THE BLOG TOUR – starring Author Jan Hawke

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Deciding where to start a story is not always clear cut and, because I came at this book with a story plan that was loosely based on The Canterbury Tales, that followed several people’s experiences, there’s a fair amount of flashbacks and jumping ahead, whilst following along the main timeline of the safari. I hope I succeeded in making sense of the flow in the novel, but when I began to look ahead to marketing issues and found a need for a book blog, I quickly realised that I needed to streamline things more, so people could get a flavour of what goes on and where in the story more clearly.

We first meet main character, Sophie Taylor and her safari companions on the Zambian side of Victoria Falls, and the story roughly follows their itinerary from there into Zimbabwe and then Uganda and finally, after it’s over, into Tanzania where Sophie starts her new job. A magazine treatment, based on their journey (with the odd deviation when the backstory dictated) gradually presented itself as a useful solution for the blog as it gave me an opportunity to include some of my own personal background, influences and research information on the countries in which Milele Safari are set, and to including short synopses on each of the Tales that ‘happen’ in that region.  What’s good for my own blog should surely work for a blog tour too! So, this is your personal invitation to join me on a ‘blog safari’ that tells the true-life inside story behind Milele Safari, through the real and almost real lands depicted in the book…

… the Tales play out through the auspices of several point of view characters and their narratives, some through flashbacks into the past, or through a journal device that joins the various strands of their Tales together.

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THE VOICES are:

Sophie Taylor ~ a doctor specialising in EMDR therapy, who returns to Africa to work for an aid agency running clinics for victims of the Zyandan genocide, still suffering from the ravages of post-traumatic stress disorder and other ills 13 years on.

Sister Teresa ‘Terry’ Olatunde ~ a battered and maimed orphan of the horrific war and famine in Biafra, whose valiant, but ultimately rash attempt at intervention to rescue terrified Zyandan refugees, results in her making the ultimate sacrifice.

Harry Burton ~ a highly accomplished Zimbabwean game guide and hunter whose memories of colonial childhood and adult experience of civil war and ecological vagaries pours light on yet more aspects of life in modern Africa.

David Mukuga ~ the boy soldier who witnesses his comrades slaying Sister Terry and two other men at a refugee camp, whose adult life is dogged by inescapable guilt and despair as he struggles to rehabilitate himself and make amends for his grisly past under the watchful eye of the mother of his dead best friend.

Verity Beleshona ~ a strong and principled woman who lost her entire family to the genocide, trying to transcend the tragedy and working tirelessly to help her countrymen ‘pay the amnesty’ of survival and rebuild shattered lives in a new UN-sponsored community project, the Mgakera Enclave, on the borders of Zyanda and Tanzania. Sophie’s thread is the one that binds them all together as she eases back into working life in Africa, meeting Harry and his nephew, vet Luigi Ogilvy, on the way, before taking up her new role as a consultant clinician in the Zyandan community of Mgakera, just over the border from Umbeke in Tanzania.

Author Bio: I live near Launceston in Cornwall, UK with Toby and Benji the Springer Spaniels – it’s a tie between us all as to who’s maddest, but as I outrank them in being weird anyway it’s not open to debate really. I’m physically lazy with things that don’t hold much interest for me (so that’s mostly housework and, increasingly, cooking…), but I love where we live, mainly because I chose it for being so quiet and off the beaten track, very close to the moors and quite near to the sea. I also love books, both to write and to read, the latter of which can be very eclectic (I enjoy Julian Barnes, Kate Atkinson, Jeanette Winterson and will happily admit to Jilly Cooper too) but in the main I’m heavily into SF&F, particularly Tolkien, Terry Pratchett and Julian May, although I can pass on Zombie Apocalypses fairly easily… …how I’ve chosen to write about Africa for my first novel may be something of a surprise to my friends, but if you read it you may find that all of the above information manifests in there somehow!

Future projects include a futuristic fantasy series, loosely grounded in Celtic myth – The Shadow Chronica (http://havenlands.blogspot.co.uk/), which is kind of stalled at present, but I’ll be dusting it off as summer gets in full flood with the first novel hopefully available at the tail end of 2016.

