Thursday, September 29, 2011

Author Interview/Giveaway - Paradise 21 by Aubrie Dionne (Entangled Publishing)



Describe your book in five words or less.

1. Adventurous 2. Romantic 3. Piratical (of/or including pirates-Did I make that word up? Maybe.) 4. Otherworldly 5. Thought provoking (Or at least I hope it is)

How did the ideas for your books come to you?

The ideas come at the strangest times: When I’m driving, doing laundry, or in the shower. If I try to force myself to come up with ideas, nothing happens, but if I let my mind wander, there they are!

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

You control your own destiny. You can make things happen in your life if you put your mind up to it. Also,We need to work together to save this planet and balance our population with our resources.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?

The hardest part is when I hit a road block, or have trouble tying things together. Sometimes the story is crystal clear to me, and other times I feel like I’m looking through a smoky glass, trying to uncover a real gem.

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

I just finished the sequel, Tundra 37, about the Matchmaker on another colony ship. Now I’m writing a novella tie-in told from the perspective of the space pirates as the colony ships leave them behind on a crumbling Earth. This one has zombies of a sort in it, and has been a roller coaster ride to write!

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?

I love anything about science fiction. I grew up watching Star Wars and Star Trek TNG, and I wanted to create my won space opera, because you can never have enough of them can you? 

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?

Exciting and scary at the same time. I hope they’ll like it, but you can’t please everyone all of the time. I can only write what I would enjoy reading myself.

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

Who has helped me along the way to publication?

Definitely my family’s support, my writing critique partners, my agent, and Entangled Publishing for believing in my book!

What was your road to publications like?

A lot of typing. I kept writing books until one of them caught fire. Paradise 21 is my fourth book, and I’ve already written two others and half a novella since then. I’ve also written about twenty short stories, and several hundred blogs.

You have to keep writing. I thought I’d write one book and be famous, but it took several books to hone my craft and create a good recipe of well-developed characters, action, plot, and setting.

Thank you for having me here today!

About the Author:



Aubrie is an author and flutist in New England. Her stories have appeared in Mindflights, Niteblade, Silver Blade, A Fly in Amber, and several print anthologies including Skulls and Crossbones by Minddancer Press, Rise of the Necromancers, by Pill Hill Press, Nightbird Singing in the Dead of Night by Nightbird Publishing, Dragontales and Mertales by Wyvern Publications, A Yuletide Wish by Nightwolf Publications, and Aurora Rising by Aurora Wolf Publications. Her epic fantasy is published with Wyvern Publications, and several of her ebooks are published with Lyrical Press and Gypsy Shadow Publishing. When she’s not writing, she plays in orchestras and teaches flute at Plymouth State University and a community music school.

http://www.authoraubrie.com http://authoraubrie.blogspot.com

Please levea a comment/question on this post in appreciation of the author



Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Author Interview/Giveaway - The "What If" Guy by Brooke Moss (Entangled Publishing)

Hi, and thanks for having me here today. What a fun blog to be a part of!

Describe your book in five words or less.

Um, let’s see….funny, romantic, relatable, emotional, and poignant.

How did the ideas for your books come to you?

I get ideas everywhere! Every time I meet a new couple, and I learn about how they met and fell in love, I feel inspired to tell a new story. Inspiration for contemporary romance and women’s fiction is all around me! It’s just a matter of picking one story to tell at a time.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Actually, there are a few. First, don’t let too much time pass, and too much hurt happen, between you and a loved one before you take the first step towards reuniting and working things out. You never know when you might run out of time. And second, if your heart longs for someone, don’t force yourself to be with another. Your heart loves whom it loves. Go out and get them.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?

For me the hardest part is definitely doing the promotion. I am happiest when sitting in my sweats writing a new story. Trying to “sell myself” takes me out of my comfort zone. But I am learning with time, that when you publish a book, connecting with readers is key. And I’m starting to appreciate it, too. My readers are amazing!

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

I am currently working on a really cool WIP that I hope to pitch at the Emerald City Writer’s Conference all about…wait for it…carnies. Ha! That should be interesting. Plus, I am working on the edits for a really special trilogy that will come out next summer from Entangled Publishing. Think “My Best Friend’s Wedding” meets “Pretty In Pink”, with a dark twist a’la Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson. I can’t wait to share it with everyone.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?

I’ve dabbled in other genres, but I seem to keep coming back to the contemporary romance and women’s fiction genres. They say to write what you read, and since I tend to lean towards those two genres first, that’s what I write. Plus, I really enjoy books that are relatable. With storylines that could potentially happen to me, or someone I know.

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?

Incredible. Sometimes I feel like I am having an “out of body” experience. All I’ve ever wanted with my books is to have people read and enjoy them. Nothing pleases me more than hearing that someone enjoyed a story I wrote. It’s better than any reward or contest win I could get. Fan feedback and praise is priceless.

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

When I was writing The What If Guy, it played out in my mind like a movie the whole time. I would love to be asked who would play the roles of the main and secondary characters. And what songs would be on the soundtrack.

For the role of Autumn Cole, I always pictured Isla Fischer; for Henry Tobler, I pictured Gerard Butler; and for Billy Cole, I pictured Ed Harris. On the soundtrack, I would have “A Thousand Miles From Nowhere” by Dwight Yokum, and plenty of Willie Nelson songs.

What was your road to publications like?

It was sometimes painful, but completely worth it. I’ve been rejected a lot. And I have friends who live in fear of rejection, and who get completely depressed by rejection. I have been down a time or two, but never once did I contemplate giving up and going into a completely new field of work. I’ve contemplated self publishing before, but since I am not very good with self-promotion, I think it’s best to just stay the course I am on with Entangled, who makes it impossible for authors not to succeed.

My name is Brooke Moss, and my debut novel, The What If Guy, is available now from Entangled Publishing. It is the story of single mom, Autumn Cole, who is returning to her miniscule hometown to reluctantly reclaim her role as daughter of the town drunk. Things become even more complicated when she realizes that her son’s history teacher is none other than Henry Tobler, the college sweetheart she never stopped loving.

The What If Guy is available at Barnes & Noble.com, Amazon, Diesel Books, Books on Board, and your local bookseller. Grab a copy today, and let me know what you think!

Find me elsewhere on the web, at my website, blog, Twitter, Goodreads, and Facebook.

Fondly,

- Brooke Moss Please leave a comment/question on this post in appreciation of the author.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Author Interview/Giveaway - The Marked Son by Shea Berkley (Entangled Publishing)

I’d like to thank Sue for inviting me to her blog today. Honestly, when you let a Young Adult writer on a blog, you never know what’s going to happen. We’re pretty pubescent. So I apologize beforehand for my behavior.

The Marked Son quick overview:

Seventeen-year-old Dylan Kennedy always knew something was different about him, but until his mother abandoned him in the middle of Oregon with grandparents he’s never met, he had no idea what.

When Dylan sees a girl in white in the woods behind his grandparents’ farm, he knows he’s seen her before…in his dreams. He’s felt her fear. Heard her insistence that only he can save her world from an evil lord who uses magic and fear to feed his greed for power.

Unable to shake the unearthly pull to Kera, Dylan takes her hand. Either he’s completely insane or he’s about to have the adventure of his life, because where they’re going is full of creatures he’s only read about in horror stories. Worse, the human blood in his veins has Dylan marked for death…

Describe your book in five words or less.

Dangerous. Demented. Dynamic. Totally Cool.

How did the ideas for your books come to you?

I woke from a dream and the hand of God touched my temple and inserted the story right then and there.

I wish, but nope.

