Featured Author: Christopher Courtley

Featured Author:     Christopher Courtley

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  1.  Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about the person behind the pen.

I’ve been telling stories, writing poetry and prose, and drawing (or more like doodling) for as long as I can remember. I’m not happy unless I’m creating. A consequence of this, perhaps, is that I’ve also been a bit of a misfit for as long as I can remember. As a child I had what one might call a fey nature. I was a very solitary, private person for much of my life, mostly nocturnal and attracted to dark and lonely places, old forests and brooding wastelands, ruins, graveyards; a lover of mist and moonlight, fascinated by the creatures of the night, and by death, the paranormal, and the occult. This disposition has served to shape both my life and my work.

2.  What made you decide to write (the genre of your book), were there any influencing factors, or were any of the stories based on true events.   

I’ve always loved fantasy, especially dark fantasy, and Gothic horror, and found that these elements often come together in fairy tales of the type collected by the Grimms in addition to those included in the Arabian Nights and not a few written by Hans Christian Andersen as well, so naturally some of my earliest writings have been in that vein. I’m also a huge fan of J.R.R. Tolkien, so his work has had a major influence on my own, especially pertaining to the realms of Faerie and my poetic experience of them.

3.  How do you promote your book, and do you find that difficult or just par for the course.

I use social networking almost exclusively to promote my books. Right now the most important promotional tools for me besides my blog are Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Google +, and the Virtual Ebook Fair.

4.   Do you remember your first review and how it made you feel?  (If it was a bad one, also tell about your good one too).

Yes, I remember it well. I almost don’t need to copy-paste it because I remember it almost word-for-word, but I will do so anyway for the sake of accuracy: “if you like the dark side of things this book is for you.i love the short stories and the poems if you like that odd creepy feeling when your reading.this book will surely do it for you”. This review made me feel really good because this is exactly the sort of reaction I was going for.

5.  Tell us about your book and if it’s a series and how the public is reacting to this book.

My book, TROLL STEW: A STRANGE BREW OF DARK FAIRY TALES & POEMS FOR ADULTS, is a collection of original dark fairy tales and fairy-related poetry. While it isn’t exactly a series, it’s a small taste of things to come. So far the reaction to this very first book of mine has been overwhelmingly positive, so I am excited about releasing my next, even larger collection of dark fairy tales, which I hope will be finished well before the end of this month, since it’s perfect for Halloween, tending more toward the Gothic, with some elements of weird fiction thrown in as well.

6.   Can you share any and all links that are important to you as a person and the book?  (You can relate more to a book if you know more about the author).

Well, my official website is www.christophercourtley.com and my blog is located at www.courtleymanor.com.

You can get the paperback edition of TROLL STEW here: http://www.amazon.com/Troll-Stew-Strange-Fairy-Adults/dp/148492746X/ and the Kindle edition here: http://www.amazon.com/Troll-Stew-Strange-Adults-ebook/dp/B0091K7HJC/

I also have a sword and sorcery series in the works called The Valruna Saga, which is currently only available from Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/byseries/8341

For more information on this developing series, you can also visit the official page at http://www.christophercourtley.com/valrunasaga.html

Some additional links you might be interested in are:

My Twitter: https://twitter.com/courtleymanor

My Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/courtleymanor

My Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/christophercourtley

7.   I’ll wrap it up with this question since “7” is a lucky numberJ.   Can you share an excerpt from your book, and I’d like to thank you so much for taking time to share your book with me. Please share as much as you’d like.

An Excerpt from “The Palace At Winter’s End”, one of the stories included in TROLL STEW: A STRANGE BREW OF DARK FAIRY TALES & POEMS FOR ADULTS:

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That night, for the first time since she had come to the palace, Autumn had a dream.

She was riding through the forest. It was a sunny afternoon, and the leader of the wolf pack was running alongside her and Amani. They were hunting the unicorn.

“We’re close,” said the wolf. “I can smell him.”

Then suddenly their prey darted out from behind a tall thicket. With unnatural speed, Autumn drew her bow and shot an arrow into the unicorn’s neck. The beast stumbled and then fell to the ground, twitching in the agony of its death throes, its blood bright scarlet on the snow.

Autumn dismounted and she and the wolf approached the dying unicorn. As she stooped to examine her fallen prey, Amani came up behind her and neighed loudly.

“What have you done?” the horse said with her own voice.

She turned to Amani, on the point of telling him that she was only doing what her mother had wanted her to, but the words died upon her lips.

For it wasn’t Amani anymore. It was the unicorn, no longer near death, nor even wounded.

Then, with an anguished cry, Autumn realized that the arrow was in her own neck.

She awoke in a cold sweat. It was just before dawn, and she could see through the narrow gap between the drawn drapes the silvery-grey of the twilight.

Turning her face from the window, she tried to go back to sleep, but found that she couldn’t. So she just lay there in the waning darkness, pondering her strange dream. She was still wide awake when her mother brought in her breakfast tray.

“Good morning, daughter,” the queen said cheerily as she placed the tray beside the bed.

“Good morning, Mother.”

“Did you sleep well?”

“Not exactly. I had a terrible dream, and then couldn’t get back to sleep.”

“Would you like to tell me your dream?”

“Perhaps later.”

“Very well. Enjoy your breakfast, my darling.”

The queen drew the drapes aside to let in the light and left the room.

Autumn picked at her breakfast absently, the stark images of the dream still lingering in her mind.

Then, after she had finished eating, she rose and dressed, and headed straight to the library. It was not long before she found what she was looking for; a compendium of legendary creatures she had spied while perusing the books on the night of her arrival at the palace. She turned to the page where there should have been an entry for ‘unicorn’, but to her disappointment, she discovered that it had been torn out. So she closed the book and after carefully returning it to its place on the shelf, went looking for her mother.

She found the queen sitting beside the hearth in the dining room, staring into the fire.

“Mother, tell me about the unicorn.”

