#Interview with @JasmineAziz of Sex & Samosas.

Not long ago I met an author, one of the best I’ve come across in a one on one way ever, through another great author Dan McNeil. I’ve read and reviewed her book, and you can read the review on LWI by clicking here. What did I say? Read it, but I warn you, if you know my normal reviews and ratings…you will be shocked. Her name is Jasmine Aziz. Her book is:

Jasmine Aziz Sex and Samosas Book Cover

First of all, I think people would like to know how in the world you got into the world of selling vibrators. I think that is somewhat important regarding your book. And in addition, how did you get out of doing that?

Well it isn’t exactly something your Guidance Counsellor in school tells you that you were born to do so no one was more surprised than me when I ended up doing door-to-door dildo sales. I went to a party (my first) with my girlfriend and the consultant that was presenting the products was stiffer than the toys on the table. She made everyone uncomfortable. Naturally, coming from a long line of sales people, I did what I know how to do best: make light of the situation to put everyone at ease. The consultant told me to keep quiet but at the end of the presentation, five women I had never met before came up to me to ask me if I could help them choose what to buy. I can’t be sure what made them come to me for guidance but I sensed I was on to something. That, or it was the “Sex Crazed Loon” shirt I was wearing.

There is an amount of honesty in your book that takes courage. How many times did you stop writing or have doubts and who helped push you to complete the project?

It took me six years to complete the book because I wasn’t sure I could face the potential wrath I was expecting from my extended family. But I had spoken to too many women and men that I felt Jasmine Aziz Author of Sex and Samosasneeded the story so I forged forward. It was actually a fateful trip to Las Vegas that propelled me in the right direction. It was there that I was told I wasn’t “sexy” enough to get free tickets to a club. That made me stop and think, well, what is the definition of “sexy” anyway? It was that concept that helped me string the book together. Now if I ever go back to Las Vegas I’m just going to wear a copy of my novel and we’ll see who gets the last laugh.

How many strange men have proposed to you since the book came out?

Are you proposing? 🙂 If so, then only one 😉 Just kidding!

One thing I believe that makes the book so easy to read and perhaps become comfortable with is the humor. Where did the stories told about the sexual explorations and the disasters resulting come from? (I still laugh at the burning man scene.)

I’m often asked how much of it is based on my own adventures but the truth is, they were inspired by my protagonist Leena herself. I’ve always believed that one of the best ways to tackle difficult topics is through humour. When you are relaxed and laughing, you are more likely to be receptive to information. You don’t even realize that you’re learning something. I personally think laugh lines are extremely sexy too!

Why did you write this book? Your storytelling is great. You could easily have written a romantic comedy of the more traditional type but you chose this one. Why?

Well, thank you! In fact, I am trying my hand at a romantic comedy as we speak! The main reason I wrote “Sex & Samosas” was because I needed a way to purge my own feelings after a very bad breakup so I started writing them down. As I continued with my adult toy parties, I started to realize that other people had the same issues and insecurities that I did and that this was a story that so many others would find relatable. Page after page my personal bitterness and angst gave way to the fiction that unfolded. It’s not necessarily cheaper than therapy, but writing the book helped me work through some very difficult issues.

What has been the public reaction to the book?

I’m really blessed with the reaction. I frequently get emails and notes from people telling me that they not only loved the book and have loaned it to everyone they know, but that they have learned something from it or changed their lives as a result. No author could ask for more than that, I think.

sex-and-samosas-jasmine-aziz-review-feature1

What have men said to you about the book?

When they’re not proposing to me…more men have told me that they love the book because it has helped them to understand how a woman’s mind works. There is a voyeuristic quality to being in Leena’s head all the time that helps them to empathize in ways they couldn’t before. Some have even told me that it has helped them improve on their relationships and pick up women in the book store. It’s all good. Just name the baby Jasmine, is all I say!

I enjoyed the cultural aspects you discussed in the book. I think those parts might be the most surprising to people and maybe in some cases the most informative. Was there an intention of putting that in the book or did it just happen?

That was the starting point of the book actually. Leena and I both struggled with finding balance between two opposing cultures and asserting yourself comfortably in both. She has to find her footing and learn to love herself for the hybrid of cultures that she is as I had to when I was writing it.

What do you have to say or would say to people who say you wrote a sex book and you’ve gone against what a “proper” person should do?

If you’re going to be a suck, then at least read my book so you know you’re doing it right.

What did you want to convey to readers with this book?

My message is simple: if you can’t love yourself, don’t expect anyone else to. And that masturbation is healthy and natural. Sure, I can’t see my hand in front of my face and I have the hairiest palms on the planet, but I know better than anyone else how to please myself and that’s all that matters.

Give me your best sales pitch to get me to buy this book.

Buy my book: there’s sex in it.

Kidding again! I realize my novel isn’t for everyone so when people ask me what it’s about I tell them it’s a funny journey of self-discovery that just happens to have a bunch of vibrators in it.

When can we expect the next book to come out?

There’s the trickiest question of them all. I’ve been really busy and not able to finish my follow up memoir about the four years I sold adult toys, though the frame of the story is complete. It’s only now that I’m beginning to wonder if it should be a television series (Netflix, I’m talking to you!) instead. So I’m going to pursue that first before I head back to finish it as a novel.

Where can you connect with Jasmine? Well, she’s made it easy. Drop a hat and you’ll likely find her, and thajasmine-azizt’s as it should be with a future star of the publishing world.
First go and buy the book!
Click here to find your preferred method. Jasmine has them all listed for you.
@JasmineAziz 
www.facebook.com
www.goodreads.com
Jasmine on LinkedIn.
Want to discover more about Jasmine? Visit her website, JasmineAziz.com.

 



 

Ron_LWIRonovan is an author, and blogger who shares his life as an amnesiac and Chronic Pain sufferer though his blog RonovanWrites.WordPress.com. His love of poetry, authors and community through his online world has lead to a growing Weekly Haiku Challenge and the creation of a site dedicated to book reviews, interviews and author resources known as LitWorldInterviews.WordPress.com.

© Copyright-All rights reserved by litworldinterviews.wordpress.com 2015

An @COLLEENCHESEBRO INTERVIEW WITH @SARAHMALLERY1

I am excited to introduce you to author, Sarah (S. R.) Mallery who shared with me that she has worn various hats in her life. Sarah also shares that she was, “First, a classical/pop singer/composer, she moved on to the professional world of production art and calligraphy.Next came a long career as an award-winning quilt artist/teacher and an ESL/Reading instructor. Her short stories have been published in descant 2008, Snowy Egret, Transcendent Visions, The Storyteller, and Down in the Dirt.”

Author S. R. Mallery

I actually met Sarah on Twitter. I was immediately intrigued because she was such an engaging personality, something that you don’t always find on Twitter. In no time at all, I was reading her novel, “Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads.” You can read my review here, and below is the synopsis for this excellent book:

These eleven long short stories range from drug trafficking using Guatemalan hand-woven wallets to an Antebellum U.S. slave using codes in her quilts as a message system to freedom; from an ex-journalist and her Hopi Indian maid solving a cold case together involving Katchina spirits to a couple hiding Christian passports in a comforter in Nazi Germany; from a wedding quilt curse dating back to the Salem Witchcraft Trials to a mystery involving a young seamstress in the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire; from a 1980’s Romeo and Juliet romance between a rising Wall Street financial ‘star’ and an eclectic fiber artist to a Haight-Asbury love affair between a professor and a beautiful macramé artist gone horribly askew, just to name a few.

What was really amazing was that Sarah likes to do interviews! So here you have it. My interview with Sarah (S. R.) Mallery:

Colleen: Sarah, tell me something about yourself. Where do you live? Are you a full-time writer?

I live in Southern California, where the weather is basically so much tamer than the rest of the U.S. and Europe I have survivor guilt! And no, I would say I am only a two-thirds of the time writer. One-third of my time is spent teaching English to people from other countries and I have learned over the years that it is that balance of being inside my head––both creatively and promotion-wise––and helping others is what works best for me.

Colleen: What inspired you to write Sewing Can Be Dangerous and Other Small Threads? Have you written other books?

When my father told me about the infamous Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire of 1911, I had already been a quilt designer/teacher for over twenty years. So, in doing my research on that horrific event, I was particularly drawn to those hapless immigrant seamstresses who, in spite of their overworked hours and low pay, were often the only ones in their families that could find work in the U.S. I also enjoyed thinking about the sewing aspect, surrounded as I was by so many quilts and fabrics in my studio. I therefore decided to continue writing short stories, connected only by one element of sewing/craft. That actually helped focus me on future stories. In other words, no matter what time period I was reading about, that context kept me asking questions like how would sewing/crafting ‘fit’ into a story that takes place in this time frame? Who would be the likely characters?

Yes, I’ve written two other books: TALES TO COUNT ON (http://amzn.to/1x8QqyD) and UNEXPECTED GIFTS (Currently set to be re-released in late June 2015).

Colleen: What message do you want your readers to get from SEWING CAN BE DANGEROUS?

By interweaving a ‘thread’ of sewing/crafts throughout each of my stories, I wanted to emphasize how in life as well as history, the ‘little things’ are what loom large. In other words, these quilts, necklaces, crafts, etc. stay with us no matter what events revolve around them.

That idea extends to when I do research for my writing. I am always fascinated by some small fact that most people might pass over but for me, pops out from the page. Soon, that fact starts to percolate in my brain until it becomes a major plot device and/or character development.

Colleen: Who is your favorite author and explain what really inspires you about their work.

Although there are several authors I admire, I would have to choose Harper Lee, who taught me that being simple yet lyrical, presenting appealing characters and touching subjects, and ‘showing not telling’ is more powerful than the most flowery, magnificent prose which can after a while, for me at least, go in one ear and out the other.

Colleen: What was the hardest part about writing this particular book?

I would say perhaps looking for a ‘sewing element’ in my research process that I could authentically use in a story. Originally, there were a couple more stories, but I decided to scrap them because their sewing component seemed too manufactured.

