Wednesday, February 25, 2015

CHAYSING MEMORIES by Jalpa williby

CHAYSING MEMORIES by Jalpa williby

Why do some writers have characters that reach off the pages and capture your heart and soul?  While other writer’s only write drab, boring characters?  True, some of it’s the writing skill of the author.  Yet I’ve read books that were very elegantly written, but I just couldn't get attached to the characters.  What were they missing?  I ponder this question a lot as I examine my own writing.  How do you get readers to feel for your characters? 

Well, that’s one question Jalpa Williby doesn't need to ask herself.  She has a very simplistic writing style, nothing fancy or over-the-top, but she writes with such raw passion and fire that her characters draw you into their lives.  She did tell me she cried while writing this story.  Maybe that’s the secret.  If the writer can’t feel the emotions of their characters, how will the reader. 

 I’ve never been an advocate of book series; I want the whole story in one book.  Usually the second one in the series isn’t as good as the first book and the third one isn’t as good as the second.  You get my drift.  But I found the exception in this case.  After finishing Chasying Dreams, I knew I had to read the second book.  And, believe it or not, Chaysing Memories is actually better than the first book.  I’ve heard that the third and last book of the series, Chasying Destiny, is even better.  Now I can’t wait. 

Chasying Memories starts 4 months after the ending of Chasying Dreams.  I can’t go into much detail as I don’t want to give away any of the storyline.  Suffice it to say, I did figure out some of the consequences of Tess and Chayse’s union, but the ending was unexpected and totally devastating.  Talk about a see-saw of emotions.  Wow!!.  The second book also enriches the secondary characters like Jack, Kylie and Aunt Jema and the strong bond they share with each other.  And there’s Gem, the wonder dog.  I want one of those!

If you’re looking for a HEA romance, you won’t find it here, but if you’re looking for raw emotions and passion, this book is for you.  I give this wonderful tale a well-deserved 5 feathers.

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Sunday, February 22, 2015

J.M. Northup's Interview with Doug Lamoreux!

J.M. Northrup's Interview with Doug Lamoreux!

Firstly, I want to thank you.  I appreciate you taking time from your busy schedule so I can interview you.  Doug, you know I just adore you and I’m certain my readers will too! 

1.     To begin, how would you describe yourself?

I am a romantic dreamer meaning, basically, that I'm a sad person who laughs a lot.

    What sort of actor are you?

o I am an instinctive performer much like Spender Tracy, whose one piece of acting advice was "Learn your lines and don't bump into the furniture." I have been told by three separate directors that I can "change characters faster than any actor (they've) ever worked with." I played three characters in 20 minutes in a Wild West Stunt Show, and did a stage comedy (Leaving Iowa) in which I played 12 characters in the same show. I do voice work, accents, radio (including the Left Behindand Left Behind: TheKids shows), film and theater. I have directed quite a bit of theater (though I find directing too nerve wracking; particularly once the show has opened). I have no acting method; acting classes and theory bore the hell out of me.

·        What sort of writer are you?

o I can, and sometimes will, write anything. I was a newspaper sportswriter thirty years ago. I've written short fiction and non-fiction (I am somewhat of an expert on pre-1980's horror films). I've written, co-written, and ghosted a number of screenplays. But, by far, my favorite is long fiction; primarily horror and mystery. I've been fortunate to have five novels published byCreativia and publisher Miika Hannila, three solo horror novels, The Devil'sBedDracula's Demeter, and The Melting Deadone Nod Blake mystery, CorpsesSay the Darndest Things, and an Amazon #1 bestselling thrillerApparition Lake co-written with my brother, outdoor writer and award-winning wildlife photographer, Daniel D. Lamoreux.


2.     Let’s talk about DRACULA’S DEMETER for a moment.  In your own words, can you tell us what this book is about?

It is the tale of Count Dracula's voyage to England hidden in the hold of a sailing ship. Bram Stoker gave the bare bones of this story in Chapter 7 of the classic novel Dracula, the unnamed captain of a Russian schooner takes on board 50 boxes of soil bound from Varna to Whitby. No one on board realizes that inside one of the boxes is the king of vampires. I took those few scant journal entries and created the crew and events aboard the ship, Demeter.

