Tag Archives: mystery novel

Read-a-Chapter: Deadly Plunge by Greg Messel

Read a Chapter is *NEW* added feature at As the Pages Turn! Here you’ll be able to read the first chapters of books of all genres to see if you like them before you buy them. Today we are featuring the mystery fiction, Deadly Plunge, by Greg Messel. Enjoy!

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  • Paperback: 420 pages
  • Publisher: Sunbreaks Publishing (October 8, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0985485922
  • ISBN-13: 978-0985485924

Former baseball player and newly-minted private investigator, Sam Slater is hired to find out why a rich, politically-well connected San Francisco man, Arthur Bolender,  suddenly ended his life by plunging off of the Golden Gate Bridge. All those who know Arthur say unequivocally that he did not commit suicide.  However, Bolender’s body was found floating in San Francisco Bay and his car was abandoned in the traffic lane of the bridge.  Meanwhile, Sam’s romance with glamorous TWA stewardess Amelia Ryan continues to blossom and deepen. She is now his secret fiancee. Amelia also eagerly helps Sam solve his cases when she’s in town. The key to unraveling the mystery seems to be a strange old Victorian-style house. Bolender’s widow, a rich, seductive socialite named Maggie Bolender, was not even aware that her husband owned the house. What is really going on behind the doors of the mysterious house?  Finding the answers will plunge Sam and Amelia into a dangerous world of political intrigue in the exciting sequel to “Last of the Seals.”

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Chapter One

When a jumper leaps off of the Golden Gate Bridge it takes only four seconds to hit the waters of San Francisco Bay.

From the pedestrian walkway on the iconic bridge there are breath-taking vistas of the beautiful city. The water below looks shimmering and soft.

It is not.

Instead of gently leaping into the hereafter, the jumper dies the same death he or she would suffer if being hit by a fast-moving car.

There is still something deceptively appealing to those who want to escape life’s problems.

A leap over the railing 245 feet above the water will seemingly work magic in a troubled life. In just four seconds financial problems are over. In four seconds a hated spouse vanishes. In four seconds a broken heart will stop hurting. In four seconds all of the problems with a job or an obnoxious boss disappear.

The water of San Francisco Bay is a frigid 47 degrees and the wind can be bone-chilling on most nights.  There are believed to be more suicides at the Golden Gate Bridge than at any other site in the world.

Those who want to end it all even travel long distances to San Francisco to jump off of the Golden Gate Bridge. Rental cars, belonging to suicide victims, have been found in parking lots at the end of the bridge’s span.

The impact of hitting the water is horrendous.  The jumper’s body is falling at a rate of 80 miles per hour when it slams into San Francisco Bay and essentially stops. However, due to inertia, the internal organs keep traveling, tearing loose from the body.

Autopsy results for jumpers commonly show lacerations to the liver, heart, spleen, and aortas. The skeletal structure takes a pounding as well. There are usually broken sternums, pelvises, necks, and skull fractures.

Some have survived jumping off of the Golden Gate Bridge, but not many. Death is almost certain and happens quickly.  Generally, the impact of hitting the water kills the jumper. Occasionally, the jumper is knocked unconscious.

There have been times when the person jumping off of the bridge briefly survives and can be seen flailing around in the water, trying to stay afloat before succumbing to extensive internal bleeding.

Not all jumpers are detected. Some bodies are never found and apparently wash out to sea.

Generally the shattered body of the person plunging off of the bridge is picked up by the Coast Guard and taken to Fort Baker on the shoreline of San Francisco Bay.  It is there that the Marin County Coroner’s office begins tying up loose ends. The body is identified, relatives are notified, and there is an autopsy.

After the body is retrieved, it is placed in a long carrier with handles and covered with a yellow tarp to await the arrival of someone from the coroner’s office. Any personal items are placed on top of the corpse.

On a rainy Monday night in January 1958, Scott Perkins, a young stockbroker was leaving San Francisco, carefully heading across the Golden Gate Bridge to his home in Marin County. Scott had stayed much later at the bachelor party for his friend than he had intended. Tomorrow was a workday and the last thing he needed was to start his Tuesday with no sleep and a hangover.

After work on Monday, Perkins had met a group of friends at a bar on Van Ness for dinner. It was a bachelor party for his co-worker and friend, Michael Smith. But things had gotten out of hand. It was now nearly midnight and he had way too much to drink.

