Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Paisley Kirkpatrick's debut novel brings 'Night Angel' into the light of day

"In the northern California town of Paradise Pines in the 1850s, life has a rhythm. The stagecoach arrives; guests check into or out of the Chaumers House hotel. The townspeople shop at the mercantile during the week and go to church on Sunday. Some of the men go to the saloon in the evenings. And Night Angel rules the darkness.

Make no mistake about it; Night Angel is a good guy. He just prefers to remain anonymous as he performs his acts of kindness. But now he has a problem-a very pretty problem. Miss Amalie Renard has arrived in town and she has turned his carefully structured world upside down. She may be a little shady, but the Night Angel (a.k.a. Declan Grainger) sees the possibilities behind her brittle facade.

One look at the smoldering cover of “Night Angel” will convince any reader that the man can be dangerous. One chapter of the book will convince readers that Paisley Kirkpatrick, author of “Night Angel,” has made an auspicious debut. Her story delivers romance, adventure and a promise of more great stories to come. It also delivers a sexy hero with scruples and he lives up to the standards he sets."

Read the rest of the review here.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

An Interview with Author/Publisher Michelle Devon

The next time you’re feeling as though life has put roadblocks in the way of your writing career, think about Michelle ‘Michy’ Devon. Through near-fatal illness and chronic invalidism, she still manages to write and publish. Devon keeps a positive outlook in the face of her circumstances and just won’t quit.

“If anything, nearly dying—twice—has brought back into focus all the things that matter most, and writing is one of those things. I’ve definitely rededicated myself to the craft and nothing is going to stop me from achieving the success I seek for myself,” says Devon. She has used her experiences as story inspiration, as she learns to deal with the restrictions her diastolic heart failure and pulmonary arterial hypertension have placed on her life.

With all that she’s been through, her interest in the nature of reality may seem quite natural. Many of her stories deal with how the characters deal with their perceptions of reality, juxtaposed against how the other characters perceive the same situation. Her recent novella “Celeste” presents a prime example of conflicting perceptions, leading the reader to see both sides.

Empathy, another facet of reality that fascinates her as a character attribute, takes center stage in the short story “Empath.” 

“I do think there are people who are empathic, who can sense and read others thoughts, body language and feelings as easily as if they felt it themselves…” Devon explains. 

Several of her works deal with infidelity, including three short stories written to help a publisher who needed to fill an anthology on the subject of ‘justified endings to bad exes.’ Although working as a contracted editor at the time, Devon submitted her stories and they were accepted.

Current projects in the works include “Abduction,” a novella, fantasy novel “Firestorm,” the lighthearted novel “Accepting Aimee” (part of the “Covington Confessions” series) and “The Nature of the Universe”-the working title. She admits to having at least seven novels is some stage of development.

Michy (the “ch” is pronounced as “k”) makes her home in Texas, but don’t expect laid-back, down-home in her works. She tackles cosmopolitan topics with a sharp wit that no ailment can dull and a sense of gratitude honed to razor sharpness by what she’s gone through. 

“I believe love and gratitude are the two most powerful emotions and energies in the world, in the entire universe. I want people to know that when you live in a state of gratitude, absolutely nothing is impossible. I am so grateful for my life, grateful for my gifts and talents, grateful for just being. I try to live in that abundance, in that place of gratitude and love all the time. I often fail, but I do try.”

So the next time you feel as though circumstances are conspiring to keep you from writing, remember Michelle Devon. Change your perception of reality and get back to work!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

'Where Lilacs Still Bloom' by Jane Kirkpatrick, a fictionalized biography of Hulda Klager

Some books grab you by the throat and drain you. Jane Kirkpatrick’s newest won’t do that, I promise. In “Where Lilacs Still Bloom,” Kirkpatrick takes us on a 70-year long journey through the life of Hulda Klager, a farm wife with only an eighth-grade education who became an expert on the cultivation of lilacs and other flowering plants. Lest you dismiss this as mere fiction, be assured that Hulda Klager actually lived and achieved the amazing accomplishments recounted in this fictionalized biography.

Kirkpatrick introduces us to Klager in 1889. She lives with her husband and three of the four children they will eventually have on a farm in Washington. Their property, nestled between the Lewis and Columbia Rivers, holds a working dairy farm along with gardens and orchards. Klager holds a simple dream: a bigger, crisper apple that will be easier to peel so that she can make more apple pies. 

Learn more about Klager and her world here

'7 Hours,' seven authors - seven nail-biting tales

Give seven writers the same starting point and you’ll find yourself going in seven different directions. That’s exactly what happens with “7 Hours,” an anthology of seven novellas from Tyndale.

The writers (Mike Dellosso, Rene Gutteridge, Travis Thrasher, Tom Pawlik, Ronie Kendig, James Andrew Wilson and Robin Parrish) began with the same premise and crafted a story from that point. The simple premise questions a point-of-death choice. As the protagonist faces death, he or she is offered seven hours. The hours can be added to the present moment or relived from the past. At the end of the time, the person will instantly jump to the moment of death.

Read more here.

Book Review - 'Tahoe Deathfall' by Todd Borg introduces Owen McKenna and a delightful thriller series

Fans of John D. MacDonald’s Travis McGee can rejoice. Owen McKenna fills the “complex thriller mystery series” void beautifully. Just as MacDonald celebrated the natural beauty of Florida in his series, author Todd Borg sets his McKenna novels in and around the breathtaking Tahoe Basin.

Former San Francisco police officer Owen McKenna lives in a tiny cabin overlooking the deep sapphire depths of Lake Tahoe. He shares the space with Spot, a Harlequin Great Dane with enough police canine-style training to be a worthy backup to McKenna in his new life as a private detective.

Author Todd Borg displays his books at the El Dorado Arts Council's ArtSpace.

Read more here.