Snowbound now available for Kindle

dfw-kg-sb-cover-2-smallJust a quickie to let you know that Snowbound is now available for Kindle! 😀

If you live in the US, get it here. UK readers can get it here.

Nook readers, you’ll have to wait a bit longer–around 2 weeks–since BN isn’t as quick about delivering. Not sure why.

You could always download the free Kindle app and read it on your tablet, phone or computer. 🙂

Hope you enjoy reading Snowbound! If you do, please write a review and/or drop a line and let me know.

Happy reading (and writing)!

Peace in Time Book Blitz & Blog Hop: Getting to Know MCV Egan

Peace Book Tour ImageSeptember 21 was the International Day of Peace, a day when worldwide peace and the goal of achieving it is put in focus. On this day, MCV Egan, author of The Bridge of Deaths, starts her blog tour and this year Kim Talks Books is lucky enough to be one of the stops.

To help celebrate the International Day of Peace, I am giving away a Kindle copy of MCV Egan’s The Bridge of Deaths and a copy of my Kindle-only novella, Choose Me. To enter, all you have to do is leave a comment on this post with your thoughts on peace. The winner will be chosen and notified on Saturday, 29 September. You can also join the official Peace in Time giveaway here.

MCV Egan lives in South Florida with her family. The Bridge of Deaths is her first novel.

The premise of the Bridge of Deaths is fascinating–a troubled man possibly suffering from past-life trauma trying to find the connection between his issues and a mysterious plane crash  in 1939 with only one survivor. How did you find out about this story and when did you first decide this was the book you had to write?

I began to research the plane crash of the G-AESY in pre-WWII Denmark because my maternal grandfather was one of the men who died in that crash. I tried to run away from the story many times, but somehow in different ways it chased me, found me and made me realize I had to research and write it.

Out of the blue people would contact me with new information or the right book would just be at the wrong place (right for me) how many WWII history books would anyone expect to find in the cooking section?

I began my research with very traditional methods; archives, newspaper microfilms, history books. In the 1990s my side interests revolved around ‘paranormal’ or ‘occult’ disciplines such as astrology, numerology and past life regressions, as such I was surrounded by many individuals with a variety of clairvoyance aptitudes.

The way that led to combining the very believable and the likely unbelievable was that Anthony Crossley, the British MP who died in the crash that day,  was easy to research as  he was a public figure, thus making  it was easy to confirm most information clairvoyants said about him. I should add that in the 1990s it was not like anyone could Google any of this, it was easy to confirm but by carefully researching.

The individual who allowed me to use his past life regressions, but asked to remain anonymous was not particularly troubled, and certainly never had phobias, but by infusing that into the characteristics of the fictional version the story became far more interesting.

How long did it take to write The Bridge of Deaths from starting the first draft until the final edit?

Once I decided this is it, I will not try to research more it was about 18 months. It is two books in one, it is a factual documented book, which took 18 years to compile woven together with a fun, fictional narrative.

The Bridge of Deaths Book CoverHow did you decide upon the format of the novel–of juxtaposing the crash in 1939 with Bill’s life and psychic belief in 2009-2010?

When the argument was made in 2002-2003 for the war in Iraq many politicians, commentators and ‘experts’ likened the conversations with the MUNICH PACT of 1938. Because Anthony Crossley was one of the small group that adamantly opposed appeasing Hitler; the events of modern day war and the past seemed much intertwined. Also because Anthony Crossley was called the sole voice for the Arab cause in regards to the Palestinian territories in the late 1930s, that too amazed me how similar the conversations were from the 1930s and today.

Bill is the venue in the comparison; but one of the messages in the book is how strongly we are as a society, as countries affected by the decisions and wars decades later.

How did the psychic belief angle and the idea of past life trauma come into the story?

I had past life regressions that impacted me. That physically affected me in interesting ways. I did not have phobias but I did have fears that were strongly or completely overcome through the use of hypnosis and sometimes past life regressions.  I took my personal experience and expanded to make it more dramatic.

