Friday, June 28, 2013

Release Day Blitz - The Best is Yet To Come by Renee Peterson

The Best Is Yet To Come
By Renee Peterson

Release Date: June 28, 2013
The Best Is Yet To Come is the final book in the Brothers of the Bayou Series, but could be read as a stand alone novel.

Rafe Chauvin left his home in the blink of an eye twelve years ago, running from a secret he kept buried deep inside.  The day after his high school graduation, he joined the Army to escape the pain the secret brought.
When Serena Adams told Rafe Chauvin the lie of a lifetime twelve years ago, she thought he would be relieved.  She never imagined what consequences that one reckless night would lead to.  After years of trying to escape her lies, she returns to her hometown in South Louisiana.
Hannah Matthews is a war widow. Her husband, Tom, left her behind with two very young daughters.  Tom made his best friend Rafe promise that if anything was to happen to him that he would look after his girls.  Bound by honor, Rafe keeps his promise, stepping and and forming a close friendship with Hannah.
When Serena is hired to plan the weddings of both Rafe’s brothers, they are brought together for the first time in over a decade. Lies are finally uncovered, leaving a trail of anger and bitterness in their wake.  As the paths of these three individuals converge and they reach a crossroads in their lives, will they move forward and discover that the best is yet to come?

Author Bio:
Renee Peterson is the self-published author of several works with many more in progress. Cliché has it seems, she has been writing most of her life, early in life falling in love with books. She spends most of her time raising two young kids and the remaining part of her time creating stories of the places she’s been and the places she wants to go. She grew up in the country side of Maryland, but has traveled around the country living in California’s Mojave Desert, along the Crystal Coast of North Carolina and now resides in the Cajun country of South Louisiana where she has fallen in love with the culture and food. Renee loves hearing from her fans and welcomes their feedback.  You can reach her, follow her on twitter at @reneepeterson18 or friend her on facebook at  


Twitter: @reneepeterson18

Release Date Specials:

·         Book 2 (The Best of Intentions) will be on sale for $0.99 on Amazon -

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Author Interview & Spotlight - Iain Cosgrove author of The Storm Protocol

Today I am very excited to bring you a great interview with Iain Cosgrove, author of a great thriller called 'The Storm Protocol'.

The Storm Protocol
'Imagine creating the perfect drug; all of the highs with none of the lows. No side effects, no painful physical withdrawal, no drawbacks.

Or are there....

Deep in the Louisiana bayou, Thomas Eugene O’Neill a.k.a The Street, an Irish immigrant mob enforcer, waits patiently with his gun amidst the sweltering heat of a southern storm. His employers, Italian American drug lords Guido and Ernesto Mancini, have a guaranteed formula to create the perfect narcotic and Thomas knows too much.

But he is not alone.

Detective Charles Roussel, ex hot-shot city lawyer turned small town Louisiana lawman, is investigating a strange case at the old plantation house he used to call home. He gets drawn inexorably to Ireland, as all his research begins to guide him to the same inevitable destination; Cork.

Agent Dale Foster, unorthodox New York DEA agent and victim of one too many bogus leads, hears murmurs of the next big thing; a drug without equal. The whisperings lead him to one last tumultuous confrontation with his superiors, who compel him to take an enforced vacation. As his plane lands in Ireland, and he follows the trail of rumours to Cork, he knows his professional instincts are leading him to the biggest bust of his life, or ending his career forever.

For Thomas, the middle-aged hit man, all roads seem to lead back to Cork; the city of his birth and the ghosts of his past.

He has plenty of questions and needs some answers, and all the while the words echo in his head.

‘Be careful what you wish for!


What was your inspiration behind writing The Storm Protocol?

The Storm Protocol started out as a response to a throwaway writing challenge on a writers forum website. The theme for that month was to write a short story on "the gathering storm". All the writers who took part in the challenge would rate all the entries apart from their own, and this particular month, my entry won. However, it was one of the comments from a reader who had not entered the competition that caught my attention. He basically asked me "where was the rest of the book?" The more I read over my supposed short story, the more I realized that there was so much more to be said. When I sat down to write the synopsis for the book, the plot just poured onto the page and pretty much didn't change from the first chapter outline to the last full stop.

