Guest Author Interview – Evelyn Taylor Stamps

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Title: Love Beyond Boundaries

Genre: Historical Romance/Multicultural/Clean & Wholesome

Synopsis: It’s often said “love is blind.” This proves to be true in this romantic tale set in the 1800s. When Jackson, a freed black man falls in love with Tika, a white girl, they must keep their feelings hidden or face the backlash and scorn from white slave owners. Tika’s brother, Sawyer Craft, raised to be a fighter against injustice and ill treatment of slaves, is determined not to allow the complications of falling in love, keep him from carrying out his father’s legacy. He is taken off guard when he rescues a slave girl and brings her home to live on the family land where she can be free. He never expected his heart to be taken captive in the deal. “Love Beyond Boundaries” explores love, racism, and struggles of the Craft family and their journey all woven in a romantic tale.

Ms. Evelyn Taylor Stamps, Author.

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Evelyn Taylor Stamps. She has the honor of being the oldest author spotlighted on my blog. She began writing late in life, but now, it is her passion. Welcome to my blog, Ms. Evelyn

CH: Why should we read this historical romance about love and racism in the 1800’s?

ETS: It is my belief if readers read Love Beyond Boundaries, they will see the force of love that shines and gives light and direction to the darkest part of a human’s struggle. It is not a dull, lifeless, story, but one filled with love and forgiveness. Throughout history, we are introduced to the harshness of slavery. In Love Beyond Boundaries, readers will witness the softer side of this horrible time of slavery and the ill-treatment of black people through the eyes of two couples.

CH: How did you come up with the premise for this story?

ETS: This story was birthed with fondness and admiration after listening for years to my grandfather’s account of his great-grandfather’s account of a white abolitionist named Sawyer Craft. I took his stories and weaved this romantic tale.

CH: This story is about a white person and a black person falling in love during slavery. Is this story based on a real-life event?

ETS: Yes, as I mentioned earlier, I weaved this story from all the beautiful stories my grandfather shared with me and my siblings about Sawyer Craft. Of course, the story is romantic fiction, but it is based on the stories he told us.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate? 

ETS: It had its challenges because I had to get inside my great-grandfather’s mind. How could he find fulfillment, joy and happiness being a slave? He had such admiration for this man named Sawyer Craft. He passed this admiration down through generations, because my grandfather talked about him, as if he knew about him personally. In turn, I found myself writing this book.

CH: Did you have to do a lot of special research to write this book? 

ETS: Yes, I did. I studied and researched the lives of Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Nat Turner, and Frederick Douglass, so I could get a feel of what was going on at that time, especially, from the standpoint of those who were working to free slaves. I incorporated some of the things Turner, Tubman, Douglas and others did to help free slaves, or gain education, and then wove stories around them in Love Beyond Boundaries.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?  

ETS: Sawyer Craft was my favorite character to write about, because he was determined to help slaves gain their freedom, while he struggled internally with his own emotions.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop? 

ETS: I found it difficult to write about slavery and not so much about a particular character.  When I thought about how slaves were treated and then having to write about it, it bothered me personally.

CH: Did you run into any challenges while writing this book? 

ETS: I wouldn’t say I ran into any real challenges, because I enjoy writing so much. I love developing stormy, but demure-charged love scenes. At the age of 82, I’m still a romanticist and knowing that makes me smile. Love is so much a part of my nature. Thinking about love keeps me in a happy state of mind. Remember, just because there is snow on the roof does not mean there is not fire in the furnace!

CH: Thanks for that reminder, Ms Evelyn. So, where do you get your inspiration and ideas from when you write? 

ETS: Statistics say we are living longer. As senior citizens, what do we do with that extra time? The fact that at the age of 82, I am able to concentrate and put into words on a piece of paper and others can read and be informed, enlightened, and find enjoyment—it fascinates me. Seniors are antique teenagers and we still have a lot to contribute to this society.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style? 

ETS: I believe readers will find pleasure, joy and entertainment in my stories. My writing career did not start until I was the ripe young age of 80, but love has no boundaries. I think this can be seen clearly in some of my other titles like To Begin Again With Worn Out Tools and When Love Was In the Heart. Love is universal and my romanticism portrayed in my stories shows that in my own unique way of storytelling.

CH: Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp? 

ETS: I think the message in this particular novel is that love can blossom at any time, in the most unexpected situations, times, and places.

CH: What type of feedback have you received from readers?

ETS: My readers tell me that they love reading my books. Many times they can relate to something or some incident in the books I write, especially, from the senior standpoint.

CH: Can you tell my audience how you got started writing books?

ETS: I am a member of the Josephine Lewis Center, where I am part of a senior group of individuals. They offer a creative writing group for seniors at the center, as well, which I love participating in the group.  Some time ago, we had an author visit our group. She gave us pointers on writing, taught us the difference between fiction and non-fiction and left us with tools we could use to improve our writing. I believe, that’s where I was bitten by the writing bug. Shortly thereafter, I met author, editor and publisher, Shelia Bell, who helped me bring my stories to life in the form of books! I’ve been writing ever since.

CH: What do you enjoy most about writing?

ETS: Growing old can rob a person of joy, as there are so many things we have to encounter as we journey through the aging process. Through writing, I have found a reason to rise above all of my challenges, because the beautiful fact remains ‘I am alive.’ This literary journey has taken me on a whole other level of living my best life. I still find it amazing that I can go to my computer and ideas come to me. Some mornings, I wake up in pain or my foot won’t move or this and that, but writing is an incentive for me to keep moving, and to keep going. It’s a message for me, and I hope for whoever reads this, that it is never too late to put your dreams into action. There may be some things you never dreamed about, but you can do it. Writing has given me new friends in the characters I write about. It keeps my 82-year old mind active.

CH: What is your next writing project?

ETS: Presently, I am working on my next book, entitled Ricochet. Have you wondered about the things that cause your life to change? I’m writing about those changes through the eyes of my new character, Hunter Davis.

CH: How to Find Evelyn Taylor Stamps:

CH: Can you tell my audience where this book is sold? 

ETS: You can purchase my books online from sites like Amazon, Barnes and Noble, as well as, other online retailers. You can also contact me at evelyntstamps80@gmail.com to purchase personally autographed copies of my books.

CH: Any closing remarks? 

ETS: I definitely want to thank you, Cheryl Holloway, for showcasing Love Beyond Boundaries on your blog. I want to say ‘thank you’ to all the wonderful people who have purchased or will purchase my books. I ask that you continue to support my literary efforts and remember me in your prayers.

CH: Thank you so much, Ms. Evelyn Taylor Stamps, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Ms. Evelyn Taylor Stamps and Cheryl Holloway.

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Guest Author Interview – Vivian Luke

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Title: F.A.K.E.!: False Lives, Real Friendships

Genre: African American/Women’s Fiction

Synopsis: Well-heeled families and backgrounds; degrees from Ivy League schools; countless professional successes; happy marriages and children; deluxe homes and lavish shopping habits, F.A.K.E.! traces the lives of four professional African American women, who have it all, until life-altering circumstances crash into their lives and they realize their lives are not perfect—they are FAKE!

The F.A.K.E.s—Faith St. John, Adrienne Morris, Krishna Fitzgerald and Evelyn Montague—appear to be perfect on the outside, but this is just a thin facade over the personal turmoil within each of them.

This quartet of “forty something” super moms are connected by their decade’s long friendship and their lives in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. All of them have climbed to the top of their careers and relish their fabulous, over-the-top lifestyles. They’re decorated like fancy cakes in designer clothes, handbags, and shoes. To the outside world, these women are well connected, busy and beautiful, but secretly each of them knows their lives are inauthentic and shallow—simply put—FAKE!

Each of these women discovers her marriage and/or health (and, possibly all they’ve worked so hard for) is on the brink of destruction and must make life-changing decisions.

Fake lives, REAL FRIENDSHIPS is ultimately revealed, because it is their deep-rooted, life-long friendships that get them through some of the toughest periods in each of their lives.

When life hits you a blow, it really helps to have strong and supportive girlfriends in your corner! This book will have you wondering which one of these personalities you fit, and the type of friends you have!

Vivian Luke, Author.

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Vivian Luke. Writing is her passion. Welcome to my blog, Vivian.

CH: Why should we read this fictional book about four well-to-do friends living “fake” lives and their circumstances?  

VL: While this story gives us a peek into the lives of four professional women of means, its purpose is to shed light on the importance of living an authentic life and appreciating the importance of having real quality friendships in your life.  Remember, you have to be a good friend in order to appreciate one! REAL friendships are—without a doubt—a two way street.

CH: How did you come up with the premise for this story?

VL: Sadly, I was going through a very, very messy divorce (did I say it was “very, very messy”?  Yeah, it was bad reality TV, horrible!). As I started opening up to friends and to other (select) women about the specifics of my situation, I began to learn about some of the situations they, too, were facing.  In a few instances, I knew that some of their marriages were also on the brink of destruction, but I wasn’t aware of some of the “drama” they were either going through or had experienced themselves.  The more I shared, the more I learned how bad it was for some of them as well!

I realized almost immediately that we were all living “fake lives” and not living our truths.  We were hiding behind the degrees, professional titles, designer fashions, shoes, and handbags, big homes, worldwide vacations, and European cars and perpetuating a fraud that “everything is perfect” in our glamorous lives. While behind it all, our lives were absolutely miserable! The stories were becoming an all too familiar, yet, common theme, that I felt needed to be shared with others, and for me, with my passion for writing, putting it all down in the form of a book made the most sense. I must admit, however, that the more my friends and I shared the details of our stories and walked in our truths, we grew even closer as friends. This process enabled each of us to evolve into even more beautiful, stronger; and emotionally and mentally healthier women, because we realized we are NOT alone.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate? 

VL: Honestly, there was nothing difficult about creating the characters and/or the situations they faced in the book because they were ALL real!  While all of the “turning point scenarios” didn’t occur in my life, they did occur in the lives of several women I know personally (and they graciously gave me permission to write about them, i.e., the experiences, in the book).

CH: Did you have to do a lot of special research to write this book?

VL: No, not really.  I pride myself on being multi-disciplinary and I tend to read a lot of materials that are not necessarily in my professional sphere.  So, in doing that over the years, I’ve actually amassed quite a bit of knowledge in a variety of areas.  For the book, I did, however, seek professional guidance from a girlfriend of mine, who is a dentist!  Without giving away the details, let’s just say she was very helpful to me in explaining the effects and impacts to the oral and maxillofacial area of the body, as a result of sudden, yet severe trauma to that region.  Speaking to her that day was eye opening!

CH: Which character was your favorite to write? 

