Friday, March 29, 2013

Calvin Dean, author of The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff


Author Bio:  Award winning Writer/Producer/Director/Editor Calvin Dean likes to stick his knows in the business of America’s Fortune 100 companies. When he isn’t producing corporate presentations, he’s churning out children’s books or supernatural, horror, mysteries and thrillers. Calvin lives with his family in the suburbs of Memphis, Tennessee. Visit him at CalvinDean.blogspot.com or on Twitter @jcalvindean.

Title: (Debut) The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff
Author: Calvin Dean
ISBN: 9781482032314
Page count: 300
Genre:  Horror/Mystery
Price:  Regularly $15.99, now $10.20 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  Kindle and Nook also available.

Tell us about your book:  In 1863, Jonas Barloff survived a fatal gunshot wound at Gettysburg.  Upon his return home to Mississippi after the war, heinous crimes ensued - and ceased upon his death in 1913.  Authorities never pinned the crimes on Barloff, which eventually attained folklore status.  It's 2013.  The crimes are back and so is a man claiming to be Jonas Barloff.  Meanwhile, a popular high school senior is dead, victim of a head-on collision.  One problem.  There was no second vehicle.  Its as if he hit a solid wall of thin air.  As the community mourns, two classmates begin to snoop.  A chance discovery places their deceased friend at a crumbling antebellum home, the old Barloff estate.  Will a puzzling epitaph in the Barloff family cemetery help the two teens solve the mystery?  Not until they come face-to-face with an evil no one could possibly imagine.  Even if they live to tell the story, no one will believe them.  Not in a million years.

How long did it take to write the book?
  The book began as a short story in 1972, the product of a ninth grade writing assignment. Placed in the back of my memory, the story reemerged in earnest in 2008.  Eleven manuscripts and two beta readers later, The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff was released on March 1, 2013.

What inspired you to write the book?  A fan of horror, I have often been left wanting with the novels I've read - wanting more horror, but not gratuitous violence.  More spooky atmosphere.  More shadows.  I decided to write the book I've always wanted to read.

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?  The writing process took a while because I needed time to familiarize myself with the characters.  Their personalities needed time to develop and mature.  When I felt like writing, I wrote for hours at a time.  If I didn't feel inspired, I left the word document alone.  As for research, I read several Civil War articles and books to help me capture the proper tone.  The battle scenes depicted, though fiction, are based on actual events.  I visited several modern scenes mentioned in the manuscript for authenticity.  The small community mentioned is mythical, but based on my hometown, Senatobia, MS.  And finally, Jonas Barloff is based on two of my ancestors, one enlisted in the Confederacy in Grenada, MS and survived Gettysburg.  Another relative was wounded at Gettysburg and died at a POW camp in Maryland.  Genealogical research is courtesy of my Aunt Sybil.

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
  Turn on the 10 PM newscast or open any local newspaper and you'll see stories of horrible violence - a school shooting, a terrorist strike, a drive-by shooting.  Even in my novel one gets the impression that evil prevails.  I want people to remember this: the future has been revealed in the pages of scripture.  God wins!



Excerpt from book:
Chapter 2: 
     Daniel wiped a sleeve across his perspiring forehead and sucked
in enough oxygen to expand his upper body, a vain attempt to
calm the hammering inside his chest. After several days of
contemplation, he reached his decision.
     On the first attempt, the car keys slipped from his sweaty palm and
dropped to the floorboard. Cursing under his breath, he grabbed the keys
and aimed for the ignition again. With one quivering twist of his wrist,
the Miata roared to life. The same shaking hand found the gear stick and
jammed it into drive.
     Daniel surveyed the street outside his parent’s home, the sidewalk,
the neighborhood. Satisfied the coast was clear, he applied the gas and
set his plans in motion. From this moment forward, there would be no
turning back.
     Daniel’s decision, made in the clear light of day, cast long shadows
of uncertainty, but because of the righteousness of his plan, his family’s
dilemma would soon be solved no matter how thorny the path.
     All that mattered to him was his father. Stricken with an aggressive
form of lung cancer, he refused to allow the disease to humble his family
of modest means. When the oncologist prescribed a regimen of
chemotherapy, the side effects of which included certain financial ruin,
Daniel sought an alternative, if unconventional remedy.
     He steered his Miata from the highway onto Whitten’s Ferry Road
at Magnolia Cemetery. On this cool, early evening in March, a thin fog
haunted the tombstones to his immediate left. Pressing the accelerator,
the sports car surged past the graveyard and into the rural countryside.
     By dark, he arrived at an antebellum home of Victorian architectural
design – his destination. Suffering decades of neglect, the once stately
residence now bowed under the weight of its crumbling facade. From
Daniel’s vantage, the home looked abandoned. Uninhabitable. Evil.
     Regardless, his confidential appointment required immediate
attention. The secret transaction, born of love but conceived in hell,
lacked one small but significant detail – a signature. Once enacted, the
ill-advised pact assured perilous and irrevocable consequences, execution
of which could come at a time and place not of Daniel’s choosing.
     The terms didn’t matter. In fact, the terms meant nothing to Daniel.
His father’s sudden turn of misfortune left him little choice. Besides, he
was not convinced his plan would end badly. After all, he was a high
school senior and star athlete with his entire life ahead of him. Time
offered plenty of opportunity to right egregious wrongs.
     Steering the car from the pockmarked road into the unpaved
driveway and over the overgrown dormant lawn, Daniel stopped the
engine.


