Jill Weatherholt

Writing Stories of Love, Faith and Happy Endings While Enjoying the Journey


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SUMMER SPOTLIGHT: LORI VIRELLI

1) What is special about the place you grew up?

Out of all of Jill’s questions, I wanted to answer this one the most, but I realized I already wrote about it in my short story memoir anthology, Home Avenue. What I didn’t mention in my memoir is that I lived in a small village that was nestled right next to a bustling metropolis called, Chicago. We had the feel of a small town community with lots of people who knew (and helped) each other, while also having the perks of a city where everything we needed was nearby.

2) Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?

Not Europe or any place exotic. Vancouver. The mountains and ocean there look majestic in pictures.

3) What are some of the events in your life that made you who you are?

This one could get very long, deep and personal, so I’ll share in brief. In my thirties, I went through a difficult time with infertility. The struggle had me questioning everything I thought I knew about myself, God and life. I went through a deep inner search, and it changed me into who I am today. I wrote a little about it on my blog, here.

Thank you for taking the time to read my slot on Jill’s summer series. I don’t like to write posts longer than 500 words, and many of you read about me here before. So, I thought I’d share briefly about what I like to write on my blog and in my books.

My writing has a little something to do with the question number three above. I’m a huge believer in inner journeys. If my fictional characters aren’t doing inner journeys (in Whit’s End), then they are usually struggling with inner turmoil until they do. Sometimes they take that journey, sometimes they don’t. Not everyone knows they need personal growth and may never find themselves. I like to show juxtapositions between the two.

My blog’s subtitle is Inquire, Inspire, Aspire. I used Inquire to mean inquiring inward. Inspire is meant to inspire others by sharing our experiences, strength and hope. Aspire is meant to reach personal goals and growth.

I’m fascinated with the human mind, the depths it holds, the uniqueness of individuals and how we interact. I really like to get to know people, as in the below meme.

 

Come chat with me on my blog some time. I’d like to get to know you.

For the next twenty-four hours, my short story memoir anthology, Home Avenue, is free. My novel, Whit’s End is on sale through the holiday weekend for .99 cents. I’d love to know what you think of them.

 

Enjoy the holiday weekend.


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SUMMER SPOTLIGHT: JACQUI MURRAY

Where do you most want to travel, but have never been?

East Africa, to see the great migrations, before they disappear. The videos I watch and pictures are simply beyond anything I’ll ever see in my domesticated existence!

If you could make one rule that everyone had to follow, what rule would you make?

I think it would be respect others. With respect comes listening, being open-minded, caring for others who are part of our lifelong journey. To me, when I respect a person, I no longer judge them, find them lacking because they don’t think like me or agree with me. I am more willing to try new things–like their way. It seems like a good first step, doesn’t it?

What’s the biggest obstacle you’ve ever had to overcome?

I’m not very trusting. I want to be, and it’s always at the top of my Todo list, but it doesn’t come easily. That applies not only to others, but myself. I think I’d be happier if I could trust more.

There you have it! I wish I was more entertaining, but… oh well…

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Short Synopsis of Twenty-four Days:

A former SEAL, a brilliant scientist, a love-besotted nerd, and a quirky AI have twenty-four days to stop a terrorist attack. The problems: They don’t know what it is, where it is, or who’s involved.

Long Synopsis of Twenty-four Days:

What sets this story apart from other thrillers is the edgy science used to build the drama, the creative thinking that unravels the deadly plot, and the sentient artificial intelligence who thinks he’s human:

An unlikely team is America’s only chance

World-renowned paleoanthropologist, Dr. Zeke Rowe is surprised when a friend from his SEAL past shows up in his Columbia lab and asks for help: Two submarines have been hijacked and Rowe might be the only man who can find them.

At first he refuses, fearing a return to his former life will end a sputtering romance with fellow scientist and love of his life, Kali Delamagente, but when one of his closest friends is killed by the hijackers, he changes his mind. He asks Delamagente for the use of her one-of-a-kind AI Otto who possesses the unique skill of being able to follow anything with a digital trail.

In a matter of hours, Otto finds one of the subs and it is neutralized.

But the second, Otto can’t locate.

