THE GUILLOTINE CHOICE by Michael J. Malone

THE GUILLOTINE CHOICE by Michael J. Malone

This is a must-read book by the award-winning author of crime novels (the DI Ray McBain series), poetry, and Carnegie’s Call.

Hop on over to the website where I do my fiction stuff for a review and tips about where you can get it in paperback or for your Kindle: http://lindamchenry.com/2014/05/book-review-the-guillotine-choice-by-michael-j-malone/

 

Book Review: A TASTE FOR MALICE by Michael J. Malone

A Taste for Malice is the second book in the DI Ray McBain series by Michael J. Malone.  (Blood Tears is the first and the third is scheduled for release in November 2014.)

I came up with a one word description of this book after reading the first chapter and am sticking by it now that I’ve finished the book:  brilliant.

Malone’s characters are real–with all their kindnesses, cruelties, and quirks.  And although this crime novel doesn’t have a single dead body in it, the tension continues ratcheting upward, causing you to hold your breath as you’re sure you know what’s going to happen next … only it doesn’t.

That’s it for me.  I’m going back to my original assessment:  brilliant.  You should be adding this to your summer reading list.  NOW!

Book Blurb:

DI Ray McBain is back at work and on filing duty. Desperate for something to do, a pair of old files intrigue him. In the first a woman pushes her way into a vulnerable family. The children adore her. At first. Then she has some ‘fun’, which soon becomes torture and mental cruelty. Then she disappears. Meanwhile, in Ayrshire, another young family is relieved when a stranger comes into their lives to help them out. McBain makes the link, but nobody is interested in what he has to say. Is it even the same woman?

A Taste for Malice by Michael J. Malone

ISBN:  978-1907869754

Published by Five Leaves Publications

GUEST BLOGGER: Michael J. Malone

My guest blogger today is Michael J. Malone, a Scots writer published in crime fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.  I “met” Michael several years ago through a mutual friend–just before his first novel, Blood Tears, was sold.  That book’s follow-up novel, A Taste for Malice, was recently released and my review will appear on this blog later in the week.  (Hint:  you DON’T want to miss this book … or my review!)  Without further blabbering from me, here’s Michael:

More and more authors are writing across genres.  What motivated you to do so?

There wasn’t much aforethought going on here. I just went where the ideas took me.  Something came at me as a poem. Something else as a work of fiction and something else as a piece of non-fiction.

Perhaps that’s a benefit of working with a smaller publisher? I can go with the idea, express myself, and not worry that the bean-counters will forbid me from publishing what I want.

A friend of mine did point out, however, that there are similarities with my approach to each of these areas of writing – in all of them there is a narrative. A novel speaks for itself in that regard. With the non-fiction book I was telling the story of some remarkable countrymen and women of mine. And with my poems there is more often than not some kind of story layered into the language.

It appears – bottom line –  that I’m a storyteller. Who knew?

As a writer of poetry and crime novels, tell us about the different mindsets you need to write each type of work … and what writerly approaches are similar.

With poetry I often start with pen on paper. I draft an outline and then re-draft it on to the screen, cleaning and pruning the language as I go. Then I’ll set it aside for a few hours/days/weeks – months even, before going back over it. I try not to leave it too long as the motivation for the poem can wane – as can my enthusiasm for it – and then it appears on the page as a muddle. I prefer to get it on the page as soon as I can and then worry about the editing later.

When I edit a poem I’m looking for the sense of it. Does each and every word merit its place? Would another word say it better? Does what I want to say appear on the page? Am I spelling it all out for the readers or am I trusting them to bring a little bit of themselves  to the reading? Does the poem even have a point or is it a nice piece of word play with a big fat SO WHAT running after it?

Often, it’s a sprint with a massage and ice bath afterwards. A novel, is of course a marathon and requires much more in the way of dedication, persistence, and focus. But sometimes, depending on how much writing time I have, it can feel like a whole series of sprints.

