AUTHORS/READERS: Help those in the PHILIPPINES!!!

Support “Enthusiasm” and “My First Travel Book” For A Cause: Super Typhoon Haiyan

With your loving thought and support upon purchasing Enthusiam and My First Travel Book, the author of Enthusiasm, Fida Abbott and the author of My First Travel Book, Anna Othitis,  would love to donate to the Philippines, towards the victims of the recent “Super Typhoon Haiyan” disaster (natures fury) who lost all, their hearts go out to them. You can purchase these books for Christmas/Thanksgiving gift if you have already had or read them.
Support “Enthusiasm” and “My First Travel Book” For A Cause: Super Typhoon Haiyan

http://networkedblogs.com/R28dl  (Go to this site to get INVOLVED).

 

This site is also looking for other authors to share their books as well.  Any one interested contact Anna George Othitis on FB.

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Featured Author: Melissa Silvey

Featured Author:

Melissa Silvey

Melissa Silvey

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

Who is Melissa Silvey?  I’m a mom and a student.  I also have a part time job so sometimes my schedule can be hectic.  I’m 42 years old which means I’m an older student.  I’m finding I don’t mind that at all; in fact it’s kind of liberating.  I don’t have any social pressures and can just be myself.  I’m taking my second creative writing class.  I don’t have a lot of free time to work on my own novels, but I love going to college so I’m not complaining.  Also I’m currently addicted to ABC’sOnce Upon A Time” and I’m learning a lot more than I thought I’d ever want to know about tumblr and twitter and shipping and canon and otp.  The show is blowing my mind, and learning the lingo behind internet pairings of fictional charcters is fun and new and exciting!

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.

What brought me to romance novels?  I remember when I was pre-teen to early teenage years picking up second hand romance novels and I just fell in love.  Although I go through spurts of reading other genres, I always go back to romance.  I think it’s because it’s half fantasy and half reality.  And that’s the fun of it.  I want my stories to be relatable and still have a hint of, “I wish that would happen to me!”

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

I don’t really have a lot of free time to promote myself and my books.  I post the odd tweet or FB post, but currently not much more than that.  I’ve decided to take a few marketing classes, I think that will help significantly.  Yes, I think it is difficult to try to be writer and promoter.  Thankfully I have a couple of people who believe in me and are trying to promote my books some as well.

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).

I remember the first time someone liked my books other than my mom and my sister.  I felt validated.  I’d been writing half my life but not really allowing anyone to read what I wrote.  Finally I came to a point of, “What the heck am I waiting for?”  My mom encouraged me to self-publish, and since then I am really encouraged by the response.  And of course I try to improve my writing skills when I get a bad review.  But of course it hurts when someone gives a bad review to your life’s work.  I just think I have to use those to better myself and my writing.

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

I have several books available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble.  I’m currently working on the third book of my Executioner series.  Happy endings are hard sometimes!  Most of the reviews are positive; I don’t think I’ve had any negative reviews yet.

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 website is: http://www.melissasilvey.com/

The link to the list of my books on Amazon is: www.tinyurl.com/msilvey

And I love goodreads.com so here is the link to my author page there:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6949604.Melissa_Silvey

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.

I’d like to thank you for having me!  It’s my first so I’m very excited to share with you!  This is an excerpt from The Executioner: A Love Story.  My mom actually gave me the idea for the book and I ran with it.  Everyone needs love, I guess, even kick-butt vigilantes.  Arianna has to be one of my favorite characters: gorgeous yet insecure, hard as nails on the exterior but a lost girl on the inside.  She’s more than enough woman for any man, so I guess that’s why she needs two!

The link to The Executioner: A Love Story is here: www.tinyurl.com/mj75vjp

The Executioner: A Love Story

When they returned to her car he opened the door for her.  He was polite and chivalrous.

“How old are you,” she wondered as she drove back to the apartment.

“I am twenty-six,” he said as he pushed several buttons on her radio and set her clock.

“That’s been off since daylight savings time.  Thank you.  I tried to fix it, but I couldn’t figure it out.  I thought it would at least be right again in the fall.”  He also reset the navigation system that had blinked on the menu page for days.

“I have a talent for technology,” he said proudly.

And I have a talent for killing people, she thought.  “I wish I had your talent.”

“I’m twenty-six too, by the way.”  She examined his face again.  She knew she looked young, but he looked much younger than her.  “Where did you go to college?”

MIT,” he said offhandedly.

“Wow,” she said, stunned to silence again.  She glanced at her newly set clock, and saw it was only 5:30.  “We’re here early.”  She pulled into her parking space and he hurried out of the car to open the door for her again.

“Where did you go to college?”  He asked as they walked up the steps together.

“I went to college in Pennsylvania.”  Her voice became quiet.  “But I didn’t finish.”

“Maybe, if you want to start again, I could tutor you,” he offered as they made it to their shared porch and he unlocked his door.

“I think you’d get tired of me really fast,” she remarked innocently.

“I don’t think I’d ever get tired of you,” he smiled.  Her heart skipped a beat.  She held her keys to her side.  She didn’t want to unlock her door and go inside.  She didn’t want to be alone again, staring at the TV and trying not to think of what she’d done.

“You could go to church with me if you want,” he offered lightly.  “I’ll let you drive, even.  Your car is awesome.”

She made a noise in the back of her throat and stared down at her hands.  He looked disappointed.

“I’m sorry, I just…”  What could she say?  She committed twenty-three murders in five years and she didn’t think Jesus would care about her reasons and her excuses?  “I’m just really tired from the flight,” she lied quickly.  “Thank you for going out with me.”  She reached out her hand to him, and he took it and shook it.  His hands were soft and warm.

He released it suddenly.  “I hear you crying at night,” he said lightly.  He didn’t look away.  “I feel bad and wish I could knock on your door.  I wish I could help.”

Her mouth flew open and her eyes grew wide.  “You can knock on my door any time.”  His eyes were gentle, and his smile was warm.  She quickly unlocked her door and hurried inside.

*** Melissa is a good colleague of mine and I urge you to check her book out.  Thank you Melissa for allowing me to interview you 🙂

Featured Author: Shanna O’Quinn

Featured Author:

Shanna O’Quinn

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

I am Shana O’Quinn, artist and author of Lady of the Sidhe and Secret Ones Volume 1, both in my Ages of Telamon series.  I’m your favorite internet redneck.  I love cats, classic rock, bacon, feminism and elves.  Zombies are way up there on the list, too.  Let’s just say the country folk living round about are a bit…wary of me.

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 huge fan of fantasy, horror and science fiction, and after a while I began to get ideas of stories of my own.  Over the years (and it took me years to get my first book, Lady of the Sidhe, out) it became my goal to make everything elves.  When given the opportunity, always elf. ALWAYS.

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

I mainly promote using Facebook and Twitter and the Virtual Ebook fair, I’ve also hit message boards I used to frequent to leave my links there.

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).

My first review was an editor with his own independent publishing company, and it made me feel great.  I didn’t feel like such a buffoon. “Ms. O’Quinn/Driftwood has that refreshing ability to weave a memorable story from myth and, possibly, poetic license, not unlike the bards of old. I was captured by the title – being of Scot’s descent and a follower of the Old Religion, to boot – and became even more entangled as the story progressed.” —David Keith, November First Publications.

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

Secret Ones Volume 1 is the second book in my Ages of Telamon series, the first being Lady of the Sidhe.  Basically, it is set in an alternate 1970’s where Elves live among us (mostly unseen and unrecognized) and superband White Death is topping the charts.  Little does the public know that the band has Elves in it, and that they’re only the tip of the iceberg of the creatures of legend.  Lilith, once human and once innocent, comes back out of the shadows, and the cousins of the Elves, the Drow, have re-emerged as blood-drinking vampires.  Add to that a race that was spawned from Lilith, the werewolves, and there is a worldwide disaster waiting to happen.

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).

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.

Joehnar_draft2b                                     Print

Somewhere in the West Coast, USA

“Magdalena,” came the low-pitched female voice.

The Drow Overlord ignored the voice, choosing to pace the chamber instead.  Her blue hair bounced with each step.

“Magdalena,” it came again.  The owner of the voice stepped into the faint light from the single lamp in the room. “Magdalena!”

“What?” she finally snapped, whirling on the blonde woman.

“I need to find the others. It’s the edge we need on these Sidhe and their Mohrtei allies.”

