Author Interview & #Review of Jersey Diner by Lisa Diane Kastner w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @lisadkastner

Jersey Diner

by Lisa Diane Kastner

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GENRE:   commercial romance

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BLURB:

Lauren has a dead end job as a waitress at the Oaklyn Diner. She becomes ecstatic when the diner is chosen to be the focal point of an upcoming movie, *Jersey Diner,* starring Jonathan Pearce. When filming ends she moves to California to start a new life with him. Lauren quickly discovers that all that she thought was real and true are in question.

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Excerpt Three:

“Here’s a copy of the script, read through it and then go over the scenes with the girl.”

“I can try. I never acted so I don’t know how much of a help I’ll be.”

He plopped it into my arms. The script weighed more than a stacked tray.

“This isn’t about acting. It’s about realism. That’s why we need your help. You’re a real waitress and this one just doesn’t get it.” He smirked. “If I could get ten cents for every time one of these actresses thought they could feel their way through a part. I’d be a zillionaire. Then give me a dime for every time they were wrong. Oh. I’d be …” He stopped. “Start reading.”  

I had opened the cover and started flipping through the pages.

“Good. I knew you’d be the right person for the job. We’ll pay you for your time. You can be our ‘Resident Expert on Serving.’ Ya know, like a martial arts expert.”

“Fun.”    

Welcome Lisa! Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.
Hi and thank you for having me.  I’m originally from the East Coast. Grew up a Jersey girl and migrated to Philadelphia and then New York, and I now reside in Los Angeles with my amazing husband and our two kittens (The Master and Margarita). I am a book nerd (I read everything), a foodie (yes, please!), a sporadic worker outer (I think I just made up that word), and a music fiend. I love traveling and head to some place foreign every chance I have.


Is JERSEY DINER a single title, or part of a series?
Great question – it’s a single title but the characters show up as secondary characters in other books.


What were your inspirations for the story?

I wrote Jersey Diner because I was interested in why someone obsesses over another and what would prompt that obsession. When I was a teenager I was on USA Network’s Dance Party USA and had several fans. Some of which tracked down my address and phone number and decided to call me on a regular basis.  Luckily none of them were truly obsessive and it made me wonder what if someone was more determined?  Also, I had crushes when I was in junior high and high school but wasn’t very good at socializing so I wanted to explore what if someone took that crush to an extreme and that’s how I came up with Lauren.

 

When I first began writing Jersey Diner all of the imagery and references that came up were very mid-80s. I liked the contrast of the 1980s bright colors (blue eyeliner and bright yellow shirts) and pop songs (Wake Me Up, Before You Go-Go (Wham!), Like A Virgin (Madonna), Tainted Love (Soft Cell), Don’t You Want Me (Human League), Every Breath You Take (Police), Don’t You Forget about Me (Simple Minds), Jessie’s Girl (Rick Springfield). Everything seemed innocent and yet there was a dark undertone with the impending fall of Wall Street in 1987. Which is a nice parallel to the events in the book.  


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

I grew up in New Jersey although the town in the book is fictional it’s based on Pennsauken and Oaklyn areas in the mid-80s. I think the descriptions and the vibe in the book are pretty spot on. It’s an environment in which everybody knows everyone else. Lots of great people. And a world that’s changing from being small town with local businesses to large retail companies coming in and putting the little guy out of business.  It’s a world where blue collar workers are having hard times finding jobs while those who are college graduates are having an easier time and those with no degrees are kind of stuck in limbo. It’s a place with a huge heart, a big laugh, and a lot of dreams.

When did the writing bug first bite?

Others knew I was a writer before me. My stepmother, Violet Smith sent me a white journal with gold leafing and encouraged me to write. My father taught me out how to write AP (Associated Press) and the reverse pyramid, before I hit my teens. I hid in my bedroom and wrote comic books and musings. I could be found at any time with my nose in a book or losing myself in television shows. I escaped into worlds that I created or that someone else created. I guess it was inevitable that I should be a writer. Now, if you talked to me when I was a kid, I would have told you that I was destined to be a rock star even though I was terrified of singing solo in public (still am).


Who are you favorite authors, book/series?

The list is gonna be long and not inclusive. Here we go: Anne Frank, Ann Rice, Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie, Junot Diaz (love, love, love), Carolyn Turgeon (love, love, love), Jennifer Egan, Tom Perrotta, Da Chen, Sara Gruen, A. S. Byatt, Hannah Tinti (love, love, love), Charles Baxter, Jincy Willett, Paulo Coelho, Jhumpa Lahiri, Italo Calvino, Jamie Ford, J.K.Rowling …. And a bajillion more.


