All Hallows at Eyre Hall @LucciaGray .99 #Kindle #Halloween #Book Special

Halloween Book Special

All Hallows at Eyre Hall


Luccia Gray


For Kindle


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Cliché usage and Research? Get them right when you write.

It’s Halloween and you would think there would be spooky stories here at LWI, but we’re not really about showing our writing skills here. We have personal blogs and novels for that. A friend suggested to me that I write a spooky story for Halloween for my blog. I considered it . . . for about 2 seconds. I’m not one to go into writing trends and clichés if possible. I would rather my clichés happen naturally. Believe me they happen naturally quite often.

Two things today, they were only going to be one, but I’ll do two now that I mentioned clichés.


I was talking to an author/blogger friend, Jenna Willett, about clichés in books and I gave the opinion that a few cliches are okay. I feel that the reader does need that touch of comfort to at least ‘think’ they know what is going to happen. That is before you rip their hearts apart or destroy there mental stability. But if you do use clichés, use them for that reason.

Use cliché moments to advance the story. Use them to comfort and lull before you smash in the jaw with that amazing twist of yours.


Now to the original reason I showed up today. I did write a story years ago that I had thought about sharing on my blog, but it needed work that I wasn’t prepared to put in right now. The work? I needed to give some authentic voices to some characters from the 1700s or 1800s. They needed that speech pattern and word usage to make your mind to take on the accent of an American male teacher and students from wealthy families during the more British sounding time.

In other words I needed to do some research. Jo Robinson wrote an article about Research that goes into more detail and her writing expertise carries more weight than my meager attempts. Yes, writing for over 20 years with several novels completed and submitted, but still meager. I suppose I should self publish, and might just do that someday. But read Jo’s article for more thoughts on Research. You need to get a lot of things right to make your story work.


Much Respect






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“It doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong.” The Convenience of Lies @K_A_Castillo Q&A!

kimberly_castillo_author.jpgI’ve known K.A. Castillo for a little while now. I received her book, and I gave my honest review of it. In fact her’s was one of my very first reviews eve. K.A. Castillo brings realism without caving to the tricks some authors use and gimmick plots. The voice of her main character is real and carries through the book. For those not accustomed to authentic writing, her book would be an interesting read. For those who like the common, everyday gimmicks, get ready to be challenged. Now it’s time to . . .



Book Description

“It doesn’t matter if it’s right or wrong. All that matters is if you can. If you can do something, what difference does it make?” K.A. Castillo

Based on a true story, The Convenience of Lies is a novel that keeps readers up past midnight with its story of friendship, mystery, crime, sex, and betrayal. Set in a suburban town, this story is told through the eyes of a high school junior, Mackenzie, who describes her crush on a “bad boy,” Ramon and her relationship with her best friend, Kira. During the course of the story, Mackenzie does her best to attract the affections of Ramon while her friendship with Kira evolves. Eventually, the different characters’ property starts getting vandalized and a mystery develops as Mackenzie and Kira try to get to the bottom of who is behind the vandalism.


RW: When did you interest in writing begin?

K.A. CASTILLO: I was raised by an English teacher, and so my writing skills have been coached and nourished for as long as I can remember. I have loved writing ever since I learned how to string sentences together, and I’ve kept a diary since kindergarten.

RW: Is The Convenience of Lies your first published piece?

K.A. CASTILLO: The first time my name was published was a letter to the editor for Smithsonian’s October 2011 edition of Muse Magazine. My letter inspired the editors to create a “special edition” Muse Mail page focusing on letters from older readers. In 2006 I was awarded three scholarships valued at over $25,000. For each of these scholarships, the personal statement I wrote was an integral part of my application. Throughout college I studied the process of storytelling, and in 2008 I graduated with honors from California State University Northridge.

RW: Okay, I am very jealous about the Smithsonian thing. That is so amazing. Now, what inspired the story of The Convenience of Lies?

K.A. CASTILLO: The first novel I ever read was Little House in the Big Woods by Laura Ingalls Wilder, and it inspired me to someday write a book based on my own life. And so, I started keeping a diary with the hopes that someday I would stumble upon a story worth telling. Then, one summer while I was in high school I experienced a lot of drama which I thought could make a good story.

Mackenzie is the main character in this story, and I think that teenagers relate to her because I wrote the first version of The Convenience of Lies ten years ago when I was a teenager. Therefore, I’ve managed to preserve the mannerisms and voice of teenagers in The Convenience of Lies, much like what S.E. Hinton managed to achieve with The Outsiders.

RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?

K.A. CASTILLO: Anyone can fall into an abusive relationship. It is easy to fall prey to what social psychology calls “blaming the victim” and thinking it will never happen to you. However, remember that love is blind, and look out for yourself first.

RW: Describe  The Convenience of Lies in one word.
K.A. CASTILLO: Innocence.

RW: I read some exciting news on your author blog recently about your book and its future, would you share a bit of that with our readers?

K.A. CASTILLO: I started out as a self-published author but was recently approached by Creativia and have now signed a publishing contract with them. You can read all the details on my author site here.

And do go and read it. You can feel the excitement in the story. I am still geeking a little over it.-RW

5 out of 5 Stars-This book was hard to put down and full of useful validating information. As an MFT I have suggested this book to many teenagers and young adults whom have struggled with similar issues, opening up the door for change. The writer gave a sincere portrayal of her struggles , such a difficult feat…..well done to Ms. Castillo I truly appreciate the risk you took in sharing your story.-Brenda Hopley, Amazon Review

People can currently get The Convenience of Lies at Amazon in both paperback and Kindle formats. And of course you must follow Kimberly everywhere, just as I do at:

Facebook: K.A. Castillo-Author   Twitter: @K_A_Castillo Author Blog: K.A. Castillo

 And now for some quirky questions.

RW: What is your favorite thing to drink?

K.A. CASTILLO: It’s hard to pick just one! But I love strawberry limeade.

RW: Strawberry anything is amazing. Through our talks before I know you are in graduate school, but I have to ask, what’s in your stack of books to read right now?

K.A. CASTILLO: I have plenty of textbooks to get through.

RW: Who is your favorite author?

K.A. CASTILLO: J.K. Rowling is my favorite author.

RW: This is a silly question considering who your favorite author is, but I have been surprised before, if you could have written any book that exists, other than your own who’s would it be and why?

K.A. CASTILLO: Harry Potter of course! I’d love to live in J.K. Rowling’s shoes.

RW: In the tradition of Inside the Actors Studio, What is your favorite word and why?

K.A. CASTILLO: Strength. I love what it portrays, and it’s important to always remember to stay strong. At the same time, from a lingual standpoint “strength” is an interesting word because it’s the longest one-syllable word in the English language.


First of all, I want to thank K.A. Castillo for the interview. Some day I might ask her which Harry Potter book is her favorite, but I decided not to put her on the spot this time. Just as I wouldn’t ask someone which is their favorite child or year of Mustang. K.A. Castillo’s book The Convenience of Lies may be in the category of Young Adult book but it is for readers older as well. For some it will help them recognize what may be happening in their lives, for others it might even show them what they are doing to others. K.A. Castillo’s book is a classic example of how a book can mean different things to different ages. Just as various ages read Harry Potter and get something from it, so too can people read The Convenience of Lies and take away a new understanding. Read my LWI review of her book here. Now go buy her book in paperback or for Kindle. 


Much Respect



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Write about what you know is pretty good advice. It is possible to write about what you don’t know, but whenever you do you’re going to have to make sure that your research is spot on. The wonderful thing about Google is that you have a world of information at your fingertips. The not so wonderful thing is that not all of that information is accurate. So when I’m looking for specific facts I always find at least a couple of different sources to be sure that I’m not using flawed or bogus articles.

Most of us have felt the gamut of emotions to one degree or another, so those are fairly easy to convey. I believe though, that there are some extreme emotions that would be incredibly difficult, if not impossible for most – not all – writers to communicate unless they’ve lived them. So all the research in the world isn’t going to help you there. Readers are a canny lot. I know, because I’m one of them. If the subject is something they have a deep and personal knowledge of, you’ll probably lose them right there.

Mental illness is not something you’re going to understand unless you’re a psychiatrist, or you’ve lived it, although there is enough information available to research the experiences of others in certain instances. If you want to get inside the mind of a serial killer there is plenty of information out there, so there is absolutely no need for you to be writing what you know in this instance. Hopefully you aren’t. Not all people feel the same degrees of love or empathy, and those emotions can never be learned through research. Emulated possibly, but never learned. You’re going to have to be a brilliant scribbler to be able to write about the deep pain some empaths will feel at the suffering of another, or about a soul destroying, all encompassing love, if you’ve never felt anything like it.

Nuts and bolts on the other hand are a totally different kind of thing. You don’t have to travel to different dimensions through wormholes to write about them. Obviously you weren’t around when heads were rolling off the guillotine in France, or when the west was wild, or when Atlantis sank beneath the waves. Science fiction writers should research scientific facts and theoretical physics to write about warp drives and multiple universes if they aren’t going to raise the brows of die-hard fans of the genre. When writing a story in a specific historical era, again research is an absolute must if you don’t want a glaring blooper to jar your readers away from reading it. Even if your tale is fantasy, where you really do get to make it all up, a little research could make all the difference. I use a lot of mysterious ancient sites on Earth, and myths and legends in my stories, because I find them fascinating and so do many other people. For me, a little bit of fact makes fiction much more fun to read, and all stories have to be credible within their genre if I’m going to stay absorbed. French_Revolution-1792-8-10_w Image Credit: Wiki Commons

Just Add Water a Hetta Coffey Mystery Q&A @jinxschwartz

jinx_schwartz_just_add_water.jpgJust Add Water (A Hetta Coffey Mystery) Eppie Award

Jinx Schwartz


Just Add Water won an Eppie Award in the Mystery category, and has over 350 4 and 5 star reviews on Amazon. Here is what some people wrote:

I’m a lot older than the Hetta Coffey, and I don’t have a lot in common with her, but I couldn’t put this book down. Jinx Schwartz is a master of character development. You actually feel like you know the people in the book.

“This is one of the brightest well-written most entertaining series I have come across in sometime. Can’t wait for more.”

“Finally…great dialogue! Smart, sassy and thoroughly entertaining. Hetta is an original and the supporting cast are just as much fun. Going to get the next book now!”


 Eppie Award winner. One of the Top Sellers on Amazon. The one word description for her book today I believe is more a description of herself than the book. Economy destroyer, and scourge of the seas. Meet . . .


