Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews

Interview of Khaled Talib featuring Gun Kiss w/a rafflecopter giveaway! #99 cents #thriller @KhaledTalib

Gun Kiss

by Khaled Talib

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GENRE:   Thriller

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BLURB:

The United States media is abuzz with news of the mysterious disappearance of Hollywood movie star, Goldie St. Helen. 

Ex-Delta Force Blake Deco receives a tip from a Mexican friend that a drug lord, obsessed with the beautiful actress, is holding her captive in Tijuana.

With the help of a reluctant army friend, Blake mounts a daring rescue.

What he doesn’t expect is to have feelings for Goldie—or that a killer is hunting them.

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Excerpt Two:

A man wearing a red bandana around his head leaned out on the skid with a sniper rifle.

“Get us out of here!” Blake yelled.

Jack swerved the vehicle to avoid the sniper’s fire and spun a U-turn. He floored the accelerator, zigzagging away from the consulate.

“Get down!” Blake forced Goldie to the floorboard. He then powered down his window, stuck his arm out, and unleashed a volley of shots at the tail rotor.  

The helicopter jerked and tilted, yet remained relentless in its pursuit.

“Drive faster!” Blake yelled, feeling the riddle of sniper bullets pinging the back of the SUV.

Blake looked at Goldie crouching on the floorboard. “You okay?”

“No! Please get me out of here! Oh God, I’m going to die!” Goldie cried.

“They’re not shooting at you. They want you alive, and us dead,” Blake said.

“How can you be sure?” Goldie asked.

“He’s using a sniper rifle instead of a machine gun,” Blake said. “Picking his shots carefully.”

“No prizes for guessing who gets it first,” Jack said.

The shots from the helicopter forced an oncoming van to careen off the road. Two other vehicles braked hard and swerved uncontrollably.

Through the windshield, Blake saw the man on the skid taking aim again.

“Incoming!”

Tightening his grip on the wheel, Jack spun the SUV around, back toward the consulate. He didn’t turn fast enough. The impact of a bullet hit the rear window, cracking it into a spidery web.


Welcome Khaled Talib! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.

 

I was born in Singapore. I’ve written three novels and I’m presently working on my fourth. I was a magazine journalist before switching to the field of public relations. My career took me to various parts of the world, and I also spent some years in Cairo working for several media.


Is Gun Kiss a single title, or part of a series?

Gun Kiss is a single title novel, but I might write a sequel as readers are asking me to write another story based on the same characters. This novel was initially published by Imajin Books, but I’ve since taken back my rights.

What were your inspirations for the story?

The idea behind Gun Kiss was purely accidental. I went jogging one morning, and by late evening, my legs were cramping. I couldn’t sleep, so while rubbing some heat rub, I decided to watch an old movie. The actress in the movie inspired me to create my own Hollywood character. The next day, I started working on the draft. You just never know where inspiration will come from.

Please share your setting for Gun Kiss. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?

 

The novel is primarily set in southern California. I’ve never lived there, but I’ve been there on holiday. There are a couple of real restaurants and cafes that I included in the novel. But one fictitious place,  which I called the Mama Tacos, was inspired by the Pink Taco in Sunset Boulevard. I like the atmosphere, but more importantly I like the richness in the places I visited because I could collect an abundance of story angles.

In the novel, you’ll also find famous places like The Beverly Hills Hotel, Los Feliz, and Wukoki Ruins in Arizona. I live in a small island, and although my first novel was primarily set in Singapore, I find it difficult to write another story set on the island. So, I’m always looking to explore the outside world.  



When did the writing bug first bite?

 

I was fifteen. I tried writing a detective novel inspired by The Hardy Boys. I didn’t get far because I wasn’t ready. I tried again when I was twenty-four, this time, working on a financial thriller. But I wasn’t going anywhere with the story. I suppose I wasn’t ready. I took a long break for a couple of years before trying it again. This time, I worked on a spy novel. I kept failing but the little voice inside me told me not to quit. And I didn’t.

Who are you favorite authors, book/series?

 

I have many favorite authors. I read all kinds of books. It doesn’t matter to me the gender of the author. If the story is interesting, I’ll read it. My only wish is that I had more time to read more books.

If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?

 

I guess I would invite the authors who gave me blurbs for my books: Jon Land, Gayle Lynds, K.J. Howe, Jon McGoran, and Ruth Harris. All of them are suspense and thriller authors

Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?