Honestly, I’m not sure where the actual storyline came from, but my fallen angels (aka my children) realized I was doing a lot of writing on the computer and figured out I was writing stories and they harassed me until I promised I’d write one for them. I, in turn, grilled them about what kind of book they wanted and fantasy won the rock, paper, scissors contest and The Marked Son was born… or something very close to that. No, really.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Whatever message is in my books, it’s completely up to the reader to uncover. In other words, I didn’t write it with a social message in there. I write for the entertainment factor.

That sounds so shallow, huh? Here’s the mind twist, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a message in my stories. It’s just that any message is secondary to the story. I find that stories that tout a message as its main goal are often dull and didactic. (bleck!) I’m not here to preach; my job is to tell the story as I see it unfold and whatever comes out of that telling is a product of the character I created, good or bad.

All authors are actors. We just relate the story through the written word. So message? If you find one, awesome! If you just breeze through it and have a good time, that’s great, too!

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?

The hardest part of writing? Everything.

The easiest part of writing? Something about writing is easy? Seriously? Nobody told me that. What is it?

I kid you not, writing is mentally and physically exhausting for me. I love the feeling of creating and perfecting what I’ve created, but it’s just as often bone-scrapingly painful. Writing is not for sissies. Or lazy people. Or anyone who wants to make a lot of money. (grin)

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

I’ll tell you if you don’t tell anyone else. I’m working on the second and third books in the Keeper of Life series. Yep. And that’s all I’m telling you. Sorry. I can’t talk about books I’m working on. I find when I do, all the magic of that story slowly ebbs away, and then I don’t want to write about it anymore. So nope. Not talking.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?

Different stories lean toward different genres. Dylan’s story leaned toward fantasy, so I had little choice in what kind of story it was. I’ve written middle grade books, picture books, adult books and books for young adults and within those categories the stories have run the gamut from straight fiction to fantasy to paranormal. All I want is to write an engaging story. Pretty simple goal for me.

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?

Surreal. (yeah, like that’s an original answer)

From my vantage point, my writing is fun for me, and hopefully entertaining for others, but nothing special. So, when people get all fangirl/boy on me it makes me smile. Shoot, I can’t wait for the next book to hit. I want to know what’s next for these characters and what they’re going to do, but honestly, I figured I’d be the only one. I’m just glad I’m not.

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

Boxers or briefs?

Dude, I’m a girl. Really. I just write in the guy’s POV. So, cute, lacy thongs, duh!

What was your road to publications like?

Long.

Umm, not really that long, but longer than I wanted it to be. I’ve been writing fiction a long time, but not with the focus of ever getting published. I wrote non-fiction for publication. Then, when I finally finished my first book, I had to do something with it. So I sent it out to a publisher and it went nowhere fast. I’m okay with that. I love that book. It taught me a lot about writing and I learned about my voice and rhythm and all sorts of crazy tricks we use in fiction.

Over the years I’ve almost been published more times that I’d like to remember, but each time I was grateful the deals fell through. So when Variance came knocking (even though my books with Entangled came out first, I sold to Variance first), I was thrilled and then Entangled scooped up another series, and I was doubly thrilled. So I have two books coming out in one year from two different publishers and it’s freaky, but fantastic.



Torrein: Age of Fear is an Epic Fantasy coming out November 1st 2011 from Variance Publishing. Here’s a quick overview:

What if the only hope of saving a magical world depended on an ordinary boy?

Peace is not easily found in the divided kingdom of Taelyon; its mortals distrust anything magical; its wizards are indifferent to the suffering of others, and hate infects everyone. The battle for dominance is never ending. Yet, there is hope in a boy named Torrein. When magic is denied him, he's chased from his own village by those he once called friends. Torrein doesn't understand that his destiny is far greater than any he could have achieved if magic had been granted him. Who wants a destiny soaked in blood? All Torrein wants is what he can't have - to be with his family and friends.

To claim his rightful power, Torrein must calm his fears and reveal the real evil working to destroy Taelyon. It will be a fight till the end of the age to reclaim the freedom they’ve all been denied, and though it's hard for him to accept, it’s up to Torrein to protect those who have been deceived, and to make sure the evil in their midst doesn't kill them all.

Author Bio


Shea Berkley started out writing nonfiction (not so fun) and quickly moved into fiction (totally fun), and knew she’d found her calling. (Her family was thrilled she’d found friends to play with even if they weren’t technically real.) She’s still pleasantly surprised people are willing to pay to read her stories.

Besides writing, her many diversions include kickboxing, reading awesome books and hanging out with her loud and rambunctious family. With five kids (all girls), her biggest job is to make sure the little darlings don’t harass the neighbors and then play dumb when the cops come knocking on her door.

Please leave a comment/question on this post in appreciation of the author.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Author Interview/Giveaway - Ward Against Death by Melanie Card (Entangled Publishing)

Describe your book in five words or less.

Murder + Necromancer + Undead Assassin = love

How did the ideas for your books come to you?

My ideas come in many different ways. Usually it starts with a character. At the time I was inspired to write Ward Against Death two things happened. The first, I was pondering the question: in what situation could a necromancer be good instead of evil?—because sometimes I like to play around with expectations. I liked the idea of an unexpected hero, but I wasn’t sure what form he’d take. And the second thing was watching Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hallow late one night on TV. Johnny Depp's portrayal of Ichabod Crane was quirky and endearing and determined… and he got the girl! And out of that my hero, Ward, was born.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I don’t intentionally write with a message but usually my stories are about finding one’s self. About discovering strengths and weaknesses, truly seeing one ’s self and truly being seen by someone else. And by that “being seen” realizing that you are worthy of love.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?

For me the first draft is usually the hardest part. Once I have a foundation I can add, replace, and rearrange with relative ease. I don’t necessarily enjoy edits (I don’t get the same satisfaction that I get from writing a scene and realizing it’s gone in a different direction that I thought it would go and amazing new possibilities have opened up), but editing usually is a smoother process for me.

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

Next for publication is the second book in the Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer series. The adventures of Ward and Celia continue with more undead creatures and evil necromancers. Future projects include books three and four in the Chronicles of a Reluctant Necromancer series.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?

I’m not sure why I always seem to choose to write fantasy, be it historical fantasy like Ward Against Death, urban fantasy, or paranormal romance, but I do. I grew up in a home where my father and brother read science fiction and my mother read mysteries. And save for the collection of Grimm’s fairy tales and a copy of Alice in Wonderland, there wasn’t a lot of fantasy in the house—at least until I starting buying my own books. The adventure in fantasy, the time periods and the magic that can do or become anything appeals to me. There’s a feeling of romance with fantasy, and I get to live that romance by being able to read and write about people who can do wondrous things. I think that drew me in as a child and has held me captive ever since.

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?

It’s very exciting to hear people are eagerly awaiting Ward & Celia’s next adventure. You never really know what kind of a response you’re going to get when you set your book free and let people read it. The response from everyone has been overwhelming and I’m so flattered that people are enjoying it.

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

I’ve been asked a whole variety of wonderful questions since I started doing interviews for Ward Against Death. I wouldn’t say that there’s any one question I’ve been wanting someone to ask. I will give you a strange fact though. The surgery Ward performs in the book is based on a procedure described in the writings by Guy de Chauliac (a 12th century French surgeon).

What was your road to publications like?

From first “serious” submission to acceptance it took me almost seven years to make my first sale (I say “serious submission” because when I was in high school I sent out a short story to a literary magazine, was rejected, and didn’t send anything out again until the “serious” submission).

After the first serious submission I queried my books to agents and editors, entered them in contests, received requests for more, and received rejections. While I did that, I wrote the next book, and the next book and… you get the point.

