Supporting other Bloggers

It can be a tough world out there for book bloggers. They get hate thrown at them for their reviews or even black listed by publishers if their honesty means less sales.

When I first started blogging on this site, it was mostly about my individual journey on Nanowrimo. I haven’t been blogging for even 2 years yet and still many of the bloggers that were around when I started are no where to be found. It’s sad that it is a huge surprise when I run into someone that I’ve known or read for years.

Just like authors that come and go with the wane of book sales, bloggers often quit because they are discouraged by a lack of reads or shares. As an author myself, I chose to interview other authors because I wanted to support others in my own industry. There’s room for everyone and I try to follow and support as many bloggers as I can.  The internet is so fast-paced that it is important to support bloggers and creators of any kind if you want to keep getting content from them.

In the spirit of this, I wanted to support some of the other bloggers that also participated in Brandy Woods Snow’s cover reveal. I posted about Meant to be Broken yesterday and so did these 5 bloggersYou can find links to each of their blogs below!

(I’m not being paid to share these bloggers. I’m sharing because they all have great blogs and book bloggers need to support each other! Each of these links will open in a new window.)

Lucy Turns Pages 

Rambling of a Book Nerd

Miranda Burksi

Tracy Renee Wolfe

Laura Taylor Namey

Thanks to all of you for sharing the cover reveal on your blogs and social media! Good luck to Brandy and I hope your book launch will be amazing.

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Pre-Order Meant to be Broken on Amazon

Pre-Order Meant to be Broken on FVP

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Cover Reveal: Meant to be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow

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Pre-Order Meant to be Broken by Brandy Woods Snow

Release Date: July 2, 2018

“Her secret is big. Mama’s is bigger.”

Blurb:
Rayne Davidson is perfectly happy fading into the background. Her mama’s antics garner enough attention in their small Southern town for the both of them, but when Rayne catches the eye of all-star quarterback, Preston Howard, she’s enamored with the possibilities. Too bad Preston doesn’t make her heart thump—his brother does.
Gage Howard doesn’t mind the town’s stares because he doesn’t get them. Growing up in his older brother’s shadow, Gage shrugs off the endless parade of girls Preston brings home—until Rayne.
But there are unwritten rules that shouldn’t be broken, like cheating on your boyfriend or betraying your brother. Rayne and Gage deny their growing attraction, neither willing to hurt Preston—until the town finds out.

They think overcoming the gossip will be the hardest obstacle.
They’re wrong.
Rayne’s mama has a secret, and its revelation could divide the town, the families, and the new couple.
Can love endure if it’s all built on a lie?

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“Brandy Snow’s poetic prose keeps the reader turning the pages. This story is about more than just a love triangle. It is also a family drama with dark secrets and twists.

The story unfolds from both Rayne and Gage’s perspective. Growing up in his older brother’s shadow, Gage is almost oblivious to the girl’ s Preston brings home—until he meets Rayne. You want Rayne and Gage to get together, but you don’t at the same time because Preston is a good guy.

When Rayne and Gage finally get together secrets come to light that will surprise you!” R.J. Garcia, author of Nocturnal Meetings of the Misplaced

Excerpt:

At 9:30 Saturday morning, I find out Preston Howard wants to date me. At 11:30, my mama hears it from old lady McAlister and has a “spell” in aisle three of the Piggly Wiggly. It’s taken seventeen years, but I finally understand the two things my social life and Mama have in common. They’re both erratic and one usually suffers because of the other.

The store manager calls me on my cell and asks me to come get her. He has my number because he’s Daddy’s best friend’s brother and used me to babysit his kids a few times last year. I answer, expecting another job offer.

“Rayne? This is Dave Sullivan, you know, the manager down at the Piggly Wiggly? There’s been an incident with your mama.”

Apparently it’d happened in front of the Luzianne tea bags. She was comparing the family size to smaller ones when Mrs. McAlister offered her a coupon… and a piece of news.

The details get a little sketchy from there—something about her sinking to the floor and gasping for air. That’s when the manager came over with one of those small brown paper sacks they use to bag up ice cream and had her breathe in it. A nurse and a vet, both in the crowd assembled around her, agreed from their varied medical expertise it didn’t appear to be life-threatening. When the paper bag seemed to work, he decided to call me instead of the ambulance.

I pull into the parking lot ten minutes later. She’s sitting on the front bench beside the automatic doors where the employees go to smoke, under the “I’m Big on the Pig!” sign. Mrs. McAlister sits beside her, a little too close, waving a folded-up circular in her face. I wonder what the store employees and shoppers think of me, casually parking the car, walking-not-running, and looking both ways before crossing the main traffic flow. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out they’re all watching from between the weekly specials scribbled on the plate-glass windows.

