Thursday, May 18, 2017

Straight From the Mouth of Mark Oristano



Mark Oristano has been a professional writer/journalist since the age of 16.

After growing up in suburban New York, Oristano moved to Texas in 1970 to attend Texas Christian University.  A major in Mass Communications, Mark was hired by WFAA-TV in 1973 as a sports reporter, the start of a 30-year career covering the NFL and professional sports.

Mark has worked with notable broadcasters including Verne Lundquist, Oprah Winfrey and as a sportscaster for the Dallas Cowboys Radio Network and Houston Oilers Radio Network.  He has covered Super Bowls and other major sports events throughout his career.  He was part of Ron Chapman’s legendary morning show on KVIL-FM in Dallas for nearly 20 years.

In 2002 Oristano left broadcasting to pursue his creative interests, starting a portrait photography business and becoming involved in theater including summer productions with Shakespeare Dallas. He follows his daughter Stacey’s film career who has appeared in such shows as Friday Night Lights and Bunheads.

A veteran stage actor in Dallas, Mark Oristano was writer and performer for the acclaimed one-man show “And Crown Thy Good: A True Story of 9/11.”

Oristano authored his first book, A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America’s Favorite Game. A Sportcaster’s Guide offers inside tips about how to watch football, including stories from Oristano’s 30-year NFL career, a look at offense, defense and special teams, and cool things to say during the game to sound like a real fan.

In 2016 Oristano finished his second book, Surgeon’s Story, a true story about a surgeon that takes readers inside the operating room during open heart surgery. His second book is described as a story of dedication, talent, training, caring, resilience, guts and love.

In 1997, Mark began volunteering at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas, working in the day surgery recovery room. It was at Children’s that Mark got to know Kristine Guleserian, MD, first to discuss baseball, and later, to learn about the physiology, biology, and mystery of the human heart. That friendship led to a joint book project, Surgeon’s Story, about Kristine’s life and career.

Mark is married and has two adult children and two grandchildren.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK



About the Book:

What is it like to hold the beating heart of a two-day old child in your hand?  What is it like to counsel distraught parents as they make some of the most difficult decisions of their lives?

Noted pediatric heart surgeon Dr. Kristine Guleserian has opened up her OR, and her career, to author
Mark Oristano to create Surgeon’s Story - Inside OR-6 With a top Pediatric Heart Surgeon. 

Dr. Guleserian’s life, training and work are discussed in detail, framed around the incredibly dramatic story of a heart transplant operation for a two-year old girl whose own heart was rapidly dying.  Author Mark Oristano takes readers inside the operating room to get a first-hand look at pediatric heart surgeries most doctors in America would never attempt.

That’s because Dr. Guleserian is recognized as one of the top pediatric heart surgeons in America, one of a very few who have performed a transplant on a one-week old baby. Dr. Guleserian (Goo-liss-AIR-ee-yan) provided her expertise, and Oristano furnished his writing skills, to produce A Surgeon’s Story.

As preparation to write this stirring book, Oristano spent hours inside the operating room at Children’s Medical Center in Dallas watching Guleserian perform actual surgeries that each day were life or death experiences. Readers will be with Dr. Guleserian on her rounds, meeting with parents, or in the Operating Room for a heart transplant.

Oristano is successful sportscaster and photographer and has made several appearances on stage as an actor. He wrote his first book A Sportscaster’s Guide to Watching Football: Decoding America’s Favorite Game, and continues to volunteer at Children’s Medical Center.

“We hear a lot about malpractice and failures in medical care,” says Oristanto, “but I want my readers to know that parts of the American health care system work brilliantly. And our health care system will work even better if more young women would enter science and medicine and experience the type of success Dr. Guleserian has attained.”
Readers will find all the drama, intensity, humor and compassion that they enjoy in their favorite fictionalized medical TV drama, but the actual accounts in Surgeon’s Story are even more compelling. One of the key characters in the book is 2-year-old Rylynn who was born with an often fatal disorder called Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome and was successfully treated by Dr. Guleserian.

