Q & A with Maria DeSouza



10291318_10152622024150787_5895078264312761931_nWhat were you like at school?

I was the girl with her head stuck in a book for most of my younger years. In high school, I was the girl surrounded by boys. I was always more of a tomboy than a girly girl.

Were you good at English?

English was my favorite subject in school. I also had a notebook with me and was constantly writing my stories.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I want to keep writing for me and have my books in a Barnes and Nobles one day, sitting on a shelf. It would always be awesome to make a list or have one of my books turned into a movie, but I like to keep my goals simple.

Which writers inspire you?

Stephen King always fueled by love for horror and suspense. Nora Roberts and Nicholas Sparks fuel my romance. Many indie authors that inspire me on a daily basis are Elizabeth

James and Kym Grosso. They are excellent in their craft and take the time to answer questions and connect with other authors and readers.

So, what have you written?

Love Lost is my first and so far only book written. It is the first in the Lost series. Hidden Heart is the next book in the Lost Series. The Lost series is going to be 8 books in total.

Where can we buy or see them?

Book 1: Love Lost Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Lost-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00JUG0VMW/ref=la_B00JUPEDYA_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1429750090&sr=1-1 Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00JUG0VMW Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/431397 B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-lost-maria-desouza/1119298791?ean=2940149173273 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17899520-love-lost

Book 1.5: Hidden Heart (Coming Soon) Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23122930-hidden-heart

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

Jason is a regular guy, who loves his family and his job as a detective. He is funny, sexy, and real. Not over the top unbelievable, but the guy that you can see meeting in real life, if you haven’t already. He is protective of the things he loves, including Selene. Selene is my female main character and she is a survivor. She has endured some horrible things and she manages to start a new life while trying to bring down someone from her past.

What are you working on at the minute?

I just wrapped up Hidden Heart and am now working on Book 2, Lost Soul.

What’s it about?

Lost Soul picks up where Love Lost leaves off. Hidden Heart follows Jason’s best friend, Vin and what happened to him when he went M.I.A. in Love Lost.

What genre are your books?

Contemporary Romance with mystery/suspense

What draws you to this genre?

I love to have romance with a twist. The hot sex after running from some bad guys are always worth reading!

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

Shemar Moore would play a perfect Jason in my eyes. I can also see Natalie Martinez as Selene.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00016]How much research do you do?

I do a lot of research when it comes to the details like places in New York, the police wording and lingo, the police ranks, legal terms and cases, etc. I want to be able to say the right things in terms of what a detective or lawyer would do or say. I spent a few weeks talking to a few of my friends who are lawyers and officers to get the right information.

Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

Not yet but I would love to do it one day.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I always dreamed of writing my own books as a child but it was one of those dreams that you think will never happen. I was driving to work with one of my co-workers when I was telling him about a dream I had. He told me it would make a great story and I should write it down. He emailed me to pester if I was writing it down, and I started to. Every day, I would add some more, and it slowly became Love Lost.

Why do you write?

Writing is my getaway from the world. It’s my way of getting away from the stress and relaxing. I love to write because it give me a way of showing people what is running through my head and it’s a bit crazy at times.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

It was all the nagging from my co-worker and friends. When I hurt my back, it gave me a reason to keep going and keep my mind off the pain and boredom.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

Depends on the day. I have two children who are my full time job at the moment. I often find time to write while they are in school. Some days, I write for several hours a day and others I write for a few minutes.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

While the kids are in school, I tend to write if the inspiration is there. As long as I have a laptop or a notebook, I can write anywhere.

Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?

I strive to write daily but it depends on what I have planned or if the inspiration to write is there.

Hidden Heart Front CoverDo you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

I push for 2,500 – 5,000 words a day.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

Laptop is my main source of writing with long hand being my backup if necessary.

Where do the your ideas come from?

I have very vivid dreams and I write them down on a notebook. A major percentage of my storyline come from dreams that I have had.

Do you work to an outline or plot or do you prefer just see where an idea takes you?

