MEET HANNAH HOWE

I am in awe of this weeks’ guest. Firstly she is so techie it makes me green with envy. Secondly she has got her marketing so sussed she is doing really, really well and hitting the high spots on ‘you know who.’  But who best to tell you about her work than the author herself?

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During the summer of 2014, I had an idea to write a private detective novel. I outlined the main character, a female narrator with a wacky sense of humour who lived and worked from a houseboat. The initial idea made me laugh, but then I realised that the character was too light-weight and didn’t really appeal to me. I was about to abandon the idea when I swiveled in my chair, looked up from my notepad and a little voice inside my head said, “Why don’t you write about me?” That voice belonged to Samantha Smith. I don’t believe in ghosts or harbour fanciful notions about ‘inspiration’ – writing is a craft that requires dedication and discipline – but Sam appeared to walk through the wall, a fully-formed character. Within a finger click, I knew her name, what she looked like, and her background. It was a magical moment. I’d found my narrator, or more accurately, she’d found me.
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So, I had Sam. I knew where she worked from – not a houseboat at this stage, but events would take her there – and her family history. But what of the other people in her life? A relationship strand to the story seemed like a good idea and so I created Dr. Alan Storey. The humour element remained important, therefore enter Sam’s mentor, Detective Inspector ‘Sweets’ MacArthur. Sam was a loner at the start of the series, but as the stories progressed a number of regulars joined the team: Sam’s friend and colleague, Faye Collister, a beautiful woman with a troubled past and chronic OCD; Mac, a heavy with a heart; and later, Blake, a man who combines the renaissance with the Neanderthal, plus many others. With Sam in place, I needed a story idea. So I wrote a list of potential subjects. Music topped that list and the initial story developed into Sam’s Song, a book that’s reached the #1 position on the amazon.com private detective chart on six separate occasions. My idea was to write a one-off novel. However, two-thirds of the way through the writing of Sam’s Song I realised that Sam had the potential to be a series character. Thirteen books later, she is fulfilling her potential and has developed substantially as a
character.
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The mystery genre has always appealed to me, hence my decision to write mysteries. However, I knew from the outset that the mystery element within my stories would be one strand. The relationship element would be the second strand and the third, and arguably most important strand would be the emotional strand, based on psychological problems and sociological issues. This third strand is the starting point for all my stories and represents their heart. I have written about domestic violence, alcoholism, drug addiction, eugenics, delusions, schizophrenia, suicidal tendencies, rape, OCD, phobias, obsessional behaviour, depression and many other subjects.
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The Sam Smith Mystery Series is about mysteries, but it is also about individuals in crisis and finding ways to help them through that crisis. With fair weather and good fortune, I hope to write forty books in the Sam Smith Mystery Series. To date, I am a third of the way to that target. It has been an exciting journey so far with sales beyond my expectations, audiobooks, and translations. I have made friends amongst my fellow authors and received warm words from my readers. Sam has served me well. I love her as a character and feel that I know her as well as I know any person.

 The first thirteen books in the Sam Smith Mystery Series have been great fun to write. Sam will return later this year in Boston, book fourteen in the series, my homage to the American private detective novel and the late Robert B. Parker. The Devil and Ms. Devlin, and Snow in August will follow.

I’m not sure how Hannah manages to write so many great books – and yes, I’ve read several of them, and she still finds the time to do a huge amount of marketing in conjunction with other authors. She deserves all the success she has achieved,

Check out her Amazon author page

 https://www.amazon.com/Hannah-Howe/e/B00OK7E24E

Till next time, take care and if you would like to be a guest on my blog, either contact me on Facebook or drop me an email:  lucinda@lucindaeclarke.com

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MEET MELANIE P SMITH

I saw that this week’s guest has degrees coming out of her ears, but her marketing experience caught my attention and from the information she sent me, she is one switched-on author. So organized, on the ball and knows what she is doing! Over to Melanie to tell you about herself.