Maggie snorted.  She was taller than the woman and much more angular, which belied the power of those of the Faery race, and her amber eyes missed little.  The blonde however, was more muscular than the Dark Elf, and she radiated power.

It may be because she had never truly died, and was much, much older than the Overlord. “My people have little experience with your…children.  It may cause more trouble than it’s worth to–”

“My followers won’t hurt your precious vampires,” the blonde interrupted. She wasn’t a Fae, but she didn’t look exactly human either. At least, like any Mohrtei that now lived.  Her blue eyes were wide-set, her mouth wide, her forehead high.  She wasn’t unpleasant to look upon, just…different.  Maggie felt like a child next to her.

“Are you–were you, human?” Maggie asked, genuinely curious.

Valillia, for that was her name, laughed outright.  “I was born to a simple, peaceful tribe of mortals so long ago, that the very face of the world is vastly different from it was in the time of my youth. We had no idea of the evils and cruelty of the world. Blissfully ignorant, as they say. What am I now? That I do not know. I am Lilith, I am the Night-mare.  I am the Mother of Wolves.”  She smiled a dangerous, sharp-toothed smile, and melted back into the shadows.

“Del, you and Janet head to the east coast and collect all the Lyceans you can.”

“Are you serious?” asked Janet, her dark eyes narrowed.  “They are called the Hidden Ones for a reason.”

“I taught them well,” put in Valillia.

“We’re gonna need all the help we can get, those rock star fools will have alerted all the Hunters, Guardians and Elf-friends they can to us,” Magdalena explained.

“I’ll meet up with you in three weeks,” the blonde tells them.  “I’m still weak after all these years, it’ll take some time to replenish myself.” She turned and was gone.

She would see others of her kind soon. Her children and grandchildren. As she went to the loft above Maggie’s headquarters where she slept she tried to remember if she’d actually given birth in her first life.  She’d been in love, she recalled that much.  Jor had been a young man, and they had met that night to go off together.  They were going to run away and it would just be him and her.  She entered her room, slammed the door, and leaned against the cold surface.  She squeezed her eyes shut at bits and pieces forced themselves on her brain.

Jor embraced her, whispering in the language of their clan, one that she’d long since forgotten.  They were completely unaware that their village had been attacked, until they heard screams ring out in the night.  It froze the pair’s blood into ice. They ran back to their people to see strangers pouring through the area, killing people at will.  Behind them were creatures Jor and Valillia had never encountered before: trolls.  Large humanoid creatures with arms like pile-drivers and fists of iron, who were bloodthirsty opportunists.  Valillia screamed as her tribe were butchered.  She and Jor grabbed pieces of wood and rushed the invaders, flailing and yelling.

It had little effect. Jor went to his knees with two spears in him.  He looked more surprised than anything as his life’s blood spilled out.  She shrieked and ran to him, only to have a sharp, searing pain in her side.  The girl looked down to see a stone-tipped spear embedded in her.  She fell over, her hands instinctively scrabbling at the wound.  She dimly heard the screams of her tribe as they died.  The humans were searching for anything of value to them while the trolls pilfered any food.  She heard men laughing as some of the trolls raped some of the tribeswomen before caving their heads in with heavy clubs.

She lost consciousness for a short time, then her eyes fluttered open.  Dawn was coming and the scent of smoke came to her nostrils.  The village was burning. Jor was dead.  Everyone was dead.  Why didn’t she die?

Why?

She somehow managed to pull the spear out of her body and drag herself clear of the flames.  And there she lay for some time.

Valillia opened her eyes. She finally noticed her face was wet with tears.  Idly she wiped them away, glad that these honor-driven Dark Elves hadn’t seen her like this.  She wasn’t driven by greed or domination like these simpleminded Drow were.  She loved to live, and to make more like herself. And endure she had.

Joe sat at Keith’s bedside, generally fidgeting and biting his nails.  The man had taken a fever and drifted in and out of consciousness, but it seemed to be improving.

“You look like hell, mate,” came the drummer’s voice.  Joe’s head snapped around.

“How you feeling?” the singer asked him.

“I’ve felt better,” was his raspy reply. “I’m no longer burning up. Am I…gonna make it?”

“‘Course you are!” the elf interjected.  “You uh–well, um..”

“Out with it!”

“Ok, so you’re likely gonna start craving blood and avoiding sunlight. Good news is, unless you taste the Drow what bit you’s blood, you won’t completely become a vampire. “

“And that’s good news?” the drummer snorted.  “Guess I’ll start taking my steak rare from now on.”

“This is no laughing matter!” Lindsey’s voice, ever serious, echoed from across the room.  She came into Keith’s field of vision, and he saw with visible relief that she was all right.  Her arm was in a sling, but she seemed to be fine.  “You’re connected now with the one that bit you. She will be able to sense when you’re near and vice versa.”

“Oh, that’s lovely.”

“Roger’s been keeping an eye on you,” Joe pipes up. “And Malcolm got released on bail for the murder of that groupie.”

“Jesus Christ,” Keith exhaled. Things were just getting better and better, it seemed.

***Shanna is a published author and colleague of mine, please check this book out 🙂

Featured Author: Christine Murphy

Featured Author:

Christine Murphy

Christine Murphy Small File

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

Hi, I’m Christine Murphy, romance author by night and careerist in clinical laboratory by day.  I have long enjoyed delving into new worlds and characters through my imagination and have read hundreds of books through the years.  Having had quite the imagination since childhood, I decided to put all that creativity down on paper and share it with the world. I have lots of experience to pull from as I have traveled throughout the United States and locations throughout the world.  Looking out my back lanai, there is a small pond where the wild-life will gather and the flowers bloom in exotic pinks and purples.  This is my place of peace and freedom that I have searched for and where my husband and crazy African Gray Parrot, Raider, hang out with me.  It’s the place where my creativity runs wild as I spin tales of adventure and passion.  I have been writing in my head since I was a teenager and I finally realized I needed to capture these unique characters, civilizations, conflict, passion, and love in writing.  To capture the strong, spirited, and powerfully attracted characters and all of their adventures and share it with others who are searching for that very thing to make their lives more exciting.  If I accomplish nothing else in life, I hope to share the romantically magical worlds and the lovers that I see with all of the passionate readers out there.

I can be found at my website, http://christinemurphybooks.com/  and my Twitter or Facebookhttps://twitter.com/CLMurphyBooks, http://www.facebook.com/ChristineMurphyBooks  Check out my blog at http://christinemurphybooks.com/blog.

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 been reading and writing in my head for years so after my husband had to go through chemotherapy for leukemia it taught me something.  Life is too short and if you really want to live fully do something you really love – don’t put it off.  I love to read romance and love to spin tales of romance in my head so why not write them down and share them with all of those who love to read romance.  The specific area of romance I enjoy is paranormal because I love heroes and heroines who may be vampire, or have special powers, or even be part demon. As long as there’s love and passion, I’m hooked even if I create it in my own mind.  I also like futuristic romance where a touch of science fiction may be sprinkled in.  All of my stories are fiction but I do pull from things I may have seen or done in my travels.  Some of my books have information on lab testing which is my day job where I may talk about DNA analysis or some other lab procedure.  I weave fact and fantasy together to set up quite the romantic story.

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

I promote my books through my publisher, but a lot of it I do on my own and includes my website, my blog, my twitter, my facebook, and a whole bunch of other odds and ends.  I also go online and promote in groups or through different blog hops and eBook Fairs.  The biggest challenge is to find the time as I have a day job, take care of my husband and my African gray who is even calling to me now for attention, and let’s not forget the ever important writing, my first love.

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). 

I remember my first good review which was five stars and gave me so much excitement I wanted to sit down and write a whole other book then and there.  The person had enjoyed it to the point they had stayed up all night reading it and wanted to make sure I was going to write more.  They just knew the following books would be just as exciting to keep one up at night to finish them.  I’ve also had bad reviews with one star.  I kept thinking the person reviewing had started out as if they were enjoying the book actually sounding like they were praising the book in the first paragraph and as they went on by the end they were slamming the books.  I almost had the eerie feeling the person had gone from a good mood to a bad mood and thought maybe they had gotten in an argument with someone while writing my review it sounded so personal.  It was rather depressing but I just kept remembering an article that I had read not to let reviewers destroy the creative child within you so shook it off and just told myself there will always be those who love my books and always be those hate my books and there will be plenty in between.  The biggest thing was to enjoy what I was doing and no matter if no one read them or liked them, a piece of me would always be out there to share to the world through my creative eyes even after I am gone.

