Blog

BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: The Potrero Complex by AMY BERNSTEIN

This article may contain affiliate links. Purchasing from these links helps me provide more awesome content for you. Thank you for your support!

The Potrero Complex by Amy L. Bernstein

Welcome to Books By My Friends, Amy! Thanks for dropping in for a chat about your new release The Potrero Complex.

JH: What’s the blurb for your book?

AB: A battle-scarred journalist confronts dark, authoritarian forces while racing to uncover the shocking truth behind a missing teen in a small town running short on hope.

JH: What inspired you to write The Potrero Complex?

AB: I began writing The Potrero Complex very early in the pandemic. I felt that we were living through a bit moment in history, and I wanted to capture something about it using an expansive, fictional lens.

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

AB: I love discovering connections and themes in a book I’m writing that I had not intended to create. The serendipity of creative surprise–it’s wonderful.

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

AB: I’m in the difficult stages of mapping a complex novel full of intersecting stories. I don’t know why I’m torturing myself with this nearly impossible task. But anyway, I write across multiple genres, and I expect that will continue.

JH: How can readers get in touch with you?

AB:

https://amywrites.live

Amy L. Bernstein

BIO:

Amy L. Bernstein writes stories that let readers feel while making them think. Her novels include The Potrero Complex, The Nighthawkers, Dreams of Song Times, and Fran, The Second Time Around. Amy is an award-winning journalist, speechwriter, playwright, and certified nonfiction book coach. When not glued to a screen, she loves listening to jazz and classical music, drinking wine with friends, and exploring Baltimore’s glorious neighborhoods, which inspire her fiction.

JH: Thanks again, Amy. Please come back and let us know how the book mapping turns out and when that book will be available.

All good things,

Joy

BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: Wave in D Minor by LAURY A. EGAN

This article may contain affiliate links. Purchasing from these links helps me provide more awesome content for you. Thank you for your support!

Wave in D Minor by Laury A. Egan

Buy at Amazon

Welcome to Books By My Friends, Laury! Thanks for popping in to tell us about Wave in D Minor.

JH: What’s the blurb for your book?

LAE: Leslie Chase, a young composer, receives the use of an ocean-side Maine house from her patron so she may complete her first opera. As Leslie battles loneliness and winter snowstorms, she meets a handsome but troubled man, Matti, and becomes enmeshed with him and his enigmatic relationship with her benefactor. When three opera singers visit, one of them, Sasha, begins to flirt with her, evoking Leslie’s sexual ambivalence and traumatic memories of an affair between her mother and another woman that inspired the choice of her opera’s subject—the relationships of Vita Sackville-West with Violet Trefusis and Virginia Woolf. As the emotional spaces between the characters compress, mysteries are exposed that lead to violent conflict.

JH: What inspired you to write Wave in D Minor?

LAE: Although the book is for non-opera lovers as well as those enjoy opera and classical music, I wanted to describe the creative process and the solitariness that is often inherent with following a creative life. The setting–Maine coast in winter–added to the bleakness, which, in turn led to suspense.

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

LAE: I began writing at age seven (poetry) and have always felt that it was my life’s chosen calling. I love how an idea arrives and a plot and characters are revealed.

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

LAE: I have my “big” novel being published September 2022, “Once, Upon an Island,” and several projects under consideration with publishers. Currently, I’m working on “Jack & I,” a novel about a teenage boy who suffers from dissociative personality disorder. A real challenge!

JH: How can readers contact you?

www.lauryaegan.com

Laury A. Egan

BIO:

Laury A. Egan is the author of two YA novels, “The Outcast Oracle” (a Kirkus Reviews “Best Book of 2013”) and “Turnabout;” “Fog and Other Stories;” three psychological suspenses, “Jenny Kidd,” “A Bittersweet Tale,” and “Doublecrossed;” a comedy, “Fabulous! An Opera Buffa;” a mystery/romance, “The Ungodly Hour,” a literary work with magical realism, “The Swimmer,” and a literary suspense, “Wave in D Minor.” Four limited-edition poetry volumes have been published: “Snow, Shadows, a Stranger;” “Beneath the Lion’s Paw;” “The Sea & Beyond;” and “Presence & Absence.” For many years, she worked as a senior designer and administrator for Princeton University Press. Eighty-five of her stories and poems have appeared in literary journals.

