Monday, March 30, 2020

Jemi Fraser - Dancing with Demtia

It’s a pleasure to be participating in author Jemi Fraser’s DANCING WITH DEMENTIA, Recognizing and Coping with the Early Stages of Dementia Blog Tour through MC Book Tours today.
The author is offering a tour-wide international giveaway of an Amazon Gift Card. More information on the giveaway is listed below.

But first Jemi took part in my little interview

Welcome, Jemi...

What was your hardest scene to write?

Because Dancing With Dementia is such a personal book, many of the scenes were difficult to write. Describing how this disease affected our Mom meant reliving so many sad and challenging incidents. The most difficult was probably reliving the moments we had to decide to accept a placement in a nursing home for her. And then having to tell her. So hard! Thankfully, many of the scenes were lighter and happier, so it was possible to balance the writing time.

What makes you run screaming?

So many things!! I’m more Hufflepuff than Gryffindor. As a Canadian, bears and moose in the forest might not send me running, but encountering a rattler while hiking would probably be the end of me as my screaming would scare the poor thing into biting me.

You’re about to be dropped in a remote spot for a three-week survival test. Where would you go? What three tools would you take?

My Northern Ontario woods are the best place to be in that kind of situation! I’d need a hatchet, a box of waterproof matches, and a pot. Although, if I got a bonus, I’d really like to bring my copy of Gary Paulsen’s Hatchet to help me out!

What behind-the-scenes tidbit in your life would probably surprise your readers the most?

I am a total SF/fantasy geek. From LotR to HP to Fringe to Firefly to Star Trek to Star Wars to BSG to… A framed middle earth map decorates my den while BB8 & R2D2 keep watch on the adjacent shelf.

If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?

I’d love to visit Scotland for a year. My parents emigrated from there to Canada before I was born. I’ve visited a couple of times, but I’d love to spend more time there and visit some of their favourite haunts with my extended family. I would have a blast placing my characters in the pubs and castles for some adventures. Nessie might even make an appearance.

If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Believe. Don’t let your fears limit you. Take those risks!

What does literary success look like to you?

For Dancing With Dementia, success to me would be knowing the book helped some families facing the first steps in the dance of dementia.
For my other writing, knowing my stories have entertained people and made their days a bit brighter would be awesome.

Tell us about the book you’re working on now.

My focus has switched from nonfiction to fiction (although there’s that public speaking project as well…). I’ve got a romantic suspense series coming up set in the fictional town of Bloo Moose, Vermont. The first book, Reaching For Normal, features a reluctant partnership of a former SEAL and an adventure writer trying to solve the mystery of a bizarre killing of a wolf. 

Dementia and Alzheimer’s touch the lives of millions around the world, but so much is still unknown.
As first-generation Canadians, we didn’t recognize the early warning signs. We didn’t know the differences between regular aging and the early stages of dementia. We’ve made mistakes but we’ve learned a lot.

•Identify those early warning signs
•Use visuals to improve communication
•Choose your words wisely
•Redirect and reassure
•Stay calm and cope with your own emotions
•Consider nursing home options
•Improve caregiver self-care

We’ve learned to dance the early steps of this disease with our love and laughter intact. If you are looking for help recognizing early signposts along with practical ways to cope with early Dementia and Alzheimer’s, this book is for you.

Read My Review HERE!

Jemi Fraser writes both fiction and nonfiction. Her nonfiction work focuses on the ways that dementia has impacted her family. Her fiction work varies from contemporary romance to suspense and flash fiction. Years as a teacher have taught Jemi that life is short and that happy endings are a must.

Jemi lives in Northern Ontario, Canada where snow is always a topic of conversation and the autumn leaves make everything better.

DANCING WITH DEMENTIA buy links:              Apple Books       Barnes & Noble          Kobo

Add DANCING WITH DEMENTIA to your Goodreads shelf

For all things, Jemi, check out her website: 

Amazon Page        BookBub      Goodreads       Facebook       Twitter       Quick Tips Videos

Thank you, Jemi!
Readers, do you have a question for our guest?

This tour-wide giveaway is for a $20 Amazon Gift Card. The giveaway is open internationally.

To enter the giveaway, just click on the Rafflecopter widget below and follow the instructions. The widget may take a few seconds to load so please be patient. If the widget doesn’t show up, just click HERE and you’ll be directed to the widget.
Thanks for stopping by and be sure to follow Jemi on her week-long tour HERE. You never know what you might find out. I hope dementia hasn’t touched your family or friends, but in case it has do you have any tips to share on dealing with this terrible disease?


