Posted in Author Interview, Book Spotlight

Debra J. Edwards – Author Interview

Author Interview

Did a specific event or person motivate you to become a writer? Can you tell us what happened?

As a primary school teacher, I once taught a class of 6-7 year olds. They were at an age when their baby teeth would become wobbly and fall out – often during the school day. They used to love telling me about it although it did drive me a little crazy at first. It got me thinking as to what a tooth fairy might do with the teeth, but as there were a few tooth fairy books out already I didn’t pursue the idea. But I couldn’t leave it alone so decided to put a different spin on it all using teenagers in the main character roles.

Are you a full time or part time writer?

Having taught in primary schools for 20 years, I am now happy to say that I write full time. Before, I worked through the day and early evening making it difficult to find time for writing. I had to squeeze in time after marking each evening which could result in very late nights. Weekends were wonderful though and meant I could find a little extra time during the days to write. I did try getting up very early to write, but that didn’t work for me. I’m just not a morning person.

What are the three best things about writing for you?

Tricky question as writing brings so much to writers. Okay…
I love how the stories in my head start to come to life as soon as my fingers hit the keyboard. Breathing life into a new character is so amazing. It’s great to see just how much they develop as the plot unfolds.
Writing brings me a great feeling of accomplishment. I was never an ‘A’ student at school so it gives me so much pleasure when my books are read and enjoyed. To think that the crazy characters in my head are being let loose on the world feels so good.
Being a writer is a somewhat lonely profession, but it has actually opened up a great social network for me. I belong to the SCBWI which means I get to talk to other writers about what I’m doing and attend numerous events where I can meet agents, publishers etc. I’m also a lively participant on Twitter where I to chat to other paranormal writers mostly, but also take part in YA chat hours.

You write books for children and young adults, what made you pick these genres?

Because I worked in a primary/elementary school, writing for children seemed a natural start to my writing career. I was able to try out my ideas on my target audience each day and they gave me great feedback. It wasn’t always what I wanted to hear, but that’s the whole point and it made me reconsider some plot points and refine my character development.
I had read a lot of young adult books and wondered if it was an age range I could move into. I’d always wanted to write a ghost story too. I thought it might be too scary for an MG audience, but not scary enough for adults so YA seemed to be the right range. In a way it was a gamble, but the story has been received well by the target audience. And because my previous MG readers are now older, they are forming a fanbase for my YA books.

Can you tell us about the books you have written?

I have three children’s fantasy novels published for the 8-12 year range although I have sold a lot to teenagers and adults. In fact, my oldest reader for these books is in her sixties! They are stories about a group of stroppy teenage tooth fairies and how they try to save their world.

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Here’s the blurb for the first book:
Aggie Lichen faces the same dilemmas as any other thirteen year old; what to wear, how to keep out of trouble at school. But while other thirteen year olds are doing their homework or settling down to watch T.V., Aggie flits from house to house in search of prize pilps. That’s where Aggie is a little different. You see, Aggie Lichen is a pilp collector – a tooth fairy!
One nightsgritch – a tooth collecting evening – Aggie is attacked by a bright, mysterious light. Is it just a low flying glow worm or a bad tempered giant bluebottle? Or, as Aggie and her gang suspect, is it something more sinister?
Unknown to them, Aggie and her gang have just thirty days to solve the mystery and save their kind but time is not on their side … neither are the Sprites or the Grublins …

I also have a Tween/YA paranormal novel out, Marvin’s Curse. It tells the story of a 17 year old boy who has inherited the gift of speaking to ghosts from his dead dad. Here’s the blurb for it:

Final cover for Marvin Herbie Quote

How would you handle the dead?

After losing his dad, 17 year old Marvin finds he can see and talk to the dead, an inherited ‘gift’. Bonus, you might think, but Marvin hates it. It makes him different and he just wants to be ‘normal’. He meets Stella in the graveyard that backs onto the house he’s just moved into.

‘My name is Stella, Stella McCartney. It says so inside my trousers.’ (!?!)

A mysterious business card reveals that Stella has lost her memories and all signs point to Moghador, a gateway to hell where a pawnbroker holds the answers. Oh, and she’s dead!

Do you follow a set process to write your books? If so can you share it with us?

Not really a process as such. I tend to jot down ideas in a kind of mind map and add to that when other things come to me. I scribble notes as I go in a carefully selected notebook for that particular book. I’m very much a person who just writes things down when watching TV or in the car (not driving, of course!). I usually write the first draft, have a read through then move on to structural editing. For the first time, I’m using an editing workbook (Darcy Pattison – Novel Metamorphosis) to try and improve the process by using the exercises suggested. I have used a freelance editor for all my books to ensure that I haven’t missed any issues before the books are unleashed on the world.

What’s your favourite time of day to write? Why do you enjoy writing at this time?

I prefer to start writing around mid-morning. I’m not a particularly early riser and need a few cups of coffee before I can begin. It’s a time when I feel most awake and able to tackle the writing challenges of the day. I’m quite happy to write early evening too depending on where I am in my story. If I’m at a difficult part, I like to press on to see if I can solve the issue, if not, it waits until the next day – after the coffee though.

Do you have need to be alone to write?

Yes, if I am at home and I need quiet too. I like to keep the door shut on my study to keep any form of noise out. This can often be my dog barking for attention or music blasted out by my husband. But I also enjoy writing in cafes on cruise ships which is a complete contrast as there can be around 2000 people at any time on these ships.

Do you have a favourite writing space? 

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I write mostly in my study which looks out on to trees and greenery. It has a firm chair which means I have to sit up straight and focus. In a softer seat I tend to slouch and fall asleep… zzzzzzz!

What are you writing at the moment? What do you plan to write this year?

I’m currently editing another YA book, The Iron City. It’s kind of a cross between Buffy the Vampire Slayer and The Hunger Games – with dragons. In the book, it falls to a geeky teenage girl, Rae, to save the world from dragons. Here’s a snippet!

‘I am George, the original George as in George and the Dragon?’ said George, taking a Peter Pan stance. ‘And this is my trusted friend, Ascalon.’ He pulled a small wand like stick from his pocket. ‘…the dragon slaying lance.’
Rae stared hard at George then transferred her fierce look to the stick/lance he was holding. Then she burst out laughing. ‘Oh, please! George and the Dragon?’ She fell back against the tree. ‘Are you for real?’
George shook the stick several times. ‘It does that sometimes. It gets stuck. I think it’s all the crap it’s collected over the last few hundred years.’
‘Oh my god. You’re still talking, George,’ said Rae. ‘And it’s still just a stick. Look!’

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Aggie Lichen Book 3

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Final cover for Marvin Herbie Quote

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Posted in Author Blog Challenge, Blogging Community, Blogging Communty, Book Review

Authors Blog Challenge – My Writing Room #LifeBooksWriting

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It’s lovely to be part of the  Author Blog Challenge #LifeBooksWriting, organised by my fellow Limitless Publishing author Sophia Valentine ; whose debut book I reviewed earlier in the year. If you’re an author and would like to join in the fun, download the graphic and post it and the hash tag with your Friday post. Hopefully it will be an opportunity to get to know more authors and their works for both readers and writers.

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Today’s blog challenge is to share my writing room with you. A couple of years ago I had a dedicated writing room/ office, which was lovely but since the birth of  my little grandson, the office has become a nursery  and now I write in our family room downstairs, which is great ,as it looks out onto the garden and has lots of comfy sofa’s to sit on.

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Working in the family room is challenging. There are lots of interruptions, but it means I get to spend my writing time with my lovely dogs,  Jazz and Oby. Tom, my cat used to join us on winter afternoons and we really miss him since he died on New Year’s day

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When the weather is fine I love to write in the garden,  and writing on the beach when I go on holiday is something I look forward to.

I wrote my latest release  The Dangerous Gift  in all these places.

The Dangerous Gift FRONT COVER

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If  you want to know more about my writing journey-

Check  out my Who am I?  and Home pages on my website.

Posted in Book Review, Book Spotlight, Giveaway

Amber Alert Series – Sara Schoen – Blog Tour – 4* Review

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I’ve reviewed the three books in the Amber Alert Series , here’s what the books are about.

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Mystery Thriller Blurb

Anna was taken…

Taken from her home to live out a sick game that a guy has been playing for the last ten years.

