Category Archives: interview

AUTHORS ARE ROCKSTARS: A.R. Kahler

Authors Are Rockstars

Hey yall, welcome to Sweet Southern Home!  I’m happy to be a part of this year’s Authors are Rock Stars tour.

Today I’m featuring the rocking A.R. Kahler!

So why does A.R. (AKA Alex) rock?  Well, in addition to being the author of  The Immortal Circus series, which is sexy and original, he’s also traipsed all around Europe…teaching circus!  Yeah, he’s been to Spain and Scotland and the Netherlands doing stuff like this:

So that’s pretty sweet.

But to me, he’s a pretty great writer!  I reviewed Part One of The Immortal Circus back in February and gave it 4 stars!

Part Two has since been published and I’m hoping to fit it into my schedule soon.

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I was able to ask Alex a few questions in conjunction with my Authors Are Rockstars tour stop.

1. What made you want to become a writer?

Reading, honestly. When I was younger I devoured everything I could get my hands on. Books helped me cope with many things, and I think as I grew older I slowly transitioned to creating my own worlds to escape in. I guess it was only a matter of time before I wanted to start sharing those with others. Now, my biggest drive is to get the reader to dream of something different—I want to create places readers can live and love and explore. Even if those places aren’t always the most welcoming.

2. Who or what gives you inspiration?

Everything. Inspiration comes at the worst of times in the strangest of places. An entire trilogy was inspired by a line that popped into my head at three in the morning while fighting insomnia. Conversations, Wikipedia snippets, overheard songs or the way a tree arches over the sidewalk…I’m always open to ideas. Because of that, I’m grateful for finally owning a smartphone—now, I can take notes in that, rather than all over my arm.

3. What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

Hmm…I move around a lot, so there’s not much I really need. A computer is handy. Coffee is grand. I suppose I almost always have music in the background to turn certain parts of my brain off. Notebooks for drawing out story lines are helpful. Also, I usually live in cold places, so fingerless gloves are a mainstay.

4. What are some of your favorite books?

Oh, hard to say. ‘Harry Potter’ is a lifelong friend. I’m also really into ‘The Secret History’ by Donna Tartt, ‘American Gods’ by Neil Gaiman, and—my new love—the ‘Daughter of Smoke and Bone’ series by Laini Taylor (now I really want to go to Prague).

5. Are your characters based on anyone you know?

Nope. Some might have snippets of personality, or I may re-imagine quotations, but for the most part I don’t base my characters off anyone. They tend to generate a life and personality of their own, and probably wouldn’t appreciate me trying to fit them into a different mold.

6. Why do you love writing?

Fan reactions. Writing is, for the most part, incredibly solitary. So I’m touched beyond measure when fans reach out and tell me they loved a character or a book, or start hypothesizing what will happen next. That why I really dig the power of social media and discussion boards—it lets me know my words are getting out there. Like I said earlier, I started writing because I wanted to sweep readers away. When I hear that it’s successful, I feel like I’m part of an even bigger cycle of storytelling.

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A.R. Kahler’s Books

THE IMMORTAL CIRCUS
Murdered contortionists aren’t exactly what Vivienne signed up for when she ran away to join the circus. But like most things under the big top, nothing is what it seems. With a past she can’t quite remember, Vivienne finds that running away forever might not be as appealing as it once sounded—especially not when she realizes the devilishly attractive ringleader Mab is the Faerie Queen of legend…and that she and the rest of the troupe are locked in an age-old rivalry between the otherworldly Courts.

 Aided by her friends Kingston—a feisty stage magician whose magic is quickly stealing her heart—and his smart-ass assistant Melody, Vivienne finds herself racing against the clock to discover the culprit behind a series of deaths that should be impossible. However, the answer she seeks might reveal more about her own bloody past—and future—than she bargains for.

The show’s just beginning.

Step right up…

THE IMMORTAL CIRCUS: ACT TWO

Vivienne is almost content with her new life in the Cirque des Immortels. She has moved up from selling cotton candy to telling fortunes, she has a gorgeous, magical boyfriend, Kingston…and no one has been murdered since the clash between the otherworldly Courts. Her life under the faerie big top would be perfect, in fact, if not for the nightmares and visions that compel her to seek and confront her half-remembered past. But for Viv, not knowing her past may well be a blessing. There’s a reason she ran away. But can she truly escape herself?

The second act of the fantastically evocative Cirque des Immortels series, The Immortal Circus: Act Two draws readers further into a world that’s at once wonderful, seductive…and deadly.

Step right up…

MARTYR, the first book in his post-apocalyptic YA fantasy series, THE HUNTED, will be published 10/14 by Spencer Hill Press.


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BOOK SPOTLIGHT & AUTHOR INTERVIEW: Intrepid Series by Chris Allen

Today I’m happy to welcome Australian author Chris Allen to the blog!  I’ll be interviewing him down below, but first a bit about his books.

Defender

by Chris Allen

Intrepid Series, Book One

Book Description

Part Jason Bourne and part James Bond, Alex Morgan is an agent of Interpol’s Intelligence, Recovery, Protection and Infiltration Division – Intrepid. Policeman, soldier and spy, Morgan and his fellow operatives are the faceless strangers who serve the greater good – the means to justify the end.

When an intelligence agent is brutally murdered and the president of a small African country is put in danger, Morgan is sent in on his first solo mission.

His cover is to evacuate a group of aid workers, with the help of the beautiful but distant Arena Halls, before the country is swept by civil war. But his true mission is much darker. A spy has gone rogue – and there’s more at stake than the guy’s career in the SIS.

A heart-pounding, no-holds-barred chase from the dark heart of Africa to the crystalline waters of Sydney culminates in a fight to the death to stop a vicious renegade intelligence officer and uncover the shadowy conspiracy behind him.

Can Morgan stay alive long enough to save the girl, save himself and bring them all to justice?

 

Hunter

by Chris Allen

Intrepid Series, Book Two

Book Description

His orders are simple: ‘The safety catch is off. Return that girl to her family and drag those bastards back to justice. Dead or alive. It makes no difference to me.’

Alex Morgan – policeman, soldier and spy for INTREPID, the black ops division of INTERPOL – is on the hunt for Serbian war criminals. But these guys were never going to let it be that simple. An assassination attempt is made on the presiding judge of the international tribunal. Days later, the judge’s daughter, the famous and beautiful classical pianist Charlotte Rose, vanishes in mysterious circumstances.

