Thursday, February 28, 2013

#GuestPost The Crime Writing Life by Faith Mortimer


Faith Mortimer – Crime Writer & Why my life took a different turn and I took up writing
Trolling back through the years, I realise I’ve lived an amazing life – and God willing I’ve got a lot of living still to do!  Since the age of five I’ve been fortunate in visiting many countries and six of my tender years I spent living in Malaya and Singapore. I am the eldest of three daughters and my family live in the south of England in Hampshire and Surrey. 
One of my great loves is for the theatre and the arts. I started a dramatic society in Cranleigh, Surrey with a few other members back in the 1980’s and since then I’ve been a member of many different drama groups. Nowadays, since I live in Cyprus for part of the year, I’ve been an actor in Shakespearean plays which we perform in the ancient amphitheatre of Curium. Pure magic, acting under the stars to an audience of around 2000! I’ve also discovered a passion for musical shows and I’m a member of a Limassol group; Premier. We’ve just completed a run with our own production of ‘One Day More’ which was a complete sell-out with standing ovations!
Loving literature as I do, I’d always wanted to write – whether it was novels, plays or poetry. As a child I used to write stories for my sisters and then as I grew older, my short stories became much longer until they resembled novellas. In the early 2000s, I started writing my first full-length novel –The Crossing. In 2001, my husband took early retirement. We were delighted; until it was discovered he had a heart complaint. Not knowing what the future might bring we decided to downsize our house and buy a brand-new 50-foot sailing yacht and see some of the world. In Altarial, we ventured along the French and Portuguese coasts, across to the Canary Islands and then down the coast of Africa to the Cape Verde islands. After a short stay we then hopped across the Atlantic Ocean to Antigua. We spent many happy years cruising up and down the Caribbean island chain sailing as far north as New York and as far south as Venezuela. When we tired of these tropical islands we sailed Altarial back to the Mediterranean and spent a few years cruising as far as Turkey.
Now you might be wondering what all this has to do with writing…Well it was during this time that I spent many hours writing on board as well as studying for an Open University science degree. It wasn’t easy I can tell you! We came up against rough seas, almost non-existent internet and pirates! But I persevered and eventually I finished my first novel.
The Crossing was published in 2009 with a London publisher. I have to be honest and say that the publisher was rubbish! They gave me little support with marketing my book, and in 2011, when eBooks started to take off I decided to go it alone and self-publish. Since then I haven’t looked back. I recently rewrote, edited and added a lot more copy to The Crossing and have renamed it and turned it into two novels; The Seeds of Time (Book 1 of The Crossing) and Harvest (Book 2 of The Crossing). These books genre are hard to determine as they cover action, adventure, romance, mystery and World War Two.
In 2012, I embarked on writing crime novels~ murder mysteries of suspension and thrillers! So far, in the Diana Rivers series (which are all stand-alone books), I have received some splendid accolades for, The Assassins’ Village, Children of the Plantation, The Surgeon’s Blade and Camera Action…Murder! The Assassins’ Village was voted #1 book on Harper Collins site Authonomy becoming a bestseller on Amazon and The Surgeon’s Blade sold over 50,000 copies in 2012 after becoming #1 in suspense and voted in the top #3 in the Sunday Mail!
My newest release, A Very French Affair is my first foray into romance. And I’m now in the process of editing my fifth Diana Rivers murder mystery, Evil’s Unfinished Business, (yes set in Cyprus again due to popular demand!) This novel should be published in April.
I think my message is simple: don’t be afraid to take a different turn in life. You can write that first novel – it may take you some time, but if you persevere it’ll happen. Don’t be afraid to go it alone, many thousands of Indie writers are successful and don’t be afraid to learn from others. Take whatever opportunity comes your way, grasp it with both hands and say, this is what I want to do! Then do it! When my husband fell ill we took a risk – but this is why my life took a different turn – yours could too.
Thank you for stopping by – have a great week
Faith

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

#GuestPost, Teen Dating Violence Awareness by Rebecca Green Gasper


Thank you, Rachelle Ayala for hosting me on your site today. I am honored to be here and talk about teen dating abuse.

