Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Character Interview: The Journalist from Kiran Bhat's we of the forsaken world

 
We’re thrilled to be talking to the journalist from Kiran Bhat's, we of the forsaken world.  It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character!

Thank you for your interview.  How old are you and what do you do for a living? I am 34. I am a journalist

Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features? I have high cheekbones. I look like my father in the face, and look like my mother in skintone. Whichever one makes me look more like a foreigner depends on who is looking at me.

What would I love the most about you? My sense of humor.

What would I hate the most about you? My sense of humor.

Where do you go when you are angry? I guess I go by the window and smoke. There isn’t much that pisses me off, I would have to admit. But, if I feel a little too self-conscious, I find a cigarette takes it out of me.

What makes you laugh out loud? I don’t think I laugh that way. People rarely talk about me as if I laugh at all.

What is in your refrigerator right now? I’m living away from home right now, renting a place in a suburb in the city my mother was born in, and honestly, I don’t have a fridge. I have to rely on outside food. It’s not so bad, to be honest. I’m finally gaining a little weight, which I thought I would never do.

What is your most treasured possession? I suppose my pants. They were gifted to me by one of the best journalists in the country. How I got them off of her, that’s a story for another day.

What is your greatest fear? That people will understand me someday, and I won’t know what to do.

What is the trait you most not like about yourself? I suppose my lack of dress style. It’s because my mother only thought about herself and her writing, and so she never took the time to dress me correctly. I try to cover it up by dressing all the time in black, but I wish I could care enough to make more effort.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately? Eh... I never got to speak, so I guess he told the truth as best as he could, using the voices around himself.

What is your idea of a perfect day? Sitting in bed, smoking, and reading a good novel.

What are three must haves when shopping at the grocery store? A lot of patience, a lot of appetite, and a lot of stamina.

I’m opening up your cabinet.  What foods do I see? I don’t keep much food in the house, so maybe some unused spices and olive oil, and some uncooked pasta.

If you could change one physical thing about yourself, what would that be? I know it’s going to make me sound self-hating, but my skin tone. If I could just change that one thing, I would look like everyone else in the city I was born in, and if that had been the case, I would have been so much happier growing up, and then so much happier as an adult.

Are you a loner or do you prefer to surround yourself with friends? A loner, no doubts.

Who is your best friend? A more charming version of myself.

Do you have children? No, and not thinking about it.

What is your favorite weather? Cloud and smoky, with a tad of sun.

What’s your idea of a perfect meal? One which doesn’t cause my stomach to get upset.

Someone is secretly in love with you.  Who is it and how do you feel about that? God, I don’t know. A lot of people write me in from the newspaper as admirers, but I don’t take them seriously. I supposed I was once in love, but she was six years older than me, and a foreigner, and it didn’t go anywhere. It wasn’t meant to.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? I suppose a poet, like my mother.

Do you like to cook?  If so, what is your favorite thing to cook? Nope, though people say I am surprisingly good at seafood.

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today? I would smoke as long as I need to, because frankly, I’ve always known death was coming, and hoping that when it would, it wouldn’t take too long.
About the Book:

Title: we of the forsaken world
Author: Kiran Bhat
Publisher: Iguana Books
Pages: 216
Genre: Metaphysical Fiction / Literary Fiction

The Internet has connected – and continues to connect – billions of people around the world, sometimes in surprising ways. In his sprawling new novel, we of the forsaken world, author Kiran Bhat has turned the fact of that once-unimaginable connectivity into a metaphor for life itself.

In, we of the forsaken world, Bhat follows the fortunes of 16 people who live in four distinct places on the planet. The gripping stories include those of a man’s journey to the birthplace of his mother, a tourist town destroyed by an industrial spill; a chief’s second son born in a nameless remote tribe, creating a scramble for succession as their jungles are destroyed by loggers; a homeless, one-armed woman living in a sprawling metropolis who sets out to take revenge on the men who trafficked her; and a milkmaid in a small village of shanty shacks connected only by a mud and concrete road who watches the girls she calls friends destroy her reputation.

Like modern communication networks, the stories in , we of the forsaken world connect along subtle lines, dispersing at the moments where another story is about to take place. Each story is a parable unto itself, but the tales also expand to engulf the lives of everyone who lives on planet Earth, at every second, everywhere.

As Bhat notes, his characters “largely live their own lives, deal with their own problems, and exist independently of the fact that they inhabit the same space. This becomes a parable of globalization, but in a literary text.”

Bhat continues:  “I wanted to imagine a globalism, but one that was bottom-to-top, and using globalism to imagine new terrains, for the sake of fiction, for the sake of humanity’s intellectual growth.”

