Sunday, September 30, 2012

#Author Interview - Stacy Eaton, Police Officer and Writer


I'm happy to have author Stacy Eaton visiting us today. Stacy is a full-time police officer, mother, and business owner and still manages to author three books.

Stacy, you've just recently released your third book, Whether I'll Live or Die. It is quite different from your first two police vampire books. Tell us a bit about it and how you were inspired to write it.

Hi Rachelle! – Thanks for having me here today. Yes, I did released Whether I’ll Live or Die in July. This book deals with a very important issue, an issue that is very near and dear to my heart, Domestic Violence. I have dealt with it in my past, and since I work as a police officer, I see it every day in my job. 

I wanted to somehow put what I do and see as a police officer into a story where the reader will be about to learn about the affects it has on people.  I was hoping that when I wrote it, I would be able to show people why it is so hard for a victim to walk away, even when their lives were in jeopardy.  I think I accomplished both of those with this novel.

You have accomplished it. I can really get into the mind of the victim and feel for her. You must come across a lot of gruesome scenes in your job. How does being an active police officer affect your writing?

First and foremost it gives me ideas for the material that I write. There are a lot of people out there that write police procedurals and have to do quite a bit of research to be able to write them correctly. Being on the job allows me an inside view into what really happens and it also helps me to be able to explain it in a way that people can understand.

I try very hard to make sure that what I write is correct in detail, not what you see on television shows. We really don’t solve crimes in an hour – and sending DNA out to be tested takes weeks, not hours. My writing allows readers to feel as if they are riding along beside the character, seeing what really happens on the streets.

Oh well, I think TV shows have to condense things down to an hour, but I appreciate the details of real police work. What type of female characters do you find easy to write about? Do you like tough, independent, hard-as-nails alpha babes, or soft, romantic, cuddly nurturers?

Cuddly nurturers? What’s that??? Lol…. I definitely write a very strong character. Well, except in Whether I’llLive or Die. In my new book, Amanda is a very na├»ve and young woman who moves from one bad relationship to another. Nicole is the police officer in this book, and while she is young at the start of the book, she grows to be a very strong woman who needs to be in control of her life.

In every book I write, my female leads are strong. That is not to say they don’t have feelings like other woman, and aren’t emotional, but they deal with life head on and take each challenge as it comes.
  
Are you reflected in any of your protagonists or are they entirely different from you? What would your protagonist say about you?

There is a very strong piece of me in each of my female leads. Writing Ofc. Nicole Nolan was like writing the start of my police career. Her hopes, her dreams and what scared her came right from my experience.

Using my own strong and sometimes weak points makes it easier for me to relate to a character. I don’t think I would be able to write a very weak emotional character because I just can’t visualize myself in that.

I have a series that I started, the My Blood Runs Blue series and Ofc. Kristin Greene is the lead character in that one. My friends who know me personally laugh when they read the books because they can picture me doing and saying the things that she does in the books. It’s fun to put myself into fictional places!

What's in the works?

Wow… what isn’t these days! Actually I am working on the third book in my paranormal vampire police series and I hope to have it out early next year. I am also working on a new series about a police officer who dies in the line of duty and becomes a guardian angel. I am having a blast writing that one and hope to have that out either late this year or very early in 2013.

Sometime next year, I hope to release a contemporary romance novel that I started two years ago. I put it aside when I came across a snag and now that I figured out how to move it forward, I want to complete that and get it out.  I have a few other plotlines that I am working on, so when my crazy schedule allows me, I’ll start working on those.

Wow, that is a lot of works in progress. Thanks for chatting with us Stacy. Anything else you'd like to say to our readers?

Thank you so much Rachelle! I appreciate you allowing me to visit!! I hope that your readers enjoyed the questions and I hope that they take the time to check out my latest novel. It is something that everyone should read, whether you have been a victim, know someone who is, or have no clue about it, it will open your eyes to a very dangerous and secretive world that few will talk about openly.

I'm glad you've brought this out for a lot of people to understand. Thank you, Stacy, and I wish you continued success in all your endeavors.


Author Bio:
Stacy is a full-time Police Officer who enjoys crime scene investigation above all else. She also owns a business that deals with helping people get the awareness out for the causes they care most about. She is a mother of two and her husband is also in law enforcement. She is very much into photography and carries her Nikon Digital SLR with her almost everywhere, just in case. She also has two Shiloh Shepherd dogs and loves to play catch with them.

You can find out more about Stacy and her books at her Amazon Author's Page
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Saturday, September 29, 2012

#AuthorInterview Dr. John DeBoer

Introduction: John L. DeBoer, M.D. Is a graduate of the University of Vermont College of Medicine. He did his surgical training in the U.S. Army and then spent three years in the Medical Corps as a general surgeon. After thirty years of private practice, he retired and now lives in southeastern North Carolina.

Q: So, John, how does a surgeon end up being a novelist?

