Press Releases

ALL BOY PRESS RELEASE

June 2019

Multi-Award-Winning Author Aims to Broaden the Understanding of What’s Normal in Her Latest Powerful Novel.

Every year, the month of June signifies Pride Month to the LGBTQ community and its allies across the globe, a movement which takes a positive stance against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) people to promote their self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance.

Despite us living in the twenty-first century, and it being decades since the Stonewall Riots, many people still have to hide their true selves from not only the public, but also from their family and friends too, for fear of violent reaction and disownment.

This all too-common and terrifying fact is identified and explored in the upcoming novel ALL BOY, a YA contemporary from celebrated author Mia Kerick. This eye-opening and heart-wrenching story told from the points of view of two teenagers both struggling to find their place in the world, is essential reading for those within the LGBTQ community as well as those unaware of the ordeals many trans people live with daily.

ALL BOY is the story of seventeen-year-old Callie Canter, a girl who knows all about screwing up—and being screwed over. After her so-called boyfriend publicly humiliated her senior year, taking a fifth year of high school at Beaufort Hills Academy is her second chance to leave behind a painful past. But her need for social acceptance follows, and going along with the in-crowd is the difference between survival and becoming a target. Staying off the radar is top priority. So, falling for an outsider is the last thing on Callie’s “to-do” list. Too bad her heart didn’t get the memo.

With his strict, religious upbringing and former identity far away in Florida, Jayden Morrissey can finally be true to himself at Beaufort Hills Academy. But life as a trans man means keeping secrets, and keeping secrets means not getting too close to anyone. If he can just get through his fifth year unnoticed, maybe a future living as the person he was born to be is possible. Yet love is love, and when you fall hard enough, intentions crumble, plans detour, and secrets are revealed.

Kerick, who spent her teens filling spiral-bound notebooks with tales of tortured heroes, says of the inspiration for her writing: “Insensitivity to the trials of others is incomprehensible to me. It actually enrages me when people so easily separate themselves from those who are ‘different’ and then blame them for those differences.

“The best way I can think of to help people feel compassion for others is for them to meet a person who is enduring the very struggle they have condemned as ‘abnormal.’ And so I write YA novels.

“I wrote All Boy largely so that non-LGBTQ teens can vicariously live the struggle of Jayden as a transgender teen, so that they can see him and the world through his eyes. Jayden’s openness when the narration is from his perspective—his thoughts and insecurities, his hopes for the future, his fears for what may never be—become one with the readers’ perspectives.

“In the same way, Callie’s confusion becomes the readers’ confusion. They ask themselves, what would I have done in her shoes? They understand her way of looking at the world and they see her mistakes as she makes them. And then they walk with her as she redeems herself.

“So, my main goal in writing All Boy is to encourage compassion for those we consider different. Maybe they’re not as different as we think.”

Kerick, a mother of four, finishes by adding: “I also want all teenagers to be able to find themselves in books. How frustrating and isolating it must feel to be unable to find a character like you in fiction! Unable to find a book about a person you can relate to. A teen may ask: Am I so strange and odd that no authors are thinking about me, relating to me, or acknowledging me?

“My author’s answer is no—there should be a book for every person, for every struggle, as no one is too different to have a story to read and relate to.”

Kerick’s books have won a Best YA Lesbian Rainbow Award, a Reader Views’ Book by Book Publicity Literary Award, the Jack Eadon Award for Best Book in Contemporary Drama, an Indie Fab Award, and a Royal Dragonfly Award for Cultural Diversity, among other awards.

ALL BOY will be published on June 25, 2019 by Queensland-based Lakewater Press with early readers describing it as “emotional and relevant” and “enlightening.”

The novel will be available to buy as both an e-book and paperback from Amazon and Booktopia, among many other retailers worldwide, and is available for pre-order now.

For a review copy or for more information about ALL BOY or to interview Mia Kerick contact her publisher, Kate Foster and Samantha Alban, by email at contact@lakewater-press.com


WITHIN AND WITHOUT PRESS RELEASE

May 2019

AUTHOR SKILFULLY TACKLES EATING DISORDERS AND SEXUAL ASSAULT IN A POWERFUL NEW NOVEL FOR TEENS

According to NEDA, the National Eating Disorders Association, 30 million people in the US alone will have an eating disorder at some point in their lives; and at any given point in time, 1% of young women will meet diagnostic criteria for bulimia nervosa. With the constant pressure on teenagers to fit in and the unhealthy diet culture thrust upon them, this really shouldn’t come as a surprise.

