Love and Happiness by Ben Burgess, Jr.

 

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ABOUT “LOVE AND HAPPINESS:

Karen has it all: a handsome husband, beautiful twin daughters, a lovely home and a great job. Karen also has a secret; she’s cheating on her husband, with not one man, but two.

On the outside her life seems perfect, but on the inside Karen feels neglected, bored and unappreciated. Yearning for affection and excitement, she falls into the arms of first Raheem and then Tyrell. Out of fear of losing her husband and breaking up her family, Karen ends the affairs but things don’t turn out how she planned. When Karen’s dirty secrets are revealed she must fight to keep her family together.

Chris is doing all he can to hold his marriage together. He loves Karen but she grows more distant every day. When she starts coming home later and later, he suspects she is being unfaithful. When Chris accidentally takes her cell phone what he finds changes their lives forever.

When tragedy strikes, Karen must decide if she should sacrifice her happiness for her husband’s love, and Chris wonders if he should stay with Karen because he still loves her despite her infidelity. But if they do stay together, will they ever find love and happiness again?

Sexy and relatable, insightful and inspiring, Love and Happiness shows us both sides of Chris and Karen’s story, and reminds us that sometimes to have it all, you must first lose it all.

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Love and Happiness is a romance story that makes you think. It’s told from both Karen and Chris’s perspectives so you can see where both of their heads are at. Karen is cheating on her husband Chris, with not one man, but two. On the outside, her life seems perfect, but on the inside, Karen feels neglected. Out of fear of losing Chris and breaking up her family, Karen ends the affairs but when Karen’s dirty secrets are revealed,
Karen must decide if she should sacrifice her happiness for her husband’s love, and Chris wonders if he should stay with Karen because he still loves her despite her infidelity.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Where do your story ideas come from?

My first novel “Monster” was based on my personal life and experiences.

My second novel “Wounded” came about while I was actually working on “Love and Happiness.”

“Ken” from “Monster” makes a cameo appearance in “Love and Happiness.” I didn’t want fans to think I was a one trick pony or feel that my book was derivative so I was stuck with how I would write it.

My co-workers (Who happened to be lesbians) asked me to write a book with a Lesbian protagonist. At first, I thought it wouldn’t be possible since I wasn’t a woman, and I knew nothing about being Gay or the LGBT community. My co-workers decided to
take me to a Lesbian bar. (They took me to the Cubbyhole, which is the first bar I mentioned in Wounded.) After going there with them and talking to the women, I decided to work on the book. To make the book feel as authentic as possible, I did a lot of research. I interviewed fifteen women and five couples, to hear their thoughts, feelings, and philosophies about being a Lesbian, and life. I also used one of my family members as a basis for my character development, so I felt personally invested in creating “Samantha.”

For my latest novel “Love and Happiness,” I used real life relationships as m
y inspiration. I talked to several married and divorced couples. I asked them what they enjoyed and hated with marriage. I wanted to know what they wish they could change or what they regretted not doing. With all of my novels, my goal is to make people think. I want to help people see things from different perspectives to help the world to be more open minded.

Do you have a favorite character?

My favorite character to write would have to be Karen because she was more of a challenge. To write as a woman when you are a male is hard. I did a lot of research. I interviewed close to twenty women, asking them all types of questions about marriage and infidelity. It’s a lot of work to develop a female character as a male author, but I loved showing the different layers of her personality.

Have you always known you wanted to be a writer?

When I was in her 8th-grade class, I read Richard Wright’s “Native Son” I r
ead that book, and it was life changing for me. I knew I wanted to one day write something that could have the same effect on people. Do you remember the first thing you ever wrote? While in 8th grade, my English teacher Mrs. Marcus gave the class a poetry assignment. My poem was on basketball. I don’t remember what I wrote, but I remember my teacher was blown away by it. She encouraged me to keep writing. She was
one of my most influential teachers, and I promised her if I ever wrote a book, I would write a poem about the Holocaust for her. (She was Jewish and had family that were survivors.) My dream was to publish a poetry book. I continued to write throughout high school and college.

How do you work through writer’s block?

When I have writers block, I do several things. Sometimes, I’ll force myself to continue writing. Sometimes, I’ll read a book that is a different topic than the one I’m writing. Sometimes, I’ll take a break from writing altogether to recharge my creative batteries.

What do you think makes a good story?

I think a strong plot with strong dialogue and believable characters help to make a good story.

Do you think most authors understand the importance of marketing their own work?

I think most authors have difficulty marketing their book because there isn’t an exact formula for success with marketing your book. What works for some authors, might not work for another. I try to observe different authors and stick with what I found helped and was effective.

What are some of your methods for self-promotion? To sell your book effectively, I believe it starts with you. You have to talk to all types of people. Personally, I set a goal to sell (5) paperbacks a day to five complete strangers. To sell a lot of books, people have to know your book exists. I search for credible reviewers on Amazon and Goodreads. I also do research on the internet for other well know reviewers. Word of mouth is definitely important, but it can only go so far. I use all of the popular social media sites (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Goodreads, and Pinterest) to advertise. I use press releases, advertise in local newspapers, and enter book contest to promote and spark interests for potential readers and reviewers.

What’s your writing schedule like?

I write whenever I have the time or as soon as I have an idea. I have a Samsung Note 5 so if an idea comes to mind, I literally write it down or use the voice memos to record my thoughts and write them out when I get time. I try to write something every day, even if it’s only a paragraph. I’m a huge perfectionist so I’m constantly editing and re-editing while I’m writing. Once my project is completed, I edit again to try to make my work the best it can be. When I’m writing, I can have music or a movie playing in the background, but I totally zone out and focus on writing. I turn the internet off when I’m working on my laptop because honestly, I usually end up looking at Facebook or checking out stuff on ESPN.

To include my daughter in my writing process, she puts her desk next to mine while I’m writing and practices writing her letters and/or doing her homework.

What kinds of things do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love playing with my daughter. I like doing puzzles with her or playing sports with her. I love basketball and boxing. Those are two of my favorite sports. I love to read of course, and I’m a big movie buff. I love going to the movies and watching all types of movies.

Who would you say has been a major influence in your life?Ben Burgess Author w: daughter

My biggest inspiration/motivation is my daughter. As a parent, I want nothing but the best for my child. I look at her as an extension of myself. I didn’t have a great childhood. My parents didn’t have a lot of money, I was insecure about myself, I lived in poverty, and I missed out on opportunities due to a lack of funds. While my childhood wasn’t the best, I had a great role model – my mother. I watched my mom struggle to pay bills, work two jobs, put herself through school all the way up to her doctorate, and moved us out of the dangerous neighborhood we lived in, into a house in the suburbs. She did all of these tasks on her own. My mother did the best she could to push for me to have better opportunities than she did. She drove me to want more out of myself and to become the best person I could be.

That is exactly what I wish to do for my child. I want to instill in her that strong work ethic and will. I want her to realize that with hard work and dedication, she can do anything she puts her mind to. I want her to see how I juggle being an NYPD detective, personal trainer, father, and author. I love her, and I want to be that positive role model she looks up to like my Mother was for me. Every achievement, every award, every acknowledgment I receive, I want her to understand that I put 100% into everything I do. I pray that it pushes her to be a great person.

Do you ever use friends, family members or acquaintances as character models?

I love to people watch and I’m constantly thinking, so when I observed different relationships I felt this book “Love and Happiness” needed to be written. I felt the story would help both men and women think and that is what I always try to do when I’m telling a story. When I’m developing my characters, I like them to be layered. I don’t want to make perfect characters because no one is perfect. I develop characters that have strengths and flaws because I feel that makes it easier for readers to connect. I put pieces of myself into every character, but I also look at the personality traits of strangers, family, and friends to inspire me for my character development. I like to do research also by interviewing strangers to get different perspectives on topics.

How do you deal with criticism?

There are different strokes for different folks. There will be some that just don’t feel my style of writing or the story I’m telling. In this business, you have to have thick skin, you can’t take everything personal. I listen to constructive criticism that I feel is helpful. As a writer, I try to work on my flaws and improve with every book, but it’s impossible to please everyone. I work hard to write stories I believe a majority of people will enjoy.

What types of books do you like to read? I

like to read Urban/African American Fiction, Drama, and Contemporary Romance. What would readers be surprised to know about you? I think readers would be surprised to know that I’m actually an NYPD Detective.

If you could spend the day with a famous author who would it be?

I would want to spend the day with my favorite author, Eric Jerome Dickey. He was crucial in my decision to become an author. He has also supported me and has given me advice about the literary industry.

How would you spend the day together?

I would probably ask him questions about the industry.

Are you working on anything new now?

My next project is titled “Daddy’s Girl” Which will be a story of the trials and tribulations of a single father raising a bi-racial daughter on his own. The daughter character in this book will be “Lynn” from my first novel “Monster.” Here, you will see her origin, and learn more about her character. After that novel, I will begin working on another book called “Black and White.”

What advice would you give aspiring authors?

There will be lots of times when you want to give up. There will be times when people will talk bad about your book or sales might be low. Never give up. Believe in yourself and believe in your work. Listen to critiques and push your pride to the side. It doesn’t matter how great of a writer you think you are, you can always improve.t of a writer you think you are, you can always improve.

There will be those who will not be fans of your writing, but you should never give up. Keep growing and learning your craft. Edit and re-edit. (*always have your books professionally edited. You want people to take your book seriously and not feel that it is amateurish.) Learn from your mistakes, take classes and read other authors. Research the industry.

Two of the most important things to do are:

1. Find a credible editor

2. Promote, promote, promote!

You have to put your heart and soul into your work. While it will be hard and you will go through trials and tribulations, in the end, it’s worth it when your book is entertaining people and it’s successful.

Ben Burgess Author

 

ABOUT BEN BURGESS JR

Ben Burgess Jr is the author of the award winning novels “Monster”, “Wounded”, the poetry book “Times Have Changed and Life is Strange” and the new novel “Love and Happiness”

He is an active performer of spoken word poetry. Ben uses his love of writing to inspire and influence youths to strive for what they believe in, and to never give up on their dreams. His poetry book “Times Have Changed and Life is Strange” and his novel “Monster” are currently used in schools on the lower east side of Manhattan.

