Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Music: Interview with Jon Magnusson, eclectic #songwriter and musician

We always find the most interesting musicians around the world and it's a pleasure to introduce Jon Magnusson, a Swedish songwriter and musician with a wide range of musical talent. Read on to find more about his music!




Welcome! Please tell us a little about your background and where you are from.

I'm from Stockholm, Sweden and I have been playing music since I was a little kid. But I've been doing it more seriously the last 2.5 years. 

What kind of music do you play and why did you choose this genre?

I started playing mostly indie and folk but with time I have explored new genres like jazz and progressive rock. I have even done some electronica and hip hop collaborations.


It’s great to explore! Who was your greatest influence to follow in the music career? Why?

I use to say I have three big influences: 1. Swedish and British punk 2. Leonard Cohen 3. Simon & Garfunkel.

Excellent influences! Do you also write the lyrics and compose the songs?

I do almost everything. From writing music and lyrics to producing and recording. I do collaborate with two great producers/engineers as well.

Very creative! You seem to be involved in most of the production of your music. When was the first time you performed live and how did you feel?

2 years ago in a little venue in Stockholm and I was dead nervous but on stage it felt amazing.

I bet it was nerve-wracking but I’m sure you are pretty comfortable performing! Is there a specific performance you feel was your best so far? If so, where and why?

A gig I did at a pub in Brighton, UK. A lot of people showed up and even though almost no one knew my music I got them to sing-along to the last song. 

Fantastic! What do you enjoy the most about your interaction with the fans?

That it gives me both encouragement and inspirations to write new songs. I love when people share their story with me.

Awesome. You just mentioned that your fans give you inspiration to write new songs, but is there anywhere else that makes you draw inspiration to compose? 

From a lot of different places. Real life experience, literature, other's experiences. I also like writing from others perspective, build up a character and try to imagine myself in his or her shoes.

What are you working on now and what are your plans for the future? Where can we find and buy your music?

I recently finished an instrumental EP that's more prog folk/jazz/psychedelic and I'm planning the release of it. Then you'll never know what I will come up with :) Best place is via my website www.jonmagnusson.se where you can find links to all different places where you can buy/stream my music.


Congratulations on your newest release! Is there anything else you'd like to add?

I love getting to know my listeners so please get in touch via e-mail or my messenger m.me/jonmagnussonof


Thank you so much for your time, and we wish you lots of success in your music career!
 


Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Fun: #March madness #freebies, #giveaways, promotions - lucky you!

March Madness, St Patrick, Spring... here's to a lucky month!

Find below promotions, giveaways, sales, freebies - all book related. Enjoy!

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Thursday, February 28, 2019

Books: Live Wire - A New Release by Pamela Fagan Hutchins - exclusive excerpt


New Book Release: Live Wire - pre-order today!

A hook-up turned lethal. A spurned, angry cowboy. Can rebel Maggie turn the tables before a killer adds her to the list of lost causes? 

"Hutchins’ Maggie is an irresistible train wreck—you can’t help but turn the page to see what trouble she’ll get herself into next." Robert Dugoni, #1 Amazon Bestselling Author of My Sister's Grave
Washed-up alt-country-rocker-turned-junker Maggie Killian is pulled to Wyoming by an irresistible force . . . former bull rider Hank Sibley, the man who broke her heart fifteen years before. When she unexpectedly meets his Sunday school-teaching girlfriend at a saloon, Maggie seeks liquor-fueled oblivion between the sheets of a younger man’s bed. But after her beloved vintage truck breaks down and leaves her stranded in the Cowboy State, she learns her hook-up died minutes after leaving their rendezvous. 

Suddenly surrounded by men with questionable motives, Maggie searches for the murderer while fighting the electricity between herself and her old beau and her new penchant for local whiskey. When the police zero in on Maggie despite a disturbing series of break-ins at her guest cabin, she realizes she’s got no one to rely on but herself. To stay happily in bars instead of behind them, she must stop the killer before the cops realize the man she really suspects is a jealous, angry Hank.

Live Wire is the first standalone book in a trilogy featuring sharp-tongued protagonist Maggie Killian from the addictive What Doesn’t Kill You romantic mystery series. If you like nerve-racking suspense, electric characters and relationships, and juicy plot twists, then you’ll love USA Today best seller Pamela Fagan Hutchins’ Silver Falchion award-winning series.  


 


˃˃˃ See why Pamela wins contests and makes best seller lists.

