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BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: Fatal Intent by TAMMY EULIANO

 

Fatal Intent by Tammy Euliano

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Welcome to Books By My Friends, Tammy! You have a medical thriller to tell us about, so let’s get started!

JH: What’s the blurb for your book Fatal Intent?

TE: When her elderly patients start dying at home days after minor surgery, anesthesiologist Dr. Kate Downey wants to know why. The surgeon, not so much. “Old people die, that’s what they do,” is his response. When Kate presses, surgeon Charles Ricken places the blame squarely on her shoulders. Kate is currently on probation, and the chief of staff sides with the surgeon, leaving Kate to prove her innocence and save her own career. With her husband in a prolonged coma, it’s all she has left. Aided by her eccentric Great Aunt Irm, a precocious medical student, and the lawyer son of a victim, Kate launches her own unorthodox investigation of these unexpected deaths. As she comes closer to exposing the culprit’s identity, she faces professional intimidation, threats to her life, a home invasion, and, tragically, the suspicious death of someone close to her. The stakes escalate to the breaking point when Kate, under violent duress, is forced to choose which of her loved ones to save—and which must be sacrificed.

JH: What inspired you to write Fatal Intent?

TE: The idea of managing the end-of-life has fascinated me since way before any kid should think about such things. We had a debate in my 5th grade class about the fate of Karen Ann Quinlan, a young woman in a persistent vegetative state whose parents wanted her ventilator disconnected, while the State of New Jersey disagreed. I don’t recall what side my 10-year-old-self argued, but the question never left me. Medical technology and the ability to keep the body alive has far out-paced our ethical ability to deal with the implications. In medical school and residency, the question resurfaced repeatedly, while watching families’ extended mourning in the ICU, and anesthetizing patients for innumerable procedures despite little to no hope of a meaningful recovery. Meanwhile, the absurd cost of medical care in the US frequently made the news, especially expenditures in the last few months of life and final hospitalization. Years later, the characters of Fatal Intent took up residency in my head, invading my sleep, and even my waking hours. It was time to give them voice. Once I found my tribe of writing supporters and teachers and editors, at last it came together and I couldn’t be happier to finally share Kate and her crew with the world.

JH: What one thing do you love most about writing?

TE: When a plot comes together and the characters seem to just take over and write themselves. I haven’t been in that state of “flow” often, but it is thrilling (see what I did there?) when it happens.

JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing?

TE: As I (hopefully) finish up the third in the Kate Downey series. I hope to find a publisher for another series that I absolutely love. Pre-covid I wrote about a bioengineered virus that destroyed the fertility of humans and other primates. Sort of Children of Men-ish, minus the soul-crushing fate of mankind that PD James described. Anyway, I LOVE the themes, the characters and the challenging topics raised, but have yet to interest an agent or publisher. Finally, a short story I had published a couple years ago keeps wanting to be fleshed out into a novel. Oh, and a biography of my mentor…and…

JH: How can readers contact you?

TE:

www. teuliano.com

Tammy Euliano

BIO:

Tammy Euliano, MD is a professor of anesthesiology at the University of Florida with 20+ years’ experience primarily with obstetric patients, including research, teaching and numerous professional publications. She’s written an introductory text of anesthesia (Essential Anesthesia: from science to practice) now in its second edition and has a YouTube channel of teaching videos with >100K views. In 2021, she officially launched her encore career as a medical thriller author with the publication of Fatal Intent by Oceanview. It received terrific blurbs by Lee Child, Tess Gerritsen and Kathy Reichs. The sequel, Misfire, comes out January, 2023.

JH: Thanks so much for visiting BBMF, Tammy! FATAL INTENT sounds like a nail-biter; a good one! Please, please, please keep us updated on your other writing projects. They sound amazing and you sound busy!

All good things,

Joy

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BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: Becoming Lady Washington: A Novel by BETTY BOLTE

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Becoming Lady Washington: A Novel by Betty Bolte

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Welcome to Books By My Friends, Betty! You are such a prolific and popular historical fiction author! It’s wonderful of you to take the time to visit BBMF and chat today.

