Thursday, October 22, 2015

Contest Winners & Sentencing Sapphire Preview!

The Silencing Sapphire Book Club has come to an end and, as always, I had a blast doing it.
A big thanks to all the Wattpad readers for their lovely comments and compliments. I genuinely have no words to describe how wonderful it has been to read your messages.

With the conclusion of the book club, I have put up the first three chapters of SENTENCING SAPPHIRE (Sapphire Dubois Book #3) on Wattpad as a preview. Read them HERE!

A giant congrats to the three winners of Contest #1: The Sapphire Dubois Quiz! The winners' wattpad names have been announced on the Contest section of the Silencing Sapphire Book Club.

Last but not least, we have the winner of Contest #2: The Art Contest.

CONGRATULATIONS to a very talented girl named Ariel, who took home the prize with her beautiful drawing of Sapphire Dubois.


Thursday, October 15, 2015

Interview with author Arthur Kerns


Arthur Kerns spent most of his FBI career in the New York City and Washington, DC. Following
graduation from college, he did a stint with the US Navy amphibious forces, and then joined the FBI with a career in counterintelligence and counterterrorism. Retiring from the FBI, he became a consultant for the Director of Central Intelligence and the Department of State. His lengthy assignments took him to over sixty-five countries. He attended Archmere Academy in Claymont, Delaware, earned a degree in International Relations from St. Joseph’s College in Philadelphia, and received an MBA from New York University. He spent a year studying Arabic at the Defense Language Institute in Monterey, California. A past president of the Arizona chapter of the Association of Former Intelligence Officers, he tries to spend as much time as possible in the Monterey California Bay area. His award-winning short stories have been published in a number of anthologies, most recently, SoWest: Desert Justice.
Diversion Books published his debut novel, an espionage thriller, The Riviera Contract, in March 2013 and the sequel, The African Contract, May 2014. He now is writing the next novel in the series, The Yemen Contract.

The Interview

Art, you’ve had quite an exciting life so far: FBI, counter intelligence, consultant for the Director of Central Intelligence, the list goes on. How did you adjust when settling into the calmer life of an author?

I found it easy to slip into the writing world. However, if you want to succeed you learn it’s a lot more demanding than you expected. Many of us had the vision of working on a manuscript alone in that mountain cabin, or maybe a seaside cottage. We writers know it’s not quite that way. The hassle of marketing, attending book signings, workshops, and conferences takes up a lot of your time. Then there’s the research necessary for your story. Eventually, you try to find time to write. A calmer life is, I suppose, a relative concept. Overall, to steer me through the writing process, I’m fortunate to have a great agent in Liz Kracht and a supportive publisher, Diversion Books.

How much of your character, Hayden Stone, do you see in yourself?

Hayden Stone is very much a creation. Yes, we have similar backgrounds and some character traits, and likes and dislikes, but Stone’s ventures into the spy world of counterterrorism is his own making. Now, I am interested in the foods of the world and enjoyed my travels to far-away places, but the action (and romance) sequences are from whole cloth.

Having travelled to over 65 countries in your line of work, does writing exotic locations come easy to you?

I love traveling to places off the main route. Many of the countries I traveled to in Africa, most people don’t know exist and if they did probably couldn’t find a tour company to take them there. When I was young, I was an avid reader of Richard Halliburton’s travel books. If fact, I have two first editions in my library. I chose Yemen as a location for my next novel, because I traveled there many times and found the people and landscape fascinating.

I see you as the Ian Fleming of the States. How would you feel if Hayden Stone ended up on the big screen, and which actor would you like to see in the role?

Don’t we all want to have our novels end up on the big screen? Jon Hamm, now that Mad Men series is over, he has time on his hands.

You’re working on the third book in your series right now, The Yemen Contract. How many Stone books do you think you’ll write?

After the Yemen Contract, I can see one, maybe two more books. As a matter of fact, I’m just about to hand to my critique group the draft of the first chapter of the Tuscan Contract. However, I have another manuscript in the works, which focuses on the unsolved murder of an FBI agent in 1929. Another idea percolating is a series about an FBI agent sent to Latin America during WW II to counter the Nazi threat.

With all the places you’ve been in the world, where is your favorite place to write?

My favorite spot to work is right here in my home office. My wife, Donna, did a great job of helping me put together the perfect place to write.

