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BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “Louisiana Ghost Story” by M. A. Harper

Louisana Ghost Story

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(Images from Amazon)

Title: Louisiana Ghost Story
Author: M. A. Harper
ISBN-10: 0151011168
ISBN-13: 9780151011162
ASIN: B00CHQBDMO
http://www.maharperauthor.com/index.htm
Pages: 368
Published: January 10, 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal-ghosts, Contemporary Romance, Mystery, Thriller, Paranormal Romance

Phil, the owner of an upscale restaurant in New Orleans, and his new wife Michelle have recently married blending their kids, her home, and their work together as a brand new family. Only a few months into their marriage, strange appearances by Michelle’s late husband, A. P. Savoie, who was a famous Cajun musician, begin to occur. Phil is haunted by visions of Savoie, which begins to take a toll on his health and their marriage. As the haunting images increase, Phil and Michelle are forced to consult psychics and even a Priest looking for answers to the horrifying occurrences. I could not wait to find out why Savoie was coming to them from beyond the grave.

I found myself immersed into the life of this family in New Orleans, with just the right amount of Cajun spice and ghostly images thrown in. I was drawn to Michelle, as she was still dealing with the loss of her husband, and how it affected her and her children; even though she was newly married to Phil. The dynamics between Phil, Michelle, and the dead Savoie were especially enlightening to the story. It really made me think about the reach and depth of love between two people.

This family had realistic challenges just learning how to become their own family, let alone the paranormal activity that encircled them. The fact that the children all got along together made me want them to find success as a family. I found the step children endearing and loved how Michelle’s son wanted to follow in Phil’s footsteps at the restaurant when his own children did not have an interest.

Unfortunately, this book has several titles. I downloaded the Kindle version called, “Louisiana Ghost Story.” I understand the original title to be, “The Year of Past Things/Ghost in the Bedroom.” Now the book is listed as, Cajun Spirit (The Jolie Blonde Series: A Louisiana Trilogy Book 3).” Get past the confusion with the title and you will find a great old fashioned Southern ghost story that will keep you guessing from start to finish.

I felt this was a story about the deepness of love shared between a family, and at the same time, about learning how to let go of things that are out of our control. I deeply cared about this family and what was happening to them. It was a joy watching them learn about forgiveness while they moved from the past into the future as a family unit.

I absolutely loved the end of this book. I never saw it coming! On that note, I was also sad to let go of the characters. By the end, I felt like I had lived through this event with them, I was so emotionally involved in the plot.

I totally enjoyed the realistic haunting experience that Phil had. It was not portrayed as a Hollywood version of a horror movie. I was comfortable with that characterization because the story seemed so down to earth and not really fiction at all. As the events unraveled in this ghost tale, I was instantly hooked and drawn in to the intrigue.

If you are a fan of old fashioned ghost stories, this book will enthrall you from beginning to end. Watching a family handle their grief, while learning how to love again was especially poignant and sweet, as they form their own special family unit.

M. A. Harper

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 3/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.5
Buy it at: Amazon
Format & Pricing
Paperback: “The Year of Past Things,” “Ghost in the Bedroom.”
Kindle: $2.99Cajun Spirit (The Jolie Blonde Series: A Louisiana Trilogy Book 3)”
Find the book on goodreads

 

Colleen Chesebro

Colleen_Silver_Threading

 

 

 

@ColleenChesebro

www.SilverThreading.com

 

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Traveling for Love: Searching for Self, Hoping for Love @BeckyDue Q&A

“The most rewarding thing about being an author is when one of my books makes a positive impact on somebody’s life.”~Becky Due, Author of Traveling for Love: Searching for Self, Hoping for Love

Becky Due Author Profile Photo Head ShotThat is Author Becky Due and the theme that runs through her interview and seemingly her life. Taking the bad or anything really and turning it into something to move forward with. That makes me instantly want to buy a book. With that attitude and philosophy you know what you will get, you just don’t know how or when you will get it. That’s the part that makes her an award winning author. Then you find out about the humorous side of Becky. You’re going to love it. Get ready for everything you want to know about this amazing author. Read to the end and not only learn some very nice inside reveals, but also see her interview on Lifetime for a previous book. That’s RIGHT! You get to actually hear her. I love hearing the writers voice. Then I can hear them narrate the book as I read.

 

Asking where an Author is from is normally my way to simply give you a connection to them, give them an actual sound to their voice maybe. As of late actual connections to their writing have been coming out.

My latest novel takes place in Minnesota and a few other places, but I think home is where the heart is, and my heart is in Minnesota. I was born in Minnesota. Moved to Colorado with my mother and two older sisters when I was about seven years old. At twenty-two, I moved back to Minnesota to get away from an abusive relationship. My childhood best friend and other family members still lived in Minnesota, so I had a wonderful network of people around to support me. In my thirties, I needed a change and moved back to Colorado where I now live most of the year.

Her book we are discussing today is Traveling for Love: Searching for Self, Hoping for Love.

“Several reviewers have favorably compared Traveling for Love to Eat, Pray, Love“~Becky Due

I chose Traveling for Love: Searching for Self, Hoping for Love because my main character, Amanda, is going through a divorce and realizes that she has lost herself in her marriage. As she starts to drift away from Nick, she finds herself day-dreaming of traveling and experiencing the world. So after the divorce, she takes a job as a travel agent. Traveling had become not only her goal but her passion. And although Amanda isn’t purposely looking for love, she does hope for it. But during this phase of her life, Amanda has to discover through heartache who she is and what she really wants.

Traveling for Love deals with many tough issues; divorce, dating, sex after dating and really how important it is not to lose touch with who we are once are in a relationship. After all who is the one constant in your life?

I write the books I want to read. I want to follow a woman’s life who is going through hard times and I want to learn from her mistakes. I want to connect to her, relate to her and I want to use her life to improve my own. My characters are strong yet fun and do not need to be rescued. They rescue themselves. These women go through some challenges but they find the answers they are searching for and find a better way of living.

I’ve always had a passion for women’s issues. When I was a little girl, I saw things I didn’t like, things that didn’t seem right, like the way girls and women were sometimes treated in relationships and in the media—magazines, TV and movies. Although I have experienced abuse, I’ve never thought of myself as a victim of anything. Life is way to fun to believe that we should be miserable because of what somebody did to us. So I stay pretty close to women’s fiction because I love writing about the strength of women. Even though there is occasionally love and romance in the story, the main issue is never about my character needing somebody to complete her or take care of her.

How does Amanda find herself where we find her in the book and how much of you is in the story? I mean this sounds like you in some ways even if not the actual events but the overall ending of a relationship and that journey afterwards.

Well, I’ve made so many mistakes in my life and I’m grateful for every one of them. But we usually don’t see it that way when we’re in the middle of the chaos or heartache. When I started this book, I was feeling a little older and maybe slightly lost in my life so I decided to tap into my childhood. I wanted to feel young and carefree again. I used to love roller-skating, so I bought a pair of skates online. When they were delivered, I was so excited, I put them on right away and took off down the driveway. Sadly, I was out of practice and I fell hard. I was determined to, you know, “If you fall off the horse, you get right back on” so I decided to find a better, flatter place to skate and I fell down again, this time hurting my wrist. Yikes! I was suddenly scared of roller-skates and I didn’t want to be scared. And that’s how this story begins… I don’t ever want to be afraid to fall, or to love, or fear I can’t do something. I dTraveling Love Searching Self Hoping Love Cover Image Author Becky Dueon’t want to be lost in my life, I want to take risks and that’s what Amanda tries to do while she is finding her own happiness.

Traveling for Love is a feel-good story about finding ourselves after divorce. Amanda is unhappy in her marriage, but when Nick tells her he wants a divorce, she is completely lost. Her life revolved around her husband. She had put her life on the back burner. Now she has to start all over again in every way, and she has to make peace with what feels like wasted years of her life. And so starts her journey of trying to figure it all out. She has to find a job that gives her life meaning and figure out where she will live. Should she have a rebound like her friends are suggesting or should she avoid dating for a while? Nothing seems to fit, and she continues making bad decisions, and spending time with the wrong man. Amanda goes through a lot of heartache before she finally figures out her life and what she wants.

Becky writes Amanda in a positive way, as the quote to begin this article should have hinted, I asked her about Amanda and the people she saw in the role of Becky, well her idea and one obvious one.

Heartaches and mistakes. Amanda gave so much in her marriage that by the time Nick wanted a divorce, she knew she had to start taking care of herself. She didn’t want to be resentful. She didn’t want to live in anger or bitterness. She wanted to get on with her new life. Amanda goes slightly crazy in her decision making, and she wastes time on the wrong man, but it’s all a learning experience for her—the pendulum has to swing the other way for a while so Amanda can find balance and meaning in her life.

I could see Jennifer Aniston playing Amanda. In fact, I think it would be a perfect fit. It seems Jennifer Aniston is willing to step away from the romantic comedy and this story is more about Amanda finding herself, and less about romantic love. Eventually Amanda realizes that the two wrong men in this story were stepping stones to her learning more about herself. Several reviewers have favorably compared Traveling for Love to Eat, Pray, Love. And I’m ok with that. J So I guess it would be Jennifer Aniston figuring out her life instead of Julia Roberts. 

I of course asked the question I always do. With Becky it seemed most appropriate considering her attitude about her writing. I asked her what she learned about herself from writing this book in particular?

Great question. I think for me it was more of a reminder how people in our lives are here to teach us how to be better, not bitter. I thought back on some of my own fears, mistakes and failed relationships. These people and experiences have made a positive impact on my life, even the seemingly hurtful, bad relationships. I’m grateful for every broken heart I’ve had. I know the pain, that unbearable pain when we lose somebody we love because they have decided we’re not good enough or we fight more than we love and can’t get it together. That pain is insane… but I look back on those feelings and I like those memories. I’m glad I’m capable of that deep love and even that deep pain. That’s living life fully! I’m grateful. I hope I never have to go through it again, but if I do, I know I’ll survive and grow and be thankful in the end.

The theme of Traveling for Love: Searching for Self, Hoping for Love isn’t just in this one book. The word Becky used to describe her book was “Empowering”. Here are her other books and you will see what I mean. Each are described in her own words. And remember you can get any books by Becky Due by going to her Amazon Author Page, here or Barnes & Noble, here. Most of her novels are available in audio form as well with Traveling for Love: Searching for Self, Hoping for Love narrated by actress, Anne Johnstonbrown, which if she’s the one I am thinking of this would be an amazing listen.

Novel is The Gentlemen’s Club: A story for All Women covers many women’s issues and turns knowledge into power. Angie doesn’t want to be a victim anymore and wants to escape the cycle of abuse. Deep down she hopes for a good man to love and to feel safe and protected in this crazy world, but her fears take her down the wrong path and she continues to abuse herself by making poor choices. Angie befriends other women down on their luck and they team up to get revenge, but will they go too far?

Touchable Love: An Untraditional Love Story: All about choices, fear and facing our past. Christy’s secret is forcing her to avoid love and relationships. If only she had made better choices, respected her body and slowed down enough to realize what she truly wanted… Love. With the help of two men Christy must face her past so she can look forward to her future.

Returning Injury: A Suspense Celebrating Women’s Strength: Deals with the topic of stalking and protecting ourselves. Rebecca is happily married, loves her career, but she has one huge problem—a stalker. With Jack away on business, she’s home alone, and feeling like she’s going crazy, she has to learn how to take back her life and regain her strength. Is Rebecca strong enough to protect herself?