JH: What’s the blurb for Becoming Lady Washington: A Novel?

BB: Martha “Patsy” Custis manages an immense eighteenth-century plantation in the Virginia colony. But as a young widow she’s hard pressed to balance her business and to care for her two young children. They need a father and protector. She needs a husband and business partner…one she can trust, especially now as tensions rise between the motherland and the American colonies. Her experience and education have sustained her thus far but when her life veers in an unexpected direction, she realizes she has so much more to learn.

JH: What inspired you to write the book?

BB: I wanted to tell Martha Washington’s story, not as a biography but as she might have lived her life. To bring her life and times to life for readers today. She endured so much and witnessed even more that I think most people are totally unaware of. Most readers of Becoming Lady Washington confirm that they learned a lot about her they did not know.

JH: What one thing do you love most about writing?

BB: Learning more about the past and finding creative ways to share what life was like for people in those very different and yet similar times. I feel like although technology and situations may change, much of human nature has not changed all that much. That makes it possible to connect the past and the present through fiction in ways we can’t actually live through in real life.

JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing?

BB: The last two books in the Fury Falls Inn historical fantasy series release on August 9, 2022. Then it’s on to writing a Christmas historical romance, another historical fiction work, and a short story for an anthology releasing in 2023.

JH: How can readers contact you?

BB:

bettybolte.com

Betty Bolte

BIO:

Award-winning author Betty Bolté is known for authentic and accurately researched American historical fiction with heart and supernatural romance novels. She’s been published in essays, newspaper and magazine articles, and nonfiction books but now enjoys crafting entertaining and informative fiction. She earned a Master’s Degree in English in 2008, emphasizing the study of literature and storytelling, and has judged numerous writing contests for both fiction and nonfiction. Get to know her at www.bettybolte.com. Be sure to check out materials for book club discussions at https://www.bettybolte.com/bookclub.

JH: Thanks, Betty. It’s been awesome learning about Becoming Lady Washington: A Novel. Please keep us posted on future releases and make time to visit BBMF again soon.

All good things,

Joy

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BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: The Dangerous Summer of Jesse Turner by D.C. REEP

 

The Dangerous Summer of Jesse Turner by D.C. Reep and E.A. Allen

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Welcome to Books By My Friends, Diana! Let’s dive into the details of your book The Dangerous Summer of Jesse Turner.

JH: What’s the blurb for your book?

DR: Spring, 1898. Teddy Roosevelt organizes a volunteer cavalry regiment, the Rough Riders, to fight the Spanish in Cuba. Three young volunteers join Roosevelt but face an unexpected enemy while fighting the bloody battles of the Spanish-American War. Publishers Weekly called this novel “a vivid historical outing.”

JH: What inspired you to write The Dangerous Summer of Jesse Turner?

DR: I like writing action stories for boys. The Spanish-American War of 1898 is one of the forgotten events in our history. However, the short war resulted in freeing Cuba from Spanish control, and the details of the campaign are compelling. The war also brought together a diverse volunteer army under Lt. Colonel Teddy Roosevelt. My three young volunteers, Jesse from Missouri, Will from New York, and Ben, a Comanche from the Indian Territories, share the hazards of a military force unprepared for war and the reality of deadly combat.

JH: What one thing do you love most about writing?

DR: I write historical fiction, so I love discovering bits of history that no one has focused on before. Then I have the fun of putting characters into these situations and seeing how they manage. Everyone knows about movies in Hollywood, but Chicago had a thriving early movie industry in early 1900s, and I used that history for Chicago Movie Girls.

JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing? 

DR: I’m currently working on a World War 1 story about a group of entertainers visiting the American soldiers in France in 1918. I was able to find a few memoirs from entertainers to help build the story. The USO is a WW2 organization, so WW1 had much less organization for such entertainment.

JH: How can readers contact you?

