Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Book Tour: Blondes, Books, and Bourbon by R.M. Riddley

This tour is all about featuring this fantastic anthology all about a booty kicking detective! I'm gonna highlight one of the stories, because ya'll couldn't handle the whole thing in one blog post. ;) 
Jonathon Alvey is a hardcore dude, literally taking a part the world of the White Dragon Black.

Today's Featured  Story is:

Sins of the Father
A pawn shop owner risks it all by asking Alvey to recover property that is more than meets the eye.

R.M. Ridley lives with his wife on a small homestead in Canada, raising chickens and sheep. He has been writing stories, both long and short, for three decades, the themes of which range from the gruesome to the fantastical.

As an individual who suffers from severe bipolar disorder, Ridley is a strong believer in being open about mental health issues and uses his writing to escape when his thoughts become too wild.

BOOKSWHITE DRAGON BLACKTomorrow Wendell (Book 1, 2014)Blondes, Books, and Bourbon (anthology, 2015)
Bindings and Spines (Book 2, 2015)
Ridley's work has appeared in two Xchyler anthologies: "The Case for Custody" in Shades and Shadows: a Paranormal Anthology, and "Charon's Obol" in Legends and Lore: An Anthology of Mythic Proportions.
Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | Amazon | About Me

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Please share how you came up with the concept for your short stories? Which of the stories was the easiest to write and which was the most difficult?

All of my writing comes from my Muse, I can’t construct a story myself. From my perspective, I don’t create my tales - I just record them. Now doesn’t that make me sound crazy? But it’s true – the majority of the stories I write, are idea’s that come to me as snippets of conversations, or little scenes that play out in my head as images. My challenge is to turn those into words that capture what I ‘see’.
In many ways, ‘The Ties that Bind’ was the hardest story to write, as I wanted a thread that connected it to the next novel, ’Bindings & Spines’ and yet allowed the story to stand all its own. That made for a challenge that I truly enjoyed.
The easiest one to write was probably, ‘Sins of the Father’. Being the first story written in that world, I had no restrictions, no rules, and no history. I didn’t have to keep anything straight, remember details, or worry about contradicting myself. Of course, when I wrote it, I had no idea that it would spawn so many other short stories, and novels.

Please name some of your other published works?

Tomorrow Wendell - first White Dragon Black novel
Legends and Lore: An Anthology of Mythic Proportions – ‘Charon’s Obol’
Mental Wellness: Real Stories From Survivors – ‘Ceaseless Cycles’ 
Horror Library, Volume Three – ‘Blink the Blood Away’
Tales of the Talisman Magazine, Volume 1 Issue 4 – ‘Pigeon Pete’

What is your preferred writing genre?
I’m a paranormal / urban fantasy author mainly, but I cut my teeth with horror, and that will always have a dark spot in my heart. I’m sure my mind will churn out some further grisly morsels yet.
And preferred reading genre?
When it comes to reading, I’ll take just about any sort of spec-fic, as long as it’s well written. Sci-fi, horror, fantasy, alt-history – give me a well told story, and I’m yours for the duration. 

What are your top 3 favorite books?
Ignoring how awful question that is to ask of any book lover, these are three I certainly always come back to, both physically, and in my mind:
‘The Dark is Rising’ by Susan Cooper was my favourite book as a child, and it still ranks in the top three.
‘Snow Crash’ by Neal Stephenson was an amazing journey meshing cyber-punk, ancient myth, and philosophy and thus must have a place here.
‘Someplace to be Flying’ by Charles de Lint, in many ways is one of my favourites of his works. There is a darkness to it that really appealed to me and it stepped away from some of the better known characters and giving a fresh view into an odd world. 

Do you have any particular writing habits?

You mean good ones? I try to get my writing done at the beginning of the day. After enough coffee to find words, I sit down and write what my Muse deigns to share with me. That way, no matter what else the day throws at me, I have got the important part completed.

Do you have a playlist that you created while writing your story?

Yes, definitely. It grows and shrinks every so often, as songs no longer seem pertinent to the world, or I find new meaning in songs that inspire me. I also have subsets for the different moods Jonathan goes through and, of course, one for fight scenes.

Panster or plotter?

Panster – Absolutely Panster! If I even try to plan a chapter ahead, the entire train of thought comes to a painful screeching halt and I’m left, chin in hand, staring at a black page, listening to the sheep Baa.

Advice for writers?

I think there are two things that I would recommend, one is easy and the other sounds hard, but is actually just a change of mindset. First advice is a standard – Just Write. Get it down, and don’t look back until you’ve told the story. The second thing is - Learn to Love Edits. It sounds impossible, but editing is just writing from a different angle. It is the same process, same creativity, same weaving of words but you are doing it from outside the box instead of inside.

What's up next for you?

Any moment now, my editor, McKenna Gardner, who worked wonders with my first novel, ‘Tomorrow Wendell’ and acts of magic to get, ‘Blondes, Books & Bourbon’ together, is going to show up with a red pen, and a cattle prod.  This will be my cue that she intends to help me get the second White Dragon Black novel, ‘Bindings & Spines’, ready for publishing. Everyone should take a minute and thank McKenna for making these works exist, by the way.