The Dumpster: One Woman’s Search for Love: Is a fun-loving comedy about family issues, great friends and searching for real love. Nicole is an average American woman who is looking for love in all the wrong places with all the wrong men. She falls for every man she meets and every line they use. But when a dumpster is placed below her bedroom window, she starts to solve her patterns of self-destruction.

The Woman’s Handbook: Everything You Want to Say to Your Daughter, Sister, Niece, Friend in One Simple Book: Is a great gift book for the young women in our lives, great stocking stuffer.

Children’s book Blue the Bird on Flying: Is a great picture book for teaching shapes, colors and a lesson in self-esteem and independence.  

I also have 2 short 99¢ booklets: 2 Days to healthy Self-Esteem and Secrets of a Thin Woman both to help motivate, inspire and empower.

Remember you can get any books by Becky Due by going to her Amazon Author Page, here or Barnes & Noble, here.

Connecting With Becky Due

Becky Due Author Photo From Amazon

Blog: BeckyDue.WordPress.com

Website: www.becky-due.com

Facebook: BeckyDue.Author

Twitter: @BeckyDue

 Amazon: Author Page Becky Due

 

Now for my OTHER questions, you know those not totally about books and writing. The fun little things that make us go, “Oh, she’s just like me.” Yeah that stuff. Some fun facts I’ve stolen from here and there and everywhere. The names of those places will be with held to protect me. Okay so I got them from Becky’s site. Just don’t tell her.

•I love to travel. I’ve traveled most of the United States and Canada, and several Caribbean Islands. I’ve been to Bermuda, London, Istanbul, Dubai, Tanzania, Kenya, Cairo…(No wonder Amanda is a Travel Agent in her book. I wonder if I can be a travel character in one her books?)

•I have OCD type issues that cause people to be very uncomfortable in my house… or is it that I’m uncomfortable? (I think I live with a herd of Becky type people.)

•I have a mean cat and a friendly dog… they make me laugh. (I have a very friendly cat that thinks its a dog.)

•I eat cereal for dinner almost every night. (Yes! She is like me!)

•When I’m nervous, I laugh. Unfortunately, that means if somebody trips in front of me, I might laugh… But I am CPR Certified so I’ll try to help.(ooo, she is still like me. I even know baby CPR stuff.)

•I’m an author. Writer. Struggling artist. This should explain a lot…

•My novels deal with tough issues, but you’ll always find a little humor mixed in.

•I’m a very private person and therefore I’m good at keeping secrets. (She’s telling us all her secrets now. I wonder . . .)

•I’m a loyal friend. (I want to be her friend! And I am a loyal friend on days I remember I am one. Amnesiac joke there, folks. Have to have fun with it sometimes.)

•My biggest pet peeve is when people generalize. All Women are ________. All Men are ________. All Republicans are ________. All Democrats are ________. (I am now in love with Becky Due! I am so in agreement with this.)

•I don’t drink, smoke, or do drugs. (I hear Adam Ant for some reason. And again, she’s like me!)

•My books, especially the first one, might lead people to believe I have an issue with men… I don’t. I love men, I’m crazy madly in love with men… and women.

•I’m heterosexual. (I am so laughing out loud now. See previous reveal.)

•I workout at least 5 days a week and I’m a Certified Personal Trainer—A certificate I don’t use but continue to update year after year. (I umm, well cool. Just saying. You’ve seen my picture. I am NOT a trainer of anything. Okay, I lost 70 lbs in 5 months. So maybe there is something there too.)

•I love love love art; I love looking at it and I love creating it.

•I have my real-estate license—inactive. (I have insurance agent license–inactive.)

•I don’t like mushrooms or onions. (I guess I must now give up mushrooms and onions since I am now in love with Becky Due.)

•I love hip-hop and R&B music though I often listen to the 90s station and Love Songs.

•I’m a true romantic. I love Romance. (Check.)

•BlackBerry or IPhone? BlackBerry. (I have a dumbphone.)

•I decorated my home in muted earthy tones that I find soothing. I painted my garage neon green, yellow and turquoise, which stirs excitement every time I come home or go out.

• I’m an early riser. I love mornings. (Becky and I were made for each other . . . each others tweets that is.)

•One of my daily goals is to laugh out loud—a goal I always achieve. (I achieve this when I look in the mirror after a shower.)

Now for actual questions I asked Becky.

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

BD: I love all authors especially after realizing what a challenging career it is. But I do have a handful of favorite books that made an impact on me during some of the hardest times in my life. I’m not sure if reading was an escape or a way to learn the lessons from the character, but I love books and novels that filled me with hope and inspiration and motivate me to be better. I enjoy self-help and biographies too. Breakfast at Tiffany’s and Illusions are two of my all-time favorite books.

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

BD: Whenever I need a break from writing, I love hanging out with my man or other fun friends who make me laugh. I also have to workout for my sanity and well being. It’s important that I step away from my computer and have some fun, get some exercise, and let loose a little. As much as I love what I do, keeping balance is very important to me. I try not to be fanatical about anything. No pressure. If I’m having a great writing day and feel like skipping the workout, I skip the workout. If I’d rather hang out with friends or pig out in front of the TV with my man, that’s what I do.

RW: What is your favorite word?

BD: I don’t have a favorite word, but I love Intensifiers SO much. LOL Maybe it’s because I’m excited and dramatic. What can I say, life is exciting! When I finish a new manuscript and it’s time to edit, I usually start by crossing out half of my intensifiers. Reluctantly.

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

BD: Right now, I’m reading, editing, rereading and editing my next book. I won’t pick up another book until this one is back with my editor. I’m eying a few of the bestselling women’s fiction right now, but not sure which one I will choose.

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

BD: I know this is boring but my favorite beverage is water. I used to drink coffee and Diet Coke often but as I’m getting older I’m trying to be healthier. I drink green tea once in a while, I don’t like it, but I drink it. LOL I enjoy coffee and pop as an occasional treat, especially when I need a caffeine boost.    

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

BD: Try the traditional publishing route first and if that doesn’t work, and you love what you’re doing, don’t give up. Either self-publish, find a publisher or try the print on demand. You just never know if you’ll have the next bestselling book.

Do you want to hear Becky? Watch her interview on Lifetime’s The Balancing Act for a previous book Returning Injury.

Well I had fun with this interview. I hope Becky doesn’t go and unfriend me on Twitter. You got the seriousness of her writing, which does have humor in it, and you got to see that quirky lady behind the professional smile. I loved the message of her book because as an Amnesiac I look at my situation and make good from it and move forward. Get all of her books for you and a friend for Christmas. I think it’s great she has audio books as well. Once you read her books make sure to do one thing . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

@RonovanWrites

RonovanWrites.WordPress.com

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The Reach of the Banyan Tree @sassevn Mark Sasse Q&A

 

Mark Sasse Author of The Reach of the Banyan Tree Banner ImageColleen Chesesbro, one of our Book Reviewers here at LWI brought author Mark Sasse to my attention after reviewing a book called The Recluse Storyteller (review). I believe her words had the basic meaning of “INTERVIEW THIS MAN!” His writing style blew her away due to its uniqueness. Then she did another review and she was submersed in his descriptions in The Reach of the Banyan Tree (review). With that in mind the first thing I asked Mark Sasse to share with us how he developed his writing style.

Mark W Sasse AuthorOthers have mentioned that I have a unique style, but I really don’t know. I just write from my heart (whatever that means) and see what comes out. I will say that The Recluse Storyteller certainly has a unique structure with the stories inside of stories, but that’s the only novel I’ve written with that kind of structure. I’m humbled that some people like my writing style. I try to keep it simple – try to keep it real. Other than that, I have no idea how I write.

Mark and I discussed how people perhaps over analyze a writing style and then lose something along the way, or those are my words.

This certainly might be true. I purposefully try not to compare myself to others. Actually, if you want to know the truth, I really don’t read anymore. I know that is sacrilegious in most author circles. One of the reasons for this is that I don’t want to be influenced by other styles and ideas. I don’t want to imitate anyone. I just want to be myself and let the words flow. I feel guilty at times that I don’t read. In the past I have read; I was an English major as an undergraduate and read through all the major periods. Hemingway was it for me. But now when I have free time, all I want to do is write. I just try to tell the story that is currently on my heart and hope that it makes sense and can touch someone else. It’s humbling when it does.

 

When I asked Mark specifically about his style that captivated Colleen after reading The Recluse Storyteller, he gave one of the most honest answers I think an author can give.

I just write from my heart (whatever that means) and see what comes out. I will say that The Recluse Storyteller certainly has a unique structure with the stories inside of stories, but that’s the only novel I’ve written with that kind of structure. I’m humbled that some people like my writing style. I try to keep it simple – try to keep it real. Other than that, I have no idea how I write.

The Reach of the Banyan Tree Mark SasseWhen I started getting into Mark’s background and even his present I was surprised. It turned out that this Lit Major in college who was from western Pennsylvania had actually been living in Asia for 20 years, 10 of those in Vietnam. Now he resides on the tropical island of Penang in Malaysia, the country our very own Florence is originally from.  That led us into the book of focus today, The Reach of the Banyan Tree.

My ten years living in Vietnam inspired The Reach of the Banyan Tree. I wanted to paint a picture of what modern day Vietnam is like, wrapped around an engaging story. It was the easiest title I’ve ever come up with. The banyan tree in the story stands as a symbol of the passing of time and how the past keeps reaching into the present.

Penang Port

Being a Historian  I became jealous that Colleen was the one that ended up reviewing The Reach of the Banyan Tree. But I wanted to know the wrapping and the reaching that the banyan tree represented. If you don’t know how a banyan tree comes to exist and grows, you need to look into it and things become clear and Mark’s genius jumps out at you.

The Reach of the Banyan Tree chronicles three generations of American men who have been impacted by Vietnam – one at the tail-end of WWII, one during the Vietnam War, and one in the year 2000 as a humanitarian worker. It’s about the women they love, and the generational ties between families. It’s also my treatise on Vietnamese culture.

Chip is a twenty-something who has run away to Vietnam to get away from the family business. He falls in love with Thuy, a young Vietnamese woman. Each of these characters symbolize family in different ways. Chip begins to learn about his family’s past from his grandfather’s diary when he was in Vietnam at the end of WWII. This learning process helps to even heal the issues he had with his father. Thuy, on the other hand, represents a formal and strict Vietnamese family which values status, loyalty, and obligation over everything else. These two characters are on a remarkable journey through 20th century Vietnam, trying to break the chains of family and culture just to experience a little love.

Mark told me he doesn’t like the labeling of genres but I did get him to share what elements he thought would be used to describe his latest novel to you, and to me as well really.

It is partly all of the following: historical fiction, contemporary romance, contemporary fiction, love story, war and adventure, cross-cultural, literary fiction. I don’t know what it is.

When I asked Mark to describe his book in one word he said ‘Legacy’. Then I asked what what message he thought The Reach of the Banyan Tree gives its readers.

We can’t escape the past. We can run away from it for a time, but its reach is endless. We eventually have to come to grips with who we are. The symbol of the banyan tree is fleshed out well in the novel, teaching us of the bonds of family and history. Those bonds are not easily broken. Some bonds should be preserved, but others need to be carefully removed. But it’s a painful process.

Mark is the definition of write what you know. His books are about where he is, not where he wishes he was or what he wishes he could be. As a drama teacher and a person who does the casting for productions Mark lives in creativity. When some authors escape from writing at times, even reluctantly so, Mark is “always escaping to writing”. His life in drama, that creative eye and mind seeing the world in a different way. In fact that’s how he came to be an author.

