***INTERVIEW*** Matthew Peters

Please check out my article on when I met the lovely Matthew 🙂 HERE

What are you currently working on?

Several projects right now. I’m reissuing my religious thriller, THE BROTHERS’ KEEPERS, and working on the sequel to that. I’ve also turned my other novel, CONVERSATIONS AMONG RUINS, into a play, and I’ve been submitting that. My favorite project, however, is an epistolary military romance I’m writing with you. I’m learning a tremendous amount as we go along, and I couldn’t be more excited to be working with you.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take three items from your possessions, what would they be?

That’s really difficult. I assume there’s no electricity on the island, unless I could pull a Professor and conduct it from coconuts. I would take pictures of my loved ones, lots of paper, and pencils.

When can we expect your next book release? What is it?

My next book release will be the reissuing of THE BROTHERS’ KEEPERS from Melange Press in June-July of 2016.

Would you like a blurb?

I was hoping you’d say that 😉

Most of us are familiar with Jesus’ parents, Mary and Joseph, and Jesus’ purported spouse, Mary Magdalene. But what about Jesus’ siblings? What role did they play in early Christianity?

Contemporary Jesuit and renowned religious historian Nicholas Branson is about to find out…and the answer will shake the foundations of the Judeo-Christian world.

It all starts with the murder of a United States Senator in a confessional, and the discovery of a strange religious document among his possessions. At the urging of his FBI friend, Branson joins the investigation. His effort to uncover the truth behind the murder draws him into the search for an eight-hundred-year-old treasure and into a web of ecclesiastical and political intrigue.

Accompanied by a beautiful, sharp-tongued research librarian, Jessica Jones, Branson follows a trail of clues, from the peaks of the awe inspiring French Pyrenees to the caves of war-torn Afghanistan. Along the way, shadowy powerful forces trail the pair, determined to keep safe a secret buried for centuries.

Who are your influences?

I’ve been influenced by several writers. I’d love to write with the philosophical and psychological depth of Dostoevsky, the spirituality of Hesse, the soul of James Baldwin, the clarity of Hemingway, the plotting of Richard Wright, and the lyricism of William Styron.

What’s your favourite food?

I have three, actually. I know, I’m cheating and I need to get myself sorted. Pizza, chicken marsala, and chicken vindaloo.

Conversations Among Ruins is semi-autobiographical. How difficult was it to write so much of yourself into a book, and how much of it was true?

I’m glad you ask such easy questions 😉 The main character in CAR, Daniel Stavros, is dual diagnosed, meaning he suffers from a mood disorder and chemical dependency. I am dual diagnosed, with depression and anxiety as well as alcohol use disorder. Stavros is a professor, as was I. The similarities end toward the last part of the book, when Stavros has a set of surreal experiences while staying at a friend’s “cabin” in the mountains.

What is your pet peeve when it comes to reading books? What’s the thing that would make you put it down and not finish?

Tons of typos and grammatical mistakes are my pet peeves. Also if a book is poorly plotted and/or there are factual errors, I can’t finish it. Unfortunately, several books published today suffer from these defects. I’m to the point in my life where I don’t finish a good deal of the books I start. Life is short, and there are only a finite number of books one can read.

Tell us something not a lot of people know about you?

I’m a high school dropout with a Ph.D.

What inspires you to write?

Beauty inspires me to write, whether in the shape of music, words, art, nature, or a person.

Describe your ideal woman. How much of her have you laced into the female characters in your books.

My ideal woman is beautiful, smart, funny, and loving. She is someone I can be totally open and honest with and not fear being judged. My ideal woman would return all the love I shower upon her, for I am one who loves passionately and deeply. I’ve laced some of these qualities into Jessica Jones, the female protagonist in THE BROTHERS’ KEEPERS.

What’s your favourite thing to do other than write?

My favorite things to do other than write are read, listen to music, and connect with loved ones.

You can see into the future. Where do you see yours?

I hope to become a bestselling author and a substance abuse counselor. Above all, I see myself spending the future with the woman I love.

What piece of advice would you offer to new writers?

Here are some things I really wish people had told me early on:

Read, read, read.  Read the classics and as much good literature as you can get your hands on. Read widely, too, from poetry and plays to science and politics. If you don’t read well, you can’t write well.

Don’t be a perfectionist. Perfectionism kills. Realize that unlike other professions, say neurosurgery, writers don’t have to get it right the first time. We have the luxury of being able to revise our product as much as we wish. Realize that, and let it free you up in the writing process.