Ward Against Death was the second book I wrote during this process, but it wasn’t until I’d written seven novels that I made my first sale to Entangled Publishing. Will we see those novel s in the future? For some, I hope so. For others… well, let’s just say they’re hiding under my bed and will probably stay there. I learned a lot writing all those books. I suspect I will continue to learn as I write more books.

Author Bio


Melanie has always been drawn to story telling and can't remember a time when she wasn’t creating a story in her head. Her early stories were adventures with fairies and dragons and sword swinging princesses.

Today she continues to spin tales of magic in lands near and far, while her cat sits on the edge of her desk and supervises. When she’s not writing, you can find her pretending to be other people with her local community theatre groups.

Please leave a comment/question on this post in appreciation of the author.

Book Description CHRONICLES OF A RELUCTANT NECROMANCER - Book One

Twenty‐year‐old Ward de’Ath expected this to be a simple job—bring a nobleman’s daughter back from the dead for fifteen minutes, let her family say good‐bye, and launch his fledgling career as a necromancer. Goddess knows he can’t be a surgeon—the Quayestri already branded him a criminal for trying—so bringing people back from the dead it is.

But when Ward wakes the beautiful Celia Carlyle, he gets more than he bargained for. Insistent that she’s been murdered, Celia begs Ward to keep her alive and help her find justice. By the time she drags him out her bedroom window and into the sewers, Ward can’t bring himself to break his damned physician’s Oath and desert her.

However, nothing is as it seems—including Celia. One second, she’s treating Ward like sewage, the next she’s kissing him. And for a noble‐ man’s daughter, she sure has a lot of enemies. If he could just convince his heart to give up on the infuriating beauty, he might get out of this alive…

Banned Books Week Giveaway Hop (Sep 24 - Oct 1)



Everyone's idea is different. My take is that is up to the individual or parent to decide what is appropriate. I can't imagine not reading Harry Potter along with my nephews or missing at The Grapes of Wrath, Of Mice and Men ( I live in California you read a lot of the native son in high school or a least you used to), The Call of the Wild (another one that at one time lived in California) I've actually been to his historic house.

On that note I will be giving away BN giftcards (2 different winners)

- There will be two winners of $10 BN gift card to buy you own Banned book or one that you are dying to read.


- You must be a follower to win.



Friday, September 23, 2011

Author Interview/Giveaway - Break Out by Nina Croft (Entangled Publishing)

Describe your book in five words or less.

Sizzling hot vampires in space.

How did the ideas for your books come to you?

I really wanted to write a space opera—I've always loved them ever since watching Star Wars a long time ago, and falling in love with Han Solo, and more recently, Jos Whedon's, Firefly, and falling in love all over again. But I usually write paranormal romance, as I have a fondness for vampires and other creatures of the night. So, I was sitting watching Firefly for the fifth time trying to decide which project to work on next. I couldn't decide between the space opera or the paranormal, so I decided why not combine the two. After all, if vampires exist now, why shouldn't they exist in the future?

The more I thought about the idea, the more I like it, and so, Ricardo Sanchez, space pilot and vampire came into being.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Break Out, book one in the Blood Hunter series, looks at the issue of immortality—do we really want to live forever, and how much are we willing to pay to get it? Break Out is set in a future where man has discovered the secret of immortality—Meridian. But Meridian is rare and expensive and only available to the select few who can pay the price. Everyone wants the chance to live forever, and many others have turned back to religion and another type of immortality. Then of course, there's my hero, Rico, who doesn't need either Meridian or the church, because he's already immortal.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?

I'm a planner, and probably the planning is the hardest part for me—it's when I need to make all the important decisions. I have to work on my outline, right down to the scene level, then I'll dig about into my characters heads, working out what they want and why, until finally, I get to that magical moment where they start talking in my head. Once that happens, the writing comes easy.

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

Blood Hunter book two, Deadly Pursuit, comes out soon. And I'm currently working on book three in the series.

I also have a paranormal romance, Bittersweet Blood, out in December with Entangled. And my next project will be a follow up to that.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?

I'm a big believer in writing the sort of stories you love to read. That doesn't actually narrow things down much for me as I read lots of different things, but right now, mainly paranormal. But I also love science fiction, and adventure stories and time travel and...

Break Out is a combination of space opera and paranormal romance. I love writing in both genres because there is no limit to what you can do and where you can go.

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?

Wonderful. Good reviews are great, but there's nothing like getting an email from a reader who genuinely likes your stuff. It makes all the work worthwhile.

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

I find writing about myself incredibly difficult so I guess a good question for me would be—what animals do you have? Then I could write about them instead of me.

And the answer would be: Well, there's Gencianna, the horse, Lola, Grunt and Pinky the dogs...

What was your road to publications like?

Relatively painless—I had my share of rejections, but I've learned to see them as a learning process and use any feedback I get. I started writing contemporary romance—that's where most of the rejections came from. I was told they like my writing, but I had too much external conflict. So I moved on to paranormal romance, where external conflict is expected, and I loved writing it from the start.

The second paranormal novella I wrote, The Prophecy, was accepted by Harlequin Nocturne Bites and published in 2010. Since then I've had seven other novellas released by various publishers. And I have my first full length novels coming out later this year.

I'm very lucky, in that a few years ago, I moved with my husband to a remote farm in the mountains of Southern Spain. It's a wonderful place to write, very inspiring and very few distractions, so now I write pretty much full-time.

About the Author:
Nina Croft grew up in the north of England. After training as an accountant, she spent four years working as a volunteer in Zambia which left her with a love of the sun and a dislike of 9-5 work. She then spent a number of years mixing travel (whenever possible) with work (whenever necessary) but has now settled down to a life of writing and picking almonds on a remote farm in the mountains of southern Spain.

Nina’s writing mixes romance with elements of the paranormal and science fiction. Nina Croft

Please lave a comment on this post in appreciation of the author

Book Description:

Irreverent. Irresponsible. Insatiable. Who says immortals can't have any fun?

The year is 3048, Earth is no longer habitable, and man has fled to the stars where they’ve discovered the secret of immortality—Meridian. Unfortunately, the radioactive mineral is exorbitantly expensive and only available to a select few. A new class comprised of the super rich and immortal soon evolves. The Collective, as they’re called, rule the universe.

Two-thousand-year-old Ricardo Sanchez, vampire and rogue pilot of the space cruiser, El Cazador, can’t resist two things: gorgeous women and impossible jobs. When beautiful Skylar Rossaria approaches him to break a prisoner out of the Collective’s maximum security prison on Trakis One, Rico jumps at the chance. Being hunted by the Collective has never been so dangerous–or so fun!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Author Interview/Giveaway - Thrill Me by Lucianne River (Entangled Puslishing) (End 9/28)

Describe your book in five words or less.

Steamy. Steamy. Steamy.

How did the ideas for your books come to you?

HOLD ME is based on my own journey to Guatemala a couple of years ago.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

That it's okay to let loose.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?

Currently, finding time to write is difficult due to changes in my personal life and workload. Dialogue is easiest for me. I have fun when my characters have fun.

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

The sequels to HOLD ME--THRILL ME and ENTICE ME--come out in the next two months, so I'm busy editing those.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?

I have always read romantic suspense. When I began to write, I naturally gravitated to that genre.

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?

Are they? LOL. Cool.

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

Q) What's your phone number? (This is only if I'm being interviewed by Bruce Willis).

What was your road to publications like?

I started writing romance books last July. In February of this year, I received offers for four of my novellas. Savvyauthors.com was a fantastic source of knowledge.

Buy buttons HOLD ME:

AMAZON

B&N

Buy buttons THRILL ME:

AMAZON

B&N





Please leave a comment on this post in appreciation of the author

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Author Interview/Giveaway - Out in Blue by Sarah Gilman (Entangled Publishing) (ends 9/27)

Describe your book in five words or less.