Jinx Schwartz

jinx desk on boat 2 @jinxschwartz


RW: I see this as a dangerous question to ask considering your residence but I’ll put it this way, where were you from before you found your current calling of a home?

JINX: I’m a country girl; the problem is, which country?

I’m a ninth generation Texan who was raised all over the place, including Haiti and Thailand, then traveled the world for study and work.

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

JINX: Larry McMurtry, Nelson DeMille, Lee Child.

RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

JINX: Wine, I guess, although I drink a lot of coffee and ice tea.

RW: What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?

JINX: I head for a nice long walk.

RW: What is your favorite word?

JINX: Rats.

RW: What is your background in writing, what makes you a writer?

JINX: I have been writing novels for 20 years, with nine published. I guess I just like to entertain people.

RW: What is the title of the book you’re sharing with us today and why did you choose that name?

JINX: The first in my Hetta Coffey series of six is Just Add Water. She’s looking for a lifestyle change, and living on a boat sounds good.

Hetta Coffey is a sassy Texan with a snazzy yacht, and she’s not afraid to use it.

So am I!

RW: What genre does Hetta and her stories fall into?

JINX: Humorous Mystery and Sea Adventures

RW: Why do you write in the genre that you do?

JINX: They say to write what you know, and I have lived on boats for almost thirty years, mostly in Mexico. So that is what I write about.

RW: Tell us a little about Just Add Water.

JINX: Just Add Water, Book 1, introduces the reader to Hetta Coffey. She’s single, pushing forty and looking for something different. So, she buys a yacht and moves aboard, even though she’s never even owned a row boat. But Hetta is not averse to challenge; she’s an engineer who has traveled the world in search of work and men. She’s much more successful with work.

RW: What inspired the creation of Hetta and her first adventure ?

JINX: I was single, my dog died, and I wanted a change. So I bought a yacht. The humorous part of owning a boat with no experience inspired me to share the experience, woven into a greatly embellished tale.

RW: Hetta has been good to you so far. What do you think makes readers connect to Hetta?

JINX: Hetta is liked by both men and women, despite some character traits and bad habits that should not make her anyone’s new best friend. She is independent, adventurous, totally un-PC, but loyal to her friends, and dangerous to her enemies.

RW: What actress do you see as being Hetta?

JINX: A young Bette Midler.

RW: Is there a message intended with Just Add Water?

JINX: My books are meant as pure escapist entertainment, but because of them I have met people in Mexico who tell me the series inspired them to buy a boat and head south. On the other hand, one person accused me of single-handedly ruining the Mexican tourist trade.

RW: Other than the ability to destroy an economy, what did you learn about yourself from writing the first Hetta adventure?

JINX: Writing is very cathartic, and gives a writer a chance to make good on past mistakes. Oh, get even with those who mess with her by writing them into a slow and painful death. Just kidding. Really.

RW: Sum up your book in one word.

JINX: Sassy.

RW: Where do we get your Hetta Coffey Mysteries?

JINX: All of my books are available on cover

RW: You have several books, and not just your Hetta Coffey series. Which of the others would you say is your favorite?

JINX: One of my favorite books is Land of Mountains, my Middle Grade/YA novel set in Haiti in the 1950’s. Ten-year-old Texan, Lizbuthann, finds her new country fascinating, even though she’s being stalked by a pesky zombie.

RW: How do people connect with you through all forms of social media?

JINX: I have many new friends on Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo Groups, you name it. Social media is also my main marketing tool other than Book Bub, and it is such a great way to meet new people from all over the world. I feel I know so many of them that when they aren’t on Facebook for awhile I get worried.

Jinx’s Blog: Jinx Schwartz’s Water Writes


Amazon: Author Page

Twitter: @jinxschwartz

And people can find me on facebook as well.

RW: Do you currently have agent representation or are you a lone sea wolf?

JINX: I tried the agent route, but it didn’t work out for me. Agents are great if you can get one, but getting one is hard enough, and then it takes way too much time to get a book sold, and even then you are at the mercy of publishers. I am much as an Indie now.

RW: What are you working on right now?

JINX: Book seven in the Hetta Coffey series. No title as yet.

RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?

I would hope that a new writer has the luck to find a publisher (as I did) since as going on your own from the get-go is fraught with danger. It is too easy to publish a faulty book now, and I had the good fortune to be published by someone who knew the industry. I learned a great deal, even though the publishing company didn’t make it.

If a new writer wants to go Indie, I highly suggest a critique group, and an editor. Learning the basics is so important. Proper grammar, punctuation, and sentence structure are key to a well-written book. I cannot believe how many books I’ve seen out there that are not even punctuated properly. This is the kiss of death to becoming successful in this competitive business.

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

JINX: One of Paul Levin’s, Riptide. I should have added him to my favorite author list.

RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?

JINX: Gone With the Wind. No, wait, Roots. No, wait, Lonesome Dove. No, wait…is this a trick question?


Now you see why my introduction was so short. I wanted to get to the sassy lady herself and let you see that personality in action. One reason for these interviews and the questions is so you can get to know the personality behind the writing. I think sassy describes a lot more than the Just Add Water. You need to join the thousands of others buying her books. Those great reviews can’t be wrong. Get them today. Get caught up on all of Hetta Coffey’s Mysteries before that 7th is finished.

And as always . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

Much Respect



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Authors: You Got Searched

You’ve Been Searched!

Think about that for a moment. Who in the world would Search you? Why?

  • You sent in a query somewhere.
  • You self published and suddenly have good numbers.

In other words, there might be people out there in the literary/publishing world looking for YOUR NAME. And why do they do this?


Straight Talk With Ronovan: The Search is On


Writing a great book will not always get you published or make you the success you want to be, whatever success that is. Either traditional or self published it doesn’t matter, because people are going to look for information about you.

I Search for you. Yes, when I do interviews, book reviews, anything I do about an Author, I Search. Why do I Search? Why do Agents Search? Why do Publishers Search?

Personally I have a list of names that I want to ask to interview, but have to wait until the ones I have get caught up, or better yet . . . they ask me. You ask me and you are legit, 99 times out of 100, you get an interview.

But why do we Search?

We Search to see a few things;

  1. What is your web presence
  2. Do you have a web presence
  3. What publicity is there out there about you
  4. What work of yours is available to see, and
  5. What’s your reputation

Why do we want to know these things?

  • How marketable are you, and
  • How much marketing capability do you have in place of your own
  • And are you who you say you are

Yeah, I know, you dream of that big signing and everything gets taken care of for you. Sorry darling, that’s a rarity. It’s kind of like a rock band; the money is in the tours and the t-shirts not the albums.

Same for the Author, everyone wants you to sell yourself for them. You are the return of the original rock star, the author. You could sign with anyone but you have to promote yourself.

In days to come I will be putting out articles about how to get that network in motion NOW, before you’ve finished your first draft, your first chapter or even knew you were going to write a book. Start today setting up a network for whatever you want to do in the future, even if it is something as simple as setting up Twitter and gaining Followers. Do it now.

Read what I have for you or not, it will be coming to help you. Trust me, as a writer myself, I hate the idea of having to take time to do self promotion, but by doing a little at a time now, it sure saves a lot of time later.


Much Respect




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Book Review by @ColleenChesebro of “The Scent of Lilacs” @AnnHGabhart

Scent of Lilacs(Image credit: Amazon)

Title:  The Scent of Lilacs (The Heart of Hollyhill #1)
Author:  Ann H. Gabhart
ISBN: 978-0800730802
Published:  May 1st 2005 by Revell (first published January 1st 2005)
Pages:  352
Genre:  Christian/Historical Fiction, Women’s fiction

What the book is about:  At 13 years old, Jocie Brooke learns the true meaning of faith and the love of family when her sister Tabitha, suddenly returns after fleeing their home in Hollyhill, Kentucky with their mother many years ago.  It is 1964, and Jocie’s divorced father, preacher David Brooke, and his Great Aunt Love, strive to care for Jocie with kindness and affection.  Aunt Love struggles to keep her senility in check, as the family struggles with a past that threatens to engulf them.  All is not what it seems in this quiet small town, as deep secrets surface to lead the family on a quest that leads them to many unforeseen truths.

Book Highlights:  As the secrets of the past come to light, it was a joy for me to watch the inner workings of a faith based family deal with the realities of their past choices, good and bad.  All the characters were realistic and believable in the way they dealt with their emotions while their lives unraveled around them. It was easy to empathize with the trials the family endured through the years.  I found myself drawn to the characters and the story. I did not want the book to end.  I was ecstatic to learn that this book is part of a series by Ann Gabhart.

Challenges of the book:  I had no challenges with the characters within the story.  The Christian elements in the book were tasteful and authentic.  Ann Gabhart channels her own knowledge of small town life centered on a strong Christian church element making the characters realistic and credible.  These characters could be your neighbors.

What do you get from it:  Love, family, and faith combined can conquer the troubles of the world.

What I would change if anything:  Ann Gabhart is a true story teller.  Her work stands alone and needs no changes.

Who would I recommend this book to?  I would recommend this book to all women, young and old.  There is knowledge about life, love, and forgiveness which should be passed on to all generations so that others gain an insight on how to deal with the tribulations that life sometimes holds for all of us.

Realistic Characterization: 5/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 5/5
Recommended: 5/5
Overall Rating: 4.5


Buy it at:  Amazon
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  $12.98 New
Kindle: Free

Review By:
Colleen Cheseboro

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Jasper Penzey International Boy Detective The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis @MLaSarre Now on #Kindle


LWI Author Monica LaSarre’s

Jasper Penzey

International Boy Detective

The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis

Now Available for Amazon Kindle and Kindle Unlimited!


 Read the interview here.


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LitWorldInterviews wants you as a Book Reviewer.

Lit Word Interviews is looking for volunteer Book Reviewers.

Do you already have your own site and want to post here as well?

Do you love books and read and read and think you have what it takes to give an honest and informative Book Review?


We’re looking for reviewers in all genres.

We don’t want to be a one genre place. As long as the Book Review is honest and professionally done, great. We have a basic way we would like them done as far as keeping an LWI scoring system in place but over all, your words, your thoughts, your opinions.


One of the mottos here is “Read a Book, Write a Review.” What that means is sharing reviews on sites like Amazon to help authors. Yes, I know if you give them 1 star you might not want to share, but a good review should be shared for certain, as long as it is an honest one. Also GoodReads is a great place to share.

A review on one of the sales sites does not need to be a detailed one like here at LWI.


What do you review?