If you could have an author roundtable discussion with any authors, who would you invite?
Everyone mentioned above although I’m pretty sure it would either be a KILLER PARTY or mass chaos would ensue.  Not sure. Either way booze, hot tubs, tunes, and board games would need to be involved.


Do you have any hobbies or special things you like to do in your spare time?
I love yoga, Zumba, running (ok, technically it’s fast walking/jogging but for me it’s running), reading, museums, traveling, and I’m a foodie. I’m also a music nerd.  So, the traveling, foodie and music nerd parts all definitely come out in the novels.  I have a book, LUSCIOUS, which will come out sometime in 2018/2019 and much of the book explores different eateries and bars in the Philadelphia area while following the main character in her “exploits”. 😉


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

When I was nine, I died on the operating table. At one point when I was unconscious, I could feel this pull and a presence. I started scrambling, like scratching to pull myself back. I yelled, “I’m not done yet!” and then I woke up in the hospital attached to a dozen gizmos and with my parents at my bedside. So, that was pretty freaky.


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

 

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REVIEW WILL BE LATER IN THE DAY.  I’M SO SORRY.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Lisa is a former correspondent for the Philadelphia Theatre Review and Features Editor for the Picolata Review, her short stories have appeared in magazines and journals such as StraightJackets Magazine and HESA Inprint. In 2007 Kastner was featured in the Fresh Lines @ Fresh Nine, a public reading hosted by Gross McCleaf Art Gallery.

She founded Running Wild Writers and is the former president of Pennwriters, Inc. (www.pennwriters.com). She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Fairfield University, her MBA from Pennsylvania State and her BS from Drexel University (She’s definitely full of it). Her novel THE KEEPER OF LOST THINGS was shortlisted in the fiction category of the William Faulkner Words and Wisdom Award and her memoir BREATHE was a semi-finalist in the nonfiction category of the same award.

Lisa presented at a TEDx in Seattle on The Power of Connecting. And presented at the Association of Writers and Writing Programs (AWP) on the “You Sent Us What?” panel.

Born and raised in Camden, New Jersey The Redness migrated to Philadelphia in her twenties and eventually transported to Los Angeles, California with her partner-in-crime and ever-talented husband. They nurture two felonious felines who anxiously encourage and engage in little sparks of anarchy.

 

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

Twitter: @lisadkastner

Instagram: 60shadesofred

Website: lisadianekastner.com

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Jersey-Diner-Say-Youre-Only/dp/0997778806/ref=sr_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1490138826&sr=1-3

 

The book is on sale for $0.99.

 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

 

Lisa Diane Kastner will be awarding a $50, a $25 and a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winners (three winners) via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

 

 

#Review of Luke’s Redemption (a King Security novel #1) by debut author Annie Fife w/a rafflecopter giveaway! @AnniFifeAuthor

Luke’s Redemption

by Anni Fife

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GENRE: Contemporary Erotic Romantic Suspense

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BLURB:

Chased by her criminal kingpin father, Katya Dalca runs to New Orleans and straight into the arms of Luke Hunter. Sucked into the carnal world of the French Quarter, she succumbs to Luke’s potent sexuality. He not only steals her breath, he steals her heart and the only leverage she has against her father. She is left with no choice except to pick up the pieces and rebuild her life alone.

Undercover DEA agent Luke Hunter thought his newest assignment—recover a stolen flash drive to gain the trust of the Russian mob—was like any other. But his target brings him to his knees, and after one taste of her intoxicating beauty, he’s in too deep. Doing his job means walking away, leaving his heart behind with nothing but a promise to reunite. It’s a promise he can’t keep.

When Katya’s past reaches out and her world unravels, her only hope is the one man she is most vulnerable to—Luke.

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Excerpt One:

The smell of beignets wafted up and distracted, I lifted the bag and took a deep breath. Whoosh! Fine sugar blew up out of the bag and coated me.

“Shit, honey, you look sweet all over.”

Oh, just great.

Blinking sugar out of my eyes I looked up. And up. He was tall, well over six foot. Midnight-blue eyes rimmed by a deeper blue-black smoldered lazily down at me. “You’re holding the best beignets in the world. You gonna stand there or you going to take a bite?”

“Umm.” Jeez, Katya. Say something.