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness month. The statistics are alarming. 1 in 3 teens experience some form of abusive relationship. Over half of all rape victims report being raped before the age of 25. Teens are at a higher risk of intimate partner abuse than adults, yet more than 75% of all victims will not report it and more than 80% of adults do not feel like teen dating abuse is a problem. (facts from loveisrespect.org)

Violent behavior starts between the ages of 12 and 18, and violent relationships in adolescence will put victims at a higher rate of substance abuse, eating disorders, and suicide. Dating abuse is a major issue, one with major consequences.

Abuse can be in the form of emotional/verbal abuse, stalking, financial abuse, sexual abuse, digital abuse, as well as physical.

Some signs of abuse include (but are not limited to): Constantly checking in, lying, not letting you talk to others of the opposite sex even if they are just friends, partner threatening to hurt self, loss of temper quickly, embarrassing you, forcing sex, keeping you away from friends, checking messages/texts/phone/email. You should feel comfortable, happy, and safe in a relationship. Love is about friendship and respect, not abuse, fear or control.

Dating abuse knows no boundaries. It runs across all race, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, nationality, geography, age and social-economic lines. No one is above it. No one is immune to it. And no one deserves to be abused.

If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, know that there are many ways to get help. First make sure you or your friend is safe. Don’t isolate self or allow friend to become isolated. Get in touch with a trusted organization such as loveisrespect.org, thehotline.org, datingabusestopshere.com, or clotheslineproject.org. These organizations have professionally trained staff to listen, understand, and help. Other places to get help include—religious leaders, coaches, school nurses, teachers, school counselors, doctors, or other health professionals. Find a support system. Get legal help. Rape, harassment, and assault are illegal.

It is important to stand up and speak out about dating abuse. Please join me this month and every month in raising awareness on this devastating issue of teen dating violence.
 
For more information please go to
loveisrespect.org, call 1-866-331-9474 or text “loveis” to 77054

Rebecca Green Gasper is the author of Break From You, a young adult contemporary novel that centers on the issue of teen dating abuse. It is a story about love and loss, heartache and romance. Synopsis—Love shouldn't hurt this much... Brooke Myers wants to believe she has it all: the perfect guy, the perfect relationship, the perfect life. She wants to believe it so much that she's willing to overlook the fear, the isolation, and the pain her boyfriend has caused her. She knows it isn't right but tells herself that love isn't always easy.  However, when a fire destroys the restaurant during homecoming dinner, she forms an instant bond with the boy who saves her, one her boyfriend wouldn't like. With the pain of a concussion reminding her of how bad things can get, she is forced to re-evaluate the relationship she has with her boyfriend and face the ghosts that haunt her. Brooke once believed love was all it took...but is it enough?  Is it truly love when you've lost yourself in it?