I don’t feel the need to rush. It isn’t a heart attack or stroke. I call it her bipolar though Daddy gets mad when I refer to it like that. The diagnosis is anxiety, better known as my evil little sister—always around, always a pain, and always ruining my life.
This sort of episode has happened before, just not too often in public. In most societies that’s considered good news—but not in the South. They say we don’t hide our crazy, we dress it up and parade it on the front porch. And even if we don’t, someone else will do the parading for us—telegraph, telephone, tell-a-southern woman. We know how to reach out and touch some people.

Mrs. McAlister jumps up from the bench and grabs my arm as I step up on the curb. “I suwannee, child. She liked to turned over her buggy and spilt them groceries everywhere.”

Talking to some of the older ladies in town always feels like walking out of real life and into some part of Steel Magnolias. She gives me her version of the sordid details. Mama created quite a scene, not just with her episode but also by her scandalous choice of groceries. The mayonnaise was the only casualty, rolling out the leg hole of the kiddie seat portion of the cart when Mama accidentally gave it a rough shove while collapsing on the linoleum.

Mrs. McAlister hadn’t bothered to pick that up and put it back in the buggy, which was now waiting by the customer service desk. It wasn’t Dukes Mayonnaise. She leans in close to whisper because how embarrassing would that be for Mama. To her, it’s further proof Mama hadn’t been feeling well long before their conversation. What southern woman in her right mind buys off-brand mayonnaise?

“Brimming with romantic tension, Brandy Snow’s MEANT TO BE BROKEN is a story of forgiveness, friendship, and first love. Full of authentic southern voice and populated by characters who are real, relatable, and raw, this intensely emotional debut kept me reading late into the night. Romance lovers, you’re in for a treat!” Katy Upperman, author of Kissing Max Holden

Brandy Woods Snow

Website |Twitter |Facebook |Instagram

Brandy Woods Snow is an author and journalist born, raised and currently living in beautiful Upstateunnamed South Carolina. She earned a BA in English/Writing from Clemson University and worked in corporate communications and the media for more than 17 years before pursuing her true passion for novel writing. Brandy is a member of Romance Writers of America (RWA) and Young Adult RWA.

When Brandy’s not writing, reading, spending time with her husband or driving carpool for her three kids, she enjoys kayaking, family hikes, yelling “Go Tigers!” as loud as she can, playing the piano and taking “naked” Jeep Wrangler cruises on twisty, country roads.

This book is published by Filles Vertes Publishing, where I am an editorial intern. You can find more about Filles Vertes Publishing here:

www.FillesVertesPublishing.com | Facebook |Twitter|Instagram|Youtube

If you’re a writer looking for support, check out the Facebook group Passage to Publishing. It is run by FVP and I regularly participate in the posts there. It’s a group all about encouraging writers and other creators. Everyone needs support!

Do you love the cover for Meant to be Broken? It was designed by Broken Arrow Designs. 

 

Author Interview with Naomi Aoki

I recently got in touch with Naomi Aoki. She is the author of The Yakuza and the English Teacher series, which consists of three books. She is self-published so I asked her a little bit about that as well as her writing methods.

From her Amazon author bio:

“She would love to runaway to Japan or China and live there for a few years… but she can’t. Instead she goes there in her books, hoping to drag the reader into a world they’ve never been to before.
Historical. Contemporary. Time offers no constraint to the stories she writes, happily dabbling in both so long as there is a happy ending.”

You can get in touch with Naomi on social media:

Naomi Aoki Website | Twitter |Facebook

Eliza: Thanks so much for joining me on my blog, Naomi! You have three books released now and the third was the conclusion, right?

Naomi: Yes, Dangerous Life is the third book in the series and the conclusion of Jamie and Gou’s story. I do have a fourth book – a spin off – involving Gou’s nephew and Jamie’s best friend.

Eliza: Did you feel a lot of pressure writing and releasing the final book in the series?

Naomi: Only from myself to get it done, and maybe from the characters who wanted to have their story told.

Eliza: What time period does this series take place in? Did you have to do a lot of research about Japan during that time for the books?

Naomi: Contemporary Japan. I read books on the Yakuza; used Google Maps an awful lot to make sure I got directions etc right. But I’ve also visited Kyoto where this was predominantly set, as well as Nara and Tokyo, drawing on my own experiences there to write Jamie’s reactions to each place.

Eliza: Jamie and Gou have a lot of difficult hurdles they have to get through to be together. What was your inspiration for their romance?

Naomi: I had been reading a book on the Yakuza for another story and It mentioned that they owned Language Schools, and I was like ‘I wonder what would happen if….’ And went from there.

Eliza: When I’m writing a series, I know that I struggle to plot out too many books in advance. Do you have the whole series plotted thoroughly or do you just go off the cuff?