A: Looking back, I see four influences that ultimately led to my late-start writing career: my parents, a hard-nosed English teacher, an essay contest, and, weird as it seems, Christmas letters. My quite literate parents, both published authors in non-fiction, critiqued my writing efforts for school assignments. I had an English teacher as a freshman in high school who drilled the rules of grammar into me and gave me an appreciation of what makes for good literature. As a senior, I won a school-wide essay contest. But by then, I'd already decided on a medical career, and I took only the bare minimum college English courses to meet the med school admission requirement. After that, my career did not allow the focus or the time for writing. I did have papers published in surgical journals, but they had to follow strict formatting guidelines, and, of course, they couldn't be fiction! But I had the opportunity for creativity in my annual Christmas letters. Some of the recipients of those – friends and family, mind you – said I should write a book. So I started one. The unfinished manuscript then sat in my closet for years while my day job occupied me. When I retired, I finished it.

Q: You're the first author I've met who said Christmas letters inspired you to write. So you went from Christmas letters to completing a novel. What happened next?

A: I soon found out that writing a book is the easy part. Getting it published is something else entirely. I, of course, thought my novel was great. I sent the manuscript to scores of agents and was amazed at the rejections. And only about half of my queries ever got a response. I finally got disenchanted with the “system” and self-published State of Mind in 2009. But I had the bug now, so I wrote another novel, Get the Picture? Much better than than the first, I thought. Bound to attract interest in the publishing world. Again, the rejections came back. I self-published that one in 2010. But I didn't give up. My third novel, The Side Effect, was picked up by Whiskey Creek Press and was published this year.

Q: Congratulations! What is the novel about?

A: A German anthropologist working in New Guinea in the 1930s discovers a plant with amazing properties. Eighty years later, two pharmaceutical companies are competing to bring a miracle drug developed from that plant to market. One of these firms was founded in Switzerland by a scientist involved in the medical experiments of Nazi Germany. The other is an American company that hopes to expand. And then, too late, a possible deadly side effect of the drug is discovered. While the American company investigates, the Swiss one tries to prevent the truth from coming out. This battle, involving wealthy European businessmen, a white-supremacist militia group in this country, and a determined American physician, is the crux of the plot.

Q: Sounds like an intriguing medical thriller. Are all your novels in the same genre?

A: Thrillers are what I most like to read. Nelson DeMille and Michael Connolly are two of my favorite authors. So that is what I like to write. Following the axiom of 'write what you know,' all my protagonists are physicians. But The Side Effect is my only medical thriller per se, to date. And it's the only one with international scope. Growing up in New Jersey and Vermont, and now living in North Carolina, my stories mostly involve those locales.

Q: Yay, I like that the protagonists are people you know well. What else have you been working on?

A: I've completed two novels since The Side Effect. One, The Flame, is a femme fatale-type of story in the vein of Body Heat. The other is a sequel to my two self-published novels, featuring the inimitable Jack Lansing. M.D. - The Sincerest Form of Flattery. Publication dates for these novels have not been finalized. Meanwhile, I'm working on a manuscript which tells the story of four high school football teammates who, decades later, must deal with the consequences of a tragic event involving them as teenagers.

Jack Lansing, M.D. sounds as touch as Jack Reacher. that femme fatale story sounds interesting too. You'll have to come back some time and talk about them. It seems you are also dipping into coming of age book too. It was nice meeting you and I hope to see you again.

Thank you, Rachelle. You are providing an important service for your readers, and I appreciate the opportunity to discuss the writing/publishing process and to highlight my books.

Readers can find out more about Dr. DeBoer at  Dr. John DeBoer's Author Page

The Side Effect is Available at Amazon.com.
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Friday, September 28, 2012

#AuthorInterview Rebekah Lyn #ChristianFiction


Today, we have Rebekah Lyn, author of Christian fiction and romances. Welcome, Rebekah, and tell us a little about yourself and how you started writing
I have always loved books.  Each summer when my family went on vacation I had a bag just for my books and I would devour a dozen or more, depending on how long we were traveling. I learned early on that I enjoyed research and was richly rewarded in sixth grade, when my history report of Saudia Arabia garned me a pen pal in the country who sent me a traditional outfit to wear during my oral presentation.  After that I was hooked, but it wasn’t until three or four years ago that I decided to pursue writing professionally.  I currently have two books available for sale and the third will be out in late October or early November.

What have you done to market your books?
Of course I have done the normal things- Twitter, Facebook, Kindle Select promotions, and video trailers.  I actually just completed a three day free promo with KDP last week for my second novel, Julianne, and it was a wonderful success.  I had some awesome support from the Twitter folks and was included in several of the “Free Kindle” newsletters. Word of warning, the adrenaline from a multi-day promo like this is overwhelming.  The sale ended Friday night and I spent all of Saturday and Sunday practically comotose when the adrenaline ran out. Completely worth it though.    