DR:

https://www.dianareep.com/

D. C. Reep

BIO:

Diana Reep (D. C. Reep) has been a writer since she invented horror stories for classmates in elementary school. As an English professor at The University of Akron, she taught technical writing, film studies, popular culture, and the Arthurian legend while publishing textbooks and literary biographies. No longer grading papers, she’s writing historical fiction for YA and adult readers focused on events around the beginning of the 20th century, e.g., Teddy Roosevelt’s Rough Riders in the Spanish-American War, World War 1 military action, and the early movie business in Chicago. Publishers Weekly has called her historical fiction “vivid,” “fast-moving,” and “entertaining.”

JH: Thanks for visiting, Diana. This book sounds like a great idea for a gift for young adult readers and anyone interested in American history. Your future project sounds like I need to be on the email-Joy-when-the-book-is-available-list because I love the sound of it. Come back soon, Diana!

All good things,

Joy

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BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: Flying Blind: A Cropduster’s Story by LUANNE OLEAS

 

Flying Blind: A Cropduster’s Story by Luanne Oleas

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Welcome to Books By My Friends, Luanne! Tell us about your book Flying Blind: A Cropduster’s Story.

JH: What’s the blurb for your book?

LO: A cropduster shouldn’t teach a priest to fly. At least not Tony. He shouldn’t be having an affair with his boss’ wife either. Tony flees Texas at the point of a shotgun and finds himself unemployed. As a flight instructor, he demonstrates flying spray runs to his worst student, Father Roberto. Imagine the Great Waldo Pepper teaching Mother Theresa to fly in Steinbeck’s Salinas Valley in 1972.

JH: What inspired you to write Flying Blind: A Cropduster’s Story?

LO: My husband was a cropduster for 16 years. The stories I heard, the people I met, and the crazy things I saw inspired me to create this book as a compilation of all the ag pilots I had met and their misdeeds.

JH: What one thing do you love most about writing?

LO: The escape. I don’t much care for the business end of writing, but, as my British friends say, I can fill up a sheet of A4 paper faster than anyone I know. I’ve done it since I was a kid. I suppose if I was any good at anything besides writing, I would have pursued that.

JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing?

LO: I’ve currently sent a full manuscript of my latest work-in-progress (WHEN ALICE PLAYED THE LOTTERY (https://luannesbooks.godaddysites.com/) to a publisher. It’s the story of a destitute Silicon Valley widow who wins the lottery and reinvents herself on reality TV. While I’m waiting, I’m working on my next novel, SHEDDING CATS, about a technical writer with too many cats who survives a workplace shooting.

JH: How can readers contact you?

LO:

https://luanneoleas.com

Luanne Oleas

BIO:

My two published, literary fiction novels are FLYING BLIND, A Cropduster’s Story (Sand Hill Review Press, 2019), and A PRIMROSE IN NOVEMBER (self-published, 2011.) I’m a member of the Authors Guild and the California Writers Club. I’ve also worked as a journalist (news and features), a newspaper columnist, and a technical writer.

JH: Flying Blind: A Cropduster’s Story sounds like a great book. Thanks for dropping by and filling us in about it. Please come back soon to update us on your next release.

All good things,

Joy

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BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: Carp Café by JIM WHITE

 

Carp Café by Jim White

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Welcome, Jim, to Books By My Friends! So glad you’ve stopped by to give us the details about your latest book Carp Cafe! Let’s go!

JH: What’s the blurb for Carp Cafe?

JW: Master story-teller James W. White is back with a guaranteed good time story set in the surf-side town of Carpinteria, California in the aftermath of the horrific Thomas wildfire. Everyone’s got a bit of PTSD, what with the burning mountains and rising sea levels squeezing the town from all directions. Enter Shelly Friedman, a single, 45-year-old personnel counselor with a drinking problem, blowing into town for a day trip in her classic sixty-four-and-a-half Mustang. She uncovers the hidden past of a slickster named Tom, a guy she has just screened for a job back in LA. Another guy named Tom, a bartender, sparks a passing fancy. They gin up a commemorative cocktail to honor the fire-fighters who saved the town. But the man of the hour is surfer Dave, an aging beach bum who comes to Shelly’s rescue when she runs over the town’s favorite yellow lab. Dave’s in Carpinteria because he’s hiding out from Hell’s Angels. His girlfriend just dumped him, leaving a note in his post office box, and ran off with a gang of unsavory characters. Spend a little time at the Carp Café. It’s a friendly little place, populated by White’s sharply drawn, good hearted but slightly-off characters. Doris, the proprietress, will ply you with home-baked wonders. Have a fire-fighter martini or two at The End Zone. Get a forty-dollar parking ticket. Stay over at Nancy’s Place, if you’re too tipsy to drive home. There’s an ocean view from every room where you can enjoy a six-pack sunset, almost as beautiful as a tequila sunrise. You’ll be glad you came. You might even decide to stay. White’s novella is as good as it gets. —Marty Malin, author of Grandmother’s Devil & Other Tempting Tales