Naomi: I am pantser. I might have a rough idea of where the characters might end up but that’s it. Initially I had thought it might only be one book, but the characters had a lot they wanted to share with me – and I realised quickly that one book wouldn’t tie up the external conflict nicely – so I kept writing.

Eliza: It can be difficult to feel like your book is “ready” when you don’t have an agent or a company behind you to tell you when. How did you decide when it was time to publish?

Naomi: I ended up self-publishing – a steep learning curve – because at the time I couldn’t see where or with whom my books fitted. For starters they were set outside of the traditional spheres of America or Britain nor did they have any American characters, which at the bottom end of the world we are often told that books without at least an American character won’t sell… maybe that’s true, maybe not. Also, I wanted to prove to myself I could do it.

Eliza: What reaction gif would you choose for the ending of the 3rd book?

Naomi: giphy

Eliza: Is this series self published? Do you have any tips for writers who are considering self publishing?

Naomi: If you’re on a small budget -or no budget- because not everyone can afford to spend money on every aspect of the process, then be prepared to learn new skills. If you can’t afford to buy covers, then look around at different programmes and teach yourself how to do it.

Eliza: My last question for you, is what is next for Naomi Aoki? Do you have any future series you are working on?

Naomi: Currently I’m working on the spin-off book and have submitted an historical novel set in China to a publisher. And because I like to have many things on the go, trying to decide whether to start another Historical or a contemporary Rom-suspense.

Eliza: Thanks again for answering my questions!

 

Love was never meant to be this dangerous.

Dangerous Lessons by Naomi Aoki 

Available now on Amazon for $2.99

“The Yakuza and the English Teacher Series: Book 1

Falling in love had never been the plan when Jamie headed to Japan to teach English, but when a powerful businessmen takes an interest in him, how can he say no.

Except, Gou is no ordinary businessmen.

When the truth comes out, does Jamie run or does he stay?

And will he have a choice?”

 

Author Interview with M.E. Vaughan

I met Madeleine a few years ago, when she designed a gorgeous cover for me (the book has not been released.) I started out as a fan of her gorgeous art and I am now a fan of her books. I reached out to M.E. and asked her all the questions I have been dying to know about her book series and her writing process.

About M.E. Vaughan, from her website:

“M.E. Vaughan is a binational Anglo-French novelist and singer-songwriter, who specialises in fantasy, magic realism and mythology. Head writer, and founding member of the Hampshire-based Gaming Studio Enigmatic Studios, she is a Creative Writing lecturer at the University of Winchester, and has a 1:1 Bachelors degree in Creative Writing.

Her first novel The Sons of Thestian was published in March, 2015, with the sequel Blood of the Delphi following in February 2017. The books are part of a series called The Harmatia Cycle which draws on Celtic and Arthurian mythology, but modernises the typical archetypes and gender-roles within them. As well as working in fantasy, M.E. Vaughan also enjoys Mystery and Drama and writes personalised murder mystery games for parties.

In 2016, M.E. Vaughan and fellow author J.A. Ironside began an audio series named Dissecting Dragons, which is a discussion-based pod-cast that focuses on the ins and outs of speculative fiction. The series has invited a number of guests onto the show so far to discuss varied topics, and is designed primarily – as the tagline says – by writers and readers, for writers and readers.

Musically, M.E. Vaughan has achieved a Grade 8 Distinction, and a further Advanced Certificate in Singing, and is a keen composer. She was awarded the Excellence Awardee music scholarship at the University of Winchester, which granted her a bursury to pursue her musical interests. Later, when she graduated, she worked as the Foundation Music Intern, and an events administrator, and continues to run a folk and world music choir at the University today.

Artistically, M.E. Vaughan is a hobbyist, who enjoys painting, drawing and photomanipulation.”

Connect with M.E. Vaughan on Twitter or her website or tune into her wonderful podcast Dissecting Dragons.

Eliza: When you sat down to write The Sons of Thestian what came to you first? The character, idea, or maybe the plot?

M.E.: The book started with the prologue. I got the idea whilst walking home one winter. I was in Holland at the time, in the Hague, and darkness was falling. The streets were absolutely deserted, and I passed by this huge, old Gothic building. In the distance the bells tolled for the hour, and I remember the thought crossing my mind: ‘I need to hurry home—after the bells toll, the city belongs to the monsters.’

When I got home I sat and wrote the prologue, about these two men fleeing these monsters. I had no idea where I was going with it, and when I’d finished writing the prologue, I sat on it for several months. I had no idea what the plot was, but the characters came to life, and the next thing I knew, they were pulling me onto their adventure.

Eliza: That is amazing. It sounds like you might lean more toward “pantser” than “plotter” then. How extensively do you plot your story before you write it and how many times do you let yourself stray from that plot?

