JeanBookNerd Storytellers BOX

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Alexandrea Weis

SISTERS OF THE MOON Official Blog Tour

Sean Penn


Shannon Takaoka


Tom Bilyeu

Impact Theory

Gareth Worthington

A TIME FOR MONSTER Official Nerd Blast

William L. Myers Jr.


Nora Shalaway Carpenter

RURAL VOICES Official Blog Tour

E.E. KNight


Simon Lelic


Gregg Olsen


Josh Duhamel


Sara B. Larson


Mary Cecilia Jackson


Megan Collins


Christopher Ruocchio


Sunday, October 25, 2020

Netflix: Shawn Mendes: In Wonder Trailer

In Wonder follows Shawn Mendes’ journey toward self-discovery, after the physical and emotional demands of his rise, and his last world tour, pushed him towards a personal and musical reckoning. The documentary is a heartfelt look at a songwriter and performer wrestling with the pressures of stardom and the emotional tolls of coming-of-age while the world watches. Largely framed around his rise and recent tour, the film offers unprecedented access to Mendes’ private life both at home, and while traveling across North and South America, Europe, Asia and Australia, and features years of footage as he rose from precocious troubadour to global superstar.

On Netflix Globally: November 23, 2020
Directed by: Grant Singer
Produced by: Saul Germaine, p.g.a and James Haygood
Executive Produced by: Andrew Gertler, Shawn Mendes and Ben Winston

Over the course of a world tour, this unguarded documentary follows Shawn Mendes as he opens up about his stardom, relationships and musical future.

Photo Content from Netflix
Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service with 158 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without adverts or commitments.
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Saturday, October 24, 2020

|Podcast| When Jackals Storm the Walls - Bradley P. Beaulieu

Photo Credit: © Al Bogdan

Bradley P. Beaulieu fell in love with fantasy from the moment he began reading The Hobbit in third grade. While Bradley earned a degree in computer science and engineering and worked in the information technology field for years, he could never quite shake his desire to explore other worlds. He began writing his first fantasy novel in college. It was a book he later trunked, but it was a start, a thing that proved how much he enjoyed the creation of stories. It made him want to write more. He went on to write The Lays of Anuskaya series as well as The Song of Shattered Sands series. He has published work in the Realms of Fantasy Magazine, Orson Scott Card’s Intergalactic Medicine Show, Writers of the Future 20, and several anthologies. He has won the L. Ron Hubbard Writers of the Future Award and earned a Gemmell Morningstar Award nomination. Learn more about Bradley by visiting his website,, or on Twitter at @bbeaulieu.

JBN Podcast   JBN Podcast   JBN Podcast


“Çeda and Emre share a relationship seldom explored in fantasy, one that will be tried to the utmost as similar ideals provoke them to explore different paths. Wise readers will hop on this train now, as the journey promises to be breathtaking.” —Robin Hobb, bestselling author of Fool’s Assassin

"Fantasy and horror, catacombs and sarcophagi, resurrections and revelations: the book has them all, and Beaulieu wraps it up in a package that's as graceful and contemplative as it is action-packed and pulse-pounding." —NPR

"The Song of Shattered Sands series is both gripping and engrossing." —Kirkus Reviews

"Beaulieu richly imagines several multifaceted societies, a variety of arcane systems, and a host of supernatural entities." Publishers Weekly

"Bradley P. Beaulieu continues to move the story forward in an intriguing fashion, weaving his plotlines into a great tapestry that promies a lot of great things to come." Pat's Fantasy Hotlist

"Beaulieu's intricate world-building and complex characters are quickly becoming the hallmarks of his writing, and if this opening volume is any indication, [this series] will be one of the next great fantasy epics." —B&N SF&F Blog

"The city of Sharakhai and surrounding area is a living, breathing thing and I revel in it. Beautiful writing, a deep and exciting story and characters you care about." —Shelf Inflicted

"[Beaulieu's] writing is more an immersive experience than anything else; he draws the reader in with such great skill. The first novel was an electrifying start to the series, providing a spectacular introduction to a multi-layered and captivating character living in a world whose layers match her own." —SFF World

"[With Blood Upon the Sand] is an ambitious sequel, larger in scope than its predecessor – and it pulls it off magnificently. It’s intelligent, well drawn and a lot of fun to read – and so I’d recommend it wholeheartedly." —Sci-fi and Fantasy Reviews

The fifth book in The Song of the Shattered Sands series--an epic fantasy with a desert setting, filled with rich worldbuilding and pulse-pounding action.

The reign of the kings of Sharakhai has been broken. The blood mage, Queen Meryam, now rules the city along with the descendants of the fabled twelve kings.

