Michael Holloway Perronne is the author of eight books including: “A Time Before Me,” “Falling Into Me”, “A Time Before Us, Men Can Do Romance”  “Gardens of Hope,” and”Embrace the Rain.”  His debut novel, “A Time Before Me” ...

A Bookish Conversation with ‘Gardens of Hope’ Michael Holloway Perronne and more...


A Bookish Conversation with ‘Gardens of Hope’ Michael Holloway Perronne

Michael Holloway PerronneMichael Holloway Perronne is the author of eight books including: “A Time Before Me,” “Falling Into Me”, “A Time Before Us, Men Can Do Romance”  “Gardens of Hope,” and”Embrace the Rain.”  His debut novel, “A Time Before Me” won the BronzeAward, Foreword Magazine’s Book of the Year Award in the Gay/Lesbian
fiction category.

Michael was born and raised in Mississippi.  He received a BA in Film from
the University of Southern Mississippi and a MFA in Drama and Communications from the University of New Orleans.

He currently resides in Southern California and is working on his next novel, “The Other Side of Happy.”

His recent release is Gardens of Hope.

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About the Book:

Gardens of Hope

Title: GARDENS OF HOPE
Author: Michael Holloway Perronne
Publisher: Chances Press
Pages: 268
Genre: Gay fiction/Historical Fiction/Historical Romance

On the surface, Jack appears to have all a man in World War II era 1941 could want with his solid middle-class background, upcoming college graduation, and the perfect, devoted fiancee. But one night when he accidentally stumbles upon a shadow life of men who desire other men in a Downtown Los Angeles park, he begins to realize exactly what has always left him with a feeling of emptiness.

Despite the constant danger of being arrested by vice cops, Jack continues to visit the park every chance he has to feel a connection, no matter how fleeting, with another man. One night he meets a handsome and charismatic Japanese-American, Hiro, who appears to want more than a quick encounter, and Jack surprises himself by starting to truly fall in love for the first time.

However, after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt issues Executive Order 9066 and orders the mandatory relocation of over 100,000 Japanese-Americans, who have never been charged with a crime, to far flung internment camps sites. Jack and Hiro suddenly find themselves torn apart before their secret, fledgling romance can blossom. Desperate to find and reconnect with Hiro, Jack accepts a high school teaching position at an internment camp in the California desert, Manzanar. There, surrounded by armed guard towers and a prison-like environment, Jack begins to fully realize the injustices being faced by Japanese-Americans during one of the most controversial times of United States history and shifts his world view- forever.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

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Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Michael.  Can you tell us where you are from? 

I grew up in a tiny town about forty miles from New Orleans named Picayune, Mississippi, but I’ve called Los Angeles home for most of the past eighteen years.

Q: How did you come up with your title? 

Gardens of Hope refers to the rock gardens Japanese-Americans built at the internment camps they were forced to relocate to during World War II during a period of intense anti-Japanese fear in the US.  The camps were often in desolate, bleak places, and the rock gardens symbolized the undying hope and determination of the Japanese-Americans to try and make lives better under even the most challenging situation.

Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover.  Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it? 

I have an amazing book designer named Geronimo Quitoriano.  He does amazing work and is able to bring my vision to “light” for my covers.  We often use a combination of original and stock photography to create the images.  To go along with the title, I wanted a Japanese rock garden to be the emphasis for the cover.

Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it? 

Anyone who is frustrated and/or scared by today’s political climate will find disturbing parallels between what happened to Japanese-Americans during World War II and what’s happening today to many minority groups.  It’s a story of what can happen when people let their irrational fears get out of hand but also a book about the need to get hope alive in your heart.  Eventually, love does trump hate.

Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?

I think when my protagonist, Jack, arrives at the Manzanar internment camp in California was the most emotional for me to write.  It’s at this point in the story that Jack truly begins to realize the horror of what has happened to the Japanese-Americans, and he begins to question just about everything he believed to be true after growing up in his middle class Caucasian community.

Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?

I had already written a number of gay-themed books mostly set in the American South.  I knew I wanted to try my hand at a historical title and explore the forbidden love between two men from vastly different worlds.  The more I began to learn about Japanese-American internment the more I realized I wanted to set the novel during this era to explore a love denied by not just homophobia but xenophobia as well.

