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Introducing Greg Hickey, Author of Our Dried Voices – A BWR Author Services Tour

ODV Tour Banner

Welcome to Bibliophile’s Retreat.

1. Who do you want to meet and why?

A. Nelson Mandela (unfortunately, that opportunity has passed). I spent 10 months in South Africa during and after college. His presence was everywhere in that country. I cannot think of a more strong-willed or universally beloved human being.

2. Is there anyone who has influenced / encouraged you to write? Who and how/why?

A: I had a great creative writing teacher in high school who helped stoke my interest in writing. I had enjoyed writing stories before that time, but in her class I really dedicated myself to improving my work. She was the first teacher who suggested keeping a writing journal to collect ideas and notes. In fact, I jotted down my initial musings about Our Dried Voices in that first journal.

Greg ABOUT GREG:
Greg Hickey was born in Evanston, Illinois in 1985. After graduating from Pomona College in 2008, he played and coached baseball in Sweden and South Africa. He is now a forensic scientist, endurance athlete and award-winning writer. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Lindsay. You can visit him at his website, Greg Hickey Writes

3. What else have you written / are you currently writing (including unpublished works)?

A: I’m currently editing a second novel entitled The Friar’s Lantern, which is a gamebook (a fancy word for choose-your-own-adventure story) that addresses various questions about free will and determinism. The story centers around a philosophy problem called Newcomb’s paradox and a murder trial in which you are a jury member. I’ve also written a film screenplay called Vita, which is about two intelligent, successful, young men with everything going for them, until one is paralyzed in a car accident, discovers his wife is having an affair, and then comes home to find her murdered in an apparent home burglary. It earned some recognition in a couple screenplay contests, and I’m currently working on an option agreement to have it produced. I also blog on fitness and philosophy at KineSophy (http://kinesophy.blogspot.com).

I loved CYOA books when I was younger. An adult version of them would be cool! I’ll have to check your book out when it releases.

4. What inspired you to write in this genre/world?

A: I was a philosophy major in college, and I enjoy reading fiction with a philosophical subtext. I wanted to write an entertaining story that had a few more levels below the surface, and the science fiction and dystopian genres are great vehicles for philosophy.

5. What else would you like to share with readers about yourself or this book?

A: I’ve been working on Our Dried Voices for a long time, so it’s extremely rewarding to see the process come to fruition. Being able to hold a copy of Our Dried Voices, a tangible finished product that I created, was an amazing experience. I’m thrilled to be able to share this story with readers, to know that other people have immediate access to something I wrote, something they can engage with and that will hopefully spark a new idea or dialogue in their lives. And if any reader has questions or feedback about the novel, I’d love to hear from you at
greghickey5@gmail.com.

ODV Cover ABOUT OUR DRIED VOICES:
Our Dried Voices by Greg Hickey
Scribe Publishing Company (November 4, 2014)
In 2153, cancer was cured. In 2189, AIDS. And in 2235, the last members of the human race traveled to a far distant planet called Pearl to begin the next chapter of humanity. Several hundred years after their arrival, the remainder of humanity lives in a utopian colony in which every want is satisfied automatically, and there is no need for human labor, struggle or thought. But when the machines that regulate the colony begin to malfunction, the colonists are faced with a test for the first time in their existence. With the lives of the colonists at stake, it is left to a young man named Samuel to repair these breakdowns and save the colony. Aided by his friend Penny, Samuel rises to meet each challenge. But he soon discovers a mysterious group of people behind each of these problems, and he must somehow find and defeat these saboteurs in order to rescue his colony.
(234pp, ISBN#9781940368931)

Purchase at:
Amazon $2.99 Kindle, borrow on Kindle Unlimited or $12.53 Paperback (Prime Eligible)

or Scribe Publishing, in Print $10.00

6. What quote or saying is deeply meaningful to you in this season of your life? And how does it influence your writing and life?

