Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Character Interview: Charles Hastings of Rob Kaufman's A Broken Reality




We’re thrilled to be talking to Charles Hastings from Rob Kaufman’s, A Broken Reality.  It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character!

Thank you for your interview, Charles.  How old are you and what do you do for a living?
Hi. I’m thirty-three years old and I work for a technology company that sends me out to people’s homes so I can fix their computers, laptops, tablets and whatnot.

Can you tell us about one of your most distinguishable features?
I’m great at outsmarting people. Most people think I’m “ordinary”, little do they know there’s a lot more to me than meets the eye. And actually, I like to keep it that way.

What would I love the most about you?
I think you’d love the fact that I never intentionally try to hurt anyone. Of course, if someone does something to me or tries to con me in any way, I need to take action, but deep down, I’m a good person.

What would I hate the most about you?
You might hate that I do whatever it takes to protect myself and prove others wrong… and I mean “whatever it takes”.

Where do you go when you are angry?
I go to the shed, way in the back of my home’s backyard and look at all my “souvenirs” of past guests. I also like to clean my gun that I keep hidden back there. For some reason, doing those things takes a little of the edge off my anger.

What makes you laugh out loud?
Fooling people and watching them fall into my traps. People’s stupidity and ignorance is one of the funniest things on the planet.


What is in your refrigerator right now?
Half a bottle of Cherry Gatorade, leftover chicken and broccoli I brought home last night, a giant bottle of Cherry Coke, old, wilted lettuce, a half-filled bottle of Heinz pickles from last year sometime. But I have lots of stuff in the freezer, like frozen French fries and tater tots (Ore-Ida are my favorite), ice cream sandwiches and like ten frozen TV dinners.


What is your most treasured possession?
Danny’s coat.


What is your greatest fear?
That Daddy will come back to haunt me one day – not only in my dreams, like he does now, but in real life, like when I’m watching TV or at someone’s house fixing their hard drive or something.

What is the trait you most not like about yourself?
Sometimes I think I’m too nice. Everyone might think different, cause of some of the things I do, but I think I’m too nice. Yeah, that’s it. I’m too nice.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?
Sometimes he did, sometimes he didn’t. There were times when he made me look like I was doing something wrong or trying to hurt people. But that’s not the case… not the case at all. I treat everyone with respect until they do something wrong or try to destroy my plan. It takes me a long time to put my plans into action and when someone screws them up, they have to pay. There were times when Kaufman made me sound a little crazy. I didn’t like that… and I’ll tell you now, he won’t like the fact that I didn’t like it.

What are three must haves when shopping at the grocery store?
Tater-tots, ketchup and potato chips – the crunchy ones with those ridges, not those dainty, thin ones. Those are like eating paper.

If you could change one physical thing about yourself, what would that be?
I’m a little overweight. Not a lot, but I could stand to lose about fifteen pounds. Then I’d be close to perfect.

Are you a loner or do you prefer to surround yourself with friends?
I don’t really have any friends. That’s on purpose. I don’t like people. They don’t understand me. I’d rather be by myself or hang out with my special guests.


Who is your best friend?
Danny was my best friend. But not anymore.

What is your favorite weather?
I like rainy days. Hot, cold. It doesn’t matter. I like when it rains hard and I can barely see across the street from my living room window. It brings me back to the day I left home. Left home for good. Makes me feel proud. Rain makes me feel proud.

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I never thought about being something… just about getting away from Daddy and his stink. I dreamed about getting away. It didn’t matter what I did, as long as I was away from that place. That’s all that mattered.

If you knew you were going to die tomorrow, what would you do today?
Walk into the forest and visit Danny.

About the Author


As a child, Rob Kaufman was always fascinated by the stories recited by those around him and the words used to tell them. As he got older, his need to tell his own stories grew, as did his ability to share them in exciting and captivating ways.

However, he wanted to share more than just stories. His primary desire was to create characters with whom people could relate, while at the same time bringing them through a journey from which most would crumble.

His degree in Psychology was the first step toward getting beneath the surface of the people in his life. What followed was a lifelong search for what makes people tick – what forces them to become evil when deep down in their heart of hearts, they are yearning for love. Rob’s characters walk this search with him, deep into the human psyche, creating psychological thrillers from every day events.

Rob’s second book “One Last Lie" continues to receive great praise and is selling well in both electronic and paperback formats. His current book, “A Broken Reality” is much darker than his first, with characters who hold bits and pieces of strangers he’s known, friends he’s had and personal tragedy he’s lived through.