In the desert, Çeda has succeeded in breaking the asirim's curse. Those twisted creatures are now free, but their freedom comes at great cost. Nalamae lies dead, slain in battle with her sister goddess. Çeda, knowing Nalamae would have been reborn on her death, sets out on a quest to find her.

The trail leads Çeda to Sharakhai where, unbeknownst to her, others are searching for Nalamae as well. Çeda's quest to find her forces her into a terrible decision: work with the kings or risk Sharakhai's destruction.

Whatever her decision, it won't be easy. Sharakhai is once more threatened by the forces of the neighboring kingdoms. As the powers of the desert vie for control of the city, Çeda, her allies, and the fallen kings must navigate the shifting fates before the city they love falls to the schemes of the desert gods.

You can purchase When Jackals Storm the Walls at the following Retailers:
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Netflix: Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Trailer - Viola Davis & Chadwick Boseman

Tensions and temperatures rise over the course of an afternoon recording session in 1920s Chicago as a band of musicians await trailblazing performer, the legendary “Mother of the Blues,” Ma Rainey (Academy Award® winner Viola Davis). Late to the session, the fearless, fiery Ma engages in a battle of wills with her white manager and producer over control of her music. As the band waits in the studio’s claustrophobic rehearsal room, ambitious trumpeter Levee (Chadwick Boseman) — who has an eye for Ma’s girlfriend and is determined to stake his own claim on the music industry — spurs his fellow musicians into an eruption of stories revealing truths that will forever change the course of their lives.

Adapted from two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s play, MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM celebrates the transformative power of the blues and the artists who refuse to let society’s prejudices dictate their worth. Directed by George C. Wolfe and adapted for the screen by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the film is produced by Fences Oscar® nominees Denzel Washington and Todd Black. Colman Domingo, Glynn Turman, Michael Potts, Taylour Paige and Dusan Brown co-star alongside Grammy® winner Branford Marsalis’ score.

On Netflix: December 18, 2020
In Select Theaters: November
Directed by: George C. Wolfe
Screenplay by: Ruben Santiago-Hudson
Based on the Play by: August Wilson
Produced By: Denzel Washington, p.g.a., Todd Black, p.g.a., Dany Wolf
Executive Producer: Constanza Romero
Director of Photography: Tobias Schliessler, ASC
Production Designer: Mark Ricker
Costume Designer: Ann Roth
Editor: Andrew Mondshein, ACE
Composer: Branford Marsalis

Cast: Viola Davis, Chadwick Boseman, Glynn Turman, Colman Domingo,
Michael Potts, Jonny Coyne, Taylour Paige, Jeremy Shamos, Dusan Brown, Joshua Harto

Photo Content from Netflix

In the blues song “ Michigan Water ,” jazz great Jelly Roll Morton seductively croons: 

Michigan Water taste like sherry wine, mean sherry wine Mississippi Water taste like turpentine... 

For the over one hundred thousand black people who migrated to Chicago from the Deep South during the first twenty years of the last century, the waters of Lake Michigan must have felt intoxicating, indeed. But as Jelly Roll warned, those waters turned brutally mean the summer of 1919, when a seventeen-year-old black boy while swimming, inadvertently crossed an invisible line of racial demarcation, and was attacked and drowned. 

When no arrests were made for the young boy’s death, Black people took to the street in protest. During the ensuing confrontations, a white mob stormed Bronzeville, Chicago’s Black neighborhood. Five days later, 37 were dead, 536 injured, and over a thousand left homeless. 

The film Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, adapted from the 1982 play of the same name, is set during the summer of 1927. As the same racial embers which erupted eight years earlier continue to simmer, enter a different kind of explosion — but no less stinging or socially significant. Enter singer/songwriter/ showbiz entrepreneur, the legendary Ma Rainey, a black woman from Columbus, Georgia, who is used to obeying nobody’s rules but her own. 

Ma Rainey, aka “The Mother of the Blues,” has come north for a one-day recording session. Included in her entourage is her nephew Sylvester, her newest girlfriend Dussie Mae, and band members Toledo, Slow Drag, Cutler and Levee. 

Photo Content from Netflix

Ma Rainey, as crafted by playwright August Wilson, breaks a number of rules, including those of August Wilson himself. She is the only character in August’s magnificent ten play cycle, chronicling the African American existence during the twentieth century, who is based on a real person. She is also the only LGBTQ character — Ma was an out lesbian, who, in her song “Prove It on Me,” unabashedly proclaims: 

Went out last night with a crowd of my friends 
Must have been women cause I don’t like men. 

Equally unique about Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which premiered on Broadway in 1984, is that it’s the only play in the cycle which is not set in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, the famed Black neighborhood where August Wilson spent his formative years. 

But the one quality the piece shares with the rest of August Wilson’s work is its stunning language; language which is as exalted as it is visceral and raw. 