Colleen: Do you have any works in progress you will tell us about?

Yes. I am currently working on an historical fiction western and enjoying not only that time period, but also the colorful lingo that was used. Here’s the synopsis:

The
Dolan Girls by S. R. Mallery has it all. Set in Nebraska during the 1800s, whorehouse madams, ladies of the night, a schoolmarm, a Pinkerton detective, a Shakespeare-quoting old coot, brutal outlaws, and a horse-wrangler fill out the cast of characters. Add to the mix are colorful descriptions of an 1856 land rush, Buffalo Bill and his Wild West Show, Annie Oakley, bank/train robberies, small town local politics, and of course, romance. It’s not only a taste of America’s past, it’s also about people overcoming insurmountable odds.

Thank you, Sarah, for spending some time with us and sharing about your book, “Sewing Can be Dangerous & Other Small Threads.” I look forward to reading your other books too!

***

Here is An Excerpt from Sewing Can Be Dangerous & Other Small Threads

From “A Drunkard’s Path”

“…Are you kidding me?” Deborah exploded. “My life is falling apart! C’mon, curses don’t really happen, do they? I mean, what can I do? You tell me now!” She segued into a screech.

“Come over to my place tomorrow and I’ll try to relate it all to you, I promise…”

….”Do you know anything about the Salem Witchcraft trials?” The older woman leaned in toward her niece, as if casting a spell herself.

“No, not much, why?”

“You remember Martha Stinson from my quilt group? Well after the wedding, she showed me a journal written by a relative of hers and frankly, I am very concerned about you. It seems one of the accused witches from the original Salem trials might have actually had a connection with a real witch, an ancestor of Martha’s…”

* * * *

Inside the packed meetinghouse, dust particles from mud-caked boots floated throughout the air, rendering it dense, murky. That year, April had been an unkind month to Salem Village. Rain-drenched meadows produced a sludge that clung to the edges of women’s dresses, creating odors so foul that in such tight quarters, it became difficult to breathe. But people weren’t concerned with such matters on this day. They had gathered for a higher purpose: the Devil was in Salem, and they wished him thwarted at all costs. Even the constant threat of Indian attacks and surviving harsh winters paled in comparison to what was happening now, in that room, swelling with apprehension.

Crammed into high-walled pews, dark wooden benches, or simply shoved up against walls, spectators filled every conceivable space in the meetinghouse. Donning black hats, cloaks, and breeches, the men angled forward, their eyes boring holes into the five men sitting up front, yet it was the women who carried the greatest burden that day; their hooded coats and muffs covering their recently unkempt hair and unwashed fingernails, couldn’t disguise the uncertainty they felt about their community’s loyalty to them and how it would all end.

Sitting at the head of the counsel table, amongst other magistrates in the newly appointed Court of Oyer and Terminer, John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin quietly conferred with each other before beginning their first round of questioning. Arrogant, self-important, the black-robed magistrates assumed their positions on the political totem pole, and having been brought to Salem for such a specific purpose, they dared not disappoint. They were on a mission to deliver souls. Hathorne, displaying the greatest exhibition of self-aggrandizement, seemed the most severe. With no real legal experience, and having only glanced at Sir Mathew Hale’s Trial of Witches, and Joseph Granvill’s Collection of Sundry Trials in England, Ireland the week before, he nonetheless believed he was more than competent to interrogate the accused.

At the front of the room facing the magistrates, sat all the accusers, the “afflicted” girls: Abigail Williams, her cousin Betty Parris, Ann Putnam, Sarah Bibber, Sarah Churchill, Elizabeth Booth, Mercy Lewis, Susanna Sheldon, Jemima Rea, Mary Warren, Mary Walcott and Elizabeth Hubbard. With downcast eyes and folded hands, they appeared demure; inwardly they were experiencing emotions quite different from anything they had ever known. Childhoods stocked with adult repression and fear now served as a springboard to the frenzy of accusations they had created, because on this day, along with their catharsis and even exhilaration, came the most important emotion of all: a sense of empowerment. At last, they were getting adults to listen to them, and it was intoxicating.

John Hathorne commenced with the proceedings. “Bring in the accused, Bridget Bishop….”

Here’s what they’re saying about SEWING CAN BE DANGEROUS And Other Small Threads:

“S. R. Mallery is quite simply a master story-teller.”

“This is a box of bonbons, every story an eye-opening surprise. Eat one and you’ll want to devour the whole box.”

“An exquisitely crafted, impressive portrayal of life’s journey!”

Women, sewing, history, and storytelling. A quilt of wonderful stories.”

“Rich and beautiful stories that will captivate you.”

“These stories will stay with you long after you’ve finished the book…”

“I was amazed by the variety of stories that took place in various locations, and at different historical times.”

Here’s where you can find Sarah:

Website/Blog: http://www.srmallery.com

Twitter: @SarahMallery1

FB: http://facebook.com/pages/SR-Mallery-Sarah-Mallery/356495387768574

Google+:
https://plus.google.com/u/0/107388739382996104658/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7067421.S_R_Mallery

Pinterest: (I have some good history boards that are getting a lot of attention—history, vintage clothing, older films) http://www.pinterest.com/sarahmallery1/

Amazon Author page:
http://www.amazon.com/S.-R.-Mallery/e/B00CIUW3W8/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Amazon link to SEWING CAN BE DANGEROUS: http://amzn.to/1P8OTyo

Audible.com link for SEWING CAN BE DANGEROUS: http://bit.ly/1uyFUuF

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/sewing-can-be-dangerous-and-other-small-threads?keyword=sewing+can+be+dangerous+and+other+small+threads&store=ebook

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/sewing-can-be-dangerous-and-other-small-threads

Skribd: https://www.scribd.com/book/260906999/Sewing-Can-Be-Dangerous-and-Other-Small-Threads

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/sewing-can-be-dangerous-other/id982813512?mt=11

Book review by @FTThum – Second Life by @SJ_Watson

I read SJ Watson’s debut novel ‘Before I Go To Sleep’ when it was released in 2011, which was then made into a film in 2014 starring Nicole Kidman and Colin Firth.  I enjoyed the book tremendously so when his second book ‘Second Life’ was released in February this year, how could I possibly resist?

 

second life book coverTitle:               Second Life
Author:          SJ Watson
Publisher:    Doubleday (2015)
ISBN:             9781922079251 (paperback)
ASIN:             9781921961472 (ebook)
Website:       http://www.sjwatson-books.com/
Facebook:    https://www.facebook.com/S.J.Watson.Writer
Genre:          
Fiction, Psychological thriller

 

 

What’s it about?

How well do we truly know another?

When Julia Plummer’s sister, Kate, is found dead in Paris in suspicious circumstances, she sets out to uncover the truth. This takes her into the world of internet dating and hook-ups where her sister was known to traverse. All this at the risk of jeopardizing her relationship with her husband and the life of her son.  It is gradually revealed that Julia’s 14-year-old son, Connor is actually Kate’s child, the result of a fling with an unknown man.  Julia, now a professional photographer, appears to be a respectable middle-class woman, a dedicated mother. Then her past returns to haunt her – her alcoholism from her days in Berlin. Julia is trapped in her mind – constantly questioning her own motivations and desires; ignoring her intuition and burdened with baggage.

While Julia is filled with pathos (complete with baggage), there is a lack of depth in comparison for the other characters, particularly that of Lukas, the man Julia met online. The same for her long-suffering husband, Hugh who is 10-years older encountering problems of his own.

Watson’s attempt at eroticism through Julia’s ‘online dating’ seems forced, although his portrayal of the dark side of internet relationships is horrifying. The voice of Julia is less believable than the voice of Christine of Watson’s first book. The ending is for me dissatisfying – abrupt and utterly convenient.

Simply put, this second book of Watson’s did not live up to his first.   Nevertheless, it is entertaining.

Recommendation:

This book is a well paced and easy to read psychological thriller with enough suspense to carry it through, yet containing loop holes easily identifiable if one is to go looking. So don’t. Just read for near-mindless pleasure.

LWI Rating:

Realistic Characterization: 3/5
Made Me Think:                   3/5
Overall enjoyment:             3.5/5
Readability:                            4/5
Recommended:                    3/5

Overall Rating:                    3/5

Buy it at:

Amazon Hardback USD 19.88
  Paperback USD 19.88
  Kindle USD 9.99
Bookdepository Hardback Euro 19.47
  Paperback Euro 14.52
Booktopia Paperback AUD 25.50
  Ebook AUD 42.40

 

Happy reading!
– FlorenceT

 

@FTThum
MeaningsAndMusings

Florence 2

A @COLLEENCHESEBRO INTERVIEW of @REBIRTHOFLISA ABOUT THE MISTREATMENT OF ZORA LANGSTON

Silver and Lisa

 

 

 

 

I would like to introduce you to Lisa W. Tetting, the author of her first novel, The Mistreatment of Zora Langston, which can be purchased on Amazon. I have had the pleasure of getting to know Lisa for at least the last six months, as our paths seemed to cross often in the WordPress blog world. I have read many of her poems, insightful blog posts, and reviewed her debut novel, The Mistreatment of Zora Langston, which you can find here.

Mistreatment of Zora Langston

I was deeply moved by the main character in Lisa’s book, Zora Langston. Through Lisa’s writing, Zora tells her story with all the wisdom a nine-year-old girl could share.  The reader lives through her, and experiences what the child goes through on a daily basis.  I was visually shaken after the confrontation with Zora’s, mother’s boyfriend.

There is sexual abuse and violence portrayed in the book.  However, Lisa portrays this abuse realistically through the words of young Zora. This young child handles her circumstances with the grace and dignity of a true survivor.  I was drawn into Zora’s world.  I felt her pain and neglect, and her joy and sorrow.  All I wanted to do, was grab this child, hug her, and never let her go!