Fast paced paranormal romance.

How did the ideas for your books come to you?

I had recently read an article about endangered tigers and the ongoing problem of poachers killing them for their skin. I had also been to a small store where the owner had put on display a collection of feathers from large birds, and I thought to myself that a real angel feather would be quite the collector’s item, one people would pay money to own, like tiger fur. After that, the idea of poachers going after my archangel characters for their feathers hit me on the head like Newton’s apple.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

The story is primarily for entertainment, but there are some underlying ideas I meant to draw attention to. Poaching is alive and well in the world, a horror that is often overlooked with everything else that is going on in the media. Also, the idea that love can happen fast and hard, when the right two people come together. I am a believer in true love and love at nearly first sight, and these particular characters are the embodiment of that.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?

I write slowly, so keeping to a schedule with a goal of having a manuscript done by a particular date is a challenge for me. The ideas are the easiest…I seem to have too many of them, actually!

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

I’m working on Deep in Crimson, the next book after Out in Blue in the Return to Sanctuary series. I have a side project that may or may not see the light of day, it’s too early to tell. That’s a ghost story romance. I’m also outlining an all new angel series that features both fallen angels and angels who have not fallen.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?

Paranormal romance is my favorite genre to read, so I naturally chose to write it. I need out-of-this-world elements to keep my interest.

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?

Surreal. Even now, none of it feels real!

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

You were the first to ask it! Above, the underlying messages. Thanks! ;)

What was your road to publication like?



About the Author

Sarah Gilman started her first novel in third grade. She never finished that story, but never gave up the dream. Her fascination with wings also began at that age, when images of the ancient Egyptian goddess Isis captured her imagination and never let go. Now a paranormal romance writer, she employs her love of writing to bring the allure of winged creatures to the pages of her novels. Sarah lives in Vermont with her supportive husband and two spoiled cats.

Surprisingly short. Out in Blue took a year to write, thought I’d been writing for a long time prior. Once I decided to pitch Blue, I had a contract offer in less than a month. Right place, right time.

Thanks so much for the interview today!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Author Interview/Giveaway - The Last Rising by Rachel Firasek (Entangled Puslishing)




Thank you for having me on the blog today!!!


Describe your book in five words or less.
A phoenixes' redemption unlocks love.

How did the ideas for your books come to you?

I was sitting in the airport after the RWA National Convention in the summer of 2010. A storm system had blown in and beat the airport up pretty good. All the flights were delayed until the storm passed. I started thinking about the flights that had taken off before us and how rough their trip was going to be. This inspired the opening scene in the book. A tarot reading brought me the phoenix and thus a book was born.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

This series is about self forgiveness. I think as women, especially, we hold our guilt to us and can sometimes shift it into our own undoing. This story is about getting past the pain of our own mistakes and forgiving ourselves in order to move on.


What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?

The hardest part of writing is staying focused on one story. Creativity is a living creature and once I'm back into that mode, stories will literally haunt me.The easiest is the other side of this, creativity breeds more stories and my mind is an endless plot, or love scene, or moody character just waiting for me to save them.

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?
I'm currently working on the rest of the books in this series, but after that I hope to launch my top secret YA creation that is fairly begging to play with me.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?

I don't choose the genre, the story does. I like the paranormal world and all the possibilities it allows. But, if a story wants to be a straight contemporary, I let it. I'm not going to break my stories to make them fit into a mold. I just don't work that way.

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's
release date?

It's pretty amazing. Everytime I see someone add The Last Rising to their TBR list on Goodreads, I shout in glee. My husband and kids think I'm quite looney. :)

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an
interview? How would you answer that question?

Is it worth it? I know that sounds lame, but sometimes we'll write for hours, hours, and more hours and watch a book we love that just doesn't create the hype we thought it would. But, to me it's all worth it. My story is out there and even if only a handful of people read it, I've spread my message and love to someone else. But that doesn't mean I don't want people to buy the book, lol, please rush out now. :)

What was your road to publications like?

This is my third novel to be published, but each road is different. The staff at Entangled has been incredible. Roxanne had been great setting up all of these amazing blog hops. My editor, Libby, is awesome to work with. Heather Howland is creating strong covers that we can all adore, and the publishers are always keeping us in the know. It's a truly unique experience and I'm glad I'm on their team.


Author Bio:

Rachel Firasek grew up in the south and despite
the gentle pace, she harassed life at full steam.
Her curiosity about mythology, human nature,
and the chemical imbalance we call love led her
to writing. Her stories began with macabre war
poems and shifted to enchanted fairytales,
before she settled on a blending of the two.

Today you’ll find her tucked on a small parcel
of land, surrounded by bleating sheep and
barking dogs, with her husband and children.
She entertains them all with her wacky sense of
humor or animated reenactments of bad 80’s
dance moves.

She’s intrigued by anything unexplained and
seeks the answers to this crazy thing we call
life. You can find her where the heart twists the
soul and lights the shadows… or at Rachel Firasek



Please leave a comment on this post in appreciation of the author.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Author Interview/Giveaway - Stone Cold Seduction by Jess McAllen (Entangled Publishing)



Describe your book in five words or less.

Surprising, witty and somewhat dark.

How did the ideas for your books come to you?

It’s a random process. I’m usually struck by inspiration right before I fall asleep, or when I’m doing dishes. A scene or character will pop into my head, and I’ll flesh out the story from there. My creativity flows best when I keep the process organic.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Regardless of your perceived fate, you still have a choice about how your life will unfold.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?

The hardest part is keeping a regular writing schedule. With 3 young children, it’s almost impossible. I have to stay flexible with my time. The easiest part is coming up with ideas. I have more ideas than I can write in my lifetime. The creative well is always full, though choosing what to work on next can be a fun challenge.

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

I’m working on the third book in the Set in Stone series, and then I’ll switch direction for a bit and work on a middle grade. Then I’ll move back to an urban fantasy/paranormal book. Switching genres keeps my muse engaged and my writing fun.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?

I’m very much a genre jumper because my reading and writing tastes are so eclectic. But the urban fantasy/paranormal genre is one of the first I fell in love with. As a writer, I have a blast creating a paranormal world. The possibilities are unlimited. I also love researching the magical, paranormal and mythological aspects. I’ve always been intrigued by anything beyond the norm.

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?

I’m never quite sure how to respond. It’s an awesome feeling, but it also makes me a little nervous. I worry about whether or not my story will entertain them. I have to work hard to silence that inner critic and simply say, “Thank you. I hope you love it.”

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

I love off the wall questions that make me really think, but I’ve always wanted someone to ask me which of my characters I’d be friends with in real life. I have a soft spot for Elle’s best friend, Teryl. He’s the kind of guy you can’t help but like—smart, funny and charming.

What was your road to publications like?

I hit a lot of speed bumps and dead ends. With each rejection, I fine-tuned my submission. I had to believe in my writing. Fortunately, it only takes on person to see the potential in a story and make an offer. I received a great opportunity with Entangled Publishing, and I’ll always be thankful this series found a home with them. I continue to learn something new with each book. I seem to learn best by trial and error (emphasis on the “error”), but I’m able to grow because of it. My goal is to constantly evolve as a writer.

Thanks so much for having me on Books, Books the Magical Fruit! I love connecting with readers. You can find me at www.JessMacallan.com | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

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Author Bio



Jess lives in the Inland Northwest with her husband and three children. She thrives on creative chaos. Curiosity drives her to try new things as often as possible.

When not writing or chasing trouble, she teaches yoga, reads, runs a mini farm, watches MMA and gardens. The only things she takes seriously are chocolate, tea and world domination. But mostly chocolate.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Author Interview/Giveaway - Lucky Girl by Cate Lord (Entangled Publishing) (Ends 9/24)

Describe your book in five words or less:

A fun, flirty romantic comedy.