As the characters in Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom sermonize, philosophize, talk shit, confront and condemn, their cascading words become a symphonic composition which celebrates the pain, joy and wonder of being black, human and alive. 

As much as Ma Rainey the historical figure was a trailblazer, by 1927, the world was starting to leave her behind. Bessie Smith, Ma’s protege and alleged former lover, had eclipsed her in record sales and popularity; and each week The Duke Ellington Orchestra could be heard on the radio, live from The Cotton Club — the modernity of Ellington’s harmonics, the polar opposite of Ma Rainey and her jug band blues. 

In the film, Levee, Ma’s coronet player, who has his own musical sound and vision of the future, sees his time in Chicago as a chance to break free of the strictures which have kept black performers/artists from having the creative careers they deserve. Will Levee have a future full of promise and possibility, or will the demons of his past and ours as a country keep him and us from moving forward, unencumbered and free?

The blues as an art form has always struck me as having the power to transform the paradoxical, (faith versus despair, anguish versus desire) into a balm for the hopeful heart. Or to quote Ma Rainey: 

“The blues helps you get out of bed in the morning. You get up knowing you ain’t alone. There’s something else in the world. Something’s been added by that song.” 

Photo Content from Netflix
Netflix is the world's leading internet entertainment service with 158 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, documentaries and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can watch as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, on any internet-connected screen. Members can play, pause and resume watching, all without adverts or commitments.
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Friday, October 23, 2020

Dwayne Clayden Interview - Speargrass-Opioid

Photo Content from Dwayne Clayden

Dwayne Clayden combines his knowledge and experience as a police officer and paramedic to write crime thrillers. His first novel, Crisis Point, was a finalist for the 2015 Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis Award.

Outlaw MC is the second novel in the Brad Coulter series.

The third novel in the series, Wolfman is Back (excerpt) was released Nov 7, 2019.

Watch for the fourth and fifth novels to be released fall of 2020 and early 2021.

New series – Speargrass available via preorder now, on Kindle.

His short story, Hell Hath No Fury, was published in AB Negative, an anthology of short stories from Alberta Crime Writers.

Dwayne’s vast experience in emergency services spans over 40 years, and includes work as a police officer, paramedic, tactical paramedic, firefighter, emergency medical services (EMS) chief, educator, and academic chair.

He is a popular speaker at conferences and to writing groups presenting on realistic police, medical and paramedic procedures.

The co-author of four paramedic textbooks, he has spoken internationally at EMS conferences for the past three decades.

He is a member of the Board of Directors for the Crime Writers of Canada and the Alexandra Writers’ Centre Society.


Tell us your latest news. 
In September, I launched the first novel in a new series, Speargrass—Opioid. Speargrass is a fictional First Nation near Great Falls, Montana. Rodeo champion Franklyn Eaglechild finds his life upended when his bull-riding injuries force him into a new line of work as the Tribal Sheriff in Speargrass, Montana. 

As well, November 10th I will launch the 4th novel in the Brad Coulter Series, 13 Days of Terror. 

Monday Morning. A man drops dead in the parking lot of a car dealership in downtown Calgary. No one knows where the shot came from. No one knows why the victim was targeted. The shooter? Invisible. 

An hour later, another body hits the ground. Random victim, random location. 

A sniper is terrorizing Calgary. 

Detective Brad Coulter has just returned to work after a long leave of absence. The shooter leaves no evidence behind but taunts Brad with notes addressed directly to him. As the death count rises, city-wide panic ensues. It is a race against time. But how can Brad hunt a ghost? 

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way? 
Joseph Wambaugh was a pioneer for not only crime procedural novels, but television as well. His gritty, dark side of policing was a huge change from the sanitized 60s TV shows like 1 Adam 12 and Dragnet. Hill Street Blues was possible because of the novels of Joseph Wambaugh. 

He brought realism to the printed page. I work very hard to ensure that I am accurate in police and paramedic procedures. I don’t hold back on the dark side of the human race, or the challenges emergency services personnel face because of the events they witness. 

Robert B. Parker—the Jesse Stone Series. I loved Parkers writing style, and he had the biggest influence on my style. I like the multiple point of view—protagonist and antagonist. As a reader you can see what is coming, but don’t know how the two plots will come together. 

Are there any new Authors that have grasped your interest and why? 
Peter James, Roy Grace Series 
Roy Grace is a Detective Superintendent of the CID in Sussex, England. Peter James has crafted an excellent character, full of flaws and internal turmoil. (#1 Dead Simple) I have not been to Brighton, but I can see it through James’ writing. I also love the English slang and terminology. The plots are complex with many twists. 

Nelson DeMille, John Corey Series 
DeMille is an incredible author. The John Corey series (#1Plum Island) is written in first person. My current work in progress is in first person, and my protagonist, like John Corey is extremely sarcastic and not always politically correct. Not only was the series thrilling to read, it also provided an incredible example of first-person writing. 

