Monday, September 01, 2014

The Writer's View: Claudine Kapel

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter to win Claudine will be awarding a $20 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Writer's View: Claudine Kapel

Although writing is very much an inward journey, the external environment can support and enhance the creative process.

I do almost all of my writing in my home office. Since this is also where I work, I have lot of technology here, including a 21.5-inch iMac, a color printer, a landline, and two external backup drives. My desk is located in the corner of the office, facing a window.

The view outside is lovely. I can see a forested ravine that is a lush green in summer and offers spectacular fall colors as well. From my vantage point, I can also see part of the Toronto skyline. (The view from my living room captures the full skyline and is breathtaking.)

I spend a large part of each day working at my computer. I have my own consulting business and am also working on new books. So I do a lot of writing every day, whether it relates to my consulting work or the next adventures of Ryan Cole.

As a result, I’ve put a lot of energy into creating a comfortable and ergonomically sound work environment. I have an adjustable chair as well as a footrest – which are vital tools of the trade for those of us who are not so tall.

I love to listen to music when I write, so I have some good speakers connected to my computer. I generally listen to instrumental music when I’m working or writing. As a result, I’ve created a sizeable library of music on my computer that features both classical and new age works by a variety of artists.

I also look to music to help inspire my writing so I’m always on the lookout for songs that work well with particular scenes. I keep a playlist for each of my books that I revise or expand over time as new music crosses my path.

My desk is L-shaped, so there’s plenty of space for both my technology and working papers. Sufficient desktop space is important, especially since my desk frequently hosts visits from my cat Murphy. He likes to sleep by the computer while I write. Sometimes he sleeps on the printer.

Murphy is especially fond of sunbeams, so I also find him basking in a pool of sunlight behind the computer or on the floor near my desk. He’s partial to warm, comfy places, which I think explains his affinity for the printer.

Beyond my immediate work area, my writing space includes two bookcases, a filing cabinet, a shredder, and a recumbent exercise bicycle. I confess that I’m not currently using the bike on a regular basis. But that’s on my to-do list. In the meantime, Murphy can sometimes be found sleeping on the seat.

Writing requires a significant inward focus. Attention to the external elements of the writing environment can help facilitate that inward journey and make it even more enjoyable.

“It’s definitely not a good time to be going into the woods of Hawkley Ridge.”

When a red-eyed wildcat starts threatening ranchers in the Pacific Northwest, Ryan Cole recognizes the danger is far more menacing than the ranchers realize. Cole specializes in tackling unconventional security threats, particularly those with alien origins.

His investigation puts him in the crosshairs of Antoine Drake, an international arms dealer with a penchant for weapons from other worlds. Both men are hot on the trail of powerful alien artifacts known as guardian stones.

Cole and his team of investigators embark on a dangerous quest to recover the guardian stones before they can be assembled into the ultimate alien weapon. To succeed, Cole must also decipher the wildcat’s deadly secrets.

But in the woods of Hawkley Ridge, it’s easy for the hunter to become the prey.

A Darker Rain is the first book in the Ryan Cole series.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“An alien capable of assuming human form might also be capable of assuming a human form with specific details, like the retinal pattern of a dead man.”

“How do we fight that?”

“We figure out what makes them tick, and then we find a way to counter them. Just like we do when we confront any other type of military threat.”

“I’m glad we have you on board,” said Beecham. “I trust you’ll make this your top priority.”

“You know we will,” Cole replied. “So, do you have any plans for this morning?”

“Why do you ask?” queried Beecham.

“I have a briefing with members of my team at ten. I thought it might be valuable for us to compare notes. We’ll even provide the coffee.”

Beecham looked thoughtfully at Cole, feeling a sense of relief. “Will that rogue Dalton be there?”

“Of course.”

“Hmm … And what do I get out of it? I can’t see any point paying you guys your exorbitant fees if I have to do all the work.”

“We’ll see about that,” said Cole. “Do you like cats?”

“Cats? No, I’m a dog person myself. Why?

“Because I think you’re going to find this cat especially interesting.”

