Showing posts with label Interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Interview. Show all posts

Friday, May 04, 2018

According to Audrey by Happy LaShelle - Book Blitz

According to Audrey
Happy LaShelle
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: April 30th 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Cautious and introverted, seventeen-year-old Dove spends most of her free time pursuing her one true passion: painting. The twinkling lights of Balboa Island, the ferryboat to the peninsula, the fire pits on Big Corona Beach…these have long been the subjects of her canvases as she daydreams about finding an Audrey Hepburn-film kind of romance.

A hotshot jock is exactly not the type of guy she’s been looking for—but when Leo Donovan drops his cool act to show his vulnerable side, Dove begins to question everything. But first she’ll have to navigate her way through claim-staking mean girls and disapproving parents—and still keep her focus on attending the art school of her dreams.

Being in love turns out to be more complex than the average silver-screen classic. Can Dove follow her heart (and Audrey’s cues) to create her own perfect Hollywood ending?


Leo gently took the bag from my nose and wrapped the ice in the washcloth. “This will be more comfortable,” he said, eyeing my nose like an expert. “It doesn’t look swollen at all, that’s good.” He put the ice into my hand and helped guide it back to my face.

It was not possible to feel any more un-pretty than at this moment. Pain and embarrassment had now mingled into one big uncomfortable feeling. But another feeling was creeping up. I stole another glance at him. He looked like a Hollywood film star from the 1950s—chiseled, with a squinty stare.

I summoned the nerve to look into his eyes and finally spoke. “Thanks, I think I’m okay.” My attraction clashed with my desire to hide. Suddenly I wanted him to go away and stay all at the same time.

His brown eyes locked onto mine, and his mouth turned up at the corners. Was he enjoying my embarrassment? I had no choice but to laugh. “What?” I asked, pulling the ice away from my face.

He grinned and sat down next to me. “Dove, you need to keep the ice on it,” he said, placing it back onto my nose.
The gentle way he said my name made my heart race faster and I searched his face, drinking in its sincerity: his deep gaze—somehow it made me feel safe, and his lips seemed to be just waiting to… kiss me.

All at once, my enamored thoughts screeched to an abrupt stop.

No way.

My stomach twisted into a painful knot. How could I have fallen for the sensitive, caring act? Was I really lame enough to get all dreamy-eyed over a few sweet words and a pack of ice? There was no way I was going to end up as one of his conquests. With the ice still held to my nose, I stood with as much dignity as possible.

“Thanks, I’m fine now.” I lowered the ice and looked straight into his dark, concern-filled eyes, shooting him a glare. “I have to go.”


This is your debut novel. How does it feel?

Pretty thrilling, honestly. It’s been several long years of writing, learning craft, rewriting, learning more craft, revising some more – not to mention coming to understand the ins and outs of the writing world and the publishing business. This novel is my first book baby, and in the end, I’m glad it took me so long because all of that investment of time and process has given me a book that I’m sincerely proud to share with the world.

Tell us about Newport Beach, California as the setting for your book. Why did you choose it?

It was important to me that the setting of the story would jump off the page and come alive as though it were its own character in the book. Newport Beach was my childhood hometown, so I know it well, and I’m partial to its allure and charm! I was excited to bring to life on the page all the places that are so rich with Newport’s storied culture and history – Balboa Island, Newport Bay, Lido Island, the Peninsula, to name just a few. I also gave myself artistic license here and there for the sake of storytelling purposes – the fictional Bayport High for example, as well as its baseball field, which I imagined near the present-day Castaways Park, on the Back Bay cliffs. I also introduced fire pits at Pirate’s Cove in Corona Del Mar – a few small things to that effect. What was paramount for me was to portray the essence of the town in a way that captured for the reader the true spirit and character of Newport Beach.

What were the books/authors that influenced you as a child?

The first novel I remember reading was A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett, and I just loved the heart of that book. It’s set in Victorian London, and despite the simplistic title, Sara is a complex little character with a strong sense of herself and a wise compassion for others. When all goes pear-shaped, the dire circumstances really test her mettle, and I love the strength she shows through it all. I also loved The Boxcar Children books, Misty of Chincoteague, The Swiss Family Robinson, and we had this colorful, thick version of The Arabian Nights that I would flip through for hours. It was the quintessential, perfect storybook with all of those magic-filled short stories from faraway lands. As a young adult, Amy Tan’s The Joy Luck Club, and Bryce Courtenay’s The Power of One really made an impression on me… and honestly, I was obsessed with V.C. Andrews as a teenager. The Flowers in the Attic books and the Heaven series were hard to put down. I loved her style.

Did you ever consider writing under a pseudonym?

Not really. My name is a bit unusual, so I tried to tone it down by using my initials, H.M., during the query process to agents and editors. I didn’t want the name Happy to be a distraction from my work, and I wanted to be taken seriously. After my book sold, my publisher really encouraged me to use Happy – they loved it. I’ve always liked my name, so I was excited to embrace it as my official author name. Actually, when I was deciding between H.M. and Happy, I asked my son’s opinion, and he thought I should definitely use Happy LaShelle… he said, “That literally sounds like a made-up writer name, Mom.” Ha! So in the end, Happy it is.

What’s your coffee house drink of choice?

I’m into tea lattes lately. At a local haunt here in Santa Barbara there’s one called a Magic Bowl - chamomile mixed with honey and steamed milk – oh my, it’s like comfort in a cup! I also love the London Fog made with earl grey - so perfectly British tasting. Then there’s my stand-by iced mocha, and the go-to hot chocolate on a rainy day.

