The Secret of Bramble Hill by Sue Owens Wright

thesecretofbramblehillThe Secret of Bramble Hill

By Sue Owens Wright

 

ISBN-10: 1626945861

ISBN-13: 978-1626945869

Black Opal Books

Paperback: 286 pages

January 1, 2017, $13.50

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Also available in ebook format

 

In April 1946, Tessa Field returns to Bramble Hill in the quaint Cornish seaside town of Covington Haven, England, after learning of her aunt Emily Maxwell’s drowning in a boating accident. The moment Tessa sets foot on the grounds of Bramble Hill, long-dormant psychic powers are stirred in her. Through a series of eerie manifestations and unexplained mishaps, she senses an entity in the house is trying to make contact and reveal dark secrets. Tessa narrowly escapes being trampled by a horse ridden by the handsome aristocrat and writer Peter Tremayne, a childhood friend. Upon their unexpected reunion, Tessa is immediately attracted to him, and he to her. Yet, despite their budding romance, she soon becomes distrustful of his true motives. Convinced that her aunt did not die in an accident but was murdered, Tessa investigates and soon becomes entangled in a web of deception, betrayal, and treachery that threatens her very life.

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Sue Owens Wright is an award-winning author of fiction and nonfiction. She is an eleven-time finalist for the Maxwell,

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

awarded annually by the Dog Writers Association of America (DWAA) to the best writer on the subject of dogs. She has twice won the Maxwell Award and earned special recognition from the Humane Society of the United States for her writing. She writes the acclaimed Beanie and Cruiser Mystery Series, including Howling Bloody Murder, Sirius About Murder, Embarking On Murder and Braced For Murder, which is recommended on the American Kennel Club’s list of Best Dog Books.

 

Her nonfiction books include What’s Your Dog’s IQ?, 150 Activities for Bored Dogs, and People’s Guide to Pets. She has been published in numerous magazines, including Dog Fancy, Mystery Scene, AKC GAZETTE, Fido Friendly, The Bark, and Animal Fair. Her work also appears in several anthologies, including PEN Oakland’s “Fightin’ Words,” along with Norman Mailer and other literary notables. Her newest novel is The Secret of Bramble Hill.

 

 

Website URL: http://www.sueowenswright.com

Blog URL: http://dogearedbooks.blogspot.com/

Facebook URL: https://www.facebook.com/sue.o.wright

 

The Secret of Bramble Hill buy link:

https://www.amazon.com/Secret-Bramble-Hill-Owens-Wright/dp/1626945861/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1485128293&sr=8-1-fkmr0&keywords=the+secret+of+bramble+hill+weight

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Nisei by J.J. White

niseifconlyNisei

By JJ White

 

ISBN-10: 1535010975

ISBN-13: 978-1535010979

Black Opal Books

Trade paper, 292 pgs.

June 28, 2016 $12.49

 

Also available for Kindle

 

 

  • First Place in the Columbus Creative Cooperative Great American Novel competition. (Ohio)
  • Second Place in the Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Awards. (Florida)
  • Second Place in the Southwest Writers 31stAnnual Novel Competition.  (New Mexico)

Local award winning author brings history to life on the pages of Nisei, a passionate tale of life after a pearl Harbor for a Japanese American man.

 

After the attack on Pearl Harbor, the United States government encouraged all eligible young men to enlist immediately in the fight against its enemies overseas. All eligible young men except Japanese-Americans. Nisei is the story of Hideo Bobby Takahashi, a Hawaiian-born Japanese-American who must overcome prejudice, internment, and the policies of his own government to prove his loyalty to his country. Narrated by Bobby Takahashi and read by his son, Robert, 46 years after Bobby’s death, the story details the young Nisei’s determination to fight honorably for his country and return to the young love he was forced to leave, a girl he cannot have because she is white.

imagesJ.J. White is an award winning novelist and short story writer who has been published in several anthologies and magazines jj-whiteincluding, Wordsmith, The Homestead Review, The Seven Hills Review, Bacopa Review, and The Grey Sparrow Journal. His story, The Adventures of the Nine Hole League, was recently published in The Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, #13. He has won awards and honors from the Alabama Writers Conclave, Writers-Editors International, Maryland Writers Association, The Royal Palm Literary Awards, Professional Writers of Prescott, and Writer’s Digest.

 

His crime fiction book, Deviant Acts, was released by Black Opal books in November, and was followed by his Historical Fiction book, Nisei, in 2016. He was recently nominated for the Pushcart Prize for his short piece, Tour Bus. He lives in Merritt Island, Florida with his understanding wife and editor, Pamela.