Interviewing Lisa about her book

 

 

I enjoyed this book immensely and wanted to find out more about Lisa and her inspiration for Zora Langston.  Here is what Lisa had to say:

Colleen: Lisa, please tell me something about yourself, so your readers can get to know you better. Where do you currently live?

Lisa: I am the youngest of seven children. I grew up in Eastern North Carolina and love being from the South. An introvert at heart, I am working on being more social. It was my dream to be a writer and after 45 years of living, I finally decided to stop being scared and do something I wanted to do. I currently live in Tampa, FL with the love of my life, my husband.

Colleen: Are you a full time writer?

Lisa: Yes, I write full time. I currently author my blog, Rebirth of Lisa, as well as freelance as a guest blogger on another site called, Thoughtful Minds United. I am currently writing another novel and a self-help book with tentative release dates slated for later this year.

Colleen: Lisa, what inspired you to write your first book?

Lisa: I have wanted to write since I was a child, but never felt confident that I could actually do it. I finally decided I would try my hand at living my dream.

Colleen: What is the message you want your readers to get from The Mistreatment of Zora Langston?

Lisa:  I want readers to know they can survive anything, as long as they have faith, and believe in themselves. They don’t have to end up doing the wrong things in life because something bad happened to them.

Colleen: Lisa, who is your favorite author, and explain what inspires you about their work?

Lisa: My favorite author is hard to pin down because there are a few that have influenced me, but if I must choose only one, I will say Maya Angelou. She was so uplifting and positive. She was not the classic beauty, but she was elegant and smart, and she made words sing. Maya Angelou was an amazing woman who was very open-minded, and in my opinion, the best writer to live during my lifetime.

Colleen: What was the hardest part about writing your book?

The most difficult part of writing my book was writing the sexual abuse scenes. I was never abused myself, but had to put myself in Zora’s place to see what it was like. It was emotional to say the least.

Lisa, thank you so much for spending some time with us all and letting us get to know you, and your inspiration for “The Mistreatment of Zora Langston.”

In addition, you can find Lisa on:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13650235.Lisa_W_Tetting

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

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rebirthoflisa/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/rebirthoflisa/

Email: rebirthoflisa@aol.com

Colleen_Silver_Threading

 

 

 

 

@ColleenChesebro

SilverThreading.com

 

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The Legacy of Fear Q&A with Vanessa A. Ryan @vryan333

RW: I’m reading The Legacy of Fear now and enjoying it. The entire idea is right up my alley. How do you come up with the titles of your books?

VANESSA: Sometimes the title just comes to me. Other times, I ask my family, friends, the publisher, or even strangers I might see on the street to help me choose the best wording of a preliminary title. They’ll all haHorrorAtTheLakebooksve different opinions, and then the hard part is making the final decision.

RW: I am getting the whole the feel of, well, spooky, are you a sunshine weather writer or rainy day type?

VANESSA: I like overcast days. In fact, I love overcast weather. I feel more creative when the sky is gray and the atmosphere is a little foggy. Sunny days are just for enjoying the warmth of the sun, smiling a lot and not thinking much.

RW: Tell us about how writing regime, if you have one that is?

VANESSA: My writing schedule is to write at least a thousand words a day, seven days a week, for the first draft. Most of that happens late at night, when the phone is least likely to ring. I may stay up until two in the morning to get in those thousand words, especially when I’ve had a busy day doing something else. I know if I don’t persevere, I won’t get that first draft written. As for revisions and rewrites, I like those the best. The hard work is already done. Cutting, revising and adding is the fun part.

RW: Do you jump out of bed with coffee in hand or are you an afternoon writer?

I never jump out of bed for anything, unless the house is on fire––which has happened to me. I like coffee and breakfast in the morning, and reading the Los Angeles Times. Three days a week I read it online, and four days a week I get it delivered. It’s an important part of my daily routine. I never turn on the TV or radio for the news in the morning. I’m the type who wakes up slowly. I like to know what’s going on in the world, but without someone barking at me. If I can, I will write in the afternoon for a while. I might finish what I started writing in the afternoon later that night, if I didn’t get enough done.

RW: What do you have to avoid when writing a book?

VANESSA: I have to avoid too many other activities, or cut the time I devote to them. And since I’ve always got ideas in my head for new stories, I have to stop thinking of them so I can write the book I’ve already started.

RW: Do you ever get burned out?

VANESSA: Sure. Writing is work. It’s putting in the time. Since December, I have been taking a break. But the holidays are over, and tomorrow, I will begin looking at the edits of the last book in my trilogy, Horror At The Lake, A Vampire Tale. However, even when I’m not writing, I’m thinking of my next book or series of books.

RW: How do you start to write a book? What is the first step?V.Ryan

VANESSA: The first step is to decide which book floating around in my head I am going to commit to writing down. I usually know who the main character is and whether I’m going to write in the first person or in the third, but I will have to rough out the secondary characters. The next most important thing is to figure out the ending. The challenge then, is how to get from the beginning to the end. Sometimes I write plot points on three by five cards, and sometimes I just wing it and start writing. I try to write chapters that are about ten pages long, and I read over what I wrote yesterday, before I begin writing again.

RW: What books have most influenced your life most?

VANESSA: I think the books of Carlos Castaneda, Curt Vonnegut, Jerzy Kosinsky, and the mystery writers of the twentieth century, such Agatha Christie and Ross MacDonald. Also the noir writers, such as Cornell Woolrich, Charles Willeford and Dorothy B. Hughes. But one of the most important influences in my life was meeting Ray Bradbury after a lecture he gave. I had read Death Is A Lonely Business, and although not one of his most famous books, it is set in Venice, CA, where I once lived. It inspired me to write my paranormal novel A Blue Moon, which also takes place in Venice, CA. It was thrilling to meet the writer who inspired me to write the book.

RW: Recently one of our Team here on LWI wrote an article about being a writer versus being an author. Do you see writing as a career?

VANESSA: I do see writing as a career. Of course, every writer hopes to have a best seller, but regardless, I will keep at it as long as I have stories I feel impelled to write.

RW: Do you recall how your interest in writing first came to life?

VANESSA: I started writing in the third grade. My teacher allotted a portion of her lessons to creative writing every week. In the sixth grade, we put on a school play and I wrote the script.

RW: If you had to do it all over again, would you change anything in your latest book?

VANESSA: No. I’ll just write another book.

RW: What are you working on now?

palette-for-murderVANESSA: I am currently working on another traditional mystery, the second in the Lana Davis series, titled A Date For Murder. The first, A Palette For Murder, will be released this May by Five Star Publishing.

RW: How do you de-stress from those moments of word overload or word weary?

VANESSA: I don’t know that I get tired of looking at words, but I do need to take time off. I love walking in a park near my house, watching my favorite TV shows, traveling and socializing with friends.

RW: Book covers are more important than people think. I mean an author knows but I like how yours in a series almost brand the series. What’s the book cover process for you?

VANESSA: The publishers of my books have designers and they create covers from settings in the books that I describe to them.

RW: What was the hardest part of writing your book?

VANESSA: That first draft is always the hardest part.

RW: I agree with you there. Although my gazillionth draft seems to be hard too. Now what did you learn during the writing of The Legacy of Fear and really any book you write?

VANESSA: I have learned to be more forgiving. All my characters have flaws, some worse than others, but they have some redeeming or humanizing characteristics as well.

RW: What is one piece of advice you would give another writer?

VANESSA: Talk less and listen more. I get many of my ideas for stories from what people say.

RW: And now, what last thought for our friends today?

VANESSA: I hope you enjoy my books and the journeys they take you on.

 

Vanessa A. Ryan is the author of:

Horror At The Lake, A Vampire Tale (mystery trilogy):

Book 1, The Legacy Of Fear: http://vanessaaryan.com/TheLegacyOfFear.html#buy

Book 2, The Trail Of Terrorhttp://vanessaaryan.com/TheTrailofTerror.html#buy

Book 3, The Blood Of Redemptioncoming in April
A Palette For Murder pre-order now: http://vanessaaryan.com/APaletteForMurder.html#buycoming in April

 

Follow Vanessa A. Ryan at:
https://twitter.com/vryan333
http://vanessaryanwriter.blogspot.com
https://www.facebook.com/VanessaRyan33

http://www.amazon.com/author/vryan
http://www.imdb.com/name/nm2543030

 There you have readers. By the way, you’ve seen Vanessa before. You may not realize it but I know many of you have. Snoop around and you’ll discover from where. By her books. I’m enjoying The Legacy of Fear now.~@RonovanWrites

 

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Singer, Actress, Teacher and Author Anne JohnstonBrown Q&A @AJohnstonbrown

Author actor comedianRW: Anne, Fitness Video Queen, Vocal Diva, Comedic Legend and author. Is there anything you can’t do?

ANNE: Haha. Well, Diva maybe… but Legend? Not so much. Actually, everything I do is “performance” related, so you could say I really DO just one thing… a lot!

RW: Okay, I’ll behave and we can get down to the serious questions. Your name came up while I was interviewing Becky Due. How did you get into the audio book line of the Lit World?

ANNE: It’s a rather impersonal business, audio book narration. I actually never met Becky. In fact, with most of my authors, we rarely speak after the first email. Of course, I always ask for information about their expectations as to character voices, but after that, it’s all on me. I got into audio book narration only after becoming a professional actor. I was working on a show with Ted Lange (you probably know him best as Isaac Poster_20Washington of Love Boat fame). Anyway, one of my co-actors was working in the audio book narration business and recommended I get into it. The next day, I had three contracts and the rest is history. I’ve done over 60 projects as of this interview, and last year Audible gave me the wonderful distinction of Best Female Audiobook Narrator. I was overwhelmed!

RW: Wow! Okay, geeked moment there. But I’ve heard THE VOICE so I understand the why the honor bestowed upon you. I would think you have to develop a certain mood for reading a book aloud for others, to be able to convey the levels of emotions and set a scene with your voice. How many times do you read a book before you do the audio for it? What kind of preparation goes into it? I would think it would be like any other acting performance in a way.

