Blogiversary Giveaway #3

10th Blogiversary Celebration

Good day, my bookish divas and divos. A huge “thank you” to everyone that entered the first two giveaways. The second giveaway has ended and Amanda K. won the Book Nerd mug and journal. Congratulations, Amanda K.!

Let’s keep things rolling with the third giveaway. The prize is a charcoal gray, adult large t-shirt featuring “The Child” from the hit Disney+ show The Mandalorian with the wording “Read It Is The Way” from Out Of Print clothing. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada ONLY. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form/link below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Guest Post: Dale Wiley – THE INTERN

One of the many great things about being a book blogger, other than getting to read some wonderful books, is being able to host a visit by an author. Today, The Book Diva’s Reads is pleased to have Dale Wiley, author of The Intern, visit and discuss the path The Intern has taken to becoming a bestseller. 




HOW THE INTERN WENT FROM A DUSTY SPOT ON THE SHELF TO THE BESTSELLER LIST
By Dale Wiley


I’ve written all my life. I wrote mysteries and things about superheroes when I was a kid, started writing longer-form pieces in high school, studied under Stanley Elkin in college and peppered friends and family constantly, asking them to read this piece or that piece.

During most of that time, spent reading Hemingway and Fitzgerald and Flannery O’Connor for school, I tried to write “literary” fiction, about the inner workings of the heart and the truth of the human condition. At that same time, when I was driving home from college or one of my many road trips, I would put in audio books by Grisham and Ludlum and Baldacci, and enjoy the miles as the author told wild, mysterious tales. There was a certain “ha-ha-haaaaaa” tone that opened many of the audio books at that time and I wish they had never retired that, as it had such good associations for me.

My senior year, I decided that if I enjoyed listening to and reading those as much as I did, that I should try my hand at writing them. My first attempt was very post-modern, called Prime Time, and it was pretty great, but utterly unpublishable, because it was a plot that used characters from TV to meet together in one twisted, crazy storyline. Think of The A-Team meeting the cast of Facts of Life in a Scooby Doo cartoon. 

I actually got as far as meeting with a publisher in New York. But she told me the manuscript would need to be 300 pages. I looked at her like she had pumpkins for eyes. I told her I could write three 100-page stories, but there’s only so much you can do with the Fonz trying to solve mysteries with Arnold Drummond. She told me that would not work. Sadly, we parted ways.

The next manuscript I worked on was The Intern. I was tired of reading every thriller where everyone was so completely serious. And so impervious to pain. I wanted my character to give as good as he got, to complain when he hurt and be funny. It took about 18 months, but I was pretty happy with the result.

I shopped it to agents, and was just sure I was going to be famous before I even left law school. I got a couple of feelers, but nothing too exciting. Life then rang the door bell, and marriage and babies left me thinking less and less about writing fiction.

In the midst of parenthood, I did find the time to write a non-fiction book about an old-time camp meeting in Georgia, called There Is A Fountain. I self-published it and it did fine, but it was a much more limited audience than I thought The Intern would have. It was interesting to put together the history with a short memoir, but I felt like the topic was limited enough that it probably wasn’t going to hit the charts any time soon.

I got divorced in 2009, and toyed with writing again. I had started projects all along the way, but nothing that lasted or kept my attention. Then, in 2012, I started working on a new novel called Sabotage. It was big and bold and, I think, very good. When I completed it in 2013, I got some inquiries but not enough to quit my day job.

Memory crept in, and I started thinking about The Intern, how much I had enjoyed writing it and how different I thought it was. I remembered the joy of seeing the story evolve, and the rush that went with having the comedy mesh with the thrills. That’s not easy to do, you know. Writing comedy involves one cadence, thrillers a different feel. Putting them together is very intricate.

To my surprise, it read really, really well. I polished it and re-wrote a couple of sections, but it was very tight; I’m sure this was due to how much I wrote back then. 

As I was looking at both of these manuscripts, I discovered Smashwords, which has been a revelation to me. It is the first pseudo self-publishing outfit I’ve ever found that doesn’t require up-front payment, but instead works with you and only makes money as you sell books. That’s a real partnership. The owner, Mark Coker, laid out the blueprint of how to get interest on-line and how to work to have a shot at getting your work noticed. I followed it completely. When the release date came and all of the orders came, it was a thrill. Seeing myself on iBooks bestselling lists was breathtaking. And then two weeks later, when Apple added it to the Biggest Books of Spring storewide promotion with Toni Morrison and Clive Barker and Harlan Coben, I had to be resuscitated. As a life-long reader, this is the stuff of dreams.

