Friday, July 21, 2017

Interview with Pamela O. Guidry, author of Pauli The Musical Pumpkin




Title: Pauli the Musical Pumpkin
Author: Pamela O. Guidry
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Genre: Juvenile Fiction
Format: Ebook

This is an inspiring story of a family whose characters depend on each other's unique personality traits to see them through life's little journeys. With Luis, the strength and leadership is dominant, and Erin's motherly love is profound. The two boys are very different both in looks and in spirit. Dominic is adventuresome, and the outdoors is his passion, whereas Donovan's love for beauty and music is his motivation. Pauli, different from any of his family, is talented and musical and brings forth a feeling of magic when he plays his beautiful music. In the end, the family is reunited and reassured. Each of us is special in our own way. As long as we have each other, anything is possible.


What is your favorite quality about yourself? 

My favorite quality about myself is that I am a very patient person. I somehow have the easygoing nature to give something the time it may require to get where I want it to be.


What is your least favorite quality about yourself?

My least favorite quality is feeling like I can always do better.


When did you first know you could be a writer?

Writing was not my favorite creative outlet. I basically combined my passion for music, colors textures, travel, scenery and love of family and created this beautiful story for children.

Who or what influenced your writing over the years? 

My Father influenced every aspect of my life. He taught me the values that I use in every part of my life.

How did you come up with the title of the book? 

The title of the book was named after my Nephew Paul, who is the musical director of the Cathedral.

What was the hardest part of writing your book?

The hardest part of writing the book was creating the various personalities and how they would come together in the end.



Pamela O. Guidry was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1960. My parents were the most loving and wonderful parents. I grew up in a family of six children. With three sisters and two brothers, an adventure was always just around the corner. Because family is the most fundamental purpose in life, the experiences we have shared have shaped my life. At an early age, I developed a passion for music, as well as a love for art and creativity. As an adult, I further pursued the imagination and use of colors and textures in my work as a decorator. And now, my passion is to travel the world so that I may experience the beauty of nature and the people I meet along the way.

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Interview with Ed Lin, author of This is a Bust







Set in New York’s Chinatown in 1976, this sharp and gritty novel is a mystery set against the backdrop of a city in turmoil
Robert Chow is a Vietnam vet and an alcoholic. He’s also the only Chinese American cop on the Chinatown beat, and the only police officer who can speak Cantonese. But he’s basically treated like a token, trotted out for ribbon cuttings and community events.
So he shouldn’t be surprised when his superiors are indifferent to his suspicions that an old Chinese woman’s death may have actually been a murder. But he sure is angry. With little more than his own demons to fuel him, Chow must take matters into his own hands.
Rich with the details of its time and place, this homage to noir will appeal to fans of S.J. Rozan and Michael Connelly.





January 20, 1976. The Hong Kong-biased newspaper ran an editorial about how the Chinese who had just come over were lucky to get jobs washing dishes and waiting tables in Chinatown. Their protest was making all Chinese people look bad. If the waiters didn’t like their wages, they should go ask the communists for jobs and see what happens.

Here in America, democracy was going to turn 200 years old in July. But the Chinese waiters who wanted to organize a union were going directly against the principles of freedom that George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, and Abraham Lincoln had fought for.

Those waiters were also disrespecting the previous generations of Chinese who had come over and worked so hard for so little. If it weren’t for our elders, the editorial said, today we would be lumped in with the lazy blacks and Spanish people on welfare.

I folded the newspaper, sank lower in my chair, and crossed my arms. I banged my heels against the floor.

“Just a minute, you’re next! Don’t be so impatient!” grunted Law, one of the barbers. A cigarette wiggled in his mouth as he snipped away on a somber-looking Chinese guy’s head. When he had one hand free, he took his cigarette and crushed it in the ashtray built into the arm cushion of his customer’s chair.

He reached into the skyline of bottles against the mirror for some baby powder. Law sprinkled it onto his hand and worked it into the back of the somber guy’s neck while pulling the sheet off from inside his collar. Clumps of black hair scampered to the floor as he shook off the sheet.

The customer paid. Law pulled his drawer out as far as it would go and tucked the bills into the back. Then he came over to me.

Law had been cutting my hair since I was old enough to want it cut. He was in his early 60s and had a head topped with neatly sculpted snow. His face was still soft and supple, but he had a big mole on the lower side of his left cheek.

You couldn’t help but stare at it when he had his back turned because it stood out in profile, wiggling in sync with his cigarette.

He looked at the newspaper on my lap.

“We should give all those pro-union waiters guns and send them to Vietnam!” Law grunted. “They’ll be begging to come back and bus tables.”

“They wouldn’t be able to take the humidity,” I said.

“That’s right, they’re not tough like you! You were a brave soldier! OK, come over here. I’m ready for you now,” Law said, wiping off the seat. I saw hair stuck in the foam under the ripped vinyl cover, but I sat down anyway. Hair could only make the seat softer.

