Writing

COVER REVEAL FOR S.M. STEVENS NOVEL HORSESHOE AND HAND GRENADES

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Brief description of book:

Fragile but practical Shelby Stewart and ambitious, confident Astrid Ericcson just want to start their PR careers in 1980s Boston and maybe find a nice guy to hang out with. But long-buried memories of incest at the hands of her local hero stepfather keep interrupting Shelby's plans, affecting her health one way after another. And when will she actually date someone her friends think is good enough for her?

Astrid thinks she wrote the book on How to Get Ahead by Flirting but is forced to re-visit her career advancement strategy when her boss Brad takes the innuendoes to a whole new, scary level, threatening her job and her safety.

Suddenly, instead of taking charge of their lives, both women find themselves spinning out of control.

In this fast-paced story for the #MeToo generation, the women reach new highs and lows in life, work and romance, while struggling to make sense of the abusive relationships that haunt them.

Publisher: TouchPoint Press
Genre: New Adult/Upmarket
Format: Paperback and ebook
Release date: Sept. 27, 2019
ISBN-10: 1-946920-71-1
ISBN-13: 978-1-946920-71-3

Pre-order links:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2K5CuzO
TouchPoint Press: http://bit.ly/2K8nMYY

Author bio:

S.M. Stevens began writing during back-to-back health crises: a shattered pelvis and ovarian cancer. She has self-published Shannon's Odyssey (Middle Grade) and the Bit Players series (Young Adult). When not writing, she provides marketing and PR to solar energy companies. She lives in New England.

Author website and social links:

Website: https://www.AuthorSMStevens.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorSMStevens
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/SMStevens17
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/s.m.stevens/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/s-m-stevens-303623180/

The Blogger Recognition Award

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I’ve been nominated for the blogger recognition award, and I’d like to thank @alexis_clear on Twitter for nominating me!!!! So, about the Award: The Blogger Recognition Award is given by bloggers to other bloggers. This award is an avenue of acknowledging the hard work and talent of our fellow teammates and allows their stories to be showcased and shared among a wider audience.

The Rules:

Thank the blogger who nominated you and add a link to their blog

Write a post on your site displaying the award and explain why you started your blog.

Write two pieces of advice for new bloggers.

Nominate and notify 15 other bloggers.

@SkWay9

@MissPiinnkkii

@JSSamaniego1

@ReadingDiva3

@canuckclick

@BridgetteLA

@kim_freelancer

@writingiswar

@Gryphendale

@AnythingMaureen

@tonyriches

@JenaRCollins

@RobertPimm

@LHallbrooks

@FeathersMcGee

Why did I start blogging? Hmm….I loved to discuss books, writing, languages, and anything else that I like. I saw that people were doing it, so I decided to do the same thing. Why not? In my life, I had let fear stop me from doing many things that I wanted to do until the day I told myself that I was no longer going to allow my fear stop me. So, I started blogging about books and writing. I love reading and writing. And, maybe something that I say will help someone do the same thing that I told myself years ago.

Advice for Bloggers

1) Blog about ANYTHING you want!!! If you aren’t engaged about what you’re writing then the readers won’t either. Why waste the time not enjoying what you’re doing? You love books? Blog about book reviews. You love to write? Blog about your writing process, tips, or strategies. It doesn’t matter…you must love it yourself.

2) Don’t do it to make money. Success will come to those who put in the effort. Be consistent. Stay focused. Pour your love into it. Then, you’ll be successful!

Author Interview with Michael Sahno, the author of Whizzers

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Q: What got you into writing?

A: I was always a writer, even as a youngster. People who knew me in high school or college will remember me as Class Poet, or editor of the literary magazine. When I got into my late teens, I started writing more fiction, some short stories. Then I started my first novel when I was about twenty-five. Once I finished the first one, I launched into writing the next one without ever looking back.


Q: Tell us about your new novel, Whizzers?

A recovering alcoholic, Mike, discovers his six-year-old cousin, David, travels through time as a whizzer to bring comfort to those in need. Mike soon finds himself along for the ride, and while he gets the opportunity to bring solace to some of his greatest heroes, he must also confront his own greatest demons.