Rebecca's books are available now at AmazonSmashwords, and Barnes and Noble

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Tuesday, February 26, 2013

#AuthorInterview Mimi Barbour on her Vegas Series #crime #thriller

Mimi Barbour lives on the beautiful east coast of Vancouver Island and writes her paranormal romances with tongue-in-cheek and a mad glint in her eye. Asked why she prefers paranormal, she answers – chuckling.  “Because it’s fun! Imagination can be a lot more interesting than what happens in real life to so-called normal people. I love my characters, and my goal is to make the readers love them also. To care about what happens to them while the tale unfolds. If I can steal my booklover’s attention away from their every-day grind, absorb them into a fantasy world, and make them care about the ending, then I’ve done my job.”
~~~~~~~~~~~
I’m working on Book #4 in my Vegas series and something rather miraculous has happened to me. I think this is the best book yet!! Truly!!
I’ll explain.
When I started the first book, I was trying to get my work added into an anthology with some wonderful Amazon, best-selling suspense authors whose influence I knew would help my budding career. I was told to submit a tale with around 5,000 words and it had to be done like - yesterday!!! So, I got myself to work and wrote what I thought was a good story, with a blockbuster opening and fascinating characters. I sent it in praying they’d accept the work.
To my utmost shock and heart-stopping glee, Carolyn McCray, the organiser and my promoter, explained to me that I had sent in the beginnings of a full-length novel. What she now wanted me to do was to write the short story to introduce those same characters who would appear in the book. And then, of course, write… You guessed it! The book.
Whaa???
I was ecstatic and freaking out all at the same time. They were going to take my work except I still had to write it - a whole new short story and I had like three days before they wanted to release it….gulp.
Not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, I got my chubby little butt into my office and worked harder than I’d ever done before. I did come up with the short story she wanted and it was added into the anthology. I called it “Partners” and the following full-length book was called “Roll the Dice”.
Well once I started the series, I got caught up in the lives of my hero and heroine. They had to suffer and overcome huge conflicts just to make it worth my time and effort to care about their lives. Right?? I mean these books are suspense? And to me, that means the reader must never know exactly what is in store for them. As their creator, it was up to me to keep everyone guessing.
Except I never thought I’d be the one guessing also.
So after I finished “Roll the Dice”, I had to write a follow-up book to set things right. I mean, I don’t want to do a spoiler here but, trust me, it was imperative to continue. Unfortunately, I had released “Roll the Dice” in Sept. Christmas was closing in and I had a deadline to get a holiday book written and released by November. I had to stop writing on the Vegas series. Feeling suspended and itching to get back to it, my promoter urged me to write a bridge book to keep the series alive.
Huh?? What’s a bridge book I asked shyly, blushing like a sixty-year-old virgin? Should I have known what she meant??
She explained, without any hint of censure. Phew!
It’s a short story giving the readers a peek into the lives of your characters while they wait for the next full-length blockbuster. Okay! I could do that and I did. I released “Vegas Shuffle” a few weeks ago and thoroughly enjoyed writing this portion, because, to tell you the truth, it rather cemented all the stuff going on in my characters’ lives in my own head also. Made everything clear for me to know exactly what I needed to do for the follow up story called “High Stakes Gamble”.  This will be Book #4, which I’m madly writing now to be released in the beginning of April.
And I will reiterate what I said at the beginning. This is Book #4 to the series and my best book yet. At this point, I’m so very comfortable with all my characters that I know their needs, their wants, what they fear and who they love. And each morning, I can’t wait to get back into their heads so I can add a few more chapters and get closer to the end so…
Wanna know something else I just found out myself? There will have to be two more books before I can even begin to think of stopping. Oh yeah…!!

Note from Mimi: My contact information is as follows: I do love to hear from you so please drop me a line.





Twitter: https://twitter.com/MimiBarbour @MimiBarbour




Amazon page: http://amzn.to/Qy67qM



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Monday, February 25, 2013

#BookReview THE ASSIGNMENT by @GeraldineSolon Filipino Family Drama

The Assignment by Geraldine Solon
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A wonderfully engrossing family saga, The Assignment covers two spans of Philippine history, the Japanese Occupation during World War II and the events surrounding Corazon Aquino's People Power Revolution.

