Saturday, October 31, 2015

Author Interview: Jacqueline E. Garlick

Can you tell us a  little bit about your series, If Only and my favorite, The Illumination Paradox?

I can do better than that! I'll include a couple of links here to interviews where I answered questions about both!
I will say this much, If Only is about a love sick couple, who are separated first by an argument, and then by fate, and their struggle to get back together, despite medical odds. I'm hearing from readers that it puts them in the mind of Gayle Forman's IF I STAY, which is a huge compliment!

Lumière is about a girl with a secret. A secret so devastatingly big it could cost her her life. She must keep the secret at all costs, or face persecution from the public. After a tragic event, sees her mother executed for a crime she did not commit, the girl finds herself alone and on the run from the authorities, for something that is not her fault. All the while, she is busy searching for her father's long-lost invention, which, if she can just secure, and use, she's convinced will cure her. But just as she's about to uncover the machine, she arrives to find it being stolen by a peculiar-looking, young Urlick Babbit, she later learns...and she must chase him off into the darkest, most dangerous part of her world, in an adventure to retrieve it, where nothing is as it seems.

Do you remember the title of the first story you wrote?

Yes. It was called, Slendor's Mountain. My version of Walton's Mountain, (I'm dating myself here...terribly... but...) about a family with ten kids, and the trouble each of the kid's got into. I wrote several books in that series, each featuring the antics of one of the kids. I was in grade three at the time. Each was fully illustrated.  

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?

I write every day, so, pretty much, my schedule is always the same. I get up, shower, eat a protein shake, and get to work. I write from about 8:30 am until about 4:00 pm when my youngest gets home from high school (he has sports after...which buys me another hour, or so of writing time, YAY!) I've recently added a BIG WALK or a WALK JOG session first thing in the morning, as I've decided all work and no play is making Jacqueline a mad woman.

Where do you find inspiration?

In other books. In the glorious words, and turns of phrase, written by other talented authors. When I'm stuck, or uninspired, that's where I go. I often cruise the internet looking for newly talked about great reads, then I'll click on the "Look Inside" provided by Amazon, or I go to my bowing shelf of favourites, and select from there, re-reading passages I've highlighted throughout their pages. Some favourites are Sara Gruen's Water For Elephants, and her new one, At The Water's Edge. Laini Taylor's Daughter of Smoke and Bone, CHIME, Mudbound, and most recently, I'll Give You The Sun, by Jandy Nelson. (BIG LOVE.)

What have you learned about publishing that you didn’t know about when you first started writing?

That there is no logic in it, whatsoever. In other professions, you can study hard, achieve top grades and accolades, win awards, graduate first of your class, and be guaranteed to land the job. In the world of publishing, you can do everything right, kill yourself putting in the hours, study under the greats, win awards, graduate top of the class, be sought after by top agents, be requested by top editors...and still come up with nothing but a goose egg. It's the only profession I know of where hard work, smarts, and dedication don't pay off. Many say luck plays too much of a factor, but I don't believe in luck. I think people are manufacturing their own luck in publishing these days, in more ways that one, including algorithmic manipulation. When I figure it out, I'll let you know.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I'm never NOT writing, according to my family, but when I'm officially not, (bunny eared fingers around the word, officially) I love spending time with my family. I love to watch my youngest son play sports and play his trombone (what a funny sounding instrument...makes me laugh every time--high school is infinitely more interesting with music in other kids didn't play instruments.) I'm filled with happiness whenever the older kids come home for a visit, too, rushing around like a mad fool buying all their favourite foods to stock up the cupboards, and fixing beds. It's like my own special Christmas. I also love to go for long walks and listen to books on audio (see, still working...) and play with my dog. I love dogs. And horses. And chocolate. And my kids!

Can you tell us about your future projects?

