Tag Archives: #Kindle

Lunch with Riley J ( a Silver Lake inspired interview)

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In early November, I was fortunate enough to be in the audience at the Gramercy Theater, New York, for Garrett Court’s live show to launch his new album, Young Hands, Old Hands, Same Strings.
It was an amazing night of music from Garrett and, in fact, from all the musicians involved. I mean, who can resist Silver Lake’s Jake Power?
One incredible new talent to take to the stage that night was a young lady called Riley Johnson. If you weren’t lucky enough to hear Riley sing on the night, check her out online. You can’t miss her with her distinctive emerald green hair!
After a few enquiries, I managed to track this mystery songbird down and arranged to meet her for a chat. Much to my surprise, Riley suggested that we meet up at Garrett Court’s music store in Greenwich Village.
It was around lunchtime when I arrived at the store and I quickly spotted Riley behind the cash desk. Seeing that she was busy with a customer I took a few minutes to browse the various instruments on display. If you’re in the market for a new guitar, you could do worse than drop by. Garrett’s Store is a veritable Aladdin’s Cave!
Eventually, Riley was free. At her suggestions we headed to a nearby diner to chat over lunch. (I’ll not lie- I was disappointed not to be invited up into the infamous Gothic Palace above the store.)
Sandwiches and coffees ordered, we settled ourselves at a secluded corner table.
“So, Riley, tell me how you came to be appearing on stage last November with the legendary Garrett Court?”
“A combination of luck and a lot of help from Dr Marrs and Jake,” she revealed quietly. Up close Riley is younger than she appears on stage and is a rather shy young lady.
“That’s some pretty big names. Tell me more.”
“Back home, I took a summer school music workshop last summer,” began Riley. Despite her youth, Riley has an amazingly warm husky voice. “Jake was the teacher and, as part of the workshop, he took us out to JJL to record the songs we’d written. There were ten of us. That’s where I met Dr Marrs and Garrett. Garrett helped out for a day while we were in the studio.” Pausing to take a bite out of her sandwich, Riley continued, “A couple of weeks later, I got a call from Dr Marrs asking if I’d like to sing some vocals for Garrett’s record. Trust me, he didn’t need to ask me twice. I jumped at the opportunity. The following week I spent a couple of days out at JJL recording some stuff. It was just Dr Marrs, me and the sound engineer. No Garrett. I recorded four or five songs over the two days. One made it onto the record.”
“Which one was that?”
“Black Heart Dark Mind.”
“Then I guess it was Garrett who invited you along to perform at the show at the Gramercy?”
“No,” revealed Riley with a smile. “It was Jake who set that up. He was up here helping Garrett out. They needed a vocalist and Garrett mentioned some “green haired girl” that had sung on the record. Up til then I don’t think Jake even knew I’d been involved with the album. He recognised me from Garrett’s description. Reached out through my high school principal and, well, here I am.” The teenager giggled. I must say, Riley has a very infectious laugh.
“And now you’re working in the music store?” I enquired, curious to learn the full story here.
“Not so much working as helping out,” Riley replied a little evasively. She paused then said softly, “It’s complicated.”
“Complicated?”
“Things at home weren’t great,” continued Riley, keeping her head bowed. “When Jake called to invite me up here, I grabbed the opportunity. I saw it as my chance for a fresh start. I talked to Garrett. Explained my situation and we reached an agreement. He’s agreed I can stay on at the Gothic Palace, arranged for me to finish up school here. He was real strict about that part. In turn, I help out in the store. I’ll also be going on tour with him later this month.”
“I assume Rehoboth Beach was home? Why couldn’t you go back there?”
“That’s personal. I’d rather not talk about it.”
“Apologies. I didn’t mean to pry.”
“You’re a journalist. It’s your job to pry.”
Riley is a very astute young woman. Changing the subject, I asked, “How is it living with a music legend?”
“Quiet,” giggled Riley. “Garrett is a creature of habit. You could set your watch by him. He’s happy for me to stay but there are a few golden house rules. It’s kind of cool living there though.”
“And what about Jake? Are you still in touch with him?”
“Yes! He’s been awesome. So has his wife. I spent Thanksgiving with them at the beach. They treated me like family.”
“So, would you say Jake was your mentor?”
“Definitely,” Riley replied without hesitation. “I’m going back to stay with him this summer. He talked to Dr Marrs and I’m booked into JJL to record some stuff. The hope is we can pull together an EP or something. We’ll see where that goes.”
“So what does the immediate future hold for you. What’s next?”
“After the tour later this month, I need to focus on finishing school. One of the conditions of staying in New York with Garrett is that I maintain a B+ grade average and graduate from high school.”
“Sounds like a sensible condition. You’re in sensible hands there.”
“Oh, I am!” Riley gushed. “Garrett is more strict with me than my Dad ever was. Jake also keeps a close eye on my grades.”
“And where do you see yourself a year from now?”
“Singing, playing and writing music,” replied Riley before draining the last of her coffee.
“Thanks for your time today.”
“And thanks for lunch. This has been fun.”