VL: I actually enjoyed writing about all of the women.  But, I enjoyed the writing process more once each of them began making decisions that would put them on a healthier path.  If I had to choose one character or scenario in particular, however, I’d probably select the trip Adrienne took to Italy to visit Symphony.  I LOVED writing about that visit, because I was able to travel back to Italy (one of my favorite places in the world to visit) in my mind and experience that shopping trip with them.  That was a GREAT writing day!

CH: Which character was hardest to develop? 

VL: Writing about Evie was an emotional roller coaster for me.  Developing her character wasn’t my biggest challenge, however.  The challenge was simply telling her story.  It was very personal and because she was facing a serious health issue and also dealing with the struggles in her marriage, it was very intense and emotional for me.  I really wanted the very best for her.  She deserved it.

CH: Did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

VL: “Writer’s block” is a death sentence for a writer. I experienced it briefly during the process.  Instead of freaking out about it though, I did my best not to force the issue and simply just stopped writing.  I was on a tight schedule to finish, but I chose to take two days off.  I used that time to pray and meditate.  I also surrounded myself with beautiful things and made every effort to spend time in beautiful spaces. I decided to write one of the chapters out of sequence—specifically, the trip to Italy.  All of that actually helped me get the spark I needed to finish the book.  I needed to figure out the ending and ensure that it was an ending that was believable and made sense. I’m happy I took that time the way I did.  It was a strategy I will utilize again.

CH: Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from when you write?

VL: Almost 100 percent of what I’ve been writing comes from simply living and speaking to people or hearing about issues women (and men, to some extent) are facing or have faced.  Life is the best teacher and inspiration for any writer, who is interested in writing about the human experience.

CH: Have you had any similar challenges in your life like your characters?

VL: Yes, sadly, infidelity and all of the lying, deceit, and mistrust that goes with it; mental and emotional abuse that came once the infidelity was exposed; extremely messy divorce and the residual effects of that; losing my job while going through the divorce, yet having to pay an attorney in order to get the divorce completed (mind you, I was married to an attorney, so he paid virtually nothing during the process, because he represented himself!); single parenting; but, fortunately I haven’t had the added complexities of a serious health issue, while going through the other issues.

CH: Thanks, Vivian, for the transparency. I’m sure writing the book was part of your healing process. So, what is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

VL: I am extremely descriptive in my writing. I have always felt that books should enable the reader to escape into the writer’s story.  In my view, the only way to get me to really escape is to feel as if I am right there with the characters.  So, I believe my extremely descriptive writing style enables my readers to be present with the characters, and therefore, they get swept up into whatever it is the characters are experiencing, thinking, feeling, etc.

CH: Do you have a supportive group of girlfriends to fall back on during difficult times?

VL: Oh, absolutely, and even more so having gone through all of this.  My friends and I are honest, truthful, and extremely transparent with one another.  We tell each other when we’re having bad days, stressing over a financial issue, emotionally and/or physically drained, etc.  We realize that we are truly ‘stronger together’ than separate and living our lives in isolation (which by the way cheaters and abusers love! They want to keep you isolated so that you—through your silence—continue to protect them and their nefarious activities or abusive ways.)  When we share what we are going through, we are able to assist each other through it.  Sometimes it comes in the form of a hug, good solid advice, a financial gift or loan, or a referral to a particular service, e.g., an honest plumber or handyman.  We realize we must be our own village! We’ve created villages for our children, but women (i.e., married, single, divorced, widowed) need our own network/village of supporters, too.  It literally becomes the wing beneath our wings and helps us to maintain our own altitude, so that we may continue being the rock of support for others.

CH: Will there be a sequel to this book?

VL: I started writing an outline for the sequel last year, and then put it away.  Since the release of the book, however, I have had several readers express an interest in learning what happened next in the lives of these women.  As a result, I dusted off the outline and a partially completed chapter for the sequel and have started working on the sequel again.

CH: Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

VL: There are two main points I’d like readers of this book to grasp.  First, CHOOSE to live your most AUTHENTIC LIFE.  Second, develop, cultivate, and cherish your relationships with your friends.  REAL friends are not dime a dozen and we all need to have at least one, because when life starts to kick you around—and it will if you live long enough—you will find that your REAL friends are the support system you will value most to see you through life’s challenges.

CH: While writing this book, what was the hardest part to convey for your readers? 

VL: I think the “hardest” part was making the trust that existed between and among the friends in the book truly believable.  Sadly, as women, we are not always trusting of each other.  I wanted to prove, through their friendships, that we really could be closer than blood.  Solid girlfriends will ‘always’ have your back—with absolutely no judgments—EVER!  But, in order to reach that level of friendship, you must be willing to be transparent with your own life as well.  It is a two way street!

CH: What is your next writing project?  

VL: As of now, it is the sequel to F.A.K.E. I’m also working on solidifying a pretty significant ghostwriting/collaboration deal.  I’m very excited about that because this is a story that really needs to be told.

CH: How to Find Vivian Luke:

CH: Can you tell my audience where this book is sold?

VL: F.A.K.E.! is sold on Amazon, Kindle, and Barnes & Noble (online).  I’d love to get it into Independent bookstores, as well.

CH: Any closing remarks? 

VL: Cheryl, I sincerely appreciate and thank you for the opportunity to express myself relative to my book and some of what went into its development.  I’d like to leave your readers with three points:

  1. Start living your most AUTHENTIC self NOW!  It will pay dividends in your relationships immediately.
  2.  Do an assessment of your friend circle.  Eliminate the leeches because all they do is take and drain the very lifeblood out of you. What you will have left should be your REAL friends.  Value those friendships.  Become better at the role you play in those relationships, as well.
  3.  Have FAITH, BELIEVE, and TRUST God! Because, when life kicks you down (and it will) you MUST get on your KNEES in order to get back on your feet! No matter how dire the situation may be, God will NEVER leave you nor forsake you.  This I know for sure.

CH: Thank you so much, Vivian Luke, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Vivian Luke and Cheryl Holloway.

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Guest Author Interview – Kevin E. Eastman

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Title: Don’t Gamble on Life Improvement…Until You Shift the Odds!

Genre: Self-Help/Personal Transformation/Health/Gamble

Synopsis: Life throws you curveballs, barriers, roadblocks and obstacles, regardless of who you are. Ever wonder how or why they keep getting in the way? The answer itself may be a curveball.

This book takes a no nonsense approach to a series of topics that may be complicating life. Improving is much easier when you have the right tools to guide you. It’s straight forward and in your face, but presented in a fun, engaging, and informative way. Growth only occurs by getting beyond the boundaries of comfort, and this book will test those boundaries. It’s a must-read for anyone tired of “detours” blocking the path to success and happiness.

Kevin E. Eastman, Author.

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Kevin E. Eastman. Kevin says, “Welcome challenges to your thinking, be willing to alter it, if you discover it’s flawed, and you will evolve as a person.”  Welcome to my blog, Kevin.

CH: There are a lot of self-help books on the market. Why should people read your book?

KEE: I believe for a self-help book, or as I prefer to call mine, a self-development book to be effective, it must be believable. It needs to be written from an authentic perspective. High levels of realism and relevance need to be in what’s written in the book, and that was important to me when I wrote my book. I wanted real scenarios that have happened to real people.

I think those who read my book will be shocked at first, then pleasantly surprised at how it reads. They’ll find it is written quite differently than the typical thought that comes to mind when they hear the term ‘self-help.’  I’ve combined years of personal experience, logic, humor, and observation, to explain some of life’s obstacles in a way that’s easily understandable. No scientific methods or theories—just plain language that anyone can understand. I also explain a formula for overcoming these obstacles that’s simpler than you think, but may not be what you’d expect. In the end, every reader will either use the information themselves, or they will know someone who needs it.

CH: What type of people should read this book?

KEE: Everyone encounters obstacles in life. Some more than others, but we all face them at some point. They are a lot easier to deal with, when you have the right tools. My book has information in it that anyone can relate to. I spent a lot of years observing people’s behavior, as well as, reflecting on my own. There are tidbits of information in this book that anyone who reads it can use, and that’s exactly how I wrote it.

CH: Do you have any tips on how people can shift the odds?

KEE: Well, it’s a challenge to discuss this without giving away most of the message of the book, but what I will say is the ‘odds’ are a metaphor. In my speaking engagements that I’ve had, I try to convey the same message: ‘One of the most effective keys to success (or failure) is located between your ears. The most interesting thing about it is…you are in complete control of it!’

CH: How did you come up with the premise for this book?

KEE: Experience was the main influence for my book. For a long period of time, my life wasn’t heading in the direction I’d hoped. I was looking for every reason it wasn’t, except the reason staring me in the face. It took my becoming uncomfortable with my current situation, for me to adjust my thinking, and that is the premise of the book.

CH: Did you have to do any special research to write this book?

KEE: I wouldn’t call the research I did to write my book ‘special.’ I simply made good use of the ability I was born with…to observe people’s behavior and actions. I believe a lot of a person’s character will be revealed, if you just let them do it.

CH: What benefits does your book offer readers?

KEE: I think what most people will get out of reading my book is a realistic approach to what many people are thinking, but rarely want to admit. I try to break down the barriers that prevent people from progressing, by highlighting my own shortcomings.

CH: What do you have to offer readers as far as your background in education and knowledge? How do you qualify as an expert to write this book?

KEE: Interesting question, and believe it or not, I didn’t go to school for psychology. In fact, I majored in marketing. My expertise draws largely from life experiences, including over 15 years as an Air Force drill instructor and recruiter, where I interacted with thousands of people. My book is all about improvement, and one important lesson I’ve learned is the only person who can tell you what it feels like to get back up, is someone who’s been knocked down before.

CH: Did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

KEE: Publishing a book can be a painstaking process. As the author of a self-development book, I face the unique challenge of trying to convince a person to explore another way of thinking, when they are convinced that their current way of thinking is working. That was the challenge once the book was finished. While writing the book, the challenge was dealing with the bouts of self-doubt. I often wondered was the material I was writing ‘good enough.’  Fortunately, I was able to overcome those feelings, and pushed through to get it published.

CH: Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from when you write?

KEE: I am a firm believer in the saying, ‘You never know from where, or whom inspiration will come from.’ In my first book, real life was the major inspiration. A lot of banging my head against the wall helped me develop the content I included. As I stated earlier, writing carries more credibility, if it’s authentic.

CH: There is some humor in the book. Was it added because of the seriousness of the topic?

KEE: From my experience, people will remember things in abundance, tragic, or humorous. Things like that tend to burn into our memory. I decided to include humor in my book, so it makes the messages easier to remember. Besides, I know that improvement can be painful and uncomfortable, so breaking the monotony with something funny makes it easier to keep reading about it.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of this book?