“Here, let me hold that for you.” He took the coffee from my hand. “Go on, babe. Take a bite. It’ll be the best thing you’ll ever taste.”

Still struck dumb, I did what he asked and lifted a beignet out of the bag and took a big bite. Oh! It was like sinking my teeth into a sweet pillow of ambrosia.

“Good huh?”

I nodded and stared back at him. Then, without uttering a word, I stuffed the rest of the beignet into my mouth. He grinned at me, shaking his head. “Want to wash it down with this?” He held out my coffee.

My fingers brushed against his. Yikes! I couldn’t stop the slight tremor caused by his touch. I took a gulp of coffee – half rich chicory, half hot milk – and finally found my voice. “Would you like one?” I offered the bag of beignets to him.

“Would be like taking candy from a baby,” he grinned. “But don’t worry, I’ve got my own.” He dangled a packet like mine in front of me.

Then we both stood there and smiled at each other while we gorged on sugary donuts. He would reach for my coffee to free my hand. Then after I ate some fluffy yumminess, he’d hand it back to me so I could take a sip. We swallowed the last of our beignets and licked our fingers.

I didn’t even know his name, yet I was more turned on than I had ever been in my life.

Anni says: Look out for the New Lower Price for Luke’s Redemption. Now ONLY $2,99!

(Hyperlink is: http://a.co/59eTWFH)


Welcome Anni Fife. Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.

I grew up in the city and spent thirty years following a successful career in TV and video production. A little under two years ago, I turned my life upside down. I shut down my production company, gave up my apartment, and packed up my entire life to relocate to a small seaside village…to become an author. For the first time in my adult life, I chose to follow the beat of my heart and do what I love. I haven’t had a moment’s regret since!

Is Luke’s Redemption a single title, or part of a series?

It is the first book of my King Security Series but it’s still a standalone love story. As a reader I enjoy reading series, but each book must be a standalone in their story structure. There is nothing better than having characters you’ve grown to love continue to appear in new stories. So when I wrote Luke’s Redemption I instinctively created characters that would have longevity. It’s fun to develop characters slowly over a series, waiting for just the right time for them to put up their hand for their own story.

There are at least six novels planned for this series, perhaps more. The next up is Gray’s Promise. It’s set in New York and Denton, Texas. Grayson Walker is Luke’s best friend, and he’s a wicked charmer. Zoey Morgan is his one-and-only. Torn apart by horrific tragedy, Gray and Zoey still carry the emotional scars fourteen years later. We follow their fraught reconciliation, and the unknown evil stalking them. Their journey is filled with pain, and a heart-wrenching beauty. And, of course, sexual chemistry so scorching it still gets me in a hot sweat when I think about it. I hope to release Gray’s Promise later in the year.

How did you come up with the plot for the story?

I’ve found out that I come up with one of my lead characters first, and the plot seems to follow. Luke’s Redemption was the first book I’d ever written, or even attempted to write. I don’t know what triggered my creative muse, but a few nights before my departure from the city, I started to think about Katya Dalca. Suddenly I could hear her footsteps beating a desperate rhythm down a dark road in the early hours of the morning. It was dead quiet. New Orleans was hung over from Mardi Gras. I watched her, and realized I was looking through the scope of a sniper lens. Was I her hunter or her hero? Or both? My story unfurled at such a rapid pace I spent the next hour typing manically on my iPhone. When I turned off the light, I had the beginnings of my novel. The next time I looked at it was a month later, when I sat down to write.

Please share your setting for Luke’s Redemption. Have you ever lived or visited there? If so, what did you like most?

Luke’s Redemption starts off in the French Quarter of New Orleans. I visited there many years ago and absolutely freaking loved it. The food, the music, the people,…it all blew me away. So when my debut novel screamed for a seductive location, I had no choice but to set it in NOLA. I had a lot of fun using real restaurants and bars, which I think adds richness and interest for readers.

Most of the book plays out in New York City. I was looking for the right place to put Thane Kingsley and his Security Company. He’s sophisticated, rich, and a total mystery. I’ve visited NYC several times, and its diversity and energy is one of a kind. So is King, so NY seemed like the only place to locate him. It also offered so many wonderful locations for the different characters that make up the series. I use a mixture of real restaurants and places as well as some fictionalized ones. This keeps the reader guessing!


When did the writing bug first bite?

