Michael Haskins

Friday, March 30, 2012

Echoes of Savanna & Raven's Song

My friend and fellow author, Lucinda Hawks Moebius, has some nice things to say about Key West, my home,and it says a little about her life too.  But the  important things she has to say are about her two books. Please take the time to discover this writer.

Thank you for hosting me on your blog.  To tell you the truth, I am extremely envious of you right now.  I can just imagine you sitting on the beach, a sun hat shielding your eyes, sipping a sweet drink, the kind with a little umbrella and a wedge of pineapple as a garnish, and watching a beautiful sunset.  I love the beautiful artwork of the sun as it rises and sets on the horizon.  
There have been times in my life when I have been on my way to work and I have just had to stop and drink in the sunrise.  One day I stepped out of my little car and glanced over my shoulder.  The sky was almost a translucent blue and the soft clouds were painted the beautiful orange-red you almost never find in an artist pallet. I had to stop and just watch as the colors shifted and deepened to the soft orange and pale blue of early morning.  It took my breath away and allowed me to start my day with the warmth and beauty of morning in my heart. The sun’s constant circle reminds us to cherish each moment, love the little things, and find beauty in the world. 

One of my favorite memories of my grandmother was sitting on the front porch of my childhood home and watching the sunset. We had pulled up two chairs and relaxed as we watched the light blue sky slowly turn pink, orange and red. The clouds floated across the sky like puffs of smoke slowly painting the horizon. Nothing can compare to the awe and silence a perfect sunset can bring to my heart. My grandmother and I didn’t speak for the entire time the sun was going down. We didn’t need to, the sunset said everything that needed to be said. Every time I see a sunset I remember the time I spent with my grandmother and the perfect communication we had between God, nature and a woman and a child. Sometimes words are not necessary.

My grandmother was one of my biggest influences in my writing.  She always fancied herself as a poet and always wanted one of her grandchildren to become a published author.  I was nurtured on her love for the written word and her influence led me to study the craft and develop the skills to be a writer.  Even watching the sun rise and set was a lesson in writing.  It’s impossible to watch the sun make its journey and not want to put it into words.  Learning to put the images we see in our lives into words is one of the most important skills an author can develop.  In order to become better writers I think we should all spend more time watching sunsets.

I know I haven’t spoken much about me and my writing today.  I’m sorry if I am disappointing your readers by not telling them about my books and my life story.  I will provide you with the blurbs and links so your readers can see what I’m all about.  In the meantime I am going to check out a few travel sites and book some tickets to some tropical location where I can sip some fruity drinks under an umbrella and drink in the sunset.

Thank you for having me today
Lucinda Moebius

Echoes of Savanna:
Every generation has its defining moments, events that change history and turn the course of lives. Forever will the children of that generation be defined by those moments.
Savanna Taylor is a medical doctor in 2036, the same year terrorists release a series of plagues and viruses into the world. She is a nineteen year old Brain Trust whose task it is to find a cure for the diseases and develop vaccines to prevent their further spread. The world is thrown in turmoil and Savanna needs to find a way to survive with her sanity and family intact. She needs to find a safe Haven for herself and for those she loves.
Can Savanna cope in a world in constant flux brought on by war and disease? Can she save the world and protect her loved ones or will she make the ultimate sacrifice? How will she be defined?

Raven’s Song:
The next generation has come into its own.  Raven, Savanna’s impulsive, impetuous daughter has begun her own epic journey.

Raven was born in a time of turmoil and war.  She decides her calling in life is to be a soldier.  Sacrificing the shelter and security of Haven, Raven puts herself at risk to save others.  She finds herself in perilous situations and thrust into the role of leadership despite her own misgivings.  The Siren’s Song of Haven is continuously singing to her.  She could be safe, protected, sheltered and warm if she returned to Haven and its stone walls.  But, is it her destiny to live in the walls of Haven, or is there another destiny in store for this child of Haven?

