Authors' Chat

Bats and Bones – Karen Nortman

Author interview - Karen Musser Nortman Karen Musser Nortman is the author of Bats and Bones, the first book in the Frannie Shoemaker Campground cozy mystery series. Karen was a secondary social studies teacher in the West Liberty, Iowa, Community Schools for 22 years and a test developer and senior test associate with the ACT WorkKeys testing program for 18 years. In retirement, she has combined an early love, fiction writing, with the Nortmans' avocation, RV camping. The Nortman's camp regularly through the spring, summer, and fall in Iowa, Illinois, Minnesota, and Missouri with friends and enjoy exploring the local attractions as well as hiking, cooking, and biking. The Frannie Shoemaker series tweaks their real life adventures with a touch of murder thrown in. Karen's website is www.karenmussernortman.com. Stephanie: Karen, congrats on winning the B.R.A.G Medallion. Please tell me about your story, Bats and Bones. Karen: Frannie Shoemaker and her husband Larry, both retirees, camp in Midwest state parks and campgrounds with a group of friends. But one hot Fourth of July weekend, their planned activities are interrupted by their discovery of the body of the campground hostess while on a hike. Authorities close the campground and a severe storm…

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Path to Freedom- Conrad Taylor

Author interview- Conrad Taylor Conrad Taylor is one of the first two Guyanese admitted to West Point. He attended the highly-regimented United States Military Academy on a scholarship in 1969, as one of ten students from Latin America and the Caribbean. He studied and trained there at the height of the Cold War, the Vietnam conflict, and the 60s counterculture upheavals, before returning to Guyana, South America. Conrad lends the unique perspective of that life-changing opportunity – and eventual hasty emigration – to his award-winning memoir, PATH to FREEDOM: My Story of Perseverance. The former Guyana Defense Force officer and semi-retired executive uses his extensive business experiences, including as a CEO, as an adviser on Strategy, Leadership, and Change Management. He holds a Master's degree in Management from the Sloan School of Management at MIT, a Bachelor's in Engineering from the United States Military Academy at West Point, and an Executive Program certification from the Goizueta Business School at Emory University. An avid soccer fan, Conrad represented ARMY on an undefeated freshman team and in three NCAA playoffs. The husband, father, and grandfather has also been an Assistant Coach to four Illinois Youth Soccer State Championships teams. Stephanie: Hello Conrad!…

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Bring your superpowers to work- Darcy Eikenberg

Author Interview - Darcy Eikenberg Stephanie: Hello, Darcy. Congrats on winning the BRAG medallion. Please tell me about your book, Bring Your Superpowers to Work: Your Guide to More Clarity, Confidence & Control. Darcy: Thank you! I'm honored that "Bring Your Superpowers to Work" was chosen! The book is a practical guide for anyone who's successful "on paper"—good job, good company, good pay—but feeling less than successful on the inside. It's filled with real-world, simple ideas to help you change your life at work without having to change everything in your life. Stephanie: What genre does it fall under? And how long did it take you to write it? Darcy: It's a non-fiction business book in the career development and leadership space. However, I've had some people refer to it as self-help because of all the simple, practical actions and tools the book shares that any one of us can use in our work-life. The book started as a series of posts on my blog, www.RedCapeRevolution.com. I wasn't focused on writing a book, but an agent who had subscribed to my monthly email newsletter suggested I consider it. I started to work on a nonfiction book proposal to pitch the…

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Little Miss History – Barbara Ann Mojica

Author Interview -Barbara Ann Mojica Stephanie: Hello Barbara! Congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion. Please tell me about your book, Little Miss HISTORY Travels to MOUNT RUSHMORE. Barbara: Little Miss History Travels to Mount Rushmore is the first in a series of books using the Little Miss HISTORY character as a guide. She looks like a wannabe park ranger with pig tails and hiking boots three sizes too big. With her as your child's guide learning about people and places of historical importance will be fun and educational. The aim of these books is to whet your child's appetite to learn more about history and perhaps even visit these landmarks with you. Little Miss HISTORY presents information in a whimsical and factual way while amusing your child. I hope you will invite her into your home and enjoy this first adventure, and those to follow, with your loved ones. Stephanie: What genre does this fall under? Barbara: This book is children's non-fiction. In the US it would be generally be aligned with fifth grade core curriculum which studies American history. Stephanie: What inspired you to write children's books? Barbara: I am a historian with Bachelor's and Master's Degrees in history…

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Daughters- florence Osmund

Author interview:  Florence Osmund Stephanie: Florence Osmund grew up in an old Victorian home in Illinois, complete with a coach house, the same house she used as inspiration for her first two books. She earned her master's degree from Lake Forest Graduate School of Management and has obtained more than three decades of experience in corporate America. Her notable website is dedicated primarily to helping new authors—offering advice she wishes she had received before starting her first novel. Osmund currently resides in Chicago where she is working on her next novel. Florence, thank you for chatting with me again and congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion for your story, Daughters. Please tell me about your book. Florence: The year is 1949, and twenty-four-year-old Marie Marchetti has just discovered the identity of her father, Jonathan Brooks, the father she never knew. She hopes the invitation from him to spend two weeks with her newfound family over Thanksgiving will help uncover vital truths about herself. Discovering who her father is also means discovering her own ethnicity, and her strong need to understand who she really is and where she belongs drives her to seek peace and truth in her life. A lot…