I write as I go. I may have to stop and plot out my series in a simple outline so I know who or what I am writing about. For example, I knew that Jason and Selene’s story is 4 books. In between each of their books, is another story that needed to be told. Hidden Heart follows Vin, Jason’s best friend. Hidden Destiny follows Jason’s older brother Julian. Hidden Virtue follows Jason’s younger brother, Jesse. Hidden Evil follows Eddie, a character introduced in Love Lost. The side stories ties into the main story and leads to the next book.

How do you think you’ve evolved creatively?

I have learned to write for myself and not to worry so much what people will think. I think there will always be someone that is not happy with what you write, but if you’re happy then it’s all that matters.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Sometimes you get stuck, and the inspiration to write is not there. It’s like a mental block and authors have it every now and then. You’re in the middle of finishing a book and the story is not right, and you can’t figure out what is wrong or how to fix it. Readers will get upset that it’s taking so long, but it’s hard to explain why you’re not writing. You want to, but you can’t. It helps to talk it out with someone sometimes but you eventually have to give it time.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

Hidden Heart was rewritten twice. I had an issue with the plot and fixed it quickly. Then I had an issue because my character, Vin, is very sexy and his sex scenes because more than what I was ready to do. I needed to figure out what I was willing to do and have published in my name. I have family and friends that read what I write. My fear and lack of confidence had me questioning the book overall. I finally decided to just let it go and write it as it was intended to be and finally finished the book. Lost Soul is going smoothly so far.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

There is not much that is easy when it comes to writing. Getting the stories written takes time. Time away from family and friends. Then there is the promoting and going to signings to meet readers. It’s very time consuming but when you see the final product and people reading your book, it’s worth it.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

It takes months to get a book finished, between the beta reading, formatting, editing, etc. A long process before the book can be considered finished.

Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

Time away from writing and talking your ideas over with someone will get you through the writer’s block. It seems to work with me.

If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?

The Lost series follows Jason and Selene through their relationship. Selene is hiding secrets from Jason and it comes to light in Love Lost. Lost Soul follows Jason and how he handles his loss and heartache. Innocence Lost follows Jason and his road to getting revenge. Lost Time is Jason and making the ultimate choice. Pretty vague but I’m trying to not give anything away.

Is there anything else you would like to add that I haven’t included?

Thank you for taking the time to interview me and sharing my interview on your blog. I hope to do it again!


Thanks so much Maria for joining us today! Be sure to follow Maria and keep up with her upcoming releases!

Website: http://mdesouza05.wix.com/maria-desouza-author

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MariaDesouzaAuthor

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mdesouza05

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/mdesouza05/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Maria-DeSouza/e/B00JUPEDYA/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/Mdesouza05

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7082122.Maria_DeSouza

Book Links:

Book 1: Love Lost

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/Love-Lost-Book-1-ebook/dp/B00JUG0VMW/ref=la_B00JUPEDYA_1_1_title_0_main?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1429750090&sr=1-1

Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00JUG0VMW

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/431397

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/love-lost-maria-desouza/1119298791?ean=2940149173273

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17899520-love-lost

Book 1.5: Hidden Heart (Coming Soon) Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/23122930-hidden-heart

Q & A with Mary Ann Edwards

q & a

Please give a warm welcome to Mary Anne Edwards to the blog this week!


MAE GlassesWhat were you like at school?

I was an introvert, not many friends, and was known as Rocky’s sister. I think only my close friends knew my name. Rocky, my older brother, was extremely popular and well-known in school. I’m still shy but I love to talk and laugh. Go figure.

Were you good at English?

Nah. Nope. Unh-Unh. That’s why I have to have my manuscripts proofread and edited.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I have ten books planned for the Charlie McClung Mysteries, but there maybe more. Many of my readers believe the Charlie McClung Mysteries would make a brilliant weekly series. Hey, Hollywood! Let’s talk.

What genre are your books?

Traditional mysteries with a touch of romance. There is also a very tiny bit of a foodie aspect to them as well.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent Brilliant-Disguise_Edwards_Kindle-Cover_2013 (2)book?

I see Jason Statham playing Detective Charlie McClung. Maybe, Rachel Weisz could play Marian Selby, Charlie’s love interest.

