Introducing Anya from Elderhaus by Anne Carmichael

 

 

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Anne Carmichael is also the author of the Magoo series, Darby at the Derby, and Polar Opposites. She’s also one of our wonderful authors in this year’s Mystery Thriller Week event. Don’t miss it!

 

 

 

GOODREADS

Gertrude spent the better part of her adult life scouring Europe for Helmut Klingenfelter, the father who vanished not only from her life and that of her mother but had forsaken everyone in his past.
With midlife looming on the horizon, Gertie made the decision to stop chasing the ghosts of the past and return to her childhood home of Pitch Pine, where she purchased a century-old house at 1211 Castle Lane sight unseen.
Elderhaus, as it came to be known, had a mysterious past of its own, one that would threaten more than Gertrude’s desire for finding happiness.

 

 

 

 

Who is Anyaleise Klingenfelter?

 

 

 

 

*Who is Anyaleise Klingenfelter?

Anyaleise Hoffmann (aka Anya Klingenfelter) is the mother of Gertrude Klingenfelter. Anya was born the daughter of a Jewish farmer named Jacob Hoffmann and his wife, Leah Hoffman.

 

*Does her name mean anything?

Anyaleise is a name of German origin. In German the meaning of the name Anyaleise is: Derived from a compound of Anna (meaning grace) and Liesa, which is a German diminutive of Elizabeth (God is bountiful).

 

*What part of Germany is she from?

from Alsace-Lorraine on the border of France and Germany.

 

 

 

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*How did you come up with the concept for Anya?

Right before I awoke on a Saturday morning, I heard the name Gertrude Klingenfelter in a sort of dream. When I sat up in bed, I knew that this is was the day I was to begin my novel and that Gertrude Klingenfelter was to be my protagonist. I started researching the origin of the surname Klingenfelter, which lead me to a town in Germany in the 1500s. It was called Lingenfelter and since people in that time didn’t really have surnames, they were known by the village where they resided. In my book, all of Gertrude’s father, Helmut’s, family spells their name without the ‘K’ to their name. One of the questions Gertrude has in her quest to find her father is why he added the ‘K’to their name when he came to America. [Helmut had been a very secretive man and had never shared anything about his pasts with his wife or his child. As I continued my research on the family name, I found myself studying Nazi Germany and the back-story of Anya’s family came to life. The back story was eventually removed from ‘Elderhaus’ during editing, as the publisher felt it detracted from the evolution of the story. I’m so glad that I’m able to share some of it with you here, as it was very compelling as I was writing it.

 

 

 

 

 

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*What was her experience like in Nazi Germany?

Jacob Hoffmann secluded his family in the hills outside Alsace-Lorraine. They farmed and lived off the land. Only Jacob ever ventured into town to purchase supplies and he sometimes picked up books for his wife Leah to home school Anya. Because they lived on the border of France and Germany, Leah taught Anya French and English, because she hoped someday her daughter would be able to leave the confines of their mountain sanctuary. One day, a strangely dressed man named Isaac who wore a tattered black hat with long curls down each side of his face appeared at their door and spoke in a foreign language that Anya did not understand. Her father, however, seemed to understand perfectly and hurried the man from the door and into the barn. She learned much later, that man irrevocably change their lives and those of future generations forever.

Anya overheard the following life-altering conversation between her father and mother in August of 1948:

“You and Anya must pack your personal belongings quickly and prepare for a trip via a military cargo ship to America. The American leader has signed a law called the Displaced Person’s Act. 205,000 displaced persons and 17,000 orphans are going to be permitted entry into the country and we will be among those immigrants,” said her Father. “In order to immigrate, a displaced person must have a sponsor who is willing to arrange for housing and employment upon arrival.

Perhaps you remember the man called Isaac, the transient, Hasidic Jew who visited our farm some time ago? It seemed he was traveling throughout Europe, as part of a mission trip to find, free and assist other Jews before they disappear, as so many of our brethren have done. Isaac told me the Nazi regime has been capturing trainloads of Jews and hauling them off to concentration camps where they are treated deplorably and murdered in gas chambers. He urged me to take our family and flee Germany.

Soon, their bags were loaded onto the cargo ship in Bremerhaven. After what seemed an eternity aboard the military cargo ship, they arrived in New York.

They spent two nights at a hostel in New York City before Isaac was able to manage transportation for them to Pennsylvania. He arranged work for Jacob at a small carpentry shop in Milford, near Pitch Pine”

 

 

 

 

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*What impact did this have on her?

Anya had been segregated from the community growing up, so she was very anxious to find new friends in Pitch Pine. That also made her vulnerable to people who befriended her for their own agenda….particularly the mayor’s wife, Dottie Franklin. Anya trusted Dottie with her life and Dottie betrayed her.

After Gertie finished college, she left for Europe to try to find her father and get answers to his disappearance. Anya went to work in Polka Dot’s dress shop, which belonged to Dottie Franklin, the Mayor’s wife . One day Dot came in to find that Anya had apparently hanged herself with several yards of silk brocade, but was it really as it appeared?

 

 

*How did this impact her relationship with her daughter Gertrude?

