Blog Highlight: Barbara Ann Mojica’s Blog

Barbras blog reviews and talks about childrens books!

A bit about Ms. Mojica;

Barbara Ann Mojica is an historian and retired educator living in New York State. She holds a Bachelor’s and
Master’s Degree in History. Barbara spent more than 40 years teaching  in NYC and holds New York State teacher certifications in Elementary, Special Education, and Administration. She also spent several years
as a Special Education Administrator and principal of a special education preschool for developmentally delayed children. Barbara, although retired from teaching, is staying busy: along with her forthcoming series of Little Miss History travel books she writes historical pieces for The Columbia Insider, Pat Fisher and Ed Pollack Editors, under the banner “Passages”. Marrying her love of history and teaching, Barbara hopes her Little Miss History character will inspire children to learn about historical people, and visit landmarks such as the one covered in this book, Mount Rushmore.

You can find her blog here: http://bamauthor.me/

OFFICIAL RELEASE!!!! Dragon Twins

 

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000447_00008]

The Blurb:
Separated at birth…reunited by murder.

Behind the gates of an exclusive Lake City neighborhood, prominent businessman Don Chu’s housekeeper has been brutally murdered and his teenage daughter taken. The high-profile case has the Mayor himself sending the case across Detective Stan Brookshire’s desk. He barely has time to digest the details of the two sinister crimes before he’s called to yet another disturbing scene.

This time, at the other end of the city, another murder and attempted kidnapping ring out with a similarity too convenient for coincidence. As the clues fall into place and the evidence mounts, Stan starts to see a pattern emerge. A DNA match, and the two cases now become one. With the help of an unexpected young ally, Stan begins his search for a victim that may still be alive. It’s a race against the clock and across the globe that will test his skills to the absolute limit. Two murders. Two kidnappings. Twice the danger.
The Excerpt:
A loud noise startled Jade from her slight doze. As she straightened up in her chair, she glanced at the clock on her bedside table across the room that held her textbooks. Eleven thirty-five.

Leaning back at her desk, she reached over and felt the bowl of soup Wei-Lee, the family housekeeper, had brought. It had been piping hot but now it was tepid. She estimated she was out less than half an hour.

Another crash came from the direction of the kitchen. What on earth was Wei-Lee doing at this time of night to make that much noise?

Jade started to get up when the door to her room flew open and two almost identical Asian men burst into her room. Grabbing her before she could make a sound, her feet lashed out and knocked the books to the floor as they dragged her toward the door.

“You’re coming with us,” one of the men said in a thick, Chinese accent. “You can either come quietly or we’ll drag you out.”

“There’s no way I’m letting you take me anywhere!” she yelled, struggling against them. Their grip loosened and this time she racked her nails across one man’s cheek. Crying out in pain, he released her arm to protect his face.

She ran out of the bedroom and down the stairs hoping to find Wei-Lee or something to defend herself. Jade heard them running after her. Chancing a glance over her shoulder, she saw they were right behind her as she raced through the house trying to get to the kitchen.

She was almost there when a man stepped out of the doorway, into her path. He was Asian but what caught her attention was the knife in his hand. Red liquid dripped from it onto the tile floor. She managed to duck around him and into the kitchen where she was halted at the sight of Wei-Lee. She lay dead in a slowly spreading pool of blood.

A hand grabbed her shoulder and tried to spin her around. Her reflexes drove her forward, jumping over the housekeeper’s body she dove for the cordless phone to dial 911. She managed to dial two digits before the phone was knocked out of her hand and it went flying across the floor.

Rough hands grabbed her and tore her clothing as she tried to get away. It was useless. They were too strong. It was too much for her. The sight of the dead housekeeper, the men in her house…the blood. There was so much blood.

A hand reached up and put a cloth over her mouth, she fought against it but it was no use. She had no strength left. As her world faded to darkness the last thing she heard was, “Do not hurt her. Ling will not be happy if she is harmed.”

Grab your copy today on Amazon!

And dont forget to enter Rafflecopter contest! Great prizes to be had!

Q & A with Rachel Sparks

Our victim this week comes from the opposite end of the country as our guest last week. Shes no newcomer to interviews either 🙂 Please welcome Rachel Sparks!

*****

photoWhat would your bio say?

Rachel Sparks grew up in South Carolina. With a degree in Early Childhood education and one in social work, she brings those skills to the table to write stories involving strong female characters, current social issues, a sprinkling of romance and powerful storylines.

On the 2007 Preditors and Editors Readers Poll “Factor Of Love” ranked 14 out of 201 romance novels.

Rachel has appeared on WGGS-TV 16 Dove Broadcasting in November of 2006, February 2009 and March 2010

Also in March 2008 Rachel appeared on Your Carolina WSPA-TV 7.

 When did you start writing and why?

I have been writing since I was 7 years old…poems and little stories. I have always had stories running around in my head. My mom was a reader and she taught me to love to read and books.

 If you are a parent how does being a parent affect your writing and writing habits? Or does it?

Well my son is 22 now and he also has 3 published novels.

Who is your favorite author and why?

Amanda Quick…I love she has mystery along with romance in her books

What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?

That my books will help someone and also will enjoy a little romance and suspense too.

Traditional or Self publishing? Why?

Self-publishing because I keep the rights to my books and control everything.

Talk about your journey into the wide world of publishing

After finding traditional publishing with too many rules and so forth, I discovered Lulu. They are some wonderful people and publishing was a so fun and exciting.

Tell us about your book (s)

I have 8 published novels. Innocent Hearts Of Courage, Unconditional Love, Factor Of Love, Rochelle’s Life, The Invisible Child, Faith To Love Again, A Reason To Love, Love Heals The Broken…some are based on today’s time and historical

What inspired you to write these books (or in this genre)?

I love romance, mystery and suspense

Tell us why we should love or hate your main character?

My main characters are average people who go through some tough situations. I want readers to love them and root for them and sometime get mad at them.

Do(es) your book(s) have a soundtrack?  

I listen to dvds when I write.

