SPOOF!

SPOOF!

By Kathy Clark

 

It used to be people would say “it is what it is.”   But that may no longer be true.  Actually, it is getting less true every day.

REALITY ROMANCE novels are stories about real people engaged in normal activities whose lives are interrupted by the unexpected.

But what is reality in the early part of the Twenty-first Century?

In current films, for example, it is increasingly difficult to identify the parts of the movie that are real and those that are CGI (computer graphic imaging).

Today, most people glance at their phone screens and check the caller ID before answering their phone.  But few people realize that with little or no technical expertise, it’s easy to make any name and number appear as the caller ID on your phone.  Every day people get called by the police or the IRS with warnings about arrests or worse because money is owed for unpaid tickets or taxes.  But don’t send them that check.  It’s probably scammers who have misidentified themselves as authorities that you trust.  SPOOF!

Maybe you’ve received an email from someone and in fact the sender never sent the email.  SPOOF!

A newer, more complex trick is to cause someone’s geographical location as shown on their cell phone or vehicle GPS device to be somewhere it isn’t.   SPOOF!

REALITY ROMANCE is contemporary life.  In the third book of our SCANDALS series, WORST DATE EVER, an on-line dating service is hit by a spoofer.  As the incidences escalate from identity theft to murder, Tulsa and a millionaire fireman must work together to stop the hacker.  Of course, romance and mayhem follows.

Go to this link to find the best priced copy of WORST DATE EVER, book #3 from our SCANDALS Series-  www.lrd.to/worst-date-ever

Here are the first three books in the SCANDALS Series…

 

And our website has all of our books – http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com

 

There are many types of spoofing but here are a few of our favorites as they frequently show up in our Twenty-first Century news, TV shows, films, and books:

CALLER ID SPOOFING

  • Public telephone networks often provide Caller IDinformation, which includes the caller’s name and number, with each call. However, some technologies (especially in Voice over IP (VoIP) networks) allow callers to forge Caller ID information and present false names and numbers. Gateways between networks that allow such spoofing and other public networks then forward that false information.  Since spoofed calls can originate from other countries, the laws in the receiver’s country may not apply to the caller. This limits laws’ effectiveness against the use of spoofed Caller ID information to further a scam.  So next time a police officer or an IRS agent calls, don’t panic.  Unless you’re expecting the call, it’s probably not really an official.

 

eMAIL SPOOFING

  • The sender information shown in e-mails(the “From” field) can be easily spoofed. This technique is commonly used by spammers to hide the origin of their e-mails and leads to problems such as misdirected bounces (i.e. e-mail spambackscatter). E-mail address spoofing is done in a similar manner as writing a forged return address using snail mail. As long as the letter fits the protocol, (i.e. stamp, postal code) the SMTP protocol will send the message. It can be done using a mail server with telnet.

 

GPS SPOOFING

  • GPSspoofing attack attempts to deceive a GPS receiver by broadcasting counterfeit GPS signals, structured to resemble a set of normal GPS signals, or by rebroadcasting genuine signals captured elsewhere or at a different time.  A “proof-of-concept” attack was successfully performed in June, 2013, when the luxury yacht “White Rose” was misdirected with spoofed GPS signals from Monaco to the island of Rhodes by a group of aerospace engineering students from the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas in Austin. The students were aboard the yacht, allowing their spoofing equipment to gradually overpower the signal strengths of the actual GPS constellation satellites, altering the course of the yacht.

 

All of these fascinating new technologies can create great conflicts and plotlines in current literature and other forms of entertainment.  It changes every day, so if you’re a writer, be sure and do your homework.  If you’re a consumer…BEWARE.

Bottom line?  What it is isn’t what it is.

 

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You Are What You Were When

You Are What You Were When

By Kathy Clark

 

Great characters…that’s what several of our REALITY ROMANCE Blogs have been about.  What makes characters memorable and what makes people love or hate them?  They have to be real.  They have to be people you want to know or who are similar to people you already know.  Nothing kills a book faster than a character you don’t care about.  Love them or hate them, they have to make an impact.

The lead characters of most romance novels are in their early twenties to late thirties range.  But the supporting characters can be all ages, shapes, colors, and personalities.  If there wasn’t a variety, the story would be pretty one-dimensional.  You’ll see authors add babies, teenagers, parents, grand-parents, and even animals.  They all make interesting additions as long as you, the writer, makes sure that they’re consistent, real, and important to the plot.

When we were creating our Austin Heroes series, we knew the three books were to each feature one of the Archer brothers.  How do you balance a cocky DEA agent, a golden-boy Texas Ranger, and a prodigal son Homeland Security officer?  One of our favorite TV shows is Blue Bloods that each week ends with a big family dinner.  Well, we decided to adapt that meal idea to a family of alpha men who are supposed to leave their guns at the door, but almost never stop talking shop.  Who could be strong enough to counteract these powerful personalities?

Their feisty grandmother, of course.  Grammy grew up in the Sixties as a young musician turned hippie, immersed in the culture of Haight Asbury.  She still enjoys smoking pot on the porch and living on the edge of society.  What better conflict for three grandsons who have sworn to uphold the law?  One even has a drug dog who definitely has a conflict of interest every time they come for dinner at Grammy’s.

The fun part about writing Grammy was that we could make her bigger than life.  The challenging part was that we had to keep her in character and have her appropriately represent her generation.  There are plenty of Baby Boomers out there who would spot anything disingenuous or incorrect.

Equally important was when we were writing Another Chance, the third book in the series.  The premise is that Luke (the Homeland Security officer) returns home to Austin on an assignment and bumps into his high school sweetheart, Bella.  So, while not actually having two sets of characters, we had to deal with Luke and Bella as emotional teenagers and as cynical adults.  That involved going back to the Eighties and staying true to that era, as well.  Do you remember that there were no cell phones, DVDs, CDs, or internet back then?

Working with all those characters at various stages of their lives was a lot of fun.  Their lives, loves, emotions, heartbreaks, and ambitions were all woven into the plot, making a complex, but realistic view of a family.

