Friday, June 23, 2017

Book Feature: Mestlven by Jesse Teller - Check out the Giveaway!






Revenge, Insanity, and the Bloody Diamonds 

Meredith Mestlven was abused and betrayed by her nobleman husband. After a desperate fit of retaliation, she fled for her life and lost her sanity. Now nearly 20 years later, she returns to her home at Sorrow Watch to destroy her enemies and reclaim her jewels. How far will she go to satisfy her revenge? Dark, cunning and beautiful, Mestlven will win your heart or devour your mind.






Jesse Teller fell in love with fantasy when he was five years old and played his first game of Dungeons & Dragons. The game gave him the ability to create stories and characters from a young age. He started consuming fantasy in every form and, by nine, was obsessed with the genre. As a young adult, he knew he wanted to make his life about fantasy. From exploring the relationship between man and woman, to studying the qualities of a leader or a tyrant, Jesse Teller uses his stories and settings to study real-world themes and issues. 

He lives with his supportive wife, Rebekah, and his two inspiring children, Rayph and Tobin. 

Author links: 
https://jesseteller.com/
https://www.facebook.com/PathtoPerilisc/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15269506.Jesse_Teller 
http://www.amazon.com/Jesse-Teller/e/B01G0ZB7JG/ 
https://twitter.com/JesseTeller 
https://www.reddit.com/user/SimonBard 
https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/JesseTeller



Please click on the picture for details on how to enter this fabulous giveaway!



Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Children's Book Spotlight: Changing Places, by Anne K. Edwards


Changing Places, by Anne K. Edwards
Age level: 4-8
Price: $1.99
Pages: 14
Find on Amazon

Changing Places. A black cat named Whiskers encounters a snake that has lost his home when he goes outside to see the world.



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About the Author:  Anne K. Edwards enjoys writing tales for children when she’s not focusing on a mystery. Some stories are ideas taken from little misadventures of her cat who actually did fall off the porch and land on a large blacksnake as it was sunning itself. Both were more than a little surprised. Visit www.AnneKEdwards.com 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

Book Feature: Demons and Devils by Amanda Jayne Forbes








This is a compelling story about the evil that lives among us from day to day. There are many demons and devils. You may ask how one may know the difference. To most people, you may not, but I have realized from a young age that I have an exceptional ability to see through people—I mean, right through people. Sometimes it was as if they were not there at all. Then I realized this was some sort of block from that particular being. I would go, like, completely blind. It would be like a warning that this person is from what we call the dark side.


Friday, June 16, 2017

MEET THE AUTHOR: EVY JOURNEY AUTHOR OF HELLO, AGNIESZKA



Evy Journey has always been fascinated with words and seduced by beautiful prose. She loves Jane Austen and invokes her spirit every time she spins tales of love, loss, and finding one's way—stories she interweaves with mystery or intrigue and sets in various locales. SPR (Self Publishing Review) awarded Evy the 2015 Independent Woman Author bronze for her writing.
She's lived and traveled in many places, from Asia to Europe. Often she's ended up in Paris, though—her favorite place in the world. She's an observer-wanderer. A flâneuse, as the French would say.
The mind is what fascinates her most. Armed with a Ph.D., she researched and spearheaded the development of mental health programs. And wrote like an academic. Not a good thing if you want to sound like a normal person. So, in 2012, she began to write fiction (mostly happy fiction) as an antidote.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK




Title: HELLO, AGNIESZKA
Author: Evy Journey
Publisher: Sojourner
Pages: 273
Genre: Women’s Fiction

Book Blurb:

Elise thought she knew her mother. Agnieszka Halverson is a caring woman, a great cook, and an exceptional piano player; but living in a secure, predictable world, she’s also a little dull. Her world is devastated when her oldest son attempts suicide, and Elise finds her mother has a past—both sweet and bitter—that she must now reveal to explain the suicide attempt. A past rich with a passion for music and shattered dreams, betrayal of a sweet but tragic first love, second chances and renewed hopes.

Born to immigrant parents weighed down by their roots, Agnieszka takes solace in learning to play the piano, taught by a sympathetic aunt who was a concert pianist in Poland before World War II. But when her aunt betrays her and her parents cast her aside for violating their traditional values, can Agnieszka’s music sustain her? Can she, at eighteen, build a life on her own?