After her Helmut abandoned Anya and Gertie when she was just five years old, she trusted no one, except her mother. She found that animals were more loyal and loving than people and she ‘collected’ every injured or stray animal she found. Old Doc Myers would patch them up and Gertie would care for them until they were able to go back out on their own (wild animals) or she would find homes for the domestic animals.

In later life, her love for the animals lead her to her one true love and her collection of senior dogs is why she named her home ‘Elderhaus’ (which means ‘old house’ in German).

 

 

 

 

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*Who forced her to have an arranged marriage?

Anyaleise was seventeen when her family arrived in America. home-schooled me. Her father immediately set about finding a matchmaker who would choose a suitor for her. since she was almost eighteen years old and nearing an age when she would be considered an old maid.

As luck, or in Anya’s case fate would have it, there was just such a matchmaker right there in Pitch Pine. Her name was Zelda Baasch. Apparently, he had gone to Zelda with a checklist of the attributes he wished his future son-in- law to possess. Ultimately, Zelda returned to him with what she proclaimed to be the perfect suitor. She told him that the young man known as Helmut Klingenfelter was of German Jewish descent with an advanced degree in architecture and a 2nd major in Business Administration. Zelda was forced to admit that Helmut had not been forthcoming in sharing details of his past; but she knew that for so many refugees of World War II, there were memories which were too painful to recall, much less share.

Helmut told his prospective father-in- law, that he wished to raise his family in Pitch Pine. He said he wanted to become the City Planner of the township. He wanted to restore and develop the land and structures originally built by early settlers.

Anyaleise and Helmut were married in June of 1949 and exactly nine months to the day following our wedding, Gertrude Leah Klingenfelter was born.

 

 

*What are some facts about Anya that are not in the story?

Anya was far stronger than anyone ever gave her credit for and that’s not obvious to anyone who hasn’t been there themselves. She stood up to Helmut when she thought he was cheating on her and made the choice to raise Gertrude alone, rather than accept his philandering. She raised a child alone in a time when to do so was not as prevalent as it is today and she was wise enough to build a sizable inheritance to leave her daughter.

 

 

 

Thanks Anne!!

 

 

 

 

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Anne is the author of the Magoo Who Series, which includes Book 1: ‘MAGOO WHO? LIFE THROUGH MY EYES’ Book 2: ‘MAY I BE FRANK’, Book 3: ‘SILENT VIGIL’ and Book 4: ‘MAGIC & MIRACLES: A HOMECOMING’ and ‘DARBY AT THE DERBY’, whose release coincided with the 2015 Kentucky Derby. 

Amazon | Goodreads | Website

 

 

 

 

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Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

The Story of Entrepreneur & Author Gavin Mills

 

Welcome to another edition of…

The Story of the Writer Series

with Author Gavin Mills

 

 

 

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Gavin Mills is the author of Dup Departs: A Time to Go and Seed of Reason. He’s an entrepreneur of two companies, a former world dancer, and all around awesome dude. Gavin is also one of our participating authors of this years inaugural Mystery Thriller Week Event taking place this February 12-22. Don’t miss it!!

 

 

 

So, who is Gavin Mills? And what is his story?

 

 

 

 

 

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*Where are you originally from?

I am South African born and bred, hailing from Springs, a small mining town on the apron of Johannesburg, the city of Gold.

Awesome!! I know a few peeps in S. Africa. In Cape Town and Johannesburg.

 

 

 

 

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*What kind of band were you in?

LOL! I was never in a band. I was a dancer. I started in engineering then computers and then did a flip flop and became a dancer. I must have been pretty good at it – I did my first professional show before taking a class! I went on to perform as principal dancer at the Moulin Rouge in Paris – a show with the hottest women on Earth. What a life!

Wow! I’m trying to picture you dancing in my head. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*Introduce us to your main character.

Arnold Dup Preez makes movies – and everyone calls him Dup. He was a dancer when he was younger (funny that), and followed a natural progression into movie production. He has an ex beauty queen wife and two young kids, but his life is a shambles. His business is going to the dogs and he is less than impressed with life in the new South Africa. He is not overly ambitious and his business is floundering. He has reached a cross-roads in his life. He knows the journey ahead will not have a happy ending the way things are going, but does not know how to change. He is pretty desperate and open to suggestions – that could have bad outcomes. But deep down he has character and strength even he never knew he had. And being forced into corners will reveal his true mettle.

Nice. Our true colors shine when we’re under pressure. Way to go Dup!

 

 

 

 

“Character is the real foundation of all worthwhile success.”-John Hays Hammond

 

 

 

 

 

 

*You’re a writer; so whats your story, or what inspired you?

Frustration in a world going bonkers? My first book was Seed of Reason – a fantasy. It is about a New Order that was going to right all wrongs – which then goes pear-shaped when the darker attributes of puppet-masters reveal themselves. It is a book that takes a look at people and society and questions a lot of things about life. It took me 7 years to complete and I am very proud of it. After that I decided to have some fun, and Dup was written with a very different intent –basically to press buttons and get pulses racing.

Interesting. At least your persistence paid off after 7 years. At this rate, my first book will be done after 7 years. 

 

 

 

 

 

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*What’s your GOAL in becoming a writer?

