Interview and giveaway: Free Pizza, by G.C. McRae

Interview and giveaway:
Free Pizza, by G.C. McRae

Book Details:
Book Title: Free Pizza by G.C. McRae
Category: Middle-Grade Fiction, 360 pages
Genre: Humorous Fiction
Publisher: MacDonald Warne Media
Release date: May 1, 2019
Tour dates: May 1 to 17, 2019
Content Rating: PG (No sex or drugs, just mild expletives such as “hell” and “damn”.)

Book Description:

Brian McSpadden is always hungry. Does he have a disease? Worms? Does it have something to do with his being adopted? He spends his days at his crazy friend Danny’s house, hoping for snacks, but nothing seems to fill the void.

Then Brian receives a mysterious birthday card that says, Free Pizza. He soon discovers the card has nothing to do with food and everything to do with the big questions in his life: where did I come from, why did my mother give me up and is there anyone out there who will like me the way I am?

To read reviews, please visit G.C. McRae’s page on iRead Book Tours.

Buy the Book:
Meet the Author:
 

G.C. McRae is the bestselling author of two young adult novels, three illustrated children’s books and a collection of original fairy tales. His writing is fall-down funny, even when the theme is darker than a coal miner’s cough. McRae reads to anybody at any time, in person or online, for free, which probably explains why he meets so many people and sells so many books.

In his latest work, Free Pizza, McRae spins the highly emotional themes from his decidedly unfunny childhood into a brilliantly comic yarn. After being given up for adoption by his teenage mom back when single girls were forced to hide unplanned pregnancies, his adoptive parents didn’t exactly keep him under the stairs but, well, let’s just say, there were spiders.

A lot has changed since then. McRae’s own children have now grown and he runs a small farm with his wife, who is herself an award-winning writer.

Connect with the Author: Website ~ Facebook ~ Twitter ~ LibraryThing

Interview

Thanks for joining us. In Free Pizza, you integrated the whole arc of an adoption reunion into an urban adventure story. How did that come about?

Free Pizza was my first novel. It was too big and complex to be publishable at first and took years to whittle down to shape. Because it was my first novel, I was still learning and I did exactly as the experts advise: write what you know. I was 25 at the time I started writing the book. I had a new baby and was right in the midst of searching for my own birth mother. I think it all got stirred into the same pot while I was writing.

Did you end up finding your own birth mother?

I did. I talked to her for the first time on the phone on my 40th birthday.

So you’d been searching for 15 years.

Actual searching, yes. Phoning, travelling, visiting graveyards in little towns, interviewing people.

What was it like talking to her for the first time?

Amazing, obviously. Her laugh just slayed me – it sounded so familiar. That experience really informed the character of Brian in the book. He meets his birth mother when he’s 12. But I tell you, during the experience, I sure felt like I was 12 again.

In writing about something so sentimental, things could have gone horribly wrong.

I know! I didn’t want the story to devolve into a big sob-fest. I tried to approach the reunion from a lot of different sides. Happiness isn’t the only emotion involved. There’s also a huge fear of renewed rejection. I hope I captured a bit of the reality of it all.

Aside from Brian, are any of the characters modelled after anyone you know?

Brian’s adoptive mother is a tame version of my own mother. His adoptive father is a complete invention, as are Danny’s parents. Danny is drawn from my friends when I was a kid, mostly my friend Claude. We got up to so much mischief as kids that my father banned me from ever seeing him again. He even got the school to keep us in separate classes all through junior high. The book is dedicated to Claude.

I was amused to discover the double meaning of the title. Could you tell our readers a bit about that?

Sure. Being twelve, Brian is hungry all the time. So when he receives a birthday card from this weird aunt that says, ‘Free Pizza’, he thinks his aunt knows of his plight and is sending him a gift card. But when he opens it, he finds it’s not a gift card at all. Instead, his aunt has donated to a fund-raiser in his name. The fund-raiser is to improve the life of a young polar bear who lives in a small enclosure in a Chinese shopping mall. The bear’s name is Pizza. So the card literally means, Free the Polar Bear Named Pizza.

The birthday card becomes quite significant. The polar bear is symbolic.