 

inhareasonlove healsftlag

theiv fol un rocli.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*****

Thank so much Rachel for joining us this week! You can follow Rachel on her blog  or Facebook. Her books can also be found on Amazon and Lulu.

Blog Highlight: Jo Robinson | Writer

A lovely collection of shorts by Ms Jo Robinson.

A bit about Ms Robinson;

I live in Zimbabwe with my husband, dog, and a feathered flock. I’m a writer currently published on Amazon, ardent supporter of human and animal rights, lover of the written word in all its forms, and art in all its form.

You can find her blog here: http://africolonialstories.wordpress.com/

Q & A with Scott Richards

Our victim this week comes from sunny California! This is his first public interview so please give a warm welcome to Scott Richards!

*****

What would your bio say?

Here’s the bio in the back of my book:

Scott is a California-based author where he is forced to live with all of the characters in his head. Despite what you may hear shrieked into the night air, he is a sad, crazy little man.

He is maintained by those familiar few for the rare nuggets he spouts on occasion. These mad ramblings are recorded, then dictated back to old, retired shoe-cobbling elves that have retired, but still like to “keep themselves busy” as stipulated per their Retired Original Union Group Home (R.O.U.G.H.) contract agreements.

When did you start writing and why?

I was actually slow to the whole writing gig. You’d think it would be a natural fit, seeing as how even as a child I would lie awake and make up stories. When it’s your everyday, you tend to not notice it.

I didn’t actually write my first big thing until maybe five or six years ago. It’s a book that will only ever exist in the bottom drawer of my desk. What it taught me, however, was that I love to write… and that I was terrible at it. I’ve spent every bit of time thereafter improving my grasp of the craft.

bts_e_oneIf you are a parent how does being a parent affect your writing and writing habits? Or does it?

Not a parent yet, but I will be this coming August. My plan is to stay flexible, prioritize my time, and write when I can. As it is, my writing routine is pretty fluid, and I’ve been able to write dozens of short stories and three books, so it’s effective enough for me and the way I function. Could I recommend it to other people? Likely wouldn’t. I believe every writer needs to find what’s best for them. Every writer has a method and a style. Some do best with a scheduled routine, and can’t write outside of that because they just can’t be creative. That would be death to my work. So, in the end, I guess we’ll just see how much a baby changes things, and I’ll let you know!

Who is your favorite author and why?

Brandon Sanderson, big time. That man has earned my trust. Everything I’ve read of his resonates with me so much as a reader, that when I hear he has a new book out, I don’t need to know anything about it; I know it’ll be great and I’ll love it.

His grasp of character building, unique magic systems, and the way he interweaves politics and religion into his plots is not only remarkable, but he does so without useless info dumping or making the reader suffer through dry political rants or religious sermons.

What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?

My ultimate goal with writing is to do it for a living. I wish to be able to sustain myself with my writing. I’ve no dreams of fame or fortune, simply to write as a job.

Writing is my zen, stories are how my brain is wired. Do what you love, and you’ll never work a day in your life, right? I guess we’ll see what happens!

 Traditional or Self publishing? Why?

I’m actually planning a hybrid career. I enjoy the immediacy and control of self-publishing, but traditional offers an avenue that I – at the moment – am unable to reach.

Talk about your journey into the wide world of publishing

Hah, my journey is so fresh and so clean, clean! Despite all that I’ve written, I’ve only just recently begun to put my work out there for public consumption. Episode one of my serial Before the Shroud just went up a couple of weeks ago, and episode two comes out June 3rd. Too early to really tell success, but I’ve done my homework, made plans, studied how others have done it, so I’m hopeful. I just hope no one realizes how terrible a writer I am.

Tell us about your book (s)

I’ve got quite a few stories going on right now, so in the interest of not confusing people, we’ll stick with the serial.

Before the Shroud started as an ongoing serial on my blog. I still post to it every Monday, but I’ve begun putting the parts together into episodes and have them on a weekly release schedule starting June 3rd. Six episodes in a season, and a break between seasons.

The serial is part of a larger whole, but can be read on its own without knowing anything else about the lore or history. It follows the path of three characters as each discovers their purpose, and how they fit with one another. Each is believed to be a monster in their own way, but life has other plans.

 What inspired you to write these books (or in this genre)?

I’ve always been a sci-fi and fantasy buff, but when it comes to writing, I just construct the story that comes in my head. I don’t sit and think of stories, they come to me. I have two sci-fi books I’m editing and preparing to release on Amazon, I’m shopping a YA urban fantasy novel to agents at the moment, while I have a collection of short stories in this same world that can take place anywhere from 1980s America to a varied steampunkish other world with guns, nobles, and fencing.

Tell us why we should love or hate your main character?

Aldester would be the primary main character in Before the Shroud. As the writer, I’m a fan of his limitations as a character. He’s young, and has had to steal to survive. That means relying on cleverness, and not so much martial clout. When it comes time for him to fight, he has to think of other ways to solve his problems. I don’t know why anyone would hate him, but readers can surprise you! I’ve had readers tell me they enjoy his antics and attitude, but as the story progresses, we’ll see if opinions change.

Do(es) your book(s) have a soundtrack?

Now there is a question. I’d say pick any Two Steps From Hell album, and you’re good.

*****

Thanks Scott for being a part and answering some questions for us! You can follow Scott on his website and pick up his book on Amazon!

BLOG TOUR: Twisted Bloodlines

blogtour banner

Welcome to the blog tour of Twisted Bloodlines! This amazing debut novel is being republished through Moon Rose Publishing  on the 5th June 2013, and is one worth picking up. Were-creatures, horror, romance, suspense, this book has it all! Why not scroll down and find out why you may have a new series obsession…

*****

What would your bio say?

Well, I usually go with something along these lines when I need to add a bio but it does vary from time to time:

I live in London with my husband and children. I’ve always had a love of books ranging from different genres throughout the years. I used to love writing stories in my younger years but art had always been my main passion. Only in the last few years have I decided to return to writing again which has resulted in my new series Twisted Bloodlines.

When did you start writing and why?