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

My first book is Sphinx Resurrected, the first book in The Sphinx Warriors Series.  In Sphinx Resurrected, Stormy is abducted and Transformed by the magnificent blue eyed Sphinx leader, Michael. Secretly he Joins with her to save her and must deal with the desire and needs which manifest. Michael and Stormy’s undeniable attraction to each other will make them powerful as they join as one force to battle the evil Wraith.  The next books in the Series will start being released in April 2014 and will be released one after another each month until all seven books are released including Sphinx United, Sphinx Transformed, Sphinx Imagined, Sphinx Awakened, Sphinx Tempted, and Sphinx Revealed.  Sphinx Resurrected is my first book and has had a mix of reviews.  It has been a positive learning experience and I have integrated the feedback into the next books in the Series to make them better, more action packed, more intriguing, and more passionate to capture readers imagination.

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).

Here are my many links and they will only continue to grow as I keep reaching out through the electronic world to those avid readers and authors out there.

My Website:  http://christinemurphybooks.com/

My Blog:  http://christinemurphybooks.com/blog/

My Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/ChristineMurphyBooks

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

My Tumblr:  http://christinemurphybooks.tumblr.com/

My Pinterest:  http://pinterest.com/cwmurphy2016/the-sphinx-warriors-series/

My GoodReads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6922300.Christine_Murphy

My Freado:  http://www.freado.com/users/34458/christine-murphy

My Authorgraph:  http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/CLMurphyBooks

My Red Sage Publishing Author Page:  http://eredsage.com/store/MURPHY_CHRISTINE.html

My Amazon Author Page:  http://amazon.com/author/christinemurphybooks

My TheRomanceReviews Author Page:  http://www.theromancereviews.com/cwmurphy2016

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.

Please enjoy an excerpt from Sphinx Resurrected

sphinx resurrected final fiona

Michael was spell-bound watching her. At first, he thought perhaps she wanted to just have the feel of the fresh grass under her feet while searching out the Life Force. But to his surprise, she was quite the quick study. As soon as she had made contact with the bare earth and searched the Life Power out, it had been drawn to her like it had been waiting for her forever. It embraced her much like the way he wanted to. To surround her in his energy and enjoy every square inch of her while she responded to him in a way the pure rapture on her face indicated she was responding now. He watched and almost felt he was guilty of spying on something intimate. She was a natural, harnessing the Life Power and quickly her body showed it. Her skin was sparkling and glowing from head to toe and he could see where her eyelashes were brushing her cheeks there was a slight glow coming from her eyes. He realized he had to intervene or she would quickly absorb too much. Being her first experience, his little Power Keeper could quickly get into trouble with what to do with it and possibly injure herself or someone near her. Had he known her intentions, he would have cautioned her on how far to go with this first experience.

He stepped up as close as possible to her as he could. Reaching out, he moved to place his hands on specific spots used for contact during the Transference of Life Power. He had to place them correctly to make sure there was no back lash from the Life Power rampantly running through her. He grasped both of her arms with his hands positioned under her forearms and slid them as close as possible to her elbows. Luckily, with the movement, Stormy naturally grasped his forearms with her hands. He leaned forward and whispered in her ear, “Stormy, I hate to interrupt your enjoyment, but this is the first time for you as a Power Keeper, and any more we will both be in trouble.” On so many levels – he groaned in his mind.

image001

 ***Christine is an accomplished author and good friend/colleague of mine.  I strongly recommend her book.

Featured Author: Debra Kamza/ Ampbreia Weiss

Featured Author:

Ampbreia1

Debra Kamza / Ampbreia Weiss

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

I was born in Vallejo, CA but have lived in Everett WA since I was 5.  My childhood was a mostly happy one full of countless pets, huge family get-togethers, camping trips, and lots of books.  I have always loved reading, learning, and writing.  For as long as I remember, I’ve written stories and poems and loved to keep my little brother and friends entertained with ongoing stories whose ends I teasingly left dangling.  My older sister was annoyed, though, at my habit of getting up in the middle of the night to write whenever a dream inspired me, which was often.

I was raised a Pentecostal Christian, rebelled from its social divisiveness, anti-feminism, and boxed thinking when I was a teenager but fell straight into Shi-ite Islam not long after, not because I was particularly attracted to it but only because I was curious about it and greatly mislead about it by the Iranian guy I met in college and later married.  Yeah.  My book covers that in detail.  Suffice it say her that I am seriously burned out on religion.  I don’t mind if other people practice it; good for them if it makes them happy; but I’m long since done with it.  It’s just not for me.

I used to play piano, sing, and even wrote some music as a young adult but have since lost interest in that.  Having kids kind of diverted my attention from it in no small way.  Little fingers on the keyboard you know?  But my own little girl eventually took up where I left off all on her own initiative.

In the present, I’m married to a good guy now and we work together in an aerospace calibration lab.  I also love to dabble in arts of all kinds, dress up with my family and go to festivals, and dance.  I especially love belly dancing and have been doing it for seven years now.

2.   What made you decide to write Lost in Foreign Passions? Were there any influencing factors, or were any of the stories based on true events?

It’s a memoir of that turbulent time of my life when I mistakenly put my trust in a foreigner, went to live in his very troubled homeland, and adopted his religion just because it was so important to him.  A three-year nightmare was the immediate but mind-opening result, not to mention the loss of my son.  Writing it all out was a necessary catharsis for me and I thought it might help others as well.  Even if not for all that, it was still the adventure of a lifetime and an important learning experience.

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

I honestly don’t really know how to do that other than to mention it in my blog now and then and to have an author site here and there. I have never had an agent, never found one willing to deal with that kind of political-religious hot potato.  I did originally trust it to Publish America because they claimed they were a “traditional publisher” but ended up having to end my 7-year contract with them four years early due to very shady unprofessional, non-traditional behavior on their part.  After that, I couldn’t bring myself to trust another publisher and, like the thing with religion, decided to go it on my own when the right opportunity presented itself: Amazon Author Central, which has been wonderful to me.

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).

Happy and relieved I guess that someone actually cared and that they found my story worth their time.  She was really enthusiastic about it and that felt wonderful, reassuring, you know.  I’m confident in my writing ability, but I wrote this memoir AND published it despite my very real fear (a terror really) that people would judge me very badly for it or consider me hopelessly stupid for haven fallen for all I did.  Nevertheless, it was a story I felt needed telling.  I was being brave, you see.

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

DreamLover  Passions2ndEd

Those who have read it have liked it very much.  Many who know me personally or have heard of me from others have told me they’d like to read it and are disappointed that they can’t find it in brick and mortar book stores.  But it really isn’t very widely known.

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, I have two author sites:  one for my pen Debra Kamza (former married name) under which I wrote my memoir at

http://www.amazon.com/-/e/BOOBNVI6Y2

and one for the fiction and poetry I write under the name of Ampbreia Weiss at http://www.amazon.com/-/e/BOOBNVPADM ,

only one book of which is posted there right now, Dream Lover.

These are the only two I have published through Amazon Author Central so far, but I plan on doing more.

I also have a blog at http://www.ampbreia.wordpress.com

where I write about anything and everything.

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.

I was staring right up the surgery lamp as they lifted me onto to table and peeled up my dress in order to shave me.  I felt the cold of the water and heard the scrape of the razor below my abdomen while seeing only the lamp, a male surgeon, and a nurse.  I knew they were going to cut me open yet, wrapped in a strange euphoria, I didn’t care.

They didn’t see me watching and acted as if I was still unconscious.  I wanted to let him know I wasn’t, so I asked the surgeon if he could please arrange a mirror for me to watch the surgery in.  I must have been out of my mind to want that!

He gave me a startled look, dropped whatever he was holding and ordered the nurse to him on the double.  Dazedly, I watched the nurse put together a hypo and even that didn’t bother me (usually, such a sight would have made me cringe).  Then, recovering himself nicely, the surgeon inserted the hypo into my IV, telling me, “You will fall asleep in ten seconds.”

I didn’t believe him.  I giggled while he counted to ten.  It was the last thing I remembered of the surgery room.

Two days later, I awoke in a hospital bed in a dirty and dimly lit room. A stranger — a tall, swarthy, young man — was sitting, asleep, in a chair at my side. I couldn’t move my hand to nudge him, so I patiently waited for him to wake up on his own.  When he did, he jumped up with a show of great excitement and said, “You have a son, Honume Jon!”

I almost had heart failure at this I was in such a total amnesiac stupor.  I gave him a long stare.  “A son?  How could I have a son when I’ve never been pregnant? Who are you, anyway?”