How much research do you do? I do a ton of research.

My books are set in the early 1980s. Many of the things we use now, like cell phones and personal computers, didn’t exist then. I wanted my detective to use deduction, intuition, interview skills, and his little grey cells to root-out the criminals. Charlie McClung is Irish-American. His parents are third generation and keep alive the Irish traditions, food, and expressions with accents. There’s a lot of research with anything Irish. Also, I want my murders and police procedures to be authentic as possible. I partner with a medical examiner, a FBI agent, and a medical doctor whose speciality is poisons. Lucky for me, my father-in-law is a retired chief of police and my very best friend is a nurse practitioner. I’m not afraid of asking anyone for help. I contacted my cruise consultant for “Criminal Kind” which is set on a cruise ship. Don’t get me wrong; I do use artistic license at times. Hey, it’s fiction. Something “real” stuff is just too boring.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?

I cannot self-edit, no way, no how. I need all the help I can get when it comes to editing. I should have paid more attention during English class and gotten a tutor or two for help.

A Good Girl_Edwards_Kindle-Cover_2014Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about.

The components on each book cover give hints to what’s inside. For instance, in “Brilliant Disguise,” you’ll see a fence, blood, a heart, eyes, and a watch, all of which play a part in the story. On the cover of “A Good Girl” there is a rear-view mirror, a church, a tree-lined street, and a curtain tieback. “Criminal Kind,” there is the cruise ship, a withered rose, a bee, and a skull. I wanted my covers to be synopsis-like.

Who designed your book cover/s?

Jasmin Woodworth designed “Brilliant Disguise” and “A Good Girl.” These were her first and only book covers. By the way, “Brilliant Disguise” received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 InD’tale Magazine Rone Cover Awards in the Suspense category. Michael James Canales designed “Criminal Kind.”

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

The biggest advantage of self-publishing is I have more control over my books, like covers and titles. My royalties are larger. And I decide how many books I write in a year. I have to do all my own marketing but I’d have to do that anyway with a traditional publisher. The disadvantages are I have to pay for a graphic designer and an editor. I would consider any offers from traditional publishers but it would have to be a pretty good contract.

What do you think of “trailers” for books?

I love book trailers. A good book trailer makes me buy the book or put it on my Amazon Wish list.

Do you have a trailer or do you intend to create one for your own book/s?

I wouldn’t mind having a trailer for all of my books. I’m not the brightest bulb in the package when it comes to technology. I’m doubtful I could create one on my own. I tried making my own teasers, didn’t happen. I’m very, very, very picky. I doubt anyone would want to work with me on doing a trailer.

In what formats is your book available?Criminal Kind Front Cover

The Charlie McClung Mysteries are available at Amazon in softcover and eBook. I hope to eventually have my books in audio. My books are also found online at Barnes and Noble. Any library or bookstore can order my books if a request is made.

What is your favourite quote?

Worry is like a rocking chair. It gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Mary Anne, save your money. You don’t need all that stuff. Save now, invest well, and retire early with huge nest eggs.


Thanks so much Mary Ann! Please be sure to follow her for all the latest news and updates!

Website: http://www.MaryAnneEdwards.com

 Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authormaryanneedwards

Twitter: https://twitter.com/maedwards58

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/maryanneedwards

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/maryanneedwards/

Amazon Author Page: https://www.pinterest.com/maryanneedwards/

Book Links: “Brilliant Disguise” – http://goo.gl/OaJGwc “A Good Girl” – http://goo.gl/CBW00b “Criminal Kind” – http://goo.gl/7EzXn8

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7791576.Mary_Anne_Edwards

Q & A with Laurell Emily Grey


We have a real treat for you on the blog today folks! Please welcome the lovely Laurell Emily Grey on her release day!


What were you like at school?

I was the quiet girl in grade school, the only time you heard a peep out of me was when I sang in the choir. I hated reading and writing at that time as well, true story lol When in college, I opened up more and continued my focus upon vocal performance, singing in operas and much more. I also found a love for my English and World Literature classes, but at the time, I didn’t continue any further focus on those subjects because my mind was concentrating on other things at the time. Never would have expected to be an author today, that’s for sure.