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Book Blurb: Milele Safari back blurb – Milele Safari – An Eternal Journey …twines around a single day, in an unremarkable border village that snuffs out the lives of four people and shatters many others, only to draw the survivors back to a different time and, perhaps, a hope of atonement and peace. Step out on the journey and discover an Africa that could have been, is and might one day come to be.

Book linksAmazon (print & eBook) – http://www.amazon.com/dp/0992747201/   

Barnes & Noble (print only) – http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/milele-safari-an-eternal-journey-janette-mary-hawke/1117529970?ean=9780992747206

Milele Safari blog http://milelesafari.blogspot.co.uk/p/taster-1.html

Book Trailerhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkJsS5vtJjg

Social Media links
Twitter – @JanHawke

Facebook Author page – https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jan-Hawke/386239624841750

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=254177051

Author blog – Jan Hawke INKorporated http://janhawke.me/

4WillsPublishing Link: AUTHOR EVENT – http://4wills-hawke.chatovod.com/

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BETHANY TURNER “PAY IT FORWARD” WEEK – Today’s RRBC Author – Beth Hale

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Hello readers – today on THE GUNDERSTONE REVIEW, as well as on ALL of my social media sites, I am going to spotlight, promote, and propel one of my fellow authors from my online book club – #RaveReviews BookClub ( #RRBC )

The “BETHANY TURNER “PAY IT FORWARD” WEEK” effort is the brain child of member Bethany Turner to which I have volunteered – three days in total this week for three different authors.

If you are an author and want this kind of support, you can get in on “that action” via membership to the #RaveReviews BookClub.

Today I am spotlighting Beth Hale; In her own words:

Beth Hale writes about what she knows: strong, Southern women and the men who love them. She twines believable characters, realistic circumstances, and heart-felt emotions together to create sassy, sexy contemporary romances. She draws inspiration from the every day life problems we all face, and expands them into vivid, interesting, hard-to-put-down stories.

She learned the joys of reading from her mother, and her love affair with books has only grown stronger. If she isn’t breathing life into a new character, she is trying to make a dent in her large to-be-read pile.
Beth lives in a small town in Mississippi with her own real-life hero and two children. They share the house with a variety of pets. When she is not working her “day job” as an E-911 dispatcher, you can find her curled up on her couch, with a blanket, coffee, and notebook.

She is the author of the Unexpected Emotion Series and the Magnolia Series.

**Unexpected Emotion: Love doesn’t care if you’re looking for it or not.**

Book One: Trusting Jack. Emma must decide if she can put aside her past hurt and learn to trust Jack as much as she loves him. (Available now.)

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Book Two: Taming James. James is a ladies man, always looking for the next good time. Liv knows first-hand how much heartbreak hurts, and she’s vowed not to fall for another smooth-talking, good-looking man. When their passion explodes, they must decide if they can trust in what they have. (Coming Summer 2015)

Book Three: Norah is a world-famous actress who has never felt the sting of love. Chad is a single father who is ready to embrace a new relationship, and he thinks Norah is the perfect woman. Can they overcome the many obstacles facing them and find their happy ever after? (No release date set.)

**Magnolia Series: Every town has a story to tell.**

The Magnolia Series are stand-alone books, each with its own set of characters. They are set in small Mississippi towns and showcase strong Southern women who face down their demons and fight for love.

Book One: Magnolia Secrets. Lainey is walking a tightrope, bound to a man she fears while longing for a man she can’t have. Walker is determined to save her and uncover the secrets the town is hiding. Can they survive the ruthlessness of a cold-blooded killer? (Releasing December 5, 2014)

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Book Two: Magnolia Chances. Glory is rebuilding her life one step at a time, trying to overcome personal tragedy and addiction. When a new man and his young son come to town, she is immediately drawn to him. Can they both face down a past that haunts them and find happiness again? (No release date set.)

You can visit Beth’s website at: http://www.authorbethhale.com

You can also email her at: beth@authorbethhale.com

She responds to all comments and emails personally, and loves hearing from readers.