“Well, that seems fair,” said Beecham.

“Why’s that?” asked Cole.

“Because I think you’ll find what I have in the back of this SUV especially interesting.”

About the Author: A Darker Rain is Claudine Kapel’s first novel. She lives in Toronto and enjoys books, music, and travel. When not working as a consultant, she can be found writing, reading, or contemplating what else may be out there.

The second book in the Ryan Cole series is planned for release in 2014.

Claudine loves to hear from readers. You can reach her at

Buy the book at Amazon-US , Amazon-CA , Apple iBookstore/iTunes-US, Apple iBookstore/iTunes-CA , Barnes and Noble, or Kobo. a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Writer's View: Lisa Regan

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Lisa will be awarding an eCopy of Hold Still to five randomly drawn commenters during the tour and a print book of Hold Still to five randomly drawn commenters (US and Canada ONLY). A grand prize of a $50 Amazon Gift Card will be awarded to one randomly drawn commenter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Writer's View: Lisa Regan

This is something that people are always shocked to know. I don’t have a writing space. That’s right. No room, no desk, no area. Nothing, nada. My laptop doesn’t even have a space. It is just wherever I used it last—on my coffee table, on my dresser. I used to have a writing space—when I was younger and single. In fact, I always had one. Then I became a mom. The truth is there is simply no time in the day for me to sit down in any one place and have dedicated writing time. I would love to, believe me, but it’s not in the cards. I have a full-time job and a family. The only time I get to write is in the spare minutes when no one is paying attention to what I’m doing (which is almost never) and/or when I’m waiting on something. I keep a small notebook in my purse at all times so that I can whip it out and start writing whenever an opportunity presents itself. Some of my best work has been done while waiting in line at the post office. I also write while waiting in the doctor’s office. If I am out with my family and my daughter has fallen asleep in the back seat, I will convince my husband he needs something at Home Depot or Lowe’s (it doesn’t take much convincing) and while I’m waiting in the car with the sleeping child, I can get a solid 20 minutes of writing done. The best time is probably when my daughter is winding down for the day. She lays in bed and watches television for 20 minutes to a half hour and I can sit in the corner of her darkened room with my laptop or my notebook and a book light and write. Sometimes in the evening if my husband finds something particularly engrossing to watch on the Military Channel after our daughter has gone to sleep, I can get a lot of work done. I always say I’ll get up an hour before everyone else and write but I was never a morning person. I’ve tried and I can never do it. So I just write when I can. I usually stop whatever scene I’m working on in mid-sentence so that the next time I have ten minutes to work, I don’t have to spend it wondering what I was going to write next. I can pick right back up. The story is always on like a movie in the back of my head so that I’m always ready to go. It doesn’t make for the best first drafts but there is plenty of time for revising later on—time I have to squeeze out just like the notebook time. I always dream that one day I’ll have a desk or a room where I can actually sit down to write, but I’m not banking on it.

Three men are viciously assaulting Philadelphia's prostitutes, and it's up to veteran detective Jocelyn Rush to stop them. She catches two, but they won't betray their partner, the most dangerous of all, and the attacks continue, striking closer to home. Jocelyn's only real clue comes when a monster from her past resurfaces--now she must race to connect the demons of her past with the villain of her present--before the sadistic attacker sets his sights on her.

Enjoy an excerpt:

Pacing, Jocelyn loosened the brace on her wrist and rubbed the skin lightly before tightening it again. Exhaustion made her legs ache. It was nearing the end of her shift, but she knew they’d be there well after their shift doing paperwork. She remembered she’d promised Olivia they would go get a Halloween costume in the morning.

“This isn’t right,” Jocelyn said. “Why are they protecting this guy?”

Kevin sighed. “Who cares? It isn’t our problem anyway. Let’s just charge ‘em and leave ‘em down there till SVU picks them up.”

“With what?”

Kevin ran a hand over the thinning hair at his scalp. “Jesus Christ, Rush. With whatever we can. Rape, kidnapping, aggravated assault.”

