Wednesday, June 8, 2022

Virtual Book Tour: Half Moon Lake by Steve Brock

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for Half Moon Lake by Steve Brock. This book tour was organized by Pump Up Your Book. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as seven things you might now know about the book. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Half Moon Lake
Author: Steve Brock
Publication Date: March 30th 2022
Print Length: 187 pages
Genre: Contemporary Suspense
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Crease Williams lived a charmed life with a bright future. Only in his junior year at Texas Christian University, his skills as a wide receiver had already captured the attention of NFL scouts.

Then a tragedy cost him his family and his desire to play football. Personally devastated, he left his old life behind and got as far from Ft. Worth, TX, and football as he could get.

Keeping mostly to himself, he became a float-plane pilot in the far north of Minnesota. Flying fisherman and hunters into remote locations was how he spent his time. When a group he had flown to Roudy's Cabin goes missing, he faces accusations and more turmoil than he could have ever imagined. To make matters worse, his quiet existence is upturned by an element from his past bent on vengeance.

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EXCERPT:
The Bobcat Bar and Grill was rockin’. In the center of a raised stage that faced a collection of round wooden tables and ladder-back chairs, a middle-aged R and B diva gyrated her hips to the music. With a double-fisted death grip on a stand-up microphone, she belted out lyrics: “R-E-S-P-E-C-T…Find out what it means to me…” The stage lights created spheres of pink and blue fog in the smoke-filled atmosphere. A saxophone player swung his horn back and forth in rhythm with the music, while the keyboard player stood and pounded the keys of a baby grand piano like they insulted his sister. The diva ended the song with a flourish and the already dancing crowd erupted with applause.

The singer announced a quick break while the more intoxicated in the crowd continued to clap in appreciation. When the noise subsided, a uniformed deputy sitting at the bar looked at the keyboard player and said, “I hate to be a killjoy, but don’t you think we ought to get our prisoner to the station, Sheriff?” He nodded his head toward a scruffy-looking character in handcuffs next to him.

Still smiling from the moments on stage, Sheriff Maurice Broussard replied, “Yeah, you’re right, Joe. Let’s pack him up and go.”

As he spoke, he felt a hand on his shoulder. The sax player said, “Come back and sit in with us again, Mo.”

“Count on it. I’ll be back,” the sheriff said with a big smile. The 10-15 call was the reason they came to the Bobcat, but Sheriff Mo couldn’t resist the chance to relive his jazz band days back on Bourbon Street in a previous life.

He was a native of New Orleans, but like so many others, Katrina had forced him to flee north on a temporary relocation. At least, that was the original plan. Once here, he found some stability that he lacked before. The weather took some getting used to, but it was otherwise a nice place to live, so he decided to stay. Being county sheriff wasn’t something he’d ever considered before he came here, but he found it agreed with him.

He and his deputy each grasped an arm of the scruffy-looking man and led him out the door and to the car. Obviously inebriated, the prisoner asked, “What am I being arrested for?"

Joe shook his head and said, “I’ve told you twice already."

“For being a drunken a**h*le,” Mo said. “You can be an a**h*le, and you can get drunk, but you can’t do both, not around here.”
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
I've been an author in search of a novel for just about forty years now. Writing was the first thing I ever wanted to do seriously. Over the years I've done quite a variety of things. My first real job, the kind where you have a schedule and get paid hourly, was as a cook at the local Sonic Drive-In. I've been a machinist, a forklift driver, a production worker, a computer programmer, an IT guy, an installation manager, a software trainer, and an education department manager. Those are just the employment highlights. Through it all, I was a husband and father, and I attended college at night to get my bachelor's degree in technology management.

Before all that started, I wanted to be a writer. It just didn't work out that way. Maybe that's ok, I've had a good life and I have a wonderful family that I am proud to have. I don't regret any of what I've done to support my family over the years. The desire to write has persisted, however, and I took a look at my odometer one day and it read 61 years old. None of us know how high our personal odometer will go, but I knew if I was ever going to be a writer, now was the time.

