Tag Archives: Authors @ Sapphire Star Publishing

Hall of Fame Celebration: Gary Kassay Launches Murder In Silence!

Roll out the red carpet!
Open the champagne!
It’s time to enter the Hall of Fame!

Please join us in celebrating as my fellow Sapphire Star Publishing author, Gary Kassay, launches Murder in Silence, the first book in the Duke Becker Series! I’m partial to a cracking crime thriller, so I can’t wait to get stuck into this one later today… Meanwhile, I give you:

Gary Kassay!!!

First I would like to thank Nicky Wells for inviting me to her Hall of Fame blog.  It is an honor to be included here and to be a part of the same family with Nicky, Sapphire Star Publishing.

You’re welcome, Gary, I’m excited you’re visiting today, on such a big and important day for you! Tell us a bit more about your work…

The first of the Duke Becker series, Murder in Silence, is being released on today!  Let me give you a little background on myself and the inspiration for Inspector Duke Becker.  Back in 1982 I was in training with the New York Transit Police Department for the Canine Unit.  The training was intense and probably the best time I ever had.  One day an event occurred and I immediately thought to myself what a great plot for a book! (No, I am not going to tell you what that event was…it would spoil everything.)  In any case, I thought about that book till 2004, 22 years of developing the plot, characters and dialogue.  The result is Murder in Silence and the sequels that will follow.

22 years… wow, Gary: good things come to those who wait! And what a fabulous cover! Can we have a little excerpt to get a flavour for what’s in store?

Of course! Here is a small sample from Murder in Silence…I hope you enjoy it!

The front door opened and Ms. Marielle Wilson, a.k.a. the Wicked Witch, entered Dudley’s looking as if she was ready for a night at the Academy Awards and this was the red carpet. She looked to be in her thirties, which I knew she wasn’t, with long, silky blond hair that framed her oval face. She was pretty, but way too thin for my taste. Her eyes were a very deep blue, probably colored contacts, and her lips were ruby red. I figured that she was about 5’10” without her heels, which now made her closer to 6’2″. Her dress was made of some iridescent material that sparkled and was the exact shade of blue as her eyes. There was no broomstick or flying monkeys present.

Somehow she must have known who I was because she walked directly up to me. I stood up. “Good evening, Ms. Wilson. Would you care for a drink or would you prefer we get a table for dinner?” She gave me a smile, which had the effect of sending chills down my spine. Something about those white, perfect teeth, of which there seemed to be too many, and the total insincerity in her smile made me think of her not as the Wicked Witch from Oz, but as a shark. Beautiful but dangerous.

“Actually, Inspector, I’m on my way to dinner with someone in…um…about twenty minutes, so let’s just stay here.”

At that moment, I was happy that we were on dry land because if we had been in the water, I had no doubt that I would be eaten alive.

Wow! I certainly did enjoy the excerpt, and can’t wait to read more on my Kindle tonight! Congrats on launch day, Gary, and I hope it goesfantastically well!

Murder in Silence is now available in Kindle and paperback editions from amazon.co.uk and amazon.com.

Let’s find out more about Gary Kassay, the man behind the book:

Gary Kassay, author of the Duke Becker Series, is a former member of the NYPD Transit K-9 Unit.  Besides a career as a Police Officer, he has been the owner of a commercial photo company, an X-ray tech for humans and animals, and a TSA employee. He now resides in Casper, Wyoming with his wife Raella, three dogs, and one black cat.

When Gary is not working on the next installment of his Duke Becker series, he enjoys spending quiet times with his wife, writing the Duke Becker series, reading, and when there isn’t snow on the ground, a good round of golf.

You can follow Gary on Twitter and on Facebook, visit his website or blog. Gary also has an author page at Sapphire Star Publishing and a Murder in Silence fan page on Facebook.

Now, then, crime written by an ex cop: the epitome of ‘write what you know’! Do you have any questions for Gary? Let’s hear them…

Double Party in the Hall of Fame today: Give it up for Linn B. Halton and Amy Gregory

Roll out the red carpet!
Open the champagne!
It’s time to enter the Hall of Fame!

Yes, today it’s a double celebration as not one but two of my amazing fellow authors over at Sapphire Star Publishing celebrate the launch day for their books.  Meet Linn B. Halton and Amy Gregory!  Grab a cup of tea (or something sparkly, if it’s late enough in the day!), sit back and enjoy as you get to meet two fabulous new authors….

Welcome to the Hall of Fame: the lovely Linn B. Halton!  Linn launches her novel, The Quintessential Gemini today…

I’m so honoured to be here with one of my favourite authors, the effervescent Nicky Wells! This is one rocking lady for sure and she always keeps me smiling.