Q:  Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us? 

I tend to eat peanut butter right out of the jar late at night!

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I would love to visit Cuba right now with the relaxed travel restrictions we now have.  I have a feeling the island will soon experience a vast gentrification with the relaxed travel laws from the United States, and I’d like to visit before the island becomes “McDonalidized.”

Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?

I am without a doubt a morning person, especially when it comes to work.  It’s as if my brain dies at five in the afternoon.

Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?

I had a great-grandmother who wrote her autobiography not long before she passed away.  I only have a couple of brief memories of her from my childhood, but I’ve heard she loved to tell stories.  I tend to think I inherited her passion for story-telling.

Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?

As soon as I could write, I began jotting down my own story ideas.

Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish.  What would that be? 

It would be that everyone began to treat each other as if we were the one family we actually are.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words? 

Thanks so much for hosting me today!  I greatly appreciate it.

 

    
 


AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Shelley Schanfield, Author of The Mountain Goddess

Shelley Schanfield

Shelley Schanfield’s passion for Buddhism and yoga arose sixteen years ago, when she and her son earned black belts in Tae Kwon Do. The links between the martial arts and Buddhist techniques to calm and focus the mind fascinated her. By profession a librarian, Shelley plunged into research about the time, place, and spiritual traditions that 2500 years ago produced Prince Siddhartha, who became the Buddha. Yoga, in some form, has a role in all of these traditions. Its transformational teachings soon prompted Shelley to hang up her black belt and begin a yoga practice that she follows to this day.

Because she loves historical fiction, Shelley looked for a good novel about the Buddha. When she didn’t find one that satisfied her, she decided to write her own novels based on the spiritual struggles of women in the Buddha’s time. She published the first book in the Sadhana Trilogy, The Tigress and the Yogi, in 2016 and will publish the second, The Mountain Goddess in early 2017.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS

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About the Book:

The Mountain Goddess

Title: THE MOUNTAIN GODDESS
Author: Shelley Schanfield
Publisher: Lake House Books
Pages: 471
Genre: Historical Fantasy

A beautiful warrior princess. A tormented prince. A terrible choice between love, duty, and spiritual freedom.

In ancient India, rebellious Dhara runs away to a sacred mountain to study with the powerful yogi Mala, a mysterious woman with a violent past. Flung by war onto an adventure-filled journey, Dhara meets and captures the heart of Siddhartha, whose skill in the martial arts and extraordinary mental powers equal her own.

Worldly power and pleasure seduce Dhara, creating a chasm between her and her husband, who longs to follow a sage’s solitary path. She takes on the warrior’s role Siddhartha does not want, and when she returns wounded from battle court intrigue drives them further apart. As Siddhartha’s discontent with royal life intensifies, Dhara’s guru Mala, who has returned to her life as a ruthless outlaw, seeks her former pupil for her own evil purposes.

Dhara’s and Siddhartha’s love keeps evil at bay, but their son’s birth brings on a spiritual crisis for the prince.  If he leaves his kingdom to seek enlightenment, he turns his back on love and duty and risks destroying his people. Only Dhara can convince him to stay.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

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Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Shelley!  Can you tell us where you are from?

I was born and raised in Minnesota, attended college and graduate school and met my future husband in the San Francisco Bay Area, and we raised our two kids in Ann Arbor, Michigan (Go Blue!), where we still live.

Q: How did you come up with your title?

The Mountain Goddess is first of all the Himalayan mountain peak that guards the village where the heroine Dhara, a rebellious warrior’s daughter, grows up. But the goddess is also the divine feminine in every woman. Her power manifests in Dhara’s warrior spirit, in the yogi Mala’s supernatural powers, through a wife and mother like Dhara’s friend Sakhi, or through the healing power of Mala’s daughter Kirsa.

Q: They say you can judge a book by its cover.  Can you tell us a little about your cover and who designed it?

