Tuesday 29 August 2017

Q & A with Meg Anne

Mother of Shadows 
The Chosen #1
by Meg Anne 

Helena’s life had always been quiet. In fact, she liked it that way. When her childhood friend returns home and tells her that she is the prophesied ruler of the Chosen, those blessed with the gift of magic, her quiet life goes up in flames. Suddenly Helena finds herself surrounded by a circle of protectors, each having sworn their loyalty to her since her birth. All except for one: her Mate. It’s not enough that she learn how to use her magic and undergo a trial to prove her worthiness; in order to claim her title, Helena must also find the man who carries the other half of her soul. Exiled due to a past he had no part in, Von is the last man the Chosen expect Helena to select. Despite their protests, his soul calls to hers and there’s no denying that he was made for her. But the prophecy stands and all isn’t as it seems. There’s an enemy lurking within plain sight who will stop at nothing to destroy her. 

Kindle Edition, 257 pages
Published August 1st 2017 by Author Friends With Benefits (first published 2017)

Find it on Goodreads
Buy it on Amazon
Read It & Reap:  January 23, 2018

Meg Anne has always had stories running on a loop in her head. They started off as daydreams about how the evil queen (aka Mom) had her slaving away doing chores; and more recently shifted into creating backgrounds about the people stuck beside her during rush hour. The stories have been there, they were just waiting for her to tell them.

Like any true SoCal native, Meg enjoys staying inside curled up with a good book and her cat Henry... or maybe that's just her; sunburns hurt! You can convince Meg to buy just about anything if it's covered in glitter or rhinestones, or make her laugh by sharing your favorite bad joke. She also accepts bribes in the form of baked goods and Mexican food.

Connect with Meg Anne

Q & A with Meg Anne

Tell us a little bit about your main characters. 
The two main characters in Mother of Shadows are Helena and Von. Helena is fated to be one of the most powerful rulers her people have ever seen. Unfortunately, she has to learn how to use her magic first and it has a tendency to take over whenever Helena experiences strong emotions. With no background or experience to guide her, she has to trust her gut, even against the advice of others. Her belief in the innate goodness of others is both her biggest strength and greatest vulnerability. Von is the other half of her soul. For all that is good and whole in her is damaged within him. His past is a dark one, but through his relationship with her, he finds new purpose and redemption.

In your opinion, what makes a good, strong lead character? 
Someone complex and flawed. A character whose voice is so well defined that you don't even need to see their name before the dialogue to know that they are talking. 

What or who do you see as influences on your writing style? 
It's hard to identify any one thing, but I would say that my playful sense of humor weaves its way in to my writing. In almost every scene there is some element of levity to balance what else is happening. I think in life being able to laugh at yourself and the things that are out of our control is hope we cope with them, and its the same for my characters. 

Do you ever research real events, legends, or myths to get ideas? 
I haven't done any specific research to date, but I do have a story with tarot cards simmering in the back of my mind, so I could see some research going into that one. 

What is the best writing advice you have been given? 
BICHOK - Butt in chair, hands on keyboard. Seriously, just making yourself do it is a huge step in the right direction. Also - When you get writer's block it's because you are trying to make you character's do something they do not want to do. Take a step back and approach it from a different angle. 

If you could have any superpower, what would you choose and why? 
I would like to visit other people's dreams and/or have the ability to help others have good dreams (or if they were an A hole maybe some bad ones, haha). I think that would be pretty awesome.

What do you do to unwind and relax? 
Besides reading and playing with my cat Henry, I am a huge videogame nerd. I like to get lost in other worlds for awhile, so whatever venue be it book, show or game gets me there is alright with me.

What book are you reading now? 
I am in the middle of two at the moment because I listen to audiobooks in the car in addition to whatever I'm reading when I'm at home. So I'm listening to Cassandra Clare's "Lord of Shadows" and reading Montana Ash's "Paladin."