Does that explain it well enough? It's going to be really hard to write this review properly, without giving away any spoilers. I do have to note that there was a sprinkling of swear words, but they were as tastefully done as adding unnecessary cussing to a book is possible. (My personal opinion, sorry!)
Let me put it this way, this little story is so well put together, I had no way of knowing what the ending would be, though the author set it up perfectly for several endings to be possible. 
FIRST, you are introduced into a total alcoholic of a detective, I mean the poor guy should seriously be in AA regardless of the "things he has seen", but there is something about his clever ways of deciding if his client is an actual human endears him to the reader. Very much the way we fell in love with Sherlock, way back in the day. In fact Sherlock and Jonathon have a lot in common, especially if you take a look at the modern day Sherlock movies and shows, where Sherlock is both annoying and endearing at the same time. You want to fix his ridiculous habits, all the while you have to see just what he is going to do next. He reveals just enough for you to know that he is definitely on to something, while NEVER giving away the ending. I totally give 'Sins of the Father' 5 stars, and I look forward to reading the rest of Riddley's stories. I'm excited to see what Jonathon will be up to in his next book! 
(BTW, I vote Riddley takes a look into screen writing, this would be an excellent series!!! Leave a comment below if you agree with me!)


Character Casting: Who would you cast for your main characters and why? Pictures would be great.

When I first started writing Jonathan I had an idea of him, his looks and manners, but no real face I could say ‘Like him’, that changed when I watched an episode of ‘Sanctuary’. There was a guest actor, who I knew well from watching SG-1 but who looked much different as this character. When I saw Michael Shanks, as he appeared in this role, I suddenly had a face for Jonathan.

March 22: 
The Play's the Thing

March 23: 
Cost of Custody

March 24: 
Sins of the Father

March 25: 

March 26: 
Do as I Say Not as I Do

March 27: 
What a Nightmare

March 28: 
The Ties that Bind

March 28: 
Bindings and Spines

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Book Tour: (dis)Abilities and the Gospel by Lynn Parosons

Today we are featuring Author Lynn Parsons' book 
(dis)Abilities and the Gospel

First a little about the author:

Lynn Parsons became a teacher because of her experiences helping two of her children with special needs. She has taught special education children at both the elementary and secondary levels. Lynn’s instructional methods have been published by the Council for Exceptional Children and featured in several professional online magazines. Her love of education has extended to seven years teaching daily Seminary. She continues to look for innovative teaching methods that can reach all learners. Lynn now works as an Educational Diagnostician, evaluating children with disabilities. She is an advocate for them and their families through her website at ldsdisabilitieshelp.com and her blog at lynndeniseparsons.blogspot.com. Lynn has a Ph.D. in Exceptional Student, and is head of the Faith Committee of the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Needs Council for her county. She also enjoys reading, writing, and needlework.
Links to social media sites for the author
Facebook page:
Twitter: @parsonslynn
Web sites:

Now for her book:

"(dis)Abilities and the Gospel: 
How to Bring People with Special Needs Closer to Christ"

Each day, parents and church leaders struggle to teach individuals with special needs. Using helpful information, real-life stories, and a touch of humor, "(dis)Abilities and the Gospel" provides ways for you to effectively teach people of all ages with autism, Down syndrome, bipolar disorder, memory loss, and other disabilities. 

I've been a teacher of primary age children for about as long as I've been married. Apparently Heavenly Father knew that I needed practice before I became a mother myself. I wish I'd had this book as a resource about three years ago when a special needs boy was in my class. He was so smart, and so sharp, but I was never able to fully help him without cutting off the other kids. This resource is fantastic! I highly recommend all primary teachers as well as parents with children of special abilities grab this!

Here is a snippet, that really touched my heart:

“While it’s important to have a basic understanding of each person’s disability, it’s more important to focus on their abilities. Every child of God has a tremendous future. Parents and church leaders have the responsibility to help everyone reach his or her potential.”

Tour schedule:
Featuring Both books:
Plain and Simple Truths & (dis)Abilities and the Gospel
March 10

Featuring: Plain and Simple Truths
March 11

Featuring: (dis)Abilities and the Gospel
March 12

Featuring: Plain and Simple Truths
March 13

Featuring: (dis)Abilities and the Gospel
March 14

Featuring: Plain and Simple Truths
March 15

Featuring: (dis)Abilities and the Gospel
March 16

Featuring Both books:
Plain and Simple Truths & (dis)Abilities and the Gospel
March 17

Featuring: Plain and Simple Truths
March 18

Featuring: (dis)Abilities and the Gospel
March 19

Featuring: Plain and Simple Truths
March 20

Featuring: (dis)Abilities and the Gospel
March 21

Featuring: Plain and Simple Truths
March 22

Featuring: (dis)Abilities and the Gospel
March 23