Dreaming in the Pages

Books ... where dreams are better than reality

Broken Pieces

Jack Canon's American Destiny

Monday, February 17, 2014

#Author Alex Mueck and Being Inspired By People @AlexMueck #Historical #Humor

Location and life experiences can really influence writing, tell us where you grew up and where you now live?
I was born in Queen, New York, but grew up in Massapequa Long Island, which is the hometown of a few celebrities.  In my twenties I moved to Manhattan, and while I maintain an apartment there with my girlfriend I spend most of my time in Brewster New York.  We have a small home on a lake.
Where do you get your inspiration from?
People.  I like to observe people, how they behave, how they act.  As for plot lines, I had certain goals.  The first book was to prove that I could first of all, that I was capable of writing a cohesive novel.  For that book the story is told in a narrative, and the overall angle is a financial crime thriller.  The second book focused on religion, and a serial killer who abhors all religion’s murder spree of various religious leaders.  Religious tension has existed forever, and I found it wholly fascinating to spend time with various religious leaders and hoped this virtues and problems with the fringes that come with organized religion was well represented.  
This time I wanted to shift gears from writing something more serious to something absurd, something along the lines of a movie Super Bad type mentality with something extra to bring it over the top from just a farce.  In this case I presented the story as if it was a delinquent Harvard student who presented the story of Jesse James and Captain Coytus as his thesis.  The story itself is meant to be silly and fun, but at the same time the historical fiction touches on racism and gender inequality and also has what I feel are some parts that should have emotional pull.  I feel it is these last bit of qualities that make this more than just a comic farce.
What is hardest – getting published, writing or marketing?
Getting published.
What marketing works for you?
Honestly, giving my book away, getting readers, and word of mouth.  But I am trying to expand my social media presence. 
Do you find it hard to share your work?
No.  I have friends that also write and we share and help each other.
Is your family supportive? Do your friends support you?
Yes, my family is extremely supportive and my friends have been brilliant as well.
Do you plan to publish more books?
I plan to never stoop writing.
What else do you do to make money, other than write? It is rare today for writers to be full time…
I work at a Bank/Broker-Dealer.
What other jobs have you had in your life?
When I was young, I did it all, mowed lawns, delivered newspapers, shoveled snow.  Later, I did any odd job from selling shoes to working in a fast food chain.  But since college I have worked on Wall Street.
If you could study any subject at university what would you pick?
Ancient History – The Sumerians, Babylonians, Egyptians, et et
If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?
I love New York, and California as well, but there are great spots throughout the globe.  I suppose an apartment in Manhattan, a villa in Europe, and a condo in the Caribbean  would be alright.

"“A historical fiction comedy that packs
as much heart as humor.”
—Michael Dadich, award-winning author of The Silver Sphere
When a Harvard history professor receives a thesis paper titled Jesse James and the Secret Legend of Captain Coytus, from Ulysses Hercules Baxter—an underwhelming student—he assumes the paper must be a prank. He has never read such maniacal balderdash in his life. But after he calls a meeting with the student, Professor Gladstone is dismayed when Baxter declares the work is his own. As he takes a very unwilling Professor Gladstone back in time via his thesis, Baxter’s grade hangs in the balance as he attempts to prove his theory.
It is 1864 as philanderer and crusader Captain Coytus embarks on a mission to avenge his father’s death and infiltrates the Confederate Bushwacker posse looking for the man responsible, Jesse Woodson James. Accompanied by the woman of his dreams, Coytus soon finds himself temporarily appointed to be the sheriff of Booneville and commissions his less-than-loyal deputy to help him carry out his plan.
But when tragedy strikes, the Captain is forced to change his immature ways and redefine his lofty mission—more or less."
Buy Now @ Amazon
Genre - Humor, Historical Fiction
Rating – R
More details about the author
Connect with Alex Mueck on Facebook & Twitter

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Birth of an Assassin by Rik Stone @stone_rik

Chapter 42

Jez let his mind dwell on the ceiling’s dull paint rather than think about his recent nightmares. But those thoughts wouldn’t stay down: whatever happened, he would achieve justice for Viktor.

Anna came out of the bathroom, hair wrapped in a towel, turban style. “We still have time to travel south,” she said. He sighed. She looked desperate again. “Please think about it. I promise this isn’t a test. No tricks. I’m telling you what’s in my heart, and I think we should run.”

Vertical tracks forged between his eyebrows. “We’ve already been through this, Anna. I do trust you, but I’ve made my decision.”

“But I don’t think you’ve thought it out properly. From what I can see, Mitrokhin has high-ranking contacts everywhere and I don’t think even Petrichova can save you. The captain has the guile of a fox and his cunning outwits us all. Please, Jez,” she implored, “go with me now.”

He got off the bed and embraced her. “I don’t know why you’ve become so worried. I’d never imagined you like this, but whether what you say is true or not, I won’t run. I must win justice for Viktor – and for me, come to that. Viktor has been murdered and I’ve been set up to look like his killer.”

Anna wept against his chest, and he couldn’t figure why. Of what he knew about her, it was totally out of character.

“I want you to remember this,” she sobbed. “And I’m speaking from the heart. No matter what happens, this is what is real and this is the memory I want you to hold onto. I love you, Jez, I love you.”

Baffled, he realized that having a real relationship with a woman was an enigma. Her declaration seemed distressed rather than tender. The only way he could think of handling this was to let it go straight over his head.

“And I love you, Anna, but I must go back.”


Outside the hotel the snow lay thick, and despite the best efforts of a heavy blanket of cloud, the cold had worked its way through.

“I’m glad I packed the ski jacket. Cold or not, this suitcase has me overheating. I know you’ve put my stuff in with yours, but what a weight.”

“Just girl things,” she smiled, and stepped out ahead.

“That’s right, don’t wait for me. Oh…” he said, almost stopping, “I forgot to pay for my lodgings at the hotel.”

She turned and raised an eyebrow. He grinned.

“You’re right, all the troubles I’ve got and I should worry about paying for a room. I’ll let the state sort it out.”

She laughed.

They trudged through the snow until they came to Railway Station Square – part of Stalin’s rebuild of the city. Anna wore the same azure coat with fur trimmings and fur hat as on the second day of their reunion, and he wondered how such a beautiful woman could really be interested in him.

“You look like a film star dressed like that, but aren’t you worried someone might be following?”

She tutted. “You seem to be worrying enough for both of us.”

She was so avant-garde, maybe she hadn’t carried out as many missions as she’d suggested. “Oh well, nearly there,” he said.

She smiled sadly.

He stopped to cross an avenue near a trolley rank. Six or seven people queued closely together, ankle-deep in snow, exhaling frosted breath as they waited for their ride. At last, a lull in the traffic. Anna went ahead. Jez kept a half metre behind, but something jarred his senses. Above the din of the city an explosion rang out. He turned to the direction of the noise and then looked at Anna. A hole had opened and blossomed in the back of her coat. His heart seemed to stop beating. She’d been shot and he couldn’t move. The force of the bullet had arched her back. She spun to face him, stumbled, eyes widened in shock.

The crowd at the trolley rank scattered in panic and shrill screams pierced his ears. But still, he couldn’t move – Anna.

Birth of an Assassin

Buy Now @ Amazon, B&N, Kobo & Waterstones

Genre - Thriller, Crime, Suspense

Rating – R

More details about the author and the book

Connect with Rik Stone on Facebook & Twitter