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Thursday, 30 January 2014

Twenty Questions with... Brandi Kennedy

Make yourself comfortable for another round of Twenty Questions.

This week I am delighted to welcome Brandi Kennedy into the hot seat, author of The Kingsley Series, The Selkie Trilogy, and Fighting For Freedom.

Let's go!


ACT ONE – all about you…


Well, my official bio says, “Brandi Kennedy is an American writer who is finally living her childhood career dream. As a child, books were her world, and through adulthood that love of words has never changed. A woman of varied interests, Brandi loves photography, music of all kinds, knitting, crochet and of course, mothering her two young daughters. Currently, she finds her home in the heart of Knoxville, Tennessee, among the mountains and the members of her extended family, where she spends her days at the computer, bringing fresh and incredibly real characters to life.”

But really, I’m just a girl, making her way through life. I love my friends, I love my daughters and my family. But through all of that, there’s this need to create something, and I love that too, even though it set me apart from the people I knew for most of my life. Writing has opened the world up to me though, and introduced me to people who “get it,” in the way that my loved ones never could. And I think it’s that feeling of creative community that really allows me to do what I do.


1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?

I think I’ve always been a writer. When I was little, I would write little stories all the time, and I’d write poetry. There’s always been a part of me that’s completely in love with words, the descriptive painting of regular prose, or the lyrical rhythm of poetry. I love all of it, and I can’t remember a time when I didn’t.

2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?

Not really. Honestly, I have found that getting myself locked into a certain type of writing or a certain writing place ... well, I guess it stifles me. I do tend to write more easily if I have some sort of running outline though – it doesn’t always cover the entire story, but I do better if I’ve got at least a vague idea of where the next chapters are going. Then again, I wrote Fighting For Freedom and Wrestling Harmony with basically no plan at all, just pretty much following the characters around in my head. That’s seems to have worked fairly well, too.

3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing?

If I’m giving you the first answer that flows out of me? I’d say it was Johanna Lindsey’s Love Only Once. That was the book that introduced me to romantic fiction for the first time, and I literally couldn’t put it down. Everything about it fascinated me. If I give something that’s maybe more inclusive, I’d list Nicholas Sparks, Nora Roberts, Marie Force. Diana Gabaldon. But if I’m giving the question real thought and a deeper answer, I’d say it all influences me. Everything I read influences the flow of my writing, the style of my descriptive text, my dialogue, right on down to my punctuation style. Because of this, I’m careful of what I read.

4) Is there one piece of writing (or life?) advice that has stuck with you, or that you would like to share?

Strive to be professional. Read and re-read. Edit, and then edit again. And NEVER let your skin be so thin that you can’t accept the criticism or opinions of others as something that could be helpful to you. Even the most hurtful things can be the things that fuel your determination to better yourself and your craft, if you let them.

Before my horribly unpopular To Love A Selkie grew and became the much-loved Selkie, I got a review that totally shattered me for a few minutes. It was mean and hateful, simply because the reader didn’t like the ending, and was written without regard for their love of the characters or any other aspect of the story. Among other things, the review said that To Love A Selkie was “very badly wrote.” And it took me a while to recover from that, but once I got over the irony of a review that contained the phrase “badly wrote,” I started looking on it as a thing that could fuel me. It’s been over a year since that review, I think, and to this day, every good review on my books makes me sit back with a satisfied smile, and say to myself, “Well. That one must have been ‘goodly wrote.’”

5) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?

Well, I guess that depends on whether or not you’ve read my blog. Over the course of the last year, I’ve done series posts that included 50 Random Things About Me and a 20 Questions set that I found online one day and wanted to answer. But if I had to give three things off the top of my head, I can give these: One, I design my own covers and swag. Two, I have entire random scenes written out for books that aren’t planned or plotted, that include characters with no names or definite information. They just pop into my head and I write them down for later. And three, when I first wrote To Love A Selkie, I did it on a little 10-inch Netbook with about five keyboard keys that didn’t work half the time.

6) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?

First, my phone. I’m pretty that if I had to live in a world that didn’t include my cell phone, I’d shrivel up and die from the abject misery. For me, it’s a pocket TV, it’s my connection to the music I can’t live without, and it keeps me in touch with the people that keep me sane. Second, my laptop, because I use it exclusively to write, and without writing, I’m not sure I could survive. It’s too much a part of me. Third, air conditioning. I simply don’t want to exist in a world without a/c. I’m too hot-blooded for that. Fourth, my Kindle. I still love old fashioned regular books, but since I like to read really weighty novels, I prefer my kindle. It’s better on my carpal tunnel/tendonitis thing that haunts my right wrist and hand. And honestly, I’m not sure there is a fifth one, unless I can use the internet as a luxury item, lol. I really can’t live without it, but I’m not sure it’s really a luxury item.