Any advice for a writer just starting out?

Keep going. The process can take a long time, but let your passion propel you forward. Let the rejections make your work better, and don’t take no for an answer. Do something for your writing every day – for me, reading about writing and the writing life is hugely inspiring. One of my favorite writing mentor books is Page after Page by Heather Sellers. Her funny, straightforward style is charming, and her wisdom is so encouraging to everyone on the author path. Don’t forget - you are not an aspiring writer – you are a writer!

Author Bio

Happy LaShelle is a writer, mom of three, and wife to a Basque baker who brings home loaves of crusty sourdough everyday. She lives near the mission bells in sunny Santa Barbara, but loves the cold, rainy banks of London's Thames River just as much as the sandy shores of her Newport Beach hometown. She studied History at UCLA and enjoys taking pictures of old stuff. Because everything has a story.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, April 30, 2018

Assassin's Soul (#1 The Angel Crusades) Noella Royce - Book Blitz - Author Interview

Assassin’s Soul
Noella Royce
(The Angel Crusades, #1)
Publication date: April 30th 2018
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

He’s an enigma. Seductive, dominant, dismissive, distant… and this just makes her want him more.

He’s an Adonis, all rippling muscles, magnetic charisma, and supernatural strength. 

And just might be a murderer. 

Why can’t I stay away from him?

All our lives are on the line on this mission. 

But the one man I can’t trust is the one I desire. 

Two groups, the empaths and the tattooed assassins, have joined together to attempt to wrest control of the city of Chicago from the evil demon sorcerer who invaded and took it over ten years before. Andie Oster simply wants to focus on the mission at hand and try to keep herself and her friends alive, challenges made harder by the fact that their new assassin teammates and their commander don’t seem to trust the empaths.

This is especially true of their field leader Dante, a magnetic killer with dark eyes, an insane body, and emotions locked behind a tight wall that no empath can reach.

Andie is instantly drawn to Dante, and can’t stop herself from hooking up with him even when he’s dismissive, behavior she’d never put up with before in a guy.

What was it about him she couldn’t resist, and why was she sure he was more than he appeared?

And would her infatuation get them all killed, since there was a murderer in their midst, and all the clues pointed to Dante being the culprit?

Assassin’s soul is an 80k paranormal romance about inexplicable connection in high-tension situations with empaths, assassins and demons. Guaranteed HEA, no cheating and no cliffhanger, explicit sex.

Q&A with Noella Royce

What was your inspiration for Assassin’s Soul?

This is a bit embarrassing to admit, as it’s so very silly, but the idea came to me, almost fully formed, after watching the John Hughes film “Sixteen Candles” for the first time in many a moon. I’ve always enjoyed the romance between Samantha and Jake Ryan but thought they that two year age gap would be a serious issue in keeping them together. So I had this sequel in my head where they were apart for a few years, grew up, and came back together as stronger, more mature people. (I do this to romances I enjoy, mentally write what happens next; I know I liked a story when I can’t stop following the characters in my head!).

I started to think about how that could be an original story, and somehow psychics and demon killing assassins was where my brain went. Then the idea sat for a couple of years while I changed careers and moved.

Then the story of Dante and Andie knocked on my mental door again, and from there came the creation of the whole of the Angel Crusades series.

What did you learn while writing this book, your first M/F novel length PNR romance?

World-building is easy compared to getting the romance and chemistry between the main characters right! Especially when your guy barely talks and mostly glowers. That took some balance on my part.

In your world, Angels and Demons are neither inherently good or inherently evil – what led to that decision?

One of the things I love most about paranormal romance is its flexibility, namely, the ability to take existing myths, fairy tales, and supernatural tropes and spin them any which way that you’d like. Angels and demons are such powerful concepts, even beyond religion; the idea of ‘demons’, creatures from the underworld who work for a diety of evil, persists in many cultures, and the idea of angels has appeal beyond their religious meaning. “She’s a little angel”, the idea of “guardian angels”, “send me an angel” (great song!) – the symbolism and appeal is undeniable, and I wanted to take the idea of these two ancient foes and make them my own.

I approached each as different cultures with diametrically opposed values and beliefs, and built out their ancient conflict from there.

And, of course, it’s super fun to figure out what pairings to do, mixes to create! I can do angel/demon, human/angel, human/demon, half-demons, half-angels – so many fun options!

What romance authors are your inspiration?

I actually take inspiration from all genres, as I’m kinda a book and category magpie. But in PNR and UF I love Nalini Singh, Illona Andrews, Charlene Harris, Patricia Briggs, Stacia Kane, T.S. Joyce… So many great authors! I adore YA UF, but at the same time I’m not sure I could ever write it; I like the complications and sensuality that come with adult relationships. In the regency space I think Cat Sebastian, Eloisa James and Sarah MacLean are goddesses and amazing writers. I can love contemporary romance, but it can also frustrate the crap out of me; I find too many very well written books use a fatal stupidity or insecurity of the heroine as the dramatic engine, and this makes me want to fling it across the room. As the book is usually on my Kindle, this could get hella expensive very fast!

Author Bio

Noella Royce has been writing romance casually for about a decade, but she came up with the idea for the Angel Crusades and decided to fling herself into the self-publishing world whole hog and with bells on. She loves mixing metaphors, having about ten different books in ten different genres going at any given time, sewing, reading manga, and annoying her cats and husband in equal measure.