Ben Burgess has a BA degree in Business Management, and a MA degree in Educational Leadership. He is the proud father of his daughter Jaelynn and is active in trying to improve urban neighborhoods and communities.

Ben Burgess Author Award

CONNECT WITH BEN

WEBSITE

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Better Not Love Me by Dan Kolbet

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Better Not Love Me by Dan Kolbet Cover Photo

 

File Size: 2307 KB

Print Length: 240 pages

Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited

Publisher: Alfe Publishing; 1 edition (October 26, 2015)

Publication Date: October 26, 2015

Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.

Language: English

ASIN: B0177G5LQC

 

 

BOOK SYNOPSIS:

Amelia Cook never wanted to be a corporate executive responsible for a toy business that spanned the country. She accepted the job out of obligation to her past love. The work has forced her away from her children and broken her marriage. After years of misery, she’s decided to walk away.

Single, unemployed and uninspired, Amelia rents a palatial lake cabin for the summer and attempts to reconnect with her children who barely recognize the mom they once knew. Amelia’s summer at the lake takes a surprise turn when a handsome man moves into the cabin next door. The only problem? It’s her old boss, Nate. Can Amelia forgive Nate’s past behavior, find love and forge a bond with her children all while being dragged back into the corporate life she loathes?

Better Not Love Me is the sequel to Don’t Wait For Me, but is a standalone novel.

PURCHASE BETTER NOT LOVE ME ON AMAZON

Dan Kolbet Author Photo 1

ABOUT DAN KOLBET:

Dan Kolbet lives in Spokane, Washington with his family. He is an independent author, former newspaper editor and reporter. He is currently working on his next story.

His novels include You Only Get So Much, Don’t Wait For Me, Off The Grid, Better Not Love Me, plus short stories, Five Rows Back and An Easel for Avery.

You might read romance stories to escape the humdrum day-to-day. You root for your protagonist to find the love you have at home, or the love you want to have someday. Unfortunately, we’re not all tennis pros, powerhouse attorneys or lonesome billionaires pining for each other. Most of us are pretty normal people who do normal people things each day. Love happens in the middle of all that. Love stories happen around us every day, we just have to find the patience to see them and take notice.

So when the characters in my novels fall in love, it’s not because they are in a romance novel. It’s because that’s what people in their situation should do. Yes, they might fight it. And they will probably screw it up, but isn’t that what we all do?

CONNECT WITH THE AUTHOR

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An Assiduous Novel by James Faro

I am a member of the Goodreads group Swap Reviews which is a good place for Self and Independently Published books to gather some reviews by other authors.

I selected a novel, The Assiduous Quest by Tobias Hopkins, by James Faro because I like the title. And yes, I had to look up the definition of assiduous! And I must admit, this novel is definitely marked by careful unremitting attention or persistent application!

Let me begin by introducing the author, James Faro.JamesFaro.JPG

James Faro joined the Merchant Navy at the age of sixteen, traveling extensively throughout Brazil, North America and the Caribbean. He has lived in many countries including Spain, Portugal, Cyprus, Aden and The Netherlands. Now living in Brighton, on the south coast of England, he has retained his fascination with travel and the sea which is reflected in his writing. He has a Post Graduate degree in History from the University of Sussex.

I contacted him after reading his book and I am delighted that he accepted my invitation for an interview but I’ll get to that later.

First, about his novel!Linen Market, Dominica (detail) by Agostino Brunias.jpg

The Assiduous Quest of Tobias Hopkins

A step back in time to 17th Century Jamaica.

Genre: Historical Drama

Intended Audience: From Young Adults to General Fiction readers

The road curved for a good half-mile before it met the house; a steep valley, rich in wild vegetation, separated Toby from the property. The line of trees leading up to the front porch of the house cast long shadows across the carriageway. To the left and a little further up the slope, there were some more outbuildings which he hadn’t noticed on his first visit. The sun was high enough now to light up the east side of the property and the hill beyond was touched with a thin layer of mist: a scene presenting a magical picture of La Bruma.

And now for the interview:

What inspired you to write this particular story?

The initial idea for this book came to me in a dream. I rarely remember my dreams, but in this instance I imagined I was on a tropical island. I was walking along a track in the hills when I came across a farm hidden in the mist.

I, too, am often inspired by my dreams! Where do you write? 

I live in a one bedroom cabin surroundBedroom window in Winter.JPGed by woods and fields. So, at this time of year (mid-winter), I write in my bedroom: the warmest spot in the place. In the summer I like to get outside as much as possible and sit under the trees (providing the wind doesn’t blow away all my notes)

 

 

Bedroom window in Summer.JPG

That is quite a lovely view ! On a scale from Plotter being 1 and Panster (writing by the seat of your pants) being 10, Are you a plotter or a pantster?

Answer = No 1 (Plotter)

I have to admit that I spend a heap of time working on the plot before I start to write. Then, when the story takes off, the characters take over and often lead me in a new direction. It takes a great deal of persuasion to get them back on track and I usually give in and let the story take its own course, often with a better result.

Those characters can be rascals and try to hijack a story! Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?

I love painting and, as I was writing a novel set in 17th century Jamaica, it led me to seek out works from that time and in that location. I then came across the paintings of the Italian artist, Agostino Brunias, who spent some time in The West Indies and whose work, Linen Market, Dominica, I have used for the cover of the complete novel.

The Assiduous Quest is divided into three parts.

The cover of Book 1 is by the French impressionist, Camille Pissarro, who, for a time, lived in St Thomas in the
Virgin Islands.

Crique avec voilier (detail) by Camille Pissarro.jpg

The Book 2 cover illustration is, again, by Agostino Brunias.

Free Women of Colour with their Children and Servants in a Landscape by Agostino Brunias.jpg

And Book 3 is by Willem van de Velde II whose maritime paintings I’ve always loved.

 

A ship in need in a raging storm by Willem van de Velde II.jpg

Beautiful paintings and they definitely fit the story. Who is your favorite character from your book and why? 

My favorite character is Beatrice. She has many qualities I admire. She’s bright and perceptive, a survivor who’s tough and determined. She’s also a risk-taker who behaves impulsively and is unpredictable. This makes for an fascinating interaction between Beatrice and Toby. They are, in many ways, opposites. And this, perhaps, is the very reason they connect so well.

I liked her, too! How about your least favorite character? What makes them less appealing to you?

My least favorite character is Groot; a monster, a psychopath who has no feelings for those who he destroys. He has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. I have never believed in the old adage “there’s good in everyone”. If there is any good in Henk de Groot, I certainly haven’t discovered it!

I agree and you found the perfect name for him as well! Speaking of names; how important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

Names often give an indication to the class, age, culture and social background of the characters. When writing historical fiction, it’s much the same. The resources I use are from records of ship passenger lists sailing to the colonies and, in the case of the sequel I’m working on now, from soldiers enlisted to fight against the Native Americans in New England.

The protagonist of The Assiduous Quest, Tobias Hopkins, is from a Royalist family in England; as is Elizabeth Thomas. However, the other characters in the story are from different backgrounds. Magdalena, originally an African slave, uses the name given to her at the time when Jamaica was occupied by the Spanish. Beatrice Somerset has a similar background to Magdalena. Here’s how she explains it in the story;

“I was interested in how your family acquired the name Somerset?” Toby said.

“Not me proper name. I get it from friend of Elizabet. He called . . . Erloff Somerset.”

“Oh, Peter Burlington, the Fourth Earl of Somerset.”

“That the one!” The girl’s eyes brightened. “You know he?”

“No, not very well. He is a friend of my uncle. So, what is your family name?”

“de Benitez.”

“Beatrice de Benitez?”

The girl made a face.

“That seems to be fine to me, why change it?”

“Aye, aye, aye. You ask so much questions!”

Thanks for adding that insert from your book. What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Write from the heart. Don’t write in a certain genre because you think it’ll be popular or it will sell. Write what you want to write and don’t be swayed by anyone. Choose a subject which inspires you and which you feel passionate about. Take your time and never be in too much of a rush. Plan out your plot and your characters before you start writing. Think about how you want your story to progress and how you want it to end.

Also consider attending a writing course. I hooked up with a writer’s group where we met every week to discuss our work. This might not suit everyone, but it certainly worked for me. I also invested in a week’s course with the Arvon Foundation and met a few other like-minded writers from all over the world. Along with some great tuition, we also got to stay at, Lumb Bank, the beautiful house where poets Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath once lived.

Very good point! Thanks for sharing that. Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I always read my reviews. I don’t usually respond to the reviewer, just accept their point of view. I think it’s a great privilege to have someone read though and comment on my writing.

As regards to advice in dealing with a bad review, I would say don’t lose sleep over it. It’s impossible to please everyone even if that’s your aim.

If the review is constructively critical of my work, I consider this seriously and will usually take on board the suggestions. After all, how can we communicate through writing without the honest opinions of our readers.

If the review is complementary, and the reader has obviously enjoyed the book, it can still bring a tear to my eye.

All very good points! Do you have any other talents or hobbies?

I was an artist in my twenties and, while I was just about able to support myself on the sale of my paintings, music became my first love. Since then, I’ve been a professional musician. Travel is another passion of mine. I’ve lived in a few countries but would still love to see more of the world and explore other cultures. I also enjoy cooking and gardening.

KUDOS for you! I’m an artist as well but I can’t say it EVER a supportive source of income. I’d love to travel Europe. I’ve got a cottage on a lake in Louisiana, maybe we can do a vacation swap!

Anyway…

What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Tell as many other people as you can about the book! I cannot underestimate the power of word of mouth! Reviews are also very important to authors. Even a few lines are appreciated. A mention on a blog, facebook page or twitter is also useful. Anything to get people talking about the book.

Great suggestion and it doesn’t cost them anything! What are you working on now?

