#FF Flashback Saturday – Meet author Louise ‘S.L.’ Gape

Good afternoon Friends and welcome. Today I’m reposting my interview with Triplicity Publishing author, Louise ‘S.L’ Gape, whose book, Nautical Delights, is doing very well. Here is an update from Louise.

“Unfortunately no books for me since early 2018, due to some personal stuff going, changing jobs and buying a new home. I started back up end of summer and as I finished one book, currently unnamed I’m working with TriPub to try and find something that suits, I was overcome with new ideas for another book. Given we all know how easy it is to lose sight of our WIPs (or maybe that’s just me, and I’m the only one with several half written books at home) I felt it prudent to park book 6 and revisit editing. With that said I’m coming to the end of writing Life’a Lessons (book 7) and hope to have both released this summer. Then I’m sure living alone will bring ample time to get back on it.”

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Good morning Everyone and welcome.  Today author Louise Gape has stopped by to chat with us.  Her new book, ‘Too Soon’ is getting very positive reviews. I invite you to stop in and meet this amazing woman and get to know her.

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 “Live life to the full. We only get one chance at it!”

Louise Gape

 What is ‘Too Soon’ about?
‘Too soon’ is about Brooke a detective from Oxford, England who is currently off work from her job as a detective following a shooting. Her life is pretty much in turmoil with the exception of her boss/girlfriend; until Maria shatters her life and tells her she’s leaving her for their best friend and insisting Brooke leaves their home.

Brooke’s best friends Kate and Jo are there to back her and get her through everything and suggest getting away for a while. Alas, Brooke ends up in A holiday park in Anglesey.

Enter Chloe, driven, dynamic, spunky and finds it impossibly hard to not poke fun of the uptight Brooke at every opportunity. Brooke’s life slowly starts to unfold, revelations of the relationship becoming clear and each weekend spent with her new friend Chloe when she comes to spend time at her holiday home.

Their bond grows, but the uncertainty of all against them lingers as to whether it’s meant to be or whether it’s simply ‘Too Soon.’ 

It’s obvious by your book cover that you love the beach, tell us more why you chose it.

Creating my front cover is almost as exciting as writing for me. I have a tendency to envisage my cover prior to choosing the title. I knew I wanted it to be very surf orientated as that was the drive I got whilst writing Too Soon.  I love the beach, the sounds of the ocean, and the surf. I love that release and escape that it brings, as with writing. It’s completely my happy place, which is unfortunately the downside of living in the U.K. But I guess it makes me appreciate it all the more when I go on vacation. 

Book Cover

Did you do any types of writing while you were in school?  Have you received any awards or recognition for your work?

No I didn’t. I was very sports focussed in school. I love Shakespeare but I never did anything like this. In fact, I only started writing less than two years ago, by way of release and it resulted in this.  Which is completely surreal and strange to me, but I’m loving it no less.

Is there anyone or anything in your life who encouraged you to write?   What did they do?

I guess not. I did my first book as a way of avoiding having to face change that was going on in my professional life.  It began as a story I’d write on the numerous occasions I was living in hotels and away from home, and ended up being 100k words.  This in turn resulted in being offered a few publishing deals. After that I realised I loved it and … yeah, I guess I’m engrossed in it. The escapism of it is what captivates me. I love that.

Does your writing include aspects about you?

Yes, I think any writer subliminally includes elements of your life but it does frustrate me when people say “oh that’s such and such a person” I feel the need to redo it.  (This could be my friends thinking they’re funny though haha) But that’s my perfectionism I guess. I actively try to refrain, although my first book The Life of Riley, was very much about my life experience as a holiday rep. Which is a big thing in Europe and not so much in the US, but I spent 7 years doing the job and lived in Spain, Greece, Egypt, Lapland, Dom Rep and Bahamas so there was a lot of infusion from those experiences; not that it was about me per se. 

Have you ever had a fantasy come true?

Well I guess it depends in what the reference of fantasy is? If you mean a fantasy dream something I wished would happen then yes, I’ve been incredibly lucky to have many. If, however, you are referring to more of a ‘romantic’ fantasy then no not really.  I guess there are times when I’ve wanted something to happen and it has but I’m a complete romantic so I’d probably never see it as a fantasy happening as I’d probably never deem it as being impacting enough. 

Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers?  Can you elaborate on what has worked for you to generate creativity?

Can you elaborate on what has worked for you to generate creativity? I guess I hope they like my books.  It’s difficult for me as I’m very self-critical and nothing is good enough, throw into the mix the fact I’m new to this, don’t do this full time as a career and have never had any steer or direction, I can only go off what the readers think. And as I said I hope they like it and I hope I can sustain that enjoyment for them. In terms of creativity, I’m not so sure things really do just come to me and I run with it.  That can sometimes be difficult as at present I’m in the middle of writing three different, and very different novels, and dependant on what mood I’m when I sit down to write I’ll go to that book. It can sometimes get very confusing. I’m a complete home girl I’ve been and done the partying and I enjoy curling up with a glass of red, my candles and my laptop and that fires the creativity.

Where is the last place you traveled?  Can you tell us more about your adventure?

Cancun. One of my favourite places for a vacation. I’ve been every year for the last 5 years. I have a fairly stressful job so I’m very much about downloading as many books on my kindle as possible and laying in the pool with my margaritas and reading. Equally I tend to get a lot of inspiration overseas, so I managed to write 75% of Worlds Apart which is the book after Fight to the Top which will be out next month.  I love travelling whether it be a beach holiday or even just a visit to Anglesey. 

Do you follow any sports teams?  If so can you tell us a bit about your interest in them?

If so can you tell us a bit about your interest in them? I love Miami dolphins.  People often assume I’m in to football because I’m from the UK and London.  But personally, not my thing. My favourite thing is to go to Florida for Super Bowl and hit up a sports bar and watch Super Bowl with some wings and wine.  I love how embroiled everyone gets in it. I have spent a lot of time in Florida both work and pleasure and despite them never doing as well as I’d want (aside from this year) I still root for them.

Louise Gape

What do you like to do when you are not writing?

I love to travel and I do that frequently. I go to Jamaica in April and am super excited. Outside of that my favourite things are photography and cooking.  I love just driving off and finding awesome things to photograph but I’m not a fan of greenery so the UK is wasted on me.  However, getting up at 6/7am on a Saturday morning putting the radio on and cooking/prepping some Indian or Mexican food is my total happy place.

Have you seen the now syndicated English series Absolutely Fabulous?  Who do you relate to the most, Edwina, Patsy, or Saffron?

Yes of course I’m British haha. I’d love to say Saffy the well-mannered bright one; in actuality I’m probably more likened to Eddie the ditsy, uncoordinated drunk (for clarity I’m not a drunk).

What was the last musical performance you attended?

Wicked.  I bought it for an ex-girlfriend years ago, and we split up pre, but still went… Erm Slightly awkward. 

Can you give us a shout out about your hometown (or it can be the one you reside in now)?  What is a fun and interesting attraction to visit there?

I live in a village called Stockton Heath, Cheshire and it’s awesome. My local pub the Lion is very English where we all know each other and has the best sun trap looking out onto a bowls green. The village is very Mediterranean in summer which is difficult to not be coaxed into venturing out. I love it, I love how quaint it is and calls in a lot of people especially over the weekends. 

If you could change one thing in the world, what would it be and why?

Negativity. It appears everywhere, relationships, family, religion, money. I mean don’t get me wrong personally I’d get trump out and Obama back in (personal opinions sorry) but if you take negativity and focus on positivity then I genuinely believe the world would be a better place… I’m a romantic novelist though I guess I could be deemed as being unrealistic

Me:  Making a gratitude list each day is very helpful in achieving positivity.

Heart in the Sun

What types of service work have you participated in.  How was your experience?

I’m ashamed to say I don’t really get involved in too much.  I spend a lot of time either at work, writing with my nieces and nephews and my partners 101-year-old gran.

Me:  Wow.  This is so sweet. You know your loved ones appreciate this.

What is next in the works for you?

My next novel Fight to the Top is out next month. Triplicity Publishing already have Worlds Apart my novel after that and I’m currently in the process of writing some other material which will all be out later in the year. Book Cover

Here is an excerpt from Too Soon:

“So, you see a poor girl upset, sad and distressed and you make fun of her? This will be an amazing six weeks?” she said smiling a little.  She felt at ease already, and was glad of that fact.  “Now, please, mystery surf woman, it’s taken me forever and a day to get here, please show me where my room is?” she said seriously.  

She watched the woman lift her eyebrow smirking.  “The good news is, that’s your palace, princess” She pointed behind her. “In front of you, therefore, you park up here and you’re good to go” she said smiling and walking off.  She shouted behind her without even turning around “and FYI, the mystery surfer’s name, is Chloe.  In case you were wondering?” she said turning and disappearing off, surfboard in hand.  Brooke watched Chloe leave, her long dark hair, wavy from the water. 

At last, you have found your home, she thought.  She parked her car up and went to unlock the door, deciding not to move a single bag until she had opened and got into the right place.  After today’s traumas, she was clearly very pessimistic.  Luckily for Brooke, she was good. It was the right place and she was home free. Walking in, Brooke was amazed by the size of it. Regardless of the fact it was sold as a static and not a tourer, which she didn’t understand, she couldn’t help but assume it would be a small room with a bed, settee, fridge and mini oven in. And a toilet and sink in the corner.  It wasn’t like that though; it was a small house, a small flat. It had a full kitchen, a full lounge and dining room, a full two bedrooms and a full bathroom.  She was completely astounded. It was lovely and so cute.  She walked to the end of the lounge and opened the blinds to reveal the patio doors.  Opening them out onto her balcony, she took in the most spectacular sea views. Brooke sighed, and for the first time in nearly two weeks she realised it was a sigh of happiness, she couldn’t believe it, this was all completely perfect she thought. 

Before you go check out SL Gape’s links:

SL Gape Twitter Page

SL Gape Facebook Page

SL Gape Amazon Page

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Thank you for visiting today. Be sure to stop by next week when I’ll be featuring a guest blog with Bold Strokes Books author Kris Bryant.

Until next time,

Lynn

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#Flashback Saturday Meet Author Domina Alexandra

Good afternoon Everyone and a warm welcome to you all. Today I’m presenting a #Flashback Saturday with author Domina Alexandra whose blog I originally posted on 05-May-18. Since then I’ve had the opportunity to beta read her new book which will be debuting soon. Here is what she has to say about it.

“I’m excited to announce that my next book will be a Fantasy lesfic! For many who love the fast-paced life of a Paramedic; it will start off that way, the main character a Paramedic who unintentionally falls into the supernatural World! I’m so eager to share this story with you all; but like my cliffhangers throughout my chapters, I dare not share too much! Keep your eyes open for my future Lesfic, “A Night Claimed.””

Now read on for the interview.

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Good afternoon friends and welcome. Today I have asked author Domina Alexandra to stop by to chat with us about her new book from Triplicity Publishing, ‘I belong with Her’, which is now available for you to enjoy. Come on over and meet this fabulous woman. You are going to be amazed. We’ll see you over there.
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“Find something you love and do it in purpose.”
-Unknown author

Tell us about yourself.
Where do I begin? I am from Southern California. I guess that’s a great place to start off. I’ve always been a deep thinker and writer. Sports was the thing that outshined my ability to write. I became an EMT in 2014; wanting to make a difference. I have come to learn, I really became an EMT to give back. I wasn’t a wild kid; only a confused spirit. Coming out totally helped discover who I am today. Discover my passion above all things. To become a writer, who loves to serve the community on the side.

What is your favorite part of writing?
If I can get lost in my writing, I’ve reached the highest point of living every time! Writing can make me feel so many things. I always say I create from pure imagination that I gained from being stuck in my head too long as a child. Every story I create is a world I can escape into, and that’s one of my most favorite things about writing.

book coverHow would you describe the protagonist in your new book? How did the idea for the location come about?
Both of my leading characters in my book are passionate about what they do. Living as a Paramedic; seeing life in a new way, opens them up to be strong, independent, and quite both feisty women. A piece of how I see myself. The location was easy to come up with. Moving to Oregon; the lifestyle and ambiance are amazing. I simply thought, why not?

Being from LA, are you into sports. If so, what teams do you like?
I used to be a huge sports player. I grew up playing basketball. In time, I fell in love with volleyball. I know, a typical lesbian thing, from what I hear. Far as sports teams, I haven’t cheered for a team in years. If my friends are watching a game, I’d just support their favorite team for that day.

