AUTHOR WEDNESDAY – AMALIE JAHN

???????????????????????????????Today Amalie Jahn visits Author Wednesday to talk about her young adult time travel series The Clay Lion. Amalie also writes adult fiction, and I’m proud to share a slot with her and other authors in the box set At Odds With Destiny. In this set, Amalie’s Among the Shrouded, where an ancient prophesy foretells the birth of seven psychics destined to change the world. I think you’ll enjoy hearing from this multi-talented author who explores the concept of time travel. In the first book in The Clay Lion, she sets up the dilemma for the main character: What if you could go back in time to save the person you love the most?  The rules are simple. If you want to travel back in time, you need to be at least eighteen years old. You can only travel within your own lifespan for a maximum of six months. And above all else, you must never, ever, change the past. But that’s exactly what Brooke Wallace, the main character, plans to do.TheClayLion Reader s Fave. Award-cropped page-001

Welcome, Amalie. Your concept for The Clay Lion is intriguing. How did you come up with the idea for the first in the series, The Clay Lion?

The idea was born of two converging ideas.  The time travel element came to me in a dream.  My sister and I were some type of superheroes, and we were traveling through time saving people’s lives.  When I woke up, I wrote down as much as I could remember.  As I was writing down my ideas, I began thinking about a little girl named Lauren who happened to be one of my daughter’s good friends.  She had recently been hospitalized with leukemia for the second time and was searching for a bone marrow donor.  I couldn’t help but wonder how her older sister would react if she should die, knowing that she had been her first bone marrow donor.  The two were probably the closest sisters I’d ever had the privilege of knowing.  The idea of a sister going back in time to save the life of her beloved brother was born and The Clay Lion is a testament to the power of sibling love.  Lauren passed away in October of 2013 – tragic ending to a beautiful and very short life.  I hope that The Clay Lion brings solace to grieving families everywhere and honors Lauren’s memory.

So lovely and sad–truly bittersweet. It’s wonderful you were able to capture that in your novel. I’ve never attempted to write about time travel, although the subject interests me. What is the most difficult part with regard to writing about time travel?

I began writing the book with only a skeleton idea of how the time travel portion of the story was going to work out.  About a third of the way through the original manuscript, I realized that how I envisioned the time travel working would be impossible for Brooke to do in real life.  I had planned on her family and everyone around her remembering what had happened to her before her first trip, but as I continued writing, I determined that it would be impossible for them to remember if her timeline was reset to account for the changes she was making.  It would have to be reset over the origin of the trip, thereby erasing the memories of everyone but the traveler, in this case, Brooke.

Another issue I encountered with the time travel was whether or not the travelers were gone in the present for the same amount of time they were spending in the past.  For example, during her first trip, Brooke traveled into the past for six months.  In the original manuscript, Brooke returned to the present having missed six months of her own life because of the trip.  Knowing that Brooke would be traveling several times throughout the course of the novel, I knew that this was going to be an impossibility, not only because it would have taken years of her life away, but also because then every traveler would end up with large spans of time within their lives that they would not be present for.  This would be a huge problem for many travelers, so it was something I needed to rectify.  I finally decided that in the present day, no time would be lost for the traveler.  You leave and return in the same day, effectively missing nothing of your present life.

Both of these issues, along with several others, required a significant amount of editing and revisions as I wrote.  There were many days (and nights) that I was unable to write any of the storyline because I was bogged down in the intricacies of the time travel.  Strangely, most of my inspiration was given to me in the middle of the night, and I was forced awake by bursts of inspiration regarding the time travel that needed my immediate attention.  I was never so glad for my overactive subconscious!

In the end, I believe that I was able to work out many of the details regarding the time travel that exists in Brooke and Branson’s world.  Having grappled for so many months with the difficulties that it involves, I firmly believe that I will never experience time travel in my own life.  I believe it may very well be an impossibility in our world.  But if it isn’t, just in case, I’m already making my list of what things I would like to do with my trip.

I’ve written novels where I’ve switched time periods in the telling of the story, and know how difficult that can be. I can only imagine how difficult it was keeping it all straight. I don’t find it at all unusual that your ideas came to you when you were in a sort of twilight time–perhaps your own form of time travel. What do you feel is the greatest strength of The Clay Lion?

As I was writing, I felt a strong connection to Brooke and hoped the readers would share that same closeness.  I was pleased to discover when readers started weighing in that they bonded with her as well.  The story’s subject matter helped me develop her character fully, and I believe readers relate to her because of the depth of her loss.  We’ve all loved and lost – it’s a part of the human experience.  It’s something we can all relate to which is why Brooke’s character resonates with so many readers.  They feel her emotion and pull for her.  I believe her character is the strength of the book.

With such a complicated plot, what was your writing process like for The Clay Lion?

When I began writing I had an outline of the plot but didn’t know how I was going to end the story.  It was as if I was going on vacation, map in hand, knowing only where I was starting out and a few places to stop off along the way.  What I didn’t know, however, was where the ultimate destination was going to be.  After the first few chapters, I thought I knew where I was headed, but the more I got to know Brooke, the more she began taking over the direction of the story.  Places I wanted to go were not necessarily the places Brooke wanted to take me, so instead of fighting her, I surrendered to her.  At one point in the story, I was writing at the kitchen counter and my husband was baking brownies.  I started crying, and he asked me what in the world had set me off.  I told him I was upset because I didn’t know that what I had just written was going to happen, which of course made me sound as though I’d officially gone off the deep end.  “If you’re the one writing the book, how do you not know what’s about to happen?” he asked.  “I didn’t do it,” I replied.  “Brooke did.”  And that’s how it was for the remainder of the manuscript.  Brooke was in control.  I just wrote what she told me.

