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Happy to share Viv – the Owl Lady – interview!
This week’s guest poster is author Viv Drewa, the Owl Lady. Check out her answers to these interview questions 🙂
with Viv Drewa
Q01 – When did you decide you wanted to become a writer?
When I was 9-years-old I read a book that made me want to be a writer. It was “The Whistling Sword” by James Robert Green. I was so impressed by how he used true people in fiction. I bought the book from a library that closed just to have it.
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Colleen Chesebro has made a splash with Book 1 in her Swamp Fairy series, The Heart Stone Chronicles. Not only is it the first book in this series, but it’s her first published novel. And it’s a gem of a story.
All right, puns aside, this novel will fascinate and inspire young women on the cusp of adulthood. Set in the swamps of northwest Florida near Pensacola, Ms. Chesebro uses the setting of the swamp to create a magical story mixed with the reality of being a teen uprooted by the death of a mother and the abdication of a father.
Fortunately, Abigale Forrester, at the age of fourteen, has plenty of people rooting for her from her mother’s best friend in Chicago, where she’s left without either father or mother, and a dear sweet aunt in Florida where Abigale is sent.
It is in the rural setting of Florida where she discovers her true legacy and begins to understand the non-understandable. The book is fraught with the nightmares of an abandoned teenager, the bullies–both peer sand adults alike–and grown-up issues facing her aunt. Abigale is forced to become an adult before her time. Fortunately, when she moves to Florida, she discovers friends who are also facing these same issues. Together, they form a bond that resists the forces that try to destroy them.
But Abigale has a secret. She understands animals through a silent communication. And they understand her. Her nightmares are foretelling the future, and she can talk to the fairies in the swamp. All the reasons why and more are what gives this novel both its surreal and magical qualities.
I kept thinking while reading the book that Abigale’s situation in her everyday life could be the story of many young teens facing the sometimes rough world as they transition from child to adult. But with perseverance, faith in herself and her abilities, and the love of an extended family beyond the bonds of blood, she can survive. I highly recommend this book for its qualities of magical realism and its storyline of hope.
Well done, Colleen Chesebro. You’ve written an outstanding book of love for those who need it. Your story will lend a light to young women and men and show them that even the worst of situations can be conquered.
Fourteen-year-old Abigale Forester, recently orphaned and a ward of the State of Illinois moves from Chicago to Florida to live with her aunt, her last living relative. Magnolia Forester becomes her legal Guardian, and together they claim an ancient inheritance; land that belonged to Abby’s mother’s family for generations.
Holding onto the only piece of her mother Abby has left, a calcite pendant and her mother’s most sacred possession, she discovers the truth of her legacy. The pendant is more significant than she could possibly imagine. Forged from a giant mystical heart-shaped stone found on the very swamp land Abby now owns, it holds the power of her ancestors.
But with that power comes greater responsibility, one that pits her against Rafe Cobb, a greedy land developer, who will stop at nothing to own Abby’s swamp land.
As Abby learns to be part of a family again and explores her love of horses with friends, Savanna, and Blake, the swamp slowly gives up some of its secrets. She is summoned by a primeval nymph, who teaches Abby that her true destiny is to protect the nymphs from evil in an ever-changing modern world.
Can Abby save the swamp and the Naiad Nymph Clan from certain destruction before it is too late?
About the Author: Colleen M. Chesebro is a writer of cross-genre fiction, poetry, and creative nonfiction. Her debut novel, a YA fantasy series called, “The Heart Stone Chronicles – The Swamp Fairy,” was published January 2017.
The book reveals the story of Abby Forrester, a 14-year-old orphaned girl who is entrusted with saving a community of fairy nymphs from certain ecological destruction. Along the way, Abby learns about friendship, love, and what it means to actually belong to a family.
Colleen’s writing explores ecological situations in the multicultural world of today. She combines real-life historical events into her writing to create experiences that will continue in the hearts and heads of her readers.
A veteran of the United States Air Force, Colleen is also a retired bookkeeper. She has an Associates Degree in Business Administration, and another Associates Degree in the Arts, which she uses to combine her love of writing with her passion for all things creative.
