Nuts About Authors: J.P. Cawood

Interview Cobalt

Welcome to the Book Squirrel’s “Nuts About Writers” series of author interviews.  

The Book Squirrel sat down recently to interview J.P. Cawood, author of ‘Love from Mars’ and ‘Sam & The Secrets of the Universe’.


What inspired you to write?

I felt I had to tell the stories of my first two books, Love from Mars and Sam & The secrets of the Universe. Love from Mars came to me in a dream, but I was already fascinated with all the news about potential manned missions to Mars. For Sam, I’m fascinated with the big questions in life like why we’re here and what’s the meaning of it all? I started tying these questions together through a 15 year-old’s journey through a black hole. What better way to find yourself than by getting lost?

What are you writing now?

I am currently outlining my third book, a science fiction for young adults. I’ve also recently had some ideas for short science fiction stories, so I plan to write a compilation of shorts as well.

What’s the best vacation you’ve had?

I love Switzerland. Hiking up Mont Blanc, visiting the Mer de Glace, horseback riding in the Alps. There’s so much nature that is breathe taking and awe-inspiring. The food is also incredible, similar to French cuisine. My favorite is raclette and tartiflette.

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

I wanted to be a lawyer from the time I was in kindergarten until about junior year in high school. My senior year, I took theatre, photography, and creative writing. Around that time, I started my own public access TV show in my home town Milwaukee. I started realizing that I needed a creative job, so I went to USC film school.

What would you like people to know about being an indie author?

I’d like people to give indie books more attention. I understand that it’s easier to consume the entertainment products that are heavily marketed and therefore, easy to know about. But if more people dug a little deeper, I think mainstream media would be much more diverse and interesting. Creative content with big marketing budgets might not have the best stories because it’s a business and is therefore vetted to be “safe” to turn a profit. More unique ideas will exist in the indie realm.

Name two things in life you wish were easier.

I’d say the two things that we can’t avoid. Death and taxes.

 

Where can we find your books?

You can find Love from Mars and Sam & The
Secrets of the Universe in paperback and ebook on Amazon:      www.amazon.com/author/jpcawood

Love from Mars is also available through Barnes & Noble:
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-from-mars-jp-cawood/1125378755?ean=9780998378619

Where can we follow you on social media?

www.facebook.com/jpcawoodbooks

www.twitter.com/jpcawoodbooks

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16202670.J_P_Cawood

www.jpcawood.com
Thanks for chatting, J.P! It’s been fun!

Book Review: ‘Christmas Miracle in July’ and ‘Christmas Miracle on Valentine’s Day’ by R.M. Gauthier

I have decided to write one review for this pair of novellas because they fit so neatly together.
Each of these short stories provides a lovely diversion from a busy day or week by drawing the reader into the fictional world of Christmas Town, where the spirit of the festive season lingers all year round. Each is short enough to read in one sitting, but long enough to conveniently put down at the end of a chapter and resume reading later.  They’re both great stories for all year round, and certainly not limited to the seasons in which the titular seasons occur.
The main character, Jack, is well developed and quite likeable. The air of mystery that surrounds his arrival in town over summer is intriguing, and definitely hooks the reader into the story.  Gauthier cleverly plays on the unresolved questions he brings with him, drawing the reader further into the story at the same time as further entangling Jack with every development and surprise in the plot.
Charlotte is an intriguing character – she appears to be open and easily read, but there is always the sensation that there’s much more to her than meets the eye. As Jack is surprised to discover, she’s just the person to keep him guessing and on his toes.
Other characters are less thoroughly developed, as is completely normal for shorter stories. One does sense, though, that there are more stories to be told in Christmas Town, and that Bill, Christian and Hope may feature prominently in those, too. This reader certainly hopes so!
These novellas are a complete change of pace for R.M. Gauthier, who has featured on this blog as the author of the spicy mystery thriller, Control, and the related novellas ‘Longing’ and ‘Waiting’. The second full novel in the Landon Miller series, ‘Bound’, is due for release on May 1st.

All of Gauthier’s books are available on Amazon, and are free for Kindle Unlimited subscribers.