The girl is not just a pretty face and the daughter of a judge, however. She’s also the goddaughter of INTREPID’s veteran commander, General Davenport. It’s up to Morgan and the INTREPID team to track the kidnappers and the missing woman before the very fabric of international justice is picked apart at its fraying edges.

Part James Bond and part Jason Bourne, this time Alex Morgan must walk the line between doing the right thing and getting the job done.

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1.  Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a former Australian army officer and paratrooper and I’ve spent my post-military career in law enforcement. These days I write action thrillers.

2.  What made you want to become a writer?

Well, I grew up reading and re-reading action books by some of my favourite writers like Ian Fleming, Alastair Maclean and the great American writer Clive Cussler. They were such masters of their trade that I thought: one day, that’s what I’d like to do.

3.  Who or what gives you inspiration?

I guess it was me wanting to stories that would hopefully emulate some of the great stories and storytellers I mentioned above, but giving them my own modern edge. A good story has the power to transport readers across the world with the flick of a page. That’s my vision and it fuels my passion for writing.

4.  Tell us about Hunter.

Hunter is Alex Morgan’s second mission as star agent for Intrepid (the ultra-secret, black-ops division of Interpol). This time, he’s got a lot to prove following the success of his first mission bringing down a rogue agent. This mission will cement his position as Intrepid’s #1 man. He’s tracking fugitive war criminals, protecting judges of the international court and rescuing a world-famous classical pianist who also happens to be the niece of Intrepid’s legendary chief General Davenport. All in a day’s work for Alex Morgan.

5.  What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

Making sure that each story stands on its own right as an epic tale, while still maintaining the overarching themes of the series.

6.  What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

Scotch, failing that Guinness, or more likely an abundance of tea and coffee! In fact, my writing mancave is full of memorabilia from my military and law enforcement days as well as books that I’ve treasured since childhood. I find having these special items in the one room gives a sense of my history and ultimate objective to be a successful writer.

7.  What are some of your favorite books?

My favorite books are in no particular order: Hound of the Baskervilles by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle; On Her Majesty’s Secret Service by Ian Fleming; Sahara by Clive Cussler; Where Eagles Dare by Alastair Maclean; and my number one, top of the tree, The Count of Monte Cristo by Alexandre Dumas.

8.  Are your characters based on anyone you know?

Yes. Alex Morgan is loosely based on me, but I’ve made him a lot more interesting by adding characteristics and traits from other great friends that I’ve made throughout my career. There’s also a bit of the older me in General Davenport, though he’s a better dresser and much wiser than I! In terms of the other characters, I’ve drawn on a tight network of my closest friends to inspire a number of the principle characters. These are all guys I’ve served with. Finally, some small-minded types who I find particularly loathsome may end up with an unexpected cameo as an annoying character in one of my books!

9.  What, if anything, are you working on right now?

Avenger, the third in the series. Morgan is taking on the world’s shadiest and most despicable characters – human traffickers. He’s also showing the first female agent at Intrepid the ropes but she will put Morgan through his paces too.

10.  Why do you love writing?

I love the escape of writing, the ability to sit quietly in a room, and in my mind create different situations, people and worlds – hopefully putting them into a type of construct that people enjoy reading. When I hear that people have missed a train or bus stop, or stayed up all night devouring one of my stories, I know I’ve done my job.

Chris_Allen

About the Author
Before penning his Alex Morgan espionage series, Chris saw the world from under a parachute; made a difference in East Timor; protected Sydney’s iconic Opera House sails post 9/11; and most recently as Sheriff of New South Wales, held one of the most historic offices in Australia. Since self-publishing and being signed by Pan Macmillan Australia’s digital imprint Momentum for a two-book deal, Defender and Hunter wowed readers worldwide, with Avenger due out end-2013 and a film / TV franchise underway.
Chris blogs about all things thriller as well as indulging his love of cult TV shows and movies from his youth at www.intrepidallen.com/blog.

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BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: The Guys Are Props Club by Ingrid Seymour

The Guys Are Props Club

by Ingrid Seymour

New Adult Contemporary

Book Description

On her senior year in high school, Maddie Burch promised herself not to ever fall for a cute guy – or any guy – again. Cute guys are players and not to be trusted, a fact she learned the hard way when her first boyfriend ran her heart through a paper shredder. Two years later, her promise is still intact, and she’s determined to make it through college without falling victim to another creep. She has her job, school and The Guys Are Props Club to keep her mind and hormones in check.
The club was founded by Jessica, Maddie’s best friend. It is a sisterhood of girls who have fallen prey to heartless jerks and who have vowed to turn the tables. Once a semester, Jessica requires members to “do onto others as they’ve done unto you.” Setting the example, Jessica’s next play is Sebastian Capello, a theater major with heartthrob looks and a flair for Latin dance, whose heart she plans to break the way hers was once broken.
What the friends don’t know is that Sebastian is different. Despite his perfect looks and popularity, he’s not a jerk. He doesn’t play games to get his way. Instead, he keeps it real and goes after what he wants with honest intentions. And what he wants is not a bombshell like Jessica, but a down-to-earth girl like Maddie – even if it causes a riff in the girl’s friendship. Even if it means getting Maddie to break her personal vow.
*** Due to language and sexual situations this book is recommended for ages 17 and older.

 

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1.  Tell us a little about yourself.

I’m a computer programmer during office hours and a young and new adult author the rest of the time. I love, love, love to write, and dream of the day when I can become a full-time author. For me, it isn’t about fame or money; it is simply about being able to make a living doing what I love most. I hope hard work will get me there someday. I also love reading, movies, music, sushi, pizza, my family, and did I mention writing? 😉

 

2.  What made you want to become a writer?

I don’t think there is one sole reason that can explain this; I’m not even sure I can say what drove me to do it. It’s just something that has kept coming back to me again and again since my teenage years. My dad had this old Remington typewriter when I was in high school. It was an antique in very good shape, and, for some reason, I found myself sitting in front of it many times, rolling a blank piece of paper into it and typing so fast the keys got stuck. I started many stories but never quite finish any of them. But it was an itch I had to scratch. It was inevitable, and now here I am.

 

3.  Who or what gives you inspiration?

I draw inspiration from almost everything. Movies, music, other books, but mainly my own life and experiences. My brain is constantly churning, thinking of “what if” scenarios. What if I could stick my hand through the window and clean the outside? What if that weird guy two cubicles down is a mutant (he sure looks like one)? What if girls went around breaking guys’ hearts on purpose? It is when one of these make-believe scenarios strikes me hard, that I decide it needs to be a book. Or a lot of times, it is the idea that takes hold of me and doesn’t let me go until lay it down on paper.