“These are stories that could be directly ripped from our headlines. I think each of these stories is very much its own vignette, and each of these vignettes gives a lot of insight into human nature, as a whole.”

we of the forsaken world takes pride of place next to such notable literary works as David Mitchell’s CLOUD ATLAS, a finalist for the prestigious Man Booker Prize for 2004, and Mohsin Hamid’s EXIT WEST, which was listed by the New York Times as one of its Best Books of 2017

Bhat’s epic also stands comfortably with the works of contemporary visionaries such as Umberto Eco, Haruki Murakami, and Philip K. Dick.

Order Your Copy

Amazon → https://amzn.to/2DQIclm

Barnes & Noble → https://bit.ly/2Lqe9Fi

About the Author
Kiran Bhat was born in Jonesboro, Georgia to parents from villages in Dakshina Kannada, India. An avid world traveler, polyglot, and digital nomad, he has currently traveled to more than 130 countries, lived in 18 different places, and speaks 12 languages. He currently lives in Melbourne, Australia.

Website  → http://iguanabooks.ca/



Monday, October 28, 2019

Character Interview: Martin from Leonard Bassed’s, The Witch Port Video Game




We’re thrilled to be talking to Martin from Leonard Bassed’s, The Witch Port Video Game.  It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character!

Thank you for your interview, Martin.  How old are you and what do you do for a living?

I’m 16 years old and in my junior year at St Phillips Academy of Performing Arts, where I study performance art.

Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features?

I guess… I’m kinda good looking in an altar boy kind of way. I’m a pretty strait-laced sort. I take pride in my image as most kids in my school.

What would I love the most about you?

This isn’t bias at all [he jokes]. I’d have to say the trait you’d love most about me is my loyalty. I would literally walk through flames to protect the ones I love, and I’m also kind of magical these days, I’ve been told that’s a good thing, but the jury is still out on that one. 

What would I hate the most about you?

Lets just get it out there, you’d probably hate my fibbing that’s my one fatal flaw, that and well maybe my choice of friends, who are kind of responsible for getting us into this mess.

What makes you laugh out loud?

My best friends Mackenzie and Francesca are generally the cause of my laughter. Cameron, my brother on occasion has been known to make me laugh as well.


What is your greatest fear?

This question isn’t exactly as straightforward as I once thought. The world I inhabit is a much more frightening place than I ever imagined. I guess my greatest fear is ultimately not being able to protect my loved ones from the impending danger they face due to the evil we’ve let into our lives.


What is your idea of a perfect day?

My idea of a perfect day is one spent with my family and friends. We live in a small town so technically everyone feels like extended family until they arrived of course.


Are you a loner or do you prefer to surround yourself with friends?

I’m a wall flower compared to my brother Cameron, but I do enjoy an exciting social life or did enjoy one past tense. Nowadays I’ve taken up battling warlocks in my spare time.

Who is your best friend?

I have two best friends, as I mentioned earlier. Named Francesca and Mackenzie.


When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Since childhood my aspirations have been consistent, I hope to escape our quaint little town and make it big in the big apple. I hope to pursue a career in entertainment, singing and acting mostly.

About the Book:

Title: THE WITCH PORT VIDEO GAME
Author: Leonard Bassed
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 108
Genre: YA

BOOK BLURB:
Leonard Bassed had no plan to write a novel titled THE WITCH PORT VIDEO GAME when he set out to create a movie script with a similar name.  “I had written the pilot script first and I kept the same ending for the novel…everything from the script I wrote found its way into the finished book version of ‘The Witch Port Video Game,’ said writer-singer-actor Leonard Bassed.  “I was able to spend more time developing the characters and their world…the whole thing was just such an organic experience and extremely enjoyable, creative for me.”
THE WITCH PORT VIDEO GAME tells the story through the lives of three ordinary teens who live in the fictional town of Cradle Creek, USA – a small town they hope to one day escape, attracted by the bright lights and promise of the Big City.  All three are students at a prestigious performing art school with hopes of one day making names for themselves in the entertainment world.
Mr. Bassed continued about his story, “A chance encounter the three have with a girl named Bianca Morris threatens to derail their plans. Bianca introduces them to an enticing video game, ‘The Witch Port Video Game’.  This encounter, coupled with the arrival of the MacQuoid brothers sets in motion a series of bizarre events that spins their lives into chaos and disarray as the three head into a world of sorcery with an ultimate fight for survival.”
As a young boy growing up in South Africa, Leonard dreamed one day of working in the arts.  He wanted to write, to act, to sing.  While drawn to acting and song writing, he was also a good story teller.  “The auditions I would go out for as an actor were never reflective of the kinds of roles I was after to play. It was this realization that led me to writing the pilot script which I planned to pitch to TV and movie producers.  But, once I finished the script I’d grown too attached to the characters and the wonders of their world that ultimately led the script into the shape of a full novel,” he went on to say.
PRAISE
“While the book’s final moments leave us with a rather sudden, enigmatic ending, an end note does indicate a sequel Witch Port Igniting the Coven on the horizon. For those who enjoy the entertaining literary chemistry that results from inquisitive teens and their foray into the mysterious world of sorcery, Bassed’s venture should prove an intriguing reveal.”
--Pacific Book Review