Apart from stealing other people’s chocolates, I like to smoke shisha, the Middle Eastern smoking contraption. Fermented apple is my favorite flavor. I don’t do it at home, but there’s a café across the Malaysian border that I frequent. Although the café has a local name, I call it The Titty Twister after Quentin Tarantino’s movie From Dusk till Dawn. The reason is because it’s located in an obscure and dark place, almost vampirish. It’s not a wild place although there’s a band playing, but it feels surreal. Hey, I’ve got a wild imagination.   

What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?

Oh, don’t get me started; I don’t know where to begin. Here’s one: When the staff at a café in Singapore were moving a refrigerator, they found a plate under it. On it was a lump of hair, some dried flowers and herbs. Someone was trying to hex the café business… someone who really hates the owner.   


What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?

 

Get a good editor, be humble and listen to advice… don’t give up, even if it looks bleak. From bitterness comes sweetness.

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Khaled Talib is a former journalist with local and international exposure. He has authored three thrillers since 2014.

The author’s works have been praised by NY Times bestselling author Gayle Lynds, NY Times bestselling author Ruth Harris, USA Today bestselling author Jon Land, NY Times bestselling author Keith Thomson, K.J. Howe, and Jon McGoran.

His debut thriller, Smokescreen, was listed as one of the six “boundary-breaking indies” in 2016 by the IndieReader. His second novel, Incognito, won the Silver Award for the AuthorsDB Book Cover Contest 2017. Gun Kiss is his third novel.

Khaled, who is also a member of the International Thriller Writers, resides in Singapore.

Authors website : http://www.khaledtalibthriller.com

Twitter account: https://twitter.com/KhaledTalib

Author Facebook account: https://www.facebook.com/khaled.talib/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/khaledtalibbooks/

Author Amazon page:  https://www.amazon.com/default/e/B00DYPSB72?redirectedFromKindleDbs=true

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6940359.Khaled_Talib

Gun Kiss (YouTube) Book Trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f6uhYvbY7KQ

 

GUN KISS Buy links:

The book will be on sale for only $0.99.

Author website direct: http://khaledtalibthriller.com/books/

Amazon Kindle

https://www.amazon.com/Gun-Kiss-Khaled-Talib-ebook/dp/B07CVGKQY6

Smashwords

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/823918

Kobo

https://www.amazon.com/Gun-Kiss-Khaled-Talib-ebook/dp/B07CVGKQY6

B&N

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/gun-kiss-khaled-talib/1127553149?ean=2940155243199

Ibooks/Apple

https://itunes.apple.com/nz/book/gun-kiss/id1380716623?mt=11

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

 

Khaled Talib will be awarding an Amazon Fire 7 8GB tablet to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. The prize is limited to U.S. and Canada only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews, Spotlight

Interview of debut author Olivia Castillo featuring Song of the Boricua w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @oliviacauthor

Song of the Boricua

by Olivia Castillo

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GENRE:   Fiction

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BLURB:

Puerto Rico an island of contradiction, serves as an enchanting backdrop following three generations of women.

Elena:  Resilient and ambitious, but trapped by duty to her children.

Maria:  Passionate and headstrong, but married to a man she does not love.

Josephina: Optimistic and romantic, but in love with an alcoholic.

Isabella: Clairvoyant and spiritual, but denies her heritage and roots.

Like the land these women are held hostage, unfulfilled and unable to find their happiness. Each generation like the land is cursed. Can they defy the powerful bond of the curse and free themselves to find love everlasting?

New Author, Olivia Castillo, like the jibaros of the past weaves a tale of sorrow and joy. Castillos’ fiction is timely, offering a glimpse into the islands rich history and offering insight into the story that has plagued women for all of time, the search for true love and acceptance of self.

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Excerpt Two:

Maria

Bronx, NY, February 1957

As Maria glanced around she spotted the most gorgeous guy she had ever seen. He was tall and broad-shouldered, with thick brown hair pulled back in a shiny pompadour. He had olive skin and his eyes were a deep onyx. Under a letterman’s jacket he was wearing a tight-fitting sweater.

She watched him from across the room, unable to look away. When he looked up, their eyes met. She felt a shiver go down her spine; he smiled at her, flashing dimples. Maria, trying to be nonchalant, walked over to the table and poured herself a glass of fruity punch, aware of his eyes still on her. She kept her eyes down and swayed to Elvis singing

“Jailhouse Rock.” Only seconds later she felt someone step beside her.