“This book hits home for me,” says Rob. “There were a few pages that made me laugh out loud as I wrote them... and many that made me cry. And the great thing is, I’m finding that many readers of this book are experiencing the same emotions.”

Through social and other media, Rob hopes to get “A Broken Reality” into the hands of millions, so that they, too, can experience the ups, downs, twists, turns and final tragedy that has helped make this book a Five-Star contender.
Website Address: www.AuthorRobKaufman.com
Twitter Address: @RobKaufmanCT


About the Book:

Title: A BROKEN REALITY
Author: Rob Kaufman
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 320
Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Psychological Thriller

BOOK BLURB:
On a fateful night in the dead of winter, an unimaginable tragedy changes the lives of two families forever. How will they manage to deal with reality while stopping the sociopath who is pushing them toward the edge of sanity?

Ten-year-old, Danny Madsen, has been missing for four days when Jesse Carlton begins his own search for his godson on a frigid, snowy night. Driving along a deserted rural road, Jesse hits a stretch of black ice at the same time Danny appears from the thicket. Unable to control the car, Jesse slams into the boy and watches helplessly as Danny's body flies back into the dark brush.

When Jesse regains consciousness, he has no recollection of how he and his car wound up in a ditch. However, there's a witness: Charles Hastings, the sociopathic kidnapper who chased Danny through the brush and into the path of Jesse's car.

Hastings takes this chance to set up Jesse so he'll take the fall for both Danny's disappearance and death. And so the mind games begin--an onslaught of psychological manipulation that devastates Jesse, his wife, Danny's parents and the cops' investigation. Inexplicably, the torment continues even after the primary suspect is killed and the rollercoaster of emotions and confusion seems never-ending until the final and devastating truth is revealed.

If you like gripping, suspenseful page-turners that keep you on the edge of your seat until the very end, this is a must read!

{Character Interview} Buster of The Sheltering Palms by Preston Howard





We’re thrilled to be talking to Buster from Preston Howard’s book, The Sheltering Palms.  It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character!

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

Well, I’m actually dead now, so it’s amazing that I am conducting this interview. I passed in 1972 from successive strokes. When alive, I was an attorney, what many people would call a “country lawyer” who wore suspenders, plaited pants, starched shirts, and quoted from famous philosophers like Socrates and from the bible.

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

My grandson Preston-----boy, he can sure write a great novel-----described my aqua blue eyes that would twinkle when I told a joke, my sonorous voice, my erect posture, slightly jutting jaw, and  great head of brown hair. Speaking of hair, Preston makes several jibes about Texas Governor Rick Perry’s hair…pretty damned funny if you ask me. Then of course there’s my Panama hat with the red and blue hat band, which weaves its way through the story as well.

What would I love the most about you?

I have a hell of a sense of humor and can tell yarns with the best of them. Some of my best stories revolve around my legal career, like the time I represented a bootlegger who was my personal alcohol-provided during Prohibition. Damn that sheriff for arresting him!

What would I hate the most about you? 

I like to drink a bit…no back that a whole bunch. Preston described me as a bourbon-swilling grandpa and there was a reason for that label. Also, I like to slink off to the hinterlands by myself much to my wife Anne’s displeasure; what I do during those times, well, that’s my own business.

What makes you laugh out loud? 

Anytime I tell a funny story that makes other people laugh, that’s a good day for me. And when someone tells me something hilarious, I enjoy laughing along as well, like so many of Preston’s yarns which are so sidesplitting that I sometimes have to stop reading for a bit until I calm down.

What is your most treasured possession? 

I have a Zippo lighter with an Army artillery insignia on the side that I carried with me during World War I when I fought under my hero Captain Harry Truman during the battle in the Argonne Forest and other campaigns. I would have followed “Give ‘em Hell Harry” anywhere; he was a truly great man and President, only Democrat I every voted for!

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately? 

Preston portrayed me a little too well if you ask me. I would have preferred that he didn’t talk so much about me being a sot or my on and off relationship with my wife Anne, but as Gertrude Stein used to say, “A rose is a rose is a rose etc.”

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

Once I am certain there’s 100 proof bourbon in the liquor cabinet, then all I care about are fresh oranges, lemons, Coke, and Ginger Ale. When I get home, my only interest is making the Tazewell Long Drink, which Preston describes so perfectly in the book. It is the ultimate cocktail, no other like in the world. As far as food for dinner, whatever the gals cook up, I’ll gobble it up with no complaint.

Who is your best friend? 