KEE: So far, the feedback I’ve gotten on the book has been great! Many of the people, who have contacted me, have told me they appreciate the simplicity and realism in the book. Several people have contacted me to let me know that they’ve employed some of the suggestions I made in the book, which makes me happy.

CH: Does this book also have a workbook for readers?

KEE: The book doesn’t have a workbook for readers, per se. However, I do suggest (although, it isn’t mandatory) the reader take some notes while they’re reading the book, to save them time from searching through the entire book trying to find something. There is a lot of information on the pages of this book, and the more the reader can retain, the easier to make the necessary adjustments to their life.

CH: What is your next writing project?

KEE: Currently, I’m working on a follow-up to Don’t Gamble.  It’s along the same lines, but of course with different content. I’ve learned a lot of lessons in my life. Some good, some not-so good, but each was necessary in order to shape my character. I am trying to pass along what I learned, because what I’ve learned may be what someone else was looking for, to get them on the path they need to be on.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

KEE: My website has a lot of information on it. It gives the background on why I enjoy what I do. I offer the first chapter of Don’t Gamble on Life Improvement… Until You Shift the Odds!  for free, a questions and answers tab, and other information. The website address is www.kevineeastman.com.

CH: How to Find Kevin E. Eastman:

CH: Can you tell my audience where this book is sold?

KEE: My book is available directly on my website; or can be ordered through Amazon and other online retailers.

CH: Any additional comments you would like to add?

KEE: Don’t Gamble on Life Improvement… Until You Shift the Odds!  is unlike the typical self-development books you think you know! I am going to challenge your thinking on a number of things you think you know, and have you looking at them in a way you never expected. I will do my best to make you uncomfortable with my writing, because that’s how personal growth occurs! It worked for me, and I’ll bet it can work for you. I’m on a mission to help people make positive adjustments to their lives. One of my favorite things I wrote in Don’t Gamble… says that everyone you meet has taken a unique path to get to where they are, but anyone you meet may be holding the information you need to get you to where you want to be. You’ll never find them, if you never talk to people.

CH: Any closing remarks?

KEE: I enjoy hearing from readers and supporters. Feel free to visit the website and subscribe to my mailing list, and follow me on my various social media platforms:

  • www.facebook.com/authorkevineeastman
  • www.twitter.com/eastke1
  • www.instagram.com/eastke1

Thank you for taking the time to interview me about my book, Cheryl.

CH: Thank you so much, Kevin E. Eastman, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Kevin E. Eastman and Cheryl Holloway.

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Seb Kirby

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Title: Here The Truth Lies: A Gripping Psychological Thriller (US Edition)

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Crime/Psychological

Synopsis: Sometimes your past is stranger than you ever imagined

Emma Chamberlain has a consuming ambition – to prove the innocence of a convicted murderer sentenced to life. But the more she digs into the evidence, the more she is forced to confront threatening secrets about her own past that lead her to the ultimate question – who is Emma Chamberlain?

To discover the truth, Emma must expose those responsible for a dark conspiracy that has ruined the lives of many and now threatens her own.

Seb Kirby, Author.

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Seb Kirby. He was an avid reader from an early age. Welcome to my blog, Seb.

CH: Why should we read this psychological thriller about Emma trying to prove the innocence of a convicted murderer, who is sentenced to life?

SK: What can I say? Try it. Download the free preview from Amazon and see if you are drawn into the story. I hope you are. Early reviews are in. Take a look at them. It’s certainly been a success with most readers who’ve experienced the book, so far.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

SK: Nothing comes easy in writing. That’s how it should be. I like the idea of the value of the concentrated effect a reader gets when immersed in a well-told story. The author may have spent a year or longer creating it, many others (proof readers and editors) may have invested their time into it, too. Yet, the reader can experience the input of all this creative energy in just a few hours. The nuts and bolts of all this should properly remain well beneath the surface of the story. That said, there is a good mixture of real life and make believe in every writer’s output and mine is no different.

CH: Did you have to do a lot of special research to write this book?

SK: One of the most pleasurable aspects of research for a new story is to visit the locations where it is set. I think it’s important to create a vivid sense of place, but, of course, in a thriller, it’s best to use as few brushstrokes, as is necessary. For Here The Truth Lies, this meant London, in particular, the South Bank and the East End. I go there two or three times a year and soak up the look and feel. I’m not consciously earmarking scenes and locations, but when it comes to writing the story, they naturally reappear.

CH: How did you come up with the premise for this story?

SK: What can happen when people face traumatic experiences that take them outside of the safety, which most of us live our lives in, has always interested me. I’d written about this in my two earlier psychological thrillers, Each Day I Wake and Sugar For Sugar. In Here The Truth Lies, I’m continuing this theme to some great extent. But the added dimension is how far miscarriage of justice can affect people’s lives and amplify the problems they face. Seeing how they fight back, strengthens your faith in humanity.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

SK: Of course, this was Emma herself. Writing in first person, as a young woman, is an intriguing prospect for a male author. I found it really enjoyable to place myself in her shoes, as she faces a life-threatening challenge to her whole identity. I’d understood enough about how to write like this in my thriller of last year, Sugar For Sugar, which also features a female lead character. But I was very pleased to be able to take this further with this latest story.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

SK: Serial killer Evan Cargill needed to become a difficult test, if he wasn’t to become one of those clichéd bad men. I wanted to make him reveal another side, notwithstanding the horrible calculation of his crimes. Not to justify the depravity of his killing, but to make his motives for doing this, at least understandable.

CH: Did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

SK: Here The Truth Lies covers three points of view simultaneously in real time, stretching over a ten-day period. There is the hero, Emma; the serial killer, Evan Cargill; and the police, (Stephen Ives and June Lesley). Making sure that their actions are synchronised in time and place was an enjoyable challenge. Rather like solving a crime myself, this came down to juggling yellow sticky notes on the wall above my writing desk, moving them around, so that everything was in sync.

CH: Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from when you write?

SK: Most authors will say that this comes when they least expect it. I’m the same. The best ideas come to mind, when I’m least likely to be thinking about them. For me, that’s often when I’m getting dry after a morning shower or making a journey by train. It’s essential to note new ideas down on my iPad, as soon as they emerge, since they’re fleeting and need to be captured before they’re lost for good.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

SK: I try to be straight to the point in my writing. This concurs with Elmore Leonard’s comment. ‘My advice to writers is to leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.’ I hope this leads to an exciting and involving reader experience with no needless detours along the way.

CH: Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

SK: I’m not much of a message person. I don’t think that’s the real purpose of art. It’s more important to involve readers in a journey from which they draw their own conclusions. With that said, it doesn’t mean that the journey should be blind to the issues of its time. There are too many men and women in prison, convicted on limited evidence for crimes they didn’t commit. Pointing up this is central to Here The Truth Lies.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of this book?

SK: Early reviews have been very positive. Here are some of the comments:

“Wow!! Definitely on my TOP TEN for this year!”  (MADEUP-bookworm)

“Loved it! I really, really enjoyed this psychological thriller, it was cleverly crafted, suspenseful and I’d love to read more by this author, would I recommend? Definitely!” (Miriam Smith)

“Breathlessly exciting – Sometimes you simply read a book, but sometimes it takes you along with it and you’re there. This is one of the latter. Highly recommended.” (Ignite)

Excellent, descriptive and enjoyable book…a vivid, thoughtful, very, very enjoyable book.” (TerryHeth)

“Book out your diary you won’t want to put it down…kept me hooked the whole time.” (Emma Lee)

“All I can say is WOW! I was trying to guess things as I turned each page, but became so engrossed I just couldn’t put this fabulous thriller down.” (The Reading Shed)

“Brilliant story – This is, in my opinion, Seb Kirby’s best novel, yet. He is a master of intrigue with his story lines and a perfectionist with his research. Brilliant book!”  (Susan Hampson, Books From Dusk Til Dawn)

“Totally gripping – This one swept me away…heartbreaking and breathtaking…A whopping 5 stars!” (Helen {TBC})

CH: If you could work with any author, living or dead, who would that be and why?

SK: That would have to be Ray Bradbury. His enthusiasm for reading and writing and the role it plays in maintaining a civilised world is a wonderful inspiration that lives on beyond his passing. He wrote mainly short stories in the sci-fi and horror genres, so he would be a newcomer to psychological thrillers. It would be revealing to work with him on that. I’m sure we’d come up with some surprises.

CH: Who is your favorite thriller/suspense author?

SK: Harlan Cohen is one of the best. His plots are so detailed and complex; yet, his writing is always so clear and to the point. He hasn’t done a psychological thriller yet, though, so my approach is not that close to his.

CH: Can you tell us a little about your writing journey?

SK: Well, it began ten years ago with the release of my first title, Take No More. This is an international conspiracy murder thriller based in London, Florence and Venice. This was a great success, entering the top one hundred in the Amazon charts on more than one occasion. Two more sequels followed, Regret No More and Forgive No More, where the locations of the story are expanded to also include San Diego, Mexico and Austin. For the past four years I’ve been interested in writing psychological thrillers and it’s been rewarding to delve more deeply inside the minds of my characters in those three titles. In my current project I’m moving on again.

CH: What is your next writing project?

SK: My current project is a legal thriller. It features a female protagonist once more, but is more concerned with the difficulties she faces as an investigative lawyer seeking to defend a man facing an apparently open and shut murder charge. Release date is Spring 2019.

CH: How to Find Seb Kirby:

CH: Can you tell my audience where this book is sold?

SK: It’s available exclusively at Amazon (US and UK) and is also available on Kindle Unlimited.

CH: Any closing remarks?

SK: Thanks for having me on your blog, Cheryl.

CH: Thank you so much, Seb Kirby, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Seb Kirby and Cheryl Holloway.

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

 

 

 

 

Books…Perfect Holiday Gifts!

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Books by Cheryl Holloway…Perfect Holiday Gifts!

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Cheryl Holloway Discusses the Blog Accomplishments

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We’ve come a long way on my blog in the last five years. I am excited to say that there have been many accomplishments that I am so Proud of and so Thankful for!

Three accomplishments that bring me the most joy are:

    1. In the last five years, I have continued to pay it forward to many, many authors for FREE…500+Authors.
    2. I have continued to pay it forward to amazing authors from around the world…100+ Authors from Other Countries.
    3. My Readers and Followers have blessed me with many hits and views…500,000+ Views 
    4. To each and every one of you, I want to say…

      Cheryl Holloway, Author.

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? SInterviews? Contact :

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Do You Have A Reading Bucket List?

