#MentalFloss 43 Words Invented by Authors

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I had to share this one today. Interesting and even entertaining at times.

Just out, Mental Floss: 43 Words Invented by Authors.

 

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Erotica: Sex Sells.

Fixation, fascination, art form, or a bandwagon; what is erotica? With the success of books such as the over exposed Fifty Shades of Grey and its opening weekend box-office take, things are wide open. I mean that in regards to the literary world, not the legs and mouths of men and women around the world.

Minds have begun to open. And through those doors, imaginations are beginning to leave aisles on hands and knees of well lit bookstores, away from family, fantasy, and friendly frolics to the blindfolded, hidden world of the e-reader friendly download sites for taboos, teases, and tongues. Handcuffed to stories of things never imagined, and certainly never admitted to.

The business is booming and thanks to Fifty Shades of Grey every type of writer is dipping their toes into temptation.

Is this a good thing or a bad thing for the literary world? Are we seeing literary minds become open or, as I asked before, are people merely jumping on a sales bandwagon and riding it until it is completely spent?

Call it Romance or Erotica, but call it sales gold. It may have its up quarters of sales and quarters of going down but the key is—sales. If you write it well, you can make a nice living. Readers tend to shackle themselves to a good writer of Erotica and wait in anticipation for a tease of a coming please and an alert to come for their latest release.

Is it the writing quality that gives the reader its fix?

What is it about Erotica that has the world trembling and quivering in the dark with their e-readers and jumping for their energy button or sliding a finger at every sound with fear of discovery in the dark?

It’s the final frontier of human endeavors.

But why the writer boom? Is it the sexual awakening within? According to an article from January of 2014 therichest.com the number one earning genre for writers is Romance/Erotica at $1.44 Billion followed by Crime/Mystery with $728.2 Million.

Who is spending this money? Who are the readers? According to survey commissioned by rwa.org and conducted by Nielsen they are 84% women and the ages of the readers average between 30 and 54 years of age and right here in the good old South is where the people seem to like the Romance the best. Yes, Erotica is in the Romance genre in case some writers have forgotten that part.

Let’s look at some review quotes from Huffington Post reviewer Jesse Kornbluth.

“As a reading experience, Fifty Shades or Grey is a sad joke, puny of plot, padded with conversations that are repeated five or six times and email exchanges that are neither romantic nor witty.”

“As porn tricked up to resemble a novel, there’s no hope for this book — it’s “S&M for Dummies.”

Is it the writing quality that has readers hooked?

“It’s “mommy porn,” racy enough for suburban readers but not hardcore S&M like The Story of O: “Women feel like it’s O.K. to read it… It’s taboo for women to admit that they watch pornography, but for some reason it’s O.K. to admit that they’re reading this book.

You do the web searching for all the sales figures you want but what you will find is sales are generally strong for this sub-genre of Romance (Pun intended? Perhaps.). Why? As I mentioned before, the e-reader, a device that puts every readers desires at their fingertips without leaving their homes and risking embarrassment of anyone knowing their dirty little secrets is the facilitator of this now well endowed guilty pleasure .

According the survey from rwa.org Erotica is just behind contemporary Romance in what is bought and Erotica is also just behind Contemporary in e-reader purchases with 44% compared to 48%.

There will be some that will read this and turn their snobbish lit noses up at the appalling thought of Erotica being looked upon as literature. If you know me, then you know I do not take any subject on a whim. I like to delve in to my subject and thoroughly get to know it as far as what it is like and what makes it satisfying.

Does that make me an erotica reader? No more than any other person. It is not my particular genre, but then I spend almost every waking hour working on my own novels or reading a book for a review or interview. Would I read a good one if given to me for a review if one takes in to consideration who I am and my interest. I think my about page on my personal blog would give people an idea? Yes.

But what it does mean is I recognize some do hold Erotica to be a legitimate form of literature. In truth, there are many books one might call Erotica if not for the story lines and authors of them that make them mainstream. I am sure you can think of many books with sex filled scenes. I see quality Erotica as the Romance genre with a bit more kick to it.

But how do people decide what to read when it comes to their Erotica? The survey says;

  1. The Story
  2. The Author
  3. Price
  4. Reviews

The story is key. It’s not just pumping out hard men and willing women in words. What I see needing to happen is a taking over of the genre. As with all genres before that become a hot thing, there are those who jump on to get their piece before the reader learns there is a difference between good writing and simply words on a page by someone trying to make a buck with a quickie.

Writing is writing and as our profession we should be assuring the highest quality we can. And one person’s Erotica isn’t another person’s. There are various kinds of Erotica.

Those make-a-buck writers, I avoid calling them hacks, or genre whores, are what ruin a genre. There are writers out there doing the good work now. Looking at Amazon’s list of most popular Authors in Erotica, we’ll skip over E. L. James since I believe everyone knows of her and how her series began as a fan fiction thing and went from there, I will mention the numbers 2-4.

Number two is Sylvia Day on that list. Site is sylivaday.com.

Number Three is Jordan Silver from right here on WordPress at jordansilver.net.

Number Four is Ann Charles, site, anncharles.com. Her site is powered by WordPress.

I am not providing details of careers so as not to be seen as endorsing one over another. You can be your own judge. The links are there to their sites and you can easily google names to find more information.

I clicked and read the first page of the inside of a book of each on Amazon, two for one author just to make certain. Normally I would not go to a second book of an author if the first was just that not connecting with me. But, I wanted to see the writing and content. All three are different in their approach to the subject and style of writing. I won’t say which one I would read if I were to read one because that’s not what this is about.

I will say the quality is different with each, and the writing of one is not quite up to what I would expect to find in the top 5 of a list of good writing. I would think some editing and proofreading was needed. And perhaps it was the approach that turned me off. But apparently the approach turns enough on to sell books. Yes, that is the one I tried to read at least two first pages of. There is no way I could read a book by that one author.

I know that I am no top selling author, so if I named names that person could come back to me and say something but you know, sometimes sensationalism and garbage sales, tabloid in paperback and e-book form. And really, I would never trash an author. Even hack authors write. It may not even be they are really hacks, just authors encouraged to write by those who love them and want them happy, but don’t know truth helps a career more than not.

Erotica is nothing new. It’s been around since ancient times and even old Will Shakespeare wrote a touch here and there. I think ultimately if it’s going to be done it needs to be done properly and professionally. Put out quality work and make it a respected genre.

But if it does become a fully accepted or openly accepted genre with accolades left and right will it still hold thrall the masses? Will the final frontier become boring?

I suppose you could look to the fact there is still a market for Star Wars books after all these years. In spire of the horrid trilogy prequel.

Does Erotica have staying power? Does the populace have the appetites to keep it going? Every person comes to a point of awakening and wants to discover and a great majority want to discover in private. Perhaps you will read an Erotica from me some day. But it would need to be the characters telling me that’s what they want. My books go where they will and I don’t get in their way.

Perhaps that’s what we should be looking at as writers. Simply be honest in your writing. What are the characters telling you? Don’t force them in your pre-made box. If they want kink, give them kink. If they want hard driving, heavy breathing, woman satisfying, body aching sex, then satisfy those characters like you’ve never known satisfaction before.

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

 

@RonovanWrites
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BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “IF ONLY” @NORMABUDDEN

Title:  “If Only”if-only-norma-budden-review-colleen-cheseboro

Author:  Norma Budden

ASIN:  B00S4GV7OU

Website:  normasbooks.com

Published:  February 14th 2015 by Smashwords Edition

Pages:  204 pages

Genre:  Romance, Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance,

*A copy of this book was provided to me by the author in exchange for an honest review, which follows.

Demi and David first meet in high school, where they fell in love at a young age.  In no time, Demi is pregnant and decides to hide the truth from David about their child, because she does not want to influence his decision to go to college to become a private investigator.  Instead, Demi takes it upon herself to have the child and give her up for adoption.  This decision comes at a price to Demi’s psyche.  Years later, she begins to have visions of her daughter, and feels an unexplainable need to find her child now, at any cost.

Compromising matters further, Demi is married to another man and has two children with him.  Searching for her daughter has brought no leads from the current investigators, so Demi turns to the only man she knows will help her find their daughter – David, her lost love from long ago, who is now a successful private investigator.

Demi finally tells David about their daughter.  David is also married to someone else with two children of his own.  Breaking the news to their spouses creates a story of intrigue and suspense with more twists and turns along the way.

Sharing in the story, is the child herself, Renee who feels she cannot connect with her parents, and never has.  Always the outsider, Renee wonders as an only child, if she was adopted.  Before long, Rene starts having dreams and experiences an uncontrollable urge to meet a strange man – her father, David.  As events unravel, Demi and David tumble through a maze of second chances, reconciliations, and realize many losses along the way.  Eventually they find the love of a real family.

Norma Budden

Image credit: Norma Budden

I felt great empathy for Demi and David, as they longed for the child they never knew.  It was important that each character felt the pull of Renee, the missing link to their family unit, and the author was able to convey that message to the reader.  I was drawn to the paranormal aspect of the dreams that Demi, David and Renee shared.  I felt like there was an unforeseen force willing them all to find each other to complete their family.

“If Only,” tugs at your heart, and I found myself rooting for them all to find each other and become the family they were meant to be.  Even though some of the events were predictable, and much time was spent inside the heads of the characters; I found myself caught up in the over powering human desire of ‘belonging’ that the author conveyed in her telling of the story.

This was an uplifting story of change and growth between two adults who felt the need to atone for decisions made as young adults.  Our past always follows us, and Norma Budden leads her readers on a journey of love and acceptance one will not soon forget.

RATINGSIf Only Norma Budden Book Cover
Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 3/5
Overall enjoyment: 4/5
Readability: 3/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.0

Buy it at: Amazon
Format & Pricing:
Paperback: $9.99 US
Kindle: $2.99 US

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Colleen_Silver_Threading

 

 

 

 

@ColleenChesebro

www.SilverThreading.com

 

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Make the Back Cover of your Paper Book Work for You

What I’m about to suggest to you is something that I’m in the process of updating, and it’s not quite complete with all my books, so don’t yell “Liar, Liar!!” yet. I think it’s a really good idea for your paper books to act as the marketing tools that they should be for your other writing. Self publishing a paper book on Createspace is fairly easy. Writing a book blurb or synopsis, on the other hand, has always seemed harder than writing an actual full length novel to me. On a paperback, what’s on the tail is vital though. I think that it’s just as important as the cover design for a book that you hold in your hands to read. The first thing I do in a bookstore after glancing at the cover is turn it around. I read the author’s biography, eyeball his or her photo, and then on to reading the description. Obviously it’s the blurb that makes me buy or not buy the book, but once I’ve read it and loved it, I’m going to be wanting more, so if it’s a new author to me I head back to the bio and photo.

One of the wonderful things about self-publishing that not a lot of Indie authors take the time to consider, is the very active second hand book market. Once a single copy of your book leaves the presses it’s off on its life journey. Maybe it will be read and kept by the person who buys it, but sooner or later it’s going to go elsewhere. Books last longer than people sometimes, and some travel the globe. A lot of readers will only read paper books. It’s pointless talking percentages here, because even small percentages of millions of eyeballs is still a lot of eyeballs. People who regularly only read paper books are not likely to keep all of the books that they’ve read because they probably would like access to their beds and cupboards. They’ll give them away, swop them, or sell them at second hand book shops, car boot sales, fetes – all sorts of places. I buy lots of books, many of them new, but I’m a force to be reckoned with at the second hand book stall in any fete or event. I have piles of second hand books in my collection. So make your paper book back cover for that market. Readers like me.

The people who buy them won’t have any clue at all about ISBN’s and will most certainly not look for the name of a traditional publisher – most people can’t tell if a paper book is self-published or not unless they’re involved in the Indie world in some way. They’ll just be captivated by the cover, and then sold by the writing on the back. They’ll buy it, take it home and read it, and either say “Oy, what a load of….” or fall in love with your prose and want to read more of your work. As a reader, I assure you that I’ll go out of my way to find more books by writers whose books I’ve found at fetes or in other arbitrary ways, and Kindles are all over the place now – even here in South Africa. So we have to make it count. Look at a couple of traditionally published books on your shelves, and see how they do it.

2015-02-26 13.33.10

It’s obvious that we really should stick to the photo we already use on all our online sites to begin with – this not only gives you power on Google searches, but also makes you recognisable as time goes by. Keep your author pic for at least a couple of years when you first head out the gate before updating to a newer version, and don’t worry about the wrinkles or any other thing you probably wrongly think is gross. Readers aren’t expecting you to look like a Victoria’s Secret model – unless you are a Victoria’s Secret model. So – your usual online photo on the back cover with a short bio – top or bottom doesn’t really matter as long as it’s there. Don’t forget to leave your typed out website http address as well, to make it easier for your new fans to find you when they look for more of your books. Then the very, very best book description you can write. Even if it takes you a day – or two – writing a compelling blurb is more important than writing the book, because without it nobody will ever read it to begin with.