ANNE: Every narrator has their “method.” I shock people when I tell them that I never read the books ahead of time. I am one of those “in-the-moment” actors, who simply cannot know what is about to happen or else my performance is compromised. Since I get all the information I need from the author ahead of time regarding vocal qualities for the main characters, I need no other information in order to start the project. Occasionally, I will find that there was a piece of information the author failed to give me that is contradicted later by a choice I made for the character, but in those cases, I just mark for edit and re-do those parts later. It’s really worth that risk to me, since I know my process and what works best for me.

RW: How does one connect with you to do audio book work? For example if I ever needed someone, what all would I need to do to convince you to do it? Money? Pizza? New kick boxing gloves?

ANNE: Actually, I just got some new gloves for Christmas, so that wouldn’t impress me much, and I’m gluten-free, so pizza is out… money, however, always talks! Haha. Seriously, to book me for a project, you would simply go to my ACX.com profile page (by searching my name) and let me know you’re interested. I’m very quick to respond. Narrators have their price range, so it’s important to evaluate how much you are willing to spend on narration before contacting a narrator. For instance, I never do royalty work; my rate is $300.00 per finished hour. However, I often get offers from authors who think they can convince me to do their projects on royalty anyway. That just won’t happen. If I didn’t have rent to pay, maybe so, but as it is….

 RW: I think that’s actually pretty fair. You do more than audio books in the Lit World, you’ve actually written several books and that’s one of the main reasons I begged you to be here today. Tell us about your newest book.anne johnston-brown

ANNE: I’ve actually written several books in several different genres. I have a children’s book that I self-published in 2007, entitled The Chronicles of Pleasant Grove. I also self-published a mainstream fiction BookCoverPreviewpiece, entitled The Lives of Lyman Liri, which follows several life scenarios of a man as he makes life-altering choices and how those choices impact his destiny. It was inspired by my father and his experience in Viet Nam. But it is my theatre arts work with Smith & Kraus Publishers that has been the most successful. They published my book, The 10 Commandments of Theater, and it is now a required text in dozens of theatre arts universities. Theatre Topics Magazine gave it a great review, which I wasn’t expecting… It’s just a little theatre arts handbook, taking the actor from casting to curtain and specializing in method acting. My latest work, True to archeType: A Guide to Characterization in Comedy, is due out in the spring of 2015. We are currently in the editing process. I’m really excited about this one! I wrote my master’s thesis on comedy, and as I’ve been working with Fred Willard for over 10 years as a member of his sketch-comedy group, The MoHos, this book is long overdue. I’ll send you a copy when it comes out, of course!

RW: Okay, geeking again. Books are always welcomed. And from a celebrity as well. And yes you are a celebrity so no arguing. Tell our readers about your acting/theater background.

ANNE: I didn’t start acting until I was in my late 20s. I was raised in… I guess you could call it a cult… so when I left home and started “living,” I realized I had a knack for theatre. But instead of just diving into Hollywood without training, I went straight to college and majored in theatre. I got my master’s degree and started my acting career immediately upon leaving school. I’ve worked with some great actors, toured and taught as a Theatre Arts Professor at several Southern California universities, as well as The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in Los Angeles. My favorite theatre experience was playing the Narrator at the Kodak Theatre in Los Angeles. We performed to sold-out houses… absolutely the most exciting time of my life!

RW: How did you get into comedy?

ANNE: I didn’t start “doing” comedy until I met Fred (Willard). His wife, Mary, had cast me in one of her plays (she is a fabulous playwright), and the minute Fred and I met, it was magic! He invited me to join his comedy group, and from there, I wrote my one-woman show, The Wicked Fairytales, and recorded my album of song parodies, Touched in the Head. I still perform with the group, but with writing, acting and audiobook narration, I’m not as faithful as I once was.

RW: I think acting does a lot more for authors than they realize. An example is there is always a purpose for movement on stage. I use that in my books. What other techniques in acting would help authors with storytelling?

ANNE: Public Solitude!!! Thanks to Stanislavski, we as actors are encouraged to shrink our circle of attention down to its smallest point, only allowing in that which encompasses the world of the scene. As authors, we usually work in solitude and must create out of nothing more than our imaginations… in other words, we are not necessarily reflecting back anything we have actually seen. An actor who chooses to write usually has a greater benefit of drawing from their creative imagination, since that is how we find truth on stage. We merely extrapolate and assimilate those skills over into our writing process… if we can!

RW: What is your creative/writing process for something like this type of book as opposed to a work of fiction?

ANNE: Non-fiction is infinitely easier to write than fiction! With non-fiction, I just write of which I know and in my own words. With fiction, I must first create the “life” of the character and then write in his/her words. Before I wrote Lyman Liri, I had had an encounter with a transient who resembled my Papa (grandfather). I thought, “Wow! What if my Papa had made one change in choice? Would the direction of his life led to this?” Then, on inspiration, I decided to make the main character a person who lived (at least in one of his life scenarios) the same life as my father. Every time he made a different choice than the one before, his life went off in a strange direction. It basically shows how every choice we make is capable of determining the direction of our lives and dramatically altering our destinies.

RW: Are there any upcoming dates where people could possibly go and see you, meet you, get an autograph, bow down and kiss the ground your talent has walked upon?

ANNE: Well, I could tell you where I shop and you’re welcome to follow me around there… But I think there will be some autograph signings with this new book, so stay tuned to my website: www.annejohnstonbrown.com. If you’re in Los Angeles, my comedy group, The MoHos, performs once a month at the Second City theatre on Hollwood Blvd. I’m usually in the show.

RW: As an actor, give us the one piece of advice you would give a young actor, let’s say in New York right now trying to break into the business? (I ask because there is an incredibly wonderful young lady that has moved from small town USA to NYC and is doing that now.)

ANNE: Since I teach up-and-coming actors every day at the Academy, I am asked this question often! When parents of young children ask me this question, my first and most definitive response is: “Get them into dance school!!!!!!” I can’t stress this enough. Dance will not only help them become the triple threat we hope they can potentially become, but is enhances rhythm and coordination – two things so desperately needed by the actor! For adults branching off into their acting careers, my response is twofold: “Network and Hone.” This means, as soon as you get to New York or Hollywood, join a theatre group or an acting class or an improv group, etc. And I mean do this immediately. Don’t put this off until you feel inspired… it is a MUST! This is because you will not only be able to keep training and get feedback from classmates and teachers (known as “honing”), but you will also be in an atmosphere to begin the most crucial part of an actor’s process: networking. Get out there and meet people, get noticed, make a name for yourself. When you hone and network (especially if you can do both at the same time), you will be well on your way to “making it.”

RW: When can we expect your next work of fiction?

ANNE: Fiction? Hmmm… that’s a good question. I would say that I’m not planning on writing any more fiction, but if history has proven anything, it is the minute you say something like that, you immediately get inspired to write a book, and BOOM, there it is!

RW: When is Anne The Album coming out?

ANNE: Anne has released several albums over the years. I started recording as a teenager and haven’t stopped. However, much of my work has been archived. I used to record a lot of gospel music, and I may have a few boxes of cassette tapes leftover in the garage. But they would be pretty dusty by now! As for a new album, I can honestly say nothing is planned. But if you want to hear some of my cover work, go to my ReverbNation page: www.reverbnation.com/annejohnstonbrown.

RW: Whoa. Just went and listened. Awesome. Little Anne Wonder going on with Superstition. What has been your favorite musical role to date?

ANNE: Again, playing the Narrator at the Kodak Theatre was an amazing experience. However, my favorite musical role would definitely be a tie: Annie in Annie Get Your Gun and Fanny Brice in Funny Girl.

Anne and BillRW: I have to ask this, as I have a 10 year old son and well, even I love a bit of the Disney life. Tell us about your Goofy friend.

ANNE: Ahhhh…. the wonderful Bill Farmer. Again, networking is the key. I met Bill Farmer through Fred Willard. In fact, Bill is a member of the MoHos. He is the most gentle, kind, delightful man I have ever met! So often, actors play characters they “wish” they could be, but their true nature’s are indeed the antitheses of those characters. Well, Bill IS Goofy! He is so sweet and kind, just like Goofy, and is so versatile on stage. He plays so many characters, all of which are unique and equally devine!

RW: Where can people purchase your books now?9

ANNE: Amazon – the go-to bookstore! My theatre arts books used to be at some of the main bookstore chains, but now they are exclusively sold online.

RW: What are your hobbies?

ANNE: Well, of course, I teach kickboxing, so I guess you could say that is a hobby. I love to do karaoke. I was a contestant on ABC’s Karaoke Battle USA a few years ago, and I just got the itch! Now, I can’t get enough of it!

 

 

This was a fun interview. As you can see there were a lot of different things to talk about and learn about. I really enjoyed this. Some of the pictures above will take you to videos of her work, including her work with “Goofy” himself.

 

Much Respect

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

 

@RonovanWrites

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“How to Kill Your Senator” by @KaisyWMills & @jamesacourtney

The Dystopian Nation of City-State – “How to Kill Your Senator”

how-to-kill-your-senator &

A new short story from Courtney James and Kaisy Wilkerson-Mills, authors of our previously reviewed The Dystopian Nation of City-State: An Anthology: Origin, Corruption, and Rebellion. Read that review by wonderful Olga Núñez Miret here.

I read an early copy of this as a Beta-Reader and my Review at Amazon is based on that and what I say here will be as well.

The idea and handling of the idea was original. The main character is a man named Jackson who as the story opens has killed senators in the world the authors have created. As the story progresses Jackson is shown the true source of the political evil of his city. But can he face that?

The authors lead you along and as you follow you realize where the story is going and what the message is, but the ending isn’t what you expect. maybe.

I gave the book a 3 out of 5 stars.

The story itself, the idea was a good one, but there was some stylistic elements that took away from my being able to really losing myself into the story. Just when I would be there I would be made aware of the writing. As I said, that was a beta copy I read, perhaps those elements have been addressed. If I get a chance to read a new version I will let you know. In truth it would be an interesting experience to see the after results of beta-reading.

