Halloween Tricks and Treats, Part 2

ACEO - Halloween 3

Halloween Tricks and Treats

Part 2

BY: Carol Marrs Phipps

Illustrated By: Lana Dobbins-Cramer

 

Benny laughed and sailed up the walk to the neat brick front stoop and the cheerily decorated house before them. It even had fake spider webs all over the bushes near the house and a neat witch decoration on the front door. Benny rang the doorbell and a moment later the boys heard an odd pitter patter coming across the floor inside the house. A few moments later the screen door creaked open a crack and Josh and Benny peered inside, somewhat confused that they at first saw no one and didn’t know why the door had come open. Suddenly, Josh felt something tap on the top of his shoe and looked down to see a disembodied hand motioning him inside. His first reaction was to jerk his foot away from the little horror and get the hell out of there, but Benny was giggling. Josh looked inside again and saw a young boy, Benny’s age, dressed like Count Dracula, himself, remote control in hand, coming towards the door. Beside the little vampire was a beautiful girl, with long, blonde hair, dressed up like Sleeping Beauty. He was sure she had to be close to his own age. Benny’s party shows promise, he thought as their hosts stopped at the door to greet them and bid them enter.

***

The party was amazing and both Josh and Benny were having the time of their lives. The costumes were the most realistic either boy had ever seen. The beautiful teenage girl turned out to be Mindy Cates. “Moving back to this very spot and even having this party was my idea,” she explained to Josh. “Well, and my therapist’s, too. He felt that I must confront what had happened to me. You know, that was ten years ago on Halloween night on this very spot,” she confided. “The doctors hope that I might finally free myself of my horrible nightmares of what happened that night.”

 It seemed a bit extreme to Josh, but hey, what did he know about psychology? Soon he found himself dancing to crazy Halloween tunes like The Monster Mash and having the time of his life. When Michael Jackson’s Thriller began to blare from the CD player the partiers got into place and began an incredible imitation of what the boys had both seen Jackson and his incredible dancers do in their music video. To Josh’s surprise, they pulled him into it.  He was having such a riot he never even noticed when Mindy, Damon and Benny disappeared from the room.

ACEO - Halloween 4 The Pumpkin Thief

Mindy and Damon led Benny to a quiet little room down a long hall that was completely empty save for three chairs. Mindy indicated he should sit with a wave of her hand. Once he had complied she and Damon took the other two chairs.

“So,” Benny said after a moment, “is this some kind of game?”

“No,” Mindy said, sharing a quick look with Damon, “this is quite real and quite serious, Benny. You see, Damon and I want to help you…if you will let us?”

“Help me? I don’t get it. Help me what?”

“Heal your body and your sad heart,” Mindy replied in almost a whisper.

Benny’s eyes widened. “How? The doctors said it will take years of surgery…and even then, I won’t be the same as I was before the accident.”

Mindy chewed her bottom lip briefly and studied Benny’s face. “Look…you’ve nothing to be afraid of and this is all…complicated. So, I’m going to ask you to just trust me and do what I ask. I promise I won’t hurt you and when it is over, you will look exactly as you did before your accident…if that is what you want?”

Benny sat back in his chair and looked questioningly at Damon, who nodded his reassurance. “OK,” he replied. “What do I have to do?”

“Close your eyes tight and keep them shut, no matter what, until I tell you to open them,” Mindy instructed. “Will you do that?”

“All right,” Benny said after one more quick glance at Damon. Then he squeezed shut his eyes and waited. A moment later he felt something quite cool, but very soft, brush across his neck, and pause there.

“You can open your eyes now, “ Mindy said in what seemed to Benny to be only a few seconds later. “All done.”

Benny blinked. “That’s it? Now I’m magically transformed into my old self?”

“Yeah, all transformed…only, we’ll have to do this again every year on Halloween until you become eighteen. Then…you decide if you want your healing to remain permanently, or return to what you were before I…helped you,” Mindy said.

Benny frowned. “I’m confused. What exactly did you do and how do I even know that you did anything?”

Damon jumped up and hurried over to a door on the far wall and jerked it open, revealing a full length mirror attached to the backside of what Benny could now see was a closet door. “Come take a look,” he invited.