What an amazing process, Amalie. I thank you for stopping by today to share.

AmalieAbout Amalie Jahn:  “I spent my childhood writing journals about the boys I loved, especially the ones who never loved me back. I never imagined I’d be channeling those emotions into full-length novels later on in my life.” – Amalie Jahn

Undeterred by fickle teenage boys, Amalie won her first literary award in seventh grade for a fictional short story about a girl struggling with accident-induced hearing loss. She’s been writing ever since. The Clay Lion‘s Best-Selling March 2013 release was followed by the publication of Tin Men and A Straw Man, the second and third books in the critically-acclaimed series. Among the Shrouded is the first in a series of novels exploring real-world issues under the umbrella of paranormal suspense, and Amalie is currently working on the second installment of the series entitled Gather the Sentient.

When she’s not at the computer coaxing characters into submission, you can find Amalie swimming laps, cycling, or running on the treadmill, probably training for her next triathlon. She hates pairing socks and loves avocados. Amalie lives in the United States with her husband, two children, and three extremely overfed cats.

She is also very happy time travel does not yet exist. You can find her right here in the present day at these social media sites:

Website

Amazon Author Central

Facebook

Twitter – @AmalieJahn

 

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AUTHOR WEDNESDAY – J.J DiBENEDETTO

cropped-cropped-typewriter.jpgToday I welcome J.J. DiBenedetto to Author Wednesday. James and I both have novels published in the At Odds With Destiny box set.spines 10 authors

His novel Dream Student traces the life of Sara Barnes when she starts seeing other people’s dreams. Unfortunately, those dreams come from a serial killer. Dream Student in the first book in his popular Dream Series of paranormal novels.

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Hi, J.J. It’s nice to have you back on Author Wednesday. Have you ever felt as if a subject chose you rather than the other way around?

My entire Dream Series basically chose me. I got the initial idea from asking a question. Why do people in mystery stories try to solve the crime themselves, instead of calling the police like any sensible person would? My answer was:  If they only saw the crime in their heads, through the eyes of the criminal, they’d have to investigate themselves. The characters were born fully-grown from that idea, and I’ve never looked back.

That’s so true about wondering why folks do what they do in the  movies when we know they’re headed for trouble. I like that you were able to build on that–in quite a large way! So what’s going on with you now? Anymore books in this series ready for release?

I’m publishing the ninth book of the Dream Series (Fever Dream) later this month, and I’m working on the tenth and (I think) final book right now as well.

We’ll see. You’re on a roll and popular with your fans, so you might be persuaded to continue. Do all of these books in the series have common threads? 

The series follows the same characters, specifically Sara and her family. Sara’s a seemingly ordinary woman, except for her special gift:  She can step into other people’s dreams. When we meet her in the first book, she’s in college. In the newest book, coming out later this month, she’s in her late thirties, and she’s in charge of a hospital.

What’s your one sentence pitch for the Dream series?

“What if you could see everyone else’s dreams?”

How did you choose the title?

It took a long time to come up with “Dream Student” for the first book. I had several working titles I didn’t like before I finally happened on that title, and it ended up creating a common theme with “Dream” in all the titles. I’ve carried it through the rest of the books.

How long does the process take for you from the idea for a novel to a finished, published book?

The first book took fifteen years – from the time I wrote the first (not very good) draft, to when I picked it back up two years ago and rewrote it from page one. For the rest of the books, it’s taken from three to five months to write each additional one and release it.

You really picked up speed, but once you had the original concept, it probably helped all the other ideas fall into place. What type of research is required to write a book in the paranormal genre?

I’ve done so much research into all sorts of weird things. Not so much for the first book, because it’s set where (and when) I went to college, so memory got me though that. But the second book is set during Sara’s first month of medical school, and I knew absolutely nothing about that. So I had to do a lot of research into what med school is like. In the later books, I’ve had to dig into criminal law, the history of West Point, common childhood poisons, the procedure for an appendectomy, and a lot of other offbeat things.

Research sounds about the same as it would be for any other genre. Still need those facts about history and subjects to be accurate even though it’s fiction. Great talking to you today, J.J. I wish you great success with your new release. I know readers are waiting!

New Author Photo 9-26-14About J.J.:  J.J. (James) Dibenedetto’s fans would swear he’s got a sixth sense when it comes to seeing into the minds of others and often wonder if his stories could possibly be fiction. He enjoys suspending disbelief with suspenseful paranormal tales that are a perfect blend of reality meets fantasy. His popular Dream Series continues to delight readers with each and every exciting installment.

Born in Yonkers, New York, he currently resides in Arlington Virginia with his beautiful wife and a cat he is sure has taken full advantage of its nine lives. When it comes to the cat, he often wonders, but then again it might just be his imagination.

Click here to read a previous Author Wednesday interview with J.J.

Click below for links to J.J. and his books

#Release Day – AT ODDS WITH DESTINY

All ten novels for $.99 cents

All ten novels for $.99 cents

Bestselling, critically acclaimed, and notoriously creative authors from across the book continuum join forces to bring you At Odds with Destiny, everything you’ve wanted in a boxed set but thought you’d never find: full-length novels brimming with myth, fantasy, mystery, history, romance, drama, originality, heroism, and suspense. Finding themselves at odds with destiny, the characters in these stories fight to shape their future and define who they are. Come follow them in their amazing journeys.

✿ Kindle: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00SHYGG7C/
✿ Nook: http://tinyurl.com/at-odds4nook
✿ iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id959421650
✿ Kobo: http://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/at-odds-with-destiny
✿ Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/511673

Meet the authors in this box set – I’m thrilled to be a part of it, along with Native Lands. I think what I love most about this set is the variety. There’s a genre for almost every reading preference. At $.99 cents, how could you go wrong?