When she finally bares her soul to her children, Agnieszka hopes they can accept that she has a past that’s as complex as theirs; that she’s just as human, just as vulnerable as they are. But do her revelations alienate her husband and can they push Elise farther away from her?

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble



What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

Some dead writers inspired me. Jane Austen, for one, with her wry, sometimes funny, observations of the social milieu she moved in. Dostoyevsky, as well, for his insight into the dark corners of the mind and the heart. It seemed so beguiling to explore life and its messiness in the context of stories.

At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

By 15, I told my parents I wanted to go into journalism. I thought it was a good entry for one seduced by words but is also curious about the world around her. Unfortunately, since my parents controlled the purse strings, I couldn’t major in it. For them, nothing but a career in some scientific field counted. We compromised and I majored in psychology, a social science.

Can you name three writing tips to pass on to aspiring authors?

1. This one is among the best I think. I got this from Francine Prose’s book Reading Like A Writer: Read a lot of good fiction and pay attention to how great writers do it.
2. Good writing hinges on the apt word choice. The apt word choice is the word that expresses what you want to say better than any other word. An apt word choice also allows you to be economical in your prose.
3. Self-edit a lot before your work even goes to an editor. And use beta readers drawn from your target audience, if you can.

Are you an avid reader?

Yes.

What are you reading now?

The Cellist From Sarajevo by Steven Galloway; The Thirteenth Tale by Diane Setterfield

What are you currently working on?

My fifth novel that has no title yet. I think I’m halfway or two-thirds of the way into the book, depending on how I decide to end it.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

MEET THE AUTHOR: 'THE FEET SAY RUN' DANIEL A. BLUM @rottingpostguy





Daniel A. Blum grew up in New York, attended Brandeis University and currently lives outside of Boston with his family. His first novel Lisa33 was published by Viking in 2003. He has been featured in Poets and Writers magazine, Publisher’s Weekly and most recently, interviewed in Psychology Today.

Daniel writes a humor blog, The Rotting Post, that has developed a loyal following.

His latest release is the literary novel, The Feet Say Run.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK





At the age of eighty-five, Hans Jaeger finds himself a castaway among a group of survivors on a deserted island.  What is my particular crime?  he asks.   Why have I been chosen  for this fate?  And
so he begins his extraordinary chronicle.

It would be an understatement to say he has lived a full life.  He has grown up in Nazi Germany and falls in love with Jewish girl.  He fights for the Germans on two continents, watches the Reich collapse spectacularly into occupation and starvation, and marries his former governess.  After the war he goes on wildflower expeditions in the Alps, finds solace among prostitutes while his wife lay in a coma, and marries a Brazilian chambermaid in order to receive a kidney from her. 

By turns sardonic and tragic and surreal, Hans’s story is the story of all of the insanity, irony and horror of the modern world itself.  

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Amazon | Barnes & Noble



At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer?

I think it started when I was very young.  I was certainly a born daydreamer, and I suppose that translated into wanting to tell stories.  I started trying to write in high school.  Thankfully,whatever I produced back then it is buried far down at the bottom of some closet, forming its own strata - the paleozoic era, full of extremely primitive fossils.  


Do you have a day job?  What do you do?

I have worked in software for a long time.  I received a substantial advance for my first novel, Lisa33 and did the old, “take this job and stick it,” with my day job.  Alas, all things must pass, or at least some, including the money from my advance.  There came a day when my wife and I looked at our finances and I realized I kind of needed that steady income again.  These days I consult part-time and write part-time. 


Can you name three writing tips to pass on to aspiring authors?

First, forget everything anyone has “taught” you about writing.  Nobody knows.  There is no assembly manual.   There is not carefully marked trail.  You must find your own way through the wilderness.  Second, a novel is not just a longer short-story.  You must have an ever-advancing plot-line, and you must make the reader want to find out what happens next.  Many writing classes seem to work from short stories, yet the requirements of a short story and a novel and qualitatively different.  Third, please please please, forget, “write what you know”!  Worst advice ever.   Write the type of book that, as a reader, you would most want to read. 

What hours do you write best?

I have no particular pattern. I am neither nocturnal nor diurnal.  I’m an omnivorous reader and a restless scavenger of a writer.  Once I started writing The Feet Say Run it just became a compulsion.  Whatever else I was doing, in the back of my mind I was thinking about how I needed to get back to my book.  