Scott’s hope was to carefully drive over the bridge to the exit near his apartment building without hitting anything or encountering a cop. If either of those things did occur, Scott was undoubtedly on his way to jail.

He was in the home stretch.  Scott slowly navigated his red 1953 Ford through the streets of San Francisco and had successfully found the on-ramp to climb onto the Golden Gate Bridge.

Now all he had to do was to drive straight across the bridge and take the off-ramp near his house, just over a mile into Marin County.

There were very few cars on the Golden Gate Bridge at this late hour on a Monday night. Suddenly, Scott spotted a car in the traffic lane just ahead of him. Struggling with his slow reactions, Scott thought of switching lanes to go around the slow-moving car but for some reason he didn’t.

Then to his horror, Scott realized that the car was stopped in the traffic lane.  He slammed on his brakes.

Scott winced, praying that he had hit his brakes in time. It was going to be close.

He then heard a sickening thud and felt the impact. Scott’s Ford slid on the wet pavement into the back of the giant fins of a 1957 red Chrysler New Yorker.

Hopefully, it was just a fender bender.  Scott glanced over at the nearby lane to make sure there were no cars coming. He bailed out of his Ford and went to survey the damage.

Scott’s Ford had a broken headlight and maybe a small dent in the front bumper.  The back of the Chrysler had more damage. The taillight on the driver’s side of the Chrysler was broken and the large fin was crumpled.

Scott staggered forward to see if the driver of the Chrysler was all right.

Why was this car stopped in the middle of the Golden Gate Bridge? It wasn’t stalled. The engine was still running and the automatic transmission was in park.  He couldn’t see the driver.

In his confused state, he opened the door of the Chrysler. There was no driver. He glanced into the backseat, which was empty. The scene was surreal to Scott Perkins in his altered state. For some reason Scott could hear Connie Francis singing, “Who’s Sorry Now?” Then he realized that the radio was playing and the windshield wipers were running.

Where was the driver?

Scott was sobering up quickly. He was mystified at the abandoned car.

It was then that an explanation occurred to him. He glanced towards the nearby pedestrian walkway and the railing of the Golden Gate Bridge.

The driver had apparently stopped his car and jumped off of the bridge.

Reprinted from Deadly Plunge by Greg Messel. © 2012 by Greenbriar Book Company

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Interview with Linda Schroeder, author of ‘Artists & Thieves’

Linda Schroeder divides her time between the bright sun of California and the high mountains of Colorado. She has a Master’s degree in English and one in Communicative Disorders/Audiology. In addition to her novel, Artists & Thieves, she has published a college text.

Her early interest in English expanded to include language disorders and she began a second career as an audiologist and aural rehabilitation therapist working with deaf and hard-of-hearing children and adults.

Currently, she studies and practices Chinese brush painting, celebrating the vitality and energy of nature. She follows art and art theft blogs and writes her own blog about art and sometimes includes reviews of novels. She is working on two more novels, a second Mai Ling novel about the Diamond Sutra, and a Sammy Chan art mystery about the forgery of a Goya painting.

You can visit her website at www.artistsandthieves.com.

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Q: Thank you for this interview, Linda. Can you tell us what your latest book, Artists & Thieves, is all about?

Artists & Thieves won the San Diego Book Awards in the action/suspense category. It is an art mystery. A priceless Chinese bronze bowl is looted from a dig by smugglers and sold to an art collector in Monterey. Mai Ling is an artist who works undercover for Interpol recovering stolen art. She discovers that this bowl belonged to her ancestor in China and her grandfather is duty bound to return it to China. So she is on a quest to get the bowl, not for Interpol but for her grandfather. Four others are also after the bowl.

Q:  Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

Mai Ling is a Chinese/American who is twenty-five, clever, agile, witty. She is an accomplished Chinese brush painter and a martial arts expert. She knows the world of art smugglers.

Mai’s best friend is Angelo, a flamboyant, arrogant, emotional artist. He is preparing to turn Monterey’s Custom House into a representation of a 1840 sailing ship. He has inside information which helps Mai steal the bowl.

Mai’s counterpart is Hunter. He has flaming red hair and rides a Harley. He is an antique dealer in Rome. He is in love with Mai but he is also in competition with her to steal the bowl.

Angelo’s counterpart is Cypress. She owns a flower shop in Carmel and resells stolen items from it. She is also after the bowl.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

My characters are both. I know someone who is similar to every one of my characters. I use some defining personality traits from them. But the details of their lives, their relationships and emotions are unique to the imagined fictional characters.