ACT TWO – all about your new release…



Harmony Kingsley is still carrying lingering anxieties from the past. She doesn’t trust easily, and she struggles to accept change, but right now, it seems like everything is changing. And she’s not sure she can keep up.
One of those changes is tall, strong, confident, and impossibly sexy. In the end, will Xander’s love be a change that Harmony can trust and accept?

7) Congratulations on your recent release of Wrestling Harmony, Book Three in the Kingsley Series, what was your inspiration for writing Harmony and Xander’s story?

Well, first off, it was just Harmony’s turn, and I loved her energy and her struggle. But Xander Harrison is pulled directly from a love of professional entertainment wrestling that borders on obsession.

8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?

A little of both, I suppose. Some of it just came easily, but there were bits I struggled with and scenes that I wrote over and over before I felt that they were aligned right with the characters in the story.

9) How long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?

Haha! Well, since I’m my own publisher, I can say about a millisecond. The entire story was written on the publisher’s desk. In all seriousness, I think the story took three months, maybe four, from writing the first word to clicking publish on Amazon.

10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from your story that you would like to tantalise us with?
“I don’t have words for her,” Xander answered. “She’s sunlight in the morning. She’s moonbeams; she’s the star I follow when I’m on the road and I’m heading home.”
Adam nodded, a slow smile spreading over his lips. “She’s good morning,” he said, nodding slightly as Eva looked over and met his eyes.
“And she’s goodnight,” Xander finished.
11) Over to you, what can you tell us about Wrestling Harmony, to make us rush out and buy it?

Well, first off, I should clarify that even though Wrestling Harmony is the third book in the Kingsley Series, the series doesn’t have to be read in order, or even together.

With that said, Harmony Kingsley is a girl struggling not only with the loss of her career dream, but from the fallout of a really traumatic event she witnessed the effects of at a young age. In this story, she’s going through the hardship of figuring out who she is as an individual, and that means discovering a new dream, letting go of the past, and stepping out of the shadow of her family to finally become her own woman in an entirely new way. And this new sense of self of course leads Harmony into discovering love for the first time.

I should also let readers know that even though it’s marketed with the rest of the Kingsley Series as a contemporary romance, in so many ways, it’s really a New Adult romance, with all of the integral discovery of your classic coming-of age.

12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now?

Currently, I’m working on the fourth book in the Kingsley Series, which is Michael’s story. I’ve also got plans to write the second book in the Selkie Trilogy this year, and the sequel to Fighting For Freedom.

In the meantime, I’m finalizing plans and preparations to appear at the Tennessee Valley Author Event in Knoxville, Tennessee. That’s July 12th of this year, and it’ll be my first public event – I’ll be with 100 other authors, meeting fans and signing books, and I am unbelievably excited.


QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…


13) Plotter or pantser?

I’m a little of both.

14) Digital books or print books?

Digital, mostly.

15) Tea or coffee?

Tea.

16) Extrovert or introvert?

Introvert, for sure.

17) Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook.

18) Christmas or birthday?

Christmas.

19) Morning person or night owl?

Night owl.

20) Sweet or savoury?

Depends on the mood I’m in.

And that’s a wrap!

Thank you so much for taking part, Brandi, I wish you every success with your new release.

To discover even more about Brandi Kennedy, and to keep up with her latest projects, you can visit her at:



Buy it now…


.

Released: November 2013
ISBN: 9781494207731


Amazon UK / US
Barnes & Noble





Thursday, 23 January 2014

Twenty Questions with... Jordan Morris

I am delighted to welcome J L Morris, author of Selfish Beings, onto my blog today for a round of twenty questions.

This isn't the usual sort of book that I feature on my blog but I have heard nothing but good things about it, especially if you look at Goodreads, so I cannot wait until I get some reading time to get stuck into this and see what it's like for myself.

Anyway, let's go!

ACT ONE – all about you…


 J L Morris was born in New Zealand and currently lives in Southampton, UK.

He has worked mainly in sales, marketing and customer relations after discovering he was pretty good at talking and ill-suited to manual labour.

An avid reader, film buff and gamer, he has always loved a good story and decided to finally let his long suffering creative beast out of its cage. His debut paranormal novel, ‘Selfish Beings’ is a direct result of feeding said beast and giving it a generous amount of “prowling around” money.