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published. 
Receiving emails from readers is absolutely fantastic! My favorite comment is when they complain that my novel kept them up to the wee hours of the morning! I have also received messages when a reader catches me posting on Facebook. They message me and tell me to quit goofing off on Facebook, that they are waiting for my next novel. Having readers who bought my first or second novel, coming back for my next novel is a thrill. 

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel? 
Opioids don’t play favorites. Anyone, any family, could be affected by opioids. 

The resources to treat addiction in general, is profoundly lacking. 

In your newest book; SPEARGRASS-OPIOID, can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it. 
Speargrass—Opioid. Speargrass is a fictional First Nation near Great Falls, Montana. Rodeo champion Franklyn Eaglechild finds his life upended when his bull-riding injuries force him into a new line of work as the Tribal Sheriff in Speargrass, Montana. Franklyn quickly discovers not everyone is thrilled to have a new Sheriff in town looking into their business—especially not the drug dealers. 

Franklyn makes enemies in high places when he refuses to play by the Tribal Chief’s rules. Friends are scarce. Lucky for Franklyn, he has at least one friend he can rely on—his adopted brother and DEA Special Agent Riley Briggs in Great Falls. 

They soon realize they are dealing with the same issue, the opioid crisis. Teaming up seems like a good idea, but it further complicates Franklyn’s life on the reservation. 

All my novels lead to a confrontation in the last chapters, and Speargrass-Opioid has a thrilling conclusion. 

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book? 
There are several themes in the novel that gave me palpitations. 

First, that I was writing about a First Nation. The novel is based on my experiences working on a First Nation for four years. Most of the events are based on actual incidents I attended, that I have fictionalized. I spent a lot of time ensuring I was portraying the events in a respectful manner, while keeping the story authentic. My characters were composites of people I worked with and I hope I have been able to fairly portray life on a First nation and the challenges they face. 

The second challenge was that as I was over the 50,000 word mark, I realized that I was missing a character. That as great as Franklyn was, he needed a partner. I pondered that for many months, then came up with the Riley Briggs character as a DEA Agent. The tricky part was adding Riley’s chapters in the appropriate places and add the interactions between Franklyn and Riley. I think it would have been easier to have rewritten the novel from scratch. 

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why? 
I don’t know how many novels there will be in the Brad Coulter series, which starts in the mid 1970s. As long as readers want more of Brad, I’ll keep writing the stories. I have spent some time on the last novel, whenever it is time to end the series. I don’t want to give too much away, but Brad is retired and is moving to Vancouver Island, where, as usual for him, he finds himself in the middle of conflict. 

Rather than have Brad go to Vancouver Island, I could have him head to Montana where he gets caught in the middle of a drug deal gone bad. There he meets DEA Agent Riley Briggs from Speargrass-Opioid. (2020s) 

They are both very strong willed, I’m in charge kind of guys. So, I can see lots of tension (especially in dialogue) and conflict (coming close to blows), but also that they would grudgingly work well together. 

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Franklyn? 
I found that I got to know Franklyn’s character so well, that I felt his emotions and internal struggles. At times, I was emotionally drained after writing his chapters. Franklyn has a heart of gold, he wants to make a difference for his people, but he is treated as an outsider and that hurt him to the core. He also realizes that he has drifted from his cultures traditions, and wants to learn the old ways. I’ll explore that in the next novel. 

  • 1. Italy 
  • 2. Greece 
  • 3. Hawaii 
  • 4. Australia 
  • 5. England 
  • 6. Scotland 
  • 7. Ireland 
  • 8. Hawaii 
  • 9. European River Cruise 
  • 10. Hawaii 
What’s the most ridiculous fact you know? 
I am a trivia buff, so I have tons of useless information in my head, but every now and then I’m able to answer a final Jeopardy question! 

I know that Mark Twain is actually Samuel Langhorne Clemmons. But I also know that Clemmons wrote under another pen name, Thomas Jefferson Snodgrass. 

I also know that Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia is the fear of long words. Just don’t ask me to pronounce it! 

What's the most memorable summer job you've ever had? 
After graduation from high school, I was a camp councilor for the summer. It was a sports camp and every two weeks we had a new group. The idea was to introduce the kids to various sports. We played games all day. Football, basketball, field hockey, golf and then for fun, we combined games or set up relay races. Not only is that my most memorable summer job, it is probably one of the best jobs! 

Best date you've ever had? 
When Valerie and I started dating, we took turns planning the date. I selected an evening at the shooting range. Valerie had never handled or fired a gun before. A range officer explained the safety rules and gave Valerie an orientation to a pistol. Then we went into the range, with the range officer assisting Valerie. I took a spot a couple of stalls over and shot on my own. Every now and then I’d glance over to see how Valerie was doing. She was hitting the target and by her big grin, I knew she was having fun. 