The dual story lines are woven together seamlessly as documentary journalist Sophie Matthews takes an assignment to return to Manila to interview World War II survivor Marina Suarez. A series of happy coincidences result in Sophie meeting with the man who she fell in love with on her last assignment as well as a friendly housemaid who takes her under her wing and treats her to delicious food and family history.

Initially Marina Suarez refuses to speak to Sophie, but as Sophie digs deeper and deeper into Marina's history, she becomes more and more entangled both with heart-throb Eric Santiago, a love song singer, and her own murky past as an adopted child.

The storyline was predictable but delightful. This author foreshadows frequently and gives plenty of explanation, backing up each character's thoughts and actions with documentary evidence and commentary by other characters. The characters themselves are also honest reporters of their own feelings and dialogue is straightforward without subtexting.

Therefore, the joy of the story was not trying to match wits with the author to figure out the mystery, but to enjoy the journey the characters take to discover themselves and their loved ones.

The character I most connected with was Marina Suarez. She was a strong willed woman who was talented and outspoken and had suffered unimaginable loss. Even though her story is told indirectly in flashbacks and memoir, the process that Sophie Matthews takes to discover it was fascinating, as each layer is unpeeled. The power of lasting love to transcend misery, abandonment, and betrayal ended the story happily, with the wonderful twist that everyone is reunited with their loved ones and appreciated each precious moment together. A heartwarming story as comforting as a mug of Filipino hot tsokolate.

A lesson for all of us is that for every loss, there is victory, for every sadness, there is joy, and when you think you’ve lost everything, there is hope.

Solon, Geraldine (2012-05-24). The Assignment (p. 371). . Kindle Edition.

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You can also follow Geraldine on Twitter at @GeraldineSolon and Facebook 

Geraldine's best-selling books:


  

Come meet Geraldine March 8, 2013 in San Francisco, CA

#BookReview #Cookbook Think With Your Taste Buds: Beef by Martha Cheves

Think With Your Taste Buds: BeefThink With Your Taste Buds: Beef by Martha A. Cheves
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Yummy Recipes & Homespun Cooking Tips

Let Martha and Lillian sit at your kitchen table and talk about food. It's like having your aunts hang around and giving you cooking tips, substitution suggestions and a trip down memory lane. The recipes are easy, using common ingredients, and Martha and Lillian talk about alternate methods to prepare or serve the food. For example, if you don't like shrimp, substitute pork, or add sage to make it taste like sausage instead of ground beef.

These days a lot of us younger folks did not have mothers teaching us how to cook, or giving us advice. For example, instead of dry mustard and shortening, use cooking oil and wet mustard. Think with your taste buds means to try different spices or tailor the recipe to your family with the spices on hand. And who knew about these tips?

When chopping herbs, toss a little salt onto the cutting board; it will keep the herbs from flying around. Or using an old-fashioned potato masher to separate ground beef while browning. They also explain things that were well known before the days of package food, but mysterious today, such as the origin of buttermilk and why it does NOT have butter in it.

Finally, the recipes are plain yummy and do not require expensive, exotic ingredients. Martha and Lillian know what it's like to be on a budget and how to combine ready made soup mixes, sauces, spices and ingredients to make reliable family favorites.

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Sunday, February 24, 2013

#AuthorInterview Kyle Buchanan of Best-Selling Bible Verse Memory Book


Hi Kyle, I'd like to welcome you to my blog. You published your first book on Thanksgiving Day, two months ago, and it has quickly become a best seller, ranking #1 in Christian Education and 1500 overall. How did you do it?

Thanks Rachelle, I’m excited to be here!  The success of the book has been an enormous surprise to me and my co-author Dean Roller.  We honestly didn’t expect it to do this well, and I’ve been trying to figure out for myself what we did right.  I think the best thing we did was realize that Christians really want to memorize scripture, and we also realized that we could teach a much better way of doing that.  But even with that knowledge, we’ve been surprised at the amazing support the book has received.

You realized that people needed help in memorizing Bible verses and provide them the means to do so effectively. Are their any other areas where your memorization techniques can be used?

Absolutely.  The foundation technique we teach is based on visualizing – which everyone can do – and we’ve tweaked that method to help memorize prose, whether it’s Shakespeare, poetry or Bible verses.  But similar techniques based on visualization and mental imagery can be used for remembering anything.  Names and faces; playing cards; phone numbers; whatever you’d like to memorize.  Unfortunately, the key is that you need to consciously use the techniques, meaning that you’ll probably still forget where you left your handbag.