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Hello, my name is Melanie P. Smith and I am an American, Multi-Genre author of Paranormal, Criminal Suspense, Police Procedural and Romance novels.  I work hard to make my stories exciting, action-packed and gripping.  So, if you like a story you can’t put down, one that will keep you guessing and take you on a journey of discovery… I have something for you.

I was born and raised in the state of Utah and spent my younger years working hard and playing hard.  As a farm kid, we always had a huge garden and plenty of animals to care for.  But, when the work was done… the adventure began.  If I wasn’t riding horses, I was playing softball, waterskiing or exploring the country on my tote goat (Pictures 1 & 2).  I wrote a short blog on how the more things change, the more they stay the same.  If you’re interested you can find it here… How It All Began    https://melaniepsmith.com/how-it-all-began/  

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I have an Associates of Science degree in Marketing, a Bachelors in Business Management and a Masters Certificate in Conflict Resolution, Negotiation and Mediation.  I was still deciding how to use my education when I started a part-time, summer job with the Salt Lake County Sheriff’s Office.  Part-time turned to full-time and I ended up staying for over twenty-six years. I eventually retired in the spring of 2016.  The job was difficult at times but very fulfilling and always interesting.  Why do I mention this?  Well, because they say write what you know.  I know law enforcement.  For over two decades I was assigned to the Special Operations Division and spent my time supporting Search & Rescue, K9, the Mounted Posse, and the Motorcycle Unit.  I thought that tote goat and my Shetland pony (Coalie) were strictly for adventure… turns out they were training for the future.  Who knew?

In addition to my regular duties, I coordinated communication and logistics for our SWAT and Child Abduction Response Teams.  In this capacity, I spent hours manning the Command Post on emergency callouts like hostage situations, barricaded subjects and missing or abducted children.  My time working with the police helped me gain insight and experience that I now use to create intense novels that are interesting, realistic and suspenseful.

I still love adventure but these days I spend my time camping and riding ATV’s with my husband and our Border collie “Port”.  Or, you can find me exploring backroads on my Harley. Occasionally, I still go horseback riding with my friends.  But mostly, my exploits are conjured in my mind, expressed on paper, and shared through my novels.

MY WORK

My Warrior Series is a completed paranormal romance collection.  There are 7 novels and 2 novellas in this set.  For book descriptions, purchase links and eTrailers see my Paranormal Brochure.  There’s also a sneak peek of my new work in progress… The Immortals.  Divergence will be the first novel in this trilogy.  Unfortunately, the project is still in the beginning stages and won’t be available for some time yet.

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http://geni.us/Warrior

My Thin Blue Line series currently has two novels Mount Haven and Moondance Ridge.  The third novel, Subterfuge, is nearly completed and I expect it out sometime this year.  You can see all my police and crime novels with appropriate links in my Criminal Suspense Brochure.

http://geni.us/SuspenseBrochure

This brochure also includes information on my unique Police Procedural Crime Blog.  What is a Crime Blog?  It’s a series of short stories (nine per season) that follows Deputy Paige Carter as she solves local cases. Each episode introduces a new crime; similar to police procedurals on television like Blue Bloods, Longmire, or Bones.  Want to try it for FREE?  Subscribe to my blog and you will receive the entire 1st Season as my gift to you just for signing up.

http://geni.us/Blogsignup

The first episode of Season 3 – Paige Carter: Deputy Sheriff Series, was just released in April on my website.  So far, I’ve received amazing feedback and it was even featured in the local paper… the Sanpete Messenger.  As an added bonus to my readers, the current season is only available on my website and always FREE.

http://sanpetemessenger.com/2016/12/01/manti-backdrop-for-crime-series/
https://melaniepsmith.com/crime-blog/

Season 1

Paige Carter was an FBI agent who specialized in forensic science.  She decided to quit her job and move back to Manti, Utah.  She is determined to solve a cold case that occurred over ten years earlier.  Why so passionate about a cold case?  It was her mother’s murder and as far as she can tell…the local cops didn’t even try to solve it. 12_Paige Carter S1

Amazon http://geni.us/PaigeCarterS1
Nook http://geni.us/BNPaigeCarterS1
iTunes http://geni.us/iPaigeCarterS1
Kobo http://geni.us/KPaigeCarterS1

Season 2

Season two brings a unique blend of criminal investigation and human interaction to every episode.  Paige is still working to rebuild her personal and professional life one step at a time.  Follow her progress as she fights crime, searches for a killer and tries to deal with the undeniable chemistry she shares with her mysterious neighbor.

