Saturday, 29 December 2012

Interview: Kara Leigh Miller

What have you had published?
So far I've published three erotic romance novellas. Never Date a Cop, Love by Number, and Love on the Rocks. I have several more books under contract. Love at the Edge is scheduled to be released in January 2013. Valentine Voyeur will be released February 2013 and my first full-length novel, Death of a Waterfall, will be released June 2013. I also have a young adult romance, The Georgia Corbins due out sometime late next summer as well.

What genre(s) of book do you write?
Mostly erotic romance, but I'm branching out into young adult and other sub-genres of erotica such as erotic horror, satirical erotica, and paranormal erotic romance. I don't like to be tied down to one genre so I'm always looking to test different styles and genres, but there is always a touch of the erotic to all of them.

What inspired you to write your first book?
My mom and my great Aunt Betty. My mom has never been published nor does she want to—she simply writes because she loves it. My Aunt Betty on the other hand has been published in her local writer's guild anthologies and magazines. They both have been a huge inspiration to me and have always encouraged me. My first book was dedicated to them. 

How long did it take you to write “Love on the Rocks”?
That took me about a month to write. Primarily because it was the second in my Aurora Island Resort Series and I had the characters and the story mapped out before I even finished the first book in the series.

What is the working title of your next book(s)?
I'm working on an erotic horror piece entitled The First Snowfall and a paranormal erotic romance that's loosely titled Bound by Blood: The Restani Clan, but I really hate that title and I'm actively looking for a new one.

When and why did you begin writing?
I started seriously writing in early 2010 out of boredom. Lol. I've always wanted to write a novel and I'd always had so many ideas, but I never made the time to do it. When I became a stay-at-home mom and my kids were in school I realized I had to do something to occupy my days. It seemed like the perfect time to finally write that story.

Do you self publish your books or go through an agency?
Self-publishing terrifies me. I'm not confident enough in my grammatical and editing skills to self-publish, nor am I savvy enough to handle all the formatting and designing of book covers I'd have to do. So, I have a handful of small, epublishing houses I use: Books to Go Now, Cobblestone Press, Entranced Publishing, and Rogue Phoenix Press. They have all been wonderful to work with and I highly recommend them to anyone looking for a publisher.
   
What part of writing books do you find the hardest?
Finishing them. It's not that I run out of steam or have trouble knowing how to end them it just always seems like near the end I get struck with another great idea that I have to write and it side tracks me from finishing what I'd already started.

What do you do in your spare time?
With a husband, five kids, and a full-time writing career I don't have much spare time. But what little bit I do get I like to read, hang out with friends, watch movies, or play mindless games on Facebook.

Who is your favourite author?
It's too hard to pick just one so I'll give you my top five: Ryan Winfield, Lora Leigh, Julie Ann Walker, Stephen King, and James Patterson.

What’s your favourite genre to read?
Romance! The sub-genre doesn't really matter as long as there are strong romantic elements in it. Although, I'm not too fond werewolves, shapeshifters, lycans, or other mythical/magical creatures. Vampires are good though. I enjoy a good horror or thriller sometimes, too.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Write as much as you can as often as you can and write for yourself. Ultimately we all want to see our words in print, but if you don't love what you've written, it's unlikely anyone else with either. So simply tell the story you want to tell, how you want to tell it and that passion will shine through on the page. It's very easy to distinguish between a story written by an author who had a true passion for the characters and a story written by an author because he/she had to meet a deadline or were under pressure to release something new. Write because you love to write. Nothing else matters.
 
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I'd like to thank Katie for having me on her blog today and for asking some very thought provoking questions. It's been fun =)

Oh, and for anyone who is interested in following me I can be found on Facebook: www.facebook.com/KaraLeighMiller, Twitter: www.twitter.com/KaraLeighMille1, Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/KaraLeighMiller, and at my blog: http://karaleighmiller.blogspot.com.   

Friday, 28 December 2012

Interview: Gilly Fraser


What have you had published?
I was lucky enough to have nine books published by Harlequin Mills and Boon under my pen-name Rachel Elliot.  I also wrote a series of romantic short stories for the Sun newspaper under the same name. Now I’m self-publishing as myself. I've brought out two paperbacks so far - Forbidden Love and The Best Afternoon Ever! They're both collections of short romantic stories - Forbidden Love is a bit spicier, while Best Afternoon could safely be read by anyone without blushing. Forbidden Love is available on Amazon and Best Afternoon soon will be. 

What genre(s) of book do you write?
So far it’s always been romantic fiction, but I’m beginning to spread my wings a little bit and to explore new writing territory.

What inspired you to write your first book?
The first book accepted by Mills and Boon was ‘Song of Love’. In it a young singer is stranded in the middle of nowhere in the Scottish Highlands when her car breaks down in a thunderstorm. A handsome castle owner comes to her rescue. However the inevitable sparks fly between them when he mistakenly thinks she’s using him as a stepping stone to stardom.  The inspiration actually came when I was on holiday in the Scottish Highlands and my car broke down in a thunderstorm - alas no handsome hero came to my rescue, but it gave me a great idea!

How long did it take you to write ‘Forbidden Love”?
Hard to say really because I wrote the four short stories over the space of a couple of years before deciding to bring them together in a book. Forbidden Love itself probably took me a month or so - I really enjoyed writing it because the hero was so much my type of man!

What is the working title of your next book(s)?
I’m working on two books at the moment. Dark Tide is a little bit darker than my usual stories, and contains very little romance. I suppose it’s the story of a woman coming to understand herself and her life - with the help of a horse.
The second book is called Busk It and it’s a memoir, telling the story of my years as a Reporter/Presenter with Border Television which is based in Cumbria in the north of England.

When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been a scribbler ever since I was a kid. I don’t think I ever had much choice in the matter really - stories in my head just demanded to be written down. My stories then were always about horses, but at school I also ran a kind of fantasy-writing service for my chums - in which they always managed to get the boy of their dreams! 

