Wednesday, March 30, 2016

GETTING TO KNOW AUTHOR TOBY NEAL


Are you a full time writer or do you have a day job? If yes, how do you divide your time?
I am a clinical social worker in private practice as well as a writer. I am doing well enough as a writer to leave my practice, but I worked very hard to get all my degrees, and I LOVE helping people heal and overcome, so I doubt I’ll ever leave my therapy work entirely.

What are some of your favorite curse words?
“Son of a beehive!” and “Shozbot!” Sometimes I will indulge in the occasional F bomb, like when I stub my toe really bad.

Do you have a motto you live by?
I enjoy mottoes and slogans and use them all the time in my therapy practice to help clients. For myself, I use “Anything worth doing, is worth doing excellently” and “the best revenge for a dystfunctional childhood is a life filled with joy” I also like “it is what it is” to help accept things that can’t be changed.

Where do you draw your inspiration from?
Hawaii, the incredible place I grew up in. My clients and therapy work. Nature, and interesting news articles/investigation pieces I read.

What is the best advice you’ve received as a writer?
Stephen King’s On Writing: “ideas are like fossils and the writer just uncovers them.” I also like his formula of putting interesting characters in a situation and letting them fight it out. He emphasizes discipline and writing every day, which I do.

How would you define your style of writing?
Cinematic, fast-paced, dialogue driven, with lyrical bits

What part of writing a novel do you enjoy the most? The least?
I enjoy writing love and friendship scenes, setting description, and action. I hate writing departmental meetings reviewing a case (which is a part of police work and police procedural stories, my main genre.)

Do you outline, plot and structure, or do you just sit down and write?
I outline about ¾ of the book and let the last fourth be filled with surprises (even to me) and I write character bios and a logline before I start a new book.

Aside from people/pets, what is the ONE item you would save if your house was on fire?
My paintings!

Favorite place you’ve traveled to or would like to travel to?
Italy. I’ve been three times. I love just about everything about Italy and have some relatives by marriage. Ah, la dolce vita! They really know how to live—wine, lovemaking, great art, afternoon naps, affectionate family life…what’s not to love?

Favorite style of music?
Classic rock and any kind of guitar music.

The best gift you’ve ever received?
My husband gave me a Kari McCarthy painting this year for my birthday. Best present ever! Mike gave me a tiny painting the size of a matchbox all wrapped up and said, “all I can afford of her work, honey.” I was in raptures, and had to hit him when he was just teasing and he’d actually bought a much bigger piece and I could pick it out at her studio.  We met, and it ends up she’s painting one of my own photographs. I’m so thrilled with the whole experience. She’s expensive and only getting more so, so I’m going to have a real treasure that I’ll enjoy every day feasting my eyes on.