It is. The polar bear becomes a symbol of being displaced, of being alienated from your place of origin. Brian’s father makes the point that the fundraiser is useless. The arctic is melting and the polar bear can never go home again. And that’s the thing I discovered after meeting my own birth mother. She had her own big life that had nothing to do with me. There was no going home.

What’s next for you?

I’m doing a sequel to my comedy/science fiction book, Kana and the Red Pilot. Then it’s right back to writing original fairy tales.

Enter the Giveaway!
Ends May 25, 2019

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Interview and giveaway: The House of Kane

The House of Kane

The House of Kane

Book Title:  The House of Kane by Barbara Casey
Category:  Adult Fiction,  198 pages
Genre: Mystery / Suspense
Publisher:  ArcheBooks Publishing
Release date:  February 2014
Format available for review:  Print, ebook (gifted Kindle and PDF)
Will send print books:  Internationally
Tour dates: Aug 15 to 26, 2016
Content Rating: PG-13 + M (There is some light profanity.)

 

Aislinn Marchánt, a writer and editorial consultant, is hired by the major New York publishing company, Kane Publishing House, to help determine why several submissions sent to them have mysteriously disappeared only to be published later by another publisher. Are the editors at Kane simply not being diligent enough with the in-coming material, or is there something more sinister going on? Working from her West Palm Beach home, Aislinn quickly becomes involved with the House of Kane as well as with Caldwell Kane, the man who hired her.

As Aislinn works toward uncovering the various layers of truth of her former husband, her elderly neighbor, and Kane Publishing House, she continues to research her own novel, the story of a love between two people that becomes fractured because of the misunderstandings created by two different cultures. Her research takes her to a botanica where a Santerian priest reveals the truth in her own life and a destiny that is joined to that of Caldwell Kane.

Praise for The House of Kane:

Simultaneously wise and poignant, exotic and suspenseful, House of Kane is a fascinating story of loyalty, treachery and the power of destiny. With an insider’s view into the world of high stakes publishing, Barbara Casey weaves a masterful story that haunts the reader long after the final page.
Nancy Steinbeck, Author of The Other Side of Eden: Life with John Steinbeck

Barbara Casey’s House of Kane is a touchingly tender love story, set in an intrigue-riddled
publishing industry. Her characters are interesting and varied. Her story is refreshing and engagingly told. Aspiring writers will want to read House of Kane to tap her wisdom about getting into print.
John DeDakis, Former CNN Senior Copy Editor, Author of Fast Track

Buy the Book:  Amazon  ~  Barnes & Noble

INTERVIEW WITH THE AUTHOR

How did you do research for your book?

There are several things going on in my novel, The House of Kane. For one thing, it takes place against the backdrop of the publishing industry, which I pretty well had covered since I have worked in publishing as an author, editor, agent, and publisher for over 25 years. But some of the other themes, such as lightning-strike victims, Santeria, homeless veterans, and medical procedures I researched through the internet and personal interviews, and gathering statistics from published reports. The House of Kane was considered for a Pulitzer nomination the year it was published.

Which was the hardest character to write?

Clarence, or C.T., who was the homeless veteran, was probably the most difficult because of his hallucinations and other strange behavior. I have to say, though, he was also the most fun to write.

The easiest?

Aislinn, my main protagonist in the story, was the easiest to write because I could so easily identify with her with my experience as a writer and editor.

In your book you make a reference to Santeria. How did you come up with this idea?

I became familiar with Santeria when I lived in Florida and did quite a bit of research on it for another novel I was writing at the time, Shyla’s Initiative. Since the setting for The House of Kane takes place between Florida and New York, it was fitting to tie in that element to what was threatening Aislinn. Incidentally, Shyla’s Initiative won the IPPY Award.

What made you write a book about publishing?

My first book was published in 1990, and I was involved in publishing even before that. Writing is my passion, and creating a book about publishing just seemed natural. Of course, in The House of Kane, there is more going on than just publishing—romance, mystery, and the unexplained—but it is the publishing aspect that grounds the story and gives the story its focal point.