With no certainty that anyone is looking for her, and seemingly hours away from home, she’s forced to play housewife with a man that has had twelve other ‘wives’.

Each of them now dead…

With 12 rules and the obvious exits blocked, from the previous girls attempts to flee. Is Anna’s only way out to play along and become a ‘loving wife’? Or will she die during the chase?

Would anyone even know what happened to her?

Or would she be labeled as a runaway?

And where is she in the first place?

Mature Content Warning. Recommended for ages 17+ due to violence and sensitive subject matter.

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AbductedSaraSchoen

Mystery Thriller Blurb

Audrey Thomas had been raised by overprotective parents and is sick of it…

After the kidnapping and recovery of her mother, Anna Cowles, eighteen years ago, parents had a harsh awakening as they realized any child could be taken for any reason.

New laws were set in place to protect children, but those same children, ignored the rules and went out of their way to get into trouble.

Audrey has always done what she wanted, no matter what the consequences were…

But what happens when her choices lead her to being taken by the one man people feared everyday for the last eighteen years, right up to his execution.

Will she make it out like her mother did?

Or will she suffer the fate of the previous twelve girls?

Mature Content Warning. Recommended for ages 17+ due to violence and sensitive subject matter.

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ApprehendedSaraSchoen

Mystery Thriller Blurb

There’s a copycat on the loose, and he’s playing the part of the notorious Steve Bennett, a serial kidnapper and killer.

Twelve known girls have already been taken from over the country, but none have returned. With the orignial house of the mass kidnapper and murderer destroyed, where is he hiding the girls?

Are any of them still alive or is he living up to Steve Bennett’s MO and killing them off before getting a new girl?

Are these girls his wives or are they something much worse? Jessi Sparks is about to find out for herself.

This is the case she has been waiting for, and she won’t let it slip through her fingers. She will risk everything to finally put an end to mass kidnappings, but will she risk her own life just to finally finish this?

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Excerpt - 1

“No! Andy…please!”
I was roughly shoved into the back of a black car. The door slammed shut, the front door opened soon after and he got in. There was a click, as the car was locked. He threw the car into forward, and took off at an insane speed leaving everyone I knew and cared for behind.
I watched in terror as trees whizzed by, leaving the familiar surroundings behind as the road went from pavement to dirt and the buildings were replaced with large trees and fallen branches. I didn’t know where we were going, but I wanted to go home. The locks wouldn’t budge; the child safety lock prevented my escape the moment he had locked me in this god-forsaken car. I had lost my phone in the struggle, and I was stuck in here.
There were scratch marks and dark spots on the seat. It looked as though someone had tried to claw their way out and I couldn’t blame them. Every hair on my neck were standing on end with fear blazing through me. My throat was sore from the screaming, but all the drivers had ignored my pleas for help. They simply kept driving without another sideways glance in my direction.
“Where are you taking me?” I asked again, my voice hoarse from the screams and crying. It was answered the same way, with silence that slowly crept in and made me shudder.
“Shut up!’
“Where are we going?”
“Be a good girl and take orders. Now shut up!”
I wished more than anything to be back at home and under my bed, away from him. The road turned to gravel as we came upon a rundown house, its shudders were falling of the hinges, but what caught me was the windows were boarded up. To prevent escape, I felt a shiver travel up my spine as the car came to a slow stop.
He got out of the car and didn’t unlock the doors until he was at the door. That small click would have brought me relief at any point in the car ride other than now. I pushed against the other side of the car as he reached one long hand in and grabbed me by my ankle and roughly yank me out of the car on to the gravel. A scream ripped through my throat as the gravel cut into my skin and my head hit the side of the car.
“Get up!” he ordered. My head was spinning from everything that had happened, but when I didn’t move, he moved me.
His hand grabbed take a large chunk of my hair before he lifted me out of the car, ignoring my cries of pain. He roughly dragged me to the house, I couldn’t get my feet to walk and fell often.
The door was solid, he had to slam his body against the wooden blockade and force it open. There was a creak as it slowly opened from his blows, and he threw me inside onto the hardwood floor. There was no carpet, anywhere It would be possible to hear every step from anywhere in the home. The house was bare to the bones, the walls held no photos or phones, rooms remained empty of furniture unless it was bolted to the ground. A new wave of fear ripped through me in realization that he had done this before, he had taken precautions for it.

Mystery Thriller My Review

Amber Alert
Written from a first person point of view, the reader immediately experiences all the emotions of Anna, the lead character in this suspenseful story. There is a naivety to the writing, which is in stark contrast the horrors revealed as the plot progresses. Anna is a courageous character and from her vivid description and reactions it’s easy to imagine her terror. This is peek through your fingers suspense as Anna realises few people can be trusted. There are some lovely relationships formed in this story between unlikely individuals thrown together by circumstance. The ending is thrilling and makes you want to see what happens next.

Abducted
This story is set many years after the conclusion of Amber Alert; it deals with similar themes but doesn’t have the menace of the first book in the series, although there is plenty of mystery and suspense. The story is complete but reading the first book in the series ‘Amber Alert’ is essential to appreciate the danger faced by the heroine. Again full of unusual relationships this book provides a steady link between the ‘Amber Alert’ and ‘Apprehended’ the last book in the series.

Apprehended
The final book of the ‘Amber Alert series’ completes the story started twenty years previously. Another serial kidnapper and possibly murderer is taking young women. Whilst there are similarities with the antagonist in the first book, the copycat has subtle differences. There is a suspenseful twist that takes the story in an unexpected direction. The characters’ emotions convey the horrors of their abduction and avoid the need for overly graphic descriptions. The ‘love at first sight’ theme continues in ‘Apprehended’. The ending completes the series in a satisfying way.
I received copies of the books in this series from the author in return for honest reviews.

Author Bio -1

 

9790618 (1)Sara Schoen began writing in middle school, but did not officially dedicate herself to writing until high school when encouraged by her writing partner. Before then, Sara had not thought about trying to publish her works because it seemed unlikely that anyone would take a chance on someone so young. Despite her previous thoughts, she published her first book, Amber Alert, at the age of nineteen, and began rewriting and editing a spy series that she spent years writing when she was younger. With a lot of hard work and determination, now that same series, which is close to her heart, is a bestseller.
Sara is a Biology Major with a minor in Environmental Science and a minor in Spanish at James Madison University, and spends her time writing, studying, and ghost hunting. While writing is a great hobby that turned into a passion to share with others, school is her priority.
Throughout her publishing journey, Sara has had an amazing support system from her family, friends, and significant other, who were with her every step of the way. She hopes to continue to write, and wants to inspire others to reach for their dreams no matter how far they may seem. She truly believes that dreams can come true at any age, if you put in effort and chase after what you want.

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Other Books by Sara Schoen

Guarded Secrets Series:

Suicide Mission (FREE)

Covert Operations 

Left for Dead 

Waking Up Blank  

 

Books by Sara Schoen and Taylor Henderson

The Dying Game 

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Posted in Author Interview

Krysten Lindsay Hager – Author Interview

Author Interview

Today  I have author Krysten Lindsay Hager on my blog, talking about her books, writing and her writing plans for the rest of the year. Krysten writes young adult and teen novels. It’s lovely to have you on my blog today Krysten.

 

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How did you become a writer? Do you write full time or in your leisure time?

I started out as a journalist and was writing fiction on the side, but now I do fiction full-time. I’ve been writing stories all my life and I think that stems from daydreaming a lot in class back when I was in grade school.

You write young adult and teen stories, which emphasise family values and the importance of friendship. What made you want to write in these particular genres?

I took the advice of, ‘You should write the book you’d want to read,” and went from there. I loved reading YA when I was a preteen and teen and those were the books I turned to when I was going through difficulties in my own life, so I kind of want to give back to the genre and do for someone else what amazing writers like Paula Danziger, Ann M. Martin, and Judy Blume did for me.

Can you describe your writing process if you have one?

I don’t have a regular process, but I edit as I go because it helps me get back into the flow of the story.

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Can you tell us a little about your latest release ‘Competing with the Star’, part of your ‘Star series’? Are there going to be more books in the series?