It was my good fortune to be referred to Streetlight Graphics and Glendon Haddix, who created the award-winning cover of the first book in my trilogy, The Tigress and the Yogi. The Mountain Goddess is the second book, and for its cover Glendon has combined two key elements: the spiritual realm of the mountain, and an flesh-and-blood woman who makes her mark in the real world. He worked similar magic in the first book, in which the dark, almost fair-tale forest melds with a mythical tigress.

Q: Can you tell us something about your book that would make me run out and buy it?

If you love a long ago and faraway setting, extraordinary women who follow their passions no matter the challenges, and more than a dash of magic, myth, and romance, you will love my books.

Q: Are there any messages in this book that you want the reader to know about?

No messages, but only questions to explore. Siddhartha, who became the Buddha, left his wife and newborn child to pursue enlightenment. Do the truths he found, which have helped millions, counterbalance the pain he caused when he left? How would a woman undertake the same spiritual quest? What are her choices and limitations? Hint: there are no ultimate answers, only more questions.

Q: What was your most favorite chapter to write and why?

I have many favorite scenes, but I loved writing (and rereading!) the chapter where the tigress Rani tells her story to the heroine Dhara. Rani, who serves the warrior goddess Durga, is wounded in battle and faces a difficult choice. To survive her injuries, she must commit a grave sin and kill a holy man for food. It’s a reimagining of a Buddhist legend that speaks to personal sacrifice.

Q: Why did you feel you had to write this book?

I’ve had a lifelong interest in Buddhism as well as a love for historical fiction. I’d always wanted to find a good novel that told the tale of the Indian prince Siddhartha, who left his wife and infant son and a royal inheritance to seek enlightenment and became the Buddha. His teachings had helped me through many dark times. No retelling that I found brought him or his time to life for me. The writer Toni Morrison has said that if no one has written the book you want to read, you must write it yourself. So in a moment of insanity I decided to write my own. Just learning the writer’s craft well enough to do a story justice is daunting. To be honest, there were times I desperately wanted quit! But the passion to tell these women’s stories prevailed. Two books in the Sadhana Trilogy are now published, and the third is a work-in-progress. It’s an enormous sense of accomplishment.

Q:  Now, some fun questions – What deep dark secret would you like to share with us?

I’m afraid my deep dark secrets would scare you away!

But here’s something quite personal for readers of your blog who want to write and are afraid to try or think they are not talented enough: I was so scared to pursue this dream that my hands literally shook when I signed up for my first creative writing class. The first day, I sat in the parking lot for fifteen minutes in the January cold before I dared to go in. Once inside, I found wonderful, encouraging teachers and supportive and talented fellow students. I’ve never looked back.

Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

Full disclosure:  I’ve never been to India! It’s a lifelong dream to go there and I hope to do that in the near future. Actually, I like my comforts and I’m somewhat of an armchair traveler, though recently I’ve managed to visit my daughter in Morocco, where she’s been studying Spanish and Moroccan history. I highly recommend a visit there! It’s a stunningly beautiful country filled with warm, welcoming people.

Q: Are you a morning person or a night person?

Is 2 a.m. morning or night? Because that’s when I often get up to write! The quiet at that hour lets my imagination flow.

Q: Are there any members in your family who also like to write?

My parents and sisters were all great readers. I have some journals that belong to my oldest sister, who died too young, and they are very beautiful. I also have some excellent papers written by my mother. She grew up poor during the Depression and had to work right out of high school, but she was a great believer in education. When my sisters and I started college, she decided she would get a degree, too. She went back to the University of Minnesota and graduated Magna Cum Laude in English. Amazing woman.

Q: As a child, were you a dreamer?

Of course and still am. I’m grateful for the opportunities to have made many of those dreams come true.

Q: Last but not least, the magic genie has granted you one wish.  What would that be?

May everyone everywhere on earth have a safe and peaceful place to sit and read and discover wonderful new worlds through books.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview! Do you have any final words?