My best friend is a fellow lawyer over in Lafollette, Tennessee by the name of Boyce Griffin. Boyce and I worked a number of cases together, were heavily involved in east Tennessee politics, and were drinkin’ buddies. This one time we exchanged letters back and forth about who to support for a chancery judgeship; and I concluded my letter by reminding him of the recent case of Kivett versus Mason that ruled the Chancellor doesn’t have to be a lawyer, or have education, intelligence, or morals. I told Boyce, “We might even nominate you.”

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

I learned to play the piano at a young age and by the time I was an adult, pretty damn good on the ivories. My goal in life was to become a piano player in a swing band, and I would have been successful at it. But my dad disabused me of this idea and convinced me to join his law practice. Lawyerin’ was an honorable enough profession, but I always felt like it wasn’t what I envisioned for myself. In the book, I urge Preston to follow his heart, and not what others expect of him.

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

Easy answer: drink about four of those Tazewell Long Drinks, chain smoke all day, and then sit down at my grand piano and pound out every blues song on my play list, finishing up with “Down Among the Sheltering Palms.” When I die the next day, maybe I’ll find out what’s on the other side.


About the Author


Preston Howard spent his entire career working on behalf of police officers, representing them under adverse circumstances, negotiating contracts to improve officers’ benefits and working conditions, and training police union officials in the art of leadership. He has written numerous books and lectured not only in this country but abroad as well.
His latest book is the fictional autobiography/historical fiction/satire, The Sheltering Palms.
Website Address:  http://www.prestonhowardauthor.com   
Facebook Address: Preston Howard - Author

About the Book:

Title: THE SHELTERING PALMS
Author:
Preston Howard
Publisher:
Preston Howard Press
Pages: 519
Genre:
Fictional Autobiography/Historical Fiction/Satire

BOOK BLURB:
Renowned police labor lawyer, Preston Howard, reached a watershed in his life—a forced retirement from the firm he built from the ground up and a cancer diagnosis. These two events made him take a step back and reflect over a life that had at times been hilarious, irreverent, self-mocking, eerie and even a bit, make that, quite lewd.
A family of unique characters guided the lawyer’s formative years: a bourbon-swilling, brilliant yet flawed grandfather who mentored the young lad in matters of religion, politics and the quest for knowledge; a psychic mother; an oversexed nanny; an aunt and uncle who fought on the front lines of integration; and a fire-balling uncle who got his fifteen minutes of fame in The Show.
Preston Howard first made his mark as a crime-fighting attorney representing the Tucson Police Department. Then he spent over forty illustrious years as a labor lawyer working with police officers and union leaders and handling the gamut of fascinating, high-profile cases across the country and even in other countries.
His many tall yarns might be viewed by some with the greatest suspicion, but his story-telling is undeniably first-class, witty, and absorbing.

PRAISE:
“The best book I’ve ever read about lawyers, cops, and unions.” Bob Helpert, Tucson, Arizona

ORDER YOUR COPY:





 


Friday, November 16, 2018

{Character Interview} Fyrndagas Underdel Dearth the Third of John Paul Tucker's Shelter Island


We’re thrilled to be talking to Fyrndagas Underdel Dearth the Third from John Paul Tucker’s, Shelter Island, Vol. 1 of The Song of Fridorfold.  It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character!

Thank you for your interview Fyrndagas…

You may dispense with the title. I am commonly referred to as Dearth, or Ghost of the Underworld by my enemies, which are plentiful enough.

How old are you, Dearth, and what do you do for a living?

It is for questions such as these I tried in vain to dissuade the author from subjecting me. I am older than you would believe, and am living well and long enough to answer such foolish questions.

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

I am an Underdel, to be distinguished from the rather talkative and skittish Underdens. Plainly, to your kind, I am a rat. Not of the figurative type, of which there are many, but a creature with claws, sharp teeth and two blades crossed upon my back if tooth and claw do not suffice. This is the first and shall be the last time you will hear the pejorative three-lettered term, at least in my presence. Whatever you choose to use among your fellow Earth-dwellers is not my concern.

What would I love the most about you?

Very little, unless of course, you are backed into a dark corner, whose only means of escape is through a snake’s gullet. I can enter any stronghold I choose, confiscate what I require, and leave at my own convenience, skills which the Guardian of Husgard calls on regularly.

What would I hate the most about you?

I am smarter than you, quicker to enter a fray, more likely to survive, and have covered more territory than any folc of fur or feather on the Fragile Lands and Shelter Island — has the interrogation come to an end?
 
What is the trait you most not like about yourself?

I am too patient with foolish questions.