As I mentioned in my bio, I have always loved to write. Nothing quite beats being able to create your own little world, filling it with characters that you have molded and brought to life.

If you are a parent how does being a parent affect your writing and writing habits? Or does it?

Yes, being a parent does tend to affect my writing. It can be tough sometimes trying to juggle the kids and find time to fit in my writing, especially when I get into the zone and my kids are jumping up and down in front of me trying to gain my attention. I can also become quite withdrawn when writing and completely oblivious to everything and everyone around me so sometimes when I take a break I find my house looks like a tornado has whipped through it leaving a trail of toys and dirty dishes in its wake.

Who is your favorite author and why?

Hmm, I have loads but to pick just one it would have to be Sherrilyn Kenyon. I absolutely love the Dark Hunter series and also her league series. I love the way she writes and despite having over twenty books in the series, I never get bored of them if anything they only get better.

What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?

I really don’t know what I hope to accomplish. I love to write and have enjoyed creating the series, I can only hope the readers will enjoy them as much as I do.

Traditional or Self publishing? Why?

I’m actually under an indie publisher and as for the why, well I think she is brilliant. I admire her talents and she does have many. She also makes me feel at ease and I know that I can go to her with anything and she will be happy to help me out no matter what the problem is.

Talk about your journey into the wide world of publishing

Before I was lucky enough to be taken on by my publisher, I did take the self- publishing route and it was hard work. I chose to go with Amazon, between me and a friend we spent many frustrating hours trying to work it all out. Formats, covers and editing all done by us. Let’s just say it was not a very successful attempt and the eventual outcome was not very good at all. It still gives me nightmares now, it was definitely an experience and I’m just glad my publisher is there to help me out with all that stuff and now my book is professionally done with a totally amazing cover.

Tell us about your book (s)

There will be six books in the series. The story follows Megan and her newly extended family through a journey of fear, devastation and heartbreak. They strive for survival against the beast that is never far behind them. Megan’s world has become full of creatures that she had never thought possible and the fear that has haunted her entire life is about to get very real and a whole lot scarier than she could ever imagine.

What inspired you to write these books (or in this genre)?

I’m often asked this question and there really wasn’t anything that inspired the storyline, it just popped into my head one day. Having said that, a tattoo actually inspired some of my characters which then led to me writing in the paranormal genre. Originally, I had planned to write the series in the horror genre.

Tell us why we should love or hate your main character?

I think you should love Megan. She has had so much upheaval in her life which is also full of terror and dread. Despite this, she continues to remain strong no matter what is thrown her way and she isn’t exactly a tough chick despite her new found heritage.

Do(es) your book(s) have a soundtrack?

My book doesn’t have a soundtrack. I did listen to a lot of music whilst writing as I always do. It was mainly R&B that I listened to although this did vary depending on my mood.

*****

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000447_00008]

Blurb

Megan has never had what most would call a normal life.

Her childhood and teen years were spent on the run with her family, hiding from a horror so great it defines their world. Friends and homes are traded at a moment’s notice to escape from their worst nightmares.

Years pass, and her mother settles down with her new step-father, a kind man who does his best to protect them. Life lulls into a safe pace, and Megan finally feels as though she has control of her future for the first time in her life. But that peace is shattered with the arrival of a new family member, one that bears a striking resemblance to a savior of her past…

Confused by her deep emotional connection to him, things unravel fast. She learns that the people she lives with, even her own family, are not what they seem. Her only friend who helped her piece her life back together changes overnight, and she is left dealing with the fallout on her own…

As events unfold, Megan finds herself face to face with the horror that has haunted her since childhood. But will she be able to escape from her twisted bloodline?


More About The Author

554299_161179704031164_1348135187_n

I was born and raised in London, which is where I still live now with my husband and children. As a child I always had my nose stuck in a book. I started out reading mysteries such as Nancy Drew and then soon moving onto Agatha Christie. I then found a love of the horror genre, Richard Laymon being my favourite author among a few others. When a friend introduced me to the paranormal romance/fantasy genre I soon became hooked, building myself a very impressive to read pile and a long list of favourite authors. I would say both of these genres have influenced in the way I write and combining them is where I came up with the idea for my book.

 

 

Links For The Author

Facebook

Twitter

Google Plus

LinkedIn

Website

Moon Rose Publishing

Links For The Book

Amazon UK

Amazon US

Kobo

Smashwords

Createspace

Moon Rose Publishing

Fae Books 3K Giveaway!

Fae Books is a great place to discover books, Authors, writers, other bloggers and to enter the giveaways that she always has going on. We’re all about everything “Bookish” as I say. So stop on over at one of the links below, she’d love to get to know you.

You can find the site at www.FaeBooks.co.uk.
You can add me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/SarahFaeBooks,
You can find me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/FaeBooks,
I’m on Pinterest at www.pinterest.com/FaeBooks
and you can Like the Facebook page at www.facebook.com/ptsdblog

Fae Books has hit and surpassed the 3000 Like mark on Facebook, so I’m celebrating with a fabulous giveaway for everyone!

I’m inviting you to join in the celebration and enter the giveaway below.

Please check out all of the Author & Blogger links below, to see who has kindly donated prizes to this for you awesome book lovers to win!