Monday, March 23, 2020

Disaster Author Chrys Fey

Chrys Fey is here today to discuss her writing 
and her latest projects via this little interview.
Welcome, Chrys...

         1.   What was your hardest scene to write?
The hardest scene I’ve had to write is in a book that’s unpublished. It’s a battle. A very long battle, so technically it’s several scenes in one, but it was physically and mentally grueling to write.
In the Disaster Crimes series, though, the hardest scene was the tsunami scene (Tsunami Crimes) in Beth’s perspective. Not because it was difficult per se. I actually wrote it quickly. Rather that it was tough to put myself into that as the writer. I’ve had many tsunami dreams (nightmares), and I can’t swim, so my fear came out in that scene.
        2.   What makes you run screaming?
Lizards. Especially if one jumps out at me or, God forbid, on me.
         3.   You’re about to be dropped in a remote spot for a three-week survival test. Where would you go? What three tools would you take?
Hmm…the remote spot I’d chose would be one in the woods by a freshwater lake or river. I would have a tent, a fully-stocked fishing kit, and a two-burner camping stove because let’s face it, I wouldn’t be able to start a fire with sticks. Now ask me if I’d survive. Haha. Probably not. I may write about my characters surviving extraordinary things, but I’d probably cry the first night and want to go back home by dinner the next day.
    4.   What behind-the-scenes tidbit in your life would probably surprise your readers the most?
There are a few things that would probably surprise my readers that I’ll likely never share. However, I’ve shared quite a few secrets to my newsletter subscribers as well as in YouTube videos on my channel.
One behind-the-scenes tidbit I will share is that no one read Flaming Crimes (Book 4) other than my editor before it was published. I didn’t use any beta readers or critique partners, which goes against what I usually tell other writers to do (have at least 2-3 beta readers before an editor). I felt that it wasn’t necessary, that the story was right the way it was, that it was ready. (Side Note: I’m also an editor and had confidence in myself and my editor.) And that book has received the best responses from my readers, many saying it’s their favorite so far. When I submitted Frozen Crimes (Book 5), I did the same thing. No beta readers. Just my editor.
                  5. If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?
Ireland. (I didn’t even have to think about it.)

       6.   If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Oh boy. Probably to hang in there, that things will get better, and I’ll come out stronger for it. You see, I went through a lot of hardships and pain. I suffered from depression, poverty, and disability. Many times, I felt as though I was failing miserably at everything and would never achieve my dreams. 
  1.        What does literary success look like to you?
Well, it’s definitely not how it’ll look to other writers, which is the point, right? We all have our own ideas of success. My idea of success would be having a literary agent, a book or series that is doing well, and a steady income from publishing that I can count on.
    8. Tell us about the book you’re working on now.
Currently, I am editing Frozen Crimes with my editor. After that, I will be publishing a novella for Thorn, a beloved character from the series. I also have a couple of short stories I’ll be providing for free to bring the series to a close. As for what I’m writing…well, I’m not sure I can tell you that. 😉
My latest read of Chry's was

Beth and Donovan are now happily married, and what Beth wants more than anything is a baby. Her dream of starting a family is put on hold as fires burn dangerously close and Donovan becomes a victim of sabotage.

Donovan escapes what could have been a deadly wreck. Their past enemies have been eliminated, so who is cutting brake lines and leaving bloody messages? He vows to find out, for the sake of the woman he loves and the life they're trying to build.

Amidst a criminal mind game, a fire ignites next to their home. They battle the flames and fight to keep their house safe from the blaze pressing in on all sides, but neither of them expects to confront a psychotic adversary in the middle of the inferno.
Their lives may just go up in flames...

Read My Review HERE! 

Chrys Fey is the award-winning author of Hurricane Crimes from the Disaster Crimes Series, a unique concept blending romance, crimes, and disasters. Fey also authored Write with Fey: 10 Sparks to Guide You from Idea to Publication. Catch the sparks you need to write, edit, publish, and market your book! She runs the Insecure Writer’s Support Group Book Club on Goodreads and is also an editor for Dancing Lemur Press.

Thank you Chrys!

We're all looking forward to reading
Frozen Crimes!

Readers where do you think this one will take place?

Chrys, any hints?

Monday, March 16, 2020

Aphrodite's Whisper by W. C. Furney

Meet author W. C. Furney, a renaissance man.
He's here to discuss his book Aphrodite's Whisper.
 A romantic look back to a time
when the world was changing at a rapid pace.
If you love the historical genre, you'll
enjoy this book.

