Posted in Author Interview

An Interview with Author -Linn B. Halton

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An Interview with...

Today I have the lovely Linn Halton on my blog, answering questions about her books and writing. The ‘Falling- Angels Among Us’ series was very popular, I personally loved it. What inspired you to write these books?

 My earliest childhood memories were all psychic ones, but it took me many, many years to face up to that fact. Even though things continued to happen around me increasingly more frequently as the years passed, it’s hard not to be a sceptic, isn’t it? It’s easier to file away those things as unexplained, wishful thinking (if it’s related to a loved one you’ve lost), or imagination. Then I had the first shared experience with my husband and both of our lives changed forever.
For this series I wanted to take a simply love story and wrap around it some thought-provoking questions. Is the power of love stronger than fate? If angels walk among us do they know they are angels? What if we all have a little angel-wisdom in us and without knowing it have the power to change someone’s future? What if just taking the time to listen to someone in need, or giving some advice at the right moment, prevents them from making a mistake that they would change the course of their lives forever?
I also did a lot of research – even attending two Gayatri Mantra chanting workshops which feature in the story and talking to a lot of people whose lives revolve around their beliefs. I’ve always had an open mind and my personal beliefs/theories are all based on what I’ve seen, heard and/or experienced. I think we all need to draw our own conclusions, rather than follow someone else’s theory without questioning it. I think that begins with something as simple as wondering ‘what if?’

22917661Where’s your favourite place to write? Why do you like it?

Ironically there is a little psychic story attached to this, too. Eighteen months ago we began renovating an old cottage on the edge of the Forest of Dean and a we decided a big flatscreen TV would look odd in the cosy sitting room, so the former dining room became a TV room/study. Then we started getting visits from our ghost cat, who belonged to the previous owner who died a year before we moved in. He’s very regal and often runs around the cottage, but his appearance is quite distracting at times. Twice he’s almost tripped me up as it’s hard to believe he’s not real! When you catch a movement out of the corner of your eye, you instinctively look up and that was becoming a problem for me when I was working on the computer. So now I have my office in a small building in the garden, which we are converting into a dual purpose guest bedroom. My husband is still working on the ensuite – which was an old stone storeroom and is now shaping up quite nicely! I love that I have views of the garden and also the fact that it’s totally separate from the cottage. When I finish for the day the walk home takes – oh – all of five seconds.

UTS for Jane ‘Under The Stars’ features a woman at a crossroads in her life, something I have personally experienced. What motivated you to write this story?

This was the second book I wrote after giving up my former career as an interior designer. I actually gave it up to spend some quality time with my mum as my instincts had been screaming at me that she was unwell. Within three months of giving up work she died, quite unexpectedly and I knew it was her greatest wish that I found time to fulfill my writing dream. So I wrote five manuscripts back to back. I think Katherine Dale’s uncertainty, worries and fears reflected a lot of what I was going through at that time. It’s one thing to sit down and write, but what if no one wants to read what you’ve written? Any major life change is unsettling, scary and requires a lot of self-belief to get through it. Mine was difficult because I was also grieving. Immersing myself in writing actually got me through one of the worst periods of my life. Katherine’s life was also in tatters and every day was an uphill battle – a case of fiction mirroring life!

Astrology is a central theme of ‘Under the Stars’, do you follow your horoscope on a daily basis and would you consider having a personal horoscope done? If so why?

I’ve followed the celebrated astrologer and astronomer, Jonathan Cainer, for many years. From his newspaper column, then into magazines and now his website, where I am a 5-star member. That means I get my daily forecast for the next day pop into my inbox and it’s the last thing I read before I fall asleep. He has also done my full birth chart and, yes, I do take on board the advice he gives me. If the planetary alignments aren’t favourable and he says ‘don’t sign a contract now’, then I hold off! If the planets are favourable then I take advantage of that and have taken risks I wouldn’t normally take that have turned out to be great opportunities. The recent introduction of Astro Alerts has been amazing and his level of accuracy means that this additional level of forecasting is timely and it definitely affects my decision-making. The planetary alignments have a great effect on the earth, so why wouldn’t they affect our individual lives?

Do you have animal companions when you write? Can you tell us about them?

Mr Tiggs (who is black and white and had a cameo role in Under The Stars and Quintessentially Yours) and our ghost cat, whom I’ve named Sharpie. He’s jet black like my Sharpie pen and annoying at times (I once wrote a note using my pen and had to do three coats of paint on the window sill as it seeped through the paper!). Ironically, Mr Tiggs has been around a few spirits (we’ve lived in a lot of very old properties) and he has a repetitive thing he does when he’s uncomfortable, but with Sharpie he almost ignores his presence. Mr Tiggs seems to know when I need to stretch my legs as he’ll uncurl and start miaowing – which means ‘feed me’ and it does get me off my typing stool.

25773021Your latest release for Harper Impulse is ‘A Cottage in the Country’; can you tell us a little about this? Does it have a supernatural element?

The basic story mirrors the experience we had when we moved into our cottage on the 19 December 2013, when Gloucestershire was experiencing severe flooding. We sold our previous house complete with furniture and on our first night in the cottage the bed wasn’t delivered because of the flooding. We only had a couple of garden chairs and that was it for furniture.
Moving into a cottage where the central heating boiler had seized up, there was a decidedly uncomfortable feel about it (the old lady had died one year prior and it had been empty the entire time) and the rain didn’t stop. It was the perfect backdrop for Maddie’s story, which is essentially about starting over and her fight to become that 50-and-fabulous woman of her dreams. Her now ex-husband had been sleeping with her best friend and she had been the last person to find out. There is a little reference to the spirit of the previous occupier, which is tied into the fictional story, and it’s true to say we did have a ‘visitor’for the first few months we lived here. However, now it’s just us and Sharpie, who seemed to appear as soon as the presence left – but he doesn’t appear in the story. If you ever wondered what it’s like renovating an old cottage, Maddie’s experience is our real story of moving mishap and renovation hell. However, it’s now coming along nicely and we love living here!

Can you describe your writing process?

It starts with one single thought, then I think of a title and sit down in front of a blank page and type. Usually I have no idea where it’s going, or how it’s going to end. Each character appears at the appropriate time and I let them tell me where to go next. It’s an exciting journey and I wouldn’t want to write any other way.

Have you any other releases this year, we should look out for?

It’s been a crazy year for me – four new books by three different publishers over a period of seven months. My next new release is 5 August 2015 and it’s Quintessentially Yours, which is the sequel to Under The Stars (both with Endeavour Press). Then my fourth novel this year will be my first with Choc Lit – Sweet Occasions and that’s coming in the autumn.

I know you are interested in graphics and how authors can use them for promotional purposes, can you tell us about this?

I love working on websites (I have four) and posts/articles look much better if there are some graphics to illustrate the text. When I set up Loveahappyending Lifestyle emagazine I suddenly found myself taking lots of photos and playing around with different forms of presentation. Then, wearing my author’s hat, I started using graphics to make slideshows to advertise my novels. For authors, I think it helps your readers if they can see the characters and the setting, so it has now become a part of the process, once the story is written. It’s something that’s a lot of fun to do.

What’s next for you Linn?

Well, Jonathan Cainer confirms that I’m on the right path and I’m certainly enjoying every minute of it. Although it has been an exhausting six years since I wrote that first word, I waited a long time to have this ‘me’ time and I’m going to make the most of it. I’m about to sign a contract for my first novel for 2016 and I’m literally thanking my ‘lucky stars’. But writing is really about the lovely reviewers who spread the word and the readers who choose your book from the hundreds of thousands out there. Every time a reader Tweets me to say they’ve enjoyed one of my stories, or a review is posted and knowing that someone has taken the time to put their feelings into words, I feel truly blessed. This is my dream and has been ever since I was about eleven years old and writing in my homemade journals. And it’s all down to my wonderful mum, who remains by my side with every step I take on this exciting journey.

Thanks so much for some really great questions, Jane, and for inviting me over!

Thanks Linn, it was lovely learning more about you and your writing.