I always wanted to write, but I spent twenty years doing hardly any of it. But those twenty years were a period of preparation. I started writing seriously when I began collaborating with a group of high school students on an original play back in 2007. I had so much fun that the collaboration (and production that followed) got me hooked on writing drama. I turned one of our dramas into a novella, Spy Blue, and that gave me the courage to try writing my first novel, Beauty Rising, with I published in December 2012. Since then, I’ve published two more with another on the way. I’m totally hooked.

I haven’t had the honor of reading any of Mark’s work YET but I am already a fan. Here are a few of those things fans like to know.

Since I’m in Malaysia, let me go with Teh Ais – Malaysian sweetened milk ice tea. Completely addictive. (I confirmed with Florence here at LWI and she agrees it is so good.)

Honestly, when I have free time, I write, not read. My reading consists of news, opinions, blogs, and other interesting stuff that catches my eye. I have a lot of interests: politics, economics, tech, culture, life, entertainment, etc … haven’t read any books in a while though.

No representation. I’m a proud indie author! Since I publish independently, my advice is write a quality book. That’s the key. Don’t settle for good enough. Push it and make it the best it can possibly be. Take criticism in stride and learn from it. Then push the book out there. And write another one.

As you know Mark is not just a one book guy, nor is he a novella and two book guy. I asked him about what he’s done and what he’s doing now.

My first novel was Beauty Rising, released in Dec 2012. It’s about a thirty-something going-nowhere man, who is convinced he needs to take his veteran father’s ashes to Vietnam and bury him. As he steps out of his comfort zone, he experiences a soul-awakening and an unlikely love interest. I followed up that novel with my second one, The Recluse Storyteller, in Oct 2013. It’s a fascinating story about a recluse who tells stories to herself about the neighbors she spies on. However, as the recluse begins to have contact with the people of her apartment, those neighbors begin to realize that her stories have something to say about their own lives.

My fourth novel is finished. I just sent it out to some readers for feedback. It’s entitled “A Love Story for a Nation” and is scheduled for release in mid 2015. I’m very excited about this one. I’m also 15,000 words into my fifth novel, set in a fictitious southeast Asian island. Besides that, I just re-wrote a musical script which I’ll be producing with my drama troupe in the spring of 2015. Lots of good stuff ahead!

One thing you will notice is that Mark doesn’t rush his novels. I have to say many Indie Authors push those books out as fast as they can. Mark practices what he preaches about putting out quality. Building up a catalog of books will pay off over time. A catalog of quality books that is. Mark was a great interview. I could feel the effects a culture had on him in his answers and even in his thoughts about writing. He lets the heart lead and he follows. When I get the chance I am going to read this book, and the others if possible. I’m not as avid a reader as I once was because of a concussion I suffered but I do make the effort when I see something special. The Reach of the Banyan Tree is going to be added to that list. Connect with Mark at the places mentioned below, and buy every book he has written.  And once you’ve read a book, you know what to do then . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

Writers Blog: www.mwsasse.com Find out what more about Mark that you didn’t read here.

Facebook Page: Author Mark W. Sasse

Twitter: @sassevn

Email: sassevn@yahoo.com

If you clicked the title of Mark’s books you’ve already been to Amazon, if not click the book covers and you’ll be there in seconds. Also you can get them in paperback  at pretty much any retailer.

Spy Blue Mark Sasse AuthorBeauty Rising Mark Sasse AuthorThe Reculse Storyteller Mark Sasse AuthorThe Reach of the Banyan Tree Mark Sasse

 

 

 

 

“In a moving work of sweeping scope, The Reach Of The Banyan Tree explores themes of love versus loyalty, desire verses duty, destiny versus fate, and family versus the individual – illuminating the familial ties that either bind us together or tear us apart.”~Literary R&R

“He weaves his extensive knowledge of Vietnam and the splendor of the countryside into his writing, as he did in ‘Beauty Rising;’ and with such vivid narratives, I could see the story unfolding in my mind. I love the compassion and complexity he puts into his writing. “~Marilou George of Confessions of a Reader

“This romance spans fifty years through three generations of American men whose lives are interwoven through the women they love, their courage to face reality, and the lifetime friendships they forged.  I loved the richness of the characters and the rites of passage into adult-hood that each endured.”~Colleen Chesebro of LitWorldInterviews

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

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How About A Little Fantastic Video Voyage? Well, Are Ya Comin’?

Check out Lit World Interviews very on 5 Star Historical Romance Read of the Year Author PS Bartlett as she narrates her journey to her voyage to her most recent novel The Blue Diamond: The Razor’s Edge available at Amazon.

Author P.S. Bartlett

Tonight I ventured into a strange and unforgiving world…the YouTube VIDEO.

Nope, I wasn’t brave enough to get in front of the camera so I put together a video narration of an article I wrote not too long ago, complete with pictures and flubbed words.

Hey gang, I did the best I could under circumstances I would never bore you with. TRUST ME though…it was a challenge.

So, without further adieu, I give you my very first narrated article…

Right or Wrong – I Write for Me

View original post

“domestic violence is a disease” ‘Mine’&’Facade’ author @JanelleKahele Q&A

Meet j_kahele_author.jpg

J Kahele

Author

Mother

And a very nice Lady.

I probably got the order wrong if you ask her.

 RW: At the time of this interview your newest book is Facade but I asked you to discuss another book instead. The issue of domestic violence that I see too much of in life is the centerpiece and I wanted you to share the story with our readers. What message does Mine give to the reader?

J Kahele: I hope that it shows them, this is a serious problem and that no matter what class, gender, sexuality a person is, domestic violence has no prejudice, it attacks everyone.

RW: I definitely agree. When I write I discover new things about myself. Even when writing about others I can’t help but explore me at the same time. What did your exploring bring out of you?

J Kahele: I learned that it is very hard sometimes to put down on paper, the words that are in your head and it can sometimes be very frustrating.

RW: Knowing how the book came about I can understand or at least have an opinion of why it was difficult. Tell our readers how you come up with the idea for the book?

J Kahele: I have had to watch people I love suffer with this disease and felt that I needed to help in some way, so I wrote the book. To be quite honest the book is based on a true story but the friend I wrote it about didn’t want people to know so I listed it as fiction. I wanted to show people how domestic violence is a disease that affects everyone and that we all need to step up and help to stop it.

RW: There are three main characters in the book that play pivotal roles. Who are they?

J Kahele: Jenna is a 22 year old woman who marries a prominent Senator Ben Kramer at the tender age of seventeen. Ben is abusive right away and uses her like a whipping pole when he feels like it. Then there is Andrew Carington, a young good looking attorney who enters into Jenna’s life and an affair ensues between the two of them.

RW: Describe your book in one word.

J Kahele: Truth

***I admire that answer.***

To Acquire J Kahele’s Books

(click the book to go to Amazon)

blink_the_series_breaking_branches_j_kahele.jpg

 

 

blink_the_series-blinded_by_judgement_j_kahele.jpg

mine_j_kahele.jpg

 

 

mine_2_j_kahele.jpg

 

facade_j_kahele.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

Connect with J Kahele

Twitter: @JanelleKahele

Goodreads: J. Kahele

Website: www.janellekahele.com


Now for the other kinds of questions that I ask to determine who J really is. 

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

J Kahele: Mary Shelley, David Clive Price, Stephen King

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

J Kahele: Haha. Diet Coke.

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

J Kahele: Actually, it’s more like I escape to write so I don’t reach the boiling point.

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

J Kahele: I presently have four books out and I believe anyone who writes is a writer. Writing is a passion, a way of life.

RW: Is Romance of sorts your particular genre of choice?

J Kahele: I don’t write in the genre, it sort of picked me. I write what is in my head, not for a specific genre.

RW: What are you working on right now?

J Kahele: I am working on a romantic comedy with my friend from the UK, James Duncan.

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

J Kahele: Encouragement from Dr. Hank.

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

J Kahele: I had an opportunity to go more with a traditional publisher, but I chose to self publish, only because the traditional publisher wanted to change my words and I felt that was kind of selling out. I guess it is up to each individual what they would choose to do.

RW: What is your favorite word and why?

J Kahele: Imbecile because it makes me laugh.

I asked where J Kahele is from but instead of giving the answer I will give this clue and a somewhat bit of trivia. Her pro team quarterback was my alma mater team quarterback. Her team’s mascot, one of Dorthy and Friends’ fears defeated another of their fears on Thanksgiving Day.

 

Why did I ask J Kahele for an interview? I saw her book Mine after we connected on Twitter. When I connect in any fashion with an author I go and look for their books. ‘Mine’ caught my eye. I thought it a good subject to share and here we are. I have to say I am always surprised how nice some people are but J Kahele has been extraordinarily wonderful to work with. If you have a blog, reach out and offer to host her books, review them. Nice people need to be supported. Connect with her everywhere, as I  have, and remember after reading her book . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

Much Respect

Ronovan

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© Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com 2014

Book Trailers–Mature Audiences Only

 

 

Get ‘Facade’ Latest Novel by @JanelleKahele #Romance #Kindle http://amzn.to/1vweaJY

Tuesday, December 2 Meet

Author

J. Kahele

But NOW

GO

Acquire her latest novel

released Nov. 21!

Facade

facade_j_kahele.jpg@JanelleKahele 

Book Descrption

“A normal walk to work turns into a life-changing moment when a near accident brings Ally Lehar face to face with the rude, hostile Liam Sheldon.

A twist of fate places these two together and sparks fly as Ally is forced to work with Liam when he takes over the reins of Curchet Networking, where Ally is employed.

As time goes on an attraction ensues between the two, and Liam’s want to be with Ally, leaves him conflicted. He feels like his successful career is slipping through his fingers, and insecurities flare up as a relationship from his past gets in the way of his current chance at happiness.

The book is intended for mature audiences only!”

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“Always have beta readers who are willing to be honest” @SbethCaplin Where There’s Smoke Q&A

where_theres_smoke_sarabeth_caplin.jpg“Okay, where do I start? This quick read was not what I expected. When asked to review the book, I had expected some kind of romance novel. One featuring religious themes for sure, but a romance novel nonetheless. But what I got instead was a fascinating young adult novel all about hypocrisy, being human, and the cost of living a lie.”-Amazon Review

“There is something that draws someone to such a taboo matter, but beyond the tense/angst amongst the characters there is a seriousness that can not be ignored. That choices we make, individually or together, can change the lives of many. To write about such matters with religion mixed into the storyline takes guts and walks a fine line that I enjoyed reading about.”-Book Flirts

 

Meet Author

Sarabeth Caplin

“I write to entertain, but also to make people think, which is why I turned to self-publishing: certain stigmas and taboos are not always marketable or easy to categorize. So I write the kind of stories I like to read, and wish I could read more of  (I guess I just have weird taste?).”-From her website.

author_sarabeth_caplin.jpgRW: You write young adult fiction that appeals to older adults as well, how did you come to choose this particular genre?

SARABETH: I grew up on young adult fiction. It may sound lame, but some of my best friends and role models are found in fiction. I like to think I have the spunk of Anne Shirley, the independence of Jane Eyre, and the bravery of Katniss Everdeen. It’s safe to say that books helped shape my identity and made me feel less alone during the lonely years of middle school.

RW: Why is your most recent novella called Where There’s Smoke?

SARABETH: The story centers around a fire that not only causes physical destruction, but threatens to expose lies and secrets as well. I like the title because it sounds ominous.