USA Today Best Seller

#1 Amazon Best Seller (Mystery, Thriller, Suspense)
Top 50 Amazon Romantic Suspense and Mystery Author
Silver Falchion for Best Adult Mystery
USA Best Book Awards Cross-Genre Fiction
Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award, Romance, Quarter-finalist  

˃˃˃ Once Upon A Romance calls Hutchins an "up-and-coming powerhouse writer."
If you like Sandra Brown or Janet Evanovich, you will love Pamela Fagan Hutchins. A former attorney and native Texan, Pamela splits her time between Nowheresville, Texas and the frozen north of Snowheresville, Wyoming.  

˃˃˃ The reviews are in, and they're good. Very, very good.  
"Maggie's gonna break your heart—one way or another." — Tara Scheyer, Grammy-nominated musician, Long-Distance Sisters Book Club 


"Hutchins nails that Wyoming scenery and captures the atmosphere of the people there." — Ken Oder, author of The Judas Murders

"You’re guaranteed to love the ride!" — Kay Kendall, Silver Falchion Best Mystery Winner



Exclusive Live Wire Excerpt: 

“Don’t tread on me.” Maggie mouths the words from the Gadsden flag flying proudly from the heavy-duty four-by-four in front of her at the traffic light. The curled rattlesnake sticks its tongue out at the world. She likes it, and she likes the banging desert-camo paint job on the truck, too.

She shares her hair with a red silk scarf, then pulls flyaway strands out of her lipstick. The air is changing, losing its summer-baked feel, and the afternoon sun sheds an early fall glow on the streets of Sheridan. Windows rolled down, she tips her face out and into the golden rays. She smells spruce, fir, and pine, and something else. Smoke. She breathes in the dry air through her mouth, and she tastes the smoke, too. Everyone in town has been talking about the wildfires to the northwest.

The light turns green and she rolls slow and easy down South Main, admiring the street art. In Wyoming, that means sculpture, not graffiti. She eases off the gas to stare at a bronze of a native woman dancing in the wind, head thrown back, buckskin and hair flying. It speaks to her, in her core, like most things about this throwback town. She accelerates again. She’s drawing plenty of goggle-eyed stares in Bess, her vintage magenta Ford pickup, toting a Beverly Hillbillies–worthy mountain of estate- and garage-sale pickings in her utility trailer and the small truck bed. After three days in Wyoming, she’s figured out that the looky-loos are not just eyeing the junk and the truck, either. The population here is skewed male. The Marlboro male, bearded variety, largely appearing womanless. If she was looking for a man, she could have her pick by sundown, never mind the gray streaks in her hair, the narrow gap between her teeth, or laugh lines around her eyes.

But she’s not looking for one.

Well, technically, she is looking for one, but only one in particular. She brakes too hard at another red light and jerks to a stop. Something in the bed shifts, and her eyes cut to her rearview at the sound. Please, Lord, no yard sale here. The load settles. When she feels sure all is well, it only takes her a hot second to whip her phone out and open her Facebook app. Normally she’s not much on lipstick or social media. But desperate times call for desperate measures. Crappy connectivity and data notwithstanding, she attempts to refresh Hank Sibley’s profile, something she’s done once every five minutes for the last week, ever since she typed “garage and estate sales, Sheridan, Wyoming” in her search engine and hit the road to go picking in his stomping grounds.

So far, he’s been eerily silent. She’s stalked him online for six months, ever since he showed up at her best friend Michele’s house, a surprise addition to a dinner party that included Michele’s brother, Gene. Gene and Hank were in Texas scouting for broodmares to diversify bloodlines for their Double S Bucking Stock business. The shock of seeing Hank had initially paralyzed her. He was a blast from her past—literally the most explosive relationship of her life. She hadn’t been receptive to getting reacquainted at first, but pheromones and his dimples won out. Hank whisked her away for a week that nearly blew her world apart.


So she’d sent him packing, natch. Because once she regained her sanity and control of her libido, she couldn’t forget that for fifteen years—after what he’d told her was the best night of his life, one where they risked death-by-mobster to be together—he’d never called. Never come to Nashville like she’d asked him to. Never contacted her a single time. He broke her freakin’ heart. So much so that he spawned Grammy-winning songwriting—a good thing. And precipitated an ugly downward spiral that tanked her career and earned her back-to-back stints in rehab for a cocaine addiction that slid into heroin—a bad thing. Technically, she might have shared some of the blame, as did the unexpected death of her dad before she’d had time to go back and work childhood shit out with him. But Hank definitely ranked as a leading cause.

So sue her, he waltzes in and has this effect on her? It scared the crap out of her. He scared the crap out of her. She had no choice but to throw gasoline on that bridge and burn the fucker down.

But that was then and this is now. There’s empty screen where his Facebook profile should be. She growls and checks the light. Still red. She pulls the page down to refresh it.