Name something you cannot go a day without.
Hugs and smiles from the ones I love!


~~~~~

Toby Neal can be reached on her Website, Facebook, Twitter

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Author Timothy Glass Recently Lost His Muse with the Death of his Beagle

Author Timothy Glass
by Tim Glass

With deep sadness, we let go of our beagle son to cancer today.

Tyler was preceded in death by his beagle sisters, Penny and Panda, great- grandfather, Gunner, and his beagle aunts Chelsea, Brandy, and Ms. Beamer. He leaves his beagle sister, Sundae.

Tyler Glass was one of the original Sleepytown Beagles. He passed away peacefully at his home in Daytona Beach, Florida. He was one of the most joyful beagles anyone ever met I honestly think there wasn’t a human on the face of this earth that he didn’t love. He enjoyed his walks, and going for rides in the beagle-mobile as he liked to call it.  Most of all, he loved his blankies best. Tyler enjoyed being anywhere Cathy and I took him.

It was always an enjoyment to draw him and do cartoons of him; he was so expressive in his face, mannerisms and the positions he would pose in.

Up until early this morning, Tyler was doing well. However, on the dawn of March 17th he could no longer breathe easily. We called the vet who came to our house and he passed away at 12:56.

I hope everyone will understand if Cathy or I don’t respond right away. We all need some time to heal.

Sleepytown Beagles Series by Timothy Glass
This has been a long journey and we couldn’t have done it without so many of you who supported us with your thoughts, prayers, kind words, calls and Tyler’s gofundme page. I have tried to thank as many of you as possible, but for those I may have missed, we appreciate every one of you who took this trip with us.

Feel free to leave Tim a message on Facebook, Twitter or his Website

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Meet the Author of Acclaimed Children's Series Sleepytown Beagles

Author Timothy Glass

Wow, what a journey and gift this is to be the author of the Sleepytown Beagles and to be able to tell their stories for you! I’m sure you are wondering how this all began.

A dear lady in my life, who was like a second mom, once said I had a very unique ability to understand what was going on inside a Beagle’s mind. I guess this makes me somewhat of a “Beagle Whisperer.” Maybe it is simply from being with the Beagles for years and learning their ways. As a writer, I enjoy many hours in the company of Beagles and observing their responses to different circumstances.

However, the love for Beagles is not the only premise behind the series. I looked at what is going on in our world today and realized it is becoming increasingly harder for people of all ages to go to sleep at night, especially children. When talking to parents about this issue it became very clear to me we tell our children to go to sleep. However, where is sleep? How do I get there? Sleepytown is a blueprint, a place for a child to picture in their mind to help them get there. Thus, Sleepytown was born out of a need for a peaceful, calm and secure place that children could visualize and use to drift off to sleep. I combined this visualization with the lovable characters of the Sleepytown Beagles. Additionally, each book uses humor to teach an important life lesson. 

So, as you may have guessed, the birth of the Sleepytown Beagles series comes from the heart and, of course, the Sleepytown Beagles themselves. It is my hope that you and your family will come along for each and every journey and enjoy the complete series. This is truly my gift to the world.

SleepytownBeagles, Panda meets Ms. Daisy Bloom, is a story that teaches children about patience.

SleepytownBeagles, Penny’s 4th of July, features a lesson about facing one’s fears.

Sleepytown Beagles, Oh, Brother, is a story that deals with the arrival of a new sibling in the family.

SleepytownBeagles, Differences, focuses on the differences we all have and encourages children to embrace them.

SleepytownBeagles, The Lemonade Stand, shows children how we can learn from our mistakes.

SleepytownBeagles, Jingle Beagles, is a wonderful Christmas story that shows it is better to give than receive.

Timothy can be reached on Twitter, on Facebook and on his Website 


Friday, March 11, 2016

Discover How an Exchange Student Inspired Marry Your Billionaire

Author C.J. Anaya

The idea for Marry Your Billionaire can be blamed on our foreign exchange student from Switzerland, Alyssia Keller, who came to live with us during the school year of 2014-2015. She’d been a fan of The Bachelor for quite some time, while I had done an admirable job of avoiding that show like I would a sugar-free diet. I couldn’t think of anything more ridiculous than watching desperate women fighting over a knuckle head who probably joined the show just so he could get laid. What were these women thinking? Why in the world put yourself through all of that drama? No guy could be worth such heartache.
Right?
I knew you’d understand.
These were all of the arguments—valid arguments—I posed to Alyssia when she insisted I sit down and start the new season of The Bachelor with her. The bachelor in question?  Chris Soules.
Because I’m a good sport…and also because she promised me an endless supply of Swiss chocolate, I agreed and sat down to watch the show.
Holy crap! I was hooked within the first ten minutes.
Dang it.
It was like watching a train wreck and waiting for the inevitable carnage to follow. You know you should probably shield your eyes, but you simply can’t tear yourself away.
So entertaining.
Marry Your Billionaire by C.J. Anaya