Each one of the novels in this boxed set is outside the box. Open it at your own risk! Bestselling, critically acclaimed, and notoriously creative authors from across the book continuum join forces to bring you AT ODDS WITH DESTINY, everything you’ve wanted in a boxed set but thought you’d never find: full-length novels brimming with myth, fantasy, mystery, history, romance, drama, originality, heroism, and suspense. Finding themselves at odds with destiny, the characters in these stories fight to shape their future and define who they are. Come follow them in their journeys.

Rise to Power by Uvi Poznansky – Notorious for his contradictions, David is seen by others as a gifted court entertainer or a traitor leading a gang of felons. How does he see himself? Can he control his destiny and strike a balance between ambition and longing for purity?

Double Forté by Aaron Paul Lazar – In the deep cold of winter, threats erupt from the dark woods, spinning events out of hand – and Gus, tormented by the unexplained death of his wife, braces for the fight of his life.

The Luck of the Weissensteiners by Christoph Fischer – In World War II, Eastern Europe, two families – one Jewish, one Catholic — fight for survival amidst deception, fear, distrust and betrayal. In the entangled web of political, religious and familial loyalties, can love endure?

Outview by Brandt Legg – Nate embarks on a breathless quest to save his brother and unravel the mystery of their father’s death. His desperate flight takes a stunning turn when mystics reveal an extraordinary destiny to him.

Among the Shrouded by Amalie Jahn – Mia, Thomas, and Kate have psychic abilities and a common destiny. They just don’t know it yet.

Pam of Babylon by Suzanne Jenkins – After Jack dies, his wife Pam discovers secrets and lies. Is she destined to succumb to vengefulness against his two lovers, or will she fine a different way forward?

Broken Angel by S.W. Vaughn – To rescue his kidnapped sister, Gabriel is forced to join a crime syndicate, where he discovers a dark underside to the city that few have ever seen. Yet the game can’t be won by their rules. He’ll have to make his own.

Tempus by Janet Morris – Woe betide the soul who dares too much! Ride with Tempus and his Sacred Band of Stepsons cavalry into myth, legend, and adventure like no other.

Native Lands by P.C. Zick – When their environment is torn apart by a battle for power and control of the last of the Florida frontier, a tribe of native Floridians thought to be extinct rise up to halt the destruction of the natural world they treasure.

Dream Student by James DiBenedetto – Everything was going according to plan, until the night when college junior Sara Barnes started seeing other people’s dreams. Is she the only one witnessing the secrets of a serial killer? Let in the dog and let out the cat, for this box holds dangers of the most rarefied kind!

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Author Wednesday – Eva Gordon

cropped-typewriter.jpgWelcome to Author Wednesday. Eva Gordon stops by today for an interview about her novella series, Alpha Wolf’s Pet, which she describes as a “werewolf paranormal romance series.” The genre sounds intriguing and filled with something for many readers. 

 

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Hello, Eva. I’m happy you’re here today to talk about your novella series. First, let’s talk about your life as a writer. When did you first discover your voice?

While I was teaching high school biology and discovered my students enjoyed my ‘made-up’ stories.

I started my writing career while a high school English teacher, so I understand how that happens. What about writing rituals? Do you have any?

Walk the dog, make the coffee, turn on my laptop and choose my music for that particular book or scene.

You’re working on a series, so I’m curious if all your books have a common theme or thread.  

Hmm.  Good question. The enduring theme in all my books, no matter the setting, circumstances, and genre, the theme happens to be a strong romance and happily ever after.

Nothing wrong with that at all! Your genre spans several areas. Do you plan on writing in the same genre?

Yes. I write paranormal romance, but also steampunk, fantasy, historical, and in the near future, will venture into science fiction (not romance).

That will be a good challenge. I like to change things up as a writer. I think it’s good to explore. What’s the best thing said about one of your books by a reviewer?

The best thing a reviewer has said about all my books is their desire to read the next.

I like to hear that, too. We all get them at some point in our writing career, but the bad review is never easy to take, especially for writers new to the publishing experience. What advice can you give to other writers about receiving a bad review?

Don’t sweat it. Not everybody loves coffee, in fact, some people hate coffee. Do you give up making coffee? No, but you might make it stronger.

Good advice to remember. I’m going to use that! Tell us about your new series.

It’s part of a novella series, which follows Mia’s relationship with alpha werewolf Dominic.Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00065] Book 2, Alpha Wolf’s Pet, Kept was just released and Book 3, Alpha’s Pet, Hunted will be released Winter 2015. Then I plan a spinoff from the series. I love all things wolf and werewolf. This last summer I did a workshop on Wolf/Werewolf Lore and just love creating stories with werewolves. In this new series, the werewolves are born wolf and are turned into a human once bitten, by yes, a human.  A man bites dog book.

What type of research did you do in the writing of this series?

My background is in zoology, and I’ve always had a soft spot for real wolves. I even once volunteered at a wolf sanctuary and currently do workshops on wolf and werewolf lore. My werewolf myth bookshelf is huge.

I’d love to take one of your workshops, just for personal interest. Please share your blurb for the first two books in the series that are published.

fb reveal - Alpha Wolf Pet book 1Alpha Wolf’s Pet, Hidden Book 1 – Mia’s testimony against Russian mobsters forced her to enter the witness protection program. She is relocated to a quaint cottage in Wolf Woods, near Mt. Rainier, far from everyone and everything she loved and cared for. All is calm, until she meets Dominic, the gorgeous ruggedly handsome owner of the mysterious Wolfe Estate. He is all alpha male, domineering, and controlling. The last thing she needs is to get involved with a sexy control freak. Will hidden danger keep them from gratifying their burning passion?