“You have seen it for yourself,” the queen replied without taking her eyes from the flames. “What more is there to tell?”

“Why do you hunt it?”

“For sport.”

“No other reason?”

“No. Why?”

“Because I recall having read once, though I can’t remember where, that the unicorn’s horn was once thought to have magical and healing properties.”

“Well, yes. I suppose that it does. But I have no need of such.”

“Well, then, what do you intend to do with the unicorn once you’ve finally killed it?”

“Oh, I will never do that.”

“You mean you don’t wish to kill it?”

“No, I mean that I can not. I will never catch the unicorn.”

“How do you know?”

“I just do.”

“Then why do you hunt it?”

“I believe I have already answered that question. But come, why all these questions concerning the unicorn?” Now at last she looked at her daughter, and silver flames danced with the shadows in her eyes. “Was it him you dreamt of last night?”

“Yes.”

“Tell me your dream.”

Then Autumn related her dream, to which the queen listened attentively, but without any change in her expression. Then, when the girl was done, she said nothing, but turned back toward the fire.

“Well?” asked Autumn with growing impatience. “What does it mean?”

“What do you think it means?”

“I don’t know. I’m asking you. I wish you would just give me a straight answer for once.”

The queen glanced at her daughter’s face again and smiled softly.

“Only you can know for sure what your dream is trying to tell you, my dear. But I will say this: It does contain a grain of truth. As I said, I can never catch the unicorn. But you can.”

“I can? How?”

“You must go deep into the forest alone, and wait for it there. It will come to you.”

“But I don’t want to catch it!”

“That is precisely why you will.”

“I understand now. You want the unicorn, but you can’t get it for yourself, so you think to use me to lure it into a trap! Well, I won’t do it!”

The queen laughed. “Nor would I not want you to. Where would be the sport in that?”

“I don’t get it,” said Autumn. “What’s the point in hunting something if you know you can’t ever catch it?”

“The joy is in the hunt, my girl. There is only one unicorn; if I ever succeeded in slaying it, there would be no more hunt. Whatever would I do with myself then?”

“Well, why would I want to catch it?”

“That is another one of those questions you must answer for yourself, my darling. But I will say this: if you never catch it, you will never know the answer to that question. Such is the way of things.”

***Christopher Courtley is an accomplished author and colleague of mine.  I strongly recommend his book and I’m sure you won’t be disappointed!! 🙂

Featured Author: J. Naomi Ay

 Featured Author:   J. Naomi Ay

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  1.  Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about the person behind the pen.

I’m a former CPA and businesswoman, who out of boredom more than 20 years ago, started writing a science fiction/fantasy story purely for my own entertainment.  Mr. Ay and I have two boys one would consider adults although they are still on our medical plan, a daughter who is fourteen and has just started high school, and a Pomeranian.

2.  What made you decide to write (the genre of your book), were there any influencing factors, or were any of the stories based on true events.   

I’m a life long fan of Star Trek and Star Wars and have also enjoyed historical fiction.  The Two Moons of Rehnor has a lot of elements from all that.  In fact, recently a reviewer called it “Game of Thrones meets Star Wars.”  I confess that I’ve never read or watched Game of Thrones but my sons tell me that is a huge compliment.

3.   How do you promote your book, and do you find that difficult or just par for the course.

Well, that’s exactly the issue isn’t it?   We write this amazing treatise and put it out there on Amazon and somehow expect readers to notice it amongst the other 80,000 ebooks which are launched every month.  Unless you’re really lucky, that just doesn’t happen.  So, promotion means constantly working the social media, advertising in the social media and working the local area press and book stores.  It’s hard and horrible for someone who’d rather just sit in front of their computer and bond with Word.

4.   Do you remember your first review and how it made you feel?  (If it was a bad one, also tell about your good one too).

Of course!  As I mentioned early, the Two Moons of Rehnor series evolved over a 20 year time period.  About 1 ½ years ago, I bought an iPad and discovered the whole ebook revolution and KDP.  Here I was sitting with a huge story that was almost ½ million words figuring that nobody would ever read but me.  So, figuring that I could hide under the cloak of anonymity, I bravely put up the first 70k words on Amazon as “The Boy who Lit up the Sky.”  I didn’t tell anyone, not husband, not kids, not friends.  Two days later, someone bought it.  The next day, they returned it.  Oh!  You mean I’ve got to edit it too?  Anyway, long story short, I asked two friends to take a look at it, edit it and tell me what they thought.  They both came back and said, basically, you’ve got something here.  A month later, edited and republished, I got my first review from a stranger.  Here it is:

What a great book READ April 11, 2012

I really enjoyed this book. This book renewed my love of the fantasy genre.I had just finished the “Hunger Trilogy” and feeling a little let down. This book is the opposite. It has everything you want in a book; politics, drama; the unexpected and love. The characters are developed so you feel you have a stake in what happens to them. Just when you wonder what happened to a past character there they are again in the story adding more “flavor” to this stew of intrique. I just finished book 1 and purchased the next 2 just so I can continue uniterrupted. ENJOY.

PS started book 2 last night and stayed up until late just to get to a point I could take a breath. This book promises to be even better than the 1st one.!!!!

5.    Tell us about your book and if it’s a series and how the public is reacting to this book.

Yes, as mentioned, the original Two Moons series was nearly ½ million words which I broke up into Books 1 – 5.  Amazingly, once I called that done, I started receiving letters from fans begging for more.  Now, I’m in the middle of drafting Book 11.  We’re several generations into the characters and the story is taking twists and turns in all sorts of directions.  I’ve also written 9 prequel novelettes which sort of fill in the gaps.  4 of the novelettes have been made into audiobooks and I’m also working with an illustrator to turn the series in graphic novels.  The Two Moons of Rehnor #1, a graphic novel which starts at the beginning of The Boy who Lit up the Sky will be out before Thanksgiving in ebook format.