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Do you have a Reading Bucket List? Is a book by Cheryl Holloway on it? #CherylHollowayBooks #CherylHollowayBlog

Compliments of CarterNovels.com

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

   

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? SInterviews? Contact :

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Guest Author Interview – Wayne Lee Clark

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Title: Delusion: Kiss Me When I’m Dead

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Urban Life

Synopsis: How many times will you try to be with the one you love? Meet Anthony Stone. He considers himself a lover. A killer. His trade is killing. Anthony Stone is drawn closer to a woman called Laura, a woman he hasn’t even met. Anthony fell in love at first sight, but is soon rejected by her; he is convinced he can win her around. Anthony digs deeper to study her way of life, but soon discovers another man involved…

After stalking Laura around the clock, he slowly learns the truth about her, but then pays a high price. His obsession with Laura gets way out of control. He will do what it takes to be with her and that includes killing anyone that gets in his way…

Wayne Lee Clark, Author.

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s Guest International Author is Wayne (Lee) Clark. Wayne has a great passion for writing. Welcome to my blog, Wayne.

CH: Why should we read this suspense/thriller about a killer who is obsessed with a woman and falls in love with her?

WC: This type of book is what happens in real life and brings awareness about stalkers, it is also a good read in terms of a thrill and leaves you wondering what will happen at the end. This book will have you wondering that this could happen to you and is again a great way to bring awareness to odd behaviour.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

WC: This is total fiction and everything in this book has nothing to do with me or my life.  I get inspired by films that leave me wondering ‘what if I could write something like this,’ but better. It is really hard writing and ensuring everything that is written is how it should be.

CH: Did you have to do a lot of special research to write this book?

WC: No, I don’t research anything, I just read to learn, and It’s a great way for any author out there.

CH: How did you come up with the premise for this story?

WC: Well, that day I was getting frustrated, because I failed my last book and sat there messing around with two characters and what I wrote really went down well, so I continued this story. It took a while to know where I was going with this, but in the end, it went the right way.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

WC: I think, they all were, but Anthony is such a devil that I must admit he is pretty awesome in terms of a fictional character.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

WC: Anthony wasn’t easy at all, especially with no knowledge of his behaviour, but as you read, you learn a lot.

CH: Did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

WC: Oh, yes. When I first started writing. I was struggling with writing due to my Dyslexia, but as I read books, I learn more and that has helped me in a big way.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

WC: Well, I wouldn’t say I was different, but in terms of excitement, I would say that my book really has you on the edge of wonder. The book isn’t for the faint-hearted, but in terms of what makes it different is something that would be left up to the reader to find out.

CH: Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

WC: Yes, be aware that this kind of thing can happen in anyone’s life and some are dealing with this type of reality.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of this book?

WC: Delusion: The love of my life has become #10 bestseller on Amazon and this is one of many reviews: This book came highly recommended…and I can see why! I don’t know when the last time was that I had a book I couldn’t put down. The author held captive my own attention, and with each chapter, left me hungry for more. As I finished the book, he certainly left me on edge…waiting for the next series. It is a very easy read, excellent content, and I would definitely recommend it to others. AAA+++

CH Who is your favorite suspense thriller author? If you could work with any author, living or dead, who would that be and why?

WC: Stephen King because he is my favourite and he was the one that inspired me to write.

CH: What is your next writing project?

WC: I am working on short reads and my next one is entitled Deadly Games.

CH: How to Find Wayne Lee Clark: 

CH: Can you tell my audience where this book is sold?

WC: This book is sold on Amazon US and Amazon UK.

CH: Any closing remarks?

WC: Please give me feedback after reading my book and don’t forget to subscribe to my website and join my facebook page. I appreciate all the support. Cheryl, thanks for having me on your blog.

CH: Thank you so much, Wayne Clark, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Wayne Clark and Cheryl Holloway.

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

 

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

5 Quick & Easy Plot Twists Tips I’ve Learned by Cheryl Holloway

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5 Quick & Easy Plot Twists Tips I’ve Learned

I went on a Writer’s Retreat the week of Thanksgiving, so I could catch up on my 2018 NaNo writing. (With the holiday coming, I had missed a few writing days and I was behind.) Of course, the story that I am working on is a new venture, a Mystery/Thriller/Suspense book with some plot twists. Most readers are like myself and enjoy a surprise plot twist, especially, if it’s written well and catches the reader off guard.

I asked myself, “How would I write a plot twist that is thrilling and unexpected for my readers?” Then, I did my research.

Well, here’s what I came up with as quick & easy tips for myself. And I decided to share it with my followers.

First, what is a plot twist? They all said the same thing: a plot twist is a surprise development in your story. And I agree.

According to the experts, the first tip is:

  1. When you’re outlining your novel/short story and planning your plot twists, you have to think of the reader and what they would guess as the next move in your story. List all of the plot twists that the reader would think necessary for the story to move forward.
  2. As an element of surprise, the writer should make their plot twists the total opposites of what the reader imagined. If the plot twist took you by surprise, then surely, it will take your reader by surprise and it is a successful plot twist.
  3. Ensure your plot twist is necessary and makes sense. Write a plot twist that is shocking and perhaps unexpected, but it must be believable.
  4. Plant subtle clues and misdirect readers to keep them guessing right up until the final plot twist is revealed. Keep the readers steadily reading and turning the pages.
  5. Finally, do a test drive…with beta readers. Get feedback from your most-trusted beta readers. Believe me, they will tell you exactly what they think (and more, LOL).

Hey, let me know what you think about this blog post!

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? SInterviews? Contact :

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Guest Author Interview – Shaquida Ano

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Title: From Rejected to Accepted: Fragments of My Healing

Genre: Biography/Memoir

Synopsis: It’s my story and I’m sticking to it. This story is about my walk, my struggles, and my life with God. As you follow me on this Journey from my childhood, to my mischievous years as a teen, I give you an insight of lessons learned. I’ve cried, laughed and fought to make something of the life I’ve been given. I have concluded that if it had not been for God, I’d still be a mess before the Father. This is my first book with an honest look through my eyes of The Journey. Follow me along the paths I’ve taken to get to where I am now…so much better.

Shaquida Ano, Author.

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Shaquida Ano. She is adamant about her journey and wrote her memoir. Welcome to my blog, Shaquida.

CH: Please tell us why should we read this story about your personal journey? And why it would be of interest to other people?

SA: I speak with so many young women who seem to have the same struggles that I had growing up, but many have kept their struggles a secret and hid the pain, just as I did. I wrote my story to help free others. I’ve overcome so much and I accept my past and rejoice in the fact that I am an overcomer.  I wanted to use my story to help others overcome trauma and heal from the wounds of a broken heart.  Also, to encourage young women and teenage girls to know that they don’t have to make the same bad choices I made. I want people to read my book and say, “I will make a better decision!” Or say, “I can get through this!”

There are also words of wisdom and golden nuggets in each section, which provides guidance in parenting, relationships, education, marriage and spirituality! When we are closed mouth about our life, we leave others to die in silence. Sometimes, it just takes one person to say, “I’ve been through what you are going through and I made it.” That statement is sometimes enough to give people hope!

Rejection can shape the way we think and see ourselves! Women who are rejected, mistreated, overlooked and abandoned by people may begin to question their value. They may develop low self-esteem and a poor self-image. Often times, women experience trauma in life that causes a feeling of rejection at a young age and they grow up feeling unloved, inadequate and never feeling good enough. The trauma experienced could be domestic violence, abandonment from both or one parent, bullying, relationship infidelities, betrayal, rape, molestation and the likes. If not dealt with, it’s possible to live your entire life with emotional hurt and pain. I wrote this book to help free women from the pain of rejection and to admonish others to get on the road to recovery and healing. The only antidote to rejection is the love of God and self-love.

CH: Are all of the situations and issues taken them from real life? 

SA: Yes, every situation is real! As I wrote the scenes, I literally felt like I relived those situations. I cried, laughed, prayed and rejoiced as I relived the details of every encounter! I was able to laugh at my mistakes, freely talk about them and praise God for helping me through each one!

CH: Were you motivated to change by faith or desperation? 

SA: I was motivated to change by both faith and desperation. I had a deep longing for love. The love I needed, no man was able to provide it! I knew that there was more to life than the trauma I had experienced. I knew God had something more for me! I could feel it!  I wanted to know my purpose. I also knew that if I wanted change, I needed to do something different. Emotionally, I hit rock bottom. I was beautiful on the outside, but inwardly I felt emotionally bankrupt with nothing to give but hurt, anger, frustration and bitterness. I felt rotten to the core, but eventually I realized that deep inside there was goodness and good seeds that needed to be nurtured in order to blossom. God became my nurturer!

CH: What made you decide to write this book?

SA: I usually tell my story in intimate settings for women or sermons from the pulpit, but I wanted the story to go beyond my geographical sphere. I wanted it to go beyond the four walls of a church. I wanted to reach people, who may not be in a church, and the book can reach them where they are. I may not physically be able to reach every continent or geographical location, but my book can go there. I dreamed of the day I could empower women and say, “If I can make it, then you can make it, too.” and then leave them something tangible to help them through! I was adamant about not over spiritualizing the book and keeping it straight to the point. I chose a language and tone relevant to the younger generations.  I did not want to overwhelm the reader with too much information. Although, every reader will be blessed by the book, it is targeted to young women and teenage girls. And if you give them too much, they may get bored.

CH: Did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

SA: OMG, YES! It took me years to complete the book. I was really inconsistent with my writing and part of it was fear—I was afraid of what people would think. I didn’t want my family to be upset with me for sharing some of our family issues. I didn’t want to hurt anyone, but I wanted to tell my truth.  I had no idea how to write a book. God devinely connected me with a book coach and she helped me through the process! Money was also an issue. Editing and publishing a book is not cheap and it required a sacrifice. There were times I didn’t have all the money by the payment deadlines and I had to wait until I saved the money. Months would go by before I was able to make payments. I remained focused and continued to make payments little by little until the entire cost was covered. Choosing the perfect book cover was also hard. I went back and forth with the publishing company. I know they were sick of me. If I didn’t like the presented cover, I requested change, but eventually we found the perfect cover. It screamed beauty, love, grace, joy, style and most of all—Shaquida.  This process did require sacrifice, but the reward has been great!

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

SA: Transparency and laughter. I was really transparent about my life. I must admit, I had to laugh at myself, while I was writing the story. Also, inspiration—the book is really inspirational. You will feel the emotions as you read my story. Most women and girls will relate. It literally feels like you are on the journey with me.  Most of the readers are reading the book in one day. It’s a quick and easy read.

CH: Is there a message in your book that you want the readers to grasp?

SA: Life is a journey and on the journey you will encounter many obstacles, and some can’t be avoided. What makes the difference is how you go through them. You must fight through them and lean on God to help you overcome them. I want women not to be prisoners of their past. We must learn to acknowledge the past, but to allow God to heal us from the wounds of our past. I also want women to love themselves, flaws and all! To me, self-love and faith in God as the healer is the beginning of all healing!