Competing with the Star deals with Hadley Daniels having her first boyfriend and all the insecurities that go along with that especially when his ex-girlfriend is still interfering and then finding out he once had a huge crush on teen TV star Simone Hendrickson—who just happens to be their neighbour and who is also into him. I put myself into Hadley’s shoes and imagined how I’d react if I found out my boyfriend now had a chance with his dream girl.
I’m finishing writing the follow-up book to it which will be titled: Aligning with the Star. There are some changes coming up for Hadley as she gets a chance to meet and be in a music video with her rock star crush. Can you imagine meeting your crush and he’s everything you imagined and more?

How important is writing in your life? Why do you enjoy it?

I can’t imagine not writing—it’s just what I do. I’m lucky to be able to have five books published, but even if I never got published I would continue to write. It’s a way to express myself and to help others deal with feelings they are having as well.

Do you have a dedicated work space? Can you describe it for us? 

I do my writing on a desk that is usually littered with pages that have been edited and need to go into the computer along with toys and little presents people have given me which cover the surface.

How important is an author’s social media presence? Do you have a favourite social media platform and why?

I think it’s a great way for readers to be able to connect with writers. I enjoy it. I love getting messages and comments from readers. I’m on all the social media sites.

Have you a favourite author, book or genre that you like to read?

I read a lot of non-fiction—lately I’ve been on a real non-fiction kick. I have been reading Gabrielle Bernstein’s work this past month. I lost my dad a few months ago and I tried grief books and honestly, those made things worse and I found her books to be helpful in dealing with my grief.

Apart from writing, what do you enjoy doing?

I like reading, shopping, watching TV and sports, and traveling—I can make anything into an adventure! Going for groceries? Let’s make it fun.

What’s next for Krysten Lindsay Hager?

I am finishing my book Aligning with the Star and also working on another teen novel that’s part of my Landry’s True Colors Series. In this one, Landry goes to New York City for a modelling job. I’m also working on a

new adult novel.

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BLURB

The perfect guy, the perfect location. What could go wrong?

Hadley Daniels’s life seems perfect…

Before the beginning of sophomore year of high school, Hadley and her family move to a beautiful beach town, where she makes amazing new friends and lands the boyfriend of her dreams—Nick Jenkins. He’s the kind of guy every girl swoons over, and it isn’t long until Hadley discovers some are still swooning.

A famous ex-girlfriend makes matters more complicated…

After some time dating, Hadley and Nick form a deep bond. But insecurity sets in when Hadley discovers her boyfriend once had a huge crush on her friend—who just happens to be the beautiful former teen TV star, Simone Hendrickson.

The past is the past—or so they say…

Hadley confronts Nick, who confesses about his history with Simone. Though he claims to only have eyes for Hadley now, it’s hard to believe—especially when she’s blindsided with the news that Nick and Simone kissed after school.

Now Hadley must determine who is telling the truth. Love, betrayal, friendship…who needs soap opera drama when you’re busy competing with a star?

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Author Bio 2016 -1

Krysten Lindsay Hager is an obsessive reader and has never met a bookstore she didn’t like. She’s worked as a journalist and humor essayist, and writes for teens, tweens, and adults. She is the author of the Landry’s True Colors Series and her work has been featured in USA Today and named as Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Teen & Young Adult Values and Virtues Fiction and Amazon’s #1 Hot New Releases in Children’s Books on Values. She’s originally from Michigan and has lived in South Dakota, Portugal, and southwestern Ohio. She received her master’s degree from the University of Michigan-Flint.

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Interview and 5* Review:The Keepers: Ethan- Rae Rivers Blog Tour

Rae Tour Schedule

 Today I have the author of The Keepers Trilogy on my blog , Rae Rivers , who will be  talking to me about her writing and books.

Welcome Rae.

Author Interview

  Author PhotWhat inspired you to start writing, Rae?

I’ve always had a love of storytelling. At first, it was something I did as a child when I needed to escape into my imaginary world where I had control over everything and could just have fun. As I grew older, the need to tell more stories grew stronger. It’s my calling, my passion, and one of the few things in my life that makes me feel alive with excitement. I love it!

Was becoming a published author important to you?

The older I got and the more I wrote, the more I enjoyed it. I began to wonder if my work was “good enough” to be considered for publication but as I never allowed anyone to read it (not even my husband or mother!) I had no feedback to work with. So when I finally plucked up the courage to submit my Keepers to a publisher and they offered a four book deal, I was thrilled. Slowly, my inner voice became an encouraging “I’ve got this.” I knew I had a lot to learn but they believed in me so that was huge! (And still is! ) So yes, for me being published – along with the incredible feedback from my readers – has been a huge confidence boost which has helped me grow as a person and a writer and turn a hobby into a dream career.

Series cover‘The Keepers: Ethan is your latest release and I think the last book in the series. Are you sad to reach the end, or is there going to be more books in the series?

The Keepers: Ethan is the end of the series and it’s with a bittersweet feeling that I wrap up this journey. I’ve worked with these characters for over three years and most of the time, they were at the forefront of my mind – it often felt like I was greeting old friends whenever I started my writing morning. Whilst writing all the books, there was some angst and stress (and sometimes tears too!) but I had the time of my life too. I’m delighted to reach the end of this journey and feel tremendously satisfied with how it all came together in the end, but I do feel a bit sad to say goodbye.

Do you have a special place where you like to write? Do you have a photograph of it to share with us?

I lMy office picive on a flower farm in the mountains so my surroundings are so inspirational. It’s quiet and peaceful and so perfect for an author. I have a home office which is kitted out with everything I need. It’s sunny and bright in the summer and dark and cosy in the winter. It’s my space, my haven, and I love it. But having said that, I’m also quick to grab my laptop and head for the outdoor patio, couch or even my bed. And with small children, I might even write beside the swimming pool too.

Is your writing process well defined or haphazard? Can you describe it?

Garden readingI think it’s a little of both. I had an overall outline for the entire series with certain highlights I wanted to reach – and a whole of blank spaces in between. But those blank spaced gave me room to create as I went along and I think the books turned out better because of them. Sometimes I write quickly and end up with a messy scene which I then have to carefully craft into a stronger one. Other times, I take a step back and plan a little more. As I’ve gained more experience, I tend to want to plan a bit more to ensure I’ve covered everything and given my characters and plot all the elements that make a good story.

Paranormal isn’t the only genre you write – you have also written a romantic suspense novel. Which genre appeals most to you as a writer and why is this?

I’m definitely a romance writer at heart but also love action and suspense too. I never thought I’d venture into the Paranormal scene until the day Sienna and her Keepers came to mind. Now I adore the genre as it gives me a lot of freedom to be creative. The rules can be shaped as I want and the possibilities for my “worlds” are endless. And best of all is that I’m able to combine my love of romance and suspense with the paranormal.

Apart from writing do you have any other things you love to do?

Definitely reading, movies and TV series! I enjoy the outdoors like waterskiing, hiking, boating etc. I love travelling – anywhere from a camp site to a fab hotel. I like a balance between socialising with friends and family, nights spent at home with my kids and hubby– and also having time alone.

What writing plans do you have for 2016?

I’m toying with various ideas and mapping out a plot line for another possible series. I’ve opened myself to the fictional world waiting for the story to take hold. For now, I’m wrapped up in Ethan’s release and school holidays but know when things settle down, there’ll be no stopping me. Watch this space!

 

Ethan Cover

Paranormal Blurb

 “Going to Ameera to find Hazel. Stealing the spell … You think you can pull it off?” he asked.
She nodded, not trusting herself to speak.
Just as she thought he’d kiss her, he reached for her jacket and said, “Then let’s go.”

A portal to another world has opened, unleashing dangerous creatures on earth. A dark witch is out for revenge. The stakes are high, a war inevitable.

One person can stop the madness. Jenna. She’s a Keeper to a powerful hybrid witch but she harbours a secret and if Jenna steps through the portal – seduced by the whispers of her hidden past – she may never return.

Fortunately, she has company … infamous Bennett brother and fiercely protective Keeper, Ethan. Their whip-cracking banter makes them perfect sparring partners in training, but how will they manage when their lives and everything they were born to defend are on the line?

When the battle lines are drawn, will Jenna and Ethan stand side by side – as friends, protectors, lovers … or as traitors?