“I don’t mean to bring it up, but you know it’s a real shame what happened. The Americans shouldn’t have bothered to send in soldiers, they should have just dropped the big one on them. You know, the A-bomb.”

“Then China would have dropped an A-bomb on the United States,” I said.

“Just let them! Commie weapons probably don’t even work!” Law shouted into my right ear as he tied a sheet around my neck.

“They work good enough,” I said.

When Chou En Lai had died two weeks before, the Greater China Association had celebrated with a ton of firecrackers in the street in front of its Mulberry Street offices and handed out candy to the obligatory crowd. The association had also displayed a barrel of fireworks they were going to set off when Mao kicked, which was going to be soon, they promised. Apparently, the old boy was senile and bedridden. 

“Short on the sides, short on top,” I said.

“That’s how you have to have it, right? Short all around, right?” Law asked.

“That’s the only way it’s ever been cut.”

If you didn’t tell Law how you wanted your hair, even if you were a regular, he’d give you a Beefsteak Charlie’s haircut, with a part right down the center combed out with a Chinese version of VO5. I was going to see my mother in a few days, and I didn’t want to look that bad.

“Scissors only, right? You don’t like the electric clipper, right?”

“That’s right,” I said. When I hear buzzing by my ears, I want to swat everything within reach. Law’s old scissors creaked through my hair. Sometimes I had to stick my jaw out and blow clippings out of my eyes. The barbershop’s two huge plate glass windows cut into each other at an acute angle in the same shape as the street. Out one window was the sunny half of Doyers Street. The other was in the shade. How many times had I heard that this street was the site of tong battles at the turn of the century? How many times had I heard tour guides say that the barbershop was built on the “Bloody Angle”?

The barbershop windows were probably the original ones, old enough so they were thicker at the bottom than at the top. They distorted images of people from the outside, shrinking heads and bloating asses. In the winters, steam from the hot shampoo sink covered the top halves of the windows like lacy curtains in an abandoned house.

In back of me, a bulky overhead hair dryer whined like a dentist’s drill on top of a frowning woman with thick glasses getting a perm.

The barbers had to shout to hear each other. The news station on the radio was nearly drowned out. The only time you could hear it was when they played the xylophone between segments or made the dripping-sink sounds.

If you knew how to listen for it, you could sometimes hear the little bell tied to the broken arm of the pneumatic pump on the door. The bell hung from a frayed loop of red plastic tie from a bakery box. When the bell went off, one or two barbers would yell out in recognition of an old head.

The bell went off, and Law yelled right by my ear.

“Hey!” he yelled. Two delayed “Hey”s went off to my left and right. The chilly January air swept through the barbershop. A thin man in a worn wool coat heaved the door closed behind him and twisted off his felt hat. His hands were brown, gnarled, and incredibly tiny, like walnut shells. He fingered the brim of his hat and shifted uneasily from foot to foot, but made no motion to take off his coat or drop into one of the four empty folding chairs by the shadow side of Doyers. He swept his white hair back, revealing a forehead that looked like a mango gone bad.

“My wife just died,” he said. If his lungs hadn’t been beat up and dusty like old vacuum-cleaner bags, it would have been a shout. “My wife died,” he said again, as if he had to hear it to believe it. The hairdryer shut down. “Oh,” said Law. “I’m sorry.” He went on with my hair. No one else said anything. Someone coughed. Law gave a half-grin grimace and kept his head down, the typical stance for a Chinese man stuck in an awkward situation. The radio babbled on.

The barbers just wanted to cut hair and have some light conversation about old classmates and blackjack. Why come here to announce that your wife had died? The guy might as well have gone to the Off Track Betting joint on Bowery around the corner. No one was giving him any sympathy here.

Death was bad luck. Talking about death was bad luck. Listening to someone talk about death was bad luck. Who in Chinatown needed more bad luck?

“What should I do?” the thin man asked. He wasn’t crying, but his legs were shaking. I could see his pant cuffs sweep the laces of his polished wing tips. “What should I do?” he asked again. The xylophone on the radio went off.

I stood up and swept the clippings out of my hair. The bangs were longer on one side of my head. I slipped the sheet off from around my neck and coiled it onto the warmth of the now-vacant seat. Law opened a drawer, dropped in his scissors, and shut it with his knee. He leaned against his desk and fumbled for a cigarette in his shirt pocket.

I blew off the hair from my shield and brushed my legs off. I pushed my hat onto my head.

“Let’s go,” I told the thin man.



When did you realize you wanted to be a writer? 

I've wanted to write pretty much as soon as I learned to write. My elementary school had a journal and my wife likes to recite my second-grade poems that were published in them. 

How long did it take you to write the book? 

This Is a Bust took about four years to write. The first draft took about a year and a half and then I was with this agent who wanted it to become something quite different. After we parted ways, I restored it to my original vision. All the rewriting made the book overall extra-crispy, and I mean that in a good way. 