Where do you go when you are angry?

Underground.

What is in your refrigerator right now?

Whatever I found in yours — I will permit one last imposition.

What is your most treasured possession?

Ah! Better. The Hope and Song of Fridorfold.

If you could change one physical thing about yourself, what would that be? Wait. Don’t leave. Do you think the author portrayed you accurately? Who is your best friend?

I am afraid our guest has left the building — through an air duct. That concludes our interview with Fyrndagas Underdel Dearth — the Third, the Ghost of the Underworld.


About the Author

John Paul Tucker holds degrees in Theatre and Theology and has many years experience as an Ontario Certified English Language Teacher, in addition to teaching mime, puppetry and Drama to teens and children. His unique journey has furnished him with an eclectic head of ideas.
                            
He is currently celebrating his 50th article on www.thewriterslessonbook.com, an educational website he created for writers, featuring writing tips and techniques harvested from the books we love to read. He has published poems in the Toronto Sun, Little Trinity Print Magazine and Imago Arts e-magazine. His poem City Sidewalks won first prize in a Toronto wide poetry contest. Two of his short stories, The Crooked Tree and The Debt Collector have each won a prize awarded by The Word Guild and The Prescott Journal respectively. You will find one of his fantasy stories recently published in the popular Hot Apple Cider anthology Christmas with Hot Apple Cider. JP has been busy polishing up The Rooster and the Raven King & The Rise of the Crimson King, Books II & III of The Song of Fridorfold trilogy, pursuing Cary, Clarisse and Gregory on their fantastic adventures.

John Paul is excited to be putting the final touches to his fourth novel, a YA fantasy inspired by the remarkable storyteller, George MacDonald. Gather the latest news about JP’s upcoming novels, enjoy a book trailer, dive into some free stories and poems, contribute some art work, take a peek at some photos, or for no other reason drop by to say hello at his official author website www.johnpaultucker.com.

John’s latest book is the middle grade fantasy adventure, Shelter Island.




About the Book:

Title: SHELTER ISLAND
Author: John Paul Tucker
Publisher: Brownridge Publishing
Pages: 224
Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Adventure

BOOK BLURB:
Thirteen-year-old Cary and his sister Clarisse must return home every day after school to mind their eight year old brother, Gregory. “It’s a non-negotiable,” insist their work-obsessed parents. There is another problem. Clarisse and Gregory don’t like Cary much, and Cary doesn’t much like anything, especially being tagged with his gummy-fingered little brother. But their troubles are about to grow talons.

While bickering over the contents of a small, intricately embroidered pouch, the siblings unintentionally summon three mail-clad birds, who hasten their three young conscripts to Shelter Island, refuge to a long divided realm hidden from the children’s homeland for hundreds of years. Spotted above enemy territory, the small company is attacked. Clarisse and Gregory escape to the caves of Husgard. Cary’s captors dispatch him to Vangorfold, a centuries old stronghold sworn to Husgard’s destruction. Entangled in a centuries old conflict, the children’s own blur of problems comes into sharp focus, hastening the fortunes, for good or ill, not only of a forgotten civilization of birds, but of the children’s homeland.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

{Character Interview} Jenna Jones of Sheila Roberts' 'Winter at the Beach'



We’re thrilled to be talking to Jenna Jones from Sheila Roberts’ Winter at the Beach. It is a pleasure to have her with us today at Pimp That Character!

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

 I turned forty last spring. And guess what I got for my birthday? A divorce. Sigh. But, like they say, living well is the best revenge. I now live in Moonlight Harbor, a charming beach town on the Washington coast and I’m running a vintage motel, the Driftwood Inn, for my Aunt Edie. My daughter and I live with her in her house next to the motel, along with Jolly Roger the parrot.

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

Distinguishable? Do hair highlights count? Probably not.

What would I love the most about you?

My determination. I think I’ve done a pretty good job of carving out a new life for myself and I’m proud of the renovations I did on the Driftwood. And I like to think I’ve got a pretty good sense of humor. When you’re in the hospitality business you need one.

What would I hate the most about you?

Nothing, I hope!

Where do you go when you are angry?

To the beach. There’s nothing like a walk on the beach to help a woman sort out her feelings.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

Yes, I do, especially considering the fact that she’s never had to go through a divorce.

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

Chocolate, of course. And plenty of baking supplies. My Aunt Edie loves to bake, which makes my taste buds very happy. My hips, not so much. If I don’t stop eating her cookies I won’t need a car. I’ll be able to just roll myself down the street.


Who is your best friend?