This topic, mixed with other issues teenagers endure daily, is taken on by debut author Deborah Maroulis in WITHIN AND WITHOUT, a stunning and powerful young adult novel, praised by Kirkus Reviews who called it “a high school tale that handles familiar issues in YA literature with sensitivity and humor.”

After her parent’s divorce, sixteen-year-old Wren Newmann is forced to move from a small California town to her grandmother’s vineyard, where she’s convinced she’ll die a shriveled, wine-country virgin. Apart from the annoying but cute Greek farmhand Panayis, Wren’s life has hit an all-time low until her dating life improves unexpectedly when Jay, Wren’s long-time country crush, notices her.

Yet it’s as if people don’t want her to be happy, with their warnings and advice that perhaps Jay isn’t the right guy for her. But Wren’s done being Beached Whale Girl. She’s determined to become social, skinny, and sexy, because Jay wants her—every part of her. Though her anxiety and secret purging sessions sing another warning that she finds hard to ignore.

When a series of personal tragedies strikes, Wren’s life is flipped upside down and she’s left to pick up the pieces of her broken relationships. Now, she must find the inner strength to decide if the illusion of being loved is worth sacrificing her health, and maybe even her life.

Maroulis says of the background to her novel: “Our world is full of media telling us what to look like, act like, and be like. If you look closely enough, it even tells us who to like.

“I wrote WITHIN AND WITHOUT so that teens like Wren could see themselves in her insecurities and self-diagnosed awkwardness.

“My hope is that the reader finds solace in that they aren’t alone in their feelings and maybe even see that there’s a way out if they trust themselves and the people closest to them.”

Maroulis, a wife and mother living in North California, teaches English and mythology at her local community college and studies myth and depth psychology in her Ph.D program.

She says: “When I was a teen, I faced a lot of the issues Wren does, although—thankfully—social media wasn’t around to exacerbate the issue. A lot of teens want so badly to fit in or find love, they sacrifice a part of themselves in some sort of Faustian deal so they can imagine they’re whole, even if it’s only for a little while.

Although the conversations around sexual assault and eating disorders have improved, a lot of work still needs to be done. If I could wish for one thing to come out of someone reading WITHIN AND WITHOUT, it would be that they know consent completely belongs to them and are the only ones who have the power to give it.”

WITHIN AND WITHOUT will be published on May 28, 2019 by Queensland-based Lakewater Press and is already garnering top-notch reviews from bestselling authors around the world such as “unflinching and authentic” by author Laurie Elizabeth Flynn and “a moving portrait of first love, friendship, and the pressures we put upon ourselves daily” by author Samantha Joyce.

The novel will be available to buy as both an e-book and paperback from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, among many other retailers worldwide, and is available for pre-order now.

For a review copy or for more information about WITHIN AND WITHOUT or to interview Deborah Maroulis, contact her publisher, Kate Foster, by email at contact@lakewater-press.com


LUCID PRESS RELEASE

March 2019

Local Author Puts a Shocking New Spin on Lucid Dreaming

It may be the 21st century where science and the study of the human mind has opened up fascinating new discoveries, but still no one really knows why we dream or what our dreams mean. Yet this topic continues to intrigue people from all walks of life. According to the National Sleep Foundation’s analysis of a pioneering study conducted by William C. Dement, MD, PhD, in 1960, dreaming has profound importance, and dream deprivation can have very serious consequences.

The power of dreams is shocking and terrifying for the star of LUCID, the first in a brand new two-part series for young adults by debut Adelaide-based author Kristy Fairlamb. This haunting and compelling supernatural thriller raises the bar for anyone interested in the possible extent and power of one’s dreams.

LUCID is the story of sixteen-year-old Lucy Piper who possesses the ability to resurrect actual tragic events in her nightmares, reliving over and over the last few moments before a victim takes their final breath. Car accidents, drownings, plane crashes – Lucy’s seen it all. No one understands what it’s like living death by night and fearing sleep by day. But when Tyler Sims and his family move to town to escape past traumas, Lucy is drawn to him. The two of them are linked in some way, and with Tyler’s trust and friendship, hope for a brighter future returns to Lucy’s world. Yet Tyler’s presence awakens something else in Lucy, and with this new knowledge she’s forced to make impossible decisions. Decisions that will change history, and the future.