RW: Your book touches on some themes that are somewhat timely today. Some of those being Christianity and how certain elements of it can take things a bit to the extreme, such as people being outcasts for their sexuality. What was the inspiration for Where There’s Smoke?

SARABETH: I had a brief stint in seminary a year after undergrad. I saw the worst stereotypes of what Christians could be, and found more encouragement with my atheist friends than I did with many of the students I met there. That angered me.

RW: Who is the main character?

SARABETH: A teenage girl named Hannah who belongs to a very conservative Christian community, where the “Cool Crowd” consists of wannabe missionaries who believe they hold a monopoly on the truth.

RW: Is Hannah the “perfect” Christian?

SARABETH: Hannah isn’t always likeable, and she doesn’t make the best decisions, but she’s real. How many of us survived high school without saying, doing, or believing things we weren’t sure about just to fit in? That’s human nature. Flawed, yet empathic characters are my favorite to write.

 

RW: I’ve experienced the adult version “Cool Crowds” in churches. What reality does Hannah find out about this “Cool Crowd”?

SARABETH: They use their faith to manipulate and alienate people, which Hannah doesn’t realize until she befriends a lesbian student, Lia, whose coming out made her an outcast. It’s through Lia that Hannah experiences genuine respect and friendship, and is confronted about her own hypocritical tendencies.

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

SARABETH: That authenticity is always worth it, despite the personal costs to your popularity or reputation. That people who don’t always agree with you can still teach you valuable lessons.

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

Sarabeth: That I am by no means as pure in my motives and as sincere as I’d like to be, since I too am a Christian.

RW: Describe your book in one word.

Sarabeth: Gutsy.

To get Sarabeth Caplin’s books:

Amazon Author Page

sarabeth_caplin_book_covers.jpg

Confessions of a Prodigal Daughter: my memoir about growing up Jewish and becoming a Christian as an adult.

Someone You Already Know: My first YA novel about two teenage rape victims struggling to understand what the other went through, and how societal views and stereotypes about rape affect them both.

Public Displays of Convention: Another YA novel about a modern-day Elizabeth Bennet kind of woman trying to figure out how best to live as a single woman after her college boyfriend unexpectedly dumps her.

Sorting Myself: a short collection of poetry, with mainly religious and feminist themes.

 sbethcaplin.com


To Connect With Sarabeth:

Twitter: @SbethCaplin

Facebook: Author Sarabeth Caplin


RW: Tell us about your early journals?

SARABETH: I’ve been making up stories as long as I can remember, and have always had a habit of narrating my life as it happens. Because my first love was fiction, my journals read like first-person young adult novels.

RW: And how did you come to self-publishing

SARABETH: It wasn’t until 2012, after graduating college, that I figured out self-publishing. But one need not be published to call themselves a writer.

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

SARABETH: Always have beta readers who are willing to be honest with you about what needs improvement in your story. Even if you think you’re ready to publish, it’s always better to wait. The first versions of my first two books were published before they were ready, and it was such a pain to redo them.

RW: Are  you opposed to having an agent and doing what is called ‘traditional’ publishing?

SARABETH: I like being my own boss for now, but I’m not ruling out the possibility. It’s important for me to find an agent who is okay with self-publishing on the side.

RW: What are you working on right now?

SARABETH: My first attempt at a New Adult novel about a young woman whose boyfriend is accused of rape by an ex girlfriend, and he challenges her to interview all his previous exes to prove he’s innocent.

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

SARABETH: I’m rereading Mockingjay in preparation for the movie, as well as The Hardest Peace by Kara Tippetts.

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

SARABETH: I admire the deviousness of Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl. I wish I were capable of that level of intrigue, suspense, and psychological mind-bending. Also Lauren Winner’s Girl Meets God, because it’s basically a far more articulate version of my life story.

 

Sarabeth writes about real topics and not just what ifs. I’ve personally started a number of what Christian communities can really be like books but never finished them. I think perhaps in part I’m just old. I need some of Sarabeth’s youth and energy. To take this topic head on is admirable, especially being a Christian. I think people might find it surprising that one Christian author finds another Christian author writing about the realities of some communities as being admirable. Don’t be. We know there are the bad communities out there. Connect with Sarabeth and support her through the purchase of her books. Young indie authors, old indie authors, all authors need our support.  And as always, remember . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

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© Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com 2014

1 Man, 6 Woman. Kings and Queens @TerryTyler4 Q&A

kings_and_queens“Even if you are not a fan of English history and know nothing of the metaphors and references the author has slyly inserted into the story, this book will draw you in as contemporary fiction, demonstrating that the human foibles are ageless and that a historical family drama can repeat itself.

This is a great read, and I’m looking forward to a sequel featuring the Lanchester children, especially the son Harry wanted so much he was willing to marry again and again to get: the spoiled and entitled Jasper.

Kings and Queens is rich in the sins and peccadillos of the wealthy and entitled, those that captivate readers across the board. Bravo to Terry Tyler for giving us such a sumptuous read with a grand historical twist.”~Rosie Amber ofRosieAmber.WordPress.com

“This novel promises to be uniquely different in its concept and delivery. And actually, that promise is fulfilled…in spades.  The storyline and characters very artfully parallel the life and times of Henry VIII in a modern day setting. 

Handsome and charming, Harry Lanchester makes his first appearance as a sixteen year old wannabe rock star and his story is told initially from the viewpoint of Harry’s best friend, Will. Thereafter we see Harry through the eyes of each of his wives in turn, combined with short chapters from Will, who acts almost as an impartial onlooker and supporter. Even when he disagrees with Harry and suspects him of a terrible act, Will feels unwilling and, possibly, unable to confront his friend. “~Cathy of Between the Lines Book Blog

 

I’m not going to say a whole lot about today’s guest as the answers will tell you more than I ever could. Full of personality and energy just from the words alone must make for a novel length full of my guests thoughts an amazingly good time. Meet . . .

Terry Tyler

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA@TerryTyler4 

 

RW: Where are you from?

TERRY: I live in the north east of England, but come from the Midlands/East Anglia.

RW: I so love the British. And no, before anyone ask I do not have a contract with the Queen to promote her favorite authors. Although it is possible Terry is on the night stand of a certain young main with hair colored similar to mine. Now that we have that out of the way, what allows us to call you an Author instead of someone throwing wrods about?

TERRY: I seem to remember that I used to write stories when I was a child. I wrote a load of astrology based short stories in my 20s. I bet they were dreadful, I’m glad I haven’t still got them! I wrote 9 or 10 novels in the 1990s, then nothing much for about 10 years, until I wrote You Wish in 2010. Happily, that coincided with the rise in popularity of the Amazon Kindle.

RW: What genre does your book Kings and Queens fall into?

TERRY: I suppose contemporary family drama, crossed with romantic suspense, with appeal to the readers of Tudor historical fiction, too.

RW: Okay with that bit of mix and cross over tell us a little about the book and the main characters.

TERRY: I was watching The Tudors on Netflix and suddenly thought “hang on, this is a marvellous story”; it’s always been one that interests me, anyway. I began to think how I could translate it into the present….

The story of property developer Harry Lanchester is told through the eyes of the six women with whom he becomes involved (only five of them become his wives). Their chapters are separated by the man’s eye view, that of Harry’s lifelong best friend, Will Brandon. The story spans the years 1971 – 2007.

Each of the six wives is so different, with all sorts of experiences; many of the people who’ve read the book have named their favourites. The most popular one is Hannah Cleveley, my modern day Anne of Cleves. Then there’s fiery Annette (Anne Boleyn), former lap dancer Keira (Catherine Howard) and dutiful Kate (Catherine Parr)… as far as Harry himself is concerned, most people have found him arrogant and selfish, but not without endearing qualities.

RW: Based on that answer and my obviously amazing Historian mind I think I know the answer, but why Kings and Queens?

TERRY: All my book titles (except for You Wish) are named after Aerosmith songs, for no reason other than that they’re my favourite band and it amuses me to do so. I wouldn’t have chosen any of them if they weren’t totally appropriate, but so far the perfect one has always been there, waiting for me! Kings and Queens is a modern day re-telling of the story of Henry VIII and his six wives; although my novel is one about the king of a property developing company, it’s still very apt.

RW: What age group is your basic target group?

TERRY: Probably 18 – 65!!!! I’d say 25-55.

**Normally I don’t include this answer but I just love how Terry answered it.**

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

TERRY: Australian actor Chris Hemsworth would make the perfect Harry. Maybe Evangeline Lily for Annette. I haven’t really thought about it – I am not one of those writers who has book-into-film fantasies; though now you come to mention it…. hmmm…!

936full-chris-hemsworthEvie-Elle-magazine-evangeline-lilly-11023053-363-500

 

 

 

 

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

TERRY: I don’t know. Maybe “don’t cheat on your spouse or you might end up dead”???

RW: Describe your book in one word.

TERRY: Compulsive!

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

TERRY: That I like writing more than I like doing virtually anything. Yes, I even worked on it on Christmas Day.

Visit the following to Purchase Terry’s Kings and Queens

Half price from Nov 21-26

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

Connect with Terry

@TerryTyler4 

Goodreads: Terry Tyler

Terry Tyler Blog

Terry’s Blog on UK Arts Directory:

 


 

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

TERRY: (Deep breath… ) Douglas Kennedy, John Boyne, Deborah Moggach, Kate Atkinson, Emily Barr, Dorothy Parker, Susan Howatch, Elizabeth Jane Howard, Norah Lofts, Jack Kerouac, Phillipa Gregory, Jackie Collins, Bill Bryson, P J O’Rourke, Evelyn Waugh…. I’ll stop now!

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

TERRY: Can I be really boring and say coffee? It’s the only one I can’t imagine a day without, so I suppose it must be my favourite! Has to be the real stuff, preferably freshly ground, and very strong.

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

TERRY: I don’t ever get to a point like that. I love writing, always. I stop and do something else because I’m tired, or need some exercise, or because that bathroom won’t clean itself, not because it makes me want to explode. I never feel the need to escape from it. If I did, I wouldn’t do it.

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

TERRY: I don’t choose a genre, I just write the story I want to write. I work out what genre it is when it comes to publishing and marketing it. That’s probably the wrong way to go about it, but never mind. They’re all roughly the same non-specific genre, anyway.

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

TERRY: I’ve published 9 books on Amazon – 7 full length novels, I novella and a collection of short stories. They’re all contemporary drama/romantic suspense, though some are lighter than others. For instance, Nobody’s Fault is a fairly heavy family drama, whereas Dream On and Full Circle incorporate rock fiction and are quite funny. Essentially, though, I write about real life relationships (not just romance).

RW: Do you currently have representation? If so who, and if not describe what qualities you would like in an agent and what you would bring to the relationship. Also how did you come to get signed.

TERRY: No, I don’t have representation. I made a decision not to seek it anymore; I hadn’t sent my work to an agent since You Wish, but thought I would try again with Kings and Queens. The first agent I sent it to asked for the full MS as soon as she’d read the synopsis and sample chapters, but wrote back with suggestions for change that it would have made it a different book. I’m not closed to the idea of having an agent, and am open to ideas for improvement, but not so much that a book is no longer the one I want it to be.

RW: What are you working on right now?

TERRY: The sequel to Kings and Queens, LAST CHILD, is almost ready to go to the proofreader….

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

TERRY: I am about to finish Sheer Fear by Geoff West, after which I will read The Gilded Lily by Deborah Swift.

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

TERRY: If it’s your first time, don’t publish yourself or send to an agent/publisher without having a few people read it first, preferably ones who will tell you, honestly, if you have any talent for writing.