·        What inspired you to write this novel?

o It's an epic, romantic fantasy, with simmering horror beneath. I wrote in detail about the origins of the book for the great folks at If anyone's interested, that article is here:

·        Now, I know that DRACULA’S DEMETER is being made into a movie by ThunderBall Films.  How did that amazing opportunity come about?

o It is an amazing opportunity, no doubt. To the best of my understanding, Brian L. Porter (their script writer and aThunderBall Films producer) read Dracula's Demeter, liked it, saw its epic film potential, and brought it to the attention of ThunderBall CEO-Producer-Founder, Mario Domina.

·        Are you involved with writing the script or will you be performing in the production?  Why or why not?

o I've signed to co-write the film with Brian. As is always the case with projects in development, a lot of elements are still up in the air. Brian is deep in production right now as writer/producer with a ThunderBall television project based upon his series of Jack the Ripper books. It looks like it will be a great show! (And several great films after that.) And I'm very busy trying to finish my next novel.

o As it stands, Brian has written an opening scene forDracula'sDemeter. Several talented actresses have been cast for prospective roles. I have written a number of sequences that I feel will be amazing when, and if, they make it into the script and onto the screen. But nothing has been finalized and we're certainly a long way from a shooting script.

o As to performing in Dracula's Demeter, there's been no discussion of that.

·        When can we look for the movie to be released?

o It is tentatively scheduled for production in 2017. Movie making is a wonderful business where anything can happen. We'll just have to see. I must say for Mario andBrian to even ask about bringing the book to the screen was thrilling.


3.     Tell us about your acting career… 

I know you have been a theater actor for over forty years now.  In addition to your stage performances, you have been involved with films

·        What sort of actor are you?

o Do you consider yourself a stage performer or a film actor?

Ø  Both, always.

o Are you a character actor, physical comedian, or don’t you have a particular style you prefer? 

By this, I mean, Johnny Depp is a character actor; he becomes each character, while Nicholas Cage is basically the same guy in each movie.  Both are great actors, but their styles are different.  Going a step further, though Johnny Depp is a character actor, just as Robin Williams was, Robin was also a physical comedian.  His comedy was full-bodied; he literally threw himself into whatever the joke demanded of him.

Ø  Any actor that's any good or has any staying power is a performer that can play whatever the situation calls for. It's necessary because, not only do the venues and mediums change, but so do audience tastes. I am, and always will be, a stage actor.

Ø  I've done broad comedy (stunt shows), stage comedy, thrillers, and musicals (playing Oscar Madison to Li'l Abner). I once played a singing banana. 
Ø  I enjoy television. There you can play more naturally, but the material is usually fairly broad. I love making films, but delicious film making opportunities are few and far between, particularly now that I'm middle aged. I get a lot of offers to play alcoholics wearing wife beaters and dropping the F-bomb every other word. (I turn them down.)

Ø  American films are made with young people for young people. In England, brilliant actors work well into their eighties with no slow down. Here, former stars sell aspirins and hearing aids if they want to "work".

·        How did you first get into acting?  Were you in theater first or film?

o I got into stage acting in a serious way at the age of fourteen. Four family members, including my father, were killed in an arson house fire. The school drama teacher took me under his wing, became a second father to me. Dan Danielowski taught me everything there was to know about theater, acting, directing. Both Dan and Mark Jansen, a fellow class mate and director, lighting and art director, teach professionally today and run their own theaters. The friendships have lasted a lifetime. I had the great privilege of appearing in a show for Mark just last year. (The Sunshine Boys, I had the Walter Matthau role.)