If you’d like to keep up to date with Noella’s latest releases and what she’s up to, please check out her webpage at and sign up for her newsletter!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Saturday, March 03, 2018

The Wicked Marquis (#5 Blackhaven Brides) Mary Lancaster Author Interview

The Wicked Marquis

Mary Lancaster 

Publication Date 
17 February 2018 

Historical Romance 

 The Wicked Marquis, book 5 in the Blackhaven Brides series is your newest release. Tell me more about it.

It’s a lighthearted, fun romance about an impoverished and eccentric nobleman – who paints to scratch a living – and his love for a wealthy lady. Here’s the blurb:

The lady meets her match - and he's hopelessly ineligible.

Poverty stricken marquis, Lord Tamar, is regarded in Blackhaven as an amiable eccentric and a gifted painter, rather than as a wicked man. But Tamar has secrets that he dare not reveal to anyone, let alone to the delightful Lady Serena, the Earl of Braithwaite's sister, who suddenly lights up his world.

To Serena, fed up with London etiquette and sent home to her family castle in disgrace after her engagement is broken, the fascinating Tamar is a breath of fresh air. Accepting his help with the mystery of the strange barrels in the castle cellar, she is soon in the midst of danger involving smugglers and spies and a friend's broken heart. 

But it is her own heart which is in most danger, as she falls swiftly and desperately in love. And neither her family nor Tamar himself would ever countenance a marriage between them. Moreover, the marquis turns out to have committed a far more shocking crime than mere poverty. 

Welcome. Shall we get started? 

B - What’s your favorite scene? Can you give me a short excerpt?

M - I had a lot of fun writing this story, so it’s difficult to pick just one scene. You can read the whole of Chapter One on my website (, but here’s a short except that’s typically Tamar – light-hearted, unconventional, and over-bold! Serena has just encountered him for the first time, while he’s trespassing, painting in the grounds of her family home. Neither is really aware of the other’s identity.

“Why do you paint at the castle? There are better views in the environs of Blackhaven, surely, than this orchard.” 

He cast her a sardonic glance. “Did I mention the bailiffs? I’m hiding.”

“Really?” she said, intrigued all over again.

“Sadly, yes.”

“I’ll tell them you’ve gone to Scotland, if that would help?”

“It might,” he said, gratefully. “Thank you.”

“We might need the rest of the town to tell the same story, of course, but… Are you laughing at me?”

“I’m delighting in you, which is quite different.”

She cast him an uncertain glance. His teasing was verging on flirting, which she really couldn’t allow, especially given her disgrace. Besides which, he was a stranger of whom she knew nothing, and an artist to boot. She doubted anyone would consider him respectable let alone safe.

“It’s a good thing and quite harmless,” he assured her, reaching up to pluck a solitary leaf off an apple tree branch. It was pale, golden brown and, halting his step, he held it up to her hair. 


“Almost what?” she asked, bewildered.

“The same color.”

“Is that good?” she asked with a hint of defiance.

“Exact would be better,” he said. “For the leaf.”

She couldn’t help smiling. “You talk a lot of nonsense, you know.”

“So I’ve been told.” His gaze dipped from her eyes to the region of her lips, and her breath caught.

“I should go.” Although she meant it to be decisive and forbidding, the words sounded as reluctant as she felt about leaving the eccentric stranger just yet.

“Must you?” He sounded flatteringly disappointed. Slowly, his gaze lifted back to hers. 

He had rather beautiful eyes for a man, large and dark and yet always with that shade of laughter, as if he was never serious about the world. They caused a thrilling little twist in her stomach, as though a flock of butterflies had just taken wing.

She swallowed. “Yes, I must,” she said firmly. 

“Then meet me again tomorrow.”

I can’t.

“Here?” he suggested.

She raised her eyebrows. “If you’re still hiding from your bailiffs.”

“Until tomorrow, then.” He raised his hand to her cheek, his fingertips just brushing her skin. A smile flickered across his lips and was gone as he lowered his head…


B - Should readers start from the beginning of the series, or can The Wicked Marquis be read as a stand-alone?

M - Yes, it can be read alone – all the Blackhaven Brides books can - but I suppose you would get a better feeling for the secondary characters if you read the earlier books first. Main characters often reappear in other books, before or after their own stories. Both Tamar and Serena have had supporting roles in previous books.

B - Many Historical Romance novels feature marquises as the male protagonist. What makes Lord Tamar stand out from the rest?

M - Well, to start with, he’s poor 😊. He’s had a very odd upbringing, since his father gambled away all the family fortune and died, leaving his children running wild in the ruins of their family home. His happy-go-lucky exterior hides a sense of responsibility and a need to make things right for his family and others affected by his father’s actions.   And, of course, he has his own secrets… 😊 

B - Tell me more about the female lead, Lady Serena. What are your favorite characteristics of hers? 

M - Serena’s had a much more stable and privileged upbringing than Tamar, and despite her domineering mother, is surrounded by a loving rather than a dysfunctional family. Although she’s been the darling of society, she’s basically a very kind, generous person with a lovable sense of fun. But she also has a hint of steely determination that I like!

B - In the blurb, it mentions danger, smugglers, and spies. Sounds action packed! Is this common for your books?

M - Yes, I like plenty of adventure and mystery to keep my characters busy! I like them to pull together through difficult times and learn about themselves and each other as they go.

B - What book are you currently reading?