I thought I would ask Katherine Dale, who is The Quintessential Gemini, to introduce herself first…

“Where do I start? It’s all rather messy actually; my life is falling apart simply because I chose NOT to listen to the fabulous astrologer Mark Ainsley-Thomas. He’s been telling me for a while that there are big changes to come in my daily horoscopes. I know I’ve buried my head in the sand and put my own spin on what that might be – now I’m paying the price. No job, no man in my life except for No. 4, my faithful cat, and when I need Mark to tell me how to put it all back together, his forecasts have become obscure … after 25 years of being my one daily ‘constant’, I feel he isn’t there for me anymore – how will I cope?”

So over to the revered Mark Ainsley-Thomas himself, I have to know what’s happening…

“Well, since acquiring a new agent, the dreaded Harriet Wensworth “Agent to the Stars”, she thinks my future lies in the US. How on earth does the woman think I can produce daily, weekly and monthly forecasts if I’m jetting around the world all the time? I’m an astrologer for goodness sake, not an A-list celebrity! The woman is driving me insane with all these talk show appearances. We’re taking on a new astrologer to help out, but I really do hate letting go of the reins – even though he’s very talented and I knew his late father, an eminent astrologer. I never thought fame would turn me into a TV face, I’m not even sure I like this new role of mine.”

Ah, I’m beginning to understand what Katherine has instinctively picked up on; there is a new guy writing the daily and weekly forecasts. His name is James Kingman and I’ve met him briefly, what a hunk! But not only doesn’t he know it, he’s fragile – he lost his business, most of his money and his long-term girlfriend has moved out now she no longer considers him to be successful.

“A new job helps take my mind off my financial worries, but can I deliver? My style is so different to Mark’s and he’s a really hard act to follow. He’s not only a brilliant astrologer (and astronomer) but he’s so … charismatic. My readings are good, I know my stuff, but I don’t wrap it up in the same way, it’s rather plain by comparison. I also answer the Emails that come in to the website and there’s a woman who keeps asking questions. Her name is Katherine and even though she is one of our paying customers and receives all her personalised forecasts by Email on a daily basis, she’s a real pain. I don’t know what this lady wants, but I’m getting rather exasperated. She can’t really live her life according to her daily horoscope, surely?”

The Quintessential Gemini is available in paperback and e-book from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com.

Linn B Halton lives in the UK, in the small Gloucestershire village of Arlingham, on the banks of the River Severn in the UK with her adorable husband and cat with attitude – Mr Tiggs! She writes about:  Life, love and beyond … but it’s ALWAYS about the romance… Linn signed with the amazing Sapphire Star Publishing in 2012.

Many of the paranormal events that feature in some of her books are real life experiences. Linn is also a featured Author on http://loveahappyending.com/ and Editor of the feature ‘Author & Associate Catch-Ups‘on the website’s magazine-style blog.

You can visit Linn’s author page at loveahappyending.com as well as at Sapphire Star Publishing.  Linn also has her very own website and blog, and she Twitters and Facebooks as well!

Wow, thank you to Linn for introducing Katherine, Mark and James. I can’t wait to meet them!

And now it’s over to the amazing Amy Gregory: Welcome to the Hall of Fame!  Amy is launching Racing to Love ~ Carter’s Treasure today…

Amy, I think I heard you say that there’s a lot of ‘you’ in your books.  Tell us some more!

Something I’ve always wondered over the years when I read a book is, just how much of what is written on the page is from the author themselves.  Not one to read mysteries or suspenseful books, I stick more to the light-hearted, fun love stories.  When reading those, you can see personalities emerge: how much of that personality is directly from the author?

Well, (as I blush) I have to say in all my books, my personality is glaringly obvious.  I have a wicked smart-mouth, that I don’t apologize for very often, and a naughty sense of humor…yeah,I  don’t apologize for that much either.   I love to laugh and want nothing more than for those I’m around, either in person or clear across the Internet, to laugh with me.  I’ve learned to tailor myself to be polite around those who I might offend, and I have my close friends who I can totally just be myself around, all varying degrees of me.

That’s really fascinating! Is this a conscious choice, a strategy that you have, or does it just kind of… emerge?

My characters are all very different and I don’t think long and hard about their personalities before I start writing, I have a premise and I just go.  I see them come alive as I type, but going back and reading each scene, then each chapter and finally the book as a whole, I’ll start laughing.  Looking at things they’ve said or done and I’ll think to myself…oh I have soooo done or said that!  Or they’ll do things I can totally see myself doing, then I’ll start cracking up.  Just me and my laptop, a cup of coffee and silence, but I’ll have tears running down my face as I picture the scenes in my head.

What can I say…life’s short, enjoy it!