While she’s in data limbo, her mind drifts back to the spring in Texas. The angry look in his eyes when he left had barely covered up his sadness and confusion. It had tested her resolve, but she’d held firm. Only, after he was gone, she’d realized it was too late for her to protect herself anyway. He was back in her head, back in her heart, back in her aching late-night dreams. She kept willing him to defy her edict to never contact her again. She longed for her phone to ring with his teasing voice in her ear. Of course he hadn’t. It hadn’t.

She’d finally decided she had to do something. So here she is in Wyoming, trying to casually run into him fourteen hundred miles out of the way from her normal life. Ridiculous. Yes, she knows it, yes, she should have just called and groveled, but she tamps down the thought. She’s here now. And this is going to work, because she’s going to make sure it does.

Anyway, Hank normally posts on Facebook once or twice a week. About the rodeos where Double S will be and how the horses and bulls are performing. The progress of the crop of foals, how the three-year-olds are coming along, and all of the achievements, accolades, and awards Double S is racking up in the world of stock contracting. She’s been trolling their website and knows they don’t have a rodeo right now—which is why she chose the weekend after Labor Day for her picking trip here.

The screen refresh is taking forever. God, how she wishes she hadn’t gone cheap with T-Mobile, which doesn’t seem to exist north of Denver. A car behind her honks. The light is green.

She salutes with her favorite finger. “Keep your pants on, buddy.”

Hank’s profile finally comes up just as she presses the accelerator. She has time to give the phone a good upward swipe, and she watches it like she’s hoping for all cherries on a quarter slot.

There’s a new post.

She makes a gentle left onto Coffeen Avenue, then props the phone on top of the steering wheel. Traffic is lightish, so she raises her knees to wedge against the steering wheel. Her right foot slips off the accelerator. The truck lurches out of its lane. The phone drops to the floorboard.


“Shit, shit, shit.” She grabs the wheel and corrects course gradually so as not to flip the bumper-pull trailer. The truck has been pulling hard to the left for weeks now. Time to get the front end aligned and rotate the tires, as soon as she’s home.

A tall delivery truck pulls in front of her. It’s squeezing against both sides of the lane, and she can’t search ahead for a place to pull over.

“Come on.” She pounds her hand on the steering wheel.

Finally, she spies a parking lot she can get in and out of without clipping something with the trailer. 

She veers into it quickly. The building on the other side of the pavement looks straight out of Gunsmoke, with darkly stained wooden siding and forest-green paint on the door and window frames. TAXIDERMY is painted across the upper half of the store front in an Old West–styled script. 

A more modern banner flaps from rope attached to hooks in the wall: ASK ABOUT CHEMICAL-FREE BRAIN-TANNED SKINS, THE INDIAN WAY.

As she reads the words, Maggie feels a flicker—recognition?—but pushes it away. She doesn’t give a single shit about the buckskins, dead heads, and trophies on the other side of the door. All she wants is to read Hank’s post. She picks up the phone, which froze up in its scuffle with the floorboard. 

While the phone is rebooting, she turns up her sound system, the only modernization she’s made to her World War II–era truck. Moors & McCumber’s “Bend or Be Broken” comes on. She’d caught one of the Americana duo’s shows on her way north through Colorado, where she’d picked up the 

Live from Blue Rock CD. She air-guitars along, her fingers still nimble ten years after she quit playing professionally, but she doesn’t take her eyes off the phone screen. When her background appears—her pet goats, Omaha and Nebraska, named after the town she was in when she first heard one of her songs on the radio—she drops her imaginary instrument.

She types in her passcode. The phone rings. As she fumbles with the device, she accidentally answers the call. It’s her mom. She doesn’t say hello, prepares to hang up. If her mom calls back, she can let it go to voicemail.

“Maggie? Honey, are you all right?” Charlotte Killian’s voice is loving, sweet, and worried. 
Perpetually worried.

Maggie closes her eyes and puts the phone to her ear.

“Margaret Elizabeth?”

“Mom. Hi. Yes, I’m good. What’s up?”

“Oh, thank God. When you weren’t answering my calls, I went by your place. There was a strange car out front, and no one answered the door when I rang the bell. I tried my key, but it didn’t work in the lock—”

“Mom, I’m fine. And I’m traveling. I have a short-term renter. I’ll oil the lock when I get back, but I’m glad you didn’t barge in on her.”

“Why didn’t you tell me about your trip?” Her voice changes. Hurt creeps in, with an undertone of irritation. She’d gone to a lot of trouble. She always does.


