#AuthorSpotlight ~ Long Islands very own, Gary Welch

Gary WelchGet to know a little bit about Gary Welch, before Friday arrives and we really get to know him when he answers my interview questions.

Gary owns Spectrum PT, where I go for Physical Therapy. He changed my life, and now with this book, he has inspired me even more!

Gary Welch has lived on Long Island since 1998 with his family. This is the first novel that he’s written and it’s based on a dream that his daughter had in 2012.
“During the 2 years that it took me to write this novel, I felt like I was on the greatest adventure I could ever imagine”
At times, I felt like I really owned this phone and had hit the lottery, because of all its magical powers that it offered Abigail and our family. Gary has a doctorate degree in physical therapy and owns a clinic in Patchogue NY with his wife. He also manages a physical therapy department that he started at a National Laboratory back in 2008.
Gary is an adjunct professor at Stony Brook University and Touro College, here on Long Island, where he wrote the course work “Manual and Manipulative Therapy of the Spine and Pelvis.
Dr. Welch plans to continue writing the sequel to the Magic Phone. So, stay tuned for more adventures as Abigail gets older and her adventures become more intense.
You can follow The Magic phone on Facebook or the website at http://www.abbysmagicphone.com.

#BOOKREVIEW ~ “Don’t Jump” by Vicki Abelson

Dont jumpSummary:

Don’t Jump, chronicles a woman’s quest to find her place and purpose amidst sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll and celebrity. It’s a story of unfulfilled potential, addiction, and bad behavior. Ultimately, it’s a story of redemption, told with levity and a wicked sense of fun.

Don’t Jump takes us backstage and off-screen with a world famous athlete, rockers, movie stars, and some of the biggest names in comedy. A wickedly funny female perspective, it’s an inside view from an outsider. From the kings of late night, to America’s #1 shock jock, to the top sitcom earners of all time, we glimpse their humanity, previously unexposed.

Andi’s story drives Don’t Jump her descent and her resurrection. The celebrities who populate her life add spice and flavor but, it’s Andi’s perceptions that fuel the narrative. Smart, sassy and sexy, she projects confidence and success. But beneath her cool exterior, she knows she’s “simple, boring and fat.”

Seeking solutions for her disintegrating marriage, tumultuous show biz ups and downs, her slow and painful recovery, and mid-life transition, Don’t Jump explores Andi’s journey to make her life count.

Review:

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

First I would like to say how much I loved the look and feel of this book. It was perfection! Favorite book to hold and flip pages!

Vicki Abelson takes us on an electrifying ride through life with her alter-ego, Andi Stone. She delivers a fictionalized memoir that will leave you with your mouth open; laughing, oohing, aahing, and Oh-Noing.

Andi is fascinating, and just too cool! I loved when she said, “I was now completely full of myself”. I think she always was (wink), but when she actually said it, I had to laugh out loud.

“Don’t Jump” is a total trip to read! You will laugh, you will cringe, and you will even tear up. She got high so much, I think I was getting the second hand smoke high! Her addiction to pot was just as strong as any of her other addictions, from men to fame. I was enamored with all of the celebrity appearances in this book.

Andi is a woman of many talents, always striving for something new and exciting in the entertainment industry in NYC. She is a force to be reckoned with, indeed. If she wanted something, she was going to get it or die trying.

The perseverance that Andi has is palpable, and you wonder why she was not on the front pages of People Magazine back in the 80’s.

Told with true grit and splendor, you will not want to put this book down.

5 Stars.

#SPOTLIGHT ~ “Don’t Jump” by Vicki Abelson

Dont jumpDon’t Jump, chronicles a woman’s quest to find her place and purpose amidst sex, drugs, rock ‘n’ roll and celebrity. It’s a story of unfulfilled potential, addiction, and bad behavior. Ultimately, it s a story of redemption, told with levity and a wicked sense of fun.