The first draft stinks; write it anyway. Anne Lamott talks a lot about the shitty first draft. Indeed. But that’s okay. Give yourself permission to write lousy first (second and third) drafts. They’ll improve in revisions. 

It’s okay not to be in love with writing every second of every day. It’s natural to resent it at times. Don’t stuff these feelings, and don’t be afraid to vent them. Writing is not all sunsets and rainbows. Any writer who is really working will understand your frustration.

Join a writing group. Make sure someone other than your parents or significant other gives you feedback. But also be wary of taking too much constructive criticism from too many people, especially early in the story writing process—too many writers can spoil the plot (among other things).

Don’t be overly eager to submit to an agent, or a publisher. Before you submit your work, make sure it’s free from typos, and grammatical and factual errors. If you can afford it, have a content editor and a copy editor go through your manuscript and polish it until it shines. Don’t submit anything for publication until it represents your absolute, best effort. I think you’ll be surprised how much that will distinguish you from the rest of the slush pile.

Always strive to improve. Constantly hone your craft by taking courses, going to workshops/conferences, and by reading books on writing. Too many times, I’ve seen writers who think they know it all stop learning. These are often the same writers who refuse to get feedback on their work. Don’t fall into this trap. Hemingway said, “We are all apprentices in a craft where no one ever becomes a master.”

Favourite movie?

THE GREAT GATSBY (with Mia Farrow)

Favourite song?

“True Companion” by Marc Cohn

Biography 

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Dual diagnosed* from an early age, Matthew Peters dropped out of high school at sixteen. He went on to obtain an A.A., a B.A. from Vassar College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. from Duke University. He has taught various courses in a variety of disciplines throughout North Carolina. He is committed to increasing the awareness and understanding of the dual diagnosed. Conversations Among Ruins (All Things That Matter Press, 2014) is his first novel. His second novel, The Brothers’ Keepers (MuseItUp Publishing, 2014), is a political-religious thriller that capitalizes on his love for history and research. Currently, he is working on a sequel to The Brothers’ Keepers.

*The term dual diagnosed refers to someone suffering from a mood disorder (e.g., depression) and chemical dependency.

 

Links

 

General:

Website/Blog: www.matthewpetersbooks.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com.MatthewPeters65

Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/matthew.peters.79656

 

CONVERSATIONS AMONG RUINS:

Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/1phAi7v

Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/1oASGcG

Barnes & Noble Nook: http://bit.ly/1t6Q31L

All Things That Matter Press Paperback: http://bit.ly/1rBiB1e

Video Interview with MK Meredith

 

This is probably the worst video interview in the world EVER! Please forgive me, the editing is awful but we sort of had fun. I should have had wine first!

Please check out MK Meredith and her books! You will not be disappointed. Also, read the post about my visit with her, HERE. 🙂

Connect with MK

Website

Sign up for MK’s newsletter, The Heat Sheet

Facebook Page

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Book links

For all information on all of MK’s books please check out and subscribe to her Amazon author page.

Amazon U.S.

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Malibu Betrayals

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Her chance to write a whole new ending…

Hollywood screenwriter Samantha Dekker spent the last year picking up the pieces after her husband’s suicide. Along with grief, guilt, and tabloid hell, she’s had to watch helplessly as the film industry slammed its doors in her face. Now Sam has the rarest of Hollywood opportunities – a second chance…working with the one man she swore never to see again.

Hunktastic A-lister Gage Cutler knows that Sam blamed him for his part in her husband’s death. Still, Sam is the one woman he can never forget. All he wants is a second chance of his own – to prove he’s not the player she remembers. And Malibu is the perfect backdrop to make a girl swoon.

Except they’re not alone. Someone is watching Sam and Gage’s steamy off-screen romance with the most dangerous of intentions…

Malibu Secrets

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Every girl has a secret (or two)…

On the verge of losing the Malibu home she inherited from her great-aunt, Addi Dekker is completely failing to prove to her family she can make it as a writer. Not exactly how a girl proves her independence. If she doesn’t want to give up her dream and go back to the soul-sucking job she just left, Addi has to swallow her dislike of Hollywood and rent the house out to the sexy-as-hell film producer.

And maybe (shhhh!) save money by secretly living there, too.