Start/End Dates & Times 
The giveaway starts at
12:00am GMT (UK) 15th June 2013
and ends at
12:00am GMT (UK) 15th July 2013

There are prizes from:

Author Tricia Drammeh
Author Victoria Simcox
Author Brandi Salazar
Indy Book Fairy Blog
Author S. CuAnam Policar
Author Ashlynne Laynne
Blogger Brenda Tashia
Author Steve Cypert
Author Simon OKill
Author Michelle Muto
Author Victoria Sawyer
Author J.H. Walker
Author Candace Knoebel
Jessica Loves Books Blog
Author JJ DiBenedetto
Author Kelly Anne Blount
Author S.L. Dearing
Author Tina Hammond
Author Deliza Rafferty
Author Felicia Tatum
Author L. J. Baker
Reader’s Candy Blog
Author Allison Cosgrove
Author Brandy L Rivers

Prize Donator Info:

~~~~~~~~~~~

 Author Tricia Drammeh

Tricia Drammeh is a wife and mother of four children who lives in the St. Louis area. Her published works include The Claiming Words and The Fifth Circle. She is currently working on her seventh novel. When Tricia isn’t writing, she can be found devouring books, interviewing up-and-coming authors, and drinking vast amounts of coffee.

Amazon
Goodreads

~~~~~~~~~~~

Author Victoria Simcox

Victoria was born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Austrian immigrant mother, and a Dutch immigrant father. She now resides in Western Washington with her husband and 3 children. Her other family members are, a Chihuahua, named Pipsy and 2 cats, named Frodo and Fritz. For the past 12 years, she has home-schooled her children. Besides being an author, Victoria is also an elementary school art teacher. Victoria enjoys writing, reading, painting watercolors, hiking, good movies, and hanging out with her family and friends. Victoria is the author of The Magic Warble.

Amazon
Goodreads

~~~~~~~~~~~

Author Brandi Salazar

Brandi Salazar started writing poetry, short stories, and novels at a very young age, weaving tales to share with her friends that were geared toward making them laugh. Today her writing habits reflect that, ranging from mystery/suspense/thriller to paranormal and YA romance, and no matter how different her works may be, you can always find a healthy dose of action, romance, and humor. Under the pen name J.C. Valentine, she also writes erotic romance fiction.

A longtime resident of Ohio, Brandi lives with her husband, three children, a dog and five cats that keep her very busy. She holds a degree in Business and has plans to continue her education so she can one day become an editor to authors everywhere. When she isn’t crafting her next novel, toiling away at schoolwork, or hanging out with family, you can find her curled up in her favorite chair with her nose buried in a book.

Amazon
Goodreads

~~~~~~~~~~~

Indy Book Fairy Blog

Blog Link

Indy Book Fairy Blog

~~~~~~~~~~~

Author S. CuAnam PolicarS. CuAnam Policar was born in Brooklyn, NY, but now lives in Washington State.
The Mother of three makes time to write, usually late at night.
An avid reader, she not only writes but helps promote other authors with blog tours and reviews of their books.
She is Pagan but respects all religions and believes everyone should celebrate their similarities and not care about their differences.
When she has the time, she enjoys playing video games, horseback riding, singing, and writing things other than her Legend of Xosha seires.
She absolutely loves to make new friends, so don’t be afraid to pop by and say hi on facebook!

~~~~~~~~~~~

Author Ashlynne Laynne

Ashlynne Laynne has always had a soft spot in her heart for vampires but grew tired of the garlic fearing, sun-loathing creatures of old. An avid horror movie fan, she tends to enjoy media and music that is of a younger, more eclectic nature. This was the catalyst for her writing The Progeny. The vampire/witch pairing is unique and different when most books pair vampires with werewolves.

Ashlynne loves writing on the edge—combining the erotica and romance genres—and thinks of Ascher and Shauna as the wicked, damned version of Romeo and Juliet. She is currently working on book four of her Progeny Series, book one of her upcoming Rocker Series, and an untitled novella WIP. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her family. She juggles the hats of wife, mother, full time employee and part-time writer, hoping to write exclusively one day soon. Find and follow here online on Twitter. Check out her Manic Readers page, Blog and Website, or leave her a note in her Reader Email.

Ashlynne lives in North Carolina with her husband and teenage son.

Amazon
Goodreads

~~~~~~~~~~~

Blogger Brenda Tashia

I’m an 20 year old avid reader who loves promoting authors work.

Blog

~~~~~~~~~~~

Author Steve Cypert 

Steve is the second child of seven born in Los Angeles, California to a wonderful mother and father. Born into the LDS faith, Steve served a 2 year full-time LDS mission at the age of nineteen in the northern half of Ohio.

At twenty-four he moved from his parents’ home in Los Angeles to Salt Lake City, Utah to try out life on his own. 2 decades later he still lives in Utah, where he found and married his beautiful wife, Katie.

Today they live in South Jordan, Utah with their bald little 6 month old son, Ozzie and their very hairy son, Duke – a three year old Shih Tzu.

Goodreads
Amazon

~~~~~~~~~~~

Author Simon OKill

Simon Okill lives with his wife, Shirlee Anne and their cat, in a pretty coastal town in South Wales, UK. After a serious accident at work, he was forced into early retirement due to disability. Simon used his newfound skills as a writer to help with his depression. His writing became more serious as certain A-list actors expressed interest in his scripts.

He is presently working on a vampire novel, Eternally Yours and the script, Flip Side.

Amazon
Goodreads

~~~~~~~~~~~

Author Michelle Muto

Michelle has always loved storytelling. When she was a child, her favorite stories were of monsters and things that lurked in the dark. Telling stories often frightened her classmates and got her into a lot of trouble with her teachers. They had no sense of humor.
As an adult, Michelle traded her love of writing for the corporate life where she was an IT professional. Today, she’s doing what she loves best – writing and storytelling.
Michelle grew up in Chicago, but currently lives in NE Georgia with her husband and their two dogs. She loves scary books, funny movies, sports cars, chocolate, dogs, and changes of season.

Amazon
Goodreads

~~~~~~~~~~~

Author Victoria Sawyer 

“Passionate about writing, graphic design, creativity. Fueled by the light and dark. Beauty, color, euphoria, artistic frenzy, depression, panic, anxiety.”
What you see on the outside is not what you get on the inside. On the outside, Victoria Sawyer is polished, confident, put together, but on the inside things are a bit different. She’s creative, thoughts whirling, anxious, alternately depressed and happy or self-critical and confident, energetic, charismatic, cranky and panicked.
She has suffered from panic attacks, anxiety and depression since the age of 10 and has been writing for just about as long. Her love of writing started as journal entries as therapy and eventually morphed into a melding of fact and fiction. Sometimes writing drives her to drink or drinking drives her to write or sometimes it’s depression, anger, mental illness or love.

Amazon
Goodreads 

~~~~~~~~~~~

Author J. H. Walker

J.H. grew up in Central America. She now lives in the foothills of the Colorado Rockies with her photographer husband and many, many books. In addition to her never-ending study of human behavior, she’s a political junkie and a certified tree hugger. Rewrite Redemption is her debut novel.