My husband heard a wonderful speech by a man named Morris Massey, a marketing professor and sociologist.  His decades-long work is focused on values, generations, and what he calls Significant Emotional Events, or SEE’s.  Some of his most noteworthy, useful and entertaining topics include:

  • The Original Massey Tapes – 1: What You Are Is Where You Were When
  • The Original Massey Tapes – 3: What You Are Is
  • The Original Massey Tapes – 4: What You Are Is Where You See
  • What You Are Is What You Choose…So Don’t Screw It Up
  • Dancing With The Bogeyman

They tell how to make characters that are true to their backgrounds and beliefs.

Authors tell you character background by several means:

  • What their pop culture is about [music, words, films, books, art etc.]
  • Reference points [age of family members, what grade they are in school, if they are on social security or in the military are the obvious examples]
  • And the obvious clue, the author just tells you

Dr. Massey’s findings will help you create wonderful characters that are consistent with their age and upbringing.  When a senior citizen acts like a teenager or a college student dresses like a grade school kid, the reader is thrown out of the book.  These incongruities, unless there are “payoffs” later in the book, just show you didn’t do your homework and you didn’t really know your own characters.

Following are some quotes from Another Chance that illustrate our point.

“Grammy took us everywhere in that bus.  When the engine burned up for the third time just two years ago, she had it towed back to this field, then held a wake for it.  Hundreds of people came out.  It was the event of the year.”  Nick shook his head and smiled as the memory of that crazy party flashed through his mind.

“She has lots of friends?”

“Everyone from the 60s who was involved in music…that is, anyone still alive…showed up.  It was…colorful.”  Nick glanced over at Jamie.  “I have to warn you…Grammy is not a typical grandmother.”

“And this must be Harley.”  She looked down at the dog that was sitting at attention next to her, his gaze focused on her with burning intensity.  She wore a long prairie skirt and tie-dyed T-shirt with her curly steel-gray hair pulled back into a ponytail.

“Grammy, you’re killing me,” Nick said.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.”

“You’ve got a joint in your pocket, don’t you?” Nick asked.

“I might,” she admitted with an unapologetic grin.

 “I’m a DEA agent, and Harley’s a drug dog.  What are we supposed to do with you?”

“Arrest me,” Grammy challenged nonchalantly.  She leaned over and petted Harley whose concentration didn’t waiver.

“I should.  Maybe a night in jail would be good for you,” Nick retorted.

“Ha!  Like I haven’t been to jail before.”  She chuckled.  “The first time was back in ’67…or was it ’68?  Anyway, me and a bunch of other women burned our bras in the street outside The Playboy Club in San Francisco.  I haven’t worn a bra since.”

 

So what does the teaching of an expert in this field, Dr. Morris Massey, tell us?  Dr. Massey’s credentials are on line.  In his book What Works At Work (Lakewood Publications, 1988) he was cited as one of the most influential workplace experts of the time.  And to fully understand why people believe what they do and have the values they do, you have to understand where they’ve come from.

Morris Massey has described three major periods during which our values are developed.

 

The Imprint Period

Up to the age of seven, we are like sponges, absorbing everything around us and accepting much of it as true, especially when it comes from our parents. The confusion and blind belief of this period can also lead to the early formation of trauma and other deep problems. The critical thing here is to learn a sense of right and wrong, good and bad. This is a human construction which we nevertheless often assume would exist even if we were not here (which is an indication of how deeply imprinted it has become).  If parents are poor their kids often will value wealth.  If they’re jobs are a t risk and they’re unemployed the kids will value job security and when they’re older days off without pay is a significant.

 

The Modeling Period

Between the ages of eight and thirteen, we copy people, often our parents, but also other people. Rather than blind acceptance, we are trying on things like suit of clothes, to see how they feel. We may be much impressed with religion or our teachers. You may remember being particularly influenced by junior school teachers who seemed so knowledgeable—maybe even more so than your parents.

 

The Socialization Period

Between 13 and 21, we are very largely influenced by our peers. As we develop as individuals and look for ways to get away from the earlier programming, we naturally turn to people who seem more like us. Other influences at these ages include the media, especially those parts which seem to resonate with the values of our peer groups.

 

So your kids or even you at about age seven, between eight and thirteen or between thirteen and twenty one, are primary time periods that mold us.  Is it any wonder therefore that kids growing up in the fifties explained a lot about the existence of the hippies of the sixties and seventies and the push back the baby boomer generation always seemed to be doing in the sixties through to today.

 

Kind of makes you wonder what imprints kids in the early twenty-first century will value as adults.  The point of this blog?  Be sure your characters are consistent with their age and era.  Of course, not everything you know about your characters will come out on the page.  But it impacts who they are and how they will react to whatever conflicts you’re going to throw in their path.

 

Our series novels are in three different age ranges for example:

  • The young adult series, TIME SHIFTERS, is about four sixteen year olds.
  • The new adult series, SCANDALS, is about five adults age eighteen to twenty five
  • Romantic Suspense, both the Denver Heroes and Austin Heroes series, is about characters in their mid to late twenties.

 

AFTER LOVE COVER

SEX AT WORK Or LOOK WHO’S MAKING COFFEE!

 

By

Kathy Clark

 

What do Barrack Obama, Bill Gates, Elizabeth Taylor, Mark Zuckerberg, and Brad Pitt have in common?

They all had a workplace romance with one or more of their co-workers.  In Reality Romance novels, workplace romances are often central to the story.  Even Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele start out in his office…and we all know where that story ended up.

So what’s happening on the job while people are working nine-to-five?

The facts, based on surveys from Vault.com and Forbes give us facts about the reality of office romances.  Who’s doing it?  55% of women surveyed and 56% of men have been willing participants in some type of workplace relationship.  Career climbers?  Hardly.  Only 3% did so with the expectation of gaining pay, stature, or position.  That leaves 97% who did it just for fun or personal reasons.

How do these relationships start?  Why does it makes a good plot for a Reality Romance  novel?