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

I discover as I write. I don’t work from an outline. I start with a general idea of a character and a situation. As I write, I add details and find interesting relationships between characters by saying, “What would surprise the reader at this point?” Those “Aha!” moments turn the plot and set up the interconnections between characters. I get a first draft this way but the following drafts are rewrites which tighten plot events, develop the characters more, and add descriptions.

Q: Your book is set mainly in Monterey, California.  Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?

I lived in Monterey for ten years. I know its history and its landmarks. And it is now a major tourist destination, so many people also are familiar with it. It has different aspects within just a few miles of territory.

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

Absolutely. The setting reflects the characters. Mai lives by the ocean. Like her life the water is sometimes calm, sometimes dangerous. Angelo lives on Fisherman’s Wharf in an artist’s loft. The wharf is full of colors and smells. He is conscious always of sensory input.  Cypress lives in Carmel, part elite establishment, part used-to-be hippie enclave. She straddles both worlds. Mai’s boss lives in Pebble Beach in a wood and glass house designed by a famous architect. It reflects his education and his affluence.

Q: Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

This is the beginning of the chapter, Ghosts. Mai is on the road, traveling to Locke, a historic Chinese farming town on the Sacramento river. Her grandfather spends the summers there. She had been on her way to her gallery exhibition in Monterey but has been urgently summoned to Locke by her grandfather; she doesn’t know why. Neither does the reader. This is the point on the plot line where the task she faces is revealed.

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

This is a point leading to the climatic confrontation between Mai and the smuggler who now has the bowl. Mai is rushing on foot in blinding fog to get the bowl:

“At last she reached the sea. Long bands of glowing light stretched up and down the coast, eerily luminescent in the fog hanging over the waves. The red tide’s tiny organisms sparkled, ebbed and flowed in the ocean’s easy motion. When she’d enjoyed the display Tuesday on her evening run, hundreds of cars filled the beach lots. Now all was strangely empty. Why? The power outage? Road closures? Whatever the reason, the unexpected emptiness grated against her already strained nerves, reinforcing her fear that Toni’s studio would be empty and the bowl already spirited out of the city.

In the sea’s light, Mai ran the short distance to the two story warehouse which was Toni’s ocean view studio. No cars were parked in front. She rattled the front door. A bolt held it tight. A metal shutter secured the only window. A gull screeched a sinister warning. A burst of panic tightened her throat. Maybe she was wrong. How the hell would she find Toni if she wasn’t here?”

Q: Have you suffered from writer’s block and what do you do to get back on track? 

I often get stuck “discovering” which way the plot should go next, what the reader needs to know to keep the story moving forward. When that happens I take note cards and write “what if” events, one per card, and reasons why a character might or might not do that.  I have a critique group which usually meets weekly. The deadline to have a scene ready to be analyzed gets me motivated to put something down on paper. Sometimes I keep that scene, sometimes that scene doesn’t work at all and I put it in the “out-takes” folder.

Q: What would you do with an extra hour today if you could do anything you wanted?

I love walking in the surf at Torrey Pines beach. The ocean goes to a far horizon. The open distance is beautiful and inspiring.

Q: Which already published book do you wish that you had written and why?

I wish I had written Michael Chabon’s The Final Solution. It is an elegant Sherlock Holmes tale, very odd.

Q: What kind of advice would you give other fiction authors regarding getting their books out there?

We are lucky today to have many options. We can hunt for an agent, hope for a big press, hunt for a small press, or self publish either print or ebook. Explore the possibilities. But do not let your book sit unread in a desk drawer.  We are storytellers and stories must be read. We only become better writers if someone reads our writing. So crank that book out any way you can. It will not be easy or trauma free. But having a book to sell is worth it.

 

 

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Interview with Hasta la Vista, Lola!’s Misa Ramirez

Misa Ramirez is the author of the Lola Cruz mystery series: Living the Vida Lola (January ’09) and Hasta la Vista, Lola! (2010) from St. Martin’s Minotaur. A former middle and high school teacher, and current CEO and CFO for La Familia Ramirez, this blonde-haired, green-eyed, proud to be Latina-by-Marriage girl loves following Lola on her many adventures. Whether it’s contemplating belly button piercings or visiting nudist resorts, she’s always up for the challenge. Misa is hard at work on a new women’s fiction novel, a middle grade series, is published in Woman’s World Magazine and Romance Writers Report, and has a children’s book published. You can visit her website at http://misaramirez.com and her blog at www.chasingheroes.com.  Connect with her at Twitter at http://twitter.com/misaramirez and http://twitter.com/chasingheroes or Facebook at http://facebook.com/misaramirez.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Misa. Can you tell us what your latest book, Hasta la Vista, Lola!, is all about?