Amazon
Goodreads

~~~~~~~~~~~

Author Candace Knoebel

Music defines a huge part of who I am. I find myself relating moments of my life to music lyrics more often than not. Actually, I find myself wishing that music would play at epic moments in my life…kind of like this one; becoming an author!
Number one all-time fave band is Thirty Seconds to Mars. I waited for 10 ½ hours just to be front row to see them in concert and of course it rocked. I also love Paramore, John Mayer, Mute-math, Adele, Band of Horses…the list could go on forever and ever.
I love dancing, rocking out in the car to music, spending time with my children and husband, laughing with my bestie, and cooking. I also love watching Tobuscus on you-tube.
Books that pull at my heart-strings: Harry Potter Series, Jane Eyre, The Catcher in the Rye, and The Twilight Saga.

Amazon
Goodreads

~~~~~~~~~~~

Jessica Loves Books Blog

Jessica Loves Books
Blog

~~~~~~~~~~~

Author J.J. DiBenedetto

J.J. (James) DiBenedetto was born in Yonkers, New York. He attended Case Western Reserve University, where as his classmates can attest, he was a complete nerd. Very little has changed since then.
He currently lives in Arlington, Virginia with his beautiful wife and their cat (who has thoroughly trained them both). When he’s not writing, James works in the direct marketing field, enjoys the opera, photography and the New York Giants, among other interests.
The “Dreams” series is James’ first published work.

Amazon
Goodreads

~~~~~~~~~~~

Author Kelly Anne Blount

Kelly Anne Blount was born in Madison, WI. After attending university, she moved to Grand Cayman, Cayman Islands to teach elementary school. While living there, she met the love of her life and was married in a beautiful ceremony on the Caribbean Sea.
After returning stateside, Kelly started to pursue another passion, writing. She recently wrote her first young fantasy adult novel in between teaching preschoolers with special needs and taking care of her husband and their five furry rescues.
Kelly also enjoys reading in her free time. Her favorite genres are YA fantasy, MG, paranormal romance, and the occasional thriller.

Amazon
Goodreads

~~~~~~~~~~~

Author S. L. Dearing

Shannon L. Dearing was raised in Westlake Village, California and grew up in Phoenix, Arizona. She attended Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, then spent several years studying at Los Angeles City College’s renowned Television/ Film program. She has worked on several film projects in many capacities: directing, writing, First Asst. Director, Etc.. She is a book reviewer for the Big Blend Magazine and Champagne Sunday’s radio show as well as the GMTA Literary Community and has a review list on her blog, …And Everything in Between. Shannon has been writing since grade school. Over the years she has written several screenplays, poems,plays and short stories. She recently completed and published her first novel, The Gathering: Book One of the Lia Fail Chronicles and has a short story in the anthologies, Apocalypse: An Anthology of Readers and Authors & Paranormal Anthology with a TWIST, published and edited by Cynthia Shepp. In 2011, Shannon wrote Surviving the Undead, her first play and her first time directing, it ran for two weeks and was well received. She currently lives in the the San Fernando Valley of Southern California.Amazon
Goodreads

~~~~~~~~~~~

Author Tina Hammond

T. Hammond lives in Spokane, WA with her goofy, neurotic, long-coat German shepherd, Dexter; he’s noble and brave, until someone turns on the microwave, then she has 100lbs of quivering dog trying to hide behind her chair or bury his head under a pillow (Little known fact: a 100lb German Shepherd CAN fit under a coffee table).
Writing is not a calling so much as it is a compulsion. No one is more surprised than she is when characters take over the plot and dialog, and (re)direct stories in directions she had not (consciously) intended. She is fully convinced that the writer is the tool a story uses to tell its tale. Some tools, of course, are more appropriate for the job than others. Here’s hoping, you feel she did her stories proud.
T. has a Bachelor’s Degree in Organizational Management from Whitworth University, and a Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University and before becoming a writer she was a bookkeeper, technical/manual writer, Call Center Manager and the owner of a freshwater aquarium store, Guppy Tales.

Amazon
Goodreads

~~~~~~~~~~~

Author Deliza Rafferty

Deliza Rafferty is a new erotic romance writer (spicier than traditional romance without hardcore BDSM – always hot, sometimes humorous!) located in Hollywood. “Deliza” means “gives pleasure” and “Rafferty” means “rich and prosperous.” With a name like that, what else could she do? Well…legally, anyway?

Rafferty has written all sorts of stories, poems and songs for personal enjoyment since she was a little girl, but has been writing “dirty dramas” secretly since her first real kiss in middle school. She’s spent most of her “real” career in the music business and draws from her unique first hand experience to bring to life her current series, The Savannah Rossi Chronicles. She is venturing into sharing her musings publicly for the very first time and is excited that modern day technology allows her to do it at her leisure and maintain control of her work.

Amazon
Goodreads

~~~~~~~~~~~

Author Felicia Tatum

Felicia Tatum was born and raised in Tennessee. She always loved reading, and at the age of twelve began writing. Her passion for creating stories grew and in May 2012, she finally wrote her first novel, The White Aura.
She still lives in Tennessee with her daughter and her kitty. She loves cooking and books. Animals are some of her best friends. She watches a lot of Disney channel and often dreams up new book ideas. She’s currently writing the second book in series.