 

Links:                  www.jjwhitebooks.com

Facebook Author Page

Deviant Acts on Amazon

http://www.amazon.com/Deviant-Acts-J-J-White/dp/1626942854/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1447440390&sr=1-1

 

Nisei on Amazon

https://www.amazon.com/Nisei-JJ-White-ebook/dp/B01HQOY92C/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1471634066&sr=1-1&keywords=Nisei+White

Getting to know Larry & Carolyn Watts

larry-and-carolynLarry and Carolyn are Texas authors who have teamed up as authors for the first time to write Dishonored and Forgotten.  Larry has a BA in Labor Studies and is a graduate of the renowned Harvard University Trade Union Program whose mission is to help union leaders develop problem solving skills as well as discover ways to deepen public understanding of the value and importance of labor.

 

Larry’s career in law enforcement began in Houston, Texas, as a police officer. He became active in police labor issues and served on the board of directors of the Houston Police Officers’ Association and the National Association of Police Associations.  He retired after 21 years and began working for a state-wide association representing law enforcement officers throughout Texas, eventually becoming the chief of staff. After 20 years, he again retired, and began his first fiction novel, The Missing Piece about an Austin police officer involved in shooting a black citizen. Within a year, Watts was asked to assist the City of Austin develop a labor relations department.  Publication of that novel was postponed for two years while he fulfilled the interesting challenge.  He has now published five works of fiction and a book of short-stories.     His experiences are fodder for and add depth to his writing.

 

Carolyn worked for Continental Airlines for 16 years.  She was a flight attendant scheduler early in that career and worked in Continental’s Public Relations Department before returning to school to attain a BS in Psychology and an MS in School Psychology. Her professional career has spanned positions in education, a non-profit counseling center and shelter for victims of domestic violence, and a private practice that enabled her to fulfill her desire to work with couples and their children.

 

Carolyn has advocated for children, parents and families for over 20 years as a counselor and specialist in school psychology.  She is certified in marriage and family relationship therapies and in advanced therapies for treating trauma, loss and PTSD.   Her training in working with trauma was valuable in 2011 when she volunteered to counsel victims and first responders during devastating wildfires in Texas.

 

Dishonored and Forgotten is Carolyn’s first venture into historical fiction writing.  She has previously written six read-play-dishonored-andforgottencoverlearn-together books for therapists and parents to use while working with children.  She presents workshops to mental health providers and parents.

 

Larry and Carolyn live on the Texas Gulf Coast where they spend their time writing, enjoying family and attempting to capture all that life has to offer.

 

Tell me a little about yourselves…

 

Larry:

I grew up in a small Oklahoma town where everyone was on a first name basis.  After coming to Houston I became a police officer.  That was followed by a career in labor relations and I continue to consult with city and county government on public safety issues.

I have written articles for trade publications most of my adult life and published my first novel in 2011.  Since then I have written five more novels and a book of short stories.

 

Carolyn:

Most of my childhood and youth were in Beaumont, an industrial city on the Texas Gulf Coast.  Summer vacations always involved car trips to visit my dad’s family in a quaint Georgia town.

As the first child of a WWII marriage between two people from different religions and backgrounds, I learned to observe, analyze, adapt and appreciate differences early.  Mother read daily to my sister and me, contributing to our passion for books.  A school task incited my childhood love of writing.  (My first story was about a female heroine with traits not unlike those of Paul Bunyan.) When I entered high school, Mom advised that learning typing, editing and shorthand skills could help throughout life.  These life experiences have served as valuable assets during my business, psychology and writing pursuits.

I have published five books.  My Keys to Parenting Magic series of five read-play-learn-together books for children, parents, teachers and counselors enhance family bonds while educating children and adults about what children need and should be able to expect from parents. My Powerful Super Hero T-Cells is a read-and-learn-together book about guided imagery for children during illness.

 

 

Where would you live if you could live anywhere in the world?

 

Larry:

I love living on Texas’ Gulf Coast. We’re close to Houston, so we enjoy the pleasures of big city life, but can also be in remote, unpopulated beaches or the hustle and bustle of Galveston’s tourist population in literally minutes of leaving home.  It doesn’t hurt that my best cheerleader and co-author on my most recent book enjoys this life with me.