As I watched, Valerie fired, and a hot casing ejected from the pistol and flew inside her shirt. She didn’t panic. She calmly set the pistol down and then fished out the casing. 

I knew she was the one! 

Last Halloween Costume you wore and when? 
My favorite Halloween costume is the Joker from The Dark Knight, portrayed by the late Heath Ledger. It is my go-to costume, and I’ve worn it every year since 2012. 

Photo Content from Dwayne Clayden

When I was the academic chair of the paramedic program at the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology in Calgary, Alberta, I wore the costume. I popped into our classrooms and the students had no clue who it was. Other students stopped me in the hallway to do a selfie with me! 

What event in your life would make a good movie? 
After 40 years as a paramedic, police officer, and firefighter, it’s a challenge to select a single event. I’ve used some of my best events in my Brad Coulter novels. 

I would say that my first two years as a police officer would be a good movie or TV series. Right from the start ‘stuff’ happened when I was working. Especially when I was working alone. I was in a twenty-minute car chase. Me driving a Plymouth Furry and following a sporty MG. 

I arrested a drunk driver, who, it turned out, was double jointed. And even though I had handcuffed him behind his back, he was able to get his arms to the front of his body and then used the chain of the cuffs to choke me. I was able to get out a distress call and cops came from miles away to my rescue. 

At the end of a shift, I was driving back to headquarters and a call came in about a sexual assault. Just as the dispatcher was describing the suspect, he ran out or a car park right in front of me. I left my cruiser in the middle of traffic and pursued. I didn’t catch him but was asked to assist a detective and we subsequently found the suspect. 

Those are a few of the things I was involved in. They’d be high action. There would be many humorous situations as well. 

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today? 
My life changed when I was accepted into the Calgary Police Service and completed five months of intense training. I was a naïve nineteen-year-old when classes started. I hit the street a month after my twentieth birthday. I was book smart and lacking in street sense. But between academy classes and some excellent partners, I developed the street sense that was an integral part of the rest of my career. Many of the skills I learned as a cop, were readily transferable to being a paramedic. 

There is a joke, that cops always want to sit with their back to the wall and face the door. Except it is true. I must have my back to the wall. I still scrutinize everything around me, no matter where I am. I know where the exits are. I know how many people are in the room. A few times, I have been moving toward a problem, almost before it happens. 

What is one unique thing are you afraid of? 
I am terrified of mice. In 40+ years in emergency services, I saw some gruesome things and was involved in very tense situations, but I’d take any of those over a mouse! 

What was the best memory you ever had as a writer? 
The book launch of Crisis Point was awesome! Over 120 people attended and 2/3 bought the novel. That propelled Crisis Point to the bestseller list. I was overwhelmed by the show of support from family, friends and writers. I signed novels for ninety minutes. 

My earliest memories are of my mother reading to me. When I could read on my own, I devoured the Hardy Boys series. 

When I was about ten, when my reading material was getting low, I’d take the bus from our house to Kensington used bookstore. I graduated from the Hardy Boys to Ellery Queen, Earl Stanley Gardner and Agatha Christie. 

In high school I loved writing reports in social studies class and in English class I wrote satire. Saturday Night Live stuff, except this was before SNL! 

Then career got in the way, but I co-authored four paramedic textbooks. 

In 2010, I was going through a major life change. One morning in October, I was showering and had an epiphany. I needed to write fiction. I Googled writing classes and one started the next week. 

The first piece I wrote and submitted to the instructor and classmates, everyone liked. 

For the next four years, I took writing classes pretty much non-stop. 

There was one point where I received feedback that devastated me. After giving a great pitch, I was asked to submit the Crisis Point manuscript. I excitedly opened the email with the review. The primary comment was, “It’s like a police show is on the TV in the other room, and I don’t care.” 

I set the manuscript side for about three months. Thankfully, I signed up for another writing class and set to improving the novel. 

In 2015, I submitted Crisis Point to the Crime Writers of Canada Arthur Ellis awards for the best unpublished novel. Then my name was called as a finalist. There is no other word. I was Gobsmacked! Instead of wine, I celebrated with Whisky! 

I attended the Crime Writers of Canada Awards in Toronto the end of May. It was like the Academy Awards of Writing. 

I didn’t win the award, and I was disappointed. But heck, making the finals was great. As she was leaving, the agent gave me her card and asked for my manuscript. 

I received thirty-seven responses—rejections. That was a gut punch. 

By now I had spent almost seven years on Crisis Point. I also admit that my biological writing clock was ticking. In April 2018, Crisis Point was launched and was a best seller in Calgary. There is immense satisfaction in holding your novel in print for the first time. 