We’re a month into this process. The book has not left the iBooks charts. It continues to climb on some of the longer-term charts. Sabotage is coming out in August. And this guy is happy that he dusted off an old thing and made it new again.


Meet the author:

Dale Wiley is a Missouri attorney who has had a character named after him on CSI, owned a record label, been interviewed by Bob Edwards on NPR’s Morning Edition and made motorcycles for Merle Haggard and John Paul DeJoria. He has three awesome kids and spends his days working as a lawyer fighting the big banks.








The Intern by Dale Wiley
ISBN: 9781311987716 (ebook)
ASIN: B00USSDLPA (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Dale Wiley via Smashwords
Publication date:  March 1, 2015

It’s 1995. Things are going great for new Washington, DC intern Trent Norris. He’s out on his own, he’s found a fabulous woman to date, and if he doesn’t love his internship, he doesn’t hate it either. Life is nice.

But things can change in a moment in DC, and Trent finds himself the prime suspect in two murders and a slew of other crimes. Overnight he becomes the most wanted man in America.

Trent has to find a way — any way — out. He finds a way to hole up at The Watergate on a senator’s dime and enlists a comely call girl as his unwitting ally. But with the media eating him alive, he knows he doesn’t have long before they catch up with him. Can The Intern find his way out of this mess?

From tony clubs in Georgetown to Capitol Hill murders, The Intern has all the twists and turns of a classic DC thriller, with an added comic flair.












This is a giveaway hosted by Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours for Dale Wiley. There will be ONE U.S. winners of a kindle ebook copy of The Intern. The giveaway is open to US residents only. The giveaway begins on April 20th, 2015 and runs through May 31st, 2015. Stop by our tour stops too because several of them are giving away limited edition print copies of The Intern!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


 

Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours



 



Buy the Book





icon
icon 


icon

icon

Book Showcase: WHAT THE FLY SAW by Frankie Bailey


What the Fly Saw


by Frankie Bailey


on Tour Feb 1 – March 28, 2015





 



Book Details:



Genre:  Mystery (near-future police procedural)


Published by:   Minotaur Books


Publication Date:   March 3, 2015


Number of Pages:   336


ISBN:   10:1250048303 | 13:978-1250048301


Series: Detective Hannah McCabe #2


Purchase Links:    



Synopsis:

Albany, New York, January 2020 (parallel universe)

A blizzard sweeps up the coast and shuts down the city. When it is over, funeral director Kevin Novak is found dead in the basement of his funeral home. The arrow sticking out of his chest came from his own hunting bow. A loving husband and father and an active member of a local megachurch, Novak had no known enemies. His family and friends say he had been depressed because his best friend died suddenly of a heart attack and Novak blamed himself. But what does his guilt have to do with his death? Maybe nothing, maybe a lot. Three people — the minister of the megachurch, the psychiatrist who provides counseling to church members, and a medium visiting from the South – say they reached out to Kevin Novak. One of them might know why Novak was murdered. But Detective Hannah McCabe and her partner, Mike Baxter, must sort through lies and evasions as they try to find the killer. The relationship between the partners is threatened as McCabe deals with a political controversy involving her family, unanswered questions about their last high-profile case, and her own guilt because a young woman died after McCabe failed to act.



Read an excerpt:


Chapter 1



Saturday, January 18, 2020
5:47 AM


After the storm had passed, in the chilly hour before dawn, the last of the “space zombies” found their way back to their nest in the derelict house.

From his command post, the squad leader gave the signal. “Go!”

A black van pulled up in front of the house. Albany PD vice cops wearing protective gear jumped out and stormed up the walk. They used a battering ram to smash open the wooden door.

“Police! Albany PD!”

“Police!”

Their high-powered torches illuminated the grotesque horror movie creatures in the 3-D posters on the walls.

One of the cops ripped down a dangling black plastic replica of the 2012 UFO. He tossed the boomerang-shaped object to the floor.

Hippiefreaks, he thought. Ought to make them all go live out in the Mojave Desert and wait for the mother ship to arrive.

He kicked at the nearest mattress on the floor. “Police!” he shouted down at the long-haired occupant. “On your feet!”

Blank eyes in an eerie white-painted face stared up at him.

“Hands up! Hands up!” the cop yelled as the kid stumbled to his feet. He shoved him against the wall and patted him down.

Upstairs, in a bathroom, another cop had found a girl sprawled out, unconscious, on the dirty tile floor beside the toilet. She had vomited in the toilet bowl. Her jeans were stained with urine and feces.