Fairlamb says of the background to her novel: “LUCID began as a seed of an idea that came from a culmination of thoughts and questions.

“My daughter and I used to spend the morning talking about the weird, fun and scary dreams we’d had…still do actually. I wondered what it would be like if those dreams were more than just dreams, and what it might be like for someone living with horrendous nightmares night after night.

“Add to that a few times in my life where I had close brushes with death; a car accident that could’ve been way more serious had I been one metre further along the road, and an evening walk on a near deserted bridge when a car crashed into the railing inches from me and would’ve pushed me onto the train tracks below if it ploughed into me. Each of these moments left me imagining all sorts of things as I asked myself ‘what if…’

“When I sat down to plan out my novel, it was these questions that spiralled together and one thing led to another until eventually LUCID was born.”

Fairlamb, a wife and mother of one daughter and two sons, enjoys spending her days drinking coffee and torturing her characters with loads of tension (both love related and the nail-biting kind)!

Long before her days of writing began, she spent half her childhood in a make believe world, daydreaming about growing up, falling in love, and travelling the world. She’s worked as a nanny in country England, a junior matron in a boy’s boarding school south of London, a governess in East Timor, and made coffees and cleared tables in the New South Wales snow fields.

LUCID, set among an Australian backdrop, will be published on April 23, 2019 by Queensland-based Lakewater Press and has already been a big hit with early reviewers, being described as “an incredible read” that is “fresh and easy to fall in love with,” and the sequel LUMINOUS is due out in Spring 2020.

Fairlamb will be holding her launch party at The Cathedral Hotel, Kermode Street, North Adelaide on Thursday, May 9th at 7pm, where there will special guests, refreshments, and prizes, and members of the press and public are welcome to attend. Registration can be made via Eventbrite here: https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/lucid-book-launch-celebration-tickets-58968455237

The novel will be available to buy as both an e-book and paperback from Amazon and Booktopia, among many other retailers worldwide, and is available for pre-order now.

For a review copy or for more information about LUCID or to interview Kristy Fairlamb contact her publisher, Kate Foster, by email at contact@lakewater-press.com


BLACKBIRD ROAD PRESS RELEASE

September 2018

Multi-Award-Winning Author is Back With Possibly His Best Book Yet

There’s always a lot of concern that sequels won’t live up to their predecessors, but in the case of Kansas-based crime thriller writer James L. Weaver, his Jake Caldwell books are only getting better.

Blackbird Road, published by Lakewater Press on September 25, 2018, takes us right back into the Ozarks where our ex-mob enforcer hero Jake Caldwell is preparing for the upcoming wedding to his childhood sweetheart. Yet, as we’ve come to expect, Jake can’t escape his violent past, no matter how hard he tries, and this time things are going to get more bloody and dangerous than we’ve seen before.

Jake Caldwell decides to take one more job before a much-needed vacation. But in a matter of days, his client is assassinated and her six-year-old son kidnapped. With just a few clues, Jake calls on old friends to help track down the person responsible. Only this time his fiancée Maggie, desperate for Jake to leave his violent history behind, can’t guarantee she’ll be there when, or if, he comes home.

Jake can’t turn his back on those who need him. It’s in his blood. A perilous plot of lies and secrets unfolds, and Jake encounters criminals more brutal than ever. And when a threat to thousands of innocent lives is uncovered, Jake once again dives back into his past, requesting favors from some unexpected and unsavory contacts. Jake needs to stay one step ahead of the bad guys if he’s to have any future at all.

Weaver, whose books keep going from strength to strength, says of writing Blackbird Road: “The premise evolved over a period of months as I worked through a number of ‘what if’ scenarios with the use of technology in a terrorist act. If I had any hair left, I’d have pulled it out. The solution came about through the television (which I watch way too much of).

“I’m a big fan of the show The Americans as well as a bit of a political junkie. Given the ideological war between the Republicans and Democrats here in the States, I came up with the idea to merge the element of Russian spies within our borders and warring factions of Russian political parties.