Don’t Jump takes us backstage and off-screen with a world famous athlete, rockers, movie stars, and some of the biggest names in comedy. A unique female perspective,
It’s an inside view from an outsider. From the kings of late night, to America’s number 1 shock jock, to the top sitcom earners of all time, we glimpse their humanity, previously unexposed.

Andi’s story drives Don’t Jump her descent and her resurrection. The celebrities who populate her life add spice and flavor but, it’s Andi’s perceptions that fuel the narrative. Smart, sassy and sexy, she projects confidence and success. But beneath her cool exterior, she knows she’s “simple, boring and fat.”

Seeking solutions for her disintegrating marriage, tumultuous show biz ups and downs, her slow and painful recovery, and mid-life transition, Don’t Jump explores Andi’s journey to make her life count.

 

#SPOTLIGHT ~ Long Islands very own, Gary Welch, writes “The Magic Phone”

The Magic PhoneThe Magic Phone is a story of a young girl “Abigail” who lives in a quaint little town on the south shore of Long Island. She’s given a phone with powers that you’ve never imagined from a device that so many of us use everyday. This story will take you on a journey that has many subjects that children, teens, and adults will find very exciting. The novel includes adventure, fantasy, historical events, humor, mystery, science fiction, and suspense. The Magic Phone will take Abigail and you through time, both in the past and the future. The Magic Phone gives you the power to teleport anywhere around the world, defy physics as we know it, allowing her to fly, move, lift, or throw objects that weigh thousands of pounds, manipulate the weather, heal the sick, and so much more. Take an amazing journey with Abigail, the adventures are endless with the magic phone.

#BookReview: “Life and Other Near Death Experiences” by Camille Pagan

A Must Read ~ Life and other near death experiences

Summary:

Libby Miller has always been an unwavering optimist—but when her husband drops a bomb on their marriage the same day a doctor delivers devastating news, she realizes her rose-colored glasses have actually been blinding her.

With nothing left to lose, she abandons her life in Chicago for the clear waters and bright beaches of the Caribbean for what might be her last hurrah. Despite her new sunny locale, her plans go awry when she finds that she can’t quite outrun the past or bring herself to face an unknowable future. Every day of tropical bliss may be an invitation to disaster, but with her twin brother on her trail and a new relationship on the horizon, Libby is determined to forget about fate. Will she risk it all to live—and love—a little longer?

From critically acclaimed author Camille Pagán comes a hilarious and hopeful story about a woman choosing between a “perfect” life and actually living.

Review:

Camille Pagan delivers another brilliant novel. When faced with death, how would you react? Libby Miller finds out she has cancer, and in the words of her twin brother Paul, “There is healthy denial and then there’s ‘Libbyland’”.

The same day that Dr. Sander’s tells Libby she has a rare form of cancer, she goes home to find out that her husband of about 20 years has a secret all his own, that may mean the death of their marriage. With both of these bits of news, Libby is certainly in “Libbyland”.

What is Libby to do? Quit her job, put her home up for sale, and run off to a town in Puerto Rico that her parents loved?

This adventure begins when she is flying to Viegues, Puerto Rico…and she meets a man name Shiloh. She is going to spend one month in a rental property on the land of a woman named, Milagros. These two people will change her life as she knows it.

Her brother, Paul is going to find her and figure out why she has ran away. He is not one to give up on his twin sister.

While she is ready to “March into the great beyond” and not seek treatment for her cancer, she learns more about life than she had ever realized.

The question is: Will she realize that she wants to live, before it is too late?

I was enamored with this story from the beginning, right through to the end. Camille has a way of drawing you in to her stories, and making you feel like you are reading about someone you know and care for.

This story will make you think about the choices you make each day regarding your life.

5 Stars.

#Interview & #Giveaway ~ Meet author, Ann Troup!! and, enter her Giveaway!

Meet Ann Troup, the Author of “The Lost Child”. Comment below for your chance to win an eCopy of her book along with a $10 Amazon Voucher!!

Ann Troupe PicQ:  When did you realize you wanted to write a book?