I s’pose to be read – and hope some people like my stuff. Writing is a very frightening prospect at times. It is human nature to want people to like you when you are bearing your soul and placing your talents up for scrutiny. But the Goal? Hey: Fame and fortune! Lol!

Hahahhaha!! That’s great. I understand and agree about bearing your soul to the page wondering how it’ll turn out. I”m there right now. I love the simplicity of wanting to be read. That says it all. 

 

 

 

 

 

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*What 3 things have hindered you from completing your projects? (CONFLICT)

Three things that hinder? Me, me and me. We can all do what we set our minds to, but sometimes life gets in the way …Or that’s what we tell ourselves. I believe I can write, but sometimes when writing, question this conviction. But always, we have it within us to do. But that doing is sometimes really difficult.

I totally relate to this. Why is it so hard get past our fears? It’s a very subtle feeling. 

 

 

 

 

“Conflict cannot survive without your participation.”-Wayne Dyer

 

 

 

 

*What keeps you motivated in achieving your dream? (DESIRE)

Ask that to the worker bee. It is in my nature. I chizel away in my little playground and believe that one day, some of the things I do will be great.

That’s right! If we believe it, it will happen. Plain and simple.

 

 

 

 

 

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*What’s your ANTAGONIST? What’s in the way?

Family and professional obligations. I once heard that if a guy hasn’t made it by forty, he never will. I don’t think it’s as much an age thing as a family thing. When still single, I could do with my time what I wanted. Now my first responsibility is my family – and that’s not only financial. It’s love, my company, my time. This is a blessing, but with regard to dedication to creation, certainly a challenge – But one well appreciated!

Those are all wonderful things! I’m in the same boat. 

 

 

 

 

 

Belief Button with Glowing Blue Lights.

 

 

 

 

*If you have given up your dream, why?

I believe dreams change. What I dreamt for in my twenties are not the same things I dream about now. And it is this fact that brings the dynamics which forge our characters. When you get stuck in a dream, you miss out on the world of opportunities that pass you every day.

I like the spin on this. Very true. 

 

 

 

 

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*Why do writers give up, quit or never complete their projects?

I don’t think it’s only writers that give up. People give up in all careers and situations – the same as there are success stories everywhere in life. Giving up is not a milestone, it is a state of mind. We can achieve whatever we want so long as we believe it can be done, we believe we personally can do it; we start and then keep going, and resolve never to give up until it’s done. This is the mindset of success.

I love that statement!! Lovely. The mindset means a lot. Our state of mind throughout the process has a lot to do with it. Thanks for sharing. 

 

 

 

 

Change your mindset!

 

 

 

 

 

*What would you say to a struggling writer who’s given up?

Don’t be so dumb. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and looking to blame someone or something. And stop being so precious about whether it is a success or not. Set a date, stick to the date and get down to it. Keep going ‘til the end, and whether it is a best seller or spaghetti, pat yourself on the back for writing a book – because not everyone can do that…

Amen to that brother! I love the bluntness to this one. In other words, get ‘er done! Totally needed to hear that one. 

 

 

 

 

success

 

 

 

 

 

BONUS: What else do you have coming down the pike? 

I’ve got three other stories swimming around in my head. I have started on two of them. One is a prequel to Dup. A somewhat darkly humorous love story. Should be interesting…Beside that, life, life and more life – warm in the love of my family.

 

 

 

 

Thanks Gavin!

 

 

 

ME – GAVIN MILLS

 

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Gavin Mills started out studying Chemical Engineering before two year’s military service, becoming a 2nd lieutenant and serving as transport officer for 52 Battalion out of Ogongo in Namibia in the late ‘70s. Then into computers before giving up corporate life to become a professional dancer, performing first in South Africa and later in London, Paris, Spain and Portugal -some of the highlights being principal dancer in Moulin Rouge Paris France, Scala in Spain and Canary Islands, and Estoril Casino in Lisbon, Portugal. On returning to South Africa, he got into choreography, stage production and industrial theatre playing a significant role in voter education leading up to the historic SA 1994 elections. Then back to the corporate world focusing on event marketing and production. Today apart from his passion for storytelling, he also runs two successful

 

 

 

 

 

 

How can readers find out more about you and your work? Anyone wishing to find out more about me and my books can find me on Goodreads, my FB author’s page and Pinterest:

Goodreads | Facebook

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t be a stranger!

 

 

 

 

 

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Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

Discussing Plays, Novels, and Reading With Elena Hartwell

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Welcome to another edition of Forensic Lenses

 

An investigative and exploratory approach into the minds of voracious readers everywhere.

Please welcome novelist, playwright and teacher Elena Hartwell!

 

 

 

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Elena is the author of One Dead, Two to Go and Two Heads Are Deader Than One Both a part of the Eddie Shoes Mystery Series. She is also one of our wonderful participating authors in this year’s Mystery Thriller Week  event. Beginning Feb. 12-22. Don’t miss it!

 

 

 

 

 

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*Who influenced your reading habits the most as a child?

