Sunday, August 26, 2012

Interview with Amber Colleen author of "Premonitions"

A book blurb tells a lot about a book. Can you tell us something about your book?
 The book is about an ordinary day where a mother, Mallory, taking her kids to school becomes a very extraordinary day. Intruders overtake the elementary school, trapping her and the school children inside. Mallory must face the trajedies in her own past and draw on strength born from them in order to survive this day. Her intense love for her children overshadows all her fears and drives her to make decisions and actions she never thought capable.
Covers are the first things that get seen when book shopping. Can you tell us about your cover’s design?
The cover is meant to be ominous and terrifying, like the story. A mom sheltering her child with a masked gunman stalking her through the halls of the school.
For me the first few paragraphs tell me if I want to read the book. How does your story open?
PREMONITIONS opens with a glimpse at the climax scene towards the end. This gives the flavor of the drama and emotion to come. Then the story begins with Mallory getting her children off to school that morning. Mallory believes everybody has intuition but not everybody pays attention to it. Believing she is safe and nothing bad could happen in her suburban town of upper middle class families, she ignores her uneasy feelings and signs of trouble as she takes her children to school that morning. 
How have you been marketing your book? What works best for you?
I have a marketing plan I continue to implement several hours each day. Mostly, social media and local coverage so far. I have cards made up that I give to everyone I meet and also a video trailer is in the works.
What are you now working on? Can you give us some hints what to expect?
I am currently working on my thriller trilogy No Such Thing as Coincidence, No Such Thing as Paradise and No Such Thing as Truth. I wrote the first draft of the first book years ago and then had the inspiration for PREMONITIONS one day as I was taking my own kids to school. With all that I've learned through the publishing process of Premonitions, I am rewriting No Such Thing as Coincidence and plan to release it as the end of this year. 
When you are not writing a book, what do you do for fun?
When not writring or marketing, I spend time with my son age 13 and my daughter age 11 who inspire me daily on so many things. Also, my puppy, Abby, provides me tons of cuddle breaks and love on demand. I like to plan mini-trips with my kids that I look forward to such as the beach and skiing and movie night here at the house. I swim, bike and eat healthy to stay in shape and keep up with my kids and have energy for all the things I love to do. I am also the Founder and CEO of my online family apparel company,, that provides another creative outlet in design for me to engage in. I love life and all the wonderful people in my life. :)

She's a writer, CPA, entrepreneur, mother and puppy owner. She loves to write shocking, thrilling stories that make the reader contemplate: 'What if this happened to me? Could I do what had to be done to save us?'. Her stories are scary, mind-provoking and often not for children. She taps into her deepest fears, puts them on the page, creates characters that have peculiar and unusual traits that drive them to succeed or fail.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

The Perfect Hamburger

I love food and always dreamed of being chef.  A few times in my life, I even thought about whether this would be the career for me.  Alas!  A different path led me to become an electrical engineer, although my passion is writing.  I’ve reached that point in my existence where I know I can’t do everything, but that doesn’t stop me from loving food.

© Mabatho | Stock Free Images 
One of my passions is to make the perfect hamburger.  I’ve experimented, done research and worked my way through many pounds of ground beef.  First thing I learned is pressed patties that come frozen in boxes are not very tasty. To makes something that tastes good an 80/20 hamburger mix is best. I know its counter intuitive, but FAT = FLAVOR. Next, loosely pack the beef so it stays airy and spongy, holding in the meat juices.  Finally, season with salt and pepper.  Cook on a skillet just leaving a tad of pink inside. Yum!

One of my favorite shows on the Food Network is Restaurant Impossible with Chef Robert Irvine.  One thing I learned from him is that volume does not mean good food.  What sells is presentation and flavor. Does it look good?  Does it taste great? If the answer is yes then it’s a winner.

What does all this have to do with books?  Food is like a good book.  Volume does not mean a good read.  A dozen mediocre books does not equal great.  Presentation (the cover) and flavor (the contents) is what sells.  It’s what makes a book memorable.

Happy reading and bon appetit!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Review of My Clockwork Muse by D.R. Erickson

What does Edgar Allan Poe, zombies and steampunk have in common? If you looked at the cover for this book review, you know the answer. My Clockwork Muse by D.R. Erickson.  I’m an Edgar Allan Poe fan and definitely interested in steampunk. If you not sure of what that is, think Jules Verne meets Goth in an alternative history.  Personally, I have my own top hat, ascot and frock coat that looks as if I stepped out of Around the World in 80 Days.  Regarding zombies, I can go with the flow.

In My Clockwork Muse, Edgar Allan Poe finds himself in a tale right out of his own imagination, only he’s not writing it. Murders have been committed copying his stories like A Cask of Amontillado and The Murders in the Rue Morgue. Witnesses to the dastardly crimes seem to think the murderer looks a lot like Poe.  Only, he doesn’t remember anything.  The storyline is woven around real life events in the author’s life and would not be complete without a wise-cracking Raven and love interest named Olympia. The finale leads to one of Poe’s  most ingenious mechanisms for death.  But I’ve said too much!

The style reminds me of Poe’s works, but still reads well.  The story takes more twists and turns than a coiling boa.  The characters are wild, whacky and captivating. Most important, My Clockwork Muse is entertaining and hard to put down. I give it a hardy four thumbs up.