The things I have enjoyed most though is getting out to meet people.  Last year, around the time I released my first book, Summer Storms, a friend of mine opened a new restaurant and I approached him about doing a book signing there, thinking it would be beneficial for both of us.  This was nerve wracking for an introvert like myself, but it went well and made me realize how much I enjoyed talking to people about my books.  I started brainstorming with my publicist and we came up with the idea to combine the other thing I love in life, tea.  I have now been to three Afternoon Tea with Author parties where a group gets together to enjoy an afternoon tea and I get to talk about my books, the writing process, and my faith.  When I was asked at the last tea if I had any copies of my book with me, I smiled and replied, “What kind of businesswoman would I be if I didn’t have copies with me?”  Every woman there left with copies of either one or both of my books. 

That sounded a like a lot of fun. Since you write Christian fiction, I've a question I'm sure readers would be interested in. Hope you don't mind, but what is your opinion about sex in Christian fiction?
I know sex in Christian fiction can be a difficult topic. I do have a few characters that have pasts with sexual entanglements, but they have now chosen to pursue purity in their future relationships. In my upcoming novel, Winter's End, Lizzie and Ian will experience moments of intense desire, but the heat predominately focuses on the emotions they are experiencing rather than their physical actions.

What words of advice would you give to new authors?
READ!  Read blogs, read new articles, read books on writing, read books to see what works and what doesn’t.  There are at least a dozen blogs I subscribe to, Indies Unlimited, The Passive Guy, and Jade Varden, being my top three favorites right now, and I check them everyday.  Most of the time they have great content and I will tweet the articles I find most helpful.  Get involved in groups on Goodreads or Facebook. I recently joined The Write Stuff group on Facebook and I love it. The people are friendly and helpful, and there is a real sense of comradarie.  Find a group you mesh with and get active, don’t just lurk reading posts, comment on what other people are saying, share  stories you find, ask for help, because the indie author community is very supportive. Rachelle has a wonderful page if you are planning a KDP Promotion as does Ruth Nestvold.

What is something funny you would like to share about yourself?
I know several writers, and we are all terrible at math.  Honestly, numbers scare me and I have numeric dislexia much more than I do with letters and yet, I am the chairperson of my church’s finance committee, and have been for the past three years.  It has been a great experience though and has given me a different greater appreciation for those who are good with numbers.  


Social Media Links


Amazon Author Page

Julianne Available at

Summer Storms Available at
Amazon Paperback
Amazon Kindle
Barnes and Noble

Trailers

Thursday, September 27, 2012

#BookChat MICHAL'S WINDOW by Rachelle Ayala



Synopsis:
It’s not easy being a woman, least of all princess of Israel. Married as a prize, abandoned as a wife, Michal fights to claim her rightful spot next to King David, the man she loves with all her heart.

Separated by war, concubines, and kingdom politics, Michal embarks on a journey of adventure and heartache where she is befriended by a goddess-worshipping priestess and tempted by a Philistine prince.

From reading scrolls high atop the palace walls to seduction with a henna-painted body, Michal is not your ordinary Bible heroine. Join her in Michal’s Window and let her delight you with her courage, devotion, and outrageous passion in her relentless drive to win back her husband.

Why I wrote Michal’s Window
Michal is one of those fascinating women in history who had the guts to stand up to the establishment and the courage to take her punishment. I knew there was more to her story than the surface presentation in the Bible. If God was so adamant about men remaining with the wife of their youth (Proverbs 5:18-19) and not mistreating their covenant wife (Malachi 2:14), then why did it seem as if David got away with his burgeoning harem?

Michal was shortchanged in most history books, novels and Bible commentaries, so I wrote my own version of her story to vindicate this heroic woman, too strong for her time.

Readers React
“From the first page, a pretty grotesque first page, but just the way I like it, the author's skills were already made known. With the first sentence, she grabbed the readers attention, and from there will take you on a journey you will truly never, ever forget!”

“The author creates a plausible fictional account of Michal, used as a pawn by her father, abandoned for years by her lawful husband, David, and loved by two other men. She's passionate--oh those steamy romance scenes--but she's flawed.”


“Living in Israel, I'm familiar with this part of the history, still after reading Michal's Window, I feel I'd learned my people's history a great deal better!”

“The story opens from the third person perspective, depicting a scene of violence. This technique was effective, because it notified readers that this Bible tale wasn’t just a romance for women regarding Michal. It put the spotlight squarely on this manly figure, David and opened up a big plot, before shifting to Michal’s first person perspective.”

“As a man, I found the story gave me some insight into the mind of a woman, something that has been elusive most of my life and I dare say, most any man's life. Rachelle draws wonderful 'word pictures' that allows the reader to see, hear, feel, taste and smell the scenes.”

“I would say that NO teenage girl or unmarried woman should read this as it will only cause her to stumble in her thought life and fantasies.”