Thursday 17 August 2017

Q & A with Yvonne Blackwood

The Adventures of Nosey Charlie Book 1001
by Yvonne Blackwood 

Meet Nosey Charlie, a spunky little squirrel who grew up in the country. He became an orphan and moved to the city to live with his aunt, uncle, and his cousin, Pete. Charlie desperately wants to know everything about the people and strange objects in the city, and he doesn’t understand that he can’t always go wherever he likes. 

Mama Leticia (his aunt) tries to teach Charlie to be careful, and asks Cousin Pete to keep on eye on him. But Charlie is too nosey, and curiosity gets the better of him. He goes where he shouldn’t—checking out garbage bags in the park—and this time poor Cousin Pete gets hurt.

The Nosey Charlie adventures will make you laugh and cry, and sometimes cheer Charlie along as he explores his new environment and finds himself in desperate situations. 

Kindle Edition, 24 pages
Published March 14th 2017 by QUILLORATION ENTERPRISE

Find it on Goodreads
Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Read It & Reap:  January 21, 2018

Yvonne Blackwood is an author, columnist, speaker, world traveler, and retired banker. She has published three adult books―the very successful Into Africa a Personal Journey which ranked # 2 best-selling book under Ghana on Amazon.com in 2002; the hilarious Will That Be Cash or Cuffs? and Into Africa, the Return. Inspired several years ago to write children’s books, she recently published Nosey Charlie Comes To Town, and Nosey Charlie Goes To Court, part of a series of Nosey Charlie Adventures. A third book, Nosey Charlie Chokes On A Wiener is soon to be released. Yvonne is an award winning short story writer and she has written numerous articles for several newspapers including the Toronto Star, and InTouch magazine.

Connect with Yvonne
                                     Q & A with Yvonne Blackwood 

                                            Tell us a little bit about your main characters.
The main character in Nosey Charlie Comes To Town and all stories in the Nosey Charlie Adventure series is a little black squirrel named Charlie. He was raised in the country, however, when his parents died, he moved to live in a big city with his Aunt Letitia, Uncle Harold, and his cousin, Pete. Charlie is three months younger than Pete, therefore they should make good companions for each other. While Pete―born and raised in the city―is well acclimatized to city living and all that it entails, Charlie is just bubbling with excitement to learn all he can about his new environment. He is overly nosey and tends to forget warnings from his aunt to stay away from certain places and things. Because of his nosiness, Charlie gets into trouble often and causes his relatives much anxiety, but somehow he seems to survive unscathed!

Who designs the covers for your books and what is that process like for you as an author?
I hired an illustrator to do all the drawings for the books. I provide him with a mock-up of the stories and precise instructions on the scenes I want him to draw. Based on the drawings he provides I select one that is indicative of the theme of the story, and to it the illustrator adds the title and my name. Because I have used Createspace to publish the books so far, I have selected one of their templates that works well with the cover drawing, therefore all covers have a consistency.

Describe your ideal writing spot.
I use one of the bedrooms in my house as my office. It is set up comfortably with my desk, computer, printer, lamp, bookshelf, filing cabinet, and all the accoutrements one needs for writing. A window is to the left of my desk and I can look out on mother nature when I need a bit of distraction. The evening sun streams in from around three o’clock. Of course, being an art-lover, there are great paintings on all walls.

What is the best advice you have been given?
This is a difficult question to answer because after attending many writing workshops, seminars, and classes, I have received a lot of advice. In addition, I write both adult and children’s books. Here are a few that mainly pertain to children’s books since that is the focus at the moment: Do not talk down to children readers; always build a character bible for your main character; a great way to evoke vivid images in readers’ minds is to infuse prose that engages the senses.

As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to become a nurse until I attended high school and had to dissect a frog during biology class! I promptly switched my plans from nursing to becoming someone who worked in commerce.

Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or ebooks?
I prefer paperbacks; they are flexible and easier to handle, and I can still curl up in bed with them.