Do I recommend this for a read at 3 stars?

If you have read the anthology and are interested in jumping on board a new world as it is created I think yes, read it. It’s .99 on Kindle. It does give depth to the world by telling a side story that shows you more of the world than one can always put into a regular novel.

You can visit the Dystopian Nation of City-State site here.

 

 

Ron_LWI

 

 

 

 

@RonovanWrites
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BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO of “Conditions” Christoph Fischer @CFFBooks

Title: Conditions
Author: Christoph Fischer
Published: October 15th 2014 by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
ASIN: B00NZ1VTBU
www.christophfischerbooks.com
Pages: 222
Genre: Drama, Fiction, Family

Conditions

After the death of Tony and Charles’ mother, the two brothers struggle to reconcile and develop a relationship, of which they have never had throughout their lives. Tony, the older brother feels discarded by a family that dedicated all its energies into the younger brother Charles, who is mentally challenged.

Materialistic ideals propel Tony and his wife forward into challenging his place within the remains of the family. Kind, gentle Charles, with the help of his loyal friends, copes with circumstances that lead the two brothers on a journey of self-renewal, causing them to face past prejudices and to deal with mistaken beliefs about themselves and life in general.

I was struck with the realization of how aptly this book was named, “Conditions.” Each character in this drama had circumstances of some sort they also had to face. Everyone traveled a path of their own choosing to reach a favorable understanding of their own situation.

Charles and Tony seemed to be equal victims at the hand of their parents. Coping with mental illness in the form of Aspergers within a family is difficult at best. Add stereotypes and an overprotective, well-meaning mother and you conclude that everyone has failings. No one is perfect. I wondered numerous times about the meaning of the word normal. When it comes to family, what truly is normal?

Christoph Fischer

Author, Christoph Fischer @CFFBooks

This story is character driven and requires you to interact with numerous aspects of the human condition. From mental illness, homosexuality, greed, guilt, addictions, to undiagnosed social issues, this book illustrates that everyone has some type of disability, real or perceived. The key at the heart of the story is finding acceptance and moving forward.

I found this book to be a thought provoking take of the struggles within a family unit. There was no single hero. In its place, I felt like each character achieved an independence from the family, while still remaining part of the collective family. Even the word ‘family’ was redefined with the support that Charles received from friends who were not relatives.

I love characters that face struggles and learn something from the situations they are placed in. “Conditions,” will make you think about family and the unique place each of us holds within our own families. I still cannot get the characters out of my mind, as they touched me deeply with their journey. The story made me question my own family relationships and to wonder if as families, we are all are too quick to judge each other.

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

Buy it at: Amazon
Format & Pricing:
Paperback: $8.99
Kindle: $2.99

clip_image006

@ColleenChesebro

www.SilverThreading.com

 

 

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#BookReview @FTThum – Straight Jacket by Adrian Deans

This book was published in 2013, I read it at the end of that year…and re-read it recently.

It deserves a review. Why? Read on.

straight jacket

Title:             Straight Jacket
Author:          Adrian Deans
Publisher:     High Horse Books (7 August 2013)
ISBN-10:        0646906259
ISBN-13:        9780646906256
Website:        http://www.adriandeans.com/
Pages:           Paperback, 278 pages
Facebook:       https://www.facebook.com/StraightJacket242
Genre:            Fiction – Crime

 

What’s it about?

“If God is too indifferent, or too non-existent to take care of His creation, then clearly it’s up to Me.”

This is Morgen Tanjenz, a lawyer with a God complex, or maybe Devil complex… or simply misunderstood? As he intervenes in the lives of those around him, his life intersects with Detective Sergeant Peter ‘Blacksnake’ Fowler who has problems of his own not least the woman he loves is having an affair. With a serial killer on the loose, Fowler is under intense pressure, and the pressure valve is sure to explode when taunted by the likes of Morgen?

This is an edgy crime novel set in Sydney – dark and interspersed with moments of humour. The protagonist and other characters are quirky and believable, a twist from the usual crime novel characterisations.  And what’s with the cicada on the book cover…and the reference throughout to these insects prominent in the Sydney-scape in summer?

Deans once again has enthralled his readers with his dark sense of humour and unusual perspectives. A book for those willing to explore difference and open to the less than beautiful side of life – its sexual overtones and drugs usage. Morgen is not a lovable character, I don’t think, but captivating.  I want to be on his side. Compelling read as I begin to invest in Morgen’s life – curious to know what happens to him, not wanting anything negative to occur to him. Persuasive writing.

Definitely a worthwhile book to read, especially if you enjoy intense dark crime novels with drama and humour.

LWI Rating:
Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 4/5
Overall enjoyment: 3.5/5
Readability: 3.5/5
Recommended: 3.5/5
Overall Rating: 4/5

Buy it at:

Amazon Kindle USD 5.27
Bookdepository Paperback Not available at present
Booktopia Paperback AUD 21.25
eBook AUD 4.50

 

Florence 2– FlorenceT

@FTThum

MeaningsAndMusings.WordPress.com

 

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#BookReview @FTThum – All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness @DebHarkness

The ‘All Souls Trilogy’ by Deborah Harkness consists of:

 

discovery of witchesTitle:               A Discovery of Witches (Book 1)
ISBN 10:        0670022411
ISBN 13:        9780670022410
Publisher:       Penguin USA
Publication date: 8 February 2011
Pages:             592 pages

shadow of night

 

 

 

Title:               Shadow of Night (Book 2)
ISBN 10:        0670023485
ISBN 13:        9780670023486
Publisher:       Penguin USA
Publication date: 10 July 2012
Pages:             592 pages

book of life

 

Title:               The Book of Life (Book 3)
ISBN 10:        0670025593
ISBN 13:        9780670025596
Publisher:       Vikings Books
Publication date: 15 July 2014
Pages:             561 pages

 

 

 

Genre:            Fiction – Fantasy
Website:        http://deborahharkness.com/all-souls-trilogy/
Twitter:         @DebHarkness
Facebook:     https://www.facebook.com/AuthorDeborahHarkness 

 

What’s it about?

The All Souls Trilogy centres on two protagonists, Diana Bishop, a witch yet to come to her full power, and Matthew Clairmont, a vampire determined to find the origin of species. It is set in our world with one distinction – daemons, vampires and witches dwell here too, hiding their essential nature, and unbeknownst to humans, have been co-existing with us since forever. If you are associating this with the ‘Twilight’ series, don’t. It is not. To suggest it is a thinking person’s ‘Twilight’ would do the Trilogy a great disservice. It is so much more.

Deborah Harkness is a professor of history and teaches European history and the history of science at the University of Southern California. Her vast scholarly knowledge is evident within the pages of these 3 books. The science is so intricately woven and the history exact. Of course there is literary or artistic license but then the reader will know where they lie.

Harkness’ depiction of the creatures and each character in this compelling tale is flawless. It is so believable that I can almost see demons, vampires, and witches living in this world of ours.

All Souls Trilogy is a story of acceptance and denial, of collaboration and division, of love and loss, of trust and betrayal, of family and enemies, and ultimately it is a story of acknowledging and being true to oneself.

Now, to each book in the Trilogy:

Discovery of Witches (Book 1)

I picked this book up in the local library. I was bored and thought to try something new – I am not usually a Fantasy book reader. I was hooked from Page 1 and finished the book in no time.

This first book touches the heart. It begins with Diana, an American and Yale historian over in Oxford researching at the Bodleian Library whereupon she attracts from the archives an alchemical manuscript of Elias Ashmole with missing pages of great significance. Diana is also a woman in denial of her genetic heritage, for she is a witch of potential great powers.

Then there is Matthew, an Oxford biochemist, whom Diana encounters in the Bodleian Library. A vampire fully aware of his power and on the search for that elusive manuscript. A man of apparent strength and intelligence is so attractive (okay, I was drooling :-)).

Bound by a common purpose, Diana and Matthew begin their journey of discovery of their history and their future.

Harkness has created multi-dimensional characters – of Diana and Matthew, and their family and friends – which makes me so curious to meet them, to want to know their depth, and Harkness did not disappoint as I delve. Each of Diana and Matthew’s strength and vulnerability are endearing. Their relationship of love resplendent with complex emotions yet so honest. This book is a page-turner and a surprise at every turn.

Rating: 4.5/5

Shadow of Night (Book 2)

This book begins with Diana and Matthew arriving in 16th century London, using Diana’s time-walking ability. Elizabethan England is a place which Matthew is familiar. So it continues, Diana and Matthew’s search for the manuscript with stunning revelations about the manuscript, and of Matthew’s and Diana’s history.

Of the three books, this book is especially captivating for lovers of history and science. Based primarily in Tudor London, we meet the likes of Queen Elizabeth, Kit Marlowe (a daemon playwright in Harkness’ world), Thomas Harriot (a daemon astronomer) and Sir Walter Raleigh (a human confidante to the Queen).

The progress of Diana and Matthew’s relationship creates new intrigue, as they cross the great divide prohibited by the Covenant, an agreement between the 3 species, daemon, vampire and witch, which have governed the way of being for centuries. The book canvasses the notion of what intimacy can be and how it can be demonstrated through these two different-natured creatures.

It just gets better and better, as Harkness explores the meaning of loyalty and trust, and tests the limits of love. Diana accepts the possibility of her immense power and takes steps to own it. Matthew’s vulnerability is exposed, his strength a mask behind which he has hidden for centuries from all that he has been and done.

Rating: 4/5

The Book of Life (Book 3)

The Book of Life was published some 2 years after Shadow of Night. It was too long a wait for me :-).

Diana and Matthew return to 21st century France, the location of Matthew’s ancestral home. Their fiery relationship continues to be challenged as Matthew wrestles with his past and attempts to build his future, with great implications. Matthew’s journey has tested his resolve, his sense of self.  Will he learn the ultimate lesson – to trust himself and others who love him? That love is not destructive but constructive, and all powerful?