Watch the Book Trailer at YouTube.

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

  

Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

I’ve been writing since I was sixteen. I’m now 65. It’s ingrained.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

I don’t enjoy writing. I enjoy having written.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

We had much interest from New York publishers, however they all insisted the book be in the doctor’s first person voice. She refused, saying this was too egotistical. So we self-published. It’s more expensive, but it’s also more rewarding if you work it right.

What’s the snarkiest thing you can say about the publishing industry?

It’s like William Goldman said about Hollywood: “Nobody here knows anything.”

Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

It’s my job. My wife teaches Pilates. I write.

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

For this book? It was the first time I saw a human heart closeup. It had been taken out of a 16-year old during a transplant. They put it in a dish and moved it to the other side of the OR. I went to look at it. And it beat!

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I’m big on Facebook. The others I’m weak.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

There are three tricks. The first is publicity. When you’re done with that, you need publicity. And when that’s finished, a big dose of publicity really helps.

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

WILL SOMEBODY PLEASE FIND A WAY TO GET ME DOWN OFF THIS DAMNED ROOF!

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

As a writer and actor (stage) I’m a storyteller. I think that stories bind us, make us realize our common humanity. In the theater we go through weeks of arduous, soul-searching rehearsal to find out who our characters are. In writing, we cut open veins and bleed into the computer to flesh out our stories. People will see them and be changed.

Go now, the mass is ended.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

New Release: Forever Him by Jeanne St. Jame

 


This is not just a love story, it's an obsession...

I can't keep my eyes off the tall, dark, and confident man who stops in the coffee shop every morning. I want this stranger more than I've ever wanted anyone before, even though I only know his first name. As an author, my imagination is my ultimate writing tool, men like Kane my muse. And the minute he leaves, I'm overcome with fantasies I can't control and my fingers fly across the keyboard... Until one day, I almost snap. My embarrassing outburst has me running out the door when he catches me and takes me to his home.

Though it's risky, I can't resist him. And with one kiss, he now owns me. This man will capture my sanity and trap it forever. He'll steal me one piece at a time until he possesses me completely. He'll ruin me for any other man. But I don't want anyone else, for it'll always be forever him.

Note: This book can be read as a stand-alone and has an HEA ending. Due to the sensual and explicit sexual nature of the story, it is intended only for readers 18+. Trigger warning: this book includes a main character who is dealing with PTSD.
WHERE TO BUY IT


EXCERPT


His name is Kane. I will love him forever. He just doesn’t know it yet…

Chapter One

The only reason I know his name is because every morning when he stops at the coffee shop for his large black coffee, the barista calls out, “Kane with a K.”

Every. Single. Morning.

I assume the barista does it on purpose. Possibly to coax a smile out of him. But it never does. His expression never changes. It seems forever stuck in serious mode. He just grabs his coffee, throws money into the tip jar, spins on his heels, and leaves.

Maybe he’s an important man. A busy man. A man with a lot of responsibilities on his broad shoulders. Maybe his mind is on what he needs to get done for the day.

But he never deviates from his routine. Black coffee. No cream. No sugar. No pastries.

Not once since I’ve noticed him.

I rarely pay attention to people coming and going from the shop since the mornings are usually busy. I sit in my corner with my laptop open, my brain spinning with ideas. Or not.

Sometimes I have severe writer’s block. Those are the times my brain seems dark and empty. Nobody’s home. I had it the first morning I noticed him. During those times, I stare off blindly while reaching deep into my head. Searching for… something. Anything. Begging for just a couple words to spur my creativity.

The front door with its delicate dinging bell usually never pulls my attention. Until that day. The day I happened to be staring at the door mindlessly, not paying attention to the influx of customers.

Until him.

