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Monthly Archives: February 2015

Book Giveaway Contest

AnnouncementStatic fills his ears as the radio turns on and the he searches the stations trying to find a station to listen to hitting the scan button on his car radio. All he keeps finding is the same old Top 40 hit, country or classic rock song he’s heard hundreds of times and finally the scan stops when he catches on two words. “Free book”.

Announcer: That’s right you have an opportunity to drop one of three free books on that brand new E-Reader, I-pad, tablet, smart phone or digital device you got for Christmas. Black Rose Writing has offered up three of their books for you the listener to enjoy.

Listener: Yeah right, nothing in this world is Free.

Announcer: You are asking, “what’s the catch”,  as any sane person would when they see or hear the word Free.

Listener: Oh here it comes, probably got to pay some shipping and processing. (Laughs to self).

Announcer: The catch you fear is not difficult you just read the book reviews on Shawn “Knightmist” Micallef’s blog and make a comment on any of the reviews for these books from Black Rose Writing.

Your comment will automatically enter you into the contest to win a digital copy of one of the books.   (Announcer keeps talking repeating what he just said)

Listener: Read a blog, and comment, I guess I can give that a shot for a free book. I just hope the reviews are good and the books seem interesting.

Announcer: To enter go to knightmist.wordpress.com and check out the reviews.  Again go to KNIGHTMIST.WORDPRESS.COM that’s spelt K-N-I-G-H-T-M-I-S-T (dot) wordpress (dot) com

Listener: Well that guys voice was annoying but sounds like quite the thing as all I have to do is read and comment. I think I’ll give it a shot.

 

Announcer (in a fast voice): Contest is open to all residents with a valid email address. Email address should be left in the comment to allow notification and sending of appropriate book format. If do not feel comfortable leaving your email address an email to Knightmist72@gmail.com with Contest as subject, name, and email address inside.  Only one comment per book is allowed, but you may comment on multiple books. Contest will be open for 1 week with all entries due by February 28, 2015. Versions availble are Epub and Mobi.

I-Pad is a registered trademark of Apple Incorporated.

 

Listener:  I just love how they say so much with that legal disclosure and so fast, ok so what else is on the radio. (Hits the scan button on his car radio.)

 

Disclaimer: As stated all are welcome to enter the contest and last entry must be posted by 11:59pm (Central) on February 28, 2015. All entries will be given a number and a random number generator will be used to select the winner.  Individuals are only allowed to win a copy of one of the books. If you enter for multiple books please state which is your preferred book in the comment.

For questions please send email to Knightmist72@gmail.com with subject of Contest Questions. Good Luck and if this is a successful contest there be more.

Don’t be afraid that after you enter to put a tweet, share, past on Facebook and use hasthag #knightmist. Let’s see if I can get trending.

 
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Posted by on February 23, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Ten Plus One Questions with Robert Reynolds

Robert ReynoldsRobert Reynolds is the mind behind Thunder Bay. He is one of those few authors who do not have a major web presence at this time so it is not easy to provide you with an author link. I did find a story from the Alpena News talking about the book. Just click the link here to take you to that article.  Just a note it is possible that you may have to login/create an account to read but it’s worth a shot. As you read his answers to the questions you will find that he has a love for Michigan and the areas he talks about in the book.   You will also get a sense that his writing can have an impact on his readers as he has other books that are available.  Now here are those questions and Robert’s answers.

Question 1: What inspired you to write Thunder Bay?

The name Thunder Bay had intrigued me for many years. I researched the area a little and I was fascinated about the number of shipwrecks in the bay and across the Great Lakes. I kept Thunder Bay in the back of my mind knowing someday I wanted to use it as a title. I simply had to come up with a plot.

Question 2: Is there any significance to the name/names of your main characters?

I wanted simple, common names for my characters. I’ve never gotten into the “Daphne and Lance” types of names. I want my characters to be believable and their names to be believable also. As I’m writing, I picture certain characters in my mind and try to find a suitable name. I try to use names common to a particular area. For example, if I’m writing a Texas book I might use Mahan because it’s fairly common in Texas. I doubt if I’d use it in a Michigan story because it’s not common to Michigan. Polish names, are however. Beyond that, there’s no real significance.

Question 3: During the writing process did you find yourself thinking about any of your own memories?