My current book covers have been made using Createspace online cover creator, where you insert your front and your back, and then choose a colour from what’s available for the spine, so they have boring spines. Unless you have a standard colour cover, you’re not likely to get an exact match, which is why I’m redoing mine now as full spreads. Either way you choose to do it, do update your paper book back cover so that you’ll be recognisable, and easy to find, no matter where it ends up. Go to Creatspace and follow calculations for your book, then download your book template. It will look like this.

Template Download

Open it in whichever image editing software that you use, create a new layer, and off you go. Make sure that there isn’t any pink left when you’re finished, while at the same time also being sure not to put any text in the pink layer or the barcode area. In fact to the left of the barcode could be the perfect spot for your gorgeous author photo and tiny bio. I’m not terribly good at finicky calculations, so I’m doing mine as three different layers – the front, back, and spine each getting their own. When you’re done, save as PDF and upload to Createspace.

If Only Interview with Author @NormaBudden

RW – You have three children and two grandchildren in the house. How do you find a place for privacy to write, or perhaps a better question is how do you find the quiet time?

NORMA – My family and I live in a two bedroom house which will, likely, make you wonder how weNorma Budden manage to comfortably have six people sleeping in the house. The answer is that we gave up the living room a few years ago and turned it into an open-area bedroom, which used to be mine. I loved it! Except for the washroom and laundry facilities, everything I needed was in the same room; it felt like I had my own studio apartment.

As the family grew, with the same daily grind at the day job, I needed a space to call my own. I achieved it, for a while, because I moved into the smallest bedroom. When my grandson was born, I gave up a little of that space and allowed him to share my room with me since it was a much quieter environment. We formed an agreement: in the evenings, after unwinding a little when coming home from work, I could write to my heart’s content as long as I found a way to shield his eyes from the light surrounding my desk.

Having a fan set on a low speed helped because it shut out the noise from the kitchen and other areas of the house. If the noise got louder, the speed of the fan went up a notch. Though my grandson no longer shares a room with me, the same fan is still in operation.

I have gotten into having easy listening music playing in the background, sometimes, which helps drown out the sounds in the main part of the house, and helps me relax. One other enhancement has been installing a deadbolt on my bedroom door because sometimes I have to meet a deadline and, no matter how much I enjoy little visits from my kids and grandkids, it removes my focus, depending upon what I’m working on at the time. Does the deadbolt get locked very often? No, but it gives me peace of mind knowing it’s there.

RW – Describe your writer’s place.

NORMA – I write in my bedroom. Instead of hanging clothes in my open-area closet, I set a desk in there instead. To my immediate left is a window through which I see a few houses and can look onto the tundra. During summer, when the kids are playing outside, I can easily write and look through my window to make sure they’re in sight and okay.

In front of me is my 23” all-in-one Dell Inspiron computer which sits about 24 inches away from me as I write. There are photos of the kids and an inspirational quote sitting on my desk to the left of my computer. On the right is my little pen and stationery area which comes in handy more than one might think for a writer who primarily uses the computer.

On the wall behind my computer, to the left, are a couple of wall decorations. To the right is a piece of art made at school by my son the first year he was in school titled, Walk With Me, Anaana – Anaana being the Inuktitut word for Mom.

To the right of my desk is a filing cabinet – which comes in handy, but is rarely used.

RW – How does where you live influence what you write?

NORMA – Despite interest people have shown over the years, one thing I don’t do is write books about living in Arctic Canada. Whether I will, who knows, but my heart is stuck on writing fiction. That being said, I may be able to use the Arctic tundra as settings for fiction novels but, in all honesty, I like to escape the frigid temperatures outside as I can, and writing helps carry me to another place.

Since I began publishing e-books in 2011, I’ve noticed that I pay more attention to detail when traveling. My family and I enjoy extended road trips and, because I can’t find such settings and enjoy such experiences at home, I soak everything in so that my characters can enjoy the same towns, road trips and experiences.

RW – Tell our readers about If Only.

NORMA – I’ve written numerous storylines throughout my writing career but I can’t say any previous title I’ve published resonates within my soul the same way as If Only does. I’m so used to beginning a story with only one scene in my mind, but the scene calls to me. The more I try to ignore it, the louder it calls my name – to the point I just set everything else aside and begin to write.

If Only Norma Budden Book CoverWhen I began writing If Only, I thought of a mother searching for a baby girl she had put up for adoption several years earlier. At the time, I didn’t know that the biological mother was married. I just knew her heart was aching and she needed to find her child, no matter what. At the same time, I wondered how I could introduce a paranormal element into my story – something I’d be comfortable writing, something my fans would be willing to read. At the heart of the matter, I knew I wanted the story to appeal to peoples’ emotions because, of all the subjects people can study and understand, I understand emotions.

Without giving the story away, If Only takes readers on a journey into relationships and the ensuing emotions the characters feel because of the circumstances they find themselves in.

Demi loved David – the father of the daughter she put up for adoption 16-years-ago – but they moved on with their lives. When feeling desperate to find her firstborn child, Demi calls David and tells him the truth of the situation, that he had sired a daughter as a teen, that two detectives were unable to find her.

I don’t think either of them expected the events which followed, how tragedy would strike, how their lives would change forever. David certainly had no expectation that a young lady calling him, “Dad,” would begin appearing to him in the dead of night. Demi didn’t expect David to come to her with stories she couldn’t make herself believe.

In the midst of it all, we have a budding teen romance and four small children struggling with their emotions. All in all, it’s a story that stirs my soul because so many emotional elements of it are felt by people every day.

RW – What themes can the reader expect?

NORMA – Forgiveness brings healing; it is definitely one of the themes that readers should take away after reading, If Only. Of course, true love conquers all would be another. I’m sure there are others but I’d like to leave something for readers to discover on their own because I’ve already learned people interpret the story differently.

RW – Although the characters are works of fiction in If Only you must have pulled influences from various people in your life. Would you be willing to share some of them? I know where the name David Alexander came from and very likely his relationship with children but, as far as personality traits, where did those come from for some of your characters?

NORMA – I hadn’t thought about this until you asked but, in retrospect, I can see the character of Phillip, David’s father, as being a close resemblance to a pastor friend, John Dueck, of Saskatchewan, Canada. I met him when he was stationed in Arviat with his wife several years ago. In many ways the two of them were like parents to me; they would do anything for me and I could confide in them about anything. In the story, David could tell his father anything and his father would never cast judgment. Instead, he would offer sage advice – for David to be cautious in his steps, for example. This is the kind of advice John would have given me in such a situation. He might have his own thoughts and ideals, but he would never force me to bow to his wishes.

As for Demi, in some areas, she is similar to me. We share the same allergic reaction to tobacco smoke. Also, if I wanted to find someone, I would do everything in my power to make sure I found them, exhausting every possible tool at my disposal, if required. Also, Demi throws herself into her work and often feels inadequate as a parent because she has to work so many hours in a given week. I’m the same. I work between 45-50 hours outside of the home. By the time I get home, I’m exhausted. I’d really like to kick my feet up and relax for a while, but I have this quirk about not wanting to eat after eight o’clock so must force myself to keep going so that, when I can sit down, I don’t need to get up again right away.

As for Riley, I imagined a boy similar to my son. He likes to dance and would be a little scared if he was put into a situation that made him uncomfortable. Wanting to hide would be something I could imagine him doing if he encountered the situation Riley did when with his father in PEI.

As for JD Phelps, his character is based upon an author friend, Michael Phelps, who has worn many hats; his retirement as Chief Investigator from a well-known Miami law firm was the last hat he wore before trying his hand at writing. I just had to have him help David find his daughter.

As for the other characters, they wrote themselves, but it doesn’t mean they are any less important. Caitlin and Jocelyn, for example, are two girls I wish I could meet so I might wrap my arms around them, even if they have David and Demi to comfort them. Those two girls tugged at my heartstrings unlike any other “child” character I’ve created.

RW – If Only seems to be a very personal story. I know you are a talented writer but there are elements here that are portrayed almost too perfectly for the imagination. How did the story develop?

NORMA – The story is pure imagination which started with an idea and grew. I wish I could say I had personal experience which enabled me to write the story as I did but, at the time I wrote If Only, I didn’t. It was months after the story was written that the bottom dropped out of my world from losing so many people I cared about. I guess you can say I threw myself into my characters’ lives so that I became each one of them and went with how I thought I might feel.

RW – There are young children in the book and they deal with some very big emotions. How did you go about writing those parts? I mean they are spot on.

NORMA – When I wrote If Only, I was living and breathing the story no matter what I was doing, where I was or whom I was with. It became my life, consuming every ounce of energy I possessed. I didn’t feel comfortable until I was in front of my computer, having settled in to write for the evening.

The issues the young children had to deal with surprised me because I didn’t see them coming. However, I’m a firm believer that, as something is written, so shall it be. I don’t mean that we shouldn’t review and polish a piece of writing; what I mean is that, for me, if a storyline begins to write itself, I have to go along for the ride and see how everything unfolds. As of yet, I’ve never written myself into a corner.

I threw myself into the character of Caitlin looking at her younger sister’s pain. It was as if Caitlin stepped inside of me and told me how she was feeling. As for Jocelyn, I imagined how I might feel if something I did hurt someone else. I know, without a doubt, I’d be blaming myself, no matter what anyone said. It would take time for me to heal completely.

As for Sophie and Riley, I tried imagining how I would feel if my hero let me down; it wasn’t a difficult thing to do, though I hated that they had grown scared of a person they had loved so much. It brought to mind an experience from my childhood, seeing a man I loved in a drunken state. When he called out to me, I was terrified. I remember hiding, not because I was afraid of the man, but because of the way my name sounded that particular time when he said it. Writing If Only, I went with the way I felt at that time in my life and used my feelings as a starting point for writing the scenes.

The emotions were painful to deal with as I wrote the various scenes but, in some peoples’ lives, those emotions and feelings of being afraid are faced on a daily basis – whether it’s because they lost a loved one or have grown afraid of a person who has been assigned to love and protect them.

RW – Again about the children in the book, I personally look at what you did as taking a lot of strength to do. Even as a work of fiction I know it’s difficult to write certain pieces. How did you handle those parts with the children? How did you not curl up and want to hide under a blanket in the bed?

NORMA – Let me tackle the easiest issue first: the fear that developed for Sophie and Riley soon after they went to PEI for vacation. I’ve been to PEI and I stayed at one of the cottages in Hampton mentioned in the story. I had to deal with my garbage the same way my characters did, having everything sorted depending upon what it was made from or whether it was organic waste. I had the same level of excitement as Sophie did, even if I was confused, at first.

The events that followed – their father taking up smoking and beginning to drink – unsettled Sophie and Riley. It was difficult to write those scenes because these two kids didn’t grow up in such an environment. Their mother was allergic to tobacco smoke so that was the first thing to instill fear into their young minds. When their father began drinking, shouting that they didn’t need their mother anymore, I wanted to knock him on his backside then kick him in the ribs a couple of times – which was shocking for me. I rarely want to bring pain to one of my characters but, in that moment, Robert Glenn was lucky I decided to let him live.

When Riley crawled from underneath the bed, my heart broke for this child who had lost a level of innocence he should never have lost, especially at such a young age. Up to the point when they left for their trip to PEI, he had already been trying, in his own way, to get his father’s attention in the way he craved. Yes, it was difficult to write such a scene. In my mind, Riley deserved the kind of father David was to his girls, a father whose world revolved around his children.

With Jocelyn and Caitlin, however, I could easily have curled up in bed and kissed the story goodbye because I didn’t want to deal with the emotions anymore. What good would that have done, though? In my mind, they would’ve been left in limbo. I would have left two little girls hurting when healing might have come their way, so I did the only thing I could do: I continued to write the story while sobbing like a baby sitting at my computer, reaching for tissues as I needed them. With the emotional scars I feared they’d have to deal with for the remainder of their lives, I had to try to come up with some type of happy ending for them. I owed them that much; after all, it was my writing which brought them so much pain so the least I could do was try to repair the damage.

RW – How important is the seat belt rule in your family?

NORMA – I live in Arctic Canada where seat belts are rarely, if ever, used – at least in the areas where I live. There is no law that states we have to use them, but I can’t speak for the remainder of the territory. We don’t have a vehicle to drive, anyway – except an ATV during summer – so it’s a moot point.