My parents taught me to love reading. I was read to extensively by both parents. My father would put his rocking chair in front of my and my older sister’s bedroom doors, and we would go to sleep to the sound of his voice and the shushing of the rocker on the hardwood floor. We read the Narnia series, the Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, Watership Down, all the great books. The other big influence I had as a child was my paternal grandmother. Granny read mysteries and westerns, she got me into those genres.


I love that they taught you a *love* of reading. That says much more than just reading itself. 

 

 

 

 

 

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*Who were your childhood heroes?

Nancy Drew. Misty of Chicoteague and the two kids who own her. Lucy in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. Outside the literary world, probably Carl Jung. My parents had a Jungian library for a while. It was the 70s.


Oh wow. Carl Jung. I’ve been enjoying his work too, among others. ENFP’s rock!! Everyone’s heroes are unique.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*What sort of books did you read as a teenager?

Mysteries – Tony Hillerman, Sue Grafton, I loved the Jean Auel Clan of the Cave Bear series. I read a lot of Sci-Fi – Robert Heinlein, Asimov,  Anne McCaffrey.


Lovely. I like Sci-fi too. Haven’t read Sue Grafton yet, unfortunately. 

 

 


*Any particular books that shaped you in this time period?

Watership Down was a big one. And The Hobbit. I use The Hobbit all the time when I teach story structure. Little House on the Prairie series, I wanted to be Laura Ingalls. Any book about horses, I’m still in love with them.


YES. I just listened to the Hobbit audiobook and it was wonderful. I got a better realization of the story this time around. 

 

 

 

 

“Reading changes us.”-T.Michael Martin

 

 

 

 

 

*How did you get into theater?

I dropped out of high school, so when I decided I was going back to school I had to start at a community college, because I didn’t qualify for a four-year. I started back, while working full-time as a bartender, and started with Spanish and Acting. Spanish because I’d need a language requirement and I’d been very good at it in high school. I grew up in San Diego, so there was a lot of Spanish spoken around me. I took Acting because I’d always thought it would be fun to try and I was easing into going back to school. I loved the acting class and went on to take every theater course Grossmont College offered, as well as working on a number of productions. I went on to get a theater minor at the University of San Diego, a M.Ed with an emphasis in teaching theater from UW-Tacoma, and a Ph.D. in dramatic theory and criticism from the University of Georgia. Throughout my educational years and beyond I continued to work professionally in theater and teach on the university level.


Very academic!  I’d love to hear one of your classes!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*Name the core elements of a play, and what is its purpose?

This could be answered a number of ways. I’m going to go with dialogue, conflict, and universality. Dialogue, because despite the fact there is action in plays and we go to watch them, not just hear them, the basis of a play is the text written by the playwright, primarily in dialogue. Conflict, because without conflict there’s nothing to overcome, and if there’s nothing to overcome, there’s no tension or rising action or character development, and universality because it is through the specificity of a character or event that makes the experience of going to see theater universal. We have the opportunity to realize we often struggle through the same issues, regardless of race, ethnicity, politics, or religion. I can watch a play about a black family and feel it resonate with my own experiences, even though I’m white. I can watch a play about gay issues or struggles of faith, and while I’m straight and agnostic, I can still find common ground with the characters. It also creates the opportunity to recognize our own prejudices and hopefully become more accepting and compassionate.


Very interesting. I’ve actually only been to one play so I don’t anything about the subject. Thanks for sharing!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*How does the structure differ from a novel?

I would argue it really doesn’t, except there are no intermissions in a novel. I often hear people talk about “Three-act structure” – but as a playwright and novelist, I think novels are like One-Act plays, not Three-Act plays.


Interesting. I wish I could pick your brain more about this subject! 

 

 

 

*Have you written any plays?

Several. I’ve been published and produced around the US, and parts of the UK and Canada.

 

Awesome. I wonder what happens next? Do you submit it to someone for casting?


 

 

 

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*Name your top 5 favorite characters.

Bilbo Baggins from JRR Tolkien. Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz. Pryor from Angels in America. Bosch from Michael Connolly. Kinsey Millhone from Sue Grafton.


YES. Bilbo Baggins is a wonderful reluctant hero. LOVE Bosch.

 


*Did your taste in books change while in college?

Nope.

 

Simplicity is bliss.



 

 

 

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*If all the books were going to be burned, yet you had your choice of three, which would you select?

The Oxford English Dictionary, Stephen King’s On Writing, and Strunk and White’s Elements of Style. Then we could write new ones.


Oh wow. This is s fascinating choice indeed. Then writing new ones! You have the right kind of spirit!!

 

 

 


*If you could pick any fictional character for a sibling who would it be? Brother or sister.

Merlin the Magician. He would be an awesome brother. Though Gandalf would be a close second.


I can see you love magic! Personally I’d take Gandalf.

 

 

 

 

 

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*Name your favorite modern authors and what you appreciate about them.

Dennis Lehane, he writes stand alones, a contemporary series, and historical, I love his breadth.  Gillian Flynn for her strong, unique voice and proof women can write terrible people too. Blake Crouch, I can’t put it into words why his books enthrall me so, but I can’t put them down once I start them. Sue Grafton for her sheer tenacity and so many years of wonderful books.


Historical fiction is now one of my favorites. Not so familiar with the others. At least I haven’t read them yet. (Don’t hate me).