How much time do you spend marketing? What is your partner Dean’s role?

We’ve just re-launched our website and marketing now has our complete attention, so it’s going to take up a lot of our average day.  We have a valuable product that our market loves, but we need to let everyone know about it.  Social media marketing has such enormous potential and that will be a big part of where we put our focus.

Dean’s main responsibilities are the website, business strategy and marketing in all its different forms.  I’ve been primarily looking after creating our products in different formats, so we’ve been able to complement each other really well.  While we have our designated areas, we help each other out a lot.  It’s been an exciting learning curve and a huge amount of fun.

You mention your website http://www.memorizebiblescripture.com/  Is this book a companion to the lessons on your site?

The book teaches a system for people to use to memorize Bible verses, but the website sells an audio product where all of the work has already been done for you.

When you use the method from the book, you take a Bible verse and transform it into a mental ‘memory story’.  You can then picture that story in your mind like a mental movie, and your memory finds it incredibly easy to hold onto.  As you replay and ‘watch’ that story it recalls the specific verse and reference for you.   So the book teaches a system which the reader then has to go and implement themselves, with a bit of work.

The website sells a downloaded audio product – we call them Memory Audios™ - that has memory stories already written for you.  We’ve chosen 100 of the most popular verses from the Bible and transformed them into a series of vividly described images and stories.  You can lie back in bed, listen to your iPod, visualize everything that’s described and your amazing memory will do the rest.  Our tag line is that you can ‘Learn with your eyes closed!’

These mental imagery techniques actually come from Ancient Greece and have been thoroughly researched in the fields of educational and cognitive psychology.  Unfortunately, while the research shows that the techniques are great for anyone wanting to memorize new information, it also indicates that human nature inevitably takes its course and unless the mental images are created by someone else, students let the techniques lapse and don’t use them.  

People really want to memorize scripture and we’ve tried to make it as easy as possible.

I compiled 366 Bible verses correlated to month and day. For example, January 1 is Genesis 1:1. I aimed to give people at least ONE verse a day in which they could meditate on, memorize, or pick as their life verse. Do you think this daily association could help people with the difficult chapter verse memory part of it?

Memory techniques or ‘mnemonics’ help you remember a piece of information by associating it with something you already know.  Linking the chapter and verse reference to a date is a simple and clever way of doing just that. 

You can build on those associations even further by creating a link in your mind between a particular verse and a friend or family member through their birthday.  Your book is a really cool reference, I’m glad I have a copy!
  
What do you see next in either your audio products, or your writing? Are there other books on the horizon for you?

Oh, the plans we have Rachelle!  In the immediate future is a paperback version of our eBook, along with an audiobook version for Amazon’s Audible.com site.  We know that everyone has their own preferred way of taking in information and we’re trying to cover every format.

For the same reason we’re planning to convert our 100 scripture Memory Audios™ into a book.  Our goal is to make it as easy as possible for people to memorize scripture, so we’re attempting to anticipate what our market would like.

We’d also like to help support the National Bible Bee, run by The Shelby Kennedy Foundation.  They do a wonderful job in promoting the value of scripture memorization, and we’d love to create a product that would benefit the entrants and the foundation.

 I think our books can be great companions and will encourage people to try one verse a day. It gives people a goal to get 365 verses memorized by the end of the year. Speaking of which, I need to start myself. I will definitely be looking into your method, especially the one of remembering the keywords of each verse first. How many verses do you have memorized? What is your favorite one? Your life verse? Your birthday verse according to my book?

You’ve selected a wonderful list of verses for your book Rachelle, and it’d be so exciting if people took on your daily memory challenge using our memory techniques.

I really have no idea how many verses I can remember, which sounds a bit silly.  While I was creating the mental imagery and stories for the 100 verses in our audio product, I was trying to write the stories, but not really memorize the verse myself.  But because I naturally visualized all of the images as I wrote the stories, a lot of them stuck in my memory anyway. 

It’s not one included in our product but my favorite verse is Mark 11:23, because it reinforces to me the power of complete belief.

Thanks to your book, my newly adopted birthday verse is 1 John 4:15 “If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in them and they in God” (NIV).
  