Benny strode quickly to the door and gasped when he saw his flawless reflection. Then he reached up in wonder and felt his now baby, smooth skin. Tears of joy and gratitude sprang into his eyes. “But…how?” he asked as he turned back to Mindy, who had come over to stand by him and Damon.

“I…shared my regenerative powers with you,” she said, “but when you become 18 you will have to either become fully like me or become as you were.”

Benny reached slowly up and touched the place on his neck where he had felt that cold, soft touch. Mindy nodded at the realization she saw in the young boy’s eyes. “Yes, Benny, I am a vampire. But you are not…yet…as I am. I will come to you every All Hallows Eve until your appointed time. No matter where you go, I will find you. But the final choice will be yours. Do you understand?”

Benny glanced at his image in the mirror once more then back at Mindy and nodded.

“Good, then we should return to the party, I expect it is nearly over and you and Josh must return to your lives while Damon, I, and our friends return to ours. You will not remember how you were transformed this night, until we meet again, next Halloween. That is both for your own protection and ours,” she said. Then she led him back to the party that did, indeed, come to a conclusion, almost as soon as they re-entered it.

Time somehow seemed to stretch and then shrink and become all fuzzy. The next thing Benny knew he and Josh were standing back in their own kitchen and their Mom was coming through the kitchen door.

“Hi guys!” Jean said breezing into the kitchen, “how come you’re both still up? You didn’t just get here, did you?” she asked as her eyes narrowed and her gaze darted to the bold-faced kitchen clock. It clearly read 12:15. She placed her hands on her hips and turned back to wait for a reply from her sons. Suddenly she gasped and nearly fainted as she finally got a clear look at Benny’s no-longer ruined face. She stared questioningly at Josh, who shrugged and shook his head. Benny just beamed and threw himself into his Mother’s arms.

ACEO - Pumpkin Patch & Wagon 1

The next morning, Jean packed her two sons into the car and drove to 666 Mockingbird Lane, determined to get to the bottom of this mysterious healing of her precious young son and also to thank whoever had been responsible for this amazing miracle. The family piled quickly from the car the moment Jean turned off the ignition and hurried to the narrow sidewalk between the tall hedge…and stared in amazement at the empty lot beyond.

 

Final Day to Get Heart of the Staff: Complete Series at the Giveaway Price of Just $0.99…Click on Title or Picture to Download it Now From Amazon.

hots-pumpkin-988231-xxxxlg

 

Blog Tour for Harmony Kent Day 2

march14 alt

Hi, there! Today is Day Two on my blog tour. If you missed yesterday’s blog post, you can find it by following the link on my  4WillsPublishing Author Page. Today, I continue to share with you my personal journey, and how I got to be where I am. Yesterday, I talked about the major injury that sparked a complete life change for me. Today, I concentrate more on the writing part of that journey.

It’s been an interesting journey since I published my first novel ‘The Battle for Brisingamen’. One that hasn’t always been easy. I had tremendous fun writing it, but I was also incredibly naïve. I’ve had a lot to learn.

For me, a huge part of being a good writer is to be a good listener. I do my best to take note of feedback and use all criticism constructively. Whilst my first book wasn’t a terrible book, not by a long stretch, it could have been better. Conversely, its first reviews were good ones—four and five stars.

Over time it’s had a couple of three stars as well. Regardless of rating, I’ve always taken note of the comments and have used them to learn and to grow. I have also taken an editing course, which has helped a lot, as well as giving me even more skills at my disposal.

Six months after the first edition was published, I did a major re-edit and I feel it is a much better book for it. I also review for Awesome Indies and The Review Board, as well as offering independent reviews via my website (http://www.harmonykent.co.uk/). I also write a column (All About Indie) for All Author’s Magazine.

So, these days, I’m really quite busy. I write, edit, proofread and review, and write my magazine column. Anything to do with books, basically … which makes me very, very happy. My second book, The Glade, was published in November 2013, and has received a highly positive response so far. Both the cover and the content seem to be a huge success. This second book is a different animal to my first, and is definitely more polished. In July 2014, it received the IndieBRAG Medallion.