“I’m your husband Peeshee jon.  Don’t you remember me?”

I didn’t remember him or anything else.  I demanded proof of everything he said.  I checked my belly for signs of pregnancy: It lay flat as a pancake with nothing of note moving within.  I thought nothing ever had been in there.  As disoriented as I was, I think I expected being pregnant to be proof of having just delivered a baby.  I wanted to see marriage documents.  I wanted to know where I was and, when he answered that, where the hell Iran was.

He willingly showed me marriage documents and where Iran was on a world map, but it didn’t mean anything to me.  The last thing I could recall was being in high school, and that was foggy.

Seeing the baby was all that would make any of this real, but that was the one thing the dark young man failed to produce on demand.  I bugged him endlessly to see the baby he swore I’d had.  Why couldn’t he show me this baby if it really existed?

For this last he offered no answer.

A day and a half passed during which the stranger, Reza, stayed with me almost constantly, making his wild claims, sleeping on a lower bed at the side of the room, and taking savory meals of choloe kebab.  I was brought nothing but bouillon and juice.  My stomach churned in hungry protest at this unfairness.  Besides being discombobulated to say the least, I waxed a bit cranky.

“When are you going to show me the baby you claim I had?” I demanded for what must have been the umpteenth time.  “I don’t know why you people are telling me such a thing when you’re not prepared to prove it.  Is this some kind of elaborate hoax? because if it is, your hoax has got holes in it.  This place is furnished like a hospital, but get real: it’s filthy!  Everyone knows that hospitals are sterile and new mothers in them are allowed to hold their babies as soon as they’ve given birth.  So where’s my baby?”

Reza was, by now, waving his hands in desperation for me to shut up. Finally, he swore he’d get me the baby if it were the last thing he did that day.  He did too, within the very hour.  He chased the nurse in with him and had her place the warm, flannel wrapped bundle in my arms.

At first, even then, I didn’t believe the baby could be mine.  I thought, for one thing, that a mother would remember nine months of grueling pregnancy.  I didn’t remember any of it.  Secondly, the baby was huge: almost ten pounds.  He was either a month old already or had come from a much larger woman than I was.  Heck, I knew my own size at least: five foot nothing and ninety-five pounds soaking wet.

The baby was beautiful, though.  He had huge black eyes, a shock of curly brown hair, and the sweetest little grin on I’d ever seen.  The feel of him against me was like the tickle of a kitten’s purr at my side.  Well, I thought, he certainly is a sweetie even if this is a trick.  I still didn’t think he could possibly be a newborn.  I thought that, besides being much smaller, newborns were always bald, red-skinned, and incapable of smiling.  This baby, if he was mine, put lie to that theory.

For nearly a half-hour, they let me hold him.  He smiling at me nearly the whole time, snuggled in the crook of my arm but when he started gnawing on his fist, then crying, I didn’t know what it was about.  The nurse did.  She came rushing to take the baby from me, saying it was his feeding time and she had a bottle ready for him in the nursery.  She was gone with him before I’d even thought up a protest.

I started regaining my memory from that moment on.

*** Debra is a great friend and colleague who I’ve known for MANY YEARS.    We share a common interest, we both lived in Iran while married to our Iranian husbands and had traumatic experiences.  I urge you strongly to read her book.  Debra also designed the cover of my book, so her talent runs LONG!

Featured Author: Cynthia Ainsworthe

Featured Author:

 Cynthia B. Ainsworthe

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

I’ve always have been interested in writing since childhood, around the age of eleven or twelve. A career in writing was not supported by my father. At that time, he gave me the choice of “suitable” life-paths for women.

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. 

Romance has always been my favorite genre with a suspense component. The dynamics of a relationship with feelings not verbally expressed which can prove chaotic to characters fascinates my imagination. Words not said that should have been revealed can lead to misunderstandings and gross assumptions.

All my plots are fiction. Characters are a composite of people I have known or observed. Events are also fictional. Reference to Paris is from my past frequent trips to that beautiful city.

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

Social media and word of mouth has been my mainstay of marketing.

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).

My first review was a 5-star review, many other 5-star reviews followed. Then shortly later, another 5-star review from illustrious Midwest Book Review with the heading “original and riveting”. I was on cloud nine and beyond. “Front Row Center” was my debut novel. This confirmed, in my mind, that writing was my long-awaited destiny. Also, I won the prestigious IPPY Award (Independent Publisher) in romance, out of 3175 total international entries. I still can’t wrap my mind around that win. I entered that contest on a whim. Also, my book was the only one published in pdf format on a CD-ROM, competing with paperbound books. I didn’t feel I had a chance in that contest. At that time, e-books were not heard of on the literary scene. Due to the length of 1096 pages, paper and ink was not an option as a publishing design.

 

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

“Front Row Center” is the first in a small series, possibly three. I’m currently rewriting the sequel “Remember?” manuscript, then the editor will review my first draft. I’ve had many requests for this next book by my fan readers.

My Hollywood agent suggested “Front Row Center” should be on the big screen. That said, I put feelers out there on social media. Scott C Brown (producer, director, author, screenwriter) in Hollywood is working with me to adapt “Front Row Center” to a mini-series and feature film script. He feels very strongly about this project; that my story should be put to film. There has been an announcement of such in Max It Magazine on the web. http://maxitmagazine.com/index.php/articles/newss/348-ippy-award-winner-front-row-center

FRC ROM back

I have completed a cookbook awaiting assembly, “Front Row Center’s Passion in the Kitchen”. It is a compilation of my favorite French recipes with luscious photos of food and tantalizing men. I wanted to take a novel approach to a cookbook that would embrace not only the passion of food, but the passion of the heart.

A children’s picture book, “Jacques Learns a Lesson” is in development with the story completed. I am working with the illustrator for the right feel for this delightful tale of three poodles.

I’m plotting out another novel, “Shadow Footsteps”, which will refer back to “Front Row Center” with focus on another character, “Cindy Hastings”, daughter of “Taylor”.

I was fortunate and honored for two of my short stories, When Midnight comes and Characters included in the horror anthology “The Speed of Dark” compiled by Clayton C. Bye, published by Chase Enterprises Publishing. I share the prestigious award Reader’s Favorite International Award in fiction anthology with extremely talented and well-known authors.

  1. 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).

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Front-Row-Center-Cynthia-Ainsworthe/dp/0980245907/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1345825833&sr=1-1&keywords=cynthia+b+Ainsworthe

Max It Magazine: http://maxitmagazine.com/index.php/articles/newss/348-ippy-award-winner-front-row-center

Website : www.wordsandpassion.com

Twitter : https://twitter.com/CynB_Ainsworthe

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/cynthiabainsworthe/

Facebook Fan Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cynthia-B-Ainsworthe/38240446635

Facebook Profile: https://www.facebook.com/cynthia.b.ainswortheauthor

The Write Room Blog: http://www.thewriteroomblog.com/?p=366

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/113161613106805720101/posts

Goodreads Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/author/dashboard

Goodreads Front Row Center Profile: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10014677-front-row-center

WordPress Personal Blog: http://ainsworthe1.wordpress.com/

Blogspot Personal Blog: http://cynthiaswordsandpassion.blogspot.com/

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.

 The back copy of “Front Row Center” reads:

FINAL_front_small

Their attraction was electric, their affair explosive, and their love—devastating to the lives of others.

It all starts at a concert. Taylor Allen, a happily married businesswoman, finds herself attracted to a very popular singing idol. Larry Davis, a world-renowned singer and bachelor, who feels his only love is his music, is drawn to Taylor at one of his concerts. She sits in the front row, center seat, when their eyes meet. They both feel electricity pass between them. Is this the beginning of love?

Here’s an excerpt approximately one-third into “Front Row Center”:

-#-

Tension and restlessness filled Taylor’s body. She decided to go for a swim. Caught up in the Larry Davis fantasy, her head reeled, making sleep elusive. She assumed a few laps in the pool would rid her mind of Larry’s charisma. She wore the same turquoise bikini that flattered her figure perfectly, and enhanced her tantalizing curves.

Taylor took a towel from her bathroom. She walked through the sliding glass doors to the patio. The stone felt cold beneath her bare feet.

The soft sound of rippling water made Taylor stand still for a long moment at the deep end of the pool. She looked at the trim male form swimming effortlessly away from her. His wet hair glistened in the moonlight. She walked closer, and her eyes narrowed as she focused. It’s Larry taking a leisurely swim. Interesting! Clearly, he never heard her footsteps as she approached the edge.