·        Being an amateur actress myself, having worked in theater, as well as, on television, I get the different demands of each performance style.  However, not everyone will know how these two disciplines compare.  Can you explain the different demands required for each?

o First, all require the ability to perform. Beyond that, theater requires a strong memory for lines with a lesser reliance on technique. You take the stage and live the performance from beginning to end. Film requires a precise memory for technique and far less reliance on lines. You must be exacting in your movements to hit marks (so you stay in frame and in focus) and key lights (so you look right for the camera.) But film is shot in individual set ups, usually lasting less than two minutes. You need only remember that much dialogue at a time. Theater requires a presence; the back row of a theater seating 400 deserves the same performance as the front row. In film, the camera will come and find the performance in you, if you let it. It's much more intimate, but difficult to put into words.

·        Do you prefer one discipline over the other and if so, why or why not?

o As a performer, I appreciate the intimacy of film acting. I love being on a film set. But it is a very personal thing. I have had friends and family on the set with me and all of them have been absolutely bored to tears. Film brings personal satisfaction. Satisfaction from a public reaction to film is always months and months down the road (if ever). If you need a crowd to like you, then stage acting is the thing.

o On stage, you do a bit, tell a joke, or take a fall and the audience responds immediately. Theater brings instant gratification. But your memory is the only record.

·        How did you move from acting to writing and which came first?
Obviously, I laid this interview out with the assumption that your acting career began prior to your writing career, but is that really true?

o I didn't really move from one to the other. I still do both. They’re two different professions with little in common other than they fulfill the need to get inside strangers, figure out what makes them tick, and present those strangers to others for entertainment purposes.

4.     Tell us about your amazing writing career…

You are an award-winning, Amazon best-selling author.  You have published titles individually, as well as, co-authored the book APPARITION LAKE with your brother, Dan Lamoreux.

·        What awards have you been nominated for and which have you won?

o I put awards and contest wins in the same category. In fact, winning a contest as a writer is better than winning an award because in a contest, you get something in the end. And that's what professional writing is all about (according to Stephen King). You write, they give you a check, you pay the light bill = success.

o My first success as a writer was a contest win and publication in an issue of Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine. Today, it would be called flash fiction, but back in the 80's, it was just a short story. I got a check for twenty-five dollars! My flash fiction story, The Gardener, also netted a nifty win at When you're eating a sandwich bought with writing money it just tastes better. 

o With awards, you just get an award (and the bitter congratulations of fellow artists that did not win). For the remainder of your career you'll need to dust off both the award and the fellow artists. LOL! Besides, I'm usually the bridesmaid as far as awards go. I have been nominated for a Rondo Hatton Award and a Pushcart Prize. My second solo novel, Dracula'sDemeter, was nominated for Best Vampire Fiction of 2012 by the Lord Ruthven Assembly. I contributed to two Rondo nominated non-fiction books on horror films, Horror 101 and Hidden Horrors. The latter won the Rondo for Book of the Year in 2014 (congrats, editor Aaron 'DR. AC' Christensen).

o A screenplay I co-wrote with a great British writer, Ian DavidNoakes (author of the thriller novel, Hourglass Heights) called, Dark Heart, was a Quarter-finalist in the American Screenwriting Competition. I was the first-ever winner of The Horror Society 'Igor Award' for fiction. AndApparition Lake just finished among the Top 10 nominees for the Predators & Editors poll for Best Horror Novel of 2014.

·        Do you prefer to write solo or with a co-author?  Why or why not and what are the differences?

o Truthfully, you end up writing solo whether you're collaborating or not. You discuss the project with your co-author, you make plot and character decisions with them, you argue about moments you feel passionate about, and you give and take constantly. But the writing you still do alone.

o The big difference: when I write solo, nobody sees the work until I'm ready to show it. Collaborating means you have to turn your raw work over to someone who will not only be critical, but has the power to change the words. Collaboration requires absolute trust, not just in the writing, but in the character and motivations of your co-author.

o Working with my brother Dan on Apparition Lake was a breeze, an absolute walk in the National Park, because I don't just trust him with my words, I trust him with my life. When we decided to bring that book back to life in a new edition from Creativia, we agreed on a goal, and met it. It helped that he is an extremely talented writer!