If you could have any supernatural power, what would you choose and why?
 I would choose the power to be able to read people’s minds. That way, I would know what they are thinking and how genuine they are.

What book are you reading now?
 I am one of those people who read more than one book at a time. I started reading Secret Daughter some time ago but have not finished it. In the mean time I’m reading The Audacity of Hope. It will be interesting to see which one I complete first.

Friday 4 August 2017

Q & A with S.T. Sanchez

by S.T. Sanchez 

Lilly is a sunwalker—a vampire born from human parents, able to walk in the daylight. She lives life as human, hiding her true identity from all those around her. One evening, she comes to the rescue of her best friend, Lex, as a vampire is about to make a meal out of her. Lilly is drawn to him, despite her desire to loathe him for almost murdering Lex, as he is the first of her kind she has ever met. As the vampire, Tread, begins to open Lilly's eyes to a world she has never known, Lilly must decide where she belongs. After she is betrayed by the person she loves most, Lilly is forced to submerge herself entirely in the vampire world, only to discover that Tread has a secret so shocking it could destroy them all. 

449 pages
Published May 27th 2017

Find Sunwalker on Goodreads
Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Sarah Sanchez was born in Dallas, TX. She graduated from the University of North Texas with a BA of Arts in Spanish. She loves to write fantasy. She is married and has three wonderful children. She loves hiking and spending time outdoors when she is not writing.

Connect with S.T. Sanchez
Goodreads  * Facebook  *  Blog  *  Email

Q & A with S.T. Sanchez

Tell us a little bit about your main characters. 
There are two main characters the story revolves around, Lilly and Tread.

Lilly is a Sunwalker, a vampire that has human parents, but can walk in the sunlight. She lives her life pretending to be human, in a world that hunts down and kills vampires. She has been loved and has human friends.

Tread is the first vampire Lilly meets. He is also a Sunwalker, but his upbringing was completely different. He was abandoned and considered a demon. He was raised in the vampire world, and despises humans.

After they meet he is curious about her lifestyle and they explore each other’s worlds, which gets them into some trouble. At the same time, it really broadens both their initial views of vampires and humans.

Who designs the covers for your books and what is that process like for you as an author?
I have an amazingly talented cover designer. Her name is Courtney Johansson. Her contact info is Cjohanssonedits@gmail.com. She is also an editor. So, I use her for both. I sent her a juvenile mockup of an idea I was having and she took my original idea and just wowed me. She sent me several amazing covers. It was really hard to decided. I can’t wait to see what she comes up with for Nightwalker, the sequel to Sunwalker.

Describe your ideal writing spot.
I should probably get a desk and sit in a chair and write, but I don’t. I sit on my bed with my laptop, some tunes and maybe a piece of chocolate or too. I can really write pretty much anywhere, but I need music in the background. It really helps inspire me.

 What is the best advice you have been given?
It sounds cliché but never give up. Keep writing. Keep trying. I didn’t publish the first story I wrote. Maybe you will maybe you won’t. Keep at it, until you love the story.

 As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I really wanted to be an animator. I drew crazy characters, which may someday appear in my books. As I got older I still enjoyed sketching but found I had other interests too.

 Which do you prefer: hard/paperbacks or ebooks?
I know the world is moving towards ebooks. I will read an ebook, but there is nothing like holding a book in your hand. I love to feel the weight of it, and visually see how much further I have to go. Sometimes I will slow down, if I can see I don’t have much left. If a book is good I don’t typically want it to end.

 If you could have any supernatural power, what would you choose and why?
I’ve actually thought about this quiet a bit, since I was little, before the big super hero craze. I have always wanted the same power. Although it would be totally cool to fly, I would love to be able to speak every language. There is something about knowing a second language. Some things just get lost in translation. There is such beauty in language and I hate to lose any.

 What book are you reading now?
I just started Dracula. It is the original vampire story, and I figured I should have that one under my belt. I am only a few pages in, but I am intrigued so far.