Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Spotlight on Author Derek Rempfer

He is the incredibly talented author of my FAVE book of late 2014. He is Mr. Derek Rempfer, and I am honored to bring you an up-close and personal interview with this amazing writer. First, a bit about his novel WHERE THE BROKEN LIE. You can pick up this fabulous book right now for JUST .99 CENTS!!! Hurry, though, before this special deal expires.

When Tucker returns to his hometown of Willow Grove to grieve the death of his infant son, memories of the murder of Katie, his childhood sweetheart, are ignited. In spite of her death being blamed on a mentally challenged drifter known as Slim Jim, Tucker wonders if the real killer is still out there. With new clues arriving through anonymous letters left at the graveyard, Tucker is certain that Katie's death is truly unsolved. While coming to terms with the loss of his son, Tucker also seeks truth. But the real killer may be out there, willing to kill again to protect a dark secret.

Where The Broken Lie shines a spotlight on small-town secrets, faith, fear, love and loss in this enigmatic journey into the scarred hearts left behind.

And now, Mr. Rempfer...

What do you do for fun, when you’re not writing?
-          I’m a sports nerd, so much of my time is spent watching/following or coaching (my kids) sports.  Unfortunately, I don’t play so much anymore, unless you count fantasy baseball which I LOVE to play.  See?  Nerd.
What made you choose to write?
-          You know…I’m not sure.  It’s like asking me what made me choose to have green eyes.  I think it’s a DNA thing.  I always loved reading and as my taste in literature evolved, I think I acquired a real respect for people with the ability to eloquently express themselves and connect with others via the written word.  There is a patience and a permanence to the written word.  Written words are crafted and meant to last.
What is something that you love to do that someone else may find a little shocking?
-          Hmm…I suppose that those who have joined me in tossing back shots of Patron Silver at the local taverns might be surprised that I love reading the bible.  I find comfort and wisdom in it. 
-          On another note, my wife and I are currently taking ballroom dancing lessons.  I’m very bad.  The instructor called me “a clopper”.
In 100 words or less, make us HAVE to read your book!
-          I didn’t write something to sell, I wrote something to share.  It is a story of human experience that will likely cause you to laugh and will definitely move you to tears.  Knowing that much of it is pulled directly from my own experiences will make it resonate deeply with you.  But you’ll also get wrapped up in the plot because the story is equal parts mystery and literary fiction. And when you read it, you’ll know that I crafted each word and made them to last. 
How long did it take you from concept to finished product?
-          The crux of the story took about 3 years.  I learned a lot during the process that I hope will shorten the time it takes me to write the next one.
Best piece of advice for new writers.
-          Perspiration over inspiration.  Don’t romanticize the process or wait for The Muse.  My experience is that The Muse isn’t some wispy ethereal figure that floats down in a dream.  She’s buried under ground and you’ve got to dig her out.
Are there any projects that you are currently working on and wish to share?
-          I have two projects that I’m working on.  One is a sequel to Where The Broken Lie and the other is a Young Adult novel.  The idea for the YA novel came to me years ago and I absolutely LOVE the concept and the characters.  It has a little more magic to it than Where The Broken Lie, but it has some of that same small-town, down-home feel to it.  I can’t wait to finish it and share it!
Now let’s play a little ‘this or that’…
As ice cream goes – chocolate or vanilla?
-          Chocolate all day.
Early bird or night owl?
-          More early bird these days
Paper or plastic?
-          Paper.  You can’t write on plastic.  J
Rock ‘n roll or country?
-          It’s gotta be rock ‘n roll music if you wanna dance with me.
Finallyyou are being sent to a deserted island with one small suitcase of belongings. What’s in there…?(and there’s room for only one book.)
-          Somebody once answered that question by saying that the book would be “How to Build a Boat,” or something to that effect.  Assuming that’s not available and ignoring all things practical (clothing, tools, etc), I’d bring:

o   A bible

o   Pictures of my family

o   Paper and pencils

o   A really great pillow

o   A coffee maker…just in case
                              Thank you, Derek for being here and for your beautiful novel!