Tell us a bit about your favorite characters from The Storm Protocol.

I loved writing Thomas O'Neill, the "hero" of the piece. I took it as a real challenge to write a prolific, cold blooded hit-man, who does some really surprising and downright dark and scary things, and yet, much as the reader wants to dislike him, they start to feel a strange affinity with him. I also loved writing Charles Roussel, the Louisiana lawyer turned detective. I have a lot of friends and colleagues in the US who would have a very "southern" outlook on life. By listening to their opinions and reminiscences, I utilized aspects of their collective personalities and managed to build up a character profile, almost a composite really, of what I imagined a southern detective to be. Writing the character David "the bullock" McCabe was also very enjoyable. In some ways, he was even more challenging to write than Thomas, as David initially has no redeeming features whatsoever, and yet as his character develops through the book, the reader will start to feel very conflicted; to begin to like him without knowing exactly why. To be honest, I loved writing all the characters for this book. I have never been one to shackle my imagination and it is the most enjoyable part of the writing process for me. There is something amazing about the creation of characters; about using words on a page to create three dimensional images. It is what drives me to keep writing.
What’s one of the most surprising things you've learnt about yourself since writing?

I think it is best summed up in a quote I recently read. It was something like, "Either do or don't do, there is no try." I always knew there was a book in me, but the first novel I wrote was not good. I then started (and finished) the second one and it was better, but still not what I would consider publishable. So I tried a different tack. I started to hone my writing on writers forum challenges and short stories, and as I said before, after a couple of years of short stories, I felt ready to tackle a novel again. That initial short story became a very long story and pretty much wrote itself. It also turned out to be SO much better than the other two. But the most surprising thing I have learned about myself through this whole process is how determined I am. I believe so passionately in this book, that I am working harder than I ever did during the writing process to try and get the message out there and try and get people reading it. I strongly believe that the quality of the writing and strength of the plot will sell it, but the problem is getting the eyes on the words! 

What’s your favorite way to spend your spare time?

I have a classic car (Jaguar E-type Series 3) that I like to tinker with. My kids are very much into sport too, so I like nothing better than to watch them competing.

What's one piece of advice you would give other aspiring authors?

Never give up. The best advice I ever got about writing was simple. "If you want to be a writer, write!" It really is that simple. The other thing I would say, is that you have to set yourself targets. Believe me, there are times when you really have no appetite for writing. After a hard days work, there is nothing you would like to do less than try and think about a new and imaginative story-line. Some days, as you struggle to reach that self imposed target, you are going to think that what you are writing is absolute rubbish; as Steven King puts it "shoveling s*** from a sitting position". But I guarantee that when you sit down at the weekend and polish it, you will have a jewel in the making. A couple of times during this current book, I dipped below my target, but most weeks I exceeded it, one week managing almost 8,000 words. So in summary, never give up, set yourself realistic targets and try and write as often as you can.

If you weren't a writer, what else do you think you would be doing?

I had a friend who was widely regarded as one of the worlds best landscape photographers. He was also my account mgr at a leading tech company. I asked him once why he continued to do his drudgery of a day job. He said to me "Iain, honestly, if I had to do the photography for a living, I would cease to love it." I feel the same way about writing. I think my writing is good because I do not impose limits on it. I do not expect a return on my investment and consequently I can write what I want in the style that I want without any outside pressure. Now, don't get me wrong, I do feel very strongly that this book is exceptionally good and I will do all that I can to get it out there and get people to read it, but it doesn't owe me anything. So I think I'll stick with the day job and let the writing continue to enthrall and entertain me (and maybe make a tiny bit of money out of it, who knows?)

Do you have one particular special ‘writing place’ or are you fortunate enough to be able to write anywhere?