Behind the Scenes:
Writing Michal’s Window enabled me to experience almost every emotion a woman could have, from the thrills of young love to the despondency of having an adulterous husband. There were times when the very name Bathsheba caused cold sweats, jittery heartbeats and shortness of breath. While my husband was innocently sitting there playing video games, I was gritting my teeth and wondering if I needed a stiff drink. I burnt countless meals, smashed up my car, and experienced so much palpitating heartbeats and anxiety that had I not created the lovable and flirtatious Ittai, neither Michal nor I would have survived to the end of the book.

I always loved my husband, but writing and living Michal’s life made me appreciate him one-hundred-fold better. If nothing else, Michal’s Window is the perfect book for marital reconciliation with an added bonus of enough steamy scenes to keep you busy.

So who would you recommend this book to? Leave a comment! Thanks

Please check out my Amazon Author's Page

Michal's Window is Available at Amazon US INDIA UK DE FR ES IT Barnes & Noble NOOK  Google Play  Smashwords

Paperback at Barnes & Noble and Amazon

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

#IndieAuthor Checklist: 8 Steps to #SelfPublishing

One of my online buddies has been bugging me for a checklist on how to self-publish. Instead of rehashing what others have written, I will summarize my journey in 8 easy steps through blog posts I wrote along the way.
  1. Write a Story
    Signed up for NaNo
    NaNoMoWri Reflections
    NaNoMoWri Results
  2. Join a Critique Group
    Who's Your Firstee?
    The Best Online Crit Group
  3. Revise, Edit, Revise again
    PlotWriMo Road bumps
    Pondering PlotWriMo
    My Self-Edit Checklist
  4. Decide to Self-Publish
    Why I Decided to Self-Publish and Find an Editor
    Don't Go It Alone
    Top 3 Reader Expectations for Self-Published Authors
  5. Find an Editor
    Choosing an Editor
  6. Social Networking
    Seven Sins of Social Networking
  7. Proofread, Format, and Design Cover
    Do not skimp on this step. People really do judge a book by the cover and appearances. There is nothing more off-putting then finding a book with run-on paragraphs or tab/line-break issues. Remember, an ebook flows differently than a print book. When you format for an e-book, do not leave blank lines. On small devices like an iPhone, your reader may end up with a blank page. Do not use tabs for paragraphs, use the paragraph format to control the indentation. And do not use "hard-hyphenization" because you never know where a line will end on someone's e-reader. And finally, proofread after formatting. You never know what artifacts could have been introduced. Ebook formatting is not difficult if you follow the publishers' guidelines, however if you need a hand, I provide formatting services.
    See Ebook Formatting: What is NCX View?
  8. Publish and Promote
    Promotion, Schuhmotion, Where Should I Place My Ad?
    Join an Author's Group: Recommendation - WorldLiteraryCafe.com and WorldLiteraryCafe Facebook Group [both are free to join and participate in]
    Indie authors are generous in answering questions and would love to give you advice. Market conditions change constantly so whatever worked in the past may not work today. There is no substitute for the camaraderie and up-to-date information found in an author's group. Don't go it alone!
For more about self-publishing, take a course from Fostering-Success.com and learn about Social Networking, Marketing and Promotion. Here's a message from Melissa Foster, founder of World Literary Cafe and Fostering Success:
Support from others in your field can mean the difference between rattling around for hours trying to find your way and having a host of people ready to answer your questions, hold your hand, and show you the path. The World Literary Cafe (WLC) is based on the spirit of paying-it-forward in the literary community. We are a community of independent and traditionally published authors, reviewers, bloggers, and other literary service providers, and we welcome you to join us. 
What about you? Do you have tips for new self-publishing authors? Websites or book suggestions? Please post them in the comments below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

#BookReview At Road's End by Zoe Saadia #Action

At Road's End (Pre-Aztec series, #1)At Road's End by Zoe Saadia
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Wonderful and engrossing. This book reads like a Louis L'Amour western, but set in pre-Aztec times. I love Sakuna and gradually began to like Tecpatl as the book progressed. At first he was arrogant and close-minded, but always a hero. He risks his life for a people who did not appreciate them. Of course I enjoyed the love scenes. I only wished they were more detailed. Sakuna is a worthy heroine to follow to the other books. Her philosophy is quite modern and it is a shame that her peaceful people disappeared whereas crueler races prospered.

The action and fight scenes and wonderful description takes the reader back to a land that no longer exists. The characters were well-rounded, fighting their inner demons, while noble self-sacrificing. The love story had its moments of distrust sprinkled in to tug at the heart of a romantic reader. Altogether a superb story. I finished it in one sitting.