JH: Thanks, Laury! You are welcome to visit Books By My Friends anytime. We’d love to hear more about Once Upon an Island when it’s available.

All good things,

Joy

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buy at Amazon

This article may contain affiliate links. Purchasing from these links helps me provide more awesome content for you. Thank you for your support!

BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: Sitting On Top of the World by CHERYL KING

 

Sitting On Top of the World by Cheryl King

Buy at Amazon

Welcome to Books by My Friends, Cheryl! Thanks for dropping by to share your debut novel Sitting On Top of the World.

 JH: What’s the blurb for your book?

CK: Fourteen-year-old June Baker never in a million years thought she’d be dressing like a boy, sneaking into a hobo camp, and jumping onto a moving freight train to travel across the state of Tennessee. But that’s what she has to do to find work so her family’s farm can survive. It’s 1933, and the Great Depression is spreading misery throughout America. Where once June was sitting on top of the world, now she’s carrying the weight of the world on her shoulders. Once she was picking fruit from the pawpaw trees, and now she’s picking up the pieces of a family torn apart. Once she was climbing and falling from trees, and now she’s jumping from moving trains. June knows the risks. What she doesn’t know is that the railroad bull she’s falling for has a devastating secret that will change the course of her life. Sitting on Top of the World is appropriate for ages 11 and up and would be a great addition to any classroom, library, or family collection.

JH: What inspired you to write Sitting On Top of the World?

CK: This book began as an idea for a flash fiction contest and was inspired by a story I’d read years ago about the hobos of the Great Depression. I thought, what if I had an awesome teen girl as my protagonist who’s forced to ride the rails looking for work to help her family? But instead of a 1,000-word flash piece, it grew into a roughly 67,000-word novel!

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

CK: For me, it’s a release. I have so much going on in my head all the time, and writing allows me to let go of some of the noise.

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

CK: I’m working on a sequel to Sitting on Top of the World, and I have an idea brewing for a YA dystopian book. Both of these I will likely self-publish.

JH: How can readers get in touch with you?

HTTPS://CherylKingWritesThings.com

 

Cheryl King

BIO:

Cheryl King is a dyslexia therapist and longtime educator, and Sitting on Top of the World is her debut novel.

JH: Thanks, Cheryl! Please come back soon and update us on the sequel to Sitting on Top of the World!

All good things,

Joy

Note: Possible triggers- Some instances of physical violence, death, mention of suicide, mention of miscarriage, and characters encounter racial bigotry.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buy at Amazon

BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: Jewels of the Sea, The Hunt for Floating Treasure by BETSY FRANCO FEENEY

Jewels of the Sea by Betsy Franco-Feeney

Buy at Amazon

Welcome to Books By My Friends, Betsy! Please tell us about your new book JEWELS OF THE SEA, THE HUNT FOR FLOATING TREASURE.

JH: What’s the blurb for your book?

BFF: Jewels of the Sea… The Hunt for Floating Treasure tells the magical tale of Amy and Bart who go on a treasure hunt with their Grandfather. The second half of the book is packed with real science all about diatoms… nicknamed the ‘jewels of the sea’ because of their breathtaking beauty. Diatoms are also priceless for what they do for life on earth.

JH: What inspired you to write JEWELS OF THE SEA, THE HUNT FOR FLOATING TREASURE?

BFF: My love of Diatoms and the scientist who asked me to create the book.

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

BFF: I love to create a story filled with creativity and wonder!

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

BFF: The Squirrels of StuyTown.

JH: How can readers contact you?

BFF:

betsfeeney@gmail.com

www.betsyfrancofeeney.com

Betsy Franco-Feeney

BIO:

Betsy grew up and still lives in the beautiful Hudson River Valley just north of New York City. Her training includes classes at School of Visual Arts (SVA) and an AA at Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT), where she was awarded the highest honor in Illustration.

JH: Thanks, Betsy. Please come back and tell us about THE SQUIRRELS OF STUYTOWN when it’s available.

All good things,

Joy

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buy at Amazon

BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: Deadly Setup by LYNN SLAUGHTER

Deadly Setup by Lynn Slaughter

Buy at Amazon

Welcome to Books By My Friends, Lynn. Thanks for dropping by to tell us about your brand new book DEADLY SETUP!

JH: What’s the blurb for your book?