What is the cutest thing your dogs do?
I have a lot of pictures of dogs, but none of them are mine. I have a couple of friends who ask me to dog sit for them on occasion. Now, I spend time with them as if I’m their Godmom, spoiling them and sending them back home.

How is living in Oregon different from SoCal?
For starters, the trees and all its glorious nature! I say southern California is half alive. As for Oregon, its green, vibrant, and fully living. I’ve made much quicker connections in Oregon and the openness of how others think is much vivid than I ever knew possible.

Where have you seen the most beautiful sunrise?
Detroit Lake, Oregon has one of the based spots to see an amazing sunrise. I think I took over two dozen pictures of that alone and that’s saying much.
lake detroit oregon

Where is a great place to hike near where you live?
I love Silver Falls. 10 waterfalls along the trail. I’ve been to Silver falls several times in the last two years.

What other authors do you follow and why?
Radclyffe, Graysen Morgen, Patricia Briggs, Jae. I could keep going! They each have a style; an ability about them that has helped me build up my confidence to do the same. Write and do it in a way that makes others want to do it too. Their imagination, personal knowledge, openness to write outside the scope of mundane life. It all excites me about them!
machu picchu

If you won a prize for a vacation in the Caribbean or Peru, which one would you pick and why?
Peru is the definite choice. Me on an island or beach, in general, is not my ideal vacation. Going on vacation like to Peru, I’d gain more culture and history out of it. That goes back to me being a deep thinker and wanting to know what historical moments took place? My nerd kicks on!

You get the call from a producer who wants to make a movie out of your book. Would you want to have a cameo appearance?
It wouldn’t matter to me if I could play a small part in the movie or not! I’d been more ecstatic just knowing my book was being viewed in more visual content.

Who has been the biggest influence on your writing?
For most of my life, writing has been a private thing for me. Not something I shared with others, until recently. It started off as just a tool to get my thoughts down and grew from there. I read so many books, my mind popped multiple times. Coming out, I finally understood the missing link to why I couldn’t write before and found my inspiration again. I found my true passion. So, my biggest inspiration comes from authors. The many Lesbian books I read and even books that weren’t queer based. I believed in myself through those Authors stories!

Do you believe dreams can come true?
Yes! I believe we can manifest what we truly desire and dream of. Does it come the way we want and when we would like it? Not always, but, dreams can come true if you just believe! That sounded so Disney and Hallmark!

Let’s talk about your experience with the Live Theatre program. Are you still working in the theater?
I loved working in Theatre. It was an accident getting into Theatre. I needed to fill in my College credits for the semester and that was all that was left. I went in thinking, I’d hide in the background. I was quite anti-social back then, it was one of the biggest changes in my life. I began to discover myself, and in the process realized I was a hell of great. Was in the Theatre program, four years. Toward the end, I learned I enjoyed writing screenplays, comedy skits, and monologues more than acting. I had this popular comedy skit called, “Studdar Ball.” Though someday I plan to get back into skit writing, for now, I’m solely focused on being a Queer based fictional writer.

What’s next for you?
I am writing a new story right now. Truthfully, I have multiple books already written. I’ve just been sitting on them for the last few years. But now that I’m actively becoming a published author, I can’t stop writing. Expect nothing but more books to come and of a wide genre of lesbian fiction!

Me: I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us.

Be sure to check out Domina’s links for news and to follow her.

Domina’s Twitter page
Domina’s Wattpad page
Domina’s Amazon Author Central page
Domina’s Goodreads page
Domina’s Instagram page

Purchase ‘I Belong with Her’

I want to thank Domina for stopping by to chat with us. It has been a pleasure. Her book, ‘I Belong with Her’ has been receiving really great reviews. I’m encouraging you all to read it and then come back here so we can discuss it.

Stop by next time when I’ll have another teaser for my book, ‘Awakened by Fate.’

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Thank you for stopping by today. I’m glad you enjoyed the interview. Domina’s new book, ‘A Night Claimed,’ will be debuting in the next few weeks, so stay tuned. Also, she will be a guest on my blog, where she will be talking about her new book – coming soon. Next week I will be presenting my review for author Victoria Avilan‘s ‘The Art of Peeling an Orange.’

Until Next Time,

Lynn

Published with Permission
Photos subject to copyright

#Flashback – Meet author Graysen Morgen

Good afternoon Friends and welcome. Thank you for stopping by last week for my review of Breanna Hughes‘ ‘Stunted.’ Today I’m featuring a flashback of my interview with Graysen Morgen. Since then Graysen has been at work. Her book, ‘Mission Compromised‘ is doing very well and is a great read. You can read my review by clicking below:

Mission Compromised Review

In addition, she has been creating a very special writing project which will be revealed soon. More yet, she has very good news to tell the world and we are all looking forward to meeting the newest addition to her family.

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Good afternoon friends and welcome. I want to thank all of you who visited last week for my 2018 Goals blog. Today I have a special treat for you. Graysen Morgen of Triplicity Publishing is here to talk with us. This is an interview you want to read. She is amazing. Come see why.

Author Profile PictureTell us about yourself.

I’ve been happily married to my best friend for 18½ years, and we have a 7-year-old daughter. I went to the University of Florida, which is where I met my wife. I was a Lieutenant in the Navy, working as a flight deck officer on an aircraft carrier. I now spend my time writing books, sports writing for women’s pro soccer, and coaching youth soccer.

      What is your book “Boone Creek” about?

Boone Creek is a western, set in Colorado in 1880. This story is the first in a series about an outlaw woman named Jessie Henry, who leaves her past behind to start anew. She winds up in a small, troubled town called Boone Creek, where after a mishap, she becomes the Town Marshall.

Me: Graysen’s new book, ‘Castor Valley’, is the second in this series and one that you’re going to want to read.

How did you feel the moment you saw your first book published?

I was overjoyed. I’d always loved reading, and once I’d started writing, it sort of took off. I’m still thrilled to see each new book get published. It’s a huge sense of accomplishment.

What was the last book you read? Would you recommend it?

I don’t find as much time to read as I used to, but the last book I made time for was Scarlett. It’s a sequel to Gone With The Wind, by Alexandra Ripley.

How has your daughter been an inspiration for you? 

My daughter, Rylie, is my whole world. She looks up to me in so many ways and mimics everything I do. I try my best to be a good role model for her. She makes me a better person. When I first wrote Natural Instinct, my wife and I weren’t thinking of having any children, at least at that time. It’s funny, my daughter turned out very similar in character to the little girl in the book. I don’t write many children into my books, but each one has a piece of Rylie in it for sure, whether it’s when she was little, what she’s like now, or what I hope for her to be like as she gets older.

Graysen and RylieWhat are your daughter’s creative activities?

She loves anything to do with art, and she’s actually written two books about animals, both of which she also illustrated. Plus, an avid reader and has a soaring imagination.

How has your family been supportive of your career?

My wife is the person who first told me I should write my own stories, instead of reading so many books, mostly because after reading a book, I’d tell her everything I would’ve done differently. J When I wrote a couple of stories, she pushed me to get them published. She’s been behind me from the very beginning. The rest of my family is very proud of what I have accomplished. Some of them have read every single book that has been published.

Can you explain more about “#Bekindchallenge”?

Be Kind Challenge is about random acts of kindness. There is so much power in a simple gesture. The challenge is a month of doing one kind thing every day.

What is the cutest thing your dogs do?

Remy and Roxy are Jack Russell Terriers who are just over a year old. They are littermate girls, and they run our lives! They chase each other around the house, watch TV with our daughter, hang out in the office when I’m writing, you name it. I’d say the cutest thing is the way they are always together. The sleep in the oddest positions like yin/yang or on top of each other.

 

Roxy and Remy

Who are you rooting for in the next World Cup Soccer championship?

If it’s the World Cup, then I’m always rooting for the USA. I’m a fan of Canada, Australia, and England so I root for them if they’re not playing the USA.

Where is a good place to hang out with friends?

We do a lot of family stuff, so our hangout this past year was Disney World, literally every month. We have an oasis in our backyard, so hanging out at home is always nice.

What would be the perfect ‘stay-cation’ for you?

We pretty much have a stay-cation every weekend, but the perfect stay-cation for me would be some quiet time with absolutely nothing to do but read a novel or lie in the hammock by the pool.

What is your favorite time of year and why?

I love the holidays. There is just something magical about that time of year. We decorate inside and put up a full yard display outside with a lot of lights and wood cutouts that I make myself. I also look forward to the little bit of cold weather that we get in North Florida.

Would you ever want to co-write a book with another author?

Probably not. I believe all authors have a vision, and everyone’s vision is different.

What puts you in the zone when you are writing?

Music is my muse, so I listen to music when I write. It varies from classical to pop and everything in between.

Soccer Coach

What’s next for you?

I am currently working on a romantic adventure/suspense story that involves British MI6. I’m really hoping to turn it into a series. It’s fun, thrilling, sexy, humorous, all the qualities that make for a good read.

Be sure to check out Graysen’s social media links and follow her:

Instagram: @graysenmorgen

Facebook Page: Graysen Morgen

Twitter: @graysenmorgen

Amazon Author Page: Graysen Morgen

Click on her Amazon Author page to purchase Boone Creek and ‘Castor Valley’.

Thank you for stopping by. Don’t forget to sign up for Lynn Lawler’s Book Blog on the left panel for more exciting stuff. Be sure to come back next week for an adventure I went on during January.

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Thank you for visiting by today. For more on Graysen, please check out her Fb page for new and exciting news. Be sure to visit next week when I’ll be presenting a new entry.

Until Next Time,

Lynn
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Awakened by Fate

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Copyright 2018
Published with permission.
Photos subject to copyright.

Thank You for Your Support

Good afternoon friends and a warm welcome to you. Thank you for stopping by last week to read my review of Jenny Frame‘s ‘Unexpected.’ I really appreciate all of your support. Today I’m featuring an interview I had about two weeks ago from TB Markinson on Iheartlesfic.

Hello Everyone and thank you for joining me today. I want to thank TB Markinson for inviting me to share with you. As you know, my book, Awakened by Fate has been out for a little while now. I couldn’t thank you enough for the support you have given me. In addition to the book, I’ve enjoyed doing my blog. I have read some really great books, so stay tuned for my future reviews.

Jackie, my protagonist, is a self-centered woman who thinks she has her life all in order. She has a job that she strives to do, although many times she gets distracted. None-the-less, she still tries. She has ambitions but doesn’t know how to go after them, so she is more or less in a stuck situation career-wise.

Then an event happens that totally changes her world and turns it upside down.

For the rest of the interview click on the link below:

https://iheartlesfic.com/2018/08/01/guest-post-awakened-by-fate-by-lynn-lawler/

Christmas 2017I had an eye-opening experience as a result of writing this book. At first, I thought the universe was pulling something on me, then I realized all of this, was making me a stronger writer. I had to go through some things. This made me see I was doing the right thing by pursuing my writing. There is nothing else I’d rather be doing than sitting at my computer typing and editing my stories for all of you to enjoy. 

The hardest part of writing is the promotions. You have to get out on social media and blast your posts to different sites. However, I got to meet some incredible people along the way whom I am forever grateful for. They have turned out to be my support team. 

I want to thank you for stopping by to visit. I have really appreciated all your support over the years and wish you all the best. Be sure to stop by next week when I’ll be presenting my review for Nico J. GenesLessons in Life.’ I’ll see you then.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Purchase Awakened by Fate

Awakened by Fate

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Listen to my podcast interview with Suzie Carr

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Copyright 2018
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#FF #Flashback Friday – Meet author Erin Wade

Hello Friends and a warm welcome to you all. Today I am having a #FF and am presenting my interview with author Erin Wade originally published on 20-Oct-18. Since then she has been hard at work with her new novels that are now available. Here is more of what she’s been up to:

Lynn, so much has happened in our lives since we last visited. You have released your excellent and exciting novel “Awakened by Fate” which is doing quite well for you.

After my interview with you regarding “Three Times as Deadly”, it really took off. I thank you for that.

You asked me to bring you up-to-date on my books, so here goes. “Branded Wives” followed “Three Times as Deadly.” Then “Living Two Lives” and “Don’t Dare the Devil.” I now have seven #1 Best Sellers on Amazon. “Don’t Dare the Devil was a bit of a leap for me. It is my first foray into paranormal and it has been my top-selling book. We released it on June 18 and it has been #1 on Amazon’s Top New Releases for the past 25 days. We are keeping our fingers crossed that it will remain #1 for 30 days. That would be a personal best for us.