Larry swam with his eyes partially shut. She stood very still, and enjoyed the sight of his bare buttocks—so firm and desirable. Taylor blushed at this thought. Larry changed his direction. Turning, he swam back toward the deep end, near Taylor. His eyes caught sight of her. Quickly, Larry swam to the edge. He pressed his body against the pool wall with his arms resting on the ledge, as he obviously tried to preserve a semblance of modesty.

“How long have you been standing there?” Larry asked. Clearly, he felt embarrassed and compromised. “How much of my naked body have you seen?” His eyes traveled up her body, from her long, shapely legs, then to her firm, full breasts, finally resting his gaze on her beautiful sensual blue-green eyes. Larry swallowed hard, and took a deep breath. The moonlight enhanced her allure.

“Long enough to know I like what I see.” Taylor ran her tongue suggestively along her lips. She felt adventurous and secure in her own self-control.

“Be serious,” Larry said lightly, as he held back a laugh, from the humorous situation.

“I am serious … you’re a very attractive man. I bet I’m the only fan who’s seen you in your birthday suit,” Taylor quipped. She noticed the glimmering droplets of water fall from his hair onto his broad and strong shoulders.

He replied lightly, “You certainly are. This goes no further—I have to keep the fans guessing—can’t be advertising all my secrets.”

“Willing to share some of those ‘secrets’ with me, Larry?” Taylor felt free to send mixed messages. Larry had always treated her as a lady, and she believed he would continue this same behavior.

“You’ve seen enough of my ‘secrets’ tonight.” Larry turned serious. “Please hand me that towel, so I can get out of the pool.”

She flirted as if she talked to Paul, and not to Larry. She dangled the towel in her hand, just out of his reach. “Why don’t you climb out of the pool and get it yourself?” He clung to the pool edge, then lunged at the dangling cloth with his free hand.

“Taylor! This isn’t funny anymore! Give me the damn towel!” Obviously, his patience was at its breaking point. His face spoke of desire that turned to anger.

Taylor recognized his irritation. “I’m sorry, Lar … I was just having some fun.”

“The kind of ‘fun’, as you call it—is no fun to me!” His irritation continued. “I had no idea you were gonna take a swim at the same time—if I had, I would’ve never come out here.”

Larry swam to the nearby ladder. She was curious to see all of him. Taylor reluctantly handed him the towel. Still in the pool, he wrapped it around his waist, as the terrycloth soaked up the water. Larry climbed the ladder steps carefully as he held the towel securely around his waist.

***Cynthia is an awesome writer and friend and colleague.  I suggest strongly that you read her book.   Thank you for your interview Cynthia and wish you the best!

Featured Author: Clancy Tucker

Featured Author:

Clancy Tucker

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

Began writing at roughly eight-years-of-age, but have been a full time writer for the past 16 years. Thus far, have completed 23 full length manuscripts, 146 short stories / novellas and numerous bush poems. I write an eclectic daily blog that encourages and hosts writers, authors, Human Rights lawyers, musicians, poets and others from around the world. The blog currently goes to 34 countries. I also mentor 43 young writers around Australia, write a monthly editorial for a newspaper and lecture to members of the U3A – University of The Third Age. Not only, I am a Human Rights activist and social justice campaigner.

Writing is a tough gig, but I’ve been fortunate to win some major awards. Not that they have done me any favours.

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. 

My first book is modern / historical fiction for young adults. I wrote it hoping it might become a prescribed text for junior high school kids and, hoping kids would enjoy an enthralling story about drought, tough times and life in 1910 Australia – rather than reading a text book. Interestingly, the book has become loved by people from 8 to 80 years of age. Why historical fiction? I grew up on farms and have always had a great admiration for our pioneers.

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

Marketing is a necessary evil for an author. Sadly, it takes an author away from writing. Normally I promote my work by promoting and marketing my brand – Clancy Tucker. Book reviews in major newspapers and interviews like this have always been beneficial. I have a large contingent of followers on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and Google+. However, the search for the ‘silver bullet’ to success has alluded me.

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, it was by an editor; not that I knew at the time. Her helpful comments made a lot of sense. I guess I’ve always been open to suggestions and advice, so I didn’t take any offence. Learning to take good advice onboard is paramount if you want to be the best writer you can be. I’ve had many top reviews.

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

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Yes, my first book, ‘Gunnedah Hero’, is part of a series. The sequel is already finished (A Drover’s Blanket) and I have at least another 15 stories to write in the series. Gunnedah Hero has won two awards in the Australian National Literary Awards and has been received well by all ages. It would make a magnificent movie for the entire family.

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).   

Daily Blog: http://clancytucker.blogspot.com.au/2013/10/2-october-2013-top-photographs-for-2012.html

Book Reviews: http://clancytucker.blogspot.com.au/p/book-reviews.html

Website: http://clancytucker.com.au/

My Photography: http://clancytucker.blogspot.com.au/p/photography.html

My YouTube (book trailers and photography): http://www.youtube.com/user/1000teebee?feature=watch

Biography: http://clancytucker.blogspot.com.au/p/clancy.html

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.

Intro:    Gunnedah Hero is about a 14 year-old boy, Smokey Danson who, during a severe drought in 1910, takes the remaining family cattle up what is known in Australia as ‘The Long Paddock’ – the public roads, searching for food and water to keep them alive. Smokey has a pack horse and three loyal cattle dogs. On the trip he experiences all sorts of disasters, suffers from loneliness, meets great people, finds a cache of gold, is a key witness in a double murder case and is hailed the Gunnedah Hero.

“The snake became more and more aggressive and unpredictable. Sam was growling deeper now and had crouched on the ground in the attack position. Roscoe and Jedda were also awake, aware of the slippery predator and barking loudly. Their noise didn’t help the situation. In a split second, Sam attacked the snake and I felt its cold tail crease my forehead as it writhed in battle. I took a chance, got to my feet and jumped to a safe place on the other side of the campfire. While my brave kelpie fought the snake, I searched for a large piece of timber that would do the reptile some damage. Normally I’d have used the stockwhip to kill it, but Sam was too close. I was petrified I’d strike her by mistake.

I grabbed a sizeable piece of lumber and turned back to the verandah. As I swivelled around I heard a piercing squeal and saw Sam limp away. She flopped under the lemon tree and frantically rubbed her snout with both paws. The snake had been badly mauled by her sharp teeth but it was still writhing close to my saddle, smearing blood on the floorboards of the verandah. I was furious and smashed the snake with the timber at least half a dozen times. It was still moving so I thumped it another three times until it was dead. Roscoe and Jedda sniffed at its messy remains while I dashed towards Sam. It was too late. She was dead.

Tears welled in my eyes as I pulled her from beneath the tree where she’d sought refuge. I tucked her in my arms and walked to the back of the house where I found a piece of rusty steel to dig a grave. Jedda and Roscoe looked on as I buried my brave cattle dog. Covering her with dusty soil, I erected a crudely-made cross from two flat boards I found nearby then scrawled ‘Sam Danson’ across it with a piece of charcoal I’d rescued from the campfire. I squatted on the parched earth and wept, overcome by an enormous sense of loss.” 

***Clancy is a wonderful, humble man whom I look up to quite a bit.  I strongly recommend that you check out his book and his links. 

Featured Author: MARTA MERAJVER-KURLAT

Featured Author:

MARTA MERAJVER-KURLAT

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

First of all, let me thank you for your kind invitation. I’m an Argentine author, translator, psychoanalyst, and an English Language and Literature teacher, as well as a wife and mother and a friend to my friends. I spent my youth traveling, studying, and working around the world. I love reading, animals, nature, knitting, and cooking, so it would be accurate to say that the person behind the pen is both multifaceted and complex 🙂

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.

My mom was a great writer, and I played at writing before I knew what was at stake. I’ve written ever since I can remember, but began to publish children’s stories in my thirties. Then there came a long period of “abstinence”, until a stupid discussion about suicide prompted me to write my first novel, “Just Toss the Ashes”, in 2005. I am now working on my fourth novel, after having published two others, four self-help books, a guide to Joyce’s Ulysses, and a biography of Korean filmmaker Kim-ki Duk. My fiction deals with real life; thus, it is triggered by true events, although I do not write about any particular person or real situation. I tend to focus on the unpalatable side of life, drawing attention to what people would rather not hear about. Going against the grain will not earn me a place among best-selling authors for sure, but I have no regrets.