I have just published a YA novel, which is to be part of a series. I also have another book in progress, which will see the light of day before the end of the year. I am taking a chance being a multi-genre author, as that means my readers can’t put all my books into one specific category. But then I’m a multi-genre reader and this probably has an effect on what comes out of my imagination. At least I’m doing this right from the start, before anyone has time to pigeon hole me! I don’t want to end up like some famous actors, who have become typecast and just play the same roles over and over again.

Had anyone told me two years ago that I would be a published author—as well as an editor and reviewer—I wouldn’t have believed it possible. Which just goes to show that we can never know what’s around the corner. The important thing is that we keep going. That we never give up.

Links to my tour stops can be found on my 4Wills Author Page.

 

For more on my books, see below:

 

The Glade

The Glade Front Cover with BRAG Medallion

 

Mystery, Thriller & Suspense.

 

You are being arrested for the murder of your husband…You have a secret you can’t tell…The evil is gathering…

The Wenstrops have it all: health, wealth and happiness. But then it all begins to fall apart. Helen is arrested for murder, yet is either unable or unwilling to give a defense. During her detention, vital evidence goes mysteriously missing and tensions are running high. Helen finds herself surrounded and yet alone: not knowing who she can trust or how she can tell her enemies from her friends. Helen has to work through her self-doubts and fears, in order to know whether her suspicions and misgivings are valid or simply products of an overwrought mind. There are those who would like to encourage her confusion, and those who would help her – but how to know one from the other? And then there are those who actively mean her harm. Meanwhile, malignant forces in the forest are gathering power, ready for a final assault. Helen finds herself in a battle of life and death, and faces having to lose everything in her attempts to thwart the evil that has insinuated itself into her very existence – but is she ready to make the ultimate sacrifice?

This sensational second novel by acclaimed author Harmony Kent will have you alternately laughing, crying and gripping the edge of your seat as this roller coaster ride of a plot unfolds. It will keep you guessing through its many twists and turns, and hijack your attention right up until you turn the final page. This book has it all: murder, intrigue, the supernatural, a broken marriage, a love affair, courage against impossible odds, suspense, and high drama.

The Glade is an Indie B.R.A.G.Medallion honoree!

 

The Battle for Brisingamen

New Cover with new AIA badge

 

Fantasy Fiction

There is a World not too Far Away …

Beneath the north sea a land of magic lies undetected. The lives of many are drawn inexorably closer together in a race against time, as both energy companies and evil beings attempt to destroy the magic which is protecting not just this land but all worlds. The unwitting protagonists have no idea of how suddenly and irrevocably their lives are about to change.

It is a race against time to try and recover the lost necklace, Brisingamen, which holds the ancient power of the Goddess Freya, and to prevent the undersea drilling from taking place. Are Aart, Matthias, Gemma and Dirck up to the challenges they now must face?

Here there be Dragons, and all manner of Creatures …

 

Elemental Earth (Book 1 of The Mysteries)

3D-Book cover Elemental Earth

 

Young Adult Fantasy Fiction

 

“You turned the god of gnomes into a garden ornament?”

Sarah looked closely, but couldn’t tell if her dad was annoyed or amused—perhaps he was both …

Whilst 15 year old Sarah may be struggling to regain her feet, after being ripped from her everyday mundane life and ending up in a whole new dimension, she still knows how to have a bit of fun along the way. The Earth Elemental isn’t the only one whose feathers she manages to ruffle, and it’s only been four days. Meanwhile, her best friend is missing, and big trouble is brewing. She soon has a lot more to worry about than what happened to her phone or iPod, or even how much of an idiot Caleb obviously thinks she is.

Elemental Earth is the first book in The Mysteries series, and is aimed at Young Adults. Even if you’ve already reached an age where the young ones might call you ‘old enough’, if you’re still young at heart then you’re bound to enjoy these books just as much as the next—err—younger adult.

Age aside, perhaps we should be more worried about what further havoc Sarah’s antics might be about to wreak on the universe as we know it? We’d probably all be sleeping a lot more soundly if she’d only stuck to applied maths and the odd pillow fight. But no, sadly the lure of the proverbial rabbit hole proved just a tad too much. And now she’s taken the plunge, there’s no turning back.