M - His Dark Kiss, A Gothic romance by Eve Silver. Love a good Gothic romance!

B - Where can we find you writing? At home, in a coffee shop? With or without music?

M - I prefer privacy to write, so usually at home. Sometimes I write with music, sometimes without. It depends on my mood and the mood of the book, and what’s going on around me. 

I have a pleasant room (known as Mum’s library) where I like to work, surrounded by books and a few favourite knick-knacks we’ve picked up on our travels over the years. And the dog often joins me there on a nearby cushion 😊. Unfortunately, the kids also use this room in the evenings if they have friends in – which at least one of them nearly always does - so sometimes I’m driven away by the mess they leave behind until forced to clear it up!

B - What can readers expect from you next?

M - Next is the 6th Blackhaven Brides book, The Wicked Governess, which should release some time in April. I’ve also written a novella in the multi-author Marriage Maker series, which should be out later on in the year.

And I’m delighted to say there will be at least a least 3 more Blackhaven Brides books after that! 

B - Any advice for aspiring authors?

M - I think every author makes their own journey in different ways, but I think it’s always good to keep reading, and not just in the genre you wish to write in. And to write constantly and listen to constructive criticism. Most of all, don’t give up!

~ Thank You ~

Mary Lancaster lives in Scotland with her husband, three mostly grown-up kids and a small, crazy dog.

Her first literary love was historical fiction, a genre which she relishes mixing up with romance and adventure in her own writing. Several of her novels feature actual historical characters as diverse as Hungarian revolutionaries, medieval English outlaws, and a family of eternally rebellious royal Scots. To say nothing of Vlad the Impaler.

Her most recent books are light, fun Regency romances written for Dragonblade Publishing: The Imperial Season series set at the Congress of Vienna; and the popular Blackhaven Brides series, which is set in a fashionable English spa town frequented by the great and the bad of Regency society.

Newsletter sign-up







Wednesday, January 24, 2018

Daughter of the Goddess by Rita Webb - Special Offer Blitz

Daughter of the Goddess
Rita Webb
Publication date: November 20th 2013
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

The wind calls her to play.
Will she listen?

I was a nameless child abandoned on the temple doorsteps.

Soul, the gods called me. So they named me Nephecia.

My plans don’t include marriage to some silly nobleman. When I come of age, I will take vows and devote my life to serving the goddess of Light. As a priestess, a daughter of the goddess, I’ll make the world a better place.

The summer before my eighteenth birthday, an oracle arrives with word from the gods: I must leave the only home, the only family, I’ve ever known, to marry a stranger in a foreign land.

There must be some mistake.

If I follow my own plans, I’ll disobey the very goddess I want to serve. But how can I trust the gods have my best interest at heart?

Daughter of the Goddess is a Young Adult Fairy Tale retelling of the Greek myth Eros and Psyche, set in a fantasy world.

If you enjoy sweet love stories and fairy tales, then you’ll fall in love with Nephecia’s story. Grab your copy today.

99¢ for a limited time only!

Q&A with author Rita Webb

Where did you get the idea for Daughter of the Goddess?

My favorite Greek myth is the story of Eros and Psyche. I think it’s the only Greek myth I read with anywhere close to a happy ending, even if there was a great deal of turmoil getting there.

The philosopher in me always wondered what a soul really was. When someone says, “That music is full of soul,” what does that mean?

So Nephecia epitomizes what I believe soul means. I took her out of Ancient Greece and put her into a world of my own making.

How did the name “Psyche” become “Nephecia”?

I searched other languages for the word “Soul” and found nephesh in Hebrew.

How did the name “Eros” become “Gabin”?

Gabin is a variation of Gabriel (according to my baby name book), that means “Hero of God.” I remember something about it meaning “Beloved by God” too.

Why do you write stories?

I have 3 daughters, ages 15, 13, and 11, and I want them to grow up believing in their dreams. The only way I can see that happening is if I believe in my own.

What’s your secret to success?

My husband. He believes in me, and when I’m discouraged, he never lets me give up.

What one piece of advice do you have for new writers?

Read, write, study, write some more. Never give up. Okay, that’s 5 pieces of advice.

Author Bio

Leaving the house to go to school, I had schoolbooks spilling out of one hand, the other holding my place in a Nancy Drew novel, and bunny slippers still on my feet.  My mom was a wee bit upset.

I haven't changed much. Still always have a book (or two) in my hand or creating stories in my head, and although I don't have any bunny slippers, I love writing in my jammies and snuggly slipper socks.

With my husband TJ (my own cuddly werewolf), I home-school our three girls, who keep us busy with art, science projects, books to read, dance classes, and walks about the park.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Monday, September 18, 2017

Finding You by Lydia Albano - Book Blitz

Finding You
Lydia Albano
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: September 19th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Taken from home and family, all they have is each other.

Isla is kidnapped from a train platform in broad daylight, and thrust into a nightmare when she is sold to a sadistic aristocrat. Locked in a dungeon with a dozen other girls, Isla’s only comfort is a locket and the memory of the boy she loves. But as days pass and more girls disappear, she realizes that help is not coming… If they’re going to survive, they’ll have to escape on their own.

Swoon Reads is proud to present Lydia Albano’s debut novel, a powerful story of a teen girl finding strength and hope in even the worst circumstances.

Interview with Lydia Albano 

Welcome and thank you for taking the time to talk to us.

Thank you for having me!

Q1.  What does your writing process look like?

