Wednesday, January 29, 2014

"INTO YOU by Riley J. Ford" Blog Tour: Author Interview & GIVEAWAY (International)

What if you could know exactly what your friends are thinking?  In Riley J. Ford's novel, INTO YOU, high school student Winter Reynolds can, but there's a catch...let's find out more about this intriguing book with the author herself.

Q. Welcome to Mina's Bookshelf, Riley! Great to have you on the blog. We would love to know more about you. Can you please introduce yourself to our readers?
A. Hello! I'm a former teacher who is now an author of five books. I'm excited to be here!

Q. Your novel, INTO YOU, is an interesting blend of humor, paranormal elements, and mystery. Would it be correct to label it as a young adult/new adult fantasy?
A. Yes, it's definitely young adult/new adult fantasy. There are some darker themes in the book, though, as the main character is able to read people's thoughts when she kisses them. Because of some of the things she's able to see, some of which aren't for the faint of heart, I would recommend that the reading age be 16+.

Q. How did the idea of a 'gifted', teen-age central character come into being?
A. I was thinking about how I wanted to write a teen paranormal, and the idea of being able to read people's minds has always intrigued me. I threw in the unique twist of the paranormal element (mind reading) occurring when a teen girl kisses someone, and voila! INTO YOU was born.

Q. Teen literature has been feeding Hollywood with a goldmine of blockbuster ideas in recent years (see Meyer, Rowling, Clare, and Colllins). They mostly turned into wildly popular franchises.  Do you have a favorite book remake? If INTO YOU was adapted for the screen, how would you envision it, as a movie feature or tv series?
A. My favorite teen book made into a movie was Ella Enchanted. I thought it was done in such a clever way, and in some ways, I liked the movie even more than the book!
I think INTO YOU could work well for both film or TV, but because I have two more sequels planned in the series, a TV series might be a better fit.

Q. I believe in the importance of first impressions, also when it comes to books. After all, the cover is the first thing that meets the eye. INTO YOU cover artwork surely catches the attention. Was the cover theme entirely your choice?
A. Ha, ha! Glad the book cover caught your attention! That was my entire intention with this cover. I wanted it to be eye-catching, and it certainly does the trick. Now that the book is successful and doesn't need to "stand out from the pack" as much. I've had suggestions to remake the book cover into something more mainstream. But I love that it's offbeat, and love it or hate it, it definitely makes you take a second look. And that, in my opinion, is a good thing.

Q. Twitter style (140 characters or less), who should read INTO YOU and why?
A. Anyone who loves unique books and is curious about what makes people tick.

Q. Riley, you are also the author of a series of romantic comedies, CARPE DiEMILY. Can we expect any more installments?
A. Absolutely! Due to high reader demand, I've moved up the next installment of CARPE DiEMILY to next month. People absolutely love this series, and I get emails everyday from readers telling me how much they enjoyed these books and how much they made them laugh. As an author, it doesn't get better than that! I'm excited to release the sequel, which has many more crazy adventures in store for all the characters my readers have come to love so much. That series has been compared to the movie Bridesmaids, so anyone who likes that kind of humor is bound to enjoy CARPE DiEMILY. I've also had readers tell me they want to see a series about Simone, Emily's best friend, so I've obliged! Simone' s very own series will be out within the next two months.

Q. You have covered three different genres so far: comedy, fantasy, and romance. Which one do you favor and why? 
A. I love writing in all genres. I can't choose just one. I just love to write good stories! Besides romantic comedy and young adult humorous mysteries, I also recently released a thriller/horror called CIRCUS OF LOST SOULS, which is in a completely different genre
 from my other books. Here's the book description:

Cirque du Lune is killing off teenagers, but it's all part of the act. Or is it? As the body count rises with each performance, one girl at this infamous theater-based summer finds herself contemplating what's real and what's not. What if it's not a horror show, but a live snuff performance perpetrated by real-life, famous serial killers? What if the murders..are real?

