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Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Excerpt reveal: Desert Kill Switch, by Mark S. Bacon


Front cover - Full Cover DKS v3 (1)Title
: Desert Kill Switch
Genre: Mystery
Author: Mark S. Bacon
Publisher: Black Opal Books
Find out more on Amazon
About the Book:
Set against the backdrop of Nostalgia City, an Arizona retro theme park that recreates, in meticulous detail, an entire small town from the 1970s, Desert Kill Switch features stressed-out ex-cop Lyle Deming.
Deming, a cab driver for Nostalgia City, finds himself in strange circumstances when he discovers a bullet-riddled body next to a mint-condition ’70s vintage Pontiac Firebird on an empty desert road. Stranger still, when Lyle returns to the scene with sheriff’s deputies, the car is gone—and so is the body. Could this somehow be tied to Nostalgia City?
Nostalgia City VP Kate Sorensen, a former college basketball star, is in Nevada on park business when she gets mixed up with Al Busick, a sleazy Vegas auto dealer who puts hidden “kill switches” in cars he sells. Miss your payment by a few days—and your car dies. But when Busick is murdered and Kate becomes the prime suspect, Lyle arrives to help his tall, blonde, not-quite-girlfriend. As they plow through a twisted tangle of suspects and motives, Lyle and Kate soon realize that the best way to clear Kate’s name is to find out who killed Busick.
Turns out there were a number of people who might’ve wanted Busick dead. But when a video implicating Kate appears, along with a ransom demand, things take a deadly serious turn. Blackmail, murder, and a lengthy list of potential killers: hardly a wholesome or inviting image for Nostalgia City.
As the tension ratchets up, Kate and Lyle find themselves in increasing danger. Against a ticking clock and scorching desert heat, Lyle and Kate launch a pulse-quickening quest to clear Kate’s name, find the dead body, and figure out how a million-dollar antique Italian sports car fits in this deadly game. But time is running out—and it’s all fun and games…till someone loses his life.
Author Mark S. Bacon 5052 - smlrAbout the Author: Mark Bacon began his career as a newspaper reporter in Southern California covering crime and city beats. As a writer, his work has appeared on television and in radio, magazines, newspapers, websites and fiction and nonfiction books. He and his wife, Anne, live in Reno with their golden retriever, Willow. Bacon is also the author of Death in Nostalgia City.