Book Cover 3

As we discussed in our October interview, the best thing that has happened to me in my professional life is Editor Susan Hughes. She has pushed me and my books to a whole new level. I thank God for Susan every day.

Susan will begin working on “The Roughneck and the Lady” next week. We hope to release it in September. It has plenty of action, tons of danger, a little humor and lots of love.

“We have two additional books in the works, “Shakespeare Under Cover” and “Wrongly Accused” that we hope to release before December 31. This will give me ten published books, a goal I have been working toward since January 2017.

I’d like to give a shout out to three people who have helped me realize my goals. My awesome beta readers Julie Versoi and Laure Dherbécourt and “The Voice” Victoria Mei who narrates all our audiotapes.

Thank you for giving me this opportunity. I appreciate you more than I could ever express.

And now here is the original interview. Enjoy.

Good afternoon friends and welcome. Today I have Author Erin Wade with us to chat. Erin’s new book, Three Times as Deadly is now out and is doing exceptionally well. At the bottom, I have included a nice excerpt for you to read. I know you’re going to enjoy it. Erin is an imaginative story teller whose books lure in the reader. She is also an adventurer and isn’t afraid to take risks. Come meet this amazing woman whom you’re going to love.

erinheadshot

“We all have our own realities.”

D.J. Jouett, Must be Murder

I want to thank Lynn Lawler for inviting me to be the interview today. It is an honor to be associated with Lynn and her blog.

Tell us about yourself.
I live with my wonderful wife Alex, my dog Tank and our cat Candy in Austin, Texas. I am thirty. Alex is a year older than I. We met while attending the University of Texas in Austin. November 5 will be our ninth anniversary.

Alex is an educator and I am a land developer. My day job didn’t require much time so I often found myself with time on my hands. Alex suggested that I try my hand at writing fiction. My first books were murder mysteries written for mainstream readers. Last year (2016) I was writing a book called The Destiny Factor. I intended it to be a mainstream murder mystery but somewhere along the way it assumed a life of its own and morphed into a lesbian romance/thriller. I had never thought about writing lesfic, but discovered that I enjoyed writing about what I knew and had experienced. So, a lesfic author was born. In January 25, 2017 I released my first “intentional” lesfic novel, Too Strong to Die. It shot to number ten the same day it was released and reached number one on Feb. 1.  I had the bug. On my birthday, May 9, I released Death Was Too Easy which went to #1 in Hot New Releases. Currently, all three of my 2017 books are on Amazon’s Top 100 Best Sellers List for Action/Adventure/Romance and The Destiny Factor has stayed on the Top 100 Best Sellers list for the past fourteen months.

What inspired you to write professionally?
My wife convinced me to write fiction.

What is your new book, ‘Three Times as Deadly’ about?
‘Three Times as Deadly’ is about Sloan Cartwright, who awakens from a coma, in an African hospital. She has no memory of her past or the three women who claim to be married to her. The book is funny, exciting and filled with action and romance. It also deals with the plight of rhinos and elephants who are being hunted into extinction.

3XadSloan

What is your advice about staying in the positive?
I am a very positive person, so I don’t know much about negativity. I think that the most important think in any individual’s life is the person they select to spend their life with. A good partner can build one up or tear one down. I can honestly say that my wife makes me be the very best person I can be. Life with her is amazing. 

Do you go out into nature to meditate or quiet your mind? Where have you been and how was it for you?
We built a home in 2015 that Alex designed. It is a sanctuary for us both. I have an office that overlooks our pool and waterfall. Tank’s toy chest is built in and doubles as his window seat. It is right beside my desk so he is close to me. Our home is very peaceful and inspiring for me. Alex has decorated it beautifully. There is truly no other place in the world I’d rather be. 

Are you a dog whisperer? What was your dog, Tank like as a puppy?
I’m not a dog whisperer. I think Tank may be a human whisperer. Tank is a rescue dog and has always been precious. When he was tiny, he was just a little ball of fur. We used to call him our little dust bunny. I have had dogs all my life and I loved them, but Tank is truly the sweetest, most loving dog I have ever had the privilege to belong to. At first, I thought he might be blind because no matter where I went he was right behind me with his nose touching my ankle, but his eyesight is fine. Now he is tall enough that his nose touches the bottom of the calf of my leg. He always stays that close to me. I think I’m his security blanket.

Tank settled

Where is a good hang out place to kick back and socialize with friends?
We are homebodies. We have two other couples we share fun times with. We have been friends since college. We rotate to each other’s homes on Saturday nights where the hostesses serve dinner and we play high-stakes poker. The maximum bid is twenty-five cents with a two-bump maximum so the most one can lose on one hand is seventy-five cents. Pretty high stakes, huh?

We have two other couples who are very active in our lives. We rotate hosting dinner in our homes every Saturday night. They are professional women in completely different fields from us. One couple consists of a mergers & acquisitions attorney and a doctor. The other couple is a forensic scientist and a psychiatrist. Both couples are fascinating but I have to admit my favorite stories come from the forensic scientist. She owns her own facility and is hired by smaller law enforcement agencies who don’t maintain their own forensic facility. She will show up in one of my books one day. Her stories are sometimes hysterical, sometimes very sad, sometimes unbelievable, but always entertaining. These four people open a new world to us every week. We have been friends since college and they are still so interesting to me. I think my wife wins the prize for funniest stories. She is an educator and some of the things children and their parents come up with are just laughable. I have learned so much from these five people.

We have my family over once a month and on holidays. My wife is a terrific cook and enjoys trying out new recipes on them. They love it.

Alex’s family lives in Alabama, so we don’t see them as often as we see my folks.

Where is the next place you’re going to visit? Share all you want about it.
We are taking my brother’s twins to Branson, MO. It is a fun city with a lot of live theater and entertainment. The best thing is the Duck Boats. Everyone should ride the Duck Boats at least once in their life.

Would you want to write a non-fiction book? If so, what would it be about?
No, I don’t think I would be a good non-fiction writer.

What is the most daring theme you’ve written about?
I am an action/adventure/romance writer. Lesbian romance is probably as daring as I get.  I don’t delve into things I know nothing about. I would never write a 50 Shades of Gray type book. I did notice that one reviewer gave me four stars because I don’t go into details in my sex scenes, but I figure we all know where those end up and I like to let my readers us their imaginations. Also, sometimes my mother reads my books.

Erin’s Amazon Author Central page

 
What types of live music do you like to listen to. Who was the last performance you saw?
We love musicals, reviews, plays, etc. The last live musical we attended was last month in Fort Worth at Bass Hall to see The Carol King Musical, Beautiful. We do fly to New York several times a year to see musicals there.

Have you won any awards for your writing?

Not yet! 

What is a fun attraction to visit in Austin, TX? What would be a good restaurant you would recommend?
We love taking the twins to The Schlitterbahn Water Park in New Braunfels. It is about an hour from Austin. Great fun for the entire family.

The best restaurant in Austin is Truluck’s Seafood, Steaks and Crab House.   There are two of them, but we always go to the one downtown on Colorado St. They have live music with a female singer and a band. She is dynamite.

heading for the ship

Do you have any advice for new writers?

GRAMMARLY & MS WORD ARE NOT ENOUGH!

If you read my reviews, you will find that I was lambasted by a few reviewers about grammatical errors In Too Strong to Die. I started searching for an editor. Even with an editor, I still critical comments about errors in Death Was Too Easy.

I became a woman on a mission. I asked questions. I inquired about who was the best editor I could hire. When I read a very clean book, I checked to see who edited it. After two months of intense searching, I narrowed my search down to Susan Hughes. As busy as she is, I was able to get Susan to accept me as a client.

Susan is—I can’t say enough nice things about Susan—awesome. We worked through Hurricane Harvey to release my latest book Three Times as Deadly on Sept. 17. It jumped to number one on the first day of release and has continued to hold that position. Three Times as Deadly has received several positive reviews and no one has been critical of the writing.

If I could give a single piece of advice to new writers it would be, Get a good editor. If you think you can’t afford one, you’re wrong. You can’t afford to be without one. As authors, we pour our heart and soul into our “masterpieces”. Believe me they become so much more with a great editor.

I know the burning question in the mind of any new author reading this is, “How much will a good editor cost me?”

A good editor will cost between $1,500 to $2,000, but you will make it up in sales. They will pay for themselves.

The other thing I would suggest to new writers is get a seasoned Beta Reader. They are worth their weight in gold. I am pleased that Julie Versoi has agreed to be my beta reader on future novels.

If you are lucky, an experienced writer will take an interest in you and become your mentor. I am fortunate that Kathy Brodland took an interest in my books and has given me guidance. Kathy is the one who told me to hire the best editor I could find.

I feel that I am fortunate to have assembled a small but exceptional team. With Susan, Julie and Kathy, I think 2018 will be the year of Erin Wade. 

Me: I agree with Erin. You put so much effort into your work that it deserves the very best. I can also lead you in the direction of some good beta readers too if you are interested.

What is next for you?
I am currently working on a book titled Living Two Lives. It is about a fan, Jules Devine, who has a tremendous crush on a lesfic writer named Darcy Lake, even though the writer is happily married. Jules attends a national convention so she can have Lake autograph books for her. Secretly, she hopes to spend time with the author. A weekend with Darcy Lake is so much more than Jules dreamed and it changes her life forever. Jules is pulled into a world she never knew existed. A world of passion, deception, and death. It is a nail biter.

With all this said, Erin, you’re going to definitely keep us all posted about your new upcoming thriller. As promised, here is a nice excerpt from, ‘Three Times as Deadly’ for everyone. Enjoy!

Book Cover

##

“Hello, Sleeping Beauty.” A tall, stout nurse smiled at me. I squinted to shut out the bright light she was trying to shine into my eyes.

I slowly realized I was in a hospital bed, hooked up to all types of machines, and my head was killing me.

“What happened?” I asked

“We have no idea.” The nurse smiled as she wrapped the blood pressure cuff around my upper arm and pumped it tight enough to cut off all circulation to my hand. “Someone dumped you at the emergency entrance of the hospital. You’ve been in a coma for about ten days.

“You looked like a pride of lions played keep-away with you.” She grinned at her own humor. “You have a concussion, couple of broken ribs, and various and sundry other cuts and bruises, but you’ll live.

“I am glad to see you awake.” She ripped the cuff from my bicep. My hand tingled as the feeling returned to my numb fingers. She ran a temperature wand across my forehead. “I need to get some information from you.”

I nodded, and my head kicked me hard. The pain was unbearable. I closed my eyes and opened them to find a name tag with Sadie engraved on it blocking my view. “Can you give me something for my headache?”

“I will as soon as I complete my paperwork.” Sadie wrinkled her nose and logged into the computer on the stand beside my bed.

“Date of birth?” Her attitude was efficient and direct.

“I don’t know.” I said.

“We’ll just skip the hard stuff and start with the easy questions,” she said with a smirk. “What is your name? I need the middle initial too.”

I stared at her in disbelief. This is a joke, right?

“Your name, sweetie,” she insisted.

“I . . . I don’t know,” I whispered.

Loud arguing in the hallway outside my room sent Sadie charging toward the door. Before she could reach it, two different, but equally stunning women burst into my room.

Sadie took a stance between the women and me. I raised my head and tried to look around my nurse.

“You two do realize you are in a hospital, don’t you?” Sadie scolded the women. “Keep your voices low, or I’ll have you escorted from the premises.”

The women looked contrite and edged around Sadie, but my protector wasn’t letting them get close to me.

“Who are you?” Sadie glared at them.

They answered in unison. “I’m Sloan Cartwright’s wife.”

“Well, I’ll be damn.” Sadie laughed as she turned to me. “Is that what happened to you? You got caught between these two.”

“No!” I blurted out. “I mean, I don’t know them.”

Both women glared at me as if I had defamed God.”

“Honey, I’m glad I’m not in your shoes right now,” Sadie said, chuckling. “Sloan Cartwright, is that your name?”

I struggled to sit up so I could get a better look at the two visitors. Obviously, I had good taste in women.

“Why don’t you introduce yourselves.” Sadie grinned, enjoying my predicament too much.