LS: When her New England heiress mom announces she’s marrying Adam Holloway, Samantha (Sam) is horrified. She’s almost sure he’s after her mother’s money, but her mom is convinced she’s finally found her “happily ever after.” And then Sam’s life implodes. Holloway has been shot to death, and Sam gets arrested for his murder. She fights to prove her innocence with the help of her boyfriend’s dad, an ex-homicide cop.

JH: What inspired you to write DEADLY SETUP?

LS: The premise was inspired by a famous case in the 1950s when the daughter of actress Lana Turner was accused of murdering her mother’s boyfriend. The strained relationship between Sam and her heiress mom was partially inspired by all the dysfunction and emotional neglect I observed growing up in ultra-wealthy Greenwich, Connecticut.

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

LS: I love immersing myself in the lives and world of my characters.

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

LS: I have two projects I’m working on. One is an adult mystery novel, MISSED CUE, in which a homicide detective is investigating the suspicious onstage death of a ballerina while also dealing with the hot mess of her personal life. The second is a middle-grade fantasy about Varney, a kid vampire who hates the taste of blood and is convinced he’s landed in the wrong body.

JH: How can readers contact you?

LS:

www.lynnslaughter.com

lynnslaughter03@gmail.com

 

Lynn Slaughter

BIO:

After a long career as a professional dancer and dance educator, Lynn Slaughter earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She writes coming- of- age romantic mysteries and is the author of the newly released Deadly Setup. She is also the author of: Leisha’s Song, a Moonbeam Children’s Book Awards bronze medalist, Agatha nominee, Silver Falchion finalist, and Imadjinn Award recipient; While I Danced, an EPIC finalist; and It Should Have Been You, a Silver Falchion finalist. She lives in Louisville, Kentucky, where she’s at work on her next novel and serves as the President of Derby Rotten Scoundrels, the Ohio River Valley chapter of Sisters in Crime.

JH: Thanks, Lynn. This book sounds like a great read. I love how you utilized real life crime as the inspiration. Please come back soon and update us on those great works-in-progress!

All good things,

Joy

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buy at Amazon

 

BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: The Perfect Neighborhood by LIZ ALTERMAN

 

Click book cover to purchase
The Perfect Neighborhood by Liz Alterman

Buy at Amazon

JH: Welcome to Books by My Friends, Liz! Thanks for stopping by to share your new release The Perfect Neighborhood with us.

JH: What’s the blurb for The Perfect Neighborhood?

LA: When actress and model Allison Langley leaves her former rockstar husband, Christopher, in the middle of the night, it’s all her Oak Hill neighbors can talk about. The gossip comes to an abrupt halt when five-year-old Billy Barnes goes missing on his walk home from kindergarten. Billy’s mother, Rachel, blames herself for being at work and letting her only child walk alone. Cassidy, Billy’s teenage babysitter, was also late to arrive on the afternoon he disappeared and blames herself for his disappearance. As the clock ticks down, police are unable to find any trace of Billy, forcing Rachel to ponder the enemies she’s made in their well-off suburb. Could it be one of her neighbors who stole her son? Would they abduct Billy to hurt her? How easy would it be to take a child while the parents or nannies are distracted? When another child goes missing, the town is put under a microscope as the police try to get to the bottom of the disappearances. Will they be able to find the two children, or will it be too late? What secrets lie at the heart of this tragedy, and how far will one go to keep those dangerous secrets buried?

JH: What inspired you to write The Perfect Neighborhood?

LA: The plot came to me in a dream. I mentioned it to my husband, who said, “That’ll never work!” Then I waited six months for a new story to come to me and nothing did. All the while, this idea was rattling around inside my mind, so when I finally sat down to see if I could make it work, I wrote 6,000 words. They were very fragmented and disjointed, but still! I said to myself, “Just write it!” So I did.

JH: I LUV plots that come to writers in their dreams! What one thing do you love most about writing?

LA: I love when your imagination (or subconscious) serves up an idea and you surprise yourself. Whether it’s a sentence you love or a character suddenly deciding to go in a new direction, those moments when writing seems magical or almost effortless are what keep me coming back.

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

LA: I’m revising a new domestic suspense manuscript and, fingers crossed, it finds a good home, and readers enjoy it!

Liz Alterman is the author of the domestic suspense novel, The Perfect Neighborhood, the young adult thriller, He’ll Be Waiting, and the memoir Sad Sacked. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, McSweeney’s, and other outlets. She lives in New Jersey where she spends most days microwaving the same cup of coffee and looking up synonyms. When she isn’t writing, she’s reading.