Were you good at English?

In grade school, heck no. I sucked in English back then but once I got to College, I excelled in English and understood the rules and so on much more than I ever had from before.

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

I’d love to keep writing more paranormal erotic romance, but I would also like to explore other areas as well within the erotic genre. I want to keep learning, and increase my talent as a writer. Last but not least, I am determined to become a number one best seller and rise to top.

Which writers inspire you?

Cynthia Sax. She is the huge inspiration of why I began to love reading in the first place, if it wasn’t for her, I would not be where I am today. She is also the one who inspired me to get my fingers to writing because she believes in me. Or as she said it best, “You have the gift.” So, I owe it ALL to her (I love you Cyn!) Other authors who have inspired me are Vella Day, Eve Langlais, Mina Carter, T.A. Grey, Mandy Harbin, and of course, Anne Rice.

So, what have you written?

So far I have written 3 books that is in my novella series called The Nymph’s Oath. Book One is already available at Amazon now, the other two books will be released later this year. I also have written a short story, The Nymph’s Demon, that will be a part of my first anthology, Night of the Demon Volume Two. I

Where can we buy or see them?

Right now, you guys can buy The Nymph’s Oath: Book One at Amazon. This book is currently on sale for .99cents for a limited time only, so hurry up and swing by there when you get a chance so you can have your own personal copy. http://www.amazon.com/Nymphs-Oath-Laurell-Emily-Grey-ebook/dp/B012EMBFZK/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

My sassy heroine, Rose, in The Nymph’s Oath: Book One is a dreaming nymph. However, the Oath is coming quickly and if a nymph is not mated by the age of 30, the nymph is will die tragically. Rose is 30 years old, and she’s been dreaming with her mates for years but has never met them in person. Rose is the oldest of the nymph sisters in this series, and she fantasizes of being a mother. But will she be saved before it’s too late?

What are you working on at the minute?

Right now, I am working on the last book of The Nymph Oath series, book 4. This one has taken me longer to write because not only is this the last sister, but there a lot of changes that happen in this book.

What genre are your books?

I write paranormal erotic romance with greek mythology, shifters, nymphs and hot sex that will make you need a cold shower once you’re done.

What draws you to this genre?

Well for me, I love anything with hot steamy sex in it lol It’s a part of who I am, just like being a die hard romantic is also just as much a part of me. And, I’ve always been a fan of the paranormal since I was kid.

How much research do you do?

Tons. I do tons of research, on my own. Like for the books I have written so far, I researched on different types of nymphs. I’ve also had to do research on shape shifters and wolves as well, and of course research on Greek gods like the almighty Zeus.

Have you written any other novels in collaboration with other writers?

Not yet. But I’d love to do that one day.

When did you decide to become a writer?

I decided to become a writer about a year and half ago. If someone had come up to me 5 years ago and told me that I would be a published author, I would have laughed at them.

Why do you write?

I write because I have fantasies that I have always wanted to fulfill but can’t. I’m a married woman, we have rules.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

I write whenever I have free time, with 4 kids its not easy but I do what I can in the time that I do have.

Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

No special time in particular, it’s a matter of when I get the chance. Sometimes I get to write during the say, sometimes night. Sporadic.

Do you aim for a set amount of words/pages per day?

I do not. I do set an amount I want for the book I’m writing but no goal per day. My life as a Mom is busy and I never have a set schedule. Things happen, life happens so I do as much as I can.

Do you write on a typewriter, computer, dictate or longhand?

I write on my laptop, haven’t wrote in longhand in ages.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

Writers block.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

My latest book has SO many changes that are occurring, so I’m trying to find a way to explain the changes the way they need to be. At the same time, this is the last book of the series and so it’s a little hard saying goodbye to the series and starting on something different.

Do you ever get writer’s Block?


Any tips on how to get through the dreaded writer’s block?

Walk away from the book, let your thoughts process. The words can not be forced.

What are your thoughts on writing a book series?

I like making the readers come back for more, to see what is going to happen next. I like to morph the characters and change them, letting the readers find themselves wrapped up in the transformation.