JH: What inspired you to write Carp Cafe?

JW: I enjoyed visiting the town, Carpinteria, as a student living in Southern California. Later, I wrote a draft to capture some of the aspects of my experience in corporate life. Then I added the drama of the Thomas Fire to round out the story’s plot.

JH: What one thing do you love most about writing?

JW: The exercise of learning and creating. I’ve always enjoyed storytelling and my academic background is history, which leads me to a fondness for research. Actually, writing is a follow-up passion.

JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing?

JW: I’m juggling four books. All four have very different developmental timelines, they all happen to be at a similar point in production at this time.

JH: How can readers contact you?

JW:

https://myjotting.com/home/

jw.inkwell@gmail.com

Jim White

BIO:

Jim is a California-based writer of historical, literary and science fiction. He and his prize-winning poet wife enjoy a small-town lifestyle near the San Francisco Bay area. Jim earned an MA in U.S. History. His professional career has included military service, teaching, research librarian and technical writing. Jim is an active participant in his community’s literary organization, serving as a board member in a local nonprofit publishing business, hosting prose workshops and mentoring writers. Jim’s stories have appeared in Datura Literary Journal, The Wapshott Press, Remington Review, and Adelaide Books.

JH: Thanks, Jim! What an intriguing combination of ideas to combine into one book. Love it! Please, please come back to update us on future publications!

All good things,

Joy

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BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: Dragons of a Different Tail: 17 Unusual Dragon Tales, KATHARINE DOW

 

Dragons of a Different Tail Anthology

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Welcome to Books By My Friends, Katharine! Let’s get started on chatting about your story in the anthology Dragons of a Different Tail: 17 Unusual Dragon Tales.

JH: What’s the blurb for your story in the book?

KD: Eighteen award-winning, veteran, and emerging authors bring you seventeen unique dragon tales that defy tradition. Winged serpents as large as continents, as well as those tiny enough to perch on the fingertip of a young girl. Dragons who inhabit the Wild West, Victorian London, Brooklyn, and a post-apocalyptic Earth. Scaly beasts who fight in the boxing ring, celebrate Christmas, and conquer the vast void of outer space. There are rockstars who meddle with dragon magic, clever and conniving shapeshifters, and powerfully exotic hybrids. Science fiction, urban fantasy, mystery, western, epic fantasy, YA fantasy…no matter the setting or the genre—here be dragons!

JH: What inspired you to write your story?

KD: “The Brooklyn Dragon Racing Club” is one of 17 stories in an anthology with the goal of taking typical dragon tropes and turning them on their heads. Three things shaped the writing of my story. The first was moving to a new neighborhood during the COVID-19 pandemic. The second was my unexpected discovery of how much fun it is to name characters. The third was a newly discovered obsession for the much-maligned pigeons of New York City.

I moved to a new neighborhood in New York during the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, when things were still quite bad. It was challenge to get to know a new neighborhood under those circumstances, but I did my best. I joined local Facebook groups. I read local history books. I became a regular listener of a hyper-local podcast and went on long walks around the neighborhood. By the time my publisher put out the anthology call, there was no question where my story needed to take place. I had fallen in love with it.

One thing I’ve always been particularly bad at is naming characters. I decided to try a little harder this time around, and in doing so, discovered a whole world of fun I’d been missing out on. I’ll share a couple of examples.