 

*What books would you like to recommend to us?

Ordinary Grace by William Kent Krueger, The Life We Bury by Allen Eskens, Friday Night Lights by H.G. Bissinger, Bury Your Dead by Louise Penny, Burial Rites by Hannah Kent, Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen.


Awesome. I’ve come across William Kent Kreuger. Thanks for the recommendations!

 


 

 

 

 

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THANKS ELENA!

 

 

 

Don’t be a stranger…

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

 

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Book Recommendations with Kristina Horner

TELEVISION TUESDAY

Book Recommendations with Kristina Horner

 

 

 

 

 

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What’s on your reading list for 2017? Tell me in the comments!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Up for a reading challenge? Join the Book Hoarders Bucket List Reading Challenge  (Goodreads group here)

 

 

A Challenge for Book Hoarders Like Me at SallyAllenBooks.com

 

 

Don’t miss the inaugural powerhouse event of 2017!! Check out Mystery Thriller Week on my other site: Mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.thewritingtrain.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

Best Slam Dunk Contest DUNKS OF ALL TIME

TELEVISION TUESDAY IS BACK

The Best Slam Dunks of All Time

 

 

 

 

 

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What’s your favorite dunk of all time? Tell me in the comments!!

 

 

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Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythriller.com

Watch “APA Webinar: Blogging About Audiobooks” on YouTube

IT’S TELEVISION TUESDAY FOLKS

 

Audio Publishing Association Webinar: Blogging About Audiobooks

 

 

 

 

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Do you blog about audiobooks? Enjoy audiobooks? Tell me in the comments!

 

 

 

 

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Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

Mystery Thriller Week 2017

 

ITS TELEVISION TUESDAY FOLKS

 

CHECK OUT THE NEW MYSTERY THRILLER WEEK TRAILER

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What is is MTW? or Mystery Thriller Week?

 

 

 

 

MYSTERY THRILLER WRITERS, BLOGGERS, REVIEWERS, INTERVIEWERS, MENTORS, AND PUBLISHING SPECIALISTS, WELCOME TO:  #MYSTERYTHRILLERWEEK!

 

 

Don’t miss the global inaugural event of 2017! It’s the marvelous celebration of the mystery and thriller genre that has seamlessly worked its way into the fabric of our society.  There’s currently over 220+ authors from over a dozen countries represented. From international thriller and Agatha award finalists to beginning writers, MTW is truly a wonderful group. Be there. Join the fun!

 

 

 

  • BOOKS

  • AUDIOBOOKS

  • CONTESTS

  • REVIEWS

  • COVER REVEALS

  • TRAILERS

  • PROMOTIONAL SPECIALS

  • MARKETING

  • BRANDING 

  • NAME RECOGNITION

  • AUTHOR INTERVIEWS

  • GUEST BLOG POSTS

  • LIVE FACEBOOK AUTHOR HOSTING EVENTS

  • VIDEO DISCUSSIONS AND TRAINING

  • PUBLISHING MENTORING

  • PRIZES

  • AWARDS

  • CONTRIBUTORS FOR CRIME COLUMN

  • CONTRIBUTORS FOR HISTORICAL FICTION/COLUMN

 

 

Asking yourself, what can I do? There are so many opportunities, take a look at what is in store for you!

eBooks are being provided by the author and publishers for review purposes. Request one now.

Get an early start, request a book, review and choose a posting date. We have authors joining daily and the books will be listed in the menu on the Main page.

  • Know a blogger or online personality, tell them about the event. Sign up here
  • Tweet Hashtag #MysteryThrillerWeek  or #MTW often to grow this project. Follow us on Twitter @MTW_2017
  • Use Hashtag #MysteryThrillerWeek  and #MTW on Facebook often to encourage participation. 
  • Reserve a time slot to share your vision, your books, and host an Author’s Hour of your own. Schedule your own hour.
  • Invite your fellow authors and mystery thriller specialists to join us during this cross-platform event. 

 

We need excited Mystery and Thriller aficionados. Join the Fun!  This event is all about you and your Genre! Why not sign up today?  

 

 

*If you are a specialist (story coach, narrator, publisher, other) you can sign up under the Author or Fan link. 

*If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to send us an email at the addresses provided below. 

 

 

 

 

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Contact the 2017 Mystery Thriller Week Team

 

Benjamin Thomas thebigcaboose@gmail.com

Vicki goodwin vicgoodwin@gmail.com

Sherrie Marshall Spitz sherrie@sherriesalwayswrite.com

 

 

 

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Blog Tour: Two Days Gone by Randall Silvis

 

 

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By Randall Silvis

 

 

Title: Two Days Gone

Author: Randall Silvis

Publication Date: January 10, 2017

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Format: Trade Paper

ISBN: 9781492639732

Paperback: 400 pages

 

 

 

A unique literary suspense novel that reveals the killer as the plot unravels…

 

 

 

Praise for Two Days Gone

 

A January Indie Next Great Read

“…a suspenseful, literary thriller that will resonate with readers long after the book is finished. A terrific choice for Dennis Lehane fans.”—Library Journal, STARRED review

“Beneath the momentum of the investigation lies a pervasive sadness that will stick with you long after you’ve turned the last page.”—Kirkus Reviews

“…skillfully written thriller.”—Publishers Weekly

“…impressive novel…an intriguing thriller.”—Booklist

…this novel [will] linger in readers’ minds well after Two Days Gone.”—Shelf Awareness

“Two Days Gone is a quiet, intense, suspenseful mystery about a man who has lost everything. Rich with descriptions and atmosphere….Two Days Gone is relentless in its suspense, and the final twists in the novel are sure to not disappoint.”— Foreword Review

“An absolute gem of literary suspense, pitting ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances and told in a smooth, assured, and often haunting voice, TWO DAYS GONE is a terrific read.”