I did use psychics and past life regressions (not my own), I did take some fictional liberties but I was careful to explain what was fiction and what actually came out of the regressions or information obtained by psychics.

In my experience many people are very skeptical about psychic abilities, so I even saved some of the information I could not prove.

Have you got any advice for writers thinking about tackling a novel based on historical events?

Yes, there are two things when you decide on your timespan. Make a timeline and keep your chronology in order. Like a school kid, a nice long line with dates events keep it handy, if possible really large on a wall or a bulletin board.

That way you will physically see the era, to keep it believable.

Be sure to get the right vernacular, the devil is in the details, and I have put down a number of books because if the writer cannot respect the reader enough to take the time to research details it kills the story for me.

What’s next for you? Are you working on another project?

I am a mom and my son just started high school so for the next four years that is my most important job. Stories can always be written and information can always be researched, but my Austin will only be a teen ager once.

I am working on several short projects, playing around with one act plays and short stories and I am working on a series in a modern setting. I hope to write in a wide variety of genres and I also enjoy helping authors promote on-line. Many authors do not have the budget to have online tours or have difficulty approaching bloggers to make themselves visible and I really enjoy sharing what I had the privilege to learn from my on-line publicist and on my own.

Your Peace in Time Blitz Blog Tour not only promotes your novel but also commemorates the International Day of Peace. Tell us why this day is so important to you.

I created a character, Maggie and she is a lovable, loving free spirit very open to the esoteric. I also needed her to be very versed in WW II so to accomplish that I made her a pacifist who felt that knowledge about war is the key to avoiding them.

As Maggie grew and developed I made her an active pacifist who had participated in London protests of the Iraq war.

Maggie grew very near and dear to my heart and creating her slowly but surely pushed me into pacifism; as I am a writer through my words I can help people to become aware.

With the current state of the world, do you believe that we will ever have true peace in our time? 

I used to think that Maggie was believable as a character because she was young enough to BELIEVE. Lately I have read a bit on Gandhi or explored the principles of pacifist rebellion.  It is true that the hope I felt; surely with many around the world, in the Arab Spring when I finished The Bridge of Deaths is now so tainted by so much blood shed and destruction.

It is unlikely that World Peace is near, but as  parent why not instill in the younger generations an acceptance of the possibility so that they may perhaps achieve what has for us been so elusive. If we do not at least discuss it; how can it possibly be so?

But I guess the honest answer to IN OUR TIME? It would be a miracle, an enormous miracle and thankfully, I believe in miracles.

Many thanks to MCV Egan for joining of this week! And everyone, remember to leave comments with your thoughts on peace or the possibility of peace in our time for the chance to win Kindle editions of The Bridge of Deaths and Choose Me.

Happy reading (and writing)!

The only thing that helps at times like this is buying books

It’s been a crazy two weeks. There is a lot going on at work, which means I am exhausted physically and mentally when I come home. And this is affecting my writing time. I wake up too tired to write. I come home too tired to write. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity to read other people’s work instead but I find myself falling asleep on the sofa–not because the books are boring, but because I am tired. Ah well, at least I have Matera and my vacation in the US to look forward to in the coming weeks.

Anyway, I indulged in a little retail therapy and this is what I bought:

ImageMo’ Meta Blues: The World According to Questlove by Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Ben Greenman

I had to get this. Questlove and I come from the same town, my beloved Philadelphia. We both come from West Philly. We’re both creative–he’s a musical genius, I’m a writer. Really, it’s a wonder our paths haven’t crossed yet. 😉 But seriously, I am always drawn to books and movies set in my hometown. And since I am a Roots fan and I have always liked Questlove, I knew I needed to get a copy of his memoir. And then a few months ago, Nick Hornby was talking about Questlove’s memoir and I was even more intrigued. It wasn’t available yet and when I tried to preorder it here in Stockholm, I was met with blank stares from  bookstore staff. Of course, after I finally ordered it from Amazon UK, then every online bookstore in Sweden suddenly decided they could stock it as well. I don’t care. I have it now and the cover looks great. I’ve already sneaked a peek at a few pages and this is definitely my kind of book.