A1.  Hmm. I usually try out a few first sentences until I find one that I love, and once the story starts to take shape I end up with a pinterest board for it which is always a lot of fun.  It’s taken me years to learn not to edit-as-I-go and to just write instead, but now I can usually crank out a novel pretty quickly from one of the great little hipster coffee shops that Cambridge has so many of.  I need at least a couple of hours to write at a time or else I can’t dive deep enough into a story to get any real work done, but then my first drafts turn out to be 100K+ words. That’s when I make some notes for myself and the self-editing begins.

Q2. Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

A2. Honestly I’m kind of boring like that- I just kind of sit down and write.  I can’t snack at all though!  If there are snacks near me I get absolutely no writing done.

Q3. What book do you wish you could have written?

A3. Oh man, definitely The Night Circus; I wish my brain could call up magic like Erin Morgenstern’s.  A close second might be The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye.

Q4. Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

A4. The very first one was Beatrix Potter- it was one of her stories that first opened my eyes to what books could do to you, how they could make you feel.  Gail Carson Levine was and still is also a really big inspiration to me.

Q5. If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

A5. Oh, this is one of the best things about pinterest, isn’t it?  Isla would be Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Tam would be something like a blond, teenage Heath Ledger. Phoebe is a lot like Abbie Cornish, Des like Ed Westwick, Marion a bit like Denée Benton.  In my head they’re all really specific, borrowing features and mannerisms from all different people. Alistair is definitely David Anders though.

Q6. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

A6. Names might be my favorite thing about writing- is that weird?  As I visualize a character in my head, their name often just kind of comes to me, but there are definitely moments where I just can’t put my finger on the right one.  I love because if you know the kind of name you’re thinking of, you can look it up and they’ll tell you “sibling name” suggestions.

Q7. What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

A7. Oh, I’m bad at this kind of question.  I guess finishing my first book ever; I was homeschooled and my mom- recognizing that I loved to start projects and loved finishing them less- told me she wouldn’t let me graduate until I typed “the end” on a novel, and so I did.  Finishing others in the years since has felt amazing but nothing was like that first hurdle.

Q8. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

A8. Practically, or ideally?  Ideally I’d love an apartment in Kenmore on Commonwealth Ave (kinda near Fenway), writing by a window with a dalmatian or a great dane waiting to be walked.  I like to imagine I’ll be writing full time by then, but who knows really.  In reality my life might not look a lot different than it does now- I think I’d be okay with that as long as there were fewer emotional breakdowns, you know?

Q9. Were you already a great writer? Have you always liked to write?

A9. But this question implies that I’m a great writer now and I don’t think we can go that far! But yes, I’ve loved telling stories most of my life.  Writing them down - while it started as a fun thing because I wanted to be like my brother - became a way for me to process heaviness and hurt, and also to find empathy and joy because I loved learning people’s stories.

Q10. What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

A10. I guess I have three things, and I tell them to anyone who asks me this: Don’t give up even when you think you suck! (Original, I know.)  I think I suck almost every day I write, and whether that’s true or not, I’ve got a book now!  A real book! You can do it.  Second, read your work out loud to yourself- it does wonders for working out the awkward phrases and making the conversation flow.  Lastly, find friends to write with.  Beta readers, other writers, facebook friends who’ll encourage you when you’re doubting yourself. Writing seems like a loner “sport” but it’s not.

Q11. If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?

A11. At the moment I work full-time as the administrator for my church, which I love but I think if I could pick any non-writing job in the world, it would be theater manager/stage hand/usher/something that would let me work in the theater industry without actually performing.  That’s my favorite world.

Q12. What method do you use to plot your book?

A12. I don’t!  I actually can’t outline at all because once I know what’s going to happen, I lose interest in writing it!  That’s one of my favorite things about writing, is discovering the story myself as it goes. Usually I have a vague idea of things that will at some point happen, but never the order or exacts.  I just stick a bunch of stuff on pinterest for inspiration and hope for the best.

Q13. Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

A13. I do read them, so far.  I keep telling myself not to but then I can’t help it.  I’ve had a couple that have felt pretty crushing and a couple that have sent me over the moon, and I’ve responded to some, but something that was strangely helpful to me was reading reviews for a series that I loved and seeing that there were people who hated it or picked it apart.  It made me realize that some people are bound to hate my book and there’s nothing I can do about that.  It was kind of freeing.

Q14. What is your best marketing tip?

A14. Haha, I wish I had one!  I’m a terrible self-promoter; I can’t even describe my own book to people without awkwardly promising that it’s better than I’m making it sound.

Q15. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

A15. Copyedits!  Not because they’re bad (where would we be without them?) but because when you get a document back covered in colorful markings it can look a bit overwhelming.

Q16. Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

A16. I’ve never been asked this before! Hmm.  I don’t want to offend anyone but I’m sure I will- I don’t really love the vampire/paranormal world, which puts me at odds with a lot of other YA readers. I don’t see myself ever writing about it because I don’t really like reading it.

Q17. Do you have a favorite conference to attend? What is it?

A17. I’ve actually never been to a writer’s conference, but I’m planning to try and got to YALLWEST in 2018 if I can!

Q18. Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?

A18. Haha yes, “racy” sounds about right. I heard some advice to “write in a way that scares you a little” so I try to do that- push past things that make me uncomfortable but still, I do get squeamish sometimes.

Q19. How many books have you written so far?

A19. I’ve finished five so far!

Q20. What is your next project?

