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author interview

ITW Spotlight: “The Housewife Assassin’s Horrorscope”

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Donna Stone, her mission leader Jack, and their covert ops team must decipher horoscope tips that contain clues to the names of twelve U.S.-born traitors whose individual acts are the catalyst to treason at the highest level. The Big Thrill caught up with author Josie Brown to discuss the eighteenth installment of The Housewife Assassin series, The Housewife Assassin’s Horrorscope (Signal Press): What do you hope readers will take away from this book? Every novel within the series must challenge both the author and her characters. This series looks at the light and dark sides of espionage. Could your neighbor be a spy? Of course—even in America. This latest Housewife Assassin novel brings home that realization yet again. No spoilers, but what…

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“Soldiers of a Foreign War:” A Look Inside Daily Life of a Soldier

in Fiction by

I wrote Soldiers of a Foreign War so that people could have a new appreciation for the names on the walls of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. So people could truly connect more personally with the stories of veterans.    Charles McNair served as an operating room technician in Vietnam, and though it has been many years since his service finished, he thinks of the war every day. Soldiers of a Foreign War meshes McNair’s own experience from the medical side of the war, exposing the stark consequences and brutality of America’s occupation in Vietnam while crafting a thoroughly researched and engaging tale that intersects the lives of many other soldiers of his own creation. The novel follows a variety of characters including…

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“The Alehouse at the End of the World:” An Apocalyptic Romp

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A romantic quest, talking birds, and souls imprisoned in clam shells, The Alehouse at the End of the World (Forest Avenue Press) is as wild as it sounds. Stevan Allred has given us a tale that mixes fables, Shakespearean comedy, and a journey through the underworld that will make us question all our own far-reaching fantasies about the afterlife. Mixing pop culture with myths passed on for centuries, this unique story follows a fisherman on a personal mission to reunite with his deceased wife in the Isle of the Dead. Without losing the tenacity of his original purpose, the fisherman takes on a whole new mission to save the undead world from being consumed entirely by the monster Kamah who reigns…

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ITW Spotlight: Digging Up the Past with Lee Child

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Iconic anti-hero Jack Reacher has made thriller writer Lee Child an internationally renowned author. In Past Tense (Delacorte Press)—the latest novel in this New York Times bestselling series—a turn in the road takes Child’s avenging loner to his long-deceased father’s hometown, where the ghosts of his past aren’t necessarily dead and buried. As is customary, Child started Past Tense without a plot. “I am the extreme example of a pantser,” he says. “I have no idea at all what the book is going to be about. I just start it and hope that somehow it sets in motion a chain of thought that will then produce a decent story. This is number 23 in the series. Having done so many, I’ve learned…

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“The Winter Riddle:” A Dark Farcical Yuletide Fantasy

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As winter time fast approaches, ’tis the perfect excuse season to bury yourself in blankets and curl up with a good book. Just in time for the holidays for fans of Sam Hooker’s first book, The Peril in the Old Country, or admirers of Terry Pratchett, The Winter Riddle (Black Spot Books) will captivate and delight. Set in the North Pole, Sam Hooker’s latest features an alliance between the Winter Witch and Santa. These characters are anything but how you expect them though. The Winter Witch Volgha would rather spend her time alone with her spells than get involved in any kingdom affairs. To her evil forces are just as bothersome as navigating social niceties. Santa too is not the jolly old man he is…

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Love, Faith, and Writing: A Chat with Herb Freed

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We recently sat down with Herb Freed to discuss his new book Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants, now available for purchase. Herb Freed started his adult life as an ordained rabbi and became the spiritual leader of Temple Beth Shalom in Lake Mahopac, NY, while producing and directing three shows at the Maidman Playhouse in New York City. Eventually, he resigned his pulpit to become a movie director. He has directed and produced 15 feature films, most of which have psychological, spiritual and/or social themes in spite of their commercial categories. He is best known for Subterfuge, a major action film; Tomboy, a teenage romp; the psychological drama Haunts starring Mae Britt; and CHILD2MAN, a story of survival during the Watts riots. Want more BookTrib? Sign up NOW for…

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Life Stories Help Others Connect To Peace and Wisdom

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In 2011 Polly Wirum ran her last marathon. It had been part of her lifestyle, part of her identity. But struggling with her health, she spent almost a year seeking answers and eventually was diagnosed with a circulatory issue. That propelled her on another journey to seek different answers. “I found myself having to let go of everything in my life and have faith that I would live to raise my children,” says Wirum, a life coach and intuitive, in her new book Gateways 2 Peace (Gatekeeper Press). “My ability to live with faith brought me to my current life experience. It was during my many hours of resting that I found myself slipping into meditation. I also found myself praying.”…

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Going Inside “Button Man:” One Man Takes On Murder Inc.

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Historical thriller author Andrew Gross takes us on a harrowing journey to a part of our past rarely explored in great detail, the Jewish mob’s rise to power in 1930s New York. Although the Italian mob is usually the image we conjure when we think of the racketeering and murder that drenched this time period, the Jewish mob actually played a huge role in taking over the garment industry and enforcing staggering control over the workers, business owners and law enforcement. The courage of the few standing up to unparalleled power and manipulation presented in Button Man (Minotaur) reads as sensational, but the story is actually based on truth from one remarkable man. As Gross describes in a recent BookTrib interview,…

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A Chat with “The Guilty Dead” Author P.J. Tracy

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We chatted with P.J. Tracy, author of the thriller The Guilty Dead, now available to purchase. P.J. Tracy was the pseudonym of mother-daughter writing duo P.J. and Traci Lambrecht, winners of the Anthony, Barry, Gumshoe, and Minnesota Book Awards. Their eight novels, Monkeewrench, Live Bait, Dead Run, Snow Blind, Shoot To Thrill, Off the Grid, The Sixth Idea, and Nothing Stays Buried have become national and international bestsellers. The Guilty Dead, the ninth installment of the Monkeewrench series, will be released in the US and the UK in fall of 2018.     P.J. was a long-time resident of Minnesota until her death in December 2016.  Traci remains in rural Minnesota, just outside Minneapolis, and continues writing about the Monkeewrench gang. Want more BookTrib? Sign up NOW for news and giveaways!