Because I am typically the only adult traveling with the kids, in the distant past, sometimes I’ve encountered situations in which it seemed safest to take one of the little ones in the front with me than leave them crying in the back.

For example, my girls and I were traveling in one of the states several years ago when they were young, before my son was born. My girls were not used to trees since we live above the treeline in Arctic Canada. This particular night, it was dark – though not late – and we were surrounded by trees with little traffic on the lonely road we were driving. The hotel room was booked but we still had about an hour or so to drive before we got there. My youngest daughter, a baby at the time, woke to the darkness outside and started crying. I don’t know how long she cried but I was starting to feel overwhelmed. I pulled over quickly, unstrapped my seat belt and turned around in my seat. I took her out of the car seat and put her on my lap closest to the door, strapped the seat belt the best I could over both of us and continued driving. In all honesty, had it not been such a dark, deserted road, or if I had another adult in the vehicle with me, I likely would have stayed pulled over until she drifted back to sleep but, given the circumstances, it felt safest to make the decision I made.

In general, though, from the time I board a plane with my family, the seat belt is fastened. Like David, I will not move a car unless every seat belt is fastened, even if we are driving outside of the country and enter a state where the seat belt law is not in effect.

Imagine my surprise (in 2011) when stopping at a drive-through in Ohio and seeing a baby sitting on a man’s lap in the back seat. I was astonished! A lady at a restaurant later told me that seat belts were not required in Ohio and, as long as a baby is sitting in the back seat, it’s okay.

Well, the truth of the matter is that I don’t feel comfortable driving unless I’m wearing my seat belt. To me, sitting in a moving vehicle without using my seat belt would be similar to a cop going on duty and failing to take his weapon. It just doesn’t make sense.

A side note: driving in the dark is at a minimum over recent years yet, strangely, my children now miss it. Since they are older, I may begin resuming my old habits because I miss driving at night, too.

RW – Your writing, and I am including your previous books, have a great deal about families in them, even if they are families of friends. How much does your own family influence your writing?

NORMA – Off the top of my head, I can’t see a correlation between my family and the subjects I write. However, family is important and, with a larger number of parents working and having less time to spend with their kids, I like to write stories which brings the family unit to the forefront of readers’ minds, even in their down time.

RW – Tell us about a food court at a mall and how important that is to your writing career?

NORMA – I knew the minute I read this question that you did some extensive homework in preparing your interview. I’ve been searching the recesses of my mind to remember where you might have come across something I wrote that led up to this question, but I’m drawing a blank.

To answer your question, though, I started writing poetry when I was a teenager. I was going through a rough situation and needed an outlet for my thoughts. I worked at a Laura Secord location in St. John’s, Newfoundland, at the time. During lunch breaks, I would quickly grab a bite to eat in the food court and then put pen to paper and write.

I wrote poems and songs about my thoughts and feelings. Sometimes I imagined a situation and how I might feel if I was in that situation and wrote about it. Other times, I looked at people – studied them – and wrote poems or songs about what I thought they might be feeling.

At any rate, it was a starting point. Over the years, I went on to write several novels and short stories – some of which I’ve published – and I’m proud to say I have an ever-growing fan base.

RW – About your writing process. If Only was a ‘let my imagination run its course’ book written during November of 2013, perhaps NaNoWriMo. It’s been over a year later. Is that your normal process? Is that your normal length of time from beginning to being published?

NORMA – From the time I finish writing a book to the time it is published depends entirely upon what is going on in my life. I try not to box myself in too much, in terms of announcing deadlines, since I have no way of knowing what will arise on any given day.

Sometimes I intend to work on publishing a title but another story idea comes to mind and I need to start writing immediately. I follow my gut a lot in everything I do so, sometimes, writing projects get put on hold for a while.

To give you an idea of time lines, I published the first book of my Freedom in Love Series, An Affair to Remember, in September of 2011. The second book of the series, When Love Abides, was published three months later. I was on a roll with thoughts for the third book, Soul Confessions, to be written and published soon afterwards. However, life happened. My grandson came along and I started writing shorter stories because I didn’t have as much writing time.

I went on to publish two short stories and two novellas by September, 2012. By that time, life had settled into a routine and I started working on Soul Confessions. It came to an abrupt halt when I felt prompted in my spirit to write, Coming Unglued: A Mother’s Journey into Hell. The story would not let me go so I had no choice but to follow through; it was published in November of 2012.

Just when I thought, again, I’d be able to focus on writing more of my series, my granddaughter came along. I knew I was in trouble where my writing was concerned. What made matters worse was that I had readers wanting to read the third book of the series and had to put them on hold.

That being said, after writing If Only in November of 2013, I knew I would let the story sit for a while. I had to finish writing Soul Confessions and, because there was going to be such a lengthy time between the publication of the second book and the third, I didn’t feel it was right to publish Soul Confessions until the fourth book (Divided Loyalties) was written.

Months passed. Little writing would be done until June, 2014, when I resumed writing and finished Soul Confessions then, without taking a break, started writing Divided Loyalties.

Sunday, July 20, 2014, would see me at David Alexander Vetra’s apartment where I was house-sitting until he got back in town. I decided to cook dinner so he wouldn’t need to fool around with preparing a meal. It was just a quick weekend trip so, while waiting for the next several hours to pass, I took the opportunity to finish writing Divided Loyalties.

At one point in the early afternoon, I was writing a scene and suddenly stopped, then started sobbing like a baby. I noted the time; it’s another quirk of mine. I wanted to stop writing but I felt in my spirit that I had to finish the story, so I got my out-of-the-blue emotions under control and finished it. I was on such a natural high after writing two books in a matter of six weeks that I thought nothing could bring me down.

Just a short while – I’m talking about a couple of hours – after penning the last words of Divided Loyalties, I received news that David was killed in an accident. He was a dear friend of my family and we continue to miss his presence in our lives. I later learned that the time of his death had occurred around the same time I had started sobbing for no apparent reason.

Let me tell you, an emotional high followed by such a devastating low, in such a short span of time, left me feeling absolutely numb. I couldn’t imagine working on publishing a book. I could barely bring myself to think. Thank God I still had a few days of vacation remaining so I could get my head together before returning to work.

Even weeks after, I still couldn’t write. It felt like something had died within me; I feared I’d never feel normal again. Then came Michael Phelps of Miami, Florida – friend of the late David Jannsen and a dear friend of mine – asking if I might consider editing and formatting his two volume book titled, David Janssen: Our Conversations. In retrospect, I believe God took that opportunity to provide a healing balm to my wounded soul.

After I finished with his book, I figured I’d better get Soul Confessions published. Finally, in October, 2014 – three years after the second book of the series was published – the third title was available to my readers. In November, 2014, I took part in another NaNoWriMo challenge and wrote the fifth book of my series, The Promise, which left me free to work on publishing Divided Loyalties.

However, I felt urged within my spirit to publish If Only first, felt the time was right, and here I am promoting this title as much as possible. By the beginning of March, 2015, I will be working on finalizing Divided Loyalties.

RW – I know you are just releasing this book but what are you working on now for your readers to enjoy next?

NORMA – After Divided Loyalties and The Promise are published in 2015, I intend to write another stand-alone book titled, A Lost Mind. In this story, I’ll be writing about a man who had an accident, whose memory was wiped clean, a man who wakes every morning since the accident with no memory of the day before. I intend to build upon his life before the accident and how his life, and the lives of those he loves, has forever changed after the accident. It will be an uplifting story and, amazingly, I already know what the last words will be – but I can’t ruin the surprise so I will keep them to myself. They are written upon my heart and I shall not forget.

RW – Is there a genre that you would like to explore and if so why?

NORMA – Unlike many writers who would like to become known for writing a certain genre, I don’t want to box myself in. I guess I’m much like an actor who doesn’t want to become known for only being able to act in certain types of roles. That being said, there are subjects I won’t write but every subject I write about will have emotional depth.

RW – One of your interests is writing poetry. Would you write a poem to share with our readers that you believe fits If Only?

An Anchor

Happiness lingers all around,

Smiles and laughter everywhere,

Until, one day, the phone did ring,

Bringing news one couldn’t bear.

An anchor comes from a past life,

Calms the stormy, raging sea,

Spreading her arms of love around,

Falls in love, but it can’t be.

 

Yearning to know what is the truth,

A voice whispers in the night,

One man can hear and he believes.

His mission is to set things right.

 

Copyright 2015 Norma Budden

 

 

RW – You are very prolific in your writing. I also know you do some editing. Where do you find time for it all?

NORMA – I rarely watch television which gives me a lot of time to get extra things done, even though I spend a large portion of each week day outside of the home. Also, writing is as relaxing for me as reading so, sometimes, I choose to write – instead of read – before going to bed. Typically, if I take on an editing project, I don’t write and do very little reading, so it becomes a balancing act. It’s amazing what can be accomplished in two to three hours each night.

RW – You edited Michael Phelps’ books David Janssen-Our Conversations. I’ve read the unedited versions. How does one go about acquiring your services?

NORMA – I haven’t advertised my editorial services, as such. Editing Mike’s book came along because he read some of my e-books and asked me who prepared them for publication. When I told him I passed my book to an editor but did all of the formatting myself, he was impressed and sent his files to me.

Of course, I can’t attach my name to something unless I feel it’s as perfect as it can be so I took on the editing as well as the formatting, setting up the files for publication and so on. I’ve had other assignments, even turned some down, but it is largely dependent on my schedule.

RW – You’re self-published but reading If Only I would think if you wanted to be you would be signed by someone by now. What is the appeal of self-publishing to you? What is your biggest advice to those looking at self-publishing?

NORMA – The biggest appeal of self-publishing is that I get to keep my story how I want it told. I can retain my rights to it and set my own deadlines. I’m a professional in wanting my books released properly the first time they are out the door and, thankfully, there are many tasks involved with self-publishing that I can do myself. Also, in self-publishing, if I was to read one of my books and find a mistake, there would only be myself to blame and I could fix the mistake rather quickly; if I sent my book to a mainstream publisher and saw typos or less than ideal formatting, I’d be upset.

It takes a lot of time preparing a book for publication. I read it over several times to be sure it’s perfect, even after receiving it back from my editor. If I find mistakes, I polish the book and read it again. Yes, it’s a time consuming process and I haven’t even touched on marketing my books. However, I couldn’t imagine sending my book to anyone and having them tell me a scene has to go, especially if I feel that scene is critical to the story.

On the subject of marketing, though, I enjoy interacting with my readers and people who blog about my books. I enjoy forming friendships which would be missing, to a large degree, if I was to go mainstream – and, with mainstream publishing, unless my books were best sellers, they wouldn’t have a long shelf life.

As for advice to those wanting to self-publish, the most important advice I can give you is to be a professional and give yourself time. Don’t publish a work that isn’t edited or formatted properly. Whether your book is in an e-book or printed format, make your book look the same inside as a book you would see in a bookstore. This means your book needs to have front matter. It needs to have a copyright page and it needs to have a title page. Dedication and acknowledgment pages are optional but the other two aren’t.

If you are not inclined to learn how to master the steps of self-publishing and don’t want to take on the marketing aspects of publishing a book, pay a professional to do those things for you. It will be worth it.

RW – How do you define success?

NORMA – I could write a book on how I would define success, and I’m willing to bet it would turn out to be an emotional story.

I’m alive. I’m healthy and my children are healthy. I have a job, clothes on my back, food on my table each day and a roof over my head which isn’t threatened. To me, these are the basics of being successful because, without any of these, one would define true success as attaining all of these.

You’ll notice I didn’t mention money, any more than what one needs to comfortably meet their basic needs each day. A wise man once told me that money is a tool, that it should never be a god. I’ve taken those words to heart and, in the process, I’ve learned that by giving to others, I become richer in spirit. This is success to me.

However, if I could reach a point in my life in which I could devote most of my day to writing and promoting my stories, it would be the ultimate form of success, especially if I can write from an office with a wall of windows overlooking a large body of water.

RW – I have one question I always ask my authors: what is your favorite word and why?

NORMA – I never thought about this, but the first word which comes to mind is forgiveness. It is the only word I know which completely sets a person free. For example, you can love one person and hate another but, unless you release the hatred, the love you feel will never be as full as it can be because hatred will hold you prisoner. It will keep you from living the life you were meant to live.

RW – What is one book, that you were not involved in any way with, that you would recommend for people to read?

NORMA – It’s interesting that I was thinking about this last night before going to sleep. I read a book by Dean Mayes a couple of years ago called, The Hambledown Dream. The story has forever stayed with me, likely because it was so different.

The author had a passing thought which led him to wonder what might happen if a dying man’s soul inhabited the body of another who had led an undesirable life but would walk away from the emergency room, his body unscathed. The Hambledown Dream has overtones of reincarnation, which I’ve never read before nor since, but this story gripped me. The writing was some of the best I’ve ever read and to say the story carried me away would be an understatement.