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Paranormal My Review
If you’re a fan of The Keepers series, you will have eagerly anticipated ‘The Keepers: Ethan, I’ve just finished reading and it doesn’t disappoint.
All the players assemble for the final apocalyptic battle and there are so many twists and turns it leaves you breathless. Jenna and Ethan circle around each other, the only two singles on the Bennett Wine estate, drawn together by proximity and the dangers they face, the passion is sensual and adds a delicious sizzle to this action packed story.
Jenna who we met in ‘The Keepers: Declan’ is kick ass and her independence attracts Ethan, who still bears the guilt of his sister’s demise. Ethan, quieter than his brothers, has a determined, powerful presence that attracts Jenna and makes her heart rule her head.
Their journey into Ameera is exciting and informative, and gives the series an important new dimension, which increases the suspense and excitement. Ameera is a dark world, full of lost and often dangerous creatures that live in anarchy, the danger to humanity lies here and Jenna and Ethan have to face it head on. The supernatural displays are vivid and easy to imagine and I couldn’t put this book down until I’d finished.
There is a dynamic, romantic ending to this unique series, with memorable characters that I’m sorry to leave.
I received a copy of this book from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Author Bio -1

Rae’s an avid reader and writer with a passion for writing spicy romance novels. She lives in Cape Town, South Africa, with her gorgeous children and husband and a zoo of house pets. Besides writing, she loves family time, the outdoors, travelling, watching TV series, reading and chocolate.She loves to hear from her readers and can be found here:

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Posted in Giveaway, Giveaway, Newsletter, The Dangerous Gift

The Dangerous Gift -Goodreads Giveaway

The Dangerous Gift FRONT COVER

I’m  giving  away  a paperback copy of The Dangerous Gift. 

The details are below.

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Goodreads Giveaway

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The Dangerous Gift by Jane Hunt

The Dangerous Gift

by Jane Hunt

Giveaway ends April 30, 2016.

 

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at Goodreads.

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Posted in Author Guest Post, Book Review, Inspiration

Christy Newton – Guest Post and My 5*Review: A Guide to Love

7124038Today I have the lovely Christy Newton on my blog talking about the inspiration behind her latest books. I got to know Christy during my first ‘So You Think You Can Write’ contest in 2012 and I’ve read and enjoyed all her books.

Check out my reviews of Christy’s books here

Over to you Christy…

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Hi! I’m Christy Newton, author of over ten novels. I’m a wife, mother and book lover. Thank you, Jane, for having me on your blog. I have to say I’m a little jealous of where you live. Visiting the UK is a dream of mine. Maybe someday if I can sell enough books. Anyway, I’d like to tell you a little about the inspiration I had for writing my two newest books.
T25366832he first, Naturally Enchanted, is a paranormal about witches of Mango Cove Island. This book was always inside me—probably from the time I was a little girl and adored the TV show Bewitched. I would even play witches with my Barbies. And if only I could cast a spell on my pesky little brother hehe, sorry Johnny.

When I started writing four years ago, I knew someday I’d write a witch story. When I finished Naturally Enchanted I knew I had not only wrote this for my fans and family, I wrote it for myself.
27830980My newest book, Breaking Free, is a young adult romance. Here again, is something from my childhood. I don’t talk a lot about my past, but like Elin, I had an evil stepfather. Having two teens myself now, I wanted to write a book that dealt with the serious issue of abuse that a lot of children have experienced. I also wanted to write about how strong a person is who can overcome that abuse.
The one thing every one of my books will have in common is a feel good theme with a happy ending.

 

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A Guide to Love:
Genre: Contemporary Romance

The love ship sailed long ago for Daphne Pepper…

Feisty native of Sand Crest Island, Daphne has everything she needs… or so she thought. Until she meets handsome Remy Rosetto who is on a mission to complete his grandfather’s request in order to earn his inheritance.

Remy hires Daphne to be his tour guide for an unheard of amount of money and she is more than happy to take his cash then send him away. Which is fine with Remy, who wants to get back to his penthouse in New York.

Daphne loves her island and will not even think of leaving her family and friends, but as Remy falls for this island beauty he has other plans.

Can they both find more than they ever wanted or are they too stubborn to compromise?

Winter Buy Links

Amazon 

Amazon UK

Winter My Review

This is fun-filled sweet romance set on an island, in the Bahamas. Daphne loves her family and her home and even gave up her chance for love to stay there. She lives an ordinary life filled with work, friends and family and a lovely cat. The humour in this story is there from the first page and you can’t help but like Daphne’s outlook on life. Island life is a lot like village life in the UK, everyone knows everyone’s business and they look out for each other.
When Remy arrives on the island to fulfil his Grandfather’s wishes and claim his inheritance,
Remy and Daphne’s attraction is instant and grows, when she becomes his island guide. The mystery of the letter keeps the two in close proximity and inevitably passion overtakes them. They say opposites attract and these two are opposite in many ways. A Guide to Love offers the chance of a happy ending and a mystery to solve, perfect escapism; an easy to read, light-hearted story perfect for couple of hours on the beach.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

Other Books by Christy Newton

More Than Treasure Trilogy
(Stolen Hearts#1, Something to Treasure #2, Treasured Hearts #3)
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Stolen Hears Cover New-003 (1)

Jewels, deception and adventure…

Twenty-two year old, Cammie Adams knows one thing for sure… life isn’t fair. She’s still a wreck from the tragic loss of her parents seven years ago. Right after she gets her PI license she is not only robbed, but abducted, only to find her life was all a lie. When she finds her mother’s diary she discovers she was only a pawn in her mother’s dangerous game. Now she must get back what is rightfully hers from the man who murdered her mother.

Hot and mysterious Simon Fisher has really only loved one thing… jewels. This ex-jewel thief, now bodyguard, doesn’t even know what hits him when he rescues Cammie as a favor to her father. Simon must protect her, but soon finds where there is trouble, Cammie isn’t far behind.

She will not only steal his prized jewel, but his heart.

Buy Links

Amazon

Amazon UK

Something to Treasure Cover New-002

Murder, jealousy and treasure…

When Cammie Adams, determined novice PI, gets an urgent call from her ex, she is compelled to take his case. Miles, a luxury hotel owner and an upstanding citizen of Upton Hills, finds one of the maids dead. He turns to Cammie for help to keep his beloved hotel from being tarnished. With her partner and boyfriend, Simon, she takes on a case that might just be their last. Her ex’s hotel is an eighty-year-old building that has secrets of its own.

Can they catch the murderer to save the hotel and her ex’s reputation or will the case take a turn that will leave them lost forever?

Buy Links

Amazon

Amazon UK

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Spies, weddings and new beginnings…

Ready to get back to work after a long leave from their PI business, Simon Fisher and Cammie Adams take the first case that comes their way. Someone is selling company secrets and it’s up to them to find the spy. But when they get their answer, they uncover much more than espionage.

After attending recent family weddings, Simon has become an expert at dodging Cammie’s hints about giving her a certain piece of jewelry he has always secretly feared. Simon doesn’t know how long he’ll be able to keep his girlfriend satisfied without giving her the one thing she still desires.

As they work their case, will Simon and Cammie discover another fortune or will they see that the greatest treasure of all is the one they already have… love?

Buy Links

Amazon

Amazon UK

Begin Again Cover

Genre: Contemporary Romance

What if one night changed your life forever?

Maisie Scott lost not only her husband and unborn child in a tornado two years ago she lost her will to live. Keeping busy is the only way she can get by. This small town waitress won’t let herself get attached to anyone… until Ryan, the new veterinarian for exotic animals, starts making regular trips to her diner. As hard as she tries not to feel anything, Ryan ignites a spark in her broken heart.

Ryan Tucker craves a happy family of his own more than his Momma’s apple pie. Getting over his fiancée leaving him six months ago, he moves to Pleasant Valley for a fresh start. When he meets Maisie and notices the sadness in her eyes he is determined to put a smile on her pretty face.

What starts out as innocent flirting turns into two people finding something they no longer want to live without. The problem is Maisie has deep scars inside and out. Showing Ryan that part of her may just be too painful.

When another dangerous storm hits, Ryan stays by Maisie’s side. She fills the missing piece in his heart, but will Ryan share his secret? Can Maisie move on from the past and learn to begin again?

Buy Links

Amazon

Amazon UK22093715

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Once broken, can the heart really trust again?