Q. Last question, totally random...if you could be a literary genre, a book,  or a character from a book, what/who would you be? 
A. Definitely romantic comedy. I see humor in everything. Plus I like to play practical jokes. My hubby thinks I am wacky, but that's ok. He loves me anyway, even though he thinks I'm absolutely silly (he's a math-and-science kind of guy - you know, very straightlaced). At least my kids get my humor - they're nutty and creative as I am - LOL! Poor hubby, he's definitely outnumbered. Every year we paint his soap green in honor of St. Patrick's Day (we're part Irish). Last year, poor guy was so tired and didn't have his glasses on (he's blind as a bat), so he didn't realize his face was green until he saw himself in the mirror: a big, fuzzy, green blob peering back at him! The kids and I howled with laughter. Yep, that's what life is like around here! :D Definitely filled with humor. 

There's never a dull moment in the life of a writer and her family! Riley J. Ford is the living proof of that. Thank you so much for the pleasant chat, Riley! Best of luck with all your upcoming projects. We'll keep an eye on them. To all our friends, thank you for reading. Stick around for few more details about INTO YOU, Riley, and a GIVEAWAY.

YES, A INT'L GIVEAWAY!!! Riley J. Ford is graciously offering an e-copy of INTO YOU to a lucky follower of this blog. The contest is open to all countries. Comment below for a chance to win: would you like to be able to read people's minds? 

About the book
Createspace, July 2nd 2012
Mystery, Paranormal, New Adult, Young Adult
Print & ebook, 252 pages

What if you could know exactly what your friends are thinking? High school student Winter Reynolds can, but there's a catch...

She can only read people's thoughts when she's kissing them.

When a member of the track team is murdered, Winter has an opportunity to use her special ability to find the killer. Trouble is, kissing everyone on the track team isn't such a good idea when you have a new boyfriend. Talk about complications!

Should Winter persevere using her secret power to catch the murderer still in their midst, even if it means risking her relationship with her one true love?

Disclaimer: Mild profanity and a graphic murder scene. While humorous, this book also explores the underbelly of teen life. May not be suitable for younger teens.

About the author
Riley J. Ford is a graduate of UCLA with a degree in English. After teaching at both the high school and college levels for a number of years, she turned to writing full-time. Her non-fiction books are used in college classrooms around the country, and her essays have been featured on such websites as
She is the author of three fiction books, INTO YOU, a young adult mystery, CARPE DiEMILY, a romantic comedy caper, and FIFTY SHADES OF FIFTY SHADES OF GREY, a satire. She enjoys running with the bulls in Pamplona and downhill skiing in her free time.
Riley J. Ford is the WINNER of Blogger Book Fair Reader’s Choice Award, Humor Category
Follow the Tour
So Many Precious books Jan 14 Spotlight & Giveaway

Reader’s Muse Jan 15 Review

Deal Sharing Aunt Jan 16 Review

Giveaways & Glitter Jan 20 Review & Giveaway
Rebecca’s Writing Jan 22 Spotlight

WTF Are You Reading Jan 23 Review (postponed)

Sweet Southern Home Jan 24 Review

Bookbabble (on Read On) Jan 25 Web TV Show Feature (postponed)

Sweeps for Bloggers Jan 27 Review & Giveaway

Hide The Matches Jan 28 Review

Mina’s Bookshelf Jan 29 Interview & Giveaway

Voracious Reader Jan 30 Review

Heck of a Bunch Jan 31 Review & Giveaway

Rebecca’s Writing Mini Interview Feb 3

Friday, January 24, 2014

'THE VISION OF THE BLIND KING' Blog Tour: Guest Post by Ako Eyong

Ako Eyong

As an author of fiction, I think that time travel will always fascinate me.  And I am sure that I am not the only one. The concept of time travel goes beyond books and writing. It exists in the conscious and subconscious levels of the human mind so that it is common to find ourselves as individuals speeding through time, as we look at the big picture of existence,  sometimes  in a bid to situate our exact position within the vastness of universal existence.   