“We end up with one spy of the radical party hell bent on wreaking havoc and killing Americans, and another spy that will do anything to stop him. When their war touches the personal lives of Jake and Bear and they learn that thousands of lives are at stake, it’s game on to stop them both.”

Weaver, who lives in Olathe, Kansas with his wife, two children and dog, says: “Blackbird Road is, by far, the most complicated plot I’ve written so far. It took some planning and plotting to get the stars to line up just right. After mounds of crumpled pages, it took tiny writing and three pages taped together end-to-end to weave the plot lines together and fit the whole thing in one document!

“But, in the end, I think we’ve woven a tight-knit story that will keep my readers turning the pages. I couldn’t be more pleased with the feedback we’ve received so far and a number of folks have told me this is the best Jake Caldwell book yet.”

Book one in the series, Poor Boy Road, was a thriller finalist in the IAN Book of the Year Awards 2016, with book two, Ares Road, taking this title in 2017, as well as the 2017 New Apple Award For Excellence.

Blackbird Road, an adult thriller “that noir action/organized crime buffs with love” and perfect for fans of John Sanford and Lee Child, is described as Weaver’s “best work yet” in a series that “keeps getting better and better.”

The novel is available to buy as both an e-book and paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble among many other retailers now.


BUTTERFLY BLOOD PRESS RELEASE

August 2018

THE AWARD-WINNING YOUNG ADULT SCI-FI SERIES IS BACK!

Colorado-based author Rebecca Carpenter has returned with the much-anticipated sequel to her award-winning debut described as a “series that will haunt you long after you’ve closed the book.”

It’s a common fear among readers that sequels won’t live up to their predecessors, but in the case of Carpenter’s latest novel, BUTTERFLY BLOOD, the second in the METAMORPHOSIS series, fans can rest assured that there are zero concerns there. In fact, early readers have described the follow-up to the award-winning BUTTERFLY BONES as “even better,” and it appears to be leaving them desperate for the third and final book in the series.

Butterfly Blood picks up where the flaming-hot Butterfly Bones left off, in which it’s safe to say sixteen-year-old Bethany Keatley’s life is hardly a walk in the park. Now that the feisty disabled girl’s dreams of a healthy body have been granted, you’re forgiven for thinking things should pick up for her; but, of course, Carpenter continues to push her character to the limit with stakes that keep on rising.

Published by Lakewater Press on August 28, 2018, Butterfly Blood takes our young protagonist far from the disasters and nightmares of her home town of Springs, Georgia, but also far from the arms of her beloved football-star boyfriend, Jeremiah Wright. Now miles away and living in Florida with an aunt she’s never met, shocking revelations about her parents are too much to bear, and after collapsing from exhaustion and shock, Bethany wakes in a hospital bed awaiting test results—results that might lead to the discovery of her unusual butterfly blood. But that’s the least of Bethany’s concerns when the doctor delivers news no one saw coming.

Carpenter says of the background to her series: “Seven years ago, while listening to The Cure, a song called “Caterpillar” came on. I’d heard this song a million times. But for some reason, this time the music and lyrics spoke to me. The title of a book emerged: THE CATERPILLAR GIRL.”

Butterfly Blood is told from the alternating points of view of two characters, a clear change from the first book in which only Bethany guides us through her tragic rollercoaster of a life. However, the identity of our second main character remains a mystery until later on in the book, and this alone is guaranteed to keep readers flipping pages.

When she isn’t working at her childcare centre or spending time with her gorgeous grandchildren, Carpenter, described as a “writer to watch,” spends her spare time reading, writing, editing, and exploring the beautiful mountains of Colorado. She says of her “smarter than the average” young adult novels:

“The earliest version depicted a bullied teen girl with a rare bone disease getting revenge on her tormentors. Blood and gore were at the forefront. But no matter how hard I tried, Bethany refused to star in a horror novel.

“Instead, she pushed me to pen her story—a journey through great loss, tremendous change, and the harsh reality that Mother Nature and Father Time can’t be cheated.”

The novel will be available to buy as both an e-book and paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble among many other retailers, and is available for purchase now.


POOR BOY ROAD PRESS RELEASE

March 2016

Local Author Sends New Fictional Hero to His Home Town!

Novelists are often told to write about what they know, and that’s precisely what Olathe author James L. Weaver did in his new thriller Poor Boy Road.