In his free time he enjoys arguing on the Internet, avoiding anything that requires going outside for prolonged periods and preparing for the inevitable zombie apocalypse.


1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?

I fell into it really. I have been trying to write a screen play since high school and have never finished one. I wanted to take a story idea all the way through to the end and decided to switch formats to achieve that.

2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?

I need to have background noise when I write. I like to hear music, talking and explosions whilst I’m wordsmithing. Lots of coffee helps too.

3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing? Or perhaps one piece of advice that has stuck with you that you’d like to share?

I read a lot so I’m sure on a subconscious level I’ve been influenced by quite a few authors and their books. I couldn’t pick just one but if anyone compared my writing style to that of the authors I enjoy then that would be a huge compliment.

My favourite piece of advice on writing has to be “You cannot fix what is not there.”

4) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?

  • I can’t whistle, roll my tongue or click my fingers.
  • I watch “Revenge” and go to great lengths to keep my mates from finding out.
  • I punch the Broccoli when I go to the supermarket because I don’t like it. I’ve been doing it since I was a child and no-one has pulled me up on it yet.

5) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?

My laptop, phone, PlayStation 3, TV and microwave. They make life easier / more enjoyable and constitute the majority of my worldly assets.

6) With Christmas already behind us, we turn our attention ahead to the year ahead. Did you join in with the madness of choosing New Year’s resolutions for 2014?

No, because I never keep my New Year’s resolutions. I was going to make a resolution to keep future resolutions but I knew where that train was heading…


ACT TWO – all about your new release…



There's no place like home...
Unless, like Kaarl, you are a demon and your home is Hell…literally.
While the rest of Hell enjoys cruel games, Kaarl is looking for a new challenge. So he makes a deal with the devil himself: time in the Mortal Realm in return for human souls…
The Mortal Realm offers a taste of freedom he could never experience in Hell and Kaarl jumps at the chance to fulfill his dream. But gathering human souls comes with a cost and as more and more souls lose their way, Kaarl realises that he is creating Hell on his beloved Earth.
Now to save the Mortal Realm, Kaarl’s going to have to switch sides…

7) Congratulations on your recent release of Selfish Beings; what was your inspiration for writing Kaarl’s story?

Thanks! I loved the idea and the potential it had. I also needed to prove to myself that I could actually finish a story.

8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?

It flowed from my finger tips and then the cajoling came during the re-writes. I had a fantastic editor for that so it was kind of like the pottery scene from Ghost in a non-romantic, clay-less way. It also took a lot longer.

9) I see Selfish Beings is your debut; how long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?

I annoyed people by talking about it for two months, wrote it in three and spent another four months on re-writes / edits. It was originally part of a larger arc, one of the many mistakes I made as writer new to the craft. I needed to make some major changes to finish Kaarl’s story in one novel.

10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from your story that you would like to tantalise us with?

This is the protagonist giving his father, a Demon Lord, a crash course in the modern Mortal world.
“With no more questions forthcoming, Kaarl began showing Mastema the wonders of the Internet. His father asked to see its most vile and corruptive elements first and Mastema was not disappointed. After only half an hour, Mastema stopped him and stared at the screen. Of all the things one could do with a hedgehog, a garden hose, a bottle of milk and a willing woman, he would never in a million years have come up with a situation like the one he was watching.”

11) Over to you; what can you tell us about Selfish Beings, to make us rush out and buy it?

It’s a brand new twist on Heaven and Hell filled with humour, a great cast of characters and it even has a few moments that might make you think about things in a different light. Easy to get into and hard to put down, you won’t regret following Kaarl and the twins on their journey to take your soul.

12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now?

Right now I am working on a second novel set in the same world. Kaarl and the twins are back and facing off against Lucifer’s daughter and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. I have the plot down for a third in that series but there is also a paranormal horror story I really want to work on when I get the chance.


QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…


13) Plotter or pantser?

Pantser turned plotter

14) Digital books or print books?

Print

15) Tea or coffee?

Coffee

16) Extrovert or introvert?

Extrovert

17) Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook

18) Christmas or birthday?

Christmas

19) Morning person or night owl?

Creature of the night

20) Sweet or savoury?

Savoury

And that’s a wrap!

Thank you so much for taking part, Jordan, I wish you every success with your new release.