Are you an avid reader?

I am, but I am also a pretty critical reader.  I choose mostly literary fiction, book award winners, and I often find myself disappointed.  It seems plotting and pacing and suspense and emotional intensity are lost arts. 


What are you reading now?

Actually, I am going to contradict myself, because I’m reading a really wonderful literary novel right now, The Story of a New Name, by Elena Ferrante.  It’s book two of her celebrated Neapolitan Series, and it is completely engrossing and impossible to put down.  I’m really thrilled to have discovered her. 




Wednesday, June 14, 2017

MEET THE AUTHOR: 'THE SECRET DEATHS OF ARTHUR LOWE' U.L. HARPER & GIVEAWAY




U.L. Harper is a speculative fiction/horror author, influenced by magical realism. A former journalist from Long Beach, California, he now resides in the evergreen state of Washington with his wife. He is a soon-to-be father, and an avid Dodgers fan.
 
His latest book is the speculative fiction/horror/magical realism novel, THE SECRET DEATHS OF ARTHUR LOWE.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK





Title: THE SECRET DEATHS OF ARTHUR LOWE
Author: U.L. Harper
Publisher: Independent
Pages: 235
Genre: Speculative Fiction/Horror/Magical Realism

While in the process of bringing his wife, Sandra, back to the living, Arthur journals about moments from his past that changed him.

During the journal writing, he rediscovers how, as an orphan, his ability to animate objects and people to life may have ultimately destroyed the lives of the few who grew close to him. The old stuffed teddy bear that helped him assemble puzzles when he was a child might have been too much of a secret for his adoptive mother to keep. His friend Quincy, who had abilities similar to his, might have been scared away by Arthur’s abilities. And his grade school teacher is still harboring a secret about his biological father that she can only hope to be true.

Once Sandra is alive again, things become more complicated. She claims Arthur is not who or what he thinks he is. Her ire shines a spotlight on the insidious but most likely true, unspoken nature of their relationship.

In the meantime, a mysterious smell envelopes the community—a stench so heinous it can be fatal. As the number of deaths from the stench mounts, Arthur must decide who to animate back to life and who remains dead.
The Secret Deaths of Arthur Lowe is available at AMAZON.

What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

I think I’ve always been in the process of becoming an author. I used to love the Alfred Hitchcock Presents: The Three Investigators series of books. And I read all kinds of stuff as a kid. I started writing stories for no particular reason. Just writing in notebooks, handwritten. Stories that did nothing and went nowhere. But when I started reading Clive Barker, I was like, oh snap. Holy cow. I mean, he had a character kill her twin sister in the womb. Like, whoa, man. That blew my mind. Then Kurt Vonnegut imploded my brain. When Billy Pilgrim stepped off the fire-bombed area in Dresden and onto the grass and up to a bench to talk to the narrator of the story, I about lost it. I was like, they banned THIS…in America!? Mind exploded. Told everybody about it. So that got me going for sure. The last one I’ll talk about is Imajica. Clive Barker. The end, to this day, is the best ending to anything in movies or television. Not possible to do better. I just don’t think it’s possible. Whole-heartedly inspired by that. If you haven’t read it, you haven’t read anything. I could be wrong.

Do you take notes when reading or watching a movie?

I’m not truly sure what you mean by taking notes, but when I’m watching a good film, I’ll rewrite scenes in my head as they’re happening. I do this about scenery I see in the day: how would I describe that sunset or car crash or that guy tailgating while on his phone. How would I describe the chaos on the dock at work? When I’m reading, I’m rewriting the scenes as I’m processing them. It’s why I don’t finish a lot of books. I’m busy rewriting as I go along. No, it’s not something I can turn off. However, if it’s a fabulous novel, I’m in awe because I can imagine the process behind it, the approach, and I’m learning. When it’s quite the opposite, I’m thinking, how in the world did my work get rejected?

Can you name three writing tips to pass on to aspiring authors?