Reaching down, he shook her, and then rolled her onto her side to see her face beneath the mop of dark hair. A nasty bruise on her cheekbone stood out against the streaked white paint. He moved her red scarf aside to feel for a pulse in her throat. The scarf was damp, like her tee shirt and soiled blue jeans.

“Whaddya have?” another cop asked from the doorway.

“Looks like an OD,” the cop inside the bathroom said. “Still breathing, but the wagon had better get here fast.”

“Got it,” the other cop said, touching thecomm button on his helmet.

The cop in the bathroom spotted a smear of blood on the corner of the sink. That explained the bruise. She’d banged her face on the sink when she passed out.

Downstairs in the kitchen, cops surveyed the debris of dirty dishes and rotting garbage – and an impressive array of drugs and paraphernalia.
One of them lowered her weapon and observed, “With a stash like this, they could have stayed zonked out until the next UFO came to visit.”

Chapter 2



Saturday afternoon
3:17 PM


Funeral director Kevin Novak stared at the Cupid and Psyche bronze clock on his host, Olive Cooper’s mantel. He had allowed himself to become marooned on a conversational island with Paige, Olive’s great niece.

As Paige complained about the conversation and laughter filling the long room — the “rabble babble,” as sheput it — Kevin found a name for what he had been feeling for the past forty-eight plus hours. Grief.

He was experiencing first-hand what he had often observed when relatives came into the funeral home after the unexpected death of a loved one. That first stage of grieving the experts described as denial, but he often thought of as amazement and disbelief. The stage of bereavement when family members spoke of their dead loved one in the present tense because they couldn’t yet believe their lives had been ripped apart.

It seemed in this state of mind, one went through the usual motions, saying what was expected. But the shell was thin. His was developing cracks. He could tell because he felt no inclination at all to warn Paige Cooper that he had glanced over her shoulder and seen her Great Aunt Olive headed their way and Paige had better shut up. So he must be moving into the next stage: anger.

“Where in the galaxy did Aunt Olive find these people?” Paige said. “Look at them.”

“Some of them are from the church’s community outreach,” Kevin said.

True, Olive’s guest list for this celebration of her life reflected her eccentricities. An odd assortment of guests: old friends, relatives, church members and business associates, and other people who tickled Olive’s fancy or touched her big heart. But they had all cleaned up and put on their best in Olive’s honor.

“It’s freezing in here,” Paige said. She pulled the belt of her hand-knit cardigan tighter and held her hands out toward the fireplace.

“Feels fine to me,” Kevin said.

“It really is annoying we have to come out for this farce when there’s a blizzard on the way. The least Aunt Olive could do is heat this mausoleum. Everyone here except her will come down with pneumonia, and we’ll still have to do this all over again when she finally does kick off.”

“When I finally do ‘kick off’, Paige,” her great aunt said, right behind her. “You may feel free not to attend my funeral. In fact, if you die first – maybe of the pneumonia you expect to catch – you’ll spare us both that annoyance. And for your information, it was your father who insisted on including you in this shindig.”

Paige flushed an unbecoming shade of scarlet. “Aunt Olive, I didn’t mean –”

“I know what you meant. Get yourself a glass of champagne, now you’re actually old enough to drink, and make the best of the situation.”
Olive’s sharp gaze fastened on Kevin. “And since you already know you’re going to get to bury me when I’m dead, you can relax and enjoy the party.”

“I always enjoy your parties, Olive,” Kevin said.

“Come with me,” she said. “There’s someone I want you to meet.”

Aware of Paige’s suspicious glare, Kevin smiled in her direction. That would teach the little brat to say funeral directors reminded her of vultures without first checking for one of the species within hearing distance.

Vultures sometimes exacted their petty revenge.

“At your service, Olive,” he said, offering his arm to the woman, who was eighty-five years old and counting and might well live to be a hundred.

“How have you been?” she asked him.

“Fine,” Kevin said. “Never better.”

“Don’t give me that. Anyone who knows you can tell you’re still taking Bob’s death hard.”

“Having your best friend collapse with a heart attack while you’re beating him at tennis and then die on the operating table can have that effect.”

“It’s been over four months since it happened. You should be coping with it by now.”

“I am coping with it.”

“You’re still off-kilter. Not your usual self. That’s why I want you to meet Luanne Woodward.”

“Luanne? That medium or spiritualist or whatever she calls herself that you found somewhere?”

“I didn’t find her ‘somewhere’. She was the featured lecturer at a fundraiser.”

“Lecturer? Don’t you mean ‘performer’?”

“She talked about being a medium and answered questions. She’s an interesting woman. I think you could benefit from talking to her.”

“I don’t believe in that hocus-pocus, Olive.”