As far as how the public is reacting, The Boy is probably the most controversial book as there is some graphic scenes of child abuse, implied rape, and a fair amount of profanity.  Some object to this while others tell me it’s mild as I don’t get into any explicit details.  Unfortunately, a lot of people think that because it’s about “a boy” it’s intended for children or teens which is NOT.  It is necessary to show the development of the character though.  That being said, The Boy is still highly rated on Amazon and Goodreads.  The series overall has 152 ratings with a 4.38 avg on Goodreads and on Amazon, every book in the series has a 5 Star average in the US, UK and Germany.  It’s truly amazing to me and heartwarming that the series and especially, the main character, Senya, has garnered so many fans.

6.     Can you share any and all links that are important to you as a person and the book?  (You can relate more to a book if you know more about the author).  

My links are as follows:

www.jnaomiay.com

www.twomoonsofrehnor.com

www.jnaomiay.wordpress.com

www.facebook.com/jnaomiay

The main series is available in ebook and paperback format at all major book resellers.  Here’s the link to Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B007B77U8A

7.      I’ll wrap it up with this question since “7” is a lucky numberJ.   Can you share an excerpt from your book, and I’d like to thank you so much for taking time to share your book with me. Please share as much as you’d like.

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Excerpt from The Boy who Lit up the Sky, Chapter 1, Meri

“What have you got there?” I asked Sister Moon.

“A pot of gold,” she cackled holding up a little purse and shaking it.  It jingled with heavy coins.

“No,” I said reaching for the baby in her arms.  “Who is this?”

“A Karut.”  She easily relinquished him to me.  I peeled back the blanket and looked at the little face.

“Aren’t you pretty?”  I stroked the soft cheek.  “You’re sure he’s a Karut?  He’s so pale.”

“Maybe he’s a half-breed,” she replied, already counting the coins.  “So many good Mishnese girls giving themselves to Karut men after poor Lydia was forced to do it.  I suspect we’ll be getting a lot more just like him.”

“Maybe,” I agreed, stroking the baby’s tuff of silky black hair.  “He’s sweet all the same.  Does he have a name?”

“Senya.”

“Senya,” I repeated.

“Now don’t you go taking special heart to this little rat,” Sister Moon scolded me as she tossed the coins back in the purse.  “The same will happen to him as the rest of them.”

“Maybe he’ll get adopted by a nice family,” I said wistfully.  “Look what long eyelashes he has.”

“Nobody will want a Karut,” she snorted.  “He’ll be here with the rest of the nasties until he runs off and gets himself killed on the street.  Get yourself back to work now.  Put the baby in the baby room and go check the one year olds’ buckets.”

“Yes Ma’am.”  The baby put his little fist in his mouth.  “Can I give him a bottle first?  He’s hungry.”

Sister Moon shrugged.  “Be quick about it.”

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“Thank you, Ma’am.”  I curtseyed and hurried the baby to the baby room where I could get a bottle out of the warmer and sit for a moment before I had to dump all the potty buckets.  Twice daily I had to circle through the one year olds’ room here in the Old Mishnah Orphan Home where twenty babies sat naked in chairs, eating, sleeping and pooping at will.  I spent about two minutes with each of them, wiping them hopefully before they broke out in rash, putting ointment on their rashes and hugging them all for just a moment before I must put them back down and move on to the next.  By the time they graduated on to the two year old room, they were allowed to wear pants and shirts, sleep on cots and eat at small tables.  If they messed their pants for whatever reason, they were sent back to the one year old room for a day which was such a punishment that rarely would they mess again.

The baby room was my favorite place though.  It was quiet and warm in there, and I could sit in a rocker and cuddle as many little bundles as I had time for.  The older ones stood in their cribs and waved to me as I came in.  Some babbled out a few nonsense sounds and some smiled showing me two or four tiny teeth.

“Hello babies,” I called to them.

“Hello Meri,” Sister Lena called back.  She was in a rocker with one of the few little girls we had.  Most of our children were boys.  I didn’t know why they were abandoned more often than girls.  Girls could be put to work, I supposed.  Certainly our girls unless they were rescued before age seven or eight, would be put to work earning their keep.

“Who have you got there?” Lena asked.

“A new one,” I replied, grabbing a bottle and settling down next to her.  “This is Senya.”

“A Karut,” she gasped with surprise.  The baby she was holding stopped sucking and looked at her for a moment.

“Yes, but he’s pretty isn’t he,” I said, offering him the bottle.  He sucked it greedily and patted it with his hand.

“I wonder why the Karuts didn’t take him.”  Lena peered at him through her bottle thick glasses.

“Sister Moon thinks his mum was Mishnese.  Was your mum Mishnese, Senya?” I teased.  The baby smiled with the nipple still in his mouth.

“He says yes.”  I laughed as he sucked fiercely once again.

“He is beautiful,” Lena agreed.  “What color are his eyes?”

“I don’t know.  Open your eyes, baby.  Let me see your pretty eyes.”

The baby opened his eyes as if he understood me, and Blessed Saint, I nearly dropped him.  His eyes were silver, like swirly specks of silver light.

“Blessed Saint,” Lena cried upsetting her baby who howled in protest.

Senya closed his eyes again as if he knew this is what caused us fright.  He finished his bottle and sucked air until I wrestled the bottle from his mouth and held him against my shoulder.

“He is possessed.”  Lena calmed her baby and then quickly put her back in a crib.  “Do you think this is why the Karuts didn’t want him?”

“He’s not possessed,” I insisted, burping my little friend.  “He’s sweet.”  He patted my face with his hand while looking out across my back.

Lena looked at me warily.  “It is strange though.”

“It is,” I agreed.  “But they are kind of beautiful too.”  Surely, if he was possessed, we would know that somehow.  I might have to ask the Father about that, but I hated speaking with the Father.  He always wanted favors, and his breath was bad, and his old skin was wrinkled and made my own skin crawl.

I changed Senya and put him in one of our shirts.  I was about to put socks on his little feet when I was stopped short.