  • 19% happened while traveling out of town
  • 12% “ran into each other” outside of work
  • 11% the relationship was sparked at a happy hour get together
  • 10% evolved after late nights at work together
  • 10% were lunch buddies first
  • 9% said it was love at first site

The survey leaves 29% who either didn’t volunteer how their workplace romance started.  On the other hand, we all know people who have had multiple office romances and therefore the above statistics may also include some double dipping, so to speak.

The survey led us to investigate further.  When sex was involved, here’s what people claimed:

  • 19% have done it on the job
  • 89% of those admitted to having been caught doing it

The conclusion must be that if you do it on the job, there is a very high chance of being caught.  Perhaps that’s part of the appeal.  Some people’s libido is heightened by danger or risk.

The breakdown statistics of where the romance takes place when on the job are not as clear.  The most common places to be discovered having sex at work were in the board room, the engineering lab, the stairwell, and the office kitchen.   Surprisingly, the breakroom was not a highly frequented place and the employee’s vehicle wasn’t mentioned.

 

By now you’ve got to be asking why?  In a word…attraction.  And there are three factors that lead to work place romances developing:

  • We gain attraction to others based on our familiarity and proximity to them. If you spend eight hours a day with a co-worker, and three waking hours with your spouse, this can give an office mate the advantage.
  • We spend one-third of our lives at work, dealing with the same clients and problems as our co-workers. Having something in common, even if it is on an impersonal level, can create the illusion of a deeper bond.
  • The average coworker comes to work well-groomed, nicely dressed and on their best behavior. Believe it or not, you are actually seeing the best of those you work with.

Before you toss all the research and surveys away, one more set of statistics.  Which businesses or industries are the most fertile, so to speak?

  • 72% in the insurance sector
  • 70% in education
  • 60% finance and banking
  • 59% manufacturing
  • 56% technology
  • 55% energy
  • 49% law
  • 49% accounting

Are there lessons to be learned by these eager office scoundrels?  Regardless of how things turned out, men and women would likely participate in another office romance, with 70% of men saying they would do it again.  While that number dips slightly among women, with only 62% saying they would pursue another workplace relationship if the option became available.  The general consensus on office romances amongst both sexes is clear.  Why not?

One major facet of on-the-job romances is the part that stretches beyond bosses and subordinates and co-workers. The workplace includes customers, be they clients, victims, or suspects.  That is real life which is what Reality Romances are all about.

On-the-job romances are a fact of life and, therefore, are juicy subjects in Reality Romances.  We’ve written and had published 14 novels since 2012.  Discounting the four YA time travel mystery romances in our Time Shifters series, here’s where our Reality Romance novels fall as regards work place romance stories –

  • Romantic Suspense, New Adult [Indie published]
    • Due Dates
      • Our heroine, Killeen Ames, discovers her new life comes with a man she can’t resist who doesn’t know the dark secrets of her past.  Doubly unfortunate, the man is a co-worker and now her boss.
    • Killer Date
      • Our hero in this second book in the series, Reno Marks, loves women…as a whole, but he’s never been in love. In fact, he doesn’t really know what it is. His love interest in this heart stopping Romancing the Stone like adventure and romance is not a co-worker but a client. I guess we’re expanding the Reality Romance genre to include customers and clients.
    • Worst Date Ever
      • Tulsa Wiggins, our heroine and smarter than smart, is forced to stake out a suspected perp by moving into his luxury apartment. The Reality Romance genre expands further to include suspects in more than one way. 

 

  • Erotic Romance [Loose Id and Indie published]
    • Master Suite
      • Together our heroine and hero explore the sensuous world of BDSM game play. Unknown to him, they work at the same medical facility.  The office romance begins.
    • Fantasy Suite
      • Alright, plain and simple, there is no office romance here. Just more of the Fantasy Island meets the Love Boat activity that takes place at the exclusive Fini Luxury Resort & Spa near Aspen, Colorado.

 

  • Romantic Suspense [Random House LLC published 3 of the 6 to date]
    • After Midnight
      • Our Denver, Colorado Cop, Sam Morgan, gets sideways with an on-the-job attacker and his “office romance” turns out to be his only clue to the killing of a fellow officer…providing he can keep her alive.
    • Cries In The Night
      • Our heroine, Julie Lawrence, is a victim’s advocate for the Denver Police Department and through her involvement of helping the people in the city experiencing their worst nightmare, she becomes involved with both the love of her life and the one who is out to end her life.
    • Deep Night
      • A deeply touching story of a woman’s profound healing, and the amazing man, her co-worker, who’s with her every step of the way.
    • After Love
      • One of most beloved characters in the last few years is DEA agent Nick Archer. His love interest, Jamie Chambers knows how to sniff out trouble but as you will see execution of a plan is harder than the plan. In this story, Jamie is neither a co-worker, boss nor subordinate. But it could be argued that he is her client as she provides him with his new K-9 partner, Harley.

 

Find all about these novels and all our books on our website at http://www.LoveRealityRomance.com and here are the links to the books mentioned in this blog.

Romantic Suspense, New Adult [Indie published]

Due Dates amzn.to/1RG22gd

Killer Date amzn.to/1VQiH6N

Worst Date Ever amzn.to/1LUTRQY

 

Erotic Romance [Loose Id and Indie published]

Master Suite amzn.to/22apRTb

Fantasy Suite amzn.to/1TAc481

 

Mainstream romantic suspense

[Random House LLC published 4 of the 6 to date]

After Midnight amzn.to/1ZGWCYs

Cries In The Night amzn.to/1ftgfBA

Deep Night amzn.to/1pFZeJu

After Love amzn.to/1RTJIq6

 

 

 

 

What just happened?

We’ve taken the time to refresh the novel blurbs for eight of our most recent books and we wanted to update everyone about this.  They should be up to date on Amazon by early Monday morning and are up to date on our web site at http://www.thethrillofsuspense.com .

Here’s the latest on our New Adult series, Scandals.