Dreams of escaping her small town brought Ellie Oliver to New York only to find that life there wasn’t all she’d hoped. Seven years later, she is returning to Pleasant Valley, Indiana with new hopes and secrets. She wants nothing more than to fade into the slow pace of small town life and forget about the demons of her past.

Jacob Jones is at loose ends. At twenty-six, a man shouldn’t be starting his life over from scratch. Finding himself out of work, Jacob looks for a new home in Pleasant Valley. He is ready for the single life just enjoying the company of close friends. All that changes when he takes a job remodeling the town’s toy shop and comes head to head with its new owner. Ellie turns out to be sweeter than the candy she sells in her store.

Ellie and Jacob bring out feelings in each other neither were looking for, but both can’t deny. Can they truly trust again or will their shattered hearts refuse to mend

Buy Links

Amazon

Amazon UK

Protecting the Enemy Cover

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Julianna Fox was made for her job. Or so she is told. The only memory Julianna has of her past is after the explosion. She was a nameless victim until a man pulled her out of the darkness and gave her new life. A new purpose, because anything is better than being no one. When she is about to eliminate her next mark something stops her. The moment Julianna makes eye contact with Reid Castleton, she has a flashback of her forgotten past. How does she know the man? And why can’t she follow through with her assignment?

Expert assassin, Reid Castleton, has been told to kill the only woman he ever loved if he wants to live. When he finds his fiancée, he can’t go through with the hit, even if it means losing his own life. Either she can’t remember who she is or is damn good at acting.

Neither one knows who to trust. Both make a truce until they can find out why the leader of ETE 7 wants them both dead. What they uncover is a long line of lies and deception that started the moment Julianna was conceived. Will love conquer all or will fear make them do the unthinkable?

Buy Links 1

Amazon 

Amazon UK

Genre: Contemporary Romance

After a tragic accident that brought the small town of Wynter Haven to their knees, Claire Belmont and Nick Lewis went in opposite directions coping in very different ways. Three years later, Claire gets a call urging her to come back to help her friend move past his grief.

It will take more than a little hot cider, gingerbread and mistletoe to bring back Nick’s holiday spirit. He hasn’t celebrated Christmas since his twin sister died. In fact, he’s mastered locking up his feelings so he will never be hurt again.

Claire has a secret and hopes that somehow she and Nick can both get a Christmas miracle this year. After all, Nichole would want them to be happy and cherish the holiday that had been their favorite. Maybe a little bit of Christmas is just what they both need.

Buy Links 1

Amazon 

Amazon UK

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Genre: Paranormal

Ezra Ravenhart has lived with the rumors of her family’s witchcraft her whole life. Too bad she doesn’t believe them – she’d conjure up a boyfriend. But the thing called love remains as mysterious as her Grana’s herb shop on their tropical island.
As a struggling journalist, Owen Cooper has to make a name for himself, and a tip that a real-life witch is living on Mango Cove may just lead to the big story he needs. Undercover as a shipwrecked tourist, he worms his way into Ezra’s family – and their secrets.
But how will he handle the fact that Ezra has found the magic answer to his heart when his body belongs in Chicago? And is their love strong enough to survive the evil stalking their every move?

Paranormal Buy Links

Amazon 

Amazon UK

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Genre: Young Adult

Being sixteen is hard enough without Elin Skye pretending to be a new person over and over again. On the run with her mom from a psycho stepdad, who happens to be a deputy sheriff, her life sucks. She’s determined to sever Wyatt’s hold on them even if it means breaking all the rules.

Sawyer Knight’s summer is doomed when he’s unjustly grounded and must stay with his pain in the ass older brother to earn back his parents’ trust. Things start turning around when he meets a pretty but odd girl trying to kill a vending machine. After Sawyer learns the truth about Elin he has to help her no matter the consequences.

Two teens on their own with little money could be dangerous, not to mention life changing. In order to be free Elin must do something her mom never could—stand up to the monster who made them his prisoners.

Buy Links

Amazon 

Amazon UK

Author Bio

Christy Newton is a hopeless romantic and writes many genres of romance. She just might be the only author out there who doesn’t drink caffeine, but dark chocolate is her must have. She falls in love with each of her heroes and hopes you will too! Christy is the author of over ten novels.

Links

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Posted in Author Interview, Book Review, Book Spotlight, Giveaway, New Books

Author Interview: Amy Reece- 5* Review – The Way to Her Heart

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THE WAY TO HER HEART by Amy Reece 

YA Romantic Suspense

Publisher: Limitless Publishing

Mystery Thriller Blurb

Will a mysterious disappearance bring two broken hearts together…or tear them apart?

No amount of counseling can bring Josh Harris back to his old self. 

 After a tragedy that changed his life forever, eighteen-year-old Josh has lived in a year-long fog of medication and confusion. It’s all he can do to not think about his dad—a culinary genius who raised him in the kitchen. Thankfully, Josh inherited his golden palate and sixth sense for cooking, which is the only thing that makes sense anymore. 

 For a seventeen-year-old girl, life can’t get much worse… 

 Bernie Abeyta is a senior in high school and lives with her drug-addicted mother, but has managed to keep her grades up so she can get into college. With her father in prison and her mom’s sleazy boyfriend getting too close for comfort, Bernie turns to her best friend Gabby Rodriguez for help, but discovers Gabby has gone missing. Distressed over her friend’s sudden disappearance, Bernie resorts to living out of her car while she looks for answers and tries to avoid foster care. 

 Part love, part mystery, part cookbook—and all heart. 

 During economics class, Josh finds himself captivated by his new project partner, Bernie. As they grow closer, he insists Bernie move in with him and his mother. Furthermore, he offers to help look for Gabby. 

 Bernie refuses to believe Gabby ran away, and she’s determined to get to the bottom of the mystery—no matter how great the danger to herself. 

 Will Bernie’s gritty life be too much for Josh to handle? Or will he fight for The Way to Her Heart?

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

 KINDLE US | KINDLE UK | KINDLE AU | KINDLE CA 

Mystery Thriller My Review

 

Thrown together by a school project, social opposites, Bernie and Josh share a background of pain and heartbreak, from different causes. Told through two points of view, the reader gets to see how the emotional attachment between Bernie and Josh grows, experiencing their ups and downs.
Bernie is a lovely character, who like so many teens today, comes from a background of abuse and neglect. Revealed in a poignant but not graphic way, this story is perfect for the intended age group.
Recovering from a devastating loss Josh withdraws from the world until Bernie’s needs force him to live again, to help her. His special talent gives the story authenticity and draws Bernie into his world. The recipes at the end of the book are a lovely touch; I was hungry all the way through this story.
The suspense element could be stronger but there is enough mystery and menace to add an interesting dimension to the story. The characters complexity and development make this enthralling and I loved the supernatural twist.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.

 

Excerpt -2
October

Josh

She cut her hair. Josh realized he was staring at the girl in the next row and pulled his gaze back to his notebook as the teacher droned on about supply and demand curves. I don’t care for short hair on girls. Yet he couldn’t keep his eyes off her. He didn’t even know her name. On Friday her hair had been long, the silky black tresses reaching below her shoulder blades. Today, he could see the back of her neck. He could see how long and slender it was and watched as she reached around to feel it, seeming surprised, perhaps still unused to the short cut. She pushed the long front layer behind her ear. The purple streak is kind of cute, though. He once again forced his gaze back to his notes, reminding himself that he had a girlfriend; a beautiful girlfriend with long blonde hair. Focus, Harris. Get your mind off the pretty girl with the short hair. She was pretty. He’d always thought so, even though he didn’t know her name. He’d heard it; wasn’t it something weird? Enough! Supply, demand. That’s all you need to think about.

“So, for the next few weeks you will be paired up with one of your classmates as we launch a new project designed to help you experience some of what it takes to create and stick to a household budget.” Mr. Griego picked up a stack of index cards from his desk. “I have created a scenario with careers and incomes for each couple. Some of you have children, and some don’t. Every few days you will get a new financial situation you have to deal with. Each week of this project will be the equivalent of one month for your budget. You will turn in a complete six month budget, along with a written report at the end of the project. Each couple will also give a five-minute oral presentation.” He started calling names and handing out index cards. There were groans and titters of laughter as the names were called because some of the couples were same-sex. “Josh Harris and Bernie Abeyta.” No one in the class said anything or laughed at the pairing. Josh wasn’t surprised; he had pretty much fallen off the radar over a year ago. He stood and walked to the front of the room to retrieve the index card.