Do you read much and if so who are your favourite authors?

When I have time, I love to read. Some of my fav authors are Cynthia Sax, Eve Langlais, Vella Day, T.A. Grey and Mina Carter.

For your own reading, do you prefer ebooks or traditional paper/hard back books?

I prefer ebooks because I know that my kids are not able to destroy them haha And its convenient when at the doctors office and so on.

What book/s are you reading at present?

I am not currently reading a book at the moment but once I get a chance to read, I would like to get caught up on some of my fav authors new releases.

Do you proofread/edit all your own books or do you get someone to do that for you?


Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?

Sometimes I do.

Who edited your book and how did you select him/her?

Karmin Dahl, she works for my publishing company, Hot Ink, and she was already selected for me. Her words come from love and she’s really great at what she does.

Who designed your book cover/s?

Rue Volley designed my cover, she also works for Hot Ink and I love her work. She did a beautiful job.

Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?

Yes I do. Very much.

How are you publishing this book and why?

I have signed a contract with Hot Ink, and now my dreams are coming to life.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around?

I think for me, the disadvantages would be prob the pay and the amount of money you have to spend out of pocket.

Why did you choose this route?

I chose to sign a contract with Hot Ink because I can not afford to self publish a book by myself at the moment.

Would you or do you use a PR agency?

I do not use it. I might consider it in the future.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books?

The main promoter that you will ever have is yourself. Keep sharing you books in groups and everywhere else that are able to share.

What do you do to get book reviews?

I have a street team, in exchange for a review I give them a copy of my book.

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far?

I think it’s been good so far considering this is my first book that I have out.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews?

I think as long as they are honest, then whatever the reader says should be taken in as a learning experience.

What’s your views on social media for marketing?

Social media, especially Facebook, is a huge marketing area. This is where a lot of people end up spending their time, and in that, they will see your book.

Which social network worked best for you?

Facebook has worked the best for me, I think twitter has helped as well but mostly Facebook.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?

I did have an author takeover on Facebook, I think that it helped quite a bit getting the word out there on my new release. Plus, I was able to help support and promote other authors as well.

Did you get interviewed by local press/radio for your book launch?

I did get interviewed by Cynthia Sax when the book launched. It’s not everyday that your favorite author interviews you on the day your first book releases.

Why do you think that other well written books just don’t sell?

It might be because of marketing issues.

What do you think of “trailers” for books?

I think they look neat but not sure about it.

Do you think that giving books away free works and why?

I think if you’re able to do it then yes, giving away books for free work. Especially if you already have other books out there, if the person likes that one book that was free, then they just might end up buying more of your books.

How do you relax?

Usually I like to sit down and watch whatever show me and my hubby are interested in, spending time with him.

What is your favourite motivational phrase?

“Don’t wait for something big to occur. Start where you are, with what you have, and that will always lead you into something greater.” – Mary Manin Morrissey

What is your favourite positive saying?

“Think positive, Be positive and Positive things will happen.”

What is your favourite book and why?

Oh that’s a hard one!! I have too many because there are so many books out there that mean the world to me. I guess I’ll go with The Seen Series by Cynthia Sax because this is the series that got me into reader and writer that I am today.

What is your favourite quote?

“No, I don’t think I will kiss you, although you need kissing, badly. That’s what’s wrong with you. You should be kissed and often, and by someone who knows how.”- Rhett Butler

What is your favourite film and why?

Another hard one!! I have always loved Gone with the Wind and in later years the movie Scarlett. I love how the story line, the romance, the way the characters connect. I have loved those two movies since I was a kid and I always will.

Where can you see yourself in 5 years time?

I can see myself wondering where in the heck the time went because my kids will all be in school!! I can see myself writing more, and having more books under my belt.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

Don’t settle for less, don’t ever let a man hit you, don’t grow up so fast, don’t forget who you are. Because you are important and strong and there is no one else out there like you. Rise to the top, you got this.


Thanks so much Laurell for being a part of the blog today! Best of luck on your new release!