You can follow Beth and her works through the following links:

Author Blog – http://bethhaleblog.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Beth-Hale/458435490953994
Twitter – @writes4coffee
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Brian-OHare/e/B001K89IWM/

“I, Hero – The Beginning” propels my author rankings to all time high levels

With the release and the Kindle Countdown deal on the one month old “I, Hero – The Beginning” and my continuing sale of “Another Sunset” I have new author ranking highs on Amazon.

Here are my stats for “I, Hero – The Beginning”

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,590 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#23 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Mythology & Folk Tales > Mythology
#86 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Superheroes
#115 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Fairy Tales

And the rest of my ranking are as follows:

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LAST DAY – Kindle Countdown Deal for “I, Hero – The Beginning”

Today (Thursday June 25, 2015) is the LAST DAY for the Kindle Countdown Deal for “I, Hero – The Beginning” – get it now for $0.99 before it goes back up to $2.99

http://www.amazon.com/I-Hero-Beginning-Jason-Zandri-ebook/dp/B00Y3LA41M/

Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #24,333 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
#25 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Mythology & Folk Tales > Mythology
#105 in Books > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Superheroes
#147 in Kindle Store > Kindle eBooks > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Fairy Tales

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Synopsis:
An everyday man, living less than ordinary life in New York City, simply makes his way about his work life and one at home. A kind heart and an empathetic soul, who tended to think of others before he thought of himself.

With his childhood totally left behind and gone with the final resting of his father, Nathan has come to terms with his past as he forges his life in the present, unaware of what lies ahead.

An unlikely friendship, a random act of violence, a budding romance, all part of a life changed.

“When it’s your time, there’s nothing you can do to change that outcome. The only thing you can do is meet it head on. You have to hope that the life you had with others, while you were here, has made a positive impact.” – Brian Devron

“Where there is darkness, you are light. Where others know fear, you will be brave. When there are setbacks, you will persevere. Where others find weakness, you bring strength. Where there is despair, you are hope. Where cowardice falls, you rise courageously. Where others do not have the ability to believe, you have faith. You will suffer, so that others will endure. You will triumph where others would fall.” – Cici Johnson

“This is it; it all changes tonight. Anything I do tonight, at a minimum, is going to at least expose all of this to the world.” – Nathan Devron.

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BETHANY TURNER “PAY IT FORWARD” WEEK – Today’s RRBC Author – Brian O’Hare

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Hello readers – today on THE GUNDERSTONE REVIEW, as well as on ALL of my social media sites, I am going to spotlight, promote, and propel one of my fellow authors from my online book club – #RaveReviews BookClub ( #RRBC )

The “BETHANY TURNER “PAY IT FORWARD” WEEK” effort is the brain child of member Bethany Turner to which I have volunteered – three days in total this week for three different authors.

If you are an author and want this kind of support, you can get in on “that action” via membership to the #RaveReviews BookClub.

Today I am spotlighting Brian O’Hare, author of The Miracle Ship, A Spiritual Odyssey {Diary of an Ordinary Catholic}, Fallen Men: A Story of Three Priests, and The Doom Murders

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In his own words:

Brian O’Hare, MA, Ph.D., is a retired assistant director of a large regional college of further and higher education. Married, three children, ten grandchildren, one great grandchild. He plays golf three times a week off a ten handicap and does a lot of voluntary work. Any writing he has previously done was academic…very much restricted to a very specific readership. Several articles in educational journals were followed by a number of book-length reports for the Dept. of Education and the University of Ulster.

He has also written an interesting biography of a man who daily performs amazing miracles of healing…The Miracle Ship. That is currently available in Amazon’s Kindle bookstore. Hopefully those who read it will spread the word and write reviews to help John’s message to reach the hearts of many, many people.

Brian had a liver disease since childhood which resulted in him taking early retirement a number of years ago. In 2002 he had a liver transplant but is strong and healthy now. He continued to do academic writing well into his retirement and followed that with a memoir about his liver transplant, dealing with the physical, emotional and spiritual experiences that came from that period in his life (A Spiritual Odyssey, published by Columba Press, Dublin).