Desert Kill Switch
By Mark S. Bacon
Chapter 59
Lyle didn’t know if Sergei had a gun or not.  If he didn’t, maybe Lyle had a chance.  But the Chechen stood a half head taller and looked like he had seventy-five pounds on Lyle.  He walked slowly over to Sergei.  Shit he’s big.  But maybe.
Before Lyle came within ten feet of Sergei, the Chechen reached behind him and pulled out a large-caliber semi-auto.  Lyle continued his stroll in a large circle, heading back toward the Mustang.
“Okay if I get out of the sun?”
Sergei motioned with the barrel of the gun.  The car door was already open.  Lyle sat in the driver’s seat and watched through the windshield as Sergei wandered along the road.  He turned his back to Lyle, looking off the pavement to the dirt trail.
Lyle reached down, under the dashboard, and felt around for the wires he’d been working on.  He twisted two bare wires together then slowly put his hand on the ignition,  the key still in place.  He turned it hard.  As the engine burst into life, Lyle threw the car into gear, crushed the gas pedal, and the car’s nine-inch-wide tires grabbed the pavement.  The Mustang sprang forward, the driver’s door slamming shut.   Sergei spun around and saw the car racing toward him.  He started to bring up the pistol but seemed to realize the car would smash him whether he fired or not.  He leaped toward the side of the road, like a base runner diving face-first into home plate.  The Mustang’s bumper caught the bottom of his legs and spun him halfway around before he hit the sand.
Lyle jammed on the brakes and jumped out.  Sergei lay on the sand, groaning and clutching his left ankle.  Lyle seized the gun and ejected the magazine and the round in the chamber.  He threw all of them as far as he could into the brush. Sergei couldn’t stand so Lyle patted him down on the ground.  He found Sergei’s cell phone, dropped it on the pavement, and stomped on it before throwing it into the desert.
Dashing back to the Mustang, Lyle saw one of their suitcases and a string of clothes along the pavement behind the car.  The trunk lid had remained open after the Chechen’s search.  He grabbed the clothes and stuffed them into the suitcase.  Before tossing the case in the trunk, he opened a hidden compartment near one of the taillights and pulled out two handguns.
Like a thoroughbred, the Mustang was eager to run, its twin exhausts grumbling.  Lyle gave it gas and the high-powered American fishtailed when it hit the dirt road, then righted itself and dug in.  Lyle knew his dust tail would advertise his arrival, so speed was essential.  But the Ford Mustang was not made for dirt roads.  Four hundred horsepower is only as good as the traction.  Lyle turned the wheel left and right to avoid ruts and keep the rear wheels on the ground.  When he heard gun shots, he thought he was too late.
* * *
Kate touched the boulder to steady herself and almost pulled her hand away when she felt its heat.  Nina tucked her small body into the ravine and kept her head below the level of their temporary fortress.  Kate could see Alex and Viktor walking slowly toward them, holding their guns, ready to fire again.  She ducked as low as she could.
“We come out there and kill you, woman,” Alex said as he advanced.  “Then we just throw your body in desert.”
When Kate raised her head again she sighted down the barrel of a .38—the gun she’d taken from Viktor’s shop coat the day before.  She fired.
One of her shots just grazed Viktor’s shoulder, the other thudded into the side of the SUV, but she got the reaction she wanted.  Both men looked on in terror.  Alex returned one shot that missed by six feet and the Chechens scampered over the rocks and back to safety behind their Suburban.
“Where’d you get the gun?” Nina asked, holding her ears.
“Took it from them yesterday,” Kate said.  “Stay down.”
Kate knew she had only three shots left.  If they just traded shots, she’d be defenseless soon.  A ridge off to their right could give one of the Chechens cover to circle around behind her and Nina.  Just a matter of time.  Maybe if she fired at the Suburban they might decide it was too much trouble, too dangerous, and drive away.  Dream on, lady
Blam, the shooting started again.  Kate ducked until she realized the Chechens weren’t firing.  She looked to her left and saw Lyle’s Mustang kicking up dust as it tore down the road spitting bullets. Staying behind the Suburban protected the Chechens from Kate’s shots, but exposed them to Lyle’s fire.  Kate stuck her head up and fired twice.  Lyle, too far away to be accurate, drove with one hand and fired with the other.  But it was too much for the Chechens.  Alex and Viktor got in the car and pulled out so fast they looked like actors in a Keystone Cops film.  Kate stood up and waved at Lyle as he came to a stop where the Suburban had been.  She still held the .38 when Lyle walked up.
“You okay?” Lyle said, stepping around the sagebrush.
“Yes,” Kate said expelling a big breath. “We’re glad to see you.” She gave Lyle a bear hug and held her head close to his for a moment.
“They were like, going to leave us in the desert,” Nina said coming out from behind the boulders.  “Alex and Viktor, you should have killed them.” Nina’s face glowed red from anger, fear, or the sun.  Maybe all three.  They walked to Lyle’s car, Nina holding her blouse closed with one hand.
Lyle pointed to the revolver in Kate’s hand.  “I assume that’s the gun you took from Stark’s guys yesterday.”
“Yeah, that idiot Alex didn’t even search my purse.  Women don’t carry guns, do they?”

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Book Blast: The Special and the Ordinary by David Clapham








Title: The Special and the Ordinary
Author: David Clapham
Publisher: iUniverse
Genre: Coming of Age
Format: Ebook
John Haworth, despite innate shyness, has floated upward in a comfortable English home environment under the influence of much older sisters and their friends. After he begins a new school in the early fifties, the seven-year-old is looking lost when a classmate, Martin Holford, decides to take him under his wing. And so begins a long friendship.