To discover even more about J L Morris, and to keep up with his latest projects and shenanigans, you can visit him at:

Facebook     Twitter     Blog


Buy it now…


Add to Goodreads
ISBN: 9781472054814
Released: 14th November 2013

Carina
Amazon UK / US
Nook UK / US (B&N)
iBookstore UKUS



Teaser…


“If you’re old enough to sin, you’re old enough for gin.”


Thursday, 16 January 2014

Twenty Questions with... Vincent Morrone

Phew! Birthday mania is finally behind me and I am now sick of the sight of birthday cake but at least I can finally get back to some writing.

In the meantime, I am delighted to welcome Vincent Morrone onto my blog today, author of Vision of Shadows, for a round of Twenty Questions. Make sure you scroll all the way down, too, as there is a rather fabulous giveaway.

ACT ONE – all about you…


Born and raised in Brooklyn NY, Vincent Morrone now resides in Upstate NY with his wife. (Although he can still speak fluent Brooklynese.) His twin daughters remain not only his biggest fans, but usually are the first to read all of his work. Their home is run and operated for the comfort and convenience of their dogs.

Vincent has been writing fiction, poetry and song lyrics for as long as he can remember, most of which involve magical misfits, paranormal prodigies and even on occasion superheroes and their sidekicks.

As they say in Brooklyn: Yo, you got something to say to Vincent? Check out http://vincentmorrone.com/ where you can learn about Vincent and leave him a comment.



1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?

I’ve wanted to be an author all my life, although when I was very young it was going to be comic books and superheroes. Then in High School, it was going to be straight horror. I kind of got side tracked for a while, but I finally got to fulfil my dream.

2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?

Style? I usually like a healthy dose of humour in there. Ritual? I just think about what I want to write, plot out the main plot points, refine them and get to it.

3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing? Or perhaps one piece of advice that has stuck with you that you’d like to share?

Best advice is not to talk too much about what you’re writing. Authors write because there’s a story in their heads that just needs to be told, so tell it in your writing.

4) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?

I’ve been a KISS fan since I was 7 years old.

I’ve got 3 dogs.

I’ve got twin 15 year old daughters!


5) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?

My cell phone, my laptop, my TV, my iPod an my refrigerator.

6) With Christmas already behind us, we turn our attention ahead to the year ahead. Did you join in with the madness of choosing New Year’s resolutions for 2014?

Sure, why not. My resolutions are to try and be a better father and husband than I have, because I should always try and be better. Plus I want to finish the Vision Series, (Books 2 & 3 are done, book 4 is underway and book 5 is rattling around in the dark recesses of my mind.) I also have another book that’s about 75% done, sort of a cross between the TV show Supernatural and the 3 Stoogers. I want to finish that.

ACT TWO – all about your new release…



Is Bristol Blackburn about to meet the love of her life...or her killer?
After the death of her parents, Bristol Blackburn’s life is thrown into chaos and she’s forced to move to Spirit, a small town where shadows are stirring. As she learns to navigate her new school and figures out how to keep her psychic abilities secret from her family, Bristol comes face to face with the boy who makes a regular appearance in her dreams: the gorgeous, possibly deadly, Payne McKnight. Soon she’ll find out if Payne will be the love of her life, or the end of it — and she has no idea which possibility scares her more.
And that’s not even the worst of it. Strange shadows are haunting her dreams, and they’re up to something that could put Bristol and the lives of everyone she loves in jeopardy.

7) Congratulations on your recent release of Vision of Shadows; what was your inspiration for writing Bristol’s story?

I wanted to write a story where the female MC was both strong and vulnerable. One that would make a good role model for readers like my daughters.

8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?

Once I had the plot points down, it mostly flowed. So much so that I had to cut out a couple of scenes that really hurt to cut. There were certainly challenges. There’s a scene where Bristol has a long chat with her grandfather. It’s an important scene because it relates a lot of the backstory, but it felt dry. What I did was finish it, let it be dry so I wouldn’t get hung up on that scene, then I went back and fixed it. I added an element that wasn’t there before. Hey, she is a girl that sees ghosts!

9) How long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?

A long time. First I had to write it. Then rewrite and revise it over and over. Then I had to submit it. I was originally picked up by a very small publisher, but that didn’t work out. Then I found Entranced and I was happy as a clam! It’s never a short trip unless you’re an established author.

10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from your story that you would like to tantalise us with?
So any day now, I’m about to meet the boy of my dreams—literally. Then I get to see if he’s going to be the love of my life or the end of it. Funny thing is, I’m not sure which idea scares the crap out of me more.

11) Over to you; what can you tell us about Vision of Shadows, to make us rush out and buy it?