Where can we go to buy your book?  The Epitaph of Jonas Barloff is available in paperback, Kindle and Nook at Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.

Any other links or info you'd like to share?
Amazon:  http://www.amazon.com/Epitaph-Jonas-Barloff-Calvin-Dean/dp/1482032317/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1362837731&sr=8-1&keywords=The+epitaph+of+jonas+barloff
Barnes & Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-epitaph-of-jonas-barloff-calvin-dean/1114749495?ean=9781482032314
Blog:  http://calvindean.blogspot.com/
Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17311619-the-epitaph-of-jonas-barloff

 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

C. Michelle Jefferies, author of Emergence



Author Bio:
C. Michelle Jefferies practically grew up in a library. She spent her early years learning to love reading at her mother’s side. When Michelle was ten she realized she wanted to write stories instead of just reading them. In high school, she met another writer who inspired her to write a full-length novel instead of just short stories. Michelle finished that 189 page handwritten novel the summer of her junior year.

After graduating from high school she married her best friend and started a family. She put her writing on the back burner during those early years to raise her seven children and to volunteer in the community as a lactation counselor. When her children were old enough for her to spend a few hours at the computer without them burning the house down she returned to writing and hasn't stopped since. She can often be found writing or editing with a child in her arms or under her feet. With a passion for secret agents and all things Asian, she writes futuristic thrillers and urban fantasies about bad boys turned good. She also enjoys beating herself up in Karate class as she works toward her black belt in Tang Soo Do.

Title: EMERGENCE
Author: C. Michelle Jefferies
ISBN: 978-1-59992-872-2
Page count: 312
Genre: Futuristic Suspense
Price: 17.99

Tell us about your book:
Assassin Antony Danic has never killed an innocent man. At least the corporation he works for has never given him a reason to think otherwise until now. Reeling from a series of demanding assignments, Antony is desperate for some downtime. As he sits on a beach in Tahiti watching his wife play in the ocean, a messenger from his employer delivers a death threat. Suddenly, the hunter has become the hunted. While Antony struggles to find a way out of his till death do us part contract, he's faced with the decision of a lifetime: kill another man who may be innocent, or do what's right even if it puts his family in jeopardy.

How long did it take to write the book?
Emergence took four months to write, at least two months to plot out before that, and about a year to revise and edit.

What inspired you to write the book?
I'd written a book with no plot and it was rejected over and over. One of those rejections an amazing intern named Jodi Meadows took the time to spell out what was wrong with the book. I took that rejection and wrote a completely new book to "prequel" the other book. I have since learned about plot and have rewritten that book too.

I wanted to explore the anti hero, what it takes to turn a bad boy into the good guy. Emergence is what happened with that exploration.  

Talk about the writing process. Did you have a writing routine? Did you do any research, and if so, what did that involve?
I try to write and/or revise/edit for a few hours a day. I'm pretty single minded so I am usually either in draft mode or revise mode at one time. I have a great system that I've developed that if I do the preparation, I can draft a book in about thirty days, and I can revise a book in about two months. That depends on the book though too. Some books take a longer time some shorter. I love to "freewrite" where i sit and just compose out of my head. However, total freewriting and I end up with a "no plot book". So I use Story Structure by Larry Brooks. (storyfix.com) That structure system gives me the recipe for a great book and then I go from there.  

As for research, Emergence is based in Australia. I've never been there so I had to do a lot of research. I took every virtual tour I could and studied the city Canberra on Google Earth for hours. I emailed Australian friends and learned about customs and food and other things. Ive had a few Australian people read the book and they say it's accurate so I guess I did my homework.  

What do you hope your readers come away with after reading your book?
That it's possible to change your life around and make different decisions. That once you make a bad decision you don't have to stay on that path. 


Excerpt from book:
Antony Danic let the slide of his Glock .357 slam home. The sound echoed against the sterile surfaces of the industrial kitchen where he waited. Rows of stainless-steel appliances and stark white counters filled the room that was half the size of his whole apartment. Elite would love this kitchen. A machine-like calm settled over his body as his thoughts turned from his wife to the hit.
“HQ, this is Viper,” he said as he double-checked the blade strapped to his calf and adjusted his blue-lensed Lanzen sunglasses.
“Viper acknowledged,” a female Corporate operator said over his silver and red earpiece.
“Viper in recon position.”
“Roger that, Viper. Radio silence commenced.”
The earpiece went silent. There would be no more contact until he initiated it.
Mr. Bennett held to a strict schedule when he was in town. He would arrive at exactly eleven to do a final walk-through of his restaurant before locking up for the night. Somehow, after chasing the man for three weeks, through the United States and the Middle East, Antony was now less than twenty minutes from home.
“Thank you,” a voice echoed through the kitchen, coming from the direction of the dining room. “I’ll talk to you later.”
A phone snapped shut and Antony heard heels clicking on the tile floor. He slid his finger from the side of his Glock to the trigger well. A wide man entered the kitchen, checking the small refrigerator by the door and wiping his finger on the counter.
Meticulous and well-fed, Antony thought as he stepped from the shadows, training his pistol on the man. Pretty oblivious, too. They now stood a mere ten feet from each other.
Antony cleared his throat—he refused to shoot a man in the back—and pulled the trigger.



Where can we go to buy your book?


Any other links or info you'd like to share?
twitter: cmjefferies
facebook: C Michelle Jefferies author
pinterest: cmjefferies