Ordinary rules of life apparently do not apply to the confident Martin except, perhaps, when he allows his mischievous humor excessive free rein against the self-important. While on separate coming-of-age journeys, Martin and John get on fine, despite John's occasional resentment about Martin's ability to bounce back after perpetrating 'wrong notes' against the wealthy while John slaves away attempting to make new music sound modern. John, who has no desire to be to be an apathetic musician like his viola teacher, unfortunately lacks the talent, personality, and love of limelight to match his glamorous piano teacher or Katherine, the singer he accompanies on the piano. Now all he has to do is somehow find his place amid an uncertain career as a ghost composer where chances come as infrequent as success.

The Special and the Ordinary shares the unique story of two young people as they come of age and step into the future, each with a different idea on what it means to be true to themselves.

iUniverse awarded The Special and the Ordinary the 'Editor's Choice' designation. Here are excerpts from the enthusiastic editorial reviews:

"Definitely a worthwhile read, I recommend The Special and the Ordinary to lovers of literary fiction." - Pacific Book Review

"...heartwarming and uplifting." - Kirkus Reviews

"The writing is clear and refreshing, with clean sentences that move the story along at a brisk pace." - Clarion Review




David Clapham grew up in in Sheffield, England and studied botany at Oxford. After working at the Welsh Plant Breeding Station in Aberystwyth, Wales, he moved to Uppsala, Sweden, where he still lives today. David and his Swedish wife Lena have two children. He has also published Odd Socks with iUniverse in 2013. 


Monday, October 16, 2017

Book Spotlight: Stairway to Paradise by Nadia Natali


 We're thrilled to have Nadia Natali, author of the memoir, Stairway to Paradise: Growing Up Gershwin today! Leave a comment below to let her know you stopped by!

Title: STAIRWAY TO PARADISE: GROWING UP GERSHWIN
Author: Nadia Natali
Publisher: RareBird Books
Pages: 304
Genre: Memoir
Growing up as Frankie Gershwin's daughter, the sister of George and Ira Gershwin, was quite a challenge. I didn't have the perspective to realize that so much unhappiness in a family was out of the ordinary. But I knew something was off. My mother was often depressed and my father was tyrannical and scary, one never knew when he would blow up. I learned early on that I had to be the cheery one, the one to fix the problems. Both sides of my family were famous; the Gershwin side and my father who invented color film. But even though there was more than enough recognition, money and parties I understood that wasn't what made people happy.

As a young adult adrift and depressed I broke from that unsatisfactory life by marrying Enrico Natali, a photographer, deeply immersed in his own questions about life. We moved into the wilderness away from what we considered as the dysfunction of society. That’s when we discovered that life had other kinds of challenges: flood, fire, rattlesnakes, mountain lions and bears. We lived in a teepee for more than four years while building a house. Curiously my mother never commented on my life choice. She must have realized on some level that her own life was less than satisfactory.

Enrico had developed a serious meditation practice that had become a kind of ground for him. As for me I danced. Understanding the somatic, the inner body experience, became my way to shift the inner story.

We raised and homeschooled our three children. I taught them to read, Enrico taught them math. The kids ran free, happy, always engaged, making things, and discovering. We were so sure we were doing the right thing. However, we didn't have a clue how they would make the transition to the so-called ‘real world’. The children thrived until they became teenagers. They then wanted out. Everything fell apart for them and for Enrico and me. Our lives were turned upside down, our paradise lost. There was tragedy: our son lost his life while attempting to cross our river during a fierce storm. Later I was further challenged by advanced breast cancer.

It was during these times that I delved deeply into the somatic recesses of myself. I began to find my own voice, a long learning process. I emerged with a profound trust in my own authority. It became clear that everyone has to find his or her way through layers of inauthenticity, where a deep knowing can develop. And I came to see that is the best anyone can offer to the world.