M.E.: I like to know where I am headed, but leave the journey a surprise. It’s like going to a music festival—there are acts you must see, and you plan around those, but that between time is the place of discovery where you may just discover your new favour band. I often know where I’m going, but not necessarily how I am getting there, and on several occasions characters have done something which I wasn’t expecting, or ended up down a rabbit-hole I never anticipated. For example, Arlen Zachary would never have become the character he is if I’d stuck totally with the original plan, and that’s a good thing! I think if you plan too rigidly and don’t leave room, your characters can end up feeling quite stunted and one-dimensional, and the story can lack soul.

Eliza: I think authors can really complicate the editing process and make it more daunting than it needs to be. When I started writing, I would rewrite a manuscript half a dozen times before I let anyone look at it. I’m not as thorough anymore and try to stick to just 3 drafts before I send it off to a beta or an editor. How many drafts do you do and has that number changed since you started writing?

M.E.: It can really depend on the book. I have a general rule which is that for every one hour you spent writing it, you’ll probably spend a minimum of three hours editing. I certainly wouldn’t send a first draft to an agent or a publisher. That said, I have sent first-drafts to my betas and editor.

I think writers can struggle to find that balance between sending their work out too soon, and nit-picking over it for too long.  I don’t suffer from the latter any more, mostly because of my degree. We did frequent workshopping, and I came to depend on that feedback and encouragement. I no longer see it as one of the final steps you take in editing, but as an essential early step instead.

As such I am often impatient to get my draft to my beta, as I am keen to get on with editing!

Eliza: I can see how that could be very helpful. Have you ever given up on a book and thrown away a manuscript?

M.E.: Yes, though I don’t really see it as ‘throwing away’. It’s important to remember that when you become a writer, you are more than any one of your books—you are a creative machine.

I have a ton of stories which never got further than my computer screen. Books I loved, stories which didn’t have a market, projects that petered out—absolutely none of them were a waste of time. I was practising my craft, sharpening and shaping it. And that juvenile novel I wrote when I was thirteen? Sure, it will never be published, and I’ll never finish the series, but there are lessons and themes and even characters which have been born out of it and appeared in my current manuscripts. I think it’s ok to let go of a project, even if you have been working on it for some time—clinging to something which isn’t doing anything for you anymore can be toxic to your creativity and stunt your chance of growing and creating something new. In my experience, if a story really wants to be told, it won’t let you go…And even if you take a break from it, to pursue other things, it’ll grow and change, and wait for you to be ready again. And one day, you’ll open up the folder, and find it, and go, “Gods, I remember you.” And you’ll fall right back in-love.

Eliza: Do you have any special rituals or routines that you have to do before you write or edit?

M.E.: Not particularly no, though I do physically walk-through action sequences and fight scenes with music. I call it ‘Dragoning’ and it is probably the single most embarrassing thing I do, because I sure as hell don’t look nearly as cool as my characters, and going through the movements of several characters by yourself is always going to be…tricky. It’s still something I enjoy immensely, and I do it almost every day. I’ve come up with some of my more epic sequences this way!

Eliza: I love that, you have to find what works for you! If you were to pick one gif to describe your reaction to the ending of The Sons of Thestian, what would it be?

M.E.

Eliza: Now I have to ask you more about your book series, The Harmatia Cycle. If you take one look at the reviews for your books, you see so many positive comments about the world building. You are also a talented artist. Did you create maps or draw scenes from the series?

M.E.: I did actually draw the map myself, yes! I’ve also done a number of diagrams all about the magic, and star systems, and all that kind of thing, none of which have ever seen the light of day! I have also done illustrations of the characters, though I haven’t drawn any of the scenes in particular.

Eliza: I see that an illustrator is credited on Amazon. Are there illustrations within the book?

M.E.: No, it’s just the front cover. Stef Tastan is an incredible artists and did such an amazing job with the artwork that I wanted her to be credited as much as possible.

Eliza: What is your method for keeping track of all the details that come with expansive world building?

M.E.: It’s inevitable that I’ll forget something and have to check the manuscript or website for it, but for the most part I keep everything in my head. I think it’s because the countries and cultures in Harmatia have got such strong associations in my head. I have spent so much time in each of them, that they’re very real to me! When I step into Bethean, I feel very Betheanian, which is a mixture between the way I feel about Ireland and about my home in France. Those feelings bring up a number of thoughts and feelings which are what originally developed Bethean, so they’re all easy to remember!

Eliza: I read that your book contains some flashbacks. It sounds like readers loved them and I was surprised to read that because it can be hard to predict if they will be received well. How did you fit them into the story in a way that would entertain readers?

M.E.: I think jumping times and place in any book always has the potential to be a little jarring, so it’s all about placing, and how the flashbacks are used. I tried to use flashbacks as transitional sections whereby, even though it was going back, it was moving things forward and connecting other scenes.

