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Sunday, July 17, 2016

Interview with Author Nik Venture

INTERVIEW WITH AUTHOR NIK VENTURE


Nik Venture has been a professional writer/editor for national magazines for more than a quarter century. Helming seven different magazines he has both won, and judged, numerous writing awards, and his words have reached millions of readers. His travels have taken him around the world on various assignments. When he's not writing fiction under his pen name, he can be found either running, or playing keyboard in various clubs with his rockin' blues band.






Interview:


Tell us about your thriller, The ISIS Lone Wolf Trigger. How did you come up with the plot to this novel?

So many people believe that we are living in the End Times. I thought, therein hangs a story. Who are these people? What goes on in their minds?

According to surveys, 31 percent of Americans believe the “end times” are approaching. With Evangelicals, the numbers rise to 77 percent, and, among Protestants, 54 percent agreed that "the world is currently living in the 'end times' as described by prophecies in the Bible." At least half, or more, Muslims believe they will live to see the return of the Mahdi, a messianic figure they believe will begin the final events of the Muslim calendar.

What if a tiny fraction of those people are unwilling to wait?

For my characters, the prophecies related to Armageddon are clear, if only they could trigger the war that starts it all by blaming Iran for a horrendous act of terrorism. American retaliation would start the dominoes falling. The final battles would begin.

Enter Jack Kant and his girlfriend Angela Bow. They don’t have a lot, but they do have each other. Jack’s a muckraker journalist with an unhealthy compulsion for poking in places where he shouldn’t.  Angela is a resourceful documentary researcher and not above kicking a wiseguy where it hurts.

When Kant visits a sketchy source to return a package of illegally-obtained materials and back out of a story he’s considering, he confronts a parcel deliveryman who slaughters the whistle-blower, his wife, and nearly Kant, to obtain said materials. Kant escapes with the package, but before he can get home, Angela’s six-year-old niece, Kiley, is abducted.

Should he go to the police, even though he’s soon framed as a suspect in the murders? Would they even follow up on one of the odd items in the package -- a brochure about the dangers of natural gas storage facilities with the phrase “55 Hiroshima bombs” circled?

He is drawn into the scariest story of his life, and his obsession with learning secrets demands that he follow up, but what about Kiley? His choices are grim and the world is pressing down on them, more so than he knows, if he doesn’t act there may be no world.

On the run, he and Angela must use all of their ingenuity to outwit unknown adversaries while trying to determine who their friends are, and who would make them patsies in an international conspiracy.


Can you tell us more about the main characters, Jack and Angela?

They are a fun couple with a banter like characters from an old movie. Specifically, as I say in my book description they don’t have a lot, but they do have each other. Jack’s a muckraker journalist with an unhealthy compulsion for poking in places where he shouldn’t. Angela is a resourceful documentary researcher and not above kicking a wiseguy where it hurts.


Every story has a bad guy, who are your bad guys?

Well, this was the most important thing really. Interesting antagonists make or break a thriller. I’ve got two. Three technically, but I can’t say any more without revealing the plot. However, I think I’ve got villains who believe in what they are doing, and you learn why quite clearly, and so they are not stock bad guys, which is just boring to me. I’ve created one villain, not the ISIS guy, that I think not too many authors have tried before. You may be surprised. Maybe I’m wrong, there are a lot of books out there. The thing is, he needs to be believable and you see why as he goes through his motions.


Tell us more about yourself. How long have you been a published author?

I was first published nationally back in (gulp) 1986. I was fresh out of college and I got a gig with a magazine in Los Angeles called The West Coast Review of Books. I was the Managing Editor and wrote book reviews. The magazine featured short 500-800 word reviews and published 100 reviews every issue. It was a circus trying to wrangle so many writers to be on time and then edit it all to a professional standard.

So, seven or eight magazines later, as the Editor in Chief, here I am retired from the magazine industry (which is in the dumps, after the Internet came along) doing what I always wanted to do anyway.


How many books do you have published? Can you tell us about them?

I have two out right now. The ISIS book is my second and it was years in the making. I’m quite proud of it  . . . now, if I can only master the nuances of discoverability. That’s really the hard work in this business. And, despite what you do, a certain amount of luck is certainly involved. If someone had the magic formula for capturing the Zeitgeist, of what will spark readers imagination, they would be sitting on gold. Of course, there is no such formula although people certainly do chase that dragon. Whether it’s vampires or 50 Shades knockoffs people always run after the latest trend. However, the real key is being first. Nobody knows what the “next big thing” is going to be. All you can do is write the best book you know how and make it as engaging as possible and hope for the best. There is a reason why the three act structure works as well as it does and if you write a good book then you know that, even if you are not leading the wave of the hottest trending topic, you will have a happy reader if they do read your book. And maybe that’s the best you can hope for.