Enrico and I still live in the wilds of the Lost Padres National Forest, a paradise with many steps going up and down, a life I would not change.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

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Nadia Natali, author of the memoir, Stairway to Paradise: Growing Up Gershwin, published by Rare Bird, Los Angeles, 2015, and The Blue Heron Ranch Cookbook: Recipes and Stories from a Zen Retreat Center published by North Atlantic Books, Berkeley CA, 2008, is currently working on a second cookbook titled Zafu Kitchen Cookbook. 
           
Natali, a clinical psychotherapist and dance therapist, specializes in trauma release through somatic work. She earned a master’s degree from Hunter College in New York City in Dance/Movement Therapy and completed another masters degree in clinical psychology with an emphasis in somatic psychology at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute. Nadia is a registered practitioner of Biodynamic Craniosacral Therapy (RCST) and is also a certified Somatic Experiencing Practitioner (SEP) who trained with Peter Levine.

DanceMedicine Workshops is Natali’s creation where participants move through their trauma with dialogue and dance. She also offers the Ojai community, DanceMedicine Journeys. In addition to her private practice, Nadia and her husband offer Zen Retreats at their center.

Born into a famous family that was riddled with dysfunction, Nadia Natali made the choice to turn her life inside out and step away from fame and fortune. Against her parents’ consent she married an artist and moved to the remote wilderness in California. It was there that she found grounding as she and her husband raised and homeschooled their three children and opened a retreat center. As she gathered her own momentum, she enrolled in a doctorate program finally becoming a clinical psychotherapist specializing in psychosomatic work. She and her husband live in Ojai California.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK


Friday, October 13, 2017

Dr. Patrick Mbaya, author of My Brain is Out of Control, on Clinical Depression







Publication Date: September 2016
Publisher: AuthorHouse
Formats: Ebook
Pages: 76
Genre: Biography/Autobiography
Tour Dates: September 25-October 20

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Although Dr. Patrick Mbaya’s illness caused a lot distress and nearly took his life, the emotional symptoms of the depression he developed helped him understand and empathize with patients and how they feel when they become ill. In My Brain is Out of Control, Mbaya, fifty-five and at the peak of his career, shares a personal story of how he suffered from a brain infection in 2010 that caused loss of speech, right-sided weakness, and subsequent depression. He tells how he also dealt with the antibiotics complications of low white cell count and hepatitis. He narrates his experiences as a patient, the neurological and psychiatric complications he encountered, how he coped, and his journey to recovery. Presenting a personal perspective of Mbaya’s illness from the other side of the bed, My Brain is Out of Control, offers profound insight into battling a serious illness.




CLINICAL DEPRESSION 

Clinical Depression is a common illness, different from ordinary sadness, which is a normal reaction. It can affect anyone, including doctors like myself, and indeed I suffered from this, during my illness. It is not a weakness. 

It may occur spontaneously in vulnerable individuals, like someone with a family history of depression. Severe stress or traumatic events in childhood, may also make an individual vulnerable to developing depressive illness, later on in life. Recent research has shown that this could be due to the effect of stress hormone cortisol, on the developing brain. Severe stress or loss events (like losing a family member) can cause (precipitate) it. In my case the brain infection I suffered, affected the limbic/emotional brain (see below). 

Emotions, and certain behaviours are controlled by the limbic (emotional) brain. This is like a circuit comprising of connections from the brain stem (stem of the brain), to the front part of the brain (prefrontal cortex, the part in front of the motor cortex), then to the medial (inner side) of the temporal lobe structures like amygdala and hippocampus. In my case, it is the left prefrontal cortex, which is next to the motor cortex (which caused weakness on my right side) and the speech (Broca’s) area. 

There are different theories about the biological causes of depression within the brain. However, there is a lot of clinical, and research evidence that depression is associated altered levels of chemicals (neurotransmitters) that control emotions, and behaviours. The two main chemicals (neurotransmitters) being serotonin and noradrenaline (also known as norepinephrine). These chemicals are made by the brain from the food we eat, like bananas (I asked my daughter to get me bananas during my recovery phase). Emotions and behaviours like mood, sleep, appetite, enjoyment, concentration, short-term memory, energy, and some forms of thinking are controlled by these chemicals. 