Hasta la Vista, Lola! is the 2nd book in the Lola Cruz Mystery Series.  The first, Living the Vida Lola, came out last January.  I’m working on the third book, Bare Naked Lola.  The series follows Dolores (Lola for short) Cruz as she solves crimes and struggles to balance life and her culture as an American woman.

Hasta la Vista, Lola! deals with one of America’s most prevalent crimes: identity theft.  It’s Lola’s identity that’s been stolen, and when the woman who stole it turns up dead, Lola has to discover which one of them was the intended victim.

Q: Is this your first novel?  If not, how has writing this novel different from writing your first?

This is the second book in the series.  Hasta la Vista, Lola! came much faster than Living the Vida Lola.  My children were older, and though I was still teaching, not having an infant made it a lot easier to write!  Plus I know the characters so much better now that I understand them, know how they’ll react and what they’ll do in certain situations.  That definitely makes the writing a more fluid process.

Q: How difficult was it writing your book?  Did you ever experience writer’s block and, if so, what did you do?

I have so much fun writing the Lola books that I barely consider it work!  That’s not to say there aren’t challenges; there are.  But I wouldn’t say they’re ever overwhelming or difficult beyond reason.

I don’t usually get ‘writer’s block’, but if I do I spend a lot of tiem mulling things over.  I just think and think and think!  I used to walk, but just had knee surgery, so no more walking!  I’m going to start bike riding after my recovery, so that will be my outlet and thinking time.  The writing process is different for everyone.  For me it does not come quickly.  I have to really work through problems, and often end up changing key elements along the way as I discover new or better plot points.

The wonderful thing about Lola Cruz Mysteries is that I now know Lola so well that she comes quite easily.  I like to say that she’s my alter ego (if I were a sexy, sassy, Latina private eye!).

Hasta la Vista, Lola! by Misa Ramirez (click on cover to order at Amazon)

Q: How have your fans embraced your latest novel?  Do you have any funny or unusual experiences to share?

When I received my first fan email, it was such a thrill!  To know that someone (who I don’t know) loved my book enough to email me and tell me so was astounding.  The response to Living the Vida Lola has been wonderful, though it takes time to build a series.  I anticipate that fans of the first book will absolutely love Hasta la Vista, Lola!

Q: What is your daily writing routine?

Once my kids are off to school, I make my own version of a mocha and head through the backyard to the office.  That’s where the magic happens!  I waste too much time with emails and such, but when I get into the zone, it comes quickly and I just love it!

Q: When you put the pen or mouse down, what do you do to relax?

Of course I love to read.  Go out with my friends, the Margarita Mamas, to unwind with our favorite drink.  Spend time with my kids and husband.  Watch Project Runway.  And Supernatural.  Yoga.  LOVE yoga, though I’m waiting for my knee to heal right now.

Q: What book changed your life?

Probably Gone With the Wind.  That’s the first book that I got so wrapped up in that everything else went by the wayside.  I was in high school and read every waking moment until I’d devoured it.

As an adult, I felt that way about The Joy Luck Club.  The relationships in the book struck a chord with me that I still treasure.

Q: If someone were to write a book on your life, what would the title be?

Ha!  Some Kind of Ordinary.  My life is nothing thrilling!  Though my mother would call it Pioneer Woman of the 21st Century because I’m a go-getter and a doer.  I’ll tackle almost anything (with the possible exception of dealing with snakes).

Q: Finish this sentence: “The one thing that I wish people would understand about me is…”

Oh, wow, that’s tough!  I don’t think I have many bits of myself hidden away.  What you see is what you get, so I think people pretty much understand me.

I guess, if I absolutely MUST answer, I’d say that I wish people would understand that my motivation is usually centered around my convictions, what I believe to be right and best for whoever or whatever is at stake.  I’ve learned over the years that I have to be willing to stand up for what I believe.  It’s been a hard lesson at times, but one that is worth learning and putting into practice.