Although not a leg breaker for the mob like his protagonist Jake Caldwell, the book’s title and setting for his novel, Poor Boy Road, is an actual road in Warsaw, Missouri, and a place Weaver knows only too well.

Poor Boy Road, published by Lakewater Press on March 21, 2016, tells the story of Jake, a mob enforcer who, with every bone snap and scream, realizes he’s turning into the one person he never wanted to become—his father. But when offered a way out, Jake has no choice but to return to his home town, and to face the dark ghosts of old. With two things on his mind—bury his dying father and track down murderous drug lord Shane Langston—Jake unwillingly becomes mixed up in a web of murder, meth and kidnapping. With the clock ticking on his own life, Jake and his childhood best friend Bear, the local Sheriff, race through the Warsaw countryside, and on to Poor Boy Road.

Weaver says of his novel: “I have to admit I really struggled with the title for this one. I had about three-fourths of the book completed and took another trip to Warsaw, Missouri for a little inspirational research.

“In one of the first few chapters, Jake travels down a country road to the very real Turkey Creek Cemetery where a number of his, and not coincidentally, my family members are buried.

“As I walked amongst the tombstones, the name of the road struck me as a great title for the book—Poor Boy Road.”

Weaver, who now makes his home in Olathe, KS, with his wife of 18 years and two children, assures us a lot of the story is most definitely not based on his life.

“I originally crafted the story with a fake town name of Cranston, but figured that plenty of novels take place in real cities. Why not Warsaw?

“Though scenic, drugs, especially meth, are a very real problem its citizens must deal with. Jake’s father, Stony, is an abusive alcoholic who is nothing like my father, but is an exaggeration of stories I’ve heard about my grandfather who I never met.

“So, I’ve never been a leg breaker for the mob or had to endure any of the things Jake did, but there are smatterings of some real life in there that were exaggerated for the purposes of the book.”

Weaver is hopeful Jake Caldwell will be sticking around as a new entertaining hero in the crime thriller genre for many more novels to come.

“I’m currently editing the stand-alone sequel to Poor Boy Road titled Ares Road. I’m afraid that Jake and his friends are going to find themselves in a bit of trouble in Kansas City with some very large stakes hanging in the balance.

“This one is a bit faster paced than Poor Boy Road and I think the readers are going to enjoy it.”

Weaver’s previous publishing credits include a six-part story called “The Nuts” and his 5-star rated debut novel Jack & Diane available on Amazon.com.

His limited free time is spent writing into the wee hours of the morning, playing parental taxi cab to his kids’ sporting endeavors, and binge watching Netflix.

Poor Boy Road was published on March 21 and has been a big hit with early reviewers, earning the comments: “Completely enthralling” and “A superb story—5 stars”, and about the main character: “Jake Caldwell is a complex and intriguing character who transcends the thriller genre.”

The novel is available to buy as both an e-book and paperback from Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble amongst many other retailers.

For a review copy of Poor Boy Road visit http://lakewaterpress.com

For more information about Poor Boy Road or to interview James L. Weaver contact Kate Foster by email at contact@lakewater-press.com

 


BUTTERFLY BONES PRESS RELEASE

October 2016

Author takes on bullying with butterflies

It’s a sad fact that bullying is a major issue within high schools around the world, and Colorado-based author Rebecca Carpenter “doesn’t pull any punches” in addressing this epidemic in her fresh and unique debut novel for teens.

The first in the Metamorphosis series, Butterfly Bones, is a poignant and powerful young adult contemporary science-fiction novel that truly pushes the boundaries of both nature and a young disabled girl’s desire for acceptance.

Butterfly Bones, published by Lakewater Press on November 28, 2016, tells the story of fifteen-year-old Bethany Keatley who not only deals with a rare bone disease that hinders her growth, but has grown up with no mother and a scientist father tirelessly seeking a cure for cancer. Desperate to leave the small-minded town of Springs, Georgia, Bethany avoids the bullies at school by achieving high grades and through the protection of her gorgeous quarterback friend Jeremiah—until the arrival of the mayor’s daughter Zoey. With the bullying reaching terrifying levels and a desire for more than friendship knocked back by Jeremiah, Bethany’s life becomes a prison. But when her father adds an accelerant to Bethany’s daily shot of butterfly hormone that keeps her condition under control, a horrifying side effect awaits her future.