Michael Koryta, New York Times bestselling author of Those Who Wish Me Dead

 

 

 

 

 

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Summary:

The perfect family. The perfect house. The perfect life. All gone now.

Thomas Huston, a beloved professor and bestselling author, is something of a local hero in the small Pennsylvania college town where he lives and teaches. So when Huston’s wife and children are found brutally murdered in their home, the community reacts with shock and anger. Huston has also mysteriously disappeared, and suddenly, the town celebrity is suspect number one.

Sergeant Ryan DeMarco has secrets of his own, but he can’t believe that a man he admired, a man he had considered a friend, could be capable of such a crime. Hoping to glean clues about Huston’s mind-set, DeMarco delves into the professor’s notes on his novel-in-progress. Soon, DeMarco doesn’t know who to trust—and the more he uncovers about Huston’s secret life, the more treacherous his search becomes.

 

Goodreads Link:

http://ow.ly/Lbgn306TTEn

 

Buy Links:

 

Amazon:

http://ow.ly/dr1j306TTQ3

Barnes & Noble:

http://ow.ly/eveI306TU15

IndieBound:

http://ow.ly/hupQ306TU93

 

 

RANDALL SILVIS

 

About the Author:

Randall Silvis is the internationally acclaimed author of more than a dozen novels, one story collection, and one book of narrative nonfiction. His essays, articles, poems, and short stories have appeared in various online and print magazines. His work has been translated into ten languages. He lives in Pennsylvania.

Mr. Silvis is also a participating author in this year’s Mystery Thriller Week celebration along with 200+ authors from around the globe! Don’t miss out on all the fun. If you’re a fan, book lover, bibliophile, vlogger, blogger then definitely don’t want to miss this one.

Social Media Links:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/randallsilvis

 

 

 

 

 

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First Chapter Excerpt

The waters of Lake Wilhelm are dark and chilled. In some places, the lake is deep enough to swallow a house. In others, a body could lie just beneath the surface, tangled in the morass of weeds and water plants, and remain unseen, just another shadowy form, a captive feast for the catfish and crappie and the monster bass that will nibble away at it until the bones fall asunder and bury themselves in the silty floor.

In late October, the Arctic Express begins to whisper south- eastward across the Canadian plains, driving the surface of Lake Erie into white-tipped breakers that pound the first cold breaths of winter into northwestern Pennsylvania. From now until April, sunny days are few and the spume-strewn beaches of Presque Isle empty but for misanthropic stragglers, summer shops boarded shut, golf courses as still as cemeteries, marinas stripped to their bone work of bare,splintered boards. For the next six months, the air will be gray and pricked with rain or blasted with wind-driven snow. A season of surliness prevails.

Sergeant Ryan DeMarco of the Pennsylvania State Police, Troop D, Mercer County headquarters, has seen this season come and go too many times. He has seen the surliness descend into despair, the despair to acts of desperation, or, worse yet, to deliberately malicious acts, to behavior that shows no regard for the fragility of flesh, a contempt for all consequences.

 

He knows that on the dozen or so campuses between Erie and Pittsburgh, college students still young enough to envision a happy future will bundle up against the biting chill, but even their youth-ful souls will suffer the effects of this season of gray. By November, they will have grown annoyed with their roommates, exasperated with professors,and will miss home for the first time since September. Home is warm and bright and where the holidays are waiting. But here in Pennsylvania’s farthest northern reach, Lake Wilhelm stretches like a bony finger down a glacier-scoured valley, its waters dark with pine resin, its shores thick on all sides with two thousand acres of trees and brush and hanging vines, dense with damp shadows and nocturnal things, with bear and wildcat and coyote, with hawks that scream in the night.

In these woods too, or near them, a murderer now hides, a man gone mad in the blink of an eye.

The college students are anxious to go home now, home to Thanksgiving and Christmas and Hanukkah, to warmth and love and light. Home to where men so respected and adored do not suddenly butcher their families and escape into the woods.

The knowledge that there is a murderer in one’s midst will stagger any community, large or small. But when that murderer is one of your own,when you have trusted the education of your sons and daughters to him, when you have seen his smiling face in every bookstore in town, watched him chatting with Robin Roberts on Good Morning America, felt both pride and envy in his sudden acclaim, now your chest is always heavy and you cannot seem to catch your breath. Maybe you claimed, last spring, that you played high school football with Tom Huston. Maybe you dated him half a lifetime ago, tasted his kiss, felt the heave and tremor of your bodies as you lay in the lush green of the end zone one steamy August night when love was raw and new. Last spring, you were quick to claim an old intimacy with him, so eager to catch some of his sudden, shimmering light. Now you want only to huddle indoors. You sit and stare at the window, confused by your own pale reflection.

