Posted in Visiting Authors

Visiting Authors: A Big Transition by E. Hepner

Today I’d like to welcome E. Hepner to My Funny View of Life. 

A Big Transition

Deadlines72Around this time two years ago I never would have expected to be almost finished writing my second debut cozy mystery—mainly because I loved them, but I was afraid I wasn’t much of a thinker to write one. When I started reading as a teenager I devoured mysteries, but when I got out of college I started writing erotica and erotic romance because up until then it was newly growing market and I could get in at the ground floor. Then there was Fifty Shades of Gray. Enough said about that. Then last year I took the plunge, locked up my insecurities, and started plugging away at Deadlines: A Written to Death Mystery. One word at a time I slaved away at it, constantly batting away the “why are you doing this, what makes you think you can” and the “what if it’s too easy to guess the killer” thoughts.

It was the perfect remedy for a grueling writing schedule and burnout on the highest level. But man, did all the twists and turns hurt my brain! Halfway through the first draft I doubted I’d make it through to the other side. As opposed to emotional plot I had to juggle a wacky cast of characters that wouldn’t follow my outline and all had their own agenda. An outline was a good idea, in theory. In practice, Ainsley and Co. ripped my carefully detailed plan to shreds with their red herrings and sneaky business. Even the killer changed at the last second! When I got to the end of the book I didn’t feel much like I was writing it anymore, it was their book.

So I let them takeover. Where as before I was working with a set two personalities dooking it out to be in a relationship, now it was a race to the finish to find a killer. A totally different animal. I wound up being just as excited and shocked as Ainsley with every turn. It was…dare I say it? Fun. Not a single thread of angst to be found and oh, wasn’t that refreshing. Writing cozies for me are not only the perfect palate cleanser, but the exercise a completely different part of my writing brain. It’s like doing a leg day at the gym after only doing arms for five years—I can only imagine what that person would look like and it would probably be very scary.

Cozy mysteries are the best friends I never knew I needed, the geeky shy girl who opens you up and gives you hugs for your brain. There’s no going back now. I’m in it.

E. Hepner is the cozy mystery pen name of erotica and erotic romance author Elise Hepner. She writes small town heroines with an alternative edge put in big time situations where death, hijinks, and overall shenanigans ensue on a daily basis. Also a little romance–which they may or may not be ready for, given the pile up of dead bodies.

Posted in Review Thursday

Book Review Thursday: The Bullet Catch by John Gaspard

It’s Book Review Thursday. Come back each week to get a peek inside what authors I love and what storylines inspire me. 

BULLET CATCH coverEli Marks is working in Uncle Harry’s magic shop when his old high school friend, Jake North, shows up in disguise. He’s in town to shoot scenes for his new movie about Terry Alexander, aka the Cloaked Conjurer. Alexander revealed the secrets to magicians’ tricks, which broke the cardinal rule of magic: never reveal how the trick is done. Unfortunately for Alexander, doing this ruined his career. He died doing a trick called “The Bullet Catch”. It’s the last scene scheduled to be filled, and Jake is afraid it may be the last scene he ever films.

Their fifteen-year high school reunion is taking place while he is in town, and while they are there, they run Trish, who was the most popular girl in school back then. She’s married to Dylan Lasalle, the most likely to be arrested, how the heck did he graduate bad boy of their class. Dylan spends the evening ignoring his wife; instead, he spends the evening flirty with the women and getting drunk. Their last view of him that night is being driven away by Trish. The next morning, he’s dead.

The police think it might be a mugging, but Eli has no intention of getting involved in another case. So he visits the movie set, where he learns that Hollywood relationships have a shorter expiration date than a gallon of milk. No wonder Jake is worried. Having the star of the picture die while filming the final scene would guarantee a box office hit.

While Eli is worried about his friend, he’s asked to perform magic tricks at a private party. But when he gets there, this must be a seriously private party, because there are no cars anywhere. Instead, he an older gentleman named Mr. Lime, who wants to know what the police said to him about Dylan’s death. Mr. Lime is a bit of an odd duck, who loves to quote old movies, like Casablanca, Double Indemnity, and Laura, with an odd reference to Francis the Mule.

