Spotlight & Author Interview: The Bones of Amoret + Giveaway


Join Us for This Tour:  May 2 to May 13



Book TitleThe Bones of Amoret – A Novel by Arthur Herbert
Category:  Adult Fiction 18+, 320 pages

Length:  10 hours, 59 minutes
Genre: Mystery, Suspense
Publisher:  Stitched Smile Publications
Release Date: April 2022
Content Rating:  PG-13 – no sex, explicit or otherwise; almost all violence is off-screen; mild profanity
In this enigmatic follow up to his critically acclaimed debut novel The Cuts that Cure, Arthur Herbert returns to the Texas-Mexico border with this saga of a small town’s bloody loss of innocence.

Amoret, Texas, 1982. Life along the border is harsh, but in a world where cultures work together to carve a living from the desert
landscape, Blaine Beckett lives a life of isolation. A transplanted Boston intellectual, for twenty years locals have viewed him as a snob, a misanthrope, an outsider. He seems content to stand apart until one night when he vanishes into thin air amid signs of foul play.

Noah Grady, the town doctor, is a charming and popular good ol’ boy. He’s also a keeper of secrets, both the town’s and his own. He watches from afar as the mystery of Blaine’s disappearance unravels and rumors fly. Were the incipient cartels responsible? Was it a local with a grudge? Or did Blaine himself orchestrate his own disappearance? Then the unthinkable happens, and Noah begins to realize he’s considered a suspect.

Paced like a lit fuse and full of dizzying plot twists, The Bones of Amoret is a riveting whodunit that will keep you guessing all the way to its shocking conclusion. ​ 

Amazon ~ Audible

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Author Interview

How much of your own personality do you share with your characters?

In both of my first two books, the main characters are exaggerated versions of me.

In 2012, I dealt with a career-threatening case of burnout. I had a boss at the time who rewarded my professional success with more work disguised as opportunities. When my crash and burn came, I went back and looked and realized that I had gone to the hospital or office for 89 straight days, either to work at the hospital or to work on administrative duties or my research. Weekends and holidays were spent playing catch up all day and night instead of relaxing and recharging, and I hadn’t taken a vacation that didn’t have a work component in seven years. When you don’t know how to say the words, “I can’t take that on, I’m too busy,” and throw in a supervisor who treated young faculty members like cannon fodder, figuring that when they flame out and leave he could always just go get another one and plug them in to the vacant spot, that’s a bad combination. I managed to get my head screwed back on straight by learning how to say “no” to requests for my time, and by cutting myself some slack. In my debut novel, The Cuts that Cure, the main character Alex is also a surgeon who deals with these issues, but handles them in…well, I’ll just say a less constructive manner.

In The Bones of Amoret, the main character is a retired doctor in his eighties who’s being interviewed about some events that happened in 1982. He’s gregarious and grounded, full of wit and charm as he interrupts himself with asides about this or that character or series of events. My wife Amy says that’s exactly who I’m going to be at that age. She’s not wrong.

Do you start with plot or characters?

For both of my novels, I had the beginning and the end of the story in my head and a couple of milestones that I figured I’d want to hit along the way. Then I just started telling the stories and leaving it to my imagination to fill in the gaps. I trust the process enough that when it seems like the story wants to go in a different direction I allow it to do so.

I was gratified to find that Stephen King does the same. As an example, I read where Stephen King started Misery thinking it would be a short story or novella, and that he envisioned the ending to be a pan-in on Annie Wilkes hunched over a battered Underwood typewriter trying to mimic Paul Sheldon’s prose so as to keep the Misery character’s story line alive. Meanwhile, the reader’s attention would be drawn to a lampshade next to her that turned out to be made of Paul’s skin. As he got further and further into the story, though he says that Paul Sheldon turned out to be more resourceful than King had originally anticipated, and the story went the way that we all know and love instead.

What surprised you most about the publishing experience?

Easily the thrill I get when fans reach out to me. Every writer has nagging worries in the beginning that all their efforts, the hours and hours that go into writing a novel, are only going to result in a project that never makes it outside their immediate circle of friends and family. I heard Sylvester Stallone once say he was worried at the time he was making Rambo that it was going to be the world’s most expensive home movie. I can absolutely relate to that, and frankly if that’s where things had stopped after the first book I don’t know that I would have followed up with a second. But with the commercial success of The Cuts that Cure, I’m happy to say that it seems I’m slowly chipping away at building a following among the general reading public. And when I get an email from a stranger, somebody who took the time to sit down and drop me a quick note saying how much they enjoyed this thing I yanked out of my brain, it’s just really, really gratifying in a way I wouldn’t have predicted at the outset.