Meet the author: 

Barbara Casey 3

Originally from Carrollton, Illinois, author/agent/publisher Barbara Casey attended the University of North Carolina, N.C. State University, and N.C. Wesleyan College where she received a BA degree, summa cum laude, with a double major in English and history. In 1978 she left her position as Director of Public Relations and Vice President of Development at North Carolina Wesleyan College to write full time and develop her own manuscript evaluation and editorial service. In 1995 she established the Barbara Casey Agency and since that time has represented authors from the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan. In 2014, she became a partner with Strategic Media Books where she is involved in acquisitions and day-to-day operations and oversees book production.

Ms. Casey’s two middle-grade/young adult novels, Leilani Zan and Grandma Jock and Christabelle (James C. Winston Publishing Co., Trade Division) were both nominated for awards of excellence by the SCBWI Golden Kite Award, the National Association of University Women Literary Award and the Sir Walter Raleigh Literary Award. Shyla’s Initiative (Crossquarter Publishing Group), a contemporary adult novel (occult romance/mystery), received a 2003 Independent Publisher Book Award and also an award of special literary recognition by the Palm Beach County Cultural Council. The Coach’s Wife (ArcheBooks Publishing), also a novel for adults (contemporary/mystery), was semi-finalist for the 2005 Dana Award for Outstanding Novel and listed on the Publisher’s Best Seller List. The House of Kane (ArcheBooks Publishing), released in 2007, was considered for a Pulitzer nomination. Another contemporary novel for adults, Just Like Family, was released at Christmas 2009 when it received “Special Recognition from the 7-Eleven Corporation.” The Cadence of Gypsies, a novel written for new adults, was released in 2011 and was reviewed by the Smithsonian Institute for its List of Most Notable Books. Her novel for adults, The Gospel According to Prissy, received a 2013 Independent Publishers Book Award for Best Book in Regional Fiction. In 2016, Ms. Casey’s biography/true crime Kathryn Kelly: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly was released as well as The Wish Rider, the sequel to her young adult book The Cadence of Gypsies.

Her award-winning articles, short stories, and poetry for adults have appeared in both national and international publications including the North Carolina Christian Advocate Magazine, The New East Magazine, the Raleigh (N.C.) News and Observer, the Rocky Mount (N.C.) Sunday Telegram, Dog Fancy, ByLine, The Christian Record, Skirt! Magazine, and True Story. A thirty-minute television special which Ms. Casey wrote and coordinated was broadcast on WRAL, Channel 5, in Raleigh, North Carolina. She also received special recognition for her editorial work on the English translations of Albanian children’s stories.

Ms. Casey’s award-winning science fiction short stories for adults are featured in The Cosmic Unicorn and CrossTime science fiction anthologies. Ms. Casey’s essays and other works appear in The Chrysalis Reader, the international literary journal of the Swedenborg Foundation, 221 One-Minute Monologues from Literature (Smith and Kraus Publishers), and A Cup of Comfort (Adams Media Corporation).

Ms. Casey is a former director of BookFest of the Palm Beaches, Florida, where she served as guest author and panelist. She has served as judge for the Pathfinder Literary Awards in Palm Beach and Martin Counties, Florida, and was the Florida Regional Advisor for the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators from 1991 through 2003. She is a frequent guest lecturer at universities and writers’ conferences around the country including the SCBWI Regional Conference, the Harriett Austin Writers Conference in Athens, SIBA (Southeastern Independent Book Sellers Association), Florida Writers Association, and the University of Auburn, Montgomery. She makes her home on the top of a mountain in northwest Georgia with her husband and three dogs.

Connect with the author:Website

@iReadBookTours

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GIVEAWAY

Win one of three copies of The House of Kane
(choice of print or ebook)
One winner will also receive a $25 Amazon gift card
(open internationally)

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 iRead Book Tours

Interview with Thomas Maloney, author of The Sacred Combe

The Sacred Combe

The Sacred Combe

Author:
Thomas Maloney
Publisher:
Scribe Publications UK

UK Release date:
May 12, 2016
Pages:
304
ISBN:
9781925228298
also available as ebook
Genre:
Literary fiction

Goodreads

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I recently posted a very enthusiastic review of The Sacred Combe, so I’m totally thrilled today to post an interview with the author Thomas Maloney.
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