As you might suspect, In The Cards has a lot of tarot-card-related imagery. One deck of cards, in particular, helps to steer the novel's plot at a few key points. I have been a tarot card enthusiast for over a decade now, and find their images and symbols fascinating. Those of you who've followed Between The Lines for a while now will think this is old news ... but here's the fun part: as part of In The Cards' launch celebration, you can enter to win a half-hour tarot reading from an experienced and fantastic reader! All you have to do is like my Facebook page between today and release day - That's 19 days for you to enter and pass the word on. I'll enter everyone who likes the page into a raffle, then select the winner via Rafflecopter and announce them at the virtual launch party!
Now for a little information about our esteemed reader, Alura Rose! I had the good fortune of meeting Alura at an annual Psychic Faire and Magical Marketplace in southern New Hampshire. Since I study the cards, myself, I hadn't been planning on getting a reading, but the two of us clicked almost instantly. She's very easy-going and friendly, and her thirty-five years of experience studying tarot shine through in how well she knows the cards. Even if you don't have a specific question in mind, she can help give you insight into some things you could be focusing on. The best thing about tarot is that it helps you unlock pieces of your consciousness that you could stand to be more aware of: it is by no means a path to the future, simply a hint at what it could be if you put your mind and heart to it. Alura's reading would be given in person to at one of her reading locations in Southern NH or Salem, MA, or over the phone in the case of long-distance lucky winners. Please feel free to check her out on her website, PoisonedApple.org, or on her own Facebook page.
Don't forget, you can also win print copies of From the Desk of Buster Heywood and In The Cards by signing up for my weekly newsletter! I've got one more raffle in store for you all, next week ... be sure to come back and enter! Until then, I'll keep getting everything all ready for the big launch party! Have a GREAT WEEK!
Everyone likes to get free things! Speaking as an author who uses as many free services as possible, I get how reluctant some people can be to spend money on things they don’t absolutely need. That’s why I try to give away a decent amount of fun, awesome Aviario stuff across the internet. This week’s edition of Between The Lines is dedicated to that … and is also meant to start the first of my In The Cards launch giveaways!
If you’re a fellow author …
Now, what does most of that have in common? You guessed it: my newsletter, Friday at Charlie’s, which is sent to the Friends of Aviario mailing list. If you sign up for it, you not only get the free short stories, but STARTING TODAY: every person who signs up for this newsletter until September 18th is entered into a Rafflecopter drawing to win print copies of From the Desk of Buster Heywood and In The Cards! Not only that, but every week, you get news, tips, and content I don’t post anywhere else. All you have to do is give me your name and e-mail address … nothing else! I promise you, it’s more than worth the “price” of admission.
I wish you all luck, and I hope you’ll come back next week, because I’ve got another awesome giveaway! Don’t forget to RSVP for the online launch party, where I’ll be announcing the winners!
As I write this, we are a month away from the release of my second novel, In The Cards! I have plenty of fun things in store for the weeks to come … including a giveaway of my first novel, From the Desk of Buster Heywood, the chance to win a piece of In The Cards character art, and a FREE tarot reading from Salem ordained witch and psychic Alura Rose of The Poisoned Apple!
Each separate giveaway hinges on following me on a certain social media platform or joining my Friends of Aviario mailing list, and all three are of similar value. But more importantly, I would like to introduce you to a very old, very dear friend of mine… Dr. Paul Feistus.
Paul is the first official citizen of Aviario: he lived there before the town even had a name. His role in In The Cards is only supportive, but he performs it very well. As one of the town’s psychologists, his counsel helps many citizens navigate their lives: including Officer Troy McLaren, one of our heroes. To celebrate Dr. Feistus having his own blog, I thought the two of us might sit down for a little interview.
Hi, Paul. Welcome to Between The Lines … well, officially. I know you’ve been reading over my shoulder for a while now.
Thank you. I’d say I’m glad to be here, but you know how I feel about all this digital internet nonsense.
Trust me: you’ll be glad you came in a little while. You’ve had your practice in Aviario for how many years, now? Twelve or so?
A dozen does sound about right. Some of the years blur together, when you’ve seen as many as I have. Please, no numbers in that regard, my dear. Haha. … But, yes. I set up my little office in the South End after a long illness... not only to help others, but to prove to myself that I could recover completely from all that had happened. I’m getting ahead of myself, aren’t I?
Yes, you’ve got a whole novella for all of that, I believe. Please don’t do my job for me. Could you please tell our readers about the blog I’ve set up for you?
I’m not sure what there is to tell. It’s called “Ask Dr. Feistus”, which … really, I thought you were the creative one. Couldn’t you have come up with something a bit better?
I thought it concise and to the point. Like you.
Flattery will get you … well, a slight distance, I suppose. Ahem. The idea behind it, if I’m getting this right, is that readers submit questions to me, and I answer them. A sort of advice column, if you will … but not just for personal advice. Readers can ask questions about the town of Aviario, as well, since I have lived here for most of my life, and my dear wife was born here – may her soul rest in peace.. Oh, and you said something about “spoilers”. I’ve no idea what a column has to do with a car part.
Not that kind of spoiler. Basically, if readers want to ask anything that could give away the plot of In The Cards, those questions would be on a separate page, so people would have to choose to read them.
I understand, now. Thank you for humoring me.
Thank you for humoring me, Doctor. I hope you’ve all enjoyed meeting Paul, and will send him your questions! You can find Ask Dr. Feistus over at Wordpress, and you can also follow the good doctor on his own Twitter account, @dr_feistus.
I’ll see you all back here next week, when the giveaways begin! Are you excited yet? I know I am!