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

TERRY: The complete works of Shakespeare. I’d never have to worry about paying the phone bill again! That’s kind of a joke, by the way. I don’t know. Possibly The Beach by Alex Garland, Cashelmara by Susan Howatch, or Norah Lofts’ The House At Old Vine trilogy – oh, I can’t make up my mind!

RW: What is your favorite word?

TERRY: Haven’t really got one. I quite like ersatz and zeitgeist. I like words with zeds in them.

Many thanks for inviting me onto your site, Ron, and I hope this has been of some interest to your readers.

You now know why Terry was a guest today. Didn’t you have fun? I mean seriously, I never thought some of those answers were coming my way, and I actually laughed at times and smiled the entire way through. I want to thank Terry for giving in to my begging and agreeing to the interview. Now if she will please lift the restraining order, I will promise not to step foot in England again. Follow her everywhere, purchase her book, and always remember . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

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© Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com 2014

 

 

Kings and Queens @TerryTyler4 Q&A

kings_and_queens“Even if you are not a fan of English history and know nothing of the metaphors and references the author has slyly inserted into the story, this book will draw you in as contemporary fiction, demonstrating that the human foibles are ageless and that a historical family drama can repeat itself.

This is a great read, and I’m looking forward to a sequel featuring the Lanchester children, especially the son Harry wanted so much he was willing to marry again and again to get: the spoiled and entitled Jasper.

Kings and Queens is rich in the sins and peccadillos of the wealthy and entitled, those that captivate readers across the board. Bravo to Terry Tyler for giving us such a sumptuous read with a grand historical twist.”~Rosie Amber ofRosieAmber.WordPress.com

“This novel promises to be uniquely different in its concept and delivery. And actually, that promise is fulfilled…in spades.  The storyline and characters very artfully parallel the life and times of Henry VIII in a modern day setting. 

Handsome and charming, Harry Lanchester makes his first appearance as a sixteen year old wannabe rock star and his story is told initially from the viewpoint of Harry’s best friend, Will. Thereafter we see Harry through the eyes of each of his wives in turn, combined with short chapters from Will, who acts almost as an impartial onlooker and supporter. Even when he disagrees with Harry and suspects him of a terrible act, Will feels unwilling and, possibly, unable to confront his friend. “~Cathy of Between the Lines Book Blog

 

I’m not going to say a whole lot about today’s guest as the answers will tell you more than I ever could. Full of personality and energy just from the words alone must make for a novel length full of my guests thoughts an amazingly good time. Meet . . .

Terry Tyler

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA@TerryTyler4 

 

RW: Where are you from?

TERRY: I live in the north east of England, but come from the Midlands/East Anglia.

RW: I so love the British. And no, before anyone ask I do not have a contract with the Queen to promote her favorite authors. Although it is possible Terry is on the night stand of a certain young main with hair colored similar to mine. Now that we have that out of the way, what allows us to call you an Author instead of someone throwing wrods about?

TERRY: I seem to remember that I used to write stories when I was a child. I wrote a load of astrology based short stories in my 20s. I bet they were dreadful, I’m glad I haven’t still got them! I wrote 9 or 10 novels in the 1990s, then nothing much for about 10 years, until I wrote You Wish in 2010. Happily, that coincided with the rise in popularity of the Amazon Kindle.

RW: What genre does your book Kings and Queens fall into?

TERRY: I suppose contemporary family drama, crossed with romantic suspense, with appeal to the readers of Tudor historical fiction, too.

RW: Okay with that bit of mix and cross over tell us a little about the book and the main characters.

TERRY: I was watching The Tudors on Netflix and suddenly thought “hang on, this is a marvellous story”; it’s always been one that interests me, anyway. I began to think how I could translate it into the present….

The story of property developer Harry Lanchester is told through the eyes of the six women with whom he becomes involved (only five of them become his wives). Their chapters are separated by the man’s eye view, that of Harry’s lifelong best friend, Will Brandon. The story spans the years 1971 – 2007.

Each of the six wives is so different, with all sorts of experiences; many of the people who’ve read the book have named their favourites. The most popular one is Hannah Cleveley, my modern day Anne of Cleves. Then there’s fiery Annette (Anne Boleyn), former lap dancer Keira (Catherine Howard) and dutiful Kate (Catherine Parr)… as far as Harry himself is concerned, most people have found him arrogant and selfish, but not without endearing qualities.

RW: Based on that answer and my obviously amazing Historian mind I think I know the answer, but why Kings and Queens?

TERRY: All my book titles (except for You Wish) are named after Aerosmith songs, for no reason other than that they’re my favourite band and it amuses me to do so. I wouldn’t have chosen any of them if they weren’t totally appropriate, but so far the perfect one has always been there, waiting for me! Kings and Queens is a modern day re-telling of the story of Henry VIII and his six wives; although my novel is one about the king of a property developing company, it’s still very apt.

RW: What age group is your basic target group?

TERRY: Probably 18 – 65!!!! I’d say 25-55.

**Normally I don’t include this answer but I just love how Terry answered it.**

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

TERRY: Australian actor Chris Hemsworth would make the perfect Harry. Maybe Evangeline Lily for Annette. I haven’t really thought about it – I am not one of those writers who has book-into-film fantasies; though now you come to mention it…. hmmm…!

936full-chris-hemsworthEvie-Elle-magazine-evangeline-lilly-11023053-363-500

 

 

 

 

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

TERRY: I don’t know. Maybe “don’t cheat on your spouse or you might end up dead”???

RW: Describe your book in one word.

TERRY: Compulsive!

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

TERRY: That I like writing more than I like doing virtually anything. Yes, I even worked on it on Christmas Day.

Visit the following to Purchase Terry’s Kings and Queens

Half price from Nov 21-26

Amazon UK

Amazon.com

Connect with Terry

@TerryTyler4 

Goodreads: Terry Tyler

Terry Tyler Blog

Terry’s Blog on UK Arts Directory:

 


 

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

TERRY: (Deep breath… ) Douglas Kennedy, John Boyne, Deborah Moggach, Kate Atkinson, Emily Barr, Dorothy Parker, Susan Howatch, Elizabeth Jane Howard, Norah Lofts, Jack Kerouac, Phillipa Gregory, Jackie Collins, Bill Bryson, P J O’Rourke, Evelyn Waugh…. I’ll stop now!

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

TERRY: Can I be really boring and say coffee? It’s the only one I can’t imagine a day without, so I suppose it must be my favourite! Has to be the real stuff, preferably freshly ground, and very strong.

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

TERRY: I don’t ever get to a point like that. I love writing, always. I stop and do something else because I’m tired, or need some exercise, or because that bathroom won’t clean itself, not because it makes me want to explode. I never feel the need to escape from it. If I did, I wouldn’t do it.

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

TERRY: I don’t choose a genre, I just write the story I want to write. I work out what genre it is when it comes to publishing and marketing it. That’s probably the wrong way to go about it, but never mind. They’re all roughly the same non-specific genre, anyway.

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

TERRY: I’ve published 9 books on Amazon – 7 full length novels, I novella and a collection of short stories. They’re all contemporary drama/romantic suspense, though some are lighter than others. For instance, Nobody’s Fault is a fairly heavy family drama, whereas Dream On and Full Circle incorporate rock fiction and are quite funny. Essentially, though, I write about real life relationships (not just romance).

RW: Do you currently have representation? If so who, and if not describe what qualities you would like in an agent and what you would bring to the relationship. Also how did you come to get signed.

TERRY: No, I don’t have representation. I made a decision not to seek it anymore; I hadn’t sent my work to an agent since You Wish, but thought I would try again with Kings and Queens. The first agent I sent it to asked for the full MS as soon as she’d read the synopsis and sample chapters, but wrote back with suggestions for change that it would have made it a different book. I’m not closed to the idea of having an agent, and am open to ideas for improvement, but not so much that a book is no longer the one I want it to be.

RW: What are you working on right now?

TERRY: The sequel to Kings and Queens, LAST CHILD, is almost ready to go to the proofreader….

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

TERRY: I am about to finish Sheer Fear by Geoff West, after which I will read The Gilded Lily by Deborah Swift.

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

TERRY: If it’s your first time, don’t publish yourself or send to an agent/publisher without having a few people read it first, preferably ones who will tell you, honestly, if you have any talent for writing.

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

TERRY: The complete works of Shakespeare. I’d never have to worry about paying the phone bill again! That’s kind of a joke, by the way. I don’t know. Possibly The Beach by Alex Garland, Cashelmara by Susan Howatch, or Norah Lofts’ The House At Old Vine trilogy – oh, I can’t make up my mind!

RW: What is your favorite word?

TERRY: Haven’t really got one. I quite like ersatz and zeitgeist. I like words with zeds in them.

Many thanks for inviting me onto your site, Ron, and I hope this has been of some interest to your readers.

You now know why Terry was a guest today. Didn’t you have fun? I mean seriously, I never thought some of those answers were coming my way, and I actually laughed at times and smiled the entire way through. I want to thank Terry for giving in to my begging and agreeing to the interview. Now if she will please lift the restraining order, I will promise not to step foot in England again. Follow her everywhere, purchase her book, and always remember . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

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Jasper Penzey International Boy Detective #FREE today #Kindle @MLaSarre #Mystery #Adventure

I’M Reading Right Now!

Before my son gets to it!

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on KINDLE!

from Monica Lasarre

Jasper Penzey

International Boy Detective

@MLaSarre

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Q&A with @NatachaGuyot #Author and much more.

Variety, versatility, vigor, all words to describe the vibes I felt as I went through this interview with my guest today. Also the words of “how did I get this interview” kept coming to mind. As I researched and found words in my guests educational background such as Sorbonne and King’s College, I quickly discovered I was speaking with someone who wasn’t just the average science fiction fan. It’s rare that one comes across someone that can flip a coin and appeal to the intellectual or the fan boy. But you get to meet such an author today. Meet . . .

Author

Researcher

Illustrator

Public Speaker

Fangirl

Natacha Guyot

natacha_guyot_author.jpg 

 

Note: With such a versatile woman in writings interests the interview will be divided up to reflect those interests so as to focus on one at a time.

 

RW: With Sorbonne in your educational background I am thinking you are possibly not from my part of the Southern United States although I suppose it is possible but unlikely.

NATACHA: I am French. I was born in Paris, spent most of my life in Versailles and the Paris area. I moved for a year to London, United Kingdom, when studying for my second Master’s at King’s College. Since 2011, I’ve lived in Brittany, near Rennes. I am currently looking for a job in either the USA or the UK.

RW: I didn’t think you were going to say Paris, Texas. I always like to ask an Author who their favorite authors are to see what perhaps shapes their creativity, so who are yours?

NATACHA: My favorite fiction authors include Timothy Zahn, Joan D. Vinge, Anne McCaffrey, C.J. Cherryh, Vonda McIntyre and J. K. Rowling. My two favorite non fiction authors are Joseph Campbell and Clarissa Pinkola Estés.

RW: What brought you to the world of words?

NATACHA: I always loved telling stories as far as my memory goes, even before I learned how to read and write. I started writing stories when I was in elementary school, and moved to my first novella when I was in my teenage years. It was a children oriented Science Fiction story, which I still hope to get published one day. My first novel was written between age 18 and 21. This one I hope to go back to and polish for publication as well. My stories were in French back then. For the past few years, most of my work – and now all of it – has been in English. I haven’t dabbed into original fiction in a long time, focusing instead on academic and non fiction, about Science Fiction, children media, gender studies and transmedia.