Sunday, March 1, 2015

Coffee & Breeze Talks Beach Reads

As Carole and I sit and chat over a warm cup of joe - decaf for me - beyond the window, on the other side of the frosty glass, a storm is raging. The snow is piling up once again. It's like Groundhog Day; that movie with Bill Murray where every day is The. Exact. Same. Cold and gray. White and wet. Ugh.

But fear not. Spring is less than one month away. Officially, anyway. And our thoughts have already turned to things far less frigid in nature. With that in mind, we wanted to bring you our favorite BEACH reads!! That's right. Carole and I have temporarily traded our furry boots for flip flops. So settle in and join us, and don't forget your sun screen.


CAROLE: I’m not a typical beach reader in that I don’t shy away from serious or unhappy subject matter while on vacation, but some books are definitely more suited than others for a summer escape.  Here are my choices for this year, all of which would go nicely with an ice cold Corona or a drink with a little umbrella in it.

The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer.  I was initially hooked by these seven simple words: “If you loved The Time Traveler’s Wife…”  Call me shallow, but I’m wild about the cover too.  In this story, a woman begins shock treatments and travels to two different lives – one in 1918 and the other in 1943.  Thoroughly engrossing!

TENDER IS THE NIGHT by F. Scott Fitzgerald.  This is the last novel Fitzgerald ever completed and if you’re a fan of Gatsby and have never read it, what are you waiting for?!  Modern Library ranked it #28 on its list of 100 Best English-Language Novels of the 20th Century. 
Set on the French Riviera in the late 1920s, Tender Is the Night is the tragic romance of the young actress Rosemary Hoyt and the stylish American couple Dick and Nicole Diver.
Goes down as smooth as Beautiful Ruins while traveling.  Great fun! 

Blue Asylum by Kathy Hepinstall.  Hepinstall’s work is luscious, tense, always gripping, and the settings are never less than utterly fascinating.  This one is an unusual love story set in a mental institution on an island in Florida during the Civil War.  The protagonist is the wife of a plantation owner whose been convicted of lunacy by her husband for dubious reasons.  Historical, mysterious, and wonderfully different, it’s a great read and one that should be rapidly followed up with a tasty serving of Hepinstall’s The House of Gentle Men. 
LOUISE: For me, the beach is the perfect place to get caught up on my ever-lovingly large TBR list. I'm going to bring you my three top choices for awesome (unique?) beach reads. The first is not a new release. I read this some years back, but it always reminds me of those young. sweet and sometimes tense sultry days. From the fabulous Anne Brashares it's THE LAST SUMMER OF YOU AND ME. This is an enchanting, heartrending story of a beach-community friendship triangle and romance among three young adults for whom summer means exciting new beginnings and inevitable endings. I found this upper YA/New Adult read to be entertaining and just the right balance of drama and light. http://www.amazon.com/Last-Summer-You-Me-ebook/dp/B001974DEW/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1425243404&sr=1-1&keywords=the+last+summer+of+you+and+me

For a newer read, I suggest WILD by Cheryl Strayed. This gipping true account of one woman's solo journey of self discovery in the great and formidable outdoors will surely have you appreciating your comfy beach chair. http://www.amazon.com/Wild-Found-Pacific-Crest-Trail/dp/0307476073

And finally - for the more adventurous bibliophiles out there - there is JAWS - the Novel by Peter Benchley. Of course most everyone has, by now, seen the movie of the same name. BUT to recline at the shore line and flip through these frightening pages, well that takes a special sort of courage. I've done it. Are you up for the challenge? If so, you will discover several interesting revisions that Spielberg made in the book-to-screen-play adaptation. http://www.amazon.com/Jaws-Peter-Benchley-ebook/dp/B008IU9KQO/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1425252351&sr=1-1&keywords=jaws

So there you have it. And, of course, if none of those books suits your beach-reading fancy there's always THE READING LESSONS by our own CAROLE LANHAM http://www.amazon.com/Carole-Lanham/e/B0063EC1DQ/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1425252663&sr=1-2-ent or THE MAKING OF NEBRASKA BROWN by yours truly. Plus for those of you who prefer to keep your literary consumption shorter whilst seaside - there are PETIT FLEURS and VIGNETTES - my short story compilations. http://www.amazon.com/Louise-Caiola/e/B005HERY1W/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1425252635&sr=1-2-ent

Now it's time to turn so you don't burn. ;)