A: I don’t know about deeply meaningful in a personal way, but lately I’ve been trying to memorize my favorite poem, “The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock” by T.S. Eliot. There are a lot of great lines in there. “Do I dare / Disturb the universe?” leaps out so suddenly from the text. I dare, but I’ll settle for small disturbances to start.

And “I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each. / I do not think that they will sing to me.” is perhaps the saddest couplet in all of literature.

7. What’s your favorite character / scene from this book/series (so far)?

A: I think my favorite scene is Samuel’s trek through the snow to reach the mountains in Chapter XXIII. It’s a big dramatic epic scene, which is always fun to write. Plus it’s the culmination of a long journey, and there’s always satisfaction in bringing things to an appropriate end.

Thank you for taking the time to share with my readers.

And thank you!

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Introducing Barbara Pietron – YA Author – A BWR Author Services Tour

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Barbara ABOUT BARBARA:
A lifetime love of books and the written word convinced Barbara to choose writing as a second career. She began by writing non-fiction for magazines and achieved both regional and national publication. This success was all she needed to encourage her to complete a novel. Her first manuscript was a beneficial learning experience along with critiques, books, contests, and blogs. Barbara sees Thunderstone as only the beginning; she has two other novels in the works and has started a Thunderstone sequel. When not reading or writing, she likes to walk, garden, and sew. She works in a library and lives in Royal Oak, Michigan with her husband, daughter, and their cat—who often acts like a dog.
Visit her at her website.

1. What would be your dream vacation?
Sitting on a beach in the warm sun with a cooling ocean breeze, a good book, and a cold drink.

Thunderstone 2. Can you give a brief synopsis of your journey to publication with your first piece of fiction?
I queried Thunderstone for over a year with absolutely no interest from agents. Since the form rejections never gave a clue what the problem was, I rewrote the beginning at least a dozen times and the story summary more times than I care to count. I got to the point where I wasn’t sure the summary even made sense anymore. Finally I used the services of an editor recommended by my favorite writer’s blog. She pointed out the problems with the summary and read my first ten pages – which she liked. So I continued querying with new hope and also entered my book in the 2012 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award contest. I made it to the quarterfinals in the contest and won a Publisher’s Weekly review of my novel. Then, a few months later, I received two requests for a full manuscript – one from an agent and one from a small publisher. The agent passed, but the publisher didn’t. I can’t tell you how many times I had to reread the line “I think this is a good fit for us”!

ABOUT THUNDERSTONE:
Scribe Publishing Company (November 12, 2013)
Sneaking out at night, driving without a license, and falling for a guy weren’t things fifteen-year-old Jeni expected to do while visiting Lake Itasca, Minnesota with her family. The guy, Ice, turns out to be the local medicine man’s apprentice, and when he tells Jeni she’s connected to the spirit world, her first instinct is to run. But after Ice’s stories of a mythical underwater monster—that Jeni allegedly released—prove true, she realizes it’s up to her to contain the beast. Jeni must first convince herself that she’s able, and then save the locals, Ice, and ultimately herself. (262pp, ISBN# 9781940368917)
Purchase at Amazon $2.99 Kindle, $11.69 Paperback (Prime Eligible) or Direct from the Publisher, Scribe $10.00 Print edition

Heart of Ice ABOUT HEART OF ICE:
When sixteen-year-old Ice is visited by an evil spirit, his medicine man training warns him that things aren’t right in his quiet Northern Minnesota town. His suspicions prove true when he’s attacked by a Windigo—a human turned monster by a compulsive hunger for human flesh—and he soon discovers that a bad medicine charm is being used to spread the Windigo curse. The hunt is on to find the charm and the person using it before the town is overrun by cannibalistic monsters. Although the pieces of the puzzle come together to form an impossible conclusion, one which will challenge traditional belief and question numerous ritualistic items, Ice knows he must still reveal the truth. Because there are worse monsters than Windigos.
Download from the Publisher’s Website, Scribe $0.00 eBook formats only