Diane fully in control of her magic and confronting the Congregation is an imagery to behold. As she takes charge, it is clear she has travelled a long way from her mind to her heart, both in her relationship with Matthew and her past.

Harkness continues to weave a story of enchantment, heartbreak, and resilience into her amazing alternative world. Reading the third book of this Trilogy, it is clear the magic of Harkness’ writing is how she manages to insinuate the supernatural creatures and substantiates normalcy in the daemon-vampire-witch-human world.

So the array of creatures is now bound by a common purpose to retrieve the manuscript and the secret to survival of the species. This final book of the All Soul’s Trilogy captures the imagination, speeding to a climatic end which comes full circle…”It began with a discovery of witches…”

Rating: 4.5/5

 

Recommendation:

Need I say more than, this Trilogy is a must-read?

If you don’t enjoy historical or fantasy fiction, step off and read something different…

And for Fantasy enthusiast, this Trilogy delivers on so many levels.

 

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

Buy it at:

Amazon Hardback  
  Paperback  
  Kindle  
Bookdepository Hardback
  Paperback
Booktopia Hardback
  Paperback

 

Florence 2

 

 

 

 

– FlorenceT

@FTThum

MeaningsAndMusings.WordPress.com

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BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “The Uncanny Valley-Tales from a Lost Town” @GREGGYMILLER

The Uncanny Valley

Title: The Uncanny Valley – Tales from a Lost Town
Author: Gregory Miller
Illustrator: John York
Published: January 6th 2014 by West Arcadia Press (first published May 27th 2011)
ASIN: B00HQW3AHA
http://authorgregorymiller.wordpress.com/
Pages: 141
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal, Mystery, Short Stories, Fiction, Flash Fiction, Horror

Welcome to the Uncanny Valley where a public broadcasting affiliate requested their listeners to submit essays about a ‘specific historical, ritualistic, or personal event’ that described the culture of their own hometown. What results is a horrifying collection of 33 eerie tales told by the residents of Uncanny Valley just as they were sent in to the contest. Some of these tales were just plain creepy and a couple were delightful and humorous in a ghoulish way. What remains to be seen is whether the town actually existed…

I loved the brevity of the stories and the fact that they were told in the words of the actual residents from all ages and occupations. Each story takes you on a personal journey of events that are spine-chilling and mind boggling. I loved reading this collection of adult ghost stories, which was the sort we would tell around a campfire when we were children.

My favorite story was “Mrs. Karswell’s Garden,” which was the tale of a supernatural garden that gave refuge to a brother and sister from a family that abused them physically and mentally. It was a poignant tale about transitioning into an adult.

I found this book on my usual search for free Kindle books on Amazon and was blown away by the writing and storytelling. If you are a fan of Ray Bradbury you will love the way the stories build off of one another bringing you to an unexpected end. Gregory Miller is adept at building suspense and drawing you along on a masterful journey of which you will never forget. I had some strange dreams for awhile after reading this book.

Gregory Miller

(Image Credit: Gregory Miller)

I do want to mention the illustrator, John York, whose drawings helped to illustrate the peculiar happenings in the book. Even with my Kindle paperwhite I was able to discern the terror and dread depicted on the faces of many of the town’s people. The drawings added a sinister flair and increased my enjoyment in the stories.

While reading, I was reminded how fragile life truly is and how there is magic present in our lives if we choose to look hard enough. There is a humanistic quality to each of these stories ranging from accounts of bullying, vengeance, a haunting, murder, and even vampires. The Uncanny Valley asks you to deal with your fears by taking the well-known in your life and molding it into something to be feared. Disturbing and creepy, you will love this book!

RATINGS
Realistic Characterization: 4/5
Made Me Think: 3/5
Overall enjoyment: 4/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 4/5
Overall Rating: 3.8

Buy it at: Amazon
Format & Pricing:
Paperback: $6.99 US
Kindle: $.99 US

 

Colleen_Silver_Threading

 

 

 

@ColleenChesebro

www.SilverThreading.com

 

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LWI list of #Adult #Fiction #Authors!

Check our the LWI list of Adult Fiction Author Interviews and find a Last Minute Gift or use your Gift Money!

Genres & Authors

Adventure

Detective

Drama

Fantasy

Neo-Victorian Gothic

Paranormal

Psychological Thriller

Romance (Contemporary and Otherwise)

Steampunk

Thriller

Urban Paranormal

LWI list of #NewAdult #YA #Fiction #Authors!

Check our the LWI list of New Adult and Young Adult Fiction Author Interviews and find a Last Minute Gift or use your Gift Money!

Genres & Authors

New Adult

Fantasy

Science Fiction

Young Adult

Christian

Drama

Dystopian

Fantasy

Romance

Science Fiction

LWI list of #MiddleGrades #Fiction #Authors!

Check our the LWI list of Middle Grades Fiction Author Interviews and find a Last Minute Gift or use your Gift Money!

 

Genres & Authors

Adventure

Fantasy

Detective/Mystery

Suspense

BOOK REVIEW BY @COLLEENCHESEBRO OF “The Reach of the Banyan Tree” @SASSEVN

The Reach of the Banyan Tree

Title: The Reach of the Banyan Tree

Author: Mark W. Sasse

Publisher: Mark W Sasse (June 29, 2014)

ISBN-10: 1499713002

ASIN: B00LE5MNP0

http://mwsasse.com/

Pages: 301

Genre: Historical romance, Contemporary romance, Fiction, Historical fiction

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

I was instantly transported back into time to August 1945, French Indochina, where Charles Regal Carson, an American soldier with the OSS Deer Team, was tasked to assist Ho Chi Minh and General Vo Nguyen to fight against the Imperialist Japanese in World War II.  What ensues is a hauntingly lovely contemporary romance filled with suspense and intrigue that brought me to tears, as I lived through the lives of Charles (Cha Le), Mai, Long, Thuy, and Charles III.

From there, Charles’ (Cha Le’s) story unfolds through the chaotic life of his grandson, Charles Regal Carson III, (Chip) who in the year 2000 left the family oil business to pursue his own ventures in Vietnam.  Surrounded by the natural beauty of Vietnam, Chip falls in love with a young woman named Thuy. Their love leads them on a journey of discovery though cultural differences, language barriers, and age old traditions that lead them to face some ultimate truths in their own lives.

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.

The banyan tree plays an integral part in this story. To me the banyan tree represented the hearts of the people of Vietnam.  The tree celebrates life by leading you through the lives of Chip, his father, and his grandfather representing the reach of family ties through the generations.  I also gained a new insight into the ancient culture of Vietnam where family loyalty at all costs is still represented in modern society.

Sasse’s descriptions of the Vietnamese countryside placed me within the story.  I could see the emerald green rice paddies, and I could feel the heat and humidity that is Vietnam.  At times, I felt like I could even taste the food and wine, so detailed were the descriptions.

The cultural and societal differences between Vietnam and America were an uncomfortable truth I had to reconcile with myself.  Women in many Asian cultures are not valued as much as males are.  I was struck by how the death of the only male child in the family was viewed as a total sense of failure for the family.  The loss was such a deep scar that it consumed them and left them unable to move forward.  I was awed that these feelings and beliefs were so deeply ingrained within the culture of Vietnam and still exist today.

What struck me the most was that even though these cultural differences plagued the characters, their love and honor to each other overcame all obstacles placed before them.  I was taught that love and family truly live on through the reach of our ancestors.

Sasse is an expert story teller.  He weaves colorful characters that possess great compassion and an emotional complexity that I seldom see in romance novels.  I was deeply drawn to these characters.

This book has something to offer everyone. A splash of true historical facts, passionate love, action, and intrigue will take you on a journey you will not easily forget.  This story will remain in a soft place within your heart.

mark_w_sasse.jpgMark Sasse’s Author Interview here on LitWorldInterviews appears Friday, Dec. 5.

RATINGS:

Realistic Characterization: 5/5

Made Me Think: 5/5

Overall enjoyment: 5/5

Readability: 5/5

Recommended: 5/5

Overall Rating: 5

 

Buy it at:  Amazon

FORMAT & PRICING:

Paperback:  $11.25 USD

Kindle:  $2.99 USD

 

Colleen Chesebro

Colleen_Silver_Threading

 

 

 

@ColleenChesebro

SilverThreading.com

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Book Review by @RobertHughes05 of “Short Shorts” by @CyrilBussiere

 

51T3hAPiZlL._AA160_
Title: Short Shorts
Author: Cyril L.C. Bussiere
ASIN: B00N534CCG
Published: 28 August 2014 by Cyril L.C. Bussiere
Pages: 28
Genre: Short Adult Stories
Format: Kindle Edition
Price: £0.77 includes VAT & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whisperent
File Size: 1076 KB
Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
Sold by: Amazon Media
Language: English
Text-to-Speech: Enabled

What the book is about: A collection of nine short stories covering subjects from cybernetic love, to ghosts and vampires to broken hearts and memories. ‘Short Shorts’ is thought-provoking and will make you think about what is really happening in the stories it contains.

Book Highlights: Bussiere has such a way with words that they make you feel you are actually in the story witnessing what is going on.  I felt I was sat in a huge auditorium watching each story unfold in front of me as I read each one. His words carry the reader along smoothly and never once did I have to stop and re-read anything because of any uncertainly of what was going on.  I’ve read the book several times and, each time, I come away with more thoughts of just what is happening in each story.  Some of the stories contain a twist I was never expecting, which is a sign of a great author.

Challenges of the book: I had no challenges reading this book or relating to any of the new characters introduced in each story.  I felt I knew them from the first few lines in, almost as if I had been reading about them for days, rather than the few minutes it took me to read each story.  Some may feel they want to know more about each character and wish the stories had gone on longer but, for me, I was able to imagine what may have happened to each character after finishing each story.  Each of the stories remained on my mind many days after reading the book.

What do you get from it: Love, pain, hurt, emotions, sadness, mystery, loneliness and, most of all, thoughts of what may have happened before and after each story.  I never thought a real mixture of emotions could be found in an entire book containing so few pages.