Due Dates, book #1 in the Scandals Series

DUE DATES

Killeen Ames is an overachiever.  Beautiful, smart, athletic, and living with the star quarterback of the ASU team, she has it all.

Then, in the blink of an eye, her world implodes.  Her boyfriend graduates and leaves her alone and pregnant which also puts her full-ride scholarship in jeopardy and leaves her homeless.

An unlikely inheritance gives Killeen a do-over and the freedom to choose her next step and what she wants to do about the baby.  But the new life comes with a man she can’t resist who doesn’t know the dark secrets of her past.  She realizes what’s truly important when she has to make a life or death decision.

 

Killer Date, book #2 in the Scandals Series

KILLER DATE FINAL

Reno Marks has never lived by the rules.  After he escaped from his alcoholic mother,  he moved to Vegas to become a professional magician.  Forced to live underground for a while, he sees life at its lowest level.

Reno loves women…as a whole, but he’s never been in love.  In fact, he doesn’t really know what it is.  When Jenny, a beautiful pre-school teacher, comes into his life asking for help, he is struck by an emotion he’s never felt.  Could it be love?

Unfortunately, Jenny realizes he’s a bad boy she doesn’t have time to tame.  It’s going to take Reno stepping way outside his comfort zone to convince her he’s worth saving.

 

Worst Date Ever, book #3 in the Scandals Series

WORST DATE EVER

Tulsa Wiggins was abandoned on a doorstep by her mother.  She has always been alone, whether trying to survive in a foster home or making her way in the world.  Her talent for computer technology has made her an expert in cyber security, which is perfect for a person who doesn’t know how to get along with others.

When she’s forced to move in with Cody, a super-hot fireman, Tulsa discovers how it feels to love and be loved.  But he’s a player who might also be a killer.

Can she handle the challenge of falling in love while her heart is at risk and her life is in danger?

 

Here’s the latest on our Young Adult time travel mystery romance series, Time Shifters

Change The Past, book #1 in the Time Shifters Series

TIME SHIFTERS Change The Past

Kelly Welch’s sixteenth summer was supposed to be the best ever.  Long, lazy days with her friends and her horse in Texas.  But her life changes in an instant.

Her unexpected move to Fort Myers Beach, Florida leaves her lonely and frightened.  Living with a workaholic aunt she barely knows and looking to start a school where she’s the new girl makes her anxious and unhappy.

Until she meets Scott.  He is smart and nerdy, sort of like her, and they hit it off right away.  His best friend, handsome, athletic Austin joins them on a surprise adventure back to the past and adds an unexpected complication.

The summer that began so badly becomes the most exciting and dangerous one of her life when she is faced with the dilemma of risking her own life to save someone she doesn’t even know.  Is she brave enough to risk it all…especially now that she’s felt the first promise of love?

 

TIME SHIFTERS Day At The Beach

Austin Burke lives for football.  He’s the star quarterback at South Beach High School with the bright future in college and maybe professional football.  He isn’t looking for a girlfriend, but then he meets Kelly.  She’s brave and funny and can beat him at their favorite video game.

When Austin and Kelly get together with their friends Scott and Zoey for a fun day at the beach on what they think is a deserted island, it goes wrong from the very beginning.  They are surprised to find a group of people led by a very frightening man.  As they try to find a way off the island, Austin discovers his attraction for Kelly, but he thinks she and Scott are a couple, and he won’t do anything to hurt his best friend.

But then they are attacked by a crazed criminal who is determined to leave no survivors.  The teens must work together, and Austin takes charge to attempt to bring them home safely.

 

TIME SHIFTERS Runaway Lover

Zoey Chandler is popular, beautiful, and rich.  Her most important achievement is that she is on the cheer squad.  That is, until she accidentally is swept along on a crazy adventure with Austin, Kelly, and Scott.  She discovers there is more to life than having a good hair day.

Their newest adventure takes them to a travelling circus where Zoey falls in love with a charming young man named Jesse who trains tigers.  Kelly and Austin get closer as the teens learn new jobs and experience a lifestyle very different than they’ve ever known.  But love is complicated, especially when there is a time change of almost a hundred years and Jesse is the target of a jealous killer.

If they can save him, how can Zoey make the difficult decision of whether to give up the life she knows and loves for a boy in a different time who has stolen her heart?

 

TIME SHIFTERS Forever Love

Kelly and Austin are left alone while everyone else is on vacation trips with their families.  They celebrate the Fourth of July together and grow closer than ever.

But as soon as Scott and Zoey return, the teens take off on an excursion to the past to visit the historic Stanley Hotel.  Their goal is to save a little girl named Emma from a kidnapper, but as they celebrate another Fourth of July, Kelly is swept away by her first real kiss.

The teens experience a new and hard lifestyle, all the while hoping to see if the stories about ghosts are true.  They meet a lot of interesting people, even some very famous ones, but everyone seems normal.

As they face their first defeat, they are caught by surprise when the same danger that takes Emma also threatens the teens when one of their own is captured in a killer’s web.  Will they be able to save Emma?  Or will they join her as permanent guests in the ghostly halls of The Stanley Hotel?

You don’t have to believe in ghosts…until you meet one.

 

Finally, our single title, Life’s What Happens

Life's What Happens Amazon sized

The email about the gathering popped up on Don Williams’s smart phone and he found himself obediently driving back to the small college town where events years ago shook the world and changed his life forever.  A morbid curiosity or a second look from a more mature point of view, he found himself driving up the long fraternity house driveway.  It took him longer than expected as his driving tour of the campus pulled his imagination back in time.

What happened next rocked his belief in the past and present.  The recollections of his past lovers, friends and events raced into focus and quickly overlaid the reality of now.  His ability to change the past and influence the present blurred the lines between what he knew and what he remembered and his trip consumed him.

He relived a college life that spiraled out of control in spite of his best efforts to graduate.  With everyone who mattered to him then, he mourned and celebrated the changes that have occurred since.  For college life then and now more has stayed the same than not.  LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS is their story, as each is faced with questions much more complicated than any generation past. It is about the year they turned from boys to men, and where their choices took them.