Now Claire O’Patchen Huston, one of the prettiest women in town,quietly elegant in a way no local woman could ever hope to be, lies on a table in a room at the Pennsylvania State Police forensics lab in Erie.There is the wide gape of a slash across her throat, an obscene slit that runs from the edge of her jawline to the opposite clavicle.

Thomas Jr., twelve years old, he with the quickest smile and the fastest feet in sixth grade, the boy who made all the high school coaches wet their lips in anticipation, shares the chilly room with his mother. The knife that took him in his sleep laid its path low across his throat, a quick, silencing sweep with an upward turn.

As for his sister, Alyssa, there are a few fourth grade girls who, a week ago, would have described her as a snob, but her best friends knew her as shy, uncertain yet of how to wear and carry and contain her burgeoning beauty. She appears to have sat up at the last instant, for the blood that spurted from her throat sprayed not only across the pillow, but also well below it, spilled down over her chest before she fell back onto her side. Did she understand the message of that gurgling gush of breath in her final moments of consciousness? Did she, as blood soaked into the faded pink flannel of her pajama shirt, lift her gaze to her father’s eyes as he leaned away from her bed?

And little David Ryan Huston, asleep on his back in his crib— what dreams danced through his toddler’s brain in its last quivers of sentience? Did his father first pause to listen to the susurrus breath?Did he calm himself with its sibilance? The blade on its initial thrust missed the toddler’s heart and slid along the still-soft sternum. The second thrust found the pulsing muscle and nearly sliced it in half.

The perfect family. The perfect house. The perfect life. All gone now.Snap your fingers five times, that’s how long it took. Five soft taps on the door. Five steel-edged scrapes across the tender flesh of night.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for stopping by!

 

 

 

 

“A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever.”-Martin Tupper

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.mysterythrillerweek.com

 

Meet the Highwaypersons by Geoffrey Monmouth Participating MTW Author

Who are the Highwaypersons?  What are they like? People have asked me about the main characters in my book Highwaypersons: Debts and Duties.   It is hardly an unreasonable question and it is not on…

Source: Meet the Highwaypersons by Geoffrey Monmouth Participating MTW Author

The Story of Author Anna Patrick

 

 

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WELCOME ANNA!

 

 

Here we are with another story to tell.

So who is Anna Patrick? Well, let’s find out.

 

 

 

 

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So her story begins…

 

 

 

 

*Are you originally from Northern Virginia?

Yes, born in raised in the suburbs of Northern Virginia, outside of DC.

Ive never been to northern Virginia before. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*What do you do currently in your occupation?

I’m a Communications Associate for The Kennedy Forum, a mental health advocacy non-profit founded by Patrick Kennedy – his book, A Common Struggle, is a great read if you haven’t checked it out yet!

 Nice. Thanks for the book recommendation!

 

 

 

 

“Books are mirrors: you only see in them what you already have inside you.”

 

 

 

 

 

*Did you have a childhood fascination with fairy tales? Tell us about it and your all time favorites.

I don’t think it’s so much fairy tales, but just darker stories in general. I loved Alice In Wonderland, of course, and poetry by Edgar Allan Poe. Not your average childhood reads, but I think I had such an idyllic childhood that the dark and edgy stories captured my interest.

 That makes sense. I’ve read some of Poe’s work, but now enough.

 

 

 

 

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*What genre do you write?

Fiction. Leaning toward the magical surrealist side. I think the creative possibilities there are endless, and that intrigues me.

 Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

 

 

 

 

 

“Imagination is the reality of the dreamer.” -Scott Ringenback

 

 

 

 

 

*Have you always wanted to be a writer?

I read a quote recently that said something like look to your childhood passions to see where your life calling lies. I’ve always written, and I think when I reached an age where you start to question what you want to do, becoming an author seemed like a natural goal for me.

 I love that quote! 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*Where did you go to school? Major?

I went to Boston College and majored in Communications. I wrote Meditations In Wonderland there my last semester.

 Wow. That sounds like a major feat. Penning a novel in your last semester of college is remarkable. 

 

 

 

 

 

*What led you to write Meditations in Wonderland? Your premise looks pretty intriguing.

Thank you! I grew up loving Alice In Wonderland, and I was inspired by the dark tones it took on over the years as my generation grew with the story. From that landscape my story manifested itself in my mind over a few years, primarily starting when I studied abroad in London, saw Lewis Carroll’s original manuscript and visited Oxford, through to my senior year of college when I finally wrote it. It’s been called Pretty Little Liars meets Alice In Wonderland.”

 

Never been to Oxford, but Cambridge is beautiful. 

 

 

 

 

 

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*Would it be classified as a psychological thriller?

I can definitely see an argument for that. As a dark Alice In Wonderland retelling I think no one would dispute that. It definitely has a lot of thriller-esque scenes and notes of magical surrealism. And, of course, a little nonsense.

 It’s amazing to see what different authors are able to craft with their imagination. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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*Tell us a little about the main character.