I knew that I wanted to be a writer, or more accurately a novelist, in my early teens though I didn’t write my first full length novel until I was in my twenties.  I did write a play when I was eight, which was performed at my primary school I do recall that it was very tragic and deeply romantic and probably quite terrible – I’m sure my mother was cringing in the audience. So, I have always written for my own pleasure but didn’t become serious about publication until I hit my 40’s and had the necessary time to devote to it. 

Q:  As you geared up for your Book Release on May 19th, 2015, what was the most exciting part(s) for you? 

The single most exciting aspect was the enthusiasm and great feedback from book bloggers who had received advance reader copies of the book. Knowing that people who love books, storytelling and sharing their passion had enjoyed my work and wanted to shout about it was a fantastic experience and for me definitely the most exciting part of the process. Everything else was exciting and daunting in equal measures, when you have written a book and it is unleashed onto the world there is a feeling of exhilaration and fear – it can make you feel very vulnerable, very humble and very hopeful.  

Q:  Where did you get your inspiration from for this book?

I’d had the idea for some time. In the town where I grew up a girl had gone missing and years later that incident turned out to be connected with terrible crimes. I used to work as a psychiatric nurse and worked with some of the people who had been affected by the crimes and the losses they had caused – the dynamics of it stayed with me and formed the seeds of the story that became The Lost Child. The book is purely fictional, as are the characters however the relationships, reactions and behavior of the characters is very much rooted in my real life observations of how people behave in unusual and extreme situations. Human behavior is a never ending source of story material.

Q:  Is there an author that you feel resonates with you and your writing style?

I honestly don’t know. My editor is adamant that she sees a similarity between the stories that I write and the books that Diane Chamberlain and Rosamund Lupton write. I’m sorry to say I had never read anything from either before The Lost Child was published. I have since read some of their work and can see the connection, though not in style. Our similarities lie more in our subjective choices regarding plot and story development than in any similarity of style.

Q: When do you typically write?  Where do you write?  How long did it take you to write? Set this up for us…

These days I have the luxury of being able to call writing my full time job, so I now try to have a working day as regards writing and fit it in between nine and five as much as I can – though if I’m ‘on a roll’ those limits are entirely flexible. I write in my home office, which was my daughter’s bedroom before she left home, so we call it the empty nest.  It’s a warm, light and relaxing space, full of all my bits and pieces and I can shut the world out and enter my imagination quite happily in there.  In terms of The Lost Child writing the actual book took around six weeks for the first draft, though in reality from first thoughts to publishable book probably took years. I take an inordinate amount of time with the planning and plotting, but once that’s done the book emerges relatively quickly. By the time I sit down at the computer I usually know exactly what the story is and where it will go, of course there is always room for new ideas to emerge, but the skeleton is definitely there. 

Q:  May I ask who your favorite authors are?  Books? 

Haha, there are too many to list! I just like beautiful writing, thought provoking stories and sheer entertainment. For beautiful writing I would say John Steinbeck (any, but particularly Cannery Row) Edna o’Brien (August is a Wicked Month and The Country Girls) Kate Atkinson (Behind the Scenes at the Museum and and Human Croquet) and one of my all time favourite authors Jane Gardam (again, I would read her grocery list, but in particular I love Old Filth, Faith Fox and Bilgewater). I absolutely cannot name one favourite, there really are too many wonderful books and writers.

Q:  What is your favorite part of being a published author? 

Knowing that people have enjoyed something that I created and that for a few hours they have been transported out of their lives and have been entertained by my words.  Chatting to and connecting with other people who love books and writing is also hugely enjoyable, and I love to hear from people who are passionate about the written word. Second to that I do rather enjoy getting paid for doing something that I love – I don’t intend that to sound mercenary about it, but it is rather gratifying to know that what you do can be valued and appreciated in monetary terms. 

Q:  Do you have a new book on the horizon?  Do you want to tell us a little bit about it?  

I do have a new book on the horizon – it’s called The Silent Girls (It was originally listed as The Unnamed, but we have decided to change the title before it is published in February 2016).