He’s tall. And broad. Not fat, no. Heavy muscles bunch under the dress shirt he wears as he pushes the door open and steps inside. His dark hair is super short on the sides, just a tiny bit longer on the top. A no-nonsense haircut. Like him… No nonsense.

His perfectly ironed, deep purple dress shirt is tucked neatly into his black slacks. His black leather belt is held together by a simple gold-tone buckle.

His eyebrows appear dark and heavy above eyes that make me blink. They are so light but I can't tell if they are gray or blue. No matter what, they’re a shocking contrast to his skin color.

The only visible accessory he wears is a watch on his wrist. Even from where I sit, I can see it’s quality. One I could never afford, and I probably wouldn’t know the brand. But it screams expensive.

His legs are long and unmistakably solid, giving him a confident stride as he beelines to the counter.

Why does he stop here for black coffee? I’m sure he can afford a coffee maker. It isn’t difficult to make. Some grounds, a filter, and some water. Push the button, wait, and voilà…

Ah, maybe he doesn’t like to wait. But is it actually quicker to stop here every morning?

Maybe he doesn’t like to clean up. Though, after studying him, my gut instinct says he can afford someone to take care of dirty dishes. Perhaps he even has a significant other who would be willing to do it. A wife. A husband.

A lover…

It doesn’t matter why he stops each morning because once I notice him, I can’t take my eyes off him. I can’t concentrate.

I watch his lips move as he places his order. I wait for the corners of his lips to turn up as he talks to the barista. They don’t. No eye crinkle, no smile, not even a nod of his head to acknowledge that he’s speaking to a fellow human.

Nothing.

He never takes out a cell phone once while waiting for his coffee. I have never even seen him with one in his hand.

He would be the kind of person to think it rude to be on your phone instead of giving your full attention to the person serving you. Even if that attention is cold, lifeless.

He’s consistent, and he always comes alone. One day I switch from my regular table in the corner to a table where I can see his left hand. His ring finger appears bare.

Though, that doesn’t guarantee he isn’t married. Or in a committed relationship. A lot of men don’t wear bands. I watch him every day. I learn the way he moves, that he’s right-handed, that he takes fifteen strides to the coffee counter. That he always checks the lid on his coffee to make sure it’s secure before pivoting to leave.

I turn into Pavlov’s dog. When the bell rings at 8:02 every morning, I have to glance up. I can’t fight it even if I want to.

After I watch him walk out the door, I spin fantasies about him. How he will look naked. How his face will twist when he comes. How his fingers will feel deep in my pussy, stroking my insides, making me wet.

How serious his kiss will be when he crushes me against him.

I can’t escape my thoughts. My desires. My panty-soaking fantasies.

I think about changing coffee shops because I‘m becoming obsessed.

I want to touch him. I want to see him smile. I want to make him laugh.

I imagine that something is missing from his life. Like me. I can solve all his problems. I can smooth his brow when it furrows after being overwhelmed at work. I can kiss away the tension. I can whisper soothing words in his ear to distract him from all the important tasks he’s responsible for.

The only good thing about my obsession is it helps me write. Once the bell rings as the door closes behind him, my fingers tear across the keyboard. I no longer suffer from writer’s block. Fantasy after fantasy pops in my head, and I squeeze my thighs together until I ache as the words spill out onto the screen.

He is my muse.

My inspiration.

His skin is dark, but I can’t imagine him lounging by a pool. He seems too important for that. Or too impatient. He probably doesn’t have time for fun. Life for him is about getting things done.

So, it isn’t a tan. No, his skin tone appears natural. His heritage makes him dark. Brooding. Intense. Something lurks in his lineage that is far from middle America. Even if his driver’s license classifies him as white, his family tree would say otherwise.

Kane with a K intrigues me. I never sleep in anymore, but I don’t have to set my alarm. My eyes pop open every weekday at the same time, my head already filled with him. I make sure I am at the coffee shop, in my usual spot with my laptop open, my chai tea fresh and hot in front of me by 7:50. Just in case he’s early.