“Filled with cheeky references to famous pop-culture stories of sorcery and mixed with some classic teenage angst, this book is a fast-paced, suspenseful story. The novel’s premise that some teenagers gain special powers through a video game is an updated, modern take on magic and suits the story quite well for a 21st-century setting. The author sets up the story mechanisms so that everything that happens through the students’ video game play also happens in real life. The author states that this novel was originally a screenplay, and those elements shine through, from the descriptive settings to the fast pace in which the action occurs on the page. It will be interesting to see how the protagonists grow with their powers in the sequel.”
--The U.S. Review of Books
Book can be purchased at the author’s web site at www.leonardbassed.com
About the Author


Writer-actor-singer Leonard Bassed was born in the town of Middleburg, Mpumalanga and raised in Johannesburg.  He started taking vocal lessons at age eight and studied drama throughout his high school years.  A mentor encouraged him to pursue an acting career.  Leonard went on to complete acting classes in both South Africa and later Los Angeles.  Currently, when not writing or singing, Leonard continues to study acting techniques with the renowned Margie Haber Studio in Hollywood. In his free time, he enjoys travel, reading and movie going.  His latest book is The Witch Port Video Game.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:


Facebook page for author: https://www.facebook.com/leobassed/
Twitter page for author: https://twitter.com/LeonardBassed

Friday, July 26, 2019

Character Interview: Harrison Stockton of The Desire Card by Lee Matthew Goldberg


We’re thrilled to be talking to Harrison Stockton from Lee Matthew Goldberg’s The Desire Card. It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character!

Thank you for your interview, Harrison.  How old are you and what do you do for a living?
I am 43 and I work on Wall Street in Mergers & Acquisitions

Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features?
Unfortunately now my gut – too much alcohol and pizza


What would I love the most about you?
I am tenacious – if I want something, I get it.

What would I hate the most about you?

Same thing, I’m super stubborn and refuse to take no for an answer

Where do you go when you are angry?

My dark place, childhood wasn’t so great so I try not to think about it

What makes you laugh out loud?

My wife Helene used to, we would laugh about nothing for hours

What is in your refrigerator right now?

A lot of take-out, we’re not a cooking family.

What is your most treasured possession?

The money I’ve made

What is your greatest fear?
Death or bankruptcy

What is the trait you most not like about yourself?
I’m overweight, I need to work out

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

Yup, warts and all

What is your idea of a perfect day?

Probably up in Hamptons on the beach, not thinking about work.

What are three must haves when shopping at the grocery store?

Beer, frozen pizza, ketchup.

I’m opening up your cabinet.  What foods do I see?

Beer, frozen pizza, ketchup

If you could change one physical thing about yourself, what would that be?

Lose weight

Are you a loner or do you prefer to surround yourself with friends?

A bit of a loner

Who is your best friend?

My wife, Helene

Do you have children?

Yes, Brenton and Gracie

What is your favorite weather?

Sun

What’s your idea of a perfect meal?

Steak, pretty rare

Someone is secretly in love with you.  Who is it and how do you feel about that?
I’m flattered. I’m not that easy to love.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Didn’t think about it much. I was just trying to survive childhood.

What is your most treasured possession?

Wealth

Do you like to cook?  If so, what is your favorite thing to cook?

Nope

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?

Read Lee’s book. That’s pretty much what it’s about.


About the Author

Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of SLOW DOWN and THE MENTOR (St. Martin’s Press), which was acquired by Macmillan Entertainment with the film in development. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the 2018 Prix du Polar. The first two books in a thriller series, THE DESIRE CARD and PREY NO MORE, are forthcoming from Fahrenheit Press in winter 2019. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in the anthology DIRTY BOULEVARD, The Millions, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, Essays & Fictions, The New Plains Review, and others. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series (guerrillalit.wordpress.com). He lives in New York City. Follow him at leematthewgoldberg.com and @LeeMatthewG.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK



About the Book:

Title: THE DESIRE CARD
Author: Lee Matthew Goldberg
Publisher: Fahrenheit Press
Pages: TBA
Genre: Crime/Suspense

BOOK BLURB:
Any wish fulfilled for the right price. That's the promise the Desire Card gives to its elite clients. But if the Card doesn’t feel like they’ve been justly compensated, the “price” will be more menacing than the clients could ever imagine.   