CH: Was it painful reliving some of the situations of your past?

SA: I felt some emotions, but the one I didn’t feel is “anger.” Forgiveness has covered my heart! I forgave myself and those who I believed hurt me! I believe writing this story was the end of the rejection chapter in my life.  I will no longer allow the rejection of man to dictate my life. Ultimately, being accepted by God is enough.  I now love me and understand who I am in the world. I know I’m a gift to mankind and I now live my life pouring out  to bless others.  I look at the life of Jesus and rejoice, he was rejected by man and he was the Messiah! If it happened to him, of course it can happen to me. He rose and still I will rise! I’m taking my sisters with me. No Queen shall be left behind.

CH: Was your family supportive while you were writing this book?

SA: Yes, my family was very supportive. My husband pushed and pushed. He knew there was value and purpose in completing the book. I asked his permission to share our marital issues. He said, “Of course, we’re free.” My siblings were really excited and asked often about the process. I told my mom that she would be in the book and I was going to share some personal things and she was very understanding.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of this book?

SA: The feedback has been amazing, very positive. The book is being read by most in one day. Inspiration and encouragement is being spoken into the life of the readers.  People who have my number actually text me as they are reading the book, just to say, “I’m laughing at this part or I’m crying at this part.” I actually had a teenage girl do a book report on the book. She stated, “I have friends, who are going through what you went through and they need to read the book.” I smiled, because that’s the purpose of the bookt—to help bring others out.

CH: What is your next writing project?

SA: I’m working on a prayer manual. It’s based off my fears of corporate prayer. I was afraid to pray in front of people, because I had the wrong mindset concerning prayer. Over the years, I’ve taught on prayer and have encountered many with the same issue.  I thought God didn’t hear my prayers. I compared my prayer life to the prayer life of others. I felt inadequate, because I didn’t sound like they sounded. This book is to educate the mind of people concerning prayer. It will answer questions such as, “What is prayer?” “Does God hear my prayer?” “Am I a prayer warrior?” “How am I supposed to pray?” “How long am I to pray?” and so much more. It really will be a simplistic basic training on prayer.

CH: How to Find Shaquida Ano:

CH: Any closing remarks?

SA: So many people are afraid to tell their story, because of what others might think. Eventually, I took on the mindset that if someone is not feeling the book, it’s okay. We are all entitled to our own opinions. I want to encourage others to read the book, get free from the wounds of the past, get past the opinions of people, and to tell your truth. Not just for profit or gain, but to help others! The Bible reads in Revelations 12:11 that “We are overcome by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony.” My pain revealed my purpose and my purpose is to empower and educate others along with introducing people to Christ! I tell my story because it liberates me and others.

Cheryl, thanks for the interview.

CH: Thank you so much, Shaquida Ano, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

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Guest Author Interview – Alexandra Christle

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Title: Hitchin’: (A Michael Reyes Thriller)

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense/Organized Crime

Synopsis: Headstrong and impulsive, reporter Cassie Phillips hitchhikes across Missouri to get a prize-winning story. Instead, she’s attacked and ends up abandoned and lost in East St. Louis…until drug dealer, Tony Scarlotti, finds her and takes her home.

The inconsistencies in the man haunt her, and as their paths continue to cross, she questions who he really is. But when he’s jailed for murdering a police officer and then works his way into the Mafia, she gives up trying to believe in him.

Her questions are finally answered just before he’s killed by a rival family in a shoot-out under the Gateway Arch. Now, she’s running for her life with no one to help her.

Alexandra Christle, Author.

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Alexandra Christle. The human condition and people fascinate her, and she imagines. Welcome to my blog, Alexandra.

CH: Why should we read this story about a hitchhiking reporter who gets in trouble?

AC: It’s a fun read with interesting characters, in an era when technology didn’t provide instant answers or solutions.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

AC: The original story bears little resemblance to the final book. It had much more of “me” in the original. Tony popped up in East St. Louis because Cassie got lost while hitchhiking. I needed a way to get her out of there, and he appeared and took her home. He took over the book from there, and it truly took on a life of its own.

CH: Did you have to do a lot of special research on organized crime to write this book?

AC: I didn’t research organized crime, so much as I did the FBI and DEA. I’m fortunate to have a very good friend, who was an FBI agent in the 70s, and because of his knowledge and experience I made some significant changes in the story.

CH: How did you come up with the premise for this story?

AC: I penned this story in the mid-1990s, largely because I wanted to write something about my hitchhiking experiences. But the book grew into so much more.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

AC: Tony, without a doubt. I’m totally in love with him.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

AC: Probably, Cassie. I love writing male characters—I find the balance of writing a woman who is strong, but not bitchy; feminine, but not overly-emotional, tough to accomplish.

CH: Did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

AC: My lack of knowledge about the FBI and DEA…and making sure my characters rang true. Again, I thank FBI agent Jim Furry, (who is also an author), for his help.

CH: Is writing organized crime thrillers your favorite genre?

AC: I love reading crime, legal, medical, and spy thrillers…I enjoyed writing this book, but I do have to rely heavily on help from my knowledgeable friends.

CH: Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from when you write?

AC: Everyday life! I’ve gotten titles from overheard conversations (My first book, Between Nowhere and Lost, a 2018 MAGGIE winner.), reading beautifully written descriptive passages, the news, and plot suggestions from friends.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

AC: Even though, I work as an editor for a publishing house myself, I always hire a professional editor for my own work, so my books are relatively “clean.” I hope they’re well-written and compelling, too.

CH: If you could work with any author, living or dead, who would that be and why? 

AC: Wow. That’s a tough one. I think Stephen King, not because of his enormous success, but because of his understanding of what makes a great story.

CH: Who is your favorite author?

AC: Mark Twain, Charles Dickens, Thomas Hardy…and some who are still around, like David Baldacci, William Bernhardt, John Grisham, Tami Hoag, Sandra Brown…there are too many to list.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of this book?

AC: So far, very good! All the women love Tony, and the men seem attracted to Cassie. It’s been said that it’s a good read with good characters. I can’t ask for much more! Readers keep asking me for the prequel and sequels.

CH: Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

AC: I do have a book that I would say has a message, Between Nowhere and Lost, but Hitchin’ is really just for enjoyment. I’m not trying to change the world—just give people an escape.

CH: What is your next writing project?

AC: My alter ego, romance writer, Talia Logan, has a romantic suspense coming soon, about a Navy SEAL and a photographer; 2 stories in anthologies (one romantic suspense and one fantasy); and Alexandra is working on another crime story, as well as, a psychological thriller. Plus, the prequel, “Birdman,” about Tony’s brother and sequel to Hitchin’. Uhh, that’s a lot. I guess I’d better get to work!

CH: Yes, you do have a lot of writing going on now. Can you give my audience your website address?

AC: For thrillers and some women’s fiction, it is www.alexandrachristle.com, for romance readers, www.talialogan.com , and for writers, www.writewayediting.com. And if you’d like to see a trailer for Hitchin’, just click here:  https://youtu.be/D_erCrr3oR0  (This was a ton of fun to make.)

CH: How to Find Alexandra Christle:

CH: Can you tell my audience where this book is sold?

AC: All the major outlets, in print and eBook. As a special thank you to the readers here, I’m lowering the eBook price to $0.99 on Amazon for a few days!

CH: Any closing remarks?

AC: I love hearing from my readers! Feel free to write to me at abcnovels@gmail.com, or on my facebook page @abcauthor, or on twitter @vanovelist. For those who would like to keep up with me, you can subscribe to my monthly newsletter through my website.

My thanks to you, Cheryl Holloway, for hosting this interview and thank you for this opportunity.

CH: Thank you so much, Alexandra Christle, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Alexandra Christle and Cheryl Holloway.

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Happy 2018 Thanksgiving to Everyone from Cheryl Holloway

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I am very thankful and extremely Blessed!

Happy Thanksgiving to All!

Today, I want to share what I am most thankful for here on my blog…my little corner of the internet for over five years. After all, I have so much to be Thankful for…

I give thanks for every single person who reads my blog and their loyalty.

I give thanks for each and every person who takes time out of their busy schedule to leave a comment on my blog posts.

I give thanks for those of you who don’t have time to comment, but have a moment to share it with your friends.

I give a special thanks for our military men and women, who serve our country with honor and pride.

I give thanks for all of my fellow writers, who so diligently write the stories that fantastic readers devour so quickly.

I give thanks for my family and friends, who I love dearly and sincerely cherish. And…

I give thanks for all of the special people, who are subscribers to my blog and readers of my books.

I give thanks for all of the special people, who leave reviews of my books.

“I am deeply thankful, blessed and want to extend to everyone best wishes for a happy, healthy and blessed 2018 Thanksgiving Day.”

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Subscribe to my blog because I share great books with wonderful readers all over the globe!

   

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Guest Author Interview – Linda Watkins

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Title: Sarah & Zoey

Genre: Literary Fiction/Women’s Fiction/Short Story

Synopsis: A story of two women, from different walks of life, and the one dog who loved them both…

A feature writer for the Boston Globe, Sarah Palmer had it all—a beautiful apartment, a great job, and a family she adored. A thousand miles away, Mindy Sue Watson didn’t have it so good. Trapped in a marriage to an abusive alcoholic, her only pleasure was in tossing a ball to a skinny dog she’d adopted from the local shelter. Sarah & Zoey is the tale of these two women and the one remarkable dog, who saved them both. It is a story of the power of unconditional love.

Linda Watkins, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is multi-award-winning author, Linda Watkins. She is serious about dog welfare and rescue and writes about dogs in her books. Welcome to my blog, Linda.

CH: Please tell us why should we read this story about two very different women and one remarkable dog?   

LW: If you love dogs and like stories about people overcoming adversity and tragedy, then Sarah & Zoey may be the book for you. It’s a short book (a novella), not a big, fat novel, and can be read in one sitting. The two main characters, Sarah and Mindy Sue, come from very different backgrounds and would probably never have become friends, if it weren’t for their mutual love of the dog. Zoey is a mixed breed adopted from a shelter by Mindy. In the course of the novella, she saves both women’s lives, albeit in different ways. If there’s a message in the book, I think it is one of hope and love and that no matter how different we may be on the outside, we can always find common ground, if we try.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

LW: The dog abuse in the story comes from an actual event that occurred in Oregon when I lived there. A man tied a dog to the back of his truck with a chain and dragged the poor animal down the street. This event stuck with me because it was so horrific. The abuse experienced by Mindy Sue comes purely from my imagination. As for the events that undo Sarah’s world, there may have been some transference of emotion from me. At the time I wrote the novella, I was dealing with my own very recent sense of loss.