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000038_00065]Alpha Wolf’s Pet, Kept, Book 2 – In the sequel to Alpha Wolf’s Pet, Hidden, Mia has two choices: remain hidden, frightened by the Russian mob determined to murder her, or become a sworn member and under the protection of Dominic’s werewolf pack. Dominic is torn.He loves her, but his pack rules will never allow him to claim a human as his mate. Worse, he’s drawn to Mia’s addictive blood. Was one taste too much?

What else do you want readers to know about your series?

I plan to continue the series with characters introduced in Book 3, Alpha Wolf’s Pet, Hunted.

Tell us about your other books.

I have two in the After the Bane series, Apocalyptic Moon (selected as one of Best Kindle Books for 2014.) and book 2 Raven Moon. A paranormal historical, Lycan Gladiator in the Wolf Maiden Saga and Book 1 in my steampunk series, Hand of Miriam, A Bayla and the Golem Novel. My agent is working on getting my historical and steampunk series sold. I’m also getting ready to re-release my epic fantasy, The Stone of the Tenth Realm.

If a movie was made about your success as a writer, who would play you?

Minnie Driver, but without the British accent.

Good choice! I’m so glad you stopped by today, Eva. You are prolific, and I wish the great success with the new series.

Eva at StonehengeAbout Eva: Eva Gordon writes genre bending paranormal/fantasy/steampunk and historical novels with a strong romantic element. She loves to create stories that combine her passion for mythology, steamy romance, and action/suspense. Her imagination takes her from one universe to the next. Thus far, she has several series lined up as well as single titles waiting in line for production.

Eva has a BS in Zoology and graduate studies in Biology. When not in her den writing, she can be found teaching animal lore at writing conventions, at work at the raptor rehabilitation center, wolf sanctuaries, or to satisfy her inner Hemingway, on some global eco adventure.

Links – Click below:

Website| Blog | Amazon Author Page | Like Page on Face Book | Goodreads  |Twitter Pinterest

Book 1 Buy Links: Amazon US  Amazon UK  Barnes and Noble (Nook) Smashwords All Romance Apple  Kobo

Book 2 Buy links: Amazon US    Amazon UK      Nook     Smashwords  Apple

 

 

 

Author Wednesday – M.C.V. Egan

BRIDGE EBOOK COVER2 NEWcropped-cropped-typewriter.jpgHello – It’s Wednesday and that means I have an author visiting. Today I welcome M.C.V. Egan (AKA Catalina) to my blog to talk about her books and her new release. Her first book, The Bridge of Deaths, is a fictional account of a real historical event that occurred in 1939 in Denmark. At the brink of World War II, an English plane crashed and sunk in Danish waters. Five deaths were reported: two Standard Oil of New Jersey employees, a German Corporate Lawyer, an English member of Parliament, and a crew member for the airline. Ms. Egan’s grandfather was one of the dead. Defined by Othersher new release, is the first in a series that touches on themes of astrology and the paranormal. Defined By Others v12 SMALL 9-8-14

Hello Catalina. Let’s talk about both of your books. I’m wondering if you have  a common theme or thread running through them.

I am fascinated by superstition, astrology, numerology, palmistry, and other subjects that at one point were referred to as occult, paranormal or New Age. So there is alwaysat least a touch of that in anything I write. However, it is not necessarily the main theme or used in In The Bridge of Deaths, which is available in two versions. The historical part of it is what strongly attracts readers, but I also added the element of past lives and a touch of astrology. In Defined by Others, main characters play an underhanded game which involves pretending to be psychic, and questioning whether there is credence to such abilities.

Defined by Others is the first in a series which will be followed by Climbing up the Family TreeDefined by Pedigree. It has a far smaller influence in that theme, well so far… it is after all a theme that is so broad and fascinates me.

Why have you chosen to write about this particular theme?

The spectrum in this theme is so large and can be incorporated in such diversity. I also find it fascinating; the possibility of fate being imprinted in our features or our stars.

It takes me back to the magic of the children’s books that fed my imagination growing. It is also a great tool to address anything; the very name occult meaning hidden immediately gives a story line a great point of departure. I include ghosts in that as well but never in a horror or fear inducing way.

Do you have a favorite character that you created?

Maggie the fun-loving young pacifist in The Bridge of Deaths is one of my favorites and one I admire tremendously. I am working with such a large variety of characters right now for my defined series that to be honest there are many I love; even the mean ones with all their flaws!

How does setting play a role in your books?

Setting is very important, but I am a writer far more focused on events and story line as opposed to setting. I was just discussing this with another writer who is far more setting-oriented and does a wonderful job at it. I try to use real settings to compensate for the fact that trying too hard to create them would hurt my joy of writing. That being said if a place such as a house can be a sort of character in a story, then I do find describing it with far more ease.

What kinds of techniques do you like to use in your writing?

I love my tape recorder a great tool to brainstorm. I am a list maker, I write lists of all the topics I feel the book needs to cover, not necessarily hard and fast lists. I am flexible and open to change in my work. For my characters I resort to interviewing them, playing with them, making them fill out a job application, anything needed to get depth and make them as real to me as can

Are you planning to continue writing in the same genre?

My plans for the series I am working on is to make the idea of a variety of things that define us, but each book is a stand-alone and not necessarily following a thread. As much as the theme of the occult is used it will probably be present, but I hope that I will play with a wide variety of eras and not stick strictly to contemporary fiction.

That sounds like an intriguing journey for you as a writer as well as for your readers. What’s the best thing said about one of your books by a reviewer?