Oh yeah, my other book is a comic novel called Office of the Apes. It is a first-person gonzo satire of office life, the publishing industry in particular, and life in Southern California. I set out to write the funniest comic novel ever. As humor is certainly subjective when you aim for the stars and, perhaps, only make it to the moon you’ve still taken quite a leap. I think it has a certain charm that, if people knew about it they would like it. I have no idea how to market it. It is unlike any other book you may have read; it was a very difficult, unique voice to pull off.

Can we expect any more books from you in the near future?

Oh, there will be more. I should be writing right now. Of course, my procrastination button is stuck. I write with passion. They say you can’t wait for your muse . . . and they would be correct. But once you latch onto something you know is a good idea and will make a good story, it is all consuming and draining. But in a good way. I am getting restless and ideas are bubbling, so hopefully not too long. I am hoping readers want more of Jack and Angela.


Tell us more about your rockin’ blues band.

We call ourselves the Dawgs . . . not the best name, but we got about 19 years invested in it, so I guess it stays. We play classic blues and rock. We’re pretty good at it by this point. Our thing is that we don’t try to dupe what’s on the record, we use all the songs as vehicles for improvisation. That’s what it’s all about. On any given night when we’re cooking we’re as good as most anybody, more or less. And that’s the thing with improv, when you’re on, amazing things happen. I will post some songs on my website (nikventure.com) when I unstick my procrastination button. You know what John Lennon said, “Life is what happens when you’re busy making other plans.” It’s a point of reflection we should all consider at some point.


Author by day, keyboardist by night. What other activities do you enjoy doing?

Running, mountain biking, blah, blah, blah. I’m a bore.


What are some of your favorite authors? Did these authors influence your writing? If so, how?

I’m an omnivore. I’ll read anything. If I have to name a few authors I like from a variety of styles: John Updike (for his descriptive magic), John D. MacDonald (brilliant, engaging story teller), Dennis Lehane (gut sensibilities), Ken Follett (textbook teller of thriller tales), Len Deighton (even on a bad day he was better than the rest), Frederick Forsyth (Day of the Jackal. Drops mic). I’m reading Barry Eisler right now. He’s definitely a step above so many of the thriller writers plying their trade in the current marketplace. I definitely liked Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas by Hunter S. Thompson, the real funniest comic novel ever written. If you liked that book (not the hideous movie) then you will appreciate the Office of the Apes book. His later books never did it for me and he, more or less, lost his chops for the last 30, or so, years of his life, before he put a bullet in his head. (I know many fans will carve me into little pieces for saying shit like that but, if you’re a writer, you just know it. Case closed.)


Any last words to your readers?

How about this? We Love You

  

Book by Nik Venture:


Many fanatics believe the End Times are coming . . . a few can’t wait. 

For them, the prophecies for Armageddon are clear, if only they could trigger the war that starts it all by blaming Iran for a horrendous act of terrorism. American retaliation would start the dominoes falling. The final battles would begin. 

Enter Jack Kant and his girlfriend Angela Bow. They don’t have a lot, but they do have each other. Jack’s a muckraker journalist with an unhealthy compulsion for poking in places where he shouldn’t. Angela is a resourceful documentary researcher and not above kicking a wiseguy where it hurts. 

When Kant visits a sketchy source to return a package of illegally-obtained materials and back out of a story he’s considering, he confronts a long-haired deliveryman who slaughters the whistleblower, his wife, and nearly Kant, to obtain said materials. Kant escapes with the package, but before he can get home, Angela’s six-year-old niece, Kiley, is abducted. 

Should he go to the police, even though he’s soon framed as a suspect in the murders? Would they even follow up on one of the odd items in the package -- a brochure about the dangers of natural gas storage facilities with the phrase “55 Hiroshima bombs” circled? 

He is drawn into the scariest story of his life, and his obsession with learning secrets demands that he follow up, but what about Kiley? His choices are grim and the world is pressing down on them, more so than he knows, if he doesn’t act there may be no world. 

On the run, he and Angela must use all of their ingenuity to outwit unknown adversaries while trying to determine who their friends are and who would make them patsies in an international conspiracy.


Monday, April 11, 2016

Release Blitz for Pistol Whipped by Susan Ward


Title: Pistol Whipped
Series: Locked & Loaded Book 2
Author: Susan Ward
Release Date: April 13th



The Locked & Loaded Series is a spinoff of the Amazon Bestselling Sand & Fog Series. Each book is a standalone and can be read in any order. 


I’m Dillon Warrick. 

Ex-Special Forces. I have no memory of what went down on my last deployment, so when the opportunity came to resign my commission and sign up for a new gig I jumped on it. 

Now I’m the personal bodyguard for the biggest celebrity on the globe and still living life on the edge. I’m six feet two inches of blond-haired, blue-eyed Adonis, combat-fit body and fully loaded weapon. 