 

4.  Tell us about The Guys Are Props Club.

The Guys Are Props Club was one of those ideas that grabbed me and totally kidnapped me. This light bulb flash inside my head didn’t dim until I finished the book. The writing process forThe G.A.P. Club was extremely intense. I finished the novel in record time, and the plot and characters came out exactly the way you read them on the published book now. There were no hiccups, no multiple revisions, nothing like that. This story knew what it wanted to be from day one. It really took me by surprise.

 

5.  What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

For me it is knowing that I have to accommodate my passion into reality. I have a day job and that takes up most of my time during the week, time that I want to spend with my characters and my ideas, but I can’t. One day I hope everything else has to try to fit in into my writing schedule instead.

 

6.  What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

I really don’t need much. The main thing is a space where no one will interrupt me. Most of the time I write in the quiet of my office at home and at night, when everyone is in bed. But I can write almost anywhere. I can tune out the world . . . the only requirement is that no one interrupts. So talking to me if off limits 😉

 

7.  What are some of your favorite books?

The Green Mile

Daughter of Smoke and Bone

Ender’s Game

And many, many more . . .

 

8.  Are your characters based on anyone you know?

Not in The Guys Are Props Club and not in most of my books, but I do had a couple of characters that, on the physical level, resemble someone I know. As far as personalities, no . . .  none of my characters’ behavior is based on real-life people.

 

9.  What, if anything, are you working on right now?

I’m working on the next book in the The Guys Are Props Club series. I’m also trying to find a traditional venue for a paranormal romance I’ve been working on. There are a couple of major publishers interested in it. Hopefully that will work out.

 

10.  Why do you love writing?

I would say because I like putting my imagination to good use. Ideas are always popping into my head, and I feel it would be a waste if I didn’t give them a chance to come to life inside the pages of a novel. I love to read and I’m grateful for all those authors who allowed their ideas to become something that could take me into other worlds or situations. I hope I can do the same for others.

 

About the Author

Ingrid Seymour loves, loves, loves to write. Her favorite genres are Young Adult and New Adult fiction.  Her debut novel “The Guys Are Props Club” is an NA contemporary romance which she immensely enjoyed writing.  Her favorite outings involve a trip to the library or bookstore where she immediately gravitates toward the YA section. She’s an avid reader and fangirl of many amazing books. She’s sure that one day she’ll see one of her books made into a movie. She likes to dream big 😉
PURCHASE:
The book is only on sale an Amazon for eBook and print: http://amzn.to/163x7F0
And for print also on CreateSpace: https://www.createspace.com/4283057
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Grand Prize: Kindle Fire (US/Can/UK only) with The GAP Club / Equivalent Amazon GC if INTL
Second Prize: signed paperback (INTL)

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: A Stiff Kiss by Avery Olive

A Stiff Kiss

by Avery Olive

YA Paranormal Romance

Book Description

Who knew kissing a corpse would change everything? Death always hits Xylia Morana too close to home, but she likes it that way. She hangs out with the terminally ill, attends random funerals, and every so often, when the weather is right, she sleeps in open graves. But after Landon Phoenix, the high school hottie, dies in Xylia’s hands, she sneaks into the morgue to say goodbye. How could she know stealing a kiss from his corpse would wake him up? With Landon returned to the living and suddenly interested in Xylia, life has new meaning. But what Xylia doesn’t realize is that by kissing Landon back to life, she’s thrown Life and Death off balance. The underworld demands a body, and it might just have to be Xylia’s this time.

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An Interview with the Author, Avery Olive

1.  Tell us a little about yourself.

Hmmm. There isn’t much to tell. I’m a stay at home mom, in my free time I write… The usual. I’m horrible when it comes to grammar and since I’m Canadian, I believe most words require a U in them.

2.  What made you want to become a writer?

I’m not sure anything specifically made me want to become a writer per say. To be honest, it just sort of happened. I’d broken my leg awhile back, and was laid up, on strict bed rest. I devoured books, reading at least one a day. It was becoming a problem and a financial burden because I have to own books. I can’t just borrow them from the library. Anyway, I thought, okay, let’s stop reading books and try my hand a writing one.

3.  Who or what gives you inspiration?

I think inspiration comes from all sorts of places and it depends on the story. My first novels inspiration came from a movie I’d watched. One after that, I think it was commercial on TV…. A Stiff Kiss came from a dream. Another novel came from a conversation I had with a friend. I’m not sure, though, if people have inspired me… Not yet, at least.

4.  Tell us about A Stiff Kiss.

A Stiff Kiss, in my opinion, is a sort of a slightly dark twist on Sleeping Beauty, in reverse. The main character, Xylia, has been through a lot. She’s a little morbid and a little sad. And it takes an extreme change in her life to realize some of her potential. Landon, the secondary character, thought life was merely perfect, but when things change, and that life almost get’s taken away from him, he starts to realize there are a ton of things more important than life then he’d originally thought. Naturally, it takes Landon and Xylia’s paths to cross.

5.  What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

Finding the time to write. I may not have a job I go to every day, but parenting takes just as many hours and sometimes just as much concentration. I find I have to juggle life, make a few sacrifices and hope everything works out for the best.

The other thing is putting yourself out there and understanding that there will be people who love you and people who hate you. You really need to develop a thick skin and realize this entire industry is subjective and a lot of it boils down to personal taste.

6.  What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

Gum is a big one for me. I have a nasty habit that I’m trying to quit, so I need gum to curve the cravings I get. I also love me some Dr. Pepper. I don’t much drink coffee (at least not in the summer) but when I’m pulling late nights and running on little sleep, I need that pick me up.

7.  What are some of your favorite books?

Oh, gosh. This is a tough one! I’ve probably got too many to least and I’d hate to play favourites and single books or authors out. I love all my books equally 😉
But seriously, um…
I’m not going to lie, I enjoyed Twilight. I know. It’s got some good and bad.
I love all things Cassandra Clare. I wish I could be a Shadowhunter!
Princess Bride holds a huge part of my heart. I think it was the first book I ever read for fun and enjoyed it.
I can also through in quite a few classics… The Outsiders is one.
Though not a novel, I do love Edgar Allen Poe.
8.  Are your characters based on anyone you know?

No. Not usually. Sometimes I’ll throw in a name, but never base personality on anyone I know. I’m also afraid I’ll offend someone.