 

Look out for tweets @harmony_kent, and follow my blog: http://harmonykent.co.uk to keep up to date with new book releases, promos, cover reveals and sneak peeks. Feel free to connect—I’d love to hear from you.

 

Find out more at: http://www.harmonykent.co.uk

Twitter: @harmony_kent

Facebook: www.facebook.com/HarmonyKentOnline

4Wills Author Page: http://4willspublishing.wordpress.com/our-authors/author-harmony-kent/

 

 

Spotlight Author Blog Tour with Bill Ward, Author of ENCRYPTION

Am I an Author or a marketing consultant?

Author Photo

I now have two books published and am beginning to feel comfortable calling myself an author. Then again, am I truly an Author or have I become a marketing consultant? I have spent at least as much time marketing as writing over the last 8 months. I have discovered it is an unavoidable necessity if I am to sell books!

Although I knew it wouldn’t be easy to sell my books, I have to admit I thought it would be a bit easier than the reality. And I am a very experienced sales and marketing man. It must be very tough for those new authors who don’t have a similar background. So be prepared for a great deal of hard work once you have finished writing your book. Believe in your book and don’t think negatively about the need to market your book. The reward of selling books and reading positive reviews is just the best feeling in the world!

I have heard a few writers say they can write but don’t have a clue about selling. I recall a joke I heard a long time ago which I can fit to the situation: Writer: I can write but I can’t sell anything. Writer’s wife: Hell you convinced me to marry you, so you can definitely sell!

Marketing is not trying to get someone to buy something they don’t need or want! However, it is making potential customers aware our book exists and why it’s a great read.

Most of us don’t have a large budget for promoting our new book. Fortunately, there are a large number of free sites such as Rave Reviews Book Club, Facebook, Twitter and Goodreads where we can grow awareness of our book. Remember though, you have to contribute something if you want to receive something back! Don’t expect to sign up with details of your book and then just sit back and wait for the sales. Contribute to discussions and help promote other authors. As you become better known, so will your books.

Author Bio

Bill has recently retired from the corporate world and has finally fulfilled his lifelong ambition to become an author. He has written two thrillers, Revenge and Encryption, with the expectation of many more to follow. Bill lives in Brighton, UK with his German partner and has seven daughters, a son, two horses, a dog and two cats!

Encryption can be purchased at most online retailers including:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Bill-Ward/e/B00F154DZ2/re

http://www.amazon.com/Bill-Ward/e/B00F154DZ2/re 

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/encryption-bill-ward/1118739503?ean=9781496053404 Encryption_AMAZON   Encryption Synopsis

In a small software engineering company in England, a game changing algorithm for encrypting data has been invented, which will have far reaching consequences for the fight against terrorism. The Security Services of the UK, USA and China all want to control the new software.

The Financial Director has been murdered and his widow turns to her brother-in-law to help discover the truth. But he soon finds himself framed for his brother’s murder. When the full force of government is brought to bear on one family, they seem to face impossible odds. Is it an abuse of power or does the end justify the means? Only one man can find the answers but he is being hunted by the same people he once called friends and colleagues.

Writing Process Blog Tour

kayeKaye Vincent, a lovely and very talented author from the UK kindly invited Tom and me to participate in this Writing Process Blog Tour. Kaye writes romance/suspense and romance/paranormal novels. Her wonderful tales, though highly enchanting, with just enough of the otherworldly to satisfy those who like to stretch the edges of reality, remain completely believable and realistic. Her books are richly interwoven stories that bring not only the characters to life, but also the community in which they live and interact. I adored both her books in the Hanningdon Magic Series and eagerly await her next offering. Copy of advert-image-both-books, Kaye Now a bit about Tom and me:

Carol 1_edited-2

Tom_edited-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What are we working on?

Tom and I began publishing books in our epic fantasy series, Heart of the Staff in 2012. To date we have written five books in this series, Good Sister, Bad Sister, The Collector Witch, Stone Heart, The Burgeoning and the Reaper Witch along with a prequel that takes place one thousand years before the events in the first book of the series. cropped-Possible-New-Header-1_edited-4.jpg     Currently we are writing Doom, the 6th and final book in the Heart of the Staff series. We plan to release it later this year.