Kyle, it's been a pleasure having you here. Where can readers find out more about you?

Thanks so much for the privilege of being on your blog Rachelle, the pleasure has been all mine!  To keep track of my latest books, blogs and events, the links to my Amazon author page and website are below.  It’s always great talking to readers and I hope they’ll contact me through the website.
  
Author Bio:
It was only after he’d completed four university degrees that Kyle Buchanan became obsessed with discovering how the memory works.  All that study could have been so much easier.  He left behind a career in the financial markets, and is now determined to help people fulfill the potential of their own memory skills. 

When he’s not teaching people how to remember scripture, Kyle is chasing and being chased by his one year old son in the back yard of their home in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia.  The squeals of laughter are often mistaken as coming from his son.

Amazon author page:       http://amzn.to/11hZrEd
You can buy How to Memorize Bible Verses as well as Your Daily Bible Verse at Amazon for 99c each.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

#NewRelease White Swans by Annamaria Bazzi #fantasy

Book Release Announcement
Book Title : White Swans: A Regency Era
Author : annamaria bazzi
Genre : YA Fantasy
Expected Release Date : March 1, 2013
Cover Designer : Jennifer Killby


Book Blurb :
Left an orphan, Kendíka cries herself to sleep and startles awake in a Regency castle. Terror consumes her, and she attempts to escape only to discover the new world is her prison. Having no choice, she attends a ball given by her guardian, Lord Deverow, to introduce her into society. He admonishes her to follow the rules and promises to protect her from the wrath of the strange, hazy set of eyes spying on everything. But when she ignores his warning, Kendíka learns firsthand what it means to be disobedient.

About the Author :
Although born in the United States, Annamaria Bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country.
Upon returning to the states, she promised herself she would speak without an accent. 
She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish.
Annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing.
You can visit Annamaria at:
Twitter : @AMBazzi

Please visit Annamaria's Amazon Author's PageSmashwords Author's Page or Barnes & Noble Author's Page for a list of her books!

The Other Woman - Hidden Under Her Heart (A Story of Abortion & Courage) Chapter 7 - Scene 2


Maryanne opened the door to her apartment and glanced at her cell phone. “It’s almost time for lunch. I can take a quick shower and meet you at your place?”
“Actually, I’m busy the next few hours.”
There she went again, being too clingy. Vera said men were like bars of soap. Squeeze too hard, and they slip away. She took her bag from him and backed into her apartment. “Oh, that’s right, you’re going for a run.”
“That’s later in the afternoon. I uh… already have plans for lunch.” He wiped the back of his neck and gave her an apologetic look.
“Anyone I know?”
“Nah, I’ll call you later.” He kissed her lips and jogged down the stairs, whistling.
Maryanne tamped down the embryonic worm of jealousy. She had been told by ex-boyfriends that her possessiveness drove them away. Of course, Lucas had a life before meeting her. It was probably his training partner or maybe one of his special-ed kids.
She slumped the duffle bag onto her bed; the ache of loneliness gnawed in her stomach. Damn! If she didn’t watch it, she’d choke this relationship before it budded. She took deep breaths. Guys didn’t like to be smothered. She counted to ten. She missed him already and wanted to hear his voice.
Better get busy. She sorted through her clothes and put the dirty ones in the wash, and unpacked her toiletries and accessories. The pumpkin was wrapped inside a towel. Wait! She’d left her glass heart in his glove compartment. Now, she had an excuse to call him.
Maryanne entered the number to Lucas’ cell. He picked it up on the second ring.
“Hey, Lucas? It’s me.”
“Who’re you?” A woman’s annoyed voice fried to the roots of her hair.
“Ummm. I must have hit the wrong number.”
“Sure you did.” The call ended.
Maryanne tried again. This time it went to voice mail. She was about to leave a message when his number popped up on the display. Maryanne switched over.
The same woman said, “Who the hell are you?”
“I’m Maryanne. Who are you?”
“Sandra.”
Maryanne’s heart jolted and she hung up. Sandra? Would she be the woman he was having lunch with?
That did it. A grinding feeling descended to the pit of her stomach. She wasn’t going to put up with another cheater. She grabbed her car keys and ran down the stairs. After punching Lucas’ address into her GPS, she drove the twelve miles to his building and checked the directory. Fortunately, she didn’t have to be buzzed in the gate. She stalked up the outdoor stairs and tiptoed down the landing.
Lucas’ apartment window was wide open. Maryanne pressed herself against the wall and peeked in. A black woman in rollers, wearing fluffy pink bunny slippers and a robe danced with her iPod.
“Hey, Sandra, get in the shower. We’re going to be late.” Lucas came down the hall with a towel around his waist.
