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Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Monsters behind Painted Faces


Next week, Painted Faces, my fifth novel debuts around the world!
Yesterday, I spoke about one of the important settings in the story: Budapest, Hungary.

Hungary is also a land associated with iconic horror figures. To me, horror as a genre, always alludes to classics of literature and the classic monsters of 1930s and 1940s Hollywood, specifically those of Universal.

I also hinted at one of Hungary's most famous exports, who might just scare you out of your wits...
I can now lift the curtain and reveal that it's Bela Lugosi.who portrayed Dracula in 1931.

Pumpkin and lantern on a doorstep in Budapest

It's a tradition for me to revisit the classic figures each Halloween. Visiting Budapest just a couple of days before Halloween, and seeing the beautiful ripe pumpkins sitting on the steps, brought these figures to life.

So, how exactly do Universal monsters fit into Painted Faces? Without giving too much away, I'll say that one event is based in an interesting historical detail that I uncovered in my research. In 1938, several movie theaters ran a promotion to attract attention to the Universal monsters. Sequels were in the works and the original movies of Dracula and Frankenstein were shown as double features. The promotion went further than this, though. It offered any lady brave enough to watch by herself $10!
At the time, people were fainting from the horror.

The classic monster movies are more than just a scare or a thrill, though. Their creation, in the decades following WWI, tried to interpret the horror that the world saw and the grisly injuries that men returned from the trenches with. Exploring the appeal and the ramifications of the horror genre is a component of Painted Faces.

As an interesting side note, Bram Stoker, who wrote Dracula was from Dublin and I have visited the museum about him.

Never fear. Though these allusions do fit well with Halloween, Painted Faces runs from March to August, 1938 and tells the story of a summer. We'll explore one of those summer experiences tomorrow.

Pre-order to take advantage of the special $1.99 ebook price.

My best to you all,

The Circus is in Town!


Step right up! Step right up! Be prepared for the a-maze-ing show!

The smell of sawdust. The texture of the canvas under your hand as you peek inside the tent. Your heart catches. There. It's amazing! Beautiful!

There's nothing like it. The circus is in town!

I've been discussing various elements of my upcoming novel, Painted Faces, and I promised a summer delight in this post.

Although the circus is by no means exclusive to the summer, the idea of the circus transforming a field with its color and joy is quintessentially summer to me.

In elementary school, I lived in California. I have fond memories of the circus coming to town. These were the circuses where the elephants hoisted the tents and the three rings emerged from the dust of the land. The sequins of the costumes glistened in the sun and the acts competed for attention. It was difficult to decide where to look when three engaging acts were trying to be the best spectacle.

Vivian has never been to the circus before. In the pages of Painted Faces, she encounters a traveling circus. More than just an afternoon of entertainment, the circus changes her life in a way that she won't be able to forget. While there, she'll have to face some of the biggest decisions of her life and she might just meet her biggest friend.

Vivian knows a good deal when she sees one and is sure to take advantage of it! You should too.

Yes! I want to pre-order my ebook today.

My best to you all,

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Beautiful Budapest: A Photographic Journey through an Author's Inspiration


Next week, on the 18th of July, Painted Faces, my fifth novel launches around the world! To celebrate its release, I'll be doing a number of posts on various themes and settings from the book. We begin in the east!

The banks of the Danube from Buda Castle 
Part of the story takes place in Budapest.

Budapest, Hungary, on the Danube River is an inspiring place of history, intrigue, and beauty. After visiting it in 2010, I knew that it would find itself into a story. Painted Faces became that book.
Several real locations that I visited are sprinkled throughout the story.
I'll give you a sneak peek at some of the scenes, taken from my own photographs.

Fisherman's Bastion
Matthias Church

Café Gerbeaud Exterior
The deliciousness of the iconic Café Gerbeaud is also represented. It is a favorite spot for the Strigosi siblings, Márkus and his sister Eszter. Café Gerbeaud is beautiful, with its red velvet drapes and crystal chandeliers.The cake is from one of the original recipes. The confections have been dazzling the appetites of Budapest since the mid-nineteenth century. 

Café Gerbeaud Interior

Delicious Cake at Café Gerbeaud

Inside a Private Box at the Opera House

The Opera House sets Eszter's heart racing. Just like their author did, the Strigosi siblings see a ballet there together.

Come back tomorrow, to discover a very famous Hungarian's role in Painted Faces! He might just scare you out of your wits...

Pre-order to take advantage of the special $1.99 ebook price.

And remember to claim your free preview.

My best to you all,

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Sneak Peek at the Opening Chapters of Painted Faces


What's better than a new book coming out in less than two weeks?
Getting it at a very special pre-order price, of course!
And what's even better than that?
Not having to wait any longer to read the opening chapters!
That's right. You can claim an .ebook, in whatever format you prefer, for free and get a sneak peak at the opening chapters of Painted Faces. Don't have a Kindle or an e-reader? No problem! You can claim a .pdf and read it right off the screen.

Yes, I want to start reading Painted Faces right now! Take me there. 

I'm very excited for you to discover Vivian's dreams and the secrets that lurk through Budapest and all the way to Hollywood!

My best to you all,

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Writer Wednesday: Clues into the Plot of Painted Faces


In yesterday's post, I mentioned the exciting news that Painted Faces, my fifth novel, is launching around the world on July 18th!

Would you like some clues into the plot? Check out my Pinterest board for a sneak peek behind the scenes!

Have you pre-ordered your ebook? They're available at the very special pre-order price of $1.99.

My best to you all,

Join the fun by subscribing to my newsletter! 
*The latest newsletter features a connection to the Fourth of July in Painted Faces, in a behind the scenes sneak preview.*

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Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Thrilled to Announce my Fifth Novel!

Happy Fourth of July to you! To celebrate the day, I'm announcing my fifth novel: Painted Faces. I've been hinting at it for awhile now and mentioned it in a previous interview. Now, I'm thrilled to officially announce that Painted Faces is launching around the world on July 18th!

The Fourth of July is an especially fitting day to announce Painted Faces, as it is a story about dreaming big and chasing freedom. For nineteen-year-old Vivian Harris that means trading in the farm dust of Kansas for stardust. That, at least, is her deepest hope. For two siblings in Budapest, that means seeking sanctuary and safety away from the rising tide of anti-Semitism. The year is 1938. Mystery lurks from the canvas flaps of circus tents, through the shadowy streets of Budapest, and from the silver screen. When running to her future and away from their past, only one place will do. Destination? Hollywood!

I have more exciting news! For the first time ever, the pre-order price for the ebook is only $1.99! Please note that this is a pre-order special. You can pre-order your copy here and be one of the first to read Painted Faces! As always, paperback and hardcover will also be available.


Here's the trailer!

Have a wonderful Fourth of July! Whether you're American or not, may the day encourage you to follow your dreams.

My best to you all,

Join the fun by subscribing to my newsletter! 
*The latest newsletter features another connection to the Fourth of July in Painted Faces, in a behind the scenes sneak preview.*

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