I haven’t started reading Mo’ Meta Blues yet but it is the next book on my To Read List. Maybe I will save it as something to read while I am in Philly and then give to my oldest niece as a source of inspiration. I want her to see that there is more to the world than the confines of our old neighborhood.

ImageThe other book I ended up buying is not new but I didn’t want to read it when everyone else was reading it because I really, really hate when other people see you’re reading the same book and then they feel compelled to inadvertently spoil it for you. So which book is it? Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I love a good mystery/thriller and I wanted to be able to read this without everyone else a) trying to convince me it was godhead, b) wanting to discuss it and reveal spoilers, c) wanting to talk about which Hollywood A-listers should play Nick and Amy. Luckily the Gone Girl hype in Stockholm has died down. I think everyone has found a new novel to gush about. I started reading it on Thursday and it’s as good as everyone assured me it was. I’ve decided I need to Gillian Flynn’s other novels (Dark Places and Sharp Objects) as well, so they are also on the To Read List for this autumn/winter. And what could be better to read in Stockholm–that city where the winter cloud cover is so thick you nearly forget there is a thing called the sun–than really tight mystery novels that play tricks with your mind? 🙂

So I think I am set for a few weeks. I am editing Maybe Baby again after making changes suggested by a beta reader. I’m also beta reading a friend’s novel. And I have to wait and see what the future has in store for me. If all else fails, at least I have my writing, Nanowrimo and my gorgeous husband. 🙂

Happy reading (and writing)!

Giveaway update and–hey, a 1-star review!

Apparently not many of my readers have iPhone 5s, so there were no winners for the Choose Me iPhone 5 cases. Well, now I know for the next giveaway. 🙂

On to other minutiae–checked my reviews on Amazon as one does and, after receiving a few 5-star reviews and a 3-star review, I received a 1-star review. At first, I was a little stunned. But then I reminded myself that one can never be guaranteed fans. There will always be someone who doesn’t like what you write for whatever reason.

I wonder how many 1-star reviews I’ll get when Maybe Baby finally comes out. Laney isn’t always the easiest of characters to love. You’ll either love her or hate her. Well, more when it’s nearer to launch date. 🙂

Back soon with book reviews and a novel update!

Happy reading (and writing)!

Add Catherine McKenzie to my list of favorite authors

A few months ago a friend in the US asked me if I’d ever read anything by Catherine McKenzie. I hadn’t and told her so–and she promptly began to rave about how wonderful her books were and how I’d love them.

I bought two of Catherine McKenzie’s books for my Kindle–Arranged and Forgotten–but it took a while for me to begin reading them. I had so many other books on my to-read list. But then I finally read Forgotten and then Arranged…and now I am a bona fide Catherine McKenzie fan.

ImageForgotten is about a woman who goes to Africa and, when illness and an earthquake prevent her from coming home as planned, is declared dead despite her being very much alive. She returns home to find that she no longer has a home, a job and a boyfriend. And she must reclaim her life and figure out just what she wants out of this “new” life.

This was such a page-turner. I was hooked from start to finish and think this is a book I could read again and again.

ImageArranged is about a woman who, after a very bad break-up with her boyfriend, finds a card for a matchmaking service on the day she moves out from their apartment. Taking this as a sign (though she says she doesn’t believe in signs), she makes an appointment to meet a consultant at the service. She thinks it’s a dating service but is soon informed that they are about helping people find marriage partners. And–instead of being turned off by the idea–she is intrigued. Should she give up on romantic love and focus on platonic love as a way to happiness in a marriage? And is there a place for an arranged marriage in her life? Loved this book and would definitely read it again! 😀

Both books were fantastic! I loved how the characters felt so real–sometimes you loved them, sometimes you were so frustrated by them you wanted to scream at them, but you always wanted the best for them.