As I watched Chris begin his first round of make-out sessions, I thought about how no one in the world could have paid me nearly enough money to put myself in that situation.
Then I wondered what might happen if someone didn’t want to be on the show, but was forced into it. What would motivate a woman to agree to something like that? What if the bachelor in question decided she was the one for him and refused to let her leave?
How delicious!
So I got to work on it right away. Of course, I had to continue watching the show. Purely for the sake of research, mind you, lest you think I couldn’t pull myself away from the TV to go make dinner… or do laundry…or wash the dishes. And then it was absolutely imperative that I continue my research by watching The Bachelorette.
Right?
I knew you’d understand.
For the record, I still think the idea of a dating reality TV series is ridonculous, but that’s what makes it so entertaining.
Needless to say, my foreign exchange student and I spent many evenings planted in
front of the TV with an unhealthy amount of popcorn and Swiss chocolate in front of us, arguing the finer points of life married to Whitney versus life married to Becca or even Kaitlyn. And who can dispute Kaitlyn’s extreme likability? And how awesome was it to witness every single emotional melt down, including the fake panic attack from Kelsey and her tactless claim that the death of her husband was the best backstory on the entire show?
Classic.
I do so love research.

Follow C.J. Anaya on Twitter, and check out her Website

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Who Is This Ellie Foreman Anyway?

Who Is This Ellie Foreman Anyway?

Hi. My name is Ellie Foreman and I’m a documentary/industrial video producer in Chicago. I am also the protagonist of author Libby Fischer Hellmann’s first series (she has two series and several stand-alone thrillers—13 in all). JUMP CUT is the 5th book in MY series, but the previous four feature me, my daughter Rachel, my father Jake, best friend Susan, my ex-husband Barry, as well as a very special person I’ll tell you about in a minute.
Jump Cut

They call me an amateur sleuth, but I’ve never really understood the difference between amateur and professional. Sure, a police detective or PI is considered “professional,” but there are just times when a solving a mystery needs a personal touch.  My first case, AN EYE FOR MURDER, was just that. It was a mystery that had its roots back in World War Two, and my Dad was very much involved. It started with a letter sent to me by a woman who rented a room to an elderly man who died. The story turned out to be pretty scary – and although I do have a sense of humor, EYE isn’t what some readers call a “cozy.” In fact, Libby used to describe the series as a cross between “Desperate Housewives” and “24.” Up until JUMP CUT, I agreed with her.

A Shot To Die For
I should let you know that the first FOUR mystery-thrillers, which include EYE, A PICTURE OF GUILT, AN IMAGE OF DEATH, and A SHOT TO DIE FOR, are available in a Boxed Set. It’s a great deal, and you’ll learn a lot about me, my family and friends (especially Georgia Davis, who ended up having her own series), as well as my romantic interests. But after 4 books, Libby sent me on an extended vacation while she wrote other books. Ten years worth. Finally, she decided to bring me back. I’m glad. Just because she wasn’t reporting on me doesn’t mean I didn’t have a life. Lots of things were happening during those ten years – for example—oops. Sorry. I can’t tell you. You’ll have to find out for yourself.

Okay. Now to JUMP CUT. Before I became a video producer, I worked in broadcast news in Chicago. I thought I would eventually become the president of NBC News, but life had other plans. Which included a story I researched and produced about restaurant payoffs that turned out to be wrong. It wasn’t that payoffs weren’t happening (this IS Chicago, after all)…but I accused the wrong people of taking those payoffs. I was fired.

So I started to produce industrial videos for corporations and associations. I am usually producing something in all of the Ellie books, and JUMP CUT was no exception. We were creating a video for Delcroft Aviation, the giant airplane and defense contractor in downtown Chicago. In the middle of production, though, VP of Engineering Charlotte Hollander, cancelled the video. She said it was amateurish, and that her twelve year old son could have done a better job. Ouch.

After I picked myself up off the floor, I decided there had to be another reason she cancelled the project. In fact, I suspected she might have been spooked by some shots of a specific man in our B-roll. (B-roll is also called “cover footage” and is used to cover narration or statements from experts when appropriate). I had the man’s business card, and tried to meet with him to ask why his presence in the video would have upset Hollander. We were supposed to get together at a Starbucks underneath the El tracks in Chicago, but before we could talk, he jumped—or was pushed—to his death in front of a fast-moving El train.

Not good.

That was the start of what became a harrowing few weeks. I can’t tell you too much without ruining the story for you, but I can tell you it involved espionage in the post-Snowden era, and included drones, hackers, Chinese spies, and file encryption. And much more.

I hope you’ll want to read JUMP CUT. I know Libby would be thrilled, and if you order it THIS WEEK, you’ll only have to pay 99¢. It’s a special introductory offer to her fans. After March 6, the price goes up to $4.99.

So thanks for reading this far, and I hope you’ll want to hear more of my story.

Best,

Ellie Foreman
The Ellie Foreman Mysteries