My neighborhood was home to a lot of older Italians, so for my protagonist, I wanted a very normal, ordinary sort of name for an Italian New Yorker. I wondered if there was someone I admired from history after whom I might name him. I landed on one of my husband’s favorite painters, Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. For the purposes of this story, the name was shortened to Angelo. Caravaggio was a passionate, highly confrontational, and determined person. He fit my Angelo’s personality very well.

For my secondary protagonist, Karima, I chose another inspirational person from history: a woman who also fit the skills and personality of my character closely. My neighborhood was also home to a large Arabic-speaking community. The best-known Palestinian restaurant in New York was down the street from my house. So Karima was named after Karima Aboud, Palestine’s “first photographer.” The real Karima was brave, creative, and enormously talented, just like my character.

I chose the name of one of the dragons in my story, Odysseus, to reflect one of the themes of the story, the search for home and belonging. Odysseus is the noble hero of Homer’s The Odyssey and is famous for his lengthy adventures as he tries to go home to recover his kingdom. He is clever and brave and driven by his love for home and family–a bit like my dragon, who begins the story lost and alone, and ends up found and loved.

Because of social distancing, I spent a lot of time staring out of my window watching the antics of the local pigeons. When I drove past a local pigeon “racing club” one day, I wondered what Bay Ridge would look like if dragons took the place of pigeons in New York instead. They would need to be small enough to fit in, but still big enough to make their presence known. They should be smart and scrappy, but maybe a little bit ridiculous too. Not everyone would like them. I wondered if there might be a way for dragons and humans to live together. I wondered if there was hope.

And that is how my story about the racing dragons of Bay Ridge, and their human friends, was born.

JH: What one thing do you love most about writing?

KD: I write mostly speculative fiction, fantasy and science fiction, so most of my story ideas begin with “what if” questions. “What if” dragons lived in cities, for example. What if a dragon pooped on your car (how big would that be) or accidentally flew into your living room (would they freak out just like birds do)? My favorite game when writing to take a real world scenario and then just change one thing about it (like adding dragons to the mix of New York City), or take an “alien” scenario and insert one real world element. For example, what if you ended up on a strange planet with flora and fauna you didn’t recognize, but on earth you kept kosher? How would you know what to eat? You can create an entire world and set of characters just by asking one question and seeing where it takes you.

JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing?

KD: I have another short story coming out in late 2022 in a fantasy anthology by the same publisher, Cabbit Crossing Publishing. This time we’re taking monster tropes and turning them on their heads. My story will be about a troll who accidentally ends up at an (internet) troll farm.

JH: How can readers contact you?

KD:

@suggestionize (DM’s are open)

Katharine Dow

BIO:

KATHARINE DOW is a writer, editor, and compulsive wanderer. Currently trying to stay put in New York state, she lives in a house full of books and records with her spouse and their wildly eccentric cat. She is the author of “The Brooklyn Dragon Racing Club” in Dragons of a Different Tail: 17 Unusual Dragon Tales, and “The Funeral Company” in Working Futures: 14 Speculative Stories About The Future of Work. You can find her on Twitter and Instagram as @suggestionize.

JH: Thanks, Katharine! Your description of how “The Brooklyn Dragon Racing Club” came to be is a wonderful peek into a writer’s process. Love it. Please, please, please come back and update us as your other publications become available.

All good things,

Joy

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BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: The Dylan Tapes: Friends, Players, and Lovers Talkin’ Early Bob Dylan edited by STEPHANIE TRUDEAU

 

The Dylan Tapes Edited by Stephanie Trudeau

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Welcome to Books By My Friends, Stevie! You have a very interesting story to tell us about today. Let’s rock’n’roll.

JH: What’s the blurb for your book?

ST: Raw material and interviews behind Anthony Scaduto’s iconic biography of Bob Dylan.

JH: What inspired you to edit and produce The Dylan Tapes: Friends, Players, and Lovers Talkin’ Early Bob Dylan?