Thank you very much!  If you want to continue our conversation, I invite you to contact me at:

www.shelleyschanfield.com

@seschanfield (twitter)

https://www.facebook.com/SadhanaTrilogy/ (Facebook)

 

    
 


Five Cautionary Points to Ponder Before Publishing on Amazon

So, you are about to self-publish a book in e-book or print-on-demand format. It seems like a no-brainer to sign an exclusive contract with Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) and up goes your book to Amazon’s vast online audience. After all, presumably they own 60 or 70% of the e-book market. This super rich company has overall product revenues of more than $107 billion and more than 304 million active customer accounts worldwide.

Read the rest of article at AuthorLink.

    
 


Guest Blogger: The Inspiration Behind Beethoven in Love: Opus 139 by Howard Jay Smith

Don’t you just love to learn where authors get ideas to write their books?  We have a great guest post today from Howard Jay Smith, author of the literary fiction/biographical fiction, Beethoven in Love: Opus 139.

Beethoven in Love 2

“Your love makes me at once both the happiest and the unhappiest of men. . . Love me today, yesterday . . . . What tearful longings for you, you, you. My life, my all. Farewell. Never cease to love me. Never misjudge this most faithful heart of your beloved. Ever yours . . . Ever mine . . . Ever ours. . . .”

Thus concludes one of the most famous love notes in history; Beethoven’s “Immortal Beloved,” letter written to a mysterious and as yet unknown woman. Not only did he fail address her by name, he further baffled music historians by simply dating the letter, July 7th, leaving off the year. Outside of Beethoven’s actual music, there is more speculation about the women in his life than anything else.

So who was this woman, this Immortal Beloved, that has been the focus of such fevered study in the nearly 190 years since his death in 1827, when a copy of the letter was found in his apartment by accident alone?

Will we ever know her true identity and give this woman her due?  Was she a married aristocrat with whom he had an affair? Or a childhood sweetheart he longed to see once again? Or was she even the mother of a child he never knew?

Speculation is rife, even today, when the descendants of over a dozen women, including the dedicatee of the “Moonlight Sonata,” claim him as their own.

At the moment of his death, in his last seconds of conscious, Beethoven raised his fist and shook it at his Creator.  Did he demand to know why it is, that he, whose hearing once surpassed all others in sensitivity and degree had been cast out as history’s cruel joke, a deaf composer who was also denied the comforts of family and the affections of his Immortal Beloved?

For all his creative genius, Beethoven was a flawed man who led a troubled life.  In my novel we explore the depths of that love and pain.  In that last tick of the clock, our Beethoven pleads with Providence to grant him one final wish… One day, just one day of pure joy in her arms.   Thus begins a spiritual journey to the borders of Elysium, where Beethoven re-experience each of those precious moments. He struggles to come to peace not only with all the failings of his life but to also to find solace in the embrace of his Immortal Beloved.

Will he succeed? As one of the characters Beethoven encounters on the road to paradise proudly proclaims, “What is a novel but a collection of lies we tell to reveal greater truths?”

About the Author

Howard J. Smith 3

Howard Jay Smith is an award-winning writer from Santa Barbara, California. BEETHOVEN IN LOVE; OPUS 139 is his third book. A former Washington, D.C. Commission for the Arts Fellow, & Bread Loaf Writers Conference Scholar, he taught for many years in the UCLA Extension Writers’ Program and has lectured nationally. His short stories, articles and photographs have appeared in the Washington Post, Horizon Magazine, the Journal of the Writers Guild of America, the Ojai Quarterly, and numerous literary and trade publications. While an executive at ABC Television, Embassy TV, and Academy Home Entertainment, he worked on numerous film, television, radio, and commercial projects. He serves on the Board of Directors of the Santa Barbara Symphony – “The Best Small City Symphony in America” –  and is a member of the American Beethoven Society.

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INTERVIEW BOOK CIRCLE ONLINE AT YOUTUBE

INTERVIEW BLOGTALK RADIO

About the Book:

At the moment of his death, Ludwig van Beethoven pleads with Providence to grant him a final wish—one day, just a single day of pure joy. But first he must confront the many failings in his life, so the great composer and exceedingly complex man begins an odyssey into the netherworld of his past life led by a spirit guide who certainly seems to be Napoleon, who died six years before. This ghost of the former emperor, whom the historical Beethoven both revered and despised, struggles to compel the composer to confront the ugliness as well as the beauty and accomplishments of his past.