How did the ideas for your book come to you?

Many elements of Lucky Girl were drawn from my own experiences as a single gal recovering from heartbreak, starting to date again, and hoping to find “Mr. Right.” The story is loosely based on a year I lived and studied in England—an amazing time I’ll never forget. I stayed with my aunt and uncle in Hertfordshire and on weekdays, traveled by train down to London to attend classes. On weekends, I partied with a great group of friends I’d met through my cousins. It was a year of many adventures, including meeting the tall, dark-haired, witty Brit who later became my husband. He and I recently celebrated our nineteenth wedding anniversary and have a teenage daughter.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Yes, that people aren’t always what they appear to be on first impression. Early in the book, Jess considers the gorgeous hero, Nick Mondinello, a marketing exec for a prestigious London firm, to be a playboy like her deadbeat dad and a guy who’d break her heart if she ever got involved with him. As the author, I had the fun of proving to Jess that Nick’s more of a hero than she ever imagined. The book is really the story of how she grows as a character from being afraid of trusting her heart to Nick to falling head-over-heels in love with him, and how that affects her perspective on life. Of course, in the process I had to embarrass her, torture her emotionally, and poke fun at her insecurities and eccentricities, but I did so with the best of intentions. 

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What’s the easiest?

The hardest part is finding time, some days, just to sit and write. Our family schedule stays pretty busy, and it’s tough for me to focus when I have a lot of commitments. However, I pack a lined notebook and mechanical pencil in my purse, and when I’m waiting for my daughter at the orthodontist or at other appointments, I write. It’s not perfect material, but later, when I type it into my manuscript file, I edit it and flesh it out where needed. It’s a process that might not work for all authors, but it works well for me.

The easiest part of writing is crafting a scene that really “speaks” to me—in other words, when my creative muse is inspired. Usually it’s a scene filled with conflict, and I visualize it like a section of a movie. When the characters, dialogue, and action are so clear, the words fly from my fingers. I get so engrossed in what I’m writing, I’m hardly aware of the time passing, until, finally, I take a deep breath, push back from computer, and treat myself to a cup of Earl Grey tea (my favorite).

What’s next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

I have several projects in the works right now. I’ve considered a sequel to Lucky Girl, although I haven’t decided on that for sure. I’m also working on a couple of paranormal romances. More details on my future projects will be revealed soon.

Why did you choose to write for a specific genre?

I wrote Lucky Girl as a personal challenge. Before I contracted with Entangled Publishing, I’d written six medieval romances that were released in mass market paperback. While writing my historicals, I was eager to try penning a funny, quirky, sassy contemporary romantic comedy, and that meant writing in a style and tone very different from my medievals. I love how Lucky Girl turned out, and would like to write more contemporaries. In fact, I have so many stories in mind—paranormals, historicals, contemporaries, and fantasy-set series—I hope to be writing for years to come.

What’s it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book’s release date?

It’s extremely exciting! It makes those many, many hours at my computer writing, revising, and editing all worthwhile. I love my readers and greatly appreciate their interest in my books.

What is one question that you’ve always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

Hmm. Let’s see . . . How about: “If you could have any career you wanted, what would it be?” My answer: A jeweler. I’d love to design my own jewelry using gemstones, pearls, and precious metals.

What was your road to publication like?

It was full of potholes.  LOL! I didn’t sell the first manuscript I wrote (thank goodness; it’s pretty awful!). It took years and five completed books before I finally clinched my first sale, but I persevered, by entering contests with editors and agents as final-round judges, attending conferences to learn the craft of writing, and actively participating in my critique group, which is still going strong to this day. I’m so glad I didn’t give up; I’m truly honored to be able to share my stories with others.

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Friday, September 16, 2011

Guest Interview/Blog - One Wish for Winifred Witch by Cheri Hallwood

Describe your book in five words or less. “One Wish for Winifred Witch”

Wow, that’s really hard to do! Solution for a witch’s fear.

How did the ideas for your book come to you?

I’ve always had a vivid imagination. I think I feel a lot like “Peter Pan.” I don’t want to forget what it’s like to be a child . . . to imagine, ask what if, and always ask why.

The idea for One Wish for Winifred Witch, comes from remembering my own fear of the dark and then watching my children and grandchildren find ways to overcome this same fear. I decided my character would be a little witch after accompanying two of my granddaughters while they went Trick or Treating a few years ago. You see, while we were going door to door, these three adorable little girls dressed up as “little witches” came running from one of the homes crying and saying how they now wanted to go home because it was getting dark. I thought, “What better way to talk about this fear.” After all, who would ever think a Witch would be afraid of the dark!.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I don’t really think about having a message when I write. However, Winifred is a tale about being afraid of the dark . . . an emotion most of us have felt at some time in our life. I feel it is important to take the time to listen to a child, for whatever reason. After all, they chose you to share their thoughts with. Remember, no wish is too big, no fear is too small.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?

The hardest part part of writing for me is knowing when to stop. I tend to ramble on and on and on. That’s when editing comes in! For me, the easiest part of writing is rhyming. I love it . . . to bring a story to life through rhyme is, for me, spiritual.

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

Two of my grandchildren have asked me to try my hand at writing my first chapter book. And I am up to the challenge. Tentatively entitled, Frogwilla, (one granddaughter’s e-mail address) this enchanting tale is about a little frog’s road to self-discovery. Along the way, she learns the true meaning of friendship, courage, and acceptance. To be released Holiday 2012.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?

Literacy is very important to me. Young children are so eager to learn. How much fun it is to listen to a young child as they browse through picture books and make up their own stories. Once a child learns to read, the world awaits them. “Children who are introduced to books at an early age and read to on a regular basis do better in school.” S. Herb--Building Blocks for Literacy

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?

Unbelievable! Since my readers are so young, it’s mainly the grownups I hear from. I will never forget the time I was at a book signing and a little girl, about 6 years old, jumped up onto my lap and gave me the biggest hug. She told me how much she loved my book, Winter’s First Snowflake, and how she had waited several days to come to the book store and meet me! She then asked me if I would read my story just for her. Needless to say, it was very hard to hold back the tears.

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

I can’t think of a question I haven’t already been ask, but I can tell you that some of the most interesting questions have come from children. What was your road to publications like?

Since I self-publish, my road to publication is somewhat different than the traditional route. I won’t lie, it is a lot of hard work. But I have discovered that the rewards of working hard at something you are passionate about far outweigh the challenges. Never give up on your dream!!!



Meet Author, Cheri L. Hallwood

Cheri L. Hallwood is an award-winning children’s author and founder of Forever Young Publishers. But first and foremost, she will tell you she is the proud mother of three talented daughters and six very imaginative granddaughters.

Throughout her adult life, Cheri has had many occupations, but has always devoted her spare time to being involved with children . . . from room-mother and teacher’s helper, to Brownie Leader. As a young mother, Cheri had dreamed of someday writing children’s stories. However, life has a way of putting our dreams on hold. It would be her grandchildren that would inspire her to fulfill that dream and rekindle her passion for writing.



In 2005, with the encouragement of family and friends, a lot of research, and a small loan, Cheri would embark upon one of the most amazing journeys in her life . . . the journey into the world of writing and self-publishing. Her first children‘s book, Winter’s First Snowflake, was released in 2006. After Snowflake, took off, she continued to write, and a year later published The Curious Polka~Dot Present. Cheri’s latest book, One Wish for Winifred Witch, is considered by some to be her best work yet. All three books have been awarded the prestigious Mom’s Choice Award and the distinguished Dove Foundation Seal. Cheri’s goal remains the same, to encourage children to get excited about reading by creating books that stimulate their imagination and sense of curiosity about the world around them. Everyone should take a moment and enter the world of a child. Once again, Cheri’s grandchildren inspire her writing by asking her to try something new . . . write her first chapter book. Tentatively entitled, Frogwilla, this enchanting tale is about a little frog‘s road to self-discovery. Follow along, as she learns the true meaning of friendship, courage, and acceptance.

