Friday, July 28, 2017

Andrea Kaczmarek ~ 2nd interview an her novel ~ There's a Stinky Goblin in the Shed

Andrea Kaczmarek

TITLE: There’s a Stinky Goblin in the Shed
RELEASE DATE: March 10, 2017
AUTHOR: Andrea Kaczmarek
CATEGORIES: Early Middle Grade/Fantasy
ISBN: 978-1542805629
IMPRINT: Sunquills

Born in Wales. Teacher training in Weymouth - married with two grown up children - and now grandmother to three amazing and clever kids.

I was a Town Councillor for many years in Hamm with a great interest in integration and education. Today I still work on the Committee for Special Needs and I am Chair of the World of Reading - Lese Welt Hamm - bringing books and stories to children!

I still organise art and English projects at my old school  - great fun working with children from many different backgrounds.

Children who enjoy stories and reading have a good start in life! 



Q: Dress up or dress down?
A: Dress up and I love carnival parties of all kinds. I have a dressing up box, not only for my grandchildren, but I love it, too. But maybe you meant my little (not so little) black dress? Which I love too, and glam up with silk scarves -

Q: Dine in or dine out?
A: Both, but nothing beats a candlelight dinner with good wine and good food – in a favorite restaurant, or a home with friends.

Q: Coffee or Tea?
A: Coffee, but being British, I suppose it should be tea -

Q: Texting, love it or hate it?
A: Love it – is that bad?


Q: How do you handle a writer's block?
A: Do other things, read, walk, cook – something exciting will pop into your head, eventually.

Q: Do you write longhand first, or does it go straight into the computer?
A: Straight into the computer, but a jumble of notes at first.

Q: Are you a sit down and play it by ear kind of writer, or do you need a structured guideline, or maybe a little of both?
A: I need the idea and the start, the rest will come with the writing, and often turn direction. But the basic storyline is mapped out at the start.

Q: When crafting the story do you go from beginning to end, or do you jump around writing the scenes that are pushing themselves forward in your brain?
A: A bit of both.

Q: Do you always know how a story will end when you begin writing it?
A: Sort of, but it could change. And with the Stinky Goblin story I had another ending, but it wasn’t really the end, more had to come.

Q: Have your characters ever taken the story in a different direction than you had originally planned? Do you have a for instance, for us?
A: Oh yes, the Stinky Goblin story started out as a nice gentle goblin story. Two boys hiding a kind goblin in their den – oops, the goblin took over and wasn’t nice at all!

Q: What geographical locations are your favorite and why?
A: France, we love our holidays in France, the Mediterranean food, too.

Q: Which holiday celebrations do you like to incorporate into your stories and why?
A: I have written a story about Christmas, but sadly no publisher was keen – good story, they actually said, but limited market! Thanks for the idea, I’ll try a Halloween story maybe. I tried one out on my granddaughter at her last Halloween party, but all the 8 years-olds said it wasn’t scary enough. The four year old was scared!

Q: Generally speaking, is your work based on real life experience? If it's not would you want it to be?
A: There’s always something taken from real life, isn’t there.

Q: How long does it take you to create a novel?
A: About a year from beginning to end.

Q: Do you like to read the genre that you write?
A: Yes, of course. But I read a lot of other things too.

Q: How does the man/woman in your life feel about the genre you write? Has he read any of your work?
A: My kids and grandchildren read my stories, and are fans. My husband reads murder stories.


Q: What are you working on now? Would you like to share anything about it?
 A: I have just finished a story for younger children- Zola’s Spooky Specs-  here’s the blurb: How did Zola find those Spooky Specs? That’s easy, they found her. It was a party game and the girls all put on crazy hats and funny specs for mad photos. Except Zola – she ended up with big black ‘nerdy’ specs! But those specs turned out to be a bit spooky. Zola started finding lost things… Zola and her Spooky Specs always knew where to find things – and people are always losing things!
Until Zola decided to lose those Spooky Specs, why should she always help people to find things – they shouldn’t be so careless anyway. Until Zola lost something very special herself.
I am very pleased with it, but who knows?

Q: Do you have a new book coming out soon? Tell us about it.
A: Maybe Zola’s Spooky Specs will be the next project, as I said, just finished, so it is too new to plan.

Q: How can we find you? Do you have a web page, FaceBook page or any buy links?
A:  Yes, I do. Here are the links. ~ If you would like this line to read another way – please fill it in.   