As Beethoven ultimately faces the realities of his just-ended life, we encounter the women who loved and inspired him. In their own voices, we discover their Beethoven—a lover with whom they savor the profound beauty and passion of his creations. And it’s in the arms of his beloveds that he comes to terms with the meaning of his life and experiences the moment of true joy he has always sought.

Purchase Information:

Amazon

 

    
 

Pump Up Your Book Announces The Ashes Virtual Book Tour

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

The Ashes

Pump Up Your Book! is proud to announce Vincent Zandri’s THE ASHES (Bear Media) virtual book tour March 6 – May 31. Vincent will be guest appearing at blogs throughout the U.S. and international regions talking about his phenomenal new psychological suspense thriller that critics are calling riveting, creepy and crazy good!

Winner of the 2015 PWA Shamus Award and the 2015 ITW Thriller Award for Best Original Paperback Novel, Vincent Zandri is the NEW YORK TIMES, USA TODAY, and AMAZON KINDLE No.1 bestselling author of more than 25 novels including THE REMAINS, MOONLIGHT WEEPS, EVERYTHING BURNS, and ORCHARD GROVE. He is also the author of numerous Amazon bestselling digital shorts, PATHOLOGICAL, TRUE STORIES and MOONLIGHT MAFIA among them. Harlan Coben has described THE INNOCENT (formerly As Catch Can) as “…gritty, fast-paced, lyrical and haunting,” while the New York Post called it “Sensational…Masterful…Brilliant!” Zandri’s list of domestic publishers include Delacorte, Dell, Down & Out Books, Thomas & Mercer and Polis Books, while his foreign publisher is Meme Publishers of Milan and Paris. An MFA in Writing graduate of Vermont College, Zandri’s work is translated in the Dutch, Russian, French, Italian, and Japanese. Recently, Zandri was the subject of a major feature by the New York Times. He has also made appearances on Bloomberg TV and FOX news. In December 2014, Suspense Magazine named Zandri’s, THE SHROUD KEY, as one of the “Best Books of 2014.” Recently, Suspense Magazine selected WHEN SHADOWS COME as one of the “Best Books of 2016”. A freelance photo-journalist and the author of the popular “lit blog,” The Vincent Zandri Vox, Zandri has written for Living Ready Magazine, RT, New York Newsday, Hudson Valley Magazine, The Times Union (Albany), Game & Fish Magazine, and many more. He lives in New York and Florence, Italy.

The Ashes is a phenomenal book. It’s been eight years since artist and single mom, Rebecca Underhill, was abducted and left to die in an old broken down house located in the middle of the dark woods. But even if her abductor, Joseph William Whalen, has since been killed, another, more insidious evil is once more out to get her in the form of the Skinner. The son of an abusive butcher, Skinner intends on finishing the job Whalen started but failed at.

How is he going to get to Rebecca?

He’s going to do it through her children, by luring them into the cornfield behind the old farmhouse they live in.

HORROR IN THE DEPTHS

Now, armed with the knowledge that the Skinner has escaped incarceration at a downstate facility for the criminally insane, Rebecca must face the most horrifying challenge of her adult life: Rescuing the children not from a house in the woods, but from the abandoned tunnels that run underneath her property.

But the Skinner is watching Rebecca’s every move.

Horrifying question is, will she live long enough to save the children?

If you’d like to follow his tour, visit http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2017/01/27/%f0%9f%93%9a-pump-up-your-book-presents-the-ashes-virtual-book-publicity-tour/. Please leave a comment or question at each of his tour stops to let him know you stopped by!

Pump Up Your Book! is an award-winning virtual book tour agency for authors who want quality service at an affordable price. More information can be found on our website at www.pumpupyourbook.com. While there, check out our Authors on Tour page to see who we have coming up in the months ahead. We’re always looking for new bloggers to join our team!

Contact Information:

Dorothy Thompson

Founder of Pump Up Your Book! Virtual Book Tours

P.O. Box 643

Chincoteague, Virginia 23336

Email: Dorothy@PumpUpYourBook.com

    
 

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