Piece by piece, Rowe uncovers a bizarre nexus between Salah Al-Zahrawi–the world’s most dangerous terrorist and a man Rowe thought he had killed a year ago, a North Korean communications satellite America believes is a nuclear-tipped weapon, an ideologue that cares only about revenge, and the USS Bunker Hill (a Ticonderoga-class guided missile cruiser) tasked with supervising the satellite launch.

And a deadline that expires in twenty-four days.

As America teeters on the brink of destruction, Zeke finally realizes that Al-Zahrawi’s goal isn’t nuclear war, but payback against the country that cost him so much.

Kirkus Review:

A blistering pace is set from the beginning: dates open each new chapter/section, generating a countdown that intensifies the title’s time limit. Murray skillfully bounces from scene to scene, handling numerous characters, from hijackers to MI6 special agent Haster. … A steady tempo and indelible menace form a stirring nautical tale

What customers are saying about this series:

J Murray’s long anticipated thriller, To Hunt a Sub, is a satisfying read from a fresh voice in the genre, and well worth the wait. The time devoted to research paid off, providing a much-appreciated authenticity to the sciency aspects of the plot. The author also departs from the formulaic pacing and heroics of contemporary commercialized thrillers. Instead, the moderately paced narrative is a seduction, rather than a sledgehammer. The author takes time rendering relatable characters with imaginatively cool names like Zeke Rowe, and Kalian Delamagente. The scenes are vividly depicted, and the plot not only contains exquisitely treacherous twists and turns, but incorporates the fascinating study of early hominids, and one ancestral female in particular who becomes an essential character. The narrative might have benefited from language with a crisper, sharper edge, but that is purely my personal taste and preference and takes nothing away from the overall satisfaction of this novel.

One thing I enjoyed about this read is the technical reality Murray created for both the scientific and military aspects of the book. I completely believed the naval and investigatory hierarchy and protocols, as well as the operation inside the sub. I was fascinated by her explanation of Otto’s capabilities, the security efforts Kali employs to protect her data, and how she used Otto’s data to help Rowe.

The research and technical details she included in this book had me in complete awe. A cybervirus is crippling submarines–and as subs sunk to the bottom of the ocean, I found myself having a hard time breathing. It’s up to Zeke and Kali to save the entire country using their brains. If you love thrillers, this is definitely one you can’t miss!

Book information:

Title and author: Twenty-four Days by J. Murray

Genre: Thriller, military thriller

Cover by: Paper and Sage Design 

Available at: Kindle USKindle UKKindle Canada

Author bio:

Jacqui Murray is the author of the popular Building a Midshipman, the story of her daughter’s journey from high school to United States Naval Academy, and the thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and  Twenty-four DaysShe is also the author/editor of over a hundred books on integrating tech into education, adjunct professor of technology in education, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice book reviewer,  a columnist for TeachHUB, monthly contributor to Today’s Author and a freelance journalist on tech ed topics. You can find her books at her publisher’s website, Structured Learning.

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Quote from author:

What sets this series apart from other thrillers is the edgy science used to build the drama, the creative thinking that unravels the deadly plot, and the Naval battle that relies on not just fire power but problem solving to outwit the enemy.

jmm pic

 Social Media contacts:

http://twitter.com/worddreams

http://facebook.com/kali.delamagente

http://pinterest.com/askatechteacher

http://linkedin.com/in/jacquimurray

https://plus.google.com/u/0/102387213454808379775/posts


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I’d Never Make a Good Politician!

Image courtesy of Pixels.com

Last month, I was thrilled to receive a very kind review from Long and Short Reviews.

Over the weekend, I received an email that Second Chance Romance is up for their book of the month. They want to know which book or story sounds like the best read based on their reviews.

Voting runs from Monday, May 1st through Tuesday, May 2nd. The winner will be announced on Wednesday, May 3rd.

If you’re so inclined, you may cast your vote here.

Thank you all for your support!

By the way, I’m planning another summer spotlight series, if you’re interested in promoting your blog, book, art or just yourself, shoot me an email at authorjillweatherholt@gmail.com. I’ll have a few questions for you to answer in advance, but then you’ll take over. I plan to do fifteen spotlights, posting every other Friday.

Have a great week!

Jill ❤

**All of the spotlight slots are now full.**