As for my formal background, I was in the literary section when in high school and then went for film and media studies when going to university. I also improved my writing skills in English a lot thanks to my roleplaying experience, since I joined a Star Wars post by post roleplaying board in summer 2008.

Regardless of fiction or non fiction, I love writing. It is a vital part of who I am. Storytelling as well as researching and analysis are passions to me. I find as much interest in fiction and non fiction. To me they are the two sides of a same coin, which is writing.

RW: With your background in film and media studies I don’t think the title of one of you books will be a shock, would you share a few of your books with us now?

NATACHA: The one book I have completed is “Women in Science Fiction Television”, which will be published by Rowman and Littlefield in early 2015. It is far from tackling all of the female characters who appear in Science Fiction Television series, but I’d love this book to be the first in a series of volume. The chapters focus on certain characters and draw comparisons between different shows and Science Fiction subgenres as well as iconic themes of the genre.

RW: That really appeals to the History guy in me as well as the TV and Science Fiction geek in me. I so need to take a look at that when it’s out. What brought you to this project?

NATACHA: “Women in Science Fiction Television” is a huge milestone for me. I published before, including other things I wrote alone as well as volumes I co-edited, but signing the contract for this project was special to me. Writing about female characters is one of my primary fields, and when I discovered the collection it will be published in, I just had to submit something.

RW: I know you have two others you are close to having ready for us as well. Tell us about the one that will really get to my Science Fiction geekdom, your essays.

NATACHA: They are a small collection of essays about Star Wars, which doesn’t have a title yet, that I plan to self publish via Amazon Kindle in the upcoming months, and mostly focuses on the question of storytelling and representations (including women and children). I had worked on several isolated pieces about Star Wars for the last year. Then, I realized that they worked well together and could make perfect sense as a gathered volume. The collection of essays on Star Wars came out of nowhere, as in, I didn’t think about self publishing non fiction before. 

RW: And you have a collection of short stories as well?

NATACHA: I recently completed the outlines for the first ten pieces. The series will be entitled “Clairvoyance.” “Clairvoyance” will tell the stories of a vast range of characters, lycanthropes, shape shifters (which aren’t the same species in the universe), Fae (Light and renegade) and humans, as well as some special other types of supernatural beings. You’ll notice I didn’t mention vampires. It’s because they don’t exist in this universe, at least not under the guise we know them. By aiming for short story format, I hope to be able to describe diverse experiences and points of view when choosing a general direction. In the first volume, I have a main villain whose action will put things in motion to several characters, directly but mostly indirectly.

The idea  first came to me back in 2009. I took notes about some of the characters and the world back then, but then left it alone until this summer. I organized the different groups and species much better and many characters appeared, making the cast more compelling and better knit. It was also when I decided to go for a short story format, as it felt like a better option given the multiple points of view I wanted to bring into this project.

**I told you varied came to mind when thinking of Natacha.

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

NATACHA: Representations of women is something dear to my heart, and I do consider myself a feminist, so this is a theme that shows up both in my fiction and non fiction. Diversity and acceptance, whether gender, age, religion, backgrounds, sexual orientation related, is also something that has a significant place in my writing.

RW: In what do you believe your characters will connect to your readers?

NATACHA: All my characters are flawed and most are profoundly human, even when not actually from this species, in the sense that they have struggles and weaknesses to deal with. I don’t like tossing my characters into tons of hardships for sheer fun, as I like when everything is constructive down the road. I love writing characters who learn more as life goes on, regardless of their age and situation. The learning curve aspect, as well as how they relate to one another and are able to have healthy relationships with their loved ones, is crucial to me as a storyteller.

RW: When can we expect to see all these creations in our hands?

NATACHA: Right now, none of them are available, but “Women in Science Fiction Television” should be available in early 2015. It should come in print and be available via Amazon and other shops. I will post updates on my blog.

The collection of essays on Star Wars should be released in 2015 too, and will be exclusively available on Kindle format via Amazon.

RW: I’ve grilled you enough about your creations, now for my oddball questions.  What is your favorite beverage to drink, any kind?

NATACHA: I can’t live without sparkling water or earl grey tea (with one sugar and a drop of cold milk in it!

RW: Do you currently have representation? If so who, and if not describe what qualities you would like in an agent and what you would bring to the relationship.

NATACHA: I don’t have representation for the time being. If I was to work with an agent, I would like them to be willing to work with both fiction and non fiction projects, as I can’t imagine giving up on either of these types of writing. I would also like them to be interested in Science Fiction, as well as children and Young Adult material. I have learned to work with publishers’ and editors’ feedback and requirements for the past year. I am social media savvy and do well with meeting deadlines, so I believe this would help me in my relationship with an agent.

RW: That social media savvy is so important these days along with that working with feedback. What are you working on right now?

NATACHA: I am working on my collection of essays on Star Wars, as most of the pieces are ready, but there are one or two last to make. I am also outlining a Young Adult Dystopia book trilogy that was loosely inspired by one of my roleplaying characters.

I have also been researching a publisher to accept a book proposal I have about Dana Scully from The X-Files. The complete proposal was finished a while ago and I already have submitted it to a few places.

RW: No rest for the creative. What book are you reading at this time?

NATACHA: Star Wars: Outbound Flight by Timothy Zahn. He is one of my very favorite authors in the Star Wars Expanded Universe.

**I have to say that Timonty Zahn is one of the masters of the Star Wars universe. I know I have the Thrawn trilogy for sure.

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

NATACHA: Organization, patience and perseverance. I would also recommend a good beta reader! Also make sure that you write something you love. Without passion, inspiration runs dry very quickly.

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

I don’t think that two authors can write the same book. So I don’t wish I had been the one to write any book that exists. I am glad they had their own author’ voice in them. And I am happy I got to read them the way they are.

RW: Many Authors say they don’t have an exploding point when writing. But I personally have those moments of just needing to step away. What is your escape from writing during moments like that?

NATACHA: I have multiple escapes. The first is more writing, but a specific kind. My Star Wars roleplaying writing InterviewPic2always helps kickstart sleeping muses and keep me going when in need of a break.

I also love vidding (creating fan videos about movies, Television shows and even video games I enjoy). It still is storytelling but in a different way. There is a strong emotional aspect to my vidding and it can help me just unwind or get lost in another type of project for a while.

Grabbing a nice book or catching up with a movie or show on my to watch list are also working escapes.

If I am really close to the explode point, jumping into a video game and shoot enemies can do wonders as well.

I also have a soft spot for baking when I want to relax. Cooking books are one my favorite non fiction books to read, when I don’t get something related to my research and writing fields!

RW: What did you learn about yourself while writing whatever work you are sharing in the interview?

While writing “Women in Science Fiction Television”, I felt that I was earning my stripes as an independent researcher and writer. All my previous publications and guest speaker appearances matter as well, but this book felt like a validation of all that I have been building for the past years.

The collection of Star Wars essays will be my first step into self publishing, which I didn’t expect to be for non fiction. The different essays were opportunities for me to dab into elements of the Star Wars universe I hadn’t worked on as much before. So I was able to expand on what matters to me.

My work on “Clairvoyance” has helped me reflect on my personal journey over the recent years, as well as how I have developed my storytelling in comparison to previous fiction works I did when I was in my teenage years or in early twenties.

**I especially enjoyed that first one of “earning my stripes” answer. Research is so important.

RW: What is your favorite word?

NATACHA: I don’t have a favorite word. I love languages a lot, including many I don’t speak. While I mostly write, read and interact in English, I still have great fondness for my mother tongue, French. Picking a favorite word or even a few is too difficult! As you can tell, picking a favorite or a few of these, isn’t something I am so good at!

Proving how media savvy she is, here are Natacha’s places to connect in internet land:

Blog, “Science Fiction, Transmedia & Fandom”: NatachaGuyot.org

Twitter: @NatachaGuyot

LinkedIn: Natacha Guyot

Google+: Natacha Guyot

Amazon Author Page: Natacha Guyot

Email: guyot.natacha [at] gmail [dot] com

 

I do so enjoy discovering Authors who get into their work so much. Some write and then others live, breathe and eat their work. We all like to say we do, but you can tell in the details who does and does not. I know, some just can’t relay that passion to the page, I’m one of them. Hey, if we all could magically put what’s in our minds on the page there would be best sellers for everyone. Well maybe some people would be locked up. But Natacha Guyot did not disappoint today. In fact  she brought more than I ever expected. All I can say is Wow. Visit her Amazon Author page there is something there for you to get that she didn’t mention. And as always, remember . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

 

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#BOOK #REVIEW BY @ColleenChesebro OF “Deception” @mello_elo

Deception

(Image Credit: Amazon)

Title: Deception
Author:  Eloise De Sousa
ISBN-10:  1291547955
ISBN-13:  978-1291547955
http://eloisedesousa.wordpress.com/
Pages:  234
Genre:  Adult Romance, Crime, Suspense

Note: Ms. De Sousa provided me with this book for an honest review and that’s what you will receive here following.

I immediately liked and felt a kinship with Amanda Glenson, and her five year old son, Zachary at the very start of the book. They live in London where she is a legal assistant at a prestigious law firm.  Amanda has a chance encounter with the sexy Alex Edwards, a consulting attorney, at work on Monday morning that left me wanting to see more of where their relationship was headed. Without warning on that fated day, Amanda is forced to confront the past she ran away from years before.

Amanda and Zachary travel to exotic Zimbabwe, the home of her birth, all the while clinging to the hope that the ghosts of her past will finally be laid to rest.  Unaware of Amanda’s history, Alex accompanies them as they are both tasked in assisting with the land sale of a prominent client for the law firm.  I could see right away that Amanda and Alex were drawn to one another, while the mystery behind her previous life unraveled before my eyes.

I was impressed with the delightful descriptions of Zimbabwe that De Sousa liberally scattered throughout her writing.  I was visiting a far off land through her eyes.  It was as if I could smell the heady fragrance of the Jacaranda blossoms she describes in great detail.  Those same details gave me a sense of being part of the story because of the empathy I felt for the characters.  Amanda’s family was a nightmare, and to see her battle through to the bitter end was enlightening to me.

Just when I thought I had the story figured out, De Sousa would drag me back into the suspense by introducing more twists to the plot.  The title, “Deception,” skillfully blends all of those twists and turns into a story that reveals much about learning to accept love and learning how to trust again.  I was genuinely sorry when the story ended.  I wanted more.

I enjoyed the portrayal of the characters, which like in many families, had numerous faults to deal with.  It was the realization that the deepest deceptions are sometimes caused by family that really hit a sensitive nerve in my heart.  Trust is a hard thing to regain after past transgressions and De Sousa handles this message splendidly.

I enjoyed this book and the characters greatly. I am looking forward to a sequel of “Deception” which would recreate the lives of Alex and Amanda in another setting. It would be nice to revisit their relationship under different circumstances.

Deception” is exciting from the start to the finish.  If you enjoy adult romance, mystery, and suspense this book will tug at your heart while reminding you how special true love really is.

Eloise De Sousa

Author: Eloise De Sousa

Ratings                                                             
Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 3/5
Overall enjoyment: 4/5
Readability: 5/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 4.0

 

Buy it at:  Amazon
Format & Pricing
Paperback:  $8.15 USD
Kindle: $.99 USD
Alternate Purchasing:  : Amazon U.K., Lulu.com

 

Compare to the Ronovan Writes’ review of the book if you like here.