Right now I’m working on a contemporary psychological thriller (under a different author name) which has been an ongoing project for the last few years. I’m also working on the sequel to the Assiduous Quest. This book is set in the same time period (1675) and will take Toby to the Northern Colonies of Virginia, Maryland, New York and Massachusetts – right into the conflict between Native Americans and the settlers of New England. I have the plot worked out and much of the material has already been written. However, as so often happens, the characters will probably take the story in a new direction and lead me into situations I hadn’t previously considered. I’ll just have to see what the outcome is. I hope to get both of these projects completed by the end of this year.

Please let me know when your thriller comes out. That’s probably my favorite genre.

Now for some fun.

Are you a compulsive shopper/hoarder?

I’m not into shopping (unless it’s browsing in bookshops) but I am a hoarder. I have a drawer full of receipts dating back months (no idea why I keep them). Maybe they give me a sense of security! When the Apocalypse comes I’m convinced my boxes full of useless stuff will protect me!

At least you can use the receipts to start a fire. Have you ever gotten into a bar fight?

 

Ha! Now that question has sent me down memory lane.

On one occasion it happened at a town called Manaus, Brazil, about a thousand miles up the River Amazon.Manaus.jpg

I was eighteen at the time, out on the town with my buddy, Phil. We had both been working in this region for over a year and, although the place was familiar to us, we decided to try out a new bar in the red-light district. By 2.00 am, after a number shots of Bacardi and coke, the other customers had left and it was obvious the bar staff (a rough-edged crew) wanted to pack up and go home. They handed us the tab. But we’d already paid! (or so we thought). Determined to stop us getting away, the staff blocked our way to the only exit. But, Phil, being head-strong, shouldered the door and we all stumbled out into the foul-smelling street. Phil raced down the road, leaving me in the gutter with a knife at my throat. I cursed him. But then, just as I thought my time was up, along came a taxi. The passenger window rolled down and Phil yelled for me to jump in (which I somehow managed to do). But the driver wasn’t in a hurry to leave. He spoke a few words in Portuguese to the bar staff and they all piled in the cab to join us.

Twenty minutes later, at the local jail, we discovered we still had the same amount of cash on us as we did when we arrived at the bar earlier that night. We paid the tab with apologies and hand shakes all round.

That is quite an adventure and sounds like a great encounter for a couple of your future characters. What is your biggest fear?

Just like Winston in George Orwell’s 1984, my biggest fear is being trapped in a room full of rats. I once saw a guy corner some rats in a barn and watched, in horror, as a few of them leaped up at his face. So, I sympathize with Winston when he’s strapped to a chair in room 101; two cages of rats placed on the table in front of him. Ugh!

Thanks for bringing that image to mind! I don’t know how to segue into this so I’ll just jump to it. What do you want your tombstone to say?

“Thank God that’s over!”

Love it! If you had a supernatural power, what would it be?

I would choose to be invisible. So, like a fly on the wall, I would have the ability to eavesdrop any conversation in time and space then make use of them in my writing. So good to be able to get inside people’s heads when their guard is dropped. If only H G Wells hadn’t got there before me!

With today’s technology, I don’t think being “visible” is a hindrance. Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before? Provide images if you want.

I would love to visit India. Such a diverse country steeped in tradition and culture. At school I read E.M Forster’s, Passage to India, and was fascinated by the vivid descriptions of the country and it’s people.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen too many documentaries on India. Where I LOVE the colors and most of the culture, I don’t think I could bear the poverty. If you were any plant or animal, what would you be? Provide imagFudge copyes if you want!

I would be a cat. I’ve owned many cats over the years but the one closest to my heart was Fudge, a white and tabby who survived many travels until he reached the age of sixteen. I have many memories of him marking out new territories, leaping from roofs and stalking out prey.

 

 

 

 

He was a beautiful cat! What is something you want to accomplish before you die?

To complete all of my books; the ones I’m currently working on, and the stories which exist in my imagination. Something for my grandchildren to remember me when they’re older!

I can appreciate that. What is your favorite song?

This is difficult. It has to be, Desafinado, by Antonio Carlos Jobim. The music of Brazil has a special place in my heart, evoking memories of my time spent there in my late teens. The title of this song means “Out of tune” and the lyrics describe someone who is set apart from the crowd; someone who likes to make up his own mind and doesn’t need to conform to the norm.

I like it! I listened to it while I finished this blog post. What is your favorite movie?

I know this is cheating, but I have two favorites; Rosemary’s Baby, directed by Roman Polanski, and The Sixth Sense, directed by M Night Shyamalan. What I love about both of these movies is the portrayal of ordinary characters we can relate to, plunged into bewildering situations, unsure of who to trust. Also the antagonists, the elderly couple in Rosemary’s Baby who shock us when they reveal who they really are. The Sixth Sense also takes us by surprise; particularly the twist at the end which I did not see coming!

I do love the manipulation techniques used in Rosemary’s Baby and the “who can you trust” scenario and then, SPOILER ALERT, her resolution. And, now that you mention it, I see the similarities of the two characters. Good call!

And finally, please describe something (significant number of words/a character/entire scene) you “deleted” from your work and why. Because a real writer knows when to hit THE DELETE KEY!

There are so many – I hit the delete key every other sentence! Today, I’ve just deleted three big chunks from the book I’m working on now. Here’s an example deleted from today’s work:

With a further six miles to go, he trampled through the unforgiving drifts; each snow-clad step an act of obstinacy. . .

The problem is that since writing this passage the protagonist has been delayed in getting to the location – it’s now April and the snow has gone.

Good choice!

For more information on James Faro, check out these links.

Website: http://www.jamesfaro.com

Blog: http://james-faro.blogspot.com

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/james.faro.73

And you can check out my review here:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/review/R2R9KUCNKRCIW2?ref_=glimp_1rv_cl

Thank you, James, for being a guest on my blog. I truly enjoyed your book and I look forward to reading more from you in the future.

Sincerely,

Geri

Jennifer Blake, “Icon of Romance”, “Grande Dame of Romance, and a True “Southern Belle”

15 FREE KINDLE ROMANCES

by JENNIFER BLAKE

OCT 1-3 ONLY
Amazon Only

I have very fortunate to have the met Jennifer Blake and I have gotten to know her better through a critique group that meets in Ruston, Louisiana. I was delighted when “Pat” agreed to be featured on my blog.

Blake-Author-Florida-ReverseJennifer Blake has been called a “pioneer of the romance genre”, an “icon of the romance industry,” and a “grande dame of romance.” A New York Times and international best-selling author since 1977, she is a charter member of Romance Writers of America, of which I a member. She is a member of the RWA and Affaire de Coeur Halls of Fame, and recipient of the RWA Lifetime Achievement Rita. She holds numerous other honors, including the “Maggie”; the Holt Medallion; multiple Reviewers
Choice awards; the Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews Magazine, and the Frank Waters Award for literary excellence. She has published 70 books with translations in 20 languages and more than 35 million copies sold worldwide.

Today we are talking about her works in The Italian Billionaire series, “The Tuscan’s Revenge Wedding,” “The Venetian’s Daring Seduction,” and “The Amalfitano’s Bold Abduction.”

Italian Billionaires Trio

Contemporary romance

Love, Italian style…three young women are seduced by passion, adventure and handsome Latin males in romantic Italy. Now that’s amore….

Readers and lovers of contemporary romance who enjoy stories with exotic settings and Latin Lovers.

Jennifer, please tell us about your work.

When I began these three stand-alone stories, I’d just finished two different complicated historical series for Mira Books that were 100,000 words each. I’d also left traditional publishing after many years of being restricted in what I could write, and started an online publishing venture, Steel Magnolia Press, with my niece Cyndi Drolet. We had put 37 of my older titles online with new covers, and I was ready to write something to be published as an original e-book. A series of contemporary romances of about 50,000 per book looked like a fun project.

But added to that, I’d been to Italy several times and loved it – and I’d had a few brief encounters with Italian men. Nothing racy or momentous as I was very much married! But on one occasion, a waiter I’d summoned hurried to my table and leaned to whisper, “I always come when you call, Madame!” Then there was the night outside Rome when the large group I was with was served their pasta course on ordinary white plates—but mine was presented with a warm smile and great ceremony on a golden one. Another time, in the Cinque Terre region, I walked into a small wine shop wearing a blue and white print skirt, blue sandals, lace-edged white tank and white over shirt embroidered in blue. An older Italian gentleman, elegantly dressed as only Italian men can be, looked me up and down with a tender smile and indicated my outfit with his fingertips closed together in that continental gesture of something exquisite. “Very nizzze,” he said. I smiled and said “Grazie” to all these overtures. How could I not? Suffice it to say the Italian Billionaire series is my love letter to Italy, and salute to the appreciation for women that makes Italian men special.

Obviously, this isn’t your first book. How many books have you written so far?    

I’ve published 70 books if I count the novella collections.