I can think of a whole mess of writing tips for aspiring authors but I guess I’ll boil it down to the ones I find most important. 1) First of all, write what you observe, whether it be what you hear or see or even taste. Don’t try to make what is there better than it is or something it’s not. Make the reader see, hear or taste what it is from a perspective; don’t reinvent it. 2) Like a good sports commentator or musician, know when to not do too much. A lot of authors are looking for the strongest verb when they really need the best verb for the scene and timing and whatever. I always hear something like, there’s a stronger verb you can use, but I’m thinking, yeah, but is there a better one? 3) The third is connected to the first two: don’t overwrite. If a character is angry, don’t say he/she hissed or growled or something silly like that. Nobody has EVER hissed at me or growled at me. Simply say what he/she is doing or thinking. Don’t worry about impressing the reader with your word choice so much. Readers truly don’t care about your choice of words, if they want your perfectly normal characters to hiss and growl all day.

How often do you write?

I write every day. I’ll be at work delivering packages, and the whole time or at least a big part of the time, I’m just going over dialogue in my head, and it’s crazy. I’ll hear a line from someone in the day and add it to a character, or I’ll get someone in the real world’s view on something and add it to the story. Ideas just build through the day. It all seems to find a home on the page. Every day is inspiration, I suppose. Hell, give me some coffee and a conversation to listen to and it’s a good time. Recently I had some coffee and was meeting with some money consultant about buying a house with my wife. My wife is pregnant, and the consultant person asked what the child is going to be. In my head I was like, well, I guess instead of a child she could have a bowling ball or a watermelon or, shoot, a bird of some sort. A hell of a story might be about a place where you could give birth to whatever and whenever. Could you imagine going outside and thinking, that tire on that sedan—I gave birth to it. That tree out front—that’s my second born. Its name is Brian.

Are you an avid reader?

I’m not an avid reader. I try to be, though. I don’t want to sound negative, but a lot of books simply aren’t that good. I find literary work being literary more than entertaining, and I find genre fiction busy placating its audience. I think parameters bore me. But I try anything. Never read erotica though, and haven’t read any horror lately. I try to be an avid reader. Either I’m failing or the system is. Me or it needs to do better.


What are you currently working on?

I’m currently working on book 3 in the In Blackness trilogy. It’s probably the hardest thing I’m ever going to do. My current work, The Secret Deaths of Arthur Lowe, took about three years to complete, if not longer. I started the third In Blackness book long before that and I’m barely to chapter, um, two. The three books are moving through genres, which makes it brutal to do properly. The first is a coming of age story the ends in the horror genre. The second book, is clearly in the horror genre but moves into science fiction. The third book takes place in the future and gets a little political, but hopefully the horror shines through. Totally brutal. Like whoa. No slasher stuff. No senseless blood or zombies or whatever but I think there will be tunnels where you can hear the Earth screaming. We’ll see how it goes.

U.L. Harper is giving away a free e-copy of his book!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one free e-copy of THE SECRET DEATHS OF ARTHUR LOWE.
  • This giveaway ends midnight June 30.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on June 31.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!









a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

PRE-ORDER BLITZ / SEDUCTION SQUAD: TAINTED BY AMANDA STEWART



Title: SEDUCTION SQUAD: TAINTED
Author: Amanda Stewart
Publisher: Carina Press
Pages: 111
Genre: Erotic Romance

The members of Seduction Squad are beautiful, skillful and deadly. Trained in the twin arts of seduction and assassination, their mission is to discover the darkest secrets of the world's most powerful men.

Sex, secrets and slaughter

On Christie Mason's eighteenth birthday, crime boss Theo Ward took her virginity and walked out of her life without a backward glance. She's quietly nursed a broken heart for ten years, but now, all signs point to Theo having masterminded her father's downfall. For that, "Uncle Theo" will pay.

In exchange for induction into the Seduction Squad, Christie will gain access to Theo's lavish floating sex party and take out a powerful Colombian politician—one of the Squad's untouchable targets.

What she'll do to Theo is her reward.

Christie hadn't bargained on her body betraying her, or on Theo still being all she ever wanted. And while Theo can't get enough of Christie, he's suspicious—and on borrowed time: Christie's not the only party guest out for revenge.

PREORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

 

Book Excerpt:


“Theo Ward is out to get me.” My father had said that just before his arrest.

“Theo did this.” His last words as they took him down to the cells. He killed himself later that day.

Now I was out to get Theo Ward. I had nothing to lose. After the scandal of my father’s disgrace, my business had taken a nose dive into oblivion. My social life had died along with it. Invitations had dried up, friends had stopped calling, acquaintances…well, I didn’t seem to have any. I had gone from socialite to outcast in a single, tarnished bound.