What are the best and worst pieces of advice you’ve gotten about writing?

Hands down, the best piece of advice I’ve gotten is to write every day. It’s like a muscle, and if you don’t exercise it, your writing will suffer. I still have to do lots of scientific, expository writing for my day job (last time I checked I have 117 peer-reviewed scientific publications and about a dozen medical book chapters) so the writing I’m referencing doesn’t always get to be fiction, but it’s rare that a day goes by without my working on one or the other. I do set goals for my fiction writing, though, and I usually try really hard to hit 5000 words a week. Hitting that goal is aspirational, and it isn’t always easy. Witness the fact that as I’m writing this it’s a Saturday morning and I’ve been working on book stuff since 4:30 am. The difference between working on things like this interview, though, and the old days when I spent my days off at the office catching up on, say, an overdue policy statement for the Hospital ad hoc Committee for Prevention of Ventilator Associated Pneumonia in the ICU is that I actually find this to be a source of enjoyment and relaxation.

The worst advice I’ve gotten is about marketing free materials. Many if not most of the advice one will get on book marketing in 2022 concerns the use of “reader magnets,” i.e. those giveaways in which you give a book to a reader for free in return for their subscribing to your mailing list. I did so aggressively at first, accruing well over 2000 emails on my subscriber list at one point. I was disappointed to find, though, that those names rarely translated to sales when the novels were subsequently released. I had much more success when I just gave the book away with no mandatory email sign up so that there were no expectations on either my part or that of the reader. Then, at the end of the free book, I just included a note saying, hey, if you liked this book feel free to sign up at the link to get my newsletter. I’ve found that those nonmandatory sign ups are much, much “stickier” (to use a marketing phrase). If you’d like a free copy of my collection of short stories called Lockdown, CLICK HERE to see what I’m talking about.

Meet the Author:

Arthur Herbert was born and raised in small town Texas. He worked on offshore oil rigs, as a bartender, a landscaper at a trailer park, and as a social worker before going to medical school. He chose to do a residency in general surgery, followed by a fellowship in critical care and trauma surgery. For the last eighteen years, he’s worked as a trauma and burn surgeon, operating on all ages of injured patients. He continues to run a thriving practice.

He’s won multiple awards for his scientific writing, and his first novel, The Cuts that Cure, spent ten days as an Amazon #1 Best Seller. His second novel, The Bones of Amoret, will be released on April 1, 2022 through Stitched Smile Publishers. Arthur currently lives in New Orleans, with his wife Amy and their dogs.

connect with the author: website twitter facebook ~ goodreads

Tour Schedule:

May 2 –
Mystery Review Crew – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway

May 3 – Kam’s Place – book spotlight
May 3 – Cover Lover Book Review – audiobook review / giveaway
May 4 – Book Corner News and Reviews – book spotlight / guest post / giveaway
May 5 – Sadie’s Spotlight – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 5 – Deborah-Zenha Adams – book spotlight / author interview / giveaway
May 6 – Books for Books – audiobook review 
May 9 – Amy’s Bookshelf Reviews – audiobook review
May 9 – Novels Alive – audiobook review / giveaway
May 10 – Splashes of Joy – audiobook review / giveaway
May 11 – Booking With Janelle – audiobook review / author interview / giveaway
May 11 – Bound 4 Escape – audiobook review / giveaway
May 12 – @twilight_reader – audiobook review / giveaway
May 13 – Bigreadersite – audiobook review / giveaway
May 13 – Faith and Books – audiobook review / giveaway
TBD –Dab of Darkness Audiobook Reviews – audiobook review / author interview / giveaway
TBD – Rockin’ Book Reviews – audiobook review / guest post / giveaway

BONES OF AMORET Audiobook Tour Giveaway


Spotlight: Sally’s Magic River, by H. Franks Gaertner

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Welcome to the book tour for Sally’s Magic River by H. Frank Gaetner. Read on for more info!