View all my reviews

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

#BloggerInterview The fantastic Deb (DDS) from b00kr3vi3ws.com

BooK ReviewS
I am ecstatic to have Book Blogger, Debdatta Dasgupta Sahay, aka D.D.S. from  http://b00kr3vi3ws.blogspot.com today. She is an inveterate book reviewer and can hold eight books between her finger slots at a time. But since I can't find that picture, I'll post her bookshelf instead.

First question is really stupid. What would you like us to call you? D.D.S. stands for Doctor of Dental Science and gives me shivers with memories of shrill drill sounds.
Answer: Oho! I didn’t think of it that way. But don’t worry, I have no drills with me and I pretty easy going. So you can call me anything at all – Debdatta – Deb – Mrs.Sahay ;) or even ‘that book-greedy girl’. I don’t mind at all.

Okay, book-greedy-girl, aka, BGG, cool name for your blog. Let me guess, you work for a computer security company and they make you change your passwords all the time, so you do the zero for an "o" and three for an "e" trick? 
Answer: I only wish my answer was something that glamorous or interesting. But the truth is ‘book reviews’ was taken and that’s all I wanted for my blog address. So had to do the zero for an "o" and three for an "e" trick. I had also thought of replacing ‘I’ with ‘1’ and the ‘s’ with ‘5’.

Ha, ha, that would make a great secret code. Let me try it out b00kr3vi3w5.b10g5p0t.c0m. Okay, now to the brass tacks. Books! Tell me what enthuses you about books so much that you've put up a blog with eleven tabs? Yes, I counted the tabs. The more tabs the more important your blog, so your blog must be Mondo-important.
Answer: Ummm… that’s a hard question. Actually I have never understood why some people do not read at all or even those who do, why don’t they love it like me. Give me never ending supply of books and coffee and I’ll be in heaven for the rest of my life. As for the number of tabs (I haven’t counted them and can’t believe you did.) – They have a mind of their own. I just wanted to give all the features of my blog equal opportunity to be ‘seen’ along with the review. So, Interviews / Guest Posts / Special Feature / New girl on the blog / Blog tours and Giveaways all have their own space.

Do you read more Indie books or traditionally published books?
Answer: Frankly, all I look for in a book is the plot, character and good writing. If a book has all three of them then publisher, book cover, size-shape-colour, nothing else matters to me. I didn’t even know that indie books existed before I started blogging. I had read a few, but I had never thought of paying attention to the publisher unless a book I was looking for was out of stock at my favorite bookstore. Once I started blogging, I got to read a lot more of Indie books thanks to the review copies I get. Besides my review copies, I hardly get to read indie books since due to obvious reasons. They hardly ever make to bookstores in India and buying online through Amazon and TBD is kind of a hassle and expensive.

What is the one characteristic you like about indie books, assuming you can find something they have in common?  Ha, you should have known I'd have a trick question in here somewhere.
Answer: I actually know what exactly are in common – they all have plots, characters and good writing. And they have me in common – I love them both. Still if you made me choose anyway, then I think I would choose Indie books because I hear that it takes much shorter period of time to get your book out. That means I can get more books quickly. Or, maybe I would choose traditional publishing because that means the books are more readily available?! Never mind – don’t make me choose between books please… I can’t – I love them all and want to give a place to each and every one of them at my home.

Yay! and on your ereader too. Now that Amazon has opened the Kindle bookstore in India, do you think e-book reading will explode there? How many of your friends read e-books versus dead-tree books? [Oops, did I make a disparaging remark? so sorry!]
Answer: I think so. People here are very Tech Savvy and they do love their gadgets. I am hoping that the mobility will encourage people to pick up a kindle.
I think you should know that I am one of those ‘dead-tree book’ readers. I read on my laptop, on my mobile and on my Nook, but that is only because most of the review copies that I get are e-copies. I have bought maybe 4-5 e-books so far. I always prefer reading print books because I had fallen in love with books when e-books were mere dreams/concepts. I love the smell of the books (both brand new & dusty old). I love the way they feel in my hands and the comfort that it provides. Okay, okay, let me not scare you with what my hubby puts as ‘crazy book talk’. But yes most of my friends and family prefer reading print books too as they find it ‘irritating’ to read on a computer. But that may change, with the launch of Kindle – the younger generation may just start to prefer e-books too. But for the older generation and old souls like me – Print book it is!

Well, then I must mail you a dead-tree book so it can sit on your wonderful bookshelf. You must be inundated with review requests. How do you decide what book to read next?
Answer: Right now I have stopped accepting any review request, because unless I review 5 books a week, I am booked till the end of January! Seriously backlogged!!
I usually read the review copies in the order I receive them. In case I am not in the mood for the genre that my next review copy is, I usually squeeze in a few personal choices then. But yes I always read & review in the order of request received.

If you could give a piece of advice to indie authors, what would it be?
Answer: Get a professional editor please. I have read quite a few books with good plot & characters but the potential of the book and my personal reading experience was marred by terrible typos and grammatical errors.