Maryanne’s knees turned to jelly, and her back slid down the stucco. No wonder he had such great control. He had a woman living with him, satisfying his sexual needs. And all this time she thought him a saint, a sweetheart, a knight in shining armor. Maryanne squeezed her fist and punched her thigh. The only idiot around was her.

[Start]       [Previous Scene]       [Next Scene March 2]



Ebook Available At: Barnes & Noble (Nook) (FREE)Amazon (Kindle) (FREE) [USIndiaUKDEFRESITCanadaBrazilJapan], Smashwords (FREE)KoboBooks (FREE)
Genre: Women's Fiction, Contemporary Romance

Friday, February 22, 2013

#AuthorInterview Geraldine Solon #womensfiction


1.     Hi Geraldine Solon tell us a bit about your latest book.

My latest novel, The Assignment is set in the Philippines and is about a travel journalist who gets assigned to the Philippines to feature a documentary of a writer/artist that was captured by the Japanese soldiers during World War II. The novel explores themes of love, betrayal and forgiveness.

2.     Sounds very dramatic. Can't wait to read it. What genres do you like to write in? Do you pay attention to genre rules or bend them?

I write Women's Fiction and Romance. Upon completing my novels, I look at the bigger picture first before focusing on the minor details. It’s important for me to have a solid structure, believable characters and an exciting and meaningful plot.

3.     Absolutely. What kind of books do you like to read? Which authors influenced you?

I read all genres except for the sci-fi and fantasy. My favorite genre is Women’s fiction. My favorite authors that have influenced me are, Danielle Steele, Kristin Hannah, Eileen Goudge, Nicholas Sparks and Nora Ephron.

4.     Same here. I like Anne Rivers Siddons and Melissa Foster and their dramatic characters and unexpected plots. Are you a character driven or plot driven writer?

Very much character driven.

5.     Do you have any advice for writers who are just starting out?

New writers need to know the difference between art and craft. Art is raw talent but art requires craft. I’ve met so many new writers who dive into writing novels without a clue about structure, voice, characterization, POV, setting, etc. etc. I never cease to continue learning about the craft of writing and I would encourage other writers to do that.


Learning is a everlasting project, but fun. Who is your favorite character?

I was emotionally attached to Marina Suarez. Her passion, strength and determination is the epitome of a powerful woman.

Sounds like my type of character, although my female leads tend to also have weaknesses. Who was your most difficult character?

Marina Suarez was also the most difficult character to write about. It was very painful to write about the adversity and tragedy she had to go through.


Yes, that is so true. My most difficult one was Maryanne Torres for the same reason. You don’t have to tell us, but who in your life did you pattern him/her after?

All the characters were figments of my imagination. However, since I grew up in the Philippines, I portrayed the history, culture and values of the Filipino people through the events and characters.

Yay! Mabuhay! Any kissing scenes?

Yes, definitely. J

Ha, ha, no elaboration? You're so coy. What sparked the idea for The Assignment?

I’ve been wanting to write a story that is set in the Philippines. Not many people are aware about the history and culture and I believe there’s so much stories to share. I’m glad I did because this is my favorite book so far.

I can't wait to read it. My next protag is Pinay and I haven't decided whether she has ever visited the Philippines or not. Describe a scene in your book where you would have liked to be in. Which character would you be and what would you have done instead?

I would love to be Sophie Matthews, the journalist who travels around the world writing documentaries. Writing and traveling are my two favorite interests, and exploring new places broadens my knowledge and horizons. I wouldn’t change anything if I were to live her life.

I know what you mean. I've been bugging my husband to travel more so I can see and describe new places. If you could go back and change the ending to any novel you’d like, which would it be and what would be the change?

The ending actually has a twist and I’m very happy I chose to end the book this way because it was perfect. I wouldn’t change it.

Love twists! Have you ever fallen in love with one of your characters? Was your husband jealous?

Definitely! I have to create and write characters that are lovable and charming or else I wouldn’t be emotionally attached to them. No, my hubby doesn’t get jealous. He knows I have to spend time with my imaginary friends. LOL!

Whew, good that he's so understanding. What is your greatest fear?

My greatest fears are dying young and losing a loved one. I write about the things I care about and what I fear most.

What keeps you up at night?

My imaginary friends talking to me. LOL!

Any advice for upcoming authors?

Write! Write! Write! Stay focused. Learn about the publishing business and being an authorpreneur. Join a writers group/club or community where you can network with other writers to help advance your career.

What is one thing you wish you knew before you began this journey?

That it was much harder than I thought. LOL!

Tell me what a typical day looks like.