“An unusual yet much recommended read” by The Midwest Book Review. The reason is that I hope that my stories are unique. I believe that everyone has the capacity to express a unique voice and that as individuals we have different perspectives; as such I hope to be able to convey my own unique and unusual way to convey my stories.

You are so right about that. You stand out in your unique perspective so therefore does your work. We all get the occasional dreaded negative review of our work, so I wonder what advice you can give to other writers about receiving one?

It is not a nice feeling to be criticized and some reviewers can be absolutely scathing. Anyone willing to put themselves out there with any form of writing should develop a nice coat of thick skin! A great tool to learn from and balance the impact of a bad review is the following: Choose a book by a famous, successful author you consider fantastic, look up their bad reviews! A review is simply an opinion, and a bad review is an opinion you disagree with!

That being said, I strongly recommend that writers have the courage to learn and grow from others (reviewers) opinions. I try to use them as tools to become a better writer; to find the elements of constructive criticism in a review.

Very good advice. It’s important to distinguish constructive criticism from simply mean reviews. I agree about looking up famous authors and their reviews. It helped me tremendously after my first bad one. I’m so happy you stopped by today, Catalina. You are an inspiration to all of us Indies out there striving to have our individual voices heard. I hope you’ll come back when the second book in your new series is published.

MCVEganAbout the Author: M.C.V. Egan is the pen name chosen by Maria Catalina Vergara Egan the author of The Bridge of Deaths, in two versions, as well as the soon to be released Defined by Others.

Catalina was born in Mexico City, Mexico in 1959, the sixth of eight children, in a traditional Catholic family. Communication in such a large family fueled her desire and need to find a voice and write.

She only spent her childhood in Mexico. Her father became an employee of The World Bank in Washington D.C. At the age of 12, she moved with her entire family to the United States.

Catalina was already fluent in Southern English as she had spent one school year in the town of Pineville, Louisiana with her grandparents. There she won the English award; ironically being the only one who had English as a second language in her class. In the D.C. suburbs she attended various private Catholic schools and graduated from Winston Churchill High School in Potomac, Maryland in 1977. She attended Montgomery Community College, where she changed majors every semester. She also studied in Lyons, France at the Catholic University for two years. In 1981, due to an impulsive young marriage to a Viking (The Swedish kind, not the football player kind), Catalina moved to Sweden where she resided for five years and taught at a language school for Swedish, Danish, and Finnish business people. She returned to the USA in the late 1980s where she has been living ever since. She is fluent in Spanish, English, French and Swedish.

Maria Catalina Vergara Egan is married and has one son, who together with their five pound Chihuahua make her feel like a full time mother. Although she would not call herself an astrologer she has taken many classes and taught a few beginner classes in astrology. This is one of her many past times when she is not writing or researching.

YouTube video link

http://youtu.be/YNe9psSjGio

http://youtu.be/tUdQ_AV0StA

Contact links

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Blogs

THE BRIDGE OF DEATHS

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Is History The Agreed Upon Lie?

Link to AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

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BOOK BLOGS

 

Author Wednesday – Stacy Eaton

cropped-cropped-typewriter.jpgWelcome to Author Wednesday once again. Today I welcome new author friend, Stacy Eaton. Stacy and I met through Rachelle Ayala and the Romance in a Month class, but really became connected when both of us became a part of the romance box set, Heroes to Swoon For, which will be released on December 8. Stacy is tireless in her work and in her writing. I’m very happy she’s here today to talk about her books.Heroes to Swoon For_ebook_medium

Hello, Stacy. What a treat to have you here today. I’m always curious about writers and their process. One of my heroes is Rachel Carson, author of Silent Spring. She said in an interview once that she never chose a subject because as a writer, the subject chose her. Does this happen for you?

My subjects have always chosen me. I can’t remember a time that someone said, “Hey, can you write about this,” and I did. The stories come to me, they dwell, and then they want to come out.  They can be so forceful that it’s almost painful not to write them down and get them out of my head.

That’s a wonderful thing. For years, I had to write what others told me to write, and it certainly stifles the creative mind. Do you have similar messages or themes running through your different novels? 

Cover-NookI write in a few genres: paranormal, romantic suspense, relationship and such.  Most of my books, I can’t say that I am trying to convey a message, but in the three novels I have written on domestic violence (Whether I’ll Live or Die, published, and two to be published early next year, You’re Not Alone and Barbara’s Plea), I teach. My point in writing those books was not only to entertain, but to help people understand what domestic violence is, and why it’s not so easy for a victim to leave.

I love it when fiction can be used to a purposeful end, and that’s a very powerful message. Do you have a favorite character that you’ve created? 

Favorite characters, whew… I have a few of them. I think my two favorites are Jay and Tasha in Six Days of Memories. I absolutely love the chemistry SixDaysofMemories-Amazonbetween them and how strong both of them are. With that said, I just finished writing a book, Barbara’s Plea, and the lead male is Grey Bloodstone. I think I am a little bit in love with him (shh…. Don’t tell my husband). He’s an all-around good guy who grew up with morals and principals and believes in family. I loved writing him and so far my Beta team is fighting me for the head of his fan club!

I’m going to have to check this fellow out! Tell me about the title of your books. How do you choose them? 

With almost every single book, the title has come from a sentence written on the pages within. Most titles come to me pretty early on in the writing process. I knew the title to Whether I’ll Live or Die, before I even put my fingers to the keyboard. My latest story, Barbara’s Plea is the first one that I really had to dwell on it to come up with the title. The final title wasn’t decided until I had finished the story.

That’s happened for me. My newest release had two titles prior to the final Native Lands. I like the title Barbara’s Plea. You just needed incubation time to come up with it. How long do you spend on your books, from an idea to a published product?