Do you watch TV and movies or you prefer reading? What are some of your favorite movies, books, TV shows?
Answer: I prefer READING over everything. My all-time favorite author is Satyajit Ray and I read his books over and over again. Besides those, I also love Count of Monte Cristo, Shall we tell the President, Harry Potter, Kite Runner, The City of Joy (that’s actually based on my hometown)… List goes on. My recent indie favorites are Bridge of Death by MCV Egan, Torn Together by Emlyn Chand, Michal’s Window by… ahem, you-know-who and Alicia Trent Series by Eileen Harris. But I also enjoy watching TV from time to time. I enjoy Castle, Lie to Me and The Vampire Diaries (I actually did not like the book series much, but I watch the tv series anyway. One name - Ian Somerhalder! Swoon!!) Coming to Movies, I am so in love with Shah Rukh Khan that I always make sure I catch the first day-first show of all his movies at a theatre. I also like George Clooney, Bruce Willis & Jason Statham. I love action and romantic movies. But I hate it when they make movies based on books – they always manage to spoil the best part. Can you imagine the Half Blood Prince without the Hogwarts fight? The exception to this rule being P.S. I Love You – the movie was way better than the book there.

If they made a movie about you, who would be the actress cast to play you?
Answer: Easy… it’s Kajol. She is a Bollywood actress and my all-time favorite. She also happens to be a Bengali like me. Among Hollywood actresses, I would choose Sandra Bullock ‘coz she can make it cool to be nerdy J

Kajol is a beaut. Tell us a bit about your likes and dislikes. Free association here, first thing that comes to mind.
Mysteries or romance?  Hands down - Mystery.
Turmeric or Vanilla? Vanilla – I like the flavor and the smell both. Can’t say the same about turmeric.
Stilettos or flip-flops? Flip flops – I am so clumsy that I manage to trip on plain smooth floor without any help. Wonder what I’d do to myself if I wore stilettos?
Hollywood or Bollywood? Bollywood – I love the songs & dances that Hollywood doesn’t have.
Ittai or Phalti? Ittai – Kunal Kapoor is stuck on my mind.

[Oh, gosh, do I agree with you! Michal and Ittai sitting in a tree. For more Kunal Kapoor images. Those of you who haven't read Michal's Window, this is a teaser for you. And check out #IndieReadaThon Wrap-Up Post for more favorites.]

Thanks for chatting with us. Where would you like people to contact you?



Monday, September 24, 2012

#AuthorInterview Aleatha Romig, author of CONSEQUENCES

Today I’m happy to interview Aleatha Romig: Goodread’s “Number One New Author to Read” from July 2012 until present.  Aleatha is the author of CONSEQUENCES, a psychological thriller with over 100 rankings on Goodreads, a 4.5 Star rating on Amazon, and a continuing growing readership.