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Amazon http://geni.us/PaigeCarterS2
Nook http://geni.us/BNPaigeCarterS2
iTunes http://geni.us/iPaigeCarterS2
Kobo http://geni.us/kPaigeCarterS2

Season 3

Things are heating up in Manti in Season 3 of Paige Carter.  General Nathan Porter’s national security threat has now become a problem for Paige, her neighbor, and the small town she now calls home. Follow along as she works to stop a terrorist cell, investigates local crimes and struggles to manage her personal life.

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https://melaniepsmith.com/crime-blog/

 Connect with Melanie

Website http://geni.us/mpsmithpublishing
Amazon Author http://geni.us/melaniepsmith

http://geni.us/MPSFacebook
http://geni.us/MPSTwitter
http://geni.us/MPSmithYouTube
http://geni.us/MPSGoodreads  

I’ve lost count of all those books, but Melanie is certainly a prolific writer and a couple of those are destined for my TBR list.

Thank you so much for being my guest today and a further HUGE thank you from me – Melanie is also in a Facebook group – Independent Author Promotion Group – and there are 17 of us who have joined together to help promote each other. Melanie has designed some stunning graphics for several of the writers. I’m absolutely thrilled with mine and I will be sharing the posts on this blog in the coming weeks.

If you would like a guest spot, either pm me on my Facebook  page

https://www.facebook.com/lucindaeclarke.author

or email me:- lucinda@lucindaeclarke.com

 

MEET BRENDAN GERAD O’BRIEN

OK, OK, I admit it I have a soft spot for Irish writers, the land of my birth, though I have long since lost the accent.  While we may speak the same language as the English, Welsh, Scots, Americans and the Australians, I maintain we have poetry and words flowing through our veins. Have you guessed that this week’s guest is also from Ireland? What a surprise!  Welcome, Brendan Gerad O’Brien. He now lives in Wales, but you can never take the power of words away from the Irish – not that I’m biased of course. Over to Brendan.

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When I won my first writing competition I was so excited I ran all the way home. I was about eight years old. The Fun Fair was coming to Tralee – our little town on the West coast of Ireland – and apart from Duffy’s Circus which came in September, this was the highlight of our year. Our English teacher asked us to write an essay about it and I won the only prize – a book of ten tickets for the fair.

So writing was in my blood from a very young age. My uncle Moss Scanlon had a small Harness Maker’s shop in Listowel – a bus ride from Tralee – where I spent some wonderful summer holidays. The shop was a magnet for all sorts of colourful characters who’d wander in for a chat and a bit of jovial banter. One famous storyteller who often popped in was John B Keane, and I asked him once where he got his ideas from. He told me that everyone has a story to tell so just listen to them. I was there when John B’s first story was read out on Radio Eireann. I can still remember the buzz of excitement.

But it was only when I got married and the children came along that I made any serious attempt to write a book.

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The result was Dark Septembera brutal alternative history thriller set in Newport during WW2. Germany invade Britain. Stormtroopers attack the South Wales coast to capture the coal mines. Newport is blitzed. Danny O’Shea’s wife is killed. O’Shea heads for neutral Ireland with his son and they witness Welsh Nationalists ambushing a German convoy carrying a mysterious cargo.

But the Nationalists fall out and the cargo disappears. Then O’Shea goes to the aid of a dying woman – and both the Germans and the Nationalists believe she told him where it’s hidden. Now pursued by both the Germans and the insurgents, his only concern is to get his son to safety.

I always found writing short stories is amazingly therapeutic. I get a great buzz from taking an idea and developing it, often watching it evolve into something completely different from how it started out. Great ideas are all around us. Little gems are waiting to be harvested everywhere we look. I found myself listening to what people are saying, and the way they say it.