Most times, when I come up with an idea, and it is jumping up and down in my head, screaming let me out, I get the idea and start working on it. Six Days of Memories was written in twenty-eight days, from conception to final first draft. Barbara’s Plea was a total of six days, five of them were writing days. That story was an obsession that needed to be released before I could do anything else. Other books have taken me longer. Second Shield took me a few second-shield-Amznmonths, as did Distorted Loyalty and You’re Not Alone. It all depends on what character wants to talk and how loud they are speaking. It also depends on how much time I get to write. My work schedule is sometimes not very pliable and I might find myself without time for a few weeks, then I have a long weekend off and get some major writing done.

Second Shield is a part of our box set, Heroes to Swoon For, which is very exciting. I’m pretty sure you don’t get much of it, but what do you do during your down time?

Down time? What the heck is that? Lol… Actually, writing is my down time. Being a detective in real life, my days are stressful. Coming home and losing myself in the lives of my characters, where I can have almost complete control (I say almost because they can get out of hand and take over), is where I find my relief. I step out of real life drama and fall into fictional drama. If I’m not doing those, I own a business and I play taxi to my very social and active 11 year old.

Unbelievable! You are my hero, for sure. I wonder if you ever have time to read. Are you reading something now? 

I am actually re-reading a series that I have read before. I wanted something hot and spicy with major alpha men and didn’t feel like searching for something. So, to answer your question, I’m reading JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series. I love those books!

After talking to you, I’m even more honored that you managed to spend a few minutes with me for this interview. You are an amazing woman, and I’m honored to be working with you. I hope you’ll come back one day with one of your new books about domestic violence and talk to us more about that subject.

StacyAbout Stacy Eaton: Stacy is a full-time police officer who enjoys crime scene investigation, and above all else, taking a passion in putting the pieces together to figure out the crime. She is also a business owner where she helps people get the awareness out for the causes they care most about. She is a mother of two, a son proudly serving in the United States Navy and a young daughter. Her husband is also in law enforcement. Stacy is currently serving on the board of directors for her local domestic violence center. She is very much into photography and carries her Nikon Digital SLR with her almost everywhere, just in case.

Click below to connect with Stacy

Facebook

Twitter: @StacySEaton

Website

Amazon Author Page  – Purchase her books here.

Pinterest 

 

 

 

 

Author Wednesday – J.J. DiBenedetto

???????????????????????????????I welcome J.J. (James) DiBenedetto to Author Wednesday. James is the author of the paranormal romance Dream Series. The seven books in this series are James’ first published work, but it’s a prolific batch of fiction. The titles: Dream Student, Dream Doctor, Dream Child, Dream Family, Waking Dream, Dream Reunion, and Dream Home.EbookDreamStudentCoverSmallerDreamDoctorCoverSmaller

 

 

 

 

Hello, James. It’s nice to have you here today. You’ve written seven books in your Dream Series, which is very impressive. I wonder if you convey the same messages or themes in all of your books. 

I didn’t really set out to preach or to convey any particular message, but as the books have gone on, I see my beliefs coming through. I think the books emphasize the importance of compassion, and empathy, and a healthy respect for the power you have (whatever kind of power that is) and the importance of taking responsibility for your actions, no matter the cost.

That’s interesting. I do that with my own work, and before I know it a message emerges, which conveys my own belief system. Do you have a favorite character that you created?

Sara, the heroine of the Dream Series – I couldn’t have written seven (and counting!) books about her if I didn’t love her. What I like best about her is that while she is the heroine, and she does save the day, she’s definitely flawed and very human. She gets jealous and angry and has very irrational moments. And while she always tries to do the right thing, she sometimes has a lot of trouble figuring out what that actually is.

I bet you have fun putting her in new situations and deciding how she will react. What’s the best thing said about one of your books by a reviewer?

I really loved one review of Dream Doctor, which takes place during Sara’s first month of medical school, where the reviewer wondered if I was a doctor or otherwise involved in medicine, because the book rang so true. That was high praise for the research I did, because other than going to the doctor myself when I’m sick, I’m about as far as you can get from that!

What’s your one sentence pitch for the series?

“What if you could see everyone else’s dreams?” – that’s the pitch for the entire series, really.

That’s an intriguing concept. No wonder you’ve written seven books with a character you love and a great idea. How long do you estimate it took you to take the series from an idea to a finished, published?

Fifteen years or so! I had the first idea in 1997 or so, and I wrote a (pretty bad) novel-length first draft. Then, I rewrote that to a slightly better second draft. And then it just sat there on my computer for a really long time, until, in 2012, a friend sold her first novel to a publisher, and I said to myself, “Hey, if she can do it, so can I!” I dusted off the old draft, rewrote it again–changing the whole thing from third person POV to first person, which was what the story needed all along, only I hadn’t realized it for such a long time–and then the next three books followed, one right after the other.

Without giving us a spoiler, tell us a little bit about your favorite scene in one of the books

My favorite scene in Dream Student is a quiet and touching scene between Sara and her father, where she admits to him how much she loves her new boyfriend.

Let’s talk about your writing life. If you listen to music while you’re writing, what is it?

Usually classical music, and always something I’m very familiar with. If it’s music with lyrics, or something new, I get distracted too easily – it has to be something that’s just “there” so that it provides some comfort but I can still keep focused on what I’m doing.

I’m the same way. No lyrics allowed while writing. How about setting. Do you set your books in the place you live?

Places I live, places I used to live, places I visited, all of that! Sara’s college in Dream Student is my college with the names changed; the apartment building she lives in in Dream Family is the building I lived in when I first moved to Washington, D.C.; her mother-in-law’s house is modeled on my cousin’s old house. “Write what you know,” right?