Based on actual events, this is the unwritten story of what really followed the summer that became the most famous summer ever in song and memories.

 

Please remember, all these books and all the blacklist of classic romance novels are free.  Simply leave a review on Amazon on any book and fill out the form on the first age of our website and you’ll receive your FREE book direct via email.

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LIFE’S WHAT HAPPENS; Where have you gone Michael Keaton?

Our award winning book is finishing a promo run on Amazon and is looking to move on to the BIG screen!

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Here’s the chapters and the music play list posted on Twitter, GOOGLE +  and Face Book for the last week.

Prologue “Try To Remember [The Kind Of September]” – The Sandpipers

Chapter One “It’s Your Thing” – The Isley Brothers

Chapter Two “Dizzy” – Tommy Roe

Chapter Three “I Got You Babe” – Sonny & Cher

Chapter Four “Mighty Quinn” – Manfred Mann

Chapter Five “Midnight Confessions” – The Grass Roots

Chapter Six “The Monkees Theme” – The Monkees

Chapter Seven “Tired Of Waiting” – The Kinks

Chapter Eight “Those Were The Days” Mary Hopkin

Chapter Nine “Catch The Wind” – Donovan

Chapter Ten “My Way” – Frank Sinatra

Chapter Eleven “Come Together” – The Beatles

Chapter Twelve “Time of the Season” – The Zombies

Chapter Thirteen “Leaving on a Jet Plane” – Peter, Paul and Mary

Chapter Fourteen “Everybody’s Talkin’” – Nilsson

Chapter Fifteen “Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” – Neil Sedaka

Chapter Sixteen “Day Tripper” – The Beatles

Chapter Seventeen “It Takes Two” – Kim Weston

Chapter Eighteen “Bottle of Wine” – The Fireballs

Chapter Nineteen “Bad Moon Rising” – Creedance Clearwater Revival

Chapter Twenty “Kind of a Drag” – The Buckinghams

Chapter Twenty-One “Jumping Jack Flash” – The Rolling Stones

Chapter Twenty-Two “I Heard It Through The Grapevine” – Marvin Gaye

Chapter Twenty-Three “Red Rubber Ball” – The Cyrkle

Chapter Twenty-Four “Always You” – The Sundowners

Chapter Twenty-Five “Na Na Hey Hey [Kiss Him Goodbye]” – Steam

Chapter Twenty-Six “Is That All There Is?” – Peggy Lee

Chapter Twenty-Seven “1-2-3 . . .” – Len Barry

Chapter Twenty-Eight “The Cat In The Window [The Bird In The Sky]” Petula Clark

Chapter Twenty-Nine “We Got To Get Out Of This Place” – The Animals

Chapter Thirty “This Magic Moment” – Jay and the Americans

Chapter Thirty-One “You’ve Got Your Troubles” – The Fortunes

Chapter Thirty-Two “P.S. I Love You” – The Beatles

Chapter Thirty-Three “It’s My Party” – Lesley Gore

Chapter Thirty-Four “Both Sides Now” – Judy Collins

Chapter Thirty-Five “Yesterday’s Gone” – Chad & Jeremy

Chapter Thirty-Six “Worst That Could Happen” – Brooklyn Bridge

Chapter Thirty-Seven “Reflections Of My Life” – The Marmalade

Chapter Thirty-Eight “The Fool On The Hill” – The Beatles

Chapter Thirty-Nine “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” – The Hollies

Chapter Forty “For What It’s Worth (Stop, Hey What’s That Sound)” – Buffalo Springfield

Chapter Forty-One “Good Vibrations” – The Beach Boys

Chapter Forty-Two “98.6” – Keith

Chapter Forty-Three “Up-Up And Away” – The 5th Dimension

Chapter Forty-Four “Easy Come, Easy Go” – Bobby Sherman

Chapter Forty-Five “Wouldn’t It Be Nice” – The Beach Boys

Chapter Forty-Six “Subterranean Homesick Blues” – Bob Dylan

Chapter Forty-Seven “Bridge Over Troubled Water” – Simon and Garfunkel

Chapter Forty-Eight “Something’s Burning” – Kenny Rogers and the First  Edition

Chapter Forty-Nine “One Tin Soldier” – The Original Caste

Chapter Fifty “Last Train to Clarksville” – The Monkees

Chapter Fifty-One “The Beat Goes On” – Sonny & Cher

Chapter Fifty-Two “When I Die” – Motherlode

Chapter Fifty-Three “Things We Said Today” – The Beatles

 

 

Take advantage of our Newsletter offerings and The Thrill of Suspense street team http://eepurl.com/Z5ypX  via MAIL CHIMP 

AUTHOR US NOV 2014 FINAL

AUTHOR SITE:   http://www.thethrillofsuspense.com

BLOG:  https://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/kathyclarkauthor

TWITTER:   @93nightwriter

LINKED IN:   http://www.linkedin.com/pub/bob-wernly-kathy-clark/a/357/597/

GOOGLE +:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/s/bob%20wernly

GOODREADS:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/150098.Kathy_Clark

PINTEREST:   http://www.pinterest.com/BobKat1993/

WIKIPEDIAhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

Life's What Happens Amazon sized

BEHIND THE BOOK #2: Life’s What Happens

In our first Thrill Of Suspense Blog we told you about how we’ve undertaken the publishing of a new blog series we’ve titled Behind The Book.  And while it was inspired by the VH1 Behind the Music series that focused on the music industry the Behind The Book Blog is different from Behind the Music in one major aspect.  

It isn’t about the author.  It is about the book.  For our second blog in the series we selected our single title New Adult Romance Life’s What Happens.

BEHIND THE BOOK #2:

Life’s What Happens

BEHIND THE BOOK LIFE

Life’s What Happens is a difficult book to slot into a genre.  It is a contemporary story told in flash back about college age adults who lived through the  anti-war movement in 1969 to 1970.  Is is as new adult as any new adult that takes place today but the angst suffered is way over the top.  A million people were impacted by what happened in  Washington D.C. on December 1, 1969.  The entire country learned of what that one night led to on May 4, 1970.

