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.

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.



About the Book:

Author: Laura Vosika
Publisher: Gabriel’s Horn Press
Pages: 451
Genre: Time Travel/Historical Fiction


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.

Watch the Trailer:



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.



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?