Books you’ve read. At times a book might be offered to LWI to review, if so it may be offered to one of the Book Review team if Ronovan cannot review it himself. Reviews may be done on popular Best Seller Authors or Indie Authors who are just starting out. As long as the books are available to the public and the reviews are professionally done, they are good to go.


How do you become a Book Reviewer at LWI?

Email to ronovanwrites (at) gmail (dot) com your;

  • Genre interests
  • Any links to previous reviews you have done
  • Any links to current websites you have or work on (facebook as well, if you use it for book reviewing)

We are looking at all genres and thus know we may need as many as three or so reviewers for our Book Team. If there are really great people responding then we won’t put a number on it. It may be that you submit your review to the email above and it will be posted for you.


An example of a Book Review I have done here on the site with the rating system. I’ve done a couple of different styles but giving a reader the truth can give them your excitement or lack there of.  The areas in the review are a good structure, but you need to have your own voice as a reviewer. As I said before, stay professional. But professional does not mean no personality.



Much Respect




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Q&A Orlando Sanchez The Spiritual Warriors @SenseiOrlando








5 Stars for Blur-Sanchez displays a powerful knowledge of Martial Arts as well as the inner workings of secret government spy organizations including the current event topic of unchecked government surveillance. There’s really something in Blur for everyone with a myriad of characters in which to latch on.-Kerry Kappell

5 Stars for The Spiritual Warriors-This book is certainly a book for all tastes.I found myself perusing the story, amazed at how each of the characters’ lives is strangely entwined with the others, and how they evolve and blend into the flow of the main plot.The Spiritual Warriors really grabbed me and I read until it was finished, couldn’t put it down. I loved it.-Isabel Acevedo

5 Stars for Sepia Blue-This book thrives on tension and conflict. Set against a bloody background of the futuristic world of New York’s central park also known as the prison. Where kill or be killed is the dish of the day. The novel’s sense of urgency and intimacy will draw you in and propel you through a whirl wind tunnel of emotions. The pages fly, quickly from my right hand to left, a world opening and closing in front of me. I was swept away with the main character Sepia Blue, who is a new hunter, battles for her life, and the survival of the city. Loved this book-Holly Wood



Today’s guest Author has chosen novels to write for a most appropriate reason. I’ve had several guests but I have to admit none that I would really be afraid to meet in a dark alley, lit alley, bowling alley . . . I think you get my meaning. We all write from some place we know but today this writer really knows the subject well. Meet . . .

Orlando Sanchez



RW: Where are you from?

OS: I was born in New York City, specifically the Bronx.

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

OS: I have a quite a few. I grew up on Tolkien, Silverberg, Bradbury, Heinlein and King. Now I enjoy Jim Butcher, Kevin Hearne, Kat Richardson, Harlan Coben, Lee Child, Mike Carey, and Kim Harrison. I’m currently reading Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn Trilogy.

RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

OS: For hot beverage chamomile tea or when writing under deadline Pu her tea. Cold beverage: Orange juice or Passion Iced tea lemonade from Starbucks.

RW: This is a standard question I ask. I dare say that it may not apply to you but what is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?

OS: I have been a practicing martial artist for 28 years. I don’t have an “explode point” lol. I do sit in meditation every day, and when the writing gets too intense and my brain needs a break I will jump on the PS4 with my son and play some Destiny or The Secret World on my PC.

RW: What is your favorite word?

OS: Coruscate. That is an awesome word.

(I admit, I had to look it up and it dazzled me senseless.)

RW: What is your background in writing, what makes you a writer?

OS: I have always read and written. I used to write dungeons for my friends when I was younger and I have been journaling since my teens. What makes me a writer? I write. Story ideas bombard me consistently and I turn them into books.

RW: What is the title of latest work and why did you choose that name?

OS: I’m currently working on the third book in my Warriors of the Way series. The book is called The Fallen Warrior. It’s titled that way because at this point in the story the protagonist, Dante has lost his abilities to access his power, classifying him as “fallen”.

RW: What genre does your book fall into?

OS: From what I understand my genre is called urban paranormal. It’s also a martial arts thriller/suspense.

RW: I imagine the reason is obvious but why do you write in the genre that you do?

OS: I enjoy writing the books I would like to read. It also relates to the world I know, martial arts, fighting and weapons. I have tried other genre; this is the one that challenges me the most.

RW: Tell us a little about your books.

OS: Dante is a martial artist that is thrust into the hidden world of warriors and guardians that protect this plane of existence. He discovers that he has the ability to channel his chi and finds himself caught in a web of intrigue and war. The Warriors of the Way are being threatened by an enemy powerful enough to destroy them all and he must face this enemy.

RW: What inspired the series?

OS: I wondered one day what if the martial arts schools in NYC were really academies for a secret society tasked with keeping us safe.  Why else would all these people be training? In a way they are when you think of it. I took it a little further and the story was born.

RW: Tell us about your main character(s) and what you think will them connect to readers.

OS: Dante the lead is a bit clueless in the first book. He matures as the story progresses. He is the classic guy in over his head which we can all relate to. He finds that he can access his chi and create a powerful weapon; it turns out to be a massively evil sentient weapon that tries to get him killed.

Meja: the female lead is an accomplished fighter and all around badass. She is pivotal in getting Dante to the point where he isn’t a threat to himself and others. She also has major vendetta against Sylk.

Sylk: Is what I call my catalyst. He isn’t the villain but he does things that propel the others (and the story) forward. He is what I like to call my Gandalf character- his motives are his own and you are never really sure what he is up to.

RW: Who would play your main character(s) in a movie?

OS: Dante would be played ideally by Sebastian Stan who played the winter soldier in the last Captain America movie. Meja would be portrayed by Aishwarya Rai. Sylk could be portrayed by Patrick Stewart.

RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?

OS: Despite the odds stacked against you, you can overcome if you persevere and have great people by your side.

RW: What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?

OS: Writing is hard. Writing is also incredibly fun. I learned that I can do it and that I’m a lot tougher than I thought I was.

RW: Describe your book in one word.

OS: Compelling

RW: Where can we get your book now?

OS: The first book of the series-The Spiritual Warriors is being rereleased on Amazon in a month along with book two The Ascendants. I’m currently working on book three The Fallen Warriors (out early 2015). All of the books will be available online at and Smashwords.

RW: What other books do you have to share with us and can you tell us a little about them?

OS: I have also written a book called Blur-A John Kane Novel. It’s a darker story about a retired asset that is called back into the world he left. He possesses a special ability-the ability to blur faster than the eye can see. He soon learns that it may not be enough to deal with the enemies he has to face.

I also have started another series. The first book of that is called Sepia Blue-Rise of the Night. Imagine Central Park was a maximum security prison built to contain creatures called nightmares. Except now they are getting out and only a group of fighters called Hunters can contain them.

RW: How do people connect with you through all forms of social media?

OS: I’m on Facebook at you can also find me on

twitter at @SenseiOrlando 

My blog is at

RW: Do you currently have representation?

OS: Currently I don’t have representation. I don’t know if I will pursue having an agent in the near or far future. If I do need one I will ask many of my writer colleagues to suggest  one.

RW: What are you working on right now?

OS: Book 3 and Book 4 of the Warrior of the Way series.

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

OS: I am currently reading Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig.

RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?

OS: Don’t give up. If you are writing you have to be in this for the long haul not a short sprint. Persevere and write as much as you can.

RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?

OS: The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho because it has impacted so many lives and has a profound message.


I want to thank Orlando for agreeing to the interview and being our guest. I have to say I felt at peace while doing this interview. I don’t know if he was sending out some of those meditative vibes or not but I felt they came through in his answers. I could tell quote all his great reviews from Amazon, but just go check them out. I was surprised at the number of verified purchaser reviews. He’s the real thing guys. So buy his books now. And as always . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

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Much Respect


Get INSPIRED by Authors who Know.


Stuck for ideas? Words not flowing? Need a break? Or some good old inspiration?

What better inspiration than a series of talks about the process of writing and what it means to write.

Here is the link to a TED playlist of 10 talks from authors like Isabel Allende and Melissa Gilbert, speaking about

  • creativity, passion, and the process of writing,
  • the power of language and narrative in writing,
  • the importance of contemplation and reflection to a writer’s life,
  • the bane of every writer’s life (at one point or another) – fear and doubt, and how to channel them,
  • the inextricable link between art and living, and the creative life.

Hope you find them inspirational, or at the least, entertaining.


– Florence



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Covert World-Red Storm Q&A with @ThomasATate

Thom_Thate_Red_Storm.jpgCovert World: Red Storm

Thom Tate

“Great pace, great characters, great plot – a great story.
If you like a good dose of James Bond, Jason Bourne or Will Robie – then you’ll love this new Blake Mackay story. You’ll be engaging with the characters, the antagonist ‘Petrovich’ being a personal favourite, while the thought out plot pulls you along without problems to the very end.”-Amazon Review of Red Storm
“A great read !. Blake is Hero in every aspect of the word with a fantastic taste in high-tech toys, too!”-Amazon Review

Fast paced action and thrills. I’m talking about the books of my guest today, not necessarily the interview, but hopefully you’ll find that entertaining as well. 5 novellas, one lead character. Seriously, what more could you ask for? Let’s get this things started and have me be quiet.  Meet . . .

Thom Tate

Thom_Tate_Profile - Copy



RW: Where are you from?

THOM: Cumming, GA  (Originally, SW Indiana)

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

THOM: Vince Flynn, Brad Thor and Robert Ludlum

RW: What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?

THOM: Family, playing lacrosse, watching TV. Really anything that is an escape.

RW: What is your background in writing, what makes you a writer?

THOM: I started writing 3 years ago. Previous to that, I had no experience. I have a pretty vivid imagination and wanted to share my stories with others.

RW: Why did you choose Red Storm for your latest novella?

THOM: It has to do with a Russian Billionaire that built his own weather controlling array, similar to HAARP in Alaska. Since he creates storms and he’s Russian, the name just made sense.

RW: What genre does your book fall into and what makes you a writer for this genre?

THOM: Spy Thriller. I’ve always loved spy thrillers; movies and books. I’m fascinated at all the clandestine missions, the action, deception, etc…

RW: Why do you write in the spy thriller genre?

THOM: It’s what I’m interested in and it is the type of story my twisted mind comes up with.

RW: Tell us a little about the story your twisted mind came up with this time.