I can’t say too much about it at this stage but it is a very different story that explores similar themes to The Lost Child in regards to how people adapt to terrible things and how their choices form a legacy for others.  It’s a darker story but just as twisty (maybe even a little more twisty…) and full of characters that you will love and hate – I hope! 

Lastly, Book or eBook?? 

Gah! Both, but for different reasons. I love, love, love books – they are my favourite possessions, but I have a modest home and not much room, so I am very selective about my dead tree books. I will always by a paper copy of a book I will read again. On the whole I buy more eBooks now, mainly for convenience, but a book is a book and I will value it either way.

#SPOTLIGHT ~ “The Lost Child” by Ann Troup

The Lost ChildCHECK BACK FRIDAY FOR ANN’S INTERVIEW AND GIVEAWAY!
Mandy Miller disappeared from Hallow’s End when she was just 3 years old. She was never found.

The Lost Child is complex, mysterious and highly compelling reading.’ – Reviewed the Book

Thirty years on, Elaine Ellis is carrying her mother’s ashes back to Hallow’s End to scatter them in the place that she once called home. Elaine has never been there, but it’s the only place Jean talked about while she was growing up – so it seems as good a place as any.

As Elaine settles into her holiday cottage in the peaceful Devonshire village, she gets to know the locals; family she never knew she had, eccentric and old-fashioned gentry, and new friends where she would least expect them. But she is intrigued by the tale of the missing girl that the village still carries at its heart, and which somehow continues to overshadow them all. Little does she know how much more involved in the mystery she will become…

#INTERVIEW & #GIVEAWAY ~ Meet Tina Ann Forkner and enter her Giveaway!!!

Meet Tina Ann Forkner, Author of the 3 wonderful novels, including, “Waking Up Joy”.  I will be posting that review on Sunday. She is giving away ONE signed copy of the book, “Waking Up Joy”. (US and CAN residents only) 

I met this author because another author I adore, Steena Holmes suggested we read Tina’s book when it was out for sale. Great word of mouth. That is definitely a great way to meet other authors and hear about other books! Thanks, Steena!

Please comment below to be entered for a chance to win this awesome book!

Tina Ann Forkner2Q:  When did you realize you were a novelist? 

I don’t remember not wanting to write books, but except for some unfinished romance novels I started in high school, I mainly wrote poetry and short stories. During my freshman year in college, I thought I wanted to be a journalist, but after taking a break for a few years I realized that wasn’t what I wanted to do. My love had always been fiction. I was in my mid-twenties when I went back to college and decided to focus on literature and creative writing. I focused mainly on poetry, memoir, and some fiction. I feel like those things helped lay the groundwork for my becoming a novelist, as well as the required reading and discussion of quality writing. I always wanted to write a novel, but it wasn’t until my early thirties that I finally finished writing my first book, Ruby Among Us. I think that sometimes we feel the call to write very early in our lives, and maybe we even have talent, but we still have to learn the art of story and work to sharpen our skills before our writing can really take its true form.  

Annie: I need to read your other books, too…I am already loving ‘Waking up Joy’.

Q:  As you geared up for your Book Releases, what was the most exciting part(s) for you?  Waking Up Joy

The most exciting part of any book release for me is getting to share my story with readers. The second most exciting part is getting to see my name on the cover of a book. I have to admit that the day I lay my eyes on the published book and see my name on the cover makes me want to dance around the room. (I’ll be honest. When no one is looking, that’s what I do.)

 Happy DanceAnnie: Look, it is your name on a book! 🙂 Do the happy dance!

Q:  Where do you get the inspirations for your stories?  

My best ideas come from real life. I don’t usually go out looking for inspiration, but sometimes I’ll witness or see something that won’t leave my mind until I write about it. Places I’ve lived or visited, especially small town regions, often find their way into my novels.  The same goes for people. Once I write the idea out, the story and characters will probably have little or nothing to do with the original idea, but that’s the fun part. I love creating small towns and characters that readers will fall in love with.  