LOL, I like your style.  Let’s hear some more about the book you are launching today:  Racing to Love ~ Carter’s Treasure

From the outside, Molly West had everything, beauty, brains, and a career she’d retired from not once, but twice.  Being in the limelight and in a sport that was male driven, she was often surrounded men.  She ignored first the boys, and as she got older, the men.  Unfortunately, they were all the same, all after one thing, and she had absolutely no use for them.  Her cold shoulder and patented not a chance in hell look were usually enough to get her point across.  Occasionally, she had to resort to her sass—and her brother.

Molly had no plans in changing what was a perfectly good system. That is until she walked into the pits.  When she stood toe-to-toe with the sex in jeans, she knew right then and there that the man her adoptive mother always told her was out there, was now standing right in front of her.

Carter Sterling had traveled the racing circuit since he was a boy.  He’d heard all the old standbys, She’s out there somewhere, love comes along when you least expect it.  Good things come to those that… Yeah, he’d heard them all.  The last place he expected to meet the love of his life was on a pro track.  All she did was smile, and he knew, looking into her sapphire blue eyes, Molly West was his.  Forever.

If it was only that easy.  From the moment he laid eyes on her, he had a gripping feeling in him.  An overwhelming need to protect her.  A girl he’d just met.  Carter had learned a long time ago that gut feelings are almost never wrong.

Molly now held his heart in her hands, but it was going to take a lot more than just love to protect her from the past she thought she’d buried a long time ago.

And here’s the really exciting bit!  Racing to Love ~ Carter’s Treasure is now available in from amazon.com and amazon.co.uk!

Amy Gregory leads an incredibly active lifestyle in Kansas City with her husband and their three fantastic kids who keep them running in three very different directions.  When she’s not rushing her oldest daughter to tumbling, her youngest daughter to music lessons, or sitting track-side watching her son practice motocross, she’s taking the few minutes in between to scribble the next pages in her Racing to Love series.  When asked, “When do you have time to write?” Amy Gregory giggles.  “In bits and pieces,” she says.

Amy is known for her snarky, off the cuff sense of humor, which you’ll find shining through in the characters she’s created.  I’ve spent my whole life trying to figure out what I want to be when I grow up, and now I’ve finally found it. – Amy Gregory

Find out more about Amy on her blog, or on her Sapphire Star Publishing author page.  Amy is also on Goodreads and you can find her on Twitter and Facebook.

Now then, open that champagne, my friends, and let’s toast these two amazing authors!  **Cheers** 

Wishing you both best of luck on launch day, ladies ~ Rock On!

Love crime, but couldn’t write it? Guest blogging with @GaryKassay today!

Yes, that’s right. I love crime. I really do.  Well, not actual crime.  Not physical crime, the real thing. Of course not! Goodness, no. That frightens me. I may be odd, but I’m not that odd.

What I mean is that I love reading crime fiction. Someone congratulated me on coming out of the closet on this one, but I’ve actually always read crime, for as long as I can remember.  (Don’t laugh! Don’t The Famous Five count as children’s crime fiction?  There’s always a bad guy doing bad things in there!  Right?)

Anyway, while I love reading it, I couldn’t write it. And that’s exactly what I am guest blogging about today at fellow Sapphire Star Publishing author and crime-writer Gary Kassay’s blog.  Pop on over and check out what I have to say! There’s quite a discussion going already so don’t be shy… tell us what you think about crime fiction, reading vs. writing!

Cheerio,
~Nicky x 🙂

CentreStage on Nicky’s Blog: Gary Kassay

Welcome to CentreStage! CentreStage is a new feature on my blog that will showcase fantastic authors from around the world, introducing in particular my fellow authors in the Sapphire Star Publishing family, as well as fellow featured authors at loveahappyending.com. In this new, exciting feature, these authors might write for you about their lives, or their writing journey, or anything else that matters to them. Every feature will be different in format and flavour, so watch out for a variety of stories and tales.

Today, it is my tremendous pleasure to welcome Gary Kassay to this first edition of CentreStage!

CentreStage: Please give it up for…. Gary Kassay!

GARY KASSAY WRITES: “HOW DID I GET HERE?”

Before I let you in on my words of wisdom (well, maybe there is some wisdom here), I want to say a big thank you to Nicky Wells for asking me to be a guest on her blog. Nicky is a wonderful author and a member of Sapphire Star Publishing.
Nicky says: Thanks, Gary! I am delighted to give you centre stage on my blog today! 🙂

Okay, on to the words of wisdom. My name is Gary Kassay, and I am the author of the Duke Becker Series, signed by Sapphire Star Publishing. When I was growing up (many, many, many years ago), the thought of being an author never, ever crossed my mind. For one thing, I was terrible in English (I was thrown out of my seventh grade class), and for another, I wanted to be a cop. Well, the world works in mysterious ways.