My best friend, Graham, thinks I’m running too close to the edge and about to take a fall. And then there’s Rachel, my former high school sweetheart turned f&&k-buddy. As incredible as she is, I can’t commit until I unravel the mystery of what happened on my final mission. 



Other books in the Locked & Loaded Series: 

Dillon Warrick Books: 
Pistol Whipped(Releasing April 26, 2016) 
Take Down(Releasing Summer 2016) 

Graham Carson Books: 
The Manny(Releasing April 16, 2016) 
His Man(Releasing Summer 2016) 
For the Love of Ella(Releasing Fall 2016) 

Skyler Mathews: 
No is the New Yes(Releasing Summer 2016) 






Amazon top 100 Bestselling in Contemporary Romance/ Coming-of-Age/Historical Romance/Historical Romance Regency/ Erotica Humorous


I'm addicted to writing. I've written 41 romance novels My current releases include: The Girl on the Half Shell; The Girl of Tokens & Tears; The Girl of Diamonds & Rust; The Girl in the Comfortable Quiet; The Signature; Rewind; One Last Kiss; One More Kiss; One Long Kiss; When the Perfect Comes; Face to Face; Love’s Patient Fury. 

I've been in love with the Romance novel since I read my first Kathleen Woodiwiss book, and it seems to me that beyond a steamy fun read, a good romance novel is so much more: it is women empowering women. We share. We learn. 

So about me? I'm as eclectic as my books. A mom. A grandmother. A business owner. A writer of romance. An advocate for clean air and the environment. A wife and an animal lover. The best way to explain me is that once in a talent contest I played classical piano followed by a chopsticks duet with my toes. That pretty much sums up how I've lived my life!


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Monday, February 22, 2016

Blog Tour for A Thirty-Something Girl by Lisa M. Gott




Blog Tour:
A Thirty-Something Girl
by
Lisa M. Gott
Feb 22nd – Feb 29th



A Thirty-Something Girl follows the story of Hope. At the age of 30, she finds her life in utter shambles. Everything that could go wrong has – divorce, loss of a child, financial struggles. It is the love and unfettered support of her close friends who keep her from being lost in the quicksand of utter despair. As she slowly begins to wrap her head around who she is and what it means to be happy, she meets a man, Sam. Sam is also not a stranger to hardship and finds himself at his own crossroads. Together they find comfort and peace in one another; a soft, quiet place to fall, when the rest of the world is too hard and too noisy to inhabit.

A Thirty-Something Girl is a story about the power of human resilience, the importance of friendships, and the magic of true love. It is a story that teaches us (and reminds us) that happiness is actually a very simple concept: it is a choice. A choice we must remember to make each and every day.







Lisa M. Gott was born in Washington, DC, but found home in the heart of her husband. When she’s not weaving words, you’ll find her listening to the whispers of the wind, dancing in the rain, or curled up with a stack of books and a rich, intoxicating cup of coffee.

Her stories tell of the human spirit – sometimes sad, sometimes not – most can relate to them on some level or another.


    

    




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Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Blog Tour The Lost Children

Title: The Lost Children
Author: Jennifer Sivec
Publisher: Booktrope

What would happen in a world where the children were suddenly forgotten?

A devastating deal between two devious creatures changes the Balance of all life in the land of Tamaryn. With a blinding flash of light and a rumbling of the earth, brothers Jakob and Kell, awaken to realize they have no memory and no home. When they discover other children who are alone and frightened as they are, they join together on a quest to find anything that might be familiar. With the help of their Protectors they embark on a dangerous journey, determined to discover their identity and survive, in a tumultuous land with unknown enemies.

As the devious ones continue to plot an existence that will ultimately destroy Tamaryn, the children, and one lone warrior who is fighting on her own, seek to restore what has been lost.
To do this they will risk everything in this fantastical story of what happens when the most beautiful love of all, is completely Forgotten.

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28497796-the-forgotten?from_search=true&search_version=service

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Sunday, January 24, 2016

Blog Tour I Run To You

Title: I Run To You
Author: Jennifer Sivec
Publisher: Booktrope


When you think you're unlovable, how do you find the courage to love?

All of Alyssa Bennet's life, the two people who were supposed to love her the most have let her down. Anna, her best friend, and her beloved grandmother, Nona, are the only constants in her every day; that is until the unbelievably perfect Landon Daniels comes along. For the first time in her life, Alyssa begins to believe that she just might be worthy of being 
loved.

When the unexpected happens and threatens to snatch away her first chance at happiness, Alyssa must decide if she wants to continue her journey alone, or embrace the love she's always wished for.

Women's Fiction author, Jennifer Sivec explores hope, courage, and mortality in this gripping novel about one woman's struggle to discover what it means to come to terms with your past, and above all, love yourself enough to be loved.
 