“Hi, doll,” the dark-haired guy said to her. “Are you new? I’m Rick, by the way.” He held out his hand in a friendly gesture.

Wow, he is tall! Maria thought in awe. Giving him her most beguiling smile she said, “I’m Maria, and no, I’m not new, but this is the first school dance I’ve ever been to.”

“Boss,” Rick said enthusiastically, showing dimples again, and brilliant white teeth. “So, who are you here with? Or rather, where is he?” Rick asked, looking around.

“No boyfriend,” Maria admitted, laughing a little. “My mother would flip. Unfortunately, I am here with my little sister,” Maria said raising her voice so Corinna could hear. Corinna, who had not gone too far, looked up upon hearing her name and waved.

 

  1. Please share your setting for Song of the Boricua.

 The setting for the book is Puerto Rico.

 2.  Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?

  I lived there as a child for two years. What I liked the most was the freedom I had. We got to play long hours and we had a treehouse.

 3.  When did the writing bug first bite?

 I first started writing in first grade. First for school, then I had diaries and journals. 

 4.  Who are your favorite authors, book/series?

 My favorite authors are F. Scott FitzGerald, Margaret Mitchell, Leo Tolstoy, and the Bronte sisters.

 5.  What is the one thing that you would tell an inspiring writer to do?

 I would tell them don’t wait for it all to be perfect to take the plunge.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Olivia Castillo is a New York native. After going to the prestigious Fiorello H. Laguardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, she went on to study graphic design at Otis Parson’s College in Los Angeles. Along with being an entrepreneur, she is the mother of three children, and grandmother of two. When not writing or spending time with her family, she travels the world and paints. Song of the Boricua is her first novel.

 

Author website and blog:  www.oliviacastillo.org

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/songoftheboricua/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/oliviacauthor

Instagram:  https://www.instagram.com/oliviacauthor/

Buy on Amazon now:  https://amzn.to/2P63Wh9

 

The book will be on sale for $0.99.

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE:

 

Olivia Castillo will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Excerpt, Giveaways, Interviews, Reviews

#Review of Island Life Sentence by Carrie Jo Howe w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @carriejohowe

Island Life Sentence

by Carrie Jo Howe

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GENRE: Adult Fiction, Humorous, Romantic comedy

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BLURB:

Peg Savage has contractually agreed to move to Key West, Florida. The smudged signatures on the damp cocktail napkin are irrefutable proof.

“An adventure…” her husband Clark says.

Peg can’t swim; she’s afraid of bridges (there are 42 of them); and she doesn’t want to leave her friends. However, after a bottle of Cabernet, a move from Chicago to the southernmost city in the United States seems like the best decision ever.

But now Clark has taken a long term job in Cuba and she’s on her own.

Neither her dog Nipper, nor the ghosts in the attic, offer up any good advice. But how hard can it be living in paradise?

Peg dives into island life but the more effort she makes, the wider her wake of catastrophes. She is tortured by a paddle board, a giant poisonous toad, the local Conservation group, and the patron saint of hurricanes. Not to mention the persistent sweat rash under her left breast.

A tropical depression descends on the island – one that can’t be cured with medication. Peg must gather her strength if she has any hope of surviving the storm.


Welcome Carrie Jo Howe! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.  Hi and thank you for hosting me! I’m a Chicago transplant to Key West, Florida. The island is the southernmost part of the United States and closer to Havana than a Target store.  My husband took a job transfer five years ago. I thought it was going to be fairly temporary, yet we’re still in Paradise. We have three grown boys and a 13 year old Vizsla. The dog is the boss of us all.

Is Island Life Sentence a single title, or part of a series? The book, is the first part of a trilogy. I’m working on the second book now.  

What were your inspirations for the story? Well, Peg is a fictional Mid-western woman who moves from Chicago to Key West. It sounds familiar, doesn’t it? Peg’s (mis)adventures are based on true stories. Yes, my dog was nearly poisoned by a deadly Bufo Toad. Yes, my house is haunted by haints (Key West ghosts). Yes, I survived a category five Hurricane named Irma.  

Please share your setting for Island Life Sentence.  Key West is a lush tropical island at the bottom of the chain of the Florida Keys.  It is aptly named “the end of the road” for its location and for the fact that it attracts some lively characters.  There’s some funky evolution going on down here–Darwinism at its finest.