Poppy - Author BioIMG_3069Bristol-born Linn B. Halton lives in the small village of Lydbrook, which nestles on the edge of the Forest of Dean, in the UK. She resides there with her husband and feline with ‘catitude’- Mr Tiggs.
Linn began writing in March 2009 and her debut novel was published in February 2011. In a recent interview Linn was asked about genres:
“From a very young age I knew romantic fiction was always going to be my genre. I am, and will always be, madly in love with love! Whether that’s love of life, a partner, or the things I’m passionate about.
My stories are about love, life and real relationships – but romance is always the one thing that holds each story together. Often there’s a light, psychic touch and I never dreamed I would write drawing upon my personal psychic experiences. But as my interest and understanding in the subject has grown, it is now such a part of my life that it finds its way into my fictional tales. However, what is heartening is that most of my experiences have been uplifting and it’s wonderful to know loved ones are around me always. I hope it will make readers stop and wonder ‘What if?’
The result is that I get a lot of mail from readers who have had similar experiences and some are sharing theirs for the first time with me. I always feel that’s something rather special and for which I’m very grateful.”
Love, life and beyond… but it’s ALWAYS about the romance!

Linn is published by Choc Lit, HarperImpulse, Endeavour Press and Sapphire Star Publishing.
Linn is also the managing editor of Loveahappyending Lifestyle emagazine.
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Check out my reviews of Linn’s books by clicking on the book cover links below:

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Posted in Author Interview

Author Interview: Debbie Johnson

As ‘Pippa’s Cornish Dream’,climbs up the Amazon UK rankings, I’m thrilled to have it’s author Debbie Johnson on my blog.
Pippa's Cornish Dream
Poppy - BlurbSince Pippa Harte was forced to take over her parent’s farm, she’s barely had time to shave her legs let alone make time for love. Now she’s more likely to be getting down and dirty mucking out the pigs – and avoiding those of the human male variety.

When Ben Retallick walks out of her childhood and back into her present it seems that perhaps Pippa has more time than she thought. All Poldark smoulders and easy-going charm, Ben’s definitely worth whipping her wellies off for!

But Ben is a man with his own past and his own issues – and as much as she’s enjoying having him around, she’s got to get a grip. After all life isn’t always a beach … even if you are in Cornwall.

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 Author Interview 5220543It’s lovely to have you here Debbie, your books always make me smile. Do you see the funny side in real life situations too? Does this give you ideas for stories or are they pure imagination?

First of all, thank you – I always like to make people smile! I try to always see the funny side – I have a house full of kids and dogs, which does help! Life is often a serious and challenging affair, and a sense of humour is essential – my books are all about escapism. Some of the ‘funnies’ in Pippa’s Cornish Dream were inspired by my own children, and my crime thriller Fear No Evil draws a lot on the Scouse wit I am surrounded by!

Cold Feet at Christmas’ was a bestseller. Was it difficult writing a book to follow this, or had you already written your latest release, ‘Pippa’s Cornish Dream’?

I had already written Pippa’s Cornish Dream – and now wait nervously to see if she does anywhere near as well as her older sibling! The difficult one is the book I’m writing now – a Christmas follow-up to Cold Feet. Writing to someone else’s deadline is always much harder, and a lot less fun!

How long have you been writing?

All my life. I was one of those geeky kids who was always inspired by a new notebook. I worked in journalism for many years, which is a very different style of writing, but does give you a certain discipline, as well as useful life experience. I started writing fiction seriously in 2010.

What inspired you to set Pippa’s Cornish Dream’ in Cornwall?

I’d been there on holiday, and was just blown away by it – quite literally on some days, as the weather was a little unpredictable! There is just something very special about the whole area. Then, this year, Poldark arrived on our TV screens and completely backed up my decision – it’s an amazing place.

 It certainly is, I spent my honeymoon there many years ago and many happy holidays since. 🙂

What’s the inspiration behind the farm setting in Pippa’s Cornish Dream?

We stayed on a farm in Cornwall, and my kids loved being out every morning, feeding the chickens and the pig, and it was all a very different experience from our usual urban life in Liverpool – it just struck me as a wonderful setting for a romance; very earthy and beautiful, but also hard work.

What other books have you written?

Cold Feet at Christmas for HarperImpulse of course, but also two urban fantasy books called Dark Vision and Dark Touch, which came out in paperback on an imprint of Penguin Random House. I loved those – it was all that weird True Blood style stuff (vampires and witches and Goddesses and prophecies) but set against the very real backdrop of modern-day Liverpool. Fear No Evil is a crime thriller with a supernatural element, based around one of my all-time favourite creations, a PI called Jayne McCartney – the sort of woman you’d like to go to the pub with! That was with Maze, Avon’s digital branch. I have a new HI out for Christmas, and then next year – this is scary and exciting – my first print book for HarperCollins. It’s another romantic comedy, but very different than my earlier ones – it’s about a woman who hits 40 and finds her whole life in tatters, and how she rebuilds it. It was actually the first full book I ever wrote so I’m thrilled at the prospect of seeing it on the bookshelves at last!

That’s great, lots more for me to read.

What’s your favourite genre of book, to read? Why do you like this type of book?

I don’t have one particular genre – I read crime, fantasy, horror, women’s fiction. But it absolutely 100% has to have strong female characters and a few laugh out loud moments. Some of my favourite authors are Janet Evanovich, Sara Paretsky, Sue Grafton, John Connolly, Robert Crais, Karin Slaughter and JD Robb/Nora Roberts. I get pretty excited when any of their books come out!

What’s your writing space like?

Very, very unglamourous! There is no literary salon, or shabby chic writing den – the other day in fact I was laughing about this, as I was trying to write while sitting on my sofa. My teenaged son had his mates around, and my younger two were watching Minecraft videos on YouTube. We had three dogs in the house – our own Golden Retriever and Black Lab, and a Springer Spaniel we were looking after. The noise levels were through the roof, the whole place was complete chaos, and I’m sitting there tapping away on my laptop trying to create some magic! But that’s my life, and I’m perfectly happy with it.

 Sounds like mine. 🙂

What’s next for you, Debbie?

More writing. More chaos. More school runs. More nervously checking Amazon – more of everything, in fact! Apart from house work. That’s to be avoided at all costs.

Thank you so much for sharing your thoughts with us Debbie. I’m looking forward to reading the rest of your books.

To read my 5* reviews of ‘Pippa’s Cornish Dream’ and ‘Cold Feet at Christmas’ Click on the book covers below:Pippa's Cornish Dream
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Posted in Author Interview, Book Review, New Books

Author Interview Anne Allen – 5* Review The Family Divided ( #4 The Guernsey Novels series)

3D Cover x 4 PNG (1)Poppy - BlurbAndy Batiste, at loggerheads with his degenerate cousin, seeks to discover the truth of his family history. Why was his pregnant grandmother forced to flee to France? What really happened to her husband during the German Occupation, sixty years ago? Who accused Edmund, the elder son and Batiste heir, of being an informer? Was he really a traitor – and who murdered him?

With Edmund’s brother Harold now head of the family, enjoying the wealth which ought to have come to Andy’s father, the family is forever divided. Andy yearns to clear Edmund’s name and restore his father to his rightful inheritance.

Into the conflict comes Charlotte Townsend, newly divorced, lonely and struggling with writer’s block and the consuming threat of impending loss. She returns for healing at Guernsey’s natural health centre, La Folie, and becomes involved in Andy’s family affairs.

Together they embark on a hunt for the truth…

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Author InterviewIphoto for emailWhat inspired you to write, ‘The Guernsey Novels’ series?

Initially I only thought of writing one book, ‘Dangerous Waters’, as my homage to Guernsey where I had spent many happy years. Even when I wrote the second, ‘Finding Mother’, it didn’t occur to me I was writing a series! Writers are always told to ‘write what you know’ and I knew Guernsey pretty well so it seemed the obvious starting point. It was almost incidental that I allowed characters from ‘Dangerous Waters’ to pop up in Finding Mother, but readers seemed to like that and it’s been a feature of all my books since.

Your stories have atmospheric settings and memorable characters, are they inspired by real people and places or a product of a vivid imagination?

I appreciate the compliment, Jane! The settings are mainly real, Guernsey providing its own atmosphere beautifully. I do invent the homes of my characters but base some of them on properties I know. For example, Jeanne’s and Molly’s cottages in ‘Dangerous Waters’ are quite similar to my old home in Perelle on the west coast of Guernsey. The characters are probably an unconscious mix of real people and imagined. I would never knowingly use a real person in case it wasn’t a flattering portrayal and easily recognisable!

‘The Guernsey Novels’ are a mix of contemporary and historical. Would you like to write a purely historical, mystery novel?

Interesting question. Although I do a certain amount of historical research now, I’m not sure I could cope with the full immersion in the past needed to write a purely historical novel. Perhaps something to think about for the future…☺

Your stories always have great dialogue content; do you find this easy to write? Have you any tips for writing realistic dialogue?