He never is. He’s like clockwork. He has a routine, and sticks with it.

Every. Single. Morning.

I want to know what his last name is. What he does for a living. What kind of car he drives. Does he walk to the coffee shop? Does he live or work nearby?

When the tiny bell rings, I glance up. My eyes flick to the time in the corner of my screen, 8:02. Then they land back on him.

Today he wears a jacket over his light blue dress shirt, one that emphasizes the color of his eyes. His dark blue patterned tie is knotted perfectly, precise, tight to his collar. The cuffs of his shirt are visible over his hands. The correct length for a well-dressed man. His gold cufflinks flash as his arm swings in rhythm with his gait.

He’s so out of my league, he never, ever glances my way. Not once.

I don’t understand how he can’t feel the heat of my gaze, the filthy sexual nature of my thoughts.

How can he not feel me undressing him?

Every. Single. Morning.

He has to wait this morning. Two people are ahead of him with much more complex orders than his usual large black coffee. The staff is short-handed today. His sharp gaze sweeps the space behind the counter before realizing the issue. He lifts his arm and checks his watch.

His toe taps. Most likely from impatience, not nervousness. His body turns as he surveys the shop. For once, he's noticing that there are other customers and things in the café other than just him, the barista, and his large black coffee.

I feel him, though he’s not even close, not even touching me.

I sense the air shift with every breath he takes. I notice every blink. His long, dark eyelashes open and close like two Chinese fans.

Then his gaze bounces to me. Instead of continuing past, it stops. It stays. He stares. Possibly because I’m staring back. Maybe because my mouth gapes open and I’m breathing more shallow than normal.

I shift awkwardly in the hard, wooden chair as heat rises into my cheeks, and I’m mortified that I can’t tear my gaze away from his.

His eyes narrow and his brows furrow, making his eyes appear darker than normal. They remind me of a stormy sea instead of the tranquil Caribbean Ocean.

My heart beats furiously as his eyes roam over my hair. I fight not to run a hand through it and hope it’s all in place… because it usually isn’t. I curse under my breath when his gaze drops lower to my mouth. I lick my lips before slamming my jaw shut, narrowly missing my tongue. His inspection of me is slow, thorough. Down my neck and then lower.

I’m glad I tossed on a V-neck cashmere sweater this morning and not an old sweatshirt. Never in my wildest fantasies did I think he would notice me.

Never.

His eyes roam smoothly to my cleavage and pause again. One second, two seconds, three seconds. Blood rushes to my head, and I squirm. Heat pools at my core making me wiggle in my seat.

God, just his gaze makes me want to come. My pussy throbs and I have an urge to touch myself.

All of those fantasies.

If he only knew.

He’d probably laugh and think I’m silly. That he’s way out of my league. He would never be with someone like me.

But I want him to touch me. I want his fingers to rake through my hair, rip my head back. I want to feel his lips, his teeth, along the strong pulse in my neck. I want him to brush his thumbs over my hardened nipples.

I find myself light-headed and realize I stopped breathing. I’m waiting. Paused for him to make his move. To grab my hand, pull me out the door, to his house, his car, his office, where he could fuck me thoroughly and hard until he makes me explode into a million pieces.

I want to climb on his lap and spear myself on his cock, riding him hard until I’m slick, sweating, and clinging to his skin with my fingernails. I want to feel his teeth along the sensitive curves of my breasts.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JEANNE ST. JAMES is an erotic romance author who loves an Alpha male (or two). She was only thirteen when she started writing since it gave her an escape from teenage angst! Her first paid published piece was an erotic story in Playgirl magazine. Her first erotic romance novel, Banged Up, was published in 2009. She is happily owned by farting French bulldogs. She writes M/F, M/M, and M/M/F ménages.

