Tuesday, May 29, 2012

This week on A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book: Paula Priamos

This week on the A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book BlogTalkRadio show, Jennifer interviews Paula Priamos, author of The Shyster's Daughter. Listen live this Wednesday, May 30, at 3:30 Pacific Time or hear the recording any time after the show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-walker/2012/05/30/a-cup-of-coffee-and-a-good-book.

A unique blend of coming-of-age tale and detective noir, The Shyster's Daughter tells a deeply personal and yet universal immigrant story about the strength of family ties and walks the SoCal mean streets of James Ellroy’s My Dark Places. As the daughter of a defense attorney, Paula was raised in and out of courtrooms. Unbeknownst to her family, she witnessed her father––the very man who defended such criminals as suspected murderers, rapists, high-level drug dealers, and white collar criminals––become one himself. When her father mysteriously dies, Priamos starts to investigate into his death. Her findings reveal a side of her father that wreaks havoc with the image of the hard-working and honest man her family has come to cherish and lead to a stunning revelation on how we choose to remember our family.

Based in Los Angeles, Paula Priamos has written for The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post. She teaches at California State University San Bernadino and lives in Southern California with her husband, author James Brown, and stepsons. For more info on Paula Priamos, visit: http://www.paulapriamos.com.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Author Interview: Sarah Richard

Today we have an author interview with children's books author Sarah Richard.

Jennifer: Where can we find out more about you and buy your books?
I love to infuse humor into stories.  To get a taste, I put everything together at
www.sarahvrichard.zoomshare.com.  There are free articles, comics, and reviews available at the website as well as information to buy the ebooks.  The direct link, however, for the children's ebooks is www.diskuspublishing.com/sarahrichard.html.  The educational workbooks are at http://www.everythinghomeschooling.com/Ebook_store.aspx

Jennifer: Tell us about your book.
  The ebooks through Disk Us Publishing are mainly fiction.  A lot of the stories focus on the alphabet or counting.  My goal as a teacher is to make the class laugh at least once a day.  I hope the Disk Us stories do the same by bringing laughter to readers.  The ebooks through Everything Homeschooling are designed to make learning engaging.  We are currently working on a reading comprehension workbook.  We plan to include stories such as "How to Win a College Scholarship" and "Recovering from Hurricane Katrina."

Jennifer: What is your greatest writing challenge?
Technical writing is challenging.  There are so many rules, and technical writers must have an eye for detail.

Jennifer: What other projects do you have coming up?
The next story is titled The Vision.  It is a young adult novel for ages 12 and up.  The story is about a secret admirer.

An innocent crush spirals out of control as witty love letters and gifts take on a life of its own.  While nothing is forgotten, an unusual romance forms. 

Jennifer: What was the hardest part: writing the book, getting it published, or marketing it? Why?
Marketing.  It has been a blessing to have author interviews and reviews to help get the word out.  I also link up the website with articles and blogs.  To date, I have sold over 100 ebooks.   

Jennifer: Tell us a little about your non-writing life. Family? Pets? Hobbies?
I have 10-year-old twins and their 11-year-od sister, but the dog is 10 times more trouble than the three of them combined...

Jennifer: If you could choose your last meal, what would it be?
Tamales.  Tomorrow it will be Dorito tacos.  The next day - Shoney's fudge cake.  Spinach dip and pretzels are good...ah, just give it all to me.  (And no, I'm not expecting, but a fried pickle and ice cream sounds good too... put that on the side with a little sparking grape juice.)
Thank you to Sarah Richard for stopping by! Be sure to check out her books.

Monday, May 21, 2012

This Week on A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book

This week on the A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book BlogTalkRadio show, Jennifer interviews Judith Works, author of Coins In The Fountain. Listen live on Wednesday, May 23 at 3:30 Pacific Time, or hear the recording any time after the show, at  http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-walker/2012/05/23/a-cup-of-coffee-and-a-good-book

Part memoir, part travelogue to off-beat sites in Rome and elsewhere, you will be amused and intrigued with the stories of food, friends and adventures. You, too, will want to run away to join the Circus (the Circus Maximus, that is). And before you depart Rome, you will never forget to throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain to ensure a return to beautiful Rome and enchanting Italy.