Writing dialogue was hard for me initially, but has become easier with each book. As a psychotherapist I was used to hearing people talk and even now enjoy ear-wigging on conversations. I think if you really listen to how people talk to each other it becomes easier to write more natural dialogue. The key is to listen to different generations – speech changes dramatically from one age group to another. For example, my own children are in their thirties and I use their choice of expressions etc for my main characters in that age group.

What genres of books do you read, when you’re not writing?

Funnily enough I really enjoy historical mysteries! My favourites are those by C J Sansom as they are so detailed and I can imagine myself at the Tudor court. I also read some crime and thriller but am not keen on anything too gory. Books which focus on relationships and family, as opposed to pure ‘romance’ are also high on my list.

Your latest release in ‘The Guernsey Novels’ series is ‘The Family Divided’. What can you tell us about it?

The Family Divided follows Andy Batiste as he searches for the truth behind the split in the family. His grandfather, Edmund, was murdered shortly before the end of the Occupation in Guernsey, after being labelled a traitor. He left a young widow who didn’t realise she was pregnant when she fled to France weeks later having been cast aside by her husband’s family. Edmund’s younger brother subsequently inherited the family estate instead of Edmund and when his son James moves to Guernsey years later, he gets nothing. Andy wants his father to receive his due inheritance and rightful place in the family.
Andy is helped in his search by Charlotte Townsend, recently divorced and enjoying her second visit to the natural health retreat at La Folie. Charlotte, a publisher and newbie writer, has been struggling with her novel and when she learns of Andy’s quest, is eager to help and together they embark on the search for the truth.

Where’s your favourite place to write? What is it about your writing space that you like?

I rarely write anywhere other than at my desk in my small study. I used to write longhand and then type it up on my PC, meaning I could write anywhere. But two years ago I had problems with my right hand and, after an operation, decided to cut down the strain by only typing.
My space is cluttered but comfortable. I have a fairly large desk and a super cream leather office chair that supports my back. Essential for any writer! The room was the single bedroom of my house and when I moved in I made it my study, including writerly things like bookshelves and filing drawers.

How much research is necessary prior to writing your stories? What does this involve?

Most research is focused on the Guernsey Occupation, which features in all my books. I was lucky enough to talk to people who lived through it and there are numerous published first-hand accounts. It’s a major influence on present-day Guernsey and Liberation Day – on 9th May – is a public holiday. I do some research for the contemporary major element of the stories but this might only involve such things as legal issues. Guernsey law is based on French law and can be quite different to English.

Have you written any other books?

No – not yet.

What’s next for Anne Allen and her writing? Will there be more Guernsey Novels?

I’ve started mapping out book 5 of The Guernsey Novels which will be a little different to the previous books. Called ‘Echoes of Time’ it’s a tale of betrayal, injustice and revenge, with a strong reference to the Occupation but set mainly in the present. There’s a slightly supernatural feel to this one and I’m looking forward to writing it. And there will be some familiar faces making an appearance ☺

 Thank you for talking to us Anne. Here’s my review of The Family Divided #4 in The Guernsey Novel series.

Flowers - My Review

The Family Divided (The Guernsey Novels, #4)The catalyst for this story is an incident in World War 2. A death accompanied by malicious rumour divides a family. Charlotte, who we met in ‘Guernsey Retreat’, makes a welcome return. ‘The Family Divided’ maintains the mystery and gentle romance, characteristic of this series. This story casts Charlotte in the role of detective as she unravels the secrets and rumour buried in the Batiste’s family’s past, to help and stay close to her new friend Andy Batiste.
Well paced, this story explores the growing relationship between Charlotte and Andy, and lets us glimpse the lives of previously introduced characters, Jeanne, Louise and Malcolm. I liked the disparity between Andy’s family and Charlotte’s and how it allows both characters to grow and develop. Charlotte’s investigation is believable and what she discovers builds to a tense and well resolved ending.
If you like your mystery with vivid imagery and sweet romance you will definitely enjoy The Guernsey Novels series.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Read my reviews of the first three books in The Guernsey Novel series by clicking on the links below:

Dangerous Waters

Finding Mother

Guernsey Retreat

The Family Divided by Anne Allen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars


The Family Divided (The Guernsey Novels, #4) by Anne  Allen

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Posted in Author Interview

‘finding Reese’ – (Safelight Series) – Author Interview -Imy Santiago

Today I have author, Imy Santiago on my blog. ‘finding Reese’ the second book in the Safelight series is out now.

Join the adventure.

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Blog Tour: finding Reese.


FindingReese

finding Reese. a SAFELIGHT novel vol.2

Adult Contemporary Romance with Mature Content

Writer: Imy Santiago

Date of Publication: May 26, 2015

Cover Design by CoverMe, Darling

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About finding Reese.

Hope Breeds Life…

Sometimes destiny and fate have a weird way of reminding us of our inescapable vulnerability, but more importantly our inexorable humanity. Life is fleeting, and what little time we have left in this world, we must make do with what we have, and cherish those whom we love by our side.

Fresh back from the Jackson Reese Press Tour, sports journalist Catalina Pardo rushes back to British Columbia after receiving unexpected and distressing news. With the help of award winning photographer Stryder Martynus, Catalina is determined to prevent the news of tragedy and heartbreak from governing her life again.

Together they will embark on a new journey of introspection to overcome the ghosts and raw emotions of their pasts−on a long and unpredictable road full of complicated circumstances−to find healing, hope and salvation.

The smallest of gifts−like a friendship bracelet−have the power to save your life, and unlike fairy tales, happy endings are seldom guaranteed…

*Adult Contemporary Romance with Mature Content−Due to strong language and sexual content, this book is not suitable for readers under the age of eighteen.*


Excerpt from finding Reese.

It’s such a peaceful feeling, trekking down the mountain−hearing the sounds of your board scraping against the snow, the light spray of powder landing all over your goggles and going up your nose. These are the little things that mean so much to me when I’m riding. I enjoy the silence as I become one with nature. It fills my soul with feelings I can’t even begin to describe.

But there’s something off about this line in particular. There’s an eerie feeling I simply can’t shake off. Maybe I’m just over-thinking things, or Rob’s resistance this morning somehow shook all of my confidence away, but a part of me feels this could be it.

A loud crack on the side of the mountain straightens my spine, followed by a shrill scream from Chris. Looking behind him, I see a cloud of snow and ice barreling down the mountain. The ground shakes as nature reclaims its territory. I let out a guttural roar to warn Rem, and he looks back at the monster behind us. I can’t see his eyes, but I can tell he’s scared by the way he’s flailing his arms trying to figure out how to outrun it.

I journey over, trying to find a safe spot to land, and hopefully escape the avalanche. A garbled cry for help comes from behind me, and I turn my neck just in time to see Chris sucked into the claws of the avalanche. “NO!” I scream, horrified.

I’ve lost all sense of place and time, but my body seems to be taking me to safety as my board zigzags down to the west side of the mountain. I’ve been able to avoid avalanches in the past, but this time around, I’m not so lucky. It takes another second before the avalanche sucks me under.

My body is tossed around like a rag doll until I’m buried beneath the snow. It’s packed in around me tightly; I can’t move my legs or arms, and as the snow settles, it feels like I’m encased in a pool of hardened cement. It’s becoming harder to breathe with each passing second as my body relays to my brain my death is imminent.

My mind replays memories of my life before me like a movie, and bitter frustrated tears stream down my face crystallizing quickly as the freezing cold sweeps over me. I’ve always feared dying like this, trapped in the place I love the most, in the snow. My thoughts are of my family, especially mom and Jupiter. My tears quickly become painful sobs as the contractions of my cries tighten the snow pack around me. Catalina… My best friend and confidante−the news of my death will crush her.

I wrestle against the hardened blanket of snow and ice to move my arms, and after a few seconds of unwavering persistence, my arms come free. My hands desperately push the snow away from my chest, trying to get hold of the radio. With shaky fingers I press the call button.

“Base, this is Jax. Do you copy? I’m trapped, but I’m okay. Can anyone hear me?” Taking small measured breaths, I wait for a reply, but all I get is static interference. “Base, this is Jax. I’m on the western quadrant of the mountain. I’m alive. Can anyone hear me?” Once again, static feedback rings in the small pocket of snow surrounding me.

No, no. This can’t be happening. My body shakes violently as the freezing cold goes through all of my layers. I’m finding it hard to breathe, and if no one comes soon, I’ll be dead from hypothermia.