Connect with her at http://jeannestjames.com or on social media at:







Monday, April 10, 2017

Straight from the Mouth of Philip Cioffari, Author of 'The Bronx Kill'


Philip Cioffari’s latest novel is The Bronx Kill. (Logline: An obsessed detective seeks revenge upon three men for his brother’s drowning death.) He is the author of the novels: DARK ROAD, DEAD END; JESUSVILLE;  CATHOLIC BOYS; and the short story collection, A HISTORY OF THINGS LOST OR BROKEN, which won the Tartt Fiction Prize, and the D. H. Lawrence award for fiction. His short stories have been published widely in commercial and literary magazines and anthologies, including North American Review, Playboy, Michigan Quarterly Review, Northwest Review, Florida Fiction, and Southern Humanities Review. He has written and directed for Off and Off-Off Broadway. His Indie feature film, which he wrote and directed, LOVE IN THE AGE OF DION, has won numerous awards, including Best Feature Film at the Long Island Int’l Film Expo, and Best Director at the NY Independent Film & Video Festival. He is a Professor of English, and director of the Performing and Literary Arts Honors Program, at William Paterson University. Visit www.philipcioffari.com 

Find out more at: www.amazon.com/philipcioffari


Questionnaire:

Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

Nothing else mattered as much. For me, recording life has always been as important as living it.


Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

It’s hard work, long hours, long years, solitary, but from the satisfaction it gives me I can definitely say it’s worth it. It’s not for the faint-hearted, though.


Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

My publisher is an independent university press. They’ve been supportive and professional in every way possible. I entered a story collection contest they sponsored and I won. That’s how we came together.


Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

I live alone so I have no one to answer to but myself. There are things in one’s life where it doesn’t matter what other people think.


In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

I arrange my hours so that I write before I go into work. As a college prof, I have some flexibility with my work hours. Hooray!


What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

I once hired a publicist who accomplished nothing.


How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I think any contact you make with other human beings is helpful. I tend to spend more time writing, though, than promoting.


Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

I go to conferences, give readings, the usual. Some things are out of our control.


What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

I’ll save the screaming for when I’m on the NY Times Best Seller list.


Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?


You’re right. None of the negatives matter, if you truly have the drive to write.  I love that I can spend my time coming up with ideas, exploring people and places, and work with language as my medium. I love crafting sentences that are visual and evocative, that elicit feelings from the reader.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Straight from the Mouth of Margaret Fenton, Author of 'Little Girl Gone'

Margaret Fenton grew up on the Mississippi Gulf Coast and moved to Birmingham in 1996. She received her B.A. in English from the Newcomb College of Tulane University, and her Master of Social Work from Tulane. She spent nearly ten years as a child and family therapist for the Department of Human Resources before focusing on her writing. Hence, her work tends to reflect her interest in social causes and mental health, especially where kids are concerned.  She is the planning coordinator of Murder in the Magic City, a one-day, one-track annual mystery fan conference in Homewood, Alabama. She is President of the Birmingham Chapter of Sisters in Crime and a member of the Mystery Writers of America. Margaret lives in the Birmingham suburb of Hoover with her husband, a software developer.  Her first novel is Little Lamb Lost and is available at bookstores and through Amazon.


Questionnaire:

Thanks for letting us interrogate you!  Can you give us a go-for-the-gut answer as to why you wanted to be an author?

Never thought about being an author until 1999.  I was living here in Birmingham and had been a rabid mystery fan all my life.  A lady at the Little Professor bookstore asked if I had read Anne George.  She was a local author, cozy, and very funny.  No, I hadn’t.  She sold me her first book, Murder on a Girl’s Night Out.  Well, that was it, I was hooked, and I had to meet her.  Went to one of her book signings and we got to know each other.  She encouraged me to join Sisters in Crime and one day in the car on the way to a SinC meeting she asked me if I’d ever considered writing a mystery. I was working as a social worker at the time and she said she thought a social worker would make a good protagonist, since they come in contact with some “evil” people.  I agreed and as they say, voila, Claire Conover was born.