There are many great books out there and I’ll never get to them all but some of the books I’ve enjoyed most over the past three years can be found at Budden Book Reviews.

www.buddenbookreviews.com

 

RW – Where can everyone find you online?

NORMA – I have multiple websites but the two I frequent most are Norma’s Books (www.normasbooks.com) and Budden Book Reviews (www.buddenbookreviews.com).

I can also be found at several places but the most popular social networks I frequent are:

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/NormaBudden

 

Sometimes I’m asked, “Ronovan, how short should my answers be?” when I ask interview questions.If Only Norma Budden Book Cover My answer is always, “As long as they need to be.” Today I could have cut down and edited some of what Norma Budden said, but you know what? Don’t you know who she is now and what drives her? Can you feel how much writing is such an integral part of her life? It’s more than a passion. I have grown to know Norma during the interview process, reading If Only for review and giving her feedback. When she says she is a perfectionist, let me tell you, she means it. She cares about the scenes being just right. I reviewed If Only. I called it the most personal review I’ve ever done. I came close to not reviewing books after doing this one. Not because the book was bad. You’ll need to read the review to see the answer. Buy If Only today. Don’t waste time in thinking, “Oh, I’ll do it later.” No, do it now by clicking here now.

 

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

 

@RonovanWrites

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New Release Crazy On You by @JanelleKahele & @jduncwriter Five Star #MustRead

New Release from

LWI Author

J. Kahele and her Co-Author James Duncan

Crazy On You

A Romantic Comedy

“Amazing! These two authors did an amazing job by combing their talents to bring a wonderful story. The story was written so unbelievably well the characters fine tuned.”~Five Star Review

“Both styles come together to work in devastating fashion. James writes from the London base, making his character Archie Pope real, cocky, and likeable. Isabella is created from the Italian-American side, and it would be easy to say that Miss Kahele wrote all her lines.”~Five Star Review

“J. Kahele and James Duncan together, wrote this fantastic book!! I would describe it as adventurous, dangerous, funny and romantic. The book is a love story with a twist, with Archie an English gangster, and Isabella the daughter of an Italian Godfather type from New York. Both Archie and Isabella knew nothing else, because they had lived in this lifestyle from a very young age!!!! Both wanted more!! both wanted a way out. This adventure romance takes these two and their families back and forth to and from New York, London, and Hawaii, with a lot of action, gun fighting and hiding out!!!”~Five Star Review

Get it on Amazon TODAY! NOW! Click the title or the picture NOW!!!

j-kahele-james-duncan-crazy-on-you

 

 

Finds-The 10 REAL Reasons Your Book Was Rejected: A Big 5 Editor Tells All by @RuthHarrisBooks

The 10 REAL Reasons Your Book Was Rejected: A Big 5 Editor Tells All

by Ruth Harris

I’m an Amazon #1 and million-copy NYT bestselling author published by Random House, Simon & Schuster and St. Martin’s. I was also an editor for over 20 years. I worked at Macmillan, Dell and Bantam and for a small but thriving independent paperback house, now defunct—not because of me. 🙂 I was also the Publisher of Kensington.

I’ve been the rejector and the rejectee which means rejection is a subject I know a bit about. So let me cut rejection down to size.

Manuscripts get rejected; not writers.

It’s business and (most of the time) it’s not personal.

The reasons for rejection start with the basics, i.e. the ms. sucks. Author can’t format/spell/doesn’t know grammar or punctuation. S/he is clueless about narrative, characterization, plotting, pacing, and can’t write dialogue. S/he has apparently never heard of paragraphing and writes endlessly long, meandering, incoherent sentences that ramble on like poison ivy. You cannot believe the grotesqueries I encountered during my days in the slush pile. 
Click to Read the Rest of the Original Article at Anne R. Allen’s Blog with Ruth Harris selected by Writer’s Digest as 101 Best Websites for Writers. I got Ruth Harris book at Amazon for Free through a link in the article. So go NOW, read, learn, and get FREE!
Thank you goes out to Author D.G. Kaye for tweeting this article. Her site is dgkayewriter.com

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Author @MichaelPhelps3 talks about David Janssen & more with @YouAreTheExpert OnBlogTalkRadio

Listen to author Michael Phelps talk about his friendship with David Janssen and about his works of fiction based on cases he’s actually been involved in. Mike may write fiction but it’s always the truth. I think that made sense. Click here to listen at your leisure to Tell Me A Story with Annette Rochelle Aben. Yes, the same lady I had my interview with a few weeks ago. Mike actually had things to say.

You can also click the full link below or copy and paste it. Just go and listen!

http://www.blogtalkradio.com/themagichappens/2015/02/20/michael-phelps-on-tell-me-a-story

david janssen author michael phelps

Mike’s LWI interviews begin here. Books are on Amazon here.

 

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The Tower’s Alchemist Q&A Alesha L. Escobar @The_GrayTower

Gray Tower Trilogy

RW: So let’s start this off from the beginning, I read that your husband gave you this idea for a female wizard spying for the Allies in WWII against the Nazis and basically said, see what you can do with it and you did. And you did it quite well if I may say so. Now where did he come up with that idea?

ALESHA: Thank you! He started off trying to create a fun roleplaying game (RPG) character for his sister, and when I heard “female spy” and “World War II” mixed with magic and intrigue, I immediately knew that such a character would fit well in a full-fledged story. I told him to give me that character, and she became Isabella George.

RW: People have said your main character of wizard Isabella George is another take on something Jim Butcher would have created. I have my opinion but why do you think people say that?

ALESHA: I don’t mind taking that as a compliment, because I’m a huge fan of Jim Butcher! I think people may say that because of a wizard openly practicing and offering wizardly services in modern society. When we first meet Butcher’s Harry Dresden, he is a wizard for hire (and he becomes much more). Isabella is a trained alchemist, and British intelligence hires her to spy against the Nazis; throughout the course of the trilogy, she becomes much more.

RW: Tells us why Isabella and your version of wizardry is not Jim Butcher?

ALESHA: I think the difference comes in with the magic system, as well as the fact that in the Gray Tower Trilogy, the number of people with magical abilities are declining, almost like a dying breed. There’s also going to be this unique voice and spark that will come through when you follow Isabella on her journey.

RW: You have different types of Wizards in your books. Why the divisions in abilities? Where did that come from?

ALESHA: Just as we have physical and mental talents, people who are born with magical abilities also have a propensity toward certain powers–mind control, alchemy, healing, etc. One of my characters, a priest named Gabriel, explains that these preternatural abilities were normal and widespread before the Fall of Man, but we’ve lost most of it since then. Throughout time, people like shamans, healers and miracle workers, were remnants of this legacy. The Gray Tower was founded in order to support and train these people for the good of society. They track down people who exhibit abilities (some people have only one predominate ability, others have two) and offer to train them.

alesha escobarRW: How many drafts of The Tower’s Alchemist did you go through?

ALESHA: More than two, that’s for sure. But it was necessary, and the process made me better and stronger as a writer.

RW: How different is the book from that first draft to what we see now?

ALESHA: Very different, which is a good thing, because it shows what you’ve put into the process and what you’ve learned from the process.

RW: Was your plan from the beginning to write a trilogy?

ALESHA: Yes, because a series spanning 10+ books? I ain’t got time for that!

RW: Were there any actual Historical elements that led you to how to approach writing The Tower’s Alchemist?

ALESHA: I definitely played upon the concept that Hitler and his followers were into the occult and wanted to use it to their advantage. In the book, though Hitler doesn’t appear as a character, he is spoken of as having formed an alliance with warlocks who would help fight the Allies and give him victory. This is why my heroine, Isabella, is hired by the British to spy against the Nazis. Is there a rogue alchemist poisoning Ally soldiers? Let’s send in that woman trained by the Gray Tower to take care of it. That’s their line of reasoning.

RW: How did you come up with the names of your characters?

ALESHA: I will not lie. Baby Names book. Sometimes I purposefully set out to find a name with a colorful flair, but I often had to be mindful about taking into account things like a character’s nationality or ethnicity (and this went for both first and last names).

RW: How did you determine what your story would be about? I mean there is a lot in WWII you could go with but for this one it wasn’t going right for the heart of the Nazis like what the next two include. I really need to start reading them.

ALESHA: Please do! I want to chat about the next two books with you. While researching WWII, I found out that female spies going behind enemy lines lasted an average of six weeks. In the story, Isabella has been at it for more than a few months—so she’s a survivor, but she’s also burned out. I wanted her to go from being jaded and tired to being reinvigorated. So the general arc of The Tower’s Alchemist is about Isabella experiencing what should have been her last mission, and how it caused her to become even more entangled in this deadly world of espionage and magic.

RW: That was a very subtle thing you did there. I didn’t even think of it like that. I just enjoyed the story and went along for the ride. Very awesome. Now, was there a temptation to make Isabella George a woman of ethnic background who is good at disguise?

ALESHA: There wasn’t, but I did want a diverse reflection of people who in real life aided in the effort against the Nazis. The character Jasmine Leon, for example, is an homage to the black singer/actress Josephine Baker, who spied for the French. Adelaide was inspired by a real Indian princess (Noor Khan) who sided with the French Resistance and did the dangerous work of radio broadcasting, sending coded messages to the Resistance. Come to think of it, there is an amazing international cast filling this story. I’m searching for a voice actor (for the audiobook) who can do several accents, because we’ve got British, German, French, Russian, American, Italian, and Irish characters.

RW: I read the Amazon Reviews for The Tower’s Alchemist, well I actually read the worst ones because I wanted to see what faults people found. To be honest two of the three were written by the same person using their own log in and a separate one under the title of Amazon customer. And I really could take the time to shoot every single one of this person’s problems down but not wasting any more of my time with that. Actually, I might do that, just not here. I thoroughly dislike amateur haters who don’t know good writing from the back of cereal boxes. When you read a review like that what do you do with it, what do you take away from it? And really what do you do with the reviews at all?

ALESHA: I just let it be. I can’t tell anyone how to feel about the story, or to like it. I respect the fact that we all have our opinions and preferences. I will definitely respond to a reader who has directly contacted me via Facebook or email, because they took the time to send me a note saying how much they’ve enjoyed the books, or they might have a question about them. I love when that happens, because I’ve been spinning stories since I was a kid, and what made it all worth it was seeing others enjoy my tales.

RW: The world The Tower’s Alchemist is set in is filled with magic somewhat openly. I feel it’s more that certain parts of society like the military and maybe the governments are more actively aware but that doesn’t mean it is an accepted thing so much. For me personally I get a since from a character or two at times that it’s like there is a slight fear of Wizards but in part because of an unknown factor and a feeling of being slightly inferior in a way. Are those feelings you were going for and if so why?

ALESHA: Definitely so. “Normal” people’s reactions to wizards are going to run the spectrum from acceptance to rejection. In the world of the Gray Tower Trilogy, people with magical abilities are in the alesha-escobarminority, and those formally trained as wizards by the Gray Tower are even fewer in number. So the general population isn’t afraid of wizards, survival-wise, but because the hierarchy within the Tower is composed of some arrogant Master Wizards, and no one can find the actual Gray Tower unless summoned, there is an air of mystery and hesitation. This is why you also see in the story people who decide that they don’t want or need the Gray Tower, or people who see a spiritual significance in their abilities and end up turning to the Church for guidance (like Gabriel, our resident sword-wielding Catholic priest with elemental abilities). Governments and military are more in tune with wizards and what’s going on. Everyday people are more likely to view a wizard as the equivalent of a Freemason plus cool powers.

luis-escobarRW: Tell us about the book cover design. Is there meaning to it? Who designed it? Why did you pick the colors you did?

ALESHA: I’m one of those people who’ll unabashedly give you stick figures! I’m both jealous and in awe of artists. I knew I couldn’t do the covers alone, so I had my husband design them. He’s been doing art professionally for a long time, so I figured he’d take care of it (plus, you know, I bribed him with tacos). The symbols on the covers are alchemical ones. On The Tower’s Alchemist, I believe the symbols stand for Time, Secrecy, and Hidden Things. For the following two books, the symbols change along with the major theme of each book.

RW: Tacos? Ah, now you are speaking my dinero. Anyone else notice the word dine is in dinero? Perfect. Okay, back on track here. You have done something I really enjoy here and that is you have created something called the Cruenti and the Black Wolves which I somewhat compare to two other magical creations of sorts we all should be familiar with. Would you tell us about them and how you came about them being what they are or more about how they ended up being what they are from who they were if that makes sense?