There is both clinical, and research evidence that these chemicals become imbalanced, causing symptoms of clinical depression including persistent low mood, tearfulness, poor sleep, lack of enjoyment, poor concentration, short term memory, reduced interest in things, poor appetite, feeling negative (like focussing on past traumatic or unhappy events, or being emotionally affected by current sad events) up to including suicidal thoughts. (Recent research has shown that amygdala become very active in clinical depression, negative traumatic past events tend to re-surface and the individual becomes pre-occupied with these events, feels hopeless, worthless, and has suicidal thoughts, and these symptoms are reversed by effective treatment of depression). These symptoms tend to be worse in the morning (diurnal variation, possibly related to high levels of the stress hormone cortisol) and can improve later on during the day. Like in my case, my mood was worse in the morning. “I was emotional and found myself crying without a moment’s notice.” As depressive illness can affect confidence, energy, motivation, concentration, short term memory, level of functioning is impaired (the ability to carry out activities of daily living, even to the point of being unable to work, socialise or to go to school). The World Health Organization (WHO) found out in a study (1990), comparing medical illnesses, that depression was four in the league table, as a cause of health-related disability. They estimated that by 2020, it will rank second to heart disease! 

Current research has shown that severe stress increases the levels of stress hormone cortisol, which in turn reduces serotonin, noradrenaline, and brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF, also known as brain fertilizer, which protects against cell death by cortisol), in the brain, causing depression. 

Antidepressants work by increasing these chemicals/neurotransmitters (improving symptoms, and level of functioning), and may protect against severe stress causing depression. Psychological treatment like cognitive behavior therapy (CBT), is also effective in depression, especially in combination with antidepressants. Current guidelines recommend psychological treatment for mild to moderate depression, and antidepressant medication, plus psychological treatment for moderate to severe depression. 

Dr Patrick Mbaya MD FRCPsych. 

References: Duman Ronald. Depression: a cause of neuronal life and death. Biological Psychiatry, 1 August 2004, vol.56:140-145 

Global Burden of Disease, World Health Organization, 1990. 

Mbaya Patrick. My Brain Is Out Of Control. Author House. September, 2016 

Shimizu Fiji et al. Alterations of serum levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) in depressed patients with or without antidepressants; Biological Psychiatry, 1 July 2003,Vol 54(1): 70-75 

Stahl Stephen M. Essential Psychopharmacology, Neuroscientific Basis and Practical Applications. Second Edition. Cambridge University Press. 

Stress and Plasticity in Limbic System, Robert M. Sapolsky; Neurochemical Research, Vol. 28, No. 11.




Dr. Patrick Mbaya is a medical doctor specializing in psychiatry. He is a consultant psychiatrist and honorary clinical lecturer in psychiatry at the University of Manchester, United Kingdom. He has a special interest in mood and addiction disorders.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Authors To Watch: Robert Parker, Author of A WANTED MAN


Robert Parker is a new exciting voice, a married father of two, who lives in a village close to ManchesterUK. He has both a law degree and a degree in film and media production, and has worked in numerous employment positions, ranging from solicitor’s agent (essentially a courtroom gun for hire), to a van driver, to a warehouse order picker, to a commercial video director. He currently writes full time, while also making time to encourage new young readers and authors through readings and workshops at local schools and bookstores. In his spare time he adores pretty much all sport, boxing regularly for charity, loves fiction across all mediums, and his glass is always half full.

His latest book is the crime/thriller, A WANTED MAN.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK





We welcome you to My Bookish Pleasures! Can you tell us how you got started writing fiction?
Thank you for having me! I started off writing bad screenplays when I was 16, then work and business took over. I came back writing when I turned 30, and realized I loved writing prose again, and took it from there. I’d always loved stories, and wrote constantly as a child and well into my teens – so to write full time now is just a total dream.
Describe your writing process. Do you plot or write by the seat of your pants? When and where do you write?
I have no set plan, just a bare structure of scenes I want to get to. I rarely ever know the ending when I start (unless it was the scene that came into my hard which started the whole process). I never know who the murderer is, I never really know what the characters will be like. I just start and go! I tend to write whenever occasion allows, all manner of day or night, and strive to write 2000 words a day.
Can you tell us about your most recent release?
Sure, it’s ‘A Wanted Man’ and is published by Endeavour Press. It was originally set to be ebook only, but a strong performance has seen it granted a print run, which is scheduled for this Christmas. It is about a soldier who is sent home from Afghanistan to a country he feels he can’t relate to, and soon lands himself in trouble. Redemption is his goal, but it isn’t going to come easy.
How did you get the idea for the book?
I have a number of acquaintances who are soldiers, and did exactly the same thing – come back from war. Seeing what it did to them, the sacrifices they made, how they were just expected to fit right back in at home… it just galvanized a part of me that didn’t like the injustice of it all. 
Of all your characters, which one is your favorite? Why?
Well, it would be very easy to say that my protagonist, the soldier Ben Bracken is my favourite, but in this book I really like the avuncular old criminal mastermind Felix Davison. He is a serpent in the shape of a kindly grandfather. I love that mishmash of evil in a sweet package.
What was the most challenging aspect of writing your book?
The 46 rewrites. Sometimes, it would be to chop 20,000 words. Sometimes, it would be merely to add 7. It was a long process which took two and a half years, but one I wouldn’t change for the world. I grew up so much doing it.
What projects are you currently working on?
Well, the second and third Ben Bracken books are already written and news of their release should come soon. Further to that, my standalone novel ‘Crook’s Hollow’ is scheduled for release in March 2018, so I’ve got my hands full putting the promotional plans in place at present! I’m about a third of the way through another standalone, so when I get to sit and write again, it will be that. I can not wait.

What advice would you offer to new or aspiring fiction authors?
Don’t give up until you get there. You can do it. Listen to others, manage your aspirations, don’t be precious and fight your corner. Believe in yourself and don’t let criticism bother you – use it to improve. And make sure you enjoy yourself.





Ben Bracken, ex-soldier, has just got out of Strangeways.

Not by the front door.

With him, he has his ‘insurance policy’ – a bag of evidence that will guarantee his freedom, provided he can keep it safe – and he has money, carefully looked after by a friend, Jack Brooker.

Rejected by the army, disowned by his father, and any hopes of parenthood long since shattered, Ben has no anchors in his life.

No one to keep him steady. 

No one to stop his cause…

The plan: to wreak justice on the man who had put him in prison in the first place. 

Terry ‘The Turn-Up’ Masters, a nasty piece of work, whose crime organisation is based in
London.

But before Ben can get started on his mission, another matter is brought to his attention: Jack’s father has been murdered and he will not rest until the killers are found.

Suddenly, Ben finds himself drawn in to helping Jack in his quest for revenge.

In the process, he descends into the fold of
Manchester’s most notorious crime organisation – the Berg – the very people he wants to bring down…

This action-packed and fast-paced story will keep you turning the pages.
Manchester is vividly portrayed as Ben races around the city seeking vengeance.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon






Saturday, October 7, 2017

A Conversation with Romantic Suspense Author Anna del Mar

Amazon Bestselling author Anna del Mar writes hot, smart romances that soothe the soul, challenge the mind, and satisfy the heart. Her stories focus on strong heroines struggling to find their place in the world and the brave, sexy, kickass heroes who defy their limits to protect the women they love. A Georgetown University graduate, Anna enjoys traveling, hiking, skiing, and the sea. Writing is her addiction, her drug of choice, and what she wants to do all the time. The extraordinary men and women she met during her years as a Navy wife inspire the fabulous heroes and heroines at the center of her stories. When she stays put—which doesn’t happen very often—she splits her time between Colorado and Florida, where she lives with her indulgent husband and a very opinionated cat.
Anna loves to hear from her readers. Connect with Anna at:


INTERVIEW:
Mayra Calvani: Please tell us about The Guardian and what compelled you to write it.
Anna del Mar:  I went to Africa on a non-writing, no-laptop vacation, to check off a bucket list item that entailed world-class wildlife viewing. I also wanted to pursue a life-long yearning to connect with my Caribbean-forged African heritage. Silly me. Little did I know that Africa was about to grab me by the throat, shake awake my soul, and capture my heart for good.

