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.

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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.

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Ends May 25, 2019

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Spotlight and giveaway: Winter Frost, by Lauren Carr

Spotlight and giveaway:
Winter Frost, by Lauren Carr

Book Details:

Book Title: Winter Frost (A Chris Matheson Cold Case Mystery Book 2) by Lauren Carr
Category: Adult fiction, 290 pages
Genre: Mystery, Crime Fiction, Police Procedural, Cozy
Publisher: Acorn Book Services
Release date: January 28, 2019
Tour dates: May 1 – June 28, 2019
Content Rating: PG (It’s a murder mystery and there is mild violence. Very mild swearing no F-bombs. No on-stage sex scenes.)

Book Description:

It all started with a chance encounter in the city with Blair, his late wife.

Chris Matheson and the Geezer Squad, working under the guise of a book club, dig into the events surrounding his late wife’s supposed death halfway around the globe. A state department employee shoots himself in the back three times. A CIA operative goes missing. A woman is targeted by an international assassin three years after being declared dead in a terrorist attack overseas.

Nothing is as it seems.

In his most personal cold case, Chris fights to uncover why the state department told him that Blair, the mother of his children, had been killed when she was alive. What had she uncovered that has made her a target? Who terrified her so much that she had gone into hiding and why are they now after him?

To read reviews, please visit Lauren Carr’s page on iRead Book Tours.
Buy Winter Frost:
Meet the Author:
 

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns!

Now, Lauren has added one more hit series to her list with the Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries. Set in the quaint West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry, Ice introduces Chris Matheson, a retired FBI agent, who joins forces with other law enforcement retirees to heat up those cold cases that keep them up at night.

Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor.

Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author: Website ~ Twitter ~ Facebook ~ Instagram

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Ends July 6, 2019

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Spotlight and giveaway: The Adventures of Wilhelm

The Adventures of Wilhelm: A Rat’s Tale

Book Details:

Book Title: The Adventures of Wilhelm: A Rat’s Tale by Maria Ritter
Illustrator: Teri Rider
Category: Middle-grade Fiction, 210 pages
Genre: Children’s Fantasy
Publisher: PartnerPress
Release date: August 2018
Tour dates: March 11 to 29, 2019
Content Rating: G (This is a clean children’s book with no expletives, violence, sex or drugs.)

Book Description:

Young Wilhelm leaves home and travels the world. He not only discovers the value of different cultures and the importance of family and friendship, but he also overcomes obstacles with courage and cleverness. He returns home with deep respect for all creatures on this earth and a new sense of rat identity and purpose.

To follow the tour and read reviews, please visit Maria Ritter’s page on iRead Book Tours.

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About the Author:

Maria Ritter is a clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst in La Jolla, California. She is the author of Return to Dresden (2004), an autobiographical reflection on her childhood in Germany during and after World War II. It is a healing memoir that confronts national guilt for the Nazi past and weaves the broken pieces of loss and grief into a healing tapestry.

Connect with the author: Website

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Ends April 5, 2019

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