What I would have changed if anything: I would have loved some of the stories to have gone on a little longer but, I guess, Bussiere could not have then called the book ‘Short Shorts’.  I fell in love with some of the characters created by Bussiere and would dearly love to read more about them, especially the ones featured in the sadder of the stories.  I came away hoping they would eventually find some happiness in life.  Bussiere could certainly, and should consider, writing whole novels containing some of the characters from the stories in this book.

Who Would I recommend this book to?: Anybody who is a real lover of short stories and who likes a wide variation in the stories contained in a book.  It would also appeal to anybody who likes to think more about the characters and their stories, after finishing reading a book.  This is the perfect read for anybody with a busy lifestyle who has little, if any, time for sitting down to read a good book.

Read Cyril’s Lit World Interview here.

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

Review By:
Hugh Roberts
hugh_roberts_book_reviewer.jpg

 

 

@RobertHughes05 
hughsviewsandnews.com 

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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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Q&A Jon Langione BAT: The Taninger Vampire @VampyreLangione

BAT BAT: The Taninger Vampire

Jon Langione

 

 

I decided it was time for a change and when I ran across my guest today I knew instantly I had found someone I wanted to interview. Not only because of being an author, but also for the life experiences he has been through. The number of books he has put out is impressive. Today we’re going to obviously talk about his interest in vampires and a certain book in particular but I cannot imagine anyone having as varied a catalog as my guest. So let’s meet . . .

Jon Langione

 

RW: Where are you from?

JON: I grew up in the little burg of Hellam, Pennsylvania. But I had a twenty-two year army career and lived all over the world. I am a Viet Nam and Desert Storm veteran. I was a paratrooper and a helicopter pilot, as well as serving in intelligence and air operations. I describe myself as being from Eastern Pennsylvania by way of Brooklyn.

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

JON:

Ayn Rand

F. Scott Fitzgerald

Michael Lewis,

and recently, Teresa Hawk

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

JON: Bold K-cup coffee.

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

JON: I really don’t have that as I write 11 to 15 pages a day. This is why I can pump out so many books. I have a book go on amazon.com about every four to five weeks. I do watch a lot of evening news.

RW: What is your favorite word?

JON: Counter-productive.

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

JON: I started out writing for the Fort Wolters, Texas post newspaper. I have quite a few op-eds under my belt. I wrote for the US Army’s Aviation Digest. I hold the 4th  Estate Award for military writing. I was also a special correspondent to Gannett for the Kosovo operation.

I wrote a book about my wiseguy uncle and my wife suggested we go to print with it. Since then Cathey and I have written in several genres. She designs all the covers.

 

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

JON: BAT, The Taninger Vampire. I have started a new series known as the BAT Series. Bria Anne Tedesco is the vampire. In the first she is involved with a star chamber making hits on shady brokers and hedge fund managers. The star chamber is called the Taninger Chamber. That book is on the market. I am almost finished with BAT, The Delgado Vampire which takes place in Arizona. The story involves BAT with the drug cartels. The third one in the series is already titled BAT, The Covert Vampire where she gets mixed up with a government agency that uses vampires.

RW: What genre does your book fall into?

JON: The Avi Asher Series (II thru VII) and the BAT series are all about vampires.

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

JON: They used to be called Penny Dreadfuls, then Dime Novels, and now Pulp Fiction. I wrote enough finance material and want to have fun with the vampires.

 

RW: Tell us a little about your book.

JON: BAT, The Taninger Vampire is about BAT (Bria Anne Tesdeco) being used on missions to exact retribution against corrupt financiers.

RW: What inspired the book?

JON: I felt after the seven books of the Avi Asher Series it was becoming derivative. So, I went on to a stand-alone series with the main character being BAT and only one character other than her as a carry-over for the next book only.

RW: What inspired the book?

JON: I thought vampire books were a sellable commodity. They are fun to write and you can get as implausible as you wish. I have been inspired by Russell Blake. He wrote ten thrillers before he sold one. He keeps pumping them out, once writing a book in fifteen days. He has sold over 400k to date. I am going to keep writing as I am retired and treat this as a second career. After all vampires never die. And really they are pot-boilers and a fun read. I keep them to 210 to 260 pages.

RW: Tell us about your main characters and what you think will connect them to readers.

JON: In the Avi Asher Series he was a vampire hunter with a PhD and was an Assistant District Attorney. Thus, law enforcement got involved. However, there were some vampires he could not track down and the on-going story allowed the reader to either take the side of the hunter or the vampires.

Vampire Elizabeth

In the BAT Series the people BAT takes out are due for a come-uppance. But, there are hunters out to stop her and her string of partners. BAT is vicious and an arch-criminal.

RW: Who would play your main characters in a movie?

JON:

Avi Asher – Lou Diamond Phillips (Jon went to school with him! I am geeking, dudes.)

BAT – Noomi Rapace or Rooney Mara (both of ‘The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo’ fame)

Lou_Diamond_Phillips KONICA MINOLTA DIGITAL CAMERARooney_Mara

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

JON: Just sit back and have a fun read.

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

JON: Not to look at the sales data and keep on keepin’ on.

RW: Describe your book in one word.

JON: Nightfall

RW: Where can we get your book(s) now?

JON: On amazon.com, Kindle, and Barnes & Noble.

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

JON:

Canzio: A Sal Luca Gig – The story of a wiseguy with Sal Luca as a Philadelphia reporter.

Santa Is Out There, Christmas Tales From The Edge – twelve holiday short stories written with my wife Cathey that are a little off center.

Helel, the Nephilim, and Beyond – a biblical fiction with Sal Luca back as the reporter; the angel Helel is keynote in the story.

manic mind – written in all lower case with ellipses’ and no other punctuation. It is about my Bi-Polar experiences. And, again, Sal Luca is the reporter. He is fictional, but I gave him author credit as a twist.

Credit Card, A Personal Debt Crisis. This book is taken from by MBA thesis which was written in story form.

Student Loans, Credit Cards, and the National Debt Crisis is a DVD about the subjects of overwhelming debt.

The Avi Asher Series: Deceitful (a political thriller) and the six vampire books of the series: Vampire Elona, Vampire Edvard, Vampire Gothic, Vampire Wiseguy, Vampire Vice, and Vampire Elizabeth.

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

JON: I am on Twitter. I have no plans to go on Facebook. On my twitter site is my website address jonlangione.com. On the website the reader can get a description of the vampire books and see a photo of the cover.

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.

JON: Through my experience with agents I have collected a pile of rejection form letters. So, I decided to go to amazon and Barnes and Noble via Createspace. I price my books and Kindle books very low at what I feel is an equitable price. I self-promote the books via Twitter. As far as what I could do for an agent is meet a deadline.

RW: What are you working on right now?

JON: I am 163 pages into the second of the BAT Series – BAT, The Delgado Vampire.

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

JON: ‘Are We Rome’ by Cullen Murphy

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

JON: Go to Createspace.

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

JON: ‘Atlas Shrugged’ by Ayn Rand. Atlas Shrugged has more depth and history for the future than any book written. She captured conservative business and progressive welfare better than anyone. Atlas Shrugged is second in US sales to one book – The Bible.

 

Well, everyone, I told you the man had a varied catalog. Next time believe me. I of course want to thank Jon again for the interview and I must say that his approach to writing his genre is interesting. He seems to have found a genre he is really enthusiastic about. Buy his books, check out his site, follow him on Twitter, and did I mention buy his books? And when you do, make sure to write a review.

Much Respect

Ronovan

followmeonbloglovin

 

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

Q&A Shannon A. Thompson of Take Me Tomorrow @ShanAshleeT23

takemetomorrowTake Me Tomorrow

Shannon A. Thompson

 

5.0 out of 5 stars  An exciting YA dystopian novel-Elaine Jeremiah
“This was an exciting, intriguing tale. In the dystopian world Sophia, her family and friends are living in, there is a war on between the State who control the various regions in this post-modern America and those who use and promote a clairvoyant drug.”

4.0 out of 5 starsEnticing, mysterious dystopian!-Jen @Star-Crossed Book Blog

“This was truly a unique read! I love my dystopian worlds and while some can blend together, that definitely wasn’t the case in Take Me Tomorrow. The elements of the storyline were enticing and the mystery of all of the unknowns kept me flying through the pages. The little hints of romance were innocently sweet and what blossomed from it left me smiling. And the ending of the book left me completely dismayed (but in a good way)! I can’t even start to imagine where they can all go from here!”

4.0 out of 5 stars A YA novel unafraid to address grown up issues-Allie Potts

“The book’s premise hooked me right away. Set in a realistic future featuring extreme immigration control and harsh anti-drug policies, a teenager named Sophia Gray’s sheltered world is turned upside down after a chance meeting with a stranger in the woods. This stranger has ties to a risky drug believed to provide users with the temporary ability to see everything all at once, including the future. While users are potentially endangering their own lives by using the drug, it is the government that is the most threatened by its existence. The novel asks you to answer the question, what is more important security or freedom?”

 

 

I want to say my guest and I have followed each others blogs for some time now. I mean she’s an author, I think authors are cool, so of course I followed the author lady. That of course meant that when I decided to start this site I wanted to interview her and amazingly enough she said yes. I am surprised with each person that says yes, but especially those who have several books out. Now it’s time to meet . . .

Shannon A. Thompson

pic1 

 

RW: Where are you from?

SHANNON: I’m from the road. Even though I’m only 23, I have moved 15 times in my life. I’ve lived in Pennsylvania, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Georgia, and on the Kansas-Missouri border, so I don’t really have a hometown. It’s hard for me to stay in one place for too long. Traveling is when I feel at home.

RW: Who are your favorite authors?

SHANNON: Jack Kerouac and Edgar Allan Poe are my favorite traditional authors, but I absolutely adore Meg Cabot, Cassandra Clare, Lauren Oliver and Lynne Ewing in the young-adult market. I’m also a huge fan of the poet, Billy Collins.