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Mitch Albom Takes Us Back to Heaven in His New Sequel

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“I always carried the idea that when you die, there are these people sitting there waiting for you.” If ever there was an author who could paint a tangible picture of heaven and imagine it as a kind of post-life waiting room, it is Mitch Albom, first with his iconic bestseller The Five People You Meet in Heaven and now with his just-released sequel, The Next Person You Meet in Heaven (Harper). The author, well known for Tuesdays With Morrie and his more current The Magic Strings of Frankie Presto, said in a recent BookTrib interview, “Of all the books that I’ve written, The Five People You Meet in Heaven is the one I’ve heard the most questions over the years about what happens…

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“Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants:” Humor and Pathos

in Fiction by

Ben Zelig, the protagonist in Herb Freed’s Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants, (Bellrock Entertainment Inc.)  has life all figured out: graduate from rabbinical school; get hired by a spiritually enriched community; meet a nice Jewish girl, and start a family. Naturally, nothing goes according to plan, but life can still work out, according to Freed, as long as you have, well, love, faith and a pair of pants. Freed, who started his adult life as an ordained rabbi and is author of the love story Bashert, is back with a collection of five short stories about the smart, witty, spiritual and handsome (ask his mother) Rabbi Ben Zelig. In five stories about a rabbi’s life, Zelig navigates romance,…

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Immigration Attorney Memoir Reads Like Espionage Thriller

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It’s a collection of immigration case histories that read more like espionage thrillers, populated with KGB agents, nuclear whistle-blowers, and even accused terrorists fighting for their lives as well as legal standing in the U.S. With the publication of Safe Haven in America: Battles to Open the Golden Door (American Bar Association), Michael Wildes, Managing Partner of the premier immigration firm Wildes and Weinberg P.C., shares nearly a quarter century on the front lines of the immigration controversy. But he also tells human stories – children kidnapped to foreign countries in bitter divorce battles; families destroyed by the attack on the World Trade Center; a hero’s shabby treatment after standing up to terror; and more. As Safe Haven hits the bookshelves, BookTrib asked Wildes…

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Romanticist Brae Goes Global in “Eight Goodbyes”

in Romance by

When Tessa Talman meets Simon Fremont for the first time, not only is she attracted to him, she is intrigued by how different their lives are. He’s a dedicated scientist while she’s a head-in-the-clouds romance author. While their relationship grows, they agree to meet in places around the world while continuing to live on opposite sides of the globe. As Tessa finds the strength to deepen the relationship, the unthinkable happens, separating them in ways they never imagined. So goes the storyline in Eight Goodbyes, the fourth romance novel by Christine Brae (Vesuvian Books). Brae, a full-time career woman, in 2013 thought she could write a book about her life – her first novel, The Light in the Wound — and…

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How Oxenberg Saved Her Daughter from Cult Clutches

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Sometimes a book is ripped from the headlines. Sometimes it’s the other way around. Captive (Gallery Books), a blow-by-blow account of actress Catherine Oxenberg’s determination to save her daughter and bring down the Nxivm sex cult, reads like fiction. But you can’t make a story like this up. Oxenberg says Nxivm brainwashed her daughter, India, and turned her into someone ready to recruit sex slaves into a secret society that branded members with the initials of the group’s founder, Keith Raniere. Raniere is now in prison, and several of his high-ranking Nxivm leaders have been arrested, including Seagram heiress Clare Bronfman, whose millions allegedly financed retaliatory legal action against anyone who fell out of Nxivm favor. Charges include racketeering, sex trafficking, forced…

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Gail Honeyman on “Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine”

in Fiction by

Gail Honeyman, author of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine (which is now available in paperback), stops by Writer’s Bone to discuss delving into loneliness in her debut novel, what went into crafting her memorable main character Eleanor, and how she balanced drama and humor throughout the narrative. To learn more Gail Honeyman, visit her official website or follow her on Twitter @GailHoneyman. Want more BookTrib? Sign up NOW for news and giveaways!

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Comic Thriller “Death and Taxes” Pits an IRS Repo Squad Against the Mongolian Mob, Radioactive Cows and a Murderous Eunuch

in Fiction by

Mark Douglas is an IRS accountant, a former Marine content to hide out in his cubicle and audit suspicious tax returns. His latent thirst for action is satisfied by occasional forays into the field, armed with tear gas, a bull horn, and a rental truck to haul in whatever pays the back taxes of the most egregious evaders. Life is good for Mark. After long days at the office courting carpal tunnel syndrome, he joins his co-workers at their local watering hole to relive past glories deciphering fraudulent tax returns, ponder unexpected consequences of tax loopholes, and ogle busty barmaids. Mark’s boss, Lila, is a beautiful and sexy tax prodigy. One day, she discovers “odd jiggles” in three seemingly unconnected…

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