·        Did working with your brother make is easier or harder, in your opinion, to co-author a novel?  What challenges did you face and were they more or less manageable since you were related?  Will you be collaborating again in the future?

o As stated above, it was clearly easier. I didn't have to get to know him, I knew him already. I didn't have to wonder what he was thinking, he told me in no uncertain terms. The worst thing about collaborating with someone you don't know well is wondering what they are thinking, feeling the need to walk on egg shells, trying not to rub the other the wrong way. It is a BS way to write because writing is about exposing yourself! Dan is well aware of my strengths and weaknesses.

o We will be collaborating again. I'm certain the dark side of nature has more to show Glenn Merrill and Johnny Two Ravens and there will be a sequel or, if not a direct sequel, a companion adventure to Apparition Lake.

5.     What can we expect to see from you over the coming year?

Coming soon, a new horror novel, and after, a new Nod Blake mystery (with lots of murders, twists, and laughs), and later in the year the already mentioned follow-up to Apparition Lake.

·        What is your current WIP?

o A novel that I believe will really thrill my horror readers. It's called 'When The Tik Tik Sings'. It's based on an interview I did with a fellow from the Philippines over 30 years ago.

o He claimed to have witnessed an incident that, from his telling it, has brewed and haunted me ever since. And, finally, the time was right to develop that 'moment' of horror into a sequence of events in the lives of a group of characters that readers will absolutely be able to relate to.

o After all these years, it's coming to life on paper. I don't want to give any details. Just let me recommend, When The Tik Tik Sings, coming soon.

·        Will you be doing more films and if so, will they be based on any of your other novels?

o Who knows what evil lurks in the heart of me?

Thanks again, Doug!  I love chatting with you and I’m so pleased to have the chance to share you with my audience!  I pray you all the best, my friend! 

Saturday, February 21, 2015



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What is it about electronic devices and water?  They have the same fatal attraction as a plate full of food or a sandwich as it goes tumbling to the floor, always ending face-down.  

You try to be careful, making sure your phone isn't even close to the toilet, sink or bathtub.  But that water/electronic connection suddenly causes your device to leap right out of your hands, wanting to go for a nice dip.  Even that puddle your're splashing through can attract your unsuspecting phone.  So, now your phone has taken that plunge again, and you're left with a totally useless, dripping, expensive piece of junk.  What to do? you lament, knowing you can't afford another one.

Never fear - Gazelle is here! Gazelle has you covered with 'like new' devices at an affordable price that are all put through an industry-leading 30-point inspection to make sure all features are fully functional and offers you the peace of mind of a 30-day risk-free return period, with no contracts or strings attached. So if your device decides to take go for a leisurely swim, make sure to check out Gazelle for your replacement!   

But before you replace that soggy mess in your hand, you might want to try the 9 tips below:

1. Remove it.The longer your phone stays underwater, the more likely it is to suffer a catastrophic failure. Get it out of there! NOTE: If your phone is someplace dangerous (like a clogged toilet), take your time and find a safe (and sanitary) way to retrieve it. You’ll still have a shot at saving it.
2. Power Down. Shutting the phone off protects it from short circuiting.
  • iPhone: Hold the Lock button and the Home button simultaneously for 5 seconds for a hard shutdown.
  • Android: Remove the battery to shut down instantly.
3. Make Way. Water can quickly fill an entire phone. Make a path for it to get out by opening or removing all obstructions.
  • Remove the battery (if possible)
  • Remove any headphones
  • Remove the SIM card
  • Remove the memory card
3.1 [OPTIONAL] Wash it out. If your phone fell into salt water, dirty water, or something other than water, run it under clean tap water to flush out any residual salt, minerals and contaminants. Don’t worry, your phone was already full of water, so you’re not making it wetter – just cleaner.
5. Drain it. Force out as much water as possible. Tilt it, shake it, blow air through it, or use a wet/dry vacuum cleaner to suck out the liquid.
6. Open it up. The best way to save your phone is to open the case so air can get in and water can get out. You can visit to find instructions for opening your phone. NOTE: You don’t have to worry about breaking your warranty, because that was null and void as soon as water hit the damage indicator.
7. Dry it. Your phone is still wet inside, and you’ll want to speed up the drying process to help reduce the damage to your phone. Here are three options to try:
  • Air it out: In dry climates, good air circulation may be all you need. In our tests, open-air drying worked best. A fan may improve airflow through the phone’s ports.
  • Warm it up: If you can reliably warm it to 100-110 degrees Fahrenheit (but no more!) you will dramatically speed evaporation. Apple lists the maximum tolerable temperature as 113 degrees Fahrenheit, so be careful!
  • Absorb it: If you are someplace that’s too humid for open-air drying, you may want to use a drying agent to soak up the moisture. Don’t bother with the “rice trick.” We tested it, and uncooked white rice is the least effective for absorbing liquids. Instead, try the following:
    • Silica Gel. The best common drying agent is silica gel, which can be found in the pet aisle of your grocery store as “crystal” style cat litter.
    • Couscous. Instant couscous or instant rice are acceptable substitutes for silica. In our tests, these absorbed water much faster than conventional rice. Instant oatmeal works too, but makes a mess of your phone.
    • Open Air. We compared the water absorption of eight different materials (including silica gel and rice.) None of these materials was as effective as leaving the device in an open space (such as a counter top) with good air circulation.
8. Resist the urge to turn it on. Give your phone a few days to dry. Water may be trapped in tight spots or absorbed into your phone’s circuit boards.
9. Test it out. Once your phone is dry and reassembled, it may turn right on. If not, there are a few things you can try:
  • Charge it: A few hours of charging may get it going.
  • Sync it: One of our test-iPhones appeared dead but could still sync, allowing us to recover data.
  • Swap the battery: Two of our drowned iPhones came back to life with a battery swap.
  • Keep your cards: Your SIM and SD cards contain your contact lists and some of your data.

Friday, February 20, 2015

5 OUT 6 five star reviews for THE SECRET OF EXCALIBUR Necklaces, Pendants, Earrings

5 out 6 five star reviews for

The reviews are rolling in.  

I think The Secret of Excalibur by Sahara Foley is one of those stories that will stand out in my memory. Expecting another take on the famous sword, this love story took me by surprise as it wound its way from a laboratory in London that specializes in paranormal characteristics in humans to the surprise twist at the very end.

Between laboratory and the end, Foley dips into some of the lore around the famous sword. Ruth our heroine is fascinated by the Arthurian legends, so when she and our hero, Arthur Merlin, need to get away from the city, she takes him to the St. George Inn on lake St. George, where the sword is said to have been cast. Could the strange psychic sensations Arthur feels coming from the lake have anything to do with the famous sword? What did Ruth and her classmates really see out on the lake? The two set out to discover what mysteries the lake really holds, occasionally stopping for some lovemaking.

Any story of Arthur’s magic sword must contain a multilayered palette of romance, mystery, magic and characters both honorable and not-so-honorable. Foley manages this modern tale in classic form with the lovely heroine, a superhero, who is also very human, a few incompetent government paper-pushers and even the local buffoons.

I highly recommend this book.

And another: 

After seeing the title, the first thing I thought was---this is a King Arthur story. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, I enjoy everything to do with the Knights of the Round Table and King Arthur. But, this is not that story. Or at least not that story, as you know it. This unique book brings in elements of the ancient tale but with a new and innovative twist.

The main character Arthur Merlin discovers he has what I would describe as superpowers. He can teleport and read minds. There are other powers I’ll leave for you to discover. Because of his special talents, the U.S. Government would like to control him.

The Lady of the Lake and Excalibur play roles in this book, but not the traditional roles you’d expect. This is a genre mix of legend, fantasy, and science fiction. The pace is perfect and the characters are engaging and interesting.