Harrison Stockton learns this lesson all too well. Harrison has lived an adult life of privilege and excess: a high-powered job on Wall Street along with a fondness for alcohol and pills, and a family he adores, yet has no time for. All of this comes crashing to a halt when he loses his executive job and discovers he has liver cirrhosis with mere months left to live.

After finding himself far down on the donor list, Harrison takes matters into his own hands. This decision sparks a gritty and gripping quest that takes him to the slums of Mumbai in search of a black market organ and forces him under the Desire Card’s thumb. When his moral descent threatens his wife and children, Harrison must decide whether to save himself at any cost, or do what’s right and put a stop to the Card.

THE DESIRE CARD is a taut international thriller that explores what a man will do to survive when money isn’t always enough to get everything he desires. It’s the first book in a series followed by PREY NO MORE that focuses on other people indebted to this sinister organization, where the actual price is the cost of one’s soul.

PRAISE:

"Careful what you wish for, especially from a nefarious shadow organization, in this gripping start to Lee Matthew Goldberg's fast-paced, highly compelling, buzz worthy new series. If you love characters morally compromised, richly drawn, and constantly surprising, you'll love THE DESIRE CARD. I burned through the first book and can't wait to get my hands on PREY NO MORE to see where this endlessly exciting story takes me next! Loved it!” - Daniel Palmer, critically acclaimed suspense author

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon



 

Thursday, July 11, 2019

Character Interview: Shaz of Realms of Edenocht Descendants and Heirs by DS Johnson


We’re thrilled to be talking to Shaz from DS Johnson’s, Realms of Edenocht Descendants and Heirs.  It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character!

Thank you for your interview, Shaz.  How old are you and what do you do for a living?
Thanks for having me, I’m very pleased to be here. Well I’m a War Wizard and I’m 305 years old, but I look like I’m about 22 years old in human years. A war wizard is an elemental magic user that has the ability to summon all of the elements of fire, water, air, and earth as well as the dark magic, which is, shadow magic and includes aggression, shadow warriors and necromancy. I also am highly adept at strategizing and combat and find ways to outsmart my opponent. I am highly skilled in hand
to hand combat and long-range weapons.

Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features?
I guess that would be my blond hair and blue eyes, in my world, that is a very rare trait to have, and the fact that I can shoot fire from my hands.

What would I love the most about you?
My energy, being that I have all the elements I appeal to everyone in some way, you might call it, my vibe, and I have been told that my blue eyes are magnificent to gaze into, deep and captivating, so I’ve been told.

Where do you go when you are angry?
Somewhere I can set something on fire or blow things up, either that or sparing with Riddick.

What makes you laugh out loud?
The Minca, Ladtwig and Turkill are so funny they say the funniest things that I just can’t help blurting out.

What is your greatest fear?
Succumbing to the shadow magic inside me and becoming an evil war wizard.

What is the trait you don’t like most about yourself?
The shadow magic and my lack of control sometimes. I also don’t like that I have to rely on Serin to heal me so much and that I drain her magic more than I should. I haven’t learned to heal yet, but I just don’t have the time with having to fight off the creatures and necromancers all the time. Serin says it’s not a big deal, and I do believe her, I just don’t like it.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?
I do, she and I have had many conversations, and I feel that she understands me the best of any person there is, other than Serin that is.

Are you a loner or do you prefer to surround yourself with friends?
I prefer to be with friends, but I don’t like large crowds so as long as it’s just the small group I know I can trust, that is where I am the most comfortable.

What is your favorite weather?
Rainy, I love it when Serin makes it rain, she’s a water element mage, that’s how she can heal me, is through the healing powers of the water element.  Anyway, the fresh smell of the wet dirt and the softness of the moisture on my skin and I love the power of the thunder and lightning. I am always hot with my heartfire being predominately heat, so the rain is a nice balance to the heat in my body. Plus, it means that Serin is near and she is my calming voice.

Do you like to cook?  If so, what is your favorite thing to cook?
I do like to cook, I’m not sure I have a favorite, I’m learning a bunch of new things now that I have mastered the fire element. I have gotten really good, however, at making roasted ribbard. They are these little rat-like birds that are really flavorful when skewered on a stick with these herbs Serin gathers.