THOM: This is the fifth mission for my Black Ops agent, Blake MacKay. Of course there is a beautiful woman that he teams up with. Her name is Sofia Kuzma. She goes to work for a man named Nikoli Petrovich. He has built the worlds largest weather controlling array in the middle of Siberia. She thought that he was building it to bring rain to drought stricken areas of the world and help them to grow food, but while digging through their electronic file system, she discovers a much more sinister reason. She basically steals the data as proof and sends it to an old friend in Moscow for safe keeping, however, when she goes to meet him… let’s just say bad things start happening and she runs to the U.S. Embassy for some help.

Blake is sent to Moscow to get the data from this woman and to look for a missing agent who holds the key to taking out the array and stopping it from doing more damage. This is never easy and all Hell breaks loose. Blake and Sofia eventually team up and devise a plan that will eliminate the threat Petrovich and his weather array pose. Of course there all kinds of obstacles in the way; bad guys on their tail, a ticking clock that needs to be beat, etc… I tried to throw in a little romance with a lot of action, barriers, violence, etc… I think people will like it.

RW: What inspired the book?

THOM: It just came to me while I was finishing writing the forth book in the series. I took some notes and when I finished “Intercept” I started writing “Red Storm”.

RW: Tell us about Blake MacKay and what you think will make readers connect to him.

THOM: Blake is of Scottish and Native American decent. He is in his thirties. Old enough to have experience and young enough where age doesn’t slow him down. He grew up in the mountains of Colorado and is very athletic. He is a true patriot but is also a realist. He understands there are bad people in the world and he has to do bad things in order to protect this country.

RW: Who would play Blake in a movie?

THOM: Taylor Lautner. He’s only 24 now and would have to age a little bit, but who knows, maybe by the time my books become popular he’d be old enough to play him. He has the look and has played in an action movie “Abduction”, so I think he’d do really well.

RW: Agent MacKay is a Black Ops agent who gets into some things normal people don’t, what do you see or hope people will take away from reading Red Storm?

THOM: There are constantly threats against our country and there are people that stay in the shadows and risk their lives for our safety. They deserve our eternal gratitude and respect.

RW: What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?

THOM: That I can do this and I really enjoy it.

RW: Describe your book in one word.

THOM: Thrilling

RW: Where can we get Red Storm right now and what are the plans for its future?

THOM: exclusively through Jan 20th 2015. After that, it will be available on iTunes, Google, Kobo, Smashwords, etc…

RW: Tell us about the other books Agent MacKay has appeared in.

THOM: I have four other books in the Covert World series; Czechmate, Meltdown, The 4th Strike and Intercept.

Czechmate Pulled into the dark world of raves, sex and drugs by the euphoric state the Ecstasy provided her, Tracy Clark, the thom_tate_czechmate.pngall of 19 daughter of U.S. Ambassador James Clark, was a willing player in Sergey Dubrovskiy’s rise to glory among the drug dealers and the club scene in Prague.

Her beauty and charm helped lure in new customers for Sergey, but her diplomatic immunity is what really piqued his interest. However, when Sergey pushed too hard, the Ambassador found himself in a situation that needed to be dealt with quickly and harshly. Deciding to use his friendship and influence with the President, he called in a favor and and asked for the ultimate action.
Agent Blake MacKay has been ordered, as a personal favor by the President, to deviate from his normal clandestine mission types and take on the role of assassin. Blake flies to Prague to hunt down his target and complete his objective. His actions unleash a calamity that will be spoken about for years.

Meltdown A relaxing holiday with his family on the beaches of Bali was just what Dimitri Evanko was looking forward to. Being thrown into the terroristic world of the Jemaah Islamiyah was the furthest from his mind.thom_tate_meltdown,jpg

After awakening from a drug induced torpidity, Dimitri, nuclear physicist from Ukraine, finds himself face-to-face with Indra Gunardi, the man in charge of the infamous Islamic terrorist group in Southeast Asia. With his family held captive and the threat of death to them, Dimitri saw no way out but to cooperate and build the dirty bombs they demanded.

Nearly three months after Dimitri’s reported disappearance, special agent Blake MacKay has been called in to investigate after the lost physicist turned up in Jakarta. With the help of Detachment 88, the Indonesian counter-terrorism group, Blake discovers the conation of Gunardi and his vile organization.


When a plan to rescue Evanko’s family backfires, Gunardi fast forwards his destructive plan of terror. In the shadows of an impending disaster, Blake finds himself and Dimitri in a race against time with the lives of thousands on the line.

The 4th Strike A team of North Korean Special Forces has attacked the LORAN station on Attu Island in the Aleutian Islandsthom_tate_4THSTRIKE.jpg and stolen a nuclear warhead that wasn’t supposed to exist. Special Agent Blake MacKay and SEAL Team 5 have been tasked with searching the North Pacific to track them down and recover the warhead.

After a disastrous rendezvous with a trawler that they thought contained the warhead, Blake and his team of SEALs discovered that the search was about to get much harder.

The nuke had been loaded onto an old Whiskey Class Soviet Submarine. Their biggest challenge: force the North Korean sub to the surface so Blake and his team can recover the nuke. If they sink the sub, the nuke will be impossible to recover.


With the help of the North Pacific fleet, Blake and his team of SEALs engage in an underwater game of cat and mouse as they tread through the icy waters, hundreds of feet below the surface in search of their prey.

Intercept Being in the sights of a former ally was the last thing Black Ops Agent, Blake MacKay expected, but that’s just where he landed. thom_tate_intercept.jpg

An intercepted call discloses that the former Iranian nuclear guru, Mohsen Fallali, has come back on the grid to head-up Iran’s new nuclear weapons program. Mossad has to act fast and sends Solomon Zinn, an elite sniper, to take him out. However, the Ansar al-Sharia militant group wants Fallahi for their own purposes and will stop at nothing to get him.

Aware of the two groups after Fallahi, Blake is sent to Vienna to capture him before Mossad or Ansar al-Sharia can carry out their plans. When Blake discovers that his Mossad adversary is a former lover, he must devise the ultimate deception to complete his mission.

When the three competing forces descend on Vienna, all hell breaks out in this thrilling spy novella.

RW: How do people connect with you through all forms of social media?


Twitter: @ThomasATate

Facebook: Covert World Series

RW: Do you currently have agent representation?

THOM: I do not have representation, but would welcome all inquiries. I would like an agent that helps with the marketing and promotion of the book and me as an author.

RW: What are you working on right now?

THOM: My first full length novel, “Spear Garden”. I wrote it three years ago and am doing a complete rewrite. I hope to have it finished and published sometime in 2015.

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

THOM: Free Fall, by Kyle Mills

RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?

THOM: You will hear a thousand no’s. Don’t worry. Just self-publish. The biggest and most important thing is to get your story out there.

RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?

THOM: Casino Royale. Need I say? It’s the book that started it all with James Bond.


I want to thank Thom for interviewing today. It was nice to talk with an Author with some regional commonality. I have to admit something here, well it’s not a true admitting if you’ve ever visited my personal blog and read my bio. John Gardner is one of my favorite authors. Why is that a big deal here? Bond, James Bond. I was very interested when Thom showed up. Imagine Bond excitement in novella form. Imagine sitting down and maybe even reading a thriller in a day, okay maybe two. A whole series, a world created and we can jump in so easily. Get the books. Read the books. And as always . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

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Much Respect







Reviews of other Blake MacKay adventures.

A great read !. Blake is Hero in every aspect of the word with a fantastic taste in high-tech toys, too!

Wow! This series gets better with each installment. Fast-paced action at every turn. Thom Tate has met the needs of readers who want spy thrillers. I know he is working on a full-length novel and if it’s anything like his first two releases (mini-reads) I can’t wait.

The 4th Strike:
This is a short novella about North Korea attacking on US soil. North Korea tried to get their hands on an old inactive bomb, but little did they know that The Navy Seals would steal it back. I liked this novella. It was action packed from the minute I started reading it. It was very detailed with the description of the subs, the weapons used. The military jargon was great and I understood it. Being an ARMY veteran myself I appreciated how the author took his time to research for this novella. If you like military reads and action, suspense reads as well, this novella is for you.

WOW! I normally don’t read military thrillers but I’m glad I started with this one, it was amazing! The fast paced edge of my seat action kept me hooked until the very end. I’m making a note to keep my eyes peeled for future works from Thom Tate. The first thing I did after reading was go directly to Amazon to see what other works he has published. I will definitely be adding this to my list of recommended reads.


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NaNoWriMo Time

I took part in the NaNoWriMo event in 2012, and completing that crazy, epic sprint to the end taught me more than I expected about the job of writing. First and foremost is the daily word quota. The more you fall behind, the less chance you have of catching up, and writing just under 1 700 words a day seems daunting. The thing is, that most of us write more words than that every day without thinking about it. We blog, we interview, we write bits of our works in process. It’s absolutely doable though.

The beauty of the NaNo is that you get to leave chunks out. You just pop over anything you’re not sure of and write on, because editing during NaNo is death. The urge to go back and at least read over what I’d written so far nearly took me out, but I knew that if I did I’d get to editing, and that would mean I’d never make it. NO editing. That month taught me that ongoing over-editing can cause more grammar problems than not editing your first draft at all. I only decided to join at the last minute, so I had absolutely no idea what I was going to write apart from the fact that I was going to write in a genre that I didn’t think I could. I had no idea from one minute to the next where the story would go, or if it would be absolute garbage in the end.

At the end of that November I had completed just over 50 000 words of a book I loved. I found that I loved writing in a genre I believed that I would be hopeless at, and had the beginning of a series that is now well on its way to book four being published in early 2015. To any of you thinking of having a first try at the NaNoWriMo this year, I say a hearty Go For It! You’ll learn to write every day to meet your personal goals. You’ll be way too busy to angst over all the writing things we usually angst over. You’ll feel the warm camaraderie of fellow scribblers from around the globe. And if you win – well then, you’ll have a novel to edit. A couple of tips I learned from my NaNo month….

• Tell your family what you’ll be doing, and ask for their support. Let them know that there probably won’t be any homemade pudding or cookies in November. Suggest that there might be days when you aren’t going to brush your hair, and expressions of repulsion aren’t conducive to a happy muse. Support will be key this month.

• Whatever you’re cooking now, cook more and freeze what you can. You’re going to be far too wrapped up in your story to chop and peel anything. I froze piles of fillings, and pancakes were so prevalent during my frantic scribbling month that they were banished for a long while afterwards.

• Don’t feel guilty – it’s only a month, and perhaps you’ll be better appreciated for all that you usually do after a month of eyeballs firmly on computer. Prepare for a month that’s all about you and your writing.