Thanks for stopping by today, James. It’s been a pleasure to learn a bit more about you and your work. Happy writing.

IMG_1771About J.J. – J.J. (James) DiBenedetto was born in Yonkers, New York. He attended Case Western Reserve University, where as his classmates can attest, he was a complete nerd. Very little has changed since then.

He currently lives in Arlington, Virginia, with his beautiful wife and their cat (who has thoroughly trained them both). When he’s not writing, James works in the direct marketing field, enjoys the opera, photography and the New York Giants, among other interests.

Links to books and social media sites

http://viewAuthor.at/JJDiBenedetto (Amazon Author page)

http://getBook.at/DreamStudent (book #1 on Amazon)

http://getBook.at/DreamStudentAudio (book #1 on audiobook)

http://getBook.at/DreamDoctor (book #2 on Amazon)

http://getBook.at/DreamHome (latest book – #7 – on Amazon)

http://www.writingdreams.net (blog)

http://www.writingdreams.net/audio (audiobook samples of all books available on audiobook)

Twitter

Facebook

 

Book Review Friday – The Bone Church

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Click on cover for Amazon page

The Bone Church by Victoria Dougherty with its suspenseful moments and supernatural whispers places it in a unique category of historical fiction.

Set in Czechoslovakia between the years of 1943 to 1956, the characters are in constant danger, and one-step away from death throughout the entire book. Even when World War II ends, and Nazi Germany no longer controls the destiny of the Czech people, another world power brings a different set of troubles to the Eastern European country. It’s not certain if the occupation by the Soviet Union is an improvement upon the lives of the already downtrodden. If they managed to escape the war, it was only to end up in another type of nightmare where anyone—lovers, relatives, nuns—might end up as a spy and an enemy.

In the world portrayed by Ms. Dougherty, the characters of Felix and Magdalena are at first innocents caught in an evil and dangerous world. But with each betrayal and with every death, they lose their innocence as they scratch their way to survival.

The plight of Jews and gypsies provide the reader no surprises here; but the addition of priests, sculptors, and bankers into the complicated plot woven by the author, lend an air of constant tension to the book.

The plot moves back and forth from 1943-44 to 1956 to give just enough of a hint of what is to come and how they got where they are. Ms. Dougherty is careful to provide the chapter headings with dates and locations so the reader can easily move from one setting to the other. There’s no time to figure out the year or setting because the action never lets up in either time.

When the violence and trickery become overwhelming, the plot shifts to the paranormal where the spirits of those gone before come again to help give hope and advice to Felix and Magdalena. The reference of the Bone Church comes from a real church where human bones decorate the inside of the church. Ms. Dougherty describes in horrifying detail the interior from Felix’s point of view when he first sees it: “Nearly every part of the interior gleamed like the new teeth of an infant. Bones from some 30,000 dead Christians lay configured into pyramids, light fixtures, chandeliers, pinnacles, coats of arms, an altar, and a monstrous hydra of ribs and skulls that sat atop an intact spinal column.”

The terrifying place for Felix soon turns into his savior. The book comes full circle when the bones of one of the characters find its way to the Bone Church finally to find peace.

Ms. Dougherty’s imagery stands out from the heaviness of the plot’s action. I was captivated from the beginning with a description of Palestine, where Magdalena had visited as a child.

“The desert there had seemed to her a beautiful sleeping woman. If the mountains were her body, the desert was the palm of her hand, cracked with the lines of her destiny. The hot air was her breath.”

If you’re a fan of historical fiction, this book provides yet another experience of a dark time in Eastern European history. If you love suspenseful thrillers with spies lurking around every corner, then The Bone Church will surely keep you turning the page. And if you love a tale with paranormal assistance, you find it here. I hit the jackpot because I love all three of those elements within fiction.

Click here to purchase The Bone Church on Amazon.

 

Book Review ala P.C.

Sketch of P.C. Zick by Jae at Lit and Scribbles

Sketch of P.C. Zick by Jae at Lit and Scribbles

By Patricia Zick @PCZick

I’ve been posting Book Review Friday for several months, although in recent weeks, I haven’t been that regular with my postings. I hope that changes as the cooler weather approaches, and I spend more time inside in quieter pursuits such as reading.

I think about reviews, both those I write and those I receive for my own books. Often, reviewers will post a review on a book they didn’t/couldn’t finish and give the book a 1- or 2-star rating. That’s unfair and mean-spirited. I received a 3-star rating the other day, but the reviewer only had good things to say about my book. When I look at the reviews of books I want to read, I usually disregard the 5-star ratings and the lowest ratings. Somewhere in the middle lies the most honest and fair of reviews.

I review books in the genres I most enjoy: historical fiction, women’s literature, environmental fiction and nonfiction, family sagas, paranormal, and sometimes, mysteries and thrillers. I’ve been pleasantly surprised at times by reading outside of my chosen genres.

I won’t review a book if I think it deserves anything below a “3” rating. I know how important reviews are to Indie Authors, and I don’t want to be the one to write a poor review. If the book is poorly executed, it will take care of itself. I don’t give a rating on my blog, but I try to give a thorough review of the book through my perspective. Reviews are entirely subjective. I do post reviews to Amazon and Goodreads and give it the required rating there.

I believe reviews should tell readers what is good or bad or what may need improvement. A review is not a rehashing of the plot. Reviews need not be long either. If an author is particularly descriptive, I might provide a short excerpt to show readers what they can expect from that writer. In my reviews, I try to give enough information so the reader can make an informed decision about reading the book. I usually make a recommendation, but I provide a reason why I’m making it. For example, I might write, “If you like a nail-biting, cliff-hanging book, you’ll be thrilled with this book.”