The story was inspired by Bob, who witnessed Kent State first hand, who asked the question would his life have been different had his draft lottery not been #98.  For that matter would the over 1,000,000 men who had their birth date capsule pulled from the glass box been different with a different lottery number.  The obvious answer unfortunately for several thousands of young men who were drafted and ended up in Nam and died. But there were hundreds of thousands more who made decisions regarding finishing college, going to college, dropping out and moving to Canada or even just changing their major so they had a chance to snare an occupational deferment to avoid the country’s most unpopular war ever.  And oh yeah…the deferments that Nixon stopped.

Life’s What Happens is a love story about everyday college kids who were part of the largest incoming college class in history and who had planned for four years the next step in their life, often times with their first true love.  How do you overlay everyday college angst, love, anti war demonstration and college shootings and military conscription into a single cohesive story?  You write Life’s What Happens. True story on top of true story on top of true story.

Before we tell you about the story here’s a retro activity that pulls on what kids today call classic rock of the mid century.  First, go to our author home page and on the lower left click on the Kent State flower child…and listen to the music that inspired the times.  Click on http://www.thethrillofsuspense.com , find her picture on the lower left of the home page and her picture below will take you there.

Girl with flower

And, assuming you buy the book be sure to listen to the recommended song at the start of every chapter.  The play list includes –

“Try To Remember [The Kind Of September]” – The Sandpipers

“It’s Your Thing” – The Isley Brothers

“Dizzy” – Tommy Roe

“I Got You Babe” – Sonny & Cher

“Mighty Quinn” – Manfred Mann

“Midnight Confessions” – The Grass Roots

“The Monkees Theme” – The Monkees

“Tired Of Waiting” – The Kinks

“Those Were The Days” – Mary Hopkin

“Catch The Wind” – Donovan

“My Way” – Frank Sinatra

“Come Together” – The Beatles

“Time of the Season” – The Zombies

“Leaving on a Jet Plane” – Peter, Paul and Mary

“Everybody’s Talkin’” – Nilsson

“Breaking Up Is Hard to Do” – Neil Sedaka

“Day Tripper” – The Beatles

“It Takes Two” – Kim Weston

“Bottle of Wine” – The Fireballs

“Bad Moon Rising” – Creedance Clearwater Revival

“Kind of a Drag” – The Buckinghams

“Jumping Jack Flash” – The Rolling Stones

“I Heard It Through The Grapevine” – Marvin Gaye

“Always You” – The Sundowners

“Na Na Hey Hey [Kiss Him Goodbye]” – Steam

“Is That All There Is?” – Peggy Lee

“1-2-3 . . .” – Len Barry

“The Cat In The Window [The Bird In The Sky]” Petula Clark

“We Got To Get Out Of This Place” – The Animals

“This Magic Moment” – Jay and the Americans

“You’ve Got Your Troubles” – The Fortunes

“P.S. I Love You” – The Beatles

“It’s My Party” – Lesley Gore

“Both Sides Now” – Judy Collins

“Yesterday’s Gone” – Chad & Jeremy

“Worst That Could Happen” – Brooklyn Bridge

“Reflections Of My Life” – The Marmalade

“The Fool On The Hill” – The Beatles

“He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” – The Hollies

“For What It’s Worth (Stop, Hey What’s That Sound)” – Buffalo Springfield

“Good Vibrations” – The Beach Boys

“98.6” – Keith

“Up-Up And Away” – The 5th Dimension

“Easy Come, Easy Go” – Bobby Sherman

“Wouldn’t It Be Nice” – The Beach Boys

“Subterranean Homesick Blues” – Bob Dylan

“Bridge Over Troubled Water” – Simon and Garfunkel

“Something’s Burning” – Kenny Rogers and the 1st Edition

“One Tin Soldier” – The Original Caste

“Last Train to Clarksville” – The Monkees

“The Beat Goes On” – Sonny & Cher

“When I Die” – Motherlode

“Things We Said Today” – The Beatles

“In My Life” – The Beatles

As side note, Steam’s song Kiss Him Goodbye was the original working title for the book.

Here’s the blurb for Life’s What Happens.

He is too young to drink (legally) but not too young to die. Don Williams is a senior at Kent State University and lives in an off-campus fraternity house. He and his girlfriend Lisa are making plans for their future after graduation when suddenly, it’s all taken away. His career, his freedom of choice and even his frat brothers who have become his family.

Life’s What Happens when you mix the hormone-fueled emotions of youth who have left home to experience the mind, mood and physical freedoms of college life with the cultural and political changes of the late 1960’s. For the brothers of Phi Psi Kappa fraternity their biggest worries should have been how to pass their classes with the least amount of studying and the greatest amount of partying and girls. Instead, they are faced with the life-and-death decision of whether they should face their fates head-on, change their plans or just run away.

It is about the year they turned from boys to men, and where their choices took them.

There have been so many amazing awesome reviews but here’s a couple from readers who just got the book and the message.

Life’s What Happens does for Kent State students what Derek Robinson’s Piece of Cake did for WWII pilots in 1939. A large cast of characters, often irreverent, teasing, hard-working and hard-playing, comes to life in the first part of the novel where students ponder what the future might bring, and threats of a draft lottery begin to loom large. The photographer, the dissector of dead cats, the poor rich guy and the newly successful poor friend, and more, live out their everyday lives against a backdrop of eateries, drink, tests and dreams. Girlfriends abound, and the relationships have that vivid teenage immediacy of indestructability and rebellion. But destruction looms large.

 

Life’s what happens encompasses the lives of a few students who were present during the Kent State University shooting in 1970. Set up on the backdrop of college campus in Ohio; the story moves further and retraces the ramifications of the Vietnam War and draft on the lives of 9 fraternity brothers and their families.