JH: How can readers get in touch with you?

https://www.lizalterman.com

JH: Thanks, Liz! Please come back soon and update us on your next project.

All good things,

Joy

Note: Possible trigger warnings: infertility, infidelity.

XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Buy at Amazon

BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: A Brooklyn Memoir by ROBERT ROSEN

 

A Brooklyn Memoir by Robert Rosen

Buy at Amazon

Welcome to Books By My Friends, Robert!  

JH: What’s the blurb for your book A Brooklyn Memoir?

RR: A darkly comic and deeply moving memoir of a New York City lost to time From the final days of the Brooklyn Dodgers in the mid-1950s to the arrival of the Beatles in 1964, A Brooklyn Memoir is an unsentimental journey through one rough-and-tumble working-class neighborhood. Though only a 20-minute and 15-cent subway ride from the gleaming towers of Manhattan, across the East River, Flatbush remained insular and provincial—a place where Auschwitz survivors and WWII vets lived side by side and the war lingered like a mass hallucination. Meet Bobby, a local kid who shares a shabby apartment with his status-conscious mother and bigoted father, a soda jerk haunted by memories of the Nazi death camp he helped liberate. Flatbush, to Bobby, is a world of brawls with neighborhood “punks,” Hebrew-school tales of Adolf Eichmann’s daring capture, and grade-school duck-and-cover drills. Drawn to images of mushroom clouds and books about executions, Bobby ultimately turns the seething hatred he senses everywhere against himself. From a perch in his father’s candy store, Bobby provides a child’s-eye view of the mid-20th-century American experience—a poignant intertwining of the personal and historical.

JH: What inspired you to write A Brooklyn Memoir?

RR: In my previous book, “Beaver Street,” I described the scene in my father’s candy store in 1961. I realized I was only scratching the surface of that time and place. There was something happening in Flatbush that demanded further exploration, and I explored it in depth in “A Brooklyn Memoir.”

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

RR: Getting published.

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

RR: A book about the 1970s, set at a radical student newspaper at the City College of NY.

JH: How can readers contact you?

https://www.robertrosennyc.com/

Robert Rosen

 

BIO:

Robert Rosen is the author of Nowhere Man: The Final Days of John Lennon, an international bestseller that’s been translated into many languages. His latest book, A Brooklyn Memoir, is about growing up in Flatbush in the 1950s and 60s, surrounded by Auschwitz survivors and WWII vets who fought the Nazis. His investigative memoir, Beaver Street: A History of Modern Pornography, received critical acclaim across the cultural spectrum, from Vanity Fair to academic journals to Adult Video News. Over the course of his career, he’s edited pornographic magazines and an underground newspaper, written speeches for the Secretary of the Air Force, and was awarded a Hugo Boss poetry prize. Rosen’s work has appeared in publications all over the world, including The Village Voice, The Independent (U.K.), Uncut (U.K.), Erotic Review (U.K.), Mother Jones, The Soho Weekly News, La Repubblica (Italy), Dagospia (Italy), VSD (France), Proceso (Mexico), Reforma (Mexico), and El Heraldo (Colombia). Born in Brooklyn, Rosen attended Erasmus Hall High School and the City College of New York, where he studied creative writing with Joseph Heller and Francine du Plessix Gray. He lives in Manhattan with his wife, Mary Lyn Maiscott, a writer, editor, and singer.

Thanks, Robert. Hope you’ll come back and tell us about your next publication when it’s available.

All good things,

Joy

BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: Late at the Library, Book 8 of The Lamb’s Bay Mysteries by ANNE FOTHERINGHAM

 

JH: Welcome, A. J.! Thanks for dropping by Books by My Friends. Late at the Library, Book 8 of The Lamb’s Bay Mysteries sounds like a good story.

JH: What’s the blurb for your book?

AJ: A missing art object, rare books, and murder — just when Hilly thought life was getting quieter, another mystery arises. An injured art recovery agent is found lying in the doorway of Hilly’s new home. Who is he and why is he seeking the librarian Lila who used to live there? What secrets did she have? When the agent is killed in the library archives, the hunt is on for the murderer as well as the missing artifact.

JH: What inspired you to write Late at the Library?

AJ: I love libraries and books. I decided a murder and a mystery at the local library would be a great premise since my sleuth Hilly is moving into a bungalow formerly owned by the head librarian. Plus I love old books so it was a great opportunity to highlight their value in this story.