“Lena, can you come here?”

She approached with narrow eyes.  I held up a little foot.  Senya reached for it too.

“Look at his nails,” I said.  “Why are they like this?”   Gingerly, Lena touched them.  She visibly shivered.  Senya played with his toes.  He put one in his mouth and sucked on the long curled nail.

“We should dispose of him,” she said.

“Dispose?” I cried.

“Throw him out in the gutter before …before…”

“Before what?  You mean to kill him?”

“No, no.”  She walked away.  “Maybe send him to the Karuts.  I have a bad feeling about him.”

“Will you tell the Father?”

Lena turned and looked into my eyes.  She nodded slowly.

“Don’t hurt this baby,” I begged.  “Let me take care of him.”

“I have a very bad feeling about him,” she repeated, and her wimple nearly fell off as she shook her head.  “Something is wrong about him.”

“I promise, Sister.  Please let me care for him.  If he turns out to be bad, then I’ll help you get rid of him.  Don’t turn him out now and don’t tell the Father.”

“What will you do for me if I agree?” She asked, lifting her head haughtily.

“What do you want?”

“All the diapers,” she said.  “All the time.”

I looked down at Senya.  He smiled at me, and when he opened his eyes they sparkled.   “Okay,” I agreed, falling in love with this strange little fellow.  “I will do anything to save little Senya.”

I was strange too.  My back was crooked, and my face was scarred.  I was ugly even though I wasn’t always.  Once I was a beautiful young girl who nice boys would ask to dance and nice girls would chat up.  Once I went to school and got high marks in Mishnese and literature and fair marks in math and science.  Then my step-father wanted me, and when I refused he pushed me down the stairs and broke my back.  As I lay crumpled, he set my clothes on fire.  The Saint saved me, and after I was healed, I came here to love other children who no one wanted anymore.

Senya loved me, I thought.  He greeted me every day with a smile.  He didn’t speak.  He didn’t even make noise, but he stood in his crib and waved at me and his silver eyes sparkled.  Everyone else he ignored.  He sat in the corner of his crib sucking his fingers, or lay on his back and played with his strange toes.

The Father came to look at him.  “How much was in the purse?” He asked Sister Moon.  She told him, and we all gasped as it was such a large sum.  It would feed everyone in this house for a year.  “Will there be more?” The Father wondered aloud.

“I think so,” Sister Moon replied.  “For as long as we keep him.”

“Then we will keep him until they want him back,” the Father declared.  The next week, the Father had a new speeder.  It was shiny and red with rich leather and polished wood inside.  It looked very expensive.  He wanted me to sit in it with him.  He wanted me to pleasure him while he drove it around.  I did because he was the Father and I was so ugly no other man would want me.  If he threw me out on the street, I would have nowhere to go and be forced to pleasure other men who were worse than him.  This is what he told me when his leavings were in my mouth, and I wished to spit them out on the fine carpet of his new speeder.

When I came back to the orphanage, I went to the baby room and found Senya crying.  He sobbed silently, his little body heaving but making no sound.  There was a red welt across his back.  “Who did this?” I demanded of Sister Lena.

“Sister Moon,” she said.  “Sister Moon says he is destroying too many socks and wasting our precious cloth.  She says he is to have cold feet all winter.  He shall have no more socks.”

“But why did she hit him?” I asked, picking him up and holding him tight until he stopped crying.  He put his hand on my face and nuzzled my neck.

“He looked at her with his wicked eyes and she said she felt dizzy because of it and nearly fell down.  He is possessed she says, but the Father says he must stay here so we cannot throw him out in the gutter.”

I wondered if I could take Senya and run away.  I would have to pleasure anyone who would give me money, and how many would want one as ugly as me?  I would have liked a real job.  Once I knew how to type and could speak well and answer a vid and perhaps put together things with my hands.  There were no jobs like that anymore.  There were no jobs for anyone because Mishnah was broke.  There were only jobs for men who joined the guards and women who worked as maids in the Palace.  I could not do that because I was a woman with a broken back and burned face.

It was a cold winter, and there was not much food.  The money from the purse had been spent on the Father’s new speeder and his fine clothes and jewelry.  The children cried because they were hungry and cold, and the old radiators spat and hissed, but little warmth came from them.  Senya’s little feet were always cold, and when I was with him I wrapped them in rags, but someone else always took them off.  Senya sat in his crib and held the bottle himself.  He was getting big, and his face was taking shape.

“He looks more and more like a Karut,” Lena said beside me.  “He looks like Prince Sorkan.”

“He does,” I agreed, admiring his handsome little face.  “But pale.”

“Maybe he’ll get darker over time,” Lena thought.  “Did you give him this bottle?  It’s not time for him to eat.”  She took it away.  Senya opened his mouth to protest.

“I didn’t,” I said.  “He was already drinking it when I came here.”

“Well I wonder how he got it then,” Lena frowned and just as she did so, the bottle went flying out of her hand and back into Senya’s.

Lena and I both screamed.

Senya popped the bottle back in his mouth and gave us a big smile.

“How did he do that?” Lena whispered, her eyes giant saucers.

“I don’t know,” I whispered back.  “Do you think that’s how he got the bottle from the warmer?”  We both looked at the warmer as if it could speak to us.  Lena turned back and snatched the bottle out of Senya’s grasp again.  He opened his mouth in a silent howl.  Lena ran across the room and put it on the warmer table.

“You want it, Senya?” She challenged.  “Then take it.”

Senya pulled himself up by the bars on his crib and held out his little hands.  The bottle flew across the room right into them.  He fell back on his bottom and sucked triumphantly.

“Don’t say a word of this to anyone,” I begged Lena.

“Blessed Saint,” Lena collapsed in a chair.  “What is he?”

“Please Lena, please!  I’ll do anything.  Don’t let them throw him out on the street!”  I was on my knees before her.