Q:  Is there an author that you feel resonates with you and your writing style? 

I always have a difficult time answering this question because I don’t want to be the one to compare somebody else’s work to mine, especially when theirs is more amazing than I feel mine could ever be. Some novelists I admire include Cathy Lamb, Chris Fabry, Fannie Flagg, Sarah Addison Allen, and Sue Monk Kidd. 

Q:  When do you typically write?  Where do you write?  Set this up for us… 

Tina Ann Forkner office spaceCurrently I wake up at 5 am, see my daughter off to swim practice, and have about 45 minutes to write or edit before others wake up. Lately I’ve been writing in the kitchen or living room rather than my office. I like the view and the openness. When it’s warm I write outside. I am also a substitute teacher, so I generally take a couple of days a week to do some extra writing or to work on the business side of things. All of this could change next month, of course depending on my family’s schedule. I think that many women writers, definitely myself included, have to flex our writing routine to our personal lives based on the season of life we are in.  I used to get frustrated about this, but now I try to embrace it. Life flies by anyway, and I don’t want to be sitting in my office all day missing out. This is another reason I currently write in the kitchen. I complain about getting interrupted, but I love it when my husband or one of the kids (all teens and driving) burst in for a surprise lunch break at home.

 

Q:  May I ask who your favorite authors are?  Books? 

I am more of a favorite book person. When I was a kid it was The Outsiders, by S.E. Hinton. When I learned the author was from Oklahoma, it inspired me as a writer. I also loved Gone With the Wind, which I loved discussing with my grandma because we both agreed the book was better than the movie. The Time Traveler’s Wife was one of the most creative and captivating novels I have ever read. I also loved Charlotte Bronte’s  Jane Eyre, and speaking of Janes, I love anything by Jane Austen. There are so many more, but those are a few. 

Annie: Gotta love the Janes!!! I need to read “Gone with the Wind”, again. I have it in my library..

Q:  What is your favorite part of being an author? Tina Ann Forkner (2)

Creating a story, of course! Waking Up Joy was the most fun to write because I took ideas from the area I grew up and then changed them into something new and, I hope, imaginative. I had such a blast that I wanted to move to Spavinaw Junction as I was writing. I love all the adventures I get to go on as an author, and I love the characters. I am guilty of thinking about my characters as if they are real people and if I lose track of what you are trying to say to me, I’m probably lost in some small town somewhere talking to a character about what comes next. I can sympathize with Alexander Rover in Nim’s Island. My daughter used to love that movie and told all her friends that I was just like that. (Maybe not just like that, but I can definitely relate.)

 Annie This is a very original story! That is what I love about it. 

Q:  When can we expect your next book?  Do you want to tell us a little bit about it? 

I have a new book due out in the Summer of 2016. I can’t talk about it yet, but will be able to soon.

Annie: SUSPENSE!! LOVE IT…be sure to contact me to review…  

Q: Lastly, Book or eBook?? 

I cannot choose! It depends on the situation. I will always love plain old books. I love the way they feel in my hand when I’m reading them, and I just love looking at them, but I also love ebooks. I love the versatility of an ereader and how I can carry more than one book in my purse at a time. I love the immediacy of it. I used to be doubtful about ebooks, but I’ve realized over the years that it doesn’t matter how the story is delivered to the reader. It’s only the story itself that is important.

Annie: Good point, it is only the story that is important..

Tina Ann Forkner

About Tina:

Tina Ann Forkner lives in Wyoming, but she grew up in Northeastern Oklahoma and has a Southern heart. She writes women’s fiction, is a substitute teacher, and lives in Cheyenne with her husband and their three teens. Her novel Waking Up Joy was an Award of Merit recipient in the 2015 Holt Medallion contest. She is also the author of Ruby Among Us and Rose House. Learn more: www.tinaannforkner.com

 

#AUTHOR SPOTLIGHT ~ Here is a little teaser about Tina Ann Forkner!

Full interview going live on Friday! and, a Giveaway you won’t want to miss!