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

SHANNON: Coffee! I’m such a coffee addict that I just cannot go a single day without at least one pot of coffee. I’ve actually been drinking it regularly since I was twelve. I am not a fan of chocolate, so I didn’t like having hot chocolate in the winter mornings to keep me warm, so my father thought it was a good idea to give me his leftover coffee. Been hooked ever since. The funniest moment was when my middle school teacher realized what I was drinking every morning, but that’s another story to be told. I’m actually drinking a coffee right now.

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

SHANNON: Writing – I know that sounds like a contradiction, but I have many types of writing. I write young-adult novels, but I’m also a poet, and I work on numerous books at a time. If I’m stressing out about one, I just skip over to something else – something that I don’t have to worry about – and if I don’t want to write at all, I’ve been known to hop in the car and drive without a destination in mind. The road is a comforting place. Unless you’re short like me driving into the setting sun. Then, it burns.

RW: What is your favorite word?

SHANNON: Midnight – I am a night owl, practically nocturnal, and the single word reminds me of how calm everything is late into the evening when everyone else is asleep.

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

SHANNON:  I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. In fact, my mother taught me to write in order to cope with my night terrors as a child, but she – unfortunately – died very suddenly when I was eleven, so I began chasing a serious writing career after that. My first novel was published five years later, and since then, I’ve had four novels, two short stories, and a collection of poems published all around the world, including a Norwegian magazine. I also studied literature and creative writing at the University of Kansas where I graduated from in 2013.

RW: Tell us about why you chose Take Me Tomorrow as the title of your novel?

SHANNON: Take Me Tomorrow is my latest novel, and the title created itself. About halfway through the story, one of the protagonists talks about tomorrow and what it means to them, but explaining it too much might give away parts of the story. The novel is a young-adult dystopian tale about a clairvoyant drug. When citizens can see the future, it changes how everyone lives in the present and remembers the past, so time is a huge factor in both the story and the title. The drug is also called “tomo” and everyone believes it is a nickname for “tomorrow” but it isn’t. ::wink wink::

RW: What genre does your book fall into?

SHANNON:  Young-adult dystopian.

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

SHANNON:  I write in many genres, but I currently only have young-adult, paranormal romance, dystopian, contemporary, military, and poetry published. Whew. I thought that list would be shorter when I started, but – as you can see – I love writing in various styles. I look at it this way: I love reading numerous genres. Why would I only write in one genre?

RW: Tell us a little about your book.

SHANNON:  Take Me Tomorrow is a young-adult dystopian novel about a clairvoyant drug, but sixteen-year-old, Sophia Gray, has other problems to deal with. Her father runs an illegal forgery, and her best friend is caught up in small crime, and that is not even the end of it. When a mysterious boy shows up in her backyard, Sophia has to decide whether to fight for a tomorrow she cannot see or sacrifice her loved ones to the world of tomorrow.

RW: What inspired the book?

SHANNON:  Take Me Tomorrow deals with many sensitive issues within society, including drug abuse, addiction, and immigration. I decided to write about these topics mainly because my mother was a drug addicted, and it ultimately killed her. I spent many years researching drugs, and that research developed itself into this novel. I actually wrote an article about this if you want more details: http://shannonathompson.com/2014/07/18/why-i-write-about-immigration-drugs-and-addiction/

 

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

SHANNON:  Sophia Gray is strong, stubborn, and willing to do anything to help her friends and family, but she’s also human. Her anger can get the best of her, but she doesn’t let anyone try to stop her from doing what she thinks is right. Noah, on the other hand, is rather forced into doing things, and everything has slowly broken him down. He’s a very complex and damaged character, but when the two come together, a dark serenity clears the tension around them.

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

SHANNON:  I would beg, beg, BEG for an open-casting call. I wish Hollywood would do that more often for two reasons:

  1. It gives new actors and actresses a chance at participating in a large project

  2. (I think) Viewers can believe in the characters more when they haven’t seen the actors everywhere before.

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

SHANNON:  As much as Take Me Tomorrow deals with sensitive topics revolving around drug abuse, I strived to stay neutral to the topic, and so far, many readers have reflected that in their reviews. The message is completely up to the reader, and I wanted it to be that way because society is that way. These things are not black and white. These moments are always gray.

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

SHANNON:  After it was all written, I think I realized how much of my personal life I have slipped into the story. Sophia is very much like me when I was sixteen years old. She has a knife collection. (Something I do, in fact, have.) And she finds peace in a forest that she checks with her dog, Argos, who she loves very much. That was practically my life. I had acres I had to watch over, and my husky and I spent hours out there. Writing about it brought many happy memories back, but writing about the drug use was also very hard. When my mother first died, I never told anyone how it happened. I just avoided explaining it. But after many years passed, I slowly dealt with the fact that she had been addicted to drugs, and writing allowed me to explore a lot of those emotions. There’s a moment in Take Me Tomorrow where Sophia looks at Noah and states, “I could handle his drug-induced state. His sober state was more terrifying.” This line has been pointed out by readers, and I think that’s because it’s uncomfortable and true. Not for all situations, of course, but for some people who’ve had loved ones addicted. Sharing those moments can be scary, confusing, disheartening, and honest.

RW: Where can we get your book now?

SHANNON: Take Me Tomorrow is available everywhere – Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, Apple, etc.

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

SHANNON: The Timely Death Trilogy is an award-winning, paranormal romance, and it is also available everywhere. Minutes Before Sunset (book 1) explores the world of lights and shades, creatures that live among humans as humans, and two characters – Jessica and Eric – tell the story of two destinies and one death. Book 2, Seconds Before Sunrise, is also available, and Death Before Daylight, book 3, is releasing in January of 2015.

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

SHANNON:  I am mainly found on my website – ShannonAThompson.com – where I talk about reading, writing, and publishing. We are so close to 18,000 followers! But I love connecting with anyone and everyone, so I am also on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Wattpad, Instagram, and more.

 

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.

SHANNON:  In 2012, I was signed by AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc., and they’ve represented The Timely Death Trilogy as well as Take Me Tomorrow. My poetry was published by LALUNA magazine and Kansa Publishing, and my short story was in The June Project. My first novel was done by Golden Eagle Publishing, but I’ve gotten my rights back, and I plan on re-releasing November Snow in November of 2015.

RW: What are you working on right now?

SHANNON:  For publication, I’m working on my content edits for Death Before Daylight, book 3 of The Timely Death Trilogy, and November Snow. I have other works pending in various stages of publication, but I don’t like talking about them until they’re coming out – I’m a very superstitious person, and I always feel like I’m jinxing it if I talk about it with anyone but beta readers.

 

RW: What book are you reading at this time?

SHANNON:  One of my jobs at AEC Stellar Publishing, Inc., is pre-reading novels before release, so I’ve been reading two novels we’re releasing – The Stars Are Infinite, book 2 of The Stars Trilogy, by Amber Skye Forbes and The Pandora Chronicles by Ryan Attard.

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

SHANNON:  Research and research some more to make sure the path you take is the best one for both your novel and your goals. Traditional publishing, small press, and self-publishing all have pros and cons. Understanding those is key to achieving the type of publication you dream of.

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

SHANNON:

There you have it all folks. Everything you need to know about Shannon. Below you will see her book trailer for Take Me Tomorrow, enjoy it. I once again thank Shannon for agreeing to join us today. I just cannot believe the generosity of the Literary Community in starting this site off in such a great way.

 

Much Love & Respect to You All

Ronovan

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She was never going back. #Book #Review of Deception by Eloise De Sousa @mello_elo

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

 

What’s it about?

Deception is a story about facing your past and learning to trust.

Amanda Glenson has a nice life working in a law firm in London while raising her 5 year old son Zachary. Unfortunately for her, a past that sent her fleeing from her home, her country on another continent, has finally caught up with her. There is no way around facing it; she must return home to Zimbabwe.

Enter Alex Edwards a lawyer brought in specifically to handle a situation in Zimbabwe for the law firm Amanda works for. Sparks fly between the two, only for Alex to discover he will be taken along for the ride into Amanda’s past, a coincidence that fate brings about. Two people with tainted pasts join together in a quest to find truth.

Highlights of the Book

236 pages of every kind of emotion keeps you reading.  The suspense makes you want to read it in one sitting. Who did what? How are Amanda and Alex connected? What is the Deception? And how does little Zachary play a role in the story?

De Sousa brings a realistic feel to the story and her imagery is perfect. She writes what she knows–London and Africa. Authentic in her knowledge of her environment, she carries you along on a tour of her image memories. This in part is what makes it a good, easy flowing read.

The deception title is all through the book in so many ways you have to keep guessing what is the deception. You won’t guess but you can try.

Romance, desire, heat, and all done well with taste and great imagery that gives you just enough to let you become part of the story, but not so much to drive you away from it. Very well done, classy.

Challenges of the Book

There are several interesting characters that could have greater depths in personality and add to the story. There were some opportunities for the male protagonist, Alex, to have done more on several levels. That being said some of the emotional aspects of the character were perfect.

What do you get from it?

Trust is a hard thing to do.

What would I change if anything?

I would have used Alex a little more and turned up either a bit more of the action or perhaps liked to have seen a little more intense dialogue exchanges to increase the tension that made the insides twist wanting more.

Who would I recommend this book to?

The book is classified as a Adult Crime Romance, but to me, it could also be classified as Suspense Drama. There are Romance elements in the book but are not driving points of the story. When Romance is part of the story, it is done very well.

Ratings:product_thumbnail.php4
Realistic Characterization: 5/5
Made Me Think: 3/5
Overall enjoyment: 3/5
Readability: 4/5
Recommended: 4/5
Ovearall Rating: 3.8

 

Buy it at:
 Amazon
Format & Pricing:
Paperback: 8.41 USD
Kindle: .99 USD
Alternate Purchsing:

Amazon U.K., Lulu.com

eloisedesousa.wordpress.com

Eloise De Sousa

 

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