Mistletoe and Horsehoes – Entered in Holiday Contest

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Juliette Douglas

Mistletoe and Horseshoes by Juliette Douglas is an imaginative Western story that takes place on the snowy border of Canada. The headstrong and stoic Jolene takes us into a little town where she finds love, herself, and what the spirit of Christmas truly means.

Jolene is a compelling character and her history as an abused prostitute as well as her jail-time make her a stand-out character in a genre that can be very masculine. She is dismissive, drinks whiskey, and is not afraid to trek through the snow with her faithful horse. However, this all unravels when she agrees to marry Emmett Foster, a man she has known less than two days. There is no real development into the relationship and while both bond over their shared jail-time, the relationship is not convincing which was a pity as Jolene is so unique.

The lack of development could be because the story is only thirty pages. One stylistic problem is that Douglas uses the adjective “hazel” more than twelve times to describe Jolene’s eyes but very little else about her. And so the reader is left with a romance between two characters that is built on . . . criminal conviction?

That being said, the theme of “Christmas miracles” influences the story and in turn the accelerated romance. The birth of a baby in the stable and Emmett’s festive spirit give the story a Christmas feel and a happy ending that is perfect for this season.

Originally critiqued by a member of the Authors Talk About It team.

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Top 10 Author Interviews for 2015

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Top 10 Author Interviews for 2015

We decided to share our top 10 author interviews for 2015.  It was exceptionally challenging to choose only 10 as we interview hundreds of authors and dearly LOVED so many of them.  

This is not about the top 10 books, but rather the authors themselves and their interviews. Every single one of these interviews are ones you should put on your “must hear” list…and perhaps, you’ll put their books on your “must read” list 🙂

We’ve opted to share these on the show as well as here in the shownotes in order of interview date versus in order of our favorites.  


Tash McAdam

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Book Description:

Telepaths, torture, mindwipes … the Institute has it all, and they use each of their brainwashed children as weapons, the way they see fit. To control society, repress its people. To make certain that they stay in power, no matter the cost. Serena’s baby brother Damon is one of those children, and these days he’s so altered that he doesn’t even recognize her.

When it comes to getting Damon away from those who kidnapped him, there’s nothing Serena won’t do. Even if she has to kill him to save him. First, though, she must prove to her father that she has what it takes to be a soldier against the insidious threat of the Institute. Her first mission has to be perfect.

But with inaccurate intelligence, unexpected storms, and Gav Belias, people’s hero of the Watch, on the prowl, will she even survive? If she doesn’t succeed, they’ll never let her go after her brother.

And that would be unthinkable, when it was her fault that he was taken in the first place.

Slam is Tash McAdam’s first work with Glass House Press, and serves as a prequel to her series The Psionics, with the first book, Maelstrom, due in 2015.


Michaelbrent Collings

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Book Description:

The Douglas family just wants to live their lives, and maybe find a bit of happiness. But when the ghost in their home breaks out of a centuries-long sleep, all hope for happiness will die. Because the thing that haunts them is not just evil… It is something much, much worse. Watching them from the shadows. Hungry to start killing once more. And thirsty for the blood of the children, the blood he has so long been denied. The thing that haunts them is not just evil. It is twisted.


Michael Modzelewski

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Book Description:

A memoir of my life as a Cosmo Bachelor with some names and locations changed to protect the not so innocent along with the innocent.


Jane Carroll

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Book Description:

Bertha-Size Your Life! Is a book of personal transformation that reads like a series of entertaining and humorous stories. Bertha, a zany redhead, mysteriously appears in the narrator’s life during a walk in the park. Quicker than a man can hand off a baby with a dirty diaper, she has moved into the narrator’s empty nest and the fun begins. 

You never know what Bertha will think up next from flying a hot air balloon to singing to her begonia, she’s always up to something. Bertha delights in standing on her soapbox while dispensing down-home wisdom and perky advice, explaining The Law of Attraction in a refreshing, humor-filled, practical way that has the reader going aha! instead of humph! 

Throw in a conniving nemesis, an antagonistic cat, lime green spandex and high-heels and you’ve got a book that’s sure to tickle your funny bone and leave you wearing your thinking cap as you read and reread each vignette. 


James Goi Jr.

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Book Description:

How to Attract Money Using Mind Power may be the most concise, usable book of its kind. It sums up key points taught in countless mind power, metaphysics, and success books. It shows how to apply this knowledge to attract money. In twenty brief chapters, the science of attracting money is presented in such a simple, straightforward way, that any person of average intelligence will be able to grasp and use these profound teachings. Now, using the techniques given in this astounding little book, anyone can attract all the money they want by harnessing the power of their own mind.


Melissa Krivachek

Melissa Bold

Book Description:

BOLD Is The New Sexy! Everyone dares to be great but very few ever have the courage to step into their greatness.” Have you ever wondered what it was like to jump off a cliff and soar or take a leap of faith knowing it will work out? Following the principles shared within the book the authors have created the life and lifestyle they truly desired. But it wasn’t the titles, accolades, power, or money they’ve acquired that has made them BOLD because when they first started they had none of that yet they jumped anyway. 