When not writing or publishing, Cheri enjoys baking, sewing and decorating. But her greatest pleasure is spending time with her grandchildren. A long-time resident of Niles, Michigan, Cheri and her husband, Ray, take great pleasure in being involved in their community.

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Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Author Guest Post/Giveaway - The Best Birthday Gift Ever - Tammy Kaehler

Birthday Blog Post

The Best Birthday Gift Ever

Because today is my birthday, I thought I’d invite you all to join me in reminiscing about birthday gifts past, dreaming of birthday gifts future, and gorging on virtual cakes (calorie-free!!). Even better, I’m giving a gift: one commenter will win an audio book version of Dead Man’s Switch!

I’ve had some good birthdays in my life. Setting off on my honeymoon one year was especially good. The antique watch I received from a family friend is still a treasured possession. And a surprise party when I thought my friends had forgotten was a lovely moment. But this year is taking the cake (pun intended). I’ve already received two spectacular birthday gifts—both of them arrived early, but the celebration and the glow are still with me.

First, my debut mystery about a female racecar driver was published by Poisoned Pen Press a month ago. Yippee! People often ask if having a book published was a lifelong dream, and I almost don’t know how to respond. I didn’t think—scratch that, I KNEW I couldn’t write fiction, so I never even considered dreaming of it. But I have loved words and stories my whole life. I need them, every day, like air and water, but I knew I couldn’t write one. Until I did. So it’s actually beyond my wildest dreams now to be a published author (and I still get chills making the statement).

The second gift I received isn’t anything as tangible as the book—mere words, and words in cyberspace, at that. It’s a simple message a Twitter friend sent me last week. He wrote, “I finished your book this weekend and I'm looking forward to the next one. I was inspired to get a new library card today. :)”

Did you fall over, too? Can you imagine?! It’s hands down the best compliment I’ve ever received. I realized, reading that message, that book sales and critical reviews are well and good (and all things being equal, I’ll take them, thank you), but knowing I moved someone to go to the library for more books? That’s touched me the most deeply of anything in this whole crazy process of “being an author.” If I hadn’t yet felt I’d accomplished anything in this life, I for sure feel it nr>
I’ve told my husband not to bother with flowers or chocolates. I’m good for this year and probably the next as well. So tell me, what’s the best birthday gift or experience you’ve ever had? Was it kind words out of the blue, like mine? Was it something fabulous in your hands? The gift of a gesture or generous act? One commenter will win an audio book!

Dead Man's Switch by Tammy Kaehler (NEW Ends 9/23)





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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Guest Post - Of Narratives and 9/11 by John Jackson

About ten years ago, shortly after 9/11 a series of writers pontificated on the event for a New York publication. Robert Stone, ex-beatnik and author of Dog Soldiers, a novel about Vietnam and heroin running was one of them. In a work entitled “9/11: When Narratives Collide” he noted that narratives rule us—or, conversely— we allow ourselves to be ruled by narratives spawned by our culture. A novelist, Stone understood the impact of what happened through the lens of language, and language, as he noted can never separate itself from moral perspective because the imperatives of language are necessarily moral. Even something like humor is moral. To be sure this is generational, but it’s also cultural. And if individuals raised in the same household can have diverging tastes in matters of low importance like humor, imagine the disparity that moves across classes, cultures and generations when it comes to matters of religion and politics. The miracle really is that we don’t have more frequent events like 9/11—catastrophic as they are—not fewer. One reason we have been lucky in this regard is a simple technical fact—the world is closer. Because of advances in technology we are more easily able to communicate, to bridge the gulf in narratives and cultures. I know now the phrase Allahu Ahkbar means ‘God is Great’….I also know, thanks to friends who practice Islamic praying that there are recitative prayers like the Al-Wird portions of which are repeated over and over (100 times, for example). Just as Catholics might say a Holy Mary or Our Father on their rosary beads, so, too, those who practice the Al-Wird count their utterances and repeat them by a set standard. Thanks to modern technology (and friends) I know the sound of these prayers and find them haunting and refreshing in the same way Handel’s Messiah can bring a tear to my eye at Catholic midnight mass. They are meant as offerings to cleanse the heart so that one might come closer to God (Allah) and I suspect that for believers, they probably do.

**

Narratives haunt us, too. Sometimes, literarily. In Vietnam, the ghosts of ancestors who die violently continue to haunt the living until they are put to rest. Although treated with deep skepticism by many Westerners, there are clinical cases where young daughters or grandsons of lost relatives have been tormented by ghosts whose lives had been cut short by the decades long Vietnam war. The object of the ghost entreaties is to be re-united and properly buried by their family. Heonik Kwon, who has spent decades studying the war ghosts of Vietnam, tells this story:

“A man saw his late wife and children in the early morning on his way to the paddy. This was in the spring of 1993, and by this time some villagers had begun to remove the remains of their relatives from improper shallow wartime graves to newly prepared family graveyards. The apparition was at the site of the man’s old house. The house was burned down during the tragic incident of a village massacre in early 1968, which destroyed his family. His wife, seated on a stone, greeted him somewhat scornfully. The three children were hidden behind her back, afraid that their parents might start quarreling.

The meaning of the apparition was immediately clear to the man: he must rebury the remains of his lost family without delay. If he had no means to do so, according to the local interpretation of the apparition, the spirits would help him find a way. The man decided to spend the small sum of money that he had saved in the past years from selling coconuts and negotiated to obtain a loan from a neighbor. At that moment, a wealthy businesswoman and a relative of his wife arrived from a distant city and offered to share the cost of reburial. On the day of the reburial, the woman told the visitors how the family of spirits had appeared to her in a dream and urged her to pay a visit to their home.”

What’s interesting about this from a Western perspective is the ease with which the story of the ghosts are accepted. For us to really understand what this means in the context of contemporary Vietnam, we have to understand that the ghosts in a Vietnamese village are supposed to be attentive to the social affairs among their living neighbors, just as the villagers are interested in the existence of the ghosts—they are distinct and alien to each other just enough so that explanations are, in fact, necessary. In short—the ghosts want to explain themselves to the living as much as the living want and need to explain themselves to their dead ancestors.

One instance which surprised me was the story of an American soldier who had lost a leg in the same area where a North Vietnamese man had lost his life. He became haunted by the ghost of this dead Vietnamese soldier to the point of being possessed, at least nocturnally. He woke in the night, speaking in a high falsetto tongue. He was actually speaking a North Vietnamese dialect which he had never learned. His wife (a young Vietnamese woman) could barely cope with the strange possession and they sought the advice of a Shaman or spirit medium. The medium advised them to return to the place where the young soldier was wounded. Once there, they met with relatives of the man who had been killed in the area and his bones were finally re-interred near his family’s ancestral spot. The American soldier’s nightmare stopped almost immediately.

I say all this by way of emphasizing Stone's point: we live and die by our narratives, and the stories we tell ourselves as a culture are some of the most powerful forces on Earth.

Considering this, maybe the most important thing that happened ten years ago wasn’t the disastrous attacks on the World Trade Center, the downed flight in Pennsylvania or the attack on the Pentagon, but the new narrative that was unleashed after the attack. There were at least two possible stories we could have told ourselves.

The first: we have been attacked and must unite to rescue the people we can and prosecute the individuals responsible. If possible we must find the reason for the attack and make sure that it doesn’t happen again.