ST: A year before his death, my husband, Anthony Scaduto, found a box in our basement, of his reel-to-reel tapes of the interviews – the primary source, raw material – that were the basis of his 1971 biography of Bob Dylan. These were Scaduto’s “basement tapes.” Anthony initiated turning the interviews into a book and then I completed the project after his death. I also wrote a forward and a final, summing up chapter.

JH: What one thing do you love most about writing?

ST: My husband, as a journalist, was about getting the story and then telling it. I’m a singer/actress, and my work is always about giving life to a good story–telling it well.

JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing?

ST: I created and perform an award-winning cabaret about an iconic Mexican singer, Chavela Vargas. I would like to write her biography.

JH: How can readers contact you?

ST:

stevietrudeau@msn.com

Stephanie Trudeau

BIO:

A celebrated actress, singer, and writer, Stephanie Trudeau met Anthony Scaduto in 1972 and was his wife and research assistant from 1978 until his death. Shortly after Scaduto’s death, Stephanie took on the project Scaduto had initiated: creating a book of the found reel-to-reel recordings of the interviews that were the raw material of his iconic biography of Bob Dylan. Stephanie wrote introductions to each chapter, introduced Scaduto in a forward, and summed up Dylan’s work in a closing chapter. Just before Stephanie took on the project of editing “The Dylan Tapes,” Stephanie developed and performed a cabaret show, “Here’s to the Girls,” songs by women composers. Research on songs written by Latina songwriters led to research on iconic Mexican singer Chavela Vargas. The docu-cabaret musical, “Becoming Chavela.” written and performed by Ms. Trudeau, won the 2020 New York Bistro Award for Outstanding Tribute Performance. Trudeau adapted her cabaret show to create a short narrative film “Becoming Chavela,” which is currently appearing at film festivals.

JH: Amazing, Stephanie. Thanks for this behind-the-book look! Please write that biography about Chevela and come back to tell us about it!

All good things,

Joy

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BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: OK Now What? A Caregiver’s Guide to What Matters by NANCY TAYLOR ROBSON

 

OK Now What? by Nancy Taylor Robson

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Welcome to Books By My Friends, Nancy! We love fiction, but it’s nice to have a nonfiction title in the BBMF mix today.

JH: What’s the blurb for your book?

NTR: Great book. Well Done!! “OK Now What?” is the perfect gift for a friend caring for a terminally ill loved one. Such care can be painful, deeply sad and very lonely. The authors know this and more. Drawing on their deep experience, they help to lift the burden with practical advice, common sense, and lovely stories. They leaven the soul and make it clear that you are not alone. I recommend it wholeheartedly. ~Kathleen Kennedy Townsend.

JH: What inspired you to write OK Now What? A Caregiver’s Guide to What Matters?

NTR: My mother-in-law, with whom I had had a checkered relationship, was nearing the end of her life when I met RN and hospice nurse, Sue Collins. Sue and I immediately hit it off, and began talking about the keen feelings when a loved one is nearing the end and what part we might have to play in that journey. She and I began talking about how, with both stories and with practical knowledge and experience, we might help others to make that journey with less stress and more consciousness of the openness, the strength and the gifts that each of us can bring to it.

JH: What one thing do you love most about writing?

NTR: I love diving into the work itself, immersing myself in the phrases, and distilling the ideas to, I hope, make the total the best I can make it and help someone else see the world, feel an emotion, be motivated by an idea they might not otherwise encounter.

JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing?

NTR: I’m working on an essay collection — gardening and life — culled from the many essays I’ve had published in House Beautiful, The Baltimore Sun, The Christian Science Monitor and others. I’m also editing a collection of short stories by Sophie Kerr finalist, Pete Fortenbaugh, to be published by Head to Wind Publishing, whose novella, The Monday After Father’s Day, Revelations, A Parable, HTW published last year.

JH: How can readers contact you?