ALESHA: Oh boy, the Cruenti. Where do I start? You know our vampire myths? In the world of my story, those vampires are really warlocks known as Cruenti. However, the difference is that they’re only interested in your blood if you’re a wizard. You’re tastier to them if you have magical abilities, plus they can steal your powers this way. Usually they’ll leave you alone if you’re Joe Normal Guy walking down the street—unless you get in their way. Another interesting thing about them is that in order to become a Cruenti, you have to make a pact with a demon. It’s not for the faint of heart, but definitely for the vain and greedy. Now, we all know how those types of pacts end—the Cruenti warlock ends up degenerating and losing his humanity until he’s physically and mentally transformed into a monster—and that’s how Black Wolves are born. Black Wolves are powerful magical creatures, former warlocks, but they are also unpredictable and irrational—sometimes they attack their own allies.

RW: You have two works coming out this year. Tell us about those and do I get a copy to review?

ALESHA: Yes! I’ve just sent off my short story, LOGAN 6, to the editor. It’s coming up in the Masters of Time anthology (July 2015) and I’m working my way through a novel as well. I’d love to send you a copy, but first you must promise me

I have no idea what I have to promise but I promise!!! Typical writer cliff hanger thingy.

RW: What is Creative Alchemy?

ALESHA: Creative Alchemy is the small media/publishing company founded by Luis [the taco loving hubby artist] and me. It’s basically a micro-press (we publish a few titles per year), and an author services company. As an independent author, there have been times when I needed things like a press release, a freelance editor, or story feedback, and I didn’t have time to search a million places. This was a great solution for me, and since I’m a lover and promoter of other independent authors, being able to offer these great services became a natural extension of Creative Alchemy.

RW: Who would you say was your biggest literary influence when you consider what you write and why?

ALESHA: Robert Jordan, George Martin, JK Rowling, Jim Butcher. They write amazing stories and create memorable characters. When I stepped out of my “I only want to read Tolkien and Tolkien-like fantasy” bubble, their stories welcomed me with open arms. Dresden Files was the first urban fantasy I had ever read, Jordan’s Wheel of Time made me love magic mashed with politics and intrigue (and apparently, detailed descriptions of what my dinner guest is wearing), Martin ripped my heart out (I’m still salty over the fate of Ned), and I first read Harry Potter while taking a Children’s Literature course in college, back in 2001.

RW: What is your favorite beverage to drink and why?

ALESHA: Coffee. It’s delicious, flavorful, and I think I’ve built up a resistance to it, so I drink more than I should. No! Why am I telling you this? Is this answer going to be part of the interview?

RW: What is your biggest writing pet peeve and why?

ALESHA: For myself, it’s all about time. I can easily get frustrated when I lack time I need to write. I wish I could say I sit down for a couple of hours and bang out a thousand words, but I’m lucky if I get in a paragraph. I’m a mom, constantly trying to convince my three year old that wearing Spiderman pajamas doesn’t mean he can jump off the furniture, or I’m driving my eldest to school or dance class. As a reader who enjoys stories, a writing pet peeve of mine is when I encounter passionless or inauthentic writing. I read books to escape, to imagine a different world, and in order to enjoy all that, I want you (the writer) to pull me in and give it all you’ve got—don’t hold back!

RW: What are two hobbies that you have?

ALESHA: I like working with my hands, so you might find me mixing a homemade hair elixir or beading a necklace. I also enjoy baking desserts.

RW: So now we see where the Alchemist comes from. Watch out Luis! What would your husband say is his favorite thing about you?

ALESHA: He feels I’m a kindred spirit and that I accept him for who he is. I love that!

RW: What is your favorite word and why?

ALESHA: That’s tough, asking me to narrow it down. I know…I have a favorite phrase. It’s the last line of Dante’s Divine Comedy: “The love that moves the sun and the other stars.” It’s beautiful to me.

RW: Finally, why should people buy your book?

ALESHA: People should buy my book because it’s a fantastic ride. It’s a fresh, fun fantasy mash-up that will make you want to continue reading.

And now you all want to go and buy the book, right? You can’t! Why? Because it’s FREE for Kindle right now! Click here.

Make sure to follow Alesha on Twitter and check out her site at aleshaescobar.com.

And there you have it. Was I given The Tower’s Alchemist to read for this interview or for a review? No. Did I find Alesha on my own and then read her book after I got it on my own? Yes. I’ll be honest, I don’t often have the time to do that. But I did and I am glad I did. Get it and you will want the next one. I want to see whose butt Isabella kicks next!

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

 

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#Book #Review @OlgaNM7 ‘The Fallen Angels of Karnataka’ by Hans Hirschi

Book Title: The Fallen Angels of Karnatakafallen-angels-hans-hirschi-olga-nunez-miret

Author: Hans M. Hirschi

Print Length: 264 pages

Publisher: Yaree AB (September 15, 2014)

Language: English

ASIN: B00MRXVK84

The Fallen Angels of Karnataka is a novel that reminded me of a variety of genres. It’s a bildungsroman. Haakon, the protagonist, is a young man from a small Norwegian farm, naïve and not knowledgeable in the ways of life. The book shows us the process of his sexual awakening, how he discovers he is gay, his first experiences, his first rejection and heartbreak, his first love, and his first loss.

At a time when he’s lost everything and he’s been given what he thinks is a death sentence, an Englishman steps in, Charles, and makes him an offer that seems too good to be true. (Yes, we know all about it, but…) Haakon has always dreamt of travelling, and Charles offers him a dream contract to be his travelling companion, acting as a fairy godmother (or godfather) of sorts. He solves all the problems (including finding him medication for his newly diagnosed HIV infection) and does not seem to want anything back other than company and organisational skills. Of course, things aren’t quite as they seem, and the fairy tale turns much seedier and darker later in the book.

We follow Haakon and Charles in their travels, and the book could have become a travelogue. But although the novel provides beautiful vignettes and interesting observations and reflections about the places visited, their travel is described more in terms of an emotional and spiritual experience than a guide book. The journey our hero embarks on allows the readers to follow how the character grows, loses his —at times terribly annoying, at least to me— naïveté and manages to find not only a partner (gorgeous, good and who has suffered too, one of the fallen angels of the title), but also a worthy mission.

Hans Hirschi tackles a difficult subject in this book. One of the most difficult subjects. Paedophilia. The fallen angels of the book title are not really fallen, but rather dragged down by adults who either aid and abate others or are themselves abusers. The author shines a light on some of the least tasteful aspects of an already difficult to deal with topic, by highlighting the plight of children who are abused because they are seen as dispensable. We’ve all heard of sexual tourism and this is an extreme example of it. Although the topic is distasteful and something that plenty of readers would much rather not read about, the author manages to build credible characters that do not completely lose their humanity, even though some of their behaviours might be abhorrent. Haakon acts, in a way, as a foil and reflects the attitude of most readers, who would find it difficult to reconcile how somebody who seems so kind, educated, sophisticated and helpful could also abuse children. It is also a cautionary tale that reminds us appearances can be very deceptive.

The ending is positive, in keeping with the fairy-tale aspect of it, and although not perfect, the hero’s journey shares on universal themes and shows character development and a well-constructed plot and structure. We can’t help but hope that in real life all these kids will find a place and there will be no more fallen angels.

The book is beautifully written and the omniscient narrator allows us to see and understand things from different characters’ point of view (mainly Haakon’s but not exclusively). That helps up share in his experiences but at times puts us in a very uncomfortable position, being party to thoughts or desires and impulses of deeply flawed characters.

I would recommend this book to readers who dare to explore darker subjects. It will be quite a ride but the rewards will be plenty. I don’t know if the writer has thought about revisiting any of the characters again, but I for one would love to hear more of Mahender’s story (hard as it would be). And I will put other works by the author in my list of future reads.

 

Ratings:fallen-angels-hans-hirschi
Realistic Characterization: 3.5/5
Made Me Think: 5/5
Overall enjoyment: 4.5/5
Readability: 5/5
Recommended: 4.5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
 

Buy it at:  Amazon.
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  $14.39
Kindle: $6.66

 

Olga Núñez Miret

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Loves Lost by Sourabh Mukherjee #Free for #Kindle

Want to download a Kindle Book for FREE?

You have 5 Days of FREE!

loves-lost-sourabh-mukherjee-5-days-free-

Sourabh Mukherjee has put his Romance Short Story collection Loves Lost for FREE from February 23-27. I’ve reviewed it here on LWI and you can read it by clicking here, or you can read the shorter review on Amazon.

You can also read the Author Interview I did with Sourabh by clicking here or the image below.

sourabh-mukherjee-loves-lost

 

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Lit World Interview Week In Review Feb. 16-20.

lit world interview with ronovan writes

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

Author Interview with Ronovan Writes

The Owl Interview with the Owl Lady herself @VivDrewa

If you are around WordPress blog world then you now Viv. She speaks about three books she has out, one about her Grandfather who escaped Poland.

FEATURES

Time Management for Writers Jo Robinson

Jo gives some great advice about how to manage all those demands on a writer’s time. Remember, these days it’s not just writing we have to worry about. There is so much more and then there is that things called life.

50 Shades – Storm in a Teacup a Woman’s Thoughts Florence Thum

Florence has read the books and seen the film. After discussing it I asked her to do an article. You’ll find this in our Feature section as well. Florence gives an intelligent and very different take on the subject at hand and I feel it is a must read for all of us. Both men and women.

 

BOOK REVIEWS

“Fireworks” by Aimer Boyz @boyzbooks  Hugh Roberts

Aimer specifically emailed me and asked for Hugh to review this book. Hugh took his time and did it right. Romance and more run through this book and Hugh tells you what he thinks the only way Hugh knows how. I was tempted to ask if I could review the book as well, but Aimer asked for Hugh and who the author asks for is who they get, if possible that is.

The Judas Apocalypse by @DanMcNeil888 Guest Book Reviewer author N.A. Granger

Based on historical facts and a whole lot of imagination Dan McNeil’s The Judas Apocalypse gets Grangered. What do you think she’ll say? When I find the time I will be reviewing this book along with Dan’s other book Can’t Buy Me Love.

February Farmer’s Market by @MLaSarre  Monica LaSarre welcome to our newest member.

Monica’s specialty is with younger readers, as we all know since she wrote Jasper Penzey: International Boy Detective: The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis. She is starting what I think will be a monthly article about young reader finds from Independent Authors that are in case for February similar in nature or theme to those instantly recognized titles every kid can throw out at us. And I have to say, she did a great job this month. (If you want to get acquainted with Monica you can read my interview with her here. Also you can read her guest feature article How to Get Published: Five Tips No One Ever Told You here.)

50 Shades – Storm in a Teacup a Woman’s Thoughts Florence Thum

Florence has read the books and seen the film. After discussing it I asked her to do an article. You’ll find this in our Feature section as well. Florence gives an intelligent and very different take on the subject at hand and I feel it is a must read for all of us. Both men and women.

The Tower’s Alchemist The Gray Tower Trilogy Book 1 by Alesha Escobar @The_GrayTower Ronovan

Read this today in preparation for the Interview author Alesha L. Escobar on Monday. I read the book on my own without prompting. At first I was just going to interview Alesha without having read the book but when I saw for one the book was free and then it was historical and had wizards and sort of vampires and Nazis. Well, having been a History teacher and having met and spoken with Jim Butcher at great length at one point early in his career, yes, I talked him into going up to James Marsters who had been doing his audio books for the Dresden Files. GUILTY! Alesha doesn’t know that. She’ll be jelly if she reads this. Oh, and I got his autograph on one of his early Dresden books. Well, there went a post I could have written. No one reads these anyway, so maybe I’ll do it.

As for The Tower’s Alchemist? How did I rate it? Well if you’ve read the review or been on Twitter the past couple of days you know. If not, go find out.

 

BOOK RELEASE NOTICES

None that have been thrown in my direction this week. If you are an LWI author, let me know. And if you are an Indie author and want to be mentioned here or have a post created for your book release here on LWI and have it tweeted to all our followers, email me at ronovanwrites (at) gmail (dot) com. Yeah, I’m cool like dat. Word. (People say I don’t know how to use Word right. I don’t know but I gonna keep doing it.)

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

You lucked out people. No whatevers from me this week.

 

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

We have Olga with a Book Review. I have a Book Deal announcement from LWI author Sourabh Mukherjee. (His Loves Lost goes FREE starting Monday. Don’t let him know I told you early.) I have an interview with Alesha L. Escobar. But you might know that already. I have an interview with author Norma Budden. She wrote If Only that I reviewed here on LWI. You can click here in preparation of that. She also was the editor for author Michael Phelps’ books David Janssen: Our Conversations. I interviewed Mike and reviewed book 1 of that two book set. I haven’t been able to get to the other one yet. Too many promises made on the schedule, but I’m working on it. I’m sure there will be something from Colleen, I believe a timely Book Review. Jo will more than likely have something Thursday, unless she would like the day off. That’s a hint Jo! You work too hard as it is. And maybe something else from me on the Whatever side of things.