          1.    What was your hardest scene to write?

Without giving too much away…the ending.  The concept for Aphrodite’s Whisper began with three clear scenes in my mental outline, one at the beginning, one in the middle, and one at the end.  From the first day of writing, I knew what fate would befall the main character.  When the time came to actually write the scene, I put Enya’s haunting song Exile ( on loop and fortified myself with a wine glass and a bottle of Chardonnay.  Though it totally betrays the manly exterior I’ve carefully cultivated over the years, I literally had tears streaming down my cheeks from beginning to end.  To this day, I tear up whenever I hear that song.  Of course, I had to rewrite the scene several times when I was sober, but the experience was truly cathartic.  

Other than that, the love-making scene.  It’s REALLY hard to write about meaningful sex and not cross the line into something that’s too graphic.  I think I pulled it off, but I hated the process.  I had to consider every sentence and almost every word a hundred times before I felt it was right and appropriate.

          2.    What makes you run screaming?

In life, arrogant @ss clowns.  In writing, adverbs and the word “murmur” and it’s variations.

          3.    You’re about to be dropped in a remote spot for a three-week survival test. Where would you go? What three tools would you take?

That’s easy.  Drop me onto a (remote) Hawai’ian island armed with a satellite phone, a surfboard, and an American Express Platinum Card.  Not what you were looking for?  Hmmm…  OK.  I think it would be something like the island Tom Hanks was on in Castaway.  A good, sharp knife would be nice.  I don’t think I’d need a flint, but that would make starting fires easier.  And a non-stick frying pan.

         4.    What behind-the-scenes tidbit in your life would probably surprise your readers the most?

I was confirmed in Grace Episcopal Church, Plymouth, NC, and was an acolyte.  For real.  It was my introduction to the blessing of wine.  I would also mention the fact that my two sons and I earned black belts in traditional Okinawan Kenpo karate.  I was 45 years old at the time.  They were a lot younger.  

        5.    If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?

There are two ways to look at this question.  Do I pick a place I would really like to visit and then create a story for the setting?  Or do I already have the story and its setting in mind and choose that place?

If it’s the former, it would have to be Ireland.  There is something about Ireland that calls to my soul.  I know I have a little Irish in my DNA, but the calling is far stronger than I can explain.  If it’s the latter, it’s got to be New Orleans.  I know exactly what I would write about and exactly what research I would need to do.  New Orleans occupies a unique place in American history and there is no other city like it anywhere.  PLEASE, patrons of the literary arts, provide me with funding for an apartment in the French Quarter, preferably on Bourbon Street.

        6.    If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Don’t be so hardheaded and don’t be such a dumbass.  Buy stock in Amazon and Microsoft.  Don’t fry bacon in the nude.

7.    What does literary success look like to you?

Having a NY Times #1 best seller would be wonderful.  Making more money on my writing than it costs me to produce would be pretty nice too.  One thing I’d really like is to be traditionally published.  I know from reviews written by people who don’t know me and don’t have a family/friend “obligation” to say nice things, that my writing and storytelling are very good.  Most would say excellent.  I mean, readers get so wrapped up in my characters that most of them cry at the end of the story.  That’s the highest praise a writer can receive.  It’s really frustrating to see less worthy books being picked up by literary agencies and put out by established publishers.  That might sound like a whine, but it’s not.  It’s a dispassionate, sober evaluation of the situation based on the unbiased opinions of people I don’t know but felt compelled to tell me how much they like my books.

I’ve gotten very close to breaking into traditional publishing but haven’t quite made it over the finish line.  To put it into perspective, I had two agents with reputable literary agencies tell me that I write just like a famous author.  One said that I write just like Nicholas Sparks.  (I don’t think that’s accurate, but I said thank you anyway.)  The second one said that I write just like John Grisham.  (I think that’s closer to the truth and said thank you very much.)  In the next breath, each of the agents then said, “But I don’t like the way he writes.”  As a writer, what the hell do you do with that?  It’s like the NY Yankees saying, “Sorry Mr. Furney, but we don’t need another left-hander who can throw a hundred-mile-an-hour fastball.”  Aren’t they in this to make money?  Haven’t Grisham and Sparks made like a bazillion dollars?

Aye Yai Yai!

8.    Tell us about the book you’re working on now.

For my third novel, I’m writing something completely different from the first two.  In addition to being written in first person, it’s a mystery set in contemporary times, though the detective is tracking down a serial killer whose crimes are committed over a 20-year period.  The main character is terribly flawed and becomes obsessed with finding the killer when he discovers a connection they’ve shared for decades.  The connection is so strong, he begins to discover things about himself better left unknown.  In his own words; “
I grew up thinking I was going to be John Wayne, decided to settle on Charles Bronson, but ended up being more like Artemus enough, capable enough, and with a few tricks up my sleeve…but not, exactly a bad ass who makes bad guys piss their pants.”