Eliza: On Twitter, you mention that you have an LGBTQ character in the book. I was excited to read that because you don’t see many YA novels, particularly in Fantasy, where there are LGBTQ characters. Without giving us any spoilers, can you tell us a little about this character (characters?) and your inspiration for them?

M.E.: The Harmatia Cycle has lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans and ace characters. Most predominantly you have Rufus Merle, the protagonist, who is openly bisexual. As a bisexual woman myself, I created Rufus during a time when I was very much closeted but also trying to explore the nature of my own sexuality. Having Rufus as a bisexual character was very important to me, and having his story not evolve around his sexuality was equally as important. My ambition with The Harmatia Cycle is to reflect the diversity within our societies, whilst ensuring that no character simply becomes their sexuality or gender. I hope very much I have achieved this.

Eliza: I thinks it’s wonderful to strive for a broad spectrum of representation in your works. Your book is lengthy at 751 pages. Do you think that YA readers are yearning for longer novels in today’s markets?

M.E.: I think the YA audience grows every year. I believe this is because YA pushes boundaries which many adult novels don’t. If you’re looking for representation, I find YA is more likely to offer it, so it attracts a large range of readers of all ages. Technically, The Harmatia Cycle is too long for what is usually expected in YA, but I think it’s foolish to underestimate Young Adult’s capacity to concentrate and get through a longer book. I mean, Harry Potter was original written for Middle Grade! A story will be as long as it needs, and I think my readers would find it less satisfying if I cut corners in delivering that story all in an attempt to appease a pre-existing template.

Eliza: There used to be competitions between my childhood friends to see who could read the longest books. I think if we can challenge 15 year olds in high school to read literary classics then we can expect they can finish a book that is relevant to them. My last question for you is about your publishing company. Do you plan to publish other writers as well as your own works there?

M.E.: For the time being Mag Mell Publishing is a press for my own works and projects. I intend, at some point, to perhaps publish a collection of anthologies featuring other writers as well, but for the time being, it’s a very personal press.

Eliza: That is great. Well, thank you so much for taking the time to answer all of these questions. I wish you the best of luck with your journey as an author!

If you would like to purchase the first book in The Harmatia Cycle, The Sons of Thestian is available on Amazon, Book Depository, and Waterstones.

Author Interview with David Ahern

I reached out to author, David Ahern, and requested an interview. His Madam Tulip series is so fun that I had to ask a few questions about the third book in the series, which is to be released today. I am so pleased with the results and I hope you enjoy it too!

DavidAhern 300X375David Ahern’s Bio, from his website:

“David Ahern grew up in a theatrical family in Ireland but ran away to Scotland to become a research psychologist and sensible person. He earned his doctorate but soon absconded to work in television. He became a writer, director and producer, creating international documentary series and winning numerous awards, none of which got him free into nightclubs.

Madam Tulip wasn’t David Ahern’s first novel, but writing it was the most fun he’s ever had with a computer. He is now writing the fourth Madam Tulip adventure and enjoys pretending this is actual work.

David Ahern lives in the beautiful West of Ireland with his wife, two cats and a vegetable garden of which he is inordinately proud.

You can learn more about David Ahern and Madam Tulip on his website. Connect with David Ahern on Facebook and Twitter.

Eliza: First, I would like to say thank you for doing this interview! It’s always a pleasure to get to know a little more about authors and their books. You have published 3 books now with Malin Press. Is that a traditional or an indie publishing company?

David:  I run an independent TV production company that has started a small publishing venture. So I’m kinda the boss and not the boss. They’re testing the water with Madam Tulip, and so far they’re happy.  I’m a big fan of the freedom and independence the smaller publishers can give their authors. Writers looking for a deal with the big houses can forget that what they need is the right contract for them as a writer, and that’s not easy to get.

Eliza: I’m sure most hopeful authors have dealt with submitting manuscripts. Did you find an agent or submit directly to publishers? If so, how long were you actively submitting?

David: I didn’t submit Madam Tulip to any publishers or agents. I’ve been lucky enough in the past to have had many industry pitching sessions, and I learned that these days most agents and publishers lack the patience needed to see a series grow. Everyone is interested in the next hit. Far better to go independent if you think your work will need time to find its following.

Eliza: I really like your covers, particularly the cover for your last novel Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance. Did you have much say in what the cover would look like?

David: We have a wonderful designer in Natalie of Kisscut Design, and I get to work with her on the covers. For me, with a background in visual media, not having a say in the covers would be unthinkable.  Covers are so important, and it’s a fun part of the process too.

Eliza: In your author bio, you state that you have a background in television. Does this influence the way you write?

David: I’m sure it does.  TV demands you tell an engaging story.  You have to avoid people reaching for the remote – if you hang around they’re gone. Apart from that, years of film editing means I think visually and I tell stories that way.  I want my readers to get inside the action, and people do love that quality in the Madam Tulip books.