 

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Review of Self-Publishing Steps to Successful Sales by Seumas Gallacher

Self-Publishing Steps to Successful Sales
Self-Publishing Steps to Successful Sales
  • File Size: 620 KB
  • Print Length: 45 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: SGC Publishing (March 27, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00JBL6K80

 

Seumas Gallacher is a writer with a large on-line following. In this book, Mr. Gallacher shares his experiences of self-publishing. From his discovery that this was indeed a possibility, to now having thousands of books sold to his name.

This is not a detailed manual on how to format your book, or how to create you cover. There are plenty of posts, books, etc, that share that type of information. This book offers general advice on the topic, and it is concise and to the point. Moreover, it emphasises the author’s personal experience, that is, of course not fully replicable by anybody else. If you have not read Mr Gallacher’s posts in the various social media, you don’t know how personal his style is. His advice is sound and has to be adapted and transformed by every author. One of the points Mr Gallacher emphasises is the business aspect of writing. Although you might see it as an expression of your inner being or as a need to inform people of something, or as a deep felt vocation, if you plan on making a living out of writing, or trying to, you must approach it professionally as a business, the same you would any other. Of course, your reasons for writing could be others than to make money out of it. In that case you would be well advised to create your own definition of success and not worry too much about rankings or sales, although this book would still provide a useful general guide.

Personally, I found the book clear, easy to follow and a quick read. Mr Seumas’s personal style shines through. I particularly enjoyed the non-internet part of his experience that demonstrates the importance of making connections, knowing the area you work in, and not being shy. Try it. If they say no, you’re no further back that when you started, but if they say yes…the sky could be the limit.

I recommend this book to new authors and also to those who have a number of publications to their name. You might be reassured you’re doing the right things, you might wonder about a change of strategy, and you will enjoy the style of writing and discover plenty about the business. And also a few things about this great and generous author.

Ratings:
Realistic Characterization: NA
Made Me Think: 5/5
Overall enjoyment: 5/5
Readability: 5/5
Recommended: 5/5
Overall Rating: 5/5
 

Buy it at:  Amazon
Format & Pricing: Kindle £1.86
Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/Self-Publishing-Steps-Successful-Seumas-Gallacher-ebook/dp/B00JBL6K80/

 

Thank you all for reading, thanks to Seumas Gallacher for his book, and you know what to do, like, share, comment and CLICK!

Olga Núñez Miret

@OlgaNM7

http://OlgaNM.wordpress.com

http://www.OlgaNM.com

Blind Marsh @OliverFChase Q&A

oliver_chase_marsh_island.jpgMarsh Island was released November 2013 and is available from Amazon, B&N, Smashwords, publisher AEC Stellar, and me via webpage oliverchase.net. The publisher decided to re-release the novel to coincide with the sequel’s release referenced below.

Blind Marsh sequel and final novel in Hirebomber Crime Series will release December 11, 2014 and oliver_chase_blind__marsh.jpgbe launched on Facebook November 13, 2014. Advanced electronic copies are available now for preorder from Amazon, B&N, and from Smashwords. Paper is available now via AEC Stellar and me via the website oliverchase.net.

 

 

Those in the mood for an armchair adventure won’t be able to put this one down. Oliver Chase’s mystery thriller, “Marsh Island” is a page-turner. Chase writes with a refreshing style in the genre of Sanford and Burke…

The main character is very easy to relate to, although at times he is a bit frustrating. I found myself mentally shouting at him, warning him not to trust people and not to be so gullible. Chase only gives a few moments of the villain’s point of view, but they are extremely intriguing…

Ollie’s comment: Wait for Blind Marsh where the villain confronts Phil. The world demands a life be taken.

Marsh Island is a thriller to its core. It’s twists and turns kept me reading, searching for answers. The storyline kept me turning to the next page, only to become more determined to find the answer. Page after page, Mr. Oliver had my heart racing, and my adrenaline coursing through my body, watching and waiting to see what came next…

 

What to say about my guest today? Things you won’t hear about today are things like “Distinguished Flying Cross” as a Marine Pilot, or 22 years in the FBI on dark missions. No those aren’t things discussed today, nor the hard to understand neighbors of Louisiana. Cajuns perhaps? I’ve worked with a few and have to say, I know a little Cajun French, but there are female readers present, so never mind. What makes today’s guest qualify to write the books mentioned today? As I went through the questions and my guest answered I pictured a relaxed and casual setting as he leaned against his little Grumman Tiger airplane and memories were recalled and excitement rose about the forthcoming book release. Now it’s time for you to feel that same thing as you meet . . .

Author

Oliver Chase

oliver_chase_author

 

RW: You grew up in the military, calling yourself a Military Dependent and not the commonly used Military Brat, for obvious reasons, tell us about that life and how it shaped Oliver Chase?
OLIVER: I grew up on military bases throughout the country from California to North Carolina. What a great place to be a kid – safe, communal, and social. I didn’t miss a thing from a traditional school setting. The friends I made in elementary school usually showed up again in Junior High. High School was a like a reunion of old pals from years gone by with new friends to be made.
We always seemed to know one another, one another’s friend, and best of all, we knew the little girl on roller skates with skinned knees in fourth grade that grew up to be our Homecoming Queen. I’ve read about the meanness in some kid’s life when it came to school. That was not how we grew up in the military.
I was also one of the rare kids whose dad had a short, one-time tour in the civilian world when I was a sophomore and junior in high school – convertibles, drive-in movies, and lovely ladies on roller skates serving shakes at my local hang outs for almost two years. We even had our own Wolfman Jack wannabe that played rock and roll songs, took requests, and spoke with a gravelly voice, just like in the movie. What a great hiatus from the button-down world of the military and just what a “rebellious” teenager needed.
There was a time when I had this teensy-weensy problem with the truth. I can’t tell you in how many versions, George and his cherry tree were explained to me. Of course, I grew up and not only found the value of honesty, but discovered I liked being in groups of honest people. There is no honor amongst thieves or liars, and I like honor.
In all my growing up however, I never lost my yearning to spin a good tale. I think engaging a reader in a fictional story and letting the author speak to his personal beliefs is the height of literary actualization and honesty.

RW: I think it’s somewhat obvious with the adage of ‘write what you know’ why you write about mystery thrillers with a touch of politics and airplanes but I always ask this of my guests, how did you come to writing and why do you write in the genre that you do?
OLIVER: I began by reading historical novels like The Source, Battle Cry, The Right Stuff, Space, Exodus, and Hawaii. I’d spend time in school away from my math and science books just to disappear into the world of James Michener and Leon Uris. My grades didn’t do well until I discovered Pulp Novels like Ray Bradbury, H.P Lovecraft, and Dashiell Hammett. Now I could stick a whole book into the back pocket of my jeans, and read a chapter or a few paragraphs on the bus, between classes, and in study hall…not to mention the occasional all-nighter or until the flashlight batteries gave out. Pulp novels are what I write now. The only difference is that we call them mystery noir. I like mystery thrillers, techno thrillers, and political thrillers. There’s a pattern here, I think.

RW: You told me Marsh Island is a real place in Louisiana, where you reside now, tell us about your Hirebomber Crime Series starring Phil Pfeiffer, your protagonist.
OLIVER: In Marsh Island, Army Ranger Phil Pfeiffer is left for dead in the opening days of the Gulf Wars. He’s found by wandering Iranian tribes people, severely injured and the lone survivor of a secret mission. Phil is released from the Army and decides upon the simpler life of a private investigator skip tracing and catching cheating husbands. Simple that is, until he is hunted by the mob, pursued by a psychotic hit man, and stalked by deep water sharks. He must shadow box a bizarre and dangerous world of false clues and thousand year old prophecies to survive. In the sequel Blind Marsh, Phil agrees to protect the lounge singer we met in the first book from an unpredictable ex-boyfriend and his gangster family. Let the love sparks fly. Struggling with his own demons and disappointments, Phil survives a Wild West shootout and uncovers a plot we knew was brewing in that pesky first book. Phil uncovers the theft of a trillion dollar industry and weighs his own life against that of the killer. He chooses to take both when true evil is disclosed.

RW: I think knowing of your Military and FBI background I read at OliverChase.net where some of what went into your books but what inspired you to actually write them?
OLIVER: Many people have given their lives over our short history to stop tyranny and injustice. I see these individuals as the foundation for our country and our beliefs. The key in my books however is not the involvement of the mass, but individual strong men and women unwilling to compromise their values in a vanilla world of common music, social blandness, and popular thinking. If you believe that singular acts cannot change the flow of history, just look at a generation of strong moms and dedicated fathers that said no to genocide, apartheid, dictators, and even teenage drinking. A single man or a woman can change our world. We can take that to the bank.

RW: Tell us about your main characters and what you think will them connect to readers.
OLIVER: Phil Pfeiffer was described by a reviewer as an everyday man, flawed like many of us, but called upon to test the strength of his beliefs. Our heroine in Blind Marsh made her choices in life, too – some good and some not so good. They set themselves apart by choosing to overcome adversity with character and sometimes, raw guts. Greatness is not just the province of the historical figures; greatness resides in all when we choose.

RW: What message do you think your book delivers to the reader?
OLIVER: I’d like to believe many of us see ourselves as something other than ants working in the pile. Whether that’s true or not, I like stories about strong people caring for their comrades, delivering lunches to the shut-ins, or teaching kids to swim at the YMCA. We have a potential to make life better for others. Service doesn’t take away from strength but delivers it, and makes us more than just soldiers, laborers, or even ant-queens.

RW: Writers inevitably put something of themselves in their work, what do you discover about yourself when writing?
OLIVER: More than I’m probably willing to admit. My first book was written a couple decades ago and resides in my closet. Sometimes on a cold, uninspired mornings I’ll drag it out and read. I’m always surprised by again meeting the people I used to know– real and imagined. Most are compilations of persons from my past in cramped and scary airplane cockpits, hiding under flimsy roofs during rocket attacks, or with a badge walking the dark streets in a city already several hours asleep. I tell their stories even if they never quite recognize themselves from my words.

RW: Describe your book in one word.
OLIVER: Rollicking

RW: Where can we get your book now?

For paper, Southern Bound Bookstore in Biloxi and Bay Books in Bay St. Louis, Mississippi; Amazon (of course); and B&N by mail.

Contacting me through my webpage oliverchase.net will “net” you a signed copy for same charge as Amazon. As I indicated earlier, I’m between books at the moment and have a little time to connect more personally with a reader.

Electronically, add Smashwords and KOBO to the nationals mentioned above.

One great thing Oliver is doing is his Book Launch for Blind Marsh on his facebook page. It is coming up October 13-15.
Oliver gave us some great answers and I think you can get a full understanding of what went into his books, but now let’s look at bit at what is Oliver Chase. Yes I said what, not who.

“I like modern day thriller mystery writers like Craig Johnson, Tom Clancy, James Lee Burke, and Stephen King. I cut my teeth on James Michener, Herman Wouk, Tom Wolfe, Leon Uris, and Ernest Hemingway. Didn’t we all? Don’t let me forget Lee Harper, Susan Sontag, and Lorraine Hansberry. All very influential in my life and my writing. You know something? I never realized how powerful they were until I cranked out my first book Western Sunrise. All I knew was they told great stories making me regret that I’d turned the last page. I hope readers of Marsh Island and Blind Marsh feel the same way.”
“I like a cup of coffee when it’s cold outside; hot tea (orange pekoe) to follow if I’m still in the mood. In hot weather, I like cold tea in the morning after my workout.”
“When I’m full of ideas, I write. I believed Stephen King when he said write, write, and write. When I’m just full with myself, I run or swim.”