THE AMALFITANO’S BOLD ABDUCTION, Steel Magnolia Press, 2014

THE VENETIAN’S DARING SEDUCTION, Steel Magnolia Press, 2013

THE TUSCAN’S REVENGE WEDDING, Steel Magnolia Press, 2013

ROYAL SEDUCTION, Steel Magnolia Press, 2012

SEDUCED BY GRACE, Mira Books, October 2011

BY GRACE POSSESSED, Mira Books, September2011

BY HIS MAJESTY’S GRACE, Mira Books, August 2011

TRIUMPH IN ARMS, Mira Books, 2010

GALLANT MATCH, Mira Books, 2009

GUARDED HEART, Mira Books, 2008

ROGUE’S SALUTE, Mira Books, 2007

DAWN ENCOUNTER, Mira Books, 2006

CHALLENGE TO HONOR, Mira Books, 2005

WADE, Mira Books, 2002

CLAY, Mira Books, 2001

ROAN, Mira Books, 2000

LUKE, Mira Books, 1999

KANE, Mira Books, 1998

GARDEN OF SCANDAL, Mira Books, 1997

TIGRESS, Fawcett/Ballantine, 1996

SILVER-TONGUED DEVIL, Fawcett/Ballantine, 1996

SHAMELESS, Fawcett/Ballantine, 1994

ARROW TO THE HEART, Fawcett/Ballantine, 1993

WILDEST DREAMS, Fawcett/Ballantine, 1992

JOY AND ANGER, Fawcett/Ballantine, 1991

SPANISH SERENADE, Fawcett/Ballantine, 1990

LOVE ANLove and Smoke Audible CoverD SMOKE, Fawcett/Ballantine, 1989

PERFUME OF PARADISE, Fawcett/Ballantine, 1988

SOUTHERN RAPTURE, Fawcett/Ballantine, 1987

LOUISIANA DAWN, Fawcett/Ballantine, 1987

PRISONER OF DESIRE, Fawcett/Ballantine, 1986

ROYAL PASSION, Fawcett/Ballantine, 1986

FIERCE EDEN, Fawcett/Ballantine, 1985

MIDNIGHT WALTZ, Fawcett/Ballantine, 1985

SURRENDER IN MOONLIGHT, Fawcett/Ballantine, 1984

ROYAL SEDUCTION, Fawcett/Ballantine, 1983

EMBRACE AND CONQUER, Fawcett/Ballantine, 1981

APRIL OF ENCHANTMENT, Signet Books, 1981

GOLDEN FANCY, Fawcett/Ballantine, 1980

CAPTIVE KISSES, Signet Books, 1980

LOVE AT SEA, Signet Books, 1980

THE STORM AND THE SPLENDOR, Fawcett/Ballantine, 1979

TENDER BETRAYAL, Popular Library & Fawcett/Ballantine, 1979

SNOWBOUND HEART, Signet Books, 1979

BAYOU BRIDE, Signet Books, 1979

THE ABDUCTED HEART, Signet Books, 1978

NIGHT OF THE CANDLES, Fawcett Books, 1978

SWEET PIRACY, Fawcett Books, 1978

LOVE’S WILD DESIRE, Popular Library & Fawcett/Ballantine, 1977

MURDER FOR CHARITY, Manor Books, 1977

HAVEN OF FEAR, Manor Books, 1977

NOTORIOUS ANGEL, Fawcett Books, 1977

BRIDE OF A STRANGER, Fawcett Books, 1974

DARK MASQUERADE, Fawcett Books, 1974

COURT OF THE THORN TREE, Popular Library, 1973

THE BEWITCHING GRACE, Popular Library, 1973

STORM AT MIDNIGHT, Ace Books, 1973

STRANGER AT PLANTATION INN, Fawcett Gold Medal, 1971

SECRET OF MIRROR HOUSE, Fawcett Gold Medal, 1970

NOVELLA COLLECTIONS

QUEEN FOR A NIGHT, Steel Magnolia Press, 2014

WITH LOVE, Berkley, 2003 (Reissue of “Pieces of Dreams” from the QUILTING CIRCLE collection)

WITH A SOUTHERN TOUCH, Mira Books, 2002 (Contains ADAM, one of the Louisiana Gentlemen)

SOUTHERN GENTLEMEN, Mira Books, 1998

UNMASKED, Mira Books, 1997

A JOYOUS SEASON, Kensington, 1996

QUILTING CIRCLE, Berkley, 1996

A PURRFECT ROMANCE, Harper, 1995

HONEYMOON SUITE, St. Martin’s Press, 1995

STARDUST, Avon, 1994

SECRETS OF THE HEART, Penguin Topaz, 1994

A DREAM COME TRUE, Penguin Topaz, 1994

What does your writing process look like?

It’s a basically an organized progression of words on paper. I begin by brainstorming the story, turn these random notes into a chapter-by-chapter outline, create simple character sketches and then start at the beginning and go on to the end. I don’t write scenes or chapters out of order because the emotional and sexual tension in romance needs the steady escalation provided by a linear structure.Desk

Where do you write?

I normally alternate between the desktop PC in my office and a recliner in the living room with my laptop, but occasionally work outside in warm weather.

Inspiration Wall

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I’ve always been a plotter. My first published books were Gothic mystery-suspense stories that required several suspects as possible villains, along with clues, red herrings and actions and motivations to lend credence to their possible guilt. It’s easier to write this type story if you plan the details in advance. After turning to historical romance, I had back-to-back contracts for decades. This kind of output is faster, and turns out better, if you’re sure of where you’re going with the stories.

There’s nothing formulaic about plotting, however, and nothing innately more creative about writing by the seat of your pants. In fact, all fiction uses both methods. Plotters and pantsters are like two people heading into unknown territory toward the same destination. One has a road map with a few five pitfalls marked, the other has vague idea of the general route and the knowledge that pitfalls exist. Yet both still have to plunge into the wilderness.

Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?

Not really. Every scene should have a definite reason (or two or three) for being in the book. If you know what you’re trying to accomplish and how you intend to get there, all scenes are about the same. On the other hand, I do grumble and gripe about the love scenes after having done several hundred with various degrees of heat. Once I figure out what makes the current couple unique in their approach to intimacy, however, they’re no harder than anything else.

Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

The death of a child as a major plot point.

How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

After deciding to do a series similar to the Harlequin Presents novels, it seemed natural to choose titles common to that particular romance subset. It was also an experiment of sorts. I was curious to see if the titles made a difference. As far as I can tell, they’ve made very little to none.

What book do you wish you could have written?

Kathryn Falk at Romantic Times once said she thought I should have be tapped to write the sequel to Gone with the Wind. I thought at the time it would be a thankless task, that nothing could ever live up to the original. In hindsight, I believe it would have been a fascinating challenge.

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

Names need to suit the personalities of the characters as I see them in my mind; I often close my eyes and repeat a name to see if it fits. That they are appropriate to the tie period and place is also important – a Tiffany in 1850s Louisiana would be ridiculous, for instance. In general, I don’t care for unusual or weirdly spelled names as that seems an amateur’s effort to be different. I do like hero names that start with an “R,” and was even a bit superstitious about that for a while after several with that naming method became best sellers—I was afraid NOT to give them an “R” name. And after using several of those, I came across a magazine article that said many people favor “R” names, feeling they extra strong and masculine.

As for sources, I have a couple of books with the nationalities, historical origins and meanings of both given names and surnames, also a couple that are meant for choosing baby names. But I mostly combed the indexes of Louisiana history books for authentic character names for my books set in early Louisiana. When I started my six-book Masters at Arms series about the sword masters of old New Orleans, however, I visited St. Louis Cemetery No. 1 near the French Quarter to jot down names to mix and match for future characters.

What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

The fact that I’ve survived as an author, that I’m still writing and being read after so many years in this game!

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Retired and puttering with writing as a hobby. If my muse will back off and let me.

Have you always enjoyed writing?

Writing has always come fairly easy—book reports and essays in school were never a problem. Nor were stories a problem; I often put myself to sleep as a child and young teen by making them up in my head. But I loved to read far more than I liked to write—that was until I started writing as a hobby at about 19 or 20.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

The same classic advice heard a thousand times before: Never give up on your dream. Never, ever give up.

Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

I don’t usually respond, whether good or bad, since this is supposed to be unprofessional. I really prefer not to read the reviews, particularly those posted online; people can be so stupidly cruel when protected by anonymity. However, reading them can’t be helped at times, as quotes from good reviews must be collected for promotional purposes. I bask in the good one but skim over the bad as fast as possible. The best way to deal with the last is to refuse to let them matter. And then go write something so great it will prove these bad reviewers were clueless idiots.

What (when not writing) do you do to support yourself?

My writing income has been more than sufficient since the late 1970s.

Do you have any other talents or hobbies?

I’m not sure I have talent, but I enjoy painting with watercolors now and then, also knitting, crocheting, beading, quilting, antique hunting, gardening and travel. Not necessarily in that order!

What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

Editing. Unfortunately, I can think of a dozen different ways to say practically anything. Though I’m a thorough editor, it’s always an agonizing process of thousands of minute decisions. Beyond that, the dialogue, emotions, character actions/reactions, narrative flow and scene transitions are interwoven so completely as I write that making a single change can mean rearranging or deleting things in several places. Not fun! I’d rather write two new books than edit one.

What can readers who enjoy your books do to help make them successful?

Recommend the series to their friends, discuss it at book clubs. Post about it on Facebook or Twitter. And of course, follow me on those sites as well as on Pinterest.

What is your best marketing tip?

The #1 way that readers discover an author is through the recommendation of friends. The best way to influence this give and take is to produce good, solid stories. You can make yourself accessible thought social media and other avenues, if you like, but the best use of your time is always to write another good book, and another, and another…

What are you working on now?

I’m seeing a nonfiction book titled “Around the World in 100 Days” through the publication process. This is a day-by-day chronicle of a fantastic world cruise I took with my grandson lastyear, but gives tips and insights into this form of long term travel. It should be independently published in March or April, 2015.

What is your next project?

I’m working on a continuation of my Louisiana Gentlemen series that was set in contemporary Louisiana and published in the 1990s: These stories were “Kane,” “Luke,” “Roan,” “Clay” and “Wade.”. Books one and two of the new group, titled “Beau” and “Jake,” should be out later this year.

What can we expect from you in the future?

I have a good half dozen story ideas spinning around in my brain, some contemporary, some historical, and at least one futuristic. What will come out on top, no one knows, least of all yours truly. The wonderful thing about being independently published these days is that it doesn’t matter. My next project can be whatever excites me when it’s time to start it.

And now for some FUN…

What do you wear while writing?

Jeans, T-shirt and sandals are my summer uniform, with the same in winter except for a long-sleeved over shirt of some kind along with Easy Spirit Traveltime clogs and socks. Boring, but comfy.

Have you ever dyed your hair an unusual color?

I’ve been golden blond and had highlights, but don’t really like the texture change caused by bleaches and dyes, even the temporary ones.

What is your biggest fear?

That my Bucket List may turn out to be longer than my life. But I’m working on it!

If you had a supernatural power, what would it be?

Astral projection, the ability to go wherever I choose at the speed of light while using nothing but brain power.

Do you make up your bed every morning? What is on your bed right now? (pillows/quilt/crocheted bedspread?) Is it romantic or functional? Provide images if you want.