Roque Gallagher is pouring his heart and savings into his first independent film to make the industry acknowledge him for his talent and not just his family name. Addi’s home is perfect for the shoot, but she’s far too tempting. He’s never been able to handle work and a relationship, and this is the film of a lifetime. Between a shrinking budget and his director quitting, the last thing he needs is a sexy-as-sin tease like Addi. And he has a feeling there’s something she’s hiding…

Seducing Seven

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Romance author Seven Michaels believes in love to her very core. She has to—not only for herself, but for her readers. So when luxury salesman Blake Turner insults not only her books but the people who read them, Seven’s ready to throw down. How dare a playboy like Blake insinuate romance lovers are full of crap? He wants proof? Fine. She bets Blake she can make him fall for her by using the rules in her latest novel before the end of the convention, or she’ll denounce love in front of all her fellow authors and fans at the Romance Lovers Convention ball. A dangerous game to be sure, but humiliating Blake is worth the risk. But when Seven realizes she’s the one who’s being seduced, she’s no longer sure who is playing whom…or whether she’ll have a career when the bet is over.

 

Meeting MK Meredith

In a gloomy 2015 April after rather a lot of wine I came to a decision. It was something I’ve wanted to do for a while now, and that moment felt like the right time.

Having had the aforementioned wine, I rose from my desk with a steely determination and swaggered into the kitchen where my husband was busy cooking dinner. Leaning precariously against the wall I took a deep breath before uttering my question. “Can I go to America?”

Of course, he realised this was more of a statement rather than a question. He heard what I meant to say, “I’m going to America, live with it.”

As soon as I got the supportive nod I was there, on Facebook, basically inserting myself into the Meredith household. I booked my flights and promptly filled Facebook with countdowns (to the second) on a regular basis.

MK and I had become great friends over the past two years or so. Apparently I replied to a mutual friends status. The subject matter I don’t recall, she heartily agreed with me by all accounts. I’d not long since penned Falling to Pieces. The first I actually remember is reading MK’s Malibu Betrayals as a beta, prior to its acceptance for publication with Entangled. Anyone who’s read a Meredith book knows what a fine, smooth, writer she is. It’s enviable. However, in that first draft of the book she wrote ‘drug’ instead of ‘dragged’ on several occasions, that caused me to threaten her with violence! That’s where the friendship began in earnest.

I touched down at Washington Dulles on the 22nd of November 2015. One would expect a slight amount of awkwardness between two people who’d never met in the flesh, but honestly, strangely there was nothing. Not an hour after arrival in VA I was sat, feet up, wine in hand, and chatting as though we’d been best buddies for years.

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The next day I embarked on a journey to see my cowriter, Matthew Peters, that’s another blog post. I suffer with driving related PTSD and took the road trip to North Carolina in a hire car under the blessing of my therapist. Well, she must have been as crazy as I was because it was awful! Of course my coauthor offered to return me to DC for Thanksgiving. However, that didn’t happen for a number of reasons, and MK was the best friend in the world ever for coming to get me!

We were upright and lofty for Thanksgiving and went around to a friends to spend the day. Brian, MK’s gorgeous husband, and his beautiful friend invited me out to the sidewalk whilst the turkey deep fried to reminisce over military days gone by. It was truly awesome :).

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They were wonderful hosts. However, I apparently said something inappropriate and fell asleep with hilarious consequences. It was over twenty-four hours later that I would find out about the pictures…

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BASTARDS! 😉 Of course, I was thinking very hard about the plot for my next book!

There is a Meredith household tradition called Finger Food Friday. I’ve been obsessed with it since the start of our friendship. I was not disappointed! FFF is amazing and was well worth the £500 airfare! (Just in case you’re considering it!)

Talking of being inappropriate, we went to a child’s birthday party a few days later. The adults were talking about what I might take back with me. They suggested I might  smuggle wine back if I affixed ladies towels to the bottles, because no-one wants to touch them. I added, “Especially if it’s red wine and the bottles break.” To say the audience were horrified would be putting it mildly. However, MK looked as though she wanted to high five me! LOL! That was pure British humour, so forgive me for thinking she was born in the wrong country.

Later that night we frequented a gorgeous, famous DC steak restaurant, The Palm with the lovely couple, Sean and Gabriel. Again the perfect hosts and an amazing night out. I’ll look forward to my next night out in about a years time. 😉

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Days seemed to fly by so fast while I was there. It was soon a very sad Monday for different reasons than usual. It was my last whole day in the US. We decided that it was probably time to see some sights. It was raining and we decided to start with lunch at the very posh NOLA. I enjoyed a delicious burger and a glass of wine (of course). That sort of set the tone for the day. We walked over to The Whitehouse in the horrible grey drizzle. MK stopped mid-stride with a horror filled expression. I immediately asked what was wrong. “I left my umbrella at the restaurant.”