Do you self publish your books or go through an agency?
I’ve never worked through an Agent so far - when I wrote for Mills and Boon I just sent the stories direct to an Editor. Now I’m doing it all myself, which is incredibly hard work but I love the freedom and the challenge.

What part of writing books do you find the hardest?
Probably the middle section. I’m not a planner - I generally know how a story will start and finish, but haven’t the foggiest notion what will happen in the middle, so there’s always a slightly scarey stage halfway through.

What do you do in your spare time?
I work freelance nowadays on a variety of media-related projects, including writing for magazines, producing dvd’s, teaching media studies, writing blogs, presenting events and of course writing books, so spare time is a bit of an unknown luxury. I also have horses - so any spare minute I can find is devoted to them.

Who is your favourite author?
I have lots of them - JoJo Moyes is amazing - and her book ‘Me Before You’ is beyond brilliant.  I’ve just started reading Jodi Picoult - ‘Lone Wolf’ was excellent. For quality romantic fiction, you can’t beat Nora Roberts. My literary all-time favourite is Lewis Grassic Gibbon who set his stories in the north-east of Scotland - which is where I was born.

What’s your favourite genre to read?
Well I do read a lot of romantic fiction, but more generally I like contemporary fiction.  I have quite broad reading tastes, but I don’t like horror or violence.

Do you have any advice for other writers?
The best advice is to just sit down and write. Don’t wait for inspiration to strike - and don’t wait for the perfect opportunity - just grab any old five minutes you can find and get writing.  It’s practically obligatory for first drafts to be rubbish, so set yourself free to write any old twaddle, because you can sort it all out in rewrites.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I’ve done NaNoWriMo two years running now, and have been successful both times. (National Novel Writing Month challenges people to write 50,000 words in a month - there are other challenges available for younger writers.)
I have found NaNoWriMo to be a fantastic spur to my writing - it’s made me find time every single day to write, it’s set me free from the carping inner critic, because there’s just no time to keep changing your mind about what you’ve written, and I’ve found it to be incredibly worthwhile.  I’d recommend it to writers at any stage of their career.

Monday, 24 December 2012

Review: "Forbidden Love" by Gilly Fraser


Many short stories can be lacking in many of the things every story needs. Many short stories don’t have a beginning, middle and end and the author often doesn’t have time to introduce the characters to the reader and because of this the whole story is rather ‘flat.’ Gilly Fraser does not have this problem.

I read the whole collection of stories in two days because once I started one I couldn’t tare myself away from it. I really enjoyed the first story “Slippery When Wet” but my favourite of the stories in this collection was “Forbidden Love.”

Gilly creates believable characters in all of these stories and puts them in fast paced, well thought out scenarios. I particularly like Gilly’s use of description and I hope she has more stories like this tucked up her sleeve. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes romance books.

(5/5 Stars)

Temptation

Marie is Darren’s cleaner. She’s been working for him every Thursday for the past three months and to him it feels like torture. 

Marie is beautiful in every sense of the word. Her honey brown hair hangs in loose curls around her porcelain face and her violet coloured eyes look unreal. Darren knows that he can never have her in the way that he wants, but that only makes her all the more advertising.

Even the new sexy employee they’ve hired in the cafeteria at work can’t keep Darren’s mind off of her, but Marie is off limits. Or is she?

Temptation is a short erotic romance story of approximately 2,600 words.

*Content not suitable for people under the age of eighteen*


Available on Amazon as a Kindle Version here.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Review: "Set Loose" by Isabel Morin


Set LooseA quick and easy read with all the right ingredients. ‘Set Loose’ has believable characters that you can relate to and find yourself routing for. It has a sweet but erotic story line with just the right amount of description. This book keeps you hooked from the beginning right to the very end.

‘Set Loose’ tells the story of Emily, a ballet dancer who has to retire after injuring her foot. Emily finds herself in debt and decides to start striping in a gentleman’s club to earn some fast money. However, as the book progresses Emily’s life begins to change…

(4/5 Stars)

Temptation

Marie is Darren’s cleaner. She’s been working for him every Thursday for the past three months and to him it feels like torture.

Marie is beautiful in every sense of the word. Her honey brown hair hangs in loose curls around her porcelain face and her violet coloured eyes look unreal. Darren knows that he can never have her in the way that he wants, but that only makes her all the more advertising.

Even the new sexy employee they’ve hired in the cafeteria at work can’t keep Darren’s mind off of her, but Marie is off limits. Or is she?

Temptation is a short erotic romance story of approximately 2,600 words.

*Content not suitable for people under the age of eighteen*


Available on Amazon as a Kindle Version here.

Friday, 21 December 2012

Interview: Ryshia Kennie


What have you had published?
From the Dust – an historic romance set in 1935 Saskatchewan.
Ring of Desire – a medieval paranormal romance set in the make belief place of Hafne on the southern tip of England.

What genre(s) of book do you write?
I’ve dabbled in a number of genres and I’ve finally settled on two.  Now, after my first forays into publication, I write romantic suspense and women’s fiction. 

What inspired you to write your first book?
There was a story about a relative who had died after accidently drinking gopher poison.  That inspired the opening of From the Dust “He died with liquor on his breath and poison in his soul.”  Of course, unlike the story, the real man who died was a good guy who left a young family to grieve.  I was also inspired by the real life story of a woman who immigrated from England in the early 1900’s to take over a farm in Saskatchewan that her brother was failing miserably at.  So with the impractical long skirts of the day and no knowledge of farming, she made a success of a farm where he had failed.  She was the inspiration for the heroine, Eva.

How long did it take you to write ‘Fatal Intent”?
Fatal Intent took a little over a year to write.  I find though, with each book that a little more time is shaved off and now a book takes about six months.