9.  What, if anything, are you working on right now?

Working on a few things. I have a novel coming out in October, Won’t Let Go, which is a twist on a ghost story. I’ve been working hard on edits.
And then rest… I can’t tell you about. I’m always afraid I’ll jinx myself, or worse, I’ll tell someone about a novel, they’ll fall in love with the idea of it, and nothing will come of it. Since the industry is full of lots of highs and lows, and not everything a writer writes will get published, I like to keep pretty quiet until things are solid.

10.  Why do you love writing?

It’s funny, I don’t think anyone has ever ask me that straight up. Which is surprising. At any rate, I love writing because I love diving into a characters head and creating a story. I write YA so I also feel like it’s an acceptable way to live vicariously through my characters and relieve some of the great moments that teenagers get to experience. I also love that something I write lands in the hands of other people, it’s scary and nerve wracking but comes with a ton of satisfaction knowing I’ve entertained someone–made them laugh or cry, or I’ve written something they hate, but if the criticism is constructive I’m always out to improve my craft.

 

About the Author

Avery Olive is Canadian. She is married and has one child. When she’s not helping raise her very energetic and inquisitive son, she can be found working on her latest novel–where she devilishly adds U’s into every word she can.
When she is looking for a break Avery enjoys cake decorating, losing herself in a good book, or heading out to the lake to go camping.
The release of Avery’s first novel proves to her it won’t be the last. As long as her family continues to be supportive, she can find the time, and people want to read, Avery vows to keep on writing.

averyolive.blogspot.com | twitter.com/AveryOlive

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You can win a paperback or ebook of A Stiff Kiss.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

 

BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Identified by Faith Rice-Mills

Identified

by Faith A. Rice-Mills

The Maya Price Story, Book One

Book Description

Maya Price is a typical eighteen-year-old girl without much going on in her life. Her biggest problems include getting ready to leave her hometown for college, figuring out how to avoid her ever-so-strange stepmother, and trying to muddle through her feelings for her best friend, Pete. Yet, on one of her last nights in her hometown, she and Pete are in a car accident. A stranger pulls Maya from the accident, leaving Pete behind, and takes her out of this world and into another dimension.

Maya soon discovers that she has been taken to a dimension called Leets by a group of people that call themselves shifters. Shifters are of mixed human and onyx blood and have various abilities.  These shifters are able to travel between dimensions and control the four elements (fire, earth, wind, water) and the five senses (sight, sound, smell, touch and taste). Their leader, Victoria, informs Maya that she, too, is a shifter and that she must choose to join them or risk being sought out by their greatest enemy, a shifter named Leonas.

Maya joins Victoria and her ragtag group of rebel shifters in Leets, where she is teamed up with a group of seven other shifters. Her new “teammates” include a street-smart girl named Luz, who is especially adept at controlling fire, her twin sister Espy, and a nervous boy named Lamar, who can manipulate sound better than any other shifter. Together, Maya’s team trains for the battle that will soon be inevitable.

However, Maya soon learns that her purpose is not to just move the earth or send water flying into the air. There are rumors of a hidden prophecy and that the prophecy mentions Maya by name. Supposedly, the prophecy says that Maya will one day have to choose a side and will be essential in bringing her chosen ally to power…

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An Interview with the Author, Faith Rice-Mills

1. Tell us a little about yourself.

Ten things you should know about me:

My husband and I have known each other since we were teenagers. We were best friends, turned novios, turned spouses. We have been married eight years and he is the best. And, he looks like Michael Phelps. This is not a lie. A few young teenage girls wanted his autograph once.
I am a mom. My daughter, Annabeth, is two and keeps me very busy. Though she is not named for the character, her name is taken from Annabeth Chase in the Percy Jackson series.
I speak Spanish fluently, but I am not a native Spanish speaker.
I am from a small town in southeast Texas. If you watch the movie Varsity Blues, you pretty much get the idea where I grew up. I still live in Texas and, yes, I speak with a southern accent.
I do lots of yoga. I used to teach it.
I get kind of stressed out if I don’t have something to read.
I was extremely pregnant when the first installment of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows came out in theaters. Thus, I made a t-shirt that said “Future Gryffindor” and had an arrow pointing to my swollen belly.
When I was four, my great-great-grandfather’s tombstone fell on me and broke the femur bone in my leg. I was on my back with my leg in traction for three weeks and in a body cast for three months. It was the day before Halloween.
I hate cotton balls. I cannot stand touching them. I cannot even stand writing this because it makes me think about them.
I dress like the stereotype of a conservative librarian, but also listen to rap music very loudly in my awesome Toyota Camry. I love a good bass line.
2. What made you want to become a writer?

I don’t know that anything made me want to be a writer. I just know that I have always wanted to be a writer.
3. Who or what gives you inspiration?

My family inspires me. They have always believed in and supported me. My daughter also inspires me because I want her to accomplish her goals and follow her dreams. Sounds cheesy, right? But it’s true. I don’t want her to see her mom working just for the sake of working and then follow in those footsteps.

4. Tell us about Identified.

IDENTIFIED tells the story of Maya Price, an eighteen-year-old girl from a small town in Texas.  She finds out that she is shifter, a half-human, half-onyx that can travel between dimensions.  As a shifter, Maya has the ability to manipulate the five senses and control the four elements. Supposedly, there is a prophecy that mentions Maya by name. The prophecy says that Maya will choose a side and will either help Leonas, a shifter turned evil, maintain the power he holds or to bring him down.
5.  What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

Revisions! It is so hard to revise that first draft a second, third, fourth, etc. time. I would also say publicity is pretty hard. I don’t like to push my book on people, but I kind of have to if I want them to read it. So, read my book! 😉

6.  What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

I really just need my computer, a bottle of water, some coffee and some good music.

7.  What are some of your favorite books?

(I have a lot of favorites, but these are some)

Favorite series (overall): Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Favorite en español (yes, I can read Spanish) : Cronica de una muerte anunciada (Chronicle of a Death Foretold) by Gabriel Garcia Marquez
Favorite classic: To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
Favorite dystopian: 1984 by George Orwell
Favorite picture book: Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No-Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst
Favorite YA book (series): The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
Favorite Middle-Grade book: Holes by Louis Sachar
Favorite non-fiction book: Genome by Matt Ridley

8.  Are your characters based on anyone you know?

The only character in Identified based on a real person is Maya’s brother, Carl, who is based on a childhood friend of mine also named Carl. My friend Carl also liked to listen to obscure music, played the guitar, and was very good-natured. The vehicle he drove when we were in high school was an old hearse that he had painted purple flames down the side. Almost twelve years ago, Carl passed away as a result of a car accident, for which he was not at fault. Though it has been over a decade, I still miss him.