Yes, quite often, but mostly in regard to the Michigan countryside and the Great Lakes, themselves. I want readers to “see” and experience these things as they read my books. In Thunder Bay there’s a scene where the main character drives up to the straits one evening. While they are dining they look out and see the lights on the Mackinac Bridge. I want the reader to experience the awe of this engineering masterpiece. Likewise, during the storm on Lake Huron, I want the reader to feel the fury of the lake. Other than a crossing the straits on a car ferry back in the 50s, I’ve not been in a storm on the lake, but my memory from that dark, rainy, rough night was certainly a part of what I put into the stormy lake in my book.

Question 4: What were some of your favorite books growing up?

The Yearling; Bambi: (as a small child)

Willard Price adventure books: Amazon Adventure; South Seas Adventure; Underwater Adventure and Hardy Boys mysteries (early school years)

Mila 18; Islands In the Stream; The Source; The Quiet American; various sports, music, and biographical works (adult)

Question 5: Do you hear from fans of the book, and if you do what do they say?

It depends on the book. For Thunder Bay, people tell me they enjoy recognizing places they know within the state of Michigan and around the Alpena area. Others liked the book’s theme of current events. About my other books (not published by Black Rose, however), veterans enjoy the military aspect and local color of my Vietnam books. On one of my earlier Michigan locale books, one reader told me a particularly touching scene caused him to cry. Still another (Vietnam locale with a romance angle) several have told me they were caught completely by surprise at the twist to the ending. I guess taking all this into consideration, readers seem to enjoy how I try to set the mood and describe the surroundings.

Question 6: What was the feeling like when you saw the very first printed version of your book?

 I was very pleased! I had sent along a brief plot summary and my thoughts on a suggested cover. The cover designer nailed it on the first attempt and had added a few things to make it even better than I had imagined it. I was up home (central Michigan area) and drove up to Alpena to get a fresh look at Thunder Bay. When the cover design was sent to me for my review, I was truly amazed at how well he had captured it. Black Rose presents an excellent product.

Question 7: Do you continue to write?

Oh yes. I’m constantly writing. Since Thunder Bay’s release, Black Rose has published my latest. It’s an old time western called Sorrowful. I have other projects in various stages and recently, after meeting up with a coworker who I worked with in the Philippines at the time of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in ‘91, I’ve started writing about that event. I also have finished a manuscript for another Michigan locale book that has a western feel to it. This one takes place in the Upper Peninsula around the turn-of-the-century. I have far more ideas for books than I have time to write them.

Question 8: What is the message you want people to take away from the book?

I mostly want them to simply enjoy what they read. It’s like a movie a person goes to see just for the fun of it. Thunder Bay is not preachy, although it has a present day theme. I wrote it for entertainment. I suppose there is one more thing. Main characters often seem to be young, handsome, athletic and even wealthy. The main characters in Thunder Bay are older. I wanted a story that would allow for a romance to develop on an older level and where the career experience of the main character would allow the plot to develop. Basically it’s ordinary people being involved in less than ordinary circumstances. Why not have an “old hero” for a change?

Question 9: If you could envision a future for your main character, what would it be?

If there were to be a sequel, considering the main character’s age, the story would have to allow for his personal life and romantic involvement to develop. Thunder Bay implied there is more to it, but left that angle open. Any sequel must consider that and if there’s to be an exciting plot, it must be believable and recognize the main character’s limits for addressing the problems within the plot. This question has got me thinking about that….
Question 10: Who are those in the dedication of the book, and their importance to you?

To be honest, (I don’t have a copy of Thunder Bay in front of me…have given them out) and I don’t recall my dedication in this book. I’ve dedicated other books to family members, people I served with in the military, members of the Civilian Conservation Corps, etc. But with Thunder Bay, I’d have to see how I dedicated it to comment on that.

The + 1 Question: If you had any one place in the world you could travel to for a book tour, where would that place be, and why?

Tough question! Most logically for this book, the Thunder Bay area would probably be the place. However, for exposure, perhaps New York, San Francisco, or Los Angeles in hope of the book being “discovered”. The words “Travel to”, Rio or Southeast Asia first come to mind, but I doubt it that would do much for book sales and exposure. Fun, yes! This book, no. Perhaps Detroit or Chicago because they are large cities within the Great Lakes area. Tough question….