It is still a good idea for readers to read the sample of a book provided on Amazon. I often download samples to my Kindle before I make a purchase. And read the description of the book. You’ll be able to garner plenty of information about the book and its author since most of those descriptions, especially Indie books, are written by the author.

I started promoting other fellow writers and their work earlier this year. It’s been one of the best decisions I’ve made as an Indie Author. I’ve met some new friends, and I’ve read some amazing books. There’s a tremendous amount of talent out there, and I’m happy to be able to promote it as best I can.

What’s been your experience with reviews – either giving or receiving? I’m always eager to learn how others approach writing them and dealing with them.

 

 

 

 

 

Author Wednesday – Alicia Love

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Welcome to Author Wednesday. Today I welcome Alicia J. Love, author of young adult science fiction. She’s a  self-published author of The Seven Uniters Series, the short story collection The Seven Uniters: The Originals, as well as a paranormal novella. She is currently working on the third installment in The Seven Uniters Series, Redemption, which will be released this fall.reincarnationcoversimple3

I’m so glad you could stop by for an interview today, Alicia. Do you recall when you first called yourself either a “writer” or “author?”

I have been writing all my life, but the transition between being able to write and becoming an author was astoundingly simple. I began writing my first book, Reincarnation, in the fall of 2012 and finished it in February of this year. And then, all of a sudden, I was an author. It was such an empowering realization, and it was so easy. That is one of the things I love about being an author: it is a title I can take, a career I can choose, all on my own. It is an amazing feeling.

I agree. It really clicked for me when I went the Indie Author route, as you have. What messages or themes do you try to convey to your readers?

My books all seem to center around one theme. The Seven Uniters Series is about a teenage girl who is abused and alone. She is essentially the underdog, until she discovers that she is so much more. My books are about finding your strengths, your weaknesses, and asserting yourself in the world. The story is about Hailey finding herself and finding out that she is so much more than she ever could have imagined.

Those are such important messages to get out to everyone, but most decidedly to teens. Good for you. What are you working on right now?

revolutioncoverI have written two books, two short stories, and a novella. My books are the first two in The Seven Uniters Series, Reincarnation and Revolution, following Hailey, a girl who is reincarnated from the legendary Seven Uniters, a group of beings gifted with powers in order to maintain balance in the universe. My short stories are the first two in the collection The Seven Uniters: The Originals and each installment will be a story of each of the original Seven Uniters. I also decided to test my skills in the world of paranormal romance and wrote a 100-page novella called Esther’s Progeny about a Vampire discovering the last of the Seer, and trying to turn her to make her into a hybrid. Of course, it goes wrong, and the story is about them trying to fix what they ended up breaking.

Do you have a favorite character that you created?

Hailey is definitely my favorite character. There is so much of me in her. She was abused, and down on herself, and has so many issues. But, with each turn of the page, she gets a little bit stronger. I know that as a reader you will be rooting for her from day one, and you will grow with her as the series continues.

She sounds like a survivor who can provide inspiration for others. Will you continue writing in this same genre?

The Seven Uniters Series is mainly young adult science fiction, and I will write it until it is finished. But I do want to write in other genres. I have always loved fantasy, witches, and magic, and would love to write a book or three about them. I am always coming up with new ideas for different stories in all different genres. When I have finished with Hailey’s story, we’ll see what I end up writing next. It could be anything!

What’s the best thing said about one of your books by a reviewer?

During a radio interview with Tom Riddell and The Writer’s Lounge, my first book, Reincarnation, was applauded, but my second book, Revolution, was complimented in ways I had never expected. Tom said not only that he would give Revolution thirteen out of five stars, but also said it was written better than a book he was reading by a bestselling author. It was absolutely amazing to hear that from a professional reviewer.

That is certainly high praise. Congratulations. What are you working on at this moment?

I am currently working on the third installment in The Seven Uniters Series, Redemption. Hailey’s adventure redemption_cover_coming_sooncontinues on another planet. Quite a few things are different in this book than the other two. I have tried to incorporate more elements of fantasy, as well as bringing religion into the picture. You will simply have to read it to know more.

How did you choose the title?

I love how the title of Redemption worked out. Since Reincarnation and Revolution both begin with the letter R, it became a theme. But I couldn’t figure out what to name the third book for the longest time. I had my outline, and I knew the main point of the story, but I couldn’t find a word. Then, I stumbled upon the word Redemption, and a whole new story seemed to flourish within me. The name brought the religious aspect into play, which actually brought the story full circle, completing it.

That’s a great feeling when that happens as an author. Thank you for giving us a little insight into your books and your writing life. I wish you much success in all your future endeavors.

fbpic3About Alicia Love by Alicia: I was born in the magnificent metallic city of Seattle, WA. I was raised in a nice neighborhood in West Seattle, and went to a few different schools. When I was at the ripe young age of eleven, my mother whisked me off to live in the beautiful state of Hawaii, smack dab in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. Although it was exotic, gorgeous, and a wonderful and enriching experience, it turned out to be short-lived. After two years of paying $8 for a gallon of milk, we finally moved back to the rainy Pacific Northwest, otherwise known as home. We moved a little south, though, so I once again made new friends. I moved out at the age of seventeen, and now live across the state, only a hop, skip and a jump from Idaho, and also only a few miles from Canada, with my fiance and our two cats.

Connect with Alicia Love

Reincarnation: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00COPV86E

Revolution: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DRLF7CU/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Alicia-J.-Love/e/B00CCWFRE8/

Website: http://aliciajlove.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AliciaJLove7

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/AliciaJLove7