I do make my bed, though more because I hate crawling into a rumpled, unmade one at night than from any OCD neatness. My latest edition of this important piece of furniture is an adjustable mattress with remote control I love it for reading and watching TV in bed.

Where is one place yth (58)ou want to visit that you haven’t been before? Provide images if you want.

Egypt. The Pyramids of Giza are at the top of my Bucket List since I’ve marked off much else. I was supposed to see this monument on the world cruise, but State Department travel advisories prevented it.

Please describe something (significant number of words/a character/entire scene) you “deleted” from your work and why. Because a real writer knows when to hit THE DELTE KEY!

I enjoy description and like painting scenes with words for my books. I also love Italy, the landscape, culture, and general ambience, so sometimes went a bit overboard with description in the Italian Billionaires series. Some of this sort of thing was deleted during the editing process, particularly where I felt it slowed down or interfered with the main story action.

I hope this questionnaire has helped you to come up with some clever answers, but is there anything else you’d like to add?

One of the best things about my venture into independent publishing has been the ability to expand into other venues with the titles to which I own reverted rights. Audio books are a great example. Around 40 of these backlist titles are now available on Amazon from Audible.com

http://jenniferblake.com

http://www/steelmagnoliapress.com 

Amazon Author Page:

http://www.amazon.com/Jennifer-Blake/e/B000APHHS8/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Amazon Kindle Ebook Pages:

http://www.amazon.com/Tuscans-Revenge-Wedding-Billionaires-Collection-ebook/dp/B009QO5V8W/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1423489074&sr=1-1&keywords=the+tuscan%27s+revenge+wedding

http://www.amazon.com/Venetians-Seduction-Italian-Billionaires-Collection-ebook/dp/B00CKVCZG4/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1423489074&sr=1-2&keywords=the+tuscan%27s+revenge+wedding

http://www.amazon.com/Amalfitanos-Abduction-Italian-Billionaires-Collection-ebook/dp/B00HCW0XCO/ref=pd_sim_kstore_2?ie=UTF8&refRID=1P2KBS4RJF6E0M0ZSEFK

Goodreads

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/128235.Jennifer_Blake

Facebook

https://www.facebook.com/jennifer.blake.3914

Twitter

https://twitter.com/JenniferBlake01

Pinterest

http://www.pinterest.com/jblakeauthor/

 

Sandra Bolton’s “Key Witness” Weaves a Tale of Suspense in a Southwest Setting

Sandra BoltonSandra Bolton’s novels are based on her real-life experience with diverse settings and cultures. Her first novel, A Cipher in the Sand, was inspired by her work in the Peace Corps in Honduras, while Key Witness was inspired by her years spent teaching Navajo children.

She honed her writing skills under the tutelage of southwestern mystery writer Steven F. Havill, and she holds a master’s degree in guidance counseling.

Originally from California, she raised three children while traveling the globe with her military husband. She is currently at work on an anthology of short stories. She resides in Raton, New Mexico, with her cat, Fidel, and her dog, Sam.

Key Witness

A Jewish musician from New York; a female cop with the Navajo Tribal Police, her unemployed, alcoholic, and gay brother; a three-legged dog, and a “skinny, gray-haired” nurse named Sally who boasts she can “shoot the short hairs off a pig’s balls blindfolded.” These are the main characters in Sandra Bolton’s latest mystery, “Key Witness”.

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Intended Audience: Anyone interested in reading, a fast-moving, action-packed mystery with a touch of romance and a strong dose of New Mexico culture.

Not since Tony Hillerman have we seen a writer portray so well the stark beauty of the Southwest and the solitary lives of the Navajo, woven onto a background of suspense and violence.

SB desert 3

SB desert 2

SB desert 1           

Is this your first book? How many books have you written prior (if any?) List other titles if applicable. 

This is my second novel. My first, A Cipher in the Sand, was self-published on Createspace in 2012. 

Where do you write?

I write from two different locations: my home office, which is right off my living room, and I have a little writing nook I set up using my old computer at an isolated cabin not terribly far from my house. I love to write there because there is no internet, no cell, and no distractions. Except nature, and the urge to get outside and enjoy it.

The cabin sounds wonderful! I’m doing the same at lake about an hour from my home. Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I am definitely a punster. I never know for sure which way the story is going until I get going with it. Though, sometimes during periods of insomnia, I do a little plotting.

A punster? Are you being punny? Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?

I sometimes struggle with the sex scenes. I want to make them exciting, but not too racy, holding a little back for the imagination of the reader. My natural shyness comes out. I think I am getting over that though, since the editors told me to stop leaving out the details.

I know what you mean! How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

My original title for Key Witness was Jesus Eyes. I had come up with that name based on startling blue eyes of the protagonist, Abe Freeman, and the habit of a few people remarking on his “Jesus eyes.” This was based on actual incidents that happened with my late partner. I decided to change the name, as not to invoke a religious tone, and since the mystery in the story involves a mysterious key.

What other books/authors are similar to your own? What makes them similar?

My book has been compared to the writings of Tony Hillerman because of the setting and references to Navajo culture.

Great plug! Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

I had never thought about writing a novel until I participated in a workshop conducted by Southwest Mystery Writer, Steven Havill. He challenged the class to begin writing a novel, gave us the tools to work with, and set goals. After three more workshops with Mr. Havill, I was hooked on writing, and haven’t stopped.

That’s great! Who is your favorite character from your book and why?

I love Sally, the skinny old nurse who thinks she can take on anything. She is fearless and funny. She and Emily are both strong female characters.

How about your least favorite character?  What makes them less appealing to you?

My least favorite character would be Corazon, just because he’s a mean sob. But he’s supposed to be.

Do you have any other talents or hobbies?

When not writing I enjoy gardening, hiking with my dog, photography, reading, and gourmet cooking. I have many interests, but no outstanding talents – a Jack of all trades, I embrace my mediocrity.

Its good to be well rounded. What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Every reader should know the best way to help a writer gain success is to write a review and spread the word. Self-promotion is tough, and I feel extremely grateful to be working with a great team now at Thomas and Mercer..

Do you have a pet or pets?

I have a big orange tabby cat named Fidel and a big black dog named Sammy.

SB pets

So adorable! What is your favorite snack food?

I’d rather eat anything salty or crunchy than sweets. Trouble is, you can’t eat just one. Right now, I’m sipping on a glass of white wine and munching on popcorn.

Interesting combination. Have you ever been in trouble with the police?

Not in the USA.

And we’ll leave it at that! Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?

In the Peace Corps in Honduras, a young volunteer and I were nearly attacked by a group of drunk men. As they tried to break our door down, we waited with clubs. Finally, they passed out. We tiptoed out of the room and ran like hell to a bus stop. (This incident is included in my novel, A Cipher in the Sand.)

Scary! Do you make up your bed every morning?

I make my bed every morning because I am a bit obsessive/compulsive.

What is on your bed right now?

Right now there is an old-fashioned hand stitched quilt with a traditional wedding ring pattern.

If you could have any accents from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?

I would speak Italian perfectly. I love Italy and the Italian language, and was fortunate enough to live there for three years.

Lucky you! Do you have any scars? What are they from?

I have an old appendectomy scar, a scar near my inside right ankle that I acquired from a string ray zap that became infected with jungle rot. My latest scars, just this month, came from my cat, Fidel. I tried to rescue him from a dog that was after him, and he went crazy tearing into my face and hand. Fourteen stitches on my nose, and another dozen on my right hand.

I saw the photos of the cat scratches on Facebook! Geez! What were you like as a child?

Being the oldest of five, I was a serious and responsible child.

What was your favorite toy?

No particular toy stands out, certainly not dolls. I liked to play board games, tether ball, cards. See how old I am.

I must be old, too, because I loved tether ball! Do you recall your dreams? Do you have any recurring dreams/nightmares?

Since childhood, I have had a recurring dream of a large book with the pages slowly turning. Maybe it was prophetic.

What is your favorite Fiction/Non-Fiction book?

There are many books that have made a profound impression on me, but I think the first and strongest was Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck.

My sons were in the theatrical production of Grapes of Wrath at Louisiana Tech. My youngest played Winfield.

VERY IMPORTANT!!!!  Please describe something (significant number of words/a character/entire scene) you “deleted” from your work and why.  Because a real writer knows when to hit THE DELETE KEY!

After the editors at Thomas and Mercer dug into my book, I needed to delete several scenes. Most gave background information into the Navajo history and culture that they thought was “interesting” but slowed down and distracted from the main action of the story. Yes, there were entire scenes I had researched and hated giving up, but they were right, of course.

You can always put that edited out information on your blog!

Website: http://www.sandraboltonwritestuff.com/

            Blog: sandrabolton.com

            Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/sandraboltonauthor

 Publisher’s Website: https://www.apub.com/imprint-detail?imprint=1

 Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_ss_i_0_6?url=search-alias%3Dstripbooks&field-keywords=key+witness&sprefix=key+wi%2Cstripbooks%2C1195

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/

 Book Promotion Sites: https://www.facebook.com/groups/promote.your.book.here/

Other Interviews: http://visionandverse.blogspot.com/

Thank you, Sandra, for this opportunity to interview you and I wish you great success!

Book Blitz: Small Talk, a Detective Daniel Hayes Novel by Robert T. Germaux

Small Talk Cover 

About the Book:

A serial killer has the people of Pittsburgh on edge, and Detective Daniel Hayes and his hand-picked Special Assignment Squad are working feverishly to solve the case before more innocent lives are lost. But the killer proves to be a formidable foe, whose viciousness appears to be matched only by his ability to elude capture.

Throughout Small Talk, the reader is given glimpses into the mind of this cunning and sadistic murderer, an individual who seeks a face-to-face confrontation with his pursuers, a confrontation Daniel is only too willing to provide.