What is the working title of your next book(s)?
Absolute Zero

When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing some time around the age of nine when many girls get that urge to diarize their lives.  I always loved reading from the time I was little and as I grew up I almost always had a book in my hand.  So the writing, well that came naturally.  When I was a teenager I dabbled in poetry and children’s stories and eventually I knew I wanted to write a novel.  But it took me years to figure out how to make the time and take the writing seriously.  I always thought of writing as a creative endeavour that you did when the mood hit you – thus I had many unfinished novels that fell apart at the middle.  It took a course on writing to learn that it isn’t all inspiration, in fact the inspiration falls second to discipline, organization and structure.  Once I got that – the rest just happened.

Do you self publish your books or go through an agency?
I went through a publication agency with my first two books.  The book was reviewed by two American publishing agents and published by beyond the page publishing

What part of writing books do you find the hardest?
Marketing.  In one way there’s things I love about it, meeting interesting people and connecting with other readers.  But I’m getting better at it although in a conversation with a stranger I usually come out of it knowing more about them then they do about me. 

What do you do in your spare time?
In my spare time I love to travel whether in real time or via a book.

Who is your favourite author?
Stephen King although I don’t love all he writes but he has that ability to blow it out of the park. 

What’s your favourite genre to read?
I’m rather an eclectic reader.  Right now I’m reading a horror by Bentley Little.  It’s been a while since I’ve picked up one of those bare-bones horrors but I find I’m enjoying that complete drop with reality.  I love historic fiction including romances, suspense – romantic and otherwise, basically just a good story whether it’s fiction or non-fiction. 

Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep reading and keep writing and don’t get discouraged.  Writing is as much a skill as a talent, the only way to improve and eventually succeed is to write and as Aerosmith would say – Dream on – that’s the only way to make it happen. 

Review: "Fatal Intent" by Ryshia Kennie


This is not the type of book I would usually read and I was hesitant to accept when Ryshia asked me to review it, however, I’m so glad that I said yes. I wasn’t keen on the first chapter of this book which explained what happened to the dead, headless guide but I kept reading and became hooked.

Ryshia’s writing keeps you hooked from beginning to end, constantly adding in unexpected twists and slowly revealing parts of the story. Ryshia creates characters that you can connect to and grow to love and puts them into a story like no other.

An original story line, believable characters and a great writing style, what more could you ask for? This book is a must read.

I received my copy of “Fatal Intent” from the author for my honest review.

(4/5 Stars)

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

Interview: Caroline A. Godin



What have you had published?
I have actually spent my career writing ... just not books! At various times, I've written freelance for magazines, board games, newspapers, and even corporate communications and copy writing.  But most of my career has been spent working in television program production, and part of that has involved writing. HER CHRISTMAS PRINCE is actually my first novel. 
What genre(s) of book do you write?
I read my first Mills & Boon when I was about 6 years of age and romance captured me at that point.  It's probably my favourite genre.  I also do like thriller/suspense type stories if they aren't too gorey. At this point, I am focusing on my "Love in the Keys" series, which is a series of connected romances all set in the Florida Keys.  But I am working on a paranormal romance series and a cozy mystery series as well, those will probably start to appear in 2014. 
What inspired you to write your first book?
A lifetime love of reading and great stories. I love getting lost in someone else's world. And I finally decided to try and write a book myself, it was quite scary, actually.  Turning it loose into the world is a bit like standing naked on the street corner, or at least it feels that way! 
How long did it take you to write ‘Her Christmas Prince”?
It took me about four months to write the book, and another couple of months to revise and wrestle with the plot details. 
What is the working title of your next book(s)?
My next book will be out in February and is called HER ONLINE VALENTINE.  It will be the second title in the "Love in the Keys" series. 
When and why did you begin writing?
I think I've always been a writer.  I actually have my first story ever, that I wrote when I was 6.  It won a prizeat the school fair.   
Do you self publish your books or go through an agency?
At this time, I am choosing to self publish. I still may go the traditional route but I like being the CEO of my own publishing company and getting final input into every decision. I also love having the direct contact with readers. 
What part of writing books do you find the hardest?
Writing requires a certain amount of discipline. There are days when you don't feel particularly inspired, but you have to put your bottom in the chair and keep slogging through. Ideas are never the problem, I have a million, it is sitting down in actually plotting out the story and getting it down on paper while you're still excited about it. 
What do you do in your spare time?
I have a rescue dog called Reilly who takes up a lot of my time with walks. I love reading, of course, and enjoy films, television and live music. I enjoy cooking, but am not quite up to Nigella's standard yet. I also took a course in how to make jams and jellies this year, which was quite interesting. I collect antique cookbooks and original animation cels of famous cartoon dogs. 
Who is your favourite author?
Just one?  Impossible, they are so many great writers.   Off the top of my head but by no means a comprehensive list .... Jane Austen, Debbie Macomber, Susan Wiggs, Sandra Marton, Marie Ferrarella, Rachelle McCalla, and Janet Evanovich. 
What’s your favourite genre to read?
I generally go to romance first, but really am quite an eclectic reader and read across all genres.  What I am reading right now is:  Daring Greatly by Brene Brown (non-fiction), Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich (romance/mystery), The Plot Whisperer by Martha Alderson (writing craft), The Christmas Sisters by Annie Jones (Christmas fiction), and Diary of a Player: How My Musical Heroes Made a Guitar Man Out of Me by Brad Paisley (autobiography) 
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Keep writing! It's important to build the habit of writing every day, even if it is just a page.   And network with other writers on Facebook or through organizations. I've been so lucky to be encouraged and mentored by some phenomenal writers. It has made all the difference in giving me the courage to actually publish my first book.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you so much for having me on the blog, Katie. It was a real pleasure. I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a Happy Christmas and all good things in the coming new year. 

Review: "Her Christmas Prince" by Caroline A. Godin


I knew I’d love this book from the very first page. A good story line isn’t enough to create a successful novel. A book needs characters that you can connect to, scenarios that you can relate to and a writing style that flows well and Caroline A. Godin has achieved all of this.