About the Author

As a little girl, DS Johnson thought she was dumb. In the first, second, and third grades she was in the ‘Resource’ program or ‘Chapter 8’ as it is also called. Even though she was then put in the regular class, and she was such a young age when she had caught up with the other students, she knew within herself all too well by then, she was not a smart child. All the way through high school this girl struggled. She graduated with a glorious 2.9. Yes, it was heart breaking for those little numbers to reflect the great struggle and all the efforts she had put forth.

She went on to start beauty school, figuring she wasn’t college material. Suddenly, she learned that she wasn’t dumb after all. She was what is called a kinesthetic learner or ‘hands on’ learner. She LOVED it. She went on to do very well, for many years. Until, life got complicated. She had five children, a husband, and a disabled mother who now required constant care. While contemplating how to earn a little bit of extra income, now that doing hair wasn’t an option, a thought came to her.

‘Write a book’ it said.

She replied by looking around and with her finger pointing at herself, and said,
“Who me? I graduated high school with a 2.9 remember?”

The little thought came again, “Yes, you. Write a book.”

It so happened, that she told her younger sister a bedtime story almost every night as a child and had been telling her children nighttime stories for most of their lives, so she did. It took five years to learn from the internet, a few writing classes, some great blogs, a lot of practice, one very good editor and the awesome support of her family. But she did it. DS has a wonderful adaption of the intricately detailed structure of role playing games mixed with the vivid descriptions of the fantasy genre to create a unique world of elemental magic, wizards, sorcery and quest filled adventure unlike any adventure you have seen before.

Her latest book is the action adventure fantasy, Realms of Edenocht Descendants and Heirs.

Website: www.dsjohnsonbooks.com




About the Book:

Shaz, Edenocht's forbidden War Wizard, his elemental mage Serin and, miniature warriors, the Minca begin their unsurmountable task of securing the ancient artifacts, the Sev-Rin-Ac-Lava. Their first task of finding the sheath to the sword Shaz already has, takes them to the realm of their friends the Minca. The companions find themselves in a world torn open by earthquakes and melted earth as the evil Necromancer Semias Trevelis re-incarnates an ancient Runecaster to remake one of the ancient artifacts. The only hope in closing the torn and scorched realm is with the help of the two remaining descendants of the original mages of old, but Shaz doesn't even know about them, to begin with, let alone who they are or how to find them. Riddick, the Earth Sage, is deep in his own dilemma of figuring out his powers and the appearance of new Islands in the Turbulent Reef, is thrust from one realm to another until he meets back up with Shaz and the others. Can Shaz and his friends outsmart the cosmic powers at play and bring together the elements once again or will there be a ripple of desolation across the planet?

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble


Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Character Interview: Madeleine Toche of Wolves at Our Door by Soren Paul Petrek




We’re thrilled to be talking to Madeleine Toche from Soren Paul Petrek’s Wolves at Our Door.  It is a pleasure to have her with us today!

Thank you for your interview, Madeleine.   How old are you and what do you do for a living?

I’m 22 years old and I am an agent for the British Special Operations Executive.  I am French and therefore work under cover in my home country.  I target high ranking Nazi Gestapo and SS officers and I kill them.  I may be called an assassin, but like my deceased brother, I am a soldier.  If captured, I would be shot like so many of my brothers and sisters in the French military and Resistance.

Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features?

Like my mother, I’m considered attractive with dark features and dark brown eyes.  My heritage is a mixture of Algerian and French Provencal.  I love to wear my hair long.  It’s so curly that I can’t do much with it anyway.

What would I love the most about you?



If you’re my friend, I will do anything for you.  I am a loving and loyal person.

What would I hate the most about you?

I can come across as cold.  It takes me a while to warm up to new people.  I am also stubborn.

Where do you go when you are angry?

To a dark place inside me.  I first experienced it when I was raped by a Nazi SS officer.  I waited for the right time and killed him.

What makes you laugh out loud?

Simple things.  My family runs a restaurant, nothing fancy but good food and local wine.  When my brother and I were young we begged our parents to let us keep a stray dog.  To our surprise they agreed, but the dog jumped on the counter in the kitchen and stole scraps.  Eventually, he got so fat he couldn’t jump up to steal food anymore.  I think my father expected that to happen.  I can still see his face watching our dog try.  That silly grin makes me laugh out loud.

What is in your refrigerator right now?

I like to work with fresh meats and produce.  The best dishes are simple ones.  I always have onions and garlic, tomatoes and stock.  We eat what we serve at our restaurant and grow our own herbs.  I grew up by the sea, fish is essential.