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The Little Gnome-Sheri Fink

Author Interview:  Sheri Fink Sheri Fink is a #1 best-selling, award-winning children's author, creator of "The Whimsical World of Sheri Fink" children's brand, and an international speaker. Sheri writes books that inspire and delight children while planting seeds of self-esteem. Her first children's book, The Little Rose, was a #1 best-seller on Amazon for over 60 weeks, became the #1 top-rated e-book on Amazon, and received a gold medal in the 2012 Readers Favorite International Book Awards. Her subsequent books have all been #1 best-sellers. Her children's book series recently received the Gold Mom's Choice Award for excellence in family friendly entertainment. Sheri was recently selected by CBS Los Angeles as one of the top 3 authors in her local area, a distinction she shares with Dean Koontz. Stephanie: Hello, Sheri. Congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion. Please tell me about your book, The Little Gnome. Sheri: The Little Gnome is a charming story about a garden gnome experiencing the wonder of the four seasons for the first time. At first he doesn't understand and resists the changes in his environment. That just makes him grumpy. Once he begins to understand the seasons, he finds something good in every change.…

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Island of Fog- Keith Robinson

Author Interview: Keith Robinson   Stephanie: Keith Robinson is a writer of fantasy fiction for middle-grade readers and young adults. His ISLAND OF FOG series has received extremely positive feedback from readers of all ages including Piers Anthony (best-selling author of the Magic of Xanth series) and Writer's Digest. Keith is a self-employed website designer with a wife and daughter. Originally from England, he moved to the United States in 2001 where he now resides in the sticks of Chickamauga, Georgia. Apart from writing, he collects young adult and children's books. He has a bookshelf crammed full of secondhand hardbacks of varying authors from the 1940s-1960s, in particular those he grew up with in the UK. He owns EnidBlyton.net and is webmaster of EnidBlytonSociety.co.uk, both dedicated to the great author. Visit UnearthlyTales.com for more. Hello Keith, congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion! Please tell me about your book, Island of Fog.Keith: Thank you! A lonely, foggy island is home to eight families. Twelve-year-old Hal and his friends have always wondered what happened all those years ago on the mainland, that unseen place Out There beyond the fog, and after an astonishing discovery in the woods the children are more determined…

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A Rendezvous To Die for- Betty McMahon

Author Interview: Betty McMahon Stephanie: Hello Betty! Congrats on winning the B.R.A.G Medallion. I see that your book (A Rendezvous to Die For) falls under the mystery genre and I do love a good mystery. Please tell me about your story. Betty: Photographer Cassandra Cassidy does weddings – but only to pay the rent. She'd prefer more interesting subjects. Which gets our reckless heroine in a lot of trouble. During a newspaper assignment to cover a 1830s Rendezvous reenactment, she points her camera inside a sweat lodge, clicks the shutter, and finds the body of her nemesis with a tomahawk in his loathsome head. She can't help but think "good riddance," but the local constabulary thinks our meddling photog is the main suspect. Soon she's up to her f-stops searching for the real killer – with her only investigative skills camera-related. Stephanie: What was your inspiration for your story and how long did it take you to write it? Betty: I'd been a working journalist for many years and decided to take a Writer's Digest course in fiction writing. My mystery book was generated out of the exercises for that class. It took me a long time to write it,…

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Reno splits- Phillip Winberry

Author Interview:  Phillip winberry Stephanie: Phillip, it is a pleasure to be interviewing you! Congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion for your novel, "Reno Splits." What an interesting title! Please tell me a little about your story. Phillip: Thanks for having me as your guest, Stephanie. Winning the BRAG Medallion for Reno Splits is a great honor, a surprise to say the least. I'm glad you like the title. It's meant to convey the essence of the divorce ranch era that prevailed in the mid twentieth century in a place that styled itself as the 'Biggest Little City in the World.' During a period of about 35 years (from 1931 to the mid 1960s) Reno was a mecca for divorce seeking women, particularly eastern socialites and Hollywood starlets wanting a quick and easy way to split the sheets of an unhappy marriage. While establishing the six weeks residency required by the state of Nevada before being granted their independence, many of the split-seekers lived a luxurious and pampered lifestyle sampling Reno's dazzling nightlife, high-stakes gambling, and majestic scenery. When New York lawyer Sam Carr's twin sister, Sally, disappeared on the day she was scheduled to receive her divorce and later…

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Searching for Lincholn’s ghost- Barbara Dzikowski

Author Interview:  Barbara Dzikowski   Stephanie: I would like to introduce Barbara Dzikowski. Winner of the BRAG Medallion. Searching for Lincoln's Ghost is Barbara J. Dzikowski's debut novel. She earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy and a graduate degree in counseling from Indiana University. These areas of study fueled her desire to create fiction that closely examines the human heart and its complex search for love and meaning. Fascinated by the passion, idealism, and lost hope of the 1960s, she is putting the finishing touches on her second novel, Losing Is Still Ours, about two families struggling with the changes and uncertainties of that decade, with a particular focus on the cataclysmic year of 1968. She is also hard at work on her third novel, which depicts a family's personal struggle while caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease. I have been so intrigued about your story, "Searching for Lincoln's Ghost." Please tell me a little about it. Barbara D. Barbara: Searching for Lincoln's Ghost is a story about coming of age during the tumultuous 1960s. Although it begins as a "look back" from an adult's perspective, at its heart, it's a story about Andi Powell, a young, lonely,…

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