Sunday, June 20, 2010

Cynthia Roberts - Wind Warrior

11. Wind Warrior by Cynthia Roberts (2010)
The Iroquois Series Book 1
Length: 304 pages
Genre: Historical Romance
Started: 10 June 2010
Finished: 20 June 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to Cynthia for sending me a copy of this book to read
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 10 May 2010
Why do I have it? I like historical romance and Cynthia Roberts is a new author for me


Leslie Michaels has suffered much in her young life: death, destruction and pain are all that seem to come to her through mysterious visions that have lasted all her life. Also prevalent in her dreams are visions of a handsome Native American warrior. Escaping from an insane trapper intent on having her for himself, Leslie runs into the forest and runs into the man from her dreams - Winnokin - a war chief of the Seneca tribe on a vision quest.

Winnokin is shocked to discover such a beautiful white woman who played such a large part in his vision there in the forest. Leslie is badly hurt but is convinced that her path and Winnokin's are meant to cross, she is not afraid when Winnokin takes her to his home and desires to marry her after her adoption by his people. Leslie and Winnokin endeavor to overcome many obstacles, but will the actions of a jealous woman threaten to tear them apart forever? I enjoyed this story immensely and give it an A+!

A+! - (96-100%)

May you read well and often

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wind Warrior Release Contest hosted by Cynthia Roberts

Hello Everyone, how are you all today? Good, I hope! :)

Cynthia Roberts is hosting a five prize giveaway starting today (June 15) to June 30, 2010 to celebrate her release of Wind Warrior. Log on to: http://www.romanceauthorcynthiaroberts.com/Release_Contest.html to see the prizes. Below are the rules:

Participants must show proof of purchase of Wind Warrior by either scanning their store receipt OR forward a copy of their online purchase confirmation to cynthia@romanceauthorcynthiaroberts.com. Contest begins Wed., June 15th and ends on Wed., June 30th. Participant must also provide name and mailing address as well as email address at time of entry. Only one entry per household allowed. Winners will be notified via email and all gifts will be delivered directly to the winner's home no later than July 30, 2010

Good luck to you all.

May you read well and often

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

C. J. West, Author of The End of Marking Time, Talks About His Latest Book Tour and His Plans For the Future

Who Wants to be a Hero?
Kickoff Event With Advanced Driving & Security
April 10, 2010
Your wife has never taken you to a book signing like this!

I would very much like to welcome C. J. West, author of The End of Marking Time as well as six other books to Emeraldfire's BookmarkI had the pleasure of emailing Mr. West several weeks ago because I wanted to interview him and he was kind enough to answer some questions from me about his recent plans for a previous book being brought to the Big Screen, his family, the plot of The End of Marking Time, his Who Wants to be a Hero? book tour and his potential future plans. Thank you for stopping by Emeraldfire's Bookmark, Mr. West, and I wish you all the best now and in the future! 

Meet C. J. West   

C. J. was raised in a tiny town in Massachusetts where his family has lived for four generations. When C. J. was a boy, the family had a variety of animals and boasted a poultry incubator large enough to hatch a chick for every resident of the town – all at one time. Although it was never a professional enterprise, the family continued to raise animals for many years and C. J. developed a love for the outdoors and wildlife. 

C. J. wrote his first book in 1979 while bored during school hours, but at that time writing was second to golf. C. J. practiced hard daily and eventually entertained hopes of playing professionally. In 1985 he chose Southeastern Massachusetts University (now UMASS Dartmouth) over golf and studied Business Management which advanced his career in computer technology. 

C. J. spent twenty years helping companies solve computer networking and information management problems with firms including Arthur Andersen. In 1999, he began writing thrillers and several years later transitioned to writing fulltime. 

Sin and Vengeance, the first book in C. J.’s Randy Black Series, was optioned for film by a screenwriting firm in early 2008. The screenplay, written by Marla Cukor, is complete and in development with Beantown Productions, LLC. A Demon Awaits, the second book in the series offers a major twist in the storyline and challenges readers to forgive Randy Black’s mistakes and follow his journey in future novels. Gretchen Greene, the third Randy Black novel is the first in a series of characters Randy will be tasked with saving. C. J.’s latest standalone thriller, The End of Marking Time, was published in 2010.

C. J. hosts a Blog Talk Radio show called The Thriller-30 each month where he interviews contemporary thriller and suspense writers. C. J. embraces his fans with contests, promotions and innovative events. He has hosted firearms training, winery tours, an advanced driving course, visits to settings from his books, and he also writes, directs and acts in live murder mystery events throughout New England. If you're outside New England, you can usually find him at Bouchercon each fall. 