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28565478-i-run-to-you



I've been writing for as long as I can remember ... journals, poems, songs, and short stories. I'd always wanted to write a novel and started several over the years, but for some reason I could never see them through to the end.

Until Eva came along.

I was abandoned as a child, at about the age of 2 or 3 which strangely, I never gave a lot of consideration to. Then I became a mother and when my youngest son was about 2, I watched him sleeping one night, as I often did. But this night I was gripped by a heart-wrenching realization that he was about the age I was when my parents left me. Something stirred inside of me and eventually Eva was born. "Leaving Eva" began as a story of a girl who was ruthlessly abandoned, until her story took on a life of its own.

I've always been a late bloomer, but I am happy that I've finally gotten in touch with my inner author. She's always been there lying dormant, reflecting in other parts of my life but now she is awake and alive, shining through me everyday.

Writing has been an escape, a refuge, and an outlet for me throughout my life and I feel fortunate to channel my energy and creativity in this way. With two books in the Eva series and a standalone novel, I Run to You, I am currently working on a fantasy series, The Lost Children. The first book, The Forgotten, is planned for an early 2016 release.

I was accepted to publish my books with Booktrope Publishing in February of 2015 and am currently republishing my previous, as well as future work with them. I am grateful every day for the life I get to live and for all of the love and support from friends, family, and readers.

I would love to hear from you at jennifersivec@yahoo.com.


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Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Blog Tour for Power of Three



Title: Power of Three
The novel of a whale, a woman, and an alien child
Author: Cathy Parker
Publisher: Booktrope

An alien child catapults by sheer chance to earth.

A beluga whale longs for freedom from the cruel confines of her small blue pool.

Two powerful other-worldly beings seek to plunder our world, destroying our people and our resources.

In this fast-paced, science fiction thrill ride, it falls to the fiercely independent bystander, Shannon Kendrick, attorney and seaquarium volunteer, to return the child Essi to her world. To find a way to free the desperate beluga, Juneau. To defeat the ancient aliens. On the upside, with the arrival of Essi, Shannon is startled to find not only that her physical appearance changes dramatically, but also that she now possesses useful, almost magical, traits, which will help her with insurmountable barriers.

But Shannon soon learns the most terrible threat comes from within: a bizarre lavender lightning strike has caused the minds of the beluga and child to be one with Shannon’s. Their presence consumes many more calories than Shannon can possibly take in. They are killing her.

In a desperate attempt to outrace her own death, Shannon enlists the help of her friends in battles to the death. Not everyone will survive.


And . . . who or what is the other dark force that Shannon discovers lurking in the shadows with the alien invaders?


About the Author:



Cathy Parker graduated from the Northwest Institute of Literary Arts in 2015 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing. She reports that while there, aliens surprised her by wandering into her writing without invitation, thereby letting her know that her genre must be speculative fiction. She also came in contact with a wonderful community of writers and scholars that she vows she will never leave. In perhaps the seminal experience of her life, Cathy volunteered for eight years as a zoo keeper and became well acquainted with one sometimes obstreperous female beluga whale, the model for Juneau, one of the heroes of this book. Cathy holds a law degree and practiced as an attorney in both the public and private sectors for many years. She values her time as legal counsel to her city’s Fire Department above all other legal work she’s done. “Where could I find a workplace with a better mission — saving lives and property and giving comfort to the lost and hurt?” Before law she enjoyed a career in journalism, at one time the sole staff editor-reporter-photographer-columnist-and gofer for a rural newspaper in Wyoming. She climbed oil rigs and went on cattle drives, shoveled her car out of many snow banks, and calls it a grand time. Cathy is fascinated by animals of all kinds, especially cetaceans and primates, and has scrimped and saved to go see them in the far reaches of the world. She posts matters of interest on these and other topics on her website, 



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Monday, November 30, 2015

Blog Tour for Contemplations


A bride forever buries a dark secret on her wedding day. A woman faces the hardest goodbye of her life. A homeless man leaves an unforgettable mark on a town. And a hat brings two lost souls together. These, along with many other tales and poems, paint a vivid portrait of the human condition. 

Lisa M. Gott found her voice by crafting a variety of short stories, poems, and flash fiction. Comprised of the very first words she uttered as a writer, this updated edition also features two new short stories, How to Say Goodbye and Arthur. From dark to light, Contemplations is a collection of tales and prose about life that are sure to touch each reader in one way or another.




Lisa M. Gott was born in Washington, DC, but found home in the heart of her husband. When she’s not weaving words, you’ll find her listening to the whispers of the wind, dancing in the rain, or curled up with a stack of books and a rich, intoxicating cup of coffee.

Her stories tell of the human spirit – sometimes sad, sometimes not – most can relate to them on some level or another.

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