I learned about the Seduction Squad from my father. We had never been close, but we had made those prison visits count. For the first time, we had really talked to each other. And we had touched on the subject of Theo. The man whose life was so closely entwined with ours. I hadn’t gotten the whole story, but my father had finally mentioned his name.

“Bastard is bulletproof. Even the Seduction Squad can’t get close.” My father’s voice had been bitter.

“Seduction Squad?” 

He had clammed up then and it had taken some time to pry the details from him. He said it wasn’t the sort of thing a man discussed with his daughter. Eventually, he told me. Over the years, my holier-than-thou father had used the services of a unique organization to find out his enemies’ secrets. That organization was known as the Seduction Squad.

Even though I was shocked to discover this hypocritical side of my father, I was fascinated. To someone brought up protected from anything remotely erotic, it sounded so glamorous. The Seduction Squad were the modern-day equivalent of Mata Hari, the infamous spy who used her body to entice powerful men to part with secrets. The Squad was based on the sixteenth-century team known as the Escuadrón Volante, or Flying Squadron. Working on the orders of the French Queen, Catherine de’ Medici, they were a hand-picked team of beautiful courtesans who had ensnared the most influential men in the land.

The Seduction Squad was a private company. Governments, businesses, even wealthy individuals such as my father, paid its manager, a woman known as the Signora, millions for the services of its members.

Moderation had never appealed to me. If I was going to get my revenge on Theo, it was going to be absolute. I was going to make him pay for that night ten years ago and for the pain I had endured ever since. He was going to regret ruining my father out of petty spite and causing his death. And it turned out the Signora had a very lucrative contract lined up…one that could only be fulfilled if she could get an operative on board The Dark Side.

I knew now, of course, that being part of the squad wasn’t glamorous. My induction had been grueling and gritty. I had learned my new trade from an experienced sex worker and a trained assassin. There had been times when I thought I wouldn’t make the grade. Times when I hoped I wouldn’t.

After a particularly hard day, Jake, the squad’s Head of Security, had taken me to one side.

“You look like the princess who has escaped from a fairytale, but no matter what I throw at you—kickboxing, pistol shooting, assault course—you come out on top. What is it with you? Do you need the money?” The squad paid well and the Signora looked after her girls.

“No. I have an old score to settle.” I had smiled. “But when I’ve done that, the money is going to help.”

At the end of my training, Jake had handed me a graduation present. It was a T-shirt with a picture of a cute kitten holding a blood-stained machete between its paws. The words Killer Pussy were embroidered underneath. “Only Seduction Squad members can understand what those words really mean.” He had unzipped his jacket to show me he was wearing the same design. “And me, because I live with one.” Although they were totally professional when they were together, I had discovered from some of the other girls that Jake and the Signora were an item.

I had brought the T-shirt with me on this cruise, even though I figured I wouldn’t get a chance to wear it. It was a reminder of what I had been through to get here.

There was still plenty of time before I needed to dress in the clothes that would take me back in time. I sank lower in the water, sliding my hand between my legs. Closing my eyes, I pictured Theo’s face. His looks had a devilish edge, like a fallen angel or a hell-raising rock star. With pale skin and thick black hair that always managed to look tousled…as if he—or maybe someone else—had been dragging impatient fingers through it. His features were carved from granite with a determined, stubbled chin and cheekbones so chiseled they should be illegal. But it was his eyes. The memory of those onyx depths, so dark it was impossible to distinguish between the pupil and iris. If the eyes were the window to the soul, the bleak, beautiful intensity of Theo’s gaze held its own warning.
 


About the Author

Amanda Stewart writes erotic romance for Carina Press. “Just erotic. Nothing kinky. It's the difference between using a feather and using a chicken.” (Terry Pratchett)
She lives in England and loves to read and travel, trying to combine to two as often as she can. Amanda is married to a lovely man, is mum to two grown up children, and has recently discovered the joy of being a grandmother. 

Amanda Stewart also writes paranormal romance and romantic suspense as Jane Godman.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK



GIVEAWAY!

Amanda Stewart is giving away a $25 Amazon Gift Card & ePub Copy of SEDUCTION SQUAD: TAINTED!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive both $25 Amazon Gift Card & ePub copy of SEDUCTION SQUAD: TAINTED
  • This giveaway ends midnight July 7.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on July 8.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.
Good luck everyone!