 9.  What, if anything, are you working on right now?

I am working on the second installment in the series, Burdened: The Maya Price Story. You can read excerpts on my author Facebook page!

10.  Why do you love writing?

Because the rules of normal, every day life do not apply to those things that you create.

About the Author

Faith A. Rice-Mills is the author of Identified: The Maya Price Story and a handful of short stories.  She moonlights as a Spanish teacher,  but has wanted to be a writer since she wrote the poem “The Jackowhipp’s Wail” as an eight-year-old.  Her writer’s spirit resides somewhere between Narnia and Mount Doom, but her physical body lives in Texas with her family.  Besides writing, she loves reading (and will take recommendations!), yoga, coloring with her daughter, and watching Parks and Recreation with her husband.  She dislikes snakes, the word “literally,” and teaching double object pronouns in Spanish.  She is currently working on Burdened, the second book in The Maya Price Story series and is writing whatever short story she has to get out of her brain.
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Xpresso Book Tours

BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW: Carry Your Heart by Audrey Bell

 

Carry Your Heart

by Audrey Bell

New Adult Contemporary

Book Description

Champion skier Pippa Baker lost everything in the avalanche: her boyfriend, his best friend, and her will to win. After a year of grief, she returns to competition.
She finds more than buried memories and steep slopes in Utah. She finds Hunter Dawson, a heartbreaking daredevil with the gold medals to prove it. And she finds that his reputation doesn’t stop her from falling hard, and that her heart might not be as broken as she once believed.
But, Hunter has scars and memories too—scars that make him believe falling in love might hurt too much, scars that make him run.
Pippa knows how much love hurts when it’s gone. Will she stop herself before she’s in too deep? Or will she let herself fall?
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1.  Tell us a little about yourself.
I’m 24, I live in New York, and I’m afraid of the subway. Basically, I’m the worst New Yorker you’ve ever heard of.

2.  What made you want to become a writer?
There are so many books and writers that have really changed the way I feel or think, or just taken me out of my boring life and into this exciting other world. Those other worlds are why I write. They’re not real, but they are so much more fun! I’ve always felt like I’ve lived more of my life in books and in writing than in the real world.

3.  Who or what gives you inspiration?
If I really can’t think of where I should go with a story, I’ll just walk around my block until I find someone who looks interesting. And then I’ll make up a whole fake back story for them. And then I’ll usually stick ‘em in my book.

4.  Tell us about CARRY YOUR HEART.
CARRY YOUR HEART is about a competitive skier, Pippa, whose heart was shattered, and a hot professional snowboarder, Hunter, who makes her realize that she can put the pieces together again. And there’s drama in between.

5.  What’s the hardest part of being a writer?
Believing in your story. It’s easy to imagine a great scene, or a great concept. Sitting down and laying it out is tough. And trusting that it’s worth writing is even tougher.

6.  What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?
Just my computer and an unhealthy amount of caffeine.

7.  What are some of your favorite books?
I just read THE AGE OF MIRACLES, which absolutely killed me. But I love Abbi Glines and Colleen Hoover, and I’m a huge Harry Potter freak.

8.  Are your characters based on anyone you know?
There’s a little bit of a lot of different people in them.

9.  What, if anything, are you working on right now?
I’m working on a book called LOVE SHOW, which is about Hadley, a college newspaper editor whose too busy for a real relationship, and her no-strings-attached fling with Jack Diamond, a frat bro. When they start feeling something more, they both wonder about the implication of falling in love…especially with the unlikely person that they think they’re falling in love with.

10.  Why do you love writing?
It’s exciting! I love creating my own world and my own characters and seeing what happens with them. I put a lot of myself into my writing, and I always end up learning something about myself too.

 

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About the Author

Audrey Bell lives in New York City, where she indulges her SoulCycle addiction and expresses her passionate hatred of the 6 Train. You can find her reading in Central Park, overcaffeinating at Starbucks, or trying to kidnap her neighbors’ Maltese puppy. She loves hearing from readers. Check out her blog at audreybellbooks.blogspot.com.

 bewitching

BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Darkness of Light by Stacey Marie Brown

Darkness of Light

by Stacey Marie Brown

New Adult Paranormal

Book Description

Freak. Witch. Crazy. Schizo.

Ember Brycin has been called them all. She’s always known she’s different. No one has ever called her normal, even under the best circumstances. Bizarre and inexplicable things continually happen to her, and having two different colored eyes, strange hair, and an unusual tattoo only contributes to the gossip about her.

When the latest school explosion lands her in a facility for trouble teens, she meets Eli Dragen, who’s hot as hell and darkly mysterious. Their connection is full of passion, danger, and secrets. Secrets that will not only change her life, but what and who she is—leading her down a path she never imagined possible.

Between Light and Dark, Ember finds a world where truth and knowledge are power and no one can be trusted. But her survival depends on finding out the truth about herself. In her pursuit, she is forced between love and destiny and good and evil, even when the differences between them aren’t always clear. At worst, she will incite a war that could destroy both worlds. At best, she will not only lose her heart but her life and everyone she loves. Once the truth is out, however, there will be no going back. And she’ll definitely wish she could.

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1.  Tell us a little about yourself.

Currently I am living in San Francisco, Ca. But I’ve also lived in Los Angeles, Boston, London, Caribbean, Australia, and New Zealand. I loved living abroad, but deep down I guess I am a Northern California girl at heart. I did some acting, set/interior design, and now split my time between staging homes and being an author. Writing and traveling are my two biggest passions. Other than that I am preparing to be that freaky cat lady down the street. Just need the cats.

2.  Who or what gives you inspiration?

I’ve said this over and over, but it still is the truth. Reading does! Reading helps me so much in not only inspiring me with qualities I want in my stories, but also things I don’t want in my stories. I look at things while reading differently now. If a scene or character really captures me I ask why. If a book/scene/or character really makes me feel “ehhh, who cares?” I also ask why.

3.  What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

Making an actual living off of it! Also sometimes reading reviews when the reader says something mean or clearly didn’t understand what you were trying to say or took it wrong. You automatically want to defend yourself and the characters decisions, but you have to take a moment, breathe, and understand that not everyone is going to like it. Those readers who really do get it, connect with it, and love it make you forget all the bad anyway. My readers make it all worth it . . . tenfold.

4.  What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

Besides an IV of caffeine hooked up to my vein? I don’t have any particular item I eat or drink. The only thing, if I need to be serious about writing, is I need to leave the house and go to a café. As much as I love staying in my flannel pj bottoms, there are too many distractions at home. I tend to find “sparkly” things everywhere but in what I should be concentrating on.