I’m so cold I can’t feel my limbs, and the more breaths I take, the more exhausted I become. My life as I know it hangs by a thread. Exhausted, I close my eyes and say a prayer. I ask God to have mercy on my soul. While I’m not the most spiritual of men, I think He’s always had my back. All the stupid shit I’ve done, all the risks I’ve taken, and always rising from them all.

The clock is ticking. I need to dig myself out somehow and go home. I refuse to let this be my end. Catalina−the bracelet−look for me, please!

“Base, please. This is Jackson Reese. I’m alive. Someone come and get me. Please,” I cry into the radio, praying someone answers. I’ll keep trying until my dying breath. This is not how I was destined to die. Not here and not like this.

Closing my eyes, I rest. What happens next is all in God’s hands.

©2015 Imy Santiago – ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Author Interview

‘chasing Reese.’, was your debut release in January of this year, Have the last few months lived up to your expectations?

Yes and no. The past few months have been very daunting, mainly due to writing two books simultaneously: finding Reese.−the sequel to chasing Reese., and We Met on a Train. Because I was so engrossed with Catalina, Stryder, and Jackson, I shelved Evan Pryce−main character in We Met on a Train−to focus on completing finding Reese. There are many readers who have yet to discover the SAFELIGHT series. I look forward to gaining new readership when they do.
I have learned to roll with the punches, and it would make me a terrible liar if I didn’t admit I faced a lot of adversity after chasing Reese. released. The most valuable lesson I have learned since launching chasing Reese. is that sometimes you have to take a step back in order to disengage yourself from negative situations, and people. At some point it adversely affected my creative process, so I had to dig deep and teach myself, with the help of some very supportive readers, to not allow negativity to take control of my creativity. I worked out my frustrations while penning finding Reese. I truly believe my experiences helped me become a better writer.

There are three main characters in ‘chasing Reese.’, yet it isn’t a love triangle, what was your inspiration for this first story in the ‘safelight series’?

I believe I am the type of woman who believes in not sharing passionate, romantic love with more than one person. Why three characters? Why do their lives intertwine with each other’s?
The answer is simple. I wanted to write about love in all of its splendour; from the honeymoon phase, to heartbreak. Love has so many facets; it can be passionate and romantic, filial, or friendly among many others. No two people can love the same way, or with the same intensity.
Back when I was in college, I was an arts and humanities major. Two of my favorite courses were Philosophy and Logic. I’ve always wanted to challenge societal conventions, and back then I knew I wanted to write a thesis of what I think love is based on my personal experiences. Love can make or break a person, and that’s why I challenged myself to portray limitless love between three people. When you break down the SAFELIGHT series to its most basic form, it is basically a thesis about love−real, and honest-to-God love.

Is Jackson, the focus of your next novel, ‘finding Reese.’, as the title suggests? Any clues as to what we can expect?

Many have asked me in private messages why the SAFELIGHT novels have Jackson’s surname in the title. The answer is simple. If not for Jackson Reese Catalina Pardo and Stryder Martynus would’ve never had a chance to fall in love. I don’t want to spoil it for new readers, but those who have read chasing Reese. are aware of Jackson’s nickname…Without him, Catalina’s and Stryder’s story would be hard to convey in a real, and relatable way. Jackson is the glue that keeps all the pieces of this intricate story together, and without him, there is no SAFELIGHT series.
The way chasing Reese. ended has brought forth a single question: Where is Jackson Reese? Is he alive? I’m pleased to announce that answer is quickly given within the first two chapters of finding Reese. There is another journey to endure; one that is not easily experienced. Jackson plays a larger role in finding Reese. You will see him in a deeper and raw dimension than in chasing Reese. While all of the character’s integrity remains untouched, I’ve explored a different story-line; one that is fresh and showcases a raw vulnerability that readers will enjoy.

Do you enjoy the social media aspect of being an author? What’s your favourite social media platform?

Let’s go back fifteen years before the dawn of social media. I ask myself, how did authors and writers do it, and become successful without having a universal platform to showcase their work? No matter how you slice it and dice it, the only way these authors made it was by writing a great book. They didn’t have the tools we have available today.
Having said that, social media is a great tool to share your work with the world. Deep down, many writers in my position dream of their books being traditionally published. And while that much is true, social media plays an important role in helping independent writers, like me, to reach unexplored markets and gain new readership.
For most of us, Facebook and Twitter are probably the most helpful social media platforms to get our word out. I’ve explored Google+ and tsu, and after observing social media skills from the likes of Colleen Hoover, and Mr. Reynard himself, I’ve come to terms with the fact that the broader you market yourself, the better your exposure is.
My favorite social media platform is Facebook; that is where the majority of my readers and followers are. Social media marketing requires a lot of effort and time; sometimes it takes away from my writing, but my readers and followers appreciate updates and tidbits about my writing journey, and love when I interact with them. The truth is I love interacting with my followers.

Your first book. ‘chasing Reese.’ is an interesting mix of realistic, contemporary dialogue and breathtaking description, which parts are easier to write and why?

I’m often commended for having snappy dialogue, and descriptive writing in my books. That is because deep down I am a frustrated screenwriter. *laughs* I’ve been writing since I was seven. I wrote my first screenplay when I was thirteen, and never stopped. Yet, I never felt like I was good enough to publish. After reading Gabriel’s Inferno, I acknowledged it was time to give it a try. And I’m glad I did. It took me almost two years to gather the courage to write SAFELIGHT. That screenplay was then rewritten five times before it became what we all know today as chasing Reese.
If I can’t see the scene, hear it, or feel it, then it’s harder to visualize a story as a reader. I think both snappy dialogue and breathtaking descriptions are necessary to help readers understand not only what the characters are saying, but it helps to make the connection between what’s going on inside their mind and what they’re expressing, thus depicting a better scene.
It has been close to six months since I read your review of chasing Reese. It has become one of my most treasured reviews. When I’m struggling, or feel like giving up, I always go back and read your review, and those left by others. I made it my mission to dissect each review in search of ways to improve and grow as a writer. I applied those changes in finding Reese.
For me it is easier to write about heartbreak rather than sex. I am thirty four, and I still find it incredibly awkward to write a detailed sex scene in a manner that is not overly explicit, or clinical. The sex scenes in my books are not there for the shock value, or for effect. Sex is a beautiful thing that two people in love can always share. I like to explore the beauty of two bodies in a manner that is both tasteful and memorable.

Do you have a writing process that you can share with us?

I wish I could say I’m structured like most writers out there, but I’m not. I’m extremely disorganized. I don’t have a routine, or follow steps on a list… Hell, I don’t even own a desk to write on! *laughs* I hope that gives you an idea of what I am trying to say. Sometimes I write on my phone, but ninety five percent of my writing is accomplished on my iPad (my friends think I’m nutty to prefer a tablet over a laptop).
When inspiration strikes, I usually write dialogue first based on the conversations going on inside my head (I’m not crazy, I promise!). Afterwards, I weave the dialogue into the scenes I see playing out in my mind. Like I mentioned earlier, if I can’t see it or feel it clearly, I scrap what I have, and start again. Once I’m satisfied with the descriptive writing of a scene, then I move on to the next.

What time of day do you do most writing, or does it vary?

To be honest, I don’t have a writing preference. Sometimes I write early in the morning, and other days in the evening. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I write whenever I can. Some days I can write 11,000 words, and other days 300 words, but the point is to always keep plugging away.

I love having my dogs with me when I’m writing. Do you have any animal writing companions?

Unfortunately I don’t have a pet of my own. There is a house dog, but he is rather old, and incredibly senile. If I’m writing during the daytime, my three year old daughter usually sits beside me or on my lap while I write and/or promote. Occasionally, my fiancé will sit next to me while I’m plugging away, but the majority of the time I undergo the process alone.

Do you enjoy reading other authors’ work, what are you reading at the moment?

Before I became a published writer I always loved to read. My passion for reading renewed itself after reading the Gabriel Series by Sylvain Reynard, whom I discovered after a conversation between him and E.L. James on Twitter. I read Fifty Shades of Grey and I enjoyed it, but it wasn’t until I read Gabriel’s Inferno that I felt inspired give writing another go.
I am currently reading Shattered Lies by Theresa Sederholt. It is the third and final novel in The Unraveled Series by this author. I’m enjoying this series immensely.

What’s next for Imy Santiago?