Psychthrillers always give me the chills. Aleatha, please tell us about CONSEQUENCES.
CONSEQUENCES is the story of Claire Nichols and Anthony Rawlings.  Claire, an out of work meteorologist working as a bartender in Atlanta, is kidnapped by Anthony Rawlings.  He is a wealthy - mega wealthy - businessman who appears to the world as perfect in every way.  He is charismatic, philanthropic, handsome, and charming.  Claire learns immediately that as a captor he is none of the above.  He is domineering, demanding and controlling. 
As a prisoner in Anthony’s secluded mansion, with no means of escape, Claire faces the realization she must submit in order to survive.  Like Elizabeth Smart and Jessie Dugard, Claire understands she must pacify her captor to see another day.
Anthony provides Claire with the best of everything: surroundings, clothes, food, and servants.  What he doesn’t provide is freedom.  Claire learns every aspect of her life is dependent upon this man.  In time this overpowering domination transforms her into someone she never wanted to be and never expected to be... can she survive?  And most importantly, why is she undergoing the CONSEQUENCES?
This “thriller” is a puzzle. Claire’s abduction is not a random act.  Can you put the pieces together before all is revealed?
A mystery in addition to a chilling story. Is this novel for every reader?
I don’t believe so.  Honestly, I recommend it for adults.  There are many adult and sexual references to Anthony’s demands.  In time, Claire not only submits but relishes any connection to anyone, even Tony.  Stockholm Syndrome? Some of their encounters are quite steamy!  (I do however like to leave some things to the imagination)
And while I have received some 5 star ratings from men, I believe CONSEQUENCES is primarily a female read. 
I noticed men are more lenient in rating my steamy Biblical romance, Michal's Window, so be glad for those gentlemen who give 5 stars. Do you intend for Claire Nichols to come across as a submissive?
No! Not at all.  Claire Nichols is a strong woman who has the wisdom to “play” her captor.  I am confident her fate would have been much worse had she not submitted.  That being said, I try to convey her ongoing strength in the face of his control.  Sometimes she is only able to show this through her “fiery eyes or intense glare” but the fight is present even though the lips submit.
Anthony uses many tried and true psychological ploys to “train” Claire: isolation, domination, seclusion, to name a few.  He is a master at this craft.
Is Tony’s later profession of love a lie?
I don’t want to give too much away.  But, I will say Claire displays more strength and energy than Tony has ever encountered.  He doesn’t want to be, but he is mesmerized by her.  I recommend readers continue reading into TRUTH to learn more!
TRUTH, is the sequel to CONSEQUENCES, correct?
Yes, it is!  TRUTH is scheduled to be released in November of 2012.  The exact date is not set.  I am VERY excited!  It has been read by a limited number of people and met with great reviews!  So many of the things you deduce in CONSEQUENCES... are truly revealed in TRUTH.  With the puzzle analogy, Consequences has many pieces... in TRUTH it comes together and the game changes... in CONVICTED it is turned upside down!
Sounds like an exciting trilogy. You told me Consequences has 170,000 words. What a coincidence because Michal's Window has 172,500 words. What made you decide to write a 170,000 word novel?  Do you have any writing experience?
Well, the second question first.  I have written in charts, dental hygiene articles, and Facebook posts... but writing as an author, no.  That being said, I didn’t wake up one morning and decide to write a novel. I am a dental hygienist and have been for over twenty five years.  I am also a wife, twenty six years, and a mother of three; so needless to say my plate if full.  However, in 2008 my husband found himself underemployed.  He was forced to work 3rd shift and choose to go back to college.  One year later, I went from a wife and mother with a husband and three children home, to a wife and mother with a husband gone most of the time and two children gone to college. Please don’t misconstrue that as complaining.  Honestly, I am VERY proud of my family.  My husband deserves SO much credit!  He has worked 3rd shift and gone to school full time.  His dream is to be a teacher.  I couldn’t be happier for him.  Our oldest two children are both off at college and doing well!  Again, I’m a proud Momma!  Our youngest is in high school.  In a nut shell I was lonely and bored.
The above scenario left me at home with our youngest.  My love for him is unquestionable; however, he is on the high end of the Autism spectrum... he went to bed early and was not much of a conversationalist.  I’ve always wanted to write.  One day I found myself with the decision, write the story in my head...get lost in the characters... or turn to less acceptable devises.  I took writing.  It is and has been beyond intoxicating!
I never intended to publish.  However, as my characters and plot grew, I couldn’t hold back my excitement.  Following through on the encouragement of family and friends I pursued self-publishing. 
I know how you feel. The story just flows out as you get into the heart of your character. It is indeed a healthy form of intoxication. Speaking of publishing, are you happy you chose self-publishing?
Can I say yes and no?  I chose to publish through a small publisher in Indiana, Xlibris, a subsidiary of Author’s Solutions.  Recently Author’s Solutions was purchased by Penguin Publishing.  The experience for me has been educational. Honestly, I would probably not be published or in the top 5,000 Kindle books without Xlibris.  That being said, I wish I would not have been as naive as I was with them.  Like I said, I have learned a lot!
Is TRUTH being published through Xlibris?
No.  Truth will be published independently. And soon, so will Consequences.  I have already purchased new ISBN numbers and secured new cover art.  (Like I said, I’ve learned a lot in the last year!) I am looking forward to being totally self-published.  Currently I watch rankings for ideas of sales.  I can’t wait to get actual information. 
Is TRUTH the conclusion of this story?
No, I have recently started to write CONVICTED, the final installment in the continuing saga.  I anticipate CONVICTED to be released in late 2013 or early 2014. 
Well, I look forward to all of it. Sounds very intriguing and if I can guess, I hope that meanie gets his just desserts. What has been your biggest surprise about becoming an author?
I would say my biggest surprise is my ongoing relationship with my characters.  I realize that may make me sound crazy.  After all, these are not real people.  However, from the time I began CONSEQUENCES until now, the release of TRUTH, has been over two years.  I have just started CONVICTED.  Truthfully I spend more time with Claire Nichols, Anthony Rawlings, and a host of new characters you will meet in TRUTH, than I do real people.  I KNOW them; my family and friends know them.  I will miss them when CONVICTED is complete. 
Oh, yes, I know exactly what you mean. Since I'm not writing a series, I had to divorce my characters after finishing one book and fall in love with the next set. It was indeed depressing and I fell into a blue funk missing Michal, David, and Ittai. But now that I released my second book, I'm in the same state of mind. It's hard to let go of people you know so well. Once CONVICTED is complete, do you plan to continue writing?
Yes! I absolutely love it.  I never expected to feel as passionate about anything.  Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy my career in dentistry.  I work with great people and have wonderful patients.  I’ve been in the same dental office for eighteen years and I wouldn’t trade that part of my life for anything.  However, writing is different.  Writing wakes me at three in the morning with a story that won’t stay in my head...  It infiltrates my thoughts during the day and my dreams at night. 
I wouldn’t be able to do this without the continued support of my family and friends.  To them I am grateful.  I am also amazed by my readers.  My first round of reviews was from people I knew and people they knew.  Now I’m receiving emails and messages from people not only all over the United States, but the world!  A 5 Star review from anyone is great.  Yet, there is something about clicking on the person and seeing that they live in the United Kingdom, the Dominican Republic, or Slovenia that seems surreal!  I know this wouldn’t be possible without the wonders of electronic readers.  I am excited to be involved in publishing during this amazing time of growth and change.
Totally agree! I'm surprised and pleased when people I never met tell me they loved my book. Well, thank you Aleatha for your time, can you tell us again when we can expect TRUTH?
TRUTH, the ongoing saga of Claire Nichols and Anthony Rawlings is scheduled to be released in November of 2012.  And thank you Rachelle for giving me this opportunity.  Please stay tuned... I promise if you enjoyed the CONSEQUENCES you will love the TRUTH!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