I gave this book four stars because I felt that there were just a few too many spelling mistakes/typing errors to give it the full five stars but it wasn’t far off. This book will hook you in from beginning to end and transport you into the life of Callie and Henry. A romantic novel perfect for reading at Christmas (and any other time of the year). A must read.

(4/5 Stars)

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Review: "The Very Last Night" by Rod Harder


THE VERY LAST NIGHTThis is one of the longer short stories by Rod Harder. The extra length of the story helped Rod to create characters but they are still a little thin. The character of Alex is horrible and if I met someone who spoke or acted this I would run. The story is not realistic at all.

On top of that the story is badly written with awful punctuation and disconnected sentences. I felt like I was reading a list of bullet points instead of a story. Not only are the sentences disconnected but the parts of the story do not flow. One second Rod’s writing about one thing and the next he’s writing about something entirely different. I would not recommend this book.

(1/5 Stars)

Review: "The Tycoon's Lonely Queen on New Years" by Rod Harder


The Tycoon's Lonely Queen on New YearsThis short story is an improvement from the last one I read by Rod Harder. Although still short this story is longer than the four page erotic story I previously read which allowed Rod to put more detail into his writing, however, I would personally prefer a little bit more.

The use of dialogue worked well in this book to add a bit more depth to the characters and helps to absorb the reader into the story but the characters are still rather thin and a longer book would allow the reader to connect more with the characters and overall create a more successful book. There is still a lot of room for improvement (especially on the editing side of things) but this is an ok story that shows potential.

(3/5 Stars)

Review: "Cabin Fever For Fun" by Rod Harder


There is no doubt that Rod Harder’s talent is writing descriptive writing but the length of this story doesn’t give him many words to do this in. This story could be greatly improved if Rod had drawn it out a little bit more. The characters are thin and I got a bit confused. There seems to be four characters mentioned in the book but there is no real attention paid to any of them and the erotic content is kept short and flows too quickly for you to get a sense of what it happening. However, I’m positive that Rod Harder has great potential.

(2/5 Stars)

Thursday, 13 December 2012

Review: "Cindy's Eyes" by James Rudolph


I am not keen on James Rudolf’s writing style. In my opinion a book should have a variety of sentence types and most of the sentences in this book are short. I think this stops the writing from flowing and makes it very stilted.  I also had trouble following the story line and even when I got to the end I had no idea what had happened. I guess a 1970s setting is just not for me.

When I read the description of this book I did not expect it to be all about drugs, alcohol and people being beaten up. Basically this book wasn’t at all what I’d expected and the contents are quite disturbing. I didn’t feel a real connection to any of the characters in this book and they all seemed like bad guys, even Ray. The character of Ray was cold-hearted and not a character you could fall in love with.

I wouldn’t recommend this book but I’m sure there are many people who would.

(1/5 Stars)

Tuesday, 11 December 2012

Review: "Scary Stories for Women Volume One" by John M W Smith


All of John’s work is well written and flows nicely but I didn’t think this volume of short stories were as good as John’s others. I normally like the twists to John’s stories but I didn’t really understand most of them in this book (whether this is because I’m not old enough to appreciate them I don’t know).

I liked the last story of this volume although it was a bit morbid. In such a small amount of words John managed to create characters that you could connect to and sympathise for and I enjoyed the twist at the end (this one I could understand). I liked the moral to this story.

John has named these stories ‘Scary Stories’ although I don’t think they can be called scary they are enjoyable. I like John’s stories because they are quick and easy to read and contain good quality writing.

(2/5 Stars)

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Interview: Aimee Duffy


What have you had published?
My debut novel, The Monster of Fame which is book one in The Price of Fame Series, a short story in a free Christmas anthology, Isle of Sensuality is out in January and Never Say Never which is book two in The Price of Fame Series is due for release in April.
What genre(s) of book do you write?
Contemporary Romance, though Isle of Sensuality teeters on the erotic side of the line.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I’m a reality TV junkie, so the Xfactor and The Voice gave me the idea for the backdrop.
How long did it take you to write ‘The Monster of Fame?
Thirty days. I wrote it during NanoWriMo last year.
What is the working title of your next book(s)?
I’m revising a full I have with Harlequin RIVA/KISS at the moment I call Flirting With Trouble.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’ve been writing on and off for years. I can’t remember why I started, but I know I couldn’t stop even if I wanted to.
Do you self publish your books or go through an agency?
I’m planning to self-publish an anthology with two other authors next year, but all the books I have contracted are with publishers.
What part of writing books do you find the hardest?
I’d have said the end before I discovered revisions. They win hands down.
What do you do in your spare time?
Ha, what spare time! :) I work full time in a lawyers’ office and write way too much. I do enjoy shopping though…
Who is your favourite author?
Only one? That’s tough. Erm, probably K.A. Mitchell. I love her writing style.
What’s your favourite genre to read?
I read across them all, but I prefer contemporary romance.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Never ever give up. Keep writing, learning and trying. The only difference between a published author and an unpublished author is that the first kept trying.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you so much for having me on your blog Katie!

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Review: "Avra's God" by Ann Lee Miller


When Ann asked me to review this book I wasn’t sure if I’d like it. I’m not what you would call religious. However, combined with a good story line and a nice writing style this story was enjoyable.

The story line is realistic and easy to relate. ‘Avra’s God’ tells the tale of Avra and Kallie, two girls in their late teens/early twenties, and their journey to finding love. The girls rely on God to tell them what to do and only then do they find their ‘happy ever after.’ The only thing I dislike about this book is that it jumps around quite a lot to tell the tale from many peoples perspective which makes the characters hard to connect to. Other than that this is a great read.

This book leaves you thinking and I’d recommend it to a teenage/young adult audience.