I think I was around three or four when I was gifted with a pop-up book of Sleeping Beauty. I loved that book! I read it over and over until the pop-ups were in tatters. Maybe that’s where I got my love of romance and HEA’s? Seriously, I always loved making up stories in my head, but I never believed writing novels was a feasible career choice. I’d daydream about it, but my decision to follow my passion was sudden. A confluence of life events and opportunities that came together and ended with me making this life-changing decision.


Who are you favorite authors, book/series?

The most influential author in my romance writing is probably Kristen Ashley. When she releases a new book, I turn it into a day of celebration. Out come chocolates, the red wine and a comfy pillow. Then I curl up and spend the whole day alternatively laughing and weeping—and, of course, crossing my legs to contain the delicious tingles of desire. Her alpha heroes invade my dreams. Her heroines are funny and beautifully accessible. And her stories are both heartbreaking and uplifting.


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

Kristen Ashley—I love most of her books.

Wally Lamb— He takes years to finish each novel and no wonder. His characters are filled with a depth and humanity I can only aspire to reach. The man is sheer brilliance on a page. Everybody has to read ‘She Comes Undone’ at least once in their lifetime.

Wilbur Smith—When he was in his prime and writing books like ‘When The Lion Feeds’.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie—This Nigerian author writes like an angel. ‘Purple Hibiscus’ and ‘Half of a Yellow Sun’ are two of my all time favorite books. Her characters literally jump off the page and into your heart.


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

Besides reading, walking on the beach, and hanging with friends, drinking red wine and gabbing the day away…I love to scuba dive. I’m a master diver and have dived all over the world. There’s nothing quite like floating in the big blue, and losing myself for an hour to a world I rarely have access to.


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

I worked for a time in Abu Dhabi in The United Arab Emirates. The company I was contracted to employed a lot of Emirati women. The ladies bathrooms in our offices were not only very lavish, they also provided me the most extraordinary experience. In the communal lounge area the women would take the opportunity to remove their black hijab and abayas, refresh their make-up and gab with each other. The surprise was what they were wearing beneath their traditional garb. It was gobsmacking…but I’m sworn to secrecy. LOL!


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

Write!

Lord have mercy this book was dirty.  I mean that in a good way, too.  It’s been a while since I’ve read an erotic romantic suspense and Ms. Fife’s debut does not disappoint.  I know that I normally don’t lead off a review with the sex part but DANG!  Seriously, like a cold shower was needed.  That said, I found that I may have skipped some of it at times.  I know, right?  I never skip those scenes but I felt like they needed to communicate a bit more.

You see this book covers 6 years.  Yes, 6 years and it’s a long book, too.  I felt like I was on a roller coaster most of the time but I loved it.  Luke, at times, was too alpha for me.  He broke his promises too many times to Katya and she kept coming back to him.  I don’t like when the heroine has to keep forgiving the hero because he’s a dimwit.  In my eyes, he’s not a douche or even an unredeemable person but I felt like Katya didn’t need to keep suffering with Luke when she had plenty of that with her father.

The setting is perfect for their story.  I know, I’ve never been to NOLA but they way Ms. Fife uses the 5 senses, I really felt like I was there.  In the story and most writers don’t get that.  She did and I loved it.  Plus…come on…New York City!!!!  I’ve been there and I can’t wait to go back.  I know it sounds like I didn’t like the story but I truly did.  Ms. Fife’s debut knocked my panties, I mean my socks off.  Sexy, provocative, suspenseful and a heroine that I demanded that she get that HEA…I was hooked from the first page.  I just wish Luke wasn’t as alpha for me.

I know it sounds like I didn’t like the story but I truly did.  Ms. Fife’s debut knocked my panties, I mean my socks off.  Sexy, provocative, suspenseful and a heroine that I demanded that she get that HEA…I was hooked from the first page.  I just wish Luke wasn’t as alpha for me.  Ms. Fife’s writing is breathtaking.  She takes you into the story and never let’s go.  I really felt Katya’s despair and Luke’s helplessness in the book.  My heart broke for both of them but at different times.  No author has ever been able to do that to me.  The book is fast paced, even though its long.  It was over before I knew it.

I can’t wait to read Gray’s book next.  Ms. Fife has a defiant winner on her hands and a great start to a series.  Bravo!  Plus, I must find out about Thane.  *wink*

 

 

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

 

Last year, Anni Fife closed the door on a twenty-year successful career in television production, to fulfill her lifelong passion, writing. In the space of one month, she closed her business, packed up her city life and moved to a small seaside village. ‘My writing has always been constrained by client briefs,’ Anni says. ‘Now, I finally have the opportunity to write to the beat of my own heart.’ LUKE’s Redemption is Anni’s debut novel and she hopes you enjoy it as much as she loved writing it. Anni loves to spend hours walking on the beach searching for pansy shells, more hours drinking red wine with her gal posse, and the most hours writing romance novels filled with women you can relate to and men you love to dream about. She is currently working on her second novel, GRAY’s Promise.