So Follow us, Bookmark Us, do whatever you need to do in order to come back every day for something new.

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#Book #Review of The Tower’s Alchemist The Gray Tower Trilogy Book 1 by Alesha Escobar @The_GrayTower

alesha escobar gray tower trilogy

 

 

Title: The Tower’s Alchemistalesha escobar
Author: Alesha Escobar
File Size: 1415 KB
Print Length: 322 page
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Publisher: Creative Alchemy, Inc.; 2 edition (September 28, 2011)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B005QSFXC6
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray:Not Enabled
Word Wise: Not Enabled
Lending: Enabled

From my interview with author Alesha L Escobar this coming Monday.

RW: People have said your main character of wizard Isabella George is another take on something Jim Butcher would have created. I have my opinion but why do you think people say that?

ALESHA: I don’t mind taking that as a compliment, because I’m a huge fan of Jim Butcher! I think people may say that because of a wizard openly practicing and offering wizardly services in modern society. When we first meet Butcher’s Harry Dresden, he is a wizard for hire (and he becomes much more). Isabella is a trained alchemist, and British intelligence hires her to spy against the Nazis; throughout the course of the trilogy, she becomes much more.

RW: Tells us why Isabella and your version of wizardry is not Jim Butcher?

ALESHA: I think the difference comes in with the magic system, as well as the fact that in the Gray Tower Trilogy, the number of people with magical abilities are declining, almost like a dying breed. There’s also going to be this unique voice and spark that will come through when you follow Isabella on her journey.

Now for the review.

Isabella George is not your typical spy. For one she’s a female spy in WWII sneaking in to German occupied France. Yes, there were female spies but not the norm in literature of this type. And for another thing, she’s a wizard. Her mission in this first book of the Gray Tower  Trilogy is to find and bring home the wizard creating a chemical weapon for the Nazis. But would it be a book worth a Trilogy if it were that simple?

Some have compared Escobar’s book to Jim Butcher and his wizard Harry Dresden. Okay, Isabella is a wizard in the real world and works in the real world using her abilities. End of similarities. Isabella is more than a wizard. In The Tower’s Alchemist, she is a spy, first and foremost in my eyes. She just happens to be a wizard as well. Think of it as her having a specialty like someone might be an explosives specialist on a team that goes in to extract a person behind enemy lines.

Isabella is that explosive expert and boy can she explode things at times. The problem is the Nazis have their specialists as well and they are the Cruenti and the Black Wolves, wizards that use dark magic so much they slowly turn into something less than human or more than human, depending on how you look at it.

Isabella meets several members of the French Resistance, some based on actual historical figures, and runs in to other wizards hunting her long dead father. She receives a letter from her father that’s left for her in case she passes through a safe house in France. It warns her of things to be careful of. As she carries on through her mission she discovers many things are not what she thought they were and slowly becomes aware of a need to learn more. A lot more, but how? If she learns too much the wizards against her will be able to extract what she knows.alesha-escobar

Love, hate, friends, foes, adventure, Vampires, and Nazis. What more could you ask for?

Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 4
Reader Engagement: 4
Reader Enrichment: 4
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 4.4

That 4.4 surprised me when it came up. Yes, I use a formula. I do an average of the 5 categories. And that number is what I post here and on Amazon and on GoodReads. It keeps me honest. But I tell you, 4.4 is misleading. I really enjoyed this book. I could tell research and a lot of effort went in to putting out a quality story.

Alesha L. Escobar is an Author and more based out there somewhere. There are two other books available in the Trilogy. Visit Amazon here for her author page to get them all. Book 1 and 2 are Free and book 3 is .99 right now. Get them before they blow up and she starts really charging for them.

Share this review by reblog or tweet or any other way you choose.

Click today and get them all!

 

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February Farmer’s Market by @MLaSarre

I’d like to start this, my inaugural blog post for Lit World Interviews, by expressing my gratitude for my Monica LaSarrefriend Ronovan and his invitation to share a wee bit of my perspective on reading and writing as part of his beautiful, Indy author-supporting website and blog. Ronovan does a fantastic job of keeping things lively and focused on a cause near and dear to our hearts: applauding and supporting Indy authors and making sure that we do all that we can to connect readers with great books and new authors. I’m so pleased to be a part of this mission.

As a new children’s author I find myself asking the kids I meet in my life a simple question at every opportunity (I call it market research, for free!). To the friends that sleep over with my kids, to those I meet at the elementary school during my volunteer hours as a reading helper, to the kids I’m shoulder-to-shoulder with on the floor of the kids’ book section at the local library, I ask: What’s your favorite book? I started noticing a pattern in their responses and an idea for this series of blog posts was born.

You see, as an Indy author, we all know how hard it is to compete with the steady stream of titles churned out daily by big publishing houses. As a children’s Indy author, I find it uniquely challenging to market my children’s books because social media – an Indy author’s best friend – is geared towards adults and keeps children just out of my reach. Kids read what they see in stores, on the shelves at Barnes and Noble and Costco, or the books they see in the Scholastic catalogs sent home from school, the books with intriguing cover art that catch their attention and prompt them to beg their adult to buy these books for them. And if you’ve ever tried, as I have, to get a teensy bit of shelf space at Barnes and Noble or Costco or get in Scholastic’s catalog, you know how hard that is. So, it’s no surprise to me anymore when the kids in my world tell me their favorite books are Diary of a Wimpy Kid, any number of Rick Riordan’s books, or the Warriors series. These are the books in front of them, so these are the books they read.

I am thrilled for the authors of successful kids books, I truly am. I’m a fan of Rick Riordan, he is brilliant. My only problem with the fact that kids only read what they see is that I believe kids are missing out on the breadth of creativity that is afforded to them in the world of Indy children’s books. Let me put this into grown up terms for you to illustrate.

Are you a foodie, like me? Sure, we buy our food staples at the local grocery store, but what we really love is the farmers markets. Only in a farmers market can we find the small batch goat cheese from a local farm, local and raw honey carefully crafted by the beekeeper up the highway, the jams that were lovingly jarred from sun-kissed strawberries in the tiny garden of a widower with a big heart. You don’t find those things in the local chain grocery store, but you love those wonderful products just the same. In fact, your palette would be woefully underwhelmed if you didn’t have those artisan-crafted treats to keep things fun and new and exciting.

Books are the same way, I think. Kids don’t know what they’re missing when they read books they see in the big stores. They don’t know that they’re missing out on the small-batch, carefully crafted words of an author who hasn’t made a big name for herself and probably never will. It’s up to the grownups in the world to bring their kids to the farmers market and show them what they’re missing. So, it is my heartfelt passion to be part of the group of grownups that highlights the books kids are missing out on. Your job as grownups is to help unite kids with the wonderful books of no-name authors who don’t have big house publishing contracts.

Starting with this post, I invite you to take a stroll down the lanes of this kids-book-loving farmers market I’ve prepared for you. The authors I highlight here have not compensated me in any way for mentioning their books and I bought their books myself.

This month, I’ve read three books by Indy authors that I think kids will love (I’m a kid at heart, and I loved these books!).

For Dr. Seuss Fans: Go Baby, Go! (Author and Illustrator: Beth Davis)

Go Baby, Go!From a talented author and illustrator comes this super-fun book, perfect for new readers or parents/guardians/teachers reading aloud to young children, ages 4-6. The author’s illustrations are as colorful as the rhyming tale of a baby carriage on the loose. I laughed out loud in many spots and was completely entertained by the witty encounters the runaway baby has with the police, artists, old men and even a band, to name a few. Very clever, very fun, I completely enjoyed this book.

Amazon Link: Go Baby, Go!

For Laura Ingalls Wilder and Anne of Green Gables Fans: Through the Fields to School, My Life in Montana (Author: Maxine Albro Pogreba)

A heart-warming and poignant story of a woman growing up on a large Montana ranch, this book was every bit as Through the Fields to Schoolcomforting as sitting down with my grandma and hearing stories of the “old days.” Through short vignettes, the author tells the story of running through the fields to school, her large family of nine kids, and some of the stories she recalls from childhood. I particularly loved that this isn’t a long book and it’s written in a simple style that an elementary school-age child would appreciate. This would be a read aloud friendly book for bedtime or classroom story time, maybe as part of a history curriculum. I love giving kids the opportunity to see the truth of what simpler times were like – it’s great for their imaginations to recall that, not too long ago, families didn’t have so many of the luxuries we have to today. This is a priceless perspective that goes a long way towards instilling an appreciation for today’s modern conveniences. This is a well-written, delightful read.

Amazon Link: Through the Fields to School

Harry Potter Meets Game of Thrones: Son of a Dark Wizard – The Dark Wizard Chronicles Book 1 (Author: Sean Patrick Hannifin)

Son of a Dark WizardThis newly published first book in a promising new series caught my eye because of its stellar cover. It intrigued me and I simply couldn’t resist reading the first page…which led to finishing this book in one sitting. Prince Sorren is the son of a dark wizard who has recently been killed by a boy believed to be the Chosen One of prophecy. Intent on avenging his father’s death and retaining his right to the throne, he sets out in search of the Chosen One and prepares for an epic battle. With an array of interesting characters, this book was remarkably well-written, well-rounded, and a page turner. So many times I have seen fantasy books become completely distracted by intricate back story and overly-detailed descriptions of setting, but not this book. For readers aged 9-13, this will be a riveting adventure that leaves them rooting for an unlikely hero. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in the series.

Amazon Link: Son of a Dark Wizard

I’m so pleased that I found these wonderful new Indy children’s books to share with you, especially because I enjoyed reading them immensely! I look forward to updating you again soon with more books your kids are missing out on! Until then, remember, take your kids to the farmer’s market from time-to-time so they too can experience bounty by reading non-mainstream, excellent children’s literature.

Monica_LaSarre_Author.jpgAbout the author: Monica LaSarre is a ghostwriter and the author of Jasper Penzey: jasper-penzey-book-11.jpgInternational Boy Detective, an 8-book mystery/detective chapter book series for 8-12 year olds. Read more about her on her website, http://www.monicalasarre.com. She can be reached via email at mlasarre@gmail.com

Amazon Link: Jasper Penzey International Boy Detective: The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis

 

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Time Management for Writers

Writers must always have time to write, and we need to be careful of getting too involved in selling our wares rather than creating our wares. Marketing is vital, but….. We all know by now the importance of social media as far as marketing our books is concerned. It’s important to have a platform, with a few favourite sites where we interact with others. If you still have small followings, you might be complaining about too few likes, comments, or retweets, but I also see many overly stressed writers out there whose followings have grown, trying to move at light speed just to keep up with everything. I promise you though, you will reach a point where you can’t keep up without pruning a little.

How many blog posts do you read every day? Times that you take to read an article vary. I’ve timed a couple, and for me they take between a minute to up to ten or more minutes to read. Let’s even things out and say an average of three minutes per post you read. Ten posts is thirty minutes, twenty posts is an hour. If you’re reading a hundred posts a day, that amounts to four and a half hours – two hundred means that around NINE HOURS of your day has been spent reading blog posts. I won’t break down time spent on Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and so on. I’m sure you get the picture because it’s more of the same sort of thing. Responding to interactions on all of your sites takes the same average time per interaction, apart from Twitter which though quite zoomy, makes up for time spent in quantity of posts.

I personally adore blogging and the interaction there. I’ve made some firm friends thanks to good old Worpress, and I’m sure that even if I never write another book (ha haaa), I doubt that I could ever give up my blogging addiction. I learn things, laugh and cry about things there – it’s a fabulous universe. I think that we need to be a little careful of getting ourselves all tied up in knots when we break the “rules” that we see. It generally takes me at least a couple of days to catch up with comments or mentions on all my sites, but it’s something I always make sure I get to as quickly as I can. This unfortunately doesn’t mean that I can quickly catch up. Sometimes I’ve missed a comment, only to find it months later, to my cringing shame. I would never purposely ignore any comment, but as my online journey grows, it happens. And I never mind when a blogger takes a good long while to answer anything I’ve said on their blogs. I understand. Most bloggers do, so there’s no need for panic. We’re all living lives, some busier than others. Some writers are not only trying to write, edit, and do all the other things that need to be done in this new scribbling world, but are also dealing with problems, ill health, financial difficulties, or worse.

It’s important not to allow ourselves to get overwhelmed. I say this from experience, because it’s my character never to ignore anyone, and when I find that I accidentally have, it really upsets me. I often really do spend more than nine hours in front of my computer just catching up. The truth of the matter though, is that no matter how much we want to do every little thing that we think we should, it will get to a point where there just aren’t enough hours in our days.