Want to check out Arthur’s Hayden Stone series? CLICK HERE

A big thanks to Arthur (aka: America's Ian Fleming) for this interview!

Tuesday, October 6, 2015


Today is the day! SENTENCING SAPPHIRE (Sapphire Dubois Book #3) is finally out.

I don't know if I'm supposed to be less excited about this, having two release dates under my belt, but I seem to be as giddy today as I was the first two times. Combine your 18th or 21st birthday with a top five childhood Christmas and that's where I am on release days.

Purchase it HERE!

That said, my celebration this time has taken a drastic turn from those of the past.

The day Stalking Sapphire was released, my husband and I got a really nice suite for two nights at a really nice hotel. When I opened my eyes that morning, three things hit me in the following order:

One: I was hung-over. The management sent us complimentary strawberries and champagne the night before, which lead to us running out of champagne. So we went down to the bar and continued looking for champagne at the bottom of several captain and coke glasses.

Two:  Neither my ass or my back hurt. The nice hotel with the really nice suite, had a really nice bed. One of those nice beds you grow to hate, because they make you realize what a piece of crap you normally sleep on.

Three: It was the release day! I jumped up, despite the hangover, and yelled. "O-mi-God-O-mi-God; It's out!!!" My husband, still half asleep, also hung-over, opened his blood-shot eyes and mumbled "yaay" then went back to sleep.

I've never been simultaneously happy and hung-over before, it's usually one or the other, but I give it two thumbs up.

As for Silencing Sapphire's release...
I was convinced everyone would hate the sequel so much that I wouldn't get to write a third, fourth, or fifth book, and that the second release day, would be my last. So I invited some friends and threw a release party to make sure that if it, indeed, was my last release day, I'd go out with a bang.

I spent the whole night forcing people to listen to made-up potential and horrible reviews: Minus 3 Stars. Worst Writing in the History of Words. Thompson SUCKS!
I wish I would've known how many four and five star reviews the second book would get at that point. It would've saved my friends' ears from profuse bleeding.

So what am I doing today then, on Sentencing Sapphire's release day, you ask?
The answer is so incredibly dull that I couldn't find a boring enough word in the thesaurus to describe it. I got up this morning to share links, re-link, post this, try to be clever in 140 characters or less...the usual. Then, at 9 p.m. tonight, I will not celebrate, but go to work. Not writing work, but work-work.

Fun, right? Wrong. Clearly, while at work, I will neither be able to drink champagne nor randomly yell "O-mi-God-O-mi-God; It's out!!!" as I'd likely be escorted off the property by security.

My only hope today, as I look like this before I venture to work... that somewhere in the world, someone sees that Sentencing Sapphire is out and jumps up to yell "O-mi-God-O-mi-God; it's out!!!"

On the upside, I hear Burger King's Black Whopper turns your poop green, so my day could be significantly worse.


Monday, October 5, 2015

Win a Copy of Sentencing Sapphire!

As the release day of Sentencing Sapphire (Sapphire Dubois Book #3) rapidly approaches, Diversion Books have graciously offered up a few copies of the whole Sapphire Series (ePub) and Sentencing Sapphire in paperback!

Goodreads Giveaway

Enter HERE to join the Goodreads Giveaway and win Sentencing Sapphire in paperback. It ends tomorrow (Oct. 6th) and this one is for the US only.

Wattpad Contests

For a chance to win the whole Sapphire Dubois series (ePub) you must enter through Wattpad and the Silencing Sapphire Book Club. If you don't already have an account, sign up. Wattpad is free.
These contests are open WORLD-WIDE and start on Oct. 7th 2015. Rules and instructions will be located on the last page of the book club, and titled Contests.

The winners will receive all three Sapphire books, i.e. Stalking Sapphire, Silencing Sapphire, Sentencing Sapphire for their eReader.

Wattpad Contest 1#
Answer the seven Sapphire Dubois questions in the Contests comment section of the book club. The first three contestants to answer all quiz questions correctly win!

Wattpad Contests 2#
Draw Sapphire Dubois on a WANTED POSTER and submit the drawing to the email address that will be released at the end of the Silencing Sapphire Book Club on Oct 7th!

Note: For those unable to scan in their drawing, a photo of the drawing will be accepted as well, as long as it is properly zoomed in on the subject.

Good Luck!