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

The truth is I do not do much to promote my books. Once they are out of my hands, I leave that to the publisher, who does what he can. I have tried some resources, but don’t find them helpful. In the long run, my books sell either because people find me “interesting” -*grin*- and are intrigued about my work or because readers recommend them to friends. “Just Toss the Ashes” has been selling steadily since it was first published, and that is a remarkably long time for a novel to keep in the loop.

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).

My first review was not bad, but the critic who wrote it for an American online magazine specializing in Latin American literature read the Spanish version, and I’m afraid her Spanish wasn’t good enough to cope with the nuances of the language. How it made me feel? I just wanted to kill her. There were many others for the English version, all of them showing full understanding and appreciation of the novel.

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

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I don’t write series. This particular book explores suicide and its sequels, through the journey the dead woman’s son undertakes to find out about a mother he didn’t really know. The public has embraced it as a means to understand something that may be unthinkable or taboo, depending on each person’s take on the meaning of life. Also, many people that experienced a loss through suicide approached me to tell me that the novel had proved healing.

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).

The direct link to the book and its reviews is http://www.amazon.com/Just-Toss-the-Ashes-ebook/dp/B0010XG5VY/ref=la_B009TC8C5A_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1382720711&sr=1-5

Other interesting links are my website http://www.martamerajver.com.ar/marta/

My Amazon page if you’re interested in my other books,

http://www.amazon.com/Marta-Merajver-Kurlat/e/B009TC8C5A

my Facebook pages in English and Spanish https://www.facebook.com/martamerajverkurlat

and https://www.facebook.com/pages/Marta-Merajver-Kurlat-Talleres-de-Lengua-y-Literatura-Ingl%C3%A9s-y-Espa%C3%B1ol/413887565360477?ref=hl (2077 people following)

Last but not least, The Write Room Blog, a wonderful group in which thirty-odd writers work and publish http://www.thewriteroomblog.com

There’s also a Pinterest site that reveals a lot about me

http://www.pinterest.com/martamerajver/

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.

Let me give you an excerpt that describes how the dead woman’s psychiatrist feels after he learns she has committed suicide:

“Heading downtown from his luxurious home in Martínez, he went over the Sylvia case in his mind, since he would not have time to stop by the office to pick up his notes. He would do it later and possibly use them to present a paper at the next conference. He wondered fleetingly why he hadn’t seen it coming, but discarded the notion almost violently. He wasn’t a magician and she had deceived him. One way or another, patients always lie whether they know it or not, and they always hide things, even when they don’t intend to. Dr. Garnet intuited that this act was not the result of a sudden impulse, but rather had been carefully planned and that, in a way, she had used him, sometimes as a pawn and sometimes as a king, in a game of chess. As a pawn he was disposable and to top it off, she had checkmated him. She had shut down all movement with no warning, sending up smoke screens that had kept him from seeing what she was up to. And now, she had wiped him off the board. Looking for a parking spot, he was frankly angry. The suicide of a patient that he had diagnosed as non-suicidal could damage his professional reputation. Not to mention that the family could lay the blame on him publicly as well as privately.

This…”lady” had been a hard nut to crack from the start.”

Thanks again, Lori, for having me on your page. I feel honored, for I very much admire you and your work!

*** Marta is a WONDERFUL author and par excellent’ colleague.  She is caring and warm hearted and I strongly encourage you to read her work!  Thank you so much Marta for allowing me to interview you.

Featured Author: Sharla Shults

Featured AuthorSharla Lee Shults

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

A mathematician by nature is a strange beginning for a writer of poetry. Born into a family rooted in the field of education destined my life’s profession to becoming a teacher. The atmosphere of a small town kept families close and the importance of school was instilled at an early age.

As an educator, I always found myself writing but that role primarily centered on lesson plans, along with curriculum. I definitely never envisioned myself as a published writer/author. My expertise was in mathematics and science. Did I think about writing a textbook? Nah!

Almost thirty years in the education field finds me today enjoying retirement but not yet ready to cut the educational umbilical cord. Instead of a real-life classroom where I greet my students face-to-face, we meet in the virtual world of the online classroom where the students are now teachers. The most rewarding part is when my long ago eighth grade to senior high classroom students appear as students of mine once again, this time as an educators themselves. Priceless!

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.  

Poetry became a way of expressing my innermost thoughts to touch the heart and soul of those I love, as well as strangers. Poetic verses found themselves being generated from random thoughts, impromptu conversations, casual images or pure imagination reflecting feelings to warm the heart and lift the spirit.

My first two books, Echoes and Remembering reflect inspirational poetry. Both fact and fiction found their place with family being my inspiration: my husband for divine love and spiritual uplifts; our children for many memories, happiness as well as tears; my mother who taught me life is a bed of thorny roses; my dad for believing in me, keeping me toward life’s goal.

A shift in poetic thinking guided my third book, Awakenings, toward historical poetry. This was somewhat out of character since history had always been a back burner subject of mine so to speak. Through the years, however, a strong affinity toward America and her history developed. Therefore, the focus of Awakenings became Embrace the Past, Empower the Present, Enrich the Future.

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

Promotion has been difficult. Time and consistency are most important factors in promotion. Neither of these worked well for me over the past year. Life got in the way. As I strive to move forward, it is the social media networks that have become my sources of communication and promotion, Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Writers’ Group, Pinterest, Scoop.It, Tumblr, StumbleUpon, personal blogs, personal website. Then, of course, the best is perhaps the book signings. Unlike social media, with the book signings you get to meet the author face-to-face. You sell yourself first, then, your book.

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).

Oh, yes! I remember that moment well. It was the first review of my first book, Echoes. I cried. Heartbreakingly cried! It was so vindictive and definitely was written as a means to belittle me, as the author, as well as my writing. I have contacted Amazon repeatedly hoping to get it removed because it is not a review for the content of the book. No response.

On the flip side, the remaining reviews have been excellent 4 to 5-star. From heartbreaking to heartwarming. These have brought on their own share of tears but this time happily and thankfully! I truly treasure those than imply they ‘see’ what I ‘see’ when I write. Creativity arises from imagery. The words of imagery are the photographs of poetry.

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

I will focus here on Awakenings, which presents some of America’s momentous historical events in poetic verse. The rhythmic character of the verses in this book is designed to add flair to what is sometimes regarded as dull reading. History by its very nature is extremely poignant. The scene begins with the seventeenth century, a time absorbed in thoughts of death, physical love, and religious devotion. The woman’s role adheres to silence in the public arena and provides unstinting obedience to father and husband. Emotions unwind and remain somewhat unsettles as the journey through time spans five centuries.

The audience for Awakenings is somewhat limited since its very nature is poetry. The average reader is more inclined toward selecting a novel rather than a book of poetic verse. Public reaction has been slow but good. Once the purpose behind Awakenings is understood I am hopeful the audience will expand.

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).

Instead of sharing one person and book, I would like to introduce all who read this interview to a group of writers. What started out as a bunch of Tweeters learning to Tweet appropriate blurbs for promotion has evolved into a blog where friends from disparate approaches to life and writing work together and share: The Write Room Blog @ http://www.thewriteroomblog.com/

From mystery to romance to poetry and more – visit The Write Room Blog for sure! Into the scary bit? At The Write Room you’ll find a hit!

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.

 

Dedication

“Free will is not the liberty to do whatever one likes, but the power of doing whatever one sees ought to be done, even in the very face of otherwise overwhelming impulse. There lies freedom, indeed.”

—Anonymous

Awakenings

Awakenings is dedicated to those who laid the foundation and established the platform for our American freedom: those who have served in the past, presently serve, or will serve our military forces in the future. A profound appreciation is extended for the sacrifice of these brave men and women who left or will leave their homes and family to ensure America’s freedom endures.

A grave price is being paid every moment of every day of the year for all the freedom America has to offer. Let us not forget those who have fought or are fighting for our nation; they are the epitome of the human spirit called freedom!

What does the past whisper to you?

Whisperings from the Past

Whisperings from the past reveal themselves in many forms: happy whisperings from the heart, melancholy whisperings from the mind, quiet whisperings from the soul. Each of these is grounded in beliefs instilled in us by our ancestors from events that transpired years upon years upon years ago.

Food for thought…

What thoughts whisper to you

On leaving for a new place

Where everything you know

Reflects a different face?

Are you ready for choices

To be rightly made

Based on courage, faith, and hope

None of which outweighed?