I have great friends, but I’ve got to say my best friend is my sister Celeste. She’ll be joining me at the beach in December for my Seaside with Santa festival. Celeste never misses a party!

What is your favorite weather?

Sunny and warm. There’s no place like the beach on a sunny summer day.


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

Actually, I have two men in my life, and neither one is making a secret of the fact that he wants me. They’re both gorgeous and fabulous. But, my cheating ex-husband left me more than a little leery of jumping into love again. My mom keeps encouraging me not to give up on love. Maybe, down the road, I’ll be able to take her advice.

About the Author

USA Today best-selling author Sheila Roberts has seen over fifty books, both fiction and non-fiction in print. Her novels have appeared in many different languages and been made into movies for both the Lifetime and Hallmark Channels. She writes about things near and dear to women’s hearts – love, friendship, family and chocolate.

Her latest book is the women’s fiction, Winter at the Beach.





About the Book:

Jenna Jones, manager of the Driftwood Inn, a vintage motel in the Washington beach town of Moonlight Harbor, is convinced that a winter festival would be a great way to draw visitors (and tourist business) to town during those off-season months. Everyone in the local chamber of
commerce is on board with her Seaside with Santa festival idea except one naysayer, local sour lemon, Susan Frank, who owns a women’s clothing boutique in town. The beach gets hit with storms in the winter, no one will come, too close to Christmas. Blah, blah. What does Susan know?

It turns out that Susan knows a lot. A big storm hits during the weekend of the festival, wreaking havoc with the parade and producing power outages all over town. Including at the Driftwood Inn.

Jenna finds herself with a motel filled with people, all with no power. What to do? Enlist the help of friends, of course. Her friends take in many of the stranded visitors, and Jenna and her Aunt Edie take in the others, stuffing them into Aunt Edie’s house next door to the Driftwood.

All the guests come with their own unique stories. The last thing Taylor Marsh wanted was a getaway with her husband. His refusal to give up on his dying business is taking them down financially and killing their marriage. But her sister Sarah (she who has her financial act together and never lets her sister forget it) insists this will be fun for both their families. It will only be fun for Taylor if her husband gets eaten by a giant squid. Then there’s Darrel Wilson, who planned the perfect anniversary getaway for his wife, who’s been undergoing chemo. So much for the perfect anniversary. And the sisters, Lisa and Karen, who can’t seem to go on a sister outing without it turning into a Lucy and Ethel adventure. Unlikely roommates, all of them. But perhaps each one has a valuable lesson to share with the others. And perhaps, what looked like a disaster will prove to be the best holiday adventure of all. 

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

{Character Interview} Shawn Kleiner of Laura Vosika's The Water is Wide





We’re thrilled to be talking to Shawn Kleiner from Laura Vosika’s The Water is Wide. It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character!

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

26. But I’ll tell you, 26 in 1315 feels a whole lot older—I’m talking wise, mature—than 26 in my past—by which I mean the twenty-first century.

What do I do? In my past life—in your time—I was an entertainer. Yeah, fabulously wealthy and I thought pretty highly of myself. Hey, in my defense, so did plenty of other people. Especially women and the people making money off me.

Now, 1315, 1316—I fight for the Bruce. I raid England with James Douglas. Yeah, I know, raiding, burning, looting churches which for some reason Douglas always makes me do—I know that’s meant to be awful. But you gotta know what was going on before you judge.

Oh, and I save Niall’s neck. A lot. I had to haul him out of Chez MacDougall right under the shadow of the gallows they were building for him and now this little jaunt to Jura—he’s got this thing about water. Me—I love it! He was kind of pissy about me getting him out of it. Ungrateful lunkhead if you ask me. Yeah, that’s what I do.

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

Besides my ego? Confidence? Oh, you mean things you can see? Tall? Good-looking? Auburn hair. Long red-gold hair. The ladies love it. It was my trademark.

What would I love the most about you?

The most? [Laughs] What’s not to love?

Look—all jesting—I mean kidding—aside. I had my faults. Okay, I had lots of faults. But I had some redeeming qualities even then. Like—I’m generous. Even the people who hated me the most in the twenty-first century (and yeah, there were plenty vying for that title) had to admit I was really generous. And pretty damn funny, too. I threw the best parties.

What is your most treasured possession?

I might have once said my trombone. I mean—I make my living with it. But more than that, to be able to make music—it’s like flying, leaving all the misery of life below while you soar. Know what I mean?

I might have said my house. A mansion with floor to ceiling windows on either side of a two-story fireplace and acres of granite counters in the kitchen, on twenty acres with a stream and a little waterfall.