What is your work schedule like when you are writing? 

I write regularly, during "lunch" at the day job and also hours at night and on the weekend. We have a toddler and nothing is normal, not even schedules! 

What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? 

I write on vintage Mac laptops. I use several different ones because of the feel of the keyboards. It's like using different guitars to record an album, and I am a rock star, after all. 

In your opinion, what does it take to get a book published? 

Editors' eyes glaze over when they read a manuscript they've seen thousands of times. Your voice is a unique instrument and only you know how to work it. You have to play it hard and loud, you have to be yourself fully, to get your book published. 

Where do you get your information or ideas for your books? 

I delve into the era. With This Is a Bust, I got all these magazines and newspapers from 1976 and before and read them. I restricted myself to films and music from 1976 and before. Man, was New York multicultural decades before the term was coined! I also interviewed two awesome retired NYPD cops who had served during that time. 

When did you write your first book and how old were you? 

The first book that ended up being published (and was the third overall, I think) was in 2002. I was in my early 30s. 

What do you like to do when you are not writing? 

I enjoy fixing up the vintage Macs that I write on. I replace dead floppy drives and install newfangled solid-state drives to replace hard-disk drives. If you only use a word processor, a Powerbook G4 from 2004 is dead even with a current MacBook.




Ed Lin, a native New Yorker of Taiwanese and Chinese descent, is the first author to win three Asian American Literary Awards and is an all-around standup kinda guy. His books include Waylaid, and a trilogy set in New York’s Chinatown in the 70s: This Is a Bust, Snakes Can’t Run and One Red Bastard. Ghost Month, published by Soho Crime in July 2014, is a Taipei-based mystery, and Incensed, published October 2016, continues that series. Lin lives in Brooklyn with his wife, actress Cindy Cheung, and son.


Connect with Ed at http://www.edlinforpresident.com or on social media at:





Monday, July 17
Book featured at Cheryl's Book Nook
Book featured at Chill and Read
Guest blogging at Mythical Books

Tuesday, July 18
Interviewed at I'm Shelf-ish
Book featured at Elise's Audiobook Digest
Book featured at Books, Dreams, Life

Wednesday, July 19
Guest blogging at Must Read Faster
Book featured at Diana's Book Reviews
Interviewed at Harmonious Publicity

Thursday, July 20
Book featured at The Writers' Life
Book featured at Stormy Nights Reviewing
Interviewed at As the Page Turns

Friday, July 21
Book featured at Lynn's Romance Enthusiasm
Guest blogging at Thoughts in Progress

Sunday, July 23
Book featured at T's Stuff
Interviewed at The Literary Nook

Monday, July 24
Book featured at A Title Wave
Book featured at Stuck in YA Books

Tuesday, July 25
Book featured at The Angel's Pearl
Book featured at Write and Take Flight
Book featured at The Bookworm Lodge

Wednesday, July 26
Book featured at Don't Judge, Read
Book featured at The Toibox of Words
Book featured at Comfy Chair Books

Thursday, July 27
Book featured at The Dark Phantom

Friday, July 28
Book featured at A Book Lover
Book featured at Mello and June

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Book Review: The Bomb That Never Was by J.R. Shaw

419382_Blog Tour_L2

 

Inside the Book:

The Bomb That Never Was
Title: The Bomb That Never Was
Author: J.R. Shaw
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: Alternative History
Format: Ebook/Paperback

Praise for The Bomb That Never Was

 “Hitler has the bomb, and it's headed for the USA. This meticulously researched historical novel will have you asking, ‘What if?' This is an intelligent, fast-paced page-turner that will make you forget that you already know how it all turns out. Provocative, informative, and entertaining—I couldn't put it down.” —Joseph P. DeSario, author of Limbo and Sanctuary and coauthor of Crusade: Undercover Against the Mafia & KGB

“Authoritative and credible in its attention to detail, The Bomb That Never Was captures the spirit and temper of the WWII years and raises some deep philosophical questions about loyalty, treason, and commitment to country. A page-turner … tough to put down … a story well told.” —Robert L. Aaron, journalist and public relations executive

My Review

I was just talking about some books that I have read (fiction and non-fiction) that focus on WWII and the Nazis. Both of them (The Storyteller by Jodi Picoult and Night by Eli Weisel) strike a chord in me that is hard to let go. Is anything more horrific than what happened then, at least from a historical standpoint? J.R. Shaw paints a new story, one that could have even more terrify repercussions and it was a fascinating and thrilling read.

What would happen if the US was the target and Hitler had the bomb? What events would take place in that scenario? Read this book to find out.


Meet the Author:
J. R. Shaw is a pseudonym for a person who likes privacy, preferring to remain in the shadows. If you're interested in reading the next book, please turn to the back of this book and enjoy reading an excerpt from The Pieces. The Pieces will be out in 2016.