I walked Riley back across to the music store. As we walked and talked, she let slip that Garrett was also giving her music lesson and that she had an essay to finish for her History class.
This young rising star is somewhat of an enigma. On the one hand, she’s a very confident musician then on the other, she’s a normal teenage girl fretting about her homework assignment. If she puts as much dedication into her studies as she did into her performance last year on stage at the Gramercy Theater then she should have no issues maintaining and exceeding that B+ grade average.
Details of Garrett Court’s forthcoming tour are available on his website and tickets are on sale now. I’ve already got my ticket and strongly advise you to grab yours before these shows sell out.

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(images sourced via Google – credits to the owners)

A Little Piece of Silver Lake for Christmas

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Sitting at the kitchen table, Melody was very carefully writing her letter to Santa Claus. On the opposite side of the table, Lori was helping Jesse with his letter. At only three years old, the little boy couldn’t write yet so Lori had helped him to cut out the pictures of the toys he wanted to ask Santa for from the flyer that had been in the Sunday newspaper. For once the little boy was content to sit still and use the glue stick to add his Christmas wishes to the sheet of paper. Lori had already written “Dear Santa” at the top of the page and “love from Jesse” at the bottom, warning her son that the pictures had to fit in between.

“Hey,” called Jake from the doorway. “What’s going on in here?”

“We’re writing our Santa letters,” replied Melody, holding hers up for her daddy to see.

“Very neat, Miss M,” praised Jake with a smile. Like her mother, the little girl was a perfectionist. “Do you want to go into town to mail them after lunch?”

“Yes!” shrieked both kids loudly.

“Ok,” said Jake. “We’ll walk into town later. There’s a special Santa mail box near the bandstand.”

“Mommy, will you come too?” pleaded Jesse as he glued the last picture to his letter.

“No,” said Lori, putting the lid back on the glue stick. “I need to do some work this afternoon.”

“Daddy, can we go get hot chocolate with marshmallows after we mail our letters?” pleaded Melody, gazing up at him with his big blue eyes.

“Maybe.”

 

It had snowed over the area the night before, blanketing the beach and surrounding area in three inches of soft powdery snow. As he walked along the beach, Jake watched the kids run on up ahead, smiling as they occasionally pelted each other with snowballs. Every few yards they would flop down into the snow and make sandy snow angels. He smiled, treasuring the precious moments with his family. Both kids were over excited; both of them counting down the sleeps until Santa came.

“This way, you two!” he called as they reached the path that led up to boardwalk near Funland.

Much to his surprise, they both came running towards him, slipping their tiny hands into his without being asked.

“What are you wanting Santa to bring you?” asked Melody as they reached the boardwalk.

“Oh, I don’t know,” replied Jake, stalling for time. “Some new running shoes. Maybe a new guitar.”

“You’ve got lots of guitars, Daddy!” stated Jesse bluntly.

“And you’ve got lots of trains but you still asked Santa for another one, didn’t you?” teased Jake.

“I think Mommy wants a new computer,” said Melody, changing the subject. “She was calling hers some bad words.”

With a laugh, Jake admitted that Lori had indeed called her laptop some choice names after it crashed and deleted two days’ worth of work.

As the family group walked along the snow-covered boardwalk, the kids dragging Jake over to explore each of the small Christmas houses that had sprung up. The red Santa mailbox stood on the boardwalk opposite the bandstand, suitably lit and signposted.