Elizabeth is 24, and she lives in Brooklyn and works as an interior designer in the city. I think many people can relate to the themes she’s struggling with – confronting and acknowledging the darker sides of herself, struggling with mental static and getting lost in the noise. In a sense she has to reclaim herself after giving in to a pattern of self-destructive behavior. She meditates, falls down the rabbit hole, and the rest is history.

 

Wow. Makes me want to know more about her.

 

 

 

 

 

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You’re a writer; so whats your story, or what inspired you?

I don’t think I can pinpoint a single moment when I decided that I would be a writer – I’ve always just written, and then I couldn’t separate myself from the act of writing, it always felt a part of me. I used to carry around a composition notebook in elementary school that housed my first “novel,” scribbled in mechanical pencil between classes and after school, and eventually I graduated to my MacBook in college on which I wrote the manuscript for Meditations In Wonderland my last semester at Boston College. In terms of inspiration, I just follow that internal whisper that compels me to return to the blank page time and time again.

 

Keep following that internal whisper. And when you don’t hear it, write anyway.

 

 

 

 

 

“In terms of inspiration, I just follow that internal whisper that compels me to return to the blank page time and time again.”-Anna Patrick

 

 

 

 

 

What’s your GOAL in becoming a writer?

Having my writing published has always been the “ultimate” goal for me, and I think many writers can relate to that, however I think a more realistic goal is just to keep writing, to keep the process alive. The hardest part about writing, in truth, is the act of sitting down to write in the first place. If I can cultivate and keep my writing practice going, that’s a goal in itself that I think leads to the more penultimate dream of having your work published.

YES. I love this. The more realistic goal is to keep writing. I struggle with having consistent writing time so I completely understand this. The ‘butt in chair’ is the only way. 

 

 

 

 

 

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What 3 things have hindered you from completing your projects? (CONFLICT)

Timing, spaces, and disconnect. As for the first, why is it when you’re about to shut your eyes and fall asleep, warm under the covers, does your muse begin to speak? I think mine might be a sadist in that way. So the first conflict for me is the timing of writing, capturing what I need to capture often against difficult circumstances for doing so, like commuting, unplugging for a night’s sleep, or while on a run. As for the second, my writing practice benefits from having a clean, creative space to work in with minimal distractions from my “to do” list, which is probably why I wrote my first novel out of my home in a local Barnes & Noble. Last, disconnect is often a gatekeeper I grapple with. Either feeling disconnected from the story, from myself, from my creative process, or just from the voice that compels me to pick up where I left off. Some days you’re just not “feeling it,” so to speak, and I think writers can all commiserate there. The goal is to at least try to make sure two out of the three are at bay on any given day to try to make writing happen, and keep it cohesive!

The writing process is so mysterious to me. Not sure if you’ve read Anne Janzer’s book , The Writing Process, but I was greatly helped by it. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What keeps you motivated in achieving your dream? (DESIRE)

If the story needs to be told, I’ll continue to tell it. When I don’t feel that ache in my bones to keep writing, I’ll stop, but I still have that voice that refuses to stop whispering.

Stories are great and equally mysterious. 

 

 

 

What’s your ANTAGONIST? What’s in the way?

Aren’t all of the best antagonists just reflections of ourselves, or our greatest fears? The fear that any next novel wouldn’t live up to the first, or that those new daring stylistic choices won’t engage the reader the way we hoped they would – we all have our dragon at that gate. For me, it’s scales are green, shiny, and coated with that existential “if I finish this, I have to turn it over to the business side of things” doubts. Writing is the fun part, but I think it’s important to embrace every part of the process, even the parts that we might rather procrastinate in facing.

Well spoken. It’s always a constant battle. Let’s keep at it, shall we?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Why do writers give up, quit or never complete their projects?

I think leaving a project is a very personal choice, so the reasons could be many. The best reason is probably because the project no longer feels authentic, which I think is a noble reason to step away, and faced with the same reality I hope I have the courage to do the same if it frees me up for the better project waiting in the shadows!

Seeing the next project is always tempting!

 

 

 

What would you say to a struggling writer who’s given up?

Take your time away, if you need it, and return to it when you feel compelled, nagged, and eaten away to resume. Because then you’ll really enjoy it, and your reader will feel that, too.

For me, it’s a gut feeling. If I stop, then it returns begging to be written.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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BONUS: What else do you have coming down the pike? 

I’ve been playing around with a sequel to my next novel, loosely based off of Through The Looking Glass, as Meditations In Wonderland was loosely based of Lewis Carrol’s Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland.

 

Keep us posted on the release date! 

 

 

 

 

Thanks Anna!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Goodreads | Amazon | Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thanks for ridin’ the train!!

 

 

 

 

 

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Don’t be a stranger….

 

 

 

 

 

 

Up for a reading challenge? Join the Book Hoarders Bucket List Reading Challenge  (Goodreads group here)

 

 

A Challenge for Book Hoarders Like Me at SallyAllenBooks.com

 

 

Don’t miss the inaugural powerhouse event of 2017!! Check out Mystery Thriller Week on my other site: Mysterythrillerweek.com

 

 

 

 

 

Benjamin Thomas

@thewritingtrain

http://www.thewritingtrain.com