And another:

A wonderful meld of magic, paranormal powers and myth. What happened to Excalibur? Did it exist? Did Excalibur give Arthur special powers? I have always been fascinated by the story of King Arthur and Knights of the Round Table. This book takes me back to those original tales of legend or fantasy, I doubt if we will ever know which.

If you think this is just another Arthurian tale, you’re mistaken. It combines fantasy with intrigue and suspense and with the reality of the world we live in now. It takes you on a lovely trip through the English countryside to the lake where Excalibur is said to lie. The author must have done a lot of research on the book and it is very interesting to read all the legends of Excalibur.

The characters are full of quirks and you will find them amusing. I got a bit confused at the end with all the revelations, since there were Russian subs and aliens popping up. I feel like the story has been left dangling a bit at the end. I’m not sure whether it was intentional, and if we will be hearing more about Arthur Merlin soon but I do hope so. I wouldn’t mind meeting these characters again. I recommend this book to all lovers of fantasy and lore. Great job, Sahara Foley!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

CHAYSING DREAMS by Jalpa Williby

CHAYSING DREAMS by Jalpa Williby

Tess has a perfect life, everything comes easy and natural, the best parents, top of the class in high school, terrific athlete and awesome friends.  Her life is perfect, except for the same invasive nightmare that’s haunted her, her whole life.   Is it her in the nightmares or a vision of someone else?  Who is the girl running from?  On her sixteenth birthday, Tess meets a mysterious boy named Joe.  She’s never really felt any romantic feelings for a boy before, and has always scoffed at her Mom about love at first sight.  But she feels an instant connection/bond to this boy and doesn’t understand why.  Unfortunately, she never sees him again. Or does she?

I ran across this book in several different reading groups and I’ve heard nothing but good raves for this book.  I’m finally glad I had a chance to read it.  The praises are well-deserved, and I can’t wait to read the second one, Chaysing Memories

The chemistry between Tess and Joe then Chris is so palpable, I felt like I was right here with them.  Even with Jack, which Tess sees only as a friend, you can feel his yearning, wishing their relationship was more than just friendship.  This is the type of book you can’t really describe in a review as I don’t want to give away any of the twists and turns of the plot.  But you will live through all the joys and sadness of Tess’ life, especially when she finally understands the meaning of true loss.  Will she be able to pick herself up and learn to live again?

The ending of the book was perfect to set up for the sequel.  It leaves a lot of unanswered questions.  I want to know more.  How does Chayse escape?  How will Tess get her memories back?  Who and what are Tess and Chayse?  Are there more of them?  I absolutely loved this book and give it 5 feathers.

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Saturday, February 14, 2015



What a powerful, dark, tragic tale with an unrequited romance interwoven throughout the story.  The story starts with Vasile, one of the most evil vampires I’ve met since Eco in Unholy Testament.  As Vasile searches for his new mate, little does he know that the woman he grants everlasting life to, Elizabeth Sutton, will ultimately be his demise. 

There are several sub-plots in the story, but the main plot revolves around Mia and Cain.  Mia is 10 when she first meets and helps Cain.  From that moment on, a bond is forged that will end up being their salvation.  I really enjoyed these characters and the terrible events that life kept throwing at them.  I felt very connected to them and they were really believable. Cain is my type of man, dark, hunky and tragic.  

Some of the lower star reviews complained there were too many characters the author just threw away in the middle of the story, that these disposable characters didn’t help or advance the plot.  I totally disagree.  This story stretches across several generations from when Cain was first turned.  Every character introduced in this story helps with the plot and character development for Cain and Mia.  Sure people died, but a horror story isn’t a horror story without victims.  If you don’t understand that, then you shouldn’t be reading horror stories.

And I must say, some of the deaths were pretty graphic and gruesome.  I write horror and some scenes even made me squeamish.  When I think back on it though, it’s more Cain’s rage and the realization that he feels no remorse or guilt for any of his actions.  A true vampire at heart. 

This is a wonderful tale and I highly recommend the book.  I give it 5 feathers.