About the author:
Lucinda Moebius grew up in the mountains of Idaho and Eastern Oregon. Her mother taught her to read when she was four years old and since that time books have been her constant companions. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in English Teaching, a Master’s in Educational Leadership and is currently pursuing a Doctorate in Education. Lucinda supports her writing habit by teaching High School and College. She currently lives in Boise, Idaho with her husband, stepson and their dog and cat.

Find me on facebook: Lucinda Hawks Moebius

Sunday, March 18, 2012

My friend and fellow writer Dixon Rice answers some questions about his new book, The Assassins Club. I think you'll find the interview and book fascinating. 
Thanks Dixon for taking the time to put this all together.

1.      What is the main premise of this book?
I wondered, “What if a young, likable guy ‘accidentally’ became a serial killer?” I set up a situation in THE ASSASSINS CLUB where Tyler Goode gets targeted by a redneck bully and his squad of younger, equally brutal brother in the Flathead Valley of Montana. (And don’t forget Dad.)  Each time Ty kills in order to survive, he feels he’s performed a community service – and he gets one helluva rush.  Before long, it’s become a habit he can’t shake.
2.      How long did it take you to write it?
 The main plot came to me, pretty much fully realized, during a 15-hour car drive after dropping off my son at college.  Then it took two years to weave in some interesting subplots, flesh out the characters, and please my critique group.
3.      Who’s your favorite character in it?
 Heroes are easy to write, in my opinion – so easy that they often become cardboard cutout characters. I enjoy the unbalanced, unreliable characters.  In THE ASSASSINS CLUB, there is a second serial killer who will collide with Ty in the final chapter, a 30ish man who thinks he is Jesus.  His sections are written entirely in present tense, because that’s all he knows.  The voices in his head raise such a ruckus that he can’t remember the past, nor can he look forward to the future.  He’s walking up the West Coast, killing when the mood strikes him, going where his voices direct him.  If Jesus tells you it’s Monday, you’d better check a calendar.
4.      When reading, do you prefer eBook or paperback?
I love tree-books at home, but nothing beats my Kindle when I’m on the road.
5.      What projects are you currently working on?
 I have written another Montana thriller, and puttered away with it for a decade, trying to solve plot problems caused by modern police technology.  I really enjoyed writing THE ASSASSINS CLUB in the 1970s, and realized that moving my work-in-progress back to that same era would make the plot problems vanish.  So I’m on my final rewrite of MONTANA IS BURNING and hope to have it published this summer.
6.      What is something that surprised you about being an author?
I am continually surprised by the unexpected actions of my characters.  On my 15-hour car trip, Ty was already very real to me, but the minor characters around him were pretty vague.  The book concept really caught fire when two deputy sheriffs approached the protagonis and said, “We know you’re killing people, Ty.”  He thought, “Uh-oh, here come the handcuffs.”  Instead, one of the deputies said, “We want to get in on it.”  The addition of two law enforcement officers to Ty’s pastime creates interesting problems.  In further books in this series, the ‘club’ will continue to expand, with continual new complications.

7.      Who designed this cover?
I was fortunate to discover Suzanne Fyhrie Parrott and her business Unruly Guides.  Suzanne and I talked about my story, and I gave her some general concepts. She did a marvelous job of turning my fuzzy ideas into a brilliant reality.  She also formatted my novel.  You can find Unruly Guides on FB at https://www.facebook.com/UnrulyGuides and Suzanne’s website is http://www.UnrulyGuides.com/ 
8.      What are your pet peeves? 
One of the things I love about the writing community is how helpful people are, even to clueless newbies.  However, there is always a small number of folks in any endeavor who take job in dragging other people down.  Some friends of mine have receive awful reviews from people who never even bothered to read the reviewed book.
9.       So do you like to cook? 
I never would have survived college if I hadn’t learned how to make spaghetti sauce and barbecue chicken.  My wife and I have a deal – if one of us cooks, the other one cleans up. I try to cook whenever possible. 
10.  Do you sleep in or get up early?
 We all have an internal critic in the back of our head, whispering that “this is worst crap that’s ever been written – let’s go for a jog instead.”  I’ve learned that if I get up at 5 am and head down to a local coffee shop, I can get hours of work done before my critic wakes up.  And if I’m on a good writing roll, I can just ignore his negative remarks.
11.  If you were to attend a St. Patrick’s Day Party, which one thing would you never leave behind and why:
 I’m about three-fourths Irish, and every Irishman knows that his most precious asset is the “Luck O’the Irish.”  It’s amazing the Emerald Isle survived the Potato Famine, centuries of British mistreatment, and our own fondness for fermented and distilled beverages of every kind. There must be a reservoir of good luck to account for our very existence.

