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/

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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/

Just Saying #Hallmark Channel

Let me first say that this blog is intended to be tongue in cheek however like all humor there is a streak of truth in it.

After watching the Hallmark Channel for years and seeing author after author I started in the industry with back in the Dell and Harlequin days end up with one of their books on the channel I just thought it would be good therapy, for me, to just say…hey, I’m here!

000

Meaning I’ve got 21 books I have the rights to and many sell well as eBooks and would make excellent stories. I’ve won screenwriting awards at several Film Festivals and even had one produced for cable and several optioned or acquired.

So here’s a Turkey Day idea for 2015.  I’ve got all the holidays and seasons covered as my editors at Dell and Harlequin pretty much had me cover the year.

Count Your Blessings

WEBSITE HOME PAGE BOOK COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS

Luke Calloway is a turkey farmer in the heartland of Iowa. He has survived the loss of his wife, and is learning to cope with a drastic change of career (from big city dentist to the owner of Wishbone Acres in the small town of Greenhaven) while raising three rambunctious sons. He’s doing an admirable job and isn’t looking for love. But that’s exactly what he finds when Darcy Carson returns to town.

Darcy Carson, a successful Los Angeles television reporter, had fled from Iowa as soon as she was able. Small towns held no appeal for her, but the glamour and excitement of Southern California certainly did. Following a suspension by the station where she’s employed, she returns home, telling herself that she’ll only stay until she wins her court case and can return to work.

But Darcy hasn’t planned on meeting Luke. She fights her attraction to him, telling herself he represents everything she ran away from. Luke, too, fights his growing love for Darcy. He knows he’s only a temporary stopover in her life, that soon she’ll return to California, breaking his heart, and those of his sons.

Neither Luke nor Darcy are prepared for the way love sweeps into their lives, changing everything.

 

Too much on the nose?  Then go to my website on the Classic Romance page and look at twenty others. By the way, some of the awards on the classic romance are rght there as well.

http://www.nightwriter93.com/Contemporary_Romance.html

So, therapy over.  Cost?  Free!  Back to writing.  More deadlines.

 

Here’s more about me and ways to connect.

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

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

Domestic Violence

October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month and is a time for every community to come together and build awareness and a movement towards safe and healthy relationships for all individuals and families. Domestic violence touches every person in our community and society as a whole; and violates a person’s dignity, safety, and basic human rights. It is something I came in contact with on a regular basis after I volunteered as a Victim’s Advocate for the cities of Northglenn and Thornton Colorado a few years ago.

The issue weighed heavily on my mind and being an author I finally put the issue front and center in an adult suspense novel, CRIES IN THE NIGHT, which was published ten days ago. One of the reviewers of the book stated it best:

“I sat and read this book in one day, which is amazing considering my hectic schedule. Ms. Clark provides an inside view into the lives of first responders. We see them at the scene of the crimes, or in the midst of emergencies, and they are the people’s heroes. But do we really know them beyond that? She provides a candid in-depth look into the chaos and confusion that is their lives, the raw emotions they deal with behind the scenes as a result of their career choices, and show us the human side of these special people, walking in a unique calling.

I fell in love with the characters, Julie and Rusty, while becoming endeared to his brothers, Chris and Sam as well. Other characters in the story that were central to the storyline are so authentic, that you actually become connected to them in a real way.

I loved the story because while it does have elements of romance, the story was not romance based. It is a contemporary fiction story, with elements of suspense to keep your adrenaline pumping, and elements of romance to keep the heat flowing from the pages. This was a professionally, well-written story, which takes a look at real life adversities of abuse victims, emergency personnel, and true life challenges from a first responders perspective.

Ms. Clark did a wonderful job of weaving a tale of intrigue, and compassion with depth, and reality. The characters are relatable, and a hidden secret from one of the characters past can derail even the best laid protection plans. Ms. Clark did not miss a beat in this romantic suspense novel.”

CRIES IN THE NIGHT 09012013

You can find CRIES IN THE NIGHT at –
• Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/CRIES-Denver-Romantic-Suspense-ebook/dp/B00FDRYCIQ/
• Barnes & Noble at http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cries-in-the-night-a-denver-after-dark-suspense-kathy-clark/1117001303?ean=2940148755203&itm=1&usri=2940148755203
• And Kobo at http://store.kobobooks.com/Search/Query?fcmedia=Book&query=1230000187051

And as far as the domestic violence issue see http://www.nnedv.org/getinvolved/dvam.html and http://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2013/09/30/presidential-proclamation-national-domestic-violence-awareness-month-201 for additional information.

Kathy’s website is at http://www.nightwriter93.com

I hope the fictionalization of a truly terrible epidemic will bring more victims to a place of taking action to change their path.  There are professionals out there that can help you today.