I'm bringing my lifetime of experience to my novel writing. Many of my characters are loosely based upon people I've known in real life. Some of my plot elements are also influenced by real-life experiences as well. As of this writing, my first novel, Half Moon Lake, will be published on Amazon in a few weeks. I have begun work on my second book as well. I hope you will take time to register your email address so I may keep you apprised of announcements and special offers. I'd be thrilled to count you as one of my first dedicated readers.

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GUEST POST:
Seven Things You Might Not Know About Half Moon Lake
by Steve Brock


1. One of the more enjoyable aspects of writing the novel for me was creating characters. Sometimes, as I was giving personality traits to a character, I would find that I was picturing a person that I knew in my life. On the occasion that happened, I discovered that person’s personality was exactly what I was trying to create. In those cases, I used that real person as a template for my character. There are several recurring characters in this novel, and three of them are based on real people I have known. None of those people are aware of it and I don’t plan to tell them about it.

2. The book deals with some serious topics, it is not a comedic story. That said, I have given my characters healthy wit even in dire situations. I think being able to laugh at a situation is as useful as crying about it, and I try to approach my own life in that way. In addition to that, I like to make people laugh, and so I incorporate repartee in my writing style. You won’t find it on every page, but I do employ it sparingly.

3. One thing you will not find in this book, or anything I write, is an overabundance of swearing. My characters do swear on occasion when I think it is truly called for, but not often. Having said that, you will not find any f-words in my book. That is not for any prudish reason, but rather because I think there are better adjectives to be used. Not only that, but I find that word to be overused by many people in their daily life. I have known people who apparently could not complete a declarative sentence without including that word. I think that is indicative of a weak vocabulary and I have found no use for it in anything I have written.

4. One question I get quite often is what story I am going to write next. I have had several ideas for story plots and have created a couple of new characters I’m interested in writing about. I am also open to writing a follow-up to Half Moon Lake if it turns out to be well received by readers. I created characters that are not one-dimensional, and I have already had an idea for a new plot taking place in Pine Valley involving many of the same characters as well.

5. Speaking of the characters in the novel, after I had been writing for a few weeks I came to think of my characters as real people. I’m sure that isn’t the case for all writers, and it’s hard to explain to people who haven’t written one. It surprised me when I began to feel that way. For example, there were a few times when I was tired and didn’t feel like writing I would continue because I felt I owed it to Crease and Sheriff Mo or Rose, whomever I was writing about at the time. I felt like it would be wrong to leave their story incomplete.

6. I’m sure it will surprise many people these days of laptop computers and online writing tools to learn that many of the scenes in my book were handwritten. It might seem inefficient to write a scene by hand and then have to type it into a laptop later, and that’s true to some degree. I like putting pen to paper, however, particularly a good fountain pen on quality paper. I think that is because I’ve always envied artistic people who can draw and paint. I’ve always wished I had that ability, and maybe since I don’t, I find handwriting to be the closest I can get. I also find writing by hand useful sometimes if I’m writing a scene that I haven’t completely laid out beforehand. In those cases, writing by hand slows down the writing process and allows time for ideas to develop in my mind.

7. I took me a little over four months to write the first draft of the book. I started on the first of September 2021 and finished it just after the new year. My wife is a cat lover and we have had cats in our home since the first day we were married. The cats have always been drawn to her, and she always has one or more on her lap or sleeping next to her. That’s been just fine with me, I love animals too, but I like being able to move about freely. A couple of months before I started writing we took in a litter of kittens that needed a home. We were able to rehome three of them, which left three. We had opportunities to give them away also, but those three seemed to be connected to each other and we hated to split them up. Anyway, the runt of the litter was one of those that we kept and for whatever reason, he likes to spend time with me. When I sit on the sofa with my laptop to write, he decided that was an invitation for him to climb on my lap. So when I say it took just over four months to write the first draft, that was partially due to the help I had.


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