How does our work differ from others of its genre?

We are careful to thoroughly develop the characters of our antagonists as as well as that of our protagonists. We are altogether convinced that engaging stories need realistic characters and settings. So in order to develop plenty of literary tension, even our imaginary phenomena such as magic must follow the natural laws within the story and be palpably real.

Why do we write what I do?

When I was a little girl, I was captivated by magical tales. I wanted to be sprinkled with pixie dust so I could fly away with Peter Pan. I wanted to travel the yellow brick road in the witch’s slippers with Dorothy and the faint hearted lion. And I certainly wanted to be awakened by the kiss of a handsome prince. Small wonder that my passion today is writing Fantasy. There is nothing I enjoy more than going to my computer to escape with Tom and my readers to a magical world so very real that it can be touched. While my delight is bringing to life the tales of those who must find their way through the perils of our realms, Tom brings the natural world with him into our stories.

How does our writing process work?

We go for long walks or for long rides on our tandem, working out ideas. Our computers sit side by side, so we trade chapter manuscripts back and forth until we are both pleased.

Now meet some exceptional authors who will carry on the Writing Process Blog Tour:

March 30 2014 032Author, Susan Waterwyk, masterfully crafted a magical and at times whimsical world, to enchant, captivate and fill your senses with a place alluringly different, peopled with characters and creatures so fascinating that you can’t help falling in love…with Lantamyra. and A Tale of Two Worlds. She is currently hard at work creating the final book in this highly imaginative and completely captivating trilogy. Susan is not only a master storyteller, she also paints and writes poetry, as well. You can read samples of her lovely poetry in her books and enjoy her artistry on the covers of both Lantamyra and A Tale of Two Worlds.   A Tale of Two Worlds, Amazon Imae Large Lantamyra cover             The outstanding writing team of Jack Everett, David Coles and Adele Abbot from the UK are incredibly talented authors who write in a variety of genres. But one thing you can count on, their excellent and highly imaginative tales will keep you enthralled regardless of the genre.                                                 Jack 63a david                                                                       adele   Jack and David are currently editing a crime triology they will be publishing in the near future through Barking Rain Press, while Adele is busily writing the sequel to her fantasy novel, Postponing Armageddon. A few of their most recent books: Postponing Armageddon(f&sf)   The Diamond Seekers(thriller)   Of Machines and Magics(f&sf)   The Back of Beyond(historic) 510x765-Armageddon-250x375review cover We hope you all enjoy the blog tour and discover a new writer or two who’s books you’ll love to read.

 

 

 

 

Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps

Review: A Born Victim

A.Born.Victim.Cover

If you crave heart-pounding, realistic thrillers with believable characters, A Born Victim by rprRP Rochford, may be just what you’re looking for.

Gill Brogan is an unremarkable 27 year-old divorced mother of two who works hard to pay her bills and care for her children, but she has the unfortunate history of being fired from one job after another. She also has a history of being targeted for bullying and mistreatment by her peers, co-workers and her ex-husband, all of which, understandably, make her timid and insecure.

It seems that nothing in Gill’s life ever turns out well, even though she is sure she is not at fault. Perhaps she has just been born to be a victim of everyone else’s abuse.

Meanwhile, someone has been torturing and murdering young women in Britain and posting the sadistic crimes on the Internet for the viewing pleasure of whoever will pay for the opportunity to watch.

Cyber Crime Investigator, Mike Watson, and Police Investigator, DS Lucy Taylor, are determined to discover who and put an end to the heinous crimes before any more young victims meet the same fate.

But the perpetrators prove to be incredibly illusive incredibly clever at covering their tracks,  leaving not even the tiniest  piece of traceable evidence as to their identities at either the crime scenes or online. As the investigation wears on it seems more and more that someone has finally A.Born.Victim.Coverfound a way to pull off the perfect crimes while rubbing it in the faces of the authorities who seek them. But who? Can Watson and Taylor even realistically hope to track down the perpetrators who have thus far eluded an entire police force? And can they do it before Gill Brogan or any other young woman is tortured and murdered to gratify the perverted appetites of the sick lowlifes who enjoy watching?