I think the part of my brain that has been exercised by looking for interesting word choices in poetry also gets a workout when I’m writing the longer pieces, but I can’t afford to be that deliberate for a stretch of 100,000+ words. I’m writing what I hope is a thrilling piece of fiction and using the right words for the job. Readers want pace – a variation in pace, to be sure – but pace all the same. And interesting word play can slow that down. There are moments of description when I will allow access to the poetic part of my brain (if I can call it that) and moments of action and dialogue when I’m aware the reader will want to race through to find out what happens.

In essence, any form of writing is all about the right words in the right order. It’s all about word choice. It’s just different combinations depending on the effect I want to create in the reader’s mind. And often that is all done by instinct. It’s only later in the editing process when I can try to assess whether or not it works.

The majority of your fans live in the U.K. but you have a following in the U.S., as well.  Do you believe readers are readers, regardless of where they live, or do you find differences that other writers might want to consider when writing for international audiences?

The only reader I have in mind as I write is me. Thinking of your audience as you write is the way madness lies. Or sub-standard work.

I remember reading and loving Angela’s Ashes. And then being deeply disappointed by the follow up, Tis. Paddy McCourt hadn’t become a poor writer overnight, it was just that he became too aware of his audience. It was like the narrator in Tis kept apologising for what he was like as a young man instead of letting the words just tell the story.

I’m not sure that answers your question. But yes, readers are readers and they like what they like. You can’t try to second guess that. Which is why I write the book I think I would want to read – and then hope that if it satisfies me it will please others.

In terms of changes in taste when it comes to books transferring across the pond, there has been enough books over the last few decades that work on both sides of the Atlantic to suggest a whole lot of similarities. And certainly from the UK side, we have been heavily influenced by popular American culture, from music, TV, film, and books – and perhaps in my own case that influence has worked its way into my style and folks in the US connect with that AND the Scottish stuff. You guys do appear to like the Scots.

What always amuses me is the changes in covers. We might like lots of the same books, but we prefer them to be dressed differently. The marketing people know what they are doing. Right?

Do you think having a twin sister has given you an edge when it comes to creating female characters?

Good question.

I remember some time ago I was commissioned to write a group of poems for a novel by Margaret Thomson Davis. Margaret told me the character whose perspective I was writing from was a young girl from a repressed background. Her mother knew she was in Art School but thought she was studying embroidery – when in fact she was falling in love with a young fireman who was posing nude in the life drawing class. In these poems, I was to highlight the sexual awakening of this young woman.

At first I was daunted. I had to get in to the mind of a young woman who was, in effect, lusting over this naked young man.  How the hell was I going to manage that? And it was while talking it over with a friend I realised that ultimately we all (men and women) want the same things – love, validation, kindness etc – but just different body parts. (The friend I was discussing this with was gay. And he just scoffed at my different body part comment.) With that thought, I was freed to write what I needed to write.

I understand that some men struggle to write from a female perspective, but equally lots of men don’t.  The thing is, I often write poems from a female point of view. Perhaps being so close to my twin sister has helped create a mindset that encourages that. She has been filling my head with her worries for as long as I can remember.  (Sorry, sis.) That’s bound to have had an effect.

What is the timeline of your future releases and where can we purchase your titles that are already in print?

The next McBain book (#3 after Blood Tears and A Taste for Malice) is still in my head and has been penciled in for release in November 2014.

I have a book coming out in February 2014 that’s a blend of fact and fiction. It is called The Guillotine Choice and it is based on the true story of an innocent young Algerian, during the French colonisation of his country. He was effectively given the choice of 25 years hard labour in Devil’s Island or to send his cousin to the guillotine. To learn more, you’ll just need to wait and read the book. The man this novel is based on led a remarkable life and I can’t wait to get the book out there.