Since I have a day job, I work till 2:30 p.m. then pick up my son from school. When I reach home, I spend two hours doing research about publishing, promoting and latest trends. I read a lot of blogs and articles and promote through social media. I usually write at night when everyone is asleep.

Same here, but you sound more efficient than me. What do you want your readers to walk away with after reading your novel?

That they were touched by my story and that it kept them reading all night. I also want them to be able to grasp the themes and learn something about the story.

Describe your childhood. What were some of your favorite activities? Games?

I grew up in the Philippines and had the best childhood. We spent every weekend swimming in the islands with family and friends. My neighbors were my closest friends and even if thirty years have passed, we’re still very close.

Sounds like you love to visit them still. Did you dream of being a writer or something else?

I always dreamed of becoming a writer. At an early age of eight, I wrote poems and short stories. Back then, writing was just a hobby and I was busy doing other things. It was only till I turned thirty years old that I decided to take this hobby into a career and I’m glad I did.

What is something no one, not even your husband/wife knows about you?

That’s a tough one. With me, what you see is what you get, no qualms and no pretense. People close to me know me as funny, unconventional in the outside and passionate and profound in the inside.

Thanks so much for talking to us. I feel we really got to know you. Good luck on your newest book!

Thanks so much for hosting me today. I enjoyed answering your questions.

AUTHOR BIO: Geraldine Solon is the award-winning, best-selling author of Women’s fiction and Romance novels. Two of her books have been adapted into film. Geraldine is the Managing Editor of Gastronomique en Vogue, a fashion, food and lifestyle magazine. She is also the Event Planner for the Fremont Area Writers club and Writing for Life workshops. You can learn more about her work at www.geraldinesolon.com


You can also follow me on Twitter at @GeraldineSolon and Facebook 

Geraldine's best-selling books:




Come meet Geraldine March 8, 2013 in San Francisco, CA


Thursday, February 21, 2013

#AuthorInterview Emerald Barnes #YA Christian Fiction Author

Today, I'm pleased to have fellow WLC Volunteer Emerald Barnes, a writer of young adult Christian fiction. Welcome Emerald, please let us know a bit about yourself. 

I’m the author of two published books at the moment, both in the YA genre and both suspense novels. I am the Auntie to two beautiful nieces and two beautiful nephews who are my world. I live in Mississippi and definitely have the accident to prove it. I blog, write, and pretend to know what I’m doing in the industry business, but I’ve learned that there is always something new to learn along the way.

I'm sure you know more than you think. What genres do you like to write in? Do you pay attention to genre rules or bend them?

I genre hop some. I write Christian fiction in the suspense genres, but I’m currently working on a YA trilogy that is paranormal/fantasy. I also have some books in mind that are dystopian and other paranormal elements. So, I like to write all types except romance and woman’s lit. Not that I have anything against those, they just aren’t in my writing style.

I don’t really pay attention to most rules. I say if the story needs to go in one direction, go with the flow of the story and not try to buy into the “rules.” I’m a rebel at heart. ;)

Same here. Guess that's why we're not under King George. Who is your favorite character?

Christian from Read Me Dead. He’s broody and totally hot. He would do anything to protect the people that he cares about, but he doesn’t let anyone run over him or take advantage of him. He stole my heart when I wrote him. But of course, he’s kind of got a tie with Landon from the same book. Landon is also hot, but he’s so wonderfully sweet that you can’t help but fall for him!

Who was your most difficult character?

Alex from Read Me Dead. She is by accounts kind of whiney, and it was difficult writing that. But, it is who she is. I couldn’t change her if I wanted to. You know how characters come to life, this was her coming to life. It doesn’t mean it made things easier in writing her. She’s a tortured soul.

Any kissing scenes?

Oh yes. There were two really hot kissing scene in Read Me Dead between Alex and her interest at the time. I do keep things clean, but I loved these scenes.

Have you ever fallen in love with one of your characters? Was your husband/wife jealous?

Yes! But, I’m lucky enough to not be married, so I don’t have to deal with the jealousy!

What keeps you up at night?

TV. I LOVE watching television shows! I really cannot get enough of them! So, after working and reading some, I turn on my shows and watch them until the late hours of the night.

Thanks for hosting me, Rachelle! It’s been fun!

Follow Emerald: Website   Blog   Inspiration Blog   Facebook   Twitter   Goodreads   Google +   Amazon Author Page

Buy Links:   Read Me Dead  https://ganxy.com/i/73581
Piercing Through the Darkness   https://ganxy.com/i/73578
Piercing Through the Darkness Trailer
Read Me Dead Trailer
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