The beautiful blonde stepped forward. She was tall and slender, like a runner. She wore black slacks that hugged her perfect hips. A short-sleeved lavender blouse was tucked into her waistband. Toned arms and a flat stomach testified to her workout regimen. She wore a gold watch and pendant. Her green eyes seemed to change color as the light reflected from them.

“Sloan, honey, it’s me. Leigh.” Distress filled her eyes as she moved toward me. “Leigh Redding-Cartwright, your wife. We make our home in the United States. I’m here to take you home.” She blushed and added, “You call me LeeRee.”

“No! No!” Sadie intercepted her. “We still need to hear from this black beauty.”

Book CoverShe was a beauty indeed. Her features were fine and chiseled. Her ebony hair was stylishly cut. She reminded me of the actress Halle Berry. When she spoke, her French accent mingled with a touch of high English. I loved her accent. How do I know who Halle Berry is?

I looked from one woman to the other. Apparently I am an equal opportunity lover.

The black beauty smiled. “I am Amarosia Cartwright.” She bowed her head slightly. “You call me Amy. We live together here in Africa.”

Both women were earthshaking beauties.

As I gazed at them, mouth agape, the door to my room flew open, banging against the wall a couple of times as if doing a drum roll to announce the arrival of the gorgeous brunette who burst into my room. “Where is Sloan?” If the woman was also my wife, my taste in women had just shot off the Richter scale.

I realized I was holding my breath when the cardiac monitor attached to me went crazy. I didn’t know if the brunette or my predicament caused the increase in my heart rate.

“Tachycardia,” I muttered, one hand to my chest. I didn’t want the other two women to know how the brunette was affecting me. If one of them was my wife, I didn’t want to hurt her.

“Bullshit.” Sadie laughed gleefully. “You have your butt in a crack and can’t get it out. No wonder you have amnesia.”

“What is going on here?” The brunette demanded, glaring at the other women. “Sloan, what have they done to you, baby? I begged you not to come to this heathen hellhole.”

“Who are you?” Sadie demanded.

If looks could kill, Sadie would be pushing up daisies any minute. The brunette narrowed her icy blue eyes and moved to stand toe to toe with the nurse.

“I am Alexander Roland Cartwright.” She tilted her head, tossed back her long, dark hair, and stared down Sadie who stepped back to allow her access to me.

My heart jumped to triple time as Alexander Roland Cartwright moved closer to me. “What do I call you?” I gulped.

“The love of my life,” she said with a mischievous smile. “When you aren’t acting grandiose, you call me Alex.”

“What’s going on, Sloan?” She lightly stroked my cheek. “Ross managed to sneak a call to me before he disappeared. He said you’re in trouble and to trust no one.”

“I . . . I honestly don’t know,” I whimpered. Something about Alex’s soft touch brought out the baby in me.

“I flew all the way from New York to take Sloan home with me,” Leigh declared.

“Our home is here,” Amy said. “We have always lived here. Sloan is going home with me.”

Alex possessively pulled my hand into hers. “I am not letting Sloan out of my sight.”

I leaned forward to stare at the three women, and my front opening hospital gown took the opportunity to expose my ample breasts. I must admit, I am nicely endowed. Determined to resolve the uncomfortable situation, I pointed out the obvious. “You all seem to be missing something, ladies. I am a woman. I doubt that I am married to any of you.”

I didn’t miss the way each of them licked their lips as they ogled me. I pulled the treasonous gown tight around my chest. I felt like the most succulent lobster at the lobster fest.

I tried to bring some sanity to my situation. “Look, I’ve been in an accident and had a loss of memory. I don’t even know my name, much less to whom I’m married.”

The women looked at each other and then began talking all at once,

“You can take turns sitting with her,” Sadie instructed, but all of you can’t stay here all the time. You can sit in eight-hour shifts. You work it out among yourselves.”

Sadie pushed the women out the door and shoved it closed behind them. I was glad I wasn’t involved in the arguing taking place in the hallway outside my door.

##

I want to thank Erin for stopping by to talk. It was a pleasure having you. I want to encourage all of you to check out Erin’s links so that you can see all of her work. I’m going to be starting in on one of her books so maybe we could all have a future discussion.

Erin’s Website: http://www.erinwade.us/

Erin’s Blog:  https://erinwadeus.wordpress.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/erin.wade.129142

Amazon Author’s Page: Author.to/ErinWade

Purchase ‘Three Times as Deadly’

Stay tune for next week when I’ll be presenting my review for Graysen Morgen’s ‘Mission Compromised.’

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Awakened by Fate

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Copyright 2018
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Meet Author Nico J. Genes

Hello Everyone and welcome. Thank you for visiting last week and meeting Novelist / Writer Victoria Avilan. It was a pleasure to see you all and I really appreciate your support. Also, I want to thank you for sharing the podcast interview I had with Suzie Carr on her Curvy Life podcast. Click below to view it.

Curvy Life Podcast interview

Today I have asked author Nico J. Genes (Reverie Series) to guest on today’s blog. She also has a forthcoming book, Lessons in Life, which I helped beta read, debuting very soon. Nico is an artist who paints her pages clearly. Her books are full of mystery, drama, and romance and get’s you wondering. I invite you to find out more about Nico. Read on!

“If I have more than one life, I would definitely dedicate this one entirely to you.”
– Nico J. Genes, ‘Magnetic Reverie’

Tell us about yourself.
Recently I participated in a self-promotion seminar where they recommended to ask our friends what do they think about us. It was a funny exercise because my friends seemed to see a bigger and brighter picture of myself. I don’t lack self-confidence, I don’t have a big ego either, I am just a human being trying to make a difference through everything I do.

What is your book series, “The Reverie Series” about?
At first glance, it is a different kind of love story. “Magnetic Reverie” is about Lana, who is discovering her new sexuality by falling for Claire, the girl from her dreams, while being married to Greg. It starts with the struggle and mix of emotions between dreams and reality, it continues by seeing what thoughts are passing through Lana’s mind fighting the prejudices and also fearing how the world would judge her if she would decide to come out. But also it’s about decisions. Whom should she chose, Claire or Greg? “Reverie Girl” shows us also Claire’s point of view and some before and after. Overall, the series is full of emotions, sometimes sad, as real life it’s not always a fairytale, sometimes full of desire, as this is something natural when there is a strong chemistry between two people, it’s about remorse  and trying to figure out what the best decision is, it is about forgiveness. The main message: love should not be judged.

Reverie Girl CoverMagnetic Reverie Cover

 

Why did you choose India as a setting for part of your story?
Have you visited the Taj Mahal?: In the sequel, India plays an important role especially because of Claire’s acceptance of who she is and I found it the best by using the analogy among the diversity that is present over there. Yes, I have visited Taj Mahal and I was really impressed by it. You have to see it in reality. Actually, I have visited all the places I describe in my series and I just hope that I managed to make someone curious about seeing them in reality as they are all worth seeing.

Me: After reading this, I want to travel to these places.

Do you believe in love at the spiritual level?
Yes. My favorite movie is Café de Flore and I think this is the reason why I loved that movie so much. My trip to India made me start thinking about the spiritual life.

How would you describe your protagonist, from the series?
Lana is beautiful, smart, young, self-confident, sociable, it seems she has everything, except for a child. Claire, on the other hand, lacks self-confidence, she is gorgeous but she doesn’t see it; she had a tragic childhood, she doesn’t socialize, doesn’t trust many people, in many ways she is the opposite of Lana. But with all her imperfections she is more real than Lana, who tends to be superficial at times. Together though they bring the best of each other.

How do you compare writing short stories to full-length novels?
Two of my write-ups have been chosen to be included in the anthology of short stories and poetry called Limitless released as a charity project. I would say that the main difference is that when writing short stories you need to be more concise, choose every world a bit more carefully than in full-length novels. It depends though on the type of both. I also think that some writers prefer short over long and vice-versa, I am both. In full-length novels, I write as long as the story asks me too.

Why did you choose to be a writer?
I listened to my inner voice. It has allowed me to take a path to use my creativity and tell some unique stories. In the adult life, it started with the idea for another book that I am yet to write and then The Reverie’ series that I chose to write first. I liked the idea, I saw the message that I could bring it out there so I worked on the plot and really enjoyed writing it.

What is it like living in Croatia? Where would you take a friend to see the sites?
I was living in the south of Croatia, at the seaside, in the city of Šibenik and surroundings that are all mentioned in my series. Especially for those of us that don’t live by the sea, I think I can call it a dream come true (even when the weather conditions weren’t the most favorable :-)). I would definitely take my friends to see those exact places as they are beautiful.

What are some of your favorite places to visit in Europe?
I was born in Romania, I am living in Slovenia, I lived in Croatia and also traveled a lot. I think it is really hard to pick any favorite place in Europe or worldwide. They all have beauty in them. I know for me that wherever I am close to nature I feel the best, so that is my favorite place.

What is a favorite ethnic dish you like to create for friends and family?
Well, I don’t really cook much, and I am very picky regarding food, my friends and family know that 🙂 I do have a favorite dish. It is called eggplant salad. It’s typical Romanian and it must be prepared by my mother to have that special taste that I love.


Who is your favorite European musical artist? Have you seen them perform live?
I do like many artists, but now to placing them on the map I would have to mention Queen and The Cranberries, unfortunately, I didn’t have the chance to see them live. I do like a lot Siddartha, Slovenian band and recently discovered the lovely Ditka, Slovenian singer and I have been to their concerts.

Which languages do you speak? How does it feel to be multi-lingual?
Instead of getting lost in translation is better than you know the languages from the countries you live in. Besides Romanian, my native language, I speak Slovenian, Croatian and English. I would love to improve my French and as Romanian, I would be very fast in mastering Italian and Spanish, but I didn’t find the time yet.

On your blog, you review books. What types of stories touch your heart?
I am first of all a romantic soul so I will always enjoy a love story. I do read through lots of genres and I appreciate the most those that give me an additional food for thought and expand my knowledge and views.

What do you like the most about reviewing other people’s books on your blog?
I will be honest and say that until I became a published author I never wrote reviews for books, I never thought about it and it never happened that I came in contact with the author. Since then I started to post reviews on Goodreads and on the retailer’s platform. Recently I was thinking that I could do much more helping authors by posting the reviews also on my blog and share them on social media. I review known and less known authors/books and I love the most when I discover an amazing book that unfortunately didn’t get the luck to be seen by the right people so it can get the appraisal it deserves. I hope with the extra visibility on my blog these books will have a higher chance to be seen. There are many jewels out there.

“The human being that finds the most of happiness by relating and helping people around me making their life more satisfying and meaningful, by: offering a shoulder to cry on when in need, sharing happy moments together, everything to make a life better.”

Would you like to elaborate on the meaning of your quote?
This is a description from my page explaining shortly who am I and what is the purpose of my blog. Often in life family, friends, colleagues have told me that I am a good listener, I calm them down, I help them pass the crises, I help them grow, I inspire them, motivate them etc, so I thought why shouldn’t I expand that on a wider level, of course within my time limits and capacities. If people would only know what difference they could make by only smiling a bit more often or saying a nice word when needed, I am sure they would do it.

How do you view the ‘glass being half-full’ during challenging times and what do you do to stay positive?
It’s a constant challenge. Since I turned 21 I started seeing things differently, I decided at that moment (I don’t remember what made me change my mindset but I am glad I did) that I should try seeing a good side in everything, no matter how bad it is. Since then, even when I don’t see immediately any good reason I do see it later. Maybe it’s autosuggestion at times, either way, it helps.

What is next for you?
I am in the process prior to publishing my third book. This one will be in a different genre, a nontypical self-help/motivational/personal growth book. I am really thrilled about it and again I have to say that it is written with a message, actually through every story present inside I present a different message, overall they could all conclude in be a better human being, be positive, believe in yourself, accept yourself. I do have many other ideas, within lesfic and outside my debut genre, and I can’t wait to materialize them.

Click here to Preorder

Be sure to check out Nico’s links for more exciting news.

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/nicojgenes_writer/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nicojgenes

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/nicojgenes

Amazon page: www.amazon.com/author/nicojgenes

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/today/author/nicojgenes

Website: https://www.nicojgenes.com

And take a look below

Audio Interview: https://youtu.be/L7N8wINKJHI
Video trailer: https://youtu.be/VkO6iQGlIng

Places Revealed: https://youtu.be/Mskooq196W0 & https://youtu.be/kF–CuYG6X0

I want to thank Nico for stopping by today. Stay tuned for her new book, and my book reviews for her books, ‘Magnetic Reverie‘ and ‘Reverie Girl.’