Carefully, Jake removed the letters from his jacket pocket and handed them to the kids. Pulling his cell out too, he took some quick photos of them mailing them off to Santa then suggested that they pose beside the town’s large Christmas tree for more photos.

“Ok, guys,” he began as he slipped the phone back into his pocket. “Who wants hot chocolate?”

“Me! Me! Me!”

(Credits to the owner of the photo Elliot MacGuire Photography- photo is tagged)

If you want to catch up with all things Silver Lake then the links are below:

Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

 

Amazon.co.uk links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71

Shattered Hearts – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

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Have you got Christmas all wrapped up yet?

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It’s that time of year where your life is ruled by lists – gifts still to buy, food to buy, gifts to drop off, friends to visit ….. I could go on and on but you get the picture.

I decided to throw extra chaos into my Christmas preparations by heading off on a mini-UK tour doing 3 rock shows (more on that story another time) so life has been super busy over the last few days.

But, for this week, I’ll keep it short and simple.

Books make great last-minute gifts!  And they are a great shape to wrap and make the perfect present, especially if its all topped off with a festive bow.

If you’ve asked for a Kindle for Christmas, they are also quick and easy to download.

So, in case you’ve missed them, here’s a few links to help with that last-minute gift idea or to treat yourself to a good read to chill with on Boxing Day.

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Amazon.com links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Amazon.co.uk links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

 

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Amazon.com links –

Impossible Depths https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Amazon.co.uk links –

Impossible Depths https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

 

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Amazon.com links –

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

 

Amazon.co.uk links –

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71

 

Plus there’s the recently released Shattered Hearts

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Amazon.com link

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

Amazon.co.uk.link

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

And let’s not forget about Ellen

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Amazon.com link

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FYHKR44

 

Amazon.co.uk link

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07FYHKR44

 

You can never have too many books!

 

 

 

 

Introducing Shattered Hearts…..it’s launch day

Well, today is the day.

After months of writing, typing, spellchecking, proofreading and editing Book Baby 5 aka Shattered Hearts has finally been published.

If you’d told me a five years ago that I’d be publishing my first never mind my fifth novel I’d have told you that you were mad. This truly is a dream come true.

Writing the story is the easy bit. Pulling it all together is the hard bit and marketing it is the impossible bit! As ever, I couldn’t do this without the help of some wonderful people, my Infamous Five and my Cavalry. (You know who you are.) Thank you will never be enough for you guys.

Right, without further ado and before I get over emotional, allow me to introduce you to my fifth Book Baby, Shattered Hearts.

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red broken heart on wooden background – dark and moody

 

Happy reading!

 

Amazon.com link

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

Amazon.co.uk link

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

You can drop into the all day launch event on my FB author page via the link below

https://www.facebook.com/coralmccallumauthor/

 

 

The Clock’s Ticking…..Book Baby 5 is almost here…..

The clock’s ticking and the To Do list is growing with last minute things…. Yes, it’s almost Book Baby 5 “birth” day.

I literally have a To Do list for the week…. don’t believe me? Here it is:

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That’s the simplified version! The rest of it is still in my head.

 

So, with just over a week to go till Book Baby 5 aka Shattered Hearts arrives, am I ready to let it fly free?

Eh….maybe……

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The Kindle e-book version is complete and uploaded (still to double check that…) It’s also available for pre-order via Amazon – links are at the bottom. I set myself the target of obtaining 25 pre-orders and I’m still a few short… just saying 😉

 

The final paperback proof has arrived and I am still checking the corrections I made. Once that’s done, I need to upload the final document to Amazon.

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eARC copies have been circulated to various book bloggers (If you are a book blogger and wish to review Shattered Hearts please let me know.

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The book launch day is almost, kind of, sort of planned out- I still need to finalise that then source the necessary photos to accompany it before scheduling all the posts on my author page.

Missed the invite? Not to worry, here’s the link. Please feel free to drop by on the 6th December.

https://www.facebook.com/events/411240452895257/

Book promotion is an ongoing challenge so I’ve been promoting Book Baby 5 while continuing to promote the other books in the Silver Lake series plus standalone spin-off Ellen. I find book promotion soul destroying, if I am being honest. It is the toughest aspect of being an indieauthor. So, in the interests of ongoing book promotion, the purchase links are also at the bottom.