Anni is published by The Wild Rose Press.

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http://annifife.com/

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EXCITING announcement. New Lower Price for Luke’s Redemption. NOW ONLY $2.99! 

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Anni will be awarding $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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Author Interview featuring Dana Ford and Case File Phantom (C. McCauley Case Files series) w/a rafflecopter giveaway!

Case File Phantom

by Dana Ford

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GENRE: Mystery Fiction

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BLURB:

In this mystery fiction novel, Georgia Richards lost hope of ever seeing her husband again since he disappeared over a year ago.  On a Saturday afternoon, she thought she saw him at a play; on stage at the Oaksdale Playhouse.  But, Georgia didn’t have the courage to find out if it was really him.  Constance McCauley was empathetic to Georgia’s faint of heart and decided to offer her investigation services to find the true identity of this mysterious man.  Would Constance be able to track down Georgia’s estranged husband?  If he was found, why had he been missing for over a year?  As Constance pursued this case with a combination of faith and persistence, she witnessed the power of forgiveness unfold before her eyes.

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Excerpt Two:

It was beautiful inside.  The space quaint, low lighting, enough ambience to make a lucrative business deal or extend a marriage proposal.   Thanks to Troy making reservations, we were seated right away in a cozy booth for two.  Sean placed a marketing folder on the table next to his place setting.  “I’m looking forward to talking about what we can do for your company.”  He said.  His eyes were naturally a darker brown in this low lighting.  I smiled, thankful for the distraction of the waiter.

“Would you care for some wine?” The waiter asked pleasantly.

“None for me, thank you.”  I replied.  

“I’ll take a glass of your best red wine.” Sean responded.  

“Very good sir.”  

Sean jumped right in.  “Did Alex talk to you about all of our services or did he just focus on one aspect of what we do, like print advertising?”

“Well, I actually did not tell you the whole truth about Alex and I.”  

Sean perked up to listen.

“I do own a private investigation firm, but I never met Alex through your company.”  The waiter returned with Sean’s glass of wine and sparkling water for me.  We both ordered their chef’s special pasta with a salad.  

“Oh.”  Sean thought for a moment.

“But, tell me.  What services do you have?”  I asked.  I actually did want to know.

Until dinner arrived, Sean presented all of the details that were included in the marketing folder that he had brought.  He pitched ways to expose my business from print advertising, to social media strategies.  “Are you interested in pursuing any of these marketing approaches?”  He asked, knowing that he was one of the best salesmen on the Brown & Edwards sales team.  

Taking a look over all of the amazing food that was just placed on our table, I also considered the marketing services that Sean had presented.  “Let me think about it.”  I responded.

“You had the same hesitation when we met the other day.  What exactly are you thinking about?”  He returned like a true salesman.

Welcome Dana Ford!  Please start off by telling us a little about yourself.

Is Case File Phantom a single title, or part of a series?

Case File Phantom is part of the book series C. McCauley Case Files.

What were your inspirations for the story?

A dream.  I dreamed about this plot and wrote the novel.

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

The setting is fiction based on a typical mid-sized U.S. town.

When did the writing bug first bite?

I have been writing stories since I was in elementary school. My best friend and I would have sleepovers and write short stories through the night.  Her reaction to my writing encouraged me to become a writer.  

Who are you favorite authors, book/series?

Nicholas Sparks is my favorite author.

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

Mayo Angelo, Nicholas Sparks, and the Apostle Paul

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

Writing is my special thing that I do (smile).

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

Don’t stop writing!

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AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Dana Ford has enjoyed writing stories since she can remember.  She has penned several books and has found a new love in writing mystery fiction.  Her favorite hobbies besides writing is watching old movies, volunteering in her community, and spending precious moments with her family.

cmccauleycasefiles.com
https://www.amazon.com/Case-File-Phantom-Dana-Ford/dp/1524573736

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GIVEAWAY INFORMATION and RAFFLECOPTER CODE

Dana Ford will be awarding a $50 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
a Rafflecopter giveaway ” target=”_blank”>Rafflecopter Link