Today is the last day of the Rafflecoptor. You don’t want to miss a chance to win a signed copy of Awakened my Fate or an Amazon gift card.

Click here to enter the Rafflecoptor

Until Next Time,

Lynn
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Purchase Awakened by Fate

Awakened by Fate

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Copyright 2018
Published with permission.
Photos subject to copyright.

Meet Author / Novelist Victoria Avilan

Hello Everyone and a warm welcome to you. Thank you so much for stopping by last week. It was great to see you all and to meet many new friends. I can’t thank you enough for all the support you’ve given me for my book, ‘Awakened by Fate’. Down at the bottom is a Rafflecoptor that you can enter to win one of my prizes.

Today I am featuring novelist, Victoria Avilan. She is the author of ‘The Art of Peeling an Orange,’ ‘A Small Country about to Vanish,’ and now, a cookbook featuring 140 of her mother’s translated recipes. You are going to fall in love with her. Read on.

Author Profile

“You paint because an image burns a hole in your belly. I write because a story eats me alive from the inside and I’d go insane if I don’t. It isn’t my choice. I’d write if you, or the whole world, were illiterate.”

Anna Garibaldi – ‘The Art of Peeling an Orange’

Tell us about yourself.
SELRES_aa8abcc3-f4fb-4e87-a3c8-702a948f5ba7SELRES_48f06265-fdff-491b-9ee9-67974632ce1bMy family was convinced that I studied into the night because my light was always on and the music played in my room. In fact, I lived a double life. When night came, I acquired magical powers and I could live in my imagination, painting, reading, and writing. I still live a double life, only now I live reality at night, as a nurse, and imagination during daytime.SELRES_48f06265-fdff-491b-9ee9-67974632ce1bSELRES_aa8abcc3-f4fb-4e87-a3c8-702a948f5ba7

What was it like growing up in Israel? Do you have a memory you’d like to share?
My memory of sitting behind my best friend as she played the Moonlight Sonata was so vivid—down to the smell of furniture polish and her mother’s voice—it inspired me to write my second novel, A Small Country about to Vanish. That book is a fictional answer to the question: What was it like to grow up in Israel?

Israel was my home and my family, still is and always will be. My life there? Imagine me in a big family with drama, intrigue, music, food and a lot of loud rambunctious laughter. Every holiday, every weekend, every birthday was My Big Fat Greek Wedding Israeli style. I had gazillions of cousins around my age, and not a dull moment. For alone time to be creative, I stayed awake at night.

My Delicious Life, my book of my mother’s translated recipes, includes a lot of vignettes from my childhood. Writing it was a trip in so many ways. Life was never boring in a family that wanted to know everything I did, everyone was part of the news, the frequent wars were very close and personal and everybody had a political opinion whether you wanted to hear it or not. Mostly I felt safe, protected and loved. As I wasn’t a hit with boys, I sometimes felt lonely, left out, frustrated, like every teenager regardless of country.

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Victoria and her momI was very tempted to call this piece, “My Delicious Life: the food that made me a lesbian,” but we thought better of it… This book is a gift to my beloved Ima on her 85th birthday and a tribute to her rich and beautiful life. For years Ima collected recipes and somehow that handwritten collection survived three children, four wars in the Middle East, five grandchildren, and a succession of household pets. Ima cooked for armadas, often with leftovers for the next day. In these recipes I venture to preserve the flavors and aromas of my insanely happy childhood among my food-loving and cheerful tribe. Rather than calorie counts, you get the sweetness of maternal love wrapped in dough and fried in sticks of butter, with lots of powdered sugar on top. To maintain the authenticity of the work, I have included Ima’s actual handwritten notes in the paperback edition. The idea to write it came on Ima’s last visit from Israel to Los Angeles, when she gave me and my friends cooking lessons that drew guffaws of laughter from all of us. That is nothing new. Losing it laughing with my mother for something totally stupid is the story of my childhood. The book contains vignettes of my early life and, as one of my reviewers noted, numerous conversations between Ima and me on the topic of: What quantity of ingredients does “some” or “more” or “a few” or “a bit” means. Bon Appetit!

Let’s talk about your book, ‘The Art of Peeling an Orange.’ What do you like most about it? How did the plot come to you?
One of my reviewers likened this novel to an on-going, long poetic orgasm… “Orange” started as an attempt to “sculpt” the perfect woman. I wrote a few first drafts, then it went into a drawer as a half-baked idea. I wrote A Small Country and started a third novel about a writing class.

After a few quarters in UCLA studying with my teacher and friend Claire McNab, I picked “Orange” up again with more of a clear idea what it should be. I gave my perfect creation, Anna Garibaldi, a fatal flaw, because life isn’t perfection.

In “Orange” I induce a dream state, a journey to the underworld, very different from that of Orpheus searching for his Eurydice. “Orange” is MY underworld. If you let me, I take you by the hand and lead you down to a land so magical, a land of absolute love, in which your emotions are made of colors. You are doomed and you are blessed and you don’t know which you prefer. If you walk down with me willingly, you will have an out of this world experience. But “Orange” isn’t for everyone. That’s how I wanted it to be.

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What or who inspired you to write?
Books. Stories my mother told me and my brothers before we could read. Stories a beloved uncle used to ad lib and tell us. I’ll write about my Uncle Shlomo one day. Learning the magic of fiction from an early age. Learning to hold a pen and put meaningful words on paper. The love of language and languages. Obsessive, constant reading of books from the age of 6 or 7. I didn’t have dolls, I had books.

Tell us about your experience with the UCLA extension writers program? Would you recommend it?
We each have at least one big story in us, so if you wish to write, write. If you want to do it professionally, take an acclaimed writing program and do the grueling work. I was lucky to be introduced to the UCLA Extension by my dear friend, novelist and instructor extraordinaire Claire McNab. I took fiction writing classes from other teachers and learned from them all, but brilliant Claire became my mentor. I sat in her classes for years, drinking in every word, until she retired. Those classes elevated my writing to a professional level. Now Claire has retired from teaching. I still have a vision of her in my head, constantly directing my writing, correcting my grammar and ideas. A truly great teacher has that effect.

What other authors do you follow?
I read all genres and styles. Isaac Asimov, Robert Heinlein, Ann Patchett, Philip Roth, Margaret Atwood, Virginia Woolf, Milan Kundera, Lillian Faderman, Shirley Jackson. Each one of them has a shrine/shelf in my library. Mine and my wife’s that is. My favorite Israeli authors are Amos Oz, Lea Goldberg, Etgar Keret, I could go on and on.

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What inspired you to become a Registered Nurse?
Nursing school was a bet with someone who said, “You can never be a nurse, because you are too disorganized.” My mom said, “If a sick person asks for a glass of water, he’ll die by the time you get it.” My mother would ask me to do something and I’d say, “Just a minute.” Then I’d go back to what I was doing and forget all about it because my head was in the clouds. I can’t be a nurse? Let me show you. So I went into nursing for the f**k you. I stayed, because it became my second nature.

I finished nursing school because I finish what I start even if it kills me. I stayed for the love of making things better for a sick baby and because I became good at what I did. Nursing made me part of an amazing group of people who could laugh and cry and take care of others and each other. Nursing forced my feet to touch the earth.

Oh, and I had a crush on my school nurse…

Having your experience at Children’s Hospital, would you ever consider writing a children’s book?
If I do it will be a post-apocalyptic dystopia YA sci-fi, in which the grown-ups are the goodies for a change and the kids are evil little shits. The book will have a lot of sex scenes rather than fade-to-black love scenes. It will be banned by educators, which will make it all the more interesting and desirable for the young readers who will download the kindle version and read it in secret under their school desks. The book will become a cult favorite and a bestseller made into a soppy gazillion dollar flick by Steven Spielberg.

But, no. Nothing for children planned so far. Regarding kids, I love them dearly, I save babies’ lives for a living in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, and I would have made an awesome mother, but instead of kids, I was lucky to be given the gift of time to live in my imagination. My kids are at least one dog at a time, all rescues, all very loved by Tracey and myself.

Does Queen Mocha, your dog, hang out with you when you write?
I can’t relax and write unless I hear her snoring next to me.

Mocha

What is a favorite thing to do in the South Bay of SoCal? What it is like living near the ocean?
Take a rainy day, barefoot beach walk. Come home covered in sand. Make coffee or a cocktail, depending on the time of day, and sit by the computer to live my parallel world and write fiction. I know I should get out more, but I hardly ever notice what other people like to do, unless it involves making a lot of noise. Then I put on my noise canceling earphones and fly up to my planet. When Tracey and I have a day off together, we are quite happy to spend it in each other’s company, eat all day and binge on a favorite TV show.

What type of music do you listen to?
I prefer opera, (Callas and Angela Gheorghiu) but I love all music and no music at all, as in complete silence. Hypnotic electronica helps me go deep into my mind and write while forced to do other things, such as driving to work. Since I don’t have time to sit and read and I will die without fiction, my favorite music is actually a great reader narrating an audible book, any genre. I have a list of hundreds of books I want to read/hear.

Where would you recommend taking friends out to enjoy an evening together?
To the opera, theater, my table for dinner.

What was the last movie you saw in the theatre?
Spielberg’s “Ready Player One.” Don’t start me on that film. I read the book twice, back to back because I fell in love with its main character, his obsession with the 80s pop culture, his underdog status and his dealings with bullies. Wade reminded me of Harry Potter, as the way he deals with his disadvantages elevates him from the crowd of rich bullies and works in his favor. I know a two hour movie can’t get the entire inner story, but Spielberg’s movie—while great on special effects—misses the meaning of the underdogness and instead focuses on the heartwarming friendships. Fake heartwarming gives me indigestion.

Victoria on the beach

What is your favorite thing to bake?
Cookies melt my heart, yet I’d rather mix cocktails.

What is next for you?
A mind f**k noir novel that’s been polluting my head for the last 25 years. It won’t leave me, just like ‘The Art of Peeling An Orange.’ The story is vodka clear in my head and now I’m testing and trialing different ways to tell it. I may take years to figure it out, so I’ll probably publish my short stories collection first.

I had to stop writing all fiction for one year and write/produce ‘My Delicious Life’ as a gift for my beloved mom’s 85th birthday. I promised her a cookbook and I’ve actually had great fun with it. The cookbook also made me new best friends around the world, who served as my consulting chefs and helped me cook, bake and photograph dishes.

Be sure to check out Victoria’s links. Click below for more exciting news and happenings.

Victoria’s Amazon Author Central page
Victoria’s Website
Victoria’s Facebook profile page

 

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I want to thank Victoria for stopping by. Next weekend, I will be interviewing author Nico J. Genes (The Reverie Series). I’ve read both books, and they are fun and heartwarming. You are going to want to meet her. She will also be giving hints about her new forthcoming book, debuting soon.

Also, I will be featuring an interview I had with author Suzie Carr on The Curvy Life podcast. You don’t want to miss this one. I will be sharing another teaser from ‘Awakened by Fate.’

I wanted to also mention the Rafflecoptor. All you have to do is click on the link below to be entered for a chance to win one of our prizes, including a signed paperback of ‘Awakened by Fate’ and a gift card. So tell your friends to come over and enter.

Click here to enter for a chance to win!

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Copyright 2018
Published with permission.
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Meet Author Tey Holden

Good afternoon Friends and welcome. Thank you for all your support last week. Things are going really well with my book, ‘Awakened by Fate’ and I couldn’t be happier. Today I am featuring an interview with author Tey Holden, The Addy and Karen series. Also at the bottom of the interview is an excerpt from the third book in the series, ‘One Little Bit.’ This will debut on Amazon in June 2018. Read on! Turninig-f.jpeg

Tell us about yourself.
I’m an extremely private person and would pretty much like to keep it that way. That is why there’s no picture of me. I’ve lived in many places, and have been exposed to different cultures. I can talk as much as I can write, endlessly! I’m always kidding and think of myself as a fun easy-going person. On the serious side, I’m the type of person who people come to for advice. 

What are your books, Addy and Karen series, ‘Turning on a Dime’ and ‘New Quarters’ about? How would you describe your protagonist?
The story is about being true to yourself, about not being afraid to live, and about embracing the changes that life brings. The characters in the story stepped out of the comfort zones and took the challenge that life offered knowing that the road ahead might be hard. In so doing, they faced a new future and found themselves and love. 