Be sure to follow Laurell to stay up to date on her upcoming releases!

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Laurell-Emily-Grey/419218774912773

Twitter: @LaurellGrey

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Laurell-Emily-Grey/e/B012F26T2S/ref=dp_byline_cont_ebooks_1

Book Links:

The Nymph’s Oath: Book One http://www.amazon.com/Nymphs-Oath-Laurell-Emily-Grey-ebook/dp/B012EMBFZK/ref=asap_bc?ie=UTF8


Q & A with CM Doporto


Please give a warm welcome to this weeks guest on the blog! The lovely CM Doporto!


1489251_570473986386470_1806040527512834560_nSo, what have you written?

I currently have three series:

Young Adult:

The Eslites Chronicles:

  • The Eslites (short story/prequel)
  • The Eslites, The Arrival

New Adult

The Natalie Vega Saga:

  • Element, Part 1
  • Element, Part 2

University Park Series:

  • Opposing Sides
  • The Same Side
  • The Winning Side
  • A Different Side

Where can we buy or see them? 

My books are available at all major ebook retailers. The first books in the series are free, so make sure you download your copy!

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/CM-Doporto/e/B00AVZJ8DO/

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/cm+doporto?fs=0&_requestid=389494

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/author/cm-doporto/id595661690?mt=11

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/search?q=cm%20doporto

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/search?Query=cm+doporto

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special?

The character that has all the women swooning and placing on their book boyfriend list is Park Hill University’s star quarterback, Raven Davenport.

Why don’t you be the judge of what makes him so hot? Here’s an excerpt from A Different Side, releasing Sept. 14, 2015:

“Sorry, I didn’t recognize you.” I gave her a once over. Sheer material covered her long slender legs and my fingers tensed, eager to find out what was underneath. “You didn’t have to get all dressed up for me.”

Her head tilted to the side and she giggled. “Oh, I went to church this morning. I didn’t have a chance to change.”

She could dress up for me any day. As long as she looked that beautiful. “Oh, darn. I was hoping you were trying to impress me, you know, since you think I’m sexy.” I shot her a wink I hoping you were trying to impress me, you know, since you think I’m sexy.” I shot her a wink

and then wanted to punch myself. Why did I keep flirting with her? She was my tutor. I had some serious issues. I needed to chill – just get to know her.

Her cheeks reddened and she shifted from one foot to the other. “Who doesn’t think you’re sexy?” She tucked the strands flying around her face behind her ear and then bit her lip.

Everything around me came to a halt and I focused in one thing: Lexi Thompson. She was totally sizing me up. I rubbed the side of my temple, feeling the beads of sweat collect. She knew how to get to me, that was for sure.

“Okay, now you’re embarrassing me.” I couldn’t help but smile at her.

“Me?” She pressed a hand to her chest, claiming disbelief. “I didn’t think that was possible.”

“Oh, it is, believe me.” I stood and took a step closer toward her, reclaiming my courage. “Well, you’re thirty minutes late, so you owe me.”

Her eyes widened and she released the grip from her lip. Damn. She was sexy from her head to her toes. I barely knew her and she already knew how to undo me.

“Sorry. We’ll work until we get the paper finished, even if it takes until midnight.”

Neither of us said a word. Just held our gazes on one another, without even flinching. Her beautiful, light brown eyes bore into me, touching the very center of my chest. It was like nothing I’d ever felt before. If she was tugging on my strings, I was totally in the game now. And once I got started, I knew I wouldn’t be able to stop. I’d reel her in slowly, making it impossible for her to resist me, until I had her in my net. She was about find out what The Raven’s trap was all about.

What genre are your books?

I write young adult and new adult sci-fi and contemporary romance books.

What draws you to this genre?

I’m a huge sci-fi and superhero movie fan so I naturally like to write stories that require world building. I also like modern day, easy to relate to stories.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

That’s easy! I have storyboards on http://www.pinterest.com/cmdoporto where I have pictures of actors that could play the characters of all my books. I think the one I want the most is Nick Denbeigh. He’d make a perfect Raven Davenport from my University Park Series.

How much research do you do?