The second: we have been attacked and now we must attack in turn, not just the individuals directly responsible, but an entire country. And, if that should prove insufficient, we should attack more than one country, perhaps an entire culture needs to feel our pain. Ultimately, we must seek to remake and dominate any narrative but our own.

Today, ten long years later, maybe we should spend a little time thinking about the stories we told ourselves back then. And ask ourselves…did we choose the right one?

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Guest Post - Where Are You, Anne Bonny? by Daniel Lance Wright

I want to thank Sue for the opportunity to be a guest on her blog and commend her for the appearance and information offered on the site. I can only aspire to such detail and organization in my own blog site. Of course, my office and my bedroom aren’t such neat places either; so . . .

To give you a quick heads-up on who I am and a little on what makes me tick; I write novels and short stories, mostly novels, and do not favor one genre over another, not yet anyhow. When an idea for a novel comes to me, whizzing out of the cosmos and slamming into my forehead, it has not done so in the same genre twice in a row. To clarify, I’ve written nine novels, three published, two in contract and one other under consideration by a publisher and, genre-wise, it breaks down like this: 2 soft science fiction, 3 young adult (although one might be too edgy for the classification), 1 suspense thriller, 1 paranormal, 1 historical drama and 1 mainstream/period. To confuse the stew a bit further, I’m currently working on the first draft of a Nicholas Sparks-esque love story. Whew! It’s exhausting. Each time I switch, I must learn a different style, so the story’s ebb and flow fits the genre, not an easy thing to do. And, sometimes, the genre chooses me, not the other way around. By the way, I do have a couple of short stories published as well; a science fiction and an inspirational mainstream.

I love to create a universe and characters then go on a journey with them in their world. If a writer cannot live in that world and only sees it, as he would through a camera lens, then it will be one-dimensional, flat. The reader will pick up on that and likely set the book aside. It must go far beyond seeing a mind’s-eye movie and describing it; one must actually travel with created characters in their world, not just view them from somewhere outside it. This is the only way it will come to life for the reader; the characters must live within the writer and not just appear as names on a page. I have begun countless manuscripts that were abandoned in the end because I was blocked from getting inside the mind of a protagonist. Therefore, the character quickly fell flat, nothing memorable whatsoever. This is my grandest struggle; and, a challenge I willingly embrace. This could, possibly, be considered my creed as a fiction writer.

I often hear authors tell of dreams kick-starting the conceptualization process on a novel. It’s not unusual since sleep is the only true time the mind is set free to roam. My novel “Where Are You, Anne Bonny?” (Rogue Phoenix Press/2010) came about that way. But, it wasn’t my dream. It was one that my eighty-seven-year-old father had. While visiting him one day, he said that he had a dream about a lady pirate that was a master of disguise. He thought it’d make a great novel. I won’t bore you with all the details. Suffice it to say, it was not the simple product of his imagination but a resurrected memory of something he’d read in the nineteen-fifties in Saturday Evening Post (I think) called “The Pirate Had Breasts”. I was only eight years old, but I remember the article and it had nothing to do with the story and everything to do with an artist’s rendering of a woman, naked from the waist up, holding a long knife in one hand and a rapier in the other. Okay, I know what you’re thinking; and you’re right. What eight-year-old boy would not remember such a picture? Now, get your mind out of the gutter and let’s move on.

Anne Bonny was an Irish lass, the love child of father, William Cormac, and the maid. She was born into wealth and knew that world well but was disowned at nineteen when she decided to marry a n’er-do-well by the name of James Bonny. She quickly learned the seedier side of life as a pirate. She was a fascinating person—ruthless, confused sexually, and equally comfortable among the rich as she was in a pirate’s lair. She was supposed to have hanged in St. Jago de la Vega, Jamaica in 1720. There are reasonable records that her partners in crime, Calico Jack Rackham and Mary Read, did die there but nothing on Anne Bonny. Did she hang? It is only assumed that she did. There are numerous theories as to what may have happened to her, but no one knows definitively. This opened the door very wide for a novel and I gladly walked right on through it, beginning the story in that sweaty Jamaican prison. “Where Are You, Anne Bonny?” is available at Amazon.com and RoguePhoenixPress.com. If you’re in the mood for a historical drama, I certainly recommend this one. After you’ve read it, let me know what you think of it (wrightthing@hotmail.com). I’d love to hear from you. Also, I’d be honored if you followed me on my blog


Bio


A lifelong Texan, Daniel (Danny) Lance Wright is a freelance fiction writer and novelist born in Lubbock, Texas now residing near Waco. He lives with Rickie, wife of 39 years and has two children and three grandchildren.

Having spent the first nineteen years of his life on a cotton farm on the South Plains and the next thirty-two in the television industry, he has seen the world from two distinctly different angles.

Daniel has received recognition for writing skills from The Oklahoma Writers Federation in 2005, 2006, 2010 and 2011; from Art Affair in 2008; from Frontiers in Writing in 2004 and 2010; from Writer’s Digest in 2008, and the Abilene Writer’s Guild in 2004; Canis Latran of Weatherford College in 2011.
br> Also Author of: "Paradise Flawed"/Dream Books LLC/2009/print & ebook "Six Years' Worth"/Father's Press/2007/print & ebook "Where Are You, Anne Bonny?"/Rogue Phoenix Press 2010/ ebook only “Trouble”, short story/CrossTIME Science Fiction Anthology, Vol. IX/print only “Dancing Away”/short story/Untreed Reads/ebook only COMING SOON “Phobia”/Booktrope/late 2011/print & ebook “Defining Family”/Whiskey Creek Press/2012/print & ebook “Annie’s World: Jake’s Legacy”/under consideration “The Last Radiant Heart” (re-release) “Hackberry Corners, Texas 1934” “Helping Hand For Ethan” “The Lost Decades”

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Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Author Interview/Giveaway - Blue Skies Tomorrow by Sarah Sundin

Describe your book in five words or less.

Love and courage overcoming peril.

How did the ideas for your books come to you?

The idea for A Distant Melody, the first book in the Wings of Glory series, came out of a “what if” question—what if a man and woman met at an event, truly clicked, and parted before exchanging contact info? Wouldn’t it be romantic if he went through great effort to track her down? It wouldn’t work in a contemporary setting—he’d “Google” her—but it made a sweet premise for a historical. My husband and I watched a History Channel special on the US Eighth Air Force based in England which flew over Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II, and I was hooked.

While doing research, I became enamored with the Eighth Air Force and wanted to tell the full story to V-E Day. Since my hero had two pilot brothers, I decided to write a series, with each book focusing on one brother. Those books are A Memory Between Us and Blue Skies Tomorrow.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I never write a novel with a message in mind, but I do hope my readers will learn from my characters’ experiences. Fear can cripple you and keep you from the life God intends for you. I hope readers will see how they can find courage in the Lord and the strength to face whatever life throws at them.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?

The hardest part for me is the plotting. Sometimes it feels like a wrestling match for me, although I do enjoy it. The easiest parts for me are character development and dialogue.

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

I signed another contract with Revell for a series tentatively titled Wings of the Nightingale. It follows three World War II flight nurses who discover love, friendship, and peril in the skies and on the shores of the Mediterranean. I just finished the first novel in the series, which will release Fall 2012. It features a You’ve Got Mail-like anonymous pen pal relationship between a loner nurse and an Army engineer burdened by the legacy of his infamous father.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?