Over and above, I still have this blog to write plus gig reviews to post, two social media fanpages for a real live rock star and the day job to do. (Yes, I work full time)

Oh and I’m a writer so there needs to be some time set aside to write…..

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And so it goes on…..

This is where my mantra really comes into play

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These last few days, like the last few days before the arrival of any baby are stressful and filled with expectation. I just hope that the “birth” of Book Baby 5 is painless!

 

 

Shattered Hearts

Amazon.com link

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

Amazon.co.uk.link

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

Silver Lake series

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XSQHG71

Amazon.co.uk links –

Stronger Within – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00VXDSC1M

Impossible Depths – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01C0GS30K

Bonded Souls – https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B06XSQHG71

 

Ellen

Amazon.com link     https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07FYHKR44

 

Amazon.co.uk link   http s://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07FYHKR44

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Introducing Harper Maze……..

I am delighted to welcome a special guest author to my blog this week.

Allow me to introduce you to Harper Maze.

Harper recently published her debut novel, Life After?: The Coming of Age Story of a Girl with a Difference ( Kayleigh Summers book 1).

The book was launched to coincide with Transgender Awareness Week and Transgender Day of Awareness, 20th November 2019. The author is donating $1 from every sale to transgender youth charities.

Transgender Awareness Week is held annually during the second week in November and culminates in Transgender Day of Awareness which honours those whose lives were lost in acts of anti-transgender violence.

If you wish to find out more about this, please refer to the information links at the foot of this post.

Now, though, it’s time to find out a little more about Harper Maze herself.

Tell me a little about yourself and how you came be to an indie author

As a fossil, I have written for years mainly for friends, but also in magazines years ago. I tended towards short stories because when attempting to write novels, I would lose focus in the middle. Recently I discovered a new plotting system, by John Truby, and it changed my mental approach to storytelling. I have begun to dust off my old drafts and concepts, and write new material, and plan to release at least two novels a year.

Do you write under your own name or a pseudonym? And if so, why did you choose the name you use?

I write under Harper Maze, which I chose because it sounded young and contemporary, ideal for writing strong female characters between 18-25. It was also available on almost all social media outlets, including the .com, which is essential for building an online presence.

 Tell me briefly about your latest book (no spoilers). What is it about, and what inspired you to write it?

‘Life After?’ is an old project, general fiction with an LGBT/’Coming of Age’ edge. It was the only one I had the idea from a dream, at least for the setting. However, the moral and psychological aspects of the book I added as part of the plotting. The book has an ironic, self-deprecating voice, which I think helps to break up some of the painful items the story includes.

Where do your ideas come from?

It varies for each story.

My inspiration for ‘Life After?’ was talking to so many young people who reached their goal and faced a void after because they didn’t consider long-term plans. As such, the story only briefly touches past events.

 My Dystopia Sci-Fi project is based on a near-future Earth after fracking has caused mass seismic and volcanic activity. It’s an old idea but plotted using the new system, and from beta-reader comments, I hope it will do well when released in 2020, June or before.

 Finally, my Action-Thriller came from watching a TV programme. I got annoyed when some of the characters would be killed off, and then came back for no reason other than to appear in the next season. We call these plots “spanners”, from ‘spanner in the works’. I got infuriated enough to write my own.

What does a typical workday look like for you?

I work full time, 9-5, and my writing time is before 9 am, 6 or 7 days a week. However, my mind never stops thinking about plots, scenes or ideas.

When did you first realise that you wanted to write?

 I was not that good at English at school. I am a storyteller and struggle somewhat with grammar and sentence structure. That’s why we have editors and editing tools. My method is to plot and write the story, fix the story weave and the basic flow and continuity, then have someone edit the final version.

 Where is your favourite place to write?

 I write in a few places. I have an office at home, with a cat bed underneath the desk. But I also write on the sofa or the train. I find it relatively easy to block out noise or distraction, and I have headphones if the train grows too noisy.

What was the first book you read that had an impact on you, and what was it about it that made such a lasting impression?