Purchase: Amazon US
Blog – A Mindful Journey
Generous offer from Colleen Chesebro regarding reviews.
As an avid reader, I have spent the last few years reviewing books on my blog and on other websites that help to promote Indy Authors. It has been an honor to read and review over one hundred and forty books in the last couple of years.
There are several reasons why I engaged in the review process:
- Writing a review has been my way of saying thank you to the author. Writing a book is a long and detailed process, and as an author, I know how much work I put into my own writing. I can think of no better way to let an author know that I appreciated all the hard work they put into writing a novel other than helping to spread the word of their success.
- My reviews contributed to spreading the word to other readers about authors and books that I enjoyed. I have…
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Whenever I tell the story of how my husband and I ended up together, people inevitably say, “You should write the story of that!”
I haven’t written in detail about our love story, but in all the romances and other fiction I’ve written since 2009, there are bits of us and our journey to where we are today. As an author, I freely admit that small pieces of my life and the people in it slip into my work. I have a sticker on my file cabinet, which should be tattooed on my forehead. “Be careful what you tell me or you might end up in my next novel.”
So for this Valentine’s Day, here’s the story of Robert and Patricia Zick, edited to protect those who didn’t ask to be a part of our reuniting.
To begin, we go to Michigan in 1972, when Robert was twenty-two, and I was beginning my senior year of high school. My brother Don and Robert were good friends so I began hanging around my brother’s apartment whenever I knew the handsome Robert would be there as well. Within a few months, we discovered we were falling in love. But Robert had an opportunity to move to Pittsburgh, and I needed to finish high school. He left, and we both remember a profound sadness at our parting. But there was no drama. Both of us knew there was no future for us. He married someone else in 1973, and I married my first husband and moved to Florida in 1980. We had children and lived our lives, but we never forgot one another.
Sadly, in 2008, my brother Don committed suicide. It devastated me. I had no one with whom to share my grief because the rest of my family had severed ties to Don years before. For months, I kept thinking about Robert and remembering the happy times we had spent with Don all those years ago. When I received an ad for Classmates.com for a free trial period in April 2009, I decided to try it. The first person I searched for? Yep, that’s right. The young guy I’d fallen in love with when I was seventeen. And surprisingly, there he was. He, too, had received the same ad and decided to give the site a try, which is amazing in and of itself. Robert is not that savvy on the computer, and he never joins anything. He still refuses to have anything to do with Facebook. Yet, for some reason, we both joined Classmates.com in the same month.
“Where are you these days, Bob?” my message to him read. Nothing more. I wanted to keep it simple because I wasn’t certain he’d even remember me after thirty-six years. Within twenty-four hours, I had a long response filling me in on his life. For days, we exchanged our stories and found we had many things in common.
One day in early May, he called. I knew his voice immediately. Within ten minutes, we were sharing our beliefs on spirituality, politics, and life in general. We clicked, and there was no hesitation in our sharing. During our second phone call, he ended it by saying, “I love you.” It shocked me. On the next call, the first thing I asked was why had he told me he loved me.
“I don’t know, except that it felt right, and I always regretted I never told you that all those years ago.” I turned to mush at the confession.
Daily calls for a month led to the decision that I would fly to Pittsburgh for a meeting. Nerves jangling and expectations high, I went, telling myself that if nothing else, I’d reconnect with a good friend. We would share stories about my brother, and I’d feel better about his death. And all of that happened. But there was one more thing. When we met in person, all the feelings from thirty-six years before were still there. The attraction, the connection, and the love surfaced, and we knew our lives were about to change forever.
By July, we were together, and I made arrangements to move to Pittsburgh. We married the following year. And now almost eight years later, our rekindled love still flames and burns brightly. It feels as if we’ve always been together.
We celebrated our first Valentine’s Day together in 2010, and seven years later, we celebrate once again. We celebrate finding one another, and we celebrate love. Has it always been smooth? Of course not. We were two people in their fifties fairly set in our own ways of doing things. But we adjusted–still adjust–because we know that there must be something that ties us together. I don’t have the answers as to why, but I know I’d rather travel with him than without him. Since he’s still hanging around, I assume he feels the same way.