ENTER TO WIN!




a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Book Feature: Great Objectives by Robert Finch








In his book Utilitarianism, John Stuart Mill refers to the great objects of human life. We may assume that that what Mill calls an object is the same as an objective in modern parlance. The examples of great objectives that Mill cites include power, fame, and money. One wonders how seriously Mill was actually endorsing such aims to be the overarching objectives of living or whether he was simply expressing his finding that many people actually do take such aims as these for life. The contention is that Mill was indeed recognizing that people do choose such goals in life. After all, happiness has been recognized as an objective of life at least since the time of Aristotle, and virtue has a similarly ancient pedigree. It is quite common for ordinary people to adopt such mottos as “Healthy, wealthy, and wise” as aims for life. But we know that having more than one such value can lead to conflicts. This had been a concern to Sidgwick as well as other nineteenth-century moralists. A resolution to the problem was found by the time of the twentieth century, when it was realized that we should not try to achieve definite objectives, but instead look to some other procedure, such as a variety of evolution, to shape our objectives. In that case, we make plans and evaluate them, as we proceed. We should use our values, as Dewey recommended, for guideposts. The book discusses the methods of arriving at such plans and weighs some of the ethical and moral problems an individual or a society might face at the present time.



Robert Finch is the author of five collections of essays and co-editor of The Norton Book of Nature Writing. He broadcasts a weekly commentary on NPR and serves on the faculty of the MFA in Writing Program at Spalding University in Louisville, KY. He lives in Wellfleet, MA.

Q&A WITH JOSS LANDRY AUTHOR OF I CAN FIND YOU




Joss Landry has worked as a consultant for more than twenty years, writing copy for marketing firms and assisting start-up companies to launch their business. She recently made the switch from composing copy and promos, to writing fiction and prose. She is developing her style through courses and the support of other writers and is presently working on honing three other novels for publication.
Blessed with four children and six grandchildren, she resides in Edmonton, Alberta with her husband, a staunch supporter, and enjoys spending time biking, rollerblading, playing tennis, and swimming. She loves creating stories as she says they fulfill her need to think outside the box.
Her latest book is the urban fantasy/paranormal, I CAN FIND YOU (Emma Willis Series #2).

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK



What first inspired you to write or who inspired you?

I guessed I’d been thinking of writing for a while. I stopped reading in my twenties because by then, I kept correcting the plots, remaking the characters. I guess at that age I might have made a good editor.  I’d been reading novels since I was eight years old, in French. When I wasn’t biking or playing dodge ball or roller skating, I was reading. When I started a book, I had to finish it. Then as a teenager, I began reading in English. My first collection of books was The Whiteoaks of Jalna by Mazo De La Roche. Bought the whole collection while visiting Paris, France, and the Hachette library on Boulevard Concorde only had them in English. I’ve been reading in English ever since.

At what age did you know you wanted to be a writer? 

Surprisingly, I loved to cook and bake, and I made all my clothes for the longest time. Everything. People around me liked what I word, so I began making clothes for other people. However, never was I tempted to write. I did my brothers’ and sisters’ essays from time to time and some of the girls’ compositions in my class. Then friends would ask me for help with their English papers, but this was not something I enjoyed. 

I was already a grandmother when my first story sideswiped me. Dialogue was going on in my head, prompting me to write it down. If nothing else, I thought it might be the base of a funny anecdote. I was fifty-six when I first discovered I was happiest when sitting down to write fiction. Writing fiction allows me to think outside the box and create the people the way I like them.

Do you take notes when reading or watching a movie? 

Funny you should ask. I have never taken notes while watching a movie or reading a book. I am blessed with a photographic memory and the same with an auditive memory, I see words. However, when my children were young, in their early teens and the youngest was five, I noticed my young one had a terrible auditive memory. So lacking in fact, he refused to go to school. Eighty percent of his first-grade year was spent at home, “taking care of mommy,” he said. So, since we all enjoyed watching the same movies more than once, (I must have watched Peggy Sue Got Married with my fourteen-year-old daughter thirty times. She could not let it go), we started playing a little game. We would talk using movie lines, and the children would have to name the film. “Everyone, remember where we parked.” Star Trek Four. My second born, Ian would jump on it rather quickly and identify the movie. Once I said, “Dad!” My son Ian responded, “European Vacation” before anyone could even think. Well, this prodded my youngest to memorize stuff on television, even commercials, and the lines of his favorite movies. Of course, he attended his second grade a little over fifty percent that year, and by the time he reached grade three and understood that going to school meant hanging with friends, we were good. Still, his report cards kept us playing this game. We still do. We can hold a conversation only quoting lines from the movie When Harry Met Sally.