3. What else have you written / are you currently writing (including unpublished works)?
The first novel I wrote was about Jeni, Thunderstone’s main character. I cringe now to think of the many writing rules I’m certain I violated in that manuscript, but I learned a lot. I wrote Thunderstone next which, as I mentioned, underwent many revisions during the query process. As I received rejection after rejection, I decided I should work on something besides a sequel. That’s when I wrote the novel that’s going to be published in the fall – at the time, I called it Escaping Fate. It’s about a boy who can cross to the underworld. (Check out the summary at Scribe Publishing.) Since I was still querying Thunderstone, I wrote another novel called What’s in a Name, about a society where a person’s status is dictated by their name. My most recent work is Heart of Ice (the Thunderstone prequel) and now I’m working on the sequel.

ABOUT BARBARA’S FALL RELEASE:
As a soulshifter, Jack volunteers to rescue a girl from the underworld so he can secure the future he’s always dreamed of. Although the hazards of his mission multiply and his assured fate loses its luster, he can’t back out—he must save the girl or die trying. But he soon discovers that nothing in the dark realm is black and white…and the Lord of Souls is always willing to bargain.

Note: There is currently a contest to title this book. Voting on the final options for titles ends Feb 28, and then a final title will be determined. Following this process, work on a cover will be the next step.

In the next few days (up to Feb 28, 2015) you can go here to vote on titles.

4. What five books would you take with you to a desert island?
The Stand – Stephen King
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – J.K. Rowling
The Witching Hour – Anne Rice
Doctor Zhivago – Boris Pasternak
The Fellowship of the Ring – J.R.R. Tolkien

5. What quote or saying is deeply meaningful to you in this season of your life? And how does it influence your writing and life?
“What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.” I was a shy kid, willing to stick my nose in a book until someone spoke to me first. At this point in my life, I want to face my fears and broaden my horizons. I know it makes me a better writer, and helps me develop the oh-so-important thick skin that every artist requires.

Gee the person with their nose in a book sounds familiar. Its what got me into reviewing lol. But that’s a whole other topic addressed elsewhere.

I look forward to the rest of this tour and be sure to check out the giveaway.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Other Material Property of Respective Creator(s) Posted by Permission.
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BWR Author Services Presents Our Dried Voices by Greg Hickey

Our Dried Voices by Greg Hickey
Scribe Publishing Company (November 4, 2014)

ODV Tour Banner

My Musings:
This book piqued my interest with an interesting premise. People who run out of things to occupy their intellect. What do you do?????

Well if books can mimic life this one did a pretty good job by sort of falling flat for me at times because it seemed like it moved too slowly. However looking back now that may have been purposeful to indicate the lethargy of the characters. In which case, bravo, well chosen device Mr Hickey. Besides the pace my only other issue was a grammar pet peeve of mine misusing a certain word or confusing it for a very similar word with a different meaning (not being the writer I can never be quite sure which is the case). I just know my editorial eyes have problems with it.

Now although this is set in a rather distant future I can see a bit of a commentary on our current movement toward a society where many have an attitude of entitlement in the US and some of the other wealthier countries of the world couched in this plot. I find it rather ironic that the current political and social climate in the US has encouraged this entitlement attitude among people who would otherwise have to work for things or choose to go without them when they aren’t a life or death necessity (food, shelter, clothing). Where in some cases people are forced to fight for even those things and find a way to “earn” them back.