• I never did this, but it would have made my life a lot easier. Write an outline and a rough cast of characters now. Think of where your story will play out – think scenes and settings. Plan your ending so that you can work towards it as soon as you type your first word.

• Keep a notebook and jot down important scenes, names or anything you’ll need to remember later in the book, because you don’t want to be wasting time reading through what you’ve written to find anything during the process.

• Don’t edit. At all. Really.

• Make a rough cover now to inspire you. You can change it later.

• Plan to have fun with it. When you hit that word target you’re going to feel on top of the world, and NaNo rewards their winners with quite a lot of writerly swag, deals, and a gorgeous badge to share your impressive accomplishment with the world.

• Go for it. You have all to gain and nothing to lose.


One Late Bloomer’s Journey to Publishing



Two and half years ago, I was walking on a treadmill at the gym and a memory came to me of how I’d always wanted to write a book.

I’ve been very busy for the past thirty or so years, so I suppose calling myself a late bloomer is appropriate. On this particular night, however, I felt something come over me as if I was possessed. I’m not sure what triggered it or whether the thought came from somewhere internally or I saw or heard something that brought it to the surface. All I knew was I had a story to tell. I didn’t know it then but apparently, I had many stories to tell. Here I am three published stories later with no end in sight—thank goodness.

Here’s how it all started.

In February of 2012, my life was a lot different than it is right now. My son in law was in the Navy and was stationed in Virginia Beach, Va. My daughter and at the time, two year old granddaughter were living there as well and my youngest son was active in the marching band in school, so he was away most evenings. This left my husband and I with a lot of time on our hands for the first time in many years. So what did we decide to do to keep busy? We joined a gym. Not that we didn’t need to get more exercise and lose some weight but it clearly started out of boredom. However, a momentum kicked in and the next thing we knew, we liked it. Well, he liked it. By May, I liked how my body was changing and how strong I felt but the gym wasn’t necessarily what I had in mind to do with so much free time. I wanted to write that book but I knew it would take a level of dedication beyond anything I had undertaken and I only had three months to do it. My daughter and granddaughter would be coming home for good in August.

I did have other interests and things I liked to do but in order to write the book,  I had to put them aside.

I did a lot of artwork as well. I love to draw and paint and also spent a great deal of time on that hobby. I’m a pretty good artist but realistically, I knew I’d never be at the level I wanted to be without completely submersing myself in it. I had free time but not that much free time. Instead, what happened was, these voices started showing up and whispering in my ear as I walked on that treadmill, distracting me constantly from conversations, interrupting my thoughts while I was working and making me turn the music down while I was I could hear them.

I began staying up very late.

I started taking notes. I would jot down sentences, conversations and images of a story that was building inside of my head. I could begin to see their faces—especially their eyes. Finally, I decided to commit myself to finding out who these people where and just dedicate myself to writing their story. One of them stood out to me above the rest and she ended up with the name Teagan. Teagan’s sole purpose at first was protecting her baby brother whose name became Ennis. Only after I started writing the story did she open up to me and reveal that she had dreams and aspirations of her own and show me that fiery personality and spirit.

Character development is a passion of mine.

All of these children poured out of my head one by one. I named them according to their personalities based on Irish name meanings. One way I’ve found to stay true to your characters is how you name them. I can’t just pull names out of the air because they sound good or are dramatic. I research names carefully and based on the time, nationality, religion and / or the generation I’m writing about. It worked perfectly for me. Each child’s (character’s) personality in the book represents the meaning of their name. Staying true to that meaning gave them all uniqueness and the really fun part was writing them as each persona evolved throughout Ennis’ ordeal as well as how they related to one another as the story unfolded.

Historical fiction is a challenge worth facing.

I didn’t choose historical fiction. It chose me. I began to do a lot of research. I chose a setting I knew quite a bit about already as I’d been to the Wyoming Valley many times growing up and my mother’s family all hailed from the Wilkes-Barre area. I knew what the people were like, their sensibilities and values and all of that became the foundation on which I built the Whelan family. I often speak of my own family; me being the youngest of eleven children and how those individual souls gave me so much material to work with but to get the setting right in 1881, I had to dig deep into the past and immerse myself in the landscape, culture and ideology of the time. It was quite a history lesson/journey and one I am so grateful my heart led me to take.

I got a little carried away and put the cart before the horse.

Within three months, I had completed my novel. I didn’t have the faintest idea of what to do with it. I had barely told my family and friends what I was doing but since I was planted on my sofa with my laptop night after night until the wee hours for weeks, I’m sure they knew something was up. I’m sure my emotional distance was a concern but once I explained it to those outside of my chapter by chapter beta reading “sewing” circle of friends, everyone was very supportive and wished me luck but of course they didn’t have a clue either of what came next. There I was, all “dressed up” with a manuscript and nowhere to go.

Did I mention I’m a fast learner?

Almost immediately–and while my friend Kathy was working on the first round of edits on my book, I went on a treasure hunt, looking for the best web sites about publishing and how to find an agent. At the time, I had no interest in self-publishing because I didn’t even know it existed. No, I’m not kidding. That’s how uninformed I was. I would say that’s how dumb I was but it wasn’t stupidity, it was simply that I didn’t know–I had no reason to know prior to writing the book. However, once I did know, I decided I’d try the traditional route first. Of course, I didn’t even take into consideration that this was a whole new set of goals, lessons and trials. None of that mattered to me though. The only care I had was to get published. I found a web site named and started reading, practicing and writing queries. I flew by the seat of my pants. One word that popped up again and again was NETWORK.

No matter how you publish your book, you absolutely must get involved in social networking.

I joined a writer’s support group named the Author Social Media Support Group or ASMSG for short. I met some of the most wonderful people who were so generous and supportive. I followed them, they followed me and whatever they did that worked, I did it. I followed their blogs, advice and examples and changed my old rusty Twitter account into something more professional and I started a blog of my own. I began to feel as if I’d passed through the wardrobe into Narnia or fallen down the rabbit hole. A new and exciting world began to open up before me and I couldn’t get enough of it. It isn’t about retweeting, following and nodding with a favorite. This is about building relationships with your peers and supporting each other. I felt like I was waking up from a deep sleep and my true self—my calling if you will was so loud it was about to shatter my eardrums. I’d put FIREFLIES through two edits and it still needed a good scrubbing but I didn’t care. I pushed onward and lived and breathed the literary world. As much as I wanted to just drown myself in the literary Olympic swimming pool, I knew I needed more time to educate myself on the pool rules before I even dropped my towel. In truth, I wasn’t anywhere near ready for the exposure but the wild child in me couldn’t resist dipping my toe in.

I began to query agents.

Another site I found while studying the process through the first web site was , where I was able to search agents who represent the genre of book I’d written. I need to add here that when I wrote FIREFLIES, I had no idea how many genres there were. I read a lot but I never paid much attention to all of the genres and sub genres that are out there. Again, details, details. I chose historical fiction / paranormal. I knew there were other elements to the book but I figured those were the most obvious. I set up a spread sheet with all of the agents I’d queried. I set up a special mailbox in my e-mail only for queries. I sent about five a week for the whole month of October 2012. I waited. Now mind you, I wrote, revised, shortened, lengthened and tweaked until I hated every word of them but I refused to quit. Sometimes I believe I was published because the universe grew weary of fighting me. I can be a tenacious monster.

Finding more options became a necessary cut off road.

Throughout this journey, I kept a close eye on the side roads. One of those was Twitter. I began following literary agents and watching their tweets. Some of them are very open with what they want to see and what they don’t. I found this incredibly valuable information. One in particular became a favorite of mine because she would tweet almost every query she read on a daily basis and give a 140 character or less impression of that query and what she loved or didn’t about it. I took notes. Not that there was a particular pattern to her choices but I began to see where so many writers were making the same mistake and I swore I’d never put anything in my query about how my friends and family loved my book or how I expected to be represented. I’m serious. Some of the things people put in their queries are just plain crazy. Don’t be crazy. Follow the formula and always and I do mean ALWAYS go to that agent’s web site, read about them, find out who they are and send them exactly what they are asking for. I cannot stress this enough and don’t take rejection personally. Google some of the rejections some of the greatest writers of all time received.

I’m not sure what I expected but I was rejected…a lot.

I was rejected more times than I can remember. Occasionally I received a request for the first three chapters or ten pages or even one hundred words but in the end, by the middle of December, I was lining up my list for more queries for January. Most literary agents take a few weeks off over the holidays. I certainly don’t blame them. However, I had no intention of taking a break and had already started writing another book. Twitter activity was winding down but there were still some agents posting and chatting and I was still watching and learning. By then, I had mastered Twitter and all of its neighborly social etiquette. I had made some very cool friends and found a few mentors along the way. My web site was picking up a few followers here and there and creatively, I’d never felt better. Every rejection I received was nothing more than one less no I’d have to read. Until one day right around Christmas, I decided to follow a small, fairly new boutique publisher. I had queried a few before along with the agents but I figured what the heck. I noticed she said she wasn’t accepting any queries over the holidays so I tweeted her and asked if I could send mine the first week in January. She sent me a message and said I could send it right then and there and she’d take a look at it. A week later, she asked me for the first three chapters. A few days later she asked me for the whole manuscript.

A few days before New Year’s, she e-mailed me and told me she wanted to work with me.

A few days later, we chatted and she explained to me that she was new and just getting started but that she really wanted to publish my book. The next day, I signed my contract to work with her. She has worked tirelessly to promote my books, promote me and has grown leaps and bounds from that little start up. Although I do a tremendous amount of work myself, I know I’d have to do that even if I had an agent and a contract with one of the big boys. I look at it this way; if at some point one of them comes knocking, I’ll open the door but until then, GMTA – Ravenswood Publishing took a chance on me and my little story and I’ll never forget that.

My little story that “wasn’t what we’re looking for right now,” became an award winning novel.

So, here I am living my dream of being a writer. I may not be living it according to what some may define as a dream; I’m not rich, I still work full time and I certainly don’t have some big book deal. I’m rich in knowing that from the moment I started this journey, whatever it took, I believed I would be published. I never allowed myself to doubt it.  I’m finally doing what I’ve always wanted to do. Better late than never. I haven’t compromised or succumbed to the pressure to write what sells or give up because everything didn’t go according to the way I originally imagined it would but so what? The journey has been so fulfilling and it continues to surprise and delight me every day. The people I’ve grown close to and developed professional as well as personal relationships with, I wouldn’t have discovered on any other road.

This is only the beginning of my fantastic voyage. Every day I wake up and raise my sails in search of my next adventure and I’ll always ask the question, “Won’t you join me?”