Feeling sorry for the Widow Lasalle puts Eli in the crosshairs of the Assistant District Attorney, who just happens to be his ex-wife, who just happens to be married to the lead detective of the case. She accidentally points him in the direction of another classmate, who turns up dead before his appointment with Eli.

The bodies continue to fall, Mr. Lime makes another creepy appearance with more movie references, and Eli becomes concerned that Trish may be next. But he’s also trying to figure out how to make sure Jake survives the final scene of the movie, the dreaded Bullet Catch.

Will Eli be able to use enough sleight of hand tricks to save Jake, and figure out who the killer is? Or will someone be doing The Broken Wand at his funeral?

The Bullet Catch is a delightfully wonderful book. I particularly like seeing a main character with flaws, in Eli’s case, his fear of heights. As I read those particular scenes, I could feel his fear, and at times, I felt my own heart racing for him. The First Thursday scene had me laughing out loud (good thing I was home alone at the time!). Gaspard wrote a fantastic book. The plot was intricate and detailed, and as a fan of the Golden Age of Hollywood, I loved all the references to the old movies. The plots of these movies are woven seamlessly into the mystery at the heart of the book, and I found myself stopping to remember the plots of these old movies, and trying to figure out how it related to the present mystery. I highly recommend The Bullet Catch, and I look forward to Eli’s next adventure. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m feeling a bit nostalgic. I’m off to Rick’s Place.

Bullet Catch is available for purchase on Amazon. For additional ways to purchase this book, visit the Henery Press website. Pick it up today!

Posted in Promote an Author

Promote an Author Tuesday: John Gaspard

It’s Promote an Author Tuesday! This week, I’m introducing a new section: Questions with the Author! Stop back on Thursday when I review The Bullet Catch.

The Bullet Catch

BULLET CATCH coverNewly-single magician Eli Marks reluctantly attends his high school reunion against his better judgment, only to become entangled in two deadly encounters with his former classmates. The first is the fatal mugging of an old crush’s husband, followed by the suspicious deaths of the victim’s business associates.  At the same time, Eli also comes to the aid of a classmate-turned-movie-star who fears that attempting The Bullet Catch in an upcoming movie may be his last performance. As the bodies begin to pile up, Eli comes to the realization that juggling these murderous situations — while saving his own neck — may be the greatest trick he’s ever performed.

About John Gaspard

In real life, John’s not a magician, but he has directed six low-budget features that cost very little and made even less – that’s no small trick. He’s also written multiple books on the subject of low-budget filmmaking. Ironically, they’ve made more than the films. His blog, “Fast, Cheap Movie Thoughts” has been named “One of the 50 Best Blogs for Moviemakers” and “One of The 100 Best Blogs For Film and Theater Students.” He’s also written for TV and the stage. John lives in Minnesota and shares his home with his lovely wife, several dogs, a few cats and a handful of pet allergies.

Questions With the Author

Is there a book you wish you had written?

No, but there is a book I return to about every ten years: Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance, by Robert Pirsig. Every time I pick it up, it’s a different book.

What is your favorite story about your childhood that the family tells over and over?

Apparently, at the age of five or so, I got completely fed up with the whole clan and decide to take off and make a go of it on my own. I packed what I felt I really needed (no idea now what that was) and headed out for regions unknown. Of course, since I wasn’t allowed to cross the street, I ultimately didn’t get far.

What’s on your bucket list?

Don’t have one. Just taking it as it comes.

Where would Eli go on vacation?

The problem with a vacation is that it is an escape from work, and Eli doesn’t really work. Or have an actual job. But given his basic, child-like nature and curiosity, I think he would have no trouble spending a week in Orlando, hitting all the theme parks. Or, if invited to perform at The Magic Castle in Los Angeles, he would likely spend his day off at Disneyland.