That’s it for now! Happy reading (and writing)! 🙂

Three More Books to Read This Summer

You all know how much of a book nerd I am. I proudly fly my book nerd flag. 🙂 So while everyone else around me has been going clubbing or sailing or disappearing to summer houses or the Greek islands (and all those other things Stockholmers do when it’s summer), I’ve been working and reading. You may remember I took two weeks off in June, went to Italy, wrote and lived la dolce vita. Since then, I’ve been working, working, working and taking the occasional weekend trip. And all the while I’ve been reading. 🙂

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Cover of Love Minus Eighty by Will McIntosh

Love Minus Eighty – Will McIntosh

It’s been a while since I read any sci-fi novels. None has really jumped out at me. So I was really pleased when I heard about Love Minus Eighty through a Twitter connection. The story is set in a future version of New York where one’s love life is as closely monitored like a reality TV show and death isn’t always the end–especially if you’re an attractive woman on the right side of thirty. This addictive novel follows the stories of several interconnected characters as they try to figure out romantic love in an age where technology has taken over. This is not your usual sci-fi novel. It reads more like speculative literary fiction and is a real page-turner. I loved sinking my teeth into it, and I think you will too. The world presented is like Facebook on crack…no, more like Facebook on the most psychedelic drug you could imagine. Hats off to Will McIntosh for such a brilliantly written novel! This was the first time I’d ever read his work and I am already a fan. 🙂

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Cover of French Kissing by Catherine Sanderson

French Kissing – Catherine Sanderson

French Kissing is not a new book. It was originally published in 2009, but I only just heard about it a few weeks ago. I was thinking about booking a weekend trip to Paris and stumbled upon a short interview with Catherine Sanderson and her experiences as an expat living in France. And as an expat living in Stockholm, I always find it fun to read books about others wading in the murky waters of another country’s culture and unwritten rules of society. And Sally, French Kissing‘s heroine, is doing just that while also trying to raise her four-year-old daughter Lila and maintain an amicable relationship with her ex, the faithless Nico. While Nico has moved on with two other women, Sally hasn’t dated and decides it’s time to take the plunge and rejoin the dating market. She does so via Rendez-Vous, the French version of match.com. We follow Sally through a few dreadful dates, a few not-qute-right-but-nice-enough dates and all the while get an idea of what it’s like to date in a foreign language. Sanderson does a great job of giving the reader insight into how the French (and especially Parisians) date and what it’s like raising a bilingual child while also trying to maneuver as a newly single mum. Sally is an extremely likable character. She is definitely not an all-too perfect Mary Sue. And her journey from coupledom to singledom while looking for love is an addictive read!

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Cover of S.G. Redling’s Damocles

I first heard about the plot of Damocles during a Matera brainstorming session. I thought the story–of a crew on a one-way expedition into deep space mission to search for signs of extraterrestrial intelligence–was intriguing. I couldn’t wait for the book to finally come out, and it doesn’t disappoint. Linguist Meg Dupris and her crew have the daunting task of making first contact with the humanoid inhabitants of Didet, an earth-like planet with eternal sunlight. But first they must overcome the Didetos’ fear that the “earthers” are there as invaders…and they must find a way to communicate when there is no common language. The story moves quickly, with Meg and Loul, a Dideto who predicted that “aliens” would come, struggling to figure out how to interact and learn from one another–and realizing they have more in common than they think. What I really liked with Damocles is how the story is told from both Meg and Loul’s perspective. So we get a very interesting view of just how first contact might be. Two thumbs up!

OK! That’s it for now! Happy reading (and writing)!

Review: Put The Husband Diet On Your Summer Reads List

Screen Shot 2013-04-09 at 9.32.14 PMEver since Nancy first brainstormed the plot of The Husband Diet with all of us in Matera, I’ve been longing to read it. The story of Erica, a plus-sized woman who put aside her own dreams to help her egocentric husband get his business off the ground.  Fast forward twelve years and Erica is still putting her wants aside for the sake of Ira, who still hasn’t managed to get his business going. But now Erica has two kids to think about. And then there’s Erica’s shallow mother, Marcy, who seems to thrive on making her daughter feel awful and who never provides her with the emotional support Erica desperately needs. Thank God Erica has her gay best friend Paul in her corner to remind her that she is beautiful no matter what size she is and that she is a great mom with kids who adore her. Paul gives Erica the unconditional love and support she’s been missing but she wishes she had someone who could take care of her physical needs as well, and that certainly isn’t her husband who announces that she is too heavy to turn him on. 