Monica LaSarre Q&A The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis @MLaSarre


Jasper Penzey International Boy Detective

The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis

Monica LaSarre

5 out of 5 Stars-“I literally could not put this book down from beginning to end. This may be the author’s first book, but she writes like an old pro! I especially liked that she wrote from a 9 – 13 year old’s perspective. I got lost in this adventure and that is pretty good for a woman in her 50s reading a children’s book. Greece came alive in my imagination, and the history and geography weaved into the plot was excellent. Kids will be learning without knowing it. Can’t wait to read the next book in the series.”-Amazon

5 out of 5 Stars-“Read this book with my daughter to help her with her reading- such success! We loved it and read it in a weekend! This is a fun exciting read. A BIG thumbs up. Can’t wait to read more and go on more exciting adventures with Jasper!! A must have book, we will have to own this book”-Amazon

“better than Harry Potter”-Pinterest

I like to interview Authors. I think that’s a given considering I created a site for that purpose. Having a 10 year old son of my own, today’s guest has me excited because it’s right up his alley and I am looking forward to reading it and reviewing it. I may even throw in some opinions here on the LitWorldInterview book review from my son, who I call ‘B’ on the internet. If the cover and title of the book today doesn’t tell you why I am so enthusiastic then let me get out of the way so you can meet . . .


Monica LaSarre



RW: Where are you from?

MONICA: I am originally from Houston, TX, but have lived in Colorado for the past 21 years. More specifically, I live in a very rural area, beside a creek, on the side of a mountain. It’s lovely!

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

MONICA: My favorite authors are… wow! This is a tough question. I love authors who make me think (e.g., Dan Brown), make me feel (e.g., Amy Tan, A.S. Byatt) who make me fondly recall reading their works (e.g., Diana Gabaldon, L.M. Montogmery). As a children’s author, I take great inspiration from “Lemony Snicket” (pen name for Daniel Handler) and Donald J. Sobol’s Encyclopedia Brown, boy detective. Probably my all time favorites authors though are Daphne du Maurier (best known for her novel Rebecca), a master of suspense, and M.F.K. Fisher, a culinary genius when it comes to weaving fiction and history around food.

RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

MONICA: My husband tells me I need to drink more water and less coffee, to which I always reply, “Coffee has water in it, doesn’t it?” I drink coffee constantly. It’s my biggest regret in life.

RW: What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?

MONICA: I’m not the exploding type, actually. I’m pretty calm most of the time. I do find great relief personally in managing stress and angst through Reiki energy therapy and enjoying nature. I have a long dirt-road driveway and often will take a walk to clear my head and get some fresh air. I used to run quite a bit and have completed a couple of marathons, but can’t say that I run a whole lot in the more recent years. Still, it’s something I’ve enjoyed in the past.

RW: What is your favorite word?

MONICA: “Persnickety” It makes me giggle. And, it reminds me of Lemony Snicket, whose books are amongst my favorite in children’s literature, which is always a happy thought.

RW: What is your background in writing, what makes you a writer?

MONICA: I spent 13 years working in the field of transfusion medicine and clinical laboratory science (translation: I wore a lab coat and geeked out on test tubes and biology) and one day decided it wasn’t what made me happy anymore. When I considered what did make me happy, I could only conclude one thing: I love words, I love books and I love writing things that people enjoy reading. My background in writing really is pretty minimal: I wrote as a student, grade school up through graduate school, and in my past career I wrote quite a bit in the peer-reviewed scientific journal realm. Now I write fiction as an author, and fiction and non-fiction as a ghostwriter. It comes so naturally to me and so I must conclude I’ve always been a writer, who simply would be unhappy if I stopped being one.

RW: How did you come up with the name for your book?

MONICA: My first published fictional work is entitled, The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis and it is Volume 1 in the series called Jasper Penzey, International Boy Detective. The series is a color-coded one, covering each color of the rainbow + a pot of “gold” at the end, so red was the theme color I wanted to incorporate into the first book of this eight-book series. I wanted a touch point for kids that was color-centered (red in the case of the first book) and that immediately caused them to be intrigued (“What about the Ruby Brooch? What is that?”) As for Jasper Penzey, the main character, his name came to me while I was running a marathon on the Great Wall of China in May of 2013. I had met a fellow runner from Canada who had a son named Jasper and I immediately loved the name. Penzey seemed like a good fit for a last name.







RW: The book is about a boy detective but genre and reading age does your book fall into?

MONICA: This is a middle-reader (ages 6-11) book, in the mystery/detective genre.

RW: Why did you pick the mystery/detective genre for young people to write about?

MONICA: Kids love mysteries. In fact to them, at the young ages of 6-11, the whole world is a mystery. They’re trying to figure out things, which people to trust, what things mean and how they work. I love that inquisitiveness. In fact, in many ways, I’m still a child…always asking why and wondering why things are the way they are. My overarching desire in writing a book for children was to make it re-aloud friendly (so many kids’ books aren’t, unfortunately!) and write it in a way that would teach children about the diversity of cultures, other countries and history in a way that entertained them and wet their appetite to want to explore the world. I chose a mystery format for that, since I think that’s what kids enjoy the most.

RW: Tell us a little about Jasper and his story.

MONICA: Jasper Penzey is 9 and he’s never known his mother. His history professor father never wants to speak of her. One summer, Jasper moves from Louisiana to Greece with his father and on the eve of his move, he finds a note from his mom and an amulet. His move to Greece no longer is just about tagging along with his dad, it’s suddenly about finding his mom and solving a mystery that will change the course of history. He has never traveled before and, like many children, assumes the world is full of people just like him. His eyes are opened to a different way of life in Greece and he cleverly makes observations about the lives and cultures of people different than his norm, all the while being pulled further and further into a mystery involving the location of his mom and the lost civilization of Atlantis. It’s a lot of fun. And it has cookie recipes.

RW: What inspired the story concept and setting?

MONICA: I was able to travel to Santorini, Greece several years ago, to the exact place where this story is set. I remember being so impressed on so many levels with the geography and people of Greece and though it’s been several years since I traveled there, the landscapes and textures of the country have never left me. I wanted to write a story set in a far away land, especially since Jasper is an international detective, and knew I wanted it to take place in an area I fondly recalled. Greece was a sure fit.

RW: Tell us about Jasper and what you think will help readers connect to him.

MONICA: Jasper is precocious, like most 9-year olds. He asks big questions and is observant all the time. I think this is how most children are, at least it’s how my children are. I also think it is good as an adult to aspire to be young at heart and regain the childhood curiosity we lost along the way. Young readers will relate to Jasper because he’s fun loving, adventurous and curious; adult readers will relate to him because they remember being the same way, and perhaps wish to be the same way again.

RW: Who do you see when you think of Jasper in a movie?

MONICA: I picture Jasper looking a bit like a younger version of Dylan Sprayberry, with his spiky brown hair and big eyes. But at the same time, I love leaving the mental picture of my main character up to the reader’s imagination. I’ll never forget how I felt after reading the Twilight series and feeling like the air knocked out of me when Robert Pattinson was cast as Edward, because that’s not at all how I pictured him. And never again could I recall my own imagination’s image of Edward after that.

RW: What message do you think The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis delivers to the reader?

MONICA: There is a universality amongst humans, regardless of what country you are from, and that diversity in cultures and people and history is what keeps life interesting. I hope my book will create in young readers an early understanding of that fact, and spark in them a lifelong curiosity that can only be satisfied by travel and experiencing history through their own eyes in far away lands across the globe.

RW: What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?

MONICA: I learned a very valuable lesson, actually. It’s interesting because, when I first started writing this book, I was an adult, a responsible mom, trying very hard to write a great kids’ book. Along the way, I learned that the only way I could do that was by putting myself into the mindset of a child. Now, though the book is written and published, I’ve yet to let go of the sheer joy I experience living as an adult who tries always to see the world as a child would. I laugh a lot more, I don’t over complicate things, I enjoy the wonder of each new day and get excited about goofy things right alongside my kids. It’s been an amazing, unforeseen fountain of youth for me, writing this book.

RW: Describe your book in one word.

MONICA: Enthusiastic

RW: Where can we Jasper Penzey International Boy Detective The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis now?

MONICA: It’s available on Amazon in paperback, and for Kindle including Kindle Unlimited. It will also be available through Ingram, catalogued for order by any other online and brick-and-mortar bookstore.

RW: I imagine you are working on book 2 if not already completed it, what about your ghostwriting, anything you can share?

MONICA: At the moment, I’m all about Jasper Penzey, working very hard on his next book in the series, volume 2. I have many exciting books I could share with you that I have ghostwritten for clients around the world, but then I’d be breaking confidentiality. Suffice it to say, there are some really excellent memoirs and fictional works on the publishing horizon that I’ve ghostwritten for others. Shhhh….

RW: How do people connect with you through all forms of social media?

MONICA: I use Twitter and Facebook most, but also Instagram and LinkedIn. I also respond to all messages left for me through my website and via email. On Facebook, I give away a paperback children’s book every single day to those who follow my page and Like/Share my posts. The Book-A-Day-Giveaway is a big draw for my fans to my Facebook page. Parents, teachers, librarians love it. It’s my way of giving back and increasing the reach of quality children’s literature in the world.

RW: Do you currently have agent representation?

MONICA: I actually agented for myself in seeking a publisher for my work. It never occurred to me to look for an agent, and as luck would have it, I never needed one. Had I looked for one, I would definitely have wanted someone who believed in my book as much as I did. Thankfully, I found that person in my wonderful publisher, Dr. Kitty Bickford of Chalfant Eckert Publishing. A mother, grandmother, educator and advocate for quality children’s literature, she and I see eye-to-eye on how important it is to share Jasper’s story with children of all ages (young and old).

RW: What are your plans for Jasper in the future?

MONICA: I’m working on Volume 2 of the Jasper Penzey series and with 8 books in the series, I have my work cut out for me. When I’m not writing Jasper Penzey’s books, I’m daydreaming about what I want to write next and I’m working very hard on ghostwriting projects for clients (one non-fiction, one fiction, currently).

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

MONICA: I’m reading a book called Mary Anne, by Daphne du Maurier, which I found in a used book store recently and realized I’d never read it. Over the weekend, I devoured Gone Girl in a 36 hour reading marathon. It was THAT GOOD. With my children, I’m happily re-reading a beloved classic, Charlotte’s Web.

RW: What is your biggest tip for someone to getting published?