(4/5 Stars)

Monday, 3 December 2012

Interview: Barbara Morgenroth


What have you had published?
I began my career in middle reader books with “Ride a Proud Horse” which is out of print now and going to remain so.  I went on to do a few young adult books, which I tweaked and are available at Amazon, Kobo and BN.  You can find them as “Unheard” and “Just Kate”.  I did a couple cookbooks and a book on knitting.  My final book for traditional publishing was a sweet romance titled “Love In The Air” which will be republished by Amazon/Montlake next year.
What genre(s) of book do you write?
I prefer the buffet to the single serving of creamed spinach.  And I love creamed spinach but like other dishes as well. Right now, I prefer writing Mature Young Adult but love writing humor, too, so I’ve done a couple short stories that are long on fun and short on the word count.  I very much enjoy romantic comedies that have a serious underpinning.  Life is lived best with joy and commitment.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I was teaching horseback riding at a stable and the owner of the property wanted to go back to dairy farming.  With nothing else in front of me, I sat down and wrote “Ride a Proud Horse” and haven’t stopped since.
How long did it take you to write ‘Nothing Serious’?
I believe it took about six months if all the revisions are included in the time.  I was sending it to agents and publishers for their consideration.  One agent said it started too slowly and then an editor said it started too fast.  At that point, I was baffled and put it aside to write the romantic comedy “Not Low Maintenance”.
     “Nothing Serious” was originally titled “Disconnected” because Paige is a woman who is only connected to life through the internet.  When she meets a man on a dating site who is pretending to be a rich playboy, in frustration with her circumstances Paige pulls the computer plug out of the wall and heads for the Catskill Mountains.  In a rural town full of characters even more eccentric than she is, Paige becomes reconnected with life and falls in love with Jonathan.
     It’s a sweet romance, a rather screwball comedy with some definitely zany but realistic moments.
     When I decided to indie publish the book I couldn’t fit the word disconnected easily on the space for the cover so eventually used the name of Paige’s shabby chic store Nothing Serious as the title. 
What is the working title of your next book(s)?
It’s a Mature YA, the second book in the Bittersweet Farm series and will probably be titled “Joyful Spirit”.  The first book was titled “Mounted”.  All the following books will be named after horses in the series and the last book should be called “Dismounted”, shouldn’t it?
When and why did you begin writing?
I was a photography major in college and thought I would be a photojournalist so always knew I was going to write but when I left Sunshine Farm becoming a novelist seemed a clever choice.
Do you self publish your books or go through an agency?
I self-publish now and do all the work myself.  The creative freedom is fantastic and it’s absolutely the best time in the history of the world to be a writer.
What part of writing books do you find the hardest?
Sometimes it’s very difficult to find a title that resonates with the story.  It’s good to have the title first because it acts like your compass, keeping you focused.  If you have to go back later for a title, that can be a problem.
     The same is true for cover images; it’s often difficult to express what the book is truly about.  I had great difficulty with my romantic comedy “Unspeakably Desirable”.  After many suggestions, all very off the mark, I was introduced to a French woman, who is an artist and photographer.  Helene does the most remarkable portraits and it was then I found one that suggested the dreamy sensuality of the book.  I love this cover!
What do you do in your spare time?
I knit and garden and still do photography.  Of course, there is always laundry and cooking!
Who is your favourite author?
So many books seem wonderful at the time but they don’t stay with you.  Overall, I would probably have to say Umberto Eco.  His writing is unforgettable.  For women’s fiction, I think Victoria Clayton is amazing.  Her intelligence and skill at handling the language is right on the page for all to see.  Clayton is a woman who has lived life and can express the experience of it in its complexities as well as joy.  She should be very famous but I doubt that many readers in America have ever heard her name.
What’s your favourite genre to read?
I love nonfiction history and also have a ton of cookbooks.  Traditional mysteries are very enjoyable and I adore Ross Macdonald’s books and Ellen Crosby’s Wine Country mysteries.  They share the ability to write very well and tell a good story.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Ten thousand hours.  It’s said it takes that much practice and effort to become accomplished at anything.  I believe you must put in the time to hone your skills and think about what you’re doing.  It sounds like work, doesn’t it?  If you love doing it, it’s never work.

Nothing Serious

Declaring freedom from the internet and the city, Paige heads for the Catskills. Opening a shop, Nothing Serious, Paige nearly nails her hand to the wall trying to hang her sign, avoids zoning board jail and falls for Jonathan Macklin, the antiques dealer next door. She spots a rare portrait at an auction, and borrows money from Jonathan to buy it. The windfall for the lost masterpiece is used to bail a local character out of jail. When Paige can’t pay Jonathan back, he thinks the worst. She has been treating life, her art and love as nothing serious for so long, can she change in time to be with Jonathan?

Friday, 30 November 2012

Interview: Ann Lee Miller


What have you had published?
Kicking Eternity launched in June, The Art of My Life in September, Avra’s God in December, and Tattered Innocence is slated for March 2013.
What genre(s) of book do you write?
I write romance/coming of age novels.
What inspired you to write your first book?
Living on a sailboat as a child. All my books (4) so far have some connection to sailing.
How long did it take you to write ‘Avra’s God?
A year.
What is the working title of your next book(s)?
Finding My Voice
When and why did you begin writing?
When I graduated from college with a degree in creative writing, I didn’t feel like I had enough life experience to write a novel. When I finally had a little peace and quiet with three kids in school and one at home, it was time.
Do you self publish your books or go through an agency?
After ten years of trying to break into traditional publishing, landing and losing a literary agent, I published with Flawed People Press.
What part of writing books do you find the hardest?
Plotting! I much prefer the editing process.
What do you do in your spare time?
I do Zumba, hike, walk, play Scrabble, hang out with my kids, read, and watch movies.
Who is your favourite author? 
Charles Martin and whoever I’m reading at the moment.
What’s your favourite genre to read?
Give me a good love story, and I read you forever.
Do you have any advice for other writers? 
Persevere, no matter what. There’s always room for improvement. We never “arrive” as writers. We need to keep learning.