CH: Obviously you’re a dog lover. Did you have to do a lot of special research to write this book?

LW: No, other than getting the geography right, this book required little to no research. A lot of what’s in the book comes from my own experience with dogs and with volunteering at shelters. For example, when I was a volunteer at the Humane Society of Central Oregon, we got a dog transferred from Portland who had been abused. The dog came to our shelter to protect her from friends and/or relatives of the abuser. I used this memory when I wrote Sarah & Zoey.

CH: How did you come up with the premise for this story?

LW: Sarah & Zoey began as a chapter in a greater novel that I had planned to write several years ago. It was a science fiction story that celebrated the special bond between people and their rescue dogs. I abandoned that novel after writing several chapters identifying the main characters. Sarah & Zoey was one of those chapters. In June of 2017, I lost two of my dogs—dogs that had been with me forever. They were my kids and they died within two weeks of each other. That summer, I decided to resurrect Sarah & Zoey and flesh it out as a short story. I’d never written a dog character before, but, given what I was going through, a “dog story” seemed right. Well, I wrote the first draft and sent it off to my sister (who is also a writer) for her input. She chided me for being “lazy” saying that there was so much more to write about these two women characters. So, I went back to the drawing board and eventually came up with the novella, Sarah & Zoey.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write? 

LW: Believe it or not, I think Randall James was my favorite. It’s fun to write villains and bad guys.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

LW: Probably Zoey, the dog. I hadn’t written any animals before, so this was a challenge.

CH: Did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

LW: I was dealing with my own grief when I wrote Sarah & Zoey and, at the same time, was also working on finalizing my coming of age novel, Summer Girl. This novel also deals with abuse (sexual) and, between the two works, I spent a lot of time crying.

CH: Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from when you write?

LW: Inspiration sometimes comes from within me. I get a notion or see a scene in my mind and then I start to develop a story around it in my head. If it fleshes out and gains a life of its own, I may begin to write it down. Some of these ideas go nowhere, others become novels.

Inspiration can also come from outside sources. Before I wrote Summer Girl, I read a novel by Abby Geni, The Lightkeepers. Ms. Geni’s prose was beautiful and I felt she painted pictures with her words. I wanted to do that, too. So, I wrote Summer Girl. Two reviewers of the novel have remarked on how visceral the descriptions in the book are: “…one can almost smell the intoxicating aromas of an island lobster bake” ~ “…what a way with words. I could see the rocks and hear the waves.”

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style? 

LW: I’ve been praised by many for my characterization. My characters, while not always likeable, are multi-faceted and identifiable. I think, this is probably my greatest strength. Also, I believe my style of writing is easy to read, the plot moves along effortlessly and builds to its final climax.

CH: Is there a message in your novella that you want the readers to grasp?

LW: Love and hope—it seems nowadays we don’t have enough of either in this world.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of this book?

LW: I’m very proud of readers’ response to Sarah & Zoey. My reviews have uniformly been very good, including the editorial ones. People who are dog lovers, especially enjoy the book. I’m also proud of the fact that Sarah & Zoey was awarded a bronze medal in the 2018 Readers Favorite International Book Award contest in the category Novellas/Short Stories.

CH: You are an award-winning author and your book is a Readers’ Favorite selection. Can you tell us briefly about your literary journey?

LW: I’ve always been writing something, but until 2010, my work consisted mostly of songs and poems. I was living on an island off the coast of Maine, when I first decided to try to write a novel. The result was Mateguas Island. At first, I endeavored to go the traditional route with the novel, i.e., soliciting agents and publishers, but no one would take a chance on me. So, in 2014 I self-published and, to my surprise, the book was successful, reaching #1 in its category on Amazon for a brief period. I followed Mateguas with the sequel, Return to Mateguas Island, and third novel in the trilogy, Ghosts of Mateguas, both of which are also award-winners. In 2017, I published a work of literary fiction, Summer Girl, A Novel, which (as I write this) is on Amazon’s bestseller list in Coming of Age Classics. That same year, I published Sarah & Zoey. Currently, I have a new novel on preorder at Amazon, Storm Island: A Kate Pomeroy Mystery and have a novella entitled, The Witches of Storm Island, Book I: The Turning, in a multi-author boxed set, Love Under Fire. Witches serves as a prequel to Storm Island. I am also working on a horror novella and, when that is done, will begin work on the second in the Kate Pomeroy Series.

CH: What is your favorite genre to write?

LW: The Mateguas Series is contemporary American Gothic as is Storm Island. I like writing Gothic, because there’s so much you can do with it and it’s fun to write. You can have ghosts, romance, legends, prophesies, and real-life stuff all rolled into one story!

CH: What is your next writing project?

LW: I’m currently finishing up a horror novella called, The Night of the Sciurus. After that, I’m going to work on the second book in the Kate Pomeroy Mystery Series, tentatively titled, Revenge of the Body Thief. It is my goal to complete one full-length novel and one novella each year!

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

LW: My main website is www.lindawatkins-author.com. I have two others, one a blog, www.lindawatkins.biz and the other, specific to the Mateguas books, www.mateguasisland.com.

CH: How to Find Linda Watkins:

CH: Can you tell my audience where this book is sold?

LW: Sarah & Zoey is currently exclusive to Amazon and is available for purchase on Kindle or for free on Kindle Unlimited. The novella is also available in paperback on Amazon.

CH: Any closing remarks?    

LW: I just want to thank you, Cheryl, for featuring my novella on your blog and I hope your readers enjoy this interview!

CH: Thank you so much, Linda Watkins, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Linda Watkins and Cheryl Holloway.

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International Guest Author Interview – Iris Yang

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Title: Wings of A Flying Tiger

Genre: Historical Fiction

Synopsis: World War Two. Japanese occupied China. One cousin’s courage, another’s determination to help a wounded American pilot.

In the summer of 1942, Danny Hardy bails out of his fighter plane into a remote region of western China. With multiple injuries, malaria, and Japanese troops searching for him, the American pilot’s odds of survival are slim.

Jasmine Bai, an art student who has been saved by Americans during the notorious Nanking Massacre, seems an unlikely heroine to rescue the wounded Flying Tiger. Daisy Bai, Jasmine’s younger cousin, also falls in love with the courageous American.

With the help of Daisy’s brother, an entire village opens its arms to heal a Flying Tiger with injured wings, but as a result of their charity the serenity of their community is forever shattered.

Love, sacrifice, kindness, and bravery all play a part in this heroic tale that takes place during one of the darkest hours of Chinese history.

Iris Yang, Author

CH: Today’s International Guest Author is Iris Yang. She was born and raised in China. She has loved reading and writing since she was a child, but in China creative writing was a dangerous career.  Welcome to my blog, Iris.

CH: Please tell us why should we read this story about World War II in Japanese occupied China when two cousins decide to help an American pilot? 

IY: Most Americans know what happened in WWII in Europe, but not many know what happened in Asia. My book provides readers with the insight of how the Chinese fought the Japanese and how the Americans, specifically the Flying Tigers, helped China to win the war against Japan. It also shows how much the Chinese people appreciated the Flying Tigers’ generosity and contribution. There was a great relationship between the U.S. and China.

It’s a story about love, sacrifice, kindness, and bravery during one of the darkest hours in Chinese history.

CH: How did you come up with the premise for this story?

IY: The Flying Tigers’ stories are fascinating. There are many history books about them. One particular fact inspired me to write Wings of the Flying Tiger.

One of the American pilots was rescued by a group of Chinese civilians after he bailed out. When he returned to the U.S., at a press conference, he named the village to thank the Chinese people for saving him. The Japanese intelligence in the U.S. picked up the information and sent troops to the village in China to retaliate. Everyone there—men, women, and children—was slaughtered.

Wings of a Flying Tiger was inspired by this tragedy. It is a heroic tale in which ordinary Chinese risked their lives to rescue and safeguard a downed American pilot.

CH: Are all of the situations and issues taken them from real life or did you add some fiction?

IY: Wings of a Flying Tiger is a historical novel, based on a particular time in WWII in China. The situations and issues are taken from real life, although the characters are primarily made up.

CH: Did you have to do a lot of special research to write this book?

IY: Yes, I had to read a lot of books about WWII in China, particularly about the Flying Tigers, The Rape of Nanking, and Bombing of Chungking.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

IY: Jasmine Bai is my favorite. She was a highly educated young woman who risked her life to save a wounded Flying Tiger.

The story starts in 1937 when Japan invaded Nanking, the capital of China. In six weeks, the Japanese soldiers killed 300,000 Chinese and raped over 20,000 women. On the verge of this massacre, Jasmine Bai, a college student, returned to Nanking, trying to convince her parents to leave the city. She was too late to save her parents, but in time to witness the horrors. She survived the massacre, thanks to a small group of Westerners, mostly Americans, who formed the International Safety Zone and saved 300,000 refugees. It’s because of this experience that Jasmine developed her hatred for the Japanese and her love for the Americans.

Later, when she found a wounded American pilot, she risked her own life to save him. Along with her two cousins, a whole village opened its arms to heal this American pilot. When his “wings” were damaged, Jasmine and the other Chinese people were the wings of this Flying Tiger.

Jasmine Bai was beautiful from inside out. She was an ordinary girl who gained her inner strength along the way of survival and became an unlikely hero.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

IY: Danny Hardy, the American pilot, was hard to write. He was a member of the American Volunteer Group, which was formed under President Roosevelt’s executive order. It was the spring of 1941. America wasn’t at war with Japan, yet. US military pilots were secretly recruited to join this group, and they traveled to Asia with fake passports. They were young and adventurous, but they had no combat experience and were not even trained to fly P40, the aircraft they would use.

With determination and courage, however, the American Volunteer Group destroyed nearly 300 Japanese airplanes and a half million tons of supplies in half a year. So, the Chinese people called the courageous American pilots the Flying Tiger, because  “the tiger” has always been highly regarded in Chinese culture. It’s a symbol of bravery, strength, and power.

Danny was one of those courageous pilots. He’s a larger-than-life hero. To me, he was perfect. But he would be unreal to readers, if he were perfect. I had to come up with some “flaws” for him, which was hard. Also, as a female writer, writing from a male, especially a strong male protagonist’s point of view, was challenging.

CH: Did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

IY: Yes! Born and raised in China, I learned English as a foreign language in school. The learning was limited and sometimes even wrong. I came to the U.S. in my early twenties as a graduate student for a career in science.

My first English “teacher” in the U.S. was television. I didn’t even have the concept of the commercial. I thought I accidentally touched the remote control or there was something wrong with the TV when a program suddenly jumped to unrelated subjects. In China, at the time, there were two stations, broadcasting from 6 pm to 10 pm. There was no commercial. It took me a while to figure out what was going on.