You will fall in love with Bristol, the strong, plucky, insecure girl who’s more comfortable around ghosts than anyone with a pulse. This isn’t your average ghost story.

12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now?

Vision of Serpents, which is book II is due out in late May. In October, there’s a book outside of the Vision series coming your way. It’s called Just Breathe. It’s a NA novel. Darker and more mature than the Vision series. Plus as I mentioned above, I’ve got that supernatural story I’m working on. I’ve also started a separate story called Perfect.

QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…


13) Plotter or pantser?

Plotter. But I almost always were pants.

14) Digital books or print books?

Digital, for the convenience.

15) Tea or coffee?

Coffee. But I do like to say, Tea, Earl Grey, Hot.

16) Extrovert or introvert?

Extrovert. I’m loud, but an awful lot of fun!

17) Facebook or Twitter?

Both as a matter of fact!

18) Christmas or birthday?

Anything where I get presents!!!

19) Morning person or night owl?

Depends on the morning or the night. Probably more of a mid-afternoon kind of guy!

20) Sweet or savoury?

My sauce is both savoury and sweet!

And that’s a wrap!

Thank you so much for taking part, Vincent, I wish you every success with your new release.

To discover even more about Vincent Morrone, and to keep up with his latest projects and shenanigans, you can visit him at:

Website   Facebook   Twitter   Goodreads


Buy it now…


Add to Goodreads

Series: Vision series
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal Romance
Release Date: December 30, 2013

Amazon UK / US
Nook UK / US (B&N)




Add to Goodreads

Vision of Secrets (Vision #0.5)

Vision of Secrets is a free prequel introduces you to Bristol Blackburn before the explosive events in Vision of Shadows and let's you see how a young girl deals with her Visions of Secrets!

You can download Vision of Secrets for free from Smashwords.

Bristol understands secrets. She's got plenty of her own, ranging from the annoying ghost that keeps showing up and attempting to sing Copacabana, (badly) to the visions of a terrifying future that is getting closer each day.
Bristol knows secrets can kill. She's getting flashes of a boy racked with guilt over his secret. And a girl who's prank might lead to someone's death.


Giveaway…



There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of Vision of Shadows. 
Here is what you can win: 

- 1 Vision of Shadows Pen
- 1 Vision of Shadows Calendar
- 1 Vision of Shadows Pen & calendar
- 1 Vision of Shadows Pen and calendar in a Vision of Shadows canvas bag
- 1 Vision of Shadows Pen, calendar in Vision of Shadows canvas bag and an e-copy Vision of Shadows

You can view the whole tour schedule on Vincent Morrone his website: http://vincentmorrone.com/?p=762

Want to chat with Bristol, the main character of this series?
Well she has her own twitter account: https://twitter.com/BristolBlackbur 

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Twenty Questions with... Jennifer Bohnet

This week is crazy as I lurch from my daughter's 5th birthday (yesterday) and into my son's 7th birthday (Monday) with their join party in-between (Sunday) - for which I am about to get started on my second baked creation this week - so it is lovely to enjoy a moment of normality as I slip into my Thursday routine.

Please join me for a brew and a slice a bright pink birthday cake* (it really needs to be eaten before the next one comes) as I welcome Jennifer Bohnet onto my blog today, author of I'm Virtually Yours, released last month by Carina (Harlequin UK) for a round of Twenty Questions...

ACT ONE – all about you…


Jennifer is a West Country girl now living in the wilds of rural Brittany, France. She's still not sure how she ended up there! Since living in France she has written hundreds of short stories and several serials all of which have been published internationally.

Allergic to housework and gardening she rarely does either but she does like cooking and entertaining and wandering around vide greniers (the French equivalent of flea markets) looking for a bargain or two.


1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?

I’ve written since I was a teenager and would love to have been a journalist. Freelance writing was something I could do at home when the children were little and that was when I started with lifestyle features for newspapers and magazines.

2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?

I don’t think I have a particular writing style, and as for a ritual the nearest I come to that is I can’t start writing in the morning until I have my expresso in my favourite cup!

3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing? Or perhaps one piece of advice that has stuck with you that you’d like to share?

There’s one piece of advice I have on the wall in my writing room: You Never Fail Until You Stop Trying. I mutter it to myself on the days the rejections come in!

4) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?

I’m tone deaf - which coming from a musical family is not good!
I’m quite shy.

Like Polly in ‘I’m Virtually Yours’ I hate boats too!

5) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?