 

 
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Posted by on February 21, 2015 in Interview

 

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Thunder Bay by Robert Reynolds

Thunder BayGrowing up in a small town often requires a sacrifice as you get out of school. You can move away and look for work in the wide world, or stay and take what comes your way. It’s the curse of small town that many who grow up in that type of world must face. The really interesting fact is that often after you leave all you want to do is get back to that town. This urge to return home is what finds the main character in the book Thunder Bay by Robert Reynolds home and living a peaceful retirement.

Thunder Bay opens with a forward explaining that there is a town of the same name in Michigan and Canada. The story does take place primarily in Michigan but does make use of the Canadian setting. The forward continues to explain the setting of the book including the Mackinac Straits and the dangers that loom for ships in that area. Often when people think of dangerous shipping in Michigan its Lake Superior, much to the thanks of the song Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald. The straits can be just as deadly as the forward states.

The book opens with what can only be described as a very tranquil opening with a man out painting Lake Huron when it’s broken by the sound of a Cessna. The plane is making an approach to Thunder Bay and Ray Winters realizes he must pack up his artwork or it is going to get ruined. The oncoming plane appears to be followed by an impending rain fall and if Ray isn’t fast his days work will get wet ruined.

This is the reader’s introduction to Ray who is the main character within the pages of the book Thunder Bay. He has retired back to his home town and had lost his wife not too long ago. He is a retired Chemical Weapons expert who will do freelance work at times but is enjoying being home again. He like many had left the town to see what the great big world would offer him.

As the book will tell the reader as the storm moves in on Lake Huron there is a boat out in the weather. The boat is not in the greatest of shape but the captain is hoping to make an easy buck with this trip and his passengers. He does not know who they are and is suspicious of the men but he is being well paid to make the trip.  The men are not the only cargo as the men carry a cylinder that will get Ray slightly involved in the mystery as the book progresses.

Thunder Bay is a book that has a large amount of focus on the area in which the book gets its title from. Those who are familiar with the area will get satisfaction from hearing the mention of the local landmarks. You will also get a sense of what it is like to live through the harsh winter during part of the book.  There is also mention of things on the Canadian side as the book does have police involved on both sides of the natural border.

The main thing with this book is that it is not just a thriller and chase to find what is going on with the cylinder. The book does make use of that factor and we find there is a potential evil plot going on in the back drop of the story. The other piece is how Ray finds his high school sweetheart back in town and like him, Millie Tremaine is also single. This ties together the elements of a disappearing boat and a love story in the idyllic setting.

There are many other characters that will bring color to the story from a bar owner, to the wife of the boats captain. There are the locals such as an older Native American gentleman to a Michigan State Police officer that also are enjoyable. Thunder Bay is a great read and does not truly get stuck in one of its plots for an unneeded period of time, but keeps the reader engaged till the end.

 

 
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Posted by on February 18, 2015 in Reviews

 

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Ten Plus One Questions with Author Mark Love

GE DIGITAL CAMERAMark Love and I have Detroit in common and after reading a blog post it seems we both had fun with typewriters at some point. I can still remember my high school days when that was the first piece of technology I saw and I’ve jumped on the band wagon since in some way. If you take the time to follow the link to his blog you will see his post, “Still a Dinosaur”, which is quite interesting. The answers to the Ten plus One Questions will also bring more insight into Mark so please enjoy.

Question 1: What inspired you to write Why 319?

I’ve always been intrigued with mysteries and wanted to do one about a complex police investigation. The idea of a killer taunting the cops was appealing.  I’m a native of the Detroit area. When I worked as a reporter, I had a crime beat for a while and would visit police stations in different suburban cities. I know that the suburbs don’t often work together unless it’s part of a joint task force, so nobody would immediately pick up on the idea of a serial killer. These weren’t random killings but orchestrated crimes. Once the idea took shape, I couldn’t walk away from it. I knew I was on to something good.

Question 2: Is there any significance to the name/names of your main characters? 

Jefferson Chene is the protagonist of the story and it’s told from his point of view.  Chene was abandoned at birth and his name comes from the intersection near downtown Detroit where he was found.  Questions about his own heritage are always close to the surface. This also impacts his personal relationships.  ‘Pappy’ Cantrell was the nickname of an old timer I knew as a kid. He acted like a laid back country boy, but he was very sharp.

Question 3: During the writing process did you find yourself thinking about any of your own memories? 

Yes, some of the locations that I use in the story are places I’ve been. Certain nightspots like the Tokken Lounge and the Magic Bag Café are authentic Detroit venues.  I always try to include real locations in my work, so the readers may relate with them.