Before I reconnected with Robert, I’d been a lonely divorcee in her fifties. I struggled with my loneliness. I tried online dating, and I hated it. I longed for love but felt at my age, it was over for me in that department.
For those of you who might feel the same, never give up. And the best way to draw love is to live a life of love. It will come back to you tenfold.
Happy Day of Love to you all and a couple of gifts.
Click here to download a free copy of Odyssey to Myself, a collection of essays about the decade between 2000-2010 and how travel helped me recover and stand again.
Click here to download a free copy of my first romance, Behind the Altar, and the first book in the Behind the Love series.
Click on the images below to check out the rest of the Behind the Love series.
To celebrate my love for Florida’s landscapes and people, I’m offering free Kindle downloads February 13-17. After you’ve read a little bit about the book and a review from my valued and talented colleague, Christoph Fischer, download your copy today. And happy Valentines Day to you.
Native Lands is a gripping and entertaining thriller with depth, wonderful characters and well-planted parallel between the two engaging narratives. There is a beautiful and warm feel of Native Lands and an excellent and uplifting moral that won’t lecture or patronize. A truly great read.–Christoph Fischer, Author
Native Lands is a novel rich in intrigue and history as a tribe of Native Americans, thought to be extinct, fight to save their beloved heritage. They join with others willing to sacrifice everything to save further destruction of the Everglades and St. Augustine.
Forbidden loves, deceptions, and murder threaten to destroy nature and families in a saga stretching from the 1760s to the present day.
Join Locka and Mali as they lead their tribe of Timucuans away from the Spanish near St. Augustine in 1760 and settle into a new life in the Everglades alongside the Calusa Indians. Their progeny grow up in the Everglades, attempting to keep their bloodlines pure.
By 2010, Mangrove Mike, Joey Cosmos, and Rob Zodiac live among the white people and learn that the human connection transcends the fear of extinction of their people. Barbara Evans in the Everglades and Emily Booth in St. Augustine are the glue as the different cultures combine forces to fight a conglomerate of international interests.
It’s a dangerous journey as this oddly matched group attempts to halt the destruction of the natural world they treasure. Cultural boundaries established centuries ago are erased as love and nature seek the balance lost during the battle for power and control of the last of the Florida frontier.
Review of Native Lands by Christoph Fischer
Native Lands is a gripping and entertaining thriller with depth, wonderful characters and well-planted parallels between the two engaging narratives. There is a beautiful and warm feel of Native Lands and an excellent and uplifting moral that won’t lecture or patronize. A truly great read.
Native Lands by P.C. Zick is a wonderful novel and a gripping thriller at the same time. Handling several plotlines and many characters with ease Zick has a story rich in plot and full of fabulous characters.
One narrative focuses on members of a native tribe in Florida from 1760 onwards. The instantly likable characters strive to preserve their heritage against the forces of the English and Spanish intruders. The peaceful and nature loving characters form a wonderful thread through the rest of the book that deals with more contemporary issues.
Journalists, politicians and business men crowd the stage in a cleverly plotted and excellently told thriller. Exploitation of nature, affairs, family secrets and murder are just some of the many spicy ingredients that make this novel so entertaining. I was warned that there would be a lot of characters in this book and that is true, but the narratives focus thoroughly on each party in turn and are easily discerned, the characters evolved and memorable enough to make it very easy to keep track.
There are some surprising connections and twist within the political plot which focuses on a controversial housing project and the outrageous plan which lies behind it, poachers, environmentalists and an election. As people are being bumped off the plot thickens and keeps the pace fast and captivating.
I loved the way in which the past and present story lines turn out to be connected and I loved the well-planted parallels between the two narratives and the warm feel of the book. This was an excellent and uplifting moral tale to me that did not lecture or patronise, a gripping and entertaining thriller with depth and wonderful characters.
I’m excited to announce the release of a new boxed set of nine sweet romances featuring some adorable pets. This multi-author set contains all new stories never before released until today. And the best part? It’s only $0.99 to download on all the major online retail sites. Click here for the retailer of your choice.