“Who’s Bernie Abeyta?” he asked quietly. Great. I’m paired with a guy. Just what I needed.

The girl with the short, purple hair raised her hand. “Me.” She sounded bored.

“Okay. I’m, uh, I’m Josh.” He stood in front of her desk, awkwardly shifting from side to side.

“Yeah. I’m Bernie.” She glanced up quickly, meeting his gaze, then looked away.

“You have the last fifteen minutes of class to exchange contact information, phone numbers, email addresses, whatever you need to get in touch with your partner. Most of the project work will need to be on your own time as you will need to visit grocery stores and do some online research,” Mr. Griego said.

Josh sat down in the newly vacated desk in front of Bernie. “So.” He waved the index card. “One of us is a teacher and the other is an attorney. Which do you want to be?”

Bernie shrugged. “It doesn’t really matter to me. You choose.”

He looked at her, a half-smile on his face. Close-up he noticed that she had beautiful, smooth, light-brown skin and her eyes were so dark they looked black. She didn’t wear much makeup; she didn’t need to. “Fine. I’ll be the teacher. You can be the attorney.” She looked up quickly. “Is that okay?”

She shrugged again. “Sure. It doesn’t matter. Do we have kids?”

“Yeah, we have two: an eight-year-old daughter and a six-year-old son. So, I guess we should exchange phone numbers and email.” He scrawled his information on a page of his notebook and tore it out, handing it to her.

She took the page, staring at it blankly for a moment before tearing a piece of paper out of her own notebook. “Here’s my email.”

He looked at it. “What’s your cell number?”

“I don’t have one. Just the email.”

“Oh. Okay.” Josh had never heard of anyone his age who didn’t have a cell phone. “So, do you want to get together tonight to get started on this? We could meet at my house. Or yours. Whatever you want.”

“Yours. Here.” She pushed the paper back at him. “Write your address. I have to work until seven. I can be there around seven-thirty. Is that okay?” She didn’t meet his eyes.

“Uh, sure. That’s fine. Here.” He handed the paper back. “Do you need a ride or anything?”

“No.”

“Oh. Great. So, I’ll, uh, see you tonight. I guess.” He had never been so tongue-tied around a girl.

“Yeah.” She turned her attention back to her notebook, clearly dismissing him.

Josh returned to his seat, chagrined. I seem to have lost my touch. Then again, he hadn’t really been trying very hard for a long time. He used to be much better at this whole thing: friends, girls, talking. Now he simply didn’t have the energy anymore. It was October of his senior year and he was biding his time until he could graduate and move on with his life. She’s really pretty, though. He groaned inwardly as he packed his notebook and shouldered his backpack. He knew he had no business noticing how pretty his new partner was; he should be thinking about how gorgeous his girlfriend had looked in her cheerleading uniform that morning during the pep rally. She was beautiful, sweet, and had stuck by him through a seriously dark time in his life. He had really been phoning it in lately with Kayleigh. Jeez, he could do better. He merged with the flow of humanity in the hallway, determined to do right by her, starting tomorrow at lunch.

 
Author Interview

Here’s my interview with Amy, who was great fun to interview.

 Have you always enjoyed writing? Why do you enjoy it?

I have definitely always enjoyed writing, but for many years I was focused on academic writing as I did two master degrees back-to-back. I don’t know why I did that. It was one of the more idiotic things I’ve done. Can you say stress? Fiction is so much more fun! As to why I enjoy writing, I guess it must be because I feel like the puppet master when I create my own stories. I can make everyone do whatever I want (insert maniacal cackle here) until the characters rebel and do his or her own thing.

Did any one person or event make you decide to write? If so, can you tell us why?

This is a bit of a mixed bag. There were two events really: NaNoWriMo and my youngest daughter leaving for college. I participated in National Novel Writing Month for the first time in 2013, which was also the year my youngest chick spread her wings and flew away to college in Texas—10 hours away from her momma! We won’t talk about how I was filling a hole with writing, but I wrote the first (terrible) draft of ‘Seeker’ that November and discovered I LOVED to write.

What influenced you to write Young Adult (YA) stories? You have written a YA paranormal series and now a YA romantic suspense. Which genre do you prefer and why?

I started writing YA because I was doing NaNoWriMo with my high school English class—I am a teacher in my day job—and I wanted to write something I would feel comfortable with them reading. Plus, since I spend every weekday in a high school, I have lots of great material! I really enjoyed both genres—paranormal and romantic suspense—and don’t have a real preference. I approach my projects through the characters and whatever seems to need to happen in their lives is what I write. Sometimes that’s paranormal and sometimes not. So far everything I’ve written and am writing includes a mystery, however, so I think that is where my strongest preference rests.

Do you have a writing den? Can you describe your writing space?

Part of me really wants to describe my dream writing den, which I will someday create in the spare bedroom, but honesty compels me to tell the truth. My writing den (I’m sitting here now) is the left half of the love-seat in my family room. It is a huge brown love-seat (Hagrid would love it) that I can curl up in with my laptop. I have a side table piled high with books, notebooks, heating pad, lip gloss, nail polish (for writer’s block), and whatever I happen to be drinking at the moment. Right now it’s a chocolate/peanut butter/banana protein shake. The health kick will almost certainly be over by noon and will never make it to the workout stage.

What’s your favourite time of day to write? Or, do you just write when you can?

I’m almost certain my favorite (notice my American spelling as opposed to Jane’s British—so much fun!!!)time of day to write is smack in the middle of the day, but my silly day job insists I teach impressionable young minds at that time. So I write in the late afternoon and evening. I’m fairly disciplined about it, which is surprising since I’m not disciplined about anything else.

Your paranormal series looks really exciting, can you tell us a little about it and the inspirations behind it?

Thanks for saying that! I, of course, agree. Like I said before, I start with characters and then see what kind of adventure they need to have. ‘The Seeker Series’ really started with Jack’s character and the inspiration behind him. I had a student a few years ago very similar to Jack—he returned to high school after dropping out and making some really questionable choices—and I admired him for his determination to turn his life around. I wanted to have my hero struggling against a bad-boy image and find a special girl who bothered to look deeper. Ally’s character was inspired quite a bit by my youngest daughter. She shares Ally’s vegetarian disposition as well as her sometimes snarky outlook on life.

What about your latest book, what’s that about and why did you decide to write a romantic suspense story?

‘The Way to Her Heart’ was inspired by another student who, like Bernie, found himself homeless for a large portion of the school year. It’s really tough to care about grades when you don’t know where you’re going to sleep that night or what you’re going to eat. Josh’s character was inspired by yet another student whose father died very suddenly in the middle of the year. Horrible things happen to kids and they are expected to move on and continue in school, getting good grades, etc. As to why it became a romantic suspense—I don’t know. I always gotta have a mystery.

Have you written any other types of books, or do you plan to in the future?

I have a featured story on Wattpad right now that is a YA romance called ‘Like Wildfire’. It’s a modern take on Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing (I did say I’m an English teacher) and it’s a lot of fun. There’s a mystery, but it’s much more romance-oriented. My oldest daughter (also a high school English teacher) is working on revisions of it right now and we hope to turn it into a series called Shakespeare High or something like that.

My two current works-in-progress include a prequel to The Way to Her Heart—the love story of Josh’s parents—and an adult contemporary romantic suspense. It is my first foray into non-YA writing! Woohoo! I have no idea what I’ll do about the sex scenes. My mother reads everything I write, so…

I know you love reading, what do you read to relax?

I absolutely love Regency romances. There. I said it. Some day I’ll write one of my own. I also love just about anything by Nora Roberts. And Julia Quinn. Wouldn’t it be amazing to be one of those writers that people say, “Ooh! Another one by Amy Reece? Who cares what it’s about? I’ll read anything by her.” Dream big!

My tastes are pretty eclectic and I never know what I’ll be reading next. I’m also reading my BFF’s NaNo novel, The Red Boots, which is fantastic and she BETTER finish it! Limitless would love it.

What do you consider are the best things about being a writer and why?