But now—possessions don’t seem to matter much. Like—I don’t actually own anything here. A gold chain the Bruce gave me. And the pony for winning that joust. [laughs] Yeah, I kind of love that pony. Which is funny because I hated horses.

But mostly—it’s people that matter now. The things we do together and surviving and working together.


What is your idea of a perfect day?

Any day in which I don’t end up dead.

My answer would have once been, a day with a great sold out performance, money pouring in, filet mignon, fine wine, satin sheets, and a beautiful woman.

Funny how our views change, isn’t it? Fighting with the Bruce, raiding with Douglas, being on the front line at Bannockburn with twenty thousand medieval knights charging you, being swiped across the middle by one of their blades—yeah, any day where I go to bed still alive is a perfect day now.

Hawking and riding with Niall, Allene, Hugh, Christina—that’s a pretty sweet day, too. Even if I did totally humiliate myself with that stupid bird in front of Christina. [laughs] Okay, maybe it was a little bit funny. In retrospect. The shock on her face—now that was funny!

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

[spreads arms, turns, showing off] This? Why would I want change this? Well, okay, I’d get rid of the scar left by the knight’s sword. Medieval medical care isn’t exactly Beverly Hills plastic surgery. [snorts] Guess I should be grateful to be alive.

Who is your best friend?

Okay, I hate the sappy questions. I hate them. But let’s get real for a minute. Niall. He’s a stick in the mud, all about faith and Mr. Purity and Duty and crap. I’m always having to save his neck and step in for him and the one time he had to give me a hand, he never lets me forget.

But—yeah, he’s the best friend I ever had. I hate to admit it—and so does he—but in some ways we’re kind of alike. And—well, he did haul my two halves off that battlefield. I’ve never had anyone I knew who would put themselves on the line for me the way I know he will.

Do you have children?

Yeah. [stares at ground] Yeah, Amy was pregnant when I left. You know, I thought once—I’m not the father type. Life is about having fun. And now—now what I want most is to tell Amy I’m sorry and to see our child.

I even prayed. Told God, hey, look, I set Niall straight about you. Told him you’re all about love, so send me back. I learned my lesson. And—well, here I am. It’s still 1315.

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

It’s not really all that secret. But it’s not like we’ve ever say anything out loud. [stares out the window for a minute and speaks softly.] Christina. [looks up.] How do I feel? [laughs, shakes head] Confused!

One—I’m trying to get back to Amy. I swore this time I was going to be faithful to her. Even in my heart. And I never did anything but kiss Christina’s fingers which is really just a social convention here. Then again, so is keeping your barbet on in front of men. And there she was with her hair uncovered....

Never mind. Two—Confused. I teased Amy mercilessly about her ‘Victorian’ attitudes. And now I’m in love with someone who’s light years away from being even that up to date? I don’t get it.


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

Dying tomorrow—or even today—is a very real prospect in 1315. Given my choice—I’d tell Amy I’m sorry. Really, really sorry. I’d tell her I’d do anything to make it up to her, all the crappy, lousy things I did. The way I got other people to lie and cover for me and play mind games with her, till she doubted her own senses.

But the truth is, I’m stuck here in 1315. What I’ll do today is probably save Niall’s medieval heiny. Again. I don’t mean to brag, but man, he’s lucky to have me around.

twitter: www.twitter.com/lauravosika
About the Author

Laura Vosika is a writer, poet, and musician. Her time travel series, The Blue Bells Chronicles, set in modern and medieval Scotland, has garnered praise and comparisons to writers as diverse as Diana Gabaldon and Dostoevsky. Her poetry has been published in The Moccasin and The Martin Lake Journal 2017.

She has been featured in newspapers, on radio, and TV, has spoken for regional book events, and hosted the radio program Books and Brews. She currently teaches writing at Minneapolis Community and Technical College.

As a musician, Laura has performed as on trombone, flute, and harp, in orchestras, and big bands. She lives in Brooklyn park with 5 of her 9 children, 3 cats, and an Irish Wolfhound.

Her latest book is the time travel/historical fiction, The Water is Wide.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK



About the Book:

Title: THE WATER IS WIDE
Author: Laura Vosika
Publisher: Gabriel’s Horn Press
Pages: 451
Genre: Time Travel/Historical Fiction

BOOK BLURB:

After his failure to escape back to his own time, Shawn is sent with Niall on the Bruce’s business. They criss-cross Scotland and northern England, working for the Bruce and James Douglas, as they seek ways to get Shawn home to Amy and his own time.