Read the first seven chapters of Small Talk

Robert Germaux Author Photo

About Robert Germaux:

Robert Germaux and his wife, Cynthia, live outside of Pittsburgh. After three decades as a high school English teacher, and now a good many years into retirement, he is beginning to have serious doubts about his lifelong dream of pitching for the Pirates. Small Talk is Robert Germaux’s second book. His first book, The Backup Husband, is a contemporary romance novel, available on Amazon.      *******

Robert Germaux Author Q & A

I see you were a high school English teacher for thirty years. That’s quite an accomplishment! Were you doing much writing during this time?

No, I wasn’t, mainly because I was too busy grading my students’ papers, along with doing the thousand-and-one other things involved with teaching. And to be honest, I really didn’t think of myself as a writer during those years.

What made you decide to take the plunge and publish your first book, The Backup Husband?

Pretty much just the desire to put my work out there, to see if it was as good as I hoped it was.

Why did you take the Indie route?

I’d written several books about a private detective named Jeremy Barnes, but my agent and I hadn’t been able to find a publisher for them. I knew how popular eBooks were becoming, so I thought I’d try that route.

The Backup Husband is a contemporary romance novel. Small Talk is about a serial killer. Was this a conscious decision to keep your book genre choices open?

No, not really. I’d had the idea for The Backup Husband floating around in my head for some time, and after I wrote it, I thought it might be the best book for my initial foray into the world of eBooks. My other books are all crime novels, and that’s the genre I most enjoy.

What kind of research did you do for Small Talk?

I was fairly knowledgeable about standard police procedures, but I had to do a lot of research into the technical aspects of the investigation by Daniel and his squad, things like facial recognition software, etc. I also had to educate myself about what can be learned at autopsy, which wasn’t my favorite part of the research for this book.

What would you say has been the most difficult thing about Indie publishing?

I knew next to nothing about Indie publishing, and at first, it seemed as though every time I learned something, that led to two or three other “somethings” I had to learn. It was very frustrating.

Are you currently working on a new book?

I’m finishing the final edit on One by One, the next case for Daniel and the Special Assignment Squad.

Do you have any advice for new Indie authors?

I would recommend that they educate themselves as much as possible about the world of Indie publishing, but even more important, try to find someone who already knows all this stuff and is willing to guide you through the process. When I decided to put The Backup Husband online, I had no idea what I was doing, which made for a long and arduous experience. With Small Talk, I’ve been lucky enough to have Susan Barton in my corner, making the whole process a delight.

Rafflecopter Giveaway:

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Readers can connect with Robert Germaux via his website, Facebook, Twitter and Amazon. Review copies are available upon request via contact form here.

Treat Yourself to Celtic Romance for Valentine’s Day with Grá mo Chroí

I wish to introduce you to Ali Isaac  and Jane Dougherty.

I met Jane during the aliMARSocial Author of the Year Competition with her book, The Dark Citadel.

Today, I am helping her and her co-author Ali Isaac promote their latest release, Grá mo Chroí‘ (Love of my Heart).

Jane Doughtery

Ali Isaac and Jane Dougherty are writers with a shared heritage.

Ali has woven that heritage into the fabric of her stories about Conor Kelly and his adventures in the Otherworld.

Jane consistently slips references to the old stories and the old heroes into all of her novels.

book cover

Long ago in a green island surrounded by protective mists, a people lived among the relics of a bygone age of which they knew nothing, not being archaeologists, but around whom they created a mythology.They were a volatile people, easily moved to love or war, and motivated by a strict sense of honour. They had women warriors and handsome lovers, wicked queens and cruel kings, precious heroines and flawed heroes. Magic was in the air, beneath the ground, and in the waves of the sea, and hyperbole was the stuff of stories. They were the Irish, and these are a few retellings of some of their beautiful stories.

This collection of retellings of some of the great love stories from Irish mythology is our tribute to this culture which has so captivated us. Love in the Iron Age, as you will see, did not have the benefit of Disney. The Ancient Irish had to contend with far more violence than modern lovers, and their ideas of what constituted happiness were not necessarily the same as ours. An Irish princess was not going to languish at the top of an ivory tower waiting for a knight in shining armour. She was much more likely to get on her horse and drag him out of his bed with a curse if he hung about too long. But in many ways, love through the ages has not changed one iota. Grief, sorrow and passion are all there in spadesful.

If the only thing you know about Irish mythology is Saint Patrick, serpents, and Leprechauns, it’s about time you read this collection. If you like what you see, this could be the start of a life changing experience.

Here is a short excerpt from the first story in the collection,

The Tragedy of Bailé and Aillinn 

Bailé, the soft-spoken, left Emain Macha in the north to meet Aillinn, his betrothed. Rare was such a wedding host, and uncommonly joyful. For the king of Ulster’s only son and the daughter of the king of Leinster had made a love match. Even the sun shone bright on Bailé’s journey, the hounds danced and milled about the horses’ legs, fancy bridle bits sang silver songs in the wind, and the company was filled with joy.

Bailé left behind his own lands of Ulster, the blue lochs and gorse-yellow hills where the eagles cried. Before him, beyond the purple peaks of home, lay the low, wooded hills and the rich plains of Leinster. He saw his Aillinn in the contours of the hills, in the white plumage of the swans on the river. She was soft as new grass and spring foals, wild as the March wind, and generous as the blackbird singing to the world. His heart was full of joy that soon they would be wed and their union would bind together her rich beauty of soft hills and birdsong, and his wild majesty of the eagle and the red deer.

If you like the sound of the world of the ancient Irish, treat yourself to a little Celtic romance for Valentine’s Day. You can get Grá mo Chroí here:

Amazon.com

Amazon.co.uk

Jane can be found on her blog, www.janedoughertywrites.com, on her Facebook author page , or tweeting. You can find out more about her on Goodreads, and all her books are available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

You will find Ali Isaac pottering about most days on her blog: www.aliisaacstoryteller.com, her Facebook author page, or tweeting. Alternatively, you can email her at: ali@aliisaacstoryteller.com or aliisaacstoryteller.com@gmail.com. Her books are available on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk.

C. G. Eberle: A mystery author who believes in honor, justice, truth, and freedom.

I’d like to introduce C.G. Eberle (Christopher), another one of my fellow Melange Books, LLC authors, and his latest work, Killer Holidays; A John Seraph Anthology

Short Bio: Born in Buffalo, New York, C.G. was adopted by George & Dottie Eberle and raised in the Irish neighborhood of South Buffalo, where he still lives today. C.G. has been a comic book fan since he was five years old and began writing & drawing his own home made comics back then. His real interest in writing began in high school when he discovered the 1970’s television series Kolchak: the Night Stalker. He began writing as a hobby, then after reading an article re: the birth of a white buffalo in 1994 C.G. began writing THE RAINBOW WARRIOR. It took ten years & seven re-writes for him to get published. In the meantime C.G. began work on the follow-up books & the companion book, THE ERA OF HEROES, which was published in 2006.

A writer since he was 5 years old, Chris started with his homemade comic books and story books, and then seriously took to writing in high school. While in college, studying English Education, C.G. was published twice in 2004 & 2006, and then switched gears to one of his major passions, mysteries. Besides writing C.G. also is a amateur Old West Historian, an avid classic movie fan & collector, a lover of most styles of music, an avid reader, a student of crypto zoology, an amateur Ripperologist, and dabbles in the kitchen quite well.

C.G. began work on his first mystery FAMILY TIES but filed away the idea for a few years as he wrote & polished THE RAINBOW WARRIOR. Then finally he returned to FAMILY TIES, which took four years to write and, thanks to Nancy Schumacher & Melange Books, LLC,was published in October 2013.

FAMILY TIES was inspired by the missing person/homicide case of Chandra Levy, who was killed on May,1st, 2001. To a degree C.G. became mildly obsessed with the Levy case, which was THE major news story for 2001. Intensive coverage continued until news of the September 11 attacks supplanted the media’s coverage of the Levy case. After the 9/11 attacks knocked the Levy case seemingly out of the news, C.G. followed the case as best he could, and knew it was becoming an inspiration of some form, then truly understood what “Ripped from the headlines” meant.

Title of Work: Killer Holidays; A John Seraph Anthology

Genre: mystery

 Tagline: They say the holidays are murder and for John Seraph it’s the truth.

Intended Audience: adult mystery fans

John Seraph, is the eldest of eight children, whose father is the head of ‘The Arm’, the Buffalo, NY Mafia. John walked away from his family to make something of himself, due to a blood oath he made his mother. This is when his life changes in my first mystery FAMILY TIES.Is this your first book?—- No, I’ve written The Rainbow Warrior: GENESIS and The Era of Heroes (through Publish America in 2004 & 2006), and Family Ties and Family Plots (through Melange Books, LLC in 2013 & 2014)

What does your writing process look like?—- I’ve taken a page from Janet Evanovich’s How I Write. In her book about her processes  Evanovich talks about how she builds a story she’s working on. I adopted a similar process. After I have the basic idea I build from there. I chart out what happens on each day.

Example:

Monday; John goes to work, sees A fighting with B, breaks up fight; at home John hears from Denise, then get call from police, A was found dead with John’s name written in blood.

To me it’s a lot like building a house. First you lay the foundation, (the story idea), then build the frame, (know what’s roughly going to happen). After that put up the walls & install the pluming and electrical, (write the story). Another major aspect for me is picking the names of my characters, both good & bad.

One book I’d recommend to anyone looking to be a fiction writer is buy yourself a baby name dictionary. There’s a science behind naming characters and not just picking some names out of the phone book. Character names related to their traits is a real connection and when I find something that work it’s like a flashbulb goes off in my head.

Finally research is a major part of what I do. I’m lucky because it’s something I’m extremely good and enjoy, and I’m very thorough. For example: when I was picking John’s choice in handgun it took me two weeks of solidly researching various handguns until I found exactly what I wanted and needed for John.

I read Janet Evanovich’s How I Write, as well.  I highly recommend her book as well as Stephen King’s On Writing, etc.

Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?—- The folks at Melange asked me for my ideas regarding what I wanted to see on a cover, then Lynsee Lauritsen, who’s an artist, photographer, and designer who works with Melange Books, LLC, looked at my ideas/suggestions and put together a first draft. She was excellent about working with me, explaining what works and doesn’t work. For Killer Holidays, I wanted an image of ‘John Seraph’ and some sort of holiday theme but wasn’t positive of what. Lynsee came up with the basic concept and she soon banged out the final image. We’ve worked like this for four book covers and it’s been an amazing partnership. With my first mystery, FAMILY TIES, I had this image of what I wanted and it was way to busy. Lynsee cut it down and produced a much better image. Then she was professional enough to explain to me everything I wanted would’ve made the cover to busy & crowded.

As an artist and photographer myself, I can’t say I care for the job she did on your covers. The word “cheesy” comes to mind. They look a bit homemade and “self published”, which is a shame because, from what I’ve seen on her Facebook page, Ms. Lauritsen is actually a very accomplished photographer.

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?—- The three authors who’ve been my biggest inspirations are Robert B. Parker, Janet Evanovich, and Sue Grafton. I’d have to say Parker has been a long term motivation for me since I’ve been a fan of his Spenser; for Hire series, and own his entire Spenser series in hardcover. Evanovich has been a major influence on me as well not only thanks to her, How I Write, but whenever I’ve had questions re: writing, she or her representatives have been good enough to answer me back.

How important are names to you in your books?—- This is an extremely important aspect of writing I believe a lot of people tend to forget or overlook. One book I recommend to anyone who’s looking to write fiction is to buy a copy of Dictionary of First Names. This has masculine and feminine names, ethnic origins, definitions of names, and notable examples. This is extremely important and there’s a science behind naming characters. One cannot just pluck names out of the air, I try to pick names relating to my characters’ traits & personalities.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?—-To be honest I’m not positive, I don’t think anyone can honestly answer this question. Hopefully with some hard work, a little luck, some grand support, and a lot of sales, maybe I’ll be fortunate enough to land on the best sellers’ list multiple times and be able to give back to my parents who’ve given me so much. And with a bit more luck maybe have a movie screenplay picked up by a producer.

Have you always enjoyed writing?—- Yes, I began when I was about 4 or 5 years old. I used to write and draw my own little comic books. It wasn’t until I was in high school, about age 17, when my first writing sparks ignited after first being exposed to an old T.V. show, Kolchak; the Night Stalker. Soon after I began writing for my school newspaper, then I began toying with the idea of writing fiction. It was 1994 when I began writing my first book The Rainbow Warrior: GENESIS.

What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?—- KEEP WRITING!!! You can give in, you can give out, but don’t give up! If you have the idea for a good book, and I don’t just mean fiction, research all you can about whatever topic you’re writing about. Also don’t be afraid to talk to writers who’ve made it. I’m always happy to talk to someone who says “Oh I’ve always wanted to write” or “I’ve got this idea for a book”. Also have some basics on hand; dictionary, thesaurus, a few good notebooks & pens, at least one of each near your bed, if you don’t have a recorder of some kind. And if you do take it with when driving. You’ll never when or where an idea will hit you. Also there are a number of books one can find on any number of subjects and about writing, I’d say be selective. A number of these books repeat themselves. If at a book store I look through them and pick the best ones. And don’t be snobby about where you find books & research material. I’ve come across good research books at second hand book stores. The trick is hunting through the piles, racks, and table you’ll come across

What (when not writing) do you do to support yourself?—- Currently I’m working at the new Buffalo Bills Store, at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, NY. It can be rough at times, but it’s a good job and I work with a good solid crew.

What are you working on now?—- Currently I awaiting the edits of my next book Family Education, which should be debuting sometime in 2015. I’m also writing the fifth book in my series, Family Friend, with plans for my next three books, what I’m calling my serial thriller, the Father’s Day Saga. The Saga will take place over the course of three books and three individual mysteries, the stories will have a sub-plot of a story arch that will change not just John Seraph’s life but almost everyone he knows. I am also working on a Year-0 John Seraph story, which takes place before Family Ties. This is sort of an origins story and explains a bit and takes place before he changed his name. I’m planning on self-publishing this Year-0 story as an e-book and giving it away for free.

It is great to hear that you are busy writing and getting the support you need from your publisher. I hope the best for you and your work!

What is your biggest failure?—- Driving my best friend and the only woman I ever loved out of my life. There isn’t a day I don’t think about her, the mistakes I made, and how’s she is doing.

That sounds like a memoir in the making!

What do you want your tombstone to say?—- Hopefully it’ll read: Christopher G. Eberle (C.G. Eberle); Loving husband, father, son, brother, and loyal friend. A mystery author who believed in honor, justice, truth, and freedom.

CGE image2

Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?-— Italy. I mean the whole country, all 21 regions. If I had the money and time I’d start in the Northern region and make my throughout the entire country and soak up as much of the culture and the people as I can.

CGE image3(Stock Image)

CGE image4

I hope you’re learning to speak the language!

What is something you want to accomplish before you die?—- Find the true love of my life, make her mine, live happily ever after. I’m doubtful of all this, so I’ll have to settle for making writing my career, becoming extremely good at it, and providing for my parents, brother, sister

Never doubt yourself!

Please describe something you “deleted” from your work and why. Because a real writer knows when to hit THE DELTE KEY!—- In 1994 when I was writing my first book, The Rainbow Warrior, I had a nightmarish image for my hero, of downtown Buffalo obliterated, and the HSBC Tower having been obliterated. Now during my rewrites after September,11th, 2001 I knew I had to change the scene, so I made the Tower still standing but with an almost, demented, demonic, Jack O’ Lantern face blown into the side of the building.

Contact Information:

Website: http://cavillier1970.wix.com/theamateurdetective#

Blog: http://cavillier1970.wix.com/theamateurdetective

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/?ref=logo#!/chris.eberle.353

CGE image1Downtown Buffalo at dusk. (stock image)

Links:

Publisher’s Website: http://www.melange-books.com/index.html

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/C.-G.-Eberle/e/B00HX5PT6U/ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_2?qid=1422556691&sr=1-2

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23880558-killer-holidays-a-john-seraph-anthology

Other Interviews: http://joannemyers.blogspot.com/2015/01/author-spotlight-on-christopher-g-eberle.html?zx=378fbe3d9fa2b6d0


I really enjoy interviewing authors and making them a part of my blog,

especially those who are fellow Melange authors

and those whom I’ve met in this industry

who have encouraged and inspired me.

Geri 

 

Marie Lavender on Her Blood At First Sight Series: Clever Title! Clever Girl!

I want you to all to meet Marie Lavender, the Bestselling Author of UPON YOUR RETURN and 19 other books. 2014 BTS Red Carpet Review Nominee. Finalist and Runner-up in the 2014 MARSocial’s Author of the Year Competition. Honorable mention in the January 2014 Reader’s Choice Award. Liebster Blogger Award for 2013 and 2014. Top 50 Authors on AuthorsDB.com. Winner of the Great One Liners Contest on the Directory of Published Authors.

Is she awesome or what?

ML photo3Marie Lavender lives in the Midwest with her family and three cats. She has been writing for over twenty years. She has more works in progress than she can count on two hands. Marie has published twenty books in the genres of historical romance, contemporary romance, romantic suspense, paranormal romance/fantasy, mystery/thriller, literary fiction and poetry.

ML photo2Lavender just released Second Nature, a paranormal romance/urban fantasy, in December of 2014. She released Magick & Moonlight, a romantic fantasy, back in March of 2014. Upon Your Honor, released in late April of 2014, is her second historical romance. Her current series are The Heiresses in Love Series, The Magick Series and The Blood at First Sight Series. Feel free to visit her website at http://marielavender.com/ for further information about her books and her life.

Marie is also on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and LinkedIn.

Today I am writing about Second Nature, her Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy. 

Can this unique human tame the beast in Alec?

For women and men 18-75, who don’t mind reading romance novels or books about supernatural beings 

The Blood at First Sight Series is about how our characters deal with being in the Other world, a world that will change them forever.

Second Nature is available on the publisher’s website, on Amazon, CreateSpace and Barnes & Noble.

A list of her other books and pen names are as follows:

Marie Lavender: Upon Your Return; Magick & Moonlight; Upon Your Honor; Second Nature

Erica Sutherhome: Hard to Get; Memories; A Hint of Scandal; Without You; Strange Heat; Terror in the Night; Haunted; Pursuit; Perfect Game; A Touch of Dawn; Ransom; Leather and Lace

Kathryn Layne: A Misplaced Life

Heather Crouse: Express Café and Other Ramblings; Ramblings, Musings and Other Things; Soulful Ramblings and Other Worldly Things

Tell us something about your books. 

I have written and published twenty books so far. My titles under Marie Lavender are Upon Your Return, Magick & Moonlight, Upon Your Honor and Second Nature. The other sixteen were published under my alternate pen names.

 Where do you write? 

I usually write wherever I can, but a lot of my heavy writing happens at night when I’m in bed.  I also compose on the computer when I’m fully focused on a project.

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

I am a bit of both. I start out writing randomly, getting down scenes however they come to me. In the back of my mind, a basic plot has already formed for the most part, but no details have been filled in yet. Eventually, when I am ready to really focus on a project, I start doing a major plot outline and do more writing after that. I use that outline as an anchor of sorts, but I’m not afraid to let my characters go outside of the lines a little.

I think I’ll set up a scale from plotter to panster since most of us have to do a lot of both. How did you come up with the title of your book or series?

Second Nature finally came to me when I was at my wit’s end about the title. I used a generic title of Love or Blood before it just popped into my head one day. Second Nature made a crazy kind of sense when you really looked hard at the story. The series title came later, and that was about the time that the sequels started nagging at me too. LOL.

Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

Oh, let’s see. I have quite the list. I have to count Nora Roberts, Catherine Coulter, Rosemary Rogers, Tessa Dare, Emma Wildes, J.R. Ward, Kris Tualla, P.C. Cast, Kerrelyn Sparks, Chloe Neill and there are so many more that have brought me to the place where I am today. Even Natalie Goldberg in her way fascinated me, and inspired me to keep writing.

With the exception of a couple of Nora Roberts audiobooks, I have to say that I have read none of these authors’ book. If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters? 