I have a few projects down the pipeline. My next release will be We Met on a Train. You can read the prologue at the end of finding Reese. Evan’s story (main character in We Met on a Train) is quite compelling, and it is definitely not a fluffy book. It is adult romance with mature content, but it comes with a trigger warning due to sensitive subject matter. I haven’t set a release date for it, but expect it to be available in the fall of 2015.
Once We Met on a Train is published, I will start the groundwork for saving Reese., which for now, is the final installment of the SAFELIGHT series. For 2016 I have planned another standalone ‘Words in Isolation’, and a coming-of-age novella ‘Sonnets of Pain’; both are in the concept development phase. And last, but not least, I will be translating both chasing Reese. and finding Reese. to Spanish.
2016 will be an incredibly busy, yet rewarding year.

Thank You Imy. Look out for my review soon…

For those who  haven’t read ‘chasing Reese’  – a few details…


Catch up with The SAFELIGHT Series!

REVEAL - Full Wrap

chasing Reese. a SAFELIGHT novel vol.1

Adult Contemporary Romance with Mature Content

Writer: Imy Santiago

Date of Publication: January 5, 2015

Cover Design by CoverMe, Darling

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Book Teaser Trailer: Watch it here

Endorse and dream cast chasing Reese. on The Imagine Film List


Buy links: chasing Reese.

eBook Edition Amazon US | Amazon UK| Amazon CA| Amazon AU| Barnes & Noble

Paperback Editions CreateSpace eStore| Amazon| Barnes & Noble

Signed LIMITED First Edition Paperback via Direct Order


Connect with Imy Santiago

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SAFELIGHT Series Playlist on Spotify


About Imy Santiago

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I love to read stories about loss, heartache and redemption so it didn’t shock me when I ended up writing stories of my own revolving around those themes. I write with my heart, using my life experiences and emotions to dictate the tone and path in which my fictional characters embark. I believe in the power of friendship and to always have hope because life is always full of pleasant surprises. If you were to ask me if I consider myself an author, I would tell you no, I am not. I’m just a girl who loves to write a good story that makes you consider life choices and the darkness that envelopes a broken heart. My stories are about loss, friendship, hope and love.

I hope to continue writing more books in the not so distant future. It could be said that writing keeps me sane and brings a smile to my face. When I’m not writing Adult Contemporary Romance novels, I’m enjoying a quiet life with my family on Long Island New York.

For full bio, please visit my website.

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Posted in Author Interview, Book Spotlight, New Books

The Vintage Cinema Club- Jane Linfoot – Author Interview

image001Today is release day for Jane Linfoot’s  latest book  –

‘The Vintage Cinema Club’

Blurb - FlowerMeet The Vintage Cinema Club….
Izzy is a wow at making unwanted things pretty, but with three brothers and her shabby chic furniture business to run she doesn’t have time to date. Could a fabulous French proposal change her mind?
Single mum Luce’s vintage bridal dresses are exquisite, but there’s no way she’s ever going to wear one or walk down the aisle for that matter. She’s a strictly no romance, one night kind of woman – or so she thinks…
Dida seems to have it all – a chocolate and banana cake recipe to die for, lovely kids (most of the time!) and a great lifestyle. But what good is a fabulous home, when your marriage has more cracks than a pavlova and your husband is having it off with half of Lithuania?
Three retro fabulous friends, in love with all things vintage, run their dream business from the faded grandeur of a rescued cinema. When that dream comes under threat, they’ll do whatever it takes to save it.

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Author Interview3619536It’s lovely to have you on my blog Jane.

How did you become a writer? Was it always a life ambition or something that started as a hobby and then grew?

My first novel was a happy accident, that happened when a friend from writing class asked me to co-write a book with her. Plotting for Beginners came out in 2006, and was a paperback best seller. It was in Waterstones, and Sainsburys, and even had it’s own window display at Heathrow Airport.

Writing chicklit novels happened by accident too, when I got Kate Walker’s book on writing romance novels out of the library. I was meaning to get some exercises for my writers’ group, but I read the whole book, and I was hooked.

I used to work full time, doing up old houses, but after the property crash I suddenly found time to do the writing I’d always dreamed of. I write full time now, and for me writing is one of those things – the more of it I do, the more I want to do.

From reading the blurb; ‘The Vintage Cinema Club’, your next book, seems more women’s fiction than contemporary romance? What’s the story behind the book?

In my previous solo books the focus was always on one couple and their relationship, but this time I’m writing about a group of friends and following their lives over a summer.

The Vintage Cinema Club centres on Izzy, Luce and Dida, who have a fabulous vintage shop in a wonderful old cinema building. When their dream comes under threat they have to fight to save it.
It’s about the tangles of their very different lives and struggles, all bound together by their friendship. Think sassy, funny, warm hearted, happy…with a dash of sour to temper the sweetness.
If you fancy a summer hanging out with friends in country villages, with a great vintage vibe, a taste of France thrown in, and strands of love and heartache woven through, step this way. The only drawback is how much you might miss them when it’s over.

There are THREE main characters in ‘The Vintage Cinema Club’ what’s the inspiration behind them?

Izzy, Luce and Dida are very different characters, with very different lives, working together in their fab retro shop. I like writing about strong women, and I especially enjoyed writing about their interaction with each other. The contrast between the characters was as interesting for me to write as the individuals, because those differences actually shone a brighter spotlight on each of the women.
I love how close friends often know each other almost better than they know themselves. There are times when friendly interference leads to trouble, but the very best friends will always hang around to make good. I’ve really enjoyed writing about and exploring this different kind of relationship.

‘Vintage’ seems to be the contemporary obsession, why do you think this is?

I think people like vintage because it guarantees you something individual, that no one else can have. Retro will often give you classic design and fabulous quality, compared to newer things. It’s also a way of embracing recycling – being green, yet doing it with style. I heard someone say that modern vintage is looking forward through a window of the past. A lot of it is about rediscovering “pretty” too.

Are you a country girl or a town lover?

I like living in the country, because I love the space, and the dog walks, and the woods, and the flowers, and the wildlife. I do enjoy going to get the buzz of the town, and I love having an occasional day in Sheffield, or London.

The writing process fascinates me. Do you have one you can share with us?

I like to have the framework of a book in my head before I begin, and I make a lot of notes about that. Then I start to write. Some people say you should write a first draft without stopping, but for me it works better if I go back and edit, and add to the scenes as I go along. I call it layering up. It takes longer, but by the end the manuscript is almost there. I think this approach only works because I begin with a strong plan, and fill in the gaps.

Where do you like to write, office, living room, cafe or somewhere else?

I’ve always worked in the room between the kitchen and the rest of the house – calling it a dining room makes it sound way more up-market than it is. That way I’m right at the centre of family life, and on hand to sort everyone out as they need me. Noise isn’t a problem, because when I concentrate I’m oblivious, as my family will be able to tell you.

Have you a picture of your writing space?

No, because it’s not pretty.

What’s your favourite social media platform and why?

Twitter is great because it’s such an instant way to spread a short message fast. I also love the weirdness of Twitter, like the time I got followed by a werewolf. I find it easier to make more meaningful connections on Facebook, and I spend a lot of time there.

Have you any tips for new writers?

Writing is a solitary activity, but joining a writing group, either online, or locally, can help a lot. If you find the right group for you, you’ll get tips, support and inspiration. Try to write something every day – and luckily jokey emails to friends do count as writing. And never give up.

What’s next for Jane Linfoot?

Look out for a Christmas book 🙂

Author Bio - FlowerJane Linfoot writes fun, flirty fiction, with feisty heroines and lots of heart. She lives with her family and pets in Derbyshire, and loves hearts, flowers, happy endings and all things vintage.

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Check out my review of

The Vintage Cinema Club on my blog later. 🙂

Posted in Author Interview

Author Interview: Derek Muk

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This Sunday I’m interviewing paranormal and horror author Derek Muk on my blog.
Author Interview

How important is writing in your life?

Writing is very important to me. It’s one of my passions, one of my hobbies, a creative outlet where I can escape from the stresses and routine monotony of life. 

You write both horror and paranormal stories; do you have a favourite genre?

I would say my favorite genres to read are horror, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, and general fiction. I also read things from other categories as well. But I like to write in the horror, paranormal, and supernatural genres.

What are the inspirations behind your paranormal story ‘The Haunted Academy’?

 The inspiration for “The Haunted Academy” were news articles and stories I came across about how young students, particularly gay, lesbian, and transgender ones, were bullied in school. My story involves a young woman who identifies herself as a lesbian and how she is victimized by school bullies.

The paranormal investigators featured in The Haunted Academy are quirky and interesting. Are they going to appear in any future books?