A Born Victim is a roller-coaster ride of chills and appalling revelations that will keep you holding your breath and turning pages into the wee hours that you’ll not want to miss…but be warned, it is not for the faint of heart.

Carol Marrs Phipps

Interview with UK Author of A BORN VICTIM, RP Rochford

rpr

What is your name, where were you born and where do you live now?

My name is Richard Rochford and I was born in Essex in southern England though I now live in a tiny village in the West Midlands (UK).

Please tell us a little about yourself (something different not contained in your bio).

Possibly the most unlikely thing about me is that I keep bees. I have several hives in various locations and find them absolutely fascinating creatures.

How long have you been writing?

I’ve been writing academic material for some time but really started with fiction in early 2010 initially writing short stories then beginning work on A Born Victim.

What do you believe is the most difficult thing about becoming an author?

I guess the biggest challenge is getting published or, if you self-publish, in getting your book noticed among literally tens of thousands of others.

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Besides bee keeping and walking in the country with my dog I like to travel and I’ve been privileged to spend time in many European countries.

What is the name of your latest book, and if you had to summarize it in less than 20 words what would you say?

My latest book is A Born Victim. It’s the story of a woman who might be the perfect victim except for her own tenacity, the love of one man and the determination of a young detective.

A.Born.Victim.Cover

Was there any particular thing that inspired you to write A Born Victim?

Believe it or not this book grew entirely from a character sketch of the woman who is the key character – Gill Brogan. I’d written a series of short stories about a young woman who has all sorts of things go wrong in her life but who nevertheless manages to always come out on top of her circumstances. I started wondering what she might be like if she lacked the confidence to overcome in that way and Gill Brogan was the result.

Is this book part of a series?

Yes, the intention is for it be part of an ongoing series. I’m working on the second book right now which features several of the characters from the first.

Would you share a blurb with us?

‘A Born Victim’ is the story of Gill Brogan, a young single mother who is pushed deep into despair by workplace bullying. Just when she thinks nothing could get any worse she finds herself narrowly escaping an attempt on her life.

Set against this troubled life is the story of Lucy Taylor, an ambitious young detective who has dedicated herself to investigating violent crimes against women which all too often go unsolved. As she investigates case after case, each one more disturbing than the last, Taylor begins to see common threads which she hopes she can unravel to find the villains and bring them to justice.

The book reaches a climax as a determined, well organised criminal group emerges from the shadowy world of cyber-space to carry out one last crime in the real world. Lucy Taylor and her geeky side-kick, Mike Watson, are all that stand between the criminals and their victims.

Throughout the book, psychological themes are analysed lending a deeper, more serious note to the fast paced thriller as the author explores the factors which have formed our attitudes toward women and the acceptability of violence against them.

Would you share a short excerpt?

In the darkness between sunset and moon rise they brought her to the beach, dropping her, half dead with pain and exhaustion, onto the firm sand just above the waterline. She lay as she fell, on her back, legs slightly apart, blonde hair tangled about her shoulders, one arm across her breasts. Her face stared up at the star pierced blackness but her eyes were closed, shutting her soul away into some private place where the pain could not penetrate.

The men, relieved of their burden, stood around in silence, alert, waiting, very aware of the eerie glow of the night vision camera being used to record the drama. No one spoke and in the stillness the susurration of sea on sand was mesmerising, almost overpowering. The girl lay motionless as though already dead.

High up on the cliff top a car passed, lights sweeping out to sea at the bend in the road, and the men glanced up, suddenly tense, concerned perhaps that they might be discovered with the evidence of their crime still living, lying on the sand at their feet. The car rushed on, its exhaust note echoing suddenly against cliffs on the other side of the road, then it was gone, swallowed up in the night. The girl heard nothing.

A gentle breeze stirred stems of rough grass on a narrow strip of land below the cliff, whispered through the rocks and tugged at a few strands of blonde hair that had fallen, dry across the girl’s face but she did not feel it.