Connect With John

John Gaspard author photoFacebook: John Gaspard Author Page

Twitter: @johngaspard

Pinterest: Bullet Catch

Bullet Catch is available for purchase on Amazon. For additional ways to purchase this book, visit the Henery Press website.
Posted in Book Releases

NOCTE: The Darkness is Here

Everyone has secrets.
Today, you find out mine.

NOCTE-releasegraphic-V21-600px

NOCTE is here. Get it: Amazon – iBooks – B&N – Kobo
Add it on Goodreads

NOCTE-cover-300pxMy name is Calla Price. I’m eighteen years old, and I’m one half of a whole. My other half–my twin brother, my Finn–is crazy.

I love him. More than life, more than anything. And even though I’m terrified he’ll suck me down with him, no one can save him but me.

I’m doing all I can to stay afloat in a sea of insanity, but I’m drowning more and more each day. So I reach out for a lifeline.

Dare DuBray.

He’s my savior and my anti-Christ. His arms are where I feel safe, where I’m afraid, where I belong, where I’m lost. He will heal me, break me, love me and hate me.

He has the power to destroy me.

Maybe that’s ok. Because I can’t seem to save Finn and love Dare without everyone getting hurt.

Why? Because of a secret.

A secret I’m so busy trying to figure out, that I never see it coming.

You won’t either.

NOCTE is here. Get it: Amazon – iBooks – B&N – Kobo
Add it on Goodreads

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NOCTE-trailer

 Save me, and I’ll save you.

My Review.

Serva me, servabo te…

Secrets.

They can be good, and they can be bad.

Calla Price is an 18-year-old girl who lives in a funeral home. No, really, she does. In high school, they called her “Funeral Home Girl” because she always had the smell of chemicals on her from the embalming process. She’s also her twin brother’s Finn protector, which is a full-time job, because she needs to save him…

From himself…

Serva me, servabo te…

The summer between high school and the start of college should be a fun time. But for Calla and Finn, it’s anything but. Their mother, Laura, is killed in a head-on collision one night on a rain-slick road. Calla feels responsible, because she had called her mother, and was on the phone with her when she died.

As Calla deals with her guilt, Finn is dealing with his own demons. He has secrets, secrets that are buried deep. He won’t even share them with Calla, and he tells her everything. The voices in his head keep telling him to hurt himself, to tell Calla, to stop her pain. She’s afraid he’s off his meds, and she goes with him to his group sessions every week, just to make sure he goes.

While she is waiting for him to get through with a session one day, she meets a man who instantly captures her heart. He begins to consume her night and day. She’s attracted to him, and feels like he is the one to save her from her grief.

Serva me…

The man, Dare Dubray, moves into the carriage house next to their home. He’s right there, willing to listen to her, but not always willing to open up. There are secrets he’s hiding, dark secrets he can’t tell her for fear of hurting her.

Ever since his wife died, Calla’s father has seemed aloof and detached, especially from Finn. As Finn seems to spiral further and further out of control, Calla is desperate to learn what secrets he is keeping from her. She can’t move on with Dare because she knows that she is the only one who can save Finn.

Serva me, servabo te…

The secrets that Dare, Finn and her father are keeping from her are starting to affect her in negative ways. The only way to find the truth is to read Finn’s journal. But will the truth truly set her free, or will it have a much more devastating effect?

Save me, and I will save you…

Will they be able to save her?

I will admit that the beginning of the book was a little slow for me, and I even put it aside for a while before picking it up again to continue reading it. The further I got into the story, the more intrigued I became. The secrets that everyone has leaves the reader wondering just how bad they are, and what will the devastating effects of learning all these secrets be? Who will be standing at the end? This is a very intricately woven plot, with the layers slowly being peeled back as the story progresses. Is Dare there to save her, or pull her under? Can she do anything to pull her father out of his grief in time to save Finn? Will she even be able to save Finn? These are the questions, among many, that you will be asking yourself as you read the story. It is dark, very creepy at times (to me, that is), and the ending is mind-blowing. Are you ready for it? Can you figure out how to save everyone?

Serva me, servabo te…

Save me, and I will save you…