Synopsis of The End of Marking Time:

Michael O’Connor has spent years perfecting his craft. Unfortunately, his craft is breaking and entering. He’s so good, he can stand in a shadowy corner of your home and wait until you fall asleep before he begins bagging your valuables. With his skills it was unlikely he’d ever be caught, but one supremely unlucky day his credit card fence turned him in. Just when you think the world is safe from Michael, the supreme court rules long term incarceration is cruel and unusual punishment and releases 2,000,000 felons.

Criminals rampage on the outside. Citizens barricade themselves in. Police departments take extreme measures to end the crime spree. Corrections departments have a flood of new offenders, but no way to deal with them until Wendell Cummings develops reeducation. The system is a brutal violation of privacy and human rights, but citizens don’t care anymore. They want protection at any cost and the government has no choice but to give it to them. For the first time, felons fear the system. 

The End of Marking Time opens with Michael trapped in a hallway before a one-way mirror. He tells you his story because he believes you are his jury and if you press the green button, he will be given another chance. Michael doesn't understand what is happening to him because he was the last felon released. He was unconscious while reeducation was introduced and he doesn't believe he can be punished in a world without prison. The mystery of this book is not who Michael thinks you are, but who is sitting in the thirteen chairs behind the window and what fate they will choose for Michael. 

Coming to Amazon on May 22, 2010!

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: Did you have any say in casting or producing your book (Sin and Vengeance) for the Big Screen as well as writing it? 

C. J. West: Like most authors, I didn't have any say in casting once I signed my contract. Fortunately I did specify two cast members. I will be making a cameo and my daughter will appear in the movie as an extra. I'm not sure where we will appear, but I will post this to my Facebook fan page and my website when the movie is released. I was also fortunate to have a screenwriter who wanted my input. We talked many times on the phone and I read several iterations of the screenplay and provided feedback. Marla, the screenwriter for Sin and Vengeance the movie, attended a book group with me by phone to listen to what the members wanted to see in the movie. When the screenplay was nearly finished, we assembled a group of dedicated Sin and Vengeance fans and gave them the screenplay. They read it and then we got together. Marla listened in on a focus group discussion that lasted for hours. When we were done she had some great ideas to help her capture the essence of the book in her screenplay. I was amazed at how seriously everyone took the project. Several readers came with notes, one person had over ten pages of handwritten suggestions. 

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: Is your family involved with you as regards your writing, such as promoting your books at all? 

C. J. West: My family isn't officially involved in the company. My wife reads my books along with several other beta readers before they go to press. My mother is my best saleswoman by far. She loves talking about my work and uses my press clippings to sell lots of books around my hometown. She outsells every bookstore except Amazon. 

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: Are your two children interested in writing at all? 

C. J. West: I'm delighted that both of my children are avid readers. My youngest daughter thinks she wants to be a NYT Bestselling author. I haven't had the heart to tell her I don't think the New York Times will be around when she's old enough to write novels, but I do think she has the talent. For Mother's Day she wrote a poem shaped like a woman, with colored text that looked like a picture from a distance. She has amazing talent for her age. My oldest daughter shows her talent in songwriting. She writes lyrics that are far beyond her years and posts her work on Youtube. I'm very proud of them both. 

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: Where did the plot of The End of Marking Time come from? 

C. J. West: I had been thinking about the plot for The End of Marking Time for about 3 years before I began writing. Michael O'Connor is a gifted housebreaker. I knew I wanted to tell the story of how Michael got off track and the massive undertaking that would be required to repair his life, but I hadn't figured out how to tell it. The idea for a reeducation program came to me in a eureka moment. When I decided to have Michael tell the story directly to readers as if they were his jury, I knew I had a hit. I finished the first draft in six weeks (about 1/4 the time it normally takes me). The reaction from everyone who has touched the book since has been electric. 

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: Tell me all about the Who Wants to be a Hero? book tour, is it as exciting as it looks? 

C. J. West: Who Wants To Be A Hero? was another one of those eureka moments. I was planning my tour and trying to think of ways to make it fun when I realized that the things my character Randy Black does are very exciting. I decided to teach these things to readers one event at a time. The kickoff was an advanced driving class that my readers just could not believe. There is a video on my website (http://www.22wb.com/) of me being driven by professional driver Anthony Ricci. He takes me through the obstacle course at 40 mph - backwards! To bring excitement to bookstores, I'm giving Texas Hold 'em lessons. One store is even running a tournament where readers can play against me. I'm also hosting a winery tour, a newsroom tour, a firearms training day and a murder mystery night. All the events promise to be fun and this format allows readers to get to know me on a personal level. A side benefit is that I've enjoyed myself on this tour more than any other. 

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: How would you cast The End of Marking Time if it were optioned for a movie as well? 