GregAbout the Author:
Greg Hickey was born in Evanston, Illinois in 1985. After graduating from Pomona College in 2008, he played and coached baseball in Sweden and South Africa. He is now a forensic scientist, endurance athlete and award-winning writer. He lives in Chicago with his wife, Lindsay. You can visit him at his website, Greg Hickey Writes

ODV Cover About the Book:
In 2153, cancer was cured. In 2189, AIDS. And in 2235, the last members of the human race traveled to a far distant planet called Pearl to begin the next chapter of humanity. Several hundred years after their arrival, the remainder of humanity lives in a utopian colony in which every want is satisfied automatically, and there is no need for human labor, struggle or thought. But when the machines that regulate the colony begin to malfunction, the colonists are faced with a test for the first time in their existence. With the lives of the colonists at stake, it is left to a young man named Samuel to repair these breakdowns and save the colony. Aided by his friend Penny, Samuel rises to meet each challenge. But he soon discovers a mysterious group of people behind each of these problems, and he must somehow find and defeat these saboteurs in order to rescue his colony.
(234pp, ISBN#9781940368931)

Purchase at:
Amazon $2.99 Kindle, borrow on Kindle Unlimited or $12.53 Paperback (Prime Eligible)

or Scribe Publishing, in Print $10.00

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Other Material Property of Respective Creator(s) Posted by Permission.
-- Copyright notice by Blog Copyright

Literary Bloghop Giveaway

literarybloghop 1 Winner gets choice from list – international entries welcome if Book Depository ships to you or you can accept a Kindle gift of one of the titles through Amazon. Please check The Book Depository website to see if your location is listed as a ship to option or your country’s Amazon to see if the title you’d choose is available to you on Kindle.

Elizabeth Kostova – Swan Thieves or The Historian, Dracula, Diane Setterfield – Bellman & Black or Thirteenth Tale, or anything by Kate Morton


The rules:
1) Anyone can enter. You do not need to have a blog.
2) You need to either be in a location Book Depository ships to (link to their site is above) or be able to accept a Kindle gift of your chosen book from the list I’ve given. Your country’s Amazon site should only have the book available if it is distributable in your country – hence the instructions for you to check your Amazon site. I can only check for my location – US.
3) You do not have to be a follower or become a follower, although I hope you will! (RSS [Book Icon to right of header with RSS symbol], Email via Feedblitz/Feedburner just add my URL to your subscriptions, Bloglovin’ or Networked Blogs by simply searching my URL, Facebook and Twitter feeds also available and linked in sidebar)
4) Fill out the form below to enter – which I will turn off at 9pm Jun 25th Pacific Time (Midnight June 26th US Eastern Time) – GIVEAWAY NOW CLOSED
5) Note that double or invalid entries will be removed.
6) I WILL DRAW A WINNER TOMORROW JUNE 26 IF POSSIBLE I will notify the winner by email. The winner will need to respond back within 3 days, or I’ll announce a new winner.
7) Within 24 hours of receiving the winner’s response I will order their book from Book Depository or Amazon as a Kindle Gift if so chosen

FYI – Any information entered in the Form will be kept confidential (my eyes only) and destroyed after the prize has been awarded. Site visitors will only see their own entries.

That’s it! Good luck and thanks for entering. Don’t forget to check out the other giveaways on this BlogHop too.

  1. Leeswammes
  2. The Misfortune of Knowing
  3. Bibliosue
  4. Too Fond
  5. Under a Gray Sky
  6. Read Her Like an Open Book (US)
  7. My Devotional Thoughts
  8. WildmooBooks
  9. Guiltless Reading
  10. Fourth Street Review
  11. Nishita’s Rants and Raves
  12. Word by Word
  13. Words And Peace (US)
  14. Ciska’s Book Chest
  15. Falling Letters
  16. Roof Beam Reader
  17. Readerbuzz
  18. The Relentless Reader (US)
  19. Mom’s Small Victories (US)
  20. Daily Mayo (US)
  1. The Emerald City Book Review (US)
  2. A Lovely Bookshelf on the Wall
  3. Lost Generation Reader
  4. Booklover Book Reviews
  5. Bay State Reader’s Advisory
  6. River City Reading (US)
  7. Books Speak Volumes
  8. Words for Worms
  9. Wensend
  10. Readers’ Oasis
  11. The Book Musings
  12. My Book Retreat (N. Am.)
  13. Books on the Table (US)
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Children’s Stories Anthology Giveaway for ABEA day of Giveaways

Emerald City Book Reviews is featuring a chance for one lucky winner to snag a hard copy of this anthology of children’s stories by teachers entitled Tell Me a Story. Go visit for more details and to get your entries in before the deadline.