OutlawMC launched in March 2019. 

Wolfman is Back launched in November 2019. 

Speargrass—Opioid launched in September 2020. 

Novels five and six are written. 13 Days of Terror will launch in November 2020 and Goddess of Justice in March 2021. 

Today, October 13, 2020, I am halfway through writing my seventh novel and 10,000 words into my eighth. 

I admit to being obsessed. I write every day. When I started writing in 2010, it was a struggle to write 500 words in a day. Now, 2500-3000 in a day is not unusual, and I have had days of over 6,000 words. 

I have a schedule with my editor to the end of 2023. The deadlines are important to keep me on track.

The new tribal sheriff of Speargrass, Montana’s ex-rodeo champion, Franklyn Eaglechild, a man plagued with injuries from the past. His damaged health leaves him with a dim future of lost dreams. While coping with his personal defeats, Franklyn quickly discovers not everyone in Speargrass is thrilled to have a new sheriff in town looking into their business.

Franklyn soon makes enemies in high places when he refuses to play by the rules. Friends are scarce, but lucky for Franklyn, he has at least one friend he can rely on—his adopted brother and DEA Special Agent, Riley Briggs in Great Falls.

As an opioid crisis spirals out of control in and around Great Falls and Speargrass, Franklyn and Riley realize they need to join forces if there is any hope of putting an end to the destruction.

You can purchase Speargrass-Opioid at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you DWAYNE CLAYDEN for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Speargrass-Opioid by Dwayne Clayden

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Thursday, October 22, 2020

K.J. Howe Interview - Skyjack

Photo Content from K.J. Howe

Born in Toronto, Canada, K.J. Howe enjoyed a nomadic lifestyle during her early years, living in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and the Caribbean, which gave her an insider’s view into many different cultures. While abroad, she read every book she could find, which triggered in her a desire to create her own stories.

She attended Salzburg International Preparatory School, Neuchâtel Junior College, and Albert College before earning a Specialists Degree in Business from the University of Toronto. KJ found success in the corporate world, but her passion for travel, adventure, and stories drew her back to school where she earned a Masters in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She is a Thriller and Barry Award nominee, and she has won several writing awards, including three Daphne du Maurier Awards for Excellent in Mystery and Suspense.

While honing her fiction skills, KJ worked as a medical, health, and fitness writer. She then became involved with the International Thriller Writers as the Executive Director of ThrillerFest, the organization’s annual conference held every July in New York City.

In preparation for writing THE FREEDOM BROKER series, which focuses on elite kidnap negotiator Thea Paris, KJ spent extensive time researching the dark world of kidnapping. She has interviewed former hostages, negotiators, hostage reintegration experts, special forces operatives, and K&R insurance executives.

KJ is an avid tennis player, cyclist, and swimmer. Travel and adventure still rank high on her priority list. She has had the pleasure of riding racing camels in Jordan, surfing in Hawaii, ziplining in the Costa Rican jungle, diving alongside Great White Sharks in South Africa, studying modern combat in the Arizona desert, and working with elephants in Botswana. Home is in Toronto, Canada, but she is often missing in action.


Tell us your latest news.
I’ve just finished a novel, THE PERFECT HOSTAGE, and I’m looking forward to introducing an exciting new character to readers.

Who or what has influenced your writing, and in what way?
David Morrell was my greatest influence. When I read THE BROTHERHOOD OF THE ROSE, I knew I wanted to one day try my hand at writing thrillers. I ended up meeting David while I was doing my Masters in Writing Popular Fiction, and he has since become my mentor. His sage advice has helped me grow as a writer. I love how he challenges me to push myself. SKYJACK is dedicated to Rambo’s Daddy.

Where were you born and where do you call home?
I was born in Toronto, but I have lived in many places, including Saudi Arabia, Switzerland, Austria, Kenya, Puerto Rico to name a few. I currently live in Toronto, but I’m often missing in action on an adventure…or at least I was before the pandemic. I’m a lot easier to find these days.

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published.
Teaching a group of young students in Dubai. They were inquisitive, intelligent, motivated. What a joy!

What do you hope for readers to be thinking when they read your novel?
I hope readers will be both entertained and educated. I love to learn while I read, to feel like I’ve gained knowledge after putting down a novel. I’ve spent seven years researching the world of kidnap and ransom, and I’d like to share this information, helping people to become safer travelers.

In your newest book; SKYJACK (Thea Paris #2), can you tell my Book Nerd community a little about it.
Sure, elite kidnap negotiator Thea Paris is taking two young African orphans to their new home in London when the plane they are on is hijacked. The adventure kick off from there. Highly recommended for in-flight reading!

What was the single worst distraction that kept you from writing this book?
Tennis! I’m addicted to this sport and tend to play six days a week. But, hey, it’s a healthy addiction, right?