What is your most treasured possession?

The crucifix that hung around my brother, Yves neck when he was killed during the Nazi invasion of France.

What is your greatest fear?


The death and torture of people that I love.

What is the trait you most not like about yourself?

That killing has become so easy for me.  I’m not the same person that I was.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

Yes, he provides a balance between my light and dark sides.

What is your idea of a perfect day?

A picnic in our back garden, with family friends and a bit of shade from the fierce Provencal sun.

What are three must haves when shopping at the grocery store?


Wine, cheese and fresh baguettes.

I’m opening up your cabinet.  What foods do I see?

I like to pickle things from our garden.  I love dill pickles and beets.  I could eat them all day.

If you could change one physical thing about yourself, what would that be?

I’m petite.  I think that I’d like to be an inch or two taller.

Are you a loner or do you prefer to surround yourself with friends?

I’ve spent so much time alone that I treasure being among the people I love.

Who is your best friend?

She was Gabrielle.  She and her toddler, Antoinette were burned alive by the Nazi SS during the mass murder of civilians at the village of Oradour-sur-Glane.

Do you have children?

Not now, but I love children. Before I became an assassin, I helped Jewish children escape from the Nazis as part of a local Resistance group.

What is your favorite weather?

Blue skies at the beach with a cooling breeze.

What’s your idea of a perfect meal?

Daube, a simple French beef stew, a hearty burgundy, and a crisp salad to finish.  I’d sneak in a big piece of chocolate torte too.

Someone is secretly in love with you.  Who is it and how do you feel about that?

Men look at me all of the time as a sex object.  The real me might terrify them.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?


I always wanted to stay and grow old at Chex Toche, our family restaurant.  It’s been open for more than two-hundred years.

What is your most treasured possession?

My wedding ring. It is very expensive and a gift from my husband’s father, a feared gangster who runs the London docks.  He refused to allow his son to follow in his footsteps.

Do you like to cook?  If so, what is your favorite thing to cook?


I am a professional cook.  Anything lamb is a treat and so easy to prepare.

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?

My mission is so dangerous that I expect to die every day.  In preparation I would destroy the largest Nazi headquarters that I could locate.  Nazis are evil.  Never forget that.

About the Author:

Soren Petrek is a practicing criminal trial attorney, admitted to the Minnesota Bar in 1991.  Married with two adult children, Soren continues to live and work in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Educated in the U.S., England and France Soren sat his O-level examinations at the Heathland School in Hounslow, London in 1981.  His undergraduate degree in Forestry is from the University of Minnesota, 1986.  His law degree is from William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota 1991.

Soren’s novel, Cold Lonely Courage won Fade In Magazine’s 2009 Award for Fiction.  Fade In was voted the nation’s favorite movie magazine by the Washington Post and the L.A. Times in 2011 and 2012.

The French edition of Cold Lonely Courage, Courage was published January 2019, by Encre Rouge Editions, distributed by Hachette Livre in 60 countries.  Soren’s contemporary novel, Tim will be released along with the rest of the books in the Madeleine Toche series of historical thrillers.
His latest book is the historical action adventure novel, Wolves at Our Door.

Website: https://www.sorenpetrek.com/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SPetrek_Toche44?lang=en
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/soren.petrek
BOOK BLURB:

The Allies and the Nazis are in a deadly race to develop the ultimate weapon while supersonic V-2 rockets rain down on London. Madeleine Toche and Berthold Hartmann, the German super assassin
who taught her to kill, search for the secret factory where Werner von Braun and his Gestapos masters use slave labor to build the weapons as the bodies of the innocent pile up. The Allied ground forces push towards Berlin while the German SS fight savagely for each inch of ground.

Finding the factory hidden beneath Mount Kohnstein, Hartmann contacts his old enemy, Winston Churchill and summons Madeleine to his side. While she moves to bring the mountain down on her enemies, Hartmann leads a daring escape from the dreaded Dora concentration camp to continue his revenge against the monsters who ruined his beloved Germany.

Together with the Russian Nachtlexen, the Night Witches, fearsome female pilots the race tightens as the United States and the Germans successfully carry out an atomic bomb test.
Germany installs an atom bomb in a V-2 pointed towards London, while the US delivers one to a forward base in the Pacific. The fate of the Second World War and the future of mankind hangs in the balance.

Read the first chapter at Booksie and don’t forget to give it a like!

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Monday, June 24, 2019

Character Interview: Cole Haufner of Michael Houtz's Dark Spiral Donw




We’re thrilled to be talking to Cole Haufner from Michael Houtz’s Dark Spiral Down. It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character!