Recently he experienced a desire to write fiction. Hence Fallen Men. It is a story about three priests…but it is religious in much the same way Thornbirds was religious. He has also finished a second book. It’s quite different from Fallen Men… a detective mystery inspired by an old 14th century painting of the Last Judgement. It’s called “The Doom Murders” available on Kindle. He is currently writing a third book, “The 11.05 Killings” featuring the same detectives as in The Doom Murders.

Also now available on Kindle is the story of Brian’s liver transplant and the growth in spirit he experienced as he waited for almost a year, not knowing if he was going to live or die. See: “A Spiritual Odyssey [Diary of an Ordinary Catholic]”

 

You can follow Brian and his works through the following links:

Author Blog – http://brianohareauthor.blogspot.co.uk/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brian.ohare.96

Twitter – @brianohare26

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Brian-OHare/e/B001K89IWM/

BETHANY TURNER “PAY IT FORWARD” WEEK – Today’s RRBC Author – Lizzie Chantree

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Hello readers – today on THE GUNDERSTONE REVIEW, as well as on ALL of my social media sites, I am going to spotlight, promote, and propel one of my fellow authors from my online book club – #RaveReviews BookClub ( #RRBC )

The “BETHANY TURNER “PAY IT FORWARD” WEEK” effort is the brain child of member Bethany Turner to which I have volunteered – three days in total this week for three different authors.

If you are an author and want this kind of support, you can get in on “that action” via membership to the #RaveReviews BookClub.

Today I am spotlighting Lizzie Chantree, author of Babe Driven

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In her own words:

Lizzie is an enthusiastic inventor, businesswoman and artist. She founded her first company at the age of 17 and has been creating products and driving her family mad ever since.

Lizzie has appeared on Sky News, ITV Lunchtime News, This Morning, The Big Breakfast and the BBC’s worldwide radio service, amongst others, for becoming one of Fair Play London’s female innovators.

Lizzie lives in Essex, with her gorgeous husband, two vivacious children and a very unusual dog. In between the school run and baking cakes, (or burning them!) she sits in her rooftop studio daydreaming about gaps in the market and how she can fill them. Babe Driven is her first novel.

You can follow Lizzie and her works through the following links:

Author Blog – http://lizziechantree.wordpress.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lizziechantree

Twitter – @Lizzie_Chantree

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lizzie-Chantree/e/B00FF99DHC/

THE BLOG TOUR – starring “SPOTLIGHT” Author, Maureen K. Howard #RRBC #RaveReviewsBookClub

“World, Meet Maureen K. Howard”
~by Maureen Kovach

 

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“World, Meet Maureen K. Howard”
~by Maureen Kovach

The End. “Woo hoo! We did it. We wrote a book. It’s a good book. We know it. At least we think it is. Is it? Maybe it sucks. It definitely sucks.” Does this sound familiar? As any author knows, writing is like a roller coaster–the peaks are high and the valleys are low. Real low. And as any Indie Author knows, there’s no one standing by to boost your morale, kick you in the pants, or hold your hand and let you cry. You come to the realization that writing the book was the easy part.

After basking in the glow of personal accomplishment for five or six minutes, reality rears its ugly head. Who is going to read our masterpiece? How will anyone know how awesome our story, our setting, and our characters are if no one even knows the darn thing exists?

That was the million-dollar question, and I didn’t have a million dollars to discover the answer to it. So I did the next best thing. I opened up my dresser drawer, pulled out my big-girl panties, dressed for action, and got down to business. My daughter and I, under the pen name, Maureen K. Howard, had written a book, and it was a good book. Now it was my mission to make sure others would have the pleasure of discovering it.

To my credit, I did have the good sense before this point to read as much advice as I could get my hands on about how to write a good book, and make sure it was market-ready. I had identified my target audience, purchased the services of a professional editor and a cover designer, and signed up for Kindle Direct Publishing and a print-on-demand service.