It would be Lord of the Rings when I was in my teens. I had read many books by then, but the world-building and craft of Tolkien was a new level of brilliance. It’s still the benchmark in a lot of reviews and often used in comparisons and pitches.

 If you could invite five fictional characters to dinner, who would you invite and why?

 I like Vin from the Mistborn Trilogy (Brandon Sanderson) and have returned to those books several times. She is independent, fiercely loyal and diminutive, yet bluntly spoken and driven. I am also a fan of the Hunger Games, so Katniss Everdeen too. By contrast, I would include Moriarty from Sherlock Holmes. As a master villain, I am intrigued by his motivations and drive, and have added in a worthy antagonist in my Action-Thriller. For a complete change of pace, Rick Deckard from Bladerunner (PK Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep) is of interest because of how he tries to balance the necessity with what he is doing. For the 5th character, I would like to introduce Savanna Steel from my Best Served Cold book to see how she stands against the others. She is so much fun to write, and perhaps has a little of each in her nature.

 What one piece of advice would you give to any aspiring author to motivate them? And what’s been the best piece of advice you’ve received in connection with writing?

You don’t have to do everything all at once, so writing small and regularly, and developing a habit of writing can help you long term. Don’t be afraid to write through an issue and edit later too; it’s more important to finish than to continually revisit.

 I read John Truby’s ‘Anatomy of Story’, and it changed my whole approach to writing, so the best advice was to read his book.

 And just for a bit of fun, tell me five random facts about you.

I live with my wife and two cats. I have played premier-level female football and professional pool but never took up a martial art (many of my characters do). I tell lots of (often bad) jokes, and I listen mostly to Skater and Punk Rock music.

Thank you, Harper. Delighted to meet another cat loving indie author 🙂

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Life After?: The Coming of Age Story of a Girl with a Difference ( Kayleigh Summers book 1).

Synopsis

Kayleigh Summers fought for her dream most of her life but made no plans for her future afterwards.

Unsure what to do after life-changing surgery, Kayleigh receives an unexpected offer from a sports entertainment company to become their latest star and relocates to America.

Set in the backdrop of a training academy full of glamorous people, Kayleigh recounts with self-deprecating irony how she struggles with her self-image, relationships and her confused sexuality.

Bursting into the limelight, Kayleigh becomes burdened by the pressures of her sudden fame and turbulent love life and finds herself on the brink of a breakdown.

After a drunken night where she breaks her most sacred rule, will Kayleigh be able to face the consequences of her actions before her new future crumbles around her?

 

Want to learn more? Yes?

 

Please see the purchase links below:

Amazon.com

https://www.amazon.com/Life-After-Coming-LGBT-Romance-ebook/dp/B081FJCV79/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=harper+maze&qid=1574276937&sr=8-2

Amazon.co.uk

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Life-After-Coming-LGBT-Romance-ebook/dp/B081FJCV79/ref=sr_1_1?crid=2NURZ73NNR0P8&keywords=harper+maze&qid=1574276891&sprefix=harper+ma%2Caps%2C162&sr=8-1

Social media links

http://harpermaze.com

https://www.amazon.com/Harper-Maze

 

Information links:

https://www.glaad.org/transweek

https://www.stonewall.org.uk

http://www.lgbtconsortium.org.uk 

 

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Shattered Hearts now available to pre-order on Kindle

Shattered Hearts release date promo pic

**** now available to PRE-ORDER on Kindle ****

Five years older. Five years wiser.

Five years down the road, we reconnect with Jake and Lori.

Over the years since Bonded Souls, the Silver Lake family has grown and the band have seen their career go from strength to strength.

Fresh off the road after a gruelling tour, Jake has high hopes of enjoying a relaxing summer at home with his family.

An unexpected tragedy and an act of betrayal shatters all hopes of that and throws their plans into disarray.   The combination of both results in Shattered Hearts for Jake and Lori and the Silver Lake family. Can they recover from this?

 

Shattered Hearts, book 4 in the Silver Lake series will be published 6 December 2019

Shattered Hearts can be pre-ordered here

Amazon.com link

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

Amazon.co.uk.link

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07ZY8ZSDM

 

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