Sally's Magic River

Sally’s Magic River
by H. Franks Gaertner
Publication Date: July 26th, 2021
Genre: YA Fantasy

Sally and the Magic River is a magical story of a young girl’s triumph over extreme adversity. Its various scenes are meant to evoke powerful, mental images with parallels to movies such as “The Wizard of Oz”, “Peter Pan”, “The River Wild” and “Gravity”.

It’s fascinating how one’s tragedy can turn into a defining moment. A single misfortune can fuel your desire to be better and ignites your vision. This is what Sally experienced. THIS IS WHAT WE NEED TO EXPERIENCE.

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The Hyundai Elantra looked like it had been in a demolition derby. Its jacked-up, deranged occupants had just robbed a Canejo Valley liquor store. The store’s burglar alarm brought cops to the scene in time to see the getaway vehicle disappear into a nearby residential area. A cacophony of bullhorns, racing engines and squealing tires pursued the menace through a crosshatched neighborhood of caromed parked cars, flattened hedges and trenched yards. The police were about to trap the intruder when it bolted onto Lynn Road and headed west toward the Ventura-Freeway and an off-ramp crowded with biotechnologists on their workday morning commute from Agoura Hills and Westlake Village. And it’s here, at this exit, where fate decided to have its way. Determined to escape, the disaster on wheels took the only way out, the wrong way.

Meanwhile, a mother and her ten-year-old daughter were traveling north from their home in Beverly Hills. The girl sat straining forward in the front seat of her family’s classic Fleetwood-Brougham Cadillac anxiously anticipating a visit with her grandfather, a citrus rancher

in the Santa Clara River Valley. Dad was away on business, so the two “women of the house” were on their own. The ten-year old was very fond of her grandfather, and enjoyed helping him in his workshop where he now spent most of his day making beautiful mahogany and ash C1 racing canoes. Such special moments with her grandfather and the solitude of the groves were the main things, but there was also one other thing, the enchanting and unpredictable Santa Clara River with its flood-plain sanctuary of rabbits, squirrels, coyotes, crows, and geese.

The mother knew her precocious daughter was more than ready to arrive at their intended destination. The child’s upturned nose, imp-like smile, and bright green eyes made her look like a pixie imitating a race horse waiting for its starting gate to open. Earlier that morning she had wasted no time. She inhaled her breakfast, set her auburn hair in pigtails, and threw on a red checkered shirt, overalls, and hiking boots to certify that she was ready to “work” on the ranch as soon as they arrived. So, as fate would have it, the two travelers were buckled into the family’s mega Cadillac by 7:30 am, and by 8:10 were entering that portion of the Ventura Freeway that passes through the city of Thousand Oaks.

Already scarred and now re-scarred by numerous glancing blows from its previous neighborhood chase and its reckless game of chicken up the off-ramp, the erratically driven wreck shot onto the freeway directly into the path of oncoming commuter traffic. Gaining speed to over ninety miles per hour, the motorists’ worst nightmare crossed four lanes of traffic and, since miracles do happen, managed to reach the emergency shoulder adjoining the center divider. Seconds later, threading its way between oncoming traffic and the center divider, it successfully arrived at the freeway’s next exit, the Moorpark Road underpass. But with its luck running out, “success” was to be short lived. As the Elantra crossed the underpass, a Toyota Celica, which had been attempting to avoid a rear end collision with the car ahead of it, spun out of control, only to be rear-ended itself by an eighteen- wheel Freightliner. The Toyota, partially airborne from the impact, continued its amazing thrill ride up and over the freeway guard-rail to the street below, where, in a Gallagher fantasy of gigantic proportions, it landed upright on a flatbed truck of watermelons where it began to head east, its new, unscheduled, direction. From Lynn Road to Moorpark Road, motorists, many in cars totaled from multiple collisions, sat unharmed. One would think every one of these fortunate, uninjured travelers would be giving thanks, simply grateful to be alive, but a few were way too busy fumbling with their dash-board mounted GoPro™ cameras to be so distracted.

At the same time the impacted big-rig, twisting violently, suddenly jackknifed across two lanes of traffic in a cloud of burning rubber and smoking brakes. With effective reaction times reduced to fractional seconds, a new group of hapless drivers began to form a chain of smashed fenders, damaged egos, and whiplash-injury lawsuits as Mercedes after BMW, after Jaguar found its mark on the luxury car of the wealthy biotechnology employee ahead of it.