I do a lot of research because I want my stories to be as realistic as possible.

Why do you write?

Because I enjoy telling stories and these voices inside my head won’t shut up!

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something?

I experienced career burnout in the field of Human Resources and got tired of busting my butt and getting laid off every time the economy took a turn.

Do you write full-time or part-time?


Do you have a special time to write or how is your day structured?

I usually write during the day while my son is at school.

Do you write every day, 5 days a week or as and when?

I write 5 to 6 days a week and take at least one day off.

Where do the your ideas come from?

Most of my ideas come from dreams. Yes, I have a very vivid imagination.

How long on average does it take you to write a book?

Usually two months, but A Different Side took me 5 months because it’ 3 books in 1. 660 pages J

If this book is part of a series, tell us a little about it?

A Different Side, is book 4 in the University Park Series. It can be read as a standalone. It’s basically books 1-3 told from Raven Davenport’s POV.

Park Hill University’s star quarterback, Raven Davenport, has every woman dying to get caught in his trap, but he’s only interested in catching one girl – Lexi Thompson. But will he learn how to deal with his inner demons or will they continue to control him to the point of destroying what he loves most? Read Raven and Lexi’s story from a different side.



Thanks so much CM for joining us this week! Be sure to follow CM and keep up with all her latest releases!

Web/blog: http://cmdoporto.com

Facebook: http://facebook.com/cmdoportowriter

Instagram: http://instagram.com/authorcmdoporto

Tsu: https://www.tsu.co/cmdoporto

Twitter: @cm_doporto

Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/cmdoporto

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/cmdoporto



As an Independent Author one of the many hats I wear is that of a marketing genius. Now that’s not to say that I am one, only that that is what I hope to be. In the Indie world there are a few tried and tested avenues for successful marketing but then there are a lot of new avenues popping up every day and its always a good thing to keep on top of new trends.

One of the things that recently caught my eye as I geared up for my final quarter marketing was Amazon’s KDP marketing campaigns. A couple of the things I liked about it was that you could pull out of the ads at any time during the campaign and that it was a set your own pay per click amount. I did some research and read a few good things about it, and a few who said it wasnt so great, but I thought I would give it a try. I figured the worst thing that would happen was that I could use a few of my marketing dollars make a few extra sales and that I could at least pass along my experiences to others in my network.

I decided to go with the first book in my romantic suspense series as my test case, being that it was a newer series for me and that I have the second due out shortly. I filled out their campaign request form and waited their acceptance of my campaign.

I had to laugh a few hours later when I received the following email back from them:

Thank you for submitting your ad campaign "Allison's Account 10/07/2015" for review. Unfortunately, we are unable to approve your ad as yourbook cover violates one of our ad guideline policies i.e Bare skin. Asa result, your campaign will not be served.
Please visit http://www.amazon.com/b/?&node=7354330011 to check our adguideline policy. If you have any other questions or concerns, please contact us athttps://kdp.amazon.com/contact-us?topicId=kdpSelect&subtopicId=advertising.
The Amazon Marketing Services Team

Thinking that it was some sort of automated algorithm that had flagged the bare skin I decided to email them back. I was laughing as I wrote the following back because it all seemed to silly to be anything more than that;

Really? Its a SHOULDER and ARM of a man? See below for your email rejecting my ad campaign.... the book itself can be found here ----> http://amzn.to/1GpBApS

I had a few words with other independent authors and we all agreed that it had to be some sort of automated thing, that wiser heads would prevail and it would quickly be cleared up. My amusement quickly turned to frustration when I recieved the following response;

I understand your concern regarding the ad campaign rejection.

I've checked with our Ad campaign moderators on the reason of rejection.
They have replied saying it is a "Provocative Image" i.e Bare Skin andsuggested you to to change the book cover which complies with our ad policy guidelines and create a new campaign if you're interested to runa ad campaign.
If you'd like to resubmit this campaign, please update anything in it that would violate the Amazon Creative Acceptance Policies or the Amazon Ad Policy for Books:

Thanks for using KDP.