C. J. West: If I had my choice for Michael O'Connor it would be Charlie from LOST. I think he really fits my image of Michael. I'd like to fit Kate, Claire, and Shannon in there somewhere too, but I won't be greedy. Thanks for having me Mareena. I welcome your readers to come and visit me on launch day (June 10th) or anytime at www.facebook.com/cjwestfans. 

May you read well and often

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

C. J. West - The End of Marking Time

10. The End of Marking Time by C. J. West (2010)
Length: 284 pages
Genre: Contemporary Mystery
Started: 1 June 2010
Finished: 8 June 2010
Where did it come from? Many thanks to C. J. for sending me a copy of this book to read
How long has it been on my TBR pile? Since 18 May 2010
Why do I have it? I like contemporary mysteries and C. J. West is a new author for me

Michael O'Connor is a skilled housebreaker, one who finds it easy to escape justice. Then he is arrested for breaking into a district attorney's house and stealing his credit card and Mercedes. An attempted jail break on the way to jail puts Michael in a coma for four years. When he wakes up, he finds the justice system totally changed. Criminals are now called relearners and are assigned to reeducation programs that track their successes or failures in navigating their lives in the outside world. Michael is assigned to such a program and may find it harder than he thought to escape justice this time. I enjoyed this book and give it a B+!

B+! - (89-94%)

May you read well and often

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Cynthia Roberts, Author of Wind Warrior - Book One of the Iroquois Series - Talks About Her Writing Influences

Meet Cynthia Roberts

I have been writing since a Crayola was placed in my hand. My love of reading romance fiction goes back to those early years when I was raising a young family.

I wish I could have gotten to this point in my career much sooner rather than later but, life simply got in the way far too many times. I know because of those detours I have become a more passionate and expressive writer and draw upon those moments in my past many times.

Connect and Socialize with Cynthia!
 


Synopsis from Goodreads

Leslie Michaels is a visionary, and only those close to her know of her special gift and the visions that come when her mind and body surrender to sleep. Fate has a way of righting many wrongs, and for Leslie it is a destiny that changes her life dramatically. But not before she is forced to flee into the wilderness to escape a murderous trapper bent on claiming her for his very own. 
 
Faith and a strong will to survive are her only companions, until she encounters Winnokin, the handsome Seneca war chief who first came to her in her dreams. Not only does he prove to be her rescuer and protector, he teaches her that tragedy can breed happiness and the passion to live and love deeply once again. Wind Warrior plunges readers into the intimate depths of a relationship that unfolds like a live drama before their eyes while painting an insightful and intriguing portrait of Native Indian life in the 1800s. 
 
It is a story of longing, of a wanton need to survive all odds, and a love so strong it conquers human evil. Wind Warrior expresses with cunning words the simple, raw human emotions that hold readers spellbound and captivate their hearts.

Coming to Amazon June 15, 2010!

I would like to welcome Cynthia Roberts, author of Wind Warrior - Book 1 of the Iroquois Series - to Emeraldfire's Bookmark. Ms. Roberts was kind enough to write a guest post for me and here it is below in her own words:
 
'The Birth of Wind Warrior'
by Cynthia Roberts

Hello everyone. Like all of you, I lived and breathed reading romances … it filled many long, lonely evenings when my husband worked nights in law enforcement and I was raising our children Jason and Alyssa (now 31 and 29). It proved my constant companion later when my “Cinderella” marriage of twenty-five years came to an unexpected end. There is a quote I heard once I can’t remember verbatim but goes somewhat like … “There is no greater loss than a love once known.”

I’m a true believer that when tragedy strikes and you’re standing at the edge of a fathomless abyss and all you see is darkness looking back at you, faith lies in knowing one of two things will happen. You can either let fear consume you, roll up into a ball and waste away or, you can take a leap of faith and learn how to soar like an eagle.

I’ve always had a passion for writing from that very moment a Crayola was placed in my hand and throughout my career in marketing, public relations and sales writing creatively came easy. When my marriage ended at the age of 45, life as I knew it was never the same. It was a time of unrest, uncertainty, losing friends and family and financial ruin because I also found myself jobless which continued nearly two years.

Wind Warrior became my salvation. One evening I sat in front of the computer and decided to write instead of read and figured all I could do was fail. It proved my therapy back then but not quite up to par to win the favor of publishers. I received so many rejections I could have wallpapered a small room in my house and almost gave up on my dream. That is, until I realized it just wasn’t my time. I needed to live through and get beyond the pain in my own life before I could transform that experience into the kind of passion and emotion I wanted my readers to feel personally through my writing.