A20. I don’t know what I’ll start next, but at the moment I’m finishing up a rewrite of one of my favorites that I wrote, about masquerades and spying and a girl who can’t read very well but makes up her own stories, and gets betrayed and decides to take matters into her own hands when she realizes she’s being used by the same people who killed her father.  It has a long way to go but it’s one of my favorite things I’ve written.

That was very interesting. Thank you for your time.

Thank YOU!  This has been so much fun.

Author Bio

Lydia Albano is a (self-proclaimed) Bunburyist living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she promotes Oxford commas, spends her money on musical theater, and demands the Myers-Briggs letters of everyone she meets. Her debut novel, Finding You, will be released in September, 2017, with SwoonReads/Macmillan.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Claimed by Power - Zoey Ellis - Book Blitz

Claimed By Power
Zoey Ellis
Publication date: April 3rd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Not all angels are angelic…

Thea Robinson has never needed anyone’s charity. Sure, her impoverished existence isn’t desired by most, but her ability to manipulate people’s emotions helps her to blend into the shadows of an unforgiving city. When hideous creatures threaten her life, a surly but gorgeous stranger shows up revealing a world she didn’t know existed. She refuses to put up with his rude, arrogant attitude, but how do you dismiss a warrior angel? And does she really want to when his stormy gaze sends delicious thrills straight to her core?

Cam is one of the most ruthless Power angels in the fight against evil. His devotion to kill demons has made him a celebrated warrior in the Angel Realm, even though his motivation stems from grief. When he is assigned to train and protect a half-angel just coming into her abilities, his rage is unparalleled. Until he realizes Thea isn’t like any others. She stirs a carnal passion in him that he can’t shake. He never counted on her being so beautiful… so fierce… so most definitely his.

Claimed by Power is the first book in the Empire of Angels series, a paranormal alpha angel romance series. If you’re a fan of alpha heroes, powerful heroines, paranormal worlds and falling in love, Zoey Ellis’ riveting, sexy tale is perfect for you.

About the end: Although this book can be read as a standalone, Cam and Thea’s story does continue over the next two books.

Sexual scenes and strong language included. Not suitable for readers under 18. 

Q&A with author Zoey Ellis

What motivated you to become an indie author?

I’ve always written stories, mainly to entertain myself, and would usually include friends and family in my tales. Sometimes life was so crazy, I’d just recount things that happened! Other times I made up new scenarios and worlds. Eventually, I entered competitions, took courses, wrote online group stories and shared my work frequently online. I received lots of feedback and therefore improved over time.

I felt discouraged to pursue writing as a career because of the lottery jackpot nature of the traditional publishing industry. When I realized writers could be successful at indie publishing, I thought ‘ah, maybe I could give this a try’ and hoped I could write something others would want to read. And even though I’m a baby indie, all the bloggers, writers and readers who I’ve been in communication with about my book have been so lovely and helpful. It’s really encouraging.

Why do you write Paranormal Romance?

I think deep, passionate, sexual romance is a beautiful part of human nature that is sometimes trivialised and boxed in when actually it can be such a powerful part of a real connection between people, even if other personality flaws get in the way. I also have a deep love for all things fantastical and so it only made sense to blend the two. The challenge of both together make it an enticing sub-genre to tackle.

Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?

Claimed By Power is about a warrior angel with a troublesome nature finding his natural mate in a fiery and distrustful half-angel, who grew up not knowing what she was. They have different ways of approaching their relationship and this causes problems and misunderstandings for them both, but they are drawn to each other and come to understand each other.

I think it’s a must-read because of the idea that angels can mate and shift, just like werewolves! The warrior angel is an alpha but is deeply attracted his mate’s independence and fiery nature. He respects who she is and does everything he can to preserve and protect that throughout their story.

How did you come up with the idea for Claimed By Power?

I didn’t see a story about angels that was in the same vein as the one I wanted to read, so I decided to write it. I pulled on all the things I love about shifter stories and blended them with angels, demons, heaven and hell, passionate love and a developed paranormal world.

How do you select the names of your characters?

Camael is documented as the name of an angel, though different sources claim different facts about him. I liked the one that said he was the ‘chief angel of Powers’, and I knew that had to be the Hero’s name. With the rest of them, I figured out the shortened name I wanted to use and then came up a longer version with the aid of research.

What did you edit out of this book?

My beta readers didn’t connect that much with the character Amber, so I tried to adapt it to make her more likable. I’m not sure I succeeded but she appears throughout Cam and Thea’s story, so hopefully she’ll grow on anyone that isn’t convinced.

What is your favorite part of the book?

It’s a section I added on the advice of one of my brilliant beta readers, and it’s Chapter Ten where Thea is being trained by Cam. He is cold and stern with her while she’s trying to figure him out. I think the goofy and tempestuous side of her character comes across well and it’s clear from other chapters how Cam really feels. I looooved writing it.

What’s next for this series?

There are two more books planned that cover Cam and Thea’s story, which is a bit unusual with the sub-genre I’m targeting, but I couldn’t fit it all into one book (and I probably wouldn’t have finished it if I tried). After that there are two more couples in the same world whose stories need to be told. I won’t say who – it’d spoil the surprise!

Tell us a little about your plans for the future. Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years?

Cam and Thea’s story will all be released this year. In five years, I hope to have released a number of interesting series that are uniquely ‘me’ but also familiar enough to readers of adult Paranormal Romance for them to enjoy. I have an idea for a dragon shifter series next but at the moment, I just want to see how this one does!

Where can we find you online?

Twitter: @authorzoeyellis

Come say hello!

Author Bio

Zoey Ellis spends her most of her time thinking up stories that explore how love and romance can be tested by the darker side of our personalities and the heart-wrenching challenges that must be overcome for love to win, even if two people belong together.

A lover of the fantastical, Zoey enjoys how intense and vast the challenges can be for couples in the paranormal romance genre. Her goal is to build a body of work depicting thrilling, fantastical romances between demanding alpha heroes and fiery heroines hoping the love they make will scorch ereaders and melt hearts. With a soft spot for angels, dragons and alpha shifters, Zoey blends her love of a Happy Ever After with strangely unique worlds and complex plots.

If you're interested in hearing about Zoey's new releases first, as well as her bonuses and giveaways, sign up to her newsletter.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Interview with HAVANA SCOTT/Gaby Triana - Excerpts of Surrender Isle ( Paradise Bay)

Interview with HAVANA SCOTT/Gaby Triana

First of all, welcome and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. 

Q1: Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something that not many people know about?

A1: I've had several careers in addition to writing. I was a 4th grade teacher for 12 years and a cake designer/baker as well. I've made cakes for celebrities, including Pitbulls 30th birthday cake. I've published 6 young adult novels under my name, Gaby Triana, the latest of which comes out in August (WAKE THE HOLLOW, Entangled Teen). 

Q2: What made you want to become a writer?

A2: My 3rd grade teacher made me feel great about my writing, and since then, I've been moving in that direction. Reading Stephen King novels also made me want to write, and winning writing contests all through school encouraged me too. 

Q3: What's your preferred method of writing? Pen or keyboard?

A3: I brainstorm all my stories by hand then outline and write on keyboard. 

Q4: Do you like to write where everything is quiet or do you have background music? 

A4: I wish I could write with background music on, but I need total quiet or at least some white noise like rain or a track of thunderstorm or ocean sounds. I've developed quite an attention deficit problem as I've gotten older, and anything will distract me! 

Q5: Where do you put most of your efforts when writing a story?

A5: For me, characterization is everything. A good plot is important, but well never find out what that plot is if we don't care about the characters. I put my heart into creating believable, 3D characters that talk like real people, act like real people, and fight like real people. 

Q6: Do your characters sometimes take over when you are writing or are you always in control?

A6: I might start out with an outline, but somewhere along the way, one or more characters will decide what they want to happen. I think it's important to leave room for surprises, but for the most part, I try to stay in control, so the story doesn't go off on tangents. 

Q7: What is the toughest criticism that you have ever received about any of your books?

A7: I dont really let reader criticism affect me. Everyone has a right to their opinion! I keep doing what I do, writing books that I would want to read myself and hoping that others will too.

Q8: How to you respond to such criticisms? 

A8: (see above)

Q9: What about the best and most memorable comments about your books and writing style? 

A9: The best compliments I have received are from people who arent avid readers, claim to hate reading, but they enjoyed my books. That's huge to me. It's like making someone without a sense of humor laugh out loud. ☺

Q10: Where did you get the idea for your latest release, Surrender Isle, Paradise Bay, the steamy contemporary romance? 

A10: I noticed there were a lot of dark, gritty romance novels out there, lots of alpha male billionaire books, and while my hero, Tristan, is rich and super good looking, I wanted to write about a colorful, tropical place like the area I'm from (Miami) to try to offset the darkness. Also, I grew up vacationing on beaches, islands, and cruise ships, and I know they are perfect locations for plenty of drama and trouble in paradise!

Q11: Are any of these characters based on real people or are they all purely from your imagination? 

A11: There's a lot of me and my life in this one, so it was a little hard to write at times. In fact, every book I write contains characters and situations based on my life in some respect. There's no way to avoid that. I could set a story on Mars with blue aliens and the blue aliens might closely resemble me, my ex-husband, and my family in the way we interact. 

Q12: What are your favourite parts and who are your favourite characters in this book and why? 

A12: My favorite character is Paris. She's flawed but well-meaning, lost but strong in her will to change. She knows she's not perfect, and yet she is, because she's Every Woman trying to navigate her way through sticky situations, trying to be kind to those who need it but independent enough to grow on her own. She's trying to be a good person despite the pain in her life.

Q13: I find the essay Paris wrote for the competition intriguing. Where did the idea come from? 

A13: I've come across a few of these essay contests online that advertise winning a dream house or dream vacation and thought about entering them, but I never do, because I feel like I'd never win anyway. I thought this would make a great springboard for getting Paris, who's lost faith lately, to jump back into love and life. 

Q14: What other genres of books do you write, besides contemporary romance? 

A14: I write YA novels and have 6 published. WAKE THE HOLLOW is my next release on Aug. 2. It's reimagining of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow with a modern-day plot, and I can't wait for it to come out!

Q15: Which one is your favourite genre and why? 

A15: I don't have a favorite genre. As long as the characters are real and solid and I can follow them through a plot line, I don't care what that plot line is. I do have a guilty pleasure for scary stories, as well as love stories, so I guess I'm all over the map as far as personal tastes. 

Q16: Do you use any websites or resources which have been helpful to you as a writer?

A16: Not at this point. I use everything that I've learned along the way, information I've gained by going to writing conferences, and I try to use common sense and intuition. I find if I listen to others and borrow ideas too much, my writing won't be my own anymore.