Hmmmm... let's see, what can I say that won't give too much away, (taps chin)...   
I'm currently finishing up my departure book. I call it my departure book because it's a departure from both YA and Fantasy. I've written a women's fiction romance, about a girl who longs to be a successful romance writer, but so far, her work is falling flat. It isn't until she's forced to work for the Heart Mender's Society (thus, the name of the book) as a counsellor to six newly widowed young men (where it is her job to teach them how to find joy in living again) that she figures out what's been missing, not only from her work, but her own life, as well. I like to think of it as Best Friend's Wedding meets Bridget Jone's Diary, and I'm looking forward to sharing it soon.

Also, I'm kicking around revisiting a super dark and daring piece I started writing back in 2010. I think it might finally be the right time for it, with all the attention horror has been getting lately. I like to think it might fit into the Dread Punk Craze, too, that's on the verge of exploding. Or so I've heard. 
I can say this much, it includes another distinctly drawn world that plays like a character within the book, like the way the Commonwealth does in Lumière.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Author Interview: Nikki Jefford

Can you tell us a  little bit about your awesome series, Aurora Sky: Vampire Hunter?
Happy to! 😊
Thanks to her rare blood type, Aurora Sky is forced to hunt vampires for a government agency in Alaska while juggling school, boys, and secret missions. With the help of an undercover informant, an overzealous partner, and Mr. Tall, Dark, and Maddening, Fane Donado, Aurora takes on the underworld and the deceitful man running the agency
Do you remember the title of the first story you wrote?
Midnight Screams. It was a scary story I wrote when I was maybe 9. 😉

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Ideally (lol), when I’m working on a book, I write for four to five hours in the morning when my mind is most awake. Around 11:30 I break to make lunch and eat and spend the early afternoon either writing more or answering email and messages online. I do more of this a couple hours before bed. I try to write seven days a week.

Where do you find inspiration?
I’m a very visual person. Although I love reading, TV series get my mind turning. Buffy inspired me in a big way. Joss Whedon showed me it’s okay to be outlandish and have fun with storytelling and characters.
What have you learned about publishing that you didn’t know about when you first started writing?
Oh my goodness. I could make a Santa Claus size list. I’m still learning. I wish I could say it gets easier, but eight books in I’m still frazzled every time I get ready to publish the next novel.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Read, hike, and motorcycle.
Can you tell us about your future projects?
The next series is about cursed sisters. It’s a mix of fairy tale, historical romance, and fantasy.
Connect with Nikki:

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Author Interview: Steve De Winter

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and the books that you write?
Steve is a #1 Bestselling Amazon Action & Adventure Sci-Fi Author who also co-authored a fantasy novel with Charles Dickens. Yes! That Charles Dickens.
His books have hit #1 on the Amazon Children's Action & Adventure Sci-Fi Bestseller list and his adult thrillers reached as high as lucky #13 on the Amazon Action & Adventure Bestseller list. He also has the distinction of having nine books in the top twenty of the Amazon Children's Action & Adventure Sci-Fi Bestseller list all at the same time.
Check out his books on Amazon:
Be the first to know about Steve DeWinter's next book. Sign up for his Book Release Bulletin today at

Do you remember the title of the first story you wrote?
Actually, I do. It was called Second Thoughts. I wrote about eleven pages before abandoning the whole thing because I was young and had other things to do. I still have the little grey notebook in my bookshelf with the original pages I wrote. While I may have abandoned that story, the concept became the basis for my second thriller in the Peacekeepers X-Alpha series, The Warrior’s Code.

What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I write with a word count goal for the day. Sometimes I can hit that word count by noon and others days it takes me until 11PM to reach my goal. Each day is different but I am always making progress on my story by holding myself to a specific daily word count goal—no matter what.

Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration hits me out of the blue from all directions at all times. I keep a “garden” of story ideas that I plant as soon as they happen and then I tend to them to help them grow and mature and only pluck them for the next project when they are fully developed.