It is a train of thought that will easily unleash the imagination and send it flying through time and space, as we try to fathom some of the shadowy events of the distant past, that we suspect, have somehow led to ‘us’ being here. And this mental exercise is not limited to the past alone. Science fiction movies will frequently delve into the future, to create  scenarios of what life will be, even though little or none of these created scenes can be verified. Knowing fully well that to be the case, we still hold onto our penchant for visualizing occurrences from the most distant worlds, if only vicariously, through our imagination.

 Melenoc, from THE VISION OF THE BLIND KING is a character wrought from that world. He is a man who has experienced historical events of the ancient past, yet he is still present in the flesh, living on in the contemporary world. How did he manage that? He does not have the ability to squeeze himself into alternate dimensions that speed him forward or backward into different eras. Neither does he have the help of some futuristic device that Jules Verne could have construed.  He has achieved this by simply finding a way to cheat death and stay alive. In fact, he has lived for four thousand years. He has traveled through four thousand years of time and space, so to speak.

As I work with Melenoc, using him to explore the distant past, I am fascinated by him. His unending drive to achieve a bizarre dream, as he goes through many years of time, make him the ideal vehicle through which I explore some of most fundamental philosophical issues raised by man.  And it is interesting because, although I created him, I do not know half the places Melenoc has been to, or the things he has done. Not to mention the aliases he’s had to use over the ages, - all the people, both famous and infamous, who’d been but a front for him. 

At best Melenoc is a mysterious fellow, driven by an intensity that has propelled him through history in a way that cannot be logically explained.  Does it have anything to do with his exaggerated fascination with Time? He travels through it, guided by an uncommon determination to find an amulet that may have been meant to serve his sinister purposes.  The very long journey makes Melenoc the ultimate fictional vehicle through which I travel through time as an author of fiction, highlighting events, Ideas, and thoughts that I believe have always been, and will always be important to humanity. He allows me to do something which cannot be achieved in the real world. The beauty of fiction. 

Ako Eyong
Literary Historical Fiction
Paperback, 354 pages; Published by Ako Eyong, February 2013

A people find themselves caught in a web of circumstances that push them to question the most fundamental beliefs about existence. It is a time of distrust, confusion, and uncertainty, -a time when loyalties are questioned and love is challenged. News that a powerful foreign enemy has its army on the march will quickly complicate an already complex situation, exposing fault lines that accentuate the stakes into a drawn out debacle between survival and extinction. As the people fight back to undo the tightening vise, it never dawns on them that their predicament could be a function of one man's infatuation with Time.

Vision Of a Blind King Web Tour Schedule

So Many Precious Books Jan 13   Review, Video,  &Giveaway
Deal Sharing Aunt Jan14 Review
The News In Books Jan 15 Review
The News In Books  Jan 16 Guest Post
Cuzinlogic Jan 20 Review
Most Happy Reader Jan 21 Review
Most Happy Reader Jan 22 Interview
Sweeps 4 Bloggers Jan 23 Review & Giveaway
Mina's Bookshelf Jan 24 Guest Post

Thursday, January 23, 2014

'STORYTELLING:The Indispensable Art Of Entrepreneurism' Blog Tour: Guest Post by Author Rudy Mazzocchi



Rudy Mazzocchi

Making the leap from writing two novels that are based on ‘true events’, to this non-fiction book was not too difficult. Given my 25+ years of experience as an entrepreneur, starting over a dozen technology companies, I’ve accumulated a great deal of enticing material for both fiction and non-fiction manuscripts.

My debut novel, EQUITY of EVIL, was fortunate enough to receive multiple literary awards that not only gave me the initiative and encouragement to continue writing, but it also started building brand recognition for this unknown new author. The systems were then in place to support a second novel in what is now known as The EQUITY Series; including a literary agent, publisher, several professional editors, publicists, and (soon) a screenwriter.

My day job as a start-up CEO has also provided a few awards along the way, including numerous Entrepreneur and Businessman of the Year Awards. Most recently I was nominated for a second prestigious Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award about the same time I was given the 2013 Global Entrepreneur of the Year Award by the Intelligence Business Group. As I was patting myself on the back in front of the Ernst & Young judges, they pressed me hard for an explanation of my business success. Without any formal business or finance training, it was a difficult question for me to answer. It wasn’t until they made the connection to my award-winning novels did I spew out an answer… “It’s all about telling the proper story to the appropriate audience.”