Q17: What do your friends and family think of you being an author?

A17: I think they're proud of me, I don't really know. Most family members don't promote any of my work, so I think they're just used to it, because I've been writing for so long.

Q18: Is there any question that you would like someone to ask and never has? If so, what would that question be and what would be the answer?

A18: Miss Scott, to whom do I make out your million-dollar check? To Gaby Triana, of course. And thank you. ☺

Thank you so much and  all the very best wishes for your forthcoming YA novel, Wake the Hollow. It sounds fascinating.

Thanks so much!!! ☺

About the Author 

HAVANA SCOTT is the open pseudonym for Gaby Triana, the award-winning author of six YA novels—Wake the Hollow (August, 2016), Summer of Yesterday, Riding the Universe, The Temptress Four, Cubanita, and Backstage Pass, as well as fifteen ghostwritten novels for best-selling authors of romance and science fiction. Originally a 4th grade teacher, Gaby earned Teacher of the Year in 2000, then left teaching to launch a full-time writing career. She went on to publish young adult novels with HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, win an IRA Teen Choice Award, ALA Best Paperback Award, and Hispanic Magazine’s Good Reads of 2008. She obsesses over Halloween, Christmas, Disney World, cats, whimsical jewelry, cakes, and may be found posting excessive food pics online. She lives in Miami with her three sons, Michael, Noah, and Murphy, has one dog, Chloe, and two cats—Miss Daisy, and the reformed thug, shooting survivor, Bowie. SURRENDER ISLE is her first indie romance series. 

Visit her at

About Surrender Isle


PARADISE BAY - Resort 1 of the Surrender Isle Series by Havana Scott (Steamy Contemporary Romance):

A filthy rich resort mogul and the one woman he can't buy make for one sizzling summer romance. 

When recently-divorced Paris Jones enters an essay contest to win a month-long vacation in Paradise Bay, a hot luxury resort in the French Indies, she doesn't believe dreams can come true. Everyone knows they choose winners with compelling sob stories, not aspiring authors needing time to work on their novels. But Paris's talent for bringing snarky humor to her writing catches the eye and heart of Paradise Bay's sexy affluent owner, and before she knows it, she's packing her bags and flying to the heart of paradise. 

Tristan Giovanetti has seen it all, done it all, spent it all. After business school, he owned restaurants, clubs on South Beach, and now a private island resort with his two business partners. He has less than a year left to pay off his biggest investor, ex-lover, Tatianne Moreau who's about to arrive. He's bedded the most beautiful women in the Caribbean, but nothing rocks his island more than the arrival of a witty, beautiful travel copy writer from Ohio who's lost all faith in herself and love. 

Can Tristan restore Paris's zest for life despite Tatianne's jealous interference? Will Paris give love another chance after her marriage failed so miserably? A tale of restoring balance and enchanting island romance, Paradise Bay - Resort 1 of the SURRENDER ISLE Series will have you surrendering to love again. 

Book Trailer 


PARADISE BAY by Havana Scott (contemporary romance, adult)

Yes, the thought of winning did scare me. Because there was no such thing as paradise on Earth. Because happily ever afters dissolved soon after they began. Because real people didn’t vacation on exotic islands. They stayed stuck at their dead-end jobs. Real people brought leftover soup for lunch. Real people drank reused coffee grinds. 

I stared hard at the photo depicting diamond-studded turquoise waters surrounding Sorendi Isle. I imagined myself there and thought I even felt a breeze blow across my sun-kissed cheeks. Best of all, I imagined coming home with a completed novel under my belt.

Grace was right—I had nothing to lose. It was just money.
“Fine,” I grunted, “but I’ll pay for it. I have some money left.” I would have to eat ramen noodles the rest of the week, but it wouldn’t be the first time.

I closed my eyes and sighed. What would I write? A regular description of the kind of day I would like to have on Sorendi Isle would never do. They would receive hundreds—if not, thousands—of boring entries all saying the same thing. If I was going to do this, my essay had to be different somehow, but still me. Staring at the blinking cursor of the entry field, I began to type:

Dearest Judges,

If I were to win your getaway vacation, each day, I’d awaken to glasses of fresh coconut water on a bed scattered with hibiscus petals, as my tanned feminine arms stretch across gauzy sheets. I’d gaze upon rays of tangerine sunshine filtering through billowy, gossamer curtains. My cabana boy, Serge, a smart-ass alpha male with a heart of gold who spanks me when I’m impertinent and kisses my feet when I step on sea urchins in your crystal blue waters, would flash me his emerald green irises from the goose down pillow next to me. 

“Care for some…breakfast?” he’d coo, swiping my feet into his strong hands, sending rivulets of passion from my toes to my loins.

With lazy brown eyes, I’d stare out the window at your island paradise, as Serge rolls onto me, but I’d pin him onto the bed and make passionate love to him. Because I am one saucy woman with an untamed wild side. With his biceps and abs so hard and sinewy, it’d be like having sex with stone—ancient island stone.

I’d arch my back in wanton pleasure. Our quivers would subside, and I’d send Serge away until I’d need him again later. I’d spend the rest of my day writing my crime novel, The Gates of Lahore, while eating key lime, coconut, and passion fruit macarons, because I admit, I am not dying of cancer. I am merely a writer of fiction, a teller of lies, and writing is all I’d do with my month anyway. Because that’s what we writers do—make shit up for a living. Please pick me. 

An undiscovered author,
Paris Jones

Purchase Links