Unlike my other novels, this story probably won’t make you cry.  (Or will it?)  But I promise it will be a page-turner that will keep you in suspense and keep you guessing the whole way through.

Aphrodite's Whisper

Aphrodite's Whisper is an epic story that begins in the winter of 1903 with the grounding of a private yacht during a brutal nor'easter on North Carolina's dreaded Diamond Shoals. Caelyn Canady, a moneyed-class misfit from New York, becomes a castaway forced to save herself and the man who should have rescued her. During her journey home, she finds love on the desolate dunes of the Outer Banks, witnesses man's first flight, and becomes the woman she knows she is meant to be.

Ethan Roberts, her would-be rescuer, is a veteran of the Spanish-American War tormented by the deaths of his best friend and an innocent woman. In becoming a surfman, he has found refuge in the untamed isolation of Cape Hatteras where the next call for help may be the one that finally frees him from his guilt and pain. Whether it be through redemption or death he no longer cares - until the stoic Missourian's passion for life is rekindled by the slight woman who saves him.

Read my Review HERE!

William Charles Furney was born and raised in the "Down East" region of coastal North Carolina where pirates are local legends and their folklore lives on still. A former soldier, journalist, and communication professional, William tapped into a lifetime of experiences and adventures to craft a pirate tale in the tradition of Captain Blood and Treasure Island.

After arming himself with a BS degree from the University of Colorado's School of Journalism in Boulder, he ventured out into the world as a reporter where he proceeded to hone his skills at pissing people off with the written word.

Along the way, he earned degrees in public relations and advertising. He became one of the first five people in the country to become a Certified Communicator in Public Health. He had his own column in the Jacksonville Daily News. He was a director of public relations for private industry and the director of communication for several government agencies. He established two public information offices where none previously existed; one for the State Health Director's Office and the other in the Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response - the state agency created in 2001 to oversee preparedness efforts associated with biological attacks and pandemic outbreaks.

Find Bill Furney HERE!


Thank you, Bill, for your participation.
Aphrodite's Whisper
is a powerful story!

Readers, if you could tell your younger writing self anything, 
what would it be?

Monday, March 9, 2020

The Girl With the Crystal Soul by Barbara Dargan

Welcome, Barbara Dargan, author of
Historical fiction with a hint of romance
and mystery.
She’s here to share a little about herself
and her first novel.

            1. What was your hardest scene to write?

It would have to be the scene/chapter where Olga described her and her family’s murder to May. It was gruesome, horrible and sad and made me feel as though I was in the room too when they were all killed.

          2.   What makes you run screaming?

I really don’t like earwigs or wasps. 
    3.   You’re about to be dropped in a remote spot for a three-week survival test. Where would you go? What three tools would you take?

I would go to a remote island in Fiji, on a beautiful beach and would take my sunscreen (of course), a box of matches and a cooking pot.

           4.   What behind-the-scenes tidbit in your life would probably surprise your readers the most?

I got a tattoo of an elephant on my ankle done for my 40th birthday. Back then it was a shocking thing to do, and close friends and family were amazed that I had done it! Some still are, mind you!

                     5. If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?

Adelaide, Australia, where my great, great grandfather lived.

          6. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Don’t doubt yourself. If you want to write a book, then write it! Find the time and stop procrastinating. You know that you are good enough!

7.    What does literary success look like to you?

Having people like my books and enjoying reading them. I’d love to have a following who looks forward to my next release. I’d like to make a living from writing, but to me, that is secondary to having a following.

8.    Tell us about the book you’re working on now.

This is a novel (I am 7 chapters in), about a real event that took place in Adelaide Australia. My great, great grandfather was involved in an incident where a man died in a boardinghouse. Was it suicide or murder? Years later, the daughters of both men look to try to unravel the mystery and, in the process, uncover a murderer as well as discovering who their fathers really were. It’s called ‘Fathers of Hindley Street’ and I hope to have it out before Christmas.

The Girl With The Crystal Soul
by Barbara Dargan

This is a novel based on Olga Romanov, her last few months of life, her death and burial. It is also the story of May Dawson, a forensic scientist who assists in the examination and identification of Olga and her family's remains in 1991. May feels a connection with Olga and a desire to tell her story, and to solve the mystery of the two missing children; Maria and Alexey and will not rest until Olga and her family are all reunited.

           Read my Review HERE!


I have always wanted to tell Olga’s story. I have been fascinated with her for many years, ever since reading ‘The Summer Day is Done’ by Robert Tyler Stevens. It remains one of my all-time favorite books.