Maggie takes a deep breath. Her mother has been distracted lately. After years as a widow with no social life, suddenly she’d begun dating men like a fickle sorority girl. But she’d settled on one. Edward Lopez. Michele’s father, a veterinarian and a widower. Maggie had thought she could sneak off without her giddy, love drunk mother noticing her absence, but she should have known better.

What to tell her, though? Charlotte knew nothing about Hank. Not back then, not now. “I’m sorry. It was on a whim.”

“You rented your house on a whim?”

“Sure. It’s a thing, Mom. Everybody does it. Surely you’ve heard of Airbnb?” Which Maggie hadn’t used, although she’d been inspired by it. She wasn’t paying anyone a commission for something she could do herself through Craigslist.

The phone goes silent. Maggie considers coaxing her phone into double duty with the call and Facebook, but she’s afraid it doesn’t have the bandwidth.

Her mother says, “So, where are you?”

“Wyoming.”

Her mother’s reply is screechy. “Wyoming? What in the world?”

“I had a lead on some big sales. I’ve found great items for the shop.” Her store, Flown the Coop, is a regional favorite, and she knows her Wyoming pickings will sell well at the Warrenton–Round Top fall antique show.

“Who’s minding it for you?”

“I have a Blinn College student opening it on the weekends.”

“The goats?”

“Michele is taking care of them.”

Again there’s a silence. Then, “And church?”
Maggie bites her lip. She watches a flatbed truck drive by pulling a gooseneck trailer. A border collie balances behind the driver’s side, the wind in its fur. Wyoming is so fifty-years-ago, a throwback state, and the dogs love the freedom. Maggie loves hers, too. She doesn’t want to get into this discussion with her ultra-religious mother. She’d abandoned her upbringing twenty years ago when she ran off to chase musical stardom. Her parents were both Wendish—descendants of refugees from ethnic and religious persecution in Germany who migrated to Texas in the 1850s—and had raised her in the restrictive community of their Lutheran church. Maggie hadn’t rejoined the church when she came home ten years later, but she attended services once a month to appease her mother.

Two years ago, Maggie learned she was adopted. Her birth mother had fled the same Wendish community to chase dreams of becoming an artist. Like mother, like daughter. Nature over nurture. It helped Maggie understand better her adoptive mother Charlotte’s fears for her soul, but it didn’t lead her back to religion.
  
“I’ll only be gone a few days.”

“When will you be back?”

“As soon as I’m done up here. I’ll let you know.”

“I have . . . I want . . . well, just call me when you know.”

Maggie almost questions her mom about the hesitant words, but she lets it go. “I will, Mom. I love you. Tell Edward hello for me.”

“I love you, too.”

Maggie hangs up. As the home screen reappears on her phone, there’s a voice outside her open window before she can pull up her Facebook app.

“Need any help, miss?” Male. Of course.

She nearly screams in her frustration. She peers over her shoulder at him, unwilling to turn fully away from the screen she’s worked so hard to reach. The man is younger than her. Ten years, maybe, although exposure to the outdoors makes it hard to read. His eyes are gray, his sandy hair curly, but it’s his lipstick-red lips that draw her eyes.

“Um, no, I’m fine.”

“I saw you pull over. Texas plates. I figured with you so far from home, you could use a friend. I’m Chet.”

He may be cute, but she doesn’t give him her name. Or eye contact. “Yes. Well, I’m good. Thank you.”

He doesn’t leave.

She ignores him and pulls up Facebook and Hank’s profile. Thursday Night Jam tonight. Looking forward to some real bluegrass. She smiles. Now she knows what she’s doing tonight, as soon as she figures out where the heck this jam will be.

Chet is still hanging around by her window.

She beams at him. “Say, Chet, you wouldn’t happen to know anything about a Thursday night jam around here, would you? Bluegrass?”

“At the Occidental?”

“Right. That’s exactly where it is.”

“Need a ride to Buffalo?”

She snorts. “Got my own wheels, son.”

“Son? Hardly. But you can’t turn a guy down because of his age.”

Actually, she can and does. Often. She toodle-oo waves to him. “Nice to have met you.”


She accelerates too hard, lurches, and drives off the curb with her trailer bouncing in her enthusiasm about this Occidental place. She needs to find it, map to it, hightail it there. First, though, she’s stopping
at her room in the Mill Inn—a Western kitsch, bargain option to the chain motels, built in an old flour mill, with a genuine 1940s model Ford pickup that is a close cousin to Bess. She has to drop off her trailer and get gussied up for this bluegrass-jam shindig. She laughs aloud as she thinks the words. 

But they fit her mood and her plan.

Tonight she’s going to shock the pants off Hank Sibley, and he’s going to like it.