Could you undergo

Trials day by day

Putting forward trust

To guide the way?

What strengths of yesterday

Uphold tomorrow’s visions?

Dreams of utopia

May need many revisions

What lights shine for you

Reflective of yearnings

Not easily dimmed

By futile burnings?

How does your place in time

Connect to the past

Reflective of groundings

In beliefs that last?

“History is the memory of time, the life of the dead and the happiness of the living.”

—Captain John Smith (1580–1631)

EchoesRemembering

*** Sharla is quite a prolific writer, a kind human being and such an intelligent and caring individual.  I highly recommend her books.  I personally have “AWAKENINGS”, and LOVED IT!!

Featured Author: Danielle Rose-West

Featured AuthorDanielle Rose-West

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

My name is Danielle Rose-West and I live in the United Kingdom with my family and our small dog. I am something of a romantic dreamer and always have been. I have always been a rather shy person.  When I was growing up, books were often my best friends!

I have loved reading since I was a small child. My very first books were by Enid Blyton. She completely fascinated me with all the different worlds she introduced me to. My very favourite books were her Far Away Tree series. I still remember every story in those books even now! Magical!

I love to read still, of course, and I enjoy spending time with my husband when we both have time off from work. I love to get out and about. I walk very day for exercise and it really helps me to plot my books. I really am a very ordinary person getting to live the dream of being a writer!

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 have always been an incurable romantic, as I said. I just love romance and how two people find the love of their lives in different circumstances. For me there was never any question that I would write romance. Even if I tried to write something else, like pure fantasy, it would end up with romance in there somewhere! My stories are totally products of my imagination. I have a huge imagination and I always have. I love to explore different characters and scenarios in every book. Sometimes my heroine’s do have a little of me in them. I guess that’s hard to avoid!

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

I have found it difficult to learn to market my books. At first I didn’t even realise I needed to do that! When it dawned on me that I had to get to work on social media etc to promote my work, it was quite a learning curve. I had never used facebook, twitter or any other social media site before. I am still learning now how to work with them. But I have made some wonderful friends and contacts, so it has been a blessing. I am growing in confidence every day with marketing and connecting with people and I am really enjoying it now.

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).

I do remember. My very first review was for four stars and the lady said it was a beautiful story. I was ecstatic! I remember running round the house telling everyone. I laughed, cried and felt on top of the world. There was nothing like knowing someone had loved my work! It made all those hours of hard work so worthwhile!

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

My book is called Wild Fire and it is the first in a series called The Fairy Tale Match. It follows a dating agency that is actually run by real fairy godmothers. They have found that since the world no longer believes in magic or them, the only way they can help their charges is to run a dating agency.

In my first book, my hero Jake’s sister actually joins the dating agency on his behalf. She wants to find him true love because a tragedy in his past has closed his heart and she also has another motive, rather more selfish! The heroine, Laura, is looking for love and a new start. She comes to Jake’s ranch to spend three weeks with him, but he has no idea who she is when she first arrives. A lot happens through the course of their story, including enemies past and present that really test the couple. Of course, unknown to them, their fairy godmothers are working in the background to help the couple overcome their difficulties and find everlasting love.

So far, I’ve had some really great reviews for the book. Many have told me that it is refreshing and different. They have laughed with the fairy godmother’s antics and enjoyed the suspense aspect of the story. My second book in this series, Forever You, is also now available.

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).   

I have several links, as follows:

My blog: http://daniellerosewest.blogspot.co.uk/

My Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Danielle-Rose-West/451370021626958

Twitter: https://twitter.com/DRoseWest

Amazon Author Page US: https://www.amazon.com/author/daniellerosewest

Amazon Author Page UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Danielle-Rose-West/e/B00EF5GXSO/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_1

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/daniellerosewest

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7213651.Danielle_Rose_West

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/daniellerosewes/pins/

Email: danielle.rosewest30@gmail.com

I truly love to hear from readers and you can find more about my books on most of these pages.

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.

Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me. It has been such fun.

Please find an excerpt from Wild Fire. I hope you enjoy reading it.

 247 Danielle Rose-West (smaller) copy

Excerpt

Laura couldn’t help but smile to herself as she climbed up onto the fence to sit and watch the class. Three young women in the group were all working very hard to gain the attention of the handsome riding instructor. The man was quite obviously enjoying the competition, blatantly spreading himself around the three in a way that was fascinating to behold. He bestowed his easy smile in one direction, then another with compliments flowing free and fast. The women preened under his flattering and then glared daggers at each other when he was looking in a different direction.

The man glanced over to the fence and saw Laura. He sent her one of his huge dimple filled smiles, his eyes gleaming in interest. He gave a small nod in her direction, which she returned. The class came to an end and the group made their way out of the paddock, taking the hot sweaty horses back to the stable for grooming. The instructor made his way over to Laura.

“Hi,” he called out to her as he approached, flashing his dimples at her again. “I’ve not seen you around here before. Are you a guest in one of the cabins?” He strode up to the fence and casually draped his arm around the post next to Laura’s leg. His dark eyes ran over her form, the admiration in them making her flush, but he didn’t make her heart flip over the way a certain dark haired, blue eyed man did.

“Actually, I’m staying with Jake and Kerry,” she replied, smiling down at him from her vantage point on the fence. “I just got here yesterday for a visit.”

“Ah, how wonderful to hear the sound of home. A fellow countrywoman if I am not mistaken?” She nodded to confirm his query. “It is always so lovely to meet up with people from home. I have been here in the US for several years now, working as a riding instructor for various ranches and still sometimes I get homesick. I’m Walter Nobel by the way.”

“I’m Laura Hamilton,” she replied, with a small laugh. The man was a real charmer. She could see why the women took to him. He had an easy smile and a naughty twinkle in his eyes. “Have you family back in England, Mr Nobel?”

“Please, call me Walter or Walt. Mr Nobel makes me look around for my father.” He gave an exaggerated shudder. “I left him back in England along with the rest of my family and I certainly don’t miss them. They are the reason I left, actually.” He gave her a cheeky wink, making her laugh. “Have you known the Carters long?” he asked, propping his boot up on the fence near her foot and leaning closer.

“A while,” she replied evasively. Somehow she didn’t think Jake would appreciate anyone else knowing the circumstances of her arrival here. She quickly changed the subject. “Do you enjoy working here?”

“I love it. How many people can say they get to earn money doing something they truly love all day long?” He cocked his head to one side as he regarded her with a deep intense look. “What about you Laura? Do you do what you love for work?”

“Not yet, but I hope to one day,” she sighed wistfully. “One of the reasons I came here was to see if I can settle into a new life in the States. Maybe I can be as lucky as you and find my perfect job here too.”

“So, you may be sticking around here permanently?” Walter asked, his voice dropping to an intimately low caress. “We must take the time to get to know each other better. Being fellow countryman and all, we should stick together.” He gave her a naughty flirtatious smile.

“It would be lovely to be friends.” She stressed the word in the hopes that Walter would take the hint and not keep flirting with her. She thought him nice enough, but he didn’t set her pulse to racing or her heart pounding. The last thing she wanted to do was give him the false impression that she was interested in him. From what she’d seen, Walter was interested in all women. She had no desire to become one of his conquests whose name he probably forgot in moments or maybe never even knew.

“Do you ride?” he asked,  running his eyes all over her in a caressing sweep she assumed was meant to make her weak at the knees, but didn’t. Unfortunately, her hint seemed to have fallen on deaf ears or he was deliberately ignoring it.

“No, but it is something I want to learn,” she replied to his question. “Actually, Bill is giving me a lesson later today.”

“Why bother him? I’d be happy to teach you. I’m always available for a little……private tutoring.” He gave her a lopsided grin, his eyes full of an invitation she had no intention of taking him up on.

“That’s very kind of you, Walter but I really don’t think I could take a member of the Carters workforce away from his regular duties.” Laura decided a more direct turndown might be in order. “I’m more than happy to learn with Bill.” She began to climb back over the fence, when Walter snagged her arm, sliding his hand down her arm and gently rubbing his thumb along the sensitive flesh of her inner wrist.

“It would be no trouble at all, I assure you, lovely Laura. Jake would probably be happy for me to teach you. He relies on Bill heavily, especially when there are horses near foaling. We’d be doing him a favour.” He smiled persuasively at her, tugging on her arm. “We could start now if you want? My next class isn’t for an hour.” His eyes took on a heavy gleam of desire as he looked her over again. Boy, this man had the hide of a rhinoceros. What did it take to get him to quit? Laura was about to firmly pull her arm out of Walters grip, when a hand clamped down onto his wrist and yanked it off for her.