Thank you for your interview, Cole how old are you and what do you do for a living?

Great to be here! I’m twenty-six-years old, and I am a professional mixed martial arts fighter.

Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features?

I have liquid blue eyes that are featured on numerous magazines. I’m about to land several major sponsorship contracts for advertising. Kind of embarrassing, but my manager says, “a guy has to eat.”

What is your most treasured possession?


A smooth, flat rock given to me when I was a young boy, by my uncle, Master Li, of the Shaolin Wulong Temple just outside of Dandong, China. It represents my youth spent living in China.

What is your greatest fear?

You see that played out throughout the book—Losing my family. It tears apart the very fabric of my existence. The pain and suffering changes who I am. Even all those years training as a monk can’t provide me the ability to cope with the loss. I’m not sure I like who I become, but I feel the justice I provide others is warranted. 

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

I believe he did. I love my family, and he portrayed my feelings well regarding that aspect of my life. The fight scenes were pretty cool, but he knows I don’t enjoy that activity outside of demonstrations and show. I wish he wouldn’t mention how women react when they see me. Guess I should collect some scars like the other fighters I’m surrounded by—but, I’m not one for letting others


Are you a loner or do you prefer to surround yourself with friends?

I enjoy time surrounded by my family and closest friends. More of an intimate setting. Large crowds get me all flustered which, unfortunately, is becoming a bigger problem as my fame grows. Growing up as a monk, I do need that solitary time to redirect my thoughts.

Who is your best friend?

Kip is my best friend. He’s my business manager, and he’s also a retired MMA fighter and now lawyer. He’s the biggest kid you’ve ever met. He’s almost my son’s Godfather—my wife’s idea since she’s Catholic to the core.

Do you have children?

The other love of my life, Max. He’s 16 months old and has had a tough go of things, but he’s a fighter. Has a heart defect that needs surgery—which is the only reason why I fight in the octagon. We need the money for his care. I find out later my wife knew she was pregnant and didn’t want to tell me about it until after my big fight. I love her and trust she did that for all the right reasons.

Someone is secretly in love with you.  Who is it and how do you feel about that?

After things go really wrong in the early part of the book, I meet a girl originally from London, Melody. She’s kind of trapped in this city in China trying to piece together her life. I force a bad situation that gets her into trouble, and I make a kneejerk reaction to get her out of town. I’m not comfortable with any of it, but I’m not that clueless I don’t see a spark there.

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?

Spend the day with my wife, son, and unborn child at their gravesite.

About the Author:

After a career in medicine, Mike Houtz succumbed to the call to hang up his stethoscope and pursue his other passion as a writer of fast-paced thrillers. A rabid fan of authors such as Clancy, Mark Greaney, Vince Flynn, and Brad Thor, Mike loves series writing with strong characters, fast pacing and international locations, all of which explode into action in his debut novel, a 2017 Zebulon Award winner. When not at the keyboard, he can be found on the firing range, traveling for research across the globe, or trying out the latest dry-fly pattern on a Gold Medal trout stream.
He lives at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado.

His latest book is the thriller/international/action novel, Dark Spiral Down.

Website: www.mikehoutz.com
Twitter: www.twitter.com/michaelhoutz
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/author.mikehoutz/
https://www.facebook.com/mike.houtz.77

BOOK BLURB:

COLE HAUFNER is a reluctant superstar in the professional mixed martial arts world. After his latest fight, his wife and child perish in a car crash. His grief deepens when his brother, BUTCH, a Delta Force operator, is absent from the funeral and reported missing by two furtive strangers who
show up unannounced at the burial. Despairing, and acting on a tip, Cole travels to his childhood home in southeast China, looking for his brother.

Butch and his teammate, HAMMER, are the sole American survivors of a gun battle between their unit and North Korean commandos, both sides fighting over possession of a stolen suitcase containing a miniaturized fusion device that could either provide unlimited clean energy or be converted to an undetectable bomb seven times more powerful than a nuclear explosion. Leading the North Koreans is the sociopath, Commander PARK. Pressed into helping the Koreans is a disgraced former CIA operative, BARRETT JENNINGS.

Cole meets with the uncle who raised him, MASTER LI, and is warned to stop his search for Butch. Barrett discovers Cole’s identity (with the help of a genius computer hacker, LILLY), which opens a twenty-year-old wound when Barrett was blamed for the disappearance of Cole’s father, along with the man’s invention. Barrett enlists the 14K organized crime syndicate to help capture Cole. Hammer, separated from Butch during the fight for the device, thwarts the gang’s attempt to kidnap Cole, and the two then set off to find Butch and the device. All parties converge on the city library where Butch, now disguised as a monk, is attempting to communicate with the Pentagon. Barrett and Park capture Butch, while the 14K gang nabs Cole.