Back in 1982, when I was a Police Officer in NYC in the K-9 unit, a thought was put into my head, a tiny little seed of a thought. I let that seed germinate now and then for over 22 years! Life sometimes throws us curveballs, hard times, tragedies. It did that to me in 2003 and for some reason, one of the things it did was to take that little seed, which was now a full-grown tree in my head, and bring it back into my thoughts.

I started to write down the story that I had let grow, (after 22 years it really was fully grown!) and began to put it to paper. That’s right; I started to write it down in longhand, a mistake that I never made again! The story flowed easily and after only six weeks I had about 450 pages of what was to be my first novel, “Murder in Silence”.

I never thought about publishing the story; in fact I was never going to write another book. Of course, I gave copies to my family and close friends (after getting it typed up!). They all said it was good, that I had written a real suspense-filled murder mystery, that it needed to be published, and so on. (What else were they going to say?—I have a gun!) I didn’t really believe them, at first, but soon there were about 200 people who had read it and raved. They also wanted a sequel!

So, I began to write another Duke Becker book, then another, and another. I also tried for almost eight years to find a publisher, and I am happy to say that the wait was well worth it!

Well, that is how I got to be where I am, writing the fifth book in the Duke Becker Series, having the first one released on July 5, 2012,with the sequel due out in January 2012. It has been an exciting ride and I know it will only get better thanks to my fans, fellow authors, and Amy and Katie over at Sapphire Star Publishing.

Oh, if you were still waiting for the words of wisdom. I guess these will have to do. “Never close the door on your dreams, let them lead you where they may, you never know what you might have been destined for.”

About “Murder in Silence” by Gary Kassay, to be published by Sapphire Star Publishing on July 5, 2012

Two New York Police Officers have been murdered, their throats torn out. With only two clues to follow, both which make no sense, Inspector Duke Becker may be facing his first failure.   Becker is in charge of Special Investigations, Homicide…a unit that investigates high profile murder cases. Will Becker and his squad stop the brutal killer or will more Police Officers die?

About Gary Kassay

Gary Kassay, author of the Duke Becker Series, is a former member of the NYPD Transit K-9 Unit. Besides a career as a Police Officer, he has been the owner of a commercial photo company, an X-ray tech for humans and animals and a TSA employee. He now resides in Casper Wyoming with his wife Raella, three dogs and one black cat.

You can follow Gary on Twitter and on Facebook, visit his website or blog. Gary also has an author page at Sapphire Star Publishing and a Murder in Silence fan page on Facebook.

NEWSFLASH! Sapphire Star Publishing Signs “Sophie’s Turn” by Nicky Wells

YES! I want to shout it from the rooftops, and dance on the ceiling.  I want to sing and wave my hands in the air.  I am really excited to announce that I have signed my debut novel, Sophie’s Turn, with trailblazing new US publisher, Sapphire Star Publishing (SSP)!

When I first heard about SSP on Facebook early in January, I was immediately intrigued.  Who wouldn’t be, with a catching name and stunning logo like the sapphire star?  I checked out the company’s website and was even more interested: this looked just like my kind of organisation.  Sapphire Star Publishing is a small press publisher dedicated to bringing readers the finest fiction.  The company works closely with its authors to grant each publication the opportunity to reach its full potential.  Unsurprisingly, then, everyone at SSP is really passionate about books, dedicated and motivated, and highly professional. That’s an intriguing proposition, and I was instantly hooked.  And when I discovered that SSP was accepting submissions, well, I was off to my email in a flash.

I submitted Sophie’s Turn and quickly heard back:  would I consider sending the full manuscript?  Of course I would!  And just under two weeks later… last Friday, to be precise, I got the amazing email:  SSP loved Sophie’s Turn!

I literally sat stunned for a good few minutes, reading and re-reading the email several dozen times, trying to make sure that I understood right.  I believe I was then seen dancing round the dining room (which is where my laptop lives on a tiny desk, when I’m not actually writing) and through the lounge, seeming very excited but not making an awful lot of sense.  This was just the most terrific news, and an indescribable feeling of joy. I am simply thrilled to be joining the SSP family!

Now here’s the really important bit:  SSP will officially relaunch Sophie’s Turn on 6 September 2012!!  In the meantime, for a limited time only, Sophie’s Turn will continue to be available in Kindle edition from Amazon.co.uk and Amazon.com until the end of March. After that, the novel will be temporarily unavailable until the official relaunch of Sophie’s Turn.

Stay tuned and sign up for ongoing updates and news on this blog.  Or visit Sapphire Star Publishing for further news and, of course, to meet the rest of the SSP family: A.L. Jackson; Amy Gregory; Gary Kassay; Mandy Baggot; Linn B. Halton; S. Blue Remy

Thanks for joining me today as I celebrate, and do keep in touch!
Cheerio from
–Nicky XX 🙂