I furrowed my brow and looked up at the umbrella above our heads and back down at MK’s still horrified gaze. I raised a brow and pointed up at it. “Do you mean that umbrella?”

My cackle could probably have been heard in The Oval Office! I laughed so hard. I love that girl…

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So, I was entirely unimpressed by The Whitehouse. It’s tiny. I stated my opinion to a guy standing on guard, and said our palaces are much better. He told me that when it was built they wanted a peoples house, not a grand palace. I scoffed and walked away, feeling a little chastised. When I was ten metres away MK admitted that The Whitehouse is huge and that it goes quite far underground. I had to force myself to continue walking in the other direction so I didn’t go and tell that bad man off for spinning his lies! At least our palaces are honest! Luckily, I spotted a bar which, of course made me walk toward it.

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I was devastated to leave. I adore Target, the petrol and cigarette prices. All the laughs I shared with MK and Co were priceless memories to treasure for a long time to come. I couldn’t have had a better trip if I’d tried. I can’t believe that will be the last time we all get together. I know MK and Brian want to visit Europe! I hope they make it to Old Blighty! ❤

Make sure you check out my video interview with her HERE ❤

 

 

***Cover Reveal*** Kissing Katie by L.T. Kelly

I’m so pleased to be able to reveal the cover for Kissing Katie. This title has a tentative release date of the 16th of December. This latest book baby is joining its sister Kissing Cassie in publication by Resplendence.

Kissing Katie

Unofficial Blurb

Iraq war widow Katie Simmons hasn’t considered giving love another chance since the devastating loss of her husband. She’s happy sharing her love with her six-year-old daughter, Jessica. What more could she want from life?

Evan Waters is headed for the big time. He’s ploughing his time, money and energy into recording Spires’s debut album. Following on in his British rock legend father’s footsteps, he has big shoes to fill, a mission made more difficult by his alcoholic mother.

When Katie and Evan meet on the London Underground, she denies his advances. Evan must find a way to demolish the walls she’s built around her heart. But even if he’s successful, will he be able to provide her with the commitment she deserves and still fulfill his ambitions?

***SPOTLIGHT*** Me & Mr. Jones by Lindsay Marie Miller

Jones Cover Art

Title: Me & Mr. Jones

Author: Lindsay Marie Miller

Release Date: October 7, 2015

Synopsis: Finley O’Connell is a shy, reserved college student, who has no intention of ever trusting another man. At nineteen, Finley spends her Friday nights alone, studying clinical psychology to ease her mind of the abusive childhood she has yet to overcome. Her new professor, the young, charismatic Cabel Jones, begins to take an interest in Finley, whose first instinct is to run. But when an ordinary experiment turns to bloodshed, Finley must rely on Cabel, as the two hide away in a rustic, secluded cabin in the wilderness. Plagued by deception and fear, Finley soon finds herself in the arms of the one man on campus who can never truly be hers.

Purchase Links:

Amazonhttp://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B016AMB90G?keywords=me%20and%20mr.%20jones&qid=1444413808&ref_=sr_1_3&sr=8-3

BNhttp://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/me-mr-jones-lindsay-marie-miller/1122766363?ean=2940152398458

Smashwordshttps://www.smashwords.com/books/view/583385

Kobohttps://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/me-mr-jones-1

Also available on iBooks

Author Photo

Author Bio: Lindsay Marie Miller was born and raised in Tallahassee, FL, where she graduated from high school as Valedictorian. Afterwards, Lindsay attended Florida State University and graduated Summa Cum Laude with an English Literature major, Psychology minor, and Specialized Studies in Markets and Institutions. Lindsay is the author of the romantic thrillers, Me & Mr. Jones and Emerald Green – the first a New Adult novel, the second a Young Adult novel. Emerald Green is the first installment in a four-part series, while Me & Mr. Jones will be accompanied by a sequel. In her free time, Lindsay enjoys singing, playing the piano and guitar, and writing songs. Lindsay currently resides in her hometown of Tallahassee, FL, where she enjoys summers under the sun, in the company of beloved family and friends.

Contact Links:

Twitter: @Lindsay_MMiller

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/LindsayMarieMillerAuthor

Amazonwww.amazon.com/author/lindsaymariemiller

Smashwordshttps://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/LindsayMarieMiller

Goodreadswww.goodreads.com/LindsayMarieMiller

Teagan’s Return – Falling Apart – Part One.