I’ve only thought of the main characters thus far. For Desiree, I would choose Moon Bloodgood, and for Alec, I might pick Matt Bomer.

I had to look them up. I watched/watch Falling Skies but not White CollarHow important are names to you in your books?  

I believe names are very important. Sometimes I go with the way it sounds or I check the meaning to make sure it fits with the character. I did that with a series I have in mind for a set of six books centering on a coven of witches during the time of the Salem witch trials. I also spend a lot of time ruminating on names for my historical novels. One source I use quite often, other than a baby names’ book, is http://www.behindthename.com/. You can search by nationality and gender. You can also find surnames for any nationality there. http://surnames.behindthename.com/

 Thanks for the links! What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

 I would have to say writing my first historical romance novel and getting it published. When Upon Your Return was released, not to mention the moment I received the contract in my inbox, was one of the proudest moments of my life. And the feeling of having a copy in my hands? Priceless.

Good for you! What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

I have a love/hate relationship with research. It can be great fun to learn so much information about a topic, but it can also be frustrating when you are unable to find what you’re looking for. But, as my friends and family know, I am pretty stubborn when I want to be, and I will find that breadcrumb if it kills me. LOL. Another dreaded part of the process is editing. Though it’s a necessary evil, I compare it to jumping off into a dark abyss. You don’t know what will come out on the other side, but you’ll be a better writer for it.

 What can we expect from you in the future?

Well, I’m finishing up final edits on A Little Magick, which is the second book of the Magick Series. It is also a children’s fantasy. I am also writing Upon Your Love, which will be the third and final book of the Heiresses in Love Series. That is a Victorian romantic suspense. I am getting closer to finishing that, and I should be in the editing stages soon enough. So, you will probably see both of those out this year. After that, I plan to focus on the sequels in the Blood at First Sight Series, and I may finish up the last book of the Magick Series.

Do you have a pet or pets?

Yes, I have three cats. When my fiancé and I get married, I will have…yikes! I will have nine of them.

You know, you rarely hear of a “Crazy Cat Man, or a Crazy Cat Couple.  So, I think you’re good! Have you ever dyed your hair an unusual color?

 I tend to choose different shades of red, though I have entertained the idea of doing pink. I think this time I will try purple.

ML image5

That would depend on the shade! Do you make up your bed every morning? 

Yes, I make my bed, or at least pull the covers up to keep cat hair out of the sheets. I have an Egyptian themed comforter and pillows. My entire room is Egyptian right now. I like to try different design schemes.

ML image6Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before? Provide images if you want.

 I would love to go to Ireland! It’s in my blood, and I’ve always been drawn to the country and the music.

ML image7 Me, too! If you were any plant or animal, what would you be? 

 A white tiger. They are so beautiful!

If you could have any accent from anywhere in the world, what would you choose?

 I love accents! I’d probably choose something European, perhaps British, Irish or Scottish.

 What? Not Irish. Of course, I always get my Irish and Scottish jumbled. Do you have any scars? What are they from?

 I have one defining scar from my childhood, on my leg where I cut myself on a piece of metal. I had to get twelve stitches. It’s pretty faded now, but you can see it if you look close.

What is your favorite song?

 My favorite song right now is “I Choose You” by Sara Bareilles. So romantic.

 I listened to it! It’s GREAT! What is your favorite junk food?

 Chocolate, of course! Dark chocolate is my favorite.

Especially with almonds! What is your favorite book?

Dark Lover by J.R. Ward. I love Wrath!

VERY IMPORTANT!!!! Please describe something (significant number of words/a character/entire scene) you “deleted” from your work and why. Because a real writer knows when to hit THE DELETE KEY!

I didn’t worry too much about the length. I never do. My aim is to finish writing the book first, however long it ends up being. Then I can worry about whether it will fit a publisher’s guidelines. Mostly, I don’t try to cut word length, but I do cut out unnecessary words or repetitive things, or rearrange/revise scenes. If I delete anything big, it’s usually something that I decided wasn’t necessary to the story. With regards to Second Nature, the significant scene I thought about cutting (I hadn’t written it yet as it was dancing around in my head) was of Desiree going for a run near Alec’s house, and then something unfortunate occurs. In hindsight, I decided it didn’t fit the first book, but would be perfect for the sequel. I can’t go into too much detail because of spoilers.

Check out these following links to learn more about Marie Lavender and her work.

http://marielavender.com

http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com       

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com

http://marielavender.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender

http://marielavender.com

http://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com

http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com

http://marielavender.blogspot.com

https://www.facebook.com/marie.lavender.58

https://www.facebook.com/MarieAnnLavender

https://twitter.com/marielavender1

https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MarieLavender/posts

http://www.linkedin.com/pub/marie-lavender/27/187/10a

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938764.Marie_Lavender

http://authorsdb.com/authors-directory/1578-marie-lavender

http://www.pw.org/content/marie_lavender

http://www.amazon.com/Marie-Lavender/e/B00C10Q94I

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00Q7FWIWA

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00JTKTODG

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00IRKN5P2

http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00I0D9LQ8

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJu8HjRVYCFOqcIoX6ZxdqQ/videos

http://www.thebookcove.com/2015/01/book-spotlight-second-nature-1-blood-at.html

Other Interviews:

http://www.nancychristie.com/o

http://rachaelstapleton.blogspot.ca/2015/01/today-im-interviewing-bestselling.html

https://emmafrostuk.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/interview-with-marie-lavender/

https://authorsinterviews.wordpress.com/2014/11/22/here-is-my-interview-with-marie-lavender/ 

Awards & Speaking engagements: 

http://marielavenderbooks.blogspot.com/2014/01/marsocials-author-of-year-competition.html

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/12/made-the-top-25-on-authors-database/

neonone/2015/02/01/one-on-one-with-romance-novelist-marie-lavender-part-one/

http://rachaelstapleton.blogspot.ca/2015/01/today-im-interviewing-bestselling.html

https://emmafrostuk.wordpress.com/2014/12/17/interview-with-marie-lavender/

https://authorsinterviews.wordpress.com/2014/11/22/here-is-my-interview-with-marie-lavender/

https://iloveromanceblog.wordpress.com/2014/11/16/reminder-to-vote-for-the-bts-red-carpet-book-awards/

http://youtu.be/dFzeKq1z5Vo

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/worldofinknetwork/2014/11/09/any-which-way-but-loose-with-bennet-pomerantz

I have truly enjoyed this opportunity to get know Marie Lavender better.

She is an incredibly prolific writer and I hope the very best for her continued success.

Geri

ML photo1“A true man does not need to romance a different girl every night, a true man romances the same girl for the rest of her life.”

-Ana Alas

Marion Lovato on “Sam, The Superkitty”, She Never Knows WHAT He’s Going to do Next!

I met Marion Lovato while we both were participating in the MARSocial Author of the Year Competition.

Marion-Lovato

She is a retired teacher, a caregiver for her mother, and an ambitious first-time author inspired by her clever cat, Sammy, and his crazy antics, expressions, etc., and added some imagination.

sammy-superkitty

Just-Lookin

Sam The Superkitty

Genre: Children’s books

Ordinary cat by day; Superhero at night.

Intended Audience: Children, but adults seem to enjoy it also.

Is this your first book?

Yes

Are you a plotter or a pantster?

A pantster because I never know what he’s (Sam) going to do next!

Cat’s are crazy that way; however, my cat, Storm, is rather predictable. She’s either sleeping or wanting someone to feed her. What book do you wish you could have written?

Crime novels like James Patterson.

I’ve read a lot of James Patterson. I’m curious if Sammy has similar detective skills. Have you always enjoyed writing?

Yes, I was writing poetry and short stories as a child.

That’s alway a good place to start! What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

Learn as much about the publishing business BEFORE you start. It will save you many costly mistakes.

Absolutely! Do you read your reviews?

Yes, I read my reviews.

Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

Fortunately, I haven’t had any “bad” ones, but I hope that if someone offers some constructive criticism I can learn from it.

Good for you! And here is an example of a great review!

By Gina LoBiondo on November 26, 2014

Format: Kindle Edition

What an absolutely delightful book! Sam, the Superkitty is the imaginative story of a little cat who becomes a “Superkitty” whenever his family is in danger. Based on a once-feral cat that she rescued, author Marion Lovato creates a sweet and simple story that both young and old will enjoy! The delightful illustrations only add to the appeal of the story.

Do you have any other talents or hobbies?

I’m a free-lance photographer.

Me, too! Nikon or Cannon?

I use an old Pentax I’ve had for years that still works well. Old fashioned because it uses film. :>)

Wow! That is OLD SCHOOL! Yet, I remember those days…

What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

Marketing!

I know, right? What can readers who enjoy your book do to help make it successful?

Spread the word; that’s the best advertising you can get!

What are you working on now?

Sam’s next adventure involving the moon.

Sounds fun! And now for some more fun…

Do you have any other pets?

My other cat, Kirby, is mentioned in the book, but will be working with Sammy in future versions.

What is your favorite snack food?

Trail mix

Any particular recipe/blend?

My trail mix is Cranberry Craze which has cranberries, raisins, almonds, and cashews. Yum!

That sounds delish! Have you ever been in trouble with the police?

Yes, I forgot to show up for jury duty, so the sheriff’s deputy came to school, arrested me, took in in front of the judge to get yelled at and pay my fine before they took me back to school.

WHAT? Seriously? They arrested you? You’d think they’d have some REAL criminals to chase!

What do you want your tombstone to say?

What the hell is she up to now?

Hilarious! I love it! Where is one place you want to visit that you haven’t been before?

The Great Pyramids of Egypt.

I hope you make it!

Now, please describe something you “deleted” from your work and why. 

I’ve deleted a few words or rewritten a paragraph, but nothing more. Have to remember this is my first book. 🙂

Blog: http://sammythesupercat.blogspot.com

Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/LittleUmpersStudio

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1604588667

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7246584.Marion_Lovato

Book Promotion Sites: https://marsocialauthorbusinessenhancementinterviewblog.wordpress.com/marion-lovato/

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