My other books are available through all good bookshops, if you live in the UK. If you insist on using the interwebs, Foyles is a proper bookshop with good online discount: http://www.foyles.co.uk/witem/fiction-poetry/a-taste-for-malice,michael-j-malone-9781907869754

Sadly, Amazon is pretty much the only party in town when it comes to ebooks.  So, go here for my author page, which, BTW,  is seriously in need of an update:  http://www.amazon.co.uk/Michael-J-Malone/e/B009WV9V4Y/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1370197713&sr=1-2-ent

For American readers, you can buy my books from the Book Depository with your credit card … and FREE shipping:  http://www.bookdepository.com/author/Michael-J-Malone

Here’s the blurb for  A Taste for Malice …

DI Ray McBain is back at work and on filing duty. Desperate for something to do, a pair of old files intrigue him. In the first a woman pushes her way into a vulnerable family. The children adore her. At first. Then she has some ‘fun’, which soon becomes torture and mental cruelty. Then she disappears. Meanwhile, in Ayrshire, another young family is relieved when a stranger comes into their lives to help them out. McBain makes the link, but nobody is interested in what he has to say. Is it even the same woman?

Here’s an excerpt from the Undiscovered Scotland review:

“He has produced one of the more unusual detective novels we can remember reading. Most crime novels kick off with a dead body within the first few pages, and build from there. What is particularly fascinating about “A Taste for Malice” is that the story does not revolve around the tracking down of a killer or serial killer. The central story, which develops in two parallel strands that steadily converge as the book moves towards its climax, deals with something altogether less wholesome.”

Book Review: SCRATCHGRAVEL ROAD by Tricia Fields

Scratchgravel Road by Tricia Fields is a gripping mystery with enough plot twists and quirky characters to keep you reading from start to finish without coming up for air.

Why did a local woman abandon her car by the side of the road in the Texas desert … and why was her unconscious body found beside that of a dead Mexican immigrant?  Why won’t the young woman answer the questions posed by Josie Grey, the police chief of the small Texas town?  And more importantly, what caused the man’s death–and the alarming wounds found on his body that just may signal something sinister going on at the dead man’s place of employment?

As the story unfolds, the small town of Artemis, Texas is embroiled in something much bigger than whatever it is Josie Grey discovered out in the desert.  And it’s her job to figure it all out before anyone else winds up dead.

Scratchgravel Road by Tricia Fields

by Minotaur Books

ISBN 978-1-250-02136-6 (hardcover)

ISBN 978-1-250-02278-3 (eBook)

Book Review: COME HOME by Lisa Scottoline

I enjoy all of Lisa Scottline’s books but Come Home is by far one of the most emotionally wringing novels I’ve read in years.

After divorcing, pediatrician Jill Farrow has finally gotten her life back on track.  Her 13-year-old daughter Megan is happy and Jill is engaged to marry a wonderful man.  But when her former stepdaughter suddenly appears one night with the news that Jill’s ex-husband was murdered, Jill’s world is turned upside down.  Abby insists her father was murdered and enlists Jill’s help to find the killer.

Come Home combines the nail-biting tension of an expert thriller with the unbreakable ties of family.  As Jill’s obligations to her fiance, the daughter she loves, and the daughter of her heart pull her in different directions, she battles to do what is right and bring her family home.  If you’ve ever struggled with family ties and loyalty, this novel taps into all those turbulent emotions … and love.

Come Home by Lisa Scottoline

Released 04/10/2013 by St. Martin’s Press

ISBN (hardcover) 978-0312380823

ISBN (ebook) 978-1429942324

P.S.  If you click the link above to Come Home, you’ll be taken to Lisa’s website where you can read the first chapter.

Book Review: DON’T GO by Lisa Scottoline

I love emotionally-charged stories and characters who grow and evolve throughout them.  Don’t Go is a powerful story and as emotionally charged as any story I’ve read in a long time.

While Dr. Mike Scanlon is serving in Afghanistan, his wife Chloe falls victim to a fatal household accident.  Devastated, he returns home only to discover he’s a stranger to his baby girl, and the circumstances surrounding his wife’s death are not as simple as they seem.  Now, he must fight to discover the truth and to reclaim his life–and his daughter.