NTR:

https://www.headtowindpublishing.com

editor@headtowindpublishing.com

Nancy Taylor Robson

BIO:

Nancy Taylor Robson is one of the first women in the country to earn a US Coast Guard license to run coastal tugboats. She came to the water naturally. She grew up sailing and building boats with her father on the Chesapeake Bay. She worked as a housepainter, desk clerk and yacht maintenance person while in college. After earning a degree in history from University of Maryland, she married and went to work alongside her husband as cook/deckhand on an 85-foot tugboat built during WWII. She earned her license while running tugs and barges the length of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, including one two-month stretch on a supply boat in the Gulf of Mexico’s Campeche oil fields. Her first book, Woman in The Wheelhouse (Tidewater Publishers) is a memoir of the six years she worked at sea until the birth of her first child.

Her second book, Course of the Waterman (River City Publishing), the novel of a young Eastern Shore waterman, won the Fred Bonnie award in 2003 and a bronze award from ForeWord for Novel of The Year in 2004. Her third book, second novel, A Love Like No Other: Abigail and John Adams, A Modern Love Story, (Head to Wind Publishing) takes readers into the lives of the new nation’s strong-willed second First Lady and her stubborn, irascible, often-absent and adored husband. Her fourth book, OK Now What? A Caregiver’s Guide to What Matters (Head to Wind Publishing) was written in collaboration with Sue Collins, RN, and longtime hospice nurse.

In addition to the books, Robson has been a freelance writer for many years. She has written personal essays, features, maritime reporting and analysis, travel, garden and more for such places as The Washington Post, Yachting, House Beautiful, The Baltimore Sun, the Christian Science Monitor, Southern Living, Sailing, Woodenboat and more. For three years, she was the senior editor of The Chestertown Spy, for which she also wrote weekly garden and food columns. She is also a University of Maryland Master Gardener, who grows and cans the family’s fruits and vegetables and blogs occasionally for the university’s Grow It Eat It blog. She writes, sails, races sailboats (occasionally), walks the husky, and cooks for family and friends.

JH: Thanks for stopping by today, Nancy. I can see a great need being serviced by your book. Please come back and tell us about some of your other publications soon.

All good things,

Joy

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BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: Delphic Oracle, U.S.A. by STEVEN MAYFIELD

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Delphic Oracle, U.S.A. by Steven Mayfield

 

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Welcome to BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS, Steven! We’re excited to learn about your brand new release DELPHIC ORACLE, U.S.A.

JH: What’s the blurb for your book?

SM: It is 1925 when a love affair between enchantress Maggie Westinghouse and con man July Pennybaker upends the small town of Miagrammesto Station, tumbles it about, and sets it back down as Delphic Oracle, Nebraska. Will their love fulfill its destiny? The narrator of this wry, entertaining novel, Father Peter Goodfellow, weaves back and forth in time to answer that question, introducing the Goodfellows, the Penrods, and the Thorntons—families whose members include a perpetual runaway, a man with religion but no faith, a man with faith but no religion, a boy known as Samson the Methodist, a know-it-all librarian who seems to actually know everything, a quartet of confused midsummer lovers, and a skeleton unearthed in a vacant lot. Funny, poignant, and occasionally tragic, their histories are part of how a place at the confluence of the Platte, Loup, and Missouri River Valleys became home to the long-lost Oracle of Delphi.

JH: What inspired you to write DELPHIC ORACLE, U.S.A.?

SM: It began as a short story that I couldn’t place in a literary journal as it was considered too long. So, I filed it and began a second short story, soon realizing that the characters in both pieces lived in the same town. Subsequently, I went through my “Ideas” file and found the rest of the people who live in Delphic Oracle, U.S.A. The original draft was a monster–185,000 words–but with the help of editor/novelist Mary Rakow and my Regal House editor, Jaynie Royal, I was able to “unbloviate” the thing to a tidy 89,000 word

JH: What one thing do you love most about writing?

SM: In a world that often seems out of control, I can make my characters do whatever I like. Is that a God-complex? If so, I won’t apologize. I prefer that good things happen to good people and that bad people get their comeuppances. As a young writer, I too often inverted those things–a combination of unmerited cynicism and navel-gazing. Age has tempered the former and enveloped the latter in belly fat.

JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing?