Having a full time job with a fair degree of responsibility, coupled with a very active family life, I found that I was getting very little time to write. My solution was my two hour commute to work and back in the car. That was two hours of potentially productive time that I was just wasting every day, listening to the radio. So I bought a Sony voice recorder and a piece of software called Dragon Naturally Speaking. It learns your voice and then types your dictation out for you. It can be (and was for me) up to 90% accurate. So I set myself a target of 2,500 words a week. You can look a bit of an idiot talking to yourself in the car with full headphones and a boom microphone, but writing is about getting yourself out there. If something like that embarrasses you, there is no way you will put a bit of your writing out there for other people to read. So, I spend those 2 hours dictating, which I then get the software to type out when I get home, and then tidy and edit the finished pieces on the weekend.

Do you have a favorite scene in this book (without giving the story away too much)?

I do have a favorite scene in the book, and it occurs towards the end. It is part of an unlikely love story. The reason that I like it so much was that it was one of those rare occasions when the words coming out of my head went straight to page without the need for any further editing or changes of any kind. It happens very rarely, but it is very satisfying when it does!

Do you have any pets?

We have a dangerously lovable and hyperactive young lady of a Springer/Labrador cross called Jessie. The kids love her and she has boundless energy. It is amazing how something as simple as chasing a ball and bringing it back can go on for hours without any sign of boredom. It is also amazing to see the gun-dog instincts from both breeds coming to the fore. She loves water of all descriptions and can be found on a Sunday, endlessly retrieving tennis balls from the river that runs through our local Park.

Whats one thing that many people wouldn't know about you?

When I was a kid, I once stood behind Paul McCartney (yes THAT Paul McCartney) in the queue for the tills in a shop called Woolworths (sadly now gone) in the UK.

Important Links:
Amazon: The Storm Protocol

Monday, June 17, 2013

Tour Spotlight and Interview - Birthdays of a Princess by Helga Zeiner

Birthdays of a Princess by Helga Zeiner on Tour June 1st - July 31st 2013

Book Details:

Genre:  Psychological Thriller Published by: POW WOW Books Publication Date: May/June 2013 Number of Pages: 290 ISBN: 978-0-9868798-7-6 Purchase Links: Coming Soon


'To be famous and be admired by total strangers can be very dangerous.
Her little girl has always been her princess. In fact, she was so lovely, Melissa entered her toddler into child beauty pageants, making her a star from an early age. But her dreams and hopes are shattered one October morning, when Melissa watches a breaking news story on television. A young girl has been filmed by bystanders, committing a brutal assault in broad daylight in a downtown Vancouver Starbucks…and it looks like the girl is her daughter.
From this moment on, a story unfolds, so shocking, that it will hold you captive and you will find yourself reading faster and faster into the night.'

Read an excerpt:

Prologue She wakes up earlier than usual. It’s not even eight yet. The apartment feels empty, but that doesn’t surprise her, because it is empty most mornings. To make sure, she gets out of bed, opens the curtains, waddles down the narrow hallway, stops at the second bedroom and listens briefly. Not a sound. Of course not. She would have heard the flat door open, no matter how late. She is a light sleeper. The kitchen greets her with familiar comfort. Welcome, my lonely friend. Make yourself a cup of tea. Sit down by the window. Look out, check the weather, think about what to wear for work. Stop listening. Nobody is home but you. Just another day in the big city. Vancouver is still sleepy. Yawning and slowly stretching like a lazy lion, rubbing its exhausted eyes, waiting for the helpers to brush the filthy remains of last night’s excitement from the concrete floor of its den. The water kettle switches itself off and she pours the boiling water over the tea bag and waits one minute, standing in front of the kitchen counter. It has to be exactly one minute, no point in doing anything else but stare at the twirling surface inside her cup. Sixty seconds later–the second dial on her kitchen clock is within her periphery—she discards the bag, heaps three generous spoonfuls of sugar into the cup, followed by so much cream that the tea instantly cools to drinking temperature, and sits down at the kitchen table. Still thinking it’s just another day. A gentle traffic hum outside, no sound inside her kitchen. Correction: no sound inside her flat, this two bedroom, one bathroom borderline apartment. Borderline because its location touches a good neighborhood and the Eastside. The street she lives on stops the filthy guts of downtown spilling over into suburbia. Her kitchen window points toward the high-rise monuments of downtown Vancouver. Very pretty at night, not so attractive at daytime when the not-so-high and not-so-modern buildings that envelope the skyscrapers become visible. She doesn’t want to look at the decaying grey buildings any longer that provide a battle ground between city planners who want to sell it to developers and Eastsiders who have occupied them. Just another day. And it is so quiet. Melissa turns on the TV, not realizing that it is exactly eight o’clock now. The channel is set on CTV and there is a ‘Breaking News’ banner flashing in bright orange below the female morning anchor. She increases the volume. The excited voice of the lady anchor fills her kitchen. She takes a sip of her sweet, sweet tea and leans back a little. “We have a developing story of a brutal attack on a customer at Starbucks coffee shop on Robson Street. Apparently a young woman has stabbed another woman inside Starbucks. Our reporter Emily Jackson is on location. Emily, what can you tell us…?” The upper body of a reporter, holding a microphone in one hand and fighting her wind-swept hair with the other, comes into the picture. Melissa hadn’t noticed that it is quite windy outside. Well, it’s October, at least it’s not raining. Behind the reporter a yellow band is restricting access to the crime scene. She sounds overly excited. “From what we have learned, a young woman has suddenly attacked a woman inside the coffee shop you see right behind me. We don’t know yet if the customer was already seated or still standing in line to place her order. We also don’t know the identity of the attacker or of the victim yet or have any information about the motive. Apparently the attacker suddenly produced a knife and threw herself at the woman, yelling obscenities on top of her voice. As you can see behind me, police have cordoned off the area and are processing the scene.” The anchor interrupts her. “Do we have any information about the condition of the victim? Is she badly hurt? Or…” An autumn gust blows hair over the reporter’s face. She nearly loses her microphone, trying to control the strands with both hands, but fumbles it back into position when she realizes that the camera is focused on her again. One side of her pretty face is completely covered with hair. It looks ridiculous and Melissa catches herself thinking the reporter would look a lot prettier if she had a different hairstyle. “The ambulance has transported the victim to the emergency ward of St Paul’s…” The reporter’s voice travels along Melissa’s attention span and loses its grip. Background noise quality. She likes that. And God, her tea is good. Another developing story news-flash banner demands her attention again. The anchor sounds triumphant: “We have just received a video-clip from one of our viewers. We would like to warn you that some viewers may find the content of this video-clip offensive in nature…” The clip starts. The picture is shaky, the filmmaker hassling for a good position between other coffee-shop customers who have jumped up to look what is going on in the middle of the room. The back of shoulders and heads pop in and out, screams of horror and confusion can be heard. Their unedited sound quality provides an unnerving authenticity to the unfolding drama.  An arm rises up in the air and down again, in kind of a wood chopping motion. Up and down, in one swift move, no hesitation whatsoever. In fact, the chopping goes on. Up and down, up and down—accompanied by ‘Oh my God’s’ and ‘Oh no, oh no’s’. The filmmaker edges closer, seems to get up on a chair, because he is above the scene now, holding his iPhone or whatever device he’s got, high above the center of the customer-circle that inched away from the dangerous situation. The victim of the attack is on the floor now, mercifully blurred by the rapid movements of the inexperienced cameraman, or maybe by CTV’s editing. The attacker, the young woman, wearing a black hoodie, is over her and chops into her with such vengeance that Melissa can feel the force of her hatred, furious and powerful. The victim is trying to protect her face and chest with crossed hands. The mad attacker continues to stab her wherever she can—face, arms, torso, it is impossible to make out exactly in the shaky clip where her knife slices into. Bodies pop in and out of the picture and mercifully block most of what is going on. Several of them finally muster enough courage to intervene. The picture goes even more shaky and blurry. Then the anchor speaks again. “We have word from the police that the victim you have just seen being attacked inside Starbucks on Robson about an hour ago is in critical condition. The young woman has been overpowered by three heroic young men…” and now it happens, it’s not ‘just another day’ any longer “they were performing a citizen’s arrest and held her captive until the police arrived…” the anchor’s voice fades, just like the reporter’s before, because all of Melissa’s focus concentrates on what she sees on the screen. Meanwhile the filmmaker has managed to muscle himself closer to the group of guys who have pulled the young women off her victim and have now pinned her to the ground. Her face appears. The filmmaker zooms in. She smiles victoriously straight into his camera, as if she has achieved a very special feat. Melissa is standing now, holding on to her cup of tea, frowning with the exhausting task of connecting what she sees on the screen with the reality of her life. It can not be. It can not be. But it is. The tea cup slips from her weak hands, falls to the floor, spills its content on the cheap vinyl kitchen floor before rolling under the table. It is. It is. It is…her daughter.