About the Author:
The author lived in Rome for over ten years first, while working for the Food & Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, and then after a three-year gap (which she minded) she returned to Rome to work for the UN World Food Programme. She received her law degree from Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland Oregon and has traveled to over 100 countries for work and pleasure. Now retired near Seattle, she continues to travel in between writing and volunteering for arts, literary and scientific organizations.

Her website is coinsinthefountain.com.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Author Interview: Lorrieann Russell

Today we have an interview with Lorrieann Russell, author of By Right of Blood. Enjoy!

Jennifer: Where can we find out more about you and buy your book?

Lorrieann: By Right of Blood is available for in all eBook formats (Kindle, Nook et al.) now through online book sellers, Amazon.com and Smashwords.com.   On May 29, 2012, a paperback version will be released, also available through Amazon.

Jennifer: Tell us about your book.

Lorrieann: William Fylbrigge arrives at Drumoak in Stonehaven, a frightened, starving, abused child believing he’s been sent to foster with the demon earl Lord Edward, who eats children and sleeps under a quilt made of the skin of his victims — a lie he’s been told his entire young life. 

Denied the love and protection prescribed for him in his father’s will by his scheming older brother Thomas, William is ill prepared to claim his place among the powerful clan he has been born into. But,  under Lord Edward's guidance and with new friends he meets at Drumoak beside him, young Will (as he prefers to be called by his friends) blossoms and thrives, even catching the eye of Lord Edward's youngest daughter. But Thomas, doesn't want to share what he thinks is rightfully his and Will soon finds himself in the crosshairs of a paid assassin. And he could lose what is his By Right of Blood.

By Right of Blood is the first in a trilogy following the life of William Fylbrigge.  This story continues in My Brother’s Keeper, and In The Wake of Ashes.  

Jennifer: Where did you get the idea for the story?

Lorrieann: The story originated when I was studying my own genealogy about twelve years ago.  I had been following my paternal grandmother’s line and was able to a man called Thomas Philbrick,  who came to the New World a few years ahead of the pilgrims. In searching back further, I was able to trace his line back to England and the family name of “Felbreg” with many different spellings including “Fylbrigge”.   Thomas proved to be a fairly interesting character in his own right, but what intrigued me more was the single listing of a sibling named William about 20 years his junior.  All there was recorded for this young brother was his name, date of birth, his wedding day, bride’s name (Mehlyndia), and date of his death, which came only one month after his wedding when he was just 20 years old.   The year was 1597, and his place of death was listed as Aberdeen, Scotland.  

In doing more research into that year and that place, I found it to be a particularly violent year with many, many poor souls tortured and burned alive for witchcraft. 

This left me wondering if young William could have been one of these unfortunate souls.  Certainly, there was nothing in the evidence of his life that proved he was (or was not) one of the condemned,  but the seed was planted in my mind, and from this, my story grew. I decided that William deserved a little bit more ‘life ‘.

I would like to be perfectly clear that my account of William is complete fiction.

Jennifer: What do you find most rewarding in writing a book?

Lorrieann: I enjoy the discovery aspect. That is, watching the story unfold in my head as I write it. I do start with a vague idea of what the story is about, and the characters involved, but as I write, I love to allow the story to do the driving.  Many times I am surprised by the turns it takes.  I’ve had characters pop into my head fully formed, out of the blue and just introduce themselves and say “I’m supposed to be here now”.  I enjoy the escape to the alternate world I have created and the process of bringing it out into the light to share with my readers.

Of course, the ultimate reward is when a reader tells me they enjoyed the story. When someone tells me that I made them angry by taking the plot in a certain direction, I like that as well because I caused them to react.  If I can elicit emotion of any kind; a giggle, a gasp, a tear. . . then I have connected, and I have done my job as a story teller.

Jennifer: Tell us about your previous work.