Question 4: What were some of your favorite books growing up? 

I was hooked on the Travis McGee series by John D. MacDonald and always enjoyed the crime novels of Elmore Leonard. I think he created the genre.

Question 5: Do you hear from fans of the book, and if you do what do they say?

Yes, I have heard from some. Several have said this is my best book to date and there were enough twists and surprises that kept them guessing right to the end. One told me she got shivers reading the beginning. Later she cut short a visit with an old friend because she was close to the end of the book and couldn’t wait to finish it. That’s high praise to me.

Question 6: What was the feeling like when you saw the very first printed version of your book?  

It’s the achievement of a goal to be able to hold a copy of your own book in your hands. This is something I’ve spent a great deal of time and energy on, creating the characters, crafting a story that could hold your interest and putting it all together. It may not be as fantastic as holding one of your children for the first time, but it’s pretty close. And that ain’t all bad.

Question 7: Do you continue to write? 

Absolutely. I’m working on a sequel now that utilizes many of the same primary characters from “Why 319?” and introduces some new detectives.  Chene is just too good to say good-bye to. He’s got a lot more stories to tell.

Question 8: What is the message you want people to take away from the book? 

Come escape with me into a good story. Get caught up in the crime and corruption and the dark secrets that inhabit so many lives. Follow Chene and his team as they try and figure out who is behind these murders and stop the killer before they strike again.

Question 9: If you could envision a future for your main character, what would it be?

As a detective, Chene is good at his job. But he struggles with personal relationships, so I can see him having difficulty trying to find a balance. He’s persistent. Someday, he just might achieve it.

Question 10: Who are those in the dedication of the book, and their importance to you?   

The book is dedicated to my wife, Kim, who has always supported my efforts at writing and life in general. I also acknowledge my son Travis and authors Meredith Ellsworth and Cory York. All three read earlier drafts of the book and provided me with great feedback.

The + 1 Question: If you had any one place in the world you could travel to for a book tour, where would that place be, and why? 

I’d go with California. That would give me a chance to meet a new audience and maybe connect with someone from Hollywood who would look at the story and say: ‘this would make a great movie!’  Of course, it would give me the chance to tour wine country too!

Links:

Mark Love Blog

Mark Love on Facebook

Amazon Author Page

 
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Posted by on February 13, 2015 in Interview

 

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Why 319? by Author Mark Love

Why 319Detroit has names such as Motor City, Motown, Hockey Town, and for me birth town. I write that as I was born in one of the suburbs of Detroit many years ago now. It is one of the major reasons that when going through the Black Rose Writing catalog I stopped on this book and knew I must read it.  The book I’m referencing is Why 319? by author Mark Love. I will do a note to football fans the book has nothing to do with a set of numbers often yelled by a quarterback in the NFL.

Why 319? is set within the mean streets of Detroit and does include some of the suburbs of the city.  This setting plays a factor in the book as in large cities police within burbs do not always communicate together and a potential serial killer can go unnoticed for a long period of time. It’s fortunate that the murders catch the attention of the right group of police. They start putting together the settings of how each of the three women are found and realize there is a serial killer lose in Detroit. The question now is will they be able to find the killer before another woman is found dead.

Jefferson Chene is one of those police officers who is involved in the investigation, and in fact outside of his boss is the team leader. The character, like all in the book, is well written and not perfect. They have flaws, can be dark and brooding at times but it fits the harsh reality of what is Metro Detroit.

Mark Love takes his knowledge of Detroit and does use real places in the book to help the reader connect to this city. You get an idea of the bleakness of Detroit but at the same time how people love the city. The main question will be, how will they get this killer off the street.

The book opens with a prologue giving the reader insight into the killers mind. The actions and thoughtful planning being done to determine who will be next is chilling. The cold calculating way in which we are introduced to that mind shows the reader what to expect from the book. As the first chapter begins it’s a crime scene and an investigation begins. It is during this opening not only is the reader introduced to Chene but the title of the book will become apparent. As you continue with the book the police procedural takes place and you will get more than you asked for within the pages.

Author Mark Love delivers a great book that uses the mean streets of Detroit in a great way. Those who know the city may know, or remember, some of the actual places mentioned in the book. Those fans of crime procedurals will enjoy the methodology and techniques used to find the resolution to the murders. The key thing is the book is a great read and do not go thinking you may have an idea who it is as this isn’t TV and a guest star isn’t the guilty person so it will not be obvious. The plot will grip the imagination and so will the joy of reading this great book.