What have you learned about publishing that you didn’t know about when you first started writing?
Wow! I have learned a lot that I didn’t even know I had to learn. So much that it’s tough to decide where to start. When I first started, the eBook revolution was well under way and, after countless rejections (okay, over forty in six months - I counted) I decided to take the plunge and self-publish. That first book did well and I determined to do better with the next. After a few false starts (all that learning I had no idea I needed) I finally built a team around me of volunteers (beta readers) and paid contractors (editing/proofing) to ensure that my end products were at the same level of quality as the books coming out from any established major publisher.
I guess what I’m saying is that the one thing I learned the most is that publishing is not a solitary endeavor if you want to do it right. You need a village to get that baby into its best form for readers to enjoy.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I really enjoy playing video games ranging from the ancient ASCII Text games to the latest XBOX games. I don’t judge!

Can you tell us about your future projects?
My next project is Oliver Twist: Victorian Vampire, a mashup of the Charles Dicken’s novel, Oliver Twist. After that I begin work on B is for Bewitched, the next book in the A is for Apprentice series.

Connect with Steve:

Steve’s Latest Book Releases:
A is for Apprentice
(eBook Available for Pre-Order – Print and eBook Release Date: November 2nd, 2015)

A Tale of Two Cities with Dragons co-authored with Charles Dickens
(Available Now in Print and eBook)

T 25 for Plus Size

I'm not a BeachBody coach. I don't sell any of these programs, I don't sell Shakeology. I'm just like you. I have a free account with BeachBody which assigned me a coach, and I belong to two Facebook Groups to talk about my weight loss process and the frustration that occurs when I sabotage myself. 

If you would like to get any of these programs, you can buy them through Amazon, or BeachBody. :) 


I finished the PiYo program on Sunday October 25th. My total weight loss was 12 lbs, and 11 inches overall. I really love this program and recommend it to everyone who wants to start exercising or people who need more flexibility. I was 230lbs when I started the program and ended up at 218lbs.

One important thing that I like about the program is that even though there is a modifier, and you can follow Michelle, it's not that hard to follow Chalene. yes, some days you might need to use the chair, follow the modifier, etc. Some days you might feel like your legs are trying to kill you for real, however, if you keep at it, you'll see results as of the first week.

The worst area in my body is my belly. And within a week, I could see the shape of it changing. Also my posture got better and better, to the point that I hardly slouch now.

All right so now on to T 25.

I tried T25 before. If you followed my old blog, you'll probably remember that I 've tried this program before twice.

Even though I finished the Alpha session, I didn't finish the program because of injuries and self sabotage.

Now that I was able to complete PiYo and feel a renewed sense of completing everything that I start, I don't see having a lot of problems following the program.

I'm two days in, and I've managed to work out following Shaun T for most of the 25 min, with some minutes following the modifier almost exclusively. I think that's not so bad.

I think as a plus size girl, that I can totally recommend this program, however, I think if you need to increase your balance and your flexibility, maybe PiYo is better. Once you've completed those two months of PiYo and increased your flexibility and improved your balance and posture, it'll be easier to get into this program. You'll have more endurance as well to follow the running/sprinting/ moving side to side etc.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Author Interview, Monica B. Wagner

When did you decide to pursue a career as a writer?
​ I've always liked to write, but I realized it was more serious than I'd thought ten years ago, when I read about a writing contest on a newspaper and decided to give it a try. I didn't win though--but I realized I really wanted to keep ​trying!
Do you remember the title of the first story you wrote?
​ Oh yes! I was like eight years old when I wrote that one--it was titled THE GIRL WHO CAME FROM HEAVEN. And it had funny drawings all over.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
​Usually, I write first thing in the morning. Later in the day, I'm not that productive. I wake up at 6:30 a.m., prepare breakfast so the kids can go to school, and then at 7:30 I start writing till noon-ish. 
Where do you find inspiration?
 With my head under my pillow. Really! It works that way for me. Hubby's like, are you sleeping? And I'm like, nah, I'm working. :)
What have you learned about publishing that you didn’t know about when you first started writing?
​That usually it's easier for me to write from scratch all over again than to revise what I already have.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
​Hiking! There are many mountains where I live, so I like to go there with all the family.
​Can you tell us a bit about your debut book: First Blush?
Sure! It's a Friday-Nights-Lights-esque NA novel that twists together the stories of a quarterback with a life-altering secret, an unlikely couple, and an ambitious college reporter, whose decision to break the rules for one steamy night lands her in the middle of her university's biggest scandal. 
Author Bio:
Mónica was born in a Peruvian city by a snow-capped volcano. Growing up, books were her constant companion as she traveled with her family to places like India (where she became a vegetarian), Thailand (where she *almost* met Leonardo di Caprio), France (where she pretended to learn French), and countless other places that inspired her to write. Now, Mónica lives in Chile with her husband, three boys, eleven hens, and stray dog.
Connect with Monica:

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Teaser Tuesday: En Español

Este es otro teaser, siguiendo la escena de la semana pasada, que podeis encontrar aquí.

Como siempre esto es un primer borrador y debe contener muchos horrores y errores ortográficos y gramaticales.

“¿Necesitas un trago? Café, una bebida gaseosa con cafeína…” La sonrisa en su tono es peor que la sonrisa en su rostro.
“No necesito nada.”
“Entonces puedes comenzar a explicarte.” Él dice dejando la guitarra de un lado.
Gruño antes que las palabras salgan cortantes de mis labios. “Yo no tengo nada que explicar.”
“Muy bien.” Daniel se inclina hacia atrás en el sofá, sus ojos nunca dejando los míos de lado. “¿Por qué estás aquí? Me imagino que no has venido a follar, o ya estaríamos en la habitación.”
El calor sube a mis mejillas y mi cuello, mientras me pregunto si habrá algún encantamiento para abrir un cráter en el piso y dejarle sepultarme. “Yo … ya te dije lo que quiero.”
“Y sin embargo aún estás parada ahí.” Daniel señala con su dedo al piso y sacudo mi cabeza antes de comenzar a caminar hacia la puerta pero mis pies dejan de funcionar, y en vez de llevarme hacia la puerta, me traen nuevamente frente a él.
Está claro que soy una masoquista.
“Si…” Oh Claudia, que bien, mi cerebro se despierta justo cuando Daniel levanta su ceja y me ofrece una de esas miradas llenas de expectación. “Porque me parece que tú no me has entendido.”
“Has venido hasta aquí en vez de enviarme un mensaje para decirme que no quieres verme más… Sin aún explicar porque tuviste que darme un nombre falso. ¿Acaso he dejado algo fuera de la lista?” El pregunta mientras trato de poner mis pensamientos fugaces en orden.
“No.” Contesto antes de poder golpearme la cara mientras maldigo mi sinceridad bajo mi aliento.
Daniel se levanta del sofá, sin necesitar más que dos pasos para estar justamente frente a mis ojos, el espacio entre nosotros inexistente. Mis ojos se pegan as su boca, el deseo de explorarla irrumpiendo caliente a través de mi piel, mientras trato de mantener una actitud fría; aunque sé que es difícil.
Al momento en que sube sus brazos para cruzarlos sobre su pecho, y después de rozar el mío, mi cuerpo tirita como una hoja apunto de caer al vacío. Gira sobre tus pies y vete. Mi voz retumba en mi mente pero no puedo moverme.
“Catalina…” Dice antes de mover la cabeza. “Claudia, ¿qué esperas que pase ahora?”
“No lo sé.” Respondo en un susurro calado por el deseo, aunque lo más que quiero es sonar fría y distante.
“Cariño, yo no puedo contestar por ti… pero no parece que quieras dejar de verme tanto como pretendes.” No hay sonrisa en su rostro. Al contrario, parece que la contrariedad en mi alma está llegando hasta él. Mientras frunce el ceño me muerdo el labio pensando que debí haber dejado las cosas como estaban. “Para esto…” El susurro me toma por sorpresa pero no más que el rozo de su pulgar contra mis labios. “Estoy tratando bastante de ser un caballero… y ambos sabemos que eso es un título que no me sienta bien.”
“Daniel…” Su nombre es una súplica simple, que se escapa y se tiende entre nosotros por un segundo, antes de traer nuestros cuerpos juntos, y  que mi espalda golpee contra la pared.
La boca de Daniel cierra contra mis labios, caliente y urgente, mientras sus manos anclan a cado lado de mi cara, con una ternura que va en contra del deseo que arde en sus labios. Mis manos bajan para descansar contra su pecho, explorando la definición de sus músculos bajo el jersey, mientras las de él desabrochan mi abrigo, antes de empujar mi suéter y camisa hacia arriba para que sus manos puedan acariciar mi piel.
Presionando mis caderas contra las de él abandono toda idea de dejar todo esto de un lado. La culpabilidad que sentía antes se evapora con cada beso de su boca, cada mordida de sus dientes en mi piel. Y siento mi cuerpo dejando atrás mi mente, en lugar de obedecerla.
“Claudia.” Daniel dice abruptamente tomando un paso hacia atrás y metiendo sus manos en los bolsillos de su pantalón. “Yo creo que debes irte.” Sus ojos se fijan en el piso mientras yo trato de recuperar la respiración, y trato de acomodar mi camisa y abrigo para abrocharlo. Cuando sus ojos encuentran los míos, una mezcla de lamento y deseo me toman por desapercibida.
“Lo siento.” Es la única forma en que puedo expresar el arrepentimiento que siento en ese momento por haberle dado un nombre falso, más aún por haber venido hasta aquí.
Mis pies por fin deciden funcionar y llevarme hasta la puerta, antes de cerrarla detrás de mí, y dejar que mi cuerpo se apoye contra ella, mientras me pregunto que acabo de hacer.