The Elantra, having navigated four lanes of oncoming and a mile of narrow, center-divider emergency-lane, suddenly came into the Cadillac’s view. And then, just as suddenly, it reacted to the out-of-control semi by hard- glancing the concrete retaining wall to meet head-on the Cadillac and its ranch-bound human cargo. The heavyweight car propelled itself forward, merging the Elantra’s engine with front and rear seats and redirecting the motion of the compacted mass in the opposite, but now right, direction down the freeway. The collision launched both mother and daughter forward as if the two had been shot from guns. But, before their seat belts could carry the full burden of forward motion, the vintage Cadillac’s newly retrofitted airbags exploded from their housings directly into the path of the would-be human projectiles. Traffic in both directions came to a complete stop as flying pieces of metal and glass made their way back to earth.

A surreal silence followed the mayhem. For some, the silence was interrupted by an appropriate heart-pounding, adrenaline-inflicted, involuntary, flight-response. For one, the silence momentarily intensified into a darkness more complete than any found in the deepest cavern.

Available on Amazon

About the Author

Frank Gaertner

I am a retired molecular genetics scientist who has authored and co-authored well over 50 patents and academic publications. Sally’s Magic River is my only work of fiction. I wrote the story over twenty years ago and first published it as Sally and the Magic River in 2014. I am republishing the story in this new format with its new cover and title, Sally’s Magic River. Why? Because I think Sally’s story may turn out to be the most important thing I’ve written.

H. Frank Gaertner

Book Tour Schedule

May 2nd

R&R Book Tours (Spotlight)

Reads & Reels (Spotlight)

Nesie’s Place (Spotlight)

@fle_d (Spotlight)

May 3rd

Liliyana Shadowlyn (Review)

   @itsabookthing2021 (Review)

Breakeven Books (Spotlight)

Rambling Mads (Spotlight)

May 4th

Riss Reviews (Review)

Jessica Belmont (Review)

  @gryffindorbookishnerd (Review)

I Love Books & Stuff (Spotlight)

May 5th

 @2manybooks2littletime (Review)

B is for Book Review (Spotlight)

Sadie’s Spotlights (Spotlight)

Ravenz Reviews (Spotlight)

May 6th

@hodophile_z (Review)

Sophril Reads (Spotlight)

Misty’s Book Space (Spotlight)

The Magic of Wor(l)ds (Spotlight)

Book Tour Organized By:

R&R Button

R&R Book Tours

Spotlight: Prisoner of the Elements, by Zian Schafer



Title: Prisoner of the Elements
Author: Zian Schafer
Publisher: Self-Published
Release Date: May 5, 2022
Genre: Dark Fantasy Romance
Format: Hardcover | Paperback | Ebook

They said it would be a great war to end all wars.

To create peace between the Elemental Empires: Fire, Water, and Earth. As one war ended, another started. The gods came back with a vengeance because peace was never meant to be an option.

Now, the lands of Zephryine are cracking, the ocean is a living plague, and crops have become nothing more than skeletons.

To Althea Viteri, the destruction of the realm is the only way to set her family free from the clutches of Audor, the Empire of Fire. Her family has nowhere to run. Not with the bands marking their wrists as the chattel of the Empire.

But she harbors a secret written on her skin — a power that she’s successfully hidden for twenty-three years, until one day it unleashes itself, catching the eye of King Cyrus.

Taken prisoner in the palace, and with the constant threat that the people she loves will be slaughtered, her only option is to escape.

Yet the longer she’s a prisoner the more she realizes there may be more to her untamed power than she initially thought. Something that makes her a danger not only to herself but to the world.

Amazon / B & N

Author Bio:
zianMy love for art.

I’ve always had a passion for the arts. Whether it’s creating sculptures with my hands, or working with colors on a canvas. The arts have always been a big part of my life, and everyday I search for a kind of creative medium. The day I decided to create art with the keys on a computer, was the day I finally found what the itch that needed to be scratched was.
What inspires my writing?

I’ve always found myself drawn to the dark novels that pushes the boundaries of what might be acceptable, and what might be thrown across the room. I’m always astounded by books that have discovered how to stand on that thin line.

I love to read and write because it immerses you into a whole new world and through someone else’s eyes. Ultimately, my writing goal is to create an escape from real life, while still paying homage to the pressures within all of our reality.


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