Which of your characters do you feel has grown the most since book one and in what way have they changed?
Thea Paris is my protagonist, and I feel she has grown the most emotionally, realizing that her brother and father have agendas that don’t necessarily align with hers. A main theme in my novels is family and the inherent dysfunction in these complicated relationships. Thea realizes she has to protect herself and make decisions based on her own instincts, placing her trust in those who truly have pure intentions. It’s interesting that Rif turns out to be someone who is very trustworthy, even though he isn’t related to her and she had misgivings about him in the past.

What was the most surprising thing you learned in creating Thea?
I loved learning that female freedom brokers make excellent kidnap negotiators. Women tend to be talented at deescalating conflict, being empathetic with hostages and their families and they are able to connect well with kidnappers. They are also patient, a critical skill needed, as the negotiation process is often lengthy.

  • 1. You will learn several flight safety tips that could help you one day.
  • 2. You can travel to Budapest, Salzburg, Istanbul, and many other exotic locales.
  • 3. You can immerse yourself in the world of kidnap and ransom, just in case the info might come in handy.
  • 4. You’ll meet a 17 year old Austrian boy who is falling in love for the first time.
  • 5. You can cheer on Thea Paris as she battles to save two adorable African orphans.
  • 6. You can vicariously buzz a boat in the Danube!
  • 7. You will be able to get inside the head of a Mafia Boss.
  • 8. You will have a front row seat to a dynamic shoot out in an medieval Italian water fortress.
  • 9. You will learn why bad guys should never drive snowmobiles. 
  • 10. You will never feel the same way about turbulence again.
What’s the most ridiculous fact you know?
Just 50 years ago, there was no airport security. In the 70s, there was a rash of hijackings, so the government asked the public for their input on how to prevent skyjackings. Here were a few of their suggestions (this is real!): 
  • Give all passengers boxing gloves to wear for entire flight so they can’t hold guns.
  • Give flight attendants tranquilizer guns in case a passenger gets out of hand.
  • Create a trap door so that any dangerous passengers can be dropped out while flying.
Good thing the government did their own research!

Where did you go on your first airplane ride?

I was only two when I was flying an airplane. My father was a private pilot and he took me up with him all the time. I remember sitting on a phone book and flying the plane with him. He did a lot of aerobatics, and that was certainly interesting!

Best date you've ever had?
Lunch at Tamarind Restaurant in Mombasa, Kenya, overlooking the harbor. Wine, lobster, and brilliant conversation.

Last Halloween costume you wore and when?
A few years back, I dressed as a sniper in full camouflage, including face paint. I was in my element.

What event in your life would make a good movie?

Scuba diving with Great White sharks … Jaws, Part 2!

Which incident in your life that totally changed the way you think today?
Traveling as a child. I lived all over the world and I was always the new kid. Very tough to fit in as you jump from school to school. I tended to depend on myself for entertainment and I read A LOT. I treasured real friendships when I found them, and I also treasured my book friends.

What is one unique thing are you afraid of?

Mangoes…I’m very allergic.

What was the best memory you ever had as a writer?
Winning the Thriller Award for Best First Novel for THE FREEDOM BROKER is a moment I’ll never forget. Deeply grateful that all those years working on my writing resulted in a book readers enjoyed.

Where can readers find you?
I’m on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter as KJ Howe Author. I love to hear from readers. Come say hi!

The electrifying sequel to THE FREEDOM BROKER, featuring Thea Paris, a kidnap and ransom specialist. For Thea, kidnap is always personal - her brother's life was nearly ruined when he was taken as a child. Lisa Gardner says THE FREEDOM BROKER is 'clever and gritty' and Peter James calls it 'spellbinding'. If you like David Baldacci's King and Maxwell series, you will love this.

When Thea Paris's flight is hijacked over the Libyan Desert, her first priority is the two former child soldiers she is escorting to a new life in London.

As an international kidnap specialist, Thea Paris negotiates for hostage release as part of her job. She knows one wrong move could lead to deadly consequences.

After she is forcibly separated from the boys and the other passengers, Thea and her tactical team quickly regroup. And in their desperate search for the hostages that follows, unearth a conspiracy involving the CIA, the Vatican and the Sicilian Mafia, and a plot far more sinister than Thea could ever have imagined.

You can purchase Skyjack at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you K.J. HOWE for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive a Copy of Skyjack (Thea Paris #2) by K.J. Howe.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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Simone St. James Interview - The Sun Down Motel

Photo Credit: Lauren Perry

After years of writing and collecting rejections, Simone St. James' debut novel, THE HAUNTING OF MADDY CLARE, won two RITA Awards from Romance Writers of America and an Arthur Ellis Award from Crime Writers of Canada. AN INQUIRY INTO LOVE AND DEATH was nominated for another Arthur Ellis Award, and SILENCE FOR THE DEAD was shortlisted for a Goodreads Choice Award.