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Armchair BEA – Beyond Borders

Besides today’s topic that I will get to in a moment I want to make sure and link to the post where bloggers are posting giveaway links today as well. I won’t have a giveaway post but there will be several links from other ABEA participants going up today at the link I posted for book related giveaways.

The books that have taken me “beyond borders” without a doubt would be Geralyn Beauchamp’s Time Masters series. I am currently reading an e-ARC of book 2 and it has affected me emotionally much the same way book 1 did when I read it the first time. Very intensely with many ups and downs. Very few books are able to affect my emotions the way hers do even when I think I’m prepared for it. The books also feature a wide array of characters in diverse settings including aliens and various creatures from the alien culture that they have brought to Earth with them. The time periods vary as do the eras the characters come from due to the alien race having time travel abilities.

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Armchair BEA – Expanding Horizons

Having to be thrifty I’ve subjected myself to numerous web searches and crash courses on how to do this, that and the other thing when I wasn’t happy with the functionality or look of my blog. So while I’m not a pro by any means I do manage to tweak things here and there every once in a while. Of course I also know just enough to get myself into trouble when it gets into more complex designing projects. That means there are a few wish list items that have been left on a back burner until I can either invest in a complete professional redesign or a theme setup that integrates the features I want but allows me to keep the design elements I’ve already tweaked myself.

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Armchair BEA – Novellas and Shorts

I’ve got a couple recommendations but of course they would only apply for people who are into the specific genres. First off one of my favorite authors – a prolific Western Sweet Romance writer mostly novella length. Kit Morgan. So far she is on the third in a sequence of series set in Oregon and Washington during the Wagon Train and Mail Order Bride Era. Series 1 is Prairie Brides, Series 2 is Holiday Mail Order Brides, and Series 3 is Prairie Grooms. They are light, fun reads with a dash of comedy.

Then there are a series of short story anthologies from indie authors compiled by Krystal McLaughlin. Miraculous: Tales of the Unknown is Paranormal/Fantasy Short Stories and includes one by my friend from JARR, After Forever is “Fractured” Fairytales, and Pleasant Dreams is YA Horror.

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Armchair BEA – Author Interaction


Blogging actually wasn’t my first contact with authors though it broadened it by spreading my wings to reviewing after the circumstances I spoke of in my Intro Post this week. I’ve been an avid reader since I could decipher the written word which in my case was fairly early on. I also discovered quite quickly that the State Fair where I grew up featured a “local” author table each year. Local being the fact that they were from that State. The State Fair then happened to be a longstanding family tradition so I managed to drag the folks along to the author table and once in a while got a new book out of the deal along with a personalized autograph from it’s author.

Then I ran into the author, in my adult years, who became a great friend before her book ever saw print, her first time to meet me was with my nose in a book nearly every time she saw me. Needless to say I’ve become a beta reader (or Manuscript Guinea Pig – as she called us on the first book) for her series that got me started blogging. Through blogging and reviewing I have also had virtual interactions with several authors and publicity agents and come to know many wonderful people in the publishing business.
Two of my favorite authors Geralyn Beauchamp (the one who got me started blogging) and Julie Lessman (who I would love to meet in person one day) are some of the first authors I ever wrote reviews for. They are also wonderful people to interact with and I am grateful that this medium, the Lord, and their talents brought us together.

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Armchair BEA – More Than Words

While I have a large collection of audiobooks – I really haven’t gotten into listening to them between a lack of time and the issues of distraction. Graphic Novels I haven’t really gotten into for the issue of finding them too picture heavy for my taste. I enjoy visualizing as I read and the format of graphic novels detracts from that for me.

If I were to try graphic novels I would probably go with the spinoffs from Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander series which I have enjoyed because I know the stories and characters so I wouldn’t be ruining anything.

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