MONICA: Write a great query letter by doing this: believe in your book because if you don’t, no one else will either; the rest of the query letter is just semantics.

RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?

MONICA: I wish I had written The Game of Thrones series, or Outlander. Epic fiction, the way George R. R. Martin and Diana Gabladon do it, is so beautiful to me. It’s my pie in the sky, the type of work I aspire to be capable of when my writing career is said and done.



List links to all websites you have and social networks such as Twitter.






First of all, follow Monica LaSarre everywhere you can. Then really first of all, go buy her book! Now after reading about her and her book, do you see why I was excited to share this Author with you? I know not to judge a book by its cover but when I get my hands on the book, I don’t think I will be disappointed considering the creative mind behind it and the publishing behind it. When I do review it, trust me that I will be honest. If I’m not honest then there is no point to having this site.

Now I want to thank Monica for the interview and sharing so much of herself with us. I look forward to continuing a working relationship with her as I do with all Authors who come through LWI. Again, get her book now! You will be in on the beginning of something great!

Like the interview? Like the sounds of the book? The Author? Then let us know with a comment of encouragement.

And as always . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

Much Respect










I really need to make an image that says Follow US on bloglovin’. I’ll put that on my To Do List.

2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved by

Get Book Sales with your Book Description.

There are foods out there that I love, but they look awful. I can cook some of the best tasting things you will ever eat, but they may just not look that great.

“What’s is this?” My son asked.

“Diced chicken, rice, condensed cream of mushroom soup, broccoli, garlic powder, salt, pepper…”

“Daddy, can I have a sandwich?”

I was describing a delicious casserole dish that is seriously amazing, but I lost my audience. I was giving him not what he wanted, I was giving him the chef’s description of the dish. He didn’t ask for the recipe, he wanted to know what it was and what it tasted like.

As Authors we need to keep this in mind when we come up with our “Book Descriptions”.

Did anyone else shudder or get a bad taste in their mouth when I said those last two words? They are almost as bad as the words “synopsis” or “hook” or . . .  NOOOOO “pitch” or Sally Fields forbid-“query letter“.

I look through Amazon a lot as I look for Author Interviews.

Straight Talk Time from Ronovan

There are some seriously B.A.D. Book Descriptions. What’s B.A.D.? Oh, that means Badly Authored Descriptions. These Book Descriptions have been by Authors. When I read them it makes me wonder one of two things;

  1. Did the Author use up all their talent in the book writing or
  2. Does the Author just not know how to write

Sorry, I know, that was bad, but you have to admit when you are looking at a book description and you see two or three lines or you see a recipe of the book you wonder the same things. And this is Straight Talk, not Sweet Talk.

You have to stand out from the crowd. If you ever look at ‘Amazon Best Sellers Rank’ and then look at the Book Descriptions, most often there is a correlation.

How to Write a Book Description

Establish Who You Are

Who the heck are you? Why should I trust you to write this book and believe I am getting quality?

I have several Author friends who are award winning. Mention it right off the bat. Show the reader you are legit.

The LWI: Book Description is from Award Winning author Ronovan Writes.

You don’t have Awards?

The LWI: Book Description is Ronovan Writes third novel.

Ronovan Writes brings us the first in his NEW series “The LWI: Book Descriptors”.


Author Historian  Ronovan Writes delivers his newest jump into adventure with “The LWI: Book Descriptors”

Okay, so they might not be the best but I think you see what I mean. You need to give them a piece of you. Connect somehow. Pretend you are reading and think what would catch your eye. Read those Amazon Best Seller Book Descriptions.

Review Blurbs

I had a comment in a recent article asking if regular people read the long reviews on Amazon. If they get that far they just might.  How do you let the potential purchaser of your book know people like it?

Okay, so there is the star review they can see but you want them to see the words.

Take review quotes and put them in your Book Description. Not a lot of them. Pick those which keep the energy going in your “pitch”. Always remember your Book Description is a sales pitch.

“Ronovan Writes nails the book to the wall with non-stop action and keeps you guessing every step of the way. I started reading it and could not put it down until I was finished. Who needs sleep?”

“The LWI: Book Descriptors had me pacing the floor wondering what would happen next. I loved and hated the author at the same time as he pulled me through every emotion and made me question what I believed.”

“I started reading this as a night time read and the next thing I know I am wide awake. My wife hit me to turn out the light. Ronovan Writes “The LWI: Book Descriptors” is worth a night on the couch, or two.”

Keep the quotes short and not many.  You only have a little time of the modern day person’s short attention span.

The Story

Now tell about your book. Give the nutshell version. The commercial, the “hook”. You threw out the line with Who You Are, you baited them with the Review Blurbs, now hook them with your pitch of the book. The real description of the story. Forget the little parts, the recipe. Tell them what you have for them.

“The LWI: Book Descriptors” races you through the dark places that we thought we knew to be true, but in reality were all a devastating plan from on high. If you can handle surprise, revelations and being kept on the edge of your seat in the world of political espionage, you’re in the right place.

How to Conclude

There are various methods. The comparison, just like you do with a literary agent or publisher where you mention how your book is similar to some other super star author’s.


Close with your best review quote blurb or blurbs.

“Not since The DaVinci Code have I read such a reality shaking story. Ronovan Writes delivers a gripping tale of intrigue and desperation. I can’t wait for his next book.”

Length of Book Description

Get the job done.  After this point do all the quotes you want, or whatever else, but get the job done quickly and if you want more quotes or then add comparisons, go ahead and do it.

Formatting the Description

Wake people up. Bold, symbols like asterisks. Do something to wake the reader up from looking through dozens of descriptions already.

Let’s see what it might look like:

Author Historian  Ronovan Writes delivers his newest jump into adventure with “The LWI: Book Descriptors”

5 out of 5 Star Reviews

*****“Ronovan Writes nails the book to the wall with non-stop action and keeps you guessing every step of the way. I started reading it and could not put it down until I was finished. Who needs sleep?”– Joe Contrare-Amazon Review

“The LWI: Book Descriptors had me pacing the floor wondering what would happen next. I loved and hated the author at the same time as he pulled me through every emotion and made me question what I believed.”-Michele Mabell-Amazon Review

“I started reading this as a night time read and the next thing I know I am wide awake. My wife hit me to turn out the light. Ronovan Writes “The LWI: Book Descriptors” is worth a night on the couch, or two.”-Leonardo Comaround herenomor-Amazon Review*****

“The LWI: Book Descriptors” races you through the dark places that we thought we knew to be true, but in reality were all a devastating plan from on high. If you can handle surprise, revelations and being kept on the edge of your seat in the world of political espionage, you’re in the right place. This IS The DaVinci Code of what people thought was American politics but turns out to be much, much more.”

More Reader Praise:

“Not since The DaVinci Code have I read such a reality shaking story. Ronovan Writes delivers a gripping tale of intrigue and desperation. I can’t wait for his next book.”-Daniel Constano-Amazon Reviewer


These are suggestions. The idea to take away from this is to put some effort into the Book Description or your months of writing a book will not get read by many. All that time and effort and you waste it away with soup can ingredients.

Make your Book Description as good as if not BETTER than your Book!


Much Respect



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 And as always . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved by

Jeanne Bannon Q&A Nowhere to Run @JeanneBannon

Nowhere_to_Run_Jeanne_Bannon.jpgNowhere to Run


Jeanne Bannon

An excerpt from the book:

A creak came from the back of the diner. Lily lifted her head to listen. Another small groan of the floorboards. Could Sara be giving her a sign?

“Sara?” Lily slid off the stool.

A tall, dark figure loomed in the doorway.

Lily froze, her heart near exploding. “What do you want?” she choked out in a thin voice.

He stepped nearer. “Open the register.” His voice was a deep whisper.

A balaclava hid his face; the seams of a dark gray coat strained over a thickly muscled physique. He aimed the gun in his right hand at her chest.

Her feet seemed rooted to the floor.

“I said, open the register.”

The man moved close enough for Lily to catch his scent—a mix of sweat and cheap aftershave. He shoved her forward, snapping her from her stupor, and followed as she made her way behind the counter to the cash register.

A glowing red light caught her attention. She hadn’t turned off the coffee maker! In one quick movement, Lily grabbed the pot’s plastic handle and launched the scorching brew at the woolen knit of the intruder’s balaclava. The gun landed with a thud between his booted feet as he clawed at the steaming mask plastered to his face.

Now was her chance. Lily shouldered past him to the front door. Her fingers, thick and clumsy with panic, fumbled as she tried in vain to turn the two deadbolt locks. She ordered herself to calm down. Take a breath. C’mon, you can do this, she told herself, but her heart jackhammered in her chest, and her ears pulsed with the rush of blood behind them.

Suddenly, a face appeared on the other side of the glass front door of the diner, sending Lily backward, nearly tripping over her own feet.

The stranger on the other side of the door took her in. A look of confusion flickered across his face. Then, as if coming back to himself, he yelled, “Hurry. Unlock the door!” The cold night air whipped his dark hair wildly around his face. His pale blue eyes locked on hers.

Panic had hijacked her brain. She didn’t know what to do. He could be an accomplice.


4 out of 5 stars “I confess I’m not a big romance reader, but this one was well put-together. The thriller-mystery aspects were cleverly done, and kept my interest. I had a quibble or two about the denouement, but nothing serious. I recommend this to anyone as a good, light read. I enjoyed the play-by-play between the romantic leads – it’s not mushy or overdone. I found Lily, the main character, credible and easy to relate to. I was never bored. The plot is fast-paced, the descriptions are excellent, some turns of phrase really stood out. I think Jeanne Bannon is a talented writer. I also liked her other book, Invisible, very much. She seems able to write in different genres with skill and aplomb.”-S. Dalton Click here for full review at Amazon.



I enjoy authors. I think if you’ve been visiting here at all you know that by now. When I encounter someone that is a real professional in all aspects of what they do I get even more excited. My guest today inspired me a bit. To be working in this business for over 20 years, is that a dream of everyone reading this or what? She ventured into writing the book of discussion today in a similar way that I ventured into writing Romance myself. Let’s get right into meeting . . .



Jeanne Bannon


RW: Where are you from?

JEANNE: I was born in Toronto Canada and live forty-five minutes outside of the city in a small town called Caledon.

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

JEANNE: I have many. I love J.K. Rowling, Stephen King, John Irving, Amy Tan, Ken Follett, Sarah Waters, Betty Smith – I’d better stop here because I could go on and on.

RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

JEANNE: Perrier water!

RW: What is your escape from writing when you are at that about to explode point?