Bio: Ann Lee Miller earned a BA in creative writing from Ashland (OH) University and writes full-time in Phoenix, but left her heart in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, where she grew up. She loves speaking to young adults and guest lectures on writing at several Arizona colleges. When she isn’t writing or muddling through some crisis—real or imagined—you’ll find her hiking in the Superstition Mountains with her husband or meddling in her kids’ lives.

Website: AnnLeeMiller.com
Twitter: @AnnLeeMiller

Avra’s God:

          In the tradition of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, four friends navigate college and the drama churned up by their Florida beach band to cement friendship and more.                 
          Avra wants love, but drummer Cisco—self-medicating from his parents’ divorce with sex and intoxicants—is a poor choice. Cisco hungers for fresh-baked cookies and the scent of family he finds at Avra’s.
         Kallie shares her classically trained voice only with lead vocalist Jesse and fights to keep her heart safe. Jesse feeds on fame and hides more than insecurity beneath his guitar.
         The friends surf ego, betrayal, and ambition and head for wipeout.  But somehow, when they're not looking, Avra’s God changes them all.


Giveaway: Anyone who leaves a comment with your e-mail will receive a free e-copy of Kicking Eternity, also from the New Smyrna Beach series.

Thursday, 29 November 2012

Interview: Cami Stark



What have you had published?
I currently have the first instalment of the hot new series “All She Craved” published; however, the second instalment is due for release on January 7, 2013. In addition, I have an entire series in the waiting.
What genre(s) of book do you write?
Contemporary Romance/Erotica/Suspense (Depends on who you ask)
What inspired you to write your first book?
My daughter inspired me to write. She is a brilliant writer herself and I want to be a role model for her. I would never want her to waste her own talent.
How long did it take you to write ‘All She Craved (The Meeting)’?
Honestly, it only took about 8 hours to “write” the book. It is the editing, formatting, re-editing, and cover creation that is time consuming. Generally it took about 30 days to complete ‘All She Craved (The Meeting).’ The stories come very naturally to me and that makes the writing piece simple.
What is the working title of your next book(s)?
All She Craved is a short story series so, I’m working on the next instalment ‘All She Craved (The Agreement).’ This series should have six instalment’s total. I am also working on a full novel series tentatively named “Dark Temptations.”
When and why did you begin writing?
It’s funny because I cannot remember a time when I did not want to write. I was always told in college that I was a good writer and should pursue a career in writing; however, I finally decided to write when I had so many ideas in my head that I couldn’t keep track of them all. It was then that I knew I needed to get busy!
Do you self publish your books or go through an agency?
I am currently self published. I created the “All She Craved” series to attract an audience and an agent. 
What part of writing books do you find the hardest?
Editing! Editing! Editing! Thank goodness I have such a brilliant editor. I’m great at creating stories and characters but, editing not so much....
What do you do in your spare time?
I read, a lot! I love spending time with friends and family and doing just about anything in the North woods.  I also love to travel. Many of the places I write about in my books are places I’ve traveled to. One of my favourite places to visit is beautiful Kauai, Hawaii and this is where the “All She Craved” series takes place.
Who is your favourite author?
That is a very difficult questions to answer. I really like Shayla Black, Sylvain Reynard, and Maya Banks in the romance genre. Ted Dekker takes it for suspense.
What’s your favourite genre to read?
I love contemporary romance, suspense, paranormal, and Christian fiction.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
Just keep writing. I know for me it helps to write more than one story at a time. That way if I get stuck on one, I can move to the other. Also, get something out to the public-whether it be a short story or a novel- and start building your audience. There is nothing more attractive to a publisher/agent then when you come with an audience! 

Interview: Isabel Morin


What have you had published?
I’ve published a full-length historical novel called “No Other Love” and a contemporary novella called “Tempt Me.”
What genre(s) of book do you write?
Strictly romance these days, though within that I write historical and steamy contemporary.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve been reading romances since I was around thirteen. I started writing seriously in my twenties, but I was only writing poetry. At a certain point I really wanted to try fiction because I love the total immersion I get from it, and the most enjoyable thing I could think of to write was romance. I started with a historical because I’ve always loved the extra layer of escapism another time period allows. Little did I realize how much research there would be!
How long did it take you to write ‘Tempt Me’?
About six months. I have a full-time job, so I have to write around that.
What is the working title of your next book(s)?
My next book, another contemporary novella, will be called “Set Loose” and it’ll be out by Christmas. I think people who liked “Tempt Me” will like this one too.
When and why did you begin writing?
I’m not sure why I began writing. I was always a big reader and liked expressing myself through words. My whole family reads and writes a lot.
Do you self publish your books or go through an agency?
I self-publish. I was offered a contract for “Set Loose” by a digital publisher, but in the end decided to do it myself again.
What part of writing books do you find the hardest?
Beginning a new story. I’m very slow and do a lot of starting and stopping at first. It’s not until I have the characters really worked out that I get in a good groove, and that can take a while.
What do you do in your spare time?
I read, watch Netflix with my husband (we’re very into the old British spy show “Danger Man,” and we’re waiting for new seasons of “Downton Abbey” and “Justified.”) We also just started playing backgammon and I think we’re addicted. When it’s nice out I like to garden and go for a walk or bike ride.
Who is your favourite author?
I can’t name just one. A few of my favorite romance authors are Julie James, Cara McKenna, Abigail Strom, Susan Elizabeth Phillips and Lisa Kleypas.
What’s your favourite genre to read?
I read equal amounts of romance and literary fiction.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
I don’t think I know anything that other writers haven’t said before. I guess I’d just say to write what you love to read and find a good critique partner.
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Thank you for giving me the opportunity to be here!

Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Review: "Tempt Me" by Isabel Morin


I picked this book up when I was scanning through the top 100 list of free books on Amazon and I’m so glad that I did. I like this story because it’s well written and combines a mix of romance and erotic substance. You are hooked into the story from beginning to end.

Isabel Morin is a writer who combines good writing skills with a good imagination which makes her work most enjoyable to read. Nina is a believable character, an artist who is struggling to make enough money to live on, and Ian is a typical business man who to begin with doesn’t seem to have time for anything but his work. An exciting story with a lovely ending, I just wish there was more of it.