I chose to write an historical Indian romance because the first fiction I ever read was a novel from Cassie Edward’s Savage series and instantly became hungry to read more. I tracked down every one of those babies; let me tell you, until I read them all. However, every one I read from that point on was based on a Plains tribe. I wanted to focus on a tribe indigenous to my area and decided to write a series based on the tribes that make up the Iroquois League of Nations here on the east coast. Their warriors were the fiercest ever known to strike terror in the hearts of early settlers from Pennsylvania to Canada. They were referred to as “People of the Longhouse” because their families lived together in wooden structures upward of 40 feet long. They were an extremely powerful nation that was sadly torn apart by the American Revolution. I fell in love with the simplistic beauty of their culture and folklore. We could learn so much from our Native American brothers and the reverent love and respect they have for everything that is natural and of this earth. They knew how to live in balance with plants, animals and the natural elements …never taking more than what was needed to sustain their people and way of life.

Wind Warrior will officially be released on June 15th and available now for purchase through Tate Publishing’s website. It is my heartfelt hope readers will find it as enthralling to read as it was for me to research and bring to life. Book #2 Captive Heart is finished and expected to be released the end of this year.

Now that the writer in me has been unleashed …look out world! If I can leave my beautiful five grandchildren any legacy, it will be the strength, conviction and passion put into every story I bring to life. Please stay tuned for future projects which will include a series introducing contemporary shape shifters and two mainstream romance thrillers entitled Pawn For Malice and The Keeper’s Watch.
 
May you read well and often

Cynthia Roberts, Author of The Iroquois Series, Opens up About the Importance of Writing in Her Life

I would very much like to welcome Cynthia Roberts, author of three published books. Ms. Roberts was nice enough to answer some questions for me about her various literary inspirations, her books, and her writing plans for the future. Thank you so much for stopping by Emeraldfire's Bookmark, Ms. Roberts, and I wish you all the best now and in the future!

Meet Cynthia Roberts: 

I have been writing since a Crayola was placed in my hand. My love of reading romance fiction goes back to those early years when I was raising a young family.

I wish I could have gotten to this point in my career much sooner rather than later but, life simply got in the way far too many times. I know because of those detours I have become a more passionate and expressive writer and draw upon those moments in my past many times.

Synopsis of Wind Warrior:

Leslie Michaels is a visionary, and only those close to her know of her special gift and the visions that come when her mind and body surrender to sleep. Fate has a way of righting many wrongs, and for Leslie it is a destiny that changes her life dramatically. But not before she is forced to flee into the wilderness to escape a murderous trapper bent on claiming her for his very own. 

Faith and a strong will to survive are her only companions, until she encounters Winnokin, the handsome Seneca war chief who first came to her in her dreams. Not only does he prove to be her rescuer and protector, he teaches her that tragedy can breed happiness and the passion to live and love deeply once again. Wind Warrior plunges readers into the intimate depths of a relationship that unfolds like a live drama before their eyes while painting an insightful and intriguing portrait of Native Indian life in the 1800s. 

It is a story of longing, of a wanton need to survive all odds, and a love so strong it conquers human evil. Wind Warrior expresses with cunning words the simple, raw human emotions that hold readers spellbound and captivate their hearts.

Coming to Amazon June 15, 2010!

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: You are an author who is new to me, where do you live?

Cynthia Roberts: I’m a newbie straight out of the running gate…a little later than most starting out in this business but with a fire in my gut that burns a lot hotter. Are you ready for this…we not only live in the same state Mareena but we’re practically neighbors. I live in Cohoes about a 15 minute drive from you.

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: If you hadn’t needed to start writing, do you think you would have done so at any point in your life?

Cynthia Roberts: Most definitely. It was sooo inherent, it was inevitable. Ever since a Crayola was placed in my hand, I was scribbling and making sense of something on paper. Sadly, life just got in the way and it has taken me until my more mature years (chuckle chuckle ) to make the dream happen.

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: Do your children enjoy writing as well?

Cynthia Roberts: Not a lick of it…weird hah? My son Jason is in law enforcement and hates to even fill out reports. My daughter Alyssa loves to read, writes beautifully when she has something to express but adores her job as an esthetician.

Emeraldfire's Bookmark: Everyone’s life’s shadows influence them in some way, how have yours influenced your writing?

Cynthia Roberts: Life this past decade has been one heck of a challenge and growth spurt for me. If I came away with anything, I know that I’m a better writer because I know how to describe raw emotion…I lived it. It’s amazing how fate has a plan for you…even if you don’t agree with it, somehow it all works out in the end if you’re willing to see it for what it is…another chapter. 

The end of my marriage nearly devastated me. When you get plowed under and never see it coming, it pulls your soul from you. It took me a while to find mine and prove to myself there was something better and that was my dream to write.

May you read well and often