The creative freedom is definitely amazing, but I also love all the writer friends I’ve made since this crazy journey began. Who would have dreamed I’d be answering author interview questions to be featured on Jane Hunt’s blog??? I love reading my fellow author friends’ books and talking to them about writing. This is a great community and I’m honored to be part of it.
All that is great, but never underestimate the power of holding your own book in your hands and knowing people—strangers—are reading and talking about your book. I had a book signing at Barnes and Noble on Saturday and a young girl came up to my table and picked up Seeker. She grabbed it purposefully and handed it to me to sign. I was a bit surprised and asked her if she’d read the back and knew what it was about. She said, “Oh yeah. I already know. My teacher told us all about it.” Wow. Just wow. And, no, I didn’t know the teacher. It was soooo cool.

I definitely agree with you there Amy that’s lovely. Thank you for such an entertaining interview, I really enjoyed it. 🙂

Author Bio

Amy Reece lives in Albuquerque, NM, with her husband and family. She loves to read and travel and has an unhealthy addiction to dogs. She believes red wine and coffee are the elixirs of life and lead to great inspiration. She is the author of The Seeker Series (YA paranormal) and The Way to Her Heart (YA romantic suspense).

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Posted in Author Guest Post, Author Interview, Book Review, Book Spotlight, New Books

Nobody Knows – Rebecca Barber – Blog Tour – Inspiration

NobodyKnows_ecoverMystery Thriller Blurb

Gillian Dempsey must find a reason to go on…

Easier said than done after a rare virus robs her of both parents. Left alone and confused, the mourning nineteen-year-old flees to her three best friends, who receive her with open arms.

Her parents give her more than an inheritance—they give her a second chance at life…

When Gillian is left with some properties in her parents’ will, she assigns them to a real estate agent to manage. Joel Matthews takes the job, but he quickly becomes more than a business associate. After a string of fortunate coincidences, Gillian and Joel spend a passionate night together—after which Joel all but vanishes from her life.

But they still have unfinished business, and Gillian won’t allow him to slip away—especially with her heart.

Life is a roller coaster of tragedy and joy…

Gillian reels him in, and soon the two are married. Gillian’s heart expands even more when they receive the news of their first pregnancy. But after the baby is born, things aren’t the same. Joel becomes distant…resentful. And then the abuse begins. Darkness consumes their marriage—only to get worse.

While Gillian tries to hold her family together, it seems Joel is doing everything to tear them apart. But just one slip of his temper makes all the difference, because this time, there’s no turning back.

Maybe being abused can be endured, as long as Nobody Knows…until someone ends up dead.

Mystery Thriller Buy Links

Amazon

Amazon UK

Rebecca  shared  some of the  secrets behind her new story with me.

 What was the inspiration for Nobody Knows?

A friend was going through a hard time and it hurt to watch (it was nothing like this) so I created a monster we could despise. At the time it seemed everyone around me was celebrating how men who were rich and handsome and charismatic could do no wrong, so I wanted to create one who had flaws – after all everyone does.

Loss, especially when it’s both parents, is hard. How does Gillian deal with that?

Gillian doesn’t really know how to deal with it which is why she throws herself so recklessly into a life with Joel. I think deep down she always knew he wasn’t the knight in shining armour she’d prayed for, but he filled the loneliness and made her feel special, if even for a moment. She clung to the nearest warm body to ease the ache. As it turns out, she chose the wrong body.

Click on the My Review image to read my review of Nobody Knows.

Mystery Thriller My Review

EXCERPT

Adult Read

Gillian

‘The scowl on his leathery face should have been enough warning to shut me up, but tonight I wasn’t in the mood to back down. I was ready for a fight. Whatever he dished out would come back at him twofold. He came through the door, ripping it almost off its hinges and letting it slam behind him. He took one look at me, sitting on the lounge quietly watching television and sipping my coffee, and rolled his eyes in disgust. I didn’t say a word. This was the game we played these days. After more than a decade of marriage, this is all we had left.
“What’s for dinner?” he snarled, his eyes filled with hatred and disgust. I just shrugged apathetically. What was I supposed to say? ‘Hi honey, how was your day? You look tired. Why don’t I just whip you up a nice, juicy T-bone steak and fresh steamed veggies?’ The truth was, I would probably be having home-brand crackers with what was left of the vegemite.
“Not sure. We don’t have much,” I admitted, instantly feeling ashamed.
I hated the fact that he could make me cower like that. Once upon a time, in another lifetime far away from this one, I felt different. I felt worthwhile and even happy. We were happy at one point, weren’t we? Somewhere along the line, I must have loved him. Otherwise I wouldn’t have married him. I can’t be that stupid, can I?
“For God’s sake, didn’t you even bother to do the shopping?” he snarled from the kitchen.
I heard him muttering to himself as he shuffled the near-empty boxes about in the pantry. Much as I hate to admit it, the profanity spraying from his lips was mighty impressive.
Stomping back into the lounge, he planted himself deliberately in front of the television, hands on his hips and a scowl on his face. Knowing what was coming, I was glad the kids were out with their godmother Heidi tonight. That was the only positive in this nightmare.
“For fuck’s sake, Gillian. I give you money. What the fucking hell do you spend it on?” he demanded, tiny bits of spittle flying from his mouth.
We had danced around this confrontation for weeks now. The tension was escalating, as was the hatred buried inside me. I don’t remember the last time that I had actually had a full night’s sleep. These days, I was too angry to sleep. As soon as my head hit the pillow, all I could do was imagine all the things that I wanted to do and say to him, but was too afraid to.
My life had somehow crumpled into a pathetic mess, and most of the time I hated myself for it. I was furious, and the more I saw of him, the more he continued to be the heartless barbaric bastard he had become, the worse things got, and the more I despised myself.
“Do you really want to know how fucking far your measly twenty bucks stretches these days?” I asked, keeping my face as blank as possible. He raised a quizzical eyebrow and folded his arms aggressively across his puffed out chest.
I took a deep breath, grabbed hold of the arms of my chair with both hands, and squeezed as hard as I could. When I looked down, my knuckles were white with the strain and I could hear myself grinding my teeth desperately, trying to control the rage inside me.
“Well?” he snapped, shifting his weight impatiently from one foot to another.
I exhaled heavily. “If you really want to know what happened to that twenty you gave me a week ago for food and to keep the house running, well, it bought a six-pack of home brand toilet paper, a loaf of bread, a carton of milk, vegemite, eggs, and a packet of tampons for your daughter!” I told him, ticking the items off my fingers as I announced them.’

Click the Author Interview image to read my interview with Rebecca

Author Interview

Author Bio 2016 -1.

a3b9f-bec2bbarber2bpicture

Rebecca, one of four kids to her parents who are both primary school teachers, was born in Wollongong on the south coast of Australia before moving to the country with her family. After a few years of embracing all that country life had to offer, the family relocated to Port Macquarie with its white sand beaches. After a brief period enjoying the sun and the surf they finally settled in Canberra where Rebecca still lives today. But all through her childhood a notepad and a book where never far away. These days Rebecca is an avid reader, and when she isn’t buried in a book or cheering on her beloved football team she’s spending time with her husband Robert and their overly spoilt dog Levi.

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Author Interview : Iris Blobel – Echoes of the Past – Blog Tour

An Interview with...

Echoes of the Past FULL

I am interviewing  Iris Blobel today, as part of the ‘Echoes of the Past’ blog tour. 

How long have you been writing Iris?

I released my first book in 2009 after lots of edits and proofreads … I’d say it’s only been about eight years.

Why do you enjoy writing?

I think I’ve always been a day dreamer, but because I love numbers and English is my second language, I never really considered myself as a writer. But a few boring nights and I put some words onto paper… and I really enjoyed that more than knitting, painting, or exercising. The “voices” in my head haven’t stopped talking to me since.

Do you write at specific times of the day or just when you can?

With a family, work, and a once-a-week radio program, I write when I can. Sometimes too much, often not enough. I try to keep a good balance not to neglect my family, but to look after myself as well.

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‘Echoes of the Past’ isn’t your first book is it? What are your other books about?