I’ve always loved reading, but creative writing was a dangerous career in China, while I was growing up. As famous writers, my grandmother and aunt were wrongfully accused as counter-revolutionary Rightists. I had to choose science—a safer path. Fiction writing was only a faraway dream; writing it in English was beyond my wildest dream.

I learned fiction writing by reading lots of books. When I wrote my novels, I’m sure I spent more time than most people. I had to check two dictionaries—Chinese to English and English to Chinese. Even so, no matter how hard I tried, I still made grammatical mistakes. That frustrated me the most. There were plenty of times that I laughed and scolded myself for being so stubborn to embark on this journey that seemed almost impossible to succeed. Nowadays, so many people write; everyone has an advantage over me.

CH: Can you tell us a little about your family history and what made you decide to write this book?

IY: Wings of a Flying Tiger is a work of fiction. But to me, a Chinese-American, it is also personal. My mother and grandma had lived in Nanking and escaped from the city just days before the notorious Nanking Massacre when the Japanese soldiers slaughtered 300,000 innocent Chinese and raped 20,000 women in six weeks. My mom was eight-years-old. Both her family and my father’s family fled to Chungking, where Japanese frequently bombed the wartime capital. My father told me the sight, the sound, and the smell of the bombings. As a young boy, he had nightmares for several years. At one point, they lost all of their belongings.

CH: Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from when you write?

IY: China was an isolated country, while I was growing up. We were told that the Americans were “devils” and the American soldiers were crude and coward. I didn’t read anything about the Flying Tigers, until I came to the US, as a graduate student. I was touched once when I learned the truth. I wanted to thank the Flying Tigers. What would be a better way to show my gratitude than writing a book about them?

As a Chinese, I’m thankful for the Flying Tigers’ bravery and generosity; without their help, the course of the Chinese history might have been changed, my family might not have survived, and I might not have existed.

As a U.S. citizen, I’m honored to write a book about the American heroes. It’s a privilege—a duty.

My inspiration came from real life stories of the Flying Tigers and the victims of the Nanking Massacre.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

IY: Many readers commented that my book is fast-paced and it’s impossible to put down once they started reading. One reviewer said it’s a touching and heartfelt story that sticks with you, long after the last word has been read.” Others stated that the book is beautifully written—“simply stated, yet intricate in detail” and “it could be turned into a great movie.”

I think of my writing as direct and emotional.

CH: How long did to take you to write this book?

IY: It took me about three years (full-time) to write two books, Wings of a Flying Tiger and its sequel, Will of a Tiger.

CH: Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

IY: Although, the story happens in one of the darkest times of Chinese history, it has uplifting messages about love, sacrifice, kindness, and bravery. It shows human spirits.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of this book?

IY: Since its publication is June 2018, Wings of a Flying Tiger has received glowing reviews. Also, it has received a lot of media coverage. It was featured in China Daily and Xinhua Net, the largest news agency in mainland China.

I cried when I read the first review, calling Wings of a Flying Tiger “a smashing historical account of China’s chilling bloodbath during WWII,” and the reviewer “recommend this heartfelt read with no hesitation to any admirer of historical fiction. ”I knew then that my characters would live not only in my heart, but also in someone else’s heart.

Here are a few examples:

            “Ms. Yang’s book is really fabulous. It’s a fast-paced, interesting and exciting read. It is a real eye-opener on the atrocities of war, but it is also a powerful story of love, sacrifice and courage. I highly recommend it.”

“We are blessed with a writer’s voice as grand as author Iris Yang…. Please, please, please – don’t let this masterpiece pass you by.”

“Very informative, interesting, and heartbreaking.”

“A swift and emotional read that you will not be able to put down. Take a day off and get ready for a tear-jerking ride.”

“A must-read.”

“Absolutely brilliant writing.”          

CH: Will there be a follow-up to this book?

IY: Yes. Will of a Tiger is the sequel to Wings of a Flying Tiger.

In 1942, Birch Bai, a Chinese pilot, and Danny Hardy, a downed American pilot, become sworn brothers and best friends.

In the summer of 1945, both airmen’s planes go down in Yunnan Province of China during one of many daring missions. They are captured, imprisoned, and tortured by the Japanese for information about the atomic bomb. Just days before the end of WWII, Danny makes an irrevocable decision to save Birch’s life.

For Birch, surviving the war is only the beginning of the battle. He must deal with the dreadful reality in China—the civil war, the separation of the country, the death of one friend in the Communist-controlled Mainland and another under the Nationalist government, and his wrongful imprisonment in Taiwan.

From Chungking to Yunnan, and from Taiwan to San Francisco, the sequel to Wings of a Flying Tiger takes readers along on an epic journey.

It’s available for pre-order on the same publisher’s website: http://www.open-bks.com/library/moderns/will-of-a-tiger/order.html It should be available on Amazon by the end of 2018.

CH: What is your next writing project?

IY: I’m working on a story based on my grandmother. She was the first Chinese woman to receive a master degree in the UK. Returning to China, she became a professor and a famous writer/playwright. Her play was in production for years. However, in 1957, she was wrongfully accused as a counter-revolutionary Rightist. During Cultural Revolution, she was fired from her job and ordered to sweep streets. Later, she was kicked out of the house at the university. She died alone in a small village. As the political atmosphere changed in China, she was once again a celebrated writer/scholar. She was called one of the most gifted female playwrights in Writing Women in Modern China: An Anthology of Women’s Literature from the Early Twentieth Century published by Columbia University Press in 1998. There is a park opened in her name in her hometown.

CH: How to Find Iris Yang:

CH: Is there any additional information that you’d like to tell us about your journey in writing this book?

IY: My writing journey is unique. I started writing, not because I wanted to write a book, but because I needed help.

I was a very negative person in an unhappy marriage, and I tried hard to change the situation. One book I read said that if you keep writing down five positive things a day, in twenty-one days you can change your negative thoughts. Being desperate, I was willing to try anything.

So, I jotted down five positive things a day. It started with words or simple phrases. In time, words became sentences; sentences turned into paragraphs; paragraphs grew into pages. All positive. I didn’t change in twenty-one days. It took me two years. But the result is remarkable. I’m no longer a negative person.

The “side product” of this practice is that I started writing short stories, then novels.

Writing changed my life!

CH: Any closing remarks?

IY: My message to anyone who would like to write:

The writing of a novel is hard. If you don’t have a burning desire, don’t bother to start. But, if you are passionate about it, don’t let anything or anyone stop you.

Craft can be learned. Passion comes from one’s heart. Follow your heart.

Start today. Keep writing! Don’t give up. Persistence. Perseverance. Patience.

I’ll share several useful Chinese proverbs with you:

“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

“Every step leaves its print.”

“If you work hard enough, you can grind even an iron rod down to a needle.”

Looking back, I’m amazed that I finished two novels (actually three—the very first one isn’t good enough to share with anyone), by writing down one word after another. If I can do it, anyone can.

Cheryl, many thanks for this opportunity and I appreciate it very much.

CH: Thank you so much, Iris Yang, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Iris Yang and Cheryl Holloway.

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Guest Author Interview – E. J. Towler

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Title: Stealth Maneuvers

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Military Romance

Synopsis: Marine Alan Prescott has never encountered an obstacle he couldn’t adapt, adjust and overcome, or a woman he couldn’t seduce. After nine months in Afghanistan, he’s set his sights on the sexy brunette in the officer’s club bar in Key West.

Air Force Colonel Anne Moss has come a long way from a scared, pregnant teenager. The only thing she loves more than her job, as a nurse midwife, is her daughter Brianna’s family. She has no time for a man, much less a young cocky Marine.

But there’s the bet with her best friend—one kiss and she’d win a $300 bottle of scotch. Besides, what could a little flirting hurt? One man, one woman and a bet. What could possibly go wrong?

E. J. Towler, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is E. J. Towler. She says, “Writing about military heroes, heroines, and villains comes natural to me, as I served in the United States Army and am a disabled veteran.” Welcome to my blog, E. J.   

CH: I’d like to say thank you for your service. Can you tell us why should we read this story about one man, one woman, and a bet? 

EJT: It is human nature to feel excitement when entering into a bet. We all look forward to the positive outcome from winning.  In Stealth Maneuvers, a simple bet between friends changes many of the character’s lives. Without the bet there would really be no story.

CH: Did the situations and issues come from real-life experiences?

EJT: Yes, parts of the book are based on real-life experiences. Two, of which, I am happy to share. I did send care packages to many military members over the years from the Vietnam War Era to my son-in-law and his friends, current day, while they were deployed.  Second, my husband was surprised at my age when we met.

CH: I’m from a military family and a former military wife. Did you run into any military challenges while writing this book?

EJT: Writing military romance seemed an easy theme for several reasons. Beginning with the American Revolutionary War someone from each generation of my family has served in the United States Armed forces. I served in the United States Army during the first Gulf War. My husband and son-in-law both served, as well.

CH: Did you have to do any special research to write this book?

EJT: I did a great deal of research in Key West on settings for the book, plant life and area historic locations. Probably, the most research was done on protocol for military funerals with full honors. This was one area in which, I had no real-life experiences.

CH: How did you come up with this premise for this book?

EJT: As I said before the premise for the story line is based on some of my past experiences. But the story line really blossomed in Key West when I was visiting my daughter. I was enjoying a scotch and water in a club on Boca Chica Field when the bits of dialog and scenes began to come to life.

CH: Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from when you write?

EJT: I have been collecting story ideas for the past forty years. Before computers, many were pages or scraps of paper thrown in a decorated box. I am a pantser, which means I write without an outline and let the book take me on the adventure, as I write. Characters often take on a life of their own. For example, in one story I have a character that was to have a very small role. However she has developed into a pivotal character.

CH: Can you tell us about the dachshunds in your stories?

EJT: Dachshunds are characters in Stealth Maneuvers, as they will be in all my books and stories. I have owned these quirky little dogs for more than thirty years. For the last fifteen years I have rescued senior dachshunds through Dachshund Rescue North America. A portion of my book sales profit goes to support these dogs that are ‘two dogs long and half a dog high.’

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

EJT: I hope my stories take the reader on an adventure they will enjoy reading more than once.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

EJT: Anne for sure was the easiest. We share many things like crochet, sending packages to fellow sailors and soldiers, and the love of our children and grandchildren.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

EJT: Like most writers I base characters on people I know. I guess writing from the male perspective is the most difficult. I often question my husband about would he do this or that in a given situation. I probably have the hardest time coming up with names for my male characters. But I have a way around this one. I always use my ex-husband’s name for the villain when I am writing because I cannot forget that. I will also share he thinks this is funny. (We worked very hard to become friends. It has made life so much easier on our children and grandchildren.)