Lorrieann: By Right of Blood was actually the last of the three books that I have published.  The story originally started with My Brother’s Keeper, which begins on William’s wedding day to Mehlyndia and follows him through his trials and near demise.  I thought that was going to be the entire story, and was surprised (and pleased) to discover that William was not quite done with me, and he lead me through In The Wake of Ashes, which took William to the New World. 

Between the time I wrote those first two books, and By Right of Blood, I published several short stories, and some poetry.  My style is rather eclectic, though I always tend to have an element of metaphysics. I’ve been told my short stories would have felt right at home as episodes of the Twilight Zone; some being humorously quirky, other just a half bubble left of sane.

Jennifer: What other projects do you have coming up?

Lorrieann: Right now I have several different irons in the fire.  There is one final book in William’s story, working title “Passages” which I hope will complete his arc, and tie up some unresolved loose ends for several of the other characters.  

I have a completely different story going that takes place in Manchester, NH around 1960 which is more in that Twilight Zone area and features the story of twin brothers, separated by mysterious circumstance, as one disappears into a mysterious yellow light while exploring the basement of an abandoned theatre, leaving the other to take the blame for his disappearance. 

A third story in the work is a fantasy romp set in the fictional ethereal plane of “Arcana” where the archangel Gabriel happens to be the Keeper, though he’d rather be elsewhere. Gabriel cannot leave until he finds a suitable replacement, so he goes to Earth and plucks six seemingly random souls from the same odd little town of Ravencroft and brings them to Arcana where they unwittingly play a game where the ‘winner’ (or loser as it were) becomes the new Keeper of Arcana.  

Jennifer: What is your writing process like--do you outline first or just start writing, etc.?

Lorrieann: I let the story do the driving.  I start writing what I enjoy reading.  Once the story gets into full swing, with several characters and different plots, then I will sit and outline each subplot and how they will come together in the end.    If I am having trouble with a certain plot, I will put it aside and move to another and write episodically rather than linearly.  When I have several good episodes, I will put them in logical order, and fill in the connections.

Jennifer: Tell us a little about your non-writing life. Family? Pets? Hobbies?

Lorrieann: I am digital artist.  I enjoy creating photorealistic illustrations using a variety of digital media.  I’ve put this to great use in creating my own book covers, and the covers for several other authors.   I enjoy using my design skills to create embroider patters as well.   I’m an avid knitter as well.  Aside from that,  my husband and I enjoy hiking in the mountains and traveling.  I am owned by Avalon, the five year old tabby who runs our household.

Jennifer: When and why did you decide to become a writer?

Lorrieann: I have always been a writer for as long as I can remember.  I would write stories and poems for my own amusement, never intending to share them with a wider audience.  I wrote stories for a very select audience: me.   It was after writing a few humorous holiday letters to friends that someone suggested I should consider being a writer.  I was going on forty at the time, and found myself between jobs with a lot of time on my hands, so I sat down and began to write. 

Jennifer: What is your favorite genre to read? To write?

Lorrieann: I don’t have a favorite genre. If the story is gripping, I’ll read it no matter if it’s fantasy, historic fiction, romantic farce, mystery or even erotic. When I write, I’m not thinking about which genre the story fits, or will fit. I’m only thinking about where this one story leads to.  Though I must admit that I do enjoy writing gallows humor.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Special Edition of A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book

On this special edition of the A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book BlogTalkRadio show, Jennifer will interview Jeryl Abelmann and Miriam Kronish, co-authors of the Quickly series. Listen live Tuesday, May 15 at 3:30 Pacific Time or hear the recording any time after the show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-walker/2012/05/15/special-edition-of-a-cup-of-coffee-and-a-good-book.

Quickly The Magic Spatula is the original book in the Quickly Series. It is honored with three gold medals:

The 2011 Hollywood Book Festival Children's Book of the Year, The 2009 Gold Medal Moonbeam Children's Book Award for inspiring writing, illustrating and publishing.

And a Gold Medal Regional Award for Best Children's Pictuire Book from the Bay Area's Independent Publishing Association.