Thank you for this interview Misa.  I wish you much success on your latest release, Hasta la Vista, Lola!

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Let’s Play Book Trivia with Mystery Novelist Doug Hewitt!

It’s time to play Book Trivia! Periodically, we scour the Internet for interesting authors who would like to play Book Trivia with us. By answering our book trivia questions, we get to learn things about the author no one else knows! So, let’s get ready…let’s play…Book Trivia!

Today our guest author is Doug Hewitt, author of the mystery novel The Dead Guy. Doug has been writing for over 15 years, seeing over 100 short stories find their way into print. This is Doug’s second work of fiction. His first novel, SPEAR, is a suspense thriller that is currently available on www.fictionwise.com. Doug is blogging about his current promotional activities at www.TwoHewitts.blogspot.com. He would also like to point out that you can download a free chapter of at www.HewittsBooks.com.

Thank you for playing Book Trivia with us, Doug! Here are your questions:

If Tom Hanks, in the movie Cast Away, unearthed a copy of The Dead Guy, how would that help Tom find a way off the island?

First off, Tom Hanks would probably wince at the sight of the book, given his condition. But I think, actually, Tom Hanks decided what my character decided. Death was coming anyway, so why not go for it? A way out. It was that attitude of staring death in the face and spitting at it that got Hanks of the island. You’ll have to read The Dead Guy to see how it affects my character.

Everyone knows rock star idol Brittany Spears is always in trouble with everything you can think of. In what way could your book help her and set her life back on track?

I’m not sure there’s any help for Brittany. Anyway who loves the limelight more than spending time with a child makes me think the priorities are all askew! But, maybe my book would make Brittany realize that life has meaning. And stumbling around in a drunken (or doped up) stupor is not adding much to that meaning. Spending time with friends and family does.

You have a chance to appear on the hit talent show for authors, American Book Idol, with judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and Kara DioGuardi determining whether your book will make it to Hollywood and become a big screenplay. What would impress them more – your book cover, an excerpt or your best review – and why?

Well, not the book cover. I’m not sure any book cover would. On the other hand, Hollywood doesn’t seem all that impressed with good content of a novel. And when they do option a good book for a movie, they make a good book a horribly bad movie. So, I’d have to say an excerpt. I think when my character Jack Thigpen has to tell his wife he’s ok with her divorce request, knowing that he’s going to die within 2 months because of a fatal neurodegenerative disease (of which she’s unaware), is a very dramatic scene and would attract good actors.

Hulk Hogan, the famous wrestler and star of his own reality show, has invited you and your book to appear on his show. One catch. You have to read a passage out of it to convince him you are star material. What part would you read?

Good question! My main character, Jack Thigpen, is a world class tennis player (or at least, until recently, he was). Not a very macho sport. But because Jack has been diagnosed with a terminal disease, he is not afraid (or at least, that’s what he tells himself) to go against the odds, attacking the bad guys with guns blazing. Hulk would appreciate that.

They’ve invented a board game using the theme of your book. What would the title of it be that would be different from your book and which retail store would they place it to make the most sales?

I think, or at least my main character Jack Thigpen would think, it’s already invented and it’s called craps. I mean, where’s the fairness in being told you have 2 months to live, and it’s all because of some genetic combination. But then again, maybe the game should be called “Last Chance to Make A Difference,” because that’s what Jack does. I also think THE DEAD GUY makes a good game board title.

The Arbor Day Foundation has decided to pick one tree in your honor because of your writing brilliance. What kind of tree is it and why did they choose that tree in relation to your book?

The Maple Tree. Only because I like the Maple Tree and they already asked. Plus, I like to watch hockey and see the Detroit Red Wings defeat the Toronto Maple Leafs. Yes, hockey is mentioned in The Dead Guy.

President Barack Obama has become the author of several books and he has requested your presence at a special hush hush meeting to discuss ways to promote it. Through luck of the draw, you were chosen. What would be the first thing you would tell Barack?

I’m not sure why this would work, but it would. I would tell Barack to have a press conference and to make a statement that asks people not to buy his book. And of course, everyone would immediately go out and buy it.

Finally, you just got word that your book has received the 2009 NY Times Bestselling Book Award and you have to attend the ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan. Anyone who’s anyone will be there and it’s your shot for stardom. On stage, you must give an acceptance speech. What would you say and who would you thank?