I’m giving these great stories 5 stars each. At $0.99, they are the bargains you don’t want to miss out on!
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Book Review: ‘Souls Discovered’ by Miranda Brock

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Ohmygosh. What??
I’ve just finished this book and I have no words.
It’s SO good though. Extraordinarily good.
Highs, lows, plot twists, and every emotion conceivable… this is your fate if you pick up this book.  And if you do… you won’t be sorry.
You will love the characters, you will love the story, you will scream and cry and try to slam on the brakes as you ride the rollercoaster of this plot. And you’ll read, and read, and read, until it’s done. And then you’ll have no words either.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and curl up in the corner and rock until the sequel is delivered.

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‘Souls Discovered is available as a paperback or eBook from Amazon.

Nuts About Writers – Eva Pasco

Interview Orange

Welcome to the Book Squirrel’s “Nuts About Writers” series of author interviews.  

The Book Squirrel sat down recently to interview Eva Pasco, author of “An Englightening Quiche”. It was his first real interview, so he was a little nervous, but he found Eva so charming that it didn’t take him long to feel as though he’d known her for months.

What inspired you to write?

Already a proficient typist by the age of nine, courtesy of my mother, the catalyst which served as my writing inspiration occurred when I was 12 years old.  A malfunction in the electrical wiring caused our doorbell to ring automatically. This prompted me to compose, “The Mystery of the Midnight Doorbell,” a short story involving secret codes and a smuggling ring.

My overactive imagination soon spurred several mysteries and serial spy thrillers under the auspices of a fictitious organization—I.N.T.R.I.G.U.E.  Who knew I had a leg up on the popular Sixties TV series, The Man from U.N.C.L.E.!

In high school, I wrote a romance novella which earned its place on a library shelf.  The book, a sheaf of orange typing paper fastened together with mod magazine cutouts on the cover, caused quite a stir until it disappeared.  The bulldoggish librarian who reluctantly allowed my Chick Lit in the library at the urging of several classmates, told me it was stolen.  Years later, when thinking back, I believe she trashed my enterprise.

The rigors of college, and the demands placed on a rewarding teaching career, shelved further creative writing ambitions until I retired from the profession. With time on my hands, midlife restlessness reactivated my dormant imagination. Thus far, as a result of that revival, I’ve written two books in the genre of Contemporary Women’s Fiction.

What’s your favourite thing that you have written?

At this point in time, it’s my second novel, released in September, 2016—AN ENLIGHTENING QUICHE. Life’s hairpin turns predisposed me to put the manuscript aside, resume where I left off in spurts, and at one point, I’d contemplated scrapping the project altogether.  Fortunately, I got perturbed with myself because I’m not a quitter and my characters deserved the life I’d planned for them. No small feat to pull off a novel resonating with small-town life and an assortment of characters, I bask in the sunshine of reader reviews, most of which highlight this aspect—“ I felt like I could walk down the streets and actually have a conversation with some of the characters.”

What’s your favourite thing that someone else has written?

My all-time favorite book is ‘Wuthering Heights’ by Emily Brontë for its intense and brooding portrayal of the tragic and consuming nature of love.

 What are you working on writing now?

Not so much writing, but conceptualizing the characters and plot twists and turns as they fabricate and incubate in my mind for my third Contemporary Women’s Fiction novel with the working title, ‘Aida’s Fishing Season.’

What’s the best vacation you’ve had?

My kind of vacation is day-tripping, alluded to in one of well over 100 Memoirs I’ve written, “Day Trippin’—“My fondest recollections growing up in the Sixties settle upon those day trips taken during my father’s two-week summer vacation. Thinking back, it was hardly a vacation for my parents. My mom would load the picnic cooler with utensils and food staples road-ready for my father to cook on the portable stove at a campground enroute to our destination.  Throughout most of the decade, from our Rhode Island point of origin, we traversed all over New England and beyond in our Plymouth Suburban station wagon.”

There’s nothing like a day trip by car, setting out early in the morning and stopping for breakfast before navigating oneself along the highways and byways off the beaten paths.

What movie can you watch over and over again?