I started writing historical fiction because my story idea demanded a historical setting. World War II has always fascinated me, and there are so many dramatic stories and settings—a novelist’s dream. This was a time when ordinary men had to do extraordinary things, and when women first explored non-traditional roles—while remaining ladies. I’ve always been fond of that generation, my grandparents’ generation. As a pharmacy resident at a VA hospital, I had the honor of caring for many of these men. As a rule, they were cheerful, kind, and chivalrous, with the solid strength of someone who has been tested—and passed. What more could you want in a hero?

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?

It’s surreal. I’m still surprised anyone not related to me by blood or marriage wants to read my books—much less that they come back for more! But of course, it’s thrilling. I had no idea writing books would help me make friends! Maybe I should have started in junior high 

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

I don’t think anything is left. How about a math question? I always liked math. That would be a refreshing change.

What was your road to publications like?

Long and rocky, but everybody probably says that. I started submitted my first novel in 2003. I received good feedback from published authors, editors, and agents—and began accumulating a stack of “good” rejection letters. They liked my writing, my story, and my characters—however, historicals weren’t selling. This continued for five years. I often felt discouraged, but the Lord made it obvious in many ways that He wanted me to finish the trilogy so I plugged away. Then in 2008, the market opened up for historicals, and there I was with my trilogy close to complete. I submitted to Vicki Crumpton at Revell, and I was offered a three-book contract.

Describe your book in five words or less.

Love and courage overcoming peril.

How did the ideas for your books come to you?

The idea for A Distant Melody, the first book in the Wings of Glory series, came out of a “what if” question—what if a man and woman met at an event, truly clicked, and parted before exchanging contact info? Wouldn’t it be romantic if he went through great effort to track her down? It wouldn’t work in a contemporary setting—he’d “Google” her—but it made a sweet premise for a historical. My husband and I watched a History Channel special on the US Eighth Air Force based in England which flew over Nazi-occupied Europe during World War II, and I was hooked.

While doing research, I became enamored with the Eighth Air Force and wanted to tell the full story to V-E Day. Since my hero had two pilot brothers, I decided to write a series, with each book focusing on one brother. Those books are A Memory Between Us and Blue Skies Tomorrow.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

I never write a novel with a message in mind, but I do hope my readers will learn from my characters’ experiences. Fear can cripple you and keep you from the life God intends for you. I hope readers will see how they can find courage in the Lord and the strength to face whatever life throws at them.

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?

The hardest part for me is the plotting. Sometimes it feels like a wrestling match for me, although I do enjoy it. The easiest parts for me are character development and dialogue.

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

I signed another contract with Revell for a series tentatively titled Wings of the Nightingale. It follows three World War II flight nurses who discover love, friendship, and peril in the skies and on the shores of the Mediterranean. I just finished the first novel in the series, which will release Fall 2012. It features a You’ve Got Mail-like anonymous pen pal relationship between a loner nurse and an Army engineer burdened by the legacy of his infamous father.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?

I started writing historical fiction because my story idea demanded a historical setting. World War II has always fascinated me, and there are so many dramatic stories and settings—a novelist’s dream. This was a time when ordinary men had to do extraordinary things, and when women first explored non-traditional roles—while remaining ladies. I’ve always been fond of that generation, my grandparents’ generation. As a pharmacy resident at a VA hospital, I had the honor of caring for many of these men. As a rule, they were cheerful, kind, and chivalrous, with the solid strength of someone who has been tested—and passed. What more could you want in a hero?

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?

It’s surreal. I’m still surprised anyone not related to me by blood or marriage wants to read my books—much less that they come back for more! But of course, it’s thrilling. I had no idea writing books would help me make friends! Maybe I should have started in junior high 

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

I don’t think anything is left. How about a math question? I always liked math. That would be a refreshing change.

What was your road to publications like?

Long and rocky, but everybody probably says that. I started submitted my first novel in 2003. I received good feedback from published authors, editors, and agents—and began accumulating a stack of “good” rejection letters. They liked my writing, my story, and my characters—however, historicals weren’t selling. This continued for five years. I often felt discouraged, but the Lord made it obvious in many ways that He wanted me to finish the trilogy so I plugged away. Then in 2008, the market opened up for historicals, and there I was with my trilogy close to complete. I submitted to Vicki Crumpton at Revell, and I was offered a three-book contract.

Author Bio

Bio: Sarah Sundin lives in northern California with her husband and three children. When she isn’t ferrying kids to soccer and tennis, she works on-call as a hospital pharmacist and teaches Sunday school and women’s Bible studies. She is the author of the Wings of Glory series—A Distant Melody (Revell, 2010), A Memory Between Us (2010), and Blue Skies Tomorrow (August 2011). In 2011, A Memory Between Us was a finalist in the Inspirational Reader's Choice Awards and Sarah received the Writer of the Year Award at the Mount Hermon Christian Writers Conference.

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Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Author Interview - Splunkunio Splunkey Detective and Peacemaker by Dr. Elana Ashley

Describe your book in five words or less

English/Spanish children’s mystery adventure

How did the ideas for your books come to you?

This marks the 25th/almost 26th anniversary of one of my companies – Great Imaginings, Inc. – a tax, exempt, not-for-profit educational corporation – through which I have offered programs dealing with everyday issues and challenges – such as child abuse prevention, confronting drug problems, solving problems of loss, conflict resolution, building character and values/self-esteem… One day I decided to confront some of these problem areas in the form of a book – in a form that children could enjoy, from which they could learn and grow. To the book I added an audio CD and a teaching guide for educators and parents. My storybook characters are puppets, and I am a puppeteer/ventriloquist

What is the hardest part of writing for you? What's the easiest?

The ideas for Splunkunio Splunkey: Detective and Peacemaker Case One: The Missing Friendship Bracelet [children ages 4 to 8] came easily; they are part of my experience and imagination; the writing itself is easy.

What's next for you? Are you currently working on or have plans for future projects?

I am in the middle of the second book in the mystery series - Case Two: Big Bully Holly Howler - which targets friendship and bullying – written in English and English/Spanish.

I am also working on a very different book for younger children – ages 1 to 4 - whose illustrations I am painting. I have approximately half of the illustrations done.

Why did you choose to write for specific genre?

Today’s children are our future leaders. They need to learn strategies for coping with everyday challenges while young so that planet earth will one day be a world of friendship and peace.

What's it like hearing that readers are eagerly awaiting your book's release date?

Very exciting … Makes me want to finish the writing of Case Three and jump into the fourth of what I hope will be a series of 14 books.

What is one question that you've always wanted to be asked in an interview? How would you answer that question?

Right now I do not have an answer for this one… I will tell you at a later time…

Very honestly, my mind is on my husband who is in the hospital with pneumonia, and I hope I can take him home tomorrow so that he can continue healing under my loving care rather than in a hospital which is loaded with germs, infection…

What was your road to publication like? Difficult and expensive…

Author Bio


President of Dream Image Press, LLC, Dr. Elana Ashley has been publishing and selling a mystery series in English and Spanish for children ages 4 to 8 entitled Splunkunio Splunkey, Detective and Peacemaker. The first book in the series - Case One: The Missing Friendship Bracelet - confronts such issues as friendship, teamwork, solving problems of loss and conflict resolution. Case One comes with an Audio CD and Teaching Guide for Parents and Educators. The second book in the series - Case Two: Big Bully Holly Howler - should be coming out in 2012.

Dr. Ashley is also Founder and Executive Director of Great Imaginings, Inc., an Illinois not-for-profit corporation which promotes literacy and the arts. A storyteller, singer and puppeteer, Ashley presents educational and entertaining performances and workshops for children, parents, teachers and families in schools, libraries, community organizations, and on television. Great Imaginings, Inc. provides children and adults with the tools, strategies and inspiration which enable them to imagine, pursue their dreams, and achieve their goals. Great Imaginings is celebrating its 26th anniversay. For more information about Great Imaginings

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