People have asked me if the story is real, and whether I identify with either character. I think as writers we cannot separate ourselves from our experiences, lived or seen. So, I believe every book has a little bit of the author. And as to the whether the story is real or fictional, that is the true test of a good fiction author. I think that if a fictional story is so believable that the reader wonders if it’s real, the author must have covered all the elements of reality in such a way as to make the story credible, and that makes it a great story. So, for those of you who have asked about the veracity of the story, thank you so very much. I couldn’t possibly have gotten a better compliment. 

How did you choose the cover for ‘Turning on a Dime’ and what does it mean to you?
It’s symbolic. The road represents the road of life with its many twists and turns, never knowing what to expect around the next corner, and the changing of the leaves represents the constant changes that life brings. 

What music do you like to listen to when you are writing?
I don’t listen to music when I write. When I’m writing I’m fully focused on what I’m doing. I live through my characters, so I enjoy and suffer every happiness and pain they feel. Sometimes I laugh so much that I have to stop writing! Other times, it’s sadness that makes me stop. I’m very emotional. 

Do you enjoy writing short stories?
I do, although my tendency is to go long. I’ve actually written a few short stories in response to invitations from the Academy of Bards. Because they all involve the same characters, I’m thinking of either putting them together as a compendium of short stories or maybe I’ll make a book from them! We’ll see. That is one of many projects ahead. 

Who has inspired your writing?
No one. I wrote my first story as a challenge to myself to see if I could do such a thing. I was the first one surprised when I realized I had put together over 200 pages, and even more surprised when people liked it! I do have to thank the Academy of Bards, which is where I started to post my stories years ago, and the person who owns the server where the web page resides (she know who she is!). I think the Academy is a wonderful avenue, which has helped many authors to develop their talent. So, thank you very much! 

Where do you go to get out into nature?
I love visiting National Parks, and I also love going to the beach. Not a hiker, not a swimmer, just once person enjoying the beauty of the universe. I love sailing, as long as someone else pulls the ropes! 

Do you have any hobbies that you are passionate about?
Writing is my hobby. Writing fiction is liberating. The fictional world is a boundless universe where anything is possible. I don’t think there’s a greater freedom than that which can occur in the mind of a writer. If the sky is the limit, the creative mind is limitless. 

What would you recommend for a wine drinker who wanted a taste of your local vino and why?
Ah! Come to Virginia. Virginia wine has come a long way and there are plenty of good wineries and wines. Virginia is green and beautiful. The wineries are hidden among its mountains and to get to them you have to drive up a dirt road, or down a hill, maybe even across a brook. You might also see a fox or a hawk. It’s quaint countryside, it’s romantic, invigorating, and uplifting. 

Where would you like to go for a dream vacation?
Europe, all of it. I’d also like to see Argentina. I love to travel and enjoy every bit of it no matter where I go. I love ethnic cuisine and dry, red wines. 

How do you view the glass as being half full during challenging times?
I embrace life as a challenge. I’m a competitor, and I play to win. 

What is next for you?
Publishing the remaining three books in the Addy and Karen series, and then several other stories that I have in the works. When I’m on a roll writing, nothing stops me. I have easily written 100 pages in one day.

As of lately, I have not been able to dedicate much time to finish any of my half-written stories because I’ve been processing the books in the Addy and Karen series, and then there was Connection. For the followers of the Addy and Karen series, I will announce that there is a sixth book, half written somewhere in my mind and that it’s all a matter of putting it in writing. For those who read Connection, you might come across Wally in another story, which is planned for next year. Then, as I mentioned above, I have several other stories half written. So, lots more to come! 

Be sure to check out Tey’s links for more information.

Amazon page: http://amazon.com/author/teyholden

Email: teyholden@gmail.com

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Now, as I promised, is the excerpt from the third book in the Addy and Karen series, ‘One Little Bit.’ Enjoy!

Excerpt

 “Oh God, I remember once joking about you getting me pregnant, do you remember it? Years ago?”

“Will you be there every step of the way from selecting the sperm to the actual insemination, the pregnancy, the birth and the eighteen plus years it is going to take to raise this said child?”

Addy chuckled. “Yes, Ker, I will be there every inch of the way. I will actually inseminate you, if the doctor allows me. I also plan to be with you for the rest of my life, so yes. I will be there every single day, every step of the way.”

Karen leaned into Addy’s shoulder looking for comfort. “I agree to talk about this some more.”

“Okay, let’s continue to talk then.” Addy thought she was on a roll and didn’t want to let the ball drop.

“Now? Can’t we talk tomorrow, or over the course of the next few weeks?”

 “Well, you are the one who says that we may be too old. If we keep waiting to even talk about it, it may come to be so. We are not getting any younger, you know? If we are going to consider this seriously, I think we should talk about it now.”

“I know your reasons for wanting the baby. And, I really don’t want to hear them again because you know how mad I get when you even bring up the subject, but I do have several subjects requiring discussion. First, this baby would be the product of one of my eggs and some man’s sperm, therefore what about genetics? Leaving that aside for a minute and going back to the baby, physically, and genetically you will have no contribution in the making of this child.” Here was the logical Karen, sticking her finger in the wound. “So, if your intention is for me to have some of you in this child, how do you see that happening? Moreover, because biologically there would be none of your DNA in that child, why don’t we just adopt, and that way I don’t have to go through, what will most certainly be, a nine-months of living hell for me?”

Addy remained pensive for like two minutes and, as if illuminated by some strange force, she knew exactly how to reply to win the argument. Karen Larsen you cannot beat what’s coming at you! This was the second time, in their relationship when she absolutely knew she had Karen beat. The first time was when she had convinced Karen to stay in Scotland.

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Addy smiled. “Sit. I could be awhile here.” Karen sat expectantly thinking that there was no possible way that Addy could rebut this factual argument. However, her heart pounded because she knew Addy too well and knew that when she wanted, Addy could make hell freeze over. In the depth of her heart, she feared that this was about to happen.

“First, regarding the genetic concern, and to get rid of that point immediately, we are going to go to the best place for this, I don’t know where this place is, but if it’s in Timbuktu, that’s where we are going. I will make sure that we get the adequate referral to this very special, unique and most certainly expensive place. So, there will be no genetic risks taken in that regard. And, by the way, I do not care how much all of this might cost, no price would be too high to assure your safety, health, and our peace of mind.” She paused briefly for effect.

 “Second, although biologically and genetically I will have no input whatsoever in the making of the baby, that baby will be my child for two reasons.”

Karen was captivated by Addy’s organized arguments. She should have known better than to put Addy on a defensive position. She had seen her more than once arguing a case and was always impressed. Addy was a master debater, words always poured out of her mouth with exact precision and logic. She listened attentively as Addy continued. “One, this child will be your child.” Addy pointed to her. “A child born of your womb, of your flesh and blood. Just because of that, I will adore it as I adore you. Two, I am going to love that child to its very core, and I am going to make sure that it takes something of me into him or her, so that when one day, years from now, you hear him or her talk, you will say ‘that’s something Addy would have said or would have done.’” She paused again and looked Karen straight in the eyes. “So, that child may not look one single bit like me, but I give you my word of honor, my solemn promise that our daughter or son will have as much of my spirit and personality as possible in him or her. I also promise you that I will stand by you every step of the way, and that I will be there to raise our child together, not only until he or she leaves our home, but until I have one breath of air left in me. This I promise you.” 

As Addy eloquently spoke, she paced back and forth in front of Karen gesticulating with her arms, closing her fists for emphasis and letting her entire body speak loud and clear of her intentions. When she was done, she looked at Karen and realized that Karen was almost in tears. Addy stopped and knelt in front of her. “Sweetheart, what is it? What’s wrong?”

“All of a sudden, I see it.” Karen leaned into her and Addy hugged her.

“You see what?” Addy pulled out of the embrace to read her face.

“I see the child.”

Addy was stunned. Oh God! Addy was almost frightened that she had gone too far. “Ker? What do you see? Please, tell me?”

Karen spoke looking mesmerized into Addy’s eyes, as if she could see the image she was describing in Addy’s eyes. “I see a beautiful little girl. She smiles. Her smile is like a summer day. And she is happy. She feels loved, incredibly loved and when she looks at me, she has an expression on her face.” Karen’s eyes moved back and forth looking for words to describe the image she saw. “It’s not you, but it’s like an expression I’ve seen in your face, like when you open your eyes big and raise your eyebrows. It’s as if she copied your expression. And she speaks in a cute little voice and she says things you’d say.” Two tears dropped from Karen’s eyes.

Addy couldn’t comprehend this vision, but wasn’t this what she really wanted, another someone to love Karen, just like she did? By now Addy was almost in tears, but she couldn’t cry now, no, she had to take advantage of this moment and deliver her final punch. She hardly believed what was happening.

“Ker? I see her too. And I want our baby. I want a family for us, let’s have her.”
New Quarters Cover

“Addy, I don’t really know if you comprehend the magnitude of what you ask of me. I am a lesbian who never thought of being pregnant, or having a child. If I do this, I will do it for love, for us, for my love of you.”

“I know, Ker, I know.”

Addy knelt in front of her and placed her head on Karen’s legs and cried. They embraced and kissed for what could have been hours.

“Addy?”

“Umm?”

“What if my being pregnant hurts our relationship? I have the feeling that I could be pretty crabby and nasty during those nine months, can you live with that?”

“The opposite could also be true, you know?”

“Ha! What? That I will love being pregnant?”

Addy chuckled. “I don’t think anyone loves being pregnant, Ker. Let’s get that clear. I meant that life can be as normal as ever, and you may not be crabby or nasty, but sweet and adorable.”

“Addypooh! You have got to be the most optimistic person in the world!”

“If that is true, then you are very lucky, I mean if you do get all crabby and nasty. I will have my usual smiley face.”

Karen pulled from their embrace and looked at her smiling just a bit. “That I believe to be true.”

Addy grinned. “Then what is there to worry about? I mean I have already survived your ranting, what could be worse?”

“Huh? What if I start blaming you every time I feel sick during the, well, you know?”

“I will take all the blame, like a good trooper, but then after the baby is born, just as well, I will want all the credit for all the happiness. How’s that?”

“You always win, Adriana Marcos, always!” She again laid her head against Addy’s chest and cuddled up with her. Addy took the throw on the sofa and covered them both.

“Haven’t we gone over this many times? We are both winners, baby, both of us.” She held Karen tight in her arms and kissed her forehead. “I love you, sweetheart.”

“If I go through with this madness, it will only prove that I definitely love you more.”

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 *

The next morning, Addy woke up first. This was unusual. Karen stirred in her sleep when Addy kissed her. “Gorgeous, do you want breakfast in bed?”

Karen chuckled, because most of the time this scenario played the other way around. “Um hum. What are you going to make?”

 “Whatever you want, but you have to promise me that you won’t get up. I have some after breakfast activities planned. Pregnancy requires a lot of trials, you know?”

Karen smiled, as she stretched on the bed. “I need to go to the bathroom.”

“Go, but then back to bed.”

“Yes ma’am. Your sex slave will be right here waiting.” Addy smiled and took off for the kitchen.

She took forever, so Karen started to wonder. “Addy?”

From downstairs, Addy yelled. “Yeah? I’m still working on your culinary treat!”

“Okay!” Karen yelled from upstairs.

Addy brought breakfast on a serving tray and placed it on the bed. Karen sat up.

“I’m sorry it took me so long. You never take this long when you make breakfast.”

Karen looked at the food and chuckled. “That’s because I only bring you coffee and muffins or toast, but look at this! An omelet, bacon, toast, geez, and I’m not even pregnant yet!” Oh God! What am I saying?

When Karen finished eating, Addy removed the tray and crawled on the bed and over Karen. As she did her robe slid open revealing her breasts. “You take my breath away, Adriana Marcos.” Addy smiled, enchanted by the green eyes devouring her, and overtaken when she felt Karen’s strong, soft hands inside her robe pulling her down onto the warm body underneath hers.

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If you like this excerpt, look for ‘One Little Bit’ in all Amazon markets coming in June 2018!

 

I want to thank Tey for stopping by. It was a pleasure having you. Stay tuned for next week when I’ll be speaking with author Victoria Avilan, ‘The Art of Peeling an Orange.’

Until next time,

Lynn 

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Awakened by Fate

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#FF Flashback Friday – Meet Photographer Laure Dherbécourt

Good afternoon Everyone and a warm welcome to you. This past week, I caught up with my artist friend, Laure Dherbécourt, whom I featured back in December 2017. Since then she’s been doing a lot of interesting things. Come on over and see what she’s been up to as well as read the interview that was published on 10-Dec-17.