I’m currently living in fear of my Kenwood mixer blowing up - I use it all the time. The same goes for my Rayburn cooker, I can’t imagine having a kitchen ever again without one! My MacBook is definitely on the list of can’t live without, as is my Kindle - living in France it’s difficult to buy English language books so the Kindle is real life saver in that respect. I was lucky enough to be given a Mont Blanc pen for my birthday a few years ago and it’s something I treasure.

6) With Christmas already behind us, we turn our attention ahead to the year ahead. Did you join in with the madness of choosing New Year’s resolutions for 2014?

I’ve stopped making New Year Resolutions because I know I’ll have broken them all by about - by about now actually. But this year I’m determined to up my writing output and I’ve remembered a phrase that appeared frequently on my long ago school reports, I’ve written it out in bold letters and pinned it on my wall: Must try harder.


ACT TWO – all about your new release…




Need a virtual PA? Then Polly Jones is your girl!
Polly Jones is taken aback when a new client asks her to investigate the Robertson family business in Devon, after all, a ‘virtual assistant’ doesn’t usually leave their home office! But she needs the work – and less proximity to an endless supply of tea and biscuits can only be a good thing right? So she sets off, with energetic puppy Rosie close by her side.
Polly’s new job isn’t quite in her comfort zone… Arriving in the small fishing village where everyone knows everyone’s business, any upsides (all those yummy scones and clotted cream) of course have their downside – she’s completely forgotten to pack her sea legs, and the temptingly handsome Will Robertson is making her job difficult at every turn.
It’s so much easier to keep things strictly professional in the virtual world – but with no e-mail to hide behind Polly must admit that Will’s smile is incredibly, deliciously distracting…

7) Congratulations on your recent release of I'm Virtually Yours; what was your inspiration for writing Polly's story?

I belong to an online journalism forum and somebody there posted about being snowed under with work. Another member offered to be their virtual assistant and the idea grew from there.

8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?

This was one story that was quite quick to write. I wouldn’t say it flowed from my finger tips but I’ve struggled more with my other books.

9) How long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?

I’m Virtually Yours is a novella so it didn’t take long from the initial idea, about a month I guess, plus a couple of weeks to edit before I submitted it to Carina UK.

10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from your story that you would like to tantalise us with?

This is Will my hero thinking near the beginning about how he was going to save the family business:
“It was his inheritance – his life – that was at stake here and he wasn’t just going to give it up without a fight. He’d make damn sure, too, that this Polly Jones woman, whoever she was, knew that when she arrived.”

11) Over to you; what can you tell us about I'm Virtually Yours, to make us rush out and buy it?

It’s a fun read set in Devon, with a heroine who’s terrified of boats and a hero who’s determined to make her face up to her fear. Oh, there’s also a bit of a mystery adding suspense as Will and his family battle to save their business.

12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now?

I have another book for CarinaUK to finish and the deadline is getting scarily close. I can’t give you any details other to say that this one is set in the South of France. I’m also still working on another longer novel for Robert Hale.

QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…


13) Plotter or pantser?

I’m a panster desperately trying to be more of a plotter!

14) Digital books or print books?

Both

15) Tea or coffee?

Coffee coffee coffee coffee

16) Extrovert or introvert?

Introvert

17) Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook for personal stuff and Twitter for networking

18) Christmas or birthday?

Birthday

19) Morning person or night owl?

Morning

20) Sweet or savoury?

I can never say no to dessert!

And that’s a wrap!

Thank you so much for taking part, Jennie, I wish you every success with your new release.

To discover even more about Jennifer Bohnet, and to keep up with her latest projects, you can visit her at:

Website   Facebook   Twitter


Buy it now…


ISBN: 9781472074263
Release date: 9th December 2013

Carina
Amazon UK / US
Nook UK / US


*The cake - creation #1 of 3 this week - just in case you were interested ;-)

   

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Twenty Questions with... An Average Joe AKA David Shaw

I am delighted to welcome David Shaw onto my blog today, author of An Average Joe’s Search for the Meaning of Life, released last month by Carina (Harlequin UK).

Breaking away from my 'usual' genres, An Average Joe is non-fiction as David tells his own story. I have borrowed this review excerpt from Fiona's Book Reviews to give you an insight into the kind of story this is:

This is a totally different book to what I would normally read. I like fiction, and haven't read many non fiction books before. However I am extremely glad I did read it and I strongly recommend it to anyone who believes there is a spirit world running in tandem to ours.
The author has taken it upon himself, on advice from his spirit guides, to share his story. His past is not pretty at times, he is extremely honest about his life, and that of his family. But what he has obviously gained through his journey to share this story is something which, I feel, makes it all worth it.