The book starts off with a prologue. Though it doesn’t capture the readers’ attention for a while, until the characters are introduced in the flashback; it sails once we get past the first few pages. Each character is so realistically portrayed by the author that it brings out life in the book. These fictional characters are in love, they joke, play ball, get angry, fight and most of all they make the readers feel that it’s all real, that they are real.

“The girls rarely lasted long in the games because the guys played for blood, and it took only a broken fingernail or a knock to the floor to discourage all but the most determined young woman.”

One of the laughable sentences giving an insight on author’s ability to create humour and entertain its readers.

“I don’t get how people wake up one day and all their feelings for someone are suddenly gone.”

A sentence I loved. Doesn’t every youngster at one point or the other goes through the same concern?
Hats off to the author for making the characters look as real as they can be in a fiction. Unlike other stories, this one starts off happily but becomes sad in the course of time; still a touching tale. The only issue being too many characters in the beginning makes it hard for the readers to catch up.

The book is a good reminder of a past tragedy which should never be forgotten. I would definitely want to see a movie adaption on it.
Worth it!

 

You can find more information about the series, books and awards through our author website, The Thrill Of Suspense, by clicking HERE.

Here’s how to acquire your own copy of Life’s What Happens or any book by Kathy Clark, a.k.a. Bob Kat, go to their store on Amazon by clicking HERE

When you finish the book please be sure to leave us a review on Amazon by clicking HERE 

Life's What Happens Amazon sized

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I’ve always been a storyteller.  I was four years old when I wrote my first one.  And yes it was self-published and I was way ahead of the trend…decades before eBooks actually. The Little Black Horse That Ran Away was self-illustrated and the entire first print run was completely sold out the day it hit the desk.  Spoiler alert here…my mother, who has since supported my career bought the first and last book in that first edition.

Years later, my first official book, with real customers, was published by Dell.  Since then, I’ve had a total of 23 novels published by Dell, Crown and Harlequin and 9 novels self-published on Amazon.com.

The freedom to be creative and experiment with ideas and genres has made self-publishing an amazing process.  I write a contemporary adult romantic suspense series called Denver After Dark, and with my husband, Bob Wernly, I write a new adult series called Scandals and a young adult series called CUL8R (See You Later).  The books from these series have been honored with numerous awards including Best Indie Book of the Year, Reader’s Favorite Award and Colorado Humanities Awards.  For a complete list of books, publishers, screenplays and awards go to my Wikipedia page by clicking HERE.

To be perfectly honest, I would rather be riding horses, sitting on a white sand beach reading a book or playing golf on a Caribbean Island with my husband than writing, but the characters in my head insist that I tell their stories, just like that little black horse so long ago.

                                             AUTHOR KATHY part way  AUTHOR BOB part way

 

LET’S STAY CONNECTED

Take advantage of our Newsletter offerings and The Thrill of Suspense street team http://eepurl.com/Z5ypX  via MAIL CHIMP

WIKIPEDIAhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

AUTHOR SITE:   http://www.thethrillofsuspense.com

BLOG:  https://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

FACEBOOK:   https://www.facebook.com/kelly.welch.cul8r

TWITTER:   @93nightwriter

LINKED IN:   http://www.linkedin.com/pub/bob-wernly-kathy-clark/a/357/597/ 

GOOGLE +:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/s/bob%20wernly

GOODREADS:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/150098.Kathy_Clark

PINTEREST:   http://www.pinterest.com/BobKat1993/

BEHIND THE BOOK #1: OMG (Oh My God), A CUL8R Time Travel Mystery/Romance

Our Thrill Of Suspense Blog has undertaken the publishing of a new blog series titled Behind The Book.

We patterned it after the idea Behind the Music, a popular television series on VH1. Behind the Music series focuses on the music industry through the story of the musical artists or groups.  They are interviewed and profiled, and they discuss how their careers became successful and what hardships they undertook to gain the respect and success that had them being featured on Behind the Music.

But the Behind The Book Blog is different from Behind the Music in one major aspect.  It isn’t about the author.  It is about the book.  And we, Bob and I, are beginning with our most recent nine books that have been published since 2012.

We hope you enjoy the story what went into each book and each series and, if you haven’t already read the book, you’ll consider doing so in the near future.

BEHIND THE BOOK #1:

OMG (Oh My God), A CUL8R Time Travel Mystery/Romance

BEHIND THE BOOK CUL8R OMG

OMG is the first book in the CUL8R (See You Later) series.  The motivation behind the entire series is pretty simple.  In the late 1990’s and early 21st century, young people, i.e. teens, were inundated with books and films where the heroes or main characters are zombies, vampires, werewolves, superheroes and other interesting, but not real people.  No one was an everyday kind of person who just goes about life and must depend on themselves and their friends to get through the crisis.  We decided we wanted our teens, while trying to do the right thing and when confronted with adversity, to outsmart, outlast, outwit and generally outdo the bad guys…without superhuman strength, fangs or magic wands.

A second element of the early 21st century was that teens have more challenges to deal with everyday.  Of course, there is always peer pressure, but the opportunities to make bad choices are greater than they’ve ever been.  Plus, there’s the overload of traditional media like television, films and music, as well as video games, all delivered at hyper-speed, aided by social media and the internet. 

We thought, what if there were real-life teens who had no super powers, and what if they were confronted with everyday kind of teen issues, and what if they had to resolve these issues, let’s say, in the past?  A fishoutofwater story where the comforts, conveniences and cleverness that teens rely on today isn’t available.  Then what?

So, imagine someone from the past is having a serious problem A problem not unlike what you see in today’s news, hear about from your friends or learn about in school.   Maybe its on Twitter, Face Book, Instagram or just an text message on your phone.

As authors, we pulled a Houdini and cast off the chains of young adult literature.  We asked ourselves, where would we go and what would we do if we had no boundaries in time or location?  The possibilities are endless.  And what if we could actually help someone and make a difference in someone’s life that would impact their future? What if what we did would even give them a future?  And what if we were teenagers, just learning about first love, independence and responsibility as we faced these sometimes life-and-death situations? 