Then the moon rose, light breaking over the cliff top with almost startling suddenness and illuminating the beach. Wavelets were capped with silvery moon reflecting bubbles and rushed, dancing onto the white sand where moonlight kissed pale skin and fair hair throwing the curve of hip and breast into sharp contrast against darker shadow.

The last member of the group slid down the path, his boots loud against the loose rock to join them on the beach uncoiling rope from over his shoulder and pulling a hammer and a steel spike from a small bag. The others gathered round as the last man made his preparations, pulling the girl’s arms up and binding her wrists together then dragging her unresisting body around so her hands were toward the low surf. He drove the spike deep into the sand swinging the hammer down in chiming blows that quickly sank the length of the steel immovably into the wet sand. Then he tied her hands to the spike.

The men moved up the beach, watching, waiting as the tide moved in. One lit a cigarette, the flame flaring brightly against the velvet sky. Another did the same and the darkness was punctuated by red sparks as they inhaled. The girl died with very little drama, her broken spirit and battered body only capable of token resistance to her fate. A weak cough, a short spasm, a few tremors of effort running through her body and then the incoming waves claimed her, covering her face and floating her blonde hair around her head like the halo of a martyred saint.

Do you have plans for a new book? Would you tell us a little about it?

I’m currently working on a second book called ‘A Born Survivor’ which develops the life of several characters from ‘A Born Victim’ but also introduces some fascinating new characters. I love the idea of keeping several characters and sharing with readers how their lives develop and the adventures they have but one of the key characters in this story is a young disabled woman who finds herself abducted by a gang whose motives are far too complex for her to understand. While the first book has a theme of victim psychology running throughout it this second book examines what I think of as the ‘Shackleton factor’ – the thing which allows an ordinary person to overcome the odds and survive despite their circumstances.

How long have you been writing? And who or what inspired you to write?

I’ve written academic articles for many years but really started writing fiction only in 2010. I don’t know that there was any specific inspiration besides the fact that I felt I had a story to tell.

Do you gift books to readers to do reviews?

Yes. I’m happy to do this.

How do you come up with the Title and Cover Designs for your book/books? Who designed the Cover of your books?

The title of the book is something of an oxymoron in that the ‘victim’ is not born but made by her circumstances and background. My original cover was the outcome of a concept idea I had which was drawn by an artist friend. However, more recently I updated the cover design with work from:

http://fiverr.com/idrewdesign/design-a-professional-and-eye-catching-ebook-or-kindle-cover

Have you ever based characters on people you know or based events on things that have happened to you?

No! Well, sort of. I would be very wary of basing a character on anyone I knew but of course, my own life experience is represented to some extent in my characters.

Is there a certain Author who influenced you in writing?

I read widely so it’s very difficult to pinpoint one single author but the Stieg Larson trilogy has been a powerful, recent influence on my writing and thinking about just how far an author can push his characters within a fiction genre.

Which format of book do you prefer, eBook, hardback, or paperback?

I believe you simply cannot beat the experience of holding a paperback book in your hands. It’s not just the words on the page it’s the texture of the page, the smell of paper and ink, the weight of the book in your hand. Having said that, I read widely and like to dip in and out of several books at one time so carrying around a library of paperbacks would not be terribly convenient. Ebook wins for convenience!

What is your favorite book and Why?  Have you read it more than once?

This has to be a toss up between The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Lord of the Rings. It’s very difficult to choose really and yes, I’ve read both of those books several times over the years.

Do you think books transfer to movies well? Why or why not?

Obviously some books transfer better than others but, on the whole I think not because the power of a book is that it is the reader whose imagination fills in the blanks fitting faces to characters and filling in the gaps with their own experience and emotion. With a movie all of that is explicitly provided for the viewer which can go disastrously wrong. Having said that, A Born Victim would, I think, make an excellent movie script.

What are you currently reading? Are you enjoying it? What format is it? (eBook, hardback or paperback)

I’m currently getting on toward the end of ‘Dead Simple’ by Peter James. I love the way he builds excellent research and meticulous levels of detail into a complex and sometimes unexpected storyline. I have to confess that ‘reading’ is not entirely true – this one is on audio book.

Is there a book you know you will never read? Or one you tried to read but just couldn’t finish?