One of my daughters once whispered: “How to spell Espresso or Cappuccino.” From Groundhog Day to one of her teachers attempting to explain one of her answers in a test to get a higher grade. When she related the incident, I laughed. We often talk in code, and no one else around understands. For years people would marvel at this and told us we should invent a game titled “What Movie?” Someone beat us to it, but I digress. So, against all odds, my youngest went to University, and never had to take a note throughout his entire academic presence, and passed with distinction. His auditive memory served him well.

Has writing always been a passion for you or did you discover it years later? 

In a nutshell, I discovered the passion years later. In my late fifties to be more precise. The fact all my children were grown, independent and thriving helped me
relax enough to start writing, I guess.

Can you name three writing tips to pass on to aspiring authors?

Yes. I can.
*     Join some writer’s group to help you get started and get used to reviews. Such a group will also prepare your writing a great deal. One of the groups I joined was The Next Big Writer dot com. A phenomenal group of writers and authors that will lift your spirit and provide you with valuable knowledge. Here is a great article on this published by New York Editors: https://nybookeditors.com/2015/11/11-top-writing-communities-you-should-join-and-why/  This will hand over the 11 best writers’ groups.
*     Grow your Facebook and Twitter presence with the people you expect to have as an audience. If you’re going to write horror, then this type of audience should find its way to your social media group. I write paranormal and inspirational, so these are the people who would normally surround me.
*     Make time to write every day. In fact, if writing is your calling, you’ll want, or at least wish to write every day. I know problems occur in everyone’s life that we can't prevent. Still, make an effort. Improve your writing skills through online grammar tests and such. There are many great master courses also given on being a great author.

Do you let unimportant things get in the way of your writing?

Importance is one of those words I consider relative to whoever provides the answer. For instance, my husband’s answer might be that keeping the grandkids for the whole weekend may curtail on my writing. I would disagree, at least for my peace of mind. And the list goes on. I am a fanatic about not being a fanatic about anything, well, except this last little one. I love a well-balanced life and so I make time for other things, as most people do. During the Christmas Holidays, I wrote a 92,500-word manuscript. We counted the days and there were 30 of them I spent writing the book. So, I still cooked and baked and went Christmas shopping (online of course), while writing my new story. I don’t quite know if this answers your question, but I hope my élan is self-explanatory.

What hours do you write best?

Morning. Always Morning. Dawn is when my mind is awake and ready to go. I move with the sun. Up with the sun, moody when there is no sun, upbeat when the sun finds its way into my office to shine ever so brightly. Sometimes, when I imagine the beautiful day ahead of me, I will be able to write late, very late at night. Or I’ll go to bed, and dialogue from my characters keeps me awake. More so in the summer. Here in Edmonton, we enjoy eleven o’clock (p.m.) sun to outline those grand days of June.

How often do you write?

An easy question. Every day.

Are you an avid reader?

Yes. My problem is when I begin a book I have a hard time putting it down before it’s finished. If a book is interesting enough to have me read all the way through, I don’t care about the grammar or the spelling. This story receives a 5-star rating. I read a lot to provide reviews.
I also read because reading is in my DNA. When the kids were little I watched every heartwarming movie with them (the only ones we watched), and my catch-phrase was, “quick, get me into somebody else’s life.” The sentence would make them laugh, and no one ever wondered if this was because I didn’t like my life. Not even my husband. Getting into someone else’s life through a book or a movie helped me deal with mine, and provided me with the information I needed to improve on my life.

What are you reading now? 

Book III for the Emma Willis Series. The title is I Can Help You. Emma is now nineteen years old attending Rutgers in Psychology and logging case hours with people for licensure requirements when she graduates. On top of all this, Dr. Fred Manson comes back to the foreground asking her for help.

Right now, I’m doing the research, the legwork. Once I’ve compiled all the relevant material, I will sit and write out the story.