Press Releases

IN THE BLOOD PRESS RELEASE

April 2016

Author Puts Powerful Women on the Fantasy Map

Epic fantasy is a genre saturated with books by men that feature strong male protagonists. But local author R.L. Martinez has shown female characters can also be powerful—and popular.

The first in the Witchbreed series, In the Blood, is a beautifully written, character-driven fantasy that recognizes how women in a pre-modern world don’t have to be on hand simply for rescue by handsome men.

In the Blood, published by Lakewater Press on March 21, 2016, tells the story of twin sisters, Ottilde and Oriabel Dominax, separated by war, but tethered by an unbreakable bond. Dreams of her witchbreed sister are visions of death and betrayal, and force prisoner-of-war Ottilde to escape her captors and race across nations and against time to save her. Oriabel has been forced to keep her healing magic a secret in times when witches are feared and punished with death. But the arrival of a new lord brings the discovery of a dark and addictive power, leading Oriabel to inevitable disaster.

Martinez says of the background to her novel: “Years ago I bought a story collection called, The Maid of the North: Feminist Folk Tales from Around the World. One of the stories in this collection, ‘The Twelve Huntsman’, captured something in my mind and would not let go.

“It was filled with such vivid action and compelling themes that my imagination fired into full roar. I soon saw that a literal retelling would become incredibly difficult given that there are twelve female characters, who all look almost identical.

“So the story kept taking very dark turns—turns into child abuse, neglect, suicide, abandonment, and public shaming. But from this quagmire of material, one of the characters emerged and outshone the rest. Ottilde. From then on, I wrote just Ottilde’s story.

Martinez, who lives in Oklahoma with her husband, two small sons, two naughty canines, and a mouse-catching cat, says: “I actually had a complete novel out of that story. But I put it aside because it was an incredibly dark book and I wasn’t sure anyone would want to read such a depressing story.

“Then, I did National Novel Writing Month for the first time and I wrote a novel called The Witch’s Bargain about a young woman who is thrust into a perilous situation when a new overlord takes over her family’s ancestral estate. This was Oriabel’s story.

“Again, I put this novel aside. When I eventually came to open the document again, I fell in love with the characters but felt that a novel confined to just one location might drag a little, so I tried to think of a way to introduce new locations into the plot.

“It was then I struck on Ottilde’s story, or at least part of it. I changed Ottilde to a tough but loving and loyal person rather than the embittered anti-hero she was. The rest…you’ll have to read the novel to find that out.”

Martinez says that In the Blood, which has been described as “right up there with Throne of Glass and The Queen of Tearling,” andPerfect for fans of Juliet Marrillier,’ has no intentional message.

“I simply want to tell a riveting story that lingers with readers long after they close the book or click off the last page.

“I’ve tried to focus on human circumstances that transcend genre, and am currently revising the second book in the series which is due out early 2017.”

Martinez’s previous publishing credits includes a collection of poems and short stories entitled Horses Won’t Stop at Whoa.

Now that her kids have both started all-day school, Martinez flings herself into the stories that constantly swirl inside her head. One of the main reasons she writes is to read books that she wishes other people were writing.

In the Blood was published on March 21 and has been a big hit with early reviewers, earning the comments: “magical and spellbinding” and “a suspenseful story of sisterly love, like none other”, and has been awarded many “richly-deserved five stars.”

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

For a review copy of In the Blood visit lakewaterpress.com

For more information about In the Blood or to interview R.L. Martinez contact Kate Foster by email at contact@lakewater-press.com

 


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