“Okay,” she said, narrowing her eyes and smiling wickedly.  “Forever and ever you will be doing the diapers, Meri.”

“I will, I will,” I promised.

Senya laughed.  It was the first noise we had heard from him.  I ran to him and gathered him in my arms.

“You little devil,” I cried, and he laughed some more.

“Mayhap, he really is,” Lena snorted and walked away.

We lost four babies from the baby room including our one little girl.  There was a fever going around, and the diapers were endless and messy.  Our one year olds and two year olds were sick too, and I was forever dumping buckets filled with loose and foul smelling stools.  Our two year olds were messing their pants, but we did not punish them because several of them had died, as well.  Our building was cold, and the snow and frost outside made it impossible to open the windows and bring in fresh air.  The children burned with fever and then shook with chills.  I wrapped and rewrapped as many as I could, but there were not enough of us Sainted Ladies here to take care of them.  There was sickness in the city, and bodies lay in the gutters where ever you walked.  Our dead children joined them waiting for the coroner’s van to collect them.

* I’d like to thank J. Naomi Ay.  She is a wonderful author and colleague.  I would personally recommend her book (s).   Thank you for allowing me to interview you.

Featured Author: LISA DAY

FEATURED AUTHOR:  LISA DAY 

Wolfkeeper's Woman

  1.  Please introduce yourself. Tell us a little about the person behind the pen.

Lisa Day is not only a baby boomer she is also a late bloomer. Once, she accepted the fact that time-travel was not a reality she resorted to reading about history. Going down the wrong aisle at the book store she discovered the Historical Romance section. Who would have believed all that romantic stuff happened right here in our own wild west country?

It took awhile for Lisa to understand the voices in her head were really characters in a book. However, she did figure it out and her first book come to life. No sooner she’d get one set of characters out of her brain and another set would move in. Which meant more hours in front of the computer. Hey, what else can a retired old lady do, and she was having fun.

2.  What made you decide to write (the genre of your book), were there any influencing factors, or were any of the stories based on true events.

The one word answer to that question is Entertainment. After being unexpectedly unemployed I read every book in the house. I had the time and I decided to see if I could keep myself occupied by writing a book myself. Since I love the historical genre it was no contest what I’d be writing about. My influences were Katherine E. Woodiwiss, Geogina Gentry, Shirlee Busbee, and others.

As far as based on facts well, fiction is fiction, I can take a historical fact and ruin it in a heartbeat.

3 How do you promote your book, and do you find that difficult or just par for the course.

Like everyone one else through the social media. I had reasons for using a pen name and those reasons prevent me from doing local promotions in person or I would be out there. It’s not really difficult but definitely tedious.

For Indie writers There are no options if you want people to hear about your book.

Do you remember your first review and how it made you feel?  (If it was a bad one, also tell about your good one too).

Actually, my very first interview was under another pen name. The publisher arranged for an internet radio spot. It wound up scheduled at a time when I was the only person home. So, I had no cheering section. Nervous was the operative word. I tried not to:  ah ah and um um, lol. I sounded like I was ten years old.

The whole other than that was OK. It’s lost in cyber-land now as the station computer had a bad virus attack a few months later and lost some of it’s archives When My computer did the belly up last year it was gone.

5.  Tell us about your book and if it’s a series and how the public is reacting to this book.

It’s seems to be a love –  hate scenario. People expect it to be an out and out Romance and isn’t not. And  there is always my lack of skill in telling the story. However, if you read you hopefully will ride the emotional waves.

6.   Can you share any and all links that are important to you as a person and the book?  (You can relate more to a book if you know more about the author).

To purchase:

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00A31PMO0

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/303570

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wolfkeepers-woman-lisa-day/1115113080?ean=2940044429536

Facebook Author Page:  http://www.facebook.com/LisaDayAuthor

Facebook Personal Page: http://www.facebook.com/lisa.day.718

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LisaDay12

Author website 1  . http://lisaday.weebly.com/

I’m not sure how to answer that  part. If I find a book I like I go find everything that author wrote. An author snob here,lol.

7.    I’ll wrap it up with this question since “7” is a lucky number.   Can you share an excerpt from your book, and I’d like to thank you so much for taking time to share your book with me. Please share as much as you’d like.

Here’s  short synopsis instead:

Wolfkeeper’s Woman

..a short synopsis:

The warriors were heading home after raiding when they came across the homestead. A pleasant early morn turned to death and destruction for Cassie’s small family. But, it wasn’t Cassie that Wolfkeeper found interesting it was the bundle in her arms. Her child. Alone and sobbing in the dirt she watched as they rode away.

Wolfkeeper unbundling the child he realizes how tiny the infant is, and that he would not survive the journey to his village without its mother’s care. He returns to the cabin for Cassie.  A mother love doesn’t question the chance to be reunited with her son and she allows the warrior to carry her away as well.

Cassie’s treatment by Wolfkeeper seems cruel and harsh. She doesn’t understand how much hatred he has for her and her kind. He also has plans for the child that doesn’t included her.

Through the unsettling and embarrassing physical and emotional ordeals the brave starts to see Cassie’s weaknesses and more important her strengths. Silently, he begins to admire her. He will find confusion fills his soul as years of tightly held beliefs of right and wrong are questioned by him.

Wolfkeeper forced Cassie to accept her new role in life. After realizing his true feelings for her Wolfkeeper prepares for the hardest battle he ever fought. The war to win Cassie’s heart.

How do you begin to prove you love the woman whose husband you killed and then took her child from her? Harder yet –  How do you get her to return that love?

*** Thank you so much for allowing me to interview you Lisa.  I hope the readers check your book out and see what a WONDERFUL WRITER you are.  You’ve been so helpful by giving this interview and I only wish you the BEST!!

To LIVE or EXIST?