Sharing their passions, stories, and expertise you’ll discover why BOLD is the new sexy! You don’t have to be smart, sassy, strong or sophisticated to be BOLD but as a result of being BOLD you become all of that and so much more. In fact you’ll find yourself running up the cliff without fear ready to take on the world as you explore opportunities you never knew existed while playing with a child-like behavior, and what was once just a dream soon becomes your reality. If you know you deserve better than mediocrity, excuses and the BS stories you tell yourself then…….. you owe it to yourself to get BOLD! 


Ernie Lojoi

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Book Description:

The Preyers, Lijoi’s latest blockbuster in his best-selling crime thriller series based on his true life service as a deep cover undercover cop using his guise of Eddie Pannoni, drug dealer and gun-runner extraordinaire.

Targeted for assassination because of his success in infiltrating the organized crime families, resulting in their arrests and imprisonment, Pannoni (Lijoi) has had enough. Five innocent people are killed as the drug lords from Columbia unleash their killer, seeking revenge. 
First they murder New England’s main narcotics connection. Then they take out his partner. Then it’s time to punch Eddie Pannoni’s ticket. But Eddie is no novice to the gun game. 

Eddie (Detective Ernie Lijoi, Sr.) and his partner Detective Jack Wade decide not to wait for the Columbians to send their henchmen, but to go after the drug syndicate with all guns blazing. It’s a fight to the finish and the devil takes the hindmost.


Mark Michaels and Patricia Johnson

Designer Relationships

Book Description:

Contemporary relationships are in a state of rapid evolution. These changes can and should empower people with the opportunity to develop partnerships based on their own sexualities, understandings, and agreements. This makes it possible to create what Kenneth Haslam, founder of the Kinsey Institute’s Polyamory Archive, has called “designer relationships.”

Designer relationships may encompass: people who bond emotionally but not sexually; people who agree to be non-exclusive; single people who have occasional lovers or friends with benefits; multiple partner configurations where long-term bonds exist among all or some; partnerships in which people are kinky and that make room to explore kink.

The possibilities are limitless, and thinking about a partnership as something people can craft allows for flexibility and change. Relationships can open and close or have varying degrees and kinds of openness as circumstances demand. In the context of a designer relationship, decisions are made mutually, consciously, and deliberately. Best-selling authors and nationally known relationship experts Patricia Johnson and Mark A. Michaels are exemplars of this life choice, and have studied polyamory for over 20 years. This book explains exactly how you and your loved ones can design your own life and love.


Paul Margolis

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Book Description:

Three years ago, Jack was a brilliant young detective with the LAPD. Now he plays poker to make ends meet, and to forget the horrific event that ended his police career. Out of the blue Jack gets a call from his father Joseph Pearl, a distinguished Harvard professor who is in Los Angeles for a philosophy conference. The two haven’t spoken in years yet Pearl seems anxious to discuss some matter in person, behavior strangely out of character for the emotionally-distant dad who Jack still blames for the family tragedy that tore them apart. But when the philosopher fails to show up and can’t be found, Jack knows something is wrong and feels compelled to find him. 

As his shaky detective instincts kick in, Jack tracks down a beautiful yet troubled Yale grad student named Claire who was having a clandestine affair with Pearl. Together they search for the man they both have issues with and uncover secrets and lies in the world of philosophy, including a trail of murder and no shortage of colleagues who wanted Pearl dead. The more Jack risks his life for answers, the more he fights old demons and his growing attraction to Claire. Then just as he learns the shocking truth behind his father’s disappearance, Jack finds himself drawn back into the haunting, unsolved case that got him kicked off the force. 

Impossible to put down, THE NAKED PHILOSOPHER is a gut-wrenching, heart-stopping crime thriller about family and revenge that keeps the reader guessing to the very last page.


Bill Cortright

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Book Description:

In Bill Cortright’s new book, TRUTH: The Ten Minute Life Plan, we explore the real reasons we procrastinate. How diet, exercise, self-talk, childhood programs, and stress will cause us to procrastinate. You are going to gain easy-to-use tools that will help you break through and break out. If you claim any of these tendencies, this simple book will change your life. 

DO YOU HAVE A TENDENCY TO: 
• Put things off to the point you rush in “panic mode” to complete them? 
• Daydream about what you are going to do one day but never seem to get it done? 
• Get lost with distractions such as computer games, social media, television, movies, etc.? 
• Start a new diet or proclaim the same New Year’s Resolutions every year? Do you lose weight and gain weight on a regular cycle? Are you overweight? 
• Make “To Do Lists” that are never completed? Do you feel overwhelmed with so much to do but get little accomplished? 
• Believe that there is a “magic time” when things will get done? 
• Put off what you should do now with a set time in your head for when you will make up for the lost time?


Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to subscribe to Authors Talk About It via iTunes (or Podbean.com), rate and review the show and choose at least one of the above interviews to listen to.  Then, pick up a copy of their book!


The question remains – Will you accept your mission?

Rob and Janelle

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Twisted Reveries

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Twisted Reveries

MegHafdahl

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Book Description:

This collection of 13 tales will have readers on the edge of their seats. The suspense in each story, tinged with horror and ending in surprising twists, is sure to entertain.