5.  What are some of your favorite books?

I am so terrible at these kind of questions only because I am really bad a narrowing things down. I love so many books for so many different reasons, and it could simply be based on my mood at that time. I really enjoy Richelle Mead, Kelley Armstrong, Ilona Andrews, Windy Higgins, S.M. Boyce, and the Fever Series by Karen Marie Moning. Seriously I could go on . . . and on . . . and on . . .

6.  Are your characters based on anyone you know?

I think there is a little of a lot of people I know in them. Some are by name and some by personality. I can’t imagine a writer not writing at least a little off of what they know. I can honestly say there isn’t one of my characters that is fully someone I know. But that could always change. Friends and enemies of writers should always be aware!

7.  What, if anything, are you working on right now?

I just finished Book Two of the Darkness Series, Fire in the Darkness. It is being edited right now. Until it comes back to me for changes, I have started working on Book Three. There will be four in the series as of right now. If people really respond to them and want more. Who knows?

8.  Why do you love writing?

Writing is just a part of me. I can’t explain that one thing that makes me love it. I guess I love making worlds and escaping into them. Would a therapist have a field day with me on why that is? Well, that goes without saying. But, in everything I’ve done, acting, designing, writing . . . it has always been about creating worlds and living in them for a time. To me it is magic!

About the Author

Stacey Marie Brown works by day as an Interior/Set Designer and by night a writer of paranormal fantasy, adventure, and literary fiction. When she’s not writing, she’s out hiking, spending time with friends, traveling, listening to music, or designing.

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

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There is a giveaway shared across all the stops for 5 eBook copies of DARKNESS OF LIGHT.
There is one required entry to leave a blog post comment (PLEASE LEAVE COMMENTS ON THIS BLOG POST) and optional entries to Tweet, Follow the author on Twitter, Like the series on Facebook and Add the book to Goodreads.
The eBook is available in a format of choice. It is an international giveaway.

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RockStar Book Tours

BOOK TOUR INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Born in Flames by Candace Knoebel

Born in Flames

by Candace Knoebel

Born in Flames Trilogy, Book One

Book Description

“Red mirrored scales race up my arms as the haze of pain blurs my vision. My bones crack, breaking to realign. I scream. It is then that the realization of my unavoidable fate sinks in; I am of a dying race. I am dragon. “

Aurora Megalos, orphaned and teetering on the edge of adulthood, thought finding her past would curb the sting of being an outcast. Having no memories of the time before she awoke on her foster mother’s doorstep, she yearns for the emptiness inside her to be filled. With her fellow orphaned best friend, Fenn, by her side, she has nothing to lose and everything to gain. But something powerful stirred within her that she couldn’t explain. Something wanted out.

In the dark of night, a crazed Seer, dubbed Mr.Creepy, erases everything she’s ever known with an impending prophecy. She now faces two paths. Return to her true home to protect a dying race against a growing evil, or stay hidden in the safety of our realm with a shot at a true love. With a vengeful Arch Enemy stopping at nothing to see her dead, she’s running out of time; a decision must be made. What would you choose?

 

sshinterview

 

1. Tell us a little about yourself.
I am a stay-at-home mom to two little ones-Logan (my six-year-old) and Scarlett (my two-year-old). They make the world go round. J I love music, art, dancing, laughing, good food, scary movies, midnight premiers, lace, Pinterest, Tobuscus, 30 Seconds to Mars…typical normal stuff I suppose. Oh, and I own a pair of Heely’s that I love to roll around in and have a fetish with dying my hair. That’s me in a nutshell.
2. What made you want to become a writer?
Sitting down and writing my first novel. Before that, I had never considered myself a writer. But when the idea struck me for this trilogy, it struck hard and I couldn’t resist writing it. When it was complete, the feeling inside of me was one that I would forever be addicted to.
3. Who or what gives you inspiration?
Music. I always listen to music when I write. It helps me feel a deeper connection to the characters and the scenes I am trying to portray.
4. Tell us about Born in Flames.
Born in Flames is a fast-paced fantasy that will catapult you into a world where you race against time to save the fate of two realms and an impending prophecy promising death. Aurora Megalos is the main character who discovers that she is not only a part of this prophecy, but part dragon as well. It is the beginning chapter of her journey to becoming the Progeny and fulfilling her destiny of defeating an ultimate evil.
5. What’s the hardest part of being a writer?
Finding and equally distributing my time. Right now I have to run off of a set schedule otherwise my whole day is thrown off track. Between two little ones and marketing, it leaves me with only a few hours a day to devote to strictly writing.
6. What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?
Music, water, and my cell phone in case someone calls. I don’t really need or use anything else.
7. What are some of your favorite books?
The Catcher in the Rye, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, Harry Potter, Hunger Games, Twilight.
The lise could go on and on. J
8. Are your characters based on anyone you know?
Some of my family and friends would say so. Intentionally, no, but I think that a little piece of every author is inside their characters. It is after all coming from your mind. But if I was going to choose one character that most resembled someone in my life, it would have to be Fenn. He has a lot of my husband’s loving features.
9. What, if anything, are you working on right now?
I am working on the final book in the Born in Flames trilogy, From the Embers. I’m hoping to be finished by the end of March, so long as there aren’t any interruptions.
10. Why do you love writing?
I love writing because it allows me to be something more than myself. I am able to push my mind further than I thought capable and follow some incredible characters that are kept close to my heart. I don’t know what I’d do if I hadn’t discovered it.
About the Author

Candace Knoebel had dreamed of being a dancer ever since she could remember. With a love of all things art, she saw herself moving to New York and pursuing her passion as an artist. But all that changed on October 10th, 2002 when she met the love of her life. Her dreams diverged and after marrying her high school sweetheart and having two beautiful children, she realized she missed her creative side.

Growing up alongside the Harry Potter series, Candace found herself missing the epicosity of a story that pulls you in and won’t let you go. In 2009, she began dreaming up characters that would mold her first novel. Through lunch breaks and late nights, after putting her kids to bed, she built a world where she could escape the ever-pressing days of an eight to five Purgatory. She found her calling in life and knew this was more than dancing could’ve ever meant to her.

Once complete in 2010, she began the grueling process of finding a publisher. With relentless determination, she was finally able to realize her dream in December of 2011 when 48fourteen offered her a publishing contract. With a HUGE yes and a happy dance, she now continues her Trilogy.