Eliza: Would you ever want to write a screenplay for one of your own novels?

David: I think the answer is no, though I’d want to be consulted. The best thing about writing novels is that you get to do something that only you can do, and you have complete freedom. Film isn’t like that; too much money is involved. So I’d prefer to get on with creating the next Tulip story.  Nobody else can do that.

Eliza: If your book was a movie or television series, who would play Derry O’Donnell?

David:  Jennifer Lawrence would do a wonderful job.  She’s got a terrific sense of humour. I fully expect her to phone.

Eliza: I noticed that your first two books were published pretty close together. Did you wait to publish the first one until you had finished the second?

David: Yes.  I waited until I had a draft of the second.  I didn’t want that awful pressure writers talk about of staring at a blank book #2 with a clock ticking.

Eliza: How long did it take you to write each book and does it get easier to write them as the series continues?

David:  Each takes about a year. And yes, they do get easier in that the characters are old friends now.  But you want each book to be at least as good as the last, preferably better, so that makes each book a little harder.  There’s so much serendipity in writing. You never know how well a story is going to come together, so you need a little luck too.

Eliza: I love your main character, Derry O’Donnell. She sounds like she would be lots of fun to have over at a garden party. I think it is fascinating that you are writing from the perspective of a young woman because I am a young woman and the main character in my serial is a middle aged man. I struggled a bit when writing my character because I wanted him to feel real and very separate from myself. Did you find it difficult writing from that perspective?

David: Not at all. I’ve always been able to write realistic female characters; I’ve no idea why.  But empathy is what imagination is for, and if you live with your eyes and ears open (and your heart too), you can think yourself into anyone’s life.

Eliza: In the first book, Derry is placed in a difficult position of solving a murder. If you were in Derry’s place, would you handle the situation differently?

David: I’d have to, because I doubt I have her ability to think on her feet or the acting skills that she deploys so effectively when she needs to. I’m not sure I’d have her moral courage either, although I’d like to think so, of course.

Eliza: Thanks again! And best of luck with your new book!

David: Thanks to you, Eliza.  A pleasure.

Connect with David on his website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance is released today, April 12. Available on Amazon, in eBook and paperback.

Book Cover for Bones of Chance, Orange with Bird.

Madam Tulip and the Bones of Chance Description:

“Suspense, mystery, action, a little romance and lots of laughs
A surprise role in a movie takes actress Derry O’Donnell to a romantic castle in the Scottish Highlands. But romance soon turns to fear and suspicion. Someone means to kill, and Derry, moonlighting as celebrity fortune-teller Madam Tulip, is snared in a net of greed, conspiracy and betrayal.

A millionaire banker, a film producer with a mysterious past, a gun-loving wife, a PA with her eyes on Hollywood, a handsome and charming estate manager—each has a secret to share and a request for Madam Tulip.
As Derry and her friend Bruce race to prevent a murder, she learns to her dismay that the one future Tulip can’t predict is her own.

Madame Tulip is the third in a series of thrilling and hilarious Tulip adventures in which Derry O’Donnell, celebrity fortune-teller and reluctant amateur detective, plays the most exciting and perilous roles of her acting life, drinks borage tea, and fails to understand her parents.”

Author Interview with Tracy Renee Wolfe

I got in contact with some lovely people at Filles Vertes Publishing last week and asked to do an author interview with Tracy Renee Wolfe. I was able to ask her a few fun questions and get to know her a little bit, and it was a lot of fun! I posted the cover reveal for her new book, Abducted Hope, on my blog last week and you can find that here. Her new book comes out next Friday, March 30th.

About Tracy, from her website:

Tracy Renee Wolfe is an author, lover of books, Christian, wife, mom, animal lover, geek, and Hokie. She lives in her native state of Virginia with her husband and son. She loves all furry animals, including rats, and is known for stopping to pet any dog she encounters.
As a self-professed geek, she loves science fiction and fantasy and fervently defends her belief that Star Trek and Star Wars are not mutually exclusive fandoms. She considers herself to be an online extrovert and an offline introvert, leading to her love of social media. Additionally, she shares many interests with little kids, such as Disney movies, the opinion that no food can be “too sweet”, and cheesy poetry that rhymes. An example of the latter can be found in the poetry anthology, “Our Virginia: The State For Lovers.”

Her debut novel, “Abducted Hope,” is a new-adult, space opera, coming soon from Filles Vertes Publishing. She can’t wait to share it with other book lovers!

Connect with Tracy on Her Official Website, Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.

Eliza: Tracy, thank you so much for joining me today. You have a really interesting about page and I just have to ask: what are your rats’ names and do you let them wear tiny hats? Are they ever featured in your writing?