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

AJ: Writing takes me to places I will never go to and lets me experience all kinds of adventures. When I am writing everything goes away except for the story and where it is going. Writing definitely got me through being isolated during COVID as I am immunocompromised and could not go anywhere. So I went to Lamb’s Bay – where there was no COVID – and solved some mysteries.

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

AJ: Right now I am writing book 9 in my series – entitled Woes at the Wedding – a missing bridesmaid, an abducted bride, the theft of a  diamond tiara worth megabucks, and my sleuth Hilly having to do her investigating while wearing an atrocious lilac tulle bridesmaid’s dress completed with a giant bow on her butt.

JH: How can readers contact you?

AJ: Website:
https://ajfotheringham.com/about-me/

My bio is there.

https://ajfotheringham/contact-me/

My contact form is there.

Anne J. Fotheringham

www.ajfotheringham.com/

amazon.com/author/ajfotheringham

JH: Thanks, A.J. I hope you’ll come back and tell us about book 9!

All good things,

Joy

BOOKS BY MY FRIENDS: How to Field Dress an Android by IRENE L. PYNN

 

Click cover to buy the play.

JH: Welcome to Books by My Friends, Irene! Thanks for dropping by to share your play with us.

JH: What’s the blurb for your play?

IP: In a future where humans hunt androids for sport, one young man’s jungle excursion bleeds into a struggle to save his wife’s life. A thrilling and explosive play that explores questions of the soul, survival, and the fundamentals of civil rights.

JH: What inspired you to write the play How to Field Dress an Android?

IP: With gun violence, equality, and health care remaining major issues in American news, I wanted to explore a story that tackles these topics in a science fiction setting – on the stage. I used Richard Connell’s “The Most Dangerous Game” as inspiration for the starting premise, and my drama developed from there.

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

IP: I love writing for the stage because the collaborative magic of theatre is unparalleled in anything else I’ve ever done.

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

IP: I’m currently working on a play about the disruptive power of passion – whether that’s passion for another person or for a career. It is expected to be a 60-minute dramedy for five actors, with plenty of twists and turns. That’s all I can say about it for now without spoiling the fun. 🙂

JH: “…the disruptive power of passion…” what an awesome phrase!

Thanks, Irene. Please come back and tell us about the disruptive power of passion when it is ready to share with the world.

All good things,

Joy

Books By My Friends: LEISHA’S SONG by LYNN SLAUGHTER

Click the book cover to buy Lynn’s book.

Welcome, Lynn!

JH: What’s the blurb for your book Leisha’s Song?

LS: Leisha is determined to find her beloved boarding school vocal coach who has disappeared in the midst of preparing her prize students for a major competition. Cody, a sensitive cellist, insists on helping her. Sparks fly, clues multiply, and romance blossoms, despite the disapproval of their families. Leisha’s desire to be with Cody and pursue music rather than medicine puts her on a direct collision course with her African American grandfather, the only parent she’s ever known. But an even more imm4ediate threat looms– because as Leisha draws closer to the truth about her teacher’s disappearance, she puts her own life in grave danger.

JH: What inspired you to write Leisha’s Song?

LS: While standing in line in New York’s Port Authority waiting to board a bus to Connecticut, I overheard a conversation between a teenager and her grandmother. It became apparent that the granddaughter was being shipped off to boarding school, and she did not want to go. The grandmother said, “This is your shot at a better life. You are smart. You earned this scholarship, and you are going!” That got me thinking about what it would be like to be a gifted young woman of color at an elite boarding school populated primarily by wealthy white students. Leisha’s character is also partially inspired by a roommate I had one summer when we were doing volunteer work in Atlanta. A music major at Howard University, she was an aspiring opera singer. Listening to her practice gave me chills! She truly had a voice from God, as does my character Leisha.

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

LS: I most love immersing myself in the lives of my characters.

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

LS: My fourth coming-of-age romantic mystery, DEADLY SETUP, comes out on July 5. Samantha (Sam), the daughter of a New England heiress, goes on trial for the murder of her mother’s fiancé. She fights to prove her innocence with the help of her boyfriend’s dad, an ex-homicide cop.
JH: DEADLY SETUP sounds great. Please come back and tell us about it.
Thanks for dropping by, Lynn! Your books sound wonderful! 
All good things,
Joy
Posted in Uncategorized