The only book that falls into this category is something called ‘Cybertext: Perspectives on Ergodic Literature’ by Espen Aarseth. It was a very useful book but not easy reading so I just picked through it for the information I wanted.

What do you think about book trailers?

In theory it’s a great idea to use blended media linking the written word with movie type trailers. However, sadly, most book trailers seem to be quite poorly done so I’m not sure how successful the end result might be.

What piece of advice would you give to a new writer?

I guess the most important is to be true to yourself and write for whatever motivates you to write rather than setting out trying to be commercially successful.

Do you or would you ever use a pen name?

OK – Confession – I do. Because I write in various fields I feel it’s better to have one name associated with each so readers identify one name with one aspect of my work.

If you could be any character in your book, who would it be and why?

Greg Parker. He’s a military man who has made his fortune in the business of private security. He also gets the girl at the end of the story so that makes him an obvious choice. However, in reality, I actually have more in common with Mike Watson who is a bit of a computer geek.

If your book was ever made into a movie, what actor/actress would you like to see play the main character(s)?

Gill Brogan would be the most difficult to cast but I think Australian actress, Rose Byrne would be a good choice.

I‘d like to see Claire Forlani as Lucy Taylor mainly because she fits the bill as a simply stunning woman but also because she can express so much with her face.

Casting the male roles is more difficult because Greg Parker would need to be Jason Statham with the rough edge knocked off and Danny, his sidekick, would best be played by a younger version of Bruce Willis.

Steve Carrell would be good as the actor to play Mike Watson because he does ‘geek’ well but also plays well the deeper, more in touch side of the character.

Have you ever considered writing in a completely different genre? If so, what would it be and why.

I already write both academic and fictional material but if I wanted to branch out in the area of fiction I’d like to explore fantasy. Creating whole worlds, cultures, characters and adventures seems like a huge challenge but a lot of fun. I guess it just appeals to me to be able to write my own rules from the ground up.

Do you think the current popularity of eBooks will last or do you believe it is just another passing trend?

I suspect that, like most technologies, things will move on and some new format or device will arise. However, I don’t know that society will ever want to go back to paper based books. I suspect what might come next will be some format of interactive books which allow a richer experience for the reader in the same way Blu-ray disks provide a more encompassing experience than DVDs.

Considering Traditional Publishing vs. Indie Publishing, do you think one has a clear advantage over the other? If so, please elaborate.

Indie publishing is the purest form of capitalism within the author/reader relationship because it is entirely driven by the merit of the author. If the book is no good it won’t sell and the author will sink without trace. Since there are no multi-million pound marketing budgets to convince readers to buy a certain book it is more or less a level playing field upon which authors can demonstrate their talent and ability.

Have you ever had writer’s block? If so, what did you do about it?

Yes! For a host of reasons I found myself quite depressed for a while and could not write a thing during that time. To some extent getting out of that was just a case of letting time run its course but one thing that actually really helped me was that I wrote a story about an author who found he could no longer write and used that vehicle to really explore my feelings and emotions at the time.

Where can readers follow you?

Your Facebook page?

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Richard-P-Rochford/263101677168540

Your Goodreads author page?

http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/20949992-richard-rochford

Your Twitter details?

 https://twitter.com/R_P_Rochford

Linkedin?

http://fola.me/p7KZc

Youtube?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WabJkFRBCP0

Ask David:

http://askdavid.com/reviews/book/crime-thriller/5544

Bookpromo:

http://www.bookpromo.in/2013/06/amazon-bestseller-born-victim.html

Buy Links for A Born Victim:

Amazon

http://fola.me/He4z5 – UK

http://fola.me/Yy2a4 – World

Kobo

http://www.kobobooks.com/search/search.html?q=a+born+victim

Lulu

http://www.lulu.com/shop/r-p-rochford/a-born-victim/ebook/product-20927772.html

Feed a Read – paperbacks

http://www.feedaread.com/books/A-Born-Victim-9781782992844.aspx

Carol 1

Tom and I would like to thank you for taking time out from your busy schedule to share with us today. It has been a real pleasure having you here on our blog. I hope you will visit again in the future.