My books are all over the place, but all romance stories. I’ve got a book that was fun to write because it was set in Australia and Ireland, but gave me grey hair trying to get the correct chronological order. “Innocent Tears” is about a man who’s become a father of a little six-year-old girl literally overnight – I loved it. Then there’s my Beginnings series, which is set in one of the most beautiful places here in Australia: Tasmania, but it also has a book, which is based on our travels to the US a few years ago. My Sports series was fun to write because I finally had some really sexy guys in my story – with attitude and such!
So they’re all different, but ALL of them include the main theme of family and friendship.

Do you have a special place where you like to write?

I’ve got my very messy corner in the lounge room. My little girl gave me a little chest of drawers to get organised, but … *sigh* … as over-tidy as I am with most of the things in life, that corner will always be messy I suppose …. LOL

Is your writing process well defined or haphazard? Can you describe it?

I usually come up with a story outline when I’m on holidays, but I am part of a group called “Tuesday Tales” where we write to a different prompt each week, I’d say my writing process is more haphazard… chaotic and not streamlined… a mess to clean up when it comes to revisions.

‘Echoes of the Past’ is a reunion romance, can you tell us a little about it?

It’s more than simply a reunion romance, it’s about Connor who’s coming back to Australia after living in London for over twenty years. And for some reason he’s not able to remember his childhood in Fermosa Bay – he can’t remember his friends, including Emily, the girl he kissed when he was seven, most importantly, he cannot remember anything about his biological father. It’s a journey of discovering his childhood, of understanding and accepting the question “what could’ve been if”, and the re-connecting with old friends.

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The setting of your book is particularly appealing, how important is the setting when you write your story? Does the setting ever inspire the story?

Very important. If the setting’s not right for me, the story doesn’t flow. That’s why I usually set a story in places I’ve been to or I love. The beach, for example, or Tasmania. “Fresh Beginnings” is set in the US and it was so much fun going through my travel diary to get the ideas. I’ve just started another story, which is set in New Zealand, a place we visited last year. Can’t wait for the story to progress.

Apart from writing, do have any other things you love to do, or dedicate time to?

My family!
I do a German radio program every week … initially it was very challenging to do it, but now I love it. It’s a big thrill for me!

What writing plans do you have for 2016?

February and March are busy with new releases and all the promo work that comes with it … I’m hoping that once the promo side of things have settled a bit to finish my New Zealand book and Fermosa Bay #3.

I’ll look forward to reading those Iris, thank you for talking to us.

 Here’s a more about ‘Echoes of the Past’ The first book in the Fermosa Bay series and a link to my review.

ECHOES OF THE PAST by Iris Blobel
Series: Fermosa Bay Book #1
Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Release Date: February 16, 2016
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

Blurb - Coastal

Emily Bradshaw waited over twenty years to see Connor again…

When her childhood friend, Connor Walsh, returns home to see his ailing father, Emily is elated to be reunited with the handsome man who moved to London so many years ago. But excitement fades to disappointment when he doesn’t remember her—or their first kiss. With her crush on Connor still in full swing, she’s determined to enjoy the short time he’s in Fermosa Bay, even though she knows her heart will break when he returns to his life in London.

When Connor receives news that his biological father is terminally ill, he returns to Fermosa Bay, Australia. 

With memories of his childhood tucked fondly in the back of his mind, returning to the small, coastal town leaves him to wonder how life would have been if his mother had never taken him away. Would he have been married and had children? Perhaps with Emily Bradshaw…

 Secrets from long ago begin to unfold…

As Connor and his father grow closer, Connor learns his parents have a broken love story of their own. Will the echoes of the past lure him into staying, maybe for good? Or will he relive his parents’ tragic story and flee to London? 

Walking away from a real chance at true love…

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My Review - Coastal

EXCERPT

‘Connor leaned against the window frame with his arms crossed as he watched the waves crashing against the rocks. In front of him, as wide as the horizon, was the ocean. With the clouds drifting in from the sea, the sky had turned grey and dark, and he knew there’d be even more rain coming later in the day.

He would’ve enjoyed the scene if it hadn’t reminded him of his changing life. He’d been back in Fermosa Bay for two days already, but the memories of the first seven years of his life he’d spent in this small Australian coastal town were tucked away in the back of his mind. Seemingly inaccessible. Nowadays, his life was in London and had been for the last twenty-three years. He took a couple of deep breaths as he looked towards the harbour in the distance, and the small town in the alcove with the hilly forest in the background where he’d spend the first seven years of his life. It was truly one very picturesque little place.

A noise from the other end of the house hauled him back from his thoughts, and he stepped away from the window. Over the last few weeks, since he’d decided to accept Jack’s invitation to Australia, he’d had visions of what he’d find here. His mother hadn’t told him much about the time she’d lived here, except about Jack owning a pub. Connor had been furious for her lack of memory, but in the end admitted to himself it’d probably not been a time she’d like to remember.

So he was surprised to find out that Jack lived in this massive house just outside Fermosa Bay, on the top of the cliffs, with a view over the ocean. The house had five rooms and a small study at the back. The lounge room, with a high pitched ceiling, had wood fire heating and a big window front. Connor had loved the house the instant he’d stepped into it.

When he entered the hall, he saw his father and said, “Good morning, Jack.”

The old man sighed sadly. “You still can’t bring it over your heart to call me Dad?”

Connor’s gaze wandered from his father to all the many framed photos along the wall. Jack was in many of the photos, but most them had people in them he didn’t know, except the biggest one, which showed Connor as a child in Jack’s arms. A wave of sadness shook him. No, it wasn’t in him to call him Dad. Or to even think of him as his dad.

After a moment’s silence, he turned to his father and shook his head. “Sorry.”

Jack coughed, and Connor quickly rushed to his side, holding him upright.

“Another bad day?” Connor asked.

“Son, there will be no more good days. One day is like the other, until it will be the last.”

The words struck Connor deep enough to feel some emotions for his father. He knew time was running out, but hearing it made it sound final.

“There’s a front coming, but I think you’d be able to sit outside for a little while. At least until the nurse comes.”

Jack simply nodded.

Connor helped his father out onto the deck where the old man sat down on his swing seat.

“Thanks, Son.”

Without a reply, Connor stepped away and watched the sea again.

“I couldn’t keep you away from the water when you were a child,” Jack said.

“What do you mean?” Connor asked.

Jack didn’t answer, so he turned around to look at his father. The old man stared into the distance, a withdrawn expression on his face.

“You were constantly in the water. Whatever opportunity you had, you grabbed your little board and spent most of the day there.”

“So what happened?”

His father shrugged. “You left with your mother.”

Sitting down on the chair next to Jack, Connor let out a long breath. “Something must’ve happened. I never go near water, let alone go in it.”

Still gazing into the distance, Jack said, “I still have the blue board. Ethan’s little son sometimes uses it nowadays.”

Not sure where the conversation was heading, Connor just went along. “Who’s Ethan?” he asked.

The reaction from his father wasn’t what he expected. With his shoulders sagged, Jack closed his eyes. He looked so old and frail. From what Connor saw in all the photos around the house, cancer had taken a lot of life out of his father, leaving behind a haggard body with no energy left. Initially, he’d been taken aback by their similarities in looks, with their dark brown eyes and dark blond hair, including the stubborn curl above the ears, but after all, Jack was his father.

“Ethan was your best friend when you lived here.”

Pain shot through Connor as he was again confronted with a piece of information about his past that he knew nothing about. What had happened all those years ago, that his memory blocked these recollections of his childhood?

“How is your mother?” Jack asked suddenly.

Was it a sign of his illness that the old man wasn’t able to hold on to one topic anymore, or was he out to annoy Connor?

“She’s doing well.”

“Married?”

“Yes.”

Jack nodded. “She was beautiful when she lived here. So beautiful.”

Leaning forward to rest his arms on his knees, Connor asked, “Why did you ask her to leave?”

Finally, their eyes locked, and his father’s confusion took Connor aback.

“Son, what are you talking about?”’

Poppy - Author Bio

Iris Blobel was born and raised in Germany and only immigrated to Australia in the late 1990s. Having had the travel bug most of her life, Iris spent quite some time living in Scotland, London as well as Canada where she met her husband. Her love for putting her stories onto paper has only emerged recently, but now her laptop is a constant companion.

Iris resides west of Melbourne with her husband and her two beautiful daughters.

Next to her job at a private school, she also presents a German Program at the local Community Radio.

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