It’s important for writers to manage their working hours. Right now I have a fairly loaded catch up pile to get stuck into (alright – I always have a loaded catch up pile), but I’ll never break my minimum one hour of writing per day rule. We should be making schedules for ourselves at some point. Daily time for writing, marketing, and the just for fun stuff should be determined, and unless there’s no choice, stuck to. There’s not much point if you’re spending all your time managing your platform if you don’t have the time or energy left to write books.

So I suggest to all you busy, busy scribblers out there, grab a notebook and pencil, and create yourself a timetable, with writing as your top priority every day, and then try and stick with it for at least a week. Don’t spend any more hours other than those you’ve allocated for social media. Do allocate yourself an hour at least a day free time – guilt free too – just because you’re a writer doesn’t mean that you’re invincible or a time growing master. Take a stroll – sit under a tree. Go a little easier on yourself. I promise you that nobody is sitting seething at the time it takes you to get to something – well, maybe there are a couple seething – but they really shouldn’t be. And if they are, well, that’s really not the end of the world. Doing the best that you can is all you can do – and it really is important to do your best, just don’t knobble yourself in the process.

Path

50 Shades – Storm in a Teacup a Woman’s Thoughts by @FTThum

50 shades of grey

I asked Florence to write a piece about 50 Shades of Grey since she had both read the books and seen the movie. With her therapist and lawyer/professor background I thought it would an interesting and intelligent experience for us all. Did it turn out as I expected? Read and find out. If you dare.~Ronovan

Fifty Shades of Grey (’50 Shades’) – trilogy and movie – have caused quite a storm in the media. Its critics have labelled it anti-feminist, for glorifying abuse and violence, for normalising domestic violence, and the list goes on.

In the wake of socio-political discourses rippling through social and news media, I (and eleven gal pals) went to see it on the second day after it was released.

50ShadesofGreyCoverArt

The story in a nut shell

A little about the trilogy and the movie for those who have not read or watched it. The trilogy is largely written in the first person – the voice of Anastasia Steele, the female protagonist, who is a twenty-something senior at university in the first book to a journalist in later books. Anastasia meets Christian Grey who is in his late twenties and a billionaire entrepreneur. There is a sexual spark in their first meeting which led to her being ‘pursued’ by the guy in question. What then transpires is open to interpretation (I will get to this shortly).

The movie follows the book closely, with a few inconsequential differences. As in the books, the plot is thin revolving around Christian’s past returning to haunt him and a typical separation and reunion of lovers. There are few heights to attain, except sexually J. This trilogy could have been contained in one book if the explicit sex scenes were removed, but then it would not be Fifty Shades, now would it?

The plot is simplistic – addressing the tension between the influences of the past on the present, and whether present lust and love can assure a future together; the conflict between what each of the protagonists consider right and wrong, normal and abnormal, pain and pleasure. Oft times, the boundaries are blurred, hence the grey metaphor. By the way, Christian describes himself as “50 shades of fucked up”.

Yes, it is a romance/fairytale, with a significant difference – a male protagonist with BDSM proclivities. Like any other romance, Christian Grey is ‘wooing’ Anastasia, except here, that means she is to ‘submit’ to him.

As a reader, I found the prose in the book lacking. Somehow I suspect EL James did not proffer the trilogy as a literary masterpiece. Then again, millions (around the 100 million mark internationally at last look) have bought this book. Why? Because most readers, I am led to believe, are focused on the emotional relationship instead of the sexual one between Christian and Anastasia. I found the trilogy an easy read, an enjoyable romp, and from these perspectives, entertaining.

The same goes for the movie. I did not go expecting the sensuality and mystery of Kubrick’s Eyes Wide Shut, neither was I expecting the arthouse production of ‘The Lover’, ‘Belle de Jour’ or ‘Sex and Lucia’. Fifty Shades is modern erotic romance/fairytale, pure and simple, with a screenplay very much in line with the first book in the trilogy. The actors are a surprise – Dakota Johnson’s portrayal of Anastasia is accurate though a little grittier. Jamie Dornan’s depiction of Christian – brooding, dark and with enough mystery to invite exploration – is attractive enough.

Overall, if I must, I will give this movie a 2 out of 5. And I guess if your child is sufficiently curious to want to see this movie, then perhaps it is time to begin those difficult and exciting conversations. It is unlikely to be suitable for those under the age of 16.

Now we come to the crux of this post – the controversy surrounding issues of abuse/violence.

Another interpretation

But first, AN interpretation of the storyline.

I see a man traumatized by his past, who exerts controls to feel safe and secure. I see a young woman naïve in the ways of love, sex and relationships who fell in love with a man who is perhaps too complex for her. He wants her on his terms (the much referred to contract to be specific) and takes steps to ensure she understands the terms, urging her to research and also explaining what and how. She in her innocence believes she could be what he wants, who could satisfy him, and that love can surpass every obstacle. There are emotional conflicts and moral tensions.

What I have said so far does not justify the potential harmful effects this relationship could have on Anastasia. Not at all. Yes, Christian could be a predator. Yes, Anastasia could be a victim. And yes, the relationship could be fatal.

‘The Storm’

50 Shades doing

What bothers me about the Storm are these:

  • As I read the many articles urging women, particularly young women, not to go see the movie because they would be drawn into romanticising abuse/violence, expecting violence to be ‘normal’, I feel disempowered. I feel angry.
  • As I read of pronouncements of the negative impacts of Christian’s behaviour, and his all-powerful and manipulative personality presented as a given, and against whom women have no defence and so must hide, I feel fear then infuriation.

Once again I, a woman, am being told to do this but not that, be this or else. Once again I, a woman, is considered incapable of caring for myself, to make decisions that are right for me. Once again I, a woman, need to be protected from my own actions.

And because I am potential prey, potential victim, then I must behave as one – disempowered and in fear.

In the name of protection, and dare I say it, paternalism is alive and well. Oh, just to clarify, I am not referring to men or male persons, but rather paternalism.

So not much exhortation of the behaviour of men in this respect. Much less empathy for a man in Christian’s situation. Yet lots have been said of what women (we are all Anastasia it would seem) should or should not do.

Take for example the movie ‘The Hangover’. I find it offensive in its portrayal of what is acceptable men behaviour, it normalizes binge drinking, drug taking, ‘lad’ behaviour and despite some criticisms (it is crass and has a rather thin plot line), the majority opinion falls onto the side of ‘boys will be boys’. Any calls for men not to watch this movie? Somehow the underlying message may be that men have and can make choices, or that it is fine for men to behave so. Regardless, it is just a hilariously funny comedy. Well, 50 Shades is a romance story with a twist. It does not agree with our consensus reality of (i) damsel in distress being rescued by the knight in shining armour or the all-powerful woman who fully knows her heart and mind; and (ii) ‘normal’ sexual expressions for a woman.

Heaven forbid that a woman desires sensuality. Is it shocking that a woman might choose to explore? To entertain the possibility of engaging in something beyond vanilla sex? To have emotional conflicts or doubts about a sexual relationship?  It is perhaps more palatable to explain this ‘aberrant’ behaviour from a place of victim than choice.

Here is a twenty-something young university graduate with a major in English Lit but somehow she cannot be responsible say, for her alcohol consumption vis-à-vis this man? Ok, that is not the point, maybe it is. We have at times in our lives been naïve, we have battled our emotions, our rational thoughts, our lust; and we have made decisions that are not for our well-being.

I am not perfect. It is alright to not-know, to grapple with my emotions, my desires, my rational mind. Yes, if Anastasia was my daughter, my protective instinct would have me say ‘stay away’ yet somehow, I suspect in the seduction of passion, my words may fall on deaf ears.

To demonize Christian as THE predator and to portray Anastasia as THE prey/victim do not allow space for the grey-ness that is life. Most importantly it suggests in this instance a given immovable power of men over women.

punishment

Another approach

I am a mother of a young daughter. I know to prohibit would most likely have the effect of arousing her curiosity. To prohibit imposes my values, my views on her. Most importantly, it disempowers her.

The books and the movie show the conflict Anastasia is confronted with, of having to decide ‘will she’ or ‘won’t she’. Ultimately what matters more is the process and what ‘tools’ she has to make this rather significant decision.

So, I will teach my daughter the difference between love and lust, romance and real life, sensuality and violence. I will teach her that to understand a man (or anyone) and the reasons for his flaws does not mean we have to accept them, that for everything we do sexually merely for the sake of sex, we lose something precious within ourselves. I will teach her to listen and trust her instincts.

I will guide my daughter as she discovers love does not require self-sacrifice or compromising her self-worth, her pride; love does not demand mindless giving in. I will journey with her in her life which will have conflicts and tensions she needs navigate, difficult decisions she will have to make.

And all these I will also teach my son – respect for self and others, self-love and compassion.

My daughter I trust could hold to this – to resist the decisions and consequences that make her small. To quote a wise woman, that which would cause her ‘to bonsai herself’ – small and bound. No pun intended here.

Perhaps the storm is a storm in a teacup, if we could speak another story, another narrative that unites rather than judges and separates.

My final words

As a professional woman of a certain age and a feminist who has read the trilogy and watched the movie, I will say that I enjoyed them all, for what they are.

This need not be just a story of BDSM and abuse/violence and a woman who fell prey to the ‘evil’ man, a victim. I will privilege a different narrative. It is a story of both protagonists’ journey of manoeuvring through the confusing states of being human – our desires, our wants, what’s good for us, what’s not, what do we value, what we are willing to compromise – and the outcome.

Ah, the outcome is like a fairytale. And like watching any fairytale, I leave with a smile and return to my real world.

I AM capable of distinguishing which is which.

 

– FlorenceT

Florence 2

@FTThum

MeaningsAndMusings.WordPress.Com

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#Book #Review by N.A. Granger @rhebrewster of The Judas Apocalypse by @DanMcNeil888

noelle-granger-review-judas-apocalypse-dan-mcneil

I am a huge fan of Dan Brown, James Rollins and Steve Berry, so when Ronovan suggested I read The Judas Apocalypse by Dan McNeil, I jumped in.twitter pic

The book begins in Judea in AD 33, then moves on to Rennes-le-Château, France in 1917, creating the basis for the story from actual fact. Rennes-le-Château is a small hilltop town known in modern times for various conspiracy theories, including the possible burial of a treasure discovered by its somewhat mysterious 19th-century priest Bérenger Saunière. The nature of the treasure is at the core of this book.

The story itself is rather remarkably set in WW II. Its protagonist is the German archeologist, Dr. Gerhard Denninger, who works for the German Ahnenerbe, an institute of the Nazi Germany government, founded by Heinrich Himmler and originally purposed to research the archaeological and cultural history of the Aryan race. Denninger is approached by infamous Otto Rahn, who was a real German historian, medievalist and fanatic seeker of the Holy Grail. Rahn tells Denninger a fantastic story of Templars, Church scandal, a long-buried manuscript, and the key to finding the famous lost treasure of The-Judas-Apocalypse-coverthe Cathars. The Cathars were a sect of ascetic priests who believed in the idea of two gods or principles, one being good and the other evil, which was of course anathema to the monotheistic Catholic Church. They lived in the region of Rennes-le-Château, and their treasure is presumably the one discovered by Bérenger Saunière.

Rahn gives him what turns out to be the diary of Father Saunière’s confessor and a sheet of parchment containing clues to the location of Saunière’s supposed treasure. I must admit I became a little lost in Rahn’s story, which encompassed so much and in much detail. However, I came out the other side relatively unscathed and traveled with Denninger to Tibet for five frustrating years of measuring Tibetan heads, noses and eyes for the Ahnenerbe, before he gets back on track to find the treasure.

Denninger finagles passage to France on a German U boat, using his Ahnenerbe credentials and once on French soil, runs into a group of American soldiers, whom he persuades to help him in his quest for the secret of the Cathar treasure. At this point, I had become so engrossed with the story, I couldn’t put the book down. The fact that the resolution to the search is a shocking discovery was the best part.

The author’s characters are highly believable and inherently interesting, real or not, and there were enough twists and turns to keep the reader enthralled. This is a good read for anyone who loves historical fiction as well as a rollicking story.

Author Dan McNeil hails from Canada. He grew up surrounded by books and music, ensuring that he would have a love for both. He spent much of the 80’s playing in bands around Ottawa, winning a number of song-writing contests with his writing partner Steve Casey. After spending 24 years as a camera operator and senior editor in television, often composing music for local productions, he decided to try penning a novel. The Judas Apocalypse was his first book, published in 2008. I hope he writes another in this genre!