Carpenter says of the background to her novel: “Five years ago, while listening to The Cure, a song called “Caterpillar” came on. I’d heard this song a million times. But for some reason, this time the music and lyrics spoke to me. The title of a book emerged: THE CATERPILLAR GIRL.

“The earliest version depicted a bullied teen girl with a rare bone disease getting revenge on her tormentors. Blood and gore were at the forefront. But no matter how hard I tried, Bethany refused to star in a horror novel.

“Instead, she pushed me to pen her story—a journey through great loss, tremendous change, and the harsh reality that Mother Nature and Father Time can’t be cheated.”

Carpenter, a mother and grandmother, who lives in Colorado with her husband and dogs, says: “Bullying is a real problem within our society, one that is all too often overlooked or written off as not that big of a deal.

“What I hope Butterfly Bones will achieve for readers is first and foremost to help them experience Bethany’s life—what it’s like to be bullied, to feel like you have no one to turn to for help, and the roller coaster of emotions that teens go through, especially with physical self-esteem and peer acceptance.

“I want readers to understand her wants and needs and to experience her giddiness and heartbreak over her first crush, as well as her resilience to withstand the relentless bullying at the hands of school mates until she’s finally broken.”

Carpenter hopes Butterfly Bones, which has been described as “an incredible story of true grit, determination, and bravery,” will open hearts and minds to seek for real change in policies to end bullying.

“I want readers to be able to recognize that outer beauty isn’t as important as inner beauty and that being happy with one’s self is the first step to finding true happiness.

“Lastly, I want readers to understand that we all have a good and bad side, but unconditional love is unconditional. And that includes loving ourselves.”

Carpenter’s previous publishing credits include a self-published memoir, The Total Deconstruction of Chloe Wilson, which is a straight-forward look into the life of a teen girl’s struggles with self-esteem and the shame she encounters on the road of teen pregnancy.

When she isn’t working at her childcare centre or spending time with her four gorgeous grandchildren, she spends her spare time reading, writing, and exploring the beautiful mountains of Colorado. Right now she is seeking personal experiences of bullying to share on her blog in the hope of uniting and showing those suffering at the hands of bullies that they’re not alone.

Butterfly Bones will be published on November 28 and has already been a big hit with early reviewers, being described as “freaky and creepy” and “so fresh, enchanting, and imaginative“, and has already attracted the attention of film production companies.

The novel will be available to buy as both an e-book and paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble among many other retailers, and is available for pre-order now.

For a review copy of Butterfly Bones, please visit lakewaterpress.com

For more information about Butterfly Bones or to interview Rebecca Carpenter contact Kate Foster by email at contact@lakewater-press.com


THE LIFE GROUP PRESS RELEASE

December 2016

Author Tackles Radical Religion and Teen Suicide in new YA Thriller

On average, 90,000 people are missing in America at any given time, according to Todd Matthews from the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System, a national database for missing people. 40% of them are juveniles (“USA Today”). And thousands of teens commit suicide each year in the United States. In fact, suicide is the third leading cause of death for 15- to 24-year-olds (HealthyKids.org).

The Life Group, published by Lakewater Press on January 9, 2017, follows one girl, 17 year-old Rachel Dorsett, over the course of a single Saturday as she continues her determined and desperate search for her missing sister, who was last seen at a nearby church. The police have all but given up. She won’t.

Every day since her sister vanished, Rachel has visited the radical church where Leah was last seen. There are still no suspects or leads, but Rachel’s positive clues lie in that church somewhere. Thirteen days on from Leah’s disappearance, the pastor introduces Rachel to Tim, a devout worshiper of his Lord. To avoid dealing with his own demons, Tim agrees to spend the day helping Rachel search for her sister.

It’s Saturday, March 14. Maybe today will be the day. Maybe today Rachel will be reunited with Leah. Or maybe today will change Rachel’s life forever.

Jortner, whose writing has been praised by USA Today bestselling author Lisa Stormes Hawker who describes this young adult novel as having a “truly original storyline”, teaches literature and writing classes at Baylor University and says she was inspired to write The Life Group from two events.

“First, one of my students mentioned being part of a life group. He said something about why he hadn’t done his homework—and it was completely innocent, some kind of charity work with his group—but it struck me as odd that people his own age had so much control over him. They could persuade him to do things and perhaps even lead him down a bad path.