I have loved the theatre almost as long as I have loved books. Living in the part of New Hampshire that I do, I was lucky enough to have several summer stock and community theatres in my area as a child. To this day, I am still an enthusiastic attendee of local theatre. The energy of live shows is beyond compare, and I always leave a show inspired to write, edit, or create. This previous weekend, I was able to attend both the world premiere of a play, and a reading of a new script by a favorite local actor. The reading, in particular, was a unique and special experience: all in attendance were invited to comment and give feedback to the author.
Over the course of the conversation, the author, A.J. Ditty, remarked that his play’s seeds were planted in the aftermath of a bad break-up. He then remarked, to great laughter, that “every play is an exorcism”. I understood that concept in an instant. Whether or not we realize it, we authors are using our stories and novels as ways to work through stubborn hurt, heal ancient wounds, and – yes – exorcise our private demons.
I am in good company believing this. Virginia Woolf, herself, once said: “Every secret of a writer’s soul, every experience of his life, every quality of his mind, is written large in his works.” We’ll leave the discussion about her choice of pronoun for more predominantly feminist bloggers to have fun with, and get at the meat of what she was saying: it’s all fodder. Every single thing. E.J. Frost wrote a fantastic article this week about turning even the smallest injury into writing material. But I am speaking more about the larger pains, the sort which sneak slowly into us and hide… the ones we may take months or even years to realize exist. Something of that sort was the driving force behind From the Desk of Buster Heywood.
Before I even knew what Loren Jarvon had actually done, I knew that Buster was under his thumb, and that it was mostly fear which kept him there. It took me several years to recognize the source of that fear, and to realize that it was one that we shared as author and main character. Around the time that I began to think Buster was more than just some side character running errands for a villain, that he had a story of his own to tell, my real life mirrored my art in ways I had never imagined. The small company I was working for closed overnight without warning, and its owner was brought up on fraud charges. I had worked for the man for almost two years and not suspected a thing, until maybe a week or so prior, when he started working from his home more and more. This happened very close to my own messy break-up, when I found out that my ex had been stringing me along for almost a year. The two events combined threw my confidence in my sense of trust right out the window, and soon after, my overall confidence took a sharp nosedive as I navigated the waters of unemployment during the recession of 2009. All of that eventually found fertile creative ground in Buster’s anxiety and lack of confidence. While I certainly didn’t go to the same lengths that he did to break free of what was holding me back and making me doubt myself, Buster and I grew together over the course of writing his novel… and the three heroes of In The Cards share a few lessons with me, as well. There is a little of me in everyone I write … and with each little exercise in exorcism, I get a little closer to being free of my demons, large and small. So, my fellow authors, the next time you sit down with your characters, take a moment or two to thank them for walking through hell with you. Then bless your writing implements and get to work!
I hope you’ll come back next week, when I kick off the month-long celebration leading up to the release of In The Cards! Until then, I remain your hostess,
A few weeks ago, I told you that when I met some of my fellow local authors, I bought two of their novels. This week, I have the distinct pleasure of reviewing the second: Embers, by Philip Soletsky. His hero, Jack Fallon, is a volunteer firefighter in a tiny town in south New Hampshire with a sharp wit and a keen sense of moral duty, both of which serve him well when mystery rears its head. As always, this is a thoroughly unsolicited review, and I'm not making a cent off of it. So, without further ado ...
Jack is still learning the ropes of being a volunteer firefighter when a routine house fire leads him to discover something unheard of in his small hometown: murder. A young woman is found dead, handcuffed to her bed in the middle of the blaze, which was a clear case of arson. Disturbed and rendered insomniac by the turn of events, Jack takes it upon himself to try to solve the mystery of the woman's killer: much to the distaste of the town sheriff and the concern of his wife. When the death count starts rising and getting closer and closer to home, Jack has to find the answers, before he becomes another statistic, himself.
I have to start off by saying that I always enjoy a good mystery, and I knew from the outset of the house fire that I'd found one. Soletsky wastes no time in setting up his main character's personality and stakes, then hooks us in with a unique series of questions. When Jack decided to solve the case himself, I was afraid that the novel would devolve into a stock plot, but Embers does what a good mystery should do: it takes the dress-form of the "vigilante detective" trope and tailors something around it to turn it into a new, exciting, interesting piece. I don't dare spoil things: you'll want to read this one for yourself.
Soletsky is a volunteer like Jack, himself, and he uses his knowledge well, scattering tiny details throughout the prose like controlled flame . It serves to brighten the novel and make it a lush read: rather than flattening us constantly with fire-related detail in a blanket fire. There are a few instances where it is clear that the author is using details because he knows them, but they are spaced out enough that they do not detract from the story ... and for a first novel, that's a pretty small mark in the minus column, with a great deal of marks in the plus. Jack's memories and stories about his first year of volunteering, as well as the tales of his colleagues, serve as a good way to bookend the action and give readers some setting knowledge without ramming it down our throats.
I must admit that my favorite part of the novel was the scene where Jack and the Sheriff come to terms with one another: again, I do not want to give anything away, but it was a unique take on a plot point which needed to be hit for the story to continue. Every single character in the novel is so very human and individual that I feel as though I could walk into one of the little diners around town and see them lined up at the counter with their coffee mugs, chatting over breakfast.
I was sad to leave the town of Dunboro behind when the story was through, but I know I'll be returning again as soon as I can get hold of a copy of A Hard Rain (which has an excerpt at the end, and has already hooked me in). This humble reviewer can only hope that she has a reader or two who is as enthusiastic about returning to Aviario as I am about Jack Fallon's Dunboro.
You can buy Embers and the rest of Philip Soletsky's novels on Amazon, here. He is also on Goodreads.
Please stay tuned for next week ... I'm not sure what I'll have in store for you just yet, but I promise it'll be fun! Until next week, I remain your hostess,
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