Q: Is any of this based on your own experience, or is it strictly fiction?

A: A couple of characters from my previous novels bear a slight resemblance to real people, but very slight indeed. However, Whizzers is a different story: the narrator is a fictionalized version of me, and he meets up with a variety of people, including some fictionalized versions of relatives. And yes, all the standard legal disclaimers apply. I think if you or someone you love has ever been bullied; faced addiction or alcoholism; or wanted to give or receive comfort, you’ll like it.


Q: Who would you say have been your greatest influences?

A: The biggest influences on my fiction were probably John Gardner, Kurt Vonnegut, and Hunter S. Thompson. Then Balzac, Faulkner, Fitzgerald--lots of others. Balzac and La Comédie Humaine will always top the list for me. I’ve read maybe 30% of his work, so I’ve barely scratched the surface, and he gets me every time. He really knew all levels of society and human nature.


Q: When is Whizzers coming out?

A: It's available July 21st from all your favorite online retailers: Amazon, Apple, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and so on. You can find it here or here.

Murder on the Rocks Blog Tour!!!!!!


BOOK REVIEW

Title: Murder on the Rocks: A Welsh Cosy Murder Mystery (Jordan Jenner Murder Mystery #1)

Author: J.S. Strange

Pages: 416

Blurb: When PI Jordan Jenner returns to work following the death of his mother, his first case involves a murdered writer...

James Fairview has been killed. As a member of a prestigious writing group hosted by bestselling author Joseph Gordon in the heart of Cardiff, Jordan not only has to cope with solving the mystery, but also deal with press attention. 

As Jordan investigates, he discovers his mother's death may not have been so simple. And when another writer is murdered, Jordan realises the killer could strike again... 

A murdered writer, a mysterious death, and a group with jealousy at its heart, this is Jenner's toughest case yet.

Rating: 4.5/5.0

Cover: B+

Review:
My true rating is a strong 4.5/5.0 for the novel. This genre isn’t my normal taste, but I was approached to give a true and honest review. The author takes us on an adventure (make me think of Clue) on how and why members of a writing group are being murdered. 
Jordan, the protagonist, has a lot going on. His mother passed, his father is mourning and Jordan himself is dealing with all the emotions that come with losing a parent. 
An idea comes to his head, “does my mother’s death have anything to do with it?” He goes on the journey of solving the mystery. 
The story does give a very classic murder/mystery vibe, and I enjoyed it. It maintained my attention throughout the pose. 

The cover get a solid B+.


A great start to the series. I do recommend this novel to anyone who likes thriller/murder/mystery.

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MURDER ON THE ROCKS BOOK BLOG TOUR

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AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Do you have a pen name and why?

I write under the pen name J.S. Strange. It’s because of a few reasons. My name is Jack Strange, but there is already someone writing under that name. And that is their pen name! So basically, they stole my name! But that’s okay because they’re cool. So J.S. Strange was chosen. It is my first name, Jack, my middle name and my last name, Strange. I like writing under the pen name, as I feel it holds some weight.

What makes your writing unique compared to others in the genre?

I have a unique setting for Murder on the Rocks, and that’s Cardiff, Wales. There has been talking that people won’t want to read Welsh fiction, and that publishers won’t touch it. There are other Welsh setting novels out there, and Crime Cymru is champions of that Welsh fiction. It’s time Wales was put on the crime literature map because it’s a great setting and there are great stories to be told. Murder on the Rocks also features a gay male detective, in a bid to improve representation within the crime genre.

What made you choose this genre?

I had been writing horror novels. They were Winter Smith: London’s Burning, and Winter Smith: The Secrets of France. I hit a wall with that series, after originally planning three or four, and I needed to get out of my writing slump. I was a reader of crime and thriller fiction, so I set out to write one of my own. I ended up with a murder mystery novel.

What’s the story behind your book title?