Upcoming from Oliver Chase.

Levant Mirage is waiting the editor’s red pen in November 2014 and will see light in the winter of 2015 as a new release. The novel is twist away from my noir mystery style and is a techno thriller with a threatened dystopian plot. Borne from my days at NASA, Islamic terrorists see and take the opportunity for final Jihad when our country dissolves the Constellation heavy lift rocket program and gives away the technology.

 

In The Joshua Tree, a bright political and personal future beckons Scott McHale, newly elected junior senator from California. Some whisper about a run for the presidency after Scott puts in few years to calm and mature a headstrong and driven personality. When politics conflict between kingmaker and prince however, a rift is irrevocable and a murder results. Survival is in the hands of those Scott loves when the world and the fickle press turn against him. The Joshua Tree will be completed in the Fall of 2015 just in time for the Presidential Election and will be a first draft product of the NaNoWriMo challenge this year. Only do this challenge once, however. There are eleven more months in every year. http://nanowrimonomo.com/

 

I’ve also written a screen treatment of Marsh Island based on Craig Johnson’s successful Walt Longmire model. The publisher will get his first installment in December 2014 after percolating in my desk drawer for a couple of months.

 

RW:I know you don’t have an agent but would be open to one at some point but tell us about AEC Stellar. I’ve had experience with another of your members Shannon A. Thompson of Take Me Tomorrow, and she was a great interview just like you have been.
OLIVER: The group writes in the thriller, YA, paranormal, Sci-Fi, and romance ilk. Inside our limited population, we help with Advanced Readings, reviews, launches, and critiques…and we do occasionally take one another to the woodshed when its warranted. I’ve been there and am better for the experience. Our publisher formulated a unique business model by offering printing and formatting services, editors, and publicists. We choose inside or outside the Community when we want the service. Most importantly, AEC introduced us to each other so that we can learn, grow, and spread our literary wings safely, and where jealousy and ego have no place.

RW: If you could have written any book that exists, other than your own, what would it be and why?
OLIVER: 11-22-63 by Stephen King
I’ve read the book twice, and examined the craftsman’s work often. King is a master yarn spinner, and his time travel adventure is one of the best examples of Sci-Fi and Thriller rolled into one. I liked the fantasy in The Stand and The Dome, too. In 11-22-63, King stayed historically close enough and strayed sufficiently in fiction to keep me riveted. Quite a good balancing act and worthy of multiple reads. Hey, Stephen. I taught, too and appreciated your comments on the youthful ineptitude we once brought to class. I just hope the kids survived and didn’t listen to me.

RW: What is your favorite word?
OLIVER: Insipid
Don’t you just love a description of something dull and uninspiring? As a sometime personal provider of insipid first impressions, I like when characters break out and prove others wrong.

 

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

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The Absolute Indie

When I first decided to self-publish my books I had no intention of doing every little thing myself. I planned on paying for editing and formatting, and buying my cover designs. I had a rude awakening when I discovered that living in Zimbabwe, as I was at the time, meant that I had no access to PayPal, who sanction that country, and from what I could see back then, that was the only way to pay.

I had page numbers, headers and footers, indents and lots of other fancy bits and pieces in my original manuscript and no clue as to what formatting even meant. Seeing other writer’s beautiful covers all over, my heart sank because I knew that I could never create such things. It was the most frustrating feeling in the world until I discovered a few free resources that meant I could do it all myself. None of these things cost a cent, and every new indie author should at least have a look at them whether they have money to work with or not.

With no money to work with, the first book to download would be Building Your Book for Kindle. The steps shown here are incredibly straightforward and simple, from formatting to cover size. Personally, I copy the first few pages of an already formatted book every time I begin a new one so all I have to do is change the title and front matter and Bob’s your uncle. While you’re downloading that book get Publish on Amazon Kindle with KDP as well.

Mark Coker, of Smashwords fame, has three incredibly useful free ebooks on Amazon. His Smashwords Style Guide will walk you through that old meatgrinder if you decide to publish there, but even if you don’t, there is a wealth of general information as well. Remember that if your book is on KDP Select on Amazon you’re not allowed to publish it elsewhere. And they check. His other two books, Secrets to Ebook Publishing Success and Smashwords Book Marketing Guide are also must reads for new indie authors.

If you want to play around with individual ebook creation before you publish, or even if you just want to create ebooks to give away or sell, download Calibre. It’s very simple to use, and comes with a tutorial that will walk you through the process. With Calibre you can produce anything from epub to Mobi.

And finally that costly, essential item – the cover. Now that I can buy covers for my books I do for some of them, but after the original terrifying learning curve, knowing that if I didn’t make one myself I wouldn’t have one, I now find that I really enjoy making some myself. I have a couple that I’m really proud of coming up soon with new books to be released, and over time I’ve collected a couple of paint programmes and a nice camera to help me get the exact designs I see for the stories behind them. But to begin with, I downloaded the free, watched a LOT of tutorials, and at the end of that I had my covers.

I know that a lot of people swear by Gimp, but I could never get it to install on my computer for some reason, so I downloaded Paint.net instead. It looked like gobbledegook to me and I almost gave up, but after spending not more than about three hours watching tutorials I had a grasp of the basic process. The most important thing to get to grips with there is how to use layers. Then you can play with various effects, brushes and opacity to produce a totally original cover using either your own photos and sketches, or some of the amazing free images to be found online. Always remembering to be one hundred percent sure that they are free to use of course, or you could end up in a bit of infringed copyright hot water.

I’m not saying that you should do it all yourself if you don’t have to, or that doing it all yourself is going to be a doddle. It is hard work, but for the cash-strapped writer it really is doable if you set your mind to it.

IMG_0120

BOOK REVIEW BY @ColleenChesebro OF “The Recluse Storyteller” @SASSEVN

Recluse Storyteller

(Image Credit: Amazon)

http://mwsasse.com/

Title:  The Recluse Storyteller
Author:  Mark W. Sasse
ISBN:  1492241253
ISBN13: 9781492241256
ASIN:  B00FOBQ464
Published:  October 6, 2013 Kindle Edition
Pages:  239
Genre:  fiction, suspense, drama

When I first met Margaret Pritcher, the recluse storyteller, I was not sure what to think.  At first I thought she was a psychic, or even mentally challenged, because she somehow spiritually channeled deeply buried secrets from some of the apartment dwellers in her building by weaving their stories into her own life.  I was intrigued by her storytelling methods. 

Margaret is an outsider in the world she lives in. A typical recluse, she worked at an online job to support herself.  She only went outside her apartment at night, when she thought she would not run into people she knew.  Her strangeness works for her benefit though, and I felt like I wanted to protect her because of the way she was portrayed. 

Not far into the book, I realized that she could not control when or where these stories came from.  They seemed to flow from her very soul, almost as if she was possessed.  Each of the stories Margaret told seemed to intertwine within each person’s own personal story.  With the reciting of each narrative, Margaret became weaker and weaker as her own life unraveled from her dedication to her story telling. Through the telling of these stories, Margaret and her friends find the wisdom to face their own demons and to accept themselves for the people they had become in this life.

From “Red Hat,” Mr. Cheevers, Mrs. Johnson and her twins Pam and Sam, to the Reverend Davies, and Janice, Margaret’s only living relative, I felt myself drawn into the intertwining threads of their lives and the moments that seemed to define each of them.  The story of the Vietnam Veteran gave me a glimpse into a world torn with war, split second decision making, and remorse at the hand of fate.  I was deeply moved by the journey each character took in the story telling. 

Mark Sasse writes with an unusual narrative, almost akin to stream of consciousness writing, which pairs nicely with Margaret’s personality. At first, I felt like the book was hard to follow.  Nevertheless, I found the characters to be mark_w_sasse.jpgintriguing, and the more I read the more I began to understand how the writing style was all about Margaret and the telling of her stories.

I felt the book emphasized how much we all share together in the realm of humanity.  Just as the lives of the characters in this book intertwined, so do our lives with many other people.  In addition, I felt that each character seemed to have a lesson to learn.  I could see that our lives are just that, a series of events which teach us something about ourselves we did not know to begin with.

I immensely enjoyed this book and the style that it was written in.  Mark Sasse’s attention to detail made Margaret and the cast of characters realistic in my eyes.  I would recommend this book to anyone who is searching for the answers and meaning in everyday life. 

 

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

Buy it at:  Amazon
Format & Pricing:
Paperback:  $9.89 New
Kindle: Free

 

Colleen Chesebro

Colleen_Silver_Threading

 

 

 

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

 

LWI Author Monica LaSarre’s

Jasper Penzey

International Boy Detective

The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis

Now Available for Amazon Kindle and Kindle Unlimited!

@MLaSarre 

 Read the interview here.

 

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Q&A Orlando Sanchez The Spiritual Warriors @SenseiOrlando

orlando_sanchez_spiritual_warriors.jpgorlando_sanchez_sepia_blue.jpgorlando_sanchez_blur.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

 

 

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

Orlando Sanchez

Orlando_Sanchez.jpg@SenseiOrlando 

 

RW: Where are you from?

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

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

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

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

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

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

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

RW: What is your favorite word?

OS: Coruscate. That is an awesome word.

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

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

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

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

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

RW: What genre does your book fall into?

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

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

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

RW: Tell us a little about your books.

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

RW: What inspired the series?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RW: Describe your book in one word.

OS: Compelling

RW: Where can we get your book now?

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

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

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

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

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

OS: I’m on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/OSanchezAuthor you can also find me on

twitter at @SenseiOrlando 

My blog is at www.nascentnovels.com

RW: Do you currently have representation?

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

RW: What are you working on right now?

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

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

OS: I am currently reading Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig.

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

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

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

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

 

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

Read a Book, Write a Review.

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Much Respect

Ronovan

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

Ruby_Brooch_Atlantis_LaSarre.jpg

Jasper Penzey International Boy Detective

The Ruby Brooch of Atlantis

Monica LaSarre

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

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

“better than Harry Potter”-Pinterest

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

 

Monica LaSarre

Monica_LaSarre_Author.jpg

 

RW: Where are you from?

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

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

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

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

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

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

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

RW: What is your favorite word?

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

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

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

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

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

Monica_LeSarre_Great_Wall_China_Marathon.jpgMonica_LaSarre_Great_Wall_China.jpg

 

 

 

 

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

RW: What inspired the story concept and setting?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

RW: Describe your book in one word.

MONICA: Enthusiastic

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

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

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

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

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

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

RW: Do you currently have agent representation?

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

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

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

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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

Website: www.monicalasarre.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MLaSarre

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

Instagram:  http://instagram.com/mlasarre

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/monica-lasarre/2/aa5/826

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

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

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

And as always . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

 

followmeonbloglovin

 

 

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

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Get Book Sales with your Book Description.

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

“What’s is this?” My son asked.

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

“Daddy, can I have a sandwich?”

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

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

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

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

Straight Talk Time from Ronovan

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

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

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

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

How to Write a Book Description

Establish Who You Are

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

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

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

You don’t have Awards?

The LWI: Book Description is Ronovan Writes third novel.

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

Or

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

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

Review Blurbs

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Story

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

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

How to Conclude

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

or

Close with your best review quote blurb or blurbs.

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

Length of Book Description

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

Formatting the Description

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

Let’s see what it might look like:

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

5 out of 5 Star Reviews

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

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

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

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

More Reader Praise:

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

 

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

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

 

Much Respect

Ronovan

Ron_LWI

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 And as always . . .

Read a Book, Write a Review.

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