Quickly's Magical Pancake Adventure is honored with two 2012 literary awards from the New England Book Festival and the Los Angeles Book Festival. Plus, Quickly's Magical Pancake Adventure has won two more Awards ... an Award Winning Children's Book and an Award Winning Cookbook from The Paris Book Festival. Quickly's Magical Pancake Adventure won two awards from the Paris Book Festival!

Learn more about the books at www.quicklythemagicspatula.com.

Monday, May 14, 2012

This Week on A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book: William Dickerson

This week on the A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book BlogTalkRadio show, Jennifer will interview William Dickerson about his novel, No Alternative. Listen live on Wednesday, May 16 at 3:30 Pacific time or hear the recording any time after the show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-walker/2012/05/16/a-cup-of-coffee-and-a-good-book.

No Alternative is a coming-of-age drama set in the world of suburban American teens in the early 90's. Main character Thomas Harrison is determined to start his own alternative band, an obsession that blinds him to what’s either the mental collapse, or the eruption of musical genius, of his younger sister, Bridget. She boldly rejects her brother’s music, and the music of an entire generation of slackers by taking on the persona of an X-rated gangsta rapper named “Bri Da B.” No Alternative not only explores the music scene in the early 90's, but examines socially significant themes––suicide, depression, drug addiction and the teenage angst and alienation that were so prevalent at the time.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

This Week on A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book: Jesse Coffey

This week on the A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book BlogTalkRadio show, Jennifer interviews Jesse Coffey of Edin Road Radio about her book, The Brothers Cameron: An Opportunity for Resentment. Listen live on Wednesday, May 9 at 3:30 Pacific Time or hear the recording any time after the show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-walker/2012/05/09/a-cup-of-coffee-and-a-good-book.

When their father is brutally beaten and murdered, only one thing can bring brothers Stephan and William Cameron together -- finding the killer and bringing him to justice. But only one thing can drive them apart -- the flirtatious redhead, Lady Jessica Chynoweth.

Find out more about Jesse Coffey at:


Tuesday, May 1, 2012

This week on a Cup of Coffee and a Good Book

This week on the A Cup of Coffee and a Good Book BlogTalkRadio show, Jennifer will interview Chris Mendius about his novel, Spoonful. Listen live on Wednesday, May 2 at 3:30 Pacific time or hear the recording any time after the show at http://www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-walker/2012/05/02/a-cup-of-coffee-and-a-good-book.

Born and raised in Naperville, Chicago, Chris Mendius didn’t have to research his characters, he grew up with them. Told with a fresh, unsparing voice, and vivid detail, SPOONFUL follows a group of young drug dealers with bad habits but good hearts, struggling to make ends meet in Chicago's Wicker Park neighborhood of the late nineties. The place has become overrun with hipsters and yuppies moving in and taking over. Main character Michael Lira, a good guy with a wicked heroin habit, supports his lifestyle through petty crime and the occasional drug deal, and feeds his spirit by slipping away for trysts with Lila, a free-spirited painter who strips to pay the rent.

As everyone around him seems to be making it big in the Clinton era dot-com boom, Michael sees his chance for a way out of his life and the hope for a different future. With the help of his friend Sal, Michael pulls together a bundle of money and rolls the dice in the stock market. When his well-intentioned plan fails, his life spins out of his control as he struggles against the ever-present downward spiral of his addiction. 

Amongst other things, SPOONFUL explores various addictions and the arbitrary moral distinctions made in our culture when it comes to heroin, weed, alcohol and painkillers. The novel has received a Star of Remarkable Merit by Kirkus Reviews and is well on its way to becoming an urban cult classic from a new author with talent to burn.


Chris Mendius grew up in Naperville, Illinois. He earned a BSME from University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and an MBA from University of Chicago. After college, he moved to Chicago and started writing. He currently lives with his family in Oak Park, Illinois, less than a mile from where he used to score. Spoonful is his first published novel. For more info on Chris Mendius, visit www.anythinggoespublishing.com.