My new book, out now, is called Murder on the Rocks. The name actually came from a misheard Fifth Harmony lyric! I had been writing about a writer that died from poison in whiskey. That whiskey was neat and poured over ice. Instead of whiskey on the rocks, I thought I’d play on words, and Murder on the Rocks became the name. I did find out that wasn’t what Fifth Harmony was singing, but I’m glad I misheard it that way!

What’s the basic plot of your book or series?

In Murder on the Rocks, Private Investigator Jordan Jenner has returned to work following the seemingly natural death of his mother. His first case back is that of a murdered writer, who has died in a prestigious writing group. Jordan begins to investigate, learning along the way his mother’s death is related. Murder on the Rocks is the first in the Jordan Jenner Mysteries series. I’m currently writing the second.

Which is your favorite character and why?

Jordan Jenner himself is my favorite character right now. He’s a complex man. He’s shy, misunderstood, sarcastic, blunt and hurting. He closes himself off from people without meaning to, because he’s worried about getting hurt, or trusting the wrong people. He can come across mean, but he’s not a nasty man. I like writing to him because he offers a lot.

How do you develop your characters?

I’m quite observant of people and their behaviors and personality in real life, so I use a lot of what I’ve seen in my writing. I also like writing backstory and like to invent situations as I write. I like to know their ages, who they’ve been with, what music they like, that sort of stuff. It helps make them real to me.

What advice would you give to someone wanting to write a book?

I’d say just do it. A lot of people say they have a book in them, but make excuses as to why they haven’t written anything. Just do it. Write down your ideas, write down the characters in your head, and don’t panic about how you’re writing and what you’re doing right or wrong. If you want to know how to do it, pick up some books, watch some tutorials, but just write and see what happens.

What are you working on now?

I’m currently writing book two of the Jordan Jenner Mysteries. I’m hoping it will be published at some point this year, but we’ll see. I might hit a dead end again with the curse of book two!


YOU CAN FIND J.S. STRANGE ON:

Publisher: https://www.pantherpubs.com

Website: https://www.jacksamstrange.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JackSamuelStrange

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/jsstrange

Twitter:  https://www.twitter.com/JackSamStrange

Book Trailer: https://www.mybook.to/MOTR

CLICK ON THE BOOK COVER ABOVE TO ORDER YOUR COPY OF MURDER ON THE ROCKS

Writing has shaped me

For years I wanted to write a piece that would motivate someone in any way possible. As many other individuals in their lives, I allowed my self doubts get in my way. Anytime that I had an idea for a story, I shrugged it off. I locked it away in the vault of my mind.

Am I good enough? What if no one reads what I wrote? Worst off, what if someone hates what I wrote? These are some of the self-damaging ideas that ran through my mind. There comes a point in your life when you need to stand up for yourself even if the villain in your story is you.

I always did well in school when I was a child, so I knew that I had talent; however, my grammar is not always perfect. I do make run-on sentences, and I still to this very day hate semi-colons. Should I have allowed these insignificancies stop me? The answer is always no.

One afternoon on a day off, I had the idea to write. I had no idea why I had the idea run through my head. There was a few moments when those pesky old insecurities came creeping back, and I started to doubt myself and my abilities. After a few minutes of mental torture, I said enough is enough. I picked up a pen, and I started to write. I wrote for hours and hours. At the end of the day, I examined my writing, and I wrote more than 10K words!!!

A very important lesson, that I have learned in the time that I started writing, is that the only person that gets in your way is you. We all need to love who we are, and we need to find the self-confidence in ourselves so that we can share the stories that we have. I truly believe that each and every story that one has in their minds will affect someone. Maybe that one person needs your story to get through a hard time. Maybe a young boy or girl is confused, and they read a story where the Main Character (MC) is going through a similar situation.

I have embraced who I am as a writer. No one is perfect. Not everyone will remember where the comma goes ( I really do hate commas). You will make mistakes. Someone will give you a bad review (I believe that you aren’t a true author till you get a bad review). And you will doubt your abilities, but you must get through the bad spot, the writer’s block. You will get through it. I know that writing has made me a much better person, and I love who I am. So should you. <3

Love,

Jacob