I’m looking forward to reading more of Isabel’s writing and I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone. 

(5/5 Stars)

Monday, 26 November 2012

Interview: Shauna Hart


What have you had published?
I have had several books published with Whiskey Creek Press Torrid that are a part of the Club X series.  Those are:  The Pleasure of Sin, Den of Desire and Shadows of Ecstasy.  I also have a book titled Sins of the Past with New Concepts Publishing.
What genre(s) of book do you write?
I write all types of romance.  I also write young adult under Shauna Hall.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I’ve always wanted to write.  Even when I was in school, I would go from class to class and have people asking me for the next chapter.  Writing was definitely in my blood.
How long did it take you to write ‘The One Nighter?
It took about four months to write The One Nighter, mostly because I was in the process of writing Den of Desire at the same time.   I posted excerpts from The One Nighter on my blog, so if you were a follower you received the entire book in excerpts each week.  It was a way to pay back my fans!
What is the working title of your next book(s)?
The working title of my next book is Bonds of Blood.  It is a vampire erotic romance.  I am currently working on the sequel to Bonds of Blood right now.  I am also working on a short novella which will be erotic romance, but I don’t have a title for that yet.
When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing in second grade.  I would write little stories here and there.  As I got older, it progressed into writing full length books.   Finally, I decided to start submitting my work out.  It took me a few years to get published, but I was persistent and I kept learning my craft. 
Do you self publish your books or go through an agency?
Normally, I go through a publisher.  However, The One Nighter is my first experience with self-publishing.  Although it was a lot of work, I liked having full control.
What part of writing books do you find the hardest?
I think the hardest part of writing for me right now is finding time.  I work a full time job and have two sons.  So, finding time to write is a struggle.  I usually try to write on my lunch break at work.
What do you do in your spare time?
In my spare time, I love to watch movies, play video games and of course read.  I also love to travel.  I have been overseas a couple of times which was amazing.
Who is your favourite author?
This is a hard one!  I adore Shayla Black.  I am also a big fan of Sylvia Day, Mackenzie McCade, Maya Banks and Cynthia Eden in erotic romance.  For regular romance, I would have to say J. R. Ward, Heather Graham, Lisa Jackson and Nora Roberts.
What’s your favourite genre to read?
It really depends on my mood.  I love erotic romance and romance (all categories).  I guess those two would be my first picks.  Then, I would have to say young adult.  As long as there is a romance involved, I am hooked.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
The best advice I could give any writer would be to keep writing and submitting.  The latter is difficult because it typically involves rejection.   I definitely had to face my fair share.  However, if you stick with it, you will get published.  Just believe in yourself and your writing. 
Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I love to hear from fellow readers.  You can find me at www.shaunahart.com or on facebook and twitter.

Saturday, 24 November 2012

Review: "A Wind Doth Blow" by Daniel Kelley


“A Wind Doth Blow” is certainly an original story; well at least it’s not like anything I’ve ever read before. Daniel has used a challenging range of vocabulary so I wouldn’t recommend this book to an inexperienced reader. This book is a relatively easy read which is well written and thoroughly proofread.

The story follows the life of an artist called Henry who falls for Elise, a beautiful oboist who moves into a house across the street. Daniel’s use of description is what brings this story to life. The only thing I found disappointing with this book was the ending though I won’t say more on this or it’ll ruin the story.

I’d recommend this book to an adult audience.

(4/5 Stars)

Interview: Daniel Kelley

What have you had published?  
As an author?  Nothing!  As a composer/arranger, far too much.  But I've incorporated poems into some compositions under the anagram 'Edy Nell Aleki'.
What genre(s) of book do you write?  
I don't have a specific genre I write.  Stories meander through my thoughts and days and I write down the tale I'm trying to figure out.
What inspired you to write your first book?  
The desire to clear my head.  I wrote a novel 10 years ago.  Fantastic story, terrible prose.  I decided to teach myself how to write and edit by writing short stories.  I've written quite a few, and am always inspired to do so because it's truly invigorating to write out what swims upstairs.  The readers will judge whether I've learned to edit or not...
How long did it take you to write ‘A Wind Doth Blow’?
Maybe 2 weeks, but not working on it full-time!
What is the working title of your next book(s)?
Not a clue.  But it'll come to me all of a sudden, as always.
When and why did you begin writing?  
August, 2001.  I got tired of coming up with reasons why I never sat down and tried to write. 
Do you self publish your books or go through an agency?  
Self-publish!
What part of writing books do you find the hardest?  
Finding time to remain involved within the story I'm writing.  In addition to work, I have 3 children and a lovely wife.  I enjoy spending time with all of them.
What do you do in your spare time?   
I read, bake and walk off the baking.

Who is your favourite author? 
Hmmmm.  Rosamunde Pilcher, John Irving, Somerset Maugham.  
What’s your favourite genre to read?  
No favorite genre, just great stories with great characters that are well written.  I've read hundreds and hundreds of books.  Right now I'm reading The End of Alice by A.M. Homes.
Do you have any advice for other writers?  
Yes.  Don't take any advice from me!
Is there anything else you’d like to add?  
I hope to write more.  I hope I'm not a terrible writer who just thinks he's good.  These answers all seem so egocentric, but I guess I am the one being interviewed...

Review: "Wacky Stories for Women Volume Two" by John M W Smith


John M W Smith strikes again with another set of Wacky Stories for Women. The thing I like about John’s writing is that his stories are short and easy to read and there’s always a twist at the end. Since I’ve read almost all of John’s other work I expect this twist at the end of the story so I try, and fail, to figure out what will happen before I get to the end. It takes a talented writer to make such short stories successful.