Tracy: I’m happy to be here! We started with a pair of rats named Cookies and Creme, who both turned out to be pregnant. We eventually ended up with a total of five rats that we kept: Cookies, Oreo, Nilla, Tagalong, and Baileys. They were so cuddly and I loved to dress them up and pose them! They were good sports! Unfortunately they’ve all passed away, but featuring them in my writing would be a great idea! (see attached picture 😉 )

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Photo Courtesy of Tracy Renee Wolfe

Eliza: Ahhh! I love a rodent with good party wear. Silliness out of the way, I want to know more about your new book, Abducted Hope. You have to be so excited that it is going to be released in just a week! How long has it been from when you first started writing to publication?

Tracy: I am beyond excited! It’s pretty surreal, in fact, that I’ll soon have a published book that I wrote in my hands! I believe I started querying in early 2016. Before I found Filles Vertes Publishing through a pitch contest on Twitter, I’d already been rejected over 100 times by literary agencies. It was a long process to find the right home for my book!

Eliza: I read that your book is 362 pages. That’s a lot! How long did it take you to write?

Tracy: I’d say it took me over a year to write Abducted Hope. I wrote it while working part-time washing dishes in the cafeteria at my son’s elementary school. The monotony of washing dishes helped me think of all kinds of plot twists!

Eliza: If you had to use one gif to express how you feel about the writing process, what would it be?

Tracy:

Eliza: Amazing, I love it! A lot of the people that read my blog are writers as well. One tip I like to give other writers is: use one garbage can only for paper (just in case you decide to keep what you threw out yesterday.) Do you have any tips for new writers that hope to be published one day as well?

Tracy: Never give up! This applies to both the writing process and the publishing process. In my earlier years, I gave up on my work way too quickly. Abducted Hope is actually the first story that I let other people read. I don’t even have earlier stories because I thought they were terrible and deleted them!

Eliza: What drew you to writing for the new adult category? Is it more to do with the age of the main character or the intended audience?

Tracy: It definitely has more to do with the character than the intended audience. As a kid, I mostly read adult books, and as an adult, I mostly read young adult books. I love that books transcend age categories! The age categories are tricky these days though. I’ve read some theories that if the main character is college-aged, the book should be considered new adult. However, there’s another school of thought that believes new adult is strictly reserved for explicit content. For the record, Abducted Hope does not fit into the latter.

Eliza: Good to know! I have definitely heard that about new adult, as well. From the description about your book is sounds like a lot of it takes place on a space station. Did you do research about space stations while writing the book?

Tracy: I didn’t really research space stations very much, but I had to do a lot of research in science and medicine. That’s the tricky part of science fiction. I wanted to just “make up” things, but it had to be plausible!

Eliza: I love creating my own world building maps and designs for places I’m writing about. Did you draw or design the space station in your book?

Tracy: I’m not artistically inclined, so I did not make any maps or designs, though it definitely would have been helpful to keep details straight.

Eliza: I’m not very artistic either. Mine usually look like a toddler drawing chickens, but I do my best! I wish there was an Inkarnate for Science Fiction books. One of the characters in your book, Orion, is described as an alien doctor. What do the aliens look like in your book?

Tracy: Orion is a Phaeite. They look human, with the exception of their lack of hair. There are other species as well, but I can’t divulge too many details on them without spoiling the book.

Eliza: I can’t imagine being thrust into the situation that the main character, Melissa, is in. She is impregnated by aliens, has her daughter taken from her, and is tortured by the Ruling Class. What is the driving force, or motive, that gets her through those challenges?

Tracy: You’re killing me with these thought-provoking questions, Eliza! Lol. Melissa only briefly mentions her belief in God at one point in the book, but I like to think that her faith keeps her going.

Eliza:  You’re doing great! Which character in your book do you most relate to and why?

Tracy: I definitely relate to Melissa the most. I envisioned myself in her shoes every step of the story. I’m also sure that I unintentionally gifted her with many of my own strengths and weaknesses.

Eliza: If your book was turned into a movie, who would you pick to play Melissa?

Tracy: I would say that I haven’t even thought that far ahead, but that would be a lie, lol. I haven’t really considered who would play Melissa though. However, I’ve pictured Chris Hemsworth as Orion, particularly in the second half of the book.

Eliza: But would it be Hemsworth without all of that dreamy hair? Well, this is the last question. I apologize as it’s a bit of a kicker. What is your favorite science fiction book of all time?

Tracy: For the longest time, I would have said Lightning by Dean Koontz. Today, I have so many favorites that I can’t narrow it down. I will say that I lean towards the dystopian end of the sci-fi spectrum.

Eliza: It’s so hard to choose just one, right? Thanks for answering these questions for me and my readers! Congratulations on Abducted Hope which comes out on March 30th.

Tracy: Thank you so much!

You can find Tracy on Her Official Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads.

Pre-Order Abducted Hope Here!

AbductedHope

Cover Reveal for New Space Opera by Tracey Renee Hope: Abducted Hope

Hello readers! If you have been following my journey, I recently signed on as an Editorial Intern for Filles Vertes Publishing. When I heard that they wanted blogs to post the cover reveal for their latest space opera, Abducted Hope, I was more than excited to join in! I can’t wait to read this amazing book, which comes out on March 30th. Below you will find the cover, a blurb, and a short excerpt from the book. Enjoy and please share!

Abducted Hope

by Tracy Renee Wolfe

From Filles Vertes Publishing, LLC

AbductedHope

Available March 30, 2018

Pre-order HERE!

Blurb:

When lonely college student Melissa Field is abducted and swept into an out-of-this-world adventure, it’s nothing like she imagined. Her life collides with Orion’s aboard a space station where Melissa is the captive subject for Orion’s forced experiment to save his species.

Being the center of this life-changing study has its perks. Having researched humans as a longtime hobby, Orion allows Melissa the comforts of home; even if the pizza is cooked in a replicator. At least his touch is warm and real enough.

As they discover the corrupt intentions of those in charge, their only chance at joy and safety together exists away from the Phaeite leaders known as the Ruling Class. But escaping brings short-lived freedom when the Phaeites aren’t the only species intent on ruining their lives.

It will take more than reliable transportation and courage for Melissa to span a galaxy and save her new family. Being abducted by aliens was nothing compared to getting in the middle of an intergalactic war.

Meet the Author

Tracy Author PhotoTracy Renee Wolfe is an author, lover of books, Christian, wife, mom, animal lover, geek, and Hokie. She lives in her native state of Virginia with her husband and son. She loves all furry animals, including rats, and is known for stopping to pet any dog she encounters. As a self-professed geek, she loves science fiction and fantasy, and fervently defends her belief that Star Trek and Star Wars are not mutually exclusive fandoms. She considers herself to be an online extrovert and an offline introvert, leading to her love of social media. Additionally, she shares many interests with little kids, such as Disney movies, the opinion that no food can be “too sweet,” and cheesy poetry that rhymes. An example of the latter can be found in the poetry anthology, Our Virginia: The State For Lovers.

Connect with Tracy on Her Official Website, Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads

Full Jacket

Excerpt:

After a few minutes, I adjusted to the noxious air. Maybe my subconscious accepted its fated death and allowed me to relax and accept the gas into my system. I physically relaxed and idiotically gave up my struggle under the strange circumstances.

“I’ve completely weaned you off oxygen,” he said. “You’re now breathing the same air I am. Now we just need to ease off the psychotropic. It’s similar to a drug you know as valium but stronger. It helps to lessen anxiety but also makes you more cooperative.”

“Ohhh,” I said with a musical lilt to my voice.

That’s why I’m so relaxed. But why on earth would I be breathing something other than oxygen?

The calming effect slipped away as he turned off the drugs. The panic slowly started to creep back in at first. Then it bombarded me, and everything went black.

At some point, I realized I was waking up again and tried to speak. But even breathing was like sandpaper rubbing my windpipes, aching as if I was inhaling fire. The thick air seemed to congeal in my system, almost like a solid instead of a gas.

Orion sat next to me on a stool, staring and holding my hand as if he were a friend trying to comfort me. “Shhhhhh,” he gently cooed. “Try not to speak. Give your body the chance to get used to this new feeling. You didn’t pass out; I gave you a sedative, so your body could just focus on breathing ryphahl instead of oxygen. Also, we were both in bloody desperate need of sleep. You slept for ten hours.”

I tried to speak but got shushed again. “I promise, I’ll answer all your questions later. Let me get you something to drink.” He placed my right arm back into the restraints as he left the room.

I didn’t have time to attempt a breakout as he returned quickly with a cup of water. He held it close to my mouth, and I took a big slurp through the straw but gagged and spewed the entire mouthful all over my lap.

“I should’ve warned you.” He gently wiped off my hospital gown with a towel. “This is similar to your water, but not quite the same. Plus, everything tastes different due to the change in atmosphere which affects your sense of taste and smell.”

He tossed the towel behind me and sat back down on the small stool. As he seemed to be composing his thoughts, I searched his face for the answers I needed. He noticed and, gazing toward the floor as if suddenly self-conscious, he straightened the surgical cap he wore.

“Okay, Melissa—is it okay that I call you by your name?”

I nodded, wondering how he knew.

“Learning to breathe was rough, but that’s not the only thing to get through. This next part will be uncomfortable, and I’m sorry.” He looked remorsefully at the ground again, but got right to work without waiting for any response.

Click HERE to check out the mini-trailer for ABDUCTED HOPE