This novel touches on all a parents’ fears, and all the things that go through your mind when you’re dealing with a tragedy you’re woefully under-equipped to handle.  Scottoline taps into all our fears and the guilty thoughts and recriminations that keep us up at night–not to mention our tendency to avoid when life is simply too awful to bear.

Don’t Go is a must-read.

Don’t Go by Lisa Scottoline

ISBN (hardcover) 978-1-250-010070

ISBN (ebook) 978-1-250-025999

Release date April 9, 2013

Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press

 

Proof that Perseverance Pays Off

Have you ever given up on pursuing a dream because it seemed unattainable?  Or worse, quit because someone told you your dream was unrealistic?

Take a lesson from my friend, Jaclyn:  don’t give up and don’t quit.  On April 1st, and at age 83, Jaclyn is going to see her first romance novel published.  Talk about perseverance!

I first met Jaclyn  in 1989 when I joined Romance Writers of America.  She and I served on the board of directors for the New England Chapter of RWA from 1990 to 1994 and, for years, supported each other by critiquing each other’s work.  I’m SO proud of her and her accomplishments:  she’s won numerous awards for her writing and never gave up.

Her time travel romance, The Ring, will be released by Desert Breeze Publishing on 04/01/2013; here’s more info:

 

 

Book Review:  UNSAFE ACTS by Bill Kirton

Book Review: UNSAFE ACTS by Bill Kirton

Here’s another excellent Jack Carson crime novel.  Set in Scotland, this story centers around an offshore platform in the North Sea and the people who work there.  Despite the fact that Ally Baxter has a girlfriend, his co-workers decide he’s gay and murder is the consequence of their extreme views on the subject.

When another murder victim is discovered, DCI Jack Carston finds himself embroiled in a much more complicated crime than a gay-bashing.  Issues arise with a subordinate officer and disciplinary charges  result from their interactions, making the crime that much harder to resolve.

Kirton tackles a number of issues in this novel, and they’re layered craftily.  His ability to combine ugliness with compassion, and then to top it off with a sense of humor, is only one of the reasons to read this book.

Unsafe Acts  was released in February 2012 by Pfoxmoor Publishing and is available in hardcover and for Kindle (free to Prime members)

ISBN 978-1936827213

Bill Kirton was born in England but has lived most of his life in Scotland.  He’s the author of stage and radio plays, flash fiction and short stories, novels, children’s books, and how-to books for college students.   He’s been a university lecturer, actor, director, TV presenter, visiting professor and artist at the University of Rhode Island and spent a few years as a Royal Literary Fund Writing Fellow in universities in Aberdeen, Dundee and St Andrews.  (Since I live about 10 miles from URI, I’m hoping he returns!)

Book Review: DIE A STRANGER by Steve Hamilton

This was the first book I’ve read by Steve Hamilton and I can’t wait to get my hands on another.  What I liked most about this book was the realistic portrayal of the characters and the fact that on the few occasions I put it down, I kept thinking about it and how urgently I wanted to get back to it.

DIE A STRANGER is a compelling thriller that takes us along on Alex McKnight’s trek across Michigan’s upper peninsula to find his friend Vinnie.  Vinnnie, a straight-as-an-arrow and  reclusive Objibwa tribal member, suddenly disappears and is suspected of being involved in a drug delivery gone wrong that results in the death of five men.

The suspense mounts as Vinnie’s father, an ex-con who disappeared years ago, returns to the U.P. and insists on forming an alliance with McKnight to track down his only son.  Alex is beleaguered not only by the questionable motives of  Vinnie’s father but also  by the taciturn and protective residents of the nearby reservation.  As Alex and Vinnie’s father team up to uncover clue after clue, they face the very real possibility that Vinnie’s days are numbered because of his mysterious link to a drug operation on the U.P.