Author Bio: 

Born and educated in Germany, Helga left her home country when she was 18 to travel the world and experience the magic of life she was passionately reading about. She spent the next 15 years in exotic places like India, Thailand, Australia and Hong Kong, where she worked her way up into excellent managerial positions in large international companies. To achieve this she had to further her education and enrolled at night classes at the 'Chinese University of Hong Kong' for her Diploma in Management Studies. Love eluded her for many years. She was nearly 40 when she finally met her dream man and settled in Canada, where she now lives, neatly tucked away in the wilderness. She has previously written several suspense novels which have been published in Germany. Her first novel written and published in English is called. ‘Section 132”. A thrilling fact-based page-turner about a young girl forced into a polygamous marriage that has received countless 5-star reviews. Birthdays of a Princess’ is her second novel and will be published in June 2013.

Catch Up With Ms. Zeiner:

Author Interview:

Tell us a bit about your favourite character/s from the book.
Of course, my favourite is Tiara. She is such a strong personality. As an author, I live through all of the emotions my protagonists’ experience. I am quite proud of how Tiara has handled her horrific childhood.

What’s one of the most surprising things you’ve learnt about yourself since writing?
That I have no difficulty in switching from one world to another. When I started writing, it scared me a bit to get interrupted in the middle of a passage. I was worried I might not get back into that moment, but I discovered that I can always pick up wherever I left off.

What was your inspiration behind this book?
Strangely enough, it was a reality show. One day, I was zapping through the channels and got stuck on ‘Toddlers & Tiaras’. Not having children myself, I started to ask myself: ‘why do mothers do this’, and: ‘how does a young girl feel once she has outgrown participation in such contests’. Those two question lead me into the world of child pageantry.

What’s your favourite way to spend your spare time?
Reading, of course, jogging, walking, swimming, snow-shoeing (yes, seriously, where I live, we can do this all winter)

What's one piece of advice you would give other aspiring authors?
Have fun writing. Enjoy what you are doing – your talent is a gift, be grateful for it.

If you weren't a writer, what else would you be doing?
What I used to do before I took to writing full time: I owned a design company.

Do you have one particular special ‘writing place’ or are you fortunate enough to be able to write anywhere?
Absolutely anywhere, anytime - isn’t that lucky?

Do you have a favourite scene in this book (without giving the story away too much)?
Yes, it is toward the end, when Tiara tells Macintosh about her secret. It’s a gamble, but she decides to be honest with him and risks everything she has worked so hard for.

Do you have any pets?
I had two dogs, Chow Chows, which I adored. They died a few years ago within 3 months of old age and I think I’m still not totally over this loss. I’m such a softie when it comes to animals. Now, that I live in the wilderness, I enjoy watching the wild life all around me. There isn’t a day when I don’t see a moose, a bear, a deer, a loon, an eagle … I have even seen a cougar once (luckily from the car) … which is , well, as they say, it’s priceless!
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