Jake stood over Walter, looking furious. “What the hell do you think you’re doing, Nobel?” he demanded. Laura thought he’d looked angry yesterday, but it was nothing to how he looked now.

“Calm down, Carter. What is your problem? I was only offering a riding lesson to your lovely guest. Thought I’d save Bill the job.” Walter calmly rubbed his wrist where Jake had gripped him, looking remarkably unruffled by Jake’s anger.

“I know exactly what kind of riding lesson you were offering and I doubt it was the one Laura was after. I’ll thank you to treat our guest with respect. While we’re on the subject, I don’t like the way you push yourself at our female clients. Rein it in or I’ll be speaking to Kerry about finding a new instructor. Got it?” Jake’s voice was deadly, his expression hard.

Walter shrugged, laughing softly but it didn’t quite reach his eyes. The charming air dropped away and his face took on a harder edge. “I never push myself on women, Jake. Quite the opposite if you must know. Can I help it if women love me?” he asked, spreading his hands wide with an innocent expression. “Come on, Carter,” he continued in a friendly voice, winking at Jake in a conspiratorial way. “You knew what that was like once, didn’t you. Before….” He gestured to the left side of his face.

Jake froze at the implication of Walter’s statement. Rage boiled in his veins and his fists balled at his sides. He was on the verge of punching Walter Nobel’s overly pretty face, the desire to break his perfect nose overriding his better judgement, when a small hand clamped down on his arm. He looked down to see Laura standing next to him. She shook her head slightly as she twinned her arms through his, effectively stopping him from his murderous intentions.

“Jake, did you come to get me for that tour you promised?” she asked, smiling sweetly at him. “Please excuse us, Walter. I’m sure I’ve kept you from your work long enough.”

“I have enjoyed our chat immensely, lovely Laura. Meeting you has been the highlight of my dreary day.” Walter declared dramatically, clasping a hand to his chest. “By the way, that offer for a riding lesson is always open to you. Just say the word.” He gave her a suggestive wink, grinning widely. Laura felt Jake tense up beside her, waves of anger rolling off him. She gripped his arm tighter.

Shaking her head at Walter’s nonsense, which she was sure was just to get up Jake’s nose, she sighed hoping Jake wouldn’t attempt to hit him again. “That’s very kind, Walter but I’m sure I’ll be fine with Bill.”

He gave an exaggerated sigh of despair. “Another time then, fair Laura,” he replied, executing a small bow in her direction, he threw an insolent salute to Jake before he swept off towards the stables.

Jake growled low in his throat. “I wanted to punch his stupid fake smile right off his arrogant face,” he hissed out in a low voice.

“I know and if it wouldn’t land you in jail with a huge law suit round your neck, I might have let you,” Laura told him. “He shouldn’t have said what he did. It was wrong of him. I can’t believe he would speak to his boss that way. Isn’t he worried you’ll fire him?”

“No, because he is one of best at what he does or so Kerry says. She hired him. I don’t really get involved with that side of the business. I avoid him usually. I can’t stand him and as you noticed, he can’t stand me either.” Jake gritted his teeth, unaware his hands were twisting together as if he had Walter’s neck between them.

“I can see that,” Laura said, letting go of his arm and stepping back from him. She felt the loss immediately, but didn’t want him to feel she was being too familiar with him. “Really, you shouldn’t let him get to you. Surely you could see he was just trying to wind you up on purpose. His opinion of you shouldn’t matter.”

He couldn’t admit to her that normally he was never bothered by Walter’s pathetic pursuits of women. If they were too stupid to realise the man was a Casanova that was their problem. It had, to his complete annoyance, bothered him to see Walter pursuing her. When Jake had seen the two of them together in what looked like such a cosy position, he’d felt like someone had hit him in his guts. He’d flashed right back to Victoria and every feeling of betrayal had come rushing to the surface.

He’d had to remind himself that this was Laura. She wasn’t his. If she was interested in Walter, it was none of his business. But his feet had taken him over to them anyway. He’d wanted to rip Walters arm off for touching her. It was totally irrational, but he felt like Laura belonged to him as if they were connected somehow. He tried to keep rejecting the emotions, but they kept springing up. She drew him to her like a moth to a flame. His mind had been on nothing but her all morning; to then see her smiling and chatting, apparently having a wonderful time with that stupid arrogant jerk had been too much. She obviously didn’t feel a thing for him and he’d rather die than let her know Walter’s interest in her had got to him.

“It’s not just his opinion,” he corrected. “He is simply saying what everyone else thinks. I’ve heard the whispers. They all say what a shame it is, what a waste.” He turned bitter eyes to Laura. “He just had the guts to say it to my face.”

They fell into an awkward silence, each staring at the other. Laura wanted to reach out to him, the hurt she’d seen on his face when Walter had made reference to his scar had cut into her heart like a knife. She wanted to be able to hold him close and soothe that pain away, but she didn’t have that right. She wished she could tell him it didn’t take anything away from his handsome face, but that was too personal. She was too afraid to reveal what he did to her and how he made her feel. They barely knew each other, after all.

Instead she swallowed hard, trying to dislodge the lump in her throat. The last thing he needed from her was pity. “Not everyone holds that narrow view,” she finally said. “There are people who think what’s on the inside is far more important than what is on the outside.”

“What happens when what’s on the inside is broken?” he asked quietly.

Her heart bled for him. She touched his arm gently. “I believe all things can be healed; given time,” she said sincerely.

“I don’t.” His soft reply cut her deeply. Whatever had happened to him had left a scar far deeper than the one on his face. She wondered if any woman could touch it. She doubted that she was special enough to even try. Unsure what to say, she decided to change the subject completely, but he was already turning away from her.

“If you don’t mind, I need to get back to work,” he told her abruptly.

“Of course.” Laura wished she could keep him with her, but she could see him shutting down in front of her eyes. “Will you be having lunch with us?” Her foolish heart hoped he’d say yes. But he shook his head.

“I need to stay out with the horses today. Bill will though. He is looking forward to giving you that riding lesson.” He gave her a small smile, making her stomach clench and her heart turn over, then he walked swiftly away.

Laura headed back to the house to make lunch for three, feeling lonelier than she had in her entire life.

*****

“It didn’t work!” Flo said smugly to Lotta, waving her wand in her face. “He’s walking away again. I told you it wouldn’t work! It was too boring and mortal.”

“You must have patience, Flo,” Lotta told her, gritting her own teeth and trying to practice what she was preaching. “He was most definitely jealous. You saw the way he flew up to them. He has feelings for her. I can feel it in my wand!”

“I still think we need something more dramatic and romantic to get his attention.” Flo fluttered around, her face screwed up in thought. “Didn’t she say she’s having a riding lesson?”

“Bill is giving her one, not Jake. Why?” Lotta eyed Flo suspiciously. She didn’t trust the little fairy godmother one bit.

Flo’s face was starting to go red. That was never a good sign. She began bouncing on her tiny feet. That sign was even worse. “What are you cooking up?” Lotta asked, becoming alarmed.

“I have a perfectly wonderful idea!” Flo announced. “Romantic, dramatic and perfect. This should get a kiss or two out of our prince. He’ll be declaring his love in no time!” She sighed whimsically.

“You are not turning anything into anything it shouldn’t be are you?” Lotta inquired.

“No, no. Of course not!” Flo waved her wand around as she disappeared in a twinkle of stars.

“Tell me what your plan is!” Lotta yelled after her, but she’d already vanished. Lotta grumbled under her breath as she began a frantic search for her bothersome partner. It took her half an hour to locate Flo in one of the stables, happily patting horses on their heads with her small plump hand. She was beaming at them and heaving big sighs of bliss, fluttering her eyelashes in romantic raptures.

“What have you done?” Lotta asked abruptly, too upset for any finesse.

“Don’t worry. You’re going to love this idea. You won’t have to undo it. It’s perfect!” Flo exclaimed, patting the horses all over again. “This will get Laura and Jake together in no time.”

Lotta persisted in questioning Flo, but she wouldn’t say any more. Lotta decided the only thing she could do was keep her eyes and ears open and hope she could avert any disastrous consequences of Flo’s idea. She slumped against the stable walls and wondered what the consequences were for a fairy godmother that quit!

***Danielle is a very kind and giving colleague and friend.  She has a fabulous book and I KNOW you will enjoy reading it!