I’ve never done this before, I mean posted a story on here. My editing process with Kissing Katie is taking much longer than I expected and the truth of the matter is I’m very unhappy with not writing. I won’t write a whole new Falling book, but, god I miss Teagan. I’ll be posting her story here, when the mood takes me. I hope you guys aren’t too saddened by what you read, but you know what Teagan is like… 

He shifted beside me so I willed my eyes to open and for lucidity to come, immediately wishing for the calming blackness that sleep provides to return. I watched the muscles of his smooth pale back contract and release as he sat on the edge of the bed.

I wanted to groan as the memories of the previous nights antics began to trickle into my brain like water being added to potassium to create a fulmination. But, to do so would have alerted him to my conscious state.

I knew the evidence of what I’d done would be there if I wanted to grace it with my eyes. But, I didn’t need to, because I knew. To relive the words over again would merely serve up a dish of further melancholy.

The overwhelming pain in my chest delivered a message that I didn’t want to receive…I’d fucked up again. Pain, not a new thing to me, but this wasn’t a physical thing. The chest pain wasn’t the side effect of a heart attack. How could it be? But, even vampires aren’t immune to the agony that pure emotion produces.

Bartholomew rose and I closed my eyes in response. He may have looked down on me, considering me still to be sleeping, but I rarely looked back at him these days.

I can’t distinguish where along the line our paths forked. I’d always viewed him with an epic admiration. He’d been my deity for the past ten years. The man I adored, respected, and loved above all else.

He’d saved me from myself and showered me with a love so hard that I took the steps away from the path of self-destruction. He made what should have been an exigent journey, effortless. Perhaps, that’s why I edged my way back to the path with a similar ease. Because, to value something you must slave for it.

We’d frolicked through my personal version of the resplendent Garden of Eden. He’d held my hand so tightly. Only I’d prized his fingers away, now I stood beneath the apple tree gazing up with an unfathomable starvation.

“Are you getting up, Teagan?” His softly spoken question was laced with a despondency that I knew I had created with my excessive behaviour.

“Yes. Just give me a moment to think,” I said, keeping my eyes closed to the world both metaphorically and literally speaking.

After savouring a few more moments of numbing blackness my eyes opened followed by that familiar empty feeling resting heavy in the pit of my stomach. It couldn’t have been mistaken for hunger. I’d fed well the previous night on wine-drenched blood after generously sharing the bottles with my victim. No, this emptiness smacked of despair.

I traipsed downstairs, knowing that I must try to think clearly and sit at the head of The Assembly with my husband for the trial of a reckless vampire. What a bittersweet taste, judging and condemning a creature for actions that I myself took on an ever-increasing basis. I almost wanted to laugh, but the release of it didn’t feel appropriate for someone that still possessed an ounce of humanity, albeit well disguised.

“Do you wish to discuss last night?”

I raised a brow. “Why? I don’t recall any specific event.”

He pursed his lips, lowered his head and gazed up at me through hooded lids. “I thought not. You stumbled to bed, your movements uncontrollable with drink. You clawed at your face and expressed your desire to be able to cry. What happened?”

I lowered my head and fisted a hand in my fiery red hair. I recalled precisely the reason I desired to submit to such a human response to pain.

My minds eye tortured me with that apple hanging mercilessly just beyond my grasp.

I untangled my fingers from my hair and straightened my spine for I knew I displayed a reproach in my actions that I couldn’t allow him to see.

“I have no idea, love,” I said with a half decent attempt at nonchalance and offered him a tight smile.

There was no point of dwelling on what had been communicated. It was simply why I continually chose the cataclysmic option over sweet enjoyment that perturbed me. To set myself apart from the entity that I so desired? To alienate myself? I guessed that was the case.

But every night when I awoke to the glint of the moon on my empty wine glass, I experienced nothing short of regret and self-disgust. I think I knew when it started that such an incredible creature would eventually tire of my pernicious drunken debauchery.

Bartholomew beckoned me with his movements toward the door. I followed mindlessly, my brain cemented on the woodsy scent of that tree and the single delicious apple, radiantly flecked with sunshine dangling from its wholesome branches.

I briefly glanced at his face as we travelled to The Assembly’s headquarters, nothing, I felt nothing. We were tied merely by bond and duty. Although that apple seemed no closer to being in my hand, I hoped that as the night drew in that it still wished for me to devour it.

Later, when I raised and sent that gavel crashing down onto the block and sentenced the haphazard vampire to death by absinthe, I decided in that very moment that I had to change or risk breaking the branches of that exquisite tree.