The paranormal investigators in “The Haunted Academy” are featured in other short stories that I write and will appear in future stories. They are also the main protagonists in my short story collection, The Occult Files of Albert Taylor. More information about that book and my stories can be found at: https://theoccultfilesofalberttaylor.wordpress.com/

Do you have a favourite writing space?

I like to write at cafes and at home.

Do you have a writing process that you can share with us?

I often begin a story with fragments of scenes, characters, and some dialogue. They’re not cohesive in the beginning so I let them brew in my head for a while until they are clearer and until I feel the story is going in a direction that I’m satisfied with. I jot all these ideas down on paper so that if I can’t utilize them from the get go they’ll be saved for some future writing project when the time is right. Sometimes I get ideas for characters by people watching on the subway, at a café, and even from movies and television. I’ll scribble down these ideas in my notebook and flesh them out later.

What sort of books do you like to read?

I would say my favorite genres to read are horror, science fiction, fantasy, thrillers, and general fiction. I also read things from other categories as well.

What’s your favourite social media platform? Why do you like it?

 My favorite social media platform? Uhmm, I guess that would be Facebook because it allows you to keep in touch with a massive network of people and keeps you up to date with what others are doing. It’s a great networking tool for writers.

What’s next for Derek Muk? Do you have a current work in progress? 

I’m currently working on a novella featuring Albert Taylor and his sidekick, Jan, who are the main characters in “The Haunted Academy”. Stay tuned for more details!

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Mystery Thriller Blurb
Professor Albert Taylor and his assistant, Jan, are paranormal investigators. They are hired to investigate spooky, mysterious goings-on at an exclusive all-girls school after a young student is murdered. What they assume will be a routine ghost haunting turns out to be something much more.

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Mystery Thriller BlurbMeet Albert Taylor, an anthropology professor who investigates cases of the supernatural on the side. Welcome to this macabre gallery of horrors that includes such cases as Jack the Ripper, Bigfoot, the Boogeyman, the Spanish Inquisition, ghosts, cults, and more!
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Posted in Author Interview, Release Day Spotlight

Strawberries At Wimbledon – Nikki Moore – Author Interview.

STRAWBERRIES_WIMBLEDONBlurb - FlowerThe one that got away?

Sipping Pimms and eating fresh strawberries at Wimbledon are the perfect start to the British summer for Rayne. Immersed in her career as a journalist in the City, she’s been too busy and distracted to give men – or other outside interests – much of a chance lately. That’s something her friend Lily thinks she should correct, coming up with the perfect ‘sex with an ex’ solution – much to the amusement of the crowd on Centre Court!

When Rayne runs into old flame Adam, former good guy who is now all grown up with a hint of bad boy about him, it’s a tempting thought. But is that such a good idea, when she knows that four years ago, she broke his heart?

Back from travelling the world and settling into running the family business, Adam never expected to see his university girlfriend again. And he definitely didn’t think he would still be angry with her for running away, or that she would still have the same stunning effect on him. But she does, so maybe the perfect way to get her out of his dreams and from under his skin, is to have a hot sex-filled night with her? The only trouble is, one night might not be enough…

First love – can you ever go back?

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Congratulations on your latest release Strawberries at Wimbledon, Nikki. Can you share the highlights of your writing journey with us?

There have been loads of highlights over the last fifteen years, when I first started writing my first novel – both big and small. (Writing took a back seat for eight years in the middle while I pursued a HR qualification and had my son). The moments that stick out in my mind include:

• The first positive report I received about one of my manuscript from a reader on the Romantic Novelists Association ‘New Writers Scheme’ which said the book was of publishable standard.
• Getting an Honorable Mention for the RNA Elizabeth Goudge Trophy in 2010 and the phone call from Katie Fforde (one of my favourite authors, and the judge that year) that followed, congratulating me and telling me to keep writing.
• Being offered my first publishing contract for my short story ‘A Night to Remember’ published in the best selling RNA/ Mills and Boon anthology last February.
• Being offered a four book contract with HarperImpulse (the digital first romance imprint of HarperCollins) in October 2013. Thrilled doesn’t even begin to cover it! 
• The day my debut novel Crazy, Undercover, Love was published (April 2014)
• Being contacted by readers, bloggers and reviewers to say nice things about my stories or ask if I can write an article for them/what I’m writing next/if I’m going to write a sequel.
• Crazy, Undercover, Love being shortlisted for the RNA Joan Hessayon Award (for new writers).

There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t feel incredibly lucky and grateful to be doing something I love so much.

What’s the inspiration behind #LoveLondon, your current series of short stories?

The #LoveLondon series came from me pitching my second full length novel Picnics in Hyde Park (a romance wholly set in London) to my lovely editor Charlotte, and her brilliant idea to write a number of London based short romances leading up to the novel. The idea has evolved a number of times, but we eventually settled on a linked series that would start at Christmas – Skating at Somerset House – with a story to follow roughly once a month to capture key dates or events, with one character in each short related to / friends with one of the main characters, Matt or Zoe, from Picnics. And so New Year at The Ritz, Valentine’s on Primrose Hill, Cocktails in Chelsea and Strawberries at Wimbledon were created to follow my Christmas baby.

Are there specific writers, or other people, who have influenced your writing style?

I read widely over a number of genres – romance, thrillers, crime, horror, non-fiction, mainstream women’s fiction – and I get something different from every one, whether it’s entertainment, education, escapism or inspiration.

I read a lot of Mills and Boons books in my teens and I’m sure that’s had a lot of influence on the fact that I love writing about love and write up the hotter end of the scale (depending on what the story needs e.g. Skating at Somerset House is towards the sweeter end as it’s a cosy Christmas read, whereas Cocktails in Chelsea is hotter because I was aiming for a springtime, flirty read). I also read a lot of Christopher Pike in my teens (American teen / YA horror writer) and when I went back and read a few of the books recently I could see that his ‘voice’ in places had a similarity to mine, even though we write in completely different genres. Cecelia Ahern, Sue Moorcroft (award winning author who happens to be my aunt), Katie Fforde, Jill Mansell and JoJo Moyes are female writers I really admire and who I think have influenced my writing style / aspirations.

Your latest release, is the fifth story in the #LoveLondon series, ”Strawberries at Wimbledon’, another iconic London event. How does Wimbledon fit into this tale about first love revisited?

When Charlotte and I were working out titles and themes for the series, we wanted a really summery story and a British event in London we could set it against, so Wimbledon was perfect. Wimbledon is where Adam and Rayne, university sweethearts, run into each other again after nearly five years apart, just after Rayne’s friend Lily has suggested in the middle of Centre Court (much to the crowd’s amusement) that Rayne should ‘have sex with an ex.’

Do you have a tried and tested writing process you can tell us about?

My stories spend a lot of time percolating in my head before I get any words on paper. I think of ideas while I’m washing up, or in the shower, or driving to work and try to jot brief notes down on paper ASAP if it’s practical. I usually do a handwritten spider diagram to set out the main characters, their backgrounds and personalities, the setting and themes too. By the time I start writing I have a very good idea of how the story is going to be structured and will unfold, but apart from that I kind of write into the wind i.e. it’s organic! The characters often do things I wasn’t expecting, but I’ve found that tends to make the story better. If it’s unpredictable it makes it more fun for me, and if I’m having fun I figure my readers are too. I often don’t write in order; I go back and forth and write scenes when they are most vivid in my head. After finishing the first ‘dirty draft,’ I put it away for a few weeks and then go back to it to redraft. I revise each story at least four times and then again after I’ve had my editor’s notes. I am a horrible perfectionist so it always takes me longer than planned to finish a story to the point I’m happy with it.

The final book in the #LoveLondon series is ‘Picnics in Hyde Park’ when is this released and what’s next for you?

It’s due out on 25th June. I can hardly believe it; the last six months have flown by and I’m feeling a bit sad that the initial publication journey for this series is almost over. But of course I’m hoping the series itself will have a long and happy life. As for what’s next, I’m planning on taking a break from writing for a month or two to focus on doing some local media press – I would love to go on the radio – and perhaps organise a few book signings with my two paperbacks. After that I’m going to spend a few months working on a commercial women’s fiction book and may start looking for an agent. Of course, at some point I’m planning to do more with HarperImpulse given how fab they are.

What comes first when you’re crafting a story; setting, characters or plot? Why do you think this is?

With the romances, for me, it’s usually the characters that come first, and the plot grows from them; their personalities, backgrounds, conflicts and dreams. I think it’s that way for me because if I thought of the plot first I’d be afraid I’d then be trying to shoehorn the characters into it, which could make it feel forced. Saying that, for the commercial women’s fiction book I’m working on next, the plot and main character came to me at the same time.