Amazon
Goodreads

~~~~~~~~~~~

Author L. J. Baker

L J lives on the Jersey Shore with her husband, four kids, two cats, and an inherited dog from hell (a.k.a. the sewer gremlin). Though writing has always been her first passion, she got a degree in psychological counseling and worked in the mental health field for awhile, which she finds very helpful in dealing with her crazy family. She is a lover of all different types of music and books, switching between genres so wildly it sometimes makes people wonder if she has multiple personalities. She is most likely to be found writing romance stories of all kinds (contemporary, erotic, new adult, young adult, fantasy, etc.) and has just finished writing her first book, Save Me. When she’s not writing, she prefers to spend her time reading, taking photos, or spending time with her family.

Amazon
Goodreads

~~~~~~~~~~~

Reader’s Candy Blog

 

 Reader's Candy Button

Blog

~~~~~~~~~~~

Author Allison Cosgrove

Allison Cosgrove was born and raised in a suburb of Toronto, Ontario. A married mother of three daughters, she runs her own business by day and creates her own worlds by night. She enjoys spending time with her husband and daughters hiking in the woods or sitting by the fire reading a good book. She has had the love of reading and writing detective mysteries from the age of twelve but it has only been since the birth of her youngest that she has gotten serious about crafting some of her own works for others to enjoy. She credits her family and friends with being the driving force that has given her the strength to breathe life into her books.

Goodreads
Amazon

~~~~~~~~~~~

Author Brandy L Rivers

I’ve always loved books, especially about monsters and magic, so I started writing. I’m working on a prequel and the next few books in the Others of Edenton series, and I have a head full of stories to share.
I’m a stay at home mother with a wonderful husband who lets me write and write to my hearts content.