She stopped pacing and looked at Kevin. “We need the third guy.”

“This is not our case. We’re not going after the third guy. We’re charging these guys, and we’re going home.”

Jocelyn stood before him and put her hands on her hips. She arched her brow until Kevin groaned loudly, leaning back in his chair and looking at the ceiling as if he wished aliens would abduct him right that very second. “What the hell, Rush?”

“When SVU takes over, I want to make sure we did our job.”

Kevin shook his head and looked back at her. “We did our job. Look, we’re not getting the third guy through these two. Did you offer Warner a deal?”

Jocelyn nodded. She rifled through her desk for the bottle of Ibuprofen she kept there. “He’s not taking a deal.”

About the Author:
Lisa Regan is a crime fiction author. Her first novel, Finding Claire Fletcher won Best Heroine in the eFestival of Words Best of the Independent eBook Awards 2013. It was runner-up for Best Novel. It was also a Digital Book Today Best of 2013 ebook selection. In December 2013, Finding Claire Fletcher and her second novel, Aberration were #1 Amazon bestsellers in the Kidnapping and Serial Killers categories, respectively. Hold Still is her third novel and was released in March.

Lisa is a member of Sisters In Crime. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English and Master of Education Degree from Bloomsburg University. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and daughter.

Website ~ Amazon Author Page ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ Goodreads

Buy the book at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, or Kobo.

Book Blast: Silent Partner by Stan Schatt

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Stan will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Silent Partner is a paranormal mystery, a police procedure novel with a female detective that will remind you of Harry Bosch, a ghost story that suggests what lies beyond death, and a comic look at a tabloid where the “truth” is whatever sells.

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Duh. Of course I am, but I’m also the one who tripped you. Give me some credit for that. I think it’s like a hundred years of bad karma if you let the person you’re protecting get killed.”

“You’re protecting me? How come you didn’t keep me from being shot?”

“Give me a break. I told you that I’m new to this. The bullet only nicked your butt; so don’t make a federal case out of it. If I hadn’t tripped you, you’d be paralyzed. You should be grateful to me.”

Josh felt a cold shiver run up his spine.

“Then you’re dead?”

“We don’t refer to it that way. We like to say that we’ve moved to another plane.”

“How come I can see you?”

Andy smiled thinly.

“You Harrells have a gift. Everyone has a guardian angel, but only certain people can see us. It’s easier in a way for us if you can’t see us.”

“You’ll keep anything bad from happening to me?”

“There’s such a thing as free will, my dear. I can only help you so much.

If it’s your time, then it’s lights out. Now that you’re thirty, things are going to get a lot harder.”

“What do you mean?”

Josh had a sinking feeling in his stomach, and it wasn’t the alcohol.

“A lot of things are going to change for you now. As I said, you Harrells are gifted, although some of your relatives thought of it as a curse.”

“I don’t believe this. You mean my father really did see someone? He wasn’t crazy?”

“Of course he saw someone. I hope you don’t throw your full glass of whiskey at me the way he threw his at his guardian.”

“How could you possibly know that?”

“You’re asking too many questions. Just take my word that everything’s relative, including time.”

“What do you want?”

About the Author:
Stan Schatt grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and now resides in Carlsbad, California. He has written thirty-five books on a wide variety of subjects ranging from fiction to technology. He is co-author of Journey to a Different Dimension, an Amazon bestseller. He also authored Egypt Rising, a YA novel focusing on a teen’s experience in Egypt at the time of the Egyptian revolution of 2011. This novel contains paranormal elements including a secret buried under the Sphinx. The paranormal mystery Silent Partner is Schatt’s latest novel.

He has led several careers including futurist and executive for many of the world’s leading technology market research firms, police department administrator, autopsy assistant, software trainer, Telecommunications Department Chairman, and English professor. He taught at Tokyo University as a Fulbright exchange professor. His non-fiction includes books on such diverse topics as strategies for changing careers for a green industry job, studies of Michael Connelly and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., network and data communications technology, telecommunications, computer programming.

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