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Win 1 of 3 ebooks of Born in Flames
Ends April 30, 2013
 

BOOK TOUR REVIEW, INTERVIEW, & GIVEAWAY: One Shot Away by T. Glen Coughlin

One Shot Away

by T. Glen Coughlin

YA Contemporary/Sports Fiction

Book Description

It’s senior year and the last season for Diggy, Jimmy, and Trevor on the Molly Pitcher High School varsity wrestling team. And they all want the same thing: to win.

But Diggy’s got to compete with his older brother’s legacy, and now he’s in danger of losing his spot to newcomer Trevor. Jimmy’s got the cops after him, and a girlfriend who looks down on him. Then Diggy does the unthinkable—he betrays a teammate. Can the team forgive him? And can he forgive himself?

Experience the pressure with Diggy, Jimmy, and Trevor as the stakes rise and loyalties splinter. They’ve got just one shot to make weight and get onto the mat. But pinning your opponent is about more than just winning.

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MY THOUGHTS: 3.5 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS

One Shot Away by T. Glen Coughlin

This was a wrestling book that didn’t actually contain much wrestling. For that, I am kind of glad, because for someone like me who doesn’t know a thing about the sport, the book was still easy to follow.

The novel is told in alternating chapters of three senior wrestlers: Diggy, Trevor, and Jimmy. Diggy’s dad never lets up and never believes he will live up to the legacy of his brother. Trevor’s dad has recently passed away, and Trevor has found a new drive to be a wrestler. Jimmy is undefeated, but his senior season may be on the line if he gets implicated in his dad’s crimes.

Every boy has his own drama, but they often cross on the mat. I can’t say too much without giving away main plot points, but some bad decisions are made, people go too far, and there are far reaching implcations that change the characters’ lives.

It’s not that this was a bad or boring book, it just never really had an “OMG this is an amazing story” moment for me. The writing was nice, but I just had trouble connecting with the characters. Maybe it’s because of the alternating chapters, or the third person POV.

I think this is a novel that lots of high school boys would be into, and that’s always a good thing.

View all my reviews

sshinterview

An Interview with Trevor Crow, of One Shot Away

Hey Trevor, congrats on such a great wrestling season!

Thanks, winning Most Improved Wrestler meant a lot to me.

What was going through your mind during the wrestle-off with Diggy?

I was sweating. I could hardly breathe. I looked at him and all I saw was his dark eyes, ready to put me on my back. I heard his father psyching him up. Guys told me the stories about Diggy getting locked in his basement, forcing him to cut weight. I’ll admit, I was beyond nervous, but I wouldn’t say scared. I had to go into a quiet place in my mind, because I knew that I had earned this match. As soon as we locked up, everything changed. I took control. My strength surged and all the bad luck and circumstances I was facing seemed turn me into a warrior.

You seemed to fall in love with Whizzer pretty quickly, even though he was a bribe. What did getting this puppy mean to you?

You’re right, Whizzer was a bribe, and at first, maybe for an hour, I resented him. I was feeling pretty alone at the time. I had an enormous empty ache in my stomach every time I thought of my father. I never thought, not in a million years, that I’d be living in a decrepit motel on the side of a highway. I think my mother was in shock too. She was going along with plans and changes that I never thought she’d agree to. And then, the puppy was put in my arms and he was licking my face. He was a bundle of innocent happiness. None of it was his fault, so I accepted him. It felt so good to focus my love on a creature that accepted me with no terms.

How are things between you, your mom, and Harry London?

I love my mom. She’s more like her old self than she was after my father’s accident. My father’s death was so sudden. I know my mom didn’t have a plan, didn’t know what to do next. I don’t particularly like everything about Harry London. He’s that piece of furniture with a hard corner that always catches your hip as you pass. My mom and Harry are looking for a house. They invited me to come with them, but I just got used to living at the motel! I’d say things with my mom are getting better. We’re talking more, occasionally taking a walk together. I’ll tell you, if you want to get to know your mom, dad, sister or brother ask them to take a walk with you. We talk almost the entire time. She’s planning a wedding with Harry. He asked me to be the best man. I accepted and knew I was blushing five shades of red. So, things are pretty good.

Do you feel your near death experience changed your life?

I think the experience changed the way I look at life. I realize that life is precious. I realize that each of us has only one life and our choices can make all the difference. I also know, no matter how many of us there are on this planet, life is precarious (last count there was 6,973,738,433). Sometimes I wonder if I hadn’t been pulled from the pool, if I had drowned, would my life have made much of a difference. So, I try a bit harder now to be a good productive person. Maybe just in small ways that no one will notice, except me. I don’t text or talk on my cell phone while driving. I treat people at the motel like I’d like them to treat me. I met a girl at the mall and took her to the movies. I’m not rushing things. It’s a good feeling.

What does the future hold for Trevor Crow?

I enter college in September. I’m majoring in wildlife conservation at the University of Maine. I can’t tell you how excited I am. I’m already reading about ecosystems and conservation. I’m going to miss my mother and Whizzer and Harry (in that order, LOL). But, I believe going away to college is the right thing for me. I’m looking forward to a fresh start. My roommate has already emailed me and he seems like a cool guy. I’m going to try to “walk-on” to the university’s wrestling team. All that means is, I don’t have a scholarship and I have to try out. I setup an outdoor strong-man gym in the open lot behind the motel. Jimmy O’Shea comes over and we workout together: flipping truck tires, lifting buckets of sand, doing pull-ups and push-ups. I already weigh 176. I feel good.

About the Author

Coughlin’s first novel, The Hero of New York, was finished when he was 23 years old and explored the dark side of the middle class suburban dream. New York Times reviewer, Dennis Smith (1986) wrote, “The Hero of New York is solid tough-guy entertainment, and Mr. Coughlin’s descriptions can be hilarious.”

Coughlin’s second novel, Steady Eddie, is a coming-of-age story set in Long Island, New York in 1977. George Needham wrote “Coughlin neatly captures a person’s essence in the simplest gesture, but each character is drawn with sympathy and wit, even when the characters themselves lack these attributes. A fine novel.”

Coughlin has published short stories in Doubletake Magazine, the South Dakota Review[3] and DUCTS, an on-line magazine. His story, “The Grief Committee” was analyzed in The Politics of Mourning: Grief Management in a Cross-Cultural Fiction.[5] Coughlin”s poetry has appeared in The Dead Mule – School of Southern Literature and Hanging Moss Journal.