JEANNE: Unfortunately, that point comes often for me. I love to do things with my family. Just go out, even if it’s just for a drive or to grab an ice cream. I’ll also watch Netflix. That can be a distraction, however, and it’s a bad habit. I don’t watch much regular television, so I guess I’m not wasting too much of my time.

RW: What is your favorite word?

JEANNE: Daughter. I have two of them and they are the most precious gifts I’ve ever been given.

RW: What is your background in writing, what makes you a writer?

JEANNE: I’ve always written. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t. I remember writing a bunch of poems in grade one and my teacher graciously transforming it into a book by stapling the pages into a folder and letting me decorate the front cover. Then she put it in our classroom library. I believe that was the time when I decided I wanted to keep writing. I’d gotten attention and some accolades. It was pretty nice. I do have a degree in journalism, but I’m not sure that makes me a writer. I’ve also worked in the publishing industry as an editor for over twenty years. Perhaps I’m a writer because I’m a reader first and foremost. My parents were readers and would leave paperbacks sitting around the house. I remember being curious about the books and started to read them. I was hooked after reading Cain and Abel by Jeffery Archer at the ripe old age of eleven. Then I moved on to Sidney Sheldon novels, lol.

RW: Why did you choose the name Nowhere to Run for your latest novel?

JEANNE: The title Nowhere to Run was not the original title. I’d titled it Love, Lies, and Redemption but the publisher decided the story needed a title that would better reflect the suspenseful elements of the novel and asked me to come up with a list of five alternatives. Nowhere to Run was on that list and that was the one they chose.

RW: What genre does your book fall into?

JEANNE: Nowhere to Run is romantic suspense.

INVISIBLE_COVER (smaller)I have also written a paranormal YA novel titled Invisible. I guess I’m all over the board when it comes to genres.

RW: You have books in two genres, which genre do you favor and why?

JEANNE: I would say my primary genre is paranormal YA. I love to write about the unexplainable; things that make our world mysterious and exciting. I also want to inspire and uplift young people. Invisible is about a teenaged girl named Lola. Lola is very tall and overweight. She doesn’t fit in at home or at school. She wants to disappear and one day, she does. It’s a story about bullying and fitting in and I hope it gives readers a positive message. Invisible has also been optioned for film. Got my fingers, toes and eyes crossed.

RW: An aside, here’s a review on Amazon for Invisible for those of you who are interested.

5 out of 5 stars “I can easily say this one of my favorite young adult books this year. The author portrays the characters in a very realistic manner, making this a story that will easily resonate with anyone who has ever been a victim of bullying or self esteem issues!”-Brenda Casto Click here for full review at Amazon.

RW: Tell us a little about your newest book, Nowhere to Run.

JEANNE: Okay, back to Nowhere to Run. The tagline is – what’s a girl to do when she falls in love with the man whose mission it is to bring her down?

Here’s a tidbit from the back of the book:

With the murder of her only sister, Sara, just a few months past, Lily Valier—a woman of beauty and substance—tops the sheriff’s list of suspects in small town Maine, and for a very good reason. Dear old Dad had willed his fortune to Sara and only Sara, leaving Lily to fend for herself. However, with no murder weapon or witnesses, the evidence against Lily is only circumstantial.

Enter P.I. Aiden O’Rourke, black-haired and blue-eyed, charged with gaining Lily’s trust and learning her secrets, all to finally get the goods on her. Things move fast and feelings run deep, yet when Lily discovers the truth about Aiden, everything begins to come apart.

RW: What inspired the book?

JEANNE: Okay, this is a long story but I’ll make it short. I was invited to join a group of like-minded writers to pen a romance. We’d divided up into smaller groups, but my two writing partners kinda hijacked the project, pushing me to the sidelines. After a while, I left and decided to do my own thing. I’m not sure if those ladies ever finished their project, but I am proud to say that I did.

RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?

JEANNE: I don’t think there’s much of a message in Nowhere to Run. I wrote it primarily to entertain. I do, however, touch on the paranormal (can’t help myself), so perhaps readers will learn a little about what I think happens to us when we die.

RW: What did you learn about yourself from writing this book?

JEANNE: That I can write outside my genre and that writing outside your genre is really hard.

RW: Where can we get your book now?

JEANNE: It’s on Amazon, Scribd, Etopia Press’s website, Barnes and Noble, and All Romance Ebooks

RW: How do people connect with you through all forms of social media?


Facebook –

Twitter – @JeanneBannon

Blog –

Website –

RW: Do you currently have representation?

JEANNE: Yes, I am represented by Karen Thomas of the Serendipity Literary Agency.

RW: What are you working on right now?

JEANNE: I’m on the final draft of a paranormal thriller titled Dark Angel. It’s about a female exorcist.

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

JEANNE: I’m reading Ken Follet’s Century Trilogy as well as Sarah Water’s latest novel, The Paying Guests.

RW: What is your biggest tip for getting published?

JEANNE: Persistence. Do not give up. All writers hit low points. Sometimes it’s almost impossible to make myself write, especially if I’ve had some negative feedback. Don’t let anyone or anything get in the way of your dreams.

RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?

JEANNE: I think I’d have to say, Donna Tartt’s Goldfinch. Although there wasn’t much by way of character redemption in the story, I found that the novel stayed with me for quite a while after I read it. I loved the character of Boris and was in awe of Ms. Tartt’s talent at character development.

I also loved J.K. Rowling’s The Casual Vacancy. Perhaps a tie between these two? I think Ms. Rowling is a genius. If only I could be her for a day … sigh.


After the interview I almost asked for copies of her books to read. But I am a professional – in this space, I’m an interviewer not a reviewer. I enjoyed getting to know Jeanne better through her answers.  As expected, she is a professional and her cooperation is much appreciated. I am always surprised when an Author says yes to my requests.  I hope we see her here at Lit World Interviews again at the release of her next book. 

Everyone, get Jeanne Bannon’s books and remember this . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

Nowhere_to_Run_Jeanne_Bannon.jpgJeanne_Bannon.jpgINVISIBLE_COVER (smaller)

Much Respect


2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved by

The Blue Diamond – The Razor’s Edge Book Trailer – Wait What?

Our very own award winning author PS Bartlett and her brand new

Book Trailer

for her

Hit Book

The Blue Diamond: The Razor’s Edge.

Author P.S. Bartlett

Take it easy on me friends. I made it myself.

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How to Write a Book Review.

How to Write a Book Review

One of my Mottos here at Lit World Interviews is ‘Read a Book, Write a Review’. Nice idea, huh? How do you write a review? Scary thought, isn’t it?

Trust me, it wasn’t easy my first time, and not my best. I was afraid I would say something wrong and perhaps dissuade someone from buying a book.

You’ve heard people talk about the KISS method of things. Keep it Simple Sweetie. For me I at times like to say Keep it Short Stupid, but stupid is like a profanity word around here and it really isn’t a nice word, but I was using it for myself. My having just explained all of that shows you WHY I use that definition at times, right?

Let’s give Keep it Simple Sweetie a shot.

But first;

Why Should You Write a Review?

The more reviews a book gets the better it is seen or listed on sites like Amazon. Even if you buy a book at local store, go to a site and write a review. It only takes a few minutes. Some Authors give away books and it would be kind of nice to simply write a review to help out. Free book, why not a review, right?

Okay, back to the Review Writing.

One thing above allBe Honest. This does not mean that if you hated the book that you go in and write a rant. It means you go in and give a few reasons why you didn’t like the book. Preferably intelligent reasons, or at least expressed in an intelligent manner. You don’t have to be vicious. In truth, many people will disregard your review if you are just completely one way or the other in your writing. If you are totally raving over the book, then people might look and think that you are a friend of the author or you are just too nice. If you are totally negative, people will just think you have issues. You need to give reasons.

Yes, I write reviews for friends if I have the book, but I make sure I am honest when I write them. I don’t always give the highest rating.

Even when giving 5 out of 5 stars I say why, and even give areas I would improve upon. I’ve never come across the perfect novel. Why? Because we all have our own opinions. But you don’t have to have read a perfect book to give a 5 out of 5 stars rating. If you enjoyed the book that much, then you enjoyed the book that much. That’s the real purpose of a book.

How do I write my reviews?

I like to use the sandwich method. I like to start off positive, the could have been better parts or what I would have liked parts in the middle, and then end it with something tasty as well.

Recently I did a review of a book where I started off by explaining that even though I didn’t think the book would be my kind of read, I gave it a chance and liked it. That I had let my stereotype thoughts of what a Romance of its kind was supposed to be like. I admitted I was wrong.

I gave details, that were not revealing of the full story itself in as far as giving away too much, to show I had read the book, and then gave reasons I enjoyed the writing style of the book.

Then I went into some things I would have liked to have seen such as the use of certain characters more, or the length of scenes. For this particular book there was very little to complain about. And in all honesty considering it was not my ‘kind’ of book, I was surprised. The writing was that good. I’ve spoken to the Author since reading the novel and she said, thank you but you have to remember, that is like the fifth revision you are reading, it didn’t start out that good. Encouragement for this future best selling Author, I must say. (Meaning me.)

Finally I ended with why I liked the book overall and whether or not it would make me want to read more either by the author or hope for another book in a series of the same characters.

I also gave a reason for my star rating.

A review can be as long or short as you want it to be. But it should be helpful.

The Parts of the Review

  • Show you actually read the book and why you liked or did not like the writing style
  • Were there things you would have liked to have seen differently, more of, less of
  • What did you like about the book as far as content of the story, any connections to characters, message of the book, would you read more by the author
  • Explain the reason for the rating (Optional)

Yes, if you just completely disliked the book, you might not be able to use the sandwich method, but remember to stay professional and use the review to help not only other possible readers but to also give feedback to the authors. They do read them and they want to know how to improve. They KNOW they are not perfect.

One last thing is to lable/title your review in the given field. Something that reflects your feel for the book and why you liked it.

You can read my Amazon Review here.

And as always, remember . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

Much Respect



2014 © Copyright-All rights reserved by


Check out the article with two Illegal Book Sites and add this one too it.

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog


Since you have a large voice I thought I would send this on to you.

I found places illegally offering my EBook for free.

Just thought you might want to put out a warning,

So others authors can check for THEIR books.


Anthony Renfro

Ronovan also advises you to check out this one too.


Some of these appear to be WordPress sites

To REPORT them, click on their logo or name top left of screen in the black Follow – Reblog – Like bit

a drop window will open giving you options



Go to the link WP gives you and complete the requirements


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