Yes, I loved the wildlife. Yes, I loved the land. The Serengeti is one of the most beautiful, last wild places on earth and we MUST support the effort to protect it. But it was the people I met in Africa that left the greater mark on my soul, the extraordinary folks who challenge the odds every day to build a better future for themselves and for humanity.

These diverse communities face complex, difficult, sometimes heart-breaking realities on the ground with skill, resilience, and wisdom. Their hopes and dreams inspired the story in these pages. Their courage drives Matthias Hawking and Jade Romo, the main characters of The Guardian.

M.C.: What is your book about?
Anna del Mar: The Guardian is the story of Game Warden Matthias Hawking and journalist Jade Romo. Matthias is a decorated ex-SEAL engaged in a grueling fight against ruthless poachers in Africa. He’s short on resources and long on enemies. There’s a price on his head. The last thing he needs is the unexpected arrival of a beautiful but stubborn journalist threatening to uncover his secrets, an alpha female challenging his alpha male and getting into trouble, a hurricane wearing boots.
Jade Romo is a veteran of several different kinds of war. She’s survived her heroin-addicted mother, the foster care system, and the conflict in Afghanistan. Jade’s tough, confident, cynical, and self-reliant, a woman who doesn’t believe in forevers. But when she defies the poachers and lands at the top of the warlord’s kill list, she’s forced to rely on the skilled, attractive but supremely infuriating game warden who has captivated her body’s undivided attention.
Haunted by his past but driven by his courage, her mysterious guardian will do anything in his power to protect the woman who has captured his heart.
M.C.:  What themes do you explore in The Guardian?
Anna del Mar: The Guardian’s main theme is a hot, sweet, sexy romance, where I explore the extraordinary power of love to bring people together and heal all that is broken. Matthias and Jade’s relationship at the beginning is one of conflict. They’re both stubborn and passionate, not just about each other, but about what they do. Matthias is deeply committed to protecting the people and the wildlife, and especially Jade. She’s equally committed to promote conservation and end poaching and violence in Africa. Together, they make for a fiery pair willing to risk their lives to make ours a better world for everyone and to protect each other.
M.C.:  Why do you write?
Anna del Mar: Because I can’t stop.
M.C.:  When do you feel the most creative?
Anna del Mar: Late at night when the house is quiet, everyone is asleep and the world seems like a place at rest.
M.C.:  When you write, do you sometimes feel as though you were being manipulated from afar?
Anna del Mar: I feel more as if I’m transported into the world that I’m writing about, lost—along with my characters—in another life.
M.C.:  What is your worst time as a writer?
Anna del Mar: When I can’t write.
M.C.:  Your best?
Anna del Mar: When I can write uninterrupted for hours and days at a time.
M.C.:  Is there anything that would stop you from writing?
Anna del Mar: Death, maybe?
M.C.: What’s the happiest moment you’ve lived as an author?
Anna del Mar: Hmm. That’s a hard one. I’ve had so many happy moments. Every time I connect with readers who tell me they enjoyed one of my novels, I feel total and absolute happiness. That’s my happiest writer place.
M.C.:  Is writing an obsession to you?
Anna del Mar: Yep. No doubt about it. An obsession. A fixation. An addiction. All of the above.
M.C.:  Are the stories you create connected with you in some way?
Anna del Mar: Absolutely. My stories are born out of my experiences and filtered through my perceptions. They’re an intricate part of who I am and how I process the world around me.
M.C.:  Do you have a website or blog where readers can find out more about you and your work?
Anna del Mar: Sure! This is my website: Annadelmar.comI can also be found on
FacebookTwitteror at Anna@annadelmar.comAnd by the way, if you’d like to see the images that inspired many of the pivotal scenes in The Guardian, click here to see my pictures of Africa.