DIE A STRANGER by Steve Hamilton

Release date:  July 3, 2012 by Minotaur Books

ISBN:  978-0-312-64021-7

Steve Hamilton is the author of the award-winning The Lock Artist and the New York Times bestseller, Misery Bay.

 

 

 

Review: MORE FORENSICS and FICTION by D.P. Lyle, M.D.

Review: MORE FORENSICS and FICTION by D.P. Lyle, M.D.

More Forensics and Fiction:  Crime Writers’ Morbidly Curious Questions Expertly Answered is a wonderful book.  Not only does it answer the questions posed by some extremely creative crime writers, it also does some from two perspectives.  If you’re the kind of writer who wants the technical details, Lyle provides them.  But if you want an answer in English, he gives you that too.

For a fellow who’s a practicing cardiologist, teacher of forensic science classes in the criminal justice program at DeSales University, and author of many thrillers and non-fiction novels, he’s extremely generous with his time and expertise.  If you want to know about traumatic injuries or illnesses (i.e., Can nasal trauma cause my character to lose his sense of smell? or Could a doctor save an unborn child if the mother is shot and killed?), this is your book.  It’s also your book if you want to know about poisons, toxins, and how to effectively kill off a character, (i.e., Could my sleuth suspect that someone was planning a poisoning simply by seeing what he purchased at a grocery store? or Can my murderous gardener use autumn crocus to kill his victims?)

Other topics include The Police, The Crime Scene, and the Crime Lab; the Coroner, the Body, and the Autopsy; and Odds and Ends, Mostly Odds (i.e., How long could my character survive if buried alive?).

This is a straight-forward Q & A with a lot of helpful advice, from both a medical professional and a successful author.  Lyle shares questions he’s been asked by numerous authors (most of whom he identifies) in their quest for technical accuracy and then provides answers.  What I found both helpful and fascinating is that after D.P. Lyle, M.D. gave the specific answer the author wanted, Doug the author often suggested a variety of options that might work (or not) and then explained why.

Call me morbidly curious, but I found the book vastly entertaining aside from my perspective as a writer.  Even if you’re not the author of crime, mystery, or thriller novels, you’ll be fascinated by the tremendous amount of information and varying perspectives Lyle offers his readers.

D.P. Lyle, M.D. is the Macavity Award-winning author of Forensics for Dummies and has been nominated for both Edgar and Scribe awards.  He’s also been a consultant for a number of popular television series such as CSI: Miami, House, and Cold Case.  Visit Doug on his author website or at The Writer’s Forensics Blog.  His next Dub Walker thriller, Run to Ground, will be released in August.

More Forensics and Fiction – ISBN 978-1605423-94-4

Published by Medallion Press, Inc.

Released April 2012

 

Review:  BLOOD TEARS by Michael J. Malone

Review: BLOOD TEARS by Michael J. Malone

Michael J. Malone’s debut crime novel sold out its first printing within a week of being released.  Not bad.  And not the least bit surprising, either.

Blood Tears is a heartrendingly wonderful read and its protagonist, DI Ray McBain, is a flawed character you can’t help liking and identifying with.  McBain’s most recent murder case involves a victim who once worked in Bethlehem House, the Catholic orphanage in which McBain was raised.  The victim was tortured, killed, and left with wounds that clearly shout “Stigmata!”  The deeper McBain digs to uncover the killer and his motivation, the more firmly he entrenches himself in the past … and in recurring nightmares that threaten his sanity.

When McBain learns the murdered man was a pedophile, and that he’d actually worked at Bethlehem House while McBain was a resident, he withholds that information from his colleagues because he has a deep, personal, urgency to solve the case.  Unfortunately, when his colleagues discover his unprofessional behavior, they believe it has a more sinister motivation and McBain is arrested and charged with murder.  As McBain escaped jail and mounted his own investigation, I found myself not only sympathizing but also performing a lot of introspection and philosophizing.  And not just about Catholicism (into which I was born), either.

The cleverness of Malone’s dialogue and prose, along with his wit and ability to keep me turning the pages long after bedtime, make this novel a must read.