Today is one of those “BAD” days, where you have to force yourself out of bed, and look outside and say I’m lucky to be alive and with someone who loves me.  There was nothing special that happened to make me so apathetic or sad, just another day in the life of a bipolar, addict, PTSD survivor and sexual abuse survivor.  I think having one of these is bad enough and GOD I can empathize with your moods, but I think the reigning disorder that makes me feel like I do today is called BIPOLAR.

Now I’m not sure if adding all of the above with the bipolar does anymore to me or less, but I know my bipolar has changed since I was younger.  When I was younger and went on manic episodes I was creative, proud, confident and got things accomplished *just in a lot shorter time period:).  But now all I get is “she’s manic again”.  No one lets me express me or let me bask in the moment of confidence and wanting to accomplish the world, instead it’s a BAD THING to be manic.  I’m sure there are bad episodes of being manic, but I’m sure there are GOOD PRODUCTIVE ONES too.  The medication that were on doesn’t really help either.  It helps those around us (because were apathetic and don’t make their lives anymore confusing) but for us it is like the loss of “LIFE”.  I don’t mind being stable and I’m pretty sure I don’t get out of control like I used to, but I still enjoy my manic days, and no one can understand that.  I’m writing this to get YOUR INPUT on how you view your bipolar.

Now on to substance abuse.  I speak now at a rehab facility, and one thing I say (WHICH IS MY BELIEF) if you don’t have anyone to get clean for then your not going to get clean.  I know they preach about doing it for “YOURSELF” but I still say unless you have a motivating factor that bugs your conscience about not wanting to do drugs anymore than I don’t think you’d get clean.  If I were alone and had no one that loved me, I would have never went to rehab, I probably would have done MORE DRUGS!   When you finally find a reason to live albeit health recovery or someone you meet then you have a DESIRE to quit and seek out that new life with the person you love.  Now don’t get me wrong and think I mean you have to have a “LOVER” or B/F or G/F, I mean anyone that cares about you and wants you clean to the point that you finally get tired of seeing that person hurt.  It could be a child, a spouse or mother or BFF, hell it could be your pet.

Now on to the cravings, I’m on this drug called SUBOXONE, and I’m taking 4 8mg/2mg tabs a day, this is NOT what people normally take.  They usually are weaned off this drug before leaving the clinic.  But since I’ve been severely injured in IRAN, and suffer from so many pain issues they decided to keep me on this dose, so I wouldn’t go back to pain pills.  Virtually I gave up one addiction for another, since these pills are narcotics.  They are also supposed to help you not crave ANYTHING you have abused in your past.   BS, every time I see a movie where someone is doing coke, I get such an urge it isn’t funny.  The only difference now is I DON’T GIVE IN TO MY CRAVINGS, although sometimes I do try to do a logic summation of IF I did give in, how would this not hurt me.

Now onto PTSD, where no one understands how noises, smells, or certain situations can leave you feeling nervous or even worse make you feel like your going to die in that moment, because you feel like you’ve been there before.  Well you have been there before they are called flashbacks, and anything can trigger them, a loud noise a TV show like Law  & Order SVU (rapes), a certain smell, (these happen to me a lot) but it’s really like your back to that moment in time which was your HELL ON EARTH.  People don’t get it or they think were faking it for attention, I just want to make people aware that these things are VERY REAL, and the best thing to deal with them is a loving supportive friend or pet.

In a synopsis I just wanted to point out how I feel during these and because of these events and WELCOME YOUR INPUT on how you deal with life under the circumstances of one of these disorders.  Your INPUT will not only help me it could help others realize different ways to deal with them.  PLEASE COMMENT!!!

Also I feel better now that I’ve written this and vented a little. And remember we have TWO CHOICES IN LIFE, to LIVE it or just EXIST in it, you decide, God Bless.

Chapter One of “Lori’s Song” & Info on Book Fair!

 

 

You can now read the foreword and Chapter One free on Amazon of my book, “Lori’s Song”.  My true story of being held captive in Iran during 911.

http://www.amazon.com/Loris-Song-story-American-captive/dp/1432738291/ref=tmm_pap_title_0/178-1706669-7918157#reader_B002JM0F1Q

BOOK EXCERPT/BLURB:

Though she endured a childhood of physical and sexual abuse, nothing would ever equal what happened to her in Iran the weeks following 9/11.

Lori, an American married to an Iranian, had been working and living as an ordinary member of Iranian society for almost 4 years when she had heard rumors that the U.S. was going to be attacked. That was on September 9, 2001. She tried and failed to call home and give warning.

The news that all those rumors were horribly true came on September 11th 2001. That was when her husband suddenly announced that they had to go back to the States in case there were repercussions.

On September 12, 2001, Lori and her husband were at the Shiraz bus terminal intending to catch a bus to Istanbul and from there to Heathrow and home to the U.S.A. They were totally unprepared for the convoy of troop carriers that suddenly drove up and the armed men who came pouring out to take the hapless couple prisoner.

There was no explanation offered. The men took Lori’s husband one direction and she another, pushing them blindfolded into the back of the troop carriers with other prisoners, mostly Iranian.

Who the armed men were was anybody’s guess but they took their prisoners to POW camp in unfamiliar territory and there, Lori was held, tortured, raped, and starved with them for over a month. Her husband was not to be seen again.

Lori was rescued with one of her fellow inmates by the girl’s family and, after riding a llama for 1-2 days over mountainous terrain; she arrived at the Iran Immigration center. By then, she weighed in at only 70 pounds, was still suffering from the many injuries she’d received at the hands of her torturers, and wanted badly to get home to her family in the USA. Even then, she had to fight Iranian Islamic bureaucracy to have permission to go, as the husband was unavailable to grant it. In any Islamic country, unknown to many western women, the husband or guardian’s permission is always required for a woman to travel anywhere.

Lori had been married to Mohammad for 9 years and thought she could trust him but, since their arrival in Iran in 1998, his personality and behavior had changed so radically as to make this most recent nightmare highly suspicious.

The events told here are true. It was no coincidence that this American citizen had been placed into a concentration camp. In fact, it raises many questions and should be a caution to many!