Without any hesitation—‘Casablanca,’ which, incidentally, plays an integral part in ‘An Enlightening Quiche.’ The characters are not cookie cut and come into their own morality over the course of the film, something I try to achieve with the main characters in my novel.

What’s your favourite season? Why?

I love autumn for its spectrum of colors and crispness in the air.  Whether by coincidence or synchronicity of chance, many of my most sacred moments in life have occurred during this season.

Oh, me too! And the nuts… oh! the nuts! Erm… where was I?
Ah, yes.

Name three people you admire, and give reasons.

Straight from the Acknowledgement page of my second novel:

My mother and namesake, Eva, for her unwavering faith and pride in my literary accomplishments cultivated by reading stories to me when I was a toddler.

My late father and namesake, Pasco, for the independent streak he instilled in me.

My sister, Gina, for encouraging me to pursue my dreams along untrammeled paths.

 What would you like people to know about being an Indie author?

From my perspective: Being an Indie author allows me the freedom to write about any subject matter in the manner I see fit without editorial censorship. That aspect is very liberating.  Be prepared to struggle to sell “one” book a day, week, or month at a time despite working your butt off to do so through various marketing strategies. Be prepared to spend more money than you’ll ever earn because you believe in the merit of your book and want people to read it.

Name two things in life that you wish were easier.

1 – Surviving on one’s own.  There’s very little wiggle room for screwing up when there’s no backup.

2- Coping with changes that may not necessarily be for the better.

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Where can we find your book?

Amazon: https://amzn.com/B01LX9UXWV

Barnes & Noble: http://tinyurl.com/hm23t6w

Authors Den (Signed Copies): http://tinyurl.com/jkmqhpa


Where can readers follow you on social media?

Authors Den: http://www.authorsden.com/evapasco

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/EvaPasco
Thanks, Eva! You’re amazing! 

Book Review: ‘The Gift’ by Nikki Landis

Nikki Landis The Gift

Narrated in the first person by the character of Gemma Harding, ‘The Gift’ keeps the reader guessing right to the end. This story draws the reader into a complicated web of deceit and carefully constructed appearances that leave Gemma able to trust only  herself and her gift in her search for the answers she needs.

The reader is drawn into Gemma’s character in the first chapter by a  narration that is almost a stream-of-consciousness passage, through which Landis reveals Gemma’s special ability and how it has impacted on her life thus far. The reader, familiar with Gemma’s thoughts and feelings, follows her through this story sharing her thrills, fears and questions as events unfold.

This is a brilliant read. I recommend it for anyone who enjoys the mystery/thriller genre, particularly with a psychological edge to it.

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Author Spotlight: Jesse Frankel

Author Spotlight 2017-04-09 Jesse Frankel

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Jesse Frankel is a prolific writer of YA novels who was born in Canada and now lives in Japan, where he writes YA novels in addition to teaching English and being a family man.
As if that doesn’t keep him busy enough, he also enjoys weight training, watching movies and listening to music.
His novels feature highly original and exciting story lines that explore themes and issues relevant to teens and young adults today while upholding important values such as respect, loyalty and friendship. The characters are relatable and realistic, so that readers can identify with them and the situations in which they find themselves.
In a recent author interview, Jesse explained his reasons for choosing to write YA fiction:
ScreenHunter_411 Apr. 09 17.07                                                                                                   from Kelly Smith Reviews
You can follow Jesse on twitter and Amazon, and on the following websites:

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Jesse’s books are all available on Amazon.

Book Review: ‘Bumbling Bea’ by Deborah Baldwin

In ‘Bumbling Bea’ we meet an 8th-grade girl Deborah Baldwin Bumbling Beanamed Beatrice and follow her journey as she learns important lessons about friendship, self-control and self-awareness.
This book delivers a particularly important message about learning to see something from another person’s point of view and allowing that perspective to guide our decisions, actions and words.
Beatrice is a realistic character who struggles to deal with most of the things happening in her life. Early teen readers will easily identify with her and sympathise with her in the different dilemmas she faces. The other characters are well-developed and the story line certainly gets the reader involved.
This was an enjoyable story with some really good morals for kids.
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