Are you a social media addict or phobe? Do you have a favourite social media platform?

I’m a bit of a social media addict. I love Twitter, and Facebook follows closely behind. In one way that’s great because it means I’m not afraid of using the platforms and can be very visible to my readers; talking and sharing things with them, as well as thanking them regularly (bloggers and reviewers too) and chatting with other authors / aspiring writers in the community. On the other hand it’s not so great because I end up on Twitter far too often when I should be writing!

Where do you do most of your writing? Why is this your favourite place to write?

I do most of my writing either in my front room, which I have as my writing room with my bookcase, laptops, filing cabinet and book covers stuck up on the wall. I like writing in there because it’s very light and airy. Sometimes I write on the sofa or in bed when I want to be comfy and warm (really bad for the neck, back and shoulders though). To be honest I can write pretty much anywhere, as long as I have my laptop and there’s a plug handy!

Thanks for having me on your blog Jane.

LoveLondon---Twitter

My review of Strawberries at Wimbledon will be posted later today.

Posted in Author Interview, Blogging Community

Author Interview with Kim Kasch – The Viking Princess

Kim Kasch 11.2014Today I have  Kim Kasch,a fellow Crimson Frost author, on my blog, sharing her thoughts on books and writing. I will be reviewing Kim’s New Adult, historical fantasy novel; ‘The Viking Princess’, in the next few weeks.  I love Arthurian legends and this one is intriguing. See what you think.

VikingPrincess_KimKasch_SmallBlurb -2THE VIKING PRINCESS is not your typical Disney princess. This story sizzles. Morgaine LeFey is King Arthur’s half-sister and she has a Viking Prince for her lover–and who needs a Knight to come to your rescue, when you have a Viking?! But England and Scandinavia were at war – so this is one romance that nearly tore two kingdoms apart: They met on a battlefield, poised against each other, but their attraction was more powerful than any sword, stronger than any warrior and more magical than Merlin.

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Author Interview

What would you like your readers to know about Kim Kasch?

I’m a writer who grew up in a family with nine kids, when Mom and Dad could probably really only afford two. Plus, Grandma came to live with us after Grandpa died so, I was into recycling before it was the trendy thing to do…back then, we called it wearing “Hand-me Downs” not Repurposed articles and it was nothing to be proud of. Today, in Portland, the wealthy recycle, reuse and repurpose articles and feel no shame in telling people they shop in thrift shops. ;D Times have really changed.

The Viking Princess is your debut novel. I understand it’s a retelling of a little known legend involving King Arthur’s half-sister and a Viking. It sounds intriguing, can you tell us a little about the story and its characters?

Well, The Viking Princess isn’t your typical Disney Princess. She is a sorceress and a shield maiden who doesn’t need a Knight to come to her rescue. In fact, she meets her Viking lover on the battlefield as they sit poised against each other: Knights versus Vikings.
Morgaine Le Fey is King Arthur’s half-sister and Holger Danske is the Danish Viking Prince and warrior who ride against each other as enemies but they faced an attraction more powerful than any sword, stronger than any warrior and more magical than all the powers of Merlin.
Holger steals Morgaine away from Camelot in the hopes of using her as a bargaining chip against King Arthur but, when they are alone together, emotions are sparked inside them that rage into a blazing fire that threatens both their kingdoms.

Is having your book published like a dream come true? If so what does it mean to you?

I have been writing stories for as long as I can remember. Maybe because we only had one television and with twelve people living in the house, I never got to pick the shows we watched. So, instead I read books from the library and wrote my own stories to entertain my brothers and sisters and later my own kids. And, getting a book published validates the writing I’ve been doing over the years. Plus, sharing The Viking Princess with English-speaking people is very important to me. I believe King Arthur and Holger Danske really lived epic lives that have been memorialized in legends over the years. And, perhaps the only reason we know the stories about Arthur is because they were written in English.
I think it’s time people learned about the other stories that are woven together throughout history in French, Danish and Celtic languages. The Viking Princess shares one such story.

What inspired you to write The Viking Princess? Is it a standalone story or part of a series?

The Viking Princess is the first book in The Viking Series. The second book, The Viking Queen, should be coming out soon. The Viking Princess is a story that stands alone as it tells the tale of the budding romance and is the beginning of the romance between Morgaine Le Fey and Holger Danske. It is a true sizzling romance but the next book will build more upon the legends and lives of the characters.
I was inspired by Hamlet’s Castle, when I went to visit the historic site with my husband. There in the tunnels beneath the castle I first saw Holger Danske and heard of his legend. When I came back home to Portland, I started researching the stories of King Arthur, Charlemagne and Holger Danske and found that their stories were woven together. All three Kings were given magical swords but I had never heard of any of them except for Excalibur. That peaked my interest and I had to learn more. . .

Have you a favourite writing place? If so, where and why do you like writing there?

I love to curl up on my bed, late at night, with my laptop…not very romantic but it sure is a cozy place to write ;D

Was it difficult to write about historical events and Vikings who are usually characterised as wild and hedonistic for the New Adult market?

It was hard to try to weave the Arthurian legends into the Viking tale, along with the stories of King Charlemagne while being respectful to all three legends in a way that could tell Holger’s and Morgaine’s romance without seeming trite.

Social media savvy is important for writers. What’s your favourite social media platform and why?

I love Pinterest because I can see so many crafts, foods and fun things without having to travel any further than my laptop. Plus, I love blogging too because I can share so many stories, recipes, and pictures with my family and friends…did I say I love to write ;D

I love fantasy stories and King Arthur’s legends are particular favourites of mine. Was it your love of history and legends that made you write this story? Would you like to write in any other genre?

I have always loved historical stories but I also love to see new spins on old tales. I loved Wicked because it was a new perspective of The Wicked Witch of the West and brought an entirely new light (of green) to Elphaba. Plus Maleficent was another story that took a totally different twist on an old tale. Those types of books really appeal to me. I even enjoyed Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. Maybe because I also love horror stories.

I love to write all sorts of stories from kids’ stories to sizzling adult romance. One day I’d even like to write a recipe book ;D I just love to write.

Do you have a writing process you would like to share with us?

Late in the evening, I love to relax with my laptop. Not very romantic to curl up with an electronic device…but, then again, it can be very soothing.

What’s next for you and your writing?

I have a young adult horror novel coming out in July. It’s set in my hometown of Portland, Oregon and it’s about a demonic tattoo artist. Did you know that Portland, Oregon is the fifth most tattooed city in the country? Just check out this site: http://www.today.com/id/38722211/ns/today-today_style/t/top-most-tattooed-cities-america/#.VSi7VJOEz9M
Anyway, Demon’s Ink is a mix of Stephen King’s “Needful Things” and the legendary horror of “Rosemary’s Baby.”

And, I have book II in the Viking Series, The Viking Queen, coming out soon.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us today Kim. I look forward to reading and reviewing , The Viking Princess  soon.

 Excerpt - 1He laughed at her, making her senses bristle.
She was not amused. “Am I humorous?”
“I have heard you are many things,” he replied, “but humor has never been cited as one of your virtues.”
“First you laugh at me, and then you belittle me. Is this the way you treat all women?”
He pulled back on the reins. His horse slid to an immediate standstill. Then, burying his face into her hair, he whispered in her ear, “I have shown enormous restraint. Would you like me to show you how I treat all women?”
The burning ember inside her flared to a flame. The muscles low in her belly tightened, as she clenched her legs tighter, wrapping them around his steed. Sucking air into her lungs, she felt the immediate pulse of desire race through the core of her body. She wanted to reach back over her head and wrap her arms around his neck, to pull him even closer.
It was all she could do to hold her tongue and keep from begging him, when all she wanted to say was, “Yes, yes, please show me.”
Her body motionless, she could feel the warmth of him as his hands grew bold, slipping beneath the soft linens covering her, his fingers gently gliding up over her stomach, travelling beneath her breasts and edging up…
A voice whispered inside her head. What are you doing? This man is your enemy. He intends to kill you, your brother, everyone you love…
She grabbed his wrists, holding him still and steady. “You have caught me, kidnapped me, and dragged me here. I may be your prisoner, but do not think that I am interested in your advances.”
His body tensed and he pulled back his hands, gripping her firmly about the waist. “I, Holger, the prince over all the Norse lands, have never had a woman decline the privilege of being my lover.”
“Prince or pauper, it matters not to me what rank you hold, for I, too, am highborn and accustomed to many privileges,” she snapped back, unwilling to let him bask in his own conceit. “And being your lover is not a privilege I would prize.”
“Perhaps,” he said, softening his touch. Slowly he ran his finger down the length of her neck, taunting her. “But are you accustomed to this?” He swung her around to face him; his mouth moved to her neck, gently caressing her throat with his lips and tongue.
The warrior with the devil’s horns was surprisingly gentle and tender with his affections. Morgaine could not contain her pleasure. A small sigh moved up from her throat, over her lips, unexpectedly escaping into the night air. “This is nothing,” he whispered against her flesh, his hand moving down over her navel. Travelling to the valley between her thighs, he pressed his fingers into her apex and she gasped at his touch.
He pulled his hand back. “After your shrill tongue and insults, the next time you will have to beg for my attentions.”
His tone shocked her back into the present. No man had ever spoken to her in this manner. He had no idea of her power. She was not some peasant he could toy with. Morgaine Le Fey was a princess, the sister of King Arthur. It was her turn to laugh…and it came out of her loud and hard. He must not know of her talents. She was the most powerful sorceress in Camelot and perhaps a dozen other kingdoms.
“Me? Beg? To think you will ever witness such an act from me,” she started to say but then shook her head and continued, “You must be more than foolish.”
“We will see,” he said, sounding more arrogant and insolent than ever.
“Yes, we shall see,” she replied, as he gave his horse a nudge and they continued riding.’