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Laure 2018

What’s new under the Tropics ???

Since last December between the cyclones and strong tropical storms, I was pretty busy…

I know it wasn’t the original plan but since there were several requests, I officialized my job as a NATURE PHOTOGRAPHER and also created a website.

You can check it out here:   https://natural-reunion–la-reunion-au-naturel-00.webself.net/

My photos are without retouching, it means that they have 100% NATURAL COLORS!! Amazing, nope???

They are available in several sizes: A5 – A4 – 30x40cms, etc … So, if you are interested in one or more paper prints, please contact me via the website.

Website page Photo

Click here for more information and how to order photos.

On the site, you’ll also find some other information about me, and my other jobs: Beta reader (it evolved on this side too), Translator and Ecotourism Consultant.

My brain has no time to rest since my head is full of projects … but it will be for later, in another chapter of the book of my life…

Read on for her full interview with this amazing multi-talented woman.

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Good afternoon friends. It is so great to see you all. Today I have a real treat for you. Photographer Laure Dherbécourt is here to chat about her work. This woman is amazing and each aspect of herself describes just that. Come on over and meet this talented and humble woman.

  Profile picture (3)Where Reunion Island is on the mapTell us about yourself.
I was born and raised in France. I wasn’t born there but I grew up in Normandy, in the country surrounded by goats and plenty of other animals and my parents always showed me the sustainable development. I made my entire schooling in Normandy… I worked 8 years near Paris after my graduation from college. It’s when I had my 1st experiences with women… 10 years ago, after I’ve lost my job I had a wonderful opportunity to come in Réunion Island (a French overseas department located in the Indian Ocean). I discovered this Island when I was in middle school. A classmate who spent 5 years over here finished her school-year with us. She showed us some pics during recess. I was intrigued so I asked my parents where Réunion was … They told me to have a look in the dictionary … It wasn’t enough so I had a look at encyclopedias, I bought some books and fell in love with the Island. When I went to college, I met some people from Réunion and I discovered the creole language …  I feel at home over here … Even if I’m the only one person from my blood family over here & I’m single for now, I have a good Life and I enjoy it as a Nature Lover, a bird rescuer, a photographer, a scuba-diver, and plenty other things, surrounded by my heart family (I know one of my heart sisters since 21 years) and a few other good friends. I love reading comic books (I’m a huge fan of Marvel’s “Fantastic Four” since I was a child) and lesfic paperbacks in English (I also read some Ebooks sometimes ‘cause I’m not totally old-fashioned, lmao), singing (working on country songs is another way for me to enjoy the English language), hiking, dancing, cooking, laughing and making the others laugh …

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Tell us about your love for Photography. Where can we find your work?
For now, Nature photography (including underwater photography) is a hobby and I like it this way. But maybe someday it will be a part of my job… I’ll see later, when I’ll have more pictures, maybe I’ll release a book or two (I’ve already had several requests about that, mostly from US citizen).

I haven’t any personal blog. From time to time I share some pics for my friends on my personal Facebook page. Since I’m not a “friends hunter” I haven’t thousands of friends, I prefer to have only a few (hundreds) of cyber friends but being able to exchange regularly with them. Facebook is also a work tool for me, a way to reach some people I work with.

I’m not very active these last few weeks over there since I’m a bit bored by this social media but I have a Twitter account (https://twitter.com/Payoo974 ) where I share some pics too but less than on Facebook… Of course, I have some common contacts between Facebook and Twitter (since I met plenty of great authors on the Blue Bird) but I haven’t the same use … Twitter is for me a way to reach different kinds of people: scientists, artists, etc.

I must think a bit more about that but maybe someday I’ll share my work on Pinterest. On Instagram, you won’t find me for now since I haven’t any smartphone or tablet (so I can’t use the app which is needed to create the account…). I’ll see when I’ll have the good device for that (I mean when I’ll have no other choice than having a smartphone, lol).

One of my pics of Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda) was published 2 years ago in a book about the local wildlife (“La Réunion, Faune et Flore” from Austral Editions).

20151010 - Book Fair - Release of 'Faune et Flore'

Where is the most exotic place you’ve visited?
When I lived in France the most exotic places I‘ve visited were Réunion Island and Mauritius (in 2003) But since I live in Réunion now maybe I can say that the most exotic place I‘ve visited is Iceland (it was also in 2003)…

I love travelling… Since I was a child I dream to visit the USA and Canada but I also want to discover Australia, South Africa (and a few other countries in Africa), the Caribbean … I want to be able to dive all around the world …

What do you like to during October? What is this month like in Réunion?
In October and November in Réunion it’s the arrival of the Southern Summer (I can’t say that it’s Spring since we only have 2 real seasons over here): the days are a bit longer and warmer .. Plenty of flowers bloom and birds are everywhere, preparing their breeding season… Life and Love are in the air and it’s very cool !!

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Tell us about your interest in birds of your area.
A long time ago I’ve discovered the Tropicbirds through the lyrics of a local creole song … I instantly fell in love with the name “Payanké”. In French, we call them “Phaétons” (Phaethons) or “Pailles-En-Queue” (but, please, don’t translate literally the name by “Straw-In-Tale” like I’ve recently seen …).

I saw my 1st real Tropicbird in 2003 when I went to the tropics for the 1st time. Seeing those birds in flesh and feathers was amazing and I fell head over heels in love with them… I wanted to know them better so I did some research but it was disappointing.

Eight years ago I joined the local ornithological association. I’ve learned plenty of things about plenty of birds. I’m a volunteer involved in the Rescue Network as “Head of Network”, it means that I’m an area manager or sort of and that I’m able to make some diagnostics about the rescued birds, take care of them, collect the data that scientists need for their studies, put a ring on them and, the best part … release them !!) It’s very interesting but, once again, I wasn’t able to learn a lot about Tropicbirds until, lucky me, I found the part of the “Handbook of the birds of the world” which talked about Tropicbirds. I scanned it and I translated it into French … I learned a lot of things. But each day some new things are discovered so I try to stay informed since I’m currently, for the association a least, the Tropicbirds expert. More recently, a new book with a chapter about Tropicbirds was published: “The Birds of Africa: Volume VIII, The Malagasy Region: Madagascar, Seychelles, Comoros, Mascarenes”. What a surprise I had when I read it: I found my name in it about what it stays, for now, the most amazing thing I’ve witnessed in my life…

I love all birds but Tropicbirds are my favorites …

I currently lead a scientific study for the association (my 1st one !!), I’ll let you guess what its subject is …  LOL

The Birds of Africa - Volume 8 - The malagasy region (cover)

20160824 - White-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon lepturus) (1)

What is the most amazing thing you’ve seen in your life?
Like I said, Tropicbirds are my favorite birds and I can tell you that the most amazing thing I’ve witnessed was on April 18th, 2011 when a Red-tailed Tropicbird (Phaethon rubricauda) laid her egg in my hand …, when 46 days later (one day after the egg has hatched) PhaOnce opened his little eyes and looked at me right in the eyes (I was the 1st person he’s seen so I became his Mom). PhaOnce’s development lasted 4 months (against an average of 3 months in Nature) but he was able to take off. I cried a lot on October 4th, 2011 … I was sad to see him leave but I was, most of all, very proud of him and happy to see him being able to live his life in the Wild, where he belongs like ALL the birds (and other wild animals) in the World …

20110418 - PhaOnce's egg just laid in my hand

20111004 - PhaOnce ready to take off

PhaOnce stands for “Phaethon Once” .. but, at the same time, it’s a tribute to a former local slave who escaped, lived in a place called “Piton Rouge” (Red Piton) and was named “King Phaonce” …

Where is a great place to go hiking and see nature in Réunion? Which parts have you connected to?

Réunion (aka “the Little Hawaii”) offers several kinds of unique and unforgettable landscapes What is great over here is that from the crashing waves to the summit of the mountains Nature is everywhere … and our sunsets are amazing!

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We regularly (and literally) feel the beating heart of the planet over here, we can for real take the pulse of our Earth because of the “Piton de la Fournaise” (Peak of the furnace), one of the most active volcanoes of the planet.

20160914 - Eruption - Piton de La Fournaise

20171013 - Toward the ''Piton de Bert''

The National Park covers 42% of the island and it offers hundreds of kilometers of walking trails. Of course, you’ll also find walking trails outside of the National Park, in some protected areas.

If you want to explore entirely my lovely island, you must dive: snorkeling is great but nothing to compare with scuba diving !! And no need to be afraid of sharks. Sadly, we never see them when we scuba dive …

OK in Réunion you won’t find a very large range of wildlife (compared to Hawaii or Madagascar) but at the same time, we have plenty of endemic birds, insects, and plants …

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What caught your interest in beta reading manuscripts for authors?
I’ve been beta-reading in French and Creole for a friend of mine for several years now, and for almost two years, I’ve been reading lesfic in English. It was a bit hard in the beginning since I hadn’t practiced much English since graduating from college. But I’ve worked hard ( a lot of vocabulary searches), and step by step my skills have improved. I’ve noticed mistakes in novels from time to time, providing that information to the editors. They’ve always thanked me and assured that they would correct the errors before the next release of the book. I was happy to help.

I became interested in beta-reading lesfic after reading two novels written by the same author which were full of nonsense and typos (change in the name of the characters, poor pronoun usage, etc.). I was very disappointed with the quality, and I told myself that as a non-anglophone by birth, if I was able to catch those mistakes, maybe I could do some beta reading.

A few months ago, I saw an announcement posted by a friend of someone searching for beta readers. I responded saying that I was interested but asked if it was okay as English is not my mother language. When my offer was declined for that precise reason, I confess that I was offended, sad, and disappointed. BUT … (yeah there’s always a « but » somewhere) KA Moll saw the comment and directly asked me if I wanted to join her beta-reader-team. I was so touched and happy!! No need to tell you that I said yes without any hesitation. As a test, we worked on her then current WIP, “Close Enough To Touch,” written under her pen name “Cade Brogan”. We both appreciated the collaboration and decided to pursue it further. We’re currently working on, “Whispers of the Heart,” a sequel to “Change of Heart.”

A bit after I finished working with KA, another author sent me a friend request on Facebook. She’d heard about my good work from KA and asked if I would agree to beta-read for her. I want everybody to know that that author is you, Lynn … You’re very welcome BTW!! I appreciated our first experience working together and am happy to be reading your current WIP.

More recently, I had an exchange with Tey Holden about her novel, “Turning On A Dime” (Addy and Karen Series – Book 1). I wanted to read it but, sadly, I wasn’t able to purchase it as the paperback format was out of stock on Amazon. We began to chat about this problem, and as a solution, she asked me to join her beta-reader-team. So, here we go again!! We’re currently working together on her next novel.

I’m really touched by your trust ladies, THANK YOU !!!

KA Moll: http://www.kamoll.com/home.html

Lynn Lawler: www.lynnlawler.blogspot.com  & https://lynnlawler.wordpress.com/

Tey Holden: https://www.amazon.com/Tey-Holden/e/B071ZTXFB4

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What is the last lesfic book you read? What did you like about it?
The last lesfic novel I’ve read is Erica Abbott‘s “Fragmentary Blue” (Thriller series Book 1). It’s a discovery for me since I’ve never read anything by Erica before. I confess that I liked it a lot: there’s a good chemistry between CJ & Alex, some quite erotic passages, some action and a bit of humor… Definitely a good book !! Can’t wait to read the others in the series …

I love the novels which allow us to ask ourselves some questions for a permanent self-discovery journey (even if it’s a very emotional one), which help us to evolve and become a better “Self.” Suzie Carr is very good in that both in her novels and on her blog: http://curveswelcome.com/

I’m a huge fan of thrillers and other cops novels. I also love the docs stories, the soldiers’ stories but also the more common people stories …

Sadly, some authors seem to forget that nobody has a “perfect body”, so, I really appreciate when the main character of a novel has a disability  … I want to remind that the beauty & the « physical perfection » will always be different due to the eyes which watch … The best way to truly love someone is not to watch outside but deeply inside the other person, to understand her heart, her mind, and her soul …

I like a lot of the “paranormal” topic. I know the Soul Mates / Twin Mates exist .. my Soul Mate, the ONE is somewhere, over here, or over there and we’ll find each other when the good time will arrive … Waiting for her, I enjoy my life and find the romance I need in those novels I love.