These judges scratched their head over my answer as I continued to elaborate on how I construct my stories surrounding new medical discoveries and how and when the story evolves based on not only the timing of the new venture, but the audience as well. My stories have all the essential elements of any good story; the necessary components to hook and hold an audience… and more importantly, a compelling message that makes a particular audience want to join me for the rest of the journey.

These judges then asked – and it was a strong ask – that I consider writing a book on the topic which they would promote as part of their entrepreneurial program. While writing this book, it became evident that this is a topic not taught in business/entrepreneurism programs in universities or colleges. (We are now in communication with over two dozen such schools who are considering making this book mandatory reading in their curriculums.)

Blending Fiction with Non-Fiction

By design, I wanted to write a business book that reads like fiction. There are too many dry “how-to” books out there and the last thing the world needs is another chest-thumping author bragging about his success. So, I used my fiction writing skills to tell a real-life tale about the good, bad and ugly of how storytelling can mean the difference between success and failure. It will make you laugh, and if you’re a sap like me… it will also make you cry.

Therefore, you’ll discover that this book is not just for wannabe or seasoned entrepreneurs, it’s designed for everyone and anyone who needs to “tell a story”. The theme throughout the book is also inspired by one of my favorite stories, The Wizard of Oz. I’ve always related to Dorothy’s journey, the importance of staying on the yellow brick road, the stories she told along the way to convince others to join her, and good and evil she had to endure. Even the cover of this book, STORYTELLING, reveals the importance of staying on that ‘yellow brick road’ and how to avoid those damn flying monkeys. I just hope my readers find the numerous nuggets throughout the book as inspiring as well!

About the author

Rudy Mazzocchi is best known as a medical device and biotechnology entrepreneur, inventor, and angel investor, with a history of starting new technology ventures throughout the U.S. and Europe. He's been privileged to have the opportunity to see the newest innovations in healthcare and work with some of the most brilliant researchers, scientists and physicians in the industry.
Authoring more than 50 patents, he has helped pioneer new companies involved in cardiology, oncology, orthopedics, neurosurgery and even embryonic stem-cell development. Through these efforts, he has become the recipient of many technology and business awards, including the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award in Healthcare (2004), Businessman of the Year Award (2005), and Global Entrepreneur of the Year Award (2013).
Combining these experiences and opportunities, with thousands of hours of travel and long evenings in hotel rooms, he found the initiative to start writing a collection of award-winning business/medical thrillers based on true events, known as The EQUITY Series. STORYTELLING was his debut non-fiction business book released in November 2013.
Visit his website at, Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads pages.

About the book

The value of any new venture or sound new idea needs to be developed out of the nothingness of silence, ignorance and darkness. It ignites and illuminates the world only when the great storytelling entrepreneur lights the flame. “STORYTELLING: The Indispensable Art of the Entrepreneur” shows, with startling clarity and practical know-how, the process by which wealth and other things of exceptional value can emerge into the world literally out of nothing—nothing, that is, but the Art of Storytelling.

STORYTELLING takes you on a journey which reveals how the development, progressive modification and adaptation of your story is the golden thread and foundational core management practice which ties together all the others:  building, focusing and motivating your management team, navigating through troubled times or excessive growth, maintaining positive momentum with investors and Boards of Directors and positioning the venture for a potential exit.

Award-winning author and entrepreneur, Rudy Mazzocchi, exposes his greatest secret of success and provides an enormous amount of “experienced-based” illustrations and nuts-and-bolts practical advice. He reveals how to create and evolve the story of your new venture in a way that energizes and breathes life into what may have started out as just an idea.

Everyone can benefit greatly from reading this book—whether or not you envision yourself as an entrepreneur. STORYTELLING: The Indispensable Art of the Entrepreneur applies universally to ventures of all types and is an essential element in the fulfillment of any dream—dreams which depend upon capturing the interest and sustaining the highly-motivated commitment of others.