There is also a virtual book fair this Friday & Saturday.  You can view new books and learn about authors or even join if your an author. Visit the blog:

http://samplesaturday.blogspot.com/

View the site:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/169126186575183/

If you have any questions email Tammie Gibbs tammiegibbs@yahoo.com

HOPE TO SEE YOU THERE!!!!

Parkinsons- Shaken not Stirred

 

 

 

 

pss cover 7

 

 

 

I would like to introduce you to a writer with considerable knowledge of Parkinson’s.  Elaine Benton has written a book regarding her feelings and poems on Parkinson’s.  She suffers from the disease and is one brave and strong woman to bring a humorous light to her illness.  The following is on her authors page:

Elaine was born in England, diagnosed at the age of five with Gaucher disease; a rare inherited disorder, for which there is no cure. At the age of 44, she was dealt a second blow and diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease. Battling two diseases, Elaine’s writing is inspirational and quite extraordinary. Elaine’s writing offers support and comfort to fellow sufferers and caregivers, relating to their daily struggles. From personal experience she has written with stark honesty and humor, something patients and doctors rarely get to read which has captured world-wide attention, giving a fresh perspective from the patient’s view. Despite ill health and adversity, Elaine tells her story of growing up with Gaucher, and battling Parkinson’s, whilst remaining positive and living life to the full. Although there is a serious undertone to her writing, a strong sense of humor runs throughout as she recounts true stories which have happened over the years, pouring her heart and soul into her writing, sending a strong message of hope, whilst bringing greater awareness of these two diseases to the general public. Elaine has also written a fictional book entitled: “Slipping Through Time”, a mystery/adventure story, appealing to all ages. Elaine writes a daily blog reaching out to Gaucher and Parkinson’s sufferers, touching on a wide range of varied topics related to living with chronic disease.

The following are links to Elaine’s websites and blog.   www.elainebenton.net                           Her blog is: http://elainebenton.blogspot.com/   Her Amazon book is at:  http://www.amazon.com/Parkinsons-Shaken-not-Stirred-ebook/dp/B005I4P01C/ref=la_B0081JP8EK_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1368036710&sr=1-1

I encourage you to visit her sites.  I think she is truly an amazing woman.

The “keep quiet cause no one will believe you” crime!

Childhood sexual abuse,  is the “hush-hush” crime.  Most who go through it are scared to death to tell anyone out of fear of not being believed, or fearing their molester so bad that they just keep quiet.  My experience was no different.

I was 10 years old when my brother started playing this “tickle” game with me.  It started out with you tickle my foot and I’ll tickle yours, then it advanced to tickling other things.  I was mortified the first time it happened.  My brother was 8 years older than me and I was the only adopted child in the family, so I think he justified it due to this. (not being his REAL sister).  I know my mom must have known but my brother was her FAVORITE and he could do no wrong, so I was really confused.  Do I tell my mom and have her hate me because I said something bad about her baby, or do I keep doing it to get her approval.

I remember when it started happening, I became so frightened when my parents would leave the house and I was left there with him and my sisters, I started banging on the screen door once screaming for them not to go, I banged so hard my hand went through a glass door.  Don’t you think my mom should have realized something??? All of a sudden I start going nuts anytime she leaves the house.  But she never said anything when he did other cruel acts to me.  Once he called me out to the garage and had my bunny hanging upside down in his hands and then he hit it over and over again on the head and killed it, and we ATE IT THAT NIGHT FOR DINNER.  I truly thought it was chicken then my brother blurted out it was my bunny, I ran from the table and threw up.   My brother never had intercourse with me until he knew for sure that I had already experienced it at age 13.  I won’t say too much because this is in my book, but I will summarize it by saying at age 15 I emancipated myself from my family and got married, so I could escape the house where my hell was being played out.  I couldn’t believe my mom and dad let me go so easily, but they did.

Now I know I’m not the only one who has been abused but I wanted to share my story so you know it’s OK TO TALK ABOUT IT!  There are places to go for help, there is counseling for those who have been through it, you don’t have to KEEP QUIET ANY LONGER!!!

I beg you all to get the help you need and for the rest of you to LISTEN when someone is trying to tell you of an incident like this.  Most of us feel uncomfortable when someone starts telling us something like this and we are unsure of what to do, so I will give you some resources.  Also some behaviors to look for that might indicate someone is being molested.

Behavior you may see in a child or adolescent

  • Has nightmares or other sleep problems without an explanation
  • Seems distracted or distant at odd times
  • Has a sudden change in eating habits
    • Refuses to eat
    • Loses or drastically increases appetite
    •  Has trouble swallowing.
  • Sudden mood swings: rage, fear, insecurity or withdrawal
  • Leaves “clues” that seem likely to provoke a discussion about sexual issues
  • Writes, draws, plays or dreams of sexual or frightening images
  • Develops new or unusual fear of certain people or places
  • Refuses to talk about a secret shared with an adult or older child
  • Talks about a new older friend
  • Suddenly has money, toys or other gifts without reason
  • Thinks of self or body as repulsive, dirty or bad
  • Exhibits adult-like sexual behaviors, language and knowledge

Signs more typical of younger children

  • An older child behaving like a younger child (such as bed-wetting or thumb sucking)
  • Has new words for private body parts
  • Resists removing clothes when appropriate times (bath, bed, toileting, diapering)
  • Asks other children to behave sexually or play sexual games
  • Mimics adult-like sexual behaviors with toys or stuffed animal
  • Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training

    Signs more typical in adolescents

  • Self-injury (cutting, burning)
  • Inadequate personal hygiene
  • Drug and alcohol abuse
  • Sexual promiscuity
  • Running away from home
  • Depression, anxiety
  • Suicide attempts
  • Fear of intimacy or closeness
  • Compulsive eating or dieting

Physical warning signs

Physical signs of sexual abuse are rare.  If you see these signs, bring your child to a doctor.   Your doctor can help you understand what may be happening and test for sexually transmitted diseases.