CH: Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

EJT: Not so much a message from my novel but from me in finishing this book. Follow your dreams. Life is too short to give up. Writing a book was something I only dreamed about. A friend asked me one day if I could do anything if I knew I could not fail what would I do. Without hesitation, I said, “write a book.” She said me, too. So, we encouraged each other. She set me on my path of writing. Unfortunately, she passed away before her book was finished and Stealth Maneuvers was published.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of this book?

EJT: Readers have told me they love my characters and once they started reading Stealth Maneuvers, they couldn’t put it down. Some asked how much of the sex is based on my sex-life. I, generally, smile and leave it to their imagination. I would love to hear from more readers.

CH: What do you enjoy most about writing military romance books?

EJT: I enjoy allowing my experiences to come to life, both good and bad ones. Writing about the difficult times in my life has helped me in the healing process.

CH: Who is your favorite author, living or dead, and why?

EJT: This one is hard. I have read Nora Roberts, Amanda Quick, Jayne Ann Krentz for years. My current reading, also includes books by Dominique Eastwick, Alexandra Christle, Kristine Overbrook, and Jenna Jackson. As well as, many other friends in my Chesapeake Romance Writers group.

CH: Wow. Alexandra Christle will be featured on my blog soon. What is your next writing project?

EJT: I am currently working on a trilogy of military romance books. These stories cover the lives of the three sons of Retired Vice Admiral Henry Williams and his wife Dr. Martha Williams. These three books are romantic suspense and are filled with humor and, of course, dachshunds. I am also working on a murder mystery.

CH: How to Find E. J.:

CH: Can you tell my audience where this book is sold?

EJT: Stealth Maneuvers can be purchased in print or as an eBook on Amazon, Barnes and Nobel, or Kobo.

CH: Any closing remarks?

EJT: Thank you so much for providing me this opportunity to discuss my book with your followers.

CH: Thank you so much, E. J. Towler, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, E. J. Towler and Cheryl Holloway.

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Cheryl Holloway Celebrates Veterans Day 2018

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To commemorate Veterans Day, groups and organizations around the country are honoring those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, as well as active-duty service members. But today I wanted to do something a little different. So here’s a poem to thank veterans. Enjoy…

Take A Moment To Thank A Veteran

By Joanna Fuchs

When you see someone in a uniform,
Someone who serves us all,
Doing military duty,
Answering their country’s call,

Take a moment to thank them
For protecting what you hold dear;
Tell them you are proud of them;
Make it very clear.

Just tap them on the shoulder,
Give a smile, and say,
“Thanks for what you’re doing
To keep us safe in the USA!”

Joanna Fuchs, Poet

Compliments of https://www.poemsource.com/

Note: Photos/Clip Art are compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

      

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? SInterviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Tia Fanning

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Title: ‘Til Grave Do Us Part (Something Grave)

Genre: Paranormal Ghost Romance/Romance Comedy

Synopsis: She’s disturbed the dead, and he isn’t resting in peace…
After taking revenge on her philandering husband’s grave, Taylin has a terrifying run in with his very ticked-off ghost. Thankfully, this young widow has a sexy law-enforcement hero to help set her straight when sheer stubbornness puts her life in grave danger. But when he’s pulled into the specter’s plan for retribution, will either of them make it out alive?

Tia Fanning, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Tia Fanning. She writes a little of herself in every story. Welcome to my Blog, Tia.

CH: Please tell us why should we read this paranormal ghost story?

TF: It’s Autumn—the season for paranormal! And ’Til Grave Do Us Part is spooky, sexy fun.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

TF: Well, as I often tell others, I write a little truth into every story, so I don’t find it overly hard to create believable situations. I do try to use a cause and effect approach. For example, in ’Til Grave Do Us Part, the heroine is desecrating the grave of her deceased husband every night for almost a year. I don’t think it’s too far of a leap that his angry ghost would make an appearance for such a disrespectful act of revenge.

CH: Did you have to do a lot of special research to write this book?

TF: Goodness, no. If not for the ghost element, this love story would read as a contemporary romance. While it is a paranormal book, the characters themselves are not paranormal. The relationship featured in ’Til Grave Do Us Part is between a wealthy widow and a police officer.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

TF: In this particular book, I would have to say the heroine, Taylin. She is sassy, fun and very down-to-earth for a wealthy widow.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop? 

TF: I would say the hero, Wil, in this case. Due to the type of romance I write, I needed the hero to be the right balance of dominant and nurturing. So while the hero is quite the gentleman to the heroine and appreciates her bratty attitude, he is not afraid to correct her behavior, if he finds it dangerous or detrimental to her wellbeing.

CH: Did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

TF: I did. There was a family tragedy, while I was writing this. I was not really in the space to write this book, but I was under contract—and because ’Til Grave Do Us Part is part of an anthology, I had three other authors who were counting on me to finish this story on time. I won’t say I made the deadline, because I was still writing the epilogue the night before release day. Thankfully, my publisher was very understanding of the circumstances, and the editor stayed up (and probably nearly killed herself) to get this book out on time. So, if there are any mistakes in this book, that is totally on me. I didn’t give my editor a lot of time to do her thing.

CH: Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from when you write?

TF: Past experiences, nightmares and dreams, and an overactive imagination.

CH: Interesting. What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

TF: I have been a published author for twelve years, and I feel I have learned how to move a story along, which keeps a reader engaged. I often find that fiction authors will write pages of character introspection and detailed environments. There is nothing wrong with doing either—but it must be pertinent to the plot and move the story along. For example, if the room you are describing will not be a main feature in the overall storyline, then your description of said room should be very brief. Otherwise, the reader will be annoyed when the hyper-focused upon room is not mentioned again. The author went through the trouble of writing each detail, and the reader took the time to read and note each detail, so it should matter.

CH: Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

TF: Yes. That love is expressed in many ways, and that there are many relationship dynamics that exist in our modern world. And as long as those varied relationship dynamics feature consenting adults, those varied love stories are acceptable and valid.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of this book?

TF: Many of the readers have enjoyed ’Til Grave Do Us Part.

CH: What do you enjoy most about writing paranormal books?

TF: The freedom to explore and create situations that defy the known reality in which we humans live. There is no limit to the fantasy.

CH: Who is your favorite author, living or dead, and why?

TF: Oh goodness, that is too hard a question! (lol)

CH: What is your next writing project?

TF: I always have multiple projects going at once, but I am committed to another Holiday anthology for a December release.

CH: How to Find Tia:

CH: Can you tell my audience where this book is sold?

TF: You can purchase ’Til Grave Do Us Part on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Kobo, iBooks and Google Play Books.

CH: Any closing remarks?

TF: Thank you for having me, Cheryl! I sincerely appreciate you. I’m grateful for this opportunity to share my work with your readers.

CH: Thank you so much, Tia Fanning, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Tia Fanning and Cheryl Holloway.

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

   

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

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A Crime Fiction Blog Tour with CS Duffy

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#BlogTour  #ThePrequelTour #DarknessSeries by CS Duffy

I’m excited to be taking part in this unique blog tour event for the latest in CS Duffy’s “Darkness” series. It is not the usual kind of blog tour—this one is a crime fiction treasure hunt with a short prequel to the series being published across a number of blogs over the coming days! Each chapter will have a link to the blog to allow you to follow the story and perhaps discover some new book bloggers along the way!

Today, I have the pleasure of bringing you the next episode in the treasure hunt…

He often stopped at this pub on his way home. It was a traditional pub, one of the very few left in the city, with a fireplace, stained glass windows and an impressive array of single malts. The clientele were mostly regulars, wee old men in flat caps grumbling about racing results, filling the long hours between retirement and death with one more wee whisky before toddling home to an empty flat.

Every once in a while there would be one irritating, raucous group in the corner, normally a gaggle of middle aged women with giant hair and skintight dresses who’d come out for a cheeky wee spritzer at lunchtime, and six hours later were still filling the pub with their shrieks and laughter. They would adopt one of the old men, pleading with him to join them, then flirting and teasing while he sat there clutching his pint for dear life, ears bright pink with mortification, torn between thrilled and terrified. Occasionally a group of students from the nearby university would venture in and attempt to order craft beers or absurd gins, but they never lasted long.

He would arrive at half past six on the dot. He walked from his city centre office whenever he could. He could barely stand up in the tiny subway trains that rollicked around the city, couldn’t bear the sensation of being tossed around as the trains sped and lurched around corners, jolted to stops and jerked off again. Taxis were worse. Drivers without a care in the world, who considered being trapped by traffic a great opportunity for a wee blether about football or  weather or their grandchildren. Drivers who could get a good look at him if they so chose. Drivers whose memory for faces could put them in danger.

So he walked. He enjoyed the feeling of being driven on by the bitter wind snaking its way under his collar, liked to weave amongst the seething mass of humanity that spilled out of pubs, chatted at bus stops, consulted maps on street corners. Amongst, but never within.

If he kept a decent clip going up Argyle Street, it would take precisely forty five minutes from the moment he stepped onto the square outside his office at a quarter to six, to reach the pub in Partick. He liked to glance at his watch as he opened the old, heavy oak door, felt a sliver of pleasure to see the both delicate hands of his hundred year old Swiss watch lined up, with exquisite perfection, on the Roman numeral six. Precision soothed him.

He no longer had to order the Macallan fifteen from the fine oak cask. He simply took his usual seat and nodded to the barmaid with the jet black hair pulled into a severe ponytail and harshly lined eyes. For the first few months, she had commented on his expensive tastes, attempted to interest him in the  Balvinnie from the Caribbean cask or the thirty year old Glengoyne, but she had learned. It was a risk to have made an impression on her, but sometimes risk had to be weighed against pleasure.

He contemplated the rich amber liquid that sparkled and glowed in the lights and felt the tension of the day seep from his shoulders.

‘You readin’ this paper, son?’ A wheezy voice intruded. One of the old men, white whiskers scattered around a sunken mouth, dark blue fisherman’s jumper threadbare and frayed. ‘Ah jist want tae see the fitba results, though whit’s the point? Ah ken Thistle goat gubbed the day withoot lookin’.’

He didn’t respond. He didn’t need to; the man had grabbed the newspaper from his table before he had finished asking permission and was now rustling through it, tutting under his breath. He was frail. The gnarled fingers that clutched the paper were swollen with arthritis, trembled in a way that could be down to drink or the early stages of Parkinson’s.

He could leap from his stool this instant, grab the old yin, twist his arm and break it with a satisfying snap in seconds. No one could stop him. No one was close by, and they wouldn’t react quickly enough anyway. They would stare, stunned, frozen with shock and terror as he threw the old man to the ground and stomped on his windpipe. It would be over in