Since I haven’t read any sci-fi novels yet, I won’t talk about this topic, for now … I’m not a beginner anymore since I read for almost 2 years now but I have still plenty of great authors to discover and hundreds (maybe thousands) of books to read before re-reading some of them…

Who is the person you admire the most and has been inspiring on your journey of life?
My parents showed me that, even it’s not the easiest path, it’s better to follow our dreams in Life, so … When, after having read Paolo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” I understood what I was supposed to do, I did it !! And my parents supported me…

My favorite singer, Véronique Sanson, inspires me a lot ‘cause she’s an engaged and courageous person…

On the Nature side, the Commandant Jean-Yves Cousteau inspired me a lot … I wasn’t able to become a marine biologist but it doesn’t matter, I deeply love the Ocean and do my best to protect it. Nonetheless, I’m in contact with several members of the Cousteau family … And since I’m a scuba diver myself, I hope, someday, I’ll be able to dive with some of them …

20170830 - Scuba diving in ''Canyon''

How does the ‘glass is half full’ apply to your life now?
A long time ago I understood that, even if there are rough paths in Life, tough moments never last… So I’ve always been the positive kind of person. Life has already proven me several times that I’m right to think like that. So… no matter what, even after a few very difficult years on all the sides of my life, I still enjoy what I have, I am grateful for it and look right in front of me, it’s the better way to move forward…

Some songs are great to remind you the need to move on. Right now the three which come to my mind are: Chely Wright’s “Shut up and drive” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6NmMe7RYhk ); Rachel Platten’s “Fight Song” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo1VInw-SKc ) & Shania Twain’s “Life’s About To Get Good” ( https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=we-VfNnbzzY )

Which other photographers do you follow?
I follow a bunch of photographers … on Twitter and/or on Facebook or elsewhere.

Klearphotography: https://twitter.com/klearphotograph or https://www.facebook.com/KlearPhotographyAndGraphicDesign/

Gabriel Barathieu (winner of the Underwater Photographer of the year)

Nicolas Rakotopare Photography: https://www.facebook.com/nicolasrakotoparephotography/ or https://vimeo.com/nrakotoparephotography

Paul Nicklen / Paul Nicklen Photography: https://twitter.com/PaulNicklen or https://www.facebook.com/paulnicklenphoto/

Dave Z Photography: http://www.davezphotography.co.uk/ or https://www.facebook.com/davezphoto/

Still, on the artistic side, I also love: Street art, Sculpture, Drawing, Painting, Music, Singing with harmonies made only with human voices, etc …

Do you create ‘dark room’ photos?  If so, do you have one you’d like to share?
Nope… no “dark room” required for me ‘cause I work only with a digital camera (I can’t afford to take silver halide photography, it’s far too expensive …).

Please, note that I don’t need Lightroom or Photoshop either. What you see on your screen when I share a pic is what my eye has caught .. I never work on my pics. I use Photoshop only to put my copyright on the pics. One could think it a shame not to use such a powerful tool but it’s my choice: I’m a Nature Photographer, so, I keep only what Nature gives to me, in the way she gives it to me …

Besides photography, in what other ways do you express yourself in the world?When I was a bit younger I used to write some poems .. Mostly in French and a few ones in creole from Réunion … No translation in English available for now but maybe I’ll translate them someday to share them with the entire planet …  Still, about poetry I have a few ideas for some creations, directly in English this time but nothing concrete for now.

On Facebook, I tried plenty of groups around a lot of topics but in plenty of these groups people are not there to share and exchange, they just want to flatter their egos. Since I’m not interested in this sort of people, I’ve left those spaces.

Still, on Facebook, I joined several groups (mostly lesfic related). Each time I share, I do it in all of them but some are not very dynamic so IDK if I’ll stay long … The one where I deeply enjoy the dynamism, where I feel really good and, so, where I’m the most active is Sheena Lemos Ebersohn‘s “The Lesbian Review Book Club” : https://www.facebook.com/groups/LesReviewBookClub

In spite of the strict rules in the groups, I’ve recently been harassed on Facebook (via PM) by a few women, and I don’t want to live all this once again.

I want to precise that, since I had very bad experiences before, I haven’t joined any dating groups (or dating sites BTW) Why ??? Just because I’m not on the internet to flirt (I trust the Universe to bring Love in my life …), the entire world. Our World is great and what makes is beauty is its diversity …

Oh … I wanted you to know that I also love inspirational quotations… As an example I can give you:

° “Don’t be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.” ― Ralph Waldo Emerson

° “Work For A Cause, Not For Applause. Live Life To Express, Not To Impress. Don’t Strive To Make Your Presence Noticed, Just Make Your Absence Felt” – Unknown

° “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” – Theodore Roosevelt

° “When a flower doesn’t bloom you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower.” – Alexander den Heijer

Don't be pushed ...Rainbow made in Reunion

From time to time, I like pairing some of them with my pics as an illustration and share them on my timeline and in “Feed your Joy”, the group created by Suzie Carr on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/feedyourjoy/)…

What is next for you?
I’m a former Purchase and Logistics Manager. Since a few days, I’m officially back on the employment market 😊. It’s a total professional reconversion so I make my come back with the help of a cooperative (they help people during a while, to let them the time to start their own business). Between a few other things, (mostly translator and beta reader) I’m now a tourism consultant (for eco-tourism) and this new job will allow me to work on, for and with my passions … Life is good !!!

I want to thank Laure for stopping by. If you’d like to know more about Laure, go to these links:

https://www.facebook.com/laure.dherbecourt

https://twitter.com/Payoo974

Feel free to ask her questions in the comments section.

Stay tuned for next week when I’ll be posting my review for author Candace Walsh’s ‘Janeland.’

SELRES_666a82ae-65ba-4ea2-9c2e-672151b15ccbSELRES_2c5ee9d5-aa11-4d35-8754-58ab45329efcSELRES_8d392411-5791-4813-ab5c-b23763e0b8e0SELRES_bc458a3a-cfd4-459e-a219-615053b3ee11I hope you enjoyed meeting Laure. Be sure to check out her website and if you are an author who would like a beta reader, send her an IM. Come back next week when I’ll be presenting another teaser for my book, ‘Awakened by Fate.’SELRES_bc458a3a-cfd4-459e-a219-615053b3ee11SELRES_8d392411-5791-4813-ab5c-b23763e0b8e0SELRES_2c5ee9d5-aa11-4d35-8754-58ab45329efcSELRES_666a82ae-65ba-4ea2-9c2e-672151b15ccb

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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Awakened by Fate

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Meet USA Bestseller Author Kory M. Shrum

Good afternoon, everyone and welcome! Today we are speaking with USA Today bestseller author Kory M. Shrum. Come over and meet this amazing woman.

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“Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.”
–Maya Angelou

Tell us about yourself and your USA Today Bestselling books.

*waves*

Hi everyone! My name is Kory M. Shrum, and I write supernatural thrillers. Some of these fall under the umbrella urban fantasy (badass ladies with a job to do) and others have a more Stephen King-esque horror feel to them.

Because of my range, I prefer the term ‘supernatural thriller’ because you can count on the world building, strong characters and supernatural elements – regardless of the variation in the genre. I currently have eight novels published (in the Dying for a Living and Shadows in the Water series) with at Welcome to Castle Cove coming out May 8, and Under the Bones, coming out June 12.

ShadowsKindleGraphicBClick to Purchase

How did it feel seeing your name for the first time on the list?
It was very cool. While I don’t think it’s important to have a list “verify” your skills and ability as a writer, it is a good indicator that people are reading and enjoying your work. And that’s all I want – to share my stories with the people who love them.

Me: Thank you for pointing this out. Too many times writers get discouraged over these lists.

Let’s talk about your ‘Dying’ series.
The Dying for a Living series is complete with seven books in all. There are also two short stories (one appeared in the Badass and the Beast Anthology that I edited with the amazing writer Angela Roquet and the other appeared in her collection Limbo City Lights).

The series follows Jesse Sullivan, a death replacement agent, who discovers that not only can she serve as a death surrogate –dying in place of others—but that she has special abilities meant to be used for a higher purpose. What began as a story about a sarcastic, quirky woman with an interesting job, quickly spiraled into a plot about saving the world from dark forces (however reluctant).DyingBook1print3D

Click to Purchase

You get the call about making your first “Dying” book into a movie. Who would you cast as the main players?
Ksenia Solo would make a great Jesse Sullivan and Jennifer Lawrence a great Ally. Liam Hemsworth would be my pick for Lane. Jensen Ackles for Brinkley (yes, part of the Supernatural Fandom here ;). And Viola Davis or Danai Gurira for Gloria. Jason Mamoa might pull off Caldwell.

But this being said, I love it when casts are really diverse. So maybe Zendaya should be cast as Jesse, then Idris Elba could be Caldwell.

What keeps you in the zone when writing?
Good music. I have a subscription to Pandora (because nothing takes you out of the writing mood faster than a commercial for weight loss or Viagra). And on this Pandora, I have a Nine Inch Nails station. Oh yeah. That’ll keep me in the zone.

Have you ever been in love with one of your protagonists?
Kind of. Louie from Shadows in the Water is hands down my favorite, followed closely by Gloria Jackson from the Dying books–both are just such strong, admirable women. It’s hard not to be impressed by them. And it’s hard not to be team Ally because of her unfailing loyalty and her willingness to do what’s hard.

But apart from characters I like, falling in love might also mean characters I came to appreciate. My original opinions of characters have definitely changed over time. For example, I used to think Brinkley was the overbearing control freak…then I learned his backstory and his reason for guiding Jesse as he did – and I came to really respect and admire him. He went from that a-hole boss to a hero at the end of Book 2, Dying by the Hour, which is why I ended up telling his story in Book 3, Dying for Her.

What excites you about writing poetry?
Language and visually are really important in poetry. A powerful image and turn of phrase can create such profound meaning and resonance. Amazing stuff.

How has teaching writing to students enriched your life?
You learn so much from your students. About yourself and about your writing. It’s definitely an exchange.

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How do you stay optimistic?
Therapy. Lots and lots of therapy. And chocolate. And yoga. And Debussy’s Clair de Lune.

Where is a place you’ve always wanted to visit? Have you been there?
I always wanted to go to Italy and France (and I’ve been to both several times). But a place I haven’t been that I want to is Kyoto. It’s on the list.

What is your favorite month in Michigan and why?
October is my favorite month for lots of reasons. First, because I love all things fall: cider, donuts, falls clothes, the cool weather, the changing leaves, pumpkins, Halloween, etc. But it also happens to be a really romantic time for me because it’s also when my wife and I fell in love, got married, and celebrate our anniversary every year.

What would you recommend for visitors to see in Michigan?
There are many beautiful places in Michigan. I love Saugatauk, (where we got married) and the lake/beach. The Au Sable River is lovely to kayak down in the summer and it has some of our favorite camping spots. The UP (upper peninsula) is also gorgeous as well as the national forests. If nature/the beach isn’t your thing, I recommend Kalamazoo for the art/culture scene or Grand Rapids for the museums. Ann Arbor for the good food and downtown area.

Oval Bay Beach

Do you like to get out into nature? Where is a favorite place and why?
I really enjoy laying on Oval Beach (Saugatauk) in the summertime. A bag of potato chips, drinks in the cooler and a book—yes please!

What was the last live music performance you saw?
Yo-yo ma played at the Wharton Center this past Monday. A few weeks before that Postmodern Jukebox at the Fillmore. Both were great.

Do you have any funny stories about your pug, Josephine?
One time she got into the trash, trying to eat something. This trash also happened to have paint materials in it (I think I was touching up the kitchen cabinets). I came home to have painted dog with trash stuck to her and white paw prints all over the wood floors…wait, was this supposed to be funny?

Josephine

What is next for you?
More books in the Shadows in the Water series(Under the Bones is out June 12) as well as a new series about Castle Cove—a creepy town with dark secrets.

Me: This is a chiller and I can already feel shivers down my back. Do keep us posted, Kory. Be sure to follow her website for news when this will be released. Also, check out her other links and follow her other links and follow her.
Kory’s Amazon Author Central page
Kory’s Website
Kory’s Twitter
Kory’s Facebook

I want to thank Kory for stopping by. It has been a real pleasure. Stay tuned for next week when I’ll have more exciting news to share with you.

Until Next Time,

Lynn

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