“I don’t believe in most of it, either. I’m almost ancient enough to remember the Fox Sisters and their flimflam. But, as I said, Luanne’s interesting. I invited her today so you could meet her.”

Kevin noticed one of Olive’s guests filling his plate high with the urgency of a man who expected the bounty in front of him to disappear.
“And do what?” he said in belated response to Olive. “Sign up for her next séance?”

“That might not be a bad idea. Spiritual therapy, so to speak.”

“I get my spiritual therapy at church on Sunday from our minister. You might consider doing the same.”

“At my age, I take what I need from wherever I happen to find it. And the fact you’re going all righteous on me instead of laughing about my eccentricities, as you like to call them, proves you’re off-kilter. We need to get you putto right.”

“Olive, I don’t think a medium and a séance will do the trick.”

“You need an opportunity to confront your feelings.”

“I have confronted my feelings. I confronted them after Bob died. I sought counseling from both Reverend Wyatt and Jonathan Burdett.”

Olive stopped walking and glared at him. “Now, if you want to talk about hocus-pocus, psychiatrists are right up there. You lie on their couch spilling your guts. And they mumble an occasional Freudian pearl of wisdom while they’re thinking about how they intend to spend what they’re charging you.”

“Burdett offers the option of sitting in a comfortable armchair, and, as you well know, his services are free to church members.”

“The church pays his salary, so he’s not free. He’s full of his diplomas and his jargon, that’s what he is.”

“And what about your medium? Is she one-hundred percent jargon free?”

“Not a chance. They all have their language intended to impress, but she’s a hell of a lot more fun then Burdett. So come along and meet her.”

“I suppose it would be a waste of time to say no?”

“Yes, it would. You said you were at my service.”

“Yes, I did say that.”

Not much sleep last night or the night before. His moment of irritation with Paige had given way to weariness. No doubt he would feel the anger later. No chance he’d be able to skip over that stage. Not with the piper to pay.

“Luanne,” Olive said to the plump, blonde woman sipping from a champagne glass as she observed the people around her. “I’d like you to meet Kevin Novak, the friend of mine I was telling you about.”

“I’m so happy to meet you, Mr. Novak,” she said in a Southern drawl that suited her pleasant, round face. Her blue gaze met and held his.

If he believed in such things, Kevin would have sworn she’d looked past his tailored suit and crisp white shirt, straight into his tarnished soul.

He took a step back, and reached out to steady Olive, whose hand rested on his arm.

“Sorry,Olive” he said. “I just remembered something I need to do.”

Luanne Woodward said, “It’s all right, Kevin, honey. You don’t have to run away from me.”

But he did, Kevin thought. He had to run as fast as he could.



Author Bio:

Frankie Y. Bailey is a mystery writer and a professor in the School of Criminal Justice, University at Albany (SUNY). Her academic research focuses on crime history, popular culture/mass media, and material culture. She has done research and writtenabout topics ranging from local history and women who kill to African American characters in crime and detective fiction. She is currently at work on a book about dress, appearance, and criminal justice. She is the author of two mystery series, featuring crime historian Lizzie Stuart, and Albany police detective Hannah McCabe. Frankie is a past executive vice president of Mystery Writers of America and a past president of Sisters in Crime. A dog lover, she now shares her home with a Maine Coon cat/mix named Harry.


Catch Up:




Tour Participants:






Win What the Fly Saw by Frankie Bailey!

a Rafflecopter giveaway



Get More Great Reads at Partners In Crime Virtual Book Tours



 

 

 

Blogiversary Final Giveaway – 2013

2nd Blogiversary Celebration Final Giveaway

I’ve had a difficult time deciding what to giveaway for the third and fourth weeks of my blogiversary celebration. I wanted to giveaway something memorable to me, useful to you and book related. I could have chosen another gift card giveaway or a set of books, but I eventually decided to giveaway one of my ereaders. So, to celebrate the end of my second year blogging about books and the start of my third, I’ve decided to give away my Nook Color. 


This device has been lovingly used and pampered for the past two years and comes with a purple skin (covers the front and back and is removable), a screen cover (also removable), a purple SPECK case (see picture below of Nook Color in the case), a USB cord, and AC charger (110 voltage). The Nook Color has a slot for a SD card and can be quickly upgraded to an Android Tablet using a Nook2Android SD card (more information available here). 



This giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only (sorry to all of my international follows). This giveaway will run from 12:01 AM ET on 03/26/2013 through 11:59 PM ET on 04/08/2013. The winner will be chosen and posted on 04/09/2013. All entries must use the Rafflecopter form below. Comments are appreciated but are not considered an official entry.