But that only took me so far. After all of my family members and friends had downloaded their e-books or ordered their print copies, the party, such as it was, was over. It was time to move on to a new action plan. How did I connect with new people who would want to read our book?

I thought of a book I had finished recently by an author I had never even heard of before. I had discovered the book through one of the many services that offer e-books at free and discounted prices. I am an avid reader, so I figured there were probably other people like me out there, willing to give an unfamiliar book a try if the stakes weren’t too high. This author’s style was right up my ally. The mystery was fun and fast-paced, the characters were smart but quirky, and the writing itself was impeccable. So, I wondered, how did she do it? Not write the book, because I felt mine could hold its own. But how did she get it in front of me?

I did what any techno-savvy consumer would do. I googled her. Thus began my journey into the unknown world of self-promotion. I studied her web page and used it as a guideline to create one of my own. But wait. She had a Facebook Author Page. Okay. I could do that. I began discovering on-line groups dedicated to specific genres–some were geared toward writers, others toward readers, while others joined both sides for lively, eye-opening conversations and recommendations, which led to…sales! I never felt out of place or stupid among these members and have made some dear friends who I look forward to chatting with regularly.

And next there was Twitter. I was utterly clueless. I’m still not sure I comprehend that landscape. It must be that little bird. I’ve always hated birds. But I do it. Little by little, I’m discovering its advantages.

Blogs baffle me. I have one. I’m writing one. I even enjoy reading them. My resistance to them, I hate to admit, is most likely due to my age. I stubbornly refuse to enter into a friendly working relationship with something called a blog. What kind of a word is that?

I know I’ve just uncovered the tip of the iceberg. I stepped outside my comfort zone and fell off a cliff. What I have decided is that success is out there. I am part of things now that one year ago, I did not know existed. I have a mailing list. My book is available in public libraries. I even have a street team, advance readers, and dare I say it? fans.

If you’d like to stop by and meet us (Maureen Kovach and Brigette Howard, aka Maureen K. Howard), you can find us at @mhowardbooks, www.facebook.com/maureenhowardauthor, www.lakeeriemysteries.com, www.mhowardbooks.wix.com/lake-erie-mysteries.

Author Bio:
Maureen K. Howard is the pen name of mother/daughter writing partners, Maureen Kovach and Brigette Howard. They both live in Findlay, Ohio. Maureen recently retired from a long career as a high school English teacher and now focuses her time on spoiling her three granddaughters, spending long weekends at the lake with her husband and their golden doodle, and making friends with fellow mystery writers and readers across the globe via social media. Oh yeah, she also writes books. Brigette works full time managing multiple national restaurant franchises. She enjoys taking her charcoal lab on running adventures and spends her free time reading, gardening with her husband, cooking, and planning the perfect murder.

Maureen Online:
Twitter: @mhowardbooks
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/maureenhowardauthor
Website http://mhowardbooks.wix.com/lake-erie-mysteries

Book Links:
AMAZON: http://www.amazon.com/Sunny-Side-Lake-Erie-Mysteries-ebook/dp/B00Q79DB90/ref=sr_1_2?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1434554136&sr=1-2&keywords=sunny+side+up

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sunny-side-up-maureen-k-howard/1121262131?ean=9781634432887

CHAPTER ONE

The evening sky made me think of rainbow sherbet as I watched the sun set over picturesque Kelleys Island. The sound of waves lapping against the side of my small skiff as I steered toward the lakeshore had a cathartic effect—my breathing and heart rate were finally returning to normal. From a hundred yards off shore, it was a postcard perfect scene. Idling past the breakwall, past the pier and the beach, I envisioned the fingers of charcoal smoke curling their way through the pastel clouds, clutching and twisting, distorting the idyllic scene. I could almost smell it, faint at first, but increasing in intensity, a foul odor like hot summer asphalt mixed with the sweetly noxious smell of burnt cupcakes. It would make your eyes water and your nostrils burn.

Increasing my speed, I glanced over my shoulder then focused once more on the shoreline, imagining the result of my handiwork and the thrill that would course through me when my mission was complete and my trophy, the charred remains of my victim, was discovered.