Posted in Author Interview

Shehanne Moore – Author Interview

Author InterviewIt’s a real treat for me today, I’m interviewing my friend, fellow blogger and writer, Shehanne Moore.

Shehanne has written three fabulous  historical romances:

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She also has an amazingly interactive blog  which you can read  by clicking on the link:

 shehanne moore~ Smexy Historical Romance.

 It’s great to have you here Shehanne.

Why did you choose to write historical romance?

Well Jane, I think I can safely say I just love the past. I always have. The books I read, the films I love best, are usually historical. And it wasn’t all that different in terms of the emotion. Look at how turbulent the big events in history were. Look at how, for example we love the drama of Henry V111 and Anne Boleyn. For all the times that story has been told I still reckon there’s a story there that has not been told.

I chose to write romance because I thought it was possible to get into the industry that way. Obviously when it came to choice of genre, there was only one!

What inspires you to create your dark, sexy, historical romances?

I’d love to say it’s a painting, or an old place. I do love old places and I squirrel them away for use. But all my stories start with a simple image, or premise. I have no idea what’s going to happen next. If only.

Lady Fury your first heroine, if I can call her that, has her own blog ‘Furious Unravelings’. Can you tell us how that evolved?

I reckon you’ve said it there yourself. ‘If I can call her that’. That’s the reason she has her own blog. My second book was coming out and I feared the havoc she would wreak not being centre of attention. So I thought I’d move her. Also, I did think that giving her a pirates’ book club would let me help promote other authors, as well as giving her something to do keeping the guys in about, even if they can’t read.

Lady Fury's Book Club

 My experiences at the book club were very memorable you can read them by clicking on the links:

Milady’s Book Club Welcomes Jane Hunt

Milady’s Book Club Welcomes Jane Hunt to Rye.

Now onto your other ladies who are also tempted by bright sparkly treasures.

Was there a particular event in history that inspired you to write your  London Jewel Thieves series? What can we expect in book 2?

Talking these little flashes, I could see a coach, a woman with a necklace she’d stolen and her planting it on this guy and completely ruining his life. That was it. I started writing, I called her Sapphire and filled in the back story, putting her in this gang of thieves. Then I called her friends Ruby and Pearl. As I was doing this I began to think that some of these other women, I was mentioning could have their own story as part of a series.

Book two which is nearly finished is about Splendor. She’s not a thief, she was their skivvy and now the gang has broken up, she’s living on her wits, calling herself Splendor (as you do, her real name’s Dora) and trying to win a fortune in a chess competition. She’s a sort of Cinderella. But things get badly out of hand. Will she end up with Prince Charming, Buttons, or dead on a duelling field? My lips are sealed.

Can’t wait. If you haven’t read Loving Lady Lazuli yet, the first book in the London Jewel Thieves series, check out my review here.

Your stories are characterised by their wonderful dialogue. Do you find this easy to write? Any tips for writing realistic dialogue?

They are? I’m so glad you got that 20 quid and didn’t ask for more. I’d have been skint otherwise. Dialogue? Well, I guess I have one basic rule. Don’t waste a word. I used to write for Bunty and M+J (girls’ comics). You did it in frames. You wrote the dialogue and the instructions to the artist in each frame, so many frames to a script. You basically had to think in captioned photos. Perhaps because I did that I don’t find dialogue difficult to write. Narrative, yes. In fact I have to stop myself writing dialogue, or there would be a book of it.
Tips? Well, I think plays really show you how to advance a scene with no narrative. So read some. Also remember that men and women use very different words and regard things totally differently. Think about your character’s sex and personality as well as their goal in each scene. They are bringing that to the table when it comes to what they are going to say and how they will say it. Also it doesn’t matter if it’s two lines of dialogue between a lesser and a major character. Don’t waste it.

Great advice and would you believe I used to read ‘Bunty’ many moons ago it was a fab comic. 🙂

You are a great supporter of other writers, myself included. How important are the blogging and writing communities to a writer’s success?

Okay, for some that might not be important at all. Obviously there’s writers who make it without that. But I think for those with smaller publishers, who can’t throw any money at promoting their authors, it’s vital. Personally I’m a big believer in supporting other authors. I’ve made some wonderful friends that way in both the writing and the blogging communities, including yourself Jane. These are people I would never have known if I’d stuck to the me, my book and my book mantra. It costs nothing to help someone.

Have you ever wanted to write a story in another genre? If so which one?

I used to write stories for my school pals years ago. They were historical epiccy things. I would like to write in that genre, historical fiction as opposed to romance. I’m considering having a look at them again and thinking about their focus.

I know that you have a new release in the summer with Soul Mate publishing can you share a few secrets about your latest story?

OOH. Well, The Viking and The Courtesan is a time slip story featuring Sin, a sumexy Viking and Malice a Regency lady who runs a marriage wrecking business. The blurb probably explains it best. I’m happy to let you have first sharie.

shoes-21‘In 898 AD she wasn’t just from another land.

Wrecking a marriage is generally no problem for the divorce obtaining, Lady Malice Mallender. But she faces a dilemma when she’s asked to ruin her own. Just how businesslike should she remain when the marriage was never consummated and kissing her husband leads to Sin–a handsome Viking who wants her for a bed slave in name only?
She came from another time.
Viking raider Sin Gudrunsson wants one thing. To marry his childhood sweetheart. Only she’s left him before, so he needs to keep her on her toes, and a bed slave, in name only, seems just the thing. Until he meets Malice.
One kiss is all it takes to flash between two worlds
But when one kiss is no longer enough, which will it be? Regency London? Or Viking Norway? Will Malice learn what governs the flashes? Can Sin?
Where worlds collide can love melt the iciest heart?’

It sounds amazing, historical, time slip romance – I can’t wait to read it.

What type of books do you like to read? Any favourite authors?

Hmm. I love the hard boiled writers, Cain and Mcoy. Talking dialogue they never wasted a letter never mind a word. Give me F Scott Fitzgerald. Oh and Margaret Mitchell. Coming more up to date, I loved discovering Kate Furnivall and Kate Atkinson. I will read pretty well any genre, history mainly but I like suspense too. And I’m not just saying it because I’ve met many wonderful authors and some of these authors have become friends, but I do love reading Incy Black, Antonia Van Zandt, Noelle Clark, Catherine Cavendish, Sharon Struth and your good self. I would enjoy these books anyway.

I can’t let you go without mentioning the ‘hamstahs’. They’re an integral part of your blog now. What inspired you to introduce them to us?

Lol! Ok. I was looking at the entries on this pitch comp and some had everything but the kitchen sink flung in. So I thought I’d blog the basic rules of romance writing and I had this person thinking how they would put in the French Revolution, the Druids of Stonehenge and the emancipation of women. At the last for some reason I changed that to hamsters. I think it might have been Antonia Van Zandt who asked what was that about? So next blog I let them on. There is something very expressive about their faces so of course I let them speak. They haven’t shut up since.

I’m now going to but before I do can I just thank you for inviting me to your fabulous blog Jane. I’ve loved being here.

So glad you found time to visit me and I look forward to welcoming Lady Fury soon. If you want to know more about Lady Fury’s unraveling read my review here.

You can catch up with Shehanne on

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