When did the writing bug first bite? I think of myself as more of a storyteller.  I like to write about funny or strange events. For example, my first book, Motherhood is Not for Babies, tells about my shock at the effort it takes to raise a family.  I was surprised at how uncooperative they all were. It is therapy to write about it–makes it seem less overwhelming.

Who are you favorite authors, book/series?
The Florida writer, Carl Hiaasen  is an an ex-journalist who writes about Florida and all of its anomalies. Before I moved to Florida, I thought he exaggerated his humorous tales…I’ve since learned that, in reality, he’s quite factual.  My favorites of his books are Tourist Season and  Razor Girl.  

I’m a fan-girl of Tina Fey’s Bossy Pants and Amy Poehler’s Yes Please. These two friends are strong and funny. In my dream world, I’m sitting at a table with them in a restaurant and not getting arrested for stalking.

 

Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?  I love my teachers at the Pilates Studio of Key West. They know their stuff and make the classes demanding but entertaining.  That’s saying a lot since the exercise program uses torture terms like, “reformer”, “straps” and “chair”. I also volunteer as a mentor for a high school student for the program Take Stock in Children.  TSIC provides college tuition for low-income, academically minded students. I’m proud to be part of such a well run and necessary organization.

What’s the strangest thing you’ve heard or seen?  Hmmm, let’s see…since it’s Key West, that’s tough to narrow down. Would you mind if I shared a photo of Happy Hour last Friday?  Words can’t do this justice.

Is it okay to say that while I read this book I almost peed my pants?  There are parts of this book that had me laughing out loud and often.  Other parts, I wanted to shake Peg and tell her to put on her big girl panties and suck it up.  Yes, at times, Peg came across as the Too Stupid to Live heroine but once she finally figured out stuff, her brilliance shined.

The situations that she finds herself in are at times funny and then, farfetched but they are meant to be.  She is a true “fish out of water” when it comes to living in Key West.  I’ve never been but I have been to Chicago many times, so her life back in Chicago resounded with me.  I couldn’t imagine moving from Chicago to Key West but it would be an adventure for sure.  I did like the fact that the author had the same experiences that Peg did, Clark not withstanding.

Her husband is a douche.  I could use a stronger word but I’ll keep it PG at best.  The ending of the book is definitely poetic justice but I really did want to know what Peg was going to do now.  I understand the sequel is being written and I can’t wait to read more about Peg and her dog, Nipper.

Randolph, Trudy, Bernie, Nipper, the ghosts and even the setting are perfect secondary characters.  Ms. Howe has written a great chick lit book with heart, humor, a bit of ridiculous but overall a great read.

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Excerpt Two:

“Sunshine state… my soggy ass.”

It was dark. The power and the air conditioning had gone out hours ago. Peg hugged her dog under the makeshift bed-tent, clutching him to her sweaty pajama’d breasts.

An engraved locket pinned to Nipper’s blue life vest dangled under his pirate dog collar. Hurricane rain pummeled the bedroom window – the violent wind shook the glass panes. Peg wondered about the moaning sound until she realized it was coming from her own throat.

She shrieked at the sudden crash on the metal roof. Several days of binge drinking without proper oral hygiene, or any hygiene for that matter, produced noxious vapors in the tent. Nipper’s nostrils flared as he took in the odors and licked her fluorescent orange, cheesy, tear-stained fingers.

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

After raising three boys in the suburbs of Chicago, Carrie Jo Howe now lives in Key West, Florida with her husband and her dog. Her latest novel, Island Life Sentence, is a fictional account of an American Midwestern woman who feels like an alien in the “one human family” of Key West. Carrie Jo’s first book, Motherhood is NOT for Babies, received a rave review (thanks Mom), and works wonderfully as a form of contraception. Her blog Florida Keys Crime Report, tells of all the goings on in the Keys, where bank robbers get away on bicycles, and perps caught with undersized, pinched, out-of-season lobsters get more jail time than drug runners. She is currently working on the sequels to Island Life Sentence.

 

Website: www.carriejohowe.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/carriejohowe/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/carriejohowe

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/carriejohoweauthor

Blog: https://carriejohowe.blogspot.com/

Amazon link: https://www.amazon.com/Island-Life-Sentence-Carrie-Howe/dp/1911586521

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

 

Carrie Jo Howe will be awarding a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway