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Spotlight: Hugh W. Roberts

22 May

Welcome to my blog, everyone! It is a happy Monday indeed because I have a wonderful guest today, Author Hugh W. Roberts.

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Hugh is one of the sweetest and friendliest people you’ll ever meet and he is also a talented writer. He writes about all kinds of everyday life. Nothing too serious, mostly about the little things in life and how important they can be to all of us. Some of his posts are humorous while others may bring a tear to your eye.

Hugh spends his days writing, reading, walking, cycling and likes to relax in front of the television with a glass of red wine. He’s always been a morning person and does most of his writing during the day.

Hugh’s first book ‘Glimpses‘ is a collection of 28 short stories that allows the reader a peek into the lives of everyday people who are about to have life lead them on an unpredicted path. From a mysterious deadly iPad app, to a hole in the fence that is not all it seems, to a strange lipstick that appears to have a life of its own, you will encounter terror, laughter, sadness, shock and many other emotions on journeys which promise a thrilling and gripping climax. If you are a lover of shows such as ‘The Twilight Zone’ and ‘Tales Of The Unexpected’, then you’re in for a real treat with this first collection of short stories.

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In his words . . . 

My name is Hugh, and I live in both the town of Abergavenny and the city of Swansea, South Wales, in the United Kingdom.

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I have always enjoyed writing and the fact I suffer from a mild form of dyslexia has not stopped me. Yes, I get things wrong with my reading and writing but I now always find those mistakes humorous and always laugh about it. I no longer allow dyslexia get in my way. Now in my fifties, I thought it about time I let my writing become public. Becoming a blogger seemed to be the perfect way for me to do this. I lead a very happy life and always try to stay positive. I share my life with my wonderful Civil Partner, John, and our Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Toby, who I both cherish with all my heart.

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I write about life because I find it so fascinating. I have many stories to tell, some of which I have started to put into a book. I think my life has been incredible and I want to share it with anyone that wants to listen. I am also a wonderful listener and I love to be interactive with other people. I guess you could say I am a ‘people person.’

Hugh’s book Glimpses has gotten many wonderful reviews and it’s available on Amazon as a beautiful paperback or eBook.

Check out Hugh’s blog at: Hugh’s Views & News – A man with dyslexia writing about this and that and everything else!

You can also connect with Hugh on social media:

Twitter

Instagram

Google+

YouTube

 

Thank you for stopping by and have a wonderful week!

 

Spotlight: Michael C. Hayes (My Book Cover Artist)

15 May

Spotlight: Michael C. Hayes (My Book Cover Artist)


It is my privilege to introduce today a creative and just plain gifted artist, Michael C. Hayes.

His amazing artistry will inspire you. I have always said, art and writing go hand in hand just like poetry and music. I am honored to have one of Michael C. Hayes’ works grace the cover of my upcoming novel, The Fall of Lilith. I will do a cover reveal later on but for now I want to showcase this artist and his magnificent works of art.

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In Michael’s words . . .

If you had told me I would end up painting for a living when I was 17, I would have assumed you meant houses or cars. The idea of creating a representational image out of pigments suspended in linseed oil was so far removed from what I thought I was meant to do in life.

Most other artists I know tell stories of ceaselessly drawing as children and never stopping. Drawing was something I was dragged into against my will. Once I stopped grumbling about it and tried to make the best of the situation, I discovered an unrealized passion. It is funny how a seemingly insignificant high school elective can change your life for the better.

At that point in my life I was set on making the big bucks in the glamorous field of software engineering, so when I learned in order to graduate I had to take an art elective instead of a programming course, I was not happy. I chose animation as the elective; over the  course of that semester, I found that I enjoyed drawing. I was also introduced to a few 3d animation programs, for which I developed an affinity. I eventually decided that animation would be a lot more fun than writing code.

In the 5 years that followed, I studied at a local community college and later at Cogswell Polytechnical College, earning a degree with honors in Digital Arts and Animation. Throughout the years it became evermore apparent that 3D animation was not quite what I wanted to devote my career to. I was slowly spending more and more time and effort on my traditional drawing, painting, and sculpting courses and less time building wire frames on the computer. By the time I was ready to graduate my goals had once again changed. All the years of required art courses and a few influential and supportive professors had made their mark: I was undeniably hooked.

I moved back to San Diego after graduating in 2005 and enrolled at Watts Atelier of the Arts. Free from the constraints of term papers and physics tests, and in a wonderful artistic environment, I began spending almost every waking moment I could spare on a drawing bench or in front of an easel.  I often tell people the crammed 20 years worth of study into my short time at the atelier.  As a result of this effort, and a few extraordinary teachers, my artistic skills began to develop to professional level.

About halfway through 2008 I got my first professional gig working freelance on a game called “Legends of Norrath”.  In the years that followed I began to receive more and more work and took fewer and fewer classes, slowly transitioning from student to full time professional.  Since then I have had the good fortune to work for clients such as: Wizards of the Coast, Blizzard Entertainment, Sony Online Entertainment, LucasArts Entertainment, Night Shade Books, Palladium Books and others.  In the past few years I have received several ARC awards, a Chesley award and a nomination for a Spectrum award.

In late 2013 I decided to make some changes and pull away from the freelance world for awhile. Although I will still take those projects that are too good to pass up I plan to spend a few years focusing on my personal work.

There is so much more art to see. Check out more of Michael’s work and connect with him at the sites bellow:

DeviantArt

Facebook

Instagram

Twitter

You can sign up for Michael’s newsletter here.

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Haiku Friday+ – Fairy Whisperer

12 May

Hello everyone and welcome to The Writer Next Door!

I’m excited because I have a very special guest today, Colleen Chesebro the Fairy Whisperer herself! It has been a great honor and pleasure knowing this sweet lady for the last couple of years. Colleen is a talented author and poet and a great supporter of her fellow writers, poets and bloggers. She is a veteran of the U. S. Air Force and a retired bookkeeper. She holds an Associate Degree in Business Administration, and another Associate Degree in the Arts, which she uses to blend her love of writing with her passion for all things creative. Her first book, The Swamp Fairy is the first installment of her series The Heart Stone Chronicles.

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You can get a free preview of The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy here.

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Available on Amazon

In Colleen’s words . . . 

My name is Colleen Chesebro. My blog is the place you can come to hear the stories of the fairies as they whisper their tales to me. I’m glad to meet you. I enjoy writing about the seven different nymph clans. I am a writer of cross-genre fiction, poetry, and imaginative nonfiction.

My first YA novel, The Heart Stone Chronicles: The Swamp Fairy, reveals the story of Abby Forrester, a 14-year-old orphaned girl who is entrusted with saving a community of fairy nymphs from certain ecological destruction. Along the way, Abby learns about friendship, love, and what it means to actually belong to a family.

When I am not writing or reading, I enjoy spending time with my husband, dogs, children, grandchildren, and friends. When time allows, I also enjoy gardening, cooking, and crocheting antique doilies into works of art.  I live in the United States with my husband, Ron and my two Pomeranians, Sugar and Spice.

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You can learn more about Colleen Chesebro here.

Take some time to visit Colleen’s blog, Colleen Chesebro ~ Fairy Whisperer

Also connect with this wonderful lady here:

Twitter

Google+

Facebook

 

Fairies

On Earth we dwell

Although fleeting in plain sight

A Dream too bright to last

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Fast and Plain are this week’s prompt words chosen by Ronovan Hester of Ronovan Writes.

Ron hosts a challenge that anyone could participate in called Ronovan Writes Weekly Haiku Poetry Prompt Challenge every Monday, and you have until Sunday to create a post featuring your haiku poem. He is an author and poet and also does author interviews and much more on his blog. Be sure to check it out. Read Ron’s Haiku Prompt Challenge Guidelines for more information.

The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack

11 Oct

Hello everyone and a warm welcome to my blog! Thank you for stopping by. It is my great pleasure to introduce to you today the fascinating, creative, unique writer and blogger C. S. Boyack

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Craig S. Boyack has released a new book called ‘The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack II‘ which follows ‘The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack I‘ and is a second collection of short stories and micro-fiction. These are stories that can be read in a single session and include science fiction, fantasy, paranormal and horror.

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In his words . . .

I was born in a town called Elko, Nevada. I like to tell everyone I was born in a small town in the 1940s. I’m not quite that old, but Elko has always been a little behind the times. This gives me a unique perspective of earlier times, and other ways of getting by. Some of this bleeds through into my fiction.

I moved to Idaho right after the turn of the century, and never looked back. My writing career was born here, with access to other writers and critique groups I jumped in with both feet.

I like to write about things that have something unusual. My works are in the realm of science fiction, paranormal, and fantasy. The goal is to entertain you for a few hours. I hope you enjoy the ride.

Craig

Questions for C. S. Boyack

 

What were you like at school?

 

I was a good student, and got good grades. More on that in your next question. I was kind of the class clown too. We ran in a large crowd, but it was a small town. Everyone knew everyone else.

 

Were you good at English?

 

Oh, God no. English was my worst subject, and I even flunked it once. Mrs. Munger had us write a short story. She thought mine was “off color” and flunked me for the entire quarter over it.

 

Part of the reason for my dislike of the class is the way they taught it. We spent all of our time diagraming sentences and identifying verbs. They rarely ever let us actually use English either in writing or speaking. I think that short story may have been the only thing we wrote all year in there. We did more writing in science class.

 

What are your ambitions for your writing career?

 

We all have that secret dream in the back of our minds. You know the one, the one where we hit superstardom and can dedicate all our time to writing. I know it isn’t realistic, but it’s still there.

 

In reality, my long game is to supplement my retirement income in some way. An extra thousand per month would be wonderful. I have about ten to fifteen years to get there.

 

Which writers inspire you?

 

It probably seems goofy to say all of them. Writers struggle, learn, and grow. We all have a different pace, but as long as we’re improving it’s all good.

 

I’m sure you meant a roster of names, so I’ll check some off. Michael Crichton, Cheri Priest, and Jim Butcher. There is so much creativity there it amazes me. In some small way, they pioneered new things in fiction.

 

Who is Lisa Burton? Tell us briefly about her.

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Lisa Burton

 

Lisa is my original character. She was the first main character that I felt was worthy of sharing with the world. As such, I’m very proud of her. Her origin story is called Wild Concept, and while it may be a little rough around the edges, it marks the start of my writing career. Lisa is a robot, and it was fun using an artificial intelligence as a main character.

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I recycled Lisa and hired her as my personal assistant at the writing cabin. These posts are usually about my efforts as a writer, but are also a way of sharing some original fiction with my blog followers. I promoted Lisa to spokesmodel for my career, and she now makes blog appearances herself, and has promotional pinup style posters for my books. This year she started hosting Lisa Burton Radio, where she interviews the fictional characters of other authors. It’s been really popular, and I’m sure she’d love to interview one of your characters.

 

Do you have a muse? If so, what is your muse’s name? Tell us about your muse.

 

It all started back in the 1980s. This was a time of the first computers, and they didn’t even have hard drives. You used two floppy disks, one for the program, and one for your work product.

 

My boss just purchased one, and learning the word processor was my assignment. Lorelei, the Muse, approached me and talked me into trying some fiction. (We’re talking after hours, back at the office until midnight or later.) After I figured out the word processor, I gave it up. I was young and single, and there were better things to do.

 

Lorelei never gave up, and as an immortal, she had time on her side. She approached me again as a father of three who couldn’t afford to do much more than write for entertainment. She also makes occasional appearances at the writing cabin. She sends me so many ideas that I can’t use them all.

 

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

 

I believe in adding tools to my toolbox. I’m constantly trying new things. When I wrote The Playground, I wanted to weave together three different stories into a cohesive whole. It’s a cool way to tell the story, and they come together at the end to bring the conclusion. It wasn’t easy, but I’m glad I did it.

 

We never know what we’re capable of until we try. I feel that if a story called for this style again, I could do a workman like job of it now.

 

 

Tell us about the cover/s and how it/they came about.

 

I like having power over my covers. Some of them reflect a scene in the story, others give a reflection of what’s inside. I just talked about limited funds, but the cover is one place where I spend the money. It really is the first impression we never get to do over.

 

I tried to hit up the local universities and colleges, but nobody would even return my calls. Finally, I started stalking DeviantArt and looking for artists I liked. I’ve wound up with several different artists, and met some great people that way.

 

 

 

What was the weirdest thing you’ve ever ‘Googled’ while researching a story?

 

Authors are always researching things that are a bit sketchy. For one of my trunk novels, I researched how to make phosgene gas. It was one of three chemical weapons used in World War One. For my lone fantasy novel, I researched how to make black powder. I must be on a government watchlist somewhere by now.

 

What does your writing process look like?

 

I work best with an outline, but it may be different than other plotters use. I make a virtual storyboard. Index cards mark the beats I want to hit, then I free write between the index cards.

 

Do you have any strange writing habits?

 

Silence. Distractions pull me out of my game, and stop me cold. This makes it hard to get quality writing time around my house. Sometimes I set an alarm and get up early. Other times, I take vacation when my wife has to work. I can’t even listen to music and produce the kind of quality I want.

 

How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning?

 

I hate naming characters. Sometimes it works out well, and other times it just doesn’t seem to work. I tried going with meaning a couple of times, and the results were terrible. I think the sound method works best for me.

 

Funny aside; I like to search through the Major League Baseball rosters for last names. If you search through my old books you’ll see last names like Bench and Larkin. Now I’m writing a book of short stories about a new league, called The Enhanced League. I can’t use baseball names for these characters, and feel kind of lost. Maybe I should check the NFL or something.

 

What is the funniest thing that has happened to you recently?

 

Maybe a bit more slapstick than you’re looking for, but I split the crotch of my pants at work. It was a small tear, and I live twenty miles from the office. I spent my day behind my desk and prayed nobody needed me elsewhere.

 

What is your least favorite thing about humanity?

 

I don’t care for the way we’ve devolved into a kind of personal anarchy. The world seems to function around getting what we want and not what we earn. People throw tantrums, lie, accuse, and more to get what they want. There is no reverence for honor, respect, decency, and personal responsibility these days.

 

If I were to poll everyone that knows you, what percent would not be a fan of yours? Then, if I were to interview these people, what words would they most frequently use to describe you?

 

I’d say about half would not be fans. This has more to do with my paycheck job than anything else. Quite often, when I do my job well someone isn’t happy. They might call me nit-picky, draconian, and punitive. (We never talk about the paycheck job in the writer world. I have two lives and try to keep them separate.)

 

What is your writing Kryptonite?

 

Noise and distraction. I need to concentrate to write well. I manage a bit of short form with peripheral noise, but I don’t have to keep as many details straight like major character arc, tracking of time, etc.

 

What does literary success look like to you?

 

A little bit of extra income, like I mentioned earlier. I can put out about three books every two years. As long as I keep improving my craft I’m pretty happy.

 

What’s the most difficult thing about writing characters from the opposite sex?

 

Concentrating on the idea that they are the opposite sex. When I find myself doing that, I stop myself and rewrite. Worrying about specific issues is usually wrong. Little things are okay to weave in, like a woman needing a restroom instead of a tree.

 

I’ve been told that I write female characters well. I just treat them like people, and write them like that.

 

What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

 

I could sluff off all the bad things here, but I don’t think that’s what we’re going for. My life is pretty darned good right now. My paycheck job keeps the lights on, and I have a great family. I wouldn’t give up any of those things. Writing is important to me, but it’s a sideline to the main things. I guess I’m not giving up anything. I’ll get there through hard work and dedication.

 

Do you believe in writer’s block?

 

No. There are times when a plot issue will stall me, a bit of thought is needed. I use those time to switch to short form, and the answer usually comes to me. Other times, I bull through the problem.

 

What was an early experience where you learned that language had power?

 

I overheard my grandfather talking about me once. I was quite young, and he said I could carry on an intelligent conversation about almost any topic. The way he said it told me that was important.

 

***

 

Thanks for inviting me to your blog, Vashti. These were some tough questions, and I love a good challenge. I’m serious about a character interview too, whenever you’re ready.

Craig has a large body of works that you can check out on Amazon. His books are unique, fascinating, and well-written. He sells them at a price that is well worth the risk of buying.

Here are some reviews on The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack I:

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Experimental Notebook is a collection of stories that have been written to entertain and not to leave the reader up in the air wondering what was the point of the story. So many times short story writers think they need to do a story that has an obscure ending to qualify as a literary piece. C.S. Boyack has taken a number of different circumstances and crafted stories that have entertainment value. He sometimes takes a bizarre look at a particular situation but in each case when the story ends the reader has the whole package. There is also an element of humor that the author continues to interject in most of the stories. The humor is not laugh out loud funny but carries a more wry intelligent, subtle tone. The reader more than once will chuckle at the onset and then find a smile as the humorous piece finishes much as one would experience with a sip of fine wine.
The creativeness of C.S. Boyack is apparent His stories have that familiarity that the reader would swear came out of the author living an experience. Of course, some of the plots and subject material make this assumption entirely impossible and thus the real talent of the artist is discovered. Boyack writes a story as if he lived it. The characters and plotlines are so simply yet so carefully designed that the author makes this kind of storytelling look easy. The reader finishes the Notebook knowing what looks easy and what turns out to be the types of stories written are at opposite poles of one another. The Creative Notebook is excellent writing, and I would recommend this book to anyone who wants to enjoy a wonderful reading experience. ~John W. Howell

Short and micro fiction is becoming more popular today, and after reading this unique collection of stories, I can see why. The author has done a wonderful job of bringing together a mixture of speculative fiction, oddities, sci-fi, and fantasy. There’s basically a treat waiting here for everyone, each tale unique and waiting to deliver a twisty ending.

You can read these tales anywhere—on a commute, during a coffee break, or even when you’re hovering around the water cooler. Or you might do like I did, and indulge with one right after the other. Whether you choose to savor them individually or all at once, a healthy mix of enchantment, adventure, humor, and shivers awaits! ~Mae Clair

Right out of the gate, you’re hit with a story that has a twist ending. This really set the tempo of the other stories, which kept me interested in the whole collection. Every story has something unique about it, which makes it really hard to do an overview of the collection. For example, ‘The Soup Ladle of Destiny’ is very humorous and rather lighthearted compared to some of the others. If I had to pick the one that really stuck with me it would be a tie between that and ’50 Gallon Drum’. Since many of these are micro-fiction, I can’t say much without spoilers and that would ruin all the fun since the author has knack for surprise endings.

I’d highly recommend this for anyone who wants to be entertained by several quick reads.

~Charles E. Yallowitz

There are many more 5 star reviews but I can’t fit them all here. Check out his Amazon Author Page and check out all his books and reviews.

Follow C. S. Boyack’s blog

Check out his novels

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Goodreads

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I hope you enjoyed this author interview. Please show Craig S. Boyack some love in the comments below. Thank you!

Writers, Bloggers, and Poets, Oh My!

5 Jun

Hello my friends! I’d like to introduce you to some of my favorite bloggers. Maybe you can take some time to visit their blogs. I’m sure you will fall in love with at least one of these wonderfully creative people.

*Spotlighted today are a wonderful group of writers, poets, photographer, and bloggers that are sure to please.

 

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On this blog you’ll see many pretty illustrations and the most amazing poetry created by Staci Lys. I really enjoy visiting this blog, it always puts me in the best of moods. I’ve often told her that I’d like to frame her work and put it on my wall. I have to be careful though, because I can easily lose track of time when visiting. I love it. 😉

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The Quiet Journey (Monotetra) by Staci Lys

 Author/Translator Olga

Olga Nuñez Miret is a multi-published author, translator (English-Spanish/Spanish-English), book blogger, and radio personality. She talks about books, writing, life and everything else on her blog. I find Olga and her blog fascinating. Her book reviews are honest and insightful, as well as entertaining. She’s an intelligent, sweet, and charming person and it comes through in all her posts.

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 A Certain Point of View

Alistair Lane is a poet, writer and self-described ‘daydreamer’, and that’s okay because his imagination is powerful and seem to have no limits. I am often blown away by the creativity and uniqueness of Al’s posts.

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Teagan’s Books

Teagan Ríordáin Geneviene is an amazing writer of fantasy fiction. Reading one of her stories (she posts many on her blog) will have you convinced she’s a magician of language. Right now she is posting episodes of her story Guitar Mancer which I am currently reading, and my only regret is that I don’t have more time to read all the episodes at once. As if her stories weren’t enough she posts recipes at the end of each episode that correspond with what’s happening in the story. :p FUN!

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Mrs. AOK, A Work In Progress

Dean K has a fascinating eclectic blog full of great posts on topics like Lifestyle, Motherhood, Recipes, and much more. She hosts a link party called Mommy Monday Blog Hop which anyone can join by sharing links to your blog posts. It’s a lot of fun and a great way to meet other bloggers and share your stories, poems, recipes . . . I also love a segment she does called Thank You Notes. Check out her blog you will not be disappointed.

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Cindy Knoke

5,894 internet followers can’t be wrong. Cindy’s blog has over 500,000 internet views. I’m not usually a numbers gal but this is hard to ignore. Cindy Knoke is a writer and nature and travel photographer.
She retired early after 27 years as a psychotherapist/mental health director and moved to the outer limits of no-wheres-ville to a home she calls “The Holler” in rural California. I thought there weren’t any rural areas left in California but I was wrong. Cindy’s photographs will transport and mesmerize you, and coupled with her beautiful and sometimes witty words will entertain you. Check out some of her work below.

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Of course there are many other blogs I visit and like very much and I will introduce more blogs at a later time. For now, please visit these blogs––I guarantee you will not regret it. 😉 Have a wonderful day!

Q & A Tag – The Writer Next Door

16 May

Hello everyone! Today I’d like to thank Marjorie Mallon from KYROSMAGICA for nominating me to take part in The Writer Q & A Tag. Marje is a writer, book reviewer, and all around great person. She has a fun and colorful blog that is all about the magic of writing, her love for books, crystals, laughter and much more, so be sure to check it out.

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What’s this tag about? Its a fun tag celebrating writers, bloggers, books, and writing. It is also a great way to discover or know more about our online friends in the writing and blogging communities.

Following are the questions that Marje Mellon prepared for me and my answers.

  1. If you met a sexy vampire what would you do? Hook up, get the garlic and crosses out or run a mile?

 

Hmm. I would interview him.

 

  1. What’s your favorite genre of book and why?

 

I love to read the same genres I write which are fantasy, horror and suspense/thriller. However, I do occasionally read romantic comedies, crime thrillers, and historical fantasies. If someone recommends a book in another genre I may read the first few chapters to see if I like it. I do like to give every book a fighting chance.

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  1. Who is/are your favorite author (s), poet (s)? What is it about them that inspired you?

 

Stephen King, C.S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, Dan Brown, Anne Rice, Tom Clancy. I admire these authors’ imagination and ability to tell a good story in a way that I can play it out in my mind in living color.

 

Poets: Emily Dickinson, Maya Angelou, Edgar Allan Poe, and Anne Sexton

 

 

  1. If you had to control a classroom of year 6 kids would you bale, or enjoy the challenge? Would you be (a.) Too undisciplined to do so, you’d just join in the general mayhem, (b.) Enjoy bossy them around, or (c.) Pray in a corner for the bell to sound. Guess which one would be my reply, winners will be mentioned on my blog!

 

I would tell them a story. That has always worked for me with smaller cousins growing up and with my nieces, nephews and their friends when they were younger. I might join in a little bit of mayhem too––as I suspect you would, Marje. 😉

 

  1. What made you become a writer/blogger? Do your family support you or do they think you’re crazy, bored, attention seeking, or all of these? Tell us a bit about your current WIP and/or books…

 

Nothing made me become a writer. I was born and that’s what I am. My family is very supportive.

 

I’m working on a fantasy series about angels. The first book in the series is called The Fall of Lilith. I’m currently working on some structural issues. I’m also writing the second book in the series, Dracúl.

 

  1. What is the most awful job and/or experience you’ve ever done/had?

 

When my husband and I sold our previous home (it sold much faster than we had anticipated) we had to temporarily stay at someone else’s house until our new home was ready. I did not want to stay in this person’s house but my husband had good reasons to stay there, so we did. This was one of the worst experiences of my life. I felt like I’d experience hell. The aura in that house was so dark and negative. One of the people living in the house did everything humanly possible to make our stay as horrible as could be. I never felt so uncomfortable and sad in my life. Leaving there was like escaping from hades. However, this experience has made me appreciate my home and my family so much more, and for that I’m thankful. (I know how dramatic this reads)

 

  1. Are you a plotter or a pantser? Does this spill out onto other parts of your life? Are you generally organised/disorganised? Can you guess what I am?

 

I always start the process as a plotter. Somewhere along the line the pantser takes over. I use an outline, sketches, character diamonds . . . I like to begin the novel in an organized way. As I write things begin to change and I allow the story to unfold in a more organic way. I’m generally an organized person but I do have my messy moments. I would guess you’re a plotter, Marje.

 spiral-festisite-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-graphic-art

  1. Do you believe in Ghosts? Fate? Love at First Sight? Fairies? Psychic happenings? Numerology, Mermaids, The Loch Ness Monster, Demons . . . etc. . . . Make your own observations . . . and let me know.

 

Vashti Q-fun-writer-blog-book-author-facebook

I believe in God and if there’s a God there are good and bad forces. I believe in Karma, mind-over-matter, visualization, meditation, perseverance, positive thinking . . . For the rest––if I could see it, hear it, and feel it, then it’s real.

scary-halloween-Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door

 

  1. What is the worst haircut/clothes/hats you’ve ever had/worn? Photos please, or describe in vivid detail…

 

When I was a blonde I had my hair color done and it looked good at the beauty salon but when I got home I noticed there were a few areas where the toner didn’t take. Had it happen in areas that were not noticeable I would have left it alone but the brassy areas where very noticeable so I called the hairstylist and she told me to come back in. Instead of adding toner to the areas that needed it she put bleach over my entire head, including areas that were already bleached! I didn’t think that was right but I figured she knew what she was doing as the professional cosmetologist. Well, all my hair broke off leaving me with about an inch of hair all over my head and maybe an inch and half or two inches in the front. I was at the shampoo bowl when she said, ‘Oh no!’ I looked up at her and she showed me a handful of my hair.

Vashti Q-The Writer Next Door-writer-blogger

  1. Please finish this sentence with more than three extra words: Life is one foot in and one foot out, you . . .

 

. . . never know when your time will come, so live life to the fullest and appreciate what you have and the good people in your life.

I nominate any writer, poet or blogger who’d like to participate in this tag. You can answer Marje’s questions or make up your own. Let me know when you publish your post. Have a great day everyone!

10 Questions for Ronovan Hester

21 Feb

Hello everyone! I have a treat for you today. I’m an avid reader and self proclaimed bookworm and to me as well as others like me it is always fun when a new, intriguing book is released. Do you enjoy fascinating stories about pirates? Well then you’ll love The Razor’s Adventures Pirate Tales by P.S. Bartlett. I have featured P.S. Bartlett and her books on this blog and you can check out that post here.

Today’s focus will be on the wonderful and talented Ronovan Hester since P.S. Bartlett’s recent installment in The Razor’s Adventure series, Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling is co-authored by him. This is not your typical pirate story since Ronovan puts his love of History and his 20+ years of writing experience to use in his debut Historical Adventure set in 1705 England, American Colonies, and Caribbean.

Amber Wake-Ronovan Hester-pirates

Ronovan’s Bio:

Ronovan Hester is a writer living near Athens, Ga, home of his alma mater, The University of Georgia, where he received a B.S.Ed. in History Education. Ronovan puts his love of history and his over 20 years of writing experience to use in his debut Historical Adventure set in 1705 England, American Colonies, and Caribbean co-authored with P.S. Bartlett.

Ronovan’s devotion to history and writing sometimes competes with his love of tacos and fresh fruit. At times, all his favorite things work hand in hand in mouth during long binge writing sessions that have been known to last nonstop for over 24 hours. Rather than see a sleep disorder as a hindrance, he uses the time for creative purposes or watching old TV shows on online.

Ronovan enjoys putting elements of history, if only as nods to the past, in all of his book projects. He currently instills that love of history and learning in his son daily as he helps him through his college prep courses, meaning hours of homework every night, even while not yet a teenager–his son, not Ronovan. Now if he could find a very good mute for that trumpet his son just began learning.

10 Fun Facts About Ronovan

One of your 10 fun facts is that you love to cook. If P.S. Bartlett arrived at your house for dinner what would you make for her?

I would go Southern. I make very good Southern Fried Chicken, biscuits, and I these potato wedges that I batter then fry, then oven bake. It’s something I created, and everyone loves them. I fry them enough to get them brown and slightly crisp, then into the oven to finish cooking over a rack to let the excess oil come out. I cover them with foil so as not to let the brown much more or burn. You end up with a crispy on the outside, completely done on the inside oven fry. You spice the batter how you like it and either make or use your favorite condiment if you want to dip them in something. There would of course be sweet iced tea. For dessert a peach cobbler, since I live in the Peach State.

Another fun fact about you is that you love the sound and feel of the ocean at night. Have you seen the movie ‘JAWS’?

I did. I also saw the Jaws 3D in the movie theaters when it first came out with some older cousins.

One more fun fact about you is that you enjoy eating lunch sitting under a tree while watching and listening to birds. If you could be any bird which would you be?

I think I’m pretty much a Robin if you look at me. I can’t escape that.

Ronovanwrites-The Writer Next Door

10 Questions for Ronovan Hester

1/ Tell me about your book

Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling is a historical adventure beginning in a sailor’s pub in 1705 London and then taking to the seas. Court-martialed due to the events in the pub, Captain Gabriel Wallace of the Royal Navy finds aide with his former crew who mutiny against the Royal Navy, just in time to avoid capture by his enemies. Wallace has more than one mission/objective during his war against the men behind his disgrace but only he is aware of it. This secret causes some problems as the story unfolds and Wallace and his men go after the biggest haul a pirate has ever attempted in the waters of the Caribbean, all in the name of revenge and loyalty.

Reads like a riveting story! And not your typical pirate story.

2/ What inspired you to write this book?

After many conversations with PS Bartlett, the creator of the Ivory Shepard world of pirates, the discussion came around to her thoughts of a sequel to her very first pirate novel, The Blue Diamond: The Razor’s Edge. A book I enjoyed a great deal. I had the idea of her writing a prequel series of books of how her main character became a lady pirate captain, while I wrote the book that would currently be the beginning of the entire series and become known as Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling. By the way, not only does Microsoft Word object to the use of lady in this paragraph, but Ivory Shepard would as well.

Ah, ha, ha. I guess ‘female’ is the word that comes to mind then. The idea of a ‘prequel series’ telling how the main character comes to be, who she is in the original series is quite brilliant.

*Clarification from Ronovan: I should have worded the part about the prequel ideas coming up between PS Bartlett and I about the same time. It was an idea to expand the world she created and bring in more attention to the character of Ivory Shepard. The Blue Diamond was a great book.

3/ Why team up with another writer, instead of writing this book on your own?

I looked at it as a two-fold thing. One, I would be helping PS Bartlett get one more book out in her series. In this book, I could give a different perspective, a different voice than that of Ivory Shepard. There needed to be that different voice. Second, I’m a historian and love research. Thus, I saw this as a challenge of sorts. Just as I challenged myself to write a Southern Romance, completely out of my comfort zone, I did this, which was a new genre for me. I do historical fiction more around WWI and WWII.

Although not a historian I share your love of research. I’m happy you took this on and wish you continued success.

4/ Which is your favorite character in the book? Why?

I would have to say Gabriel Wallace is my favorite because I put so much of me into him. Some of that’s been taken out because of the collaboration, but I know where I show up. People that know me will know what I wrote and not. The styles mesh but my personal character is different from some of what Wallace ends up as. Gimby, the helmsman is a good one too.

5/ Which character in the book would you not get along with? Why?

That’s a tough one. There are times, due to circumstances a couple of people are difficult to deal with. One is somewhat obvious when you begin reading the book, and the other grows into someone less than a joy to know.

Very diplomatic answer.

6/ Finish these statements:

-If I wasn’t afraid I would move to a better climate part of the world with a beach and a nice ocean view, although I’m not really afraid of much.

Florida awaits!

-Someday, I want to be successful enough at writing to pay the bills and maybe help form some sort of foundation to fight some children’s problem.

7/ You have multiple personalities, describe some of them.

First, I’m not sure how you knew that. Second, I’m a workaholic one minute and a total veg the next. That might be part of some health issues though. I have the funny guy side, then the serious the next. Yes, I’m a Gemini.

I pay attention, Ron.

ronovan-hester-and-the-fish

8/ List 5 adjectives to describe yourself?

  • Hopeful
  • Romantical (My creation of a word.)
  • Caring
  • Idealistic
  • Inquisitive

Yes! I agree with all five. I’ve come to see all of these in you and your writing.

9/ How have your physical problems affected your writing?

That’s a big one. I could make a long list of negative things, but I look to the end result being I use the time I have to write as much as I can, which at times is a lot. If I had normal health I wouldn’t have a book out right now. I see this as one of those things where God took an extreme bad thing and used it for an extreme good in my achieving getting a book published which can show others anything can happen if you work at it.

That’s a very positive and inspiring way to look at a traumatic experience in your life. I love your outlook. 

10/ How is Captain Gabriel Wallace like or unlike Captain Jack Sparrow?

The two are about as opposite as you can get. Wallace is a trained captain in the Royal Navy, member of the upper class of society, actually a member of the House of Lords, well educated, and has a certain level of morality that dictates a lot of his actions. He doesn’t mind fun and jokes but his focus is his mission and the well-being of his crew. Wallace is not really a pirate, but more a soldier at war with a given enemy.

RonovanWrites-Hester-author-interview

Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling on Amazon.com

Amber Wake; Gabriel Falling on Amazon.UK

Amber Wake; Gabriel Falling on Amazon.CA

Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling on Amazon.IN

You may connect with Ronovan through:

Amazon Author Page: Ronovan Hester

Amazon UK Author Page: Ronovan Hester

Personal Blog: RonovanWrites.WordPress.com

Author Site: RonovanHester.com

Book Review Site: LitWorldInterviews.com

Twitter: @RonovanWrites

Goodreads Author: Ronovan Hester

Facebook: Ronovan Writes

Google+: Ronovan Writes

LinkedIn: Ronovan Hester

About.me: Ronovan

Pinterest: RonovanWrites

 

Synopsis

The autumn of 1705 brings Royal Navy Captain Gabriel Wallace to face off against an enemy within the ranks of the Admiralty itself that threatens his career, his reputation, his family, and something even more far-reaching in its plot.

Court-martialed and with Admiral Chambers, the mastermind fearfully known as the Chambers of Hell, out for his destruction, Wallace finds he has allies willing to face the might of the mightiest power on earth, with some allies in the most unlikely of places. The crew of his former command, the Majesty’s Venture, mutinies from the Royal Navy. With capture by his enemies close behind, Wallace agrees to become captain once again.

With a ship at his command, Captain Gabriel Wallace sets out to fulfill his mission, the completeness of which only he knows.

Now a pirate by situation, Wallace sets out for the Colonies and the Caribbean. Will his crew remain loyal as they leave the rule of the Royal Navy behind? Will his lifelong friend, Miles Jacobs, follow Wallace blindly without knowing the whole story? Finally, will the young Lieutenant Maddox Carbonale stay under the command of Wallace or have plans to lead instead?

With these questions in his thoughts, Gabriel Wallace wages war on Chambers and goes after the largest haul in the history of the Spanish Main. Whom does Wallace meet along the way? To whom are his loyalties to: vengeance or something more powerful?

If you love tales of adventure, of the sea, of the struggles of men, and nods to history, this is your book. Read Amber Wake: Gabriel Falling and you’ll have a new appreciation for all of The Razor’s Adventures Pirate Tales.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this author Spotlight/Interview. Be sure to check out some of the links. 

Enjoy the weekend!

777 Writer’s Challenge – The Fall of Lilith

1 Aug

Hello. I have been invited to participate in the 777 Writer’s Challenge by the lovely and talented Eloise De Sousa from Thoughts by Mello-Elo. Eloise is an author who dabbles in different genres of books ranging from poetry, children’s literature to adult crime romance. Her blog covers a variety of topics that include her experiences and opinions on different subjects, and from time to time, details on books she is working on.