Malone’s poetry, over 200 works, has been published in Scotland and broadcast on radio to much acclaim and many awards.  His upcoming publications include a non-fiction book later this year (or is it early next year?) and the second in his McBain series.  Michael can be found  on his blog, May Contain Nuts, and as a reviewer on Crimesquad.

For those of us in the U.S. who aren’t able to hop over to Scotland to purchase the book in hardcover or on Amazon U.K., here’s a link to purchase it–shipping should take about 14 days and is free.  (P.S.  Although I was provided with an electronic Advance Reader Copy, I bought my own paperback and anxiously await its arrival.  Yep, I’m gonna read it again.)

Book Review: ICE CAP by Chris Knopf

Jackie Swaitkowski is an attorney practicing law in the Hamptons of Long Island.  Her client is accused of murdering her late husband’s uncle … and nobody wants to believe her client’s innocent.

The worst winter on record dumps endless snow on the Hamptons, which hampers our heroine’s attempts to discover who really committed the murder.  Of course, Jackie’s the only person who believes Franco Raffinni is innocent and she really has to work at it.  Also hampering her efforts to solve the mystery are members of her husband’s family and the Polish-American community in which they live, the victim’s widow, and emissaries of a local mob boss whose visits become increasingly more threatening and violent.

As a former resident of Long Island, I found myself skimming over the numerous references to the Hamptons; however, Jackie’s clever, witty, and entertaining personality MORE than made up for that minor flaw and I certainly didn’t skim anywhere else!  I laughed out loud numerous times as I read this book in one sitting.  Knopf does an excellent job writing from the perspective of his female character and I’ll be checking out more of Jackie’s adventures.

You shouldn’t miss this one.

ICE CAP by Chris Knopf

Available in hardcover on June 5, 2012 by Minotaur Books

ISBN 978-1-250-00517-5

DARK MIND by Jennifer Chase

Emily Stone is hot on the trail of an abducted child and the clues take her to the beautiful island paradise of Kauai. It doesn’t take long for her to get thrown into the middle of murder, mayhem, and conspiracies. A serial killer stalks the island, taking women in a brutal frenzy of ancient superstitions and folklore. Local cops are stumped without any clues or suspects.

Can Emily find the killer before it’s too late?

Scheduled release date: November 21, 2011

Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I1Y6V0RfvFQ

Blog: www.authorjenniferchase.com

Website: www.jenniferchase.vpweb.com

Crime Watch Blog: www.emilystonecrimewatch.wordpress.com

Book & Crime Talk: www.blogtalkradio.com/jennifer-chase

Books: Compulsion = Dead Game = Silent Partner = Screenwriting

EIKO, a new release by Kenan Brack

In this martial-arts fantasy, a young girl is raised by the assassins who killed her family. When she comes of age, she becomes their next target. Eiko follows a dangerous and fascinating journey as she grows from child to young woman, along the way experiencing a world few could understand.

Eiko was released on October 1, 2011 and is published by GrayBooks, LLC. It can be found at http://graybooks.net/aisleseatbooks/eiko.

EIKO, a new release by Kenan Black

In this martial-arts fantasy, a young girl is raised by the assassins who killed her family. When she comes of age, she becomes their next target. Eiko follows a dangerous and fascinating journey as she grows from child to young woman, along the way experiencing a world few could understand.

Eiko was released on October 1, 2011 and is published by GrayBooks, LLC. It can be found at http://graybooks.net/aisleseatbooks/eiko.

Murder on the Interstate by Jean Henry Mead

Murder on the Interstate is the third novel in Jean Henry Mead’s mystery/suspense series. The book features continuing characters Dana Logan & Sarah Cafferty, two 60-year-old amateur sleuths traveling Interstate 40 in northern Arizona in their mothorhome when they discover the body of a beautiful young woman recently shot to death in her Mercedes convertible. They soon learn that the killer is stalking them. Their murder investigation leads them into danger and they’re kidnapped by homegrown terrorists plotting to take down the government.