I spent years procrastinating and doing nothing because I didn’t think I could write before my health deteriorated and my lifestyle changed. I enrolled in a creative writing diploma course with the NZ Institute of Business Studies and doing that has given me the confidence to finally start writing.

The Girl With The Crystal Soul is my first novel and I have started my second.

I enjoy genealogy and am finding lots of inspiration for plots amongst the deeds of my ancestors.

I was born in New Zealand and have lived here all of my life. I have two grown children and two gorgeous grandchildren. I live in Opunake, a seaside town in South Taranaki and have a wonderful view of Mt Taranaki out of my front window. My best mate is my little dog Indie, who is turning 14 this week.

I enjoy gardening and raising monarch butterflies.

Find Barbara Dargan HERE!


Congratulations, Barbara, on your first novel!

Wishing you all success and many sales!

So readers, have you ever used a place or time in history to set your novel?

Monday, March 2, 2020

Of Gods & Sorrow by Christine Rains

Welcome, Christine Rains, author of 
Of Gods & Sorrow
One of my favorite authors.
Christine is here to share a little about herself and her latest book.

Of Gods & Sorrow 
1.    What was your hardest scene to write?

The ending. Endings are always tough for me as a pantser because I don’t know how it’s going to resolve itself. I want the protagonist to win, but I love stacking the odds against them. I want it to be believable and satisfying for the reader, and I want it to resolve itself in a way no one expected. This was especially difficult with Erin’s situation at the end with the cult, but hopefully, I achieved what I set out to do.

2.    What makes you run screaming?

Nothing. I don’t like to run and I’m not a screamer. I’ve always been a face your fears kind of person. Though I give a very wide berth to spiders and snakes!

3.    You’re about to be dropped in a remote spot for a three-week survival test. Where would you go? What three tools would you take?

The Canadian wilds. Not too far north on the tundra, but it’s cold enough as it is. I’d take a Swiss army knife, a fire-starter, and proper clothes. I’ve watched a lot of survival shows over the years, and hopefully, that helps.

4.    What behind-the-scenes tidbit in your life would probably surprise your readers the most?

That I never take detailed notes while writing. I love to have many-layered characters and several crisscrossed relationships and a web of sub-plots, but I store them all in my head. I usually start with the good intention of keeping a notebook of a book, but the story takes off on its own and I just go with it.

5.    If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in that same setting, where would you choose?

Hm, that’s tough. I want to live in so many places! I would say a cottage in the English countryside near mysterious ruins. Oh, the magic of such a place!

6.    If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?

Don’t care so much about what other people think about your writing. I hid what I wrote for so many years until I gathered the courage to submit stories to publishers. Sharing a piece of our soul with the world is tough, but it’s more than worth it.

7.    What does literary success look like to you?

This has changed for me over the years. It was once having been published by one of the major presses and being as big as Stephen King. These days, I want to publish stories that I love to read and find readers that love to read them too. I don’t need to be the next Stephen King, but it would be nice to pay off some of our monthly bills with income from my books.

8.    Tell us about the book you’re working on now.

I’ve jumped into a new genre, LitRPG or GameLit. It’s fantasy fiction based on characters who get sucked into the game world they’re playing. Jumanji is a great example. My protagonist is playing a tabletop role-playing game I created called Khthonia. She and her friends must find a way to lift the Specter Plague curse and win the game to get home. It’s a geeky and exciting fantasy with some horror thrown in.

Of Gods and Sorrow (Of Blood and Sorrow Book 2) by Christine Rains

Stopping the undead will seem like child's play when the Cult of Ammut comes calling.

Even after losing most of her adopted family, Erin Driscol continues to console clients at Putzkammer & Sons Funeral Home. Keeping the funeral business working smoothly is no longer the walk in the graveyard it used to be. Grieving demons are fighting in the halls. Eyeballs are showing up in teapots. And a so-called psychic and member of the Cult of Ammut claims Erin's boss Cort is a god. All Erin wants is a friend to lean on and a sense of normalcy. But as the cult kills people and repeatedly attacks the funeral home, she must stand strong or lose Cort to the Lake of Fire.

Read My Review HERE:

Christine Rains is a writer, blogger, and geek mom. She has four degrees which help nothing with motherhood but make her a great Jeopardy player. When she's not reading or writing, she's going on adventures with her son or watching cheesy movies on Syfy Channel. She's a member of S.C.I.F.I. and Untethered Realms. She has four novels and several novellas and short stories published.
                                    Find Christine HERE

Thank you, Christine!

Wishing you all the best on your newest project- LitRPG!

Congratulations on all your success!

 Christine was wondering if you could tell your younger self anything, what would it be?