Eloise De Sousa

Author Eloise De Sousa

What is the 777 Writer’s Challenge?

The author/writer must go to the 7th page of a work-in-progress, go to line 7 on that page and share the following 7 sentences. The writer must also invite 7 other writers to take the same challenge.

It seems simple enough but for a writer, sharing a random piece of work, still in progress, is daunting. However, I accept the challenge and I thank Eloise for thinking of me. ❤

My book, (not yet published) The Fall of Lilith is divided into BOOK I – Heaven and BOOK II – Earth, so I will do the challenge for both parts of the book.

BOOK I – Heaven

The Fall of Lilith- Cover-Image

Illustration for The Fall of Lilith by Jeff Brown

This was war and she had never seen anything like it––none of the angels have. Lilith’s body trembled and waves of nausea plagued her as the realization that she, like the angels torn to shreds, was not immortal and could end in the same way. A sudden rush of blood to her head made it throb. She panted as her eyes darted in every direction. These strange sensations tormented her as she stepped over the splayed bodies of warrior angels whose once celestial glow had been extinguished by enemy blades.

She had done this. She had caused all this to come to pass.

 

 

BOOK II – Earth

The Fall of Lilith-Fantasy Angels Series-books

‘Fan Art’ for The Fall of Lilith by Denise Spencer

Lilith stared wide-eyed at her surroundings. Where beams of light shone through the trees, strange shadows danced. The jungle evoked memories of the terrors she had endured in the East and South Forests in Heaven. With each new noise, her heart leapt to her throat. Branches creaking, leaves rustling, birds squawking, hostile screeches from unknown animals, the beat of paws against the ground—these sounds created a symphony of fear.

“I must remain calm,” Lilith told herself in a low voice. “After all, this is Earth. I watched most of the event Creation, and I did not witness God create anything as menacing on this planet as in the forests in Heaven.”

Still, she knew much had happened besides creation during Creation.

The Chosen 7

Olga – Just Olga

Marje – Kyrosmagica

Colleen – Silver Threading

Sarah – Lemon Shark

Mel – Melissa Barker-Simpson

Alana – The Author Who Supports

Serins – Serins Sphere

 

 

 

BLOG TOUR: Author Olga Núñez Miret – Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

18 Jun

Hi all:

First of all thank you very much for taking part in my Blog Tour for Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters. Reader, don’t worry, I’m not here forever, just twisting the arm of your favourite blogger and borrowing a bit of space.

 

Olga Nuñez-author-Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog

Author Olga Núñez Miret

 

My name is Olga Núñez Miret and I’m a writer, translator, reader, and psychiatrist. I love movies, plays, fitness, owls and have recently taken up meditation (mindfulness). I thought I might as well summarise and not take too much of your time. I’ll leave you some links at the end just in case you want to find out even more about me (I’m not sure I’d recommend it, but hey . . . do your worst!).

 

I’ve been writing since I was quite young and I write in whatever style the story I have in my head wants to be written in. So far literary fiction, romance, YA, thriller . . . and a few unfinished works.

 

Around five years ago I discovered and read quite a few interesting Young Adult books and had an idea for what I thought could be a series. At the time I wrote the first of the novels and after trying to find an agent or a traditional publisher without much success, I started self-publishing, but decided to publish some of my other books first. Since then I’ve published 12 books (6 original books and their translations, as I write in English and Spanish).

 

I kept thinking about Angelic Business and a few months later wrote the second novel in the series: Shapes of Greg.

 

And last year, as part of NaNoWriMo I wrote the third novel in the series, Pink, Angel or Demon?

 

As I had written the three, I thought I’d publish them pretty close to each other so people wouldn’t have to wait to know what happened next (at least not too much).

 

The three books in the Angelic Business collection are now available for pre-order at the special price of $0.99 each. It’s a bargain price and they’ll go up shortly after publication.

 

Video:

 

<a href=”https://youtu.be/ZKWP_Q89CiQ”>https://youtu.be/ZKWP_Q89CiQ</a&gt;

Don’t worry. My writing is better than my video-creating skills, but as I’d been taking all those pictures of angels, I thought I might as well.

The series:

 

Angelic Business 1. Pink Matters

Angelic Business_Olga Núñez Miret_Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog

 

You are Pink, not the prettiest girl, but smart and with plenty of resources. What do you do when your best male friend offers to have sex with you, because he thinks you’re a lost cause? You plot your revenge with your two best female friends, of course!

 

It seems you’re in luck when a new and mysterious student appears. And, to top it all, he seems interested in you too. He could take part in the plan. But then, he seems to have a plan of his own… He insists he’s not just an ordinary boy. And what seemed so easy to begin with, gets more and more complicated when Heaven and Hell come knocking at Pink’s door.

 

Pink Matters is the story of Pink, a 17 year old girl, good student, articulate and smart. What she has never been the centre of attention or made the top ten of the most popular and attractive girls at school. When two guys, both claiming to be angels, insist that she is, indeed, ‘special’, fight for her attention and help and tell her she is the key to the future of the universe, she can’t help but ask: Why me?

 

Snippet:

 

“Who are you?” Lorna asked. Before she could say anything else, she froze as if paralysed. And the same happened to Sylvia.

 

“Oh no, not again” I said.

 

“Hi Pink. I’m Azrael. I’m…”

 

“Let me guess…You’re an angel.”

 

I could say he smiled but it was more like a white light radiating from between his lips. His voice also seemed slightly “otherworldly”. He was nothing like G. Flesh and blood didn’t seem to be his priority.

 

“Yes. I am.”

 

“O…K….And…to what do I owe the pleasure of your visit? If you are going to make an announcement of some sort…I could have done with some notice.”

 

The light now seemed to radiate from his whole “body” if that was what it was. Somehow his show was much more believable than G’s. And scarier.

 

“It’s not an announcement as such. But you should know…G…”

 

“Yes?”

 

“I know he told you he’s an angel.”

 

I looked at him. Maybe he was different to G but he could be as annoying as him. And interfering.

 

“Yes. I also “know” things…In my case it is because “I” am an angel. He has not been truthful about his identity.”

 

Pink Matters is currently available for pre-order and will be published on June 26, 2015 (Amazon time). So, if you’re reading this post after the 26th of June, you’re in luck and can get the book straight away! (I’m also publishing it in other platforms although as their processing speed is different the dates might vary. Do check there or in my website, that I regularly update).

 

Amazon link

 

In case you’re intrigued, I leave you the cover (reveal!) and links to the other two books:

 

 

Angelic Business 2. Shapes of Greg

Shades of Greg_Angelic Business_Vashti Quiroz-Vega's Blog

 

What more could happen after the death and resurrection of your mother? What could Heaven and Hell toss at Pink to top that? Well, to start with, she gets a new hellish babysitter, who is seriously hot. And although everybody likes him, he only has eyes for her. When she learns what the price was for the ‘miracle’ of saving her mother, she realises that she must be careful, as Hell doesn’t lose gracefully.

 

One of her friends wants to find the perfect man, the other one gets into a relationship she refuses to talk about, there’s a demon who doesn’t know when to give up and an angel who seems to have his own agenda. What on Earth, Hell or Heaven is going on?

 

Shapes of Greg is available for pre-order and will be published on July 15th.

 

 

Amazon Link

 

And last, but not least:

 

Angelic Business 3. Pink, Angel or Demon?

Pink, Angel or Demon?

OK, OK, OK. Pink gets it. She’s the Elected, whether she likes it or no. Heaven and Hell are closing in, and their envois are closer home than ever. So close she can’t ignore them. And she’ll do everything but.

 

However long she has, she’s determined to make it count. She’ll sort her friends out, she’ll help her family and, she’ll live a bit. And then, she’ll take charge. Because no one will say that Pink went down without a fight. However big and bad the enemy.

 

Gender benders, romances, old loves that come to fruition, new challenges, divine interventions, tears, laughter and magic. All of that and more. Because, if you’re gonna go, you might as well go with a bang.

 

Pink, Angel or Demon? is available for pre-order and will be published on July 30th.

 

Amazon Link

Olga Núñez Miret-author-Vashti Quiroz-Vega

As I threatened you before, here are some more links:

 

Website

 

Twitter: @OlgaNM7

 

BLOG

 

Facebook Page

 

Amazon Author Profile

 

Goodreads

 

Google+

 

Pinterest: (Don’t miss my board about angels)

 

 

Wattpad

 

Thanks so much for allowing me to visit and post, thanks so much for reading, and as I always tell them in my blog, if you’ve found it interesting, like, share, comment and CLICK! Oh, and I love reblogs! Ah, and thanks to http://www.lourdesvidaldisseny.jimdo.com/”>Lourdes Vidal for her covers. 

 

 

BLOG TOUR: Author P.S. Bartlett

13 Apr

blog tour_Demons_&_Pearls_book

Hello everyone! I am participating in a Blog Tour for the launch of author P.S. Bartlett’s new book ‘Demons & Pearls’.

It’s always exciting when a talented writer releases a new book for the world to enjoy. A ‘Blog Tour’ will spread the word about the launch of the new book so that bookworms, like me, can check it out. Please take the time to read about Peggy aka P.S. Bartlett and the blurb from ‘Demons & Pearls‘.

Of course no one is obligated to buy anything but authors pour their heart and soul into every book so the least we can do is read about it. Who knows you may enjoy it. 😉

Author Photo-P.S. Bartlet-blog

Author P.S. Bartlett

 

Get to know a little about the lovely Peggy in her own words . . .

I was born on Valentine’s Day a long, long time ago in South Baltimore, Maryland, less than a mile from Fort McHenry and Federal Hill. I’m a very simple person. I love my life and am always striving to make it better for myself and my family.

I write, I draw and I still work full-time. I’ve been married for 20 years and together we have two sons, a daughter, three beautiful granddaughters and a ten year old Maine Coon cat named Columbus.

Pirate me-writer-book-bookworm

 

Title: DEMONS & PEARLS

Author: P.S. Bartlett

Release Day: April 14th, 2015

Genre: Historical Fiction/Adventure/Romance

Demons_&_Pearls_Cover_for_Kindle

BLURB

Had I known the repercussions of murdering the captain of a pirate ship, I may have taken the time necessary to rethink the act. As if I’ve ever had a choice that didn’t involve a fight or at the very least, defending myself against some man, hell bent on destroying me or my kin.

All we wanted was our freedom. All we found were demons disguised as men.

A woman pirate needs friends, big strong male friends, to survive in this unforgiving land of thieves and murderers—at least until she gets on her feet. Of course, trying to find one person you can trust is like finding an oyster with a perfect pearl in it—you have to break a few shells and get your hands dirty. We were lucky. I found the biggest, baddest and most honorable man in the Caribbean and he just happened to be in the pearl business.

Q & A

1) What inspired you to write this book.

When I wrote my previous book, The Blue Diamond-The Razor’s Edge, I had planned to write a sequel to the book right away. However, as I’ve done previously, I began wondering how and why my characters ended up in the situations they were in. I began to think about how they became pirates in the first place and once I opened that door, everything came spilling out at me like an overstuffed closet.

 

2) How did you come up with the title of the book.

Well, if I tell you that, it may give away too much about the story. However, if you check out the blurb for the book, it may answer your question somewhat.

 

3) What part or section of the book was the most difficult to write and why?

There’s a kidnapping scene. It’s extremely disturbing and very violent. I’d have to say it was the single most difficult scene I’ve ever written.

 

4) Which character in your book resembles you the most?

Although Cassandra is based on a dear friend of mine, I’d have to say her. I do like to believe though that there’s a little bit of me in each of the girls.

 

5) If you had to compare this book with any other book, past or present, which book would come closest to your book’s style, storyline . . .

That’s a very good question but I’m afraid I don’t have a very good answer. I honestly cannot think of another book I’ve read that is anything like Demons & Pearls. I did take a writing style test once and the answer came out to be that my style was like Anne Rice. I chuckled when I saw that. Hey, we can all dream can’t we?

LINKS:

 

Web Site: http://psbartlett.me/

 

Twitter: https://twitter.com/PSBartlett

 

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

 

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7012732.P_S_Bartlett

 

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/P.S.-Bartlett/e/B00CP4PF4U/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

 

Instagram: Author_P.S.Bartlett

 

Do you enjoy reading about pirates? Do you like romance novels? Are you a bookworm like me?