ACT ONE – all about you…


My name is David and I am from Scotland, and yes, I often drink too much, sometimes eat food coated in copious amounts of fat, and occasionally I may even complain about the hideous weather!

I reside in an average home, in an average street, in the frightfully average town called Kilmarnock, which sits a decidedly uncomfortable 1-inch below Glasgow in your average road map - you may have heard of our local football team - Kilmarnock nil.

My passion for writing began after I was informed by a spirit guide that I would soon be working on a very important project that would involve searching for the true meaning of life. Several years later, after having enjoyed the privilege of writing spiritual articles for many publications and magazines, I now find myself as the proud author of a book containing my life-story. You can read about my amazing family, my appalling football team and the reason why I am still alive today.

My journey through every aspect of the spirit world may totally astound you, but when the dust finally settles on the last book cover, I will still only be an Average Joe - just a guy who wrote a book.


1) Have you always been a writer or is it something you fell into?

I started writing just over 4 years ago when I was instructed to write about my own life in order to find the true meaning of life. I never really had any inclination to write before then; in fact I was discouraged to write anything at school as I was deemed not good enough!

2) Do you have a particular writing style or ritual?

I prefer to write in a rather journalistic style – and always in the first person. I prefer to let my writing mirror my personality, which is rather light-hearted with a diminutive dilution of sincerity thrown in for good measure. I also write during the small hours of the morning as there must be no distractions to what comes through my thoughts.

3) Is there a book or an author that has influenced you in your writing? Or perhaps one piece of advice that has stuck with you that you’d like to share?

Strangely enough, there was one book that influenced my writing. ‘Watch my back’ by Geoff Thompson, was an autobiography about a nightclub doorman who used to hospitalise people for a living! This guy was a self-confessed thug – but what a writer! I knew that if he could get a publishing deal for the content of his book then I had a chance with my own rather avant-garde biography. The best advice that I ever received was ‘tell your story in your own words – or it’s not worth telling at all’.

4) Can you tell us three things about yourself that we probably don’t already know?

I once got arrested for being drunk and disorderly in Ibiza and spent the night in prison. 

My latest book ‘New Mediumship’ was written whilst in trance and was co-written by many friends from the spirit world, including the great American author Edgar Allan Poe.

In a previous life, I murdered innocent people (at least 4 that I know of) in Australia and I was never caught.

5) What five luxury items or gadgets would you hate to be without?

My Apple goodies – phone and tablet. My trusty Tassimo coffee machine. My electric shaver (I’m scared of blades, knives etc). And of course, television (I’ve got 5!)

6) With Christmas already behind us, we turn our attention ahead to the year ahead. Did you join in with the madness of choosing New Year’s resolutions for 2014?

The usual suspects – fitness regime, better diet etc. I find that the older you get the more determined you become, but the harder it is to achieve your goals. Writing and healthy living don’t tend to mix very well.

ACT TWO – all about your new release



David Shaw sees himself as an Average Joe.
He grew up an average kid in an average neighbourhood in Ayrshire. Like many an Average Joe, he does ordinary things: goes to work, supports his local football team, puts the world to rights over a pint. But this Average Joe is anything but average. Styling himself ‘spiritcounsellor’, he shares with us an extraordinary journey through the twilight world. Blessed with the ability to see and hear those who’ve passed on, and, helped by his spirit guides, Black Hawk and Mr Chung, David shares with us his extraordinary story of receiving messages from the other side. Here is an Average Joe – an ordinary man with an extraordinary story that will fascinate and intrigue.
7) Congratulations on your recent release of An average Joe’s search for the meaning of life. What was your inspiration for writing your own story?

I wanted to share my own personal journey, to show that anyone who sees, hears and communicates with the afterlife is actually a normal human being hoping to live a normal existence in a world that frequently associates mediumship with ghosts, vampires and devil worshippers!

8) Did the story flow from your finger tips or did some scenes take a bit of cajoling?

Most of the story flowed since I was really just recounting my memories from birth to the present day. The editing was extremely difficult though, as this was my first writing project and I had very little experience of actually compiling and formatting a complete book.

9) How long did it take for the initial spark of the story to make it onto the page and then onto the publisher’s desk?

It took two years from page to publisher’s desk. I initially self-published the book to gauge reaction before deciding on taking the next step forward.

10) Do you have a favourite paragraph or sentence from your story that you would like to tantalise us with?