(3/5 stars)

Review: "The One Nighter" by Shauna Hart


When Shauna asked me to review her book “The One Nighter” I accepted but I wasn’t sure what to expect. I loved the cover and the blurb sounded pretty good too. I was looking forward to reading it, however, when I did finally get the time to read it I was surprised. It was a good surprise. I loved this book from beginning to end and I’d recommend it to everyone.

“The One Nighter” has an exciting story line that never fails to surprise you (I especially liked the twist at the end) and the characters are easy to relate to. Melanie is a believable character who is easy to connect with and you can feel her pain like it is your own. A great read.

I can’t pick any faults with this book (except the odd typo). FIVE STARS

Monday, 19 November 2012

Interview: John M W Smith


What have you had published?
I have had many 'twist in the tale' short stories published in the high circulation women's weekly magazines like Take A Break, That's Life, and Bella. I have also had stories published in literary journals and the small press.
What genre(s) of book do you write?
I write in the short story genre. I also write novels in the young adult/teen genre (Look Out....Mum's Gone Crackers! Hunting The Beast, May Never The Dead Return, Running With Zombies, all e-books on Amazon), and am currently working on a 'crossover' thriller (teen/adult crossover).
What inspired you to write your first book?
I felt a need to write because I became convinced that a lot which could be said was not being said by existing writers, and what was being said sounded stale and unoriginal. I thought I could do better.
What is the working title of your next book(s)?
(a) Nightmare in Shangri-La (teen/adult crossover) (b) The Wacky Blogger: a collection of my widely followed weekly blogs over the past six months, in an expanded version, about events in my life.
When and why did you begin writing?
I began writing as an escape from the tedium and soul destroying boredom of my variously held jobs. I hated office politics, the lies, the back-biting, the casual emotional brutality. How you are forced to belong to one camp or the other when all you want to do is to be left alone to get your day's work done well and further your career through hard work. I was never a team player anyway. There are whole wide worlds waiting to be discovered even within the imaginations of ordinary human beings, and it is so sad that we have to spend our entire lives earning a living rather than exploring the wonders of being alive. I wanted to give my readers a glimpse of what they were missing.
Do you self-publish your books or go through an agency?
Self publish. This is the way of the future. I would not accept a contract from a conventional mainstream publishing house now. For the first time, this year, e-book sales have outstripped paper book sales on Amazon, and this is the way to go. Dozens of bookshops are closing every day. Very regrettably, even libraries are closing. Agents and publishers are a waste of time---they are running so scared of financial ruin that now they will only stick to their existing stables of tried and tested commercial authors, so knocking on their doors is like singing a beautiful song to an empty room.
What part of writing books do you find the hardest?
The building of a really good and original enough plot. Many new and modern formats exist, but for me nothing beats the carefully crafted story with a beginning, a middle and an end which leaves the reader fulfilled and amply rewarded for his/her time. Anything else is, in my opinion, just lazy on the part of the writer, or a misplaced need to appear fashionably arty or experimental (it rarely works).
What do you do in your spare time?
I wish I had some! But if you insist, well, I read, read, and read. Oh, and I love cooking and listening to The Moody Blues ("thinking is the best way to travel"), Cake ("let me swim in your kidney-shaped pool"), and The Doors ("show me the way to the next whisky bar"). I am happy to live inside my head. I've given up watching movies as I can tell how they are going to progress after the first 10 minutes (yawn! yawn!). I can walk for many miles without getting tired, and some times I end up lost!
Who is your favourite author?
Hemingway. Also Christopher Hitchens and Richard Dawkins. They tell the truth. For anyone who wants to know how a great short story writer writes, go no further than Somerset Maugham. A genius. Also Alice Munro. And for novels, of course, James Hadley Chase, the greatest thriller writer of all time, the master of the page turner. I used to finish a book a day when I was in my teens, and then pass it on to my dad (he took much longer). Whatever damage this might have done to my eyes, I like to think that this was more than made up for by the value added to my brain.
What is your favourite genre to read?
I don't have a favourite genre. I'll read anything that manages to hook me in the first couple of pages. I am impatient, I cannot wait for a writer to tediously unfold swirling visual vistas from his/her imagination, since I have my own imagination to do this. But if you were to press me, then I would have to say my favourite genre would be the well written thriller which grips you by the throat and doesn't let go until it's almost shaken the life out of you.
Do you have any advice for other writers?
There is much glamour associated with being a writer. If this is what you are after, then forget writing. Try the X factor. There are only two rules for making it as a writer. (1) You must be convinced, in the very depths of your soul as you come face to face with it at 3am (incidentally the hour at which most deaths in hospitals occur), that you have some real talent as a writer. (2) You must be prepared to work incredibly hard and be able to handle the huge disappointments that will no doubt come when you throw down your  meticulously created pearls before bird-brained swine (enough said on this last point!). Also you must go on a correspondence course with a reputable and old established writing school, because from them you will learn technique. They will know how to polish your raw talent and turn it from a dull lump of coal into a shining diamond. The first time I sent my writing to my tutor, he tore it to shreds. This was a big blow because I thought I was fantastic. The next piece of work I sent him was slightly better. The third piece of work I sent him received his unadulterated praise. By the time I sent the fourth, he was talking to me as an equal. At that stage I left the course, as he had nothing more to teach me. And I think he knew this, so he didn't mind. So, at the risk of sounding pedantic/patronising, I repeat; spend some money and enrol with a good writing school, for it can do wonders for you. Also you must send your first manuscript to a critique agency; there are many that are not too expensive and are extremely good, and will more than justify the investment in them that you make. Don't argue, accept all their recommendations and suggestions. Oh yes, just one more thing; Read. Never stop. Even if your eyeballs start sizzling like grilled tomatoes threatening to pop. Read everything and everyone, and observe all non-human animals closely, for you will be amazed at the insights they can provide. Listen to the way people speak, the words, the phrases, how some people seem to say a lot in a few words by letting you automatically fill in the blanks. Look out for body-language and use its description when shaping your characters. Overhear conversations shamelessly and learn dialogue from the way real people talk. And...er...um.....did I mention the need to read?