Time travel…what a concept! 

Bob and I thought it would be great fun to create a series that allows our characters to travel back in time and see how the world was in past decades.  Oddly enough, our teenage characters usually find that clothes, cars, customs, careers, money and even food are very different, but people haven’t changed all that much over the years.

Next question was where to set the series.  Bob and I always wanted to live near the ocean and we both love Fort Myers Beach, so we decided that our characters would enjoy growing up there.  Who wouldn’t?  It also offers a stark contrast to the places they travel to, such as Estes Park, Colorado or central Texas or a deserted island. 

Oh yeah…one more unusual element of the series.  While the teens have decided there should be a set of rules to guide their travels back in time, such as not changing historical events or doing anything for personal gain, they find that everything is related and all events have a residual effect.  Plus, there are things that cannot be predicted or controlled.  Our characters are neither all good nor all bad…just like real teenagers.  But they try very hard to do the right things for the right reasons…not always with positive results.

The rest of what you need to know about the first book is in the blurb for the first book.

Three high school friends are able to do two things no one else on the planet can do . . . talk with dead people and time travel to the past.

For Kelly, it’s a major adjustment to move from the only life she has ever known in Texas to live with her aunt in Ft. Myers Beach, Florida. She quickly makes friends with her quirky next door neighbor, Scott and his best friend, Austin. In her aunt’s garage, they find a long-lost invention of Thomas Edison called “The Telephone to the Dead”. Edison had abandoned the project and given it to Kelly’s great-great-grandfather.

Scott tinkers with it until they can hear sounds coming from it. But instead of broadcasting music . . . it picks up conversations from the dead. As they slowly turn the dial they hear hundreds of sad, lonely voices of souls that have passed but apparently never moved on, pleading for help.

A teenager’s voice separates from the rest and begs for their help to clear her reputation. They are shocked to find out that she had gone to their own high school . . . 47 years ago. They research the girl’s story and discover that her name was Wendy and she had been a popular cheerleader who had apparently committed suicide.

The teens are touched by Wendy’s cries and pleas, but they have no way to go back in time to help her. That is, until Scott reveals an invention of his own . . . a time travel app. Kelly and Austin are very skeptical. Even Scott isn’t sure it will work, so they try it out on his sister’s pet turtle. Amazingly, the turtle disappears. But did it travel to the past or just wander off?

Finally, they decide to humor Scott and go along with his claims of time travel. They meet on the beach after everyone else has gone home. They stand in the formation Scott insists will create the perfect vortex for time travel. At the last moment, a fourth person runs forward and is pulled into their adventure back to 1966.

They figure out a way to get close to Wendy without her asking too many questions that they can’t answer. But as they discover the secret to her death, they find it’s not as clear-cut as it would seem. A romance gone wrong, an over-attentive teacher and a young girl’s dreams for the future are all twisted into a mystery that causes the teens to take greater risks than they could have imagined. It all becomes very real when their own lives are in danger and they realize they may never make it back to the present.

Some of the recent reader’s comments have been…

“Thoroughly enjoyed this fast paced, exciting tale. This is a great teen/youth book. I not only enjoyed the story and plot but I fell in love with the characters. You don’t see all of the teen angst that you so often see in the YA books. This group of kids actually encourage each other and affect each other positively. This story never had a dull moment.”

 

“A great ensemble cast is gathered together. Today’s high tech teens struggle, sometimes hilariously, to cope in the not-so-distant past. And pitch-perfect dialog coupled with a wonderful sense of timing make this is a really good, quick read, with fine values, exciting adventure, and even some pleasingly wise snippets of food for thought. This looks like a really fun series, and it’s well worth following.”

 

You can find more information about the series, books and awards through our author website, The Thrill Of Suspense, by clicking HERE.

Here’s the first four books in the CUL8R [See You Later] series.

00THRILL OF SUSPENSE1

Here’s how to acquire your own copy of OMG or any book by Kathy Clark, a.k.a. Bob Kat, go to their store on Amazon by clicking HERE

When you finish the book please be sure to leave us a review on Amazon by clicking HERE 

 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

I’ve always been a storyteller.  I was four years old when I wrote my first one.  And yes it was self-published and I was way ahead of the trend…decades before eBooks actually. The Little Black Horse That Ran Away was self-illustrated and the entire first print run was completely sold out the day it hit the desk.  Spoiler alert here…my mother, who has since supported my career bought the first and last book in that first edition.

Years later, my first official book, with real customers, was published by Dell.  Since then, I’ve had a total of 23 novels published by Dell, Crown and Harlequin and 9 novels self-published on Amazon.com.

The freedom to be creative and experiment with ideas and genres has made self-publishing an amazing process.  I write a contemporary adult romantic suspense series called Denver After Dark, and with my husband, Bob Wernly, I write a new adult series called Scandals and a young adult series called CUL8R (See You Later).  The books from these series have been honored with numerous awards including Best Indie Book of the Year, Reader’s Favorite Award and Colorado Humanities Awards.  For a complete list of books, publishers, screenplays and awards go to my Wikipedia page by clicking HERE.

To be perfectly honest, I would rather be riding horses, sitting on a white sand beach reading a book or playing golf on a Caribbean Island with my husband than writing, but the characters in my head insist that I tell their stories, just like that little black horse so long ago.

                                             AUTHOR KATHY part way  AUTHOR BOB part way

 

LET’S STAY CONNECTED

Take advantage of our Newsletter offerings and The Thrill of Suspense street team http://eepurl.com/Z5ypX  via MAIL CHIMP

WIKIPEDIAhttps://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Clark_(American_author)

AUTHOR SITE:   http://www.thethrillofsuspense.com

BLOG:  https://kathyclarkauthor.wordpress.com/

FACEBOOK:   https://www.facebook.com/kelly.welch.cul8r

TWITTER:   @93nightwriter

GOOGLE +:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/s/bob%20wernly

GOODREADS:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/150098.Kathy_Clark

PINTEREST:   http://www.pinterest.com/BobKat1993/