of despair in his eyes…All he lacked was the striped garb of Auschwitz.”

Another image indelibly graven unto my brain back then came during a trip to Paris, on a visit to the Louvre. I came around a corner and confronted one of the most arresting and disturbing paintings I have ever seen, a masterpiece by the Romantic painter Paul Delaroche, entitled La Jeune Martyre (The Young Martyr). It was of a young girl floating face up in the Tiber River, with her shear white dress billowing in the water and her wrists bound in front of her. A halo hovered over her, described in my novel as “…a thin gold circle of empyreal light…The lambency of the halo colored everything beneath it soft and yellow, even in the dark, lapping water.” The intensity of Delaroche’s rendering marinated in my mind for years and finally launched me on an exploration of religious skepticism and faith.

My memories of these images formed within several years of each other, but I had no way of knowing at the time that not only would I search for their meaning two decades later, but that I would do so in the same novel. Nor would I have believed it possible that my story would discover the same essential truth in each, a brilliant paradox common to Christianity and to cross-dressing. So striking was this elemental truth that I nearly titled my novel The Christian and the Cross-Dresser, instead of The Atheist and the Parrotfish. (Parrotfish, by the way, are hermaphrodites, spending part of their life cycle as male and part as female—like Ennis.)

What made me want to write this story, you ask? What makes most writers want to write literary fiction—the search for truth.
 

GRAB YOUR COPY TODAY!.

 

 
A doctor’s religious doubt is shaken by a transplant patient’s eerie knowledge of his organ donor’s most intimate secret.

Doctors tend to the needs of their patients, but patients give meaning to the lives of their doctors. So it is for Cullen Brodie, a twice-divorced California nephrologist, and Ennis Willoughby, a troubled cross-dresser whose life is saved by a rare heart-and-kidney transplant.

Cullen’s bitter disbelief in the afterlife is tested when Ennis begins to exhibit tastes and characteristics uncannily similar to those of his female organ donor—whose first name Ennis inexplicably knows. When Ennis becomes convinced that the donor’s soul has inhabited him, Cullen sides with Ennis’s psychiatrist, who tells Ennis he has subconsciously confused his emerging transgender personality with the imagined characteristics of his female donor.

While his psychiatrist coaxes forth Ennis’s female side, Cullen is summoned to the South Pacific by an old lover for a reckoning of their past. On the island paradise of Rarotonga, he is forced to confront the heartrending truth about a tragedy that destroyed their college romance—a tragedy Cullen blames on religious zealotry.

Filled with resentment over what he has learned, Cullen returns to Southern California determined to shatter Ennis’s delusion of ensoulment. But Ennis’s eerie knowledge of his donor’s greatest secret forces Cullen to consider the unimaginable: Is it possible he is witness to a verifiable incident of transmigration, tangible proof of a human soul? Or is he witness instead to the miracle of being transgender? Male and female at once, the glory of one and the glory of the other, both shining—like a parrotfish, another miracle of nature, changing gender apace, beside its glorious, ever-changing hue.

Author Adelaide Thorne Talks about Writing, Reading, and Her Book “The Trace”

We are pleased to welcome to our blog today Adelaide Thorne, the author of the exciting new Young Adult Sci-Fi adventure, The Trace. She speaks a little about her process and, of course, her new story.

 
Why do we write? Well, for the same reason that we read: we believe in stories. My story started cooking in my head long ago, but I never had the will to do anything about it—until someone believed in me. A pinch of belief mixed with an ounce of determination (and, most notably, eight million heinous drafts) can produce a book.

It all comes back to the gap in my bookshelf. A slit between my books judged me every day, grumbling, “Why haven’t you filled me yet?” My excuse typically had something to do with time. I never seemed to have enough of it. To any writer struggling to put words on paper, time does exist; you only have to grab it when it finds you.

So, about that bookshelf gap…. It demanded that I fill it with the story I’d always wanted to read, the story no other book could quench. This story of mine revolved around a girl whose name shifted and bounced, whose personality wavered as I grew. Her authenticity, however, remained.

I often took issue with the YA protagonists of my youth—too bland, too faultless, too accepting of the mantle thrust upon them, too hardcore, or too “Why me?” My own brand of perfect protagonist floated in the “Just hang out there until I say you can leave” part of my brain. This protagonist struggled to jump right into the “conquering hero” mold; she could be cringe-worthily cheesy and awkward; she had faults that she tried ignoring; she got scared when the time to be heroic came; and, she was human. By that I mean ordinary, flawed, and most of the time unsure whether or not any of her efforts would make an impact. This protagonist floated in and out of the ideas my brain conjured. One day, she found her story and stayed put.

Take a covert operation of powerful humans, an army of even more powerful enemies, an ordinary girl who suddenly changes, a best friend who needs protecting, and you’ve got the stirrings of Ella’s story. It’ll twist, characters will make mistakes, truths will find the light, and bad guys will reveal their humanity. This story might make you groan, laugh, grimace, cry, roll your eyes, or throw something—like the book itself. Hey, paperback is durable; it can withstand a few hurls against the wall. Most importantly, though, The Trace will nudge something in you—be it good or bad—because it’s a story and that’s what stories do.

The Trace is Ella Kepler’s tale—no doubt about that—but she’s only a fragment in a plot that expands the more she uncovers. She grows, she retrogrades, she falls, and she falls again—and the story around her continues, because the world will turn, even if we stop. My hope is that Ella’s world will turn with you.
 

GRAB YOUR COPY TODAY!.

 

 
The Grifters kidnap any metahumans living outside the Academy… like me. Only this time, they missed.

For centuries, a covert organization of metahumans called the Academy has protected unaware civilians from the Grifters, creatures whose humanity is as deformed as their craggy faces. I’d spent eighteen years ignorant of either group, and of their endless war. Then the Grifters found me.

The Academy whisked me away to safety, and we waited for the danger to pass. Only it didn’t. The Grifters, too stupid to know or too cruel to care that I’d left, kidnapped my best friend instead.

It won’t take them long to figure out their mistake, but I’m not going to give them the opportunity. Finding Kara means grueling training at the Academy—a sequestered hub of classified operations, psychic powers, and fighting creatures that should only exist in nightmares. We have the weapons, the technology, the brains. The Academists are strong, but Grifters are stronger. They can’t even feel pain. But we can, and Grifters are the perfect outlet for releasing that pain.

The Trace is the first book in the young adult trilogy “Whitewashed,” following Ella Kepler, a nascent metahuman whose strength and speed is matched only by the enemies set against her.

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