Notes: 

We interviewed Meg while she was at the Houston Writers’ Guild for a speaking gig.  We got to talk with her via Skype from her hotel! So much fun.

Birds. Birds are a huge fear factor for Meg! 


The Mastermind behind Twisted Reveries:

Meg Hafdahl

A native of British Columbia, Canada, and Duluth, Minnesota, Meg studied literature and creative writing at the University of Minnesota-Duluth, where she received a grant for playwriting.  Her story, “Dark Things”, was a recent finalist for the 2014 Jane Austen Short Story Award.  She had published short stories with Spider Road Press, in Eve’s Requiem, as well as with Inklings Publishing’s Eclectically Criminal anthology.  Currently, Meg lives in Rochestor, Minnesota with her husband and two young sons.


Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to subscribe to Authors Talk About It via iTunes and get your copy of Twisted Reveries.


The question remains – Will you accept your mission?

Rob and Janelle

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Magical Short Stories from JH Fleming

J.H. Fleming shares magical short stories with her readers. She says, “I am a writer not because I have been published, but because I have written.” She has been “writing forever”, but having her work actually published really changed things for her.

J.H. studied creative writing in college and owns of 800 books! After releasing her book of short stories, Lifting the Veil: Tales of Discovery and Magic, she is now working on new books including a full-length novel to be release later this year.

JH Fleming

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Description:

In the Empire, rebellion is stirring, threatening everything the people have ever known. In a forgotten castle, a woman watches the world as the centuries pass, leaving her unchanged. In a forest temple, a young priestess finds the courage to choose her own path. On a high mountaintop, a Dreamer teaches his apprentice the true art of Dreaming. And on the dark streets of a coastal city, a young woman seeks revenge for the past. Enter worlds where things are not always what they seem, and the price of power could be your very life. Find imagination and adventure in LIFTING THE VEIL: TALES OF DISCOVERY AND MAGIC, an exciting collection of Pulp Fantasy short stories by author J. H. Fleming.


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J.H. Fleming received her Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Writing from the University of Central Arkansas, and plans to go for a Master’s within the next couple years.
Her stories have appeared in anthologies by Evil Girlfriend Media, Mocha Memoirs Press, Seventh Star Press, Pro Se Productions, and magazines by Visionary Tongue and New Realm Magazine. Her story collection ‘Lifting the Veil’ was published last year by Pro Se Productions, and her first novel is scheduled to debut this year, along with a few more short stories.
J.H. writes fantasy and mythic fiction. She draws inspiration from everything, but especially music. Several of her stories have been inspired by lyrics of songs.

Wondering Magically,

Drs. Rob + Janelle Alex, Ph.D.
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What is the Heart of Romance?

Brand new author, Sandra Ely shared with us how she loves horror novels and Stephen King. One of her reviewers commented, “‘Hey, Sandra must be a vampire too, otherwise there is no way she can describe with so much detail what a vampire feels.’ So, I guess she is either a vampire or a very good writer.”

During our conversation she shared with us that at the heart of romance is the recognition that everyone has a past, and it is important to let go of the past.  In Kiss of Death, Sandra’s characters have to come to this realization, too, if they want to relish in life and relationship.

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Get your copy today!


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A stay at home wife and mother of two incredible boys, Sandra Ely enjoys writing fiction dealing with supernatural aspects. She is an up-and-coming new author, specializing in romance, fantasy and horror.

Find Sandra on Facebook http://www.facebook.com/AuthorSandraEly


XO,

Drs. Rob + Janelle Alex, Ph.D.

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Pieces of Chaos

Want to write your own Pieces of Chaos?  Author Tommy B. Smith says to “familiarize yourself with yourself.”  Our interview with him focuses on his collection of dark fiction short stories in Pieces of Chaos.

It is probably safe to say that at some point or another we all have some chaotic ramblings within our minds.  Tommy B. Smith just happens to have put his to paper with his “pen of chaos”.  These short reads are quite intriguing, and will leave the reading wondering…and most likely wanting more.  Which is perfect, because there are quite a few stories in this collection.

Pieces of Chaos (front cover)

Click here to get your copy! 

Have you ever wondered just where a horror writer’s ideas come from?  Well, Tommy shared with us that his are a “mixed bag”.  The ideas stem from loose-ended dreams he has had as well as personal experience or discoveries.

One last tip that Tommy shared with our listeners – you – is to steal away every minute you can to write…and try to at least set aside a deliberate hour to focus on writing.


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Tommy B. Smith is a writer of dark fiction and the author of Poisonous and Pieces of Chaos. His work has appeared in numerous publications over the years to include Every Day Fiction, Night to Dawn, Black Petals, Blood Moon Rising, and a variety of other magazines and anthologies. He has previously worked with Morpheus Tales as editor of the magazine’s Dark Sorcery and Urban Horror special issues. His presence infests Fort Smith, Arkansas, where he resides with his wife and cats. Learn more at www.TommyBSmith.com.


 

Looking forward to a Sea of a Thousand Voices,

Janelle + Rob

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