Returning from the Bruce’s business, to Glenmirril, Shawn finally meets the mysterious Christina. Despite his vow to finally be faithful to Amy, his feelings for Christina grow. 

In modern Scotland, having already told Angus she’s pregnant, Amy must now tell him Shawn is alive and well—in medieval Scotland. Together, they seek a way to bring him back across time.
They are pursued by Simon Beaumont, esteemed knight in the service of King Edward, has also passed between times. Having learned that Amy’s son will kill him—he seeks to kill the infant James first.

The book concludes with MacDougall’s attack on Glenmirril, Amy and Angus’s race to be there and Shawn’s attempt to reach the mysterious tower through the battling armies.

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Wednesday, October 10, 2018

{Character Interview} Rick Sheridan of Morgan Malone's Taking Control: Rick's Story



We’re thrilled to be talking to Rick Sheridan from Morgan Malone’s Taking Control: Rick’s Story.  It is a pleasure to have Rick with us today at Pimp That Character!

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

I just turned 51 on the Fourth of July. I am former Marine and I write screenplays and consult on the military aspects of movies and television shows.

What would I love the most about you?

I can be trusted.

What would I hate the most about you?

That I can’t trust you…or pretty much anyone.

Where do you go when you are angry?

I leave. Into the ocean, into my MG, into the wind sometimes. I don’t like to lose control of my temper so the best thing I’ve found, when I can avoid a fight, is to remove myself from the situation.

What makes you laugh out loud?

The antics of the huge yellow Labrador Retriever that’s living next door to me right now. Alex is part fish, part Major League outfielder and part warrior, with a heart as big as the Atlantic Ocean.

What is your greatest fear?

Losing control. People get hurt when you lose control of a situation.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

She did. I gave her a run for the money. I don’t let people get inside my head. Or my heart. But Morgan’s damn persistent and doesn’t take too much crap. Then she put the perfect woman for me in my path. I danced and dodged but in the end, Morgan saw through me and all my bullshit and brought me to the place I needed – wanted- to be.

Who is your best friend?

My best friend is Michael Mullarney. Mick and I entered the Marine Corps together in 1989, we served together through some pretty hairy times in Africa, Bosnia and Iraq. Now, we live a few blocks from each other in Surf City, New Jersey. I’d give my life for him and he would do the same for me.

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

Britt, a wonderful woman and former Army Captain who is recuperating in her aunt and uncle’s beach cottage next door to me, is attracted to me…I’m not sure she’s in love with me. I’m not comfortable with that word. I’m in lust with her but I don’t know that I’m capable of loving a woman in the “happy ever after” sense of the word. I do know that I want to get to know her better, in every way, and I want to protect her. She’s had a rough time, it might be better right now to just be her friend and not her lover. But there was a particularly steamy kiss the other day when I pulled her out of some rough surf…so I’d love to take that a little…a lot…further. She has an over-protective, muscular yellow Labrador Retriever who is always by her side, so that kiss might have been the beginning and the end.

What is your most treasured possession?

Of the things that I own, I’d say my old MG, Nellie, is my most prized possession. I’ve had her for years, re-built her with Mick’s help and keep her at my place in Surf City. There’s nothing like driving Nellie along the coast in the early morning with the top down-that’s freedom.

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

I can’t answer that. I’ve almost died too many times. There have been too many days when I knew I would be, should be, dead before the next morning’s sunrise. I was responsible for too many other lives that could be, would be, lost the next day, to worry about myself and what meal I would like or place I might visit or woman I might hold. If I knew for sure I was going to die tomorrow, I’d do everything I could today to protect everyone I cared about, everyone I under my command…anything else would be dumb, stupid, selfish…. Like I said, I can’t answer that question.

About the Author

Morgan Malone is the pen name of a retired lawyer who turned in her judicial robes to write romantic memoir and sexy contemporary romance, which always features silver foxes and the independent women who tame them.

Morgan fell in love with romantic heroes after reading her mother’s first edition of “Gone with the Wind” when she was 12 years old. Rhett Butler became the standard by which she measured all men. Some have met the mark, most have failed to even come close and one or two surpassed even Rhett’s dark and dangerous allure.

Morgan lives near Saratoga Springs, NY with her beloved chocolate Lab. She can be found on occasion drinking margaritas and dancing at local hostelries, but look for her most often in independent book stores and the library, searching for her next great love in tales of romance, history, adventure and lust. When she can’t find the perfect man, she retreats to her upstairs office and creates him, body and soul, for her pleasure and for yours. Remember: love, like wine, gets better with age.