 

Carolyn:

I need a home base, and prefer to live near water, with access to urban benefits.  I also enjoy being able to visit our children and feeling that I’m a part of their lives.  So Texas is a good place for us.  Our coastal home feels like a haven. We have discussed spending more time in distant places we enjoy and possibly let them serve as the location of another mutual novel. So some extended travel may be in our future.

 

 

Do you keep track or write reviews for books you read?

 

Larry:

I try to write reviews for the books I read.  As a writer myself, I know how important that feedback is to an author.  My goal is to be objective in my reviews, pointing out what I think is outstanding about the book, but also describing shortcomings I see in the writing.  I’ve only had one author become offended by my reviews, when I criticized the poor editing in his book.  I’m convinced we should use critical reviews to improve our work.

 

Carolyn:

Sporadically.  I enjoy reading, but book reviews have never been one of my strengths.  I tend to put more thought than is necessary in such tasks.

 

 

What’s the most memorable thing (good or bad) that’s happened to you while promoting your work?

 

Larry:

I knew when I published my first book that the marketing was up to me.  What I didn’t know was what type of marketing or promotion would work best for my work.  The first attempts were attending book fairs and book signings.  With one notable exception, these forums were total failures for me.  I became very frustrated with sitting for hours and selling one or two books.  Of course, since then I have refined my efforts and spend more time promoting with social media and making presentations to groups interested in my genre.

 

Carolyn:

Most of my marketing has been presentations at mental health professional workshops.  It is wonderful to have good feedback and reviews from colleagues. The largest gathering I’ve presented to was the Texas School Counselors’ Annual Conference in 2016.   I always encourage a lot of audience participation; to have that large an audience display interest and excitement was very rewarding.

 

With more books being released each month now than ever before, what do you believe sets your work apart from the others?

 

Larry:

That’s a difficult question.  I write crime, social justice and mystery fiction.  I think adding the social justice aspect to crime and mystery stories adds a dimension not often emphasized in such books.

 

Carolyn:

Helping readers relate to our characters by gaining insightful understanding of those characters’ behaviors and personalities is important.  I like to utilize strategies that I learned from administering and writing professional psychological and/or counseling evaluations.    My efforts often involve researching events of a timeframe consisting approximately of three generations. That enables me to analyze and develop probable reactions to particular situations.

 

 

What would you like to share with writers who haven’t reached the point of publication yet?

 

Larry:

That one’s easy for me. GET BUSY!  I am involved in some writers groups and one of the things I often see are writers who agonize for years on getting a story ‘just right’ and as a result never reach the point of publication.  One of the great things about publishing today with print on demand is that minor changes can be made, even after initial publication.  I think some of these writers are just reluctant to put their work out to the public, maybe because of the fear of criticism.

 

Carolyn:

Larry is my mentor as well a husband.  So I have a personal coach and consultant at all times.  He even reminds me to stop working when I am tired.  I try to reserve mornings (my best concentration time) for writing.  I make written notes of any ideas I may have at other times.

Sometimes I apply for conference or workshop presentations a year in advance, which creates a timeline for me to meet.  I attend writers’ and marketing workshops as well.  We also dedicate some evenings at home to read the works of other authors.

 

 

What do you feel is your most effective tool for promoting your published work?

 

Larry:

I use social media to promote my work. As a result, I can track sales to some degree based on each promotion.  Once I became semi-proficient at the various social media platforms, my e-book sales have outpaced printed copies by more than 5 to 1.

My second most effective tool has been making personal presentations, usually at local libraries. Interestingly, though sometimes these forums are attended by as few as 8 to 10, the ‘buy’ rate is usually 80 to 90% of attendees.

 

Carolyn:

Professional workshops have been my most effective tool.

 

 

What area of book promotion is the most challenging to you?

 

Larry:

Like most writers, I would prefer to spend my time writing.  The time needed to market my work on social media can be overwhelming.  With that said, every time I see sales after a promotion, I decide it’s worth it.

 

Carolyn:

I don’t understand social media as well as I should.  Also, I need to be faithful to blogging on my website.

 

 

Your favorite books and author?

 

Larry:

Cormac McCarthy is one of my favorite authors and his book The Crossing comes to mind.  But I also love biographies of political leaders, including Truman by David McCullough and the Robert Cairo series on Lyndon Johnson.

 

Carolyn:

Leon Uris (Exodus; currently rereading Trinity); Bernie Seigel, M. D.;

Daniel G. Amen, M. D.; Barbara Kingsolver, Amy Tan; James Webb

 

 

Which genres do you prefer to read?

 

Larry:

Mystery and political biography.

 

Carolyn:

Historical fiction; social justice; psychology nonfiction.

 

 

Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?

 

Larry:

Two come to mind, although both have had books out for a while.  One is Tom Rizzo, who writes western fiction. His book, Last Stand at Bitter Creek, is a favorite.  Attica Locke, Black Water Rising, is also someone whose work I follow.

 

Carolyn:

Tom Rizzo; Hardy Roper.  I’ve met both authors via an authors’ group.  Their books are difficult to put down and they are both personable, interesting people.  That’s quite inspiring for me.  (I must admit that I also enjoy my husband’s books.  His creativity is delightful and amazing to me.)

 

 

What book is currently on your nightstand?

 

Larry:

Well, these days it’s in my smart phone instead of on the night stand, but I am currently reading James Lee Burke’s Lay Down My Sword and Shield.

 

Carolyn:

Trinity, Leon Uris; Ageless Body, Timeless Mind, Deepak Chopra

 

 

Are there any particular books and/or authors that inspired you and continue to do so? 

 

Larry:

I enjoyed the cop books by Joseph Wambaugh during the 1970’s.  Because he, too, was a cop, his writing inspired me to believe I could write books that readers might enjoy.

 

Carolyn:

Each of the following books addresses the relationship between biology and behaviors and are some of the inspirations for my professional books: Getting the Love you Want, Harville Hendrix, Ph.D.; The Science of Parenting, Margot Sunderland; Change Your Brain, Change Your Life, Daniel G. Amen, M. D.

 

 

How many books do you read/month?

 

Larry:

Usually I complete a book a month, sometimes two.

 

Carolyn:

I usually finish one each month.  I may read a couple at the same time:  one for research and one for pure pleasure.

 

 

What is the one book that you think everyone should read?

 

Larry:

I’m not sure there is a book that everyone should read.  Our population is too diverse.  But I do think Thomas Frank’s book The Wrecking Crew is worth the time for readers who are interested in government and politics.

 

Carolyn:

I just think everyone should read something of interest to them. Browse a library or book store, being open for the book that captures your attention.  Take time to read it.  More importantly, parents, read to your child(ren), if only 15 minutes a day.

 

 

Do you have an all-time favorite book?

 

Larry:

Too many good ones to pick a single book.  The next one, might be the best answer.  Right now, that’s my own, Dishonored and Forgotten, which will be available in January.

 

Carolyn:

I agree with Larry.  It’s an honor to have participated in writing this book with him.  Most of the characters and events are real.  I find Dishonored and Forgotten to be a fascinating, haunting novel.

 

 

How important do you find the communication between you and your readers? Do you reply to their messages or read their reviews?

 

Larry:

I’m not sure about the importance, but I am always flattered when a reader contacts me.  I will always respond to their message and I try to read all the reviews.

 

Carolyn:

I find readers’ critique and comments to be helpful and motivating.

 

 

Do you prefer Twitter or Facebook?

 

Larry:

Facebook, but just because I am more familiar with how to use it to promote my work.  I use Twitter and just need to concentrate on becoming more proficient with it.

 

Carolyn:

I have no experience on Twitter.  That’s on my to-do list.

 

 

Where can your fans find you?

 

Larry:

My website is www.LarryWatts.net, but I am also on Facebook, Twitter, Google Plus, Linkedin, and Pinterest.

 

Carolyn:

My website is www.carolynwatts.net.  I am also on Facebook and Linkedin.

 

 

Do you have a local independent bookseller you’d like to mention?

 

Larry:

That’s my favorite question of this interview.  I love the Galveston Bookshop (http://galvestonbookshop.com/).  In an earlier question, I noted that with one exception, I had little success with book signings at book stores. This is the exception.  It’s a REAL book store and is very supportive of local authors whose books have a connection to the Galveston area.  It has a funky, laid-back atmosphere and as I said, I love it.  If you are in Galveston, don’t miss it.  Oh, and by the way, because of their promotion of my book signing, I sold more than 100 copies (print and e-book) as the result of a two-hour signing.

 

Carolyn:

I completely agree with Larry.  Located in the historic Strand District, it is cozy, charming and inviting.  Surrounding shops, eateries and historic mansions make a trip to the Galveston Bookshop a must place to visit.

 

 

Give us a list of your published titles in chronological or series order:

 

Larry:

The Missing Piece, Cheating Justice, The Park Place Rangers, the Tanner & Thibodaux series (Murder in Black & White, Rich Man, Dead Man, & Murder on the Seawall) and my latest, available in January, Dishonored and Forgotten.

 

Carolyn:

  • Magical Years To Learn With Liam (Jan., 2014)
  • Magical Years to Learn with Me: A gentle guide for children, parents, teachers and counselors (Nov., 2014)
  • My Powerful Super Hero T-Cells: Guided Imagery for Children (Sept., 2015)
  • Keys to Parenting Magic Series:
  • See Me Talk (Sept., 2015)
  • What Are Mommies and Daddies For? (Jan., 2016)
  • Magical Power of Choice (Jan., 2016)

 

 

Share with us an elevator pitch (no more than 30 seconds) of your latest title:

 

Larry:

Dishonored and Forgotten is my first effort at co-authoring with my wife, Carolyn Ferrell Watts.  It is a fictional account of the first police narcotics scandal in Houston, Texas.  A cop was killed, another went to prison as did a local medical doctor, and a police chief lost his job.  It’s a story nearly forgotten in the annals of Houston’s history.

 

Carolyn:

In the book, Larry mentions that Marines won’t leave a fallen soldier behind.  That translates for the blue line as supporting one another.  But what is the nature of events that demand that loyalty?  This is truly a mystery case for those Dishonored and Forgotten.

 

 

Where can we buy it?

 

Larry & Carolyn:

In effect, wherever good books are sold.  More specifically, Amazon, CreateSpace, Barnes & Noble, the Galveston Bookshop, and, of course, at my website or my wife’s.  www.LarryWatts.net or www.CarolynWatts.net.

 

 

 

If you could ask your readers one question, what would it be?

 

Larry:

Please give me one suggestion regarding my book you most recently read, that would have improved your reading enjoyment.

 

Carolyn:

Just one question with regard to marketing.  Cozy, romantic books sell quite well.  As a relationship counselor, I am curious about how much romance readers expect to enjoy a novel of this nature.  So, readers, thoughts please, after digesting Dishonored and Forgotten.

 

 

Are you working on anything new and if so when can we expect to see it?

 

Larry:

I am working on the last book in my series, Tanner &Thibodaux.  I hope to have it available at mid-year 2017.

 

Carolyn:

In My Counselor’s Office, should be out early in 2017.  Each chapter is a short story about children who have different reasons for visiting a counselor. The sessions and therapies are observed and described by a macaw and a rabbit that make their home in the office.  However, Larry and I are developing another controversial, action/political book that we are looking forward to authoring together.  Just a little tease about that book.  What if Texas really did secede from the United States?

 

 

Is there anything else you’d like to share to your followers and readers? 

 

Larry:

Please, leave a review and send me a personal message with any thoughts regarding our book.

 

Carolyn:

Stay tuned to our website blogs and let us hear from you.

 

 

What last thing would you like to share with us that nobody knows about you and your work?

 

Larry:

This joint effort at writing with Carolyn has been the most gratifying writing experience I’ve enjoyed.  I look forward to more books with her in the future.

 

Carolyn:

I’ve heard Larry remark that he seems to recreate himself at times.  I must admit, this time he managed to recreate both of us, with the writing of a fictional account of historic events and it’s been a pleasure!

Dead Cold Brew (A Coffeehouse Mystery) by Cleo Coyle

deadcoldbrewCoffeehouse manager Clare Cosi sheds tears of joy when her NYPD detective boyfriend surprises her with an engagement ring. But her bridal bliss is put on hold when a chilling mystery brings a wave of deadly danger to those she holds dear…
 
After everything Clare and Mike have been through, they deserve a little bit of happily ever after. So when Mike decides to put a ring on Clare’s finger, Clare’s eccentric octogenarian employer is there to help. She donates the perfect coffee-colored diamonds to include in the setting and the name of a world-famous jeweler who happens to be an old family friend. But while the engagement is steeped in perfection, the celebration is not long lived.

First, a grim-faced attorney interrupts their party with a mysterious letter bequeathing a strange, hidden treasure to Clare’s daughter. Next, the renowned jeweler who designed Clare’s ring is found poisoned in his shop. Both events appear to be connected to a cold case murder involving a sunken ship, an Italian curse, a suspiciously charming jewel thief, and a shocking family secret. With deadly trouble brewing, Clare must track down clues in some of New York’s most secret places before an old vendetta starts producing fresh corpses.

With recipes to die for, including how to make cold-brew coffee at home!