Simone spent twenty years behind the scenes in the television business before leaving to write full-time. She lives just outside Toronto, Canada, with her husband and a spoiled rescue cat. She is addicted to sushi, old 1970's gothic novels, rainy days, coffee, and My Favorite Murder. You can find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and Pinterest (though not all at once). Her next novel will release in 2020.


What inspired you to pen your first novel? 
I’ve always written as a hobby, but when I started reading romance novels, I decided I wanted to write one. I joined my local romance writers’ group and got serious about finishing something. I wrote three romance novels that got rejected (rightfully so!) before I wrote my first published book, The Haunting of Maddy Clare. 

Tell us your most rewarding experience since being published. 
There are lots, but getting sent on book tour is pretty amazing. It’s stressful getting on a plane to a new city every day, but the booksellers and readers are wonderful, and the experience is a real thrill. Of course, book tours are not happening at the moment (except virtually), and no one knows when they will come back. Someday! 

Tell us about THE SUN DOWN MOTEL. 
It’s a mix of Psycho and The Shining, mixed with Stranger Things and true crime. I love all of those things, and I really wanted to read a book that had elements of all of them. That book didn’t exist, so in order to read it I had to write it myself. That’s how I get most of my ideas, honestly. I think of my ideal book, I can’t find it, so I write it. 

What do you hope readers will take away from THE SUN DOWN MOTEL? 
I want them to forget the crazy world for a few hours. I want them to be engaged and chilled and I want them to have a lot of fun. I want them to love my characters as much as I do, because I love writing books in which women are the central characters, and the story is their story. We still don’t see that enough, in my opinion. Like I say, I want to read it, so I had to write it. 

  • The Secret History by Donna Tartt
  • The Dead Zone by Stephen King
  • The Ninth House by Leigh Bardugo
  • Airs Above the Ground by Mary Stewart
  • The Stranger Beside Me by Ann Rule
  • A Game of Thrones by George R.R. Martin
  • Dracula by Bram Stoker
  • Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier
  • On Writing by Stephen King
  • The Little Stranger by Sarah Waters
What part of Viv did you enjoy writing the most? 
Viv definitely has a dark side to her, and she isn’t perfect. I liked writing a female character who wasn’t a flawless heroine. I also liked watching her find her courage and her purpose, and start to see that she could right a wrong. Viv was complicated and a lot of fun to write. 

If you could introduce one of your characters to any character from another book, who would it be and why? 
Oh, that’s a good question. I guess I’d introduce Viv to Norman Bates and see how that encounter worked out. 

What was the best memory you ever had as a writer? 
Seeing my first book on bookstore shelves is a good one. Whenever I first see the cover for my next book, that’s a great day. That’s the day that the book starts to become a real thing instead of just an idea floating in my head and some words on a computer screen. I find covers really exciting. 

Where can readers find you? 
I keep my latest release news on my website: I’m also on Facebook at and on Instagram at 

The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.

Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn't right at the Sun Down, and before long she's determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…


“Deliciously creepy. A chilling blend of mystery and ghost story that will thrill fans of both.” —Riley Sager, New York Times bestselling author of Lock Every Door

"Simone St. James knows that true terror, as she effectively illustrates in The Sun Down Motel, goes beyond things that go bump in the night....St. James deftly melds an engrossing mystery with a tense supernatural thriller....keeps the tension high with myriad surprising twists." —Associated Press

“There are very few novels that leave me feeling genuinely spooked....Simone St. James's The Sun Down Motel is very much one of those books, taking twists and turns that are equal parts compelling and creepy.” —PopSugar

"This creepy supernatural thriller will send shivers down your spine.” —

“[A] truly nightmarish trip back and forth in time and into the supernatural...guaranteed to keep readers rapt...What a story!” —Booklist (starred review)

“This novel is a creepy delight.” —The New York Post

"When are we too old for ghost stories? As long as they are as taut and twisty as Simone St. James' latest novel, make that never....Readers of this thoroughly entertaining thriller won't be disappointed." —Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Spooky, unsettling, and brilliantly written, The Sun Down Motel is mesmerizing from the first page. A breathlessly suspenseful supernatural mystery that will hook you early, and never let go.” —Jennifer Hillier, author of Jar of Hearts, ITW Thriller Award winner for Best Novel

You can purchase The Sun Down Motel at the following Retailers:

And now, The Giveaways.
Thank you to STORYTELLERS BOX for making this giveaway possible.
1 Winner will receive The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James Storytellers BOX.

*JBN is not responsible for Lost or Damaged Books in your Nerdy Mail Box*
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