Danger mounts as Chinese authorities begin investigating foul play within their borders. Cole fights his way free of the gang and reunites with Hammer.  Both men find Barrett’s apartment and discover Lilly (the man’s stepdaughter), who divulges Barrett’s identity and plan. Cole clashes with Hammer, who is willing to sacrifice Butch in order to recover the fusion device. Lilly offers her help in exchange for her and Barrett’s rescue from Park’s grip. Meanwhile, Barrett discovers the true nature of the case the North Koreans are pursuing and, sensing he and Lilly are to be assassinated by Park once he has the device, frees Butch. Butch, trusting Barrett was sent to rescue him, leads the turncoat to the site where he hid the device. Barrett, hoping to make a quick fortune selling it, shoots Butch before escaping with the case.

Cole, along with Hammer and Lilly, arrives at the location of Butch and finds him gravely wounded. Butch fingers Barrett for shooting him and for stealing the case. Cole wants only to save his brother but Butch makes him promise to kill Barrett and recover their dad’s invention. The revelation that the device is his father’s scientific discovery propels Cole forward to fulfill his brother’s mission. Cole is forced to abandon Butch at a hospital. Cole pursues Barrett to a remote dock where the ex-CIA man is planning to escape China by boat. With the Chinese military now actively looking for Cole, Cole confronts Barrett and Park sparking a gunfight. Barrett kills Park. As Barrett turns the gun on Cole, Hammer kills Barrett. Cole, Hammer and Lilly escape via the boat, and the fusion device is safely returned.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Character Interview: Bryce Decker of Tough Karma: A Race Against Time by Laura Simmons


We’re thrilled to be talking to Bryce Decker from Laura Simmons, Tough Karma: A Race Against Time.  It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character!

Thank you for your interview, Bryce.  How old are you and what do you do for a living?  

 I’m 38 years old and own a chain of Martial Arts Studios in the Washington, D.C. area.  I also teach martial arts classes twice a week.

Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features?   

I’m six feet three inches tall and have a shaved head. My shaved head would be my most
distinguishable feature.

What would I love the most about you?    

I’m a man of my word.

What would I hate the most about you?   

I can go to great lengths to get even with someone who has wronged me or my loved ones.

Where do you go when you are angry?   

My basement to work out my frustrations; it’s an extra gym session.

What makes you laugh out loud?   

Ron White, one of the comedians on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour.

What is your greatest fear?   

Losing Amber, she’s the love of my life.

What is the trait you most not like about yourself?  

 There isn’t a particular trait I don’t like; however, there are parts of my past I’m not proud of.  I was involved in an underground gambling club and would rough people up who didn’t pay their debts. Also, I referred people to hitmen when they needed a job done.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?   

Yes. I told her exactly what to write about me.

What are three must haves when shopping at the grocery store?   

Grass-fed beef, cage-free eggs, and spinach.

About the Author

Laura Simmons grew up in northern Virginia and spent most of her career working for various Department of Defense contractors in the Washington, DC area. She has a fascination with all things metaphysical. She enjoys writing, jigsaw puzzles, adult coloring books, vacationing at the beach with her husband, and studying tarot cards and other types of divination systems.





About the Book:

Title: TOUGH KARMA: A RACE AGAINST TIME
Author: Laura Simmens
Publisher: Outskirts Press
Pages: 224
Genre: Paranormal Romance

BOOK BLURB:
Astral travel and a deadly secret make for a gripping paranormal romance from start to finish.

Amber Macklin's world is cruelly shattered when she loses her baby girl three months after her husband's sudden death. Her cousin, Bryce, comes to her rescue, moving her into his home for fear she will kill herself from the grief. He provides solace and a shoulder to cry on, and he has loved her as more than a cousin for a long time. Amber and Bryce soon discover they are not blood relatives, which opens the door for romance as he pulls her through her darkest hours. When Mike, a college friend of Bryce's, stops by to visit, Amber senses a deadly secret behind his nice guy persona. She has a frightening dream that Mike is trying to kill her and recurring sleepwalking episodes where she draws detailed pictures of him torturing her. Deeply troubled, Bryce uses his ability to astral travel to investigate Mike and uncover his terrifying past. Mike has had his eye on Amber for some time, and when he learns that Bryce and Amber have become lovers, he is furious. Mike abducts Amber and takes her to his rural Georgia hideaway, and Bryce must rely on his astral abilities to track her down. But will he be too late? 

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