Tell us (we won’t tell promise!) is it all it’s cracked up to be?  I mean what are the perks and what are the demands?

Honest answer.  There are things I love and hate about it.  I love writing and making up stories.  I hate promoting myself.  It feels like bragging and as a southern girl I was taught not to brag on myself.  And I don’t make any money.  I am very lucky and have an awesome husband who supports me in every way so I don’t have to work a day job.

Which route did you take – traditional or self-published – and can you give us the nitty gritty low down on what’s that like?

I’m hybrid, a term I love.  My first novel, Little Lamb Lost, is traditionally published by Oceanview Publishing.  It came out in 2009.  It is an amateur sleuth novel.  I wrote the second book, Little Girl Gone and submitted it to them.  They had decided sometime after my first book that they are only going to publish thrillers, and asked me if I could make it a thriller.  I tried.  I couldn’t.  So they passed.  Then I sat on it for about five years, wrestling with what to do now.  Find an agent?  That takes forever and is very discouraging. And I suck at writing query letters.   Self-publish?  Maybe.  Finally I got tired of waffling and decided I’d just do it myself.  I hired a company to do the formatting and that was a great decision.  I don’t have any complaints about being self-published, except I missed my publicist terribly.  She was the most important person on my team at Oceanview.  She is doing freelance work now so I hired her.  BEST decision ever and she’s why I’m doing this interview.


Tell us for real what your family feels about you spending so much time getting your book written, polished, edited, formatted, published, what have you?

I am a cancer survivor and because of that disease I can’t have children.  So I just have a husband and three dogs and a lot of free time.  So time isn’t the issue.  I have invested a lot of money into being a writer.  I’m a sucker for book giveaways and gave away 500 stuffed lambs with the launch of Little Lamb Lost, and with Little Girl Gone I gave away 500 stuffed white teddy bears (read the book and you’ll get why).  That’s a little source of conflict sometimes when you add the cost of the publicist and the formatter and the cost of books to give away.

This is for pet lovers.  If you don’t own a pet, skip this question, but do your pets actually get their food on time or do they have to wait until you type just one more word?

My three Papillons won’t let me write until they are fed.  And they cry when they have to go out which disturbs the concentration, so they come first.

This is for plant lovers.  If you don’t own a plant, skip this question, but if you do, are they actually still alive?

Ha! I am the worst plant parent.  If there was a plant protection agency (PPS?) I’d be reported and my plants taken to foster care.

In writing your book, how did you deal with the phone ringing, your family needing dinner or your boss calling you saying you’re late?

When I had a day job I worked on the novel on the weekends.  I can ignore the phone and the family can feed itself.  Working without a day job is much easier, so thanks honey!

What was the craziest or insane thing that happened to you in the book publishing process?

Getting dropped by my publisher.  That really sucks.

How about the social networks?  Which ones do you believe help and which ones do you wish you could avoid?

I am a Facebook addict.  Seriously I need a 12-step program.  I love being on there and seeing everyone’s news.  Whether it equals sales, I have no idea.

Book sales.  Don’t you just love them (or lack of?)?  How are you making the sales happen for you?

Yeah, publicists are the best thing in the world. They really help. 

What is one thing you’d like to jump on the rooftop and scream about?

I don’t know that jumping on the rooftop screaming would do any good, but I wish the publishing industry were different, maybe like it used to be in the past.  More supportive.  I wish I hadn’t had the fantasy that I was going to get published and have a great publisher who really supported me and really wanted to help me grow my career.  That doesn’t happen anymore.  It’s sad.

Okay, too much sugar for you today!  Here’s a nice cup of Chamomile tea and come on over and sit under the cabana and watch the waves roll in.  Now…can you tell us what you love about being a published author and how all those things above doesn’t matter because it’s all part of the whole scheme of things and you wouldn’t have it any other way?

Everything in the above statement is true.  I wouldn’t do it any other way and I love what I do.  I love Claire and I hope you do too.