SM: My next book, The Penny Mansions, will be released by Regal House in the fall of 2023. It’s about a mountain hamlet in Idaho that tries to stave off extinction via eminent domain by selling four abandoned mansions from its gold rush days if the buyers agree to live in them long enough to be counted in the 1920 census. As with my last two books, this one is in a small town and has heart, humor, and a dash of crime. Otherwise, I’m writing a new book and revising another.

JH: How can readers contact you?

SM:

https://smayfield.com/

Steven Mayfield

BIO:

Steven Mayfield is the award-winning author of Treasure of the Blue Whale (Regal House, 2020). He lives in Portland, Oregon and can order beer and wine in four languages. His wife can say, “Pay no attention to this man” in five.

JH: Thanks, Steven, for this awesome visit. DELPHIC ORACLE, U.S.A. sounds like a terrific book and like it has a little bit of everything in it. A must-read for sure! Good luck with the new book, and please come back to update us on The Penny Mansions!

All good things,

Joy

Note from SM: Sexual content: 1; Profanity: 3; Violence: 2

 

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Writer Wellness: A Writer’s Path to Health and Creativity
Joy E. Held

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: Blood & Dirt by COREY NILES

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Blood & Dirt by Corey Niles

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Welcome to Books By My Friends, Corey! Let’s dive into your debut novel BLOOD & DIRT! 

JH: What’s the blurb for your book?

CN: Vincent depended on his boyfriend, James, to stand up for him—until a violent hate crime results in James’s murder. Weeks after his funeral, James reappears, perfectly healthy but changed in ways that neither of them can quite understand. Now, Vincent must uncover what truly happened on the night they were attacked. In the face of an apathetic police force and a growing number of missing gay men, Vincent and James work to identify the criminals who attacked them. With James scarred from what happened to him in the weeks between his death and rediscovery, Vincent must learn to stand up for himself and face his real monsters or lose James—and himself.

JH: What inspired you to write BLOOD & DIRT?

CN: The novel was heavily inspired by living in Pittsburgh in the wake of the 2016 election. Around that time, several queer people went missing in the area, and my boyfriend and I were threatened by some man who was enraged at our apparent queerness when we were out with friends. That incident with the political atmosphere in the city was the foundation that the book was built upon. I was able to develop Blood & Dirt in Seton Hill University’s Writing Popular Fiction (M.F.A.) Program. While drafting, I studied the genre of popular fiction, particularly horror, from early myths and legends to modern novels. All of this helped shape the novel into what it is today.

JH: What one thing do you love most about writing?

CN: I think the escapism of writing has always been a major draw for me and something that makes it the favorite part of my morning routine. Setting aside all of my personal worries and concerns for an hour or so with a cup of coffee and getting lost in a project helps center me and better understand myself and this often hectic world.

JH: What’s next for you in the way of writing/publishing?

CN: I have a few pots on the stove. I finished a horror poetry collection that is rooted in the psychological and historical research of cults that I’ve been shopping around for a publisher. The past year, I worked on a post-apocalyptic novella that is entering the final stages of editing. I’ve also started outlining my next novel, which is shaping up to be more of a thriller.

JH: How can readers contact you?

CN:

https://coreyniles.com/

Corey Niles

BIO:

Corey Niles was born and raised in the Rust Belt, where he garnered his love of horror. When he isn’t advising college students, he enjoys binge-watching horror movies and traveling to hoard American history in his cheeks like a chipmunk. He hasn’t met a creepy, isolated hiking trail he hasn’t liked. After studying creative writing and gender and women’s studies as an undergraduate student, he went on to graduate from Seton Hill University with an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction. In his spare time, he nurses his caffeine addiction and tends to his graveyard of houseplants. He is also a single father of a very fluffy cat named Alexander, who quickly forgot about his humble beginnings.

JH: Thanks for visiting BBMF, Corey. BLOOD & DIRT sounds like an incredible read! I love fiction that is rooted in current events. I wish you the best with your works-in-progress, and I hope you’ll visit BBMF when that next book is ready.

All good things,

Joy

Heat rating: 2

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