Get The Judas Apocalypse on Amazon by clicking here.

Guest Book Reviewer
Noelle Granger of  Sayling Away.

n.a.-granger

 

 

 

“I had a long and active career in academia, and if you want to know more about that, you can Google me. For now, I am just a writer trying to find her voice.”~ Noelle Granger Writing as N.A. Granger, Author of Death in a Red Canvas Sail and Death in a Dacron Sail.

LitWorldInterviews encourages the Reblogging and Sharing of this review all you like. We’re here to spread the word about Authors.

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#Book #Review by @RobertHughes05 of “Fireworks” by @boyzbooks

 

fireworks-aimer-boyz-hugh-roberts-reviewTitle: Fireworks
Author: Aimer Boyz 
ASIN: B00MTZ7732
Published: 5 August 2014 by Lulu Publishing Services
Pages: 352
Genre: Gay Adult Fiction, Erotica
Format: Kindle Edition
Price: £2.38 includes VAT and free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
File Size: 542KB
Language: English
Text-to-Speech: Enabled
X-Ray: Not Enabled
Word Wise: Enabled
Sold By: Amazon UK  Amazon US

A copy of this book was provided by the author in exchange for an honest review, which follows.

Daniel had been in a relationship for eight years but it ended with his partner, Aiden, leaving him for another man.  He’s hurt by the spilt and has no interest in meeting a new partner.  He does what every other self-respectable guy does when getting dumped.  He hits the bars, credit card in hand, gets plastered and tries hooking up with any guy that moves, because that’s how he thinks he can obliterate the memory of Aiden.  Steven has just moved to the house opposite one of Daniel’s sisters and she invites Steven to the Canada Day celebrations she and her husband throw every year for Daniel and the rest of the family.  Little does Daniel know that his whole family have plotted for the two men to meet with the hope that maybe love will blossom between the pair.  However, soon after meeting, in walks Stephanie into their lives, who proudly announces she is Steven’s Ex.

Daniel and Steven are two of the most lovable characters I have ever encountered in a book.  From the beginning I fell in love with both, not only because of the descriptions the author built up of them, but because of the way both seemed so naïve that love would be something they would ever experience again.  Like most relationships it’s lust which makes both men want to get to know each other far better but, as time goes on, love also starts to play its part in the developing friendship between the two men.

All of Daniel’s family do whatever they can to get Daniel and Steven together. Daniel’s father offers to help Steven assemble some new furniture, while Daniel’s mother invites Steven around for the meal the whole family have together on a Friday evening.  Daniel’s two sisters, Karen and Sandy, and their husbands also want to play a part in helping Daniel find true love again after the heartache Daniel encountered when his relationship with Aiden ended.  Little else seems to matter to the whole family other than Daniel’s future love life.

Boyz writes the book like she is part of the family the book is centred around which is just how it should be.  She carried the story along very nicely and ensures that each member of the family plays their part in ensuring that Daniel finds true love.  On the other hand, she barely mentions Steven’s family which I found quite odd even if they do live the other side of the country.  She has a very interesting way in the way she writes in getting the reader to really like every character in the book.  I even found myself  liking Aiden, Daniel’s Ex partner, who had brought so much heartbreak and sadness to Daniel, and who is the bad guy in the book.

There is a lot of Gay erotica in the book and, at first, I wondered just how she would cope with writing such material.  She must have done a lot of research on the subject as she knew exactly what she was writing about and I could not fault any of the erotica scenes she wrote.  In fact, some of the scenes rather took me down the memory lane of my younger days, which of course I won’t be divulging about.  Some of the scenes seemed they were never going to end and although there are lots of them, never once did I think that Boyz was duplicating earlier scenes from the book.

Although the main characters in the book are part of the same family, the other characters she introduced played just as important a part and she cleverly connected each of these characters to Steven, Daniel or Daniel’s family.  While reading the book I felt as if I were watching the whole story unfold on TV as I could very clearly picture everything that was happening in my head.  To me, that is a very talented way to write as it makes the story seem even more real and true to life.

My only criticism of the book, other than there was little mentioned about Steven’s family, was that the chapters were far too long.  They could very easily have been made into smaller chapters, especially where the story changed completely to a different scene with different characters or where there was a time break.

Fireworks is a typical love story with its ups and downs for the characters involved and will pull you deeply into a family who want nothing but happiness for one of its family members.  It is an easy read and won’t have you turning back pages because of misunderstandings about its plot.  You will either fall in love with, or wish you had two friends like, Daniel and Stephen because having them around would bring happiness and joy into anyone’s life.  I do hope there’s a sequel because this story certainly deserves to have one.  If not, then Fireworks would make a perfect screenplay.

Ratingshugh roberts review

Realistic Characterisation: 5/5

Made Me Think: 3.5/5

Overall Enjoyment: 4.5/5

Readability: 5/5

Recommended: 4.5/5

Overall Rating: 4.5/5

Review by:

Hugh Roberts

hugh_roberts_book_reviewer.jpg

 

 

 

 

@RobertHughes05 (https://twitter.com/RobertHughes05)

hughsviewsandnews.com (http://hughsviewsandnews.com/about/)

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The Owl Interview with the Owl Lady herself @VivDrewa

RW: We’ll get all of my personal questions out of the way first today and then settle into your books. Where are you from?

viv-drewaVIV: I grew up in Detroit and moved to Fort Gratiot, Michigan.

(On the shore of Lake Huron. A little northeast of Detroit.~Look it up Ronovan.)

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

VIV: Stephen King, Dean Koonts, Michael Weems, John Sandford to name a few.

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

VIV: I love tea, hot or cold.

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

VIV: Sewing. I love to sew and have for many years. Seeing something I can put together helps me relax and then I can get back to writing.

RW: What is your favorite word?

VIV: It’s outdated but I still use it: Cool!

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

VIV: My mom and grandmother always told us stories that they made up themselves. They were fascinating and one day I’m going to put them together in a book.

When I got older I was taken to the library and marveled at the many books I saw. Back then they had a section where they read to the younger children and I was taken there until I learned to read. That’s what started it all for me.

When I was 9 I wrote a poem and won third place for it. Then when I was 14 I wrote a short story and won second place. I knew at that point I wanted to be a writer

RW: What is the title of your book and why did you choose that name?

VIV:I have three books published and have one WIP.

The Owl of the Sipan Lord – When I started doing research for this one the time period chose me. I had a list of tribes in Peru and for some reason the Moche stood out. Researching further I discovered the Lord of Sipan and the story went from there. With this one I also contacted a well know archaeologist when I couldn’t find some information I needed. He was very helpful.

The Angler and the Owl – I was worried about this book because I have a hard time figuring out who the male protagonist would be. My husband and I were watching “River Monster”, something we always do, and I got the idea for an angler for the part. And it worked out well because Jeremy Wade is very intrigued with the Amazon and this is where the book takes place.

From the Pages of Grandfather’s Life – This is a true, short story about my grandfather’s escape from Poland in 1913. I didn’t have any trouble with this title.

The Midnight Owl – I can’t say much because it’s my WIP.

RW: What genre does your book fall into?

“The Owl of the Sipan Lord” is a paranormal thriller

“The Angler and the Owl” is an action/adventure/light romance

“From the Pages of Grandfather’s Life” is non-fiction

“The Midnight Owl” – is a paranormal murder mystery

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

VIV: I love the paranormal! It has always fascinated me and I make a point to read this genre and plan on all my books following suit.

RW: Tell us a little about your books.

viv drewaThe Owl of the Sipan Lord

Martin and Clare Montgomery worked as an archaeological team until Martin’s accidental death at a dig they were working on in Peru. Clare swore she’d never go back, but after having a dream about the dig that didn’t add up to the finds of the area, and the help of the Peruvian Pygmy Owl and a blue-eyed spirit, she did.

Her long-time friend and mentor, Carl Windmueller, believed in following dreams and encouraged her to go. He tries to research what she saw in the dream but is visited by a red-eyed spirit that causes him to have a massive heart attack when he gets close.

Unfortunately, Clare doesn’t understand what Carl was looking into by the books on his desk. Her friend Cord gets a team together and they head back to Peru.

The re-eyed spirit does all it can to keep the team from finding it’s secret that has been kept for the past 1300 years. Near fatalities plague the team taking her back to the day her husband died. But she kept on until the truth was fully discovered.
This is a story about a widow who, with the help of an owl and blue eyed spirit, solves her husband’s murder, and a 1300 year old mystery in Peru.
US: Amazon link.
UK: Amazon link.

The Angler and the Owlviv drewa
&
France Hunter returns to the Amazon to visit the area she discovered her first new species of owl: the blue-ringed owl.
Danger follows her and the others through the Amazon rainforest and Amazon river. Will they survive?
US: Amazon link.
UK: Amazon link.

viv drewaFrom the Pages of Grandfather’s Life

This is a true short story of my grandfather’s escape from Poland in 1913.
US: Amazon link.
UK: Amazon link.

 

 

 

 

How to stay in contact with Viv? Twitter-    Google+     The Owl Lady Blog
Click a here to go to her Amazon page and get a book!

 

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

@RonovanWrites
On GoodReads
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Lit World Interview Week In Review Feb. 9-14.

lit world interview with ronovan writes

Here are the articles for the week, if you missed one, go and check it out today.

Author Interview with Ronovan Writes

The Godling Chronicles Q&A with Brian D. Anderson.

This guy knows what he is doing. One series out. Another just waiting for the word print, and a sequel to the first series being outlined. This man has you set for years to come.

Silver Lightning Q&A with @AuthorWDarling

Do you believe in magic, or whatever it is? Author and Audio Book Voice specialist Wendy Anne Darling talks about her work.

FEATURES

Protection Jo Robinson

Write for a year, 5, 10, and then the computer virus hits, the lightning strikes. What do you do then? Cry. Yeah. Cry. Well do something before it happens.

The Author’s Role in Representation  by Guest Author Natacha Guyot @NatachaGuyot

A highly intelligent look at the world of writing and what our part in it as authors is when it comes to representation of characters of gender and diversity. All from one of my favorite people and favorite interviews.

BOOK REVIEWS

Ales Haley’s Roots. An Author’s Odyssey by Adam Henig  Olga Núñez Miret

Olga reviews this account of Haley’s life after Root’s aired on TV. As an author and research fiend herself she was looking forward to this one. See what she thought of it.

“OUTSOURCED” by Eric J. Gates @ETHRILLERWRITER Colleen Chesebro

It sounds like an interesting book with some unique twists. Read to see what she thinks though.

 Grá mo Chroí Love Stories from Irish Myth Ali Isaac @aliisaac_ & Jane Dougherty @MJDougherty33 Ronovan

Irish or Scottish? What am I? Who knows? But these short stories tell a tale. Check out the review to see exactly what I thought.

Review of Letters of Note by Shaun Usher @LettersOfNote Florence Thum

This is an anthology of letters from the 17th century to present day written by a myriad of personalities including the likes of Zelda Fitzgerald, Albert Einstein, Mick Jagger and Roald Dahl. Florence is a professor of Law, Attorney, Therapist, and writer. See what her take on this one is.

If Only by @NormaBudden Ronovan

A very personal and somewhat emotional review of a book that hit me in so many ways that I wanted to hide for days and did.

 

BOOK RELEASE NOTICES

ROMANCE SHORTS by Sourabh Mukherjee

LWI author Sourabh releases a book of romance for the month of Love.

A Galaxy of Possibilities: Representation and Storytelling in Star Wars @NatachaGuyot

Love Star Wars? Love highly intelligent and in depth looks into that universe? Natacha has the book for you that was a long time in the making.

RONOVAN’S WHATEVER

#Authors #Marketing Yourself and Your Work Part ONE This was a reblog from our furry friend Chris Graham the Story Reading Ape Blog. I got lazy this week with Two Interviews and Two Book Reviews and Two Book Release Notices.

 

What can you expect next from the LWI Team?

Should be an interesting week. Monday I have an interview with one of our author friends Viv Drewa. Olga usually has something for us on Mondays, although I never hold anyone to anything because life does happen. She’s been beyond a rock though. You guys have no idea how dedicated this lady has been. Florence has something timely and special coming up, hopefully by Tuesday at the latest. I do believe I see a Book Review in there from our man Hugh Roberts! You know you’ve all missed his entertaining reviews. Jo will no doubt have something on Thursday. And I will have at least one Book Review this week. And I’ll be reblogging a guest post I did on another site I hope you will all enjoy. It’s getting busy around here. And to think, I’m only supposed to do anything thinky no more than 30 minutes at a time then rest for a few hours. But there are books! And Authors! And stuff! Oh My!

So Follow us, Bookmark Us, do whatever you need to do in order to come back every day for something new.

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