#BookReview Growing up Country by Carol Bodensteiner

Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm GirlGrowing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl by Carol Bodensteiner
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

The vignettes are authentic, heartwarming and inspiring. The author's voice is exactly that of a ten to twelve year old girl. She speaks as a child would and transports the reader back in time to her kitchen, barn, or field. Each adventure was a complete story, with a goal, tension, hoped for outcome and a lesson.

I loved every one of the stories, except for the one about the cow with milk fever and the last one. But such is life, and the bad times are not papered over. I came to know Carol, her two sisters, two grandmothers, mom and dad, and her schoolmates and Mrs. Fowler almost as if they were my own neighbors. Carol, or Squirt, took me through her lessons, mischief, trials and accomplishments. My chest fill with pride when Squirt accomplished her goals, whether it was lifting a milk pail, or selling her radishes, and I felt keen disappointments at her setbacks, especially the 4H club, the bet, and the carny.

This book was so rich and filled with adventures and historical information, I wouldn't be surprised if it were read in history classes. It went beyond farm life to the way people lived, interacted, hoped and feared during the pre-Sputnik times. Carol combined the voice of her childhood with her wiser adult voice looking back in a seamless manner. It's incredible how much detail she remembered from fifty years ago. What a wonderfully nostalgic view of life in time and place that no longer exists. Carol has done an excellent job of preserving it, much like her mother preserved vegetables, she preserved memories.

View all my reviews

Please read my Author Interview of Carol Bodensteiner here.
Growing Up Country is available at Amazon.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Reviewer is In? Out? and Other News


August and September! How did they fly by so quickly? A big thank you to all the people who appeared on my blog. I got to meet some truly incredible people.

Soo... the big news. I published Broken Build in the wee hours of Sept 12, 2012. However, Amazon, in their infinite wisdom determined that it was still Sept 11 in Hawaii or wherever it was just west of the International Date line, so I got credited with a Sept 11 publication date. I held a Virtual Celebration complete with ice cream sundaes and cake. Last weekend, Broken Build surged to #61 for Paid Technothrillers. Thanks to all of you for tweeting and sharing. My wonderful Beta Readers provided me with reviews and lots of encouragement.

I also made progress with my next novel, Hidden Under Her Heart. I'm 67K words into my first draft and doing research on triathlons and trying to recall my pregnancy experiences. Who remembers how much kicking you can feel at 19 weeks? 22 weeks? I'm really loving my two characters, Maryanne Torres and Lucas Knight. What a pair! Here's a sneak preview of the cover.



How did I do with Book Reviews I promised? Last time I featured six books on my "to review" list and I'm happy to report that four of them have been read and reviewed: Deep as Bone, Growing Up Country, Wedlocked, and At Road's End.

Deep As BoneDeep As Bone by Malla Duncan







Growing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm GirlGrowing Up Country: Memories of an Iowa Farm Girl by Carol Bodensteiner






WedlockedWedlocked by Bonnie Trachtenberg








At Road's End (Pre-Aztec series, #1)At Road's End by Zoe Saadia









The following two books from last report stay on my list. I swear, I'm excited to read them, but there's this thing called time that keeps eluding me. I'm trying, really I am. Just for reference. I started Diana Gabaldon's Voyager in July 2011, left Jamie in the cave for over a year and have now left him talking to Sir John Gray on page 148.

Through These VeinsThrough These Veins by Anne Marie Ruff





Hyde, an Urban FantasyHyde, an Urban Fantasy by Lauren Stewart









I'm excited to add the following three books to my stack. They look promising.

Scent of Triumph: A NovelScent of Triumph: A Novel by Jan Moran








Roll The Dice (Vegas Series)Roll The Dice by Mimi Barbour




Dancing Naked in DixieDancing Naked in Dixie by Lauren Clark








"The Book Reviewer is In" is a meme at Ara's Website. Don't forget to add your site in the comments below and we'll encourage everyone to visit too.