Her recent novel is the contemporary romance, Taking Control: Rick’s Story.

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About the Book:

Summer on the Jersey Shore and all Rick Sheridan wants is some solitude at his beach house. Then he spots a lean, leggy blonde coming out of the surf and his plans are shot to hell. And the dangerous looking knife strapped to her arm tells him this is no damsel in distress. As a not-so retired Marine, at 51, Rick’s learned that nothing is for certain, plans can spin out of control and shit happens.

Wounded and weary from one too many wars, Britt Capshaw thought a summer at the Shore, hanging out in her family’s beach cottage, would help her heal. And figure out what to do with the rest of her life. Out of the military, disillusioned and distrustful of any two-legged male, Britt’s one love is Alex, the yellow Labrador retriever she rescued from Afghanistan.

Rick and Britt are immediately attracted to one another, but after years in combat, they are wary of letting down their guard, of giving up control. The summer heats up and fireworks are flying between them even after the Fourth of July. But, ghosts from their pasts haunt them and finally bring them face to face with some dark secrets that may destroy the fragile trust they’ve built.

Can Britt trust Rick with her dangerous past? Will Rick be able to let go of the rigid control he needs to keep Britt and himself safe from more heartbreak? These two brave souls fight against surrendering their hearts and finally finding love. Who will win?

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Friday, September 21, 2018

{Character Interview} Buddy Cullen of Marty Roppelt's Mortal Foe @martyroppelt




We’re thrilled to be talking to Buddy Cullen from Marty Roppelt's, Mortal Foe.  It is a pleasure to have him with us today at Pimp That Character!

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

Thanks for having me! I'm 27 years old, and teach journalism at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

What is in your refrigerator right now?

I've got Styrofoam boxes of restaurant left-overs, a package of Braunschweiger liverwurst and one of Swiss cheese, Dijon mustard, ketchup, and a six pack of Miller Lite.

Do you think the author portrayed you accurately?

I think so, and I say that grudgingly. I'm not sure I like everything I've read, if I'm going to be honest with myself. One of the things I drill into my students is journalistic integrity. Look at a story from all angles before reporting on it. Of course I'm imperfect, flawed. But I don't like every angle I see of myself.

What is your idea of a perfect day?

My girlfriend, Kelly, has the day off. We start the day making love. Then we hang out together until going to dinner at our favorite Italian restaurant. After dinner we head for the ball park, to our seats right behind the third base dugout. We watch the Cleveland Indians win the seventh game of the World Series—their first Championship since 1948. Then we drive back to my apartment and celebrate the rest of the night in bed.

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

Mac and cheese, cans of Chef Boy-R-Dee ravioli, chicken-flavored ramen, a loaf of store-brand wheat bread… I suck at cooking. More than three ingredients, and I just lose interest.

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

I'd be a little taller and a little more muscular. Just a little. I have no interest in becoming the Incredible Hulk.

Who is your best friend?

RJ, Rick Jankowski. We've been friends since grade school. We get together once a week or so at our favorite pub, the Come On Inn, drink a few beers and play darts. I have never beaten him at darts. Not once.

Do you have children?

No. I'm not sure I want any, either. Kelly and I have never really talked about it. We live in the moment.

What is your favorite weather?

I love autumn, the crisp chill of sweater weather. It's that middle ground between the extremes of summer swelter and winter freeze. Spring is just mud to me.

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

I think I always wanted to be a journalist. I wrote an article for our school paper once, and the praise gave me a kind of high. I don't write for the Cleveland Plain Dealer, but teaching journalism satisfies me as the next best thing.

About the Author

Marty Roppelt was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio. His original profession was acting on stage, in local commercials and training films and in film. This means that he has experienced life through a wide variety of day and night jobs, from barista to waiter and bartender to security guard, amongst many others. He lives in Illinois with his wife, Becky, and their eccentric cat, Fritz. Mortal Foe is his debut novel.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

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About the Book:

A picture is worth a thousand words… But what if that image can only be seen through the lens of one camera? What is the snapshot can only be seen by a select few? What if the photo has its origins in the pit of Hell? What is that face belongs to an enemy bent on destruction? This is Buddy Cullen's fate when he first dreams of his grandfather's death and then inherits his grandfather's antique camera and captures an image that haunts him and seeks his death. Can Buddy survive the curse that he sarcastically dubs "Popcorn"—a curse that no one wants to believe exists and stalks the city of Cleveland, beginning with its baseball team—a mortal foe?

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