Enter Julian Foxham, brave spider killer and dead sexy headmaster of the school Erica’s children attend. His good looks and quiet calm set Erica’s heart racing and remind her there is hope for her love life–there are other men in the world and, unlike her husband, they find her incredibly attractive.  At first Julian is nothing more to Erica than a perfect fantasy hero but then it becomes obvious he’s interested in more than just a parent-teacher relationship with Erica…well, I won’t spoil it for you.

Take my advice and order yourself a copy of The Husband Diet. If you want a book that will have you laughing and rooting for the heroine from page one until the very end and wishing you had your own spider-killing hottie, then this is the book for you. I loved how Erica shakes off the shackles of her self-doubt (and her deadbeat hubby) and rediscovers her plan to get what she wants in life. It’s lighthearted without being fluffy and Erica’s moments of introspection will have you nodding in empathy–let’s face it, we’ve all had those moments when we don’t believe in ourselves and we need someone else to shake some sense into us. 🙂

Intrigued? Here are the links where you can preorder The Husband Diet for Kobo and NOOK. Kindle readers, the book will be available on 31 May and it’s worth the wait. 🙂

My rating? I give The Husband Diet five stars!

5_Star

 

 

 

It was such a fun read and I love a book that makes me laugh and empathize with the main characters! 🙂

Happy reading (and writing)!

 

 

David Gaughran’s Let’s Get Visible is now available!

ImageFellow writer and indie writing guru David Gaughran has a new book out with tips on writing, selling more books and getting noticed. The book is called Let’s Get Visible and it’s a companion volume to his previous book, Let’s Get Digital. I think both of these books are must-reads for indie writers.

David’s no-nonsense approach is spot-on. I think he’s got another winner here. 🙂

He shares with readers tips on positioning your books for discoverability, cost-effective ways to promote your work and how to minimize the amount of promotion you do and for more writing time–and still sell books. So if you are as curious as I am about how to build your platform without having to spend all hours of the day on Twitter or Facebook (especially when you know you should be writing), then check out Let’s Get Visible. For more information, head over to David’s blog.

Getting closer to publishing Choose Me

Choose Me's lovely cover

Choose Me’s lovely cover

A few months ago, I shared with you a cover for a project called Choose Me. I originally thought I would have published it by April 15. That was my deadline, but then life got in the way. Well, now I am getting closer to feeling like it will be ready soon. I’ve got the first part of it under control. I’m just making some minor tweaks to it. Part One of Choose Me is a novella set in Edinburgh. Part Two will be four short stories set in Philadelphia, Richmond, Rome and London. The stories still need a tiny bit of tweaking but tweaking short stories isn’t nearly as daunting a task as tweaking a novel.

The common thread for the novella and the stories is people making choices. Choices about staying, choices about who they love and what they want. My new deadline is June 1. I think I’ll have it ready by then.

Choose Me will be available as an ebook and a POD paperback. I’ll keep you posted about the official launch date. It might be around Midsummer (June 21) since I will be in Italy the first two weeks of June.

That’s it for now! It’s bedtime for me.

Happy reading (and writing)!

P.S.

Thanks to James at goonwrite.com for making such a beautiful cover for me!

Have you heard of Riffle Books? No? Then you should check it out.

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Get thee to Riffle…

I wonder…how many of you are using Riffle Books? Yesterday I received an invitation to try it and I spent part of this evening checking it out. It’s like Goodreads in that it aims to be a community of readers and writers. You can find out about books, create lists to share with others of the books you’ve read or plan to read. I rather like it so far. If you’re interested in checking it out, click here.

I think I’ll continue with Goodreads and use Riffle, but for those of you who are anti-Amazon (the new owners of Goodreads) Riffle could be an alternative.

Anyway, go and check it out. It’s very visual–almost like Pinterest (my other favorite distraction) for books.

Happy reading (and writing)!