 
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Posted by on February 10, 2015 in Reviews

 

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Book Giveaway Announcement

This is going to be a quick and dirty post as I want to give everyone some advance notice. I just cannot contain the excitement on what is going to be a grand experiment and impact all who want to follow me down this path.

I’m sure some readers will wonder about my intentions but again this is a first. The outcome of this upcoming major event for the blog could see if I try this again.

I admit I’m not holding out tons of hope but hey this isn’t just for me, it’s for the readers out there. The open blog calls for past holidays have been mixed so as this one isn’t going to require too much hoping for a nice amount of interest and participation.

So no more dancing around, this is what I have coming up.

There are going to be two book reviews that feature books from Black Rose Writing. The publisher has been kind to offer some e-books as a giveaway. Yes you saw that right through their support readers will have a chance at winning one book, oh wait sorry, it’s two books, oh again I’m wrong. There is a chance of winning one of THREE books that will be given away after the next two reviews.

So keep an eye out as the first of the reviews happens next week and there will be a full announcement coming soon. So if you are at all interested help get word out and share this post and do not be afraid to hit the like button.

 
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Posted by on February 6, 2015 in Uncategorized

 

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Ten Plus One Questions with Author Julianne Snow

Julianne SnowNormally I try to give you a bit of information on the author before letting you dig into the questions and those answers. The great thing about Julianne she did some of my work for me by providing some great information about herself. So let’s begin.

Julianne Snow is the author of the Days with the Undead series and Glimpses of the Undead. She is the founder of Zombieholics Anonymous and the Co-Founder and Publicist at Sirens Call Publications. Writing in the realms of speculative fiction, Julianne has roots that go deep into horror and is a member of the Horror Writers Association. With pieces of short fiction in various publications, Julianne always has a few surprises up her sleeves. Be sure to check out The Carnival 13, a collaborative round-robin novella for charity which she contributed to and helped to spearhead which was released in October 2013.

Now onto those wonderful questions and Julianne’s answers. At the bottom of this post you will find a list of how and where to find her online.

Question 1: What inspired you to write Glimpses of the Undead?

Glimpses of the Undead is a collection of short stories that I had either had rights reverted back to me or that I wrote specifically with a collection in mind. Essentially, I wanted to present a view into my mind and give readers a taste of the different incarnations of the undead I had rolling around. Stories range from very short to longer in length and feature horror, humour, and even a little erotica…

Question 2: Is there any significance to the name names of your main characters?

Honestly, not really. When I’m writing, sometimes a name will come to me and I’ll use it. Other times, I’ll change the name when the story is completed. Very rarely does the character’s name take a more important role than what the character does.

Question 3: During the writing process did you find yourself thinking about any of your memories?

One of the stories is set very close to home so I did draw on my memory of the location to ensure that if you were to visit my high school, you’d find yourself immersed in the location and the story as it unfolds.

Question 4: What were some of your favorite books growing up?

I absolutely devoured pretty much anything put in front of me as I was growing up, but my favourites included the works of L. Frank Baum who made the world of Oz possible, the works of Marion Zimmer Bradley, as well as works by Poe, Christopher Pike, and Lovecraft.

Question 5: Do you hear from fans of the book, and if you do what do they say?

I’ve heard from many of my fans who enjoy my short spurts of the undead. Though admittedly, many of them want to know if the individual stories will be developed into something longer at some point. The answer to this is—you never know!

Question 6: What was the feeling like when you saw the very first printed version of your book?

Excitement at the realization of a dream!

Question 7: Do you continue to write?

I write all the time 🙂

Question 8: What is the message you are want people to take away from the book?

There’s no real message I want people to get from reading my short fiction—I just want people to enjoy themselves.

Question 9: If you could envision a future for your main character, what would it be?

Well, I’d have to say that I’d like them to live… My characters tend to become like family to me.

Question 10: Who are those in the dedication of the book, and their importance to you?

There is no dedication 🙂

The + 1 Question: If you had any one place in the world you could travel to for a book tour, where would that place be, and why?

I’d love to go to the UK and promote my work – I think that would be fantastically awesome!

 

Social Media Links:

 
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Posted by on February 3, 2015 in Interview

 

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