My contribution to the set is Love on Trial, featuring a Boston terrier and a Jack Russell who fall helplessly in love while the people who give them a home are dueling lawyers trying a case on opposite sides of the aisle. It’s up to Clyde and Suzanne to find a way to bring them together. I had lots of fun creating this story set in Chicago, and it’s led me to start another individual series, Rivals in Love, about the Crandall brothers and sisters. The next one, Love on Board, is already in the works.
About Valentine’s Pets & Kisses 2 – Cupid worked overtime to deliver this Valentine’s Day treat. Cuddle up with a heartwarming collection of dog tales, kitty and horse stories, and true love with these all-new sweet romances penned by USA Today and international bestselling authors.
Victoria Pinder — Keeping the Spy
A retired CIA spy returns to his hometown and finally works up the nerve to go after the girl he’s dreamed of since high school. Her beloved dog and the target on her back complicate this Valentine’s Day.
J.L. Campbell — Cupid’s Gift
Heartbroken single parents, Melanie Peterson and Bryce Nevers, aren’t looking for love. Cupid has other ideas plans when he turns things upside down after Bryce’s goofy dog blasts through Melanie’s office, leaving behind mayhem and a reminder that love can show up in unexpected ways.
Jade Kerrion — Nurtured
High-flying corporate lawyer, Nicole Lefton, has neither the space nor time for distractions, but a car accident saddles her with the unexpected company of a large dog and the attentions of a handsome vet.
P.C. Zick — Love on Trial
Lawyers arguing a case on opposite sides disagree on most everything, except the love they both feel for their dogs, a Boston terrier and a Jack Russell terrier. Loneliness and their dogs bring them together in a surprising way on Valentine’s Day.
Sydney Aaliyah Michelle – Your Loyal Fan
A year later, Noah, Callie, and their little dog Nip are in relationship bliss, but a Valentine’s Day weekend in Los Angeles stretches their loyalties. Is their bond strong enough to survive the celebrity wedding of the century?
Caroline Bell Foster — The Kitty Effect
Stumbling across an abandoned cat and her kittens, Mateo and Willow have to embark on a crash course of parenthood in more ways than one.
Tina D.C. Hayes — Sweethearts and Paw Prints
Kaylee fears losing the two guys she loves with all her heart: Carter to another woman and her Yorkie to his previous owner.
Jeanne Bannon — Love Bites
Jack has a tried and true system for determining whether he will continue to date a woman. He brings his dates home to meet his dog, Phil. But none have yet to pass the Phil Test.
Grab your copy today! And Happy Valentine’s Day reading!
I’ve been out of touch during the holidays while I recharged my batteries so I missed this. If you want some new books for the new year, here are some great recommendations. Happy New Year to you all. May 2017 be peaceful and prosperous.
WELCOME TO MY FIRST ANNUAL BOOK AWARDS PRESENTATION
I have been reviewing books for a couple of years now but never had the time or opportunity to do an annual awards post. 2016 has been filled with so much to be thankful for that I decided to recognize some of the books and authors whose writing made an impact on me, with the hopes that someone else will read these same books. It is a way that I can pay forward some of the enjoyment that I have received and recognize some outstanding Indy authors.
First, I must share that at the drafting of this post, I have read and reviewed a total of 63 books in 2016. That in itself is quite a feat! If you are looking for last minute Christmas Gifts, this is the place to SHOP!
Here’s how I chose the winners of my 2016 Annual…
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Big news today as I release another book in the Kindle World of Melissa Foster’s Remingtons. Known as “fan fiction,” by some, this steamy romance borrows a couple of Melissa’s characters from her Love in Bloom: The Remingtons series.
Four other Remington World books released today as well. I hope you’ll check them all out for a rollicking good time during the holidays. All of the covers were designed by Calinda Be.
Click on the teasers below to download.
And don’t forget to check out where it all began with Melissa Foster’s original Remington series. Click on image to discover this fantastic set of romances about the unforgettable Remington siblings.