12.  Where can your readers stalk you?
My daily blog on the writing life, Wredheaded Writer, can be found at  http://wredhead.blogspot.com/  I plan a second blog aimed at fervent readers such as myself, but haven’t yet gotten it off the ground.  The Kindle link for my e-book is   http://tinyurl.com/7fav44l and you can find me on Facebook at http://tinyurl.com/87hkkoz  or search for plain old Dixon Rice. 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Here is a little bit about my friend Jochem Vandersteen's novelette. Just look at who praises Jochem's writing

REDEMPTION - a Noah Milano novelette

Twenty years ago he tortured and killed a young boy. Now he is out of prison, ready to find redemption confronting the victim's parents.

He hires Noah Milano, security specialist and son of LA's biggest mobster to protect him.
When the unexpected happens it's up to Noah Milano to do what he thinks is right and make sure justice is done.

Praise for Noah Milano and Jochem Vandersteen:

Jeremiah Healy, author of TURNABOUT and THE ONLY GOOD LAWYER: "J. Vandersteen takes us back to the glory days of pulp fiction. And I mean the genre, NOT the movie. His Noah Milano character rings completely true as a tough, lone-wolf private."

Wayne D. Dundee - author of the Joe Hannibal series: The difference is mainly in the character of Noah Milano himself, a man struggling both internally and externally to break free from his "Family" ties and to walk his own path toward what he deems Right and Just. This is good stuff. Read and enjoy."

Les Roberts, author of the Milan Jacovich series: "Noah Milano is all too human, which makes him more appealing."

"Terrific stuff.'' - Lori G. Armstrong, author of Snowblind

'Noah Milano walks in the footsteps of the great P.I,.'s, but leaves his own tracks." - Robert J. Randisi, founder of PWA and The Shamus Award

Jochem's deep and abiding love for classic pulp fiction comes through on every page, and his stories continue the time-honored tradition of the hardboiled American PI." -Sean Chercover, author of Trigger City.

''The writing is fresh and vivid and lively, paying homage to the past while standing squarely in the present." -James W. Hall, author of Silencer.

''Great pop sensibility with a nod to the classic L.A. PIs.'' - David Levien, author 13 Million Dollar Pop.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Timothy Hallinan's THE BONE POLISHER available on Kindle

Here's some news from fellow writer and friend, Timothy Hallinan. For you Kindle owners, the book is free in the Kindle Store for the next few days. The price is right, got your copy now!

THE BONE POLISHER by Timothy Hallinan, was originally published by Dutton in 1996 and was the sixth and final book in my series of Simeon Grist private-eye mysteries.  Like all the other books, it had great reviews and lousy sales.

BOOKLIST said, “Do yourself a favor and read it!”

MOSTLY MURDER called it “Creepy and screamingly funny.”

Here’s a blurb:

2011 Edgar and Macavity nominee Timothy Hallinan’s sixth and final novel featuring erudite Los Angeles private eye Simeon Grist takes place in the West Hollywood of 1995, where the community is shaken by the brutal killing of an older man who was widely loved for his generosity and kindness. In a time when the police were largely indifferent to crimes against gay people, Simeon is hired to catch the murderer—and finds himself up against the most dangerous adversary of his career, a man who kills his victims one once, but twice: once physically and once in spirit. The story’s climax takes place at a memorable Halloween-themed wake, but there’s a big plot twist yet to come.

The book just went online a week ago and will be free on the 10th, 11th, and 12th of March

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