Wait what? Change my cover? Seriously? Just to be able to run an advertisement? And what about the others out there that run ads all the time on Amazon? So I pushed a little further, trying to understand why they had come up with the decision they had.

So am I to understand that no Historical Romance novels are allowed to have an ad with you either? Given that 90% of their covers contain bare skin...generally women's shoulders and arms as was the style of dress from the period that they were written?
Please advise.

I figured at this point they would be able to see that this was somehow a mistake and they weren’t putting everything into the proper perspective. Its a guy holding a shirt over his shoulder. It doesn’t get much simpler than that.

Thanks for taking the time to contact Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP) back. I hope this email finds you well!
I would like first to apologize for the inconvenience this situation has caused. Every cover is analyzed individually, and besides the bare skin, our moderators consider the image as a whole, and its intended meaning.
Historical romance novels may be allowed if for example they show a girl with her shoulders bare, but sitting in the prairie alone, maybe holding a flower, rather than being kissed by a man: this is why our moderators mean by "the image's intended meaning." Nevertheless, the final decision is made by our moderators.
I hope this information helps. Thanks for your understanding, and for using Amazon KDP.

This is now the third person who has written back to me (fourth if you count the initial email) and I am sorry to say it went from being a logical conversation to being a bit on the silly side. I can tell you right here right now that there are plenty of historical romance books with the hero sweeping the heroine up into his arms for a deep kiss, almost guarantee that there is some bare skin on either male or female or both and I can bet my marketing dollars on them being advertised well. Not many that I can think of where a girl is sitting in the middle of a prairie holding a flower, but that’s just me.

As for intended meaning, that is highly arbitrary. It is a shirtless guy holding his shirt over his shoulder. I could open any male fashion magazine and I would easily be able to pick out men holding jackets, sweaters and shirts in a very similar stance as the model on my cover. It means nothing and everything, depending on who you are speaking to.

I can tell you right now my initial thought was to fire back an email that said “If I switched the shirt for a flower would you let it me have my campaign.?”  It honestly seems ridiculous to me, and to anyone in the industry that I’ve spoken to about the situation. I mean Amazon has nothing to lose. They would not only get my marketing dollars, but because I publish through KDP they would also get a cut off of every book I sell. To me that screams easy money. So what gives.

Rather than coming across as rude with my off the cuff response I decided to take the rest of the day to think about a logical response and I figured I would do some research just to be sure I wasn’t talking without a leg to stand on. Friday morning I sent this off to them:

Hi Again KDP Rep,
Sorry it took so long to respond. I am also sorry that this is still continuing and you are the one ending up having to deal with the situation today. However I am back to further this discussion. Please see attached copies of ads on YOUR site with varying degrees of bare skin and clearly "implied meaning". 
Please advise.

I included five different screen shots of ads I found around Amazon where there was bare skin, both male and female, I was also able to find a few ads where the couple was leaning in for a kiss and more than one of them had clearly implied meanings in their ads. I could have added more, as lets face it well designed covers sell the goods that are in between the pages, but I figured I had enough to prove my point.

Apparently I had gotten their attention this time as I got the following response from now a fifth person;

Hello Allison,

Thanks for writing back with the screenshots.

I've forwarded your concern to our Ad moderators again. We'll need a little time to look into the appeal.

I'll follow up on the case and contact you with an update within 3-5 business days.

Thanks for your patience.

Three to five business days to get back to me. In the meantime I am left to wonder what the actual criteria is for their decisions. Is it based on personal feeling or is there an actual guideline for the moderators to base their decisions on?  Even with the guidelines and criteria there is bound to be some sort of natural human feelings that go into making the call. If that call isn’t a fair or valid call what can authors or publicists do to appeal the decision?

So far it has taken four different people for me to get a response that didn’t include justification for their decision that doesn’t match other decisions or suggestions that I change my cover. I am not sure what they will respond at this point as their responses seem to be all over the place or if their “3-5 business days” is in the hopes that I will move on and forget about the conversation.

I do hope that they will do the right thing. I do hope there is an actual appeal process and wiser heads on the other end of it. But really given everything they haven’t done in the last few days, I’m not holding my breath.