I would thank Robin Hewitt, my wife, who has believed in me and given me immense support. Other that Robin, there are many people who have helped influence me along the way. I would point out that a person, in a way, is a summation of all of the influences that person has experienced in his or her life. And in that way, any award that person receives, is an acknowledgement of the positive influences that person has experienced.

Thank you, As The Pages Turn, I really enjoyed this interview, and I think your Book Trivia format is brilliant!

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Let’s Play Book Trivia with Mystery Author Kim Smith!

It’s time to play Book Trivia! Periodically, we scour the Internet for interesting authors who would like to play Book Trivia with us. By answering our book trivia questions, we get to learn things about the author no one else knows! So, let’s get ready…let’s play…

Today our guest author is Kim Smith, author of cozy mystery Avenging Angel, A Shannon Wallace Mystery.

avenging-angelKim is best known for her contributions to the writing world as the admin of Writers4Writers.com, a place created with the sole purpose of helping other writers find a place to nestle in and make friends. When the site grew large enough to make it on its own, Kim went solo and began her own ventures into the world as a writer.

Kim has since published a number of short stories at such places as Gryphonwood Press, Micro Horror, and Long Story Short. Recently, her first short story using the characters from her book, AVENGING ANGEL, came out at Mouthfull of Bullets. You can purchase your copy of the magazine at: http://www.mouthfullofbullets.com.
In 2009, Kim will have three more shorts coming out including another Shannon Wallace story.

Kim is a member of EPIC.

You can find more about Kim and the books at http://www.mkimsmith.com.

Thank you for playing Book Trivia with us, Kim! Here are your questions:

book71If Tom Hanks, in the movie Cast Away, unearthed a copy of Avenging Angel, A Shannon Wallace Mystery, how would that help Tom find a way off the island?

Well, the book is set close to Memphis, and everyone knows that Tom’s character worked for Fed Ex in Cast Away and Memphis is the home of Fed Ex’s hub. So his character would just need to click his heels and say “home, home, fly Fed Ex home”.

book72Everyone knows rock star idol Brittany Spears is always in trouble with everything you can think of. In what way could your book help her and set her life back on track?

Brittany would have no chance of getting into trouble if she hung out with Shannon and her friend, Dwayne Brown. Dwayne was raised by a Bible-believing Grandmother who would “slap all the hide off him” if he did anything she disapproved of, and he still fears her. He’d show Brittany the light.

book73You have a chance to appear on the hit talent show for authors, American Book Idol, with judges Simon Cowell, Paula Abdul, Randy Jackson, and Kara DioGuardi determining whether your book will make it to Hollywood and become a big screenplay. What would impress them more – your book cover, an excerpt or your best review – and why?

An excerpt because it would show them the stuff in this fabulous book and how the characters live and move and give them an idea of why they want to make it three dimensional and put it on the big screen. Besides which, I already have Sandra Bullock, Eddie Murphy, and Antonio Banderas lined up for the leading roles.

book74Hulk Hogan, the famous wrestler and star of his own reality show, has invited you and your book to appear on his show. One catch. You have to read a passage out of it to convince him you are star material. What part would you read?

The part where Shannon has to fight her way through a scene or die. I think he would appreciate her spunk. Either that or he would expire laughing at her bad timing.

book75They’ve invented a board game using the theme of your book. What would the title of it be that would be different from your book and which retail store would they place it to make the most sales?

“DVDland” and it would be in adult bookstores because the content would be mature.

book76The Arbor Day Foundation has decided to pick one tree in your honor because of your writing brilliance. What kind of tree is it and why did they choose that particular tree in relation to your book?

Japanese maple. It’s so much like me, short, full, and colorful.

book78President Barack Obama has become the author of several books and he has requested your presence at a special hush hush meeting to discuss ways to promote it. Through luck of the draw, you were chosen. What would be the first thing you would tell Barack?

Dude, you gotta get out more. No one knows who you are! Get a Bebo, Blogspot, Facebook, Gather, Livejournal, Myspace, Squidoo and Twitter. Oh yeah, Twitter will make you famous.

book79Finally, you just got word that your book has received the 2009 NY Times Bestselling Book Award and you have to attend the ceremony at the Four Seasons Hotel in Manhattan. Anyone who’s anyone will be there and it’s your shot for stardom. On stage, you must give an acceptance speech. What would you say and who would you thank?

As the laughter and applause died, I would say, “You love me! You really love me!” Then, I would thank my family, my friends, my editor and my publisher.

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