Tina Ann Forkner is a Women’s Fiction Writer. She lives a Northern life, but has a Southern heart. She is the author of WAKING UP JOY, RUBY AMONG US, and ROSE HOUSE. A substitute teacher, she was born and raised in Oklahoma and now lives in Wyoming with her husband and family.

Tina’s Novel, WAKING UP JOY, is a 2015 HOLT Award of Merit Recipent – Romantic Elements.
Waking Up JoyRose HouseRuby Among Us

Here are some review quotes:

“A wonderfully-paced weave of compelling characters dealing with buried secrets and second chances within the framework of a flawed but fascinating family. Tina Forkner is an insightful, engaging storyteller. If you’re a fan of Jodi Picoult, you won’t be disappointed.” ~ Susan Meissner Author of A Fall of Marigolds

“Tina Ann Forkner takes us on a hilarious yet emotionally demanding adventure in Waking Up Joy. The free-spirited Joy has an unforgettable voice that puts us solidly on her side, no matter how unconventional her choices. Waking Up Joy is a rollicking ride.” ~ Susan Schoenberger, Author of The Virtues of Oxygen

“Tina Ann Forkner has created a remarkable cast of characters in the Talleys. The wit, wisdom, humor, and real-life escapades of Joy will keep the reader guessing and turning pages to the satisfying conclusion. Thoroughly captivating!” ~ Chris Fabry, award-winning author of June Bug

“A refreshingly candid look at the ties that bind. From dark secrets and magic charms to deep faith and a touch of romance, Tina Forkner’s Waking Up Joy will enchant you with its lively prose and heartfelt humor. It’s a mesmerizing tale of the Talley family, and you’re sure to fall in love with them as I did. Bravo, Tina!” ~ Carla Stewart, award-winning author of Stardust and The Hatmaker’s Heart

“Tina Forkner’s characters are well-drawn, her story setting a place we all know, and her storyline one that can’t help but change us. Reading Forkner feels like coming home.” ~ Gina Holmes, award-winning author of Wings of Glass

“Unique, captivating writing that made me eager to turn each page. Tina’s humor and dialogue makes this novel a treat to read.” ~ Alice J. Wisler, Award-winning author of Rain Song and How Sweet It Is

“Tina Forkner has penned a delightful novel, a heartfelt story filled with quirky characters, family secrets and lost love. This book is another example of why Ms. Forkner remains a reader favorite. She’s definitely one of mine!” ~Kellie Coates Gilbert, author of Woman of Fortune

“Reading is a passion of mine, and when I find myself identifying with the characters, anxious to get to the next page to find answers to my questions, I know I’m into a good book! The daughter-mother-grandmother theme in Ruby Among Us pulled me in. Wonderful story-telling.” -JORDIN SPARKS, Music Artist & 2007 American Idol Winner.

“A skillfully written, moving tale of women (and their men) who find that love covers a multitude of sins. Tina Ann Forkner weaves this story together with great detail and, like the quilts that are such an integral part of the novel, pieces it together with beautiful results.” -DEBBIE SMITH, songwriter with her husband, Michael W. Smith

#SPOTLIGHT: “Waking Up Joy” by Tina Ann Forkner

Be Sure to check back Friday for her Interview and Giveaway!

Waking Up JoySummary:

Behind every lost dream lies a second chance…
When adored town spinster Joy Talley ends up in a coma after a peculiar accident, she is surprised and incensed to hear what is being said in her hospital room, including plans for her funeral. When she finally wakes, her well-meaning, but bossy, brothers and sisters dismiss her claims, thinking her accident has knocked her off her rocker, but Joy has never felt better, and is determined to set the past right.
Now Joy must face her darkest secret and risk reopening wounds caused by an old flame who rejected her more than twenty years ago. But taking risks brings change, as well as a new, younger man into Joy’s life, making her feel like a teenager again. Suddenly Joy’s once humdrum life is anything but boring and routine and the future beckons, exhilarating and bright.