In 2012, Coughlin published his first YA novel, One Shot Away, A Wrestling Story, Harpercollins. The novel is the story of three high school wrestlers trying to balance their personal lives, family conflicts and maintain their weight class on the Varsity Squad.

 T. Glen Coughlin’s Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

One Shot Away: A Wrestling Story on Goodreads

 Get a copy: Amazon | B&N | Indiebound

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You can win the grand prize of a KINDLE complete with a custom One Shot Away skin!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER!

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Kismet Book Touring

BOOK TOUR REVIEW, INTERVIEW, & GIVEAWAY: Mira’s Diary: Home Sweet Rome by Marissa Moss

Home Sweet Rome

by Marissa Moss

Mira’s Diary, Book Two

PRESENTED BY SOURCEBOOKS

Book Description

As if traveling to a new country in search of her missing mother weren’t difficult enough, Mira has to do it dressed as a boy. In a different century.

A new postcard from her time-traveling mother points Mira to the 16th century Rome. But before she can rescue her mom, she must follow the clues left around the city to find Giordano Bruno, a famous thinker and mathematician, who discovered something so shocking that important Italian officials don’t want it revealed. All the while avoiding the Watchers–time-traveling police who want Mira back in her own time.

It’s another whirlwind adventure for Mira, and this time she is determined to bring her mother out of the past.

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MY THOUGHTS: 4 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS

Mira’s Diary: Home Sweet Rome by Marissa Moss

I really liked this novel a lot more than the first one in the series. Mira is getting into her time travel ability now, and this time she’s off to renaissance era Rome. While there, she meets the famous painter Caravaggio, and learns the reason she has been sent back to this time–the works of a man named Bruno are in danger since he has been named a heretic and condemned to death for infuriating the church. With hints from her mother and clues she pieces together with her own clever mind, is it possible Mira will make it in time to save what needs to be saved?

I felt like Mira grew up a bit in this installment. She’s no longer shocked as she (understandably) was by her time travel in the first book, and she wastes no time with silly romantic notions as she did before. She goes in and immediately sets about finding out what needs to be done.

I still have my issues with the believability of events in the book…the people she meets along the way must be quite gullible to swallow some of the tall tales she feeds to them. Also, I have trouble understanding just how much time she is spending in the past when she goes back. This is important to me because it almost seems as if she meets people once and then 20 years later they still remember her. It bothers me a bit.

Overall, I enjoyed Mira’s journey this time and I found myself learning a lot. The research put into writing these books shows through, and gives you a history lesson while you read a good story.

View all my reviews

 

sshinterview

 

1.  Tell us a little about yourself.

I’ve always wanted to make books and I sent my first picture book to publishers when I was nine.  Naturally, it was terrible and they didn’t publish it.  I didn’t try submitting anything again until I was a grown-up, but I kept on telling myself stories and drawing pictures to go with them.

 

2.  Who or what gives you inspiration?

If by inspiration, you mean the urge to write, I get ideas from all kinds of things –something I read in the newspaper, an overheard conversation, a childhood memory, something that’s going on in my life right now.  It’s not hard to get ideas — it’s remembering them that’s a challenge, so I keep a notebook with me wherever I go.

 

3.  What’s the hardest part of being a writer?

It’s always hard to balance complicated information with strong plots that will draw in readers.  When you’re dealing with another century, it’s harder still.  I wanted Rome, both in the present and in the past, to be vivid, to come alive for the reader.  The city felt to me like another character and I hope I brought her to life!

4.  What do you need around you to write (special drink, lucky items, etc)?

I’m a disciplined writer and I’ve had to write while watching my kids in the park or in doctor’s waiting rooms, so having the luxury of a room of my own now is all I need.

5.  What are some of your favorite books?

Top of the list from my childhood, Roald Dahl with James and the Giant Peach and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.  Then E. B. White with Charlotte’s Web.  If only I could write like them!
For writers now, I’m a big fan of Gennifer Choldenko, J.K. Rowling, Louis Sachar, Karen Cushman, Sharon Creech, Christopher Paul Curtis, too many to list!

 

6.  Are your characters based on anyone you know?

Amelia, from the Amelia’s Notebooks, is basically me when I was a kid (and Cleo is based on my real older sister — no wonder she hates the books).
Mira is more of who I wish I was like — brave, adventurous, quick-witted.  The other characters in the book are based either on people who historically existed at that time or are loosely (very loosely) based on people I know.

 

7.  What, if anything, are you working on right now?

Mira goes to London next, during WWI and gets involved in women’s suffrage, among other things. It’s another juicy historical period that’s a lot of fun to explore.

 

8.  Why do you love writing?

I think writing is magical.  Nowhere else but on a page can you make things happen exactly as you want them to.  I love the richness of language, the vividness of the pictures words can create.  Plus it’s hard, challenging work, so you’re always being stretched, growing with each book.  As a friend of mine put it, it’s a glorious struggle.  What other work is both glorious and a struggle?

 

About the Author

I was born in Pennsylvania, but my family moved to California when I was two, and I’ve been here ever since. I grew up in the southern part of the state and now live in the San Francisco Bay Area. I studied art at San Jose State but fought too much with my art teachers (I was very opinionated – I wanted to do my kind of art; they wanted me to do theirs). So I transferred to the University of California at Berkeley where I didn’t take a single English or Art class. Mostly I took history where I learned how to do research, tools that have helped me in making the historical journals and working on my Young Adult novel. Then I took classes at the California College of Arts and Crafts for a year since I didn’t want another degree and a year’s tuition was all I could afford. I just wanted some guidance on how to break into childrens books.

I waited tables while I sent out stories, waiting for some editor to fall in love with my work. There was no fall-back plan, no alternative career. I’d still be waiting tables if I weren’t lucky enough to have gotten that first book. And after that, the second one, and then the third and the fourth and the fifth. . . .

Each new book is still a challenge. It’s hard work and I love every minute of it.

  Website / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads

 

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One commenter on this post will win a copy of the first book in the series, Mira’s Diary: Lost in Paris.

Book Description

Mira is shocked when she receives a postcard from her missing mother from Paris. Her father decides it’s time for a trip to France to search for her. While visiting Notre Dame, Mira touches a gargoyle and is whirled into the past. There she meets the famous painter Degas and catches a brief, shocking glimpse of her mother. Mira begins to suspect that her mom didn’t run out on them but is a prisoner of the past. Can one family on an incredible worldwide adventure stop a plot in time?

TO ENTER, COMMENT ON THIS POST AND TELL ME WHICH TIME PERIOD YOU’D LIKE TO TRAVEL BACK TO.