KEYWORDS: Fantasy, Adventure, Fun, Goblins, Monsters, Middle Grade, Magical

Looking after a goblin is not easy, ask the twins Jerry and Jacob who stumble across a lost goblin, and foolishly help him out. Hiding and feeding him are bad enough – but when his sister goblin turns up – the boys are in deep trouble again!

Jerry and Jacob clean out Gran’s old garden shed to make a den, but on their first late-night walk in the woods behind it, they come across a very strange, grubby little person and their problems begin. A small pile of rags that can talk! The boys want to run away fast, but they take pity on the strange creature. They promise to try and get it back to its own world – GoblinLand.

Hiding a goblin in their den is a full time job. But in the end they find out that Hob had upset an elf, could that be the clue they need? But if the twins think that helping out their grubby goblin friend is the end of the story – they are very very wrong! Once you have let one goblin into your life…..the goblin door has opened!

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Thursday, July 27, 2017

Erin Eldridge ~ guest post and her novel ~ Days of Insult

TITLE: “Days of Insult”
RELEASE DATE: April 30, 2017
AUTHOR: Erin Eldridge
CATEGORIES: Historical Fiction/Romance
ISBN: 978-1543006971
IMPRINT: White Stag

KEYWORDS: War, Partisan, Love, Betrayal, Canada, Refugee, Explosives

Hitler’s troops invade Russia and Sacha Mikhailov’s life is changed forever. Forced into early manhood, he joins his country’s bitter struggle against the Nazi invader.

When the Germans invade his country in 1941, Russian youth, Sacha Mikhailov, becomes a part of the titanic struggle on the Eastern Front. Fighting first as a partisan, operating with his detachment from deep in the forest, he learns the skills of sabotage and ambush. He makes friends, falls in love, and endures the enemy’s vicious onslaught to wipe out the partisans once and for all. As the Russians push the Germans back, Sacha joins the Red Army and his war continues on into the capitals of Europe where he formulates a plan which will set his life on a radically different course.

When the idea for this book began to germinate, I realised that I was going to have to do a great deal of research. I’m an avid reader at the best of times and have tertiary qualifications in history, but I knew there were a lot of gaps in my knowledge, just the same.

The whole story of the war on the Eastern Front, in Soviet Russia, is a very neglected area, especially for fiction. Yet, the bulk of the war was fought on Russian soil, confirmed by the fact that eight out of ten German soldiers who died in World War 11, died in the Eastern theatre. Out of fifty million war dead, twenty-eight million casualties were Russian. They truly bore the brunt of the Nazi onslaught and the savagery and brutality were unequalled on any other front. To Nazified Germans, the Russians were little better than animals, untermenschen, sub-humans, and they treated them accordingly. The titanic scale of the conflict is beyond the average person’s comprehension.

Once I started my research, I knew I wanted my book to be rooted in real events to give it a solid base of authenticity. Firstly, I had to find out what it was like to be a partisan, trying to survive in the dense forests. I needed to know how life was organised, what clothes they wore, what food they ate, what kinds of weapons and tactics they used. The Soviet government at the time, under Josef Stalin, issued the partisans with a practical survival manual and this little book provided valuable information. I was also aware that the United States was a valuable Ally of Russia during the war years and supplied them with huge amounts of war materiel. I was especially interested to learn about the tons of SPAM (the tinned meat) that America delivered to the Russian troops, who considered it gourmet food. In Ohio and Iowa, there were factories dedicated to turning out canned pork for the Soviet soldiers. They called it tushonka and relished it.

Another area I had to research was the legendary T-34 tank, which was the mainstay of Russian armour. Apart from reading and using the Internet, I contacted the Russian Embassy here in New Zealand and they directed me to the website of a tank museum in Moscow which was a mine of information about specifications. I’ve always loved tanks so I really enjoyed this part of the research. Driving a tank is on my bucket list! This little tank, the T-34, was probably the best tank overall in WW11, and they were turned out in their thousands. I had to put myself “inside” one and think about what it must have been like for the tankers. It was unquestionably sheer hell and thousands lost their lives. Tanks may be made of metal, but they burn fiercely. I have tried hard to convey the horror of tank warfare in my book.

Finally, I had to find out about what happened to all the people who were displaced by the war. In 1945, when the war ended, there were a staggering twelve million DPs In Europe. I embarked on a quest to find out what happened to them, where they ended up and how many became refugees and were repatriated to other countries.

By the time I finished writing my book I had learned so much and felt humbled by what people of the war generation had gone through. I hope I have done justice to their suffering by filtering it through the agonising experience of one young Russian man. Life can insult us in so many ways and the amazing thing about the human spirit is the courage with which people face its challenges.

I live in Christchurch, New Zealand. The city is still rebuilding after the devastating earthquakes of 2010 and 2011. I have been a teacher for most of my life, most recently, a teacher of deaf students. Currently, I do part time support work with International students at a boys’ college. I’ve taught overseas as well, in Africa and in Brunei. I have two children, one of who, my daughter, lives in the UK and the other, my son, lives around the corner! I started writing two years ago and have completed four books: a contemporary romance, two war stories and a medieval fantasy. I have many more ideas for stories yet to come.


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Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Skro ~ 2nd guest post and his novel Sonspot

TITLE: Sonspot
RELEASE DATE: March 15, 2017
CATEGORIES: Fantasy/Adventure
ISBN: 978-1543108477
IMPRINT: Devil’s Tower

KEYWORDS: Awakening, higher purpose, revelations, truth, lies, eternal awareness existence, synchronicity, brotherhood, metal music, voices, psychedelics, inter-dimensional travel, perception, madness, flow, peace, utter chaos, unbound love, pride, lust, acceptance

Mac asked for death. What he got was the complete opposite.

An apocalyptic adventure of awakening, madness, and revelation, Sonspot, is the tale of Mack—a coming of age man who is plagued by supernatural nightmares. Fed up with the depraved world he was born in, he asks for death. What he gets is the complete opposite; buried memoires of his eternal soul on the Island of Eden and the damnation that follows. With the aid of a magic gum, the mysterious divine flow unfolds before Mack and his best friend, leading them on an adventure through the nine levels of hell; answering one fundamentally scary question that haunts us all to our grave.

Inception is an idea that gets to me. Ideas getting planted beyond the person’s awareness. It’s so wonderful how it really is a seed, and this seed grows. Why does that picture go creepy in my head? Anyways, I can remember what I think was the inception of the idea for the plotline. Years before, one of my friends was ‘seeing’. He said that I had to walk through hell.

I thought that was fortunate.

He was also drawling patterns he saw on the wall with colored pencils.

I also thought that was fortunate.

Switching gears; six months into the ‘apartment years’, a couple friends of mine, two girls that were giddy witches together, had some insights for me. We grew close going to a music festival and everything that happens there. I became Tarzan that summer and they told me that Jane was somewhere out there.

That was a gnarly summer, one of those summers where you learn a lot about yourself, and wish you could draw those moments out for the rest of your life. Something like that anyways. Decisions were made that year. I laugh manically.

What am I talking about here?

I’m kinda an all over the place guy.

Now what about the idea for the…

This is the creative process… I promise, it’ll make sense.

What about reading it? OR the style?

I remember trying to read Dante’s Inferno. My brain… I read a few cantos and was like fuck, where’s the spark notes? And then Andy came to my head. Mac was at a cafĂ©, drinking coffee and spacing out through the window. He come to, and Andy is sitting right across from him. That’s the part with the ‘magic’ gum.


A flood of images, the plot in clear fashion zooms forward to the point where Mac and Ryan chew the magic gum and a zipper appears in the air. It unzips the fabric of our realm and revealed the real world behind it. Mac walks into it and instantly the story took off from there. And then a whole lot of implications came through my mind that reset what even I was thinking about the fabric of our own reality.

Do you think anything is real? Is there one thing, one thing at all that’s real?

That look in her eyes.

That might be the only real thing is anything ever. That one last look before she was became separated and plunged into deepest darkest tinyest corner in existence. Shit like that ripples through lifetimes. Especially if your soul is made to sit and tumble around in the middle of the sun, watching the ripple of the first sin committed and the pulses of agony that seep up from Jane’s cage.

Numbers freak me out. After watching Number 23 with Jim Carey, I was like.. fuck. Fuck, fuck, fuck. Expressions on both frequencies. Fuck’s awesome like that.

A large theme for the book was self-realization. But it always comes back to that. So in which case I’ll say that a big theme for this book is metal music. It’s like the back noise that sometimes explodes in your face; like anxiety.


Skro is a pseudonym.. but an actual being that was wrangled in from some faraway place, deep within the caverns of imagination. His mortal self lives in the outskirts of Atlantic City, New Jersey. He was born in 1989. Sonspot is his first novel. He loves everybody; no exception.. because we all emanate from the same source, and all eventually find our way back there; no exceptions.


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