“The second event was of greater significance: one of my colleagues went missing. The vanished teacher wasn’t gone long—less than a week. And good news, she was fine—just mental illness showing its ugly head—but the events of those five days struck me to the core.

“Later that semester, as I drove to the local daycare to pick up my children, thoughts of my colleague swirled through my head. I remembered the gnawing feeling—my stomach alternating between tight clenches and high-up flips. And I recalled my heart thumping as I trotted down sketchy streets in the bad part of town, looking for the woman’s apartment. In my mind’s eye I saw my colleague’s office key on the side table as if she’d left it there, not knowing she would be abducted in the next moment. The daycare in sight, I gripped the steering wheel tighter, and then it came—the entire plot of The Life Group bounced into my head.”

Jortner, who lives in Waco, Texas with her patient husband, two amazing daughters, and an unruly cat, says: “What I hope The Life Group will achieve for readers is to show them what it might be like for someone who’s family member is missing. It’s a terrible scenario, the worst I can imagine. I want them to see the world through Rachel’s eyes, to experience her anguish, to know what she’d do to get her sister back.”

A lifetime ago, Jortner used to direct plays and put on puppet shows for kids, which led to her pursuing a Ph.D. in Theatre History. Currently, when she’s not writing, teaching, or meeting with students, she’s spending her time like every native-born Texan: worrying about how many chiggers might be hidden in the grass outside her house or if she lathered enough sunscreen on her kids.

The Life Group, which truly is a perfect read for fans of GONE GIRL, is “an intense thriller” that will pull readers “relentlessly toward the devastating conclusion.”

The novel will be available to buy as both an e-book and paperback from Amazon and Barnes & Noble among many other retailers, and is available for pre-order now.

For a review copy of The Life Group, please visit lakewaterpress.com

For more information about The Life Group or to interview Maura Jortner contact Kate Foster by email at contact@lakewater-press.com


THE SUMMER SPRINGSTEEN’S SONGS SAVED ME PRESS RELEASE

September 2017

Author’s Forthcoming Novel Structures the Journey of Heroine with the Aid of the Boss’s Songs

New Jersey author and dedicated Bruce Springsteen fan, Barbara Quinn, has used some of the  powerful and inspiring songs of The Boss to empower her newly single protagonist and shape her upcoming novel, THE SUMMER SPRINGSTEEN’S SONGS SAVED ME, to be published by Lakewater Press on October 24, 2017.

According to the American Psychological Association’s website, 40 to 50 percent of married couples in the United States divorce. Reasons vary, but there’s no escaping the struggles involved in rebuilding a life afterwards.

Forty-something Sofia Catherwood has faced her fair share of life’s challenges, so coming home to find her husband between the long silky legs of another woman is all it takes to push her over the edge. Already fighting a darkness that crowds her mind, Springsteen fan Sofia finds solace in the quiet beachside town of Bradley Beach, NJ—the once home of The Boss himself. With the help of new and old friends, a sexy neighbor, and the messages within Springsteen’s lyrics, Sofia learns to accept her past so she can embrace her future.

Quinn, a native New Yorker, says of the background to her novel: “I’ve been a fan of Bruce since 1973, when a friend who was a part time DJ brought over Springsteen’s first album. And when I moved with my husband to Bradley Beach in 2005—Springsteen country—I dove into exploring the area where so much of his music is still made.

“Over time a book began forming in my mind, and finding a song for each chapter presented an enjoyable challenge. I pored over lyrics and listened to song after song until I found the right one that related to the struggles of my characters.

“And, yes, in the background was always my own struggle to deal with my losses and pain and those of my loved ones, coupled with humor—because nothing makes you feel better than a little silliness.”

Award-winning short story writer Quinn continues: “We all struggle, suffer losses, and need to be able to step away from that deep abyss and have a little fun. That’s the genesis of THE SUMMER SPRINGSTEEN’S SONGS SAVED ME.

“Besides books, music and water are the great healers of my life, and my love of the shore led me to seek a place by the ocean. My parents and grandparents swore that salt water heals everything, and I believe that to be true, so much so that I included that mantra in the novel.”

Quinn says of her up-market women’s fiction, described as “a vivid and captivating story of personal growth,” that although Sofia’s experiences differ from her own, the message remains the same.