For instance, the Irish are famous for their colourful and exaggerated language, always using a dozen words when one would have done. So I set my short stories in Ireland. The names are changed, of course, because I don’t earn enough to survive a lawsuit.

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Dreamin’ Dreams contains twenty of my published short stories. They’re all based on real people who passed through my life at some time or other, or events that actually happened to me. Enhanced, of course, and sometimes exaggerated out of all proportion.

The title comes from something my father said years ago when I got poor grades at school. ‘What do you expect?’ he said to my mother. ‘He never does any studying. He just sits there, dreamin’ dreams.’

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This was followed by Gallows Field, set in Tralee, Ireland during WW2.  Eamon Foley, a Local Security volunteer is in a crowded pub when his brother-in-law Joe McCarthy is shot dead. Foley thinks he sees a face from his past when he was working in Dublin and witnessed a brutal murder. Important items went missing then and the killer believed Foley took them. Foley thinks shooting Joe was a warning that they’ve caught up with him and are looking for their stuff.

But Garda Sergeant Liam Edge believes Joe was a victim of a jealous husband because of his involvement with numerous women.

Then Foley’s sister Mary is found dead in the town park.

And his son is taken by a nun in a car.

When Foley illegally obtains evidence saying who is responsible, Sgt Edge dismisses it, insisting they follow proper police procedure.  With dreadful results.

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My latest book is A Pale Moon Was Rising, again featuring Eamon Foley during 1944. A German submarine is spotted in Tralee Bay on the West coast of Ireland.

Next morning the body of a young man with fatal head injuries is found in the river. He’s wearing a distinctive silver ring.

Garda Eamon Foley traces the ring to Paudy Daly, who’s been missing for over nine months.

But Paudy’s father, the notorious Mixer Daly, is furious when he sees the body. Because it is not his son.

Garda Foley discovers that the body is that of a Polish seaman. So where did he get Paudy’s ring?

Then Garda Foley learns that the last time Paudy was seen alive, he was on his way to rob a pig-breeder’s house.

Writing magazine

Thanks for choosing me for your blog, and have a great week,

Sláinte

Brendan

bgobrien.net

I had no idea that Brendan was such a prolific writer, as the books featured here are only a part of his vast repertoire. Check him out on his Amazon author  page

https://www.amazon.com/Brendan-Gerad-OBrien/e/B006ICG2HE 

and thank you for being my guest this week.

MEET H MAX HILLER

Now I’m a little confused (not difficult in my case) as my guest today has his name on Facebook as H Max Hiller and also as Hiram Hiller, but I’ve checked very carefully and they are one and the same. I hope you don’t mind me calling you Max?
PROMO PIC 2015
H. Max Hiller’s restaurant career began with a cooking job on Bourbon Street at the age of seventeen. His resume now includes many of New Orleans’ iconic dining and music destinations which provide a lifetime of characters and anecdotes to add depth to his Detective “Cadillac” Holland series. 
 
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He now divides his time between working as a chef aboard a boat traveling America’s inland waterways and writing in the home he and his wife share with their rescue pets that include a neurotic wolfhound-mix and far too many cats.
(I found this lovely picture of Max and his wife on his Amazon author page)
Books by Max – Blowback – The Blue Garou  (Silver Medalist 2016 Dan Poynter Global Ebook Awards)
Can’t Stop the Funk and Ghosts and Shadows.
 
SERIES DESCRIPTION: The award-winning “Cadillac” Holland Mysteries are equal parts compelling mystery, travelogue, and insightful looks at one of America’s favorite destinations through the eyes of a detective as battered as the city he patrols. Detective Holland has returned home as a retired Special Forces and Intelligence operative and brings those specialized skills to bear on investigations that all too often place him at odds with NOPD’s own way of doing things. It’s why the Chief of Detectives only assigns “Cadillac” cases which are as unique and challenging as the detective’s way of seeking justice and not just answers.
 
I’ve not read this series yet, but as it is one of my favourite genres I’ll be looking them up soon. One can never have too many detective series.
Thank you Max for being my guest this week.