This is an excerpt from one of many séances that I used to participate in.

‘A wise old man once told me that he would gladly give up every single moment left in this life for the opportunity to spend just one more moment with his wonderful wife who had passed over into spirit. Many people who attended those séances – got their moment! My own personal ‘moment’ was an occasion that I shall cherish for ever more. On this occasion I felt my wife’s grandmother physically touch me on my right hand. She had passed over to spirit a few months earlier and it was fantastic to hear that she was ‘alive’ and well. How did I know that it was my wife’s grandmother? Simple: she told me in her own distinctive voice, a voice that could never be replicated and the rest of the sitters in the room also heard her.
In that one solitary moment, after almost forty years of living in a world that we are constantly told ends completely with our last solitary breath, I had received that ultimate, one hundred percent, solid-gold proof, that life definitely does go on beyond the grave.
And how did it feel? Well, there is only one word for the way that my heart felt in that one incredible moment – magical!
For example, if you were to take that feeling in your heart when you first kissed your childhood sweetheart…that feeling in your heart the first time you saw your football team win the Cup…that feeling in your heart the first time you tasted vintage French champagne…that feeling in your heart the day you realised that you would spend the rest of your life with the person you love…that feeling in your heart the first time your child tells you that they love you…that feeling in your heart when your mother, lying in a hospital bed and about to breathe her final breath, whispers in your ear that she has never been more proud of you…
Then I want you to take all those instances of pure love and congeal them together, holding them in a place close to your heart. For only then can you begin to imagine how I felt that night in that wonderful séance room in Glasgow, on such a beautiful winter’s night in December 2007 – the night that my life finally found true meaning.’

11) Over to you; what can you tell us about An Average Joe to make us rush out and buy it?

Chapter 21 (The Passing) was transcribed to me through trance. That means that the information received came from someone else – not me. ‘The Passing’ describes how a soul returns to the spirit world and details the new journey that will commence. I was informed by my spirit guides that this would be the most important information ever written or read by anyone. The information is symbolic but the meaning is the same for everyone.

12) What can we expect from you next? Is there something you are working on right now?

I am just about to begin writing a new book. I have no title and no content. Everything will be dictated through trance. I have an inkling that it has something to do with other planets, but it’s still a mystery – watch this space!


QUICK FIRE ROUND – it’s pop quiz time…


13) Plotter or pantser?

Pantser

14) Digital books or print books?

Got to be print books – sorry Carina!

15) Tea or coffee?

Coffee

16) Extrovert or introvert?

I’m a split personality – so usually a bit of both!

17) Facebook or Twitter?

Facebook

18) Christmas or birthday?

Christmas

19) Morning person or night owl?

Night owl

20) Sweet or savoury?

Sweet

And that’s a wrap!

Thank you so much for taking part, David, I wish you every success with your new release.

To discover even more about David Shaw and to keep up with his/her latest projects and shenanigans, you can visit him at:

Website     Facebook     Twitter


Buy it now…


ISBN: 9781472055316
Release Date: 5th December 2013

Carina
Amazon UK / US
Nook UK / US (B&N)
iBooks

Excerpt…


‘It was a freezing cold night in Blackpool – no surprises there then! Heavy rain lashed the seafront and the only people near the Blackpool Tower were poor homeless individuals huddled together in the damp foyer at the entrance. Unfortunately my father wasn’t one of them. After waiting till 7.30 we decided to move to the relative shelter of the street behind the Tower. This street in contrast was extremely busy with tourists who were determined to have fun regardless of the weather. There was also a huge number of police on the streets as the Conservative Party Conference was currently being held in the town.

As I waited nervously for any sign of my father I couldn’t help but watch other families walk by, laughing with excitement at how much money they were going to spend on pointless entertainment.

I had loved Blackpool as a child, but now as an adult I hated it. I couldn’t understand why every year thousands of Scots would venture down the M6 motorway to stay in a place which reminded them of home – wet, windy and smelling of chip fat! But as I watched all the fathers, mothers and kids hurry past me in a race to the nearest amusement arcade – I wished I were one of them, any one of them. I was in fact jealous of them – why was this nightmare only happening to my family, and me?

In the distance I could hear a rollercoaster roaring down a steel track and suddenly I imagined myself in a queue of people waiting for a ride on that rollercoaster. I imagined more and more people just simply walking past me each time that rollercoaster came back to its starting position. And as I watched them slowly progress up the steep incline I would wave solemnly, knowing that I wouldn’t be joining them.’