Murder on the Interstate has received the following blurbs and reviews:

“Careen into crime with two intrepid sleuths who outwit terrorists in a fast-paced plot taken from today’s headlines. A page turner. ”

~Carolyn Hart

“Murder on the Interstate burns rubber right out of the gate and exceeds the speed limit on every page. With all the car chases, gun shots, screeching breaks, and crashes, the movie version could be the sequel to one of those car-heist action-films. Except for the fact that the protagonists are two women approaching Medicare, and their vehicle is a motorhome. Dana and Sarah are stalwart, clever and funny characters, and author Jean Henry Mead caroms them from one tight situation to another as they weave along the Interstate and into a high stakes mystery.”

~J. Michael Orenduff, Lefty Award winning author of The Pot Thief Who Studied Einstein

“Full of surprising twists and turns, Jean Henry Mead has produced an RV adventure with her two senior sleuths in hot pursuit of a murderer, but the tables turn and the two women learn that not only are they in danger but so is our national security. An exciting mystery that will keep you turning pages.”

–F. M. Meredith, author of Angel Lost

(Murder on the Interstate is the third novel in my Logan & Cafferty mystery/suspense series.)

.Murder on the Interstate is currently available from Oak Tree Press in print and will soon appear on Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Murder-Interstate-Jean-Henry-Mead/dp/1610090144/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1305156555&sr=8-1 and at Barnes and Noble: http://my.barnesandnoble.com/communityportal/WriteReview.aspx?EAN=9781610090148

Interview with Peggy Frezon

Peggy Frezon is a freelance writer and pet enthusiast. This interview is about her writing and, if you’re interested in learning more about her “animal” side, check out her interview over at Forever Friends which appears on March 23rd..

You do a lot of freelance writing and submit work to a lot of places. Share with us what it’s like to be a freelance writer.

The best part of being a freelance writer is doing what you love, and working from home. No commute. No problem if you’re sick or just want a day off. And yes, sometimes I do work in my pajamas!

I generally write every day from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., with a break midday to take Kelly for a walk. Sometimes I write at midnight–freelancing usually means you can have a flexible schedule.

The most difficult part about being a freelance writer is the isolation. It helps to meet people with similar interests through social media, and join a few face-to-face writers’ groups and attend conferences.

Your latest book is about dieting with your dog. What sets it apart, why should we buy it, and where can we buy it?

Dieting With My Dog is unique because, sure, it’s a dieting story, but it’s also about a reciprocal relationship. When I learned that my dog was headed toward some serious medical concerns if she didn’t lose weight, I was ready to do anything to help her. The funny thing is, my doctor had given me the same warnings for myself for years, and I never took action. Kelly, however, became the motivating factor to help me face down the physical and emotional reasons for overeating (and overfeeding my dog).

This book is “for anyone who has ever loved a pet–through thick and thin.” Parents and pet parents will relate to the emotional struggles of motherhood and the empty nest.

Dieting with My Dog will be released September 15 (August 15 in the UK). You can pre-order the book now on Amazon. http://www.amazon.com/Dieting-My-Dog-Figures-Unconditional/dp/1845844068/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1295758203&sr=8-1

What did you learn while Dieting with My Dog?

Keeping fit is a lifelong challenge. Humor helps. And everything’s easier with a best friend.

What’s your take on the furor about eBooks and how they’re going to change the world of publishing?

I think it’s inevitable. I don’t own an e-reader yet, but I assume that in time I will. I love books, holding a book, turning the pages. But I am comfortable with technology and there is no use fighting it. I write for several magazines and we are constantly figuring out ways to integrate our website and Facebook pages with the print pages. Most authors today need to understand and embrace blogs, twitter, etc. to survive.

What are the addresses of your websites, blogs, and other online presences?

Peggy’s Website

Peggy’s Pet Palace

Pawsitively Pets (Guideposts website column)