“As I wrote this book, I learned that Springsteen’s music can help with any type of struggle. The music is always there, waiting to transport me somewhere else. His songs explain what I’m going through and validate my feelings.

“I’m hopeful that my novel can help show readers a way forward when they’re stuck in a dark place. It’s a story that embodies friendship and the ability to press forward, no matter the obstacles.”

Quinn, whose past jobs include lawyer, record shop owner, reporter, process server, lingerie sales clerk, waitress, and postal worker, has travelled widely through forty-seven states and five continents where she’s encountered fascinating settings and inspiring people that populate her work.

Italian-American Quinn finishes by saying: “Like Bruce’s train, which carries saints and sinners, losers, and winners, I hope this book has something for everyone.”

The novel will be available to buy as both an e-book and paperback from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, among many other retailers.

For more information about THE SUMMER SPRINGSTEEN’S SONGS SAVED ME, a review copy, or to interview Barbara Quinn, contact Kate Foster by email at contact@lakewater-press.com


ALL SYSTEMS DOWN PRESS RELEASE

January 2018

Author Brings to Life the Plausible Future of a Global Cyber Attack in New Thriller Series

Society is increasingly relying on the use of technology in every aspect of day-to-day life, and it’s therefore no surprise that cyber attacks are the fastest growing crime in the US. In 2016, Cybersecurity Ventures predicted that cybercrime would cost the world $6 trillion annually by 2021, including anything from damaged and stolen data to post-attack disruption.  

Oregon author and award-winning journalist, Sam Boush, leans on real-life cyber threats and society’s reliance on technological infrastructure for his upcoming novel, ALL SYSTEMS DOWN, to be published by Lakewater Press on February 8, 2018—National Internet Security Day.

Pak Han-Yong, an elite hacker with the North Korean military, is about to launch Project Sonnimne: a series of deadly viruses set to cripple Imperialist infrastructure. Brendan Chogan isn’t a hero. He’s an out-of-work parking enforcement officer trying to support his wife and children. Now, in the wake of these cyber attacks, electrical grids fail, satellites crash to earth, and the destinies of nine strangers collide in Portland, Oregon. Strangers whose survival depends upon each other’s skills and courage.

Boush, who has lived in France and Spain, says of the background to his novel: “Cyber war is real, it’s happening right now, and it’s a threat to our national security. The United States has the best offensive cyber weapons on the planet, but we’re incredibly weak on defense.

“ALL SYSTEMS DOWN is fiction, but I tried to research and understand as accurately as possible, what might happen if there were a global cyber war.

“Besides the threat of cyber war, the book looks at looming adversarial relationships with foreign nations, including North Korea, which has recently come into the media but has been a major cyber threat for several years.”

Debut novelist, Boush continues: “I’m a member of a number of professional cyber security organizations, and worked in technology for many years. But my main background for writing this book came from research, leaning on my journalism experience.

“Some of the resources I pulled from include Homeland Security’s Cyber Security Planning Guide and Richard A. Clarke’s book, Cyber War: The Next Threat to National Security and What to Do About It.

Boush’s riveting thriller, perfect for fans of Tom Clancy and described as “incredibly terrifying because of the plausibility of the rapid devolution of society,” has left early readers “prepping for the apocalypse.”

“All Systems Down is set in my hometown of Portland, Oregon. The city is thoroughly represented in the story, from the natural landmarks to the bridges to the neighborhoods.

“Even though the book is a story of global war, I tried to make it a very local story. One man trying to keep his family safe while his city and his country fall apart around him.”

Boush, whose heart belongs to Portland, Oregon where he lives with his wife and two children, is currently working on the sequel to ALL SYSTEMS DOWN. His past jobs include wildland firefighter, journalist, and owner of a mid-sized marketing agency, is a member of the Center for Internet Security, International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium, and Cloud Security Alliance.

Boush finishes by saying: “Society’s dependency on a technological infrastructure that is probably a lot frailer and more vulnerable than most people imagine. These interconnected systems could topple, and the outcome really might be as catastrophic as a fiction writer could imagine.”

The novel will be available to buy as both an e-book and paperback from Amazon and Barnes and Noble, among many other retailers.

For more information about ALL SYSTEMS DOWN, a review copy, or to interview Sam Boush, contact Kate Foster by email at contact@lakewater-press.com