Goodreads
Amazon

~~~~~~~~~~~

*~~**~~**~~*

Enter the giveaway:

There are multiple ways to enter into the giveaway using the Rafflecopter below, so there should be at least one way for everyone to enter it.

Blog Highlight: Jane Risdon | Author

Jane posts about (as she puts it) “my writing, things I enjoy such as photography and life in general.”

A little bit about Ms Risdon:

I am a writer of Fiction working on a Crime Novel ‘Ms Birdsong Investigates’ about a 40 something ex MI5 agent who has retired (under a cloud) to a rural village where she hopes to lose herself and anyone who might be seeking her. 

Murder most foul ensues and she finds her old investigative juices flowing once more, and her talent for surveillance comes in handy as she sets out to discover ‘who dunnit,’ and why.  Suddenly her past comes rushing back as she bumps into someone she thought she would never see again and from whom she has been hiding.

Ms Birdsong Investigates should be completed early 2013.

As well as working on Ms B.  I am co-writing a book with an award-winning author of 28 books and we hope this will be completed this year.  This is an adventure for me as I have never turned my hand to this genre before (a secret for now), but it is proving fun and we are both having to draw on past common memories, always a challenge when we all know that no two people ever view the same events in the same way!

Anyone visiting my blog over the last year cannot fail to be familiar with my Short stories andFlash Fiction pieces.  If you are new, do please have a wander around my blog and have a look.

I have had two short stories included in an anthology called Telling Tales by Writers for Welfare – this is in aid of the charity, The Norfolk Hospice, and my stories are;  The Debt Collector and The Ghost in the Privy.  Until recently this was in hardback, paperback and e-book.  However, due to various complications, it is no longer available via http://www.lulu.com.

The other anthology I have contributed to – I Am Woman volume one – is in aid of the charities,Women’s Aid, Women for Women and Breakthrough.  My short story (e-book) is called The Look.  This is still for sale at amazon.co.uk and amazon.com.

I have had two pieces of Flash Fiction published on Morgen Bailey’s Writing Blog: 

The White Witch of England (2nd Dec 2011) with a Pod-cast of it on Jan 2012.

The Honey Trap published 30th Dec 2012 and to be Pod-cast 24th March 2013.

A Walk to Destiny is a short story also published on Morgen’s blog on 24th Nov 2012.

I am working on a series of short stories for a book called God‘s Waiting Room and The Ghost in the Privy is one of the stories from this series.  A departure from Crime, these stories are what I label ‘Gentle Humour’.

What with numerous short stories and two other novels in the pipeline I am a busy bee – I hope 2013 is the year I get these books out and into print.  I write mainly crime, but as you can see I also venture into humour and I have been known to stray into general fiction too…whatever inspires me.

I walk a lot and take lots of photographs and these are often what I use as visual notes for my stories.  Walking, the countryside and thinking about plots and taking photos – relaxation and fun for me, when I am not reading or writing. 

In my previous life I was in the International Music Business working with recording artists, songwriters, producers and music publishing.  It took up every second of my life (and my family’s) for decades, and so now it is wonderful to be able to spend time writing; something I have longed to do since childhood.  I have been instrumental in the success of others and now I want to be the instrument of my own success – for me, for a change.

Well, that is it about me.  I do hope you will find it all of enough interest to become a friend, and to take my journey with me.  Any comments you would like to share with me (and my wonderful followers), are most welcome.”

You can find her blog here: http://janerisdon.wordpress.com

Q & A with Nathan Squires

Welcome to the (better?) half of last weeks guest — Nathan Squires! 🙂

*****

387204_589805284371558_1543016225_nWhat would your bio say?

Nathan Squiers (The Literary Dark Emperor and the author formally known as “Prince”) is a resident of Upstate New York. Living with his loving fiancé/fellow author, Megan J. Parker, and two incredibly demanding and out-of-control demon-cats, Nathan lives day-by-day on a steady diet of potentially lethal doses of caffeine. When he isn’t immersed in his writing, he often escapes reality through horror and/or action movie marathons, comic books & graphic novels, Japanese anime & manga, and gnarly tunes. While out-and-about, The Literary Dark Emperor can be found in the chair of a piercing studio/tattoo parlor or simply loving life with friends & loved ones.

When did you start writing and why?

I’ve been writing to some degree or another since I first learned how to write. At that time, however—due to a limited vocabulary (or so I tell myself now)—my writing frequently flowed seamlessly between words and pictures. At that time, and throughout the years to the present, I felt driven to share the stories in my mind with whoever was daring enough to lend me their interest. There’s a lot of “why” behind my motives, but the most relevant being that I’ve always thrived off of the entertainment of others.

Since then, my affinity for writing has grown to what the public now knows me for (my drawing skills, however, are not much better than they were when I was seven…)

If you are a parent how does being a parent affect your writing and writing habits? Or does it?

There has yet to be the pitter-patter of Literary Dark younglings in the lair, but I have to imagine that, once that day is upon me, my writing will grow evermore visceral and grim    lol

Who is your favorite author and why?

While there’s a slew of literary minds that I’m fond of, my most common response to this question has been Rob Thurman. Rob (short for Robyn; yes, she is a she—I found this out, ironically enough, after consulting her via email in my teen years from one of her future titles’ About the Author) is the author of the “Nightlife” series—a gnarly reimagining & hybrid of mythology and fairy tale lore combined into something far more terror-inducing and set in the modern-day world. Aside from the freshness of her technique (which inspired me to create my own mythology for my own writing), Rob Thurman brings a variety of voice and tone to a cast of deep and compelling characters. Aside from her writing style, she is an incredibly down-to-Earth and personable person who genuinely understands and caters to her readers.

What do you hope to accomplish with your writing?

Total and complete world domination.

Just kidding (or am I?)

Actually, when you boil away a lot of the personal payoff that venting my innermost thoughts and ideas it really becomes a matter of entertaining and enlightening. Every author—hell, every artist—has the drive to accomplish one (if not both) of these. Sure, recognition is gnarly, and earning enough coin to live off of is ideal, but if high school taught me anything it’s that popularity and wealth very rarely add up to a person driven to make people happy.

Truthfully, I just hope to entertain people. And, if amidst the literary journey, they stumble across a nugget of wisdom that they decide to take away with them, then I get the pleasure of knowing that I’ve passed something meaningful on to them.

Traditional or Self publishing? Why?

*shrug* Two sides of one coin, really. Traditional publishing seems to represent some grand goal to every aspiring writer—dreams of cracking open the acceptance to Penguin bouncing about their noggins as they plot their tales—but, when push comes to shove, a reader isn’t going to be any more entertained by a piece put out by a well-funded company than they would a well-written self-published piece. The only difference between the two (in the total scheme of things) is the funding that drives it.

Traditional publishing, however, makes its money by following two powerful concepts: (1) only accept what they know will be marketable, and (2) make the owners of the wallets they’re borrowing from happy.

Now, the first rule makes sense (after all, what’s the point in putting out something if everyone involved isn’t in agreement that people will LIKE it), but that second one has a tendency to trip up hopeful writers. The name of the game is commercialism, and if the people paying for the book to be published want to see a change, then changes can—and will—be made. I’ve heard of entire manuscripts being accepted on the grounds that a character be created and worked throughout the piece simply to appeal to a target demographic (yes, they will ask an author to COMPLETELY rewrite a piece to include a new character on the hope that it will appeal more to another group of potential readers) or they would walk from the piece entirely. The same has been done with content and themes and messages.

In the end the question is this: is such a sacrifice worth it?

There is no “right” or “wrong” answer to the question; it’s all a matter of who’s holding the contract and what they feel is right for them and their work.

For me, it’s just a matter of content. A great deal of my work is driven by visceral, vulgar, or otherwise upsetting subject material that some might want removed/altered just to make share-holders happy, but all of these elements (while, yes, shocking and gut-wrenching) exist as more than just shock value; they are, in fact, integral and plot-driving points that would destroy the story if removed.

I just care too much about my work to allow somebody to have the option to change it, but I won’t stand over others and dictate that my way is the way.

Talk about your journey into the wide world of publishing

Moral of the story: behind every successful man is a woman with a pitchfork aimed at his butt refusing to let him back down.

That’s probably not entirely accurate, but bear with me as I backtrack:

I started writing the piece that would become “Noir”—book #1 of the Crimson Shadow series—when I was in my mid-teens. While writing that, I often side-tracked and wrote short stories, poetry, comic book scripts, and whatever else struck me as a worthwhile project to bridge the lazy gaps between the last emotional breakdown I’d suffered in writing the book (LOTS of personal elements went into that piece that were difficult to relive) and being ready to tackle the manuscript yet again. When I finished “Noir”, I went on to book #2, “Sins of the Father”, and, when that was done, on to book #3, “Love you to Death”. When I hit a snag with the plotline of book #4 of the Crimson Shadow series, I set it aside, not allowing a case of writers block to cripple the process of writing, and began a new project I’d been playing with: “Death Metal” (what would later become “Curtain Call: A Death Metal Novel” when a death threat from a reader pending a sequel motivated me to reconsider the piece as simply a one-shot book; you don’t get much more metal than being threatened by a member of your audience).

Right about now I imagine that anybody reading this is grumbling to themselves, “This is all lovely, but what does it have to do with the publishing process?”

My response: Nothing.

In the nearly ten years that I’d been writing/accumulating vast numbers of pieces—pieces, mind you, that were not only finished, but meticulously edited and polished to submission level—I didn’t wholeheartedly pursue publication.

I was too scared.

Hell, I was outright terrified of what the world would have to say when I slapped down my thoughts and offered them up to the masses.

So for nearly ten years I published nothing, but I convinced myself that hours-upon-hours of tedious research into the industry would better equip me to “someday” take that step.

Enter the moral of the story (see, there was a point to all this).

Fed up with my nervousness, my fiancé presented me with an ultimatum: either get my butt in gear and publish something or retire my proverbial quill pen (the logic being that I couldn’t aspire to entertain an audience that I was never going to reach).

Less than a week later, I self-published “Death Metal”.

And, despite all my fears and concerns, people actually liked it!

Confidence, as is usually the case, was what was needed to get me into the game. A few more queries later—now boasting the popularity of “Death Metal” and the (pardon the term) “aura” of confidence that was no-doubt swirling about the submissions and demanding attention—and I started seeing responses and, eventually, acceptance.

What my fiancé (who is also an established author now; Megan J. Parker – look her up and love her) did for me was strip away the GREATEST handicap that any aspiring writer has to face: themselves.

Tell us about your book(s)

For starters, I’d like to say that ALL of my work thus far—as well as Megan J. Parker’s work—takes place in the same world. Over the years, she and I collaborated on a custom-built mythology that’s set in a modern-day, real world setting, and by the time we were satisfied with the world we’d created (what we call the “mythos universe”) there was no way to discern who was responsible for what aspect. It just exists as our mutual creation and use it as a level playing field for our individual stories to play out (though, to be honest, the characters from one’s work can—and will—cross paths with those from another’s).For my work, however, I’ll actually start with the most recently written/“lightest” piece first for simplicity’s sake:

“Curtain Call: A Death Metal Novel” is about an up-and-coming heavy metal band, Bloodtones—which is comprised of a group that isn’t all human; sporting a werewolf-like being (called a “therion”) on lead guitar, a wizard/sorcerer/“magic man” on bass, and a very vulgar vampire drummer—that faces an otherworldly crisis when their lead singer, Bekka, is, for lack of a better word, “possessed”. While the initial possession isn’t harmful (in fact, it makes for some pretty gnarly new abilities) it has motivated the source of the entities to try to get them back. However, as the band finds out early on, separating Bekka from the entities would be fatal, so the goal of finding an alternative while being perpetually targeted by other “possessed” bystanders who now operate as assassins for the other side. Obviously this is all a great deal of stress to put on a group, and, with the growing threat to both their music and their lives, the threat of them no longer operating as a unit grows, as well. A great deal of the motivation behind DM was my love of music and, moreover, my fascination with the concept of individual efforts—a rhythmic drum beat or simple bass line or basic guitar riff—could add up to something that is so much more. I wanted to take the concept of the band and disassemble it to its core parts and illustrate just how much each element—each member—impacts the whole.

The Crimson Shadow series (what will amount to a seven book saga with dozens of short stories further delving into the “big picture”) is about Xander Stryker, a young “man” who, after witnessing the assault and murder of his mother by his abusive stepfather, has grown suicidal. Nearing his 18th birthday, however, truths about his long-since murdered father surface and he finds out that he is, in fact, part auric vampire (a species that feeds from psychic and emotional energy)—though, strangely enough, is unable to fully tap into his auric potential (plot device)—and, because of his bizarre limitations despite his lineage, is offered the chance to be turned into a “sangsuiga” (another breed of vampire that, like the traditional Western lore, feeds off of blood) so that he can live the legacy he was always meant to. Being a self-loathing and bitter-to-his-own-race young man, he eagerly accepts and is instantly reborn into even more tragedy. As the series unfolds, Xander suffers further loss, finds love, and begins to shape what will ultimately become a legacy that will change the world forever. While, on the surface, the Crimson Shadow series has a very comic book/Japanese anime feel with the butt-kicking, monster hunter gnarliness that have made movies like Blade and Underworld so popular, it is also a coming-of-age story that forces a tortured mind to rise above past tragedies to make something great of itself. Though book #1, “Noir”, isn’t necessarily romantic, it serves as a stepping stone to allow for the romance introduced in book #2, “Sins of the Father”, to blossom with the strength that I’d always intended for the couple (I believe strongly that one cannot fully love another until they can learn to love themselves, and Xander being self-destructive wasn’t a burden that I—or he, for that matter—would want to burden somebody with). When I’d first sat down to write the piece, I was initially planning to write a “creative” suicide letter about another young man (I hated myself enough to not even want to write about myself *rolls eyes*) who wanted to die because of his own painful past. However, as the story grew more complex, I became more and more enthralled with telling Xander’s story (if for no other benefit than my own), and decided to write his story as one of success; one where he achieved what I felt I never could. In the process of writing a character who found the strength to live, however, I was forced to adopt the same mindset, and by the time I had finished that book he’d saved not only himself, but me. It was this level of personal commitment to the Crimson Shadow series that was the initial hurdle in the submitting process, because, while it wasn’t me on the pages, it was my pain, and that represented a very personal (and very vulnerable) piece of myself to reveal to the masses.

What inspired you to write these books (or in this genre)?

As I’ve inadvertently answered the first half of this question in the previous one, I’ll jump straight to the second. My genre(s) are a hybrid of dark urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and occult horror that utilize a technique that many refer to as “cinematic literacy” (basically a process of using both pacing and description to create a scene that the reader can visualize; making the reading process almost seem like they’re watching a movie). The motivation behind this style, I suppose, is rooted to a childhood that was spent immersed in comic books and action/horror movies. Because so much of what entertains me is tied to comics/manga, movies, and anime (all of which add up to a combination of exaggerated, visually-stunning, and over-the-top visuals of choreographed fights and mayhem), I was inclined to funnel these attributes onto the pages of my writing. Factor in my love of philosophy and an obsession with psychology, and you have the ingredients for The Literary Dark Emperor’s genre.

Tell us why we should love or hate your main character?

I think that Xander Stryker represents a concept that, deep down, everybody can connect to. While I won’t say that this is a good thing, I’m confident that everybody has fear and doubt and moments of self-loathing and animosity towards the world, and that part of us is something that we love to hate and hate to love. We love that it compels us to push forward and strive for change, but, at the same time, we hate how crippled we feel under the weight of what we perceive as failure. I think that Xander, despite being a vampire and having all of the strengths and powers that their kind have, has a great deal of humanity that allows a reader to not only relate to, but also ascend into a place where they can feel stronger and more powerful. Beyond all of the metaphorical mumbo-jumbo, I feel that ladies will love Xander’s tough-yet-tortured character (something that allows them to feel both protected AND able to nurture), and I think that men will enjoy that, when the time comes to kick some ass, Xander does so with a bestial ferocity and blood-drenched intensity that reminds them to their favorite action/horror flicks.

Do(es) your book(s) have a soundtrack?

Actually, yes.

All of my books have an ever-growing list of songs that mirror the tone and theme of the piece. However, rather than listing off bands and tracks, I’d like to invite readers to visit my website at nathansquiers.com, where—upon the re-releases of previously published pieces and the releases of new ones—the tracks for the playlists for each book will be provided and, technology granting, playable.

*****

Thanks so much Nathan! (And Megan for pushing him into the hot seat!) You can follow him on his website  and pick up his books on Amazon.