  • Pain, discoloration, bleeding or discharges in genitals, anus or mouth
  • Persistent or recurring pain during urination and bowel movements
  • Wetting and soiling accidents unrelated to toilet training

WHAT TO TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO PREVENT THIS FROM HAPPENING

 

  • The typical advice “Don’t Talk to Strangers” doesn’t apply in this case. Most sexual perpetrators are known to their victims.
  • Do not instruct children to give relatives hugs and kisses. Let them express affection on their own terms.
  • Teach your children basic sexual education. Teach them that no one should touch the “private” parts of their body. A health professional can also help to communicate sex education to children if parents are uncomfortable doing so.
  • Develop strong communication skills with your children. Encourage them to ask questions and talk about their experiences. Explain the importance of reporting abuse to you or another trusted adult.
  • Teach your children that sexual advances from adults are wrong and against the law. Give them the confidence to assert themselves against any adult who attempts to abuse them.
  • Make an effort to know children’s friends and their families.
  • Instruct your child to never get into a car with anyone without your permission.
  • Teach your children that their bodies are their own. That it is OK to say they do not want a hug or that certain kinds of contact make them uncomfortable.
  • It is important to remember that physical force is often not necessary to engage a child in sexual activity. Children are trusting and dependent and will often do what is asked of them to gain approval and love.

What to do if you think a child you know has been the victim of sexual abuse

  • Give the child a safe environment in which to talk to you or another trusted adult. Encourage the child to talk about what he or she has experienced, but be careful to not suggest events to him or her that may not have happened. Guard against displaying emotions that would influence the child’s telling of the information.
  • Reassure the child that he or she did nothing wrong.
  • Seek mental health assistance for the child.
  • Arrange for a medical examination for the child. Select a medical provider who has experience in examining children and identifying sexual and physical trauma. It may be necessary to explain to the child the difference between a medical examination and the abuse incident.
  • Be aware that many states have laws requiring that persons who know or have a reason to suspect that a child has been sexually abused must report that abuse to either local law enforcement officials or child protection officials. In all 50 states, medical personnel, mental health professionals, teachers, and law enforcement personnel are required by law to report suspected abuse

Where to go for help

Several organizations can provide information and advice about child sexual abuse, including:  BUT REMEMBER IF YOU SUSPECT IT, IMMEDIATELY GET THE CHILD TO A HOSPITAL FOR EXAMINATION AND NOTIFY POLICE PERSONNEL IF NECESSARY. BUT GET THE CHILD OUT OF IMMINENT DANGER!!!!!   ALSO THERE IS A HELPLINE  Helpline 1.888.PREVENT

American Professional Society on the Abuse of Children 407 South Dearborn Suite 1300 Chicago, IL 60605 (312) 554-0166 http://www.apsac.org/

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Charles B. Wang International Children’s Building 699 Prince Street Alexandria, VA 22314-3175 24 hotline: 1-800-THE-LOST http://www.missingkids.com/

Child Help USA 15757 North 78th Street Scottsdale, AZ 85260 (800) 4-A-CHILD http://www.childhelpusa.org/

Prevent Child Abuse America 332 S. Michigan Ave Suite 1600 Chicago, IL 60604-4357 (800) CHILDREN http://www.preventchildabuse.org/index.shtml

Child Welfare Information Gateway (formerly National Clearinghouse on Child Abuse and Neglect Information) Children’s Bureau/ACYF 1250 Maryland Avenue, SW Eighth Floor Washington, DC 20024 (800) 394-3366 http://www.childwelfare.gov/

Also remember that most childhood sexual abuse survivors suffer from PTSD later in life, so it’s very important to get into counseling to “get control”.  I hate using the word RESOLVE, because personally I don’t think issues can be RESOLVED, I think they can only be MANAGED.  Thank you, Lori

I hope this gives some insight to this epidemic.  It is too bad we live in a world where I would even THINK of writing a post like this, but the sad truth is WE DO, and we have to protect our children.  Thanks, Lori

Important for INDIE WRITERS!

I am passing on a website and some information for a place that will promote your works-published or unpublished.  I am going to paste what their about and will let you decide if you’d like to visit and become part of their site.

The reason I am doing this is because as you all know I’m an INDIE writer.  (Funny thing, I used to think the term “INDIE WRITER” were people from India who did writings):)          But “US” writers albeit from India or the USA, need promotion and exposure for our books; and if I happen upon a site where I think will help people who are or are inspiring authors then I will list it.  And I encourage any of you to provide links for helping us with our book endeavors.  NO GOOD DEED GOES UNNOTICED:):)   The link is:  http://inwriters.webs.com/  and this is about their site:)

                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Independent Writers is for all those who love words. It is as much for authors as it is for people who want to read and explore new works.

If you are an unpublished writer…

…then this is the place to polish your talent and receive feedback on your work.

  • Post a piece you’ve been working on in our Short Stories, Novellas, Poetry or Non-Fiction sections.
  • Try your hand at writing a One-Minute Read.
  • Become an integral part of our community by connecting with other authors and providing them feedback.
  • Become an Angel and offer your inputs in creating great works.

If you are a published writer…

…then this is the place to publicize your book among fellow writers.

  • Submit an abstract of your work, sample pages/chapters or similar to our Author’s Showcase to whet readers’ appetite.
  • Add your book to our Bookstore area so our community can easily purchase your work.
  • Provide helpful feedback to other writers and get your name known.
  • Become an Angel and offer your inputs in creating great works.

Independent Writers offers the best marketing support to published authors all for FREE.

  • Announce Book Launches
  • Claim your own Author’s Page
  • Advertise your published works

If you love reading…

…then this is the place to find new styles, new thoughts and new ideas.

  • Browse through the various genres and discover intriguing new works.
  • Tell the writers what you think of their work and help them improve.