Author Interview: Chris Ledbetter, YA Author of Drawn

Can you tell us a little bit about Drawn?
Drawn hits different buttons for different readers, I think. Some will find stimulation at the intersection of romance and horror. Some are attracted to the artistic angle. Some enjoy the paranormal perspective. Like most stories, at it’s core, Drawn is the exploration of what if? The story concept began when I asked… what happens to sketches on a page when the book is closed? From there, characters were born, and the story blossomed and took on a life of its own.
Drawn also treads on several themes and issues that I think are important. One is dealing with the death of a family member while also dealing with one’s own mortality. The other big concern was interracial romance. I simply hadn’t seen many, if any, young adult interracial romances and I wasn’t sure how it would be accepted in the general public. But I think that both of these are great, open-minded topics for young adults to explore.
Do you remember the title of the first story you wrote?
Yes. In eighth grade, I wrote a short story called, “Breaking Away,” in which a group of break dancers got into a confrontation with a rival group, but decided to take the high road and walk away from conflict instead of engaging it.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
Absolute CHAOS! I try to write whenever I get a moment of peace. But therein lies the dilemma. Finding peace and quiet is a constant challenge. Between a full time job and parenting… I typically have to get up at ungodly times of the morning to get writing and editing done. So, if you see me pop up on social media at 4:30 or 5 in the morning… that’s why. #BreakfastWritingClub #WritingWarriorsAssemble

Where do you find inspiration?
My inspiration comes from observing everything around me.
What have you learned about publishing that you didn’t know about when you first started writing?
Oh my goodness! How long do you have? How long can this post be? There is so much that I’ve learned… from the writing and crafting end to the business side to the marketing side. It’s a tough business. Success must be defined on an individual basis. Don’t compare yourself to others. If you want a thing, nothing takes the place of persistence. One of my favorite quotes is, “Never give up on a dream because of the time it will take to accomplish it. The time will pass anyway.” ~ Earl Nightingale
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
Coaching my daughter to be a better soccer player and transferring those lessons to life. Believe it or not, there are many life lessons that can be transferred from training for and playing sports.
Can you tell us about your future projects?

I have the sequel to Drawn, currently untitled, coming from Evernight Teen in mid- 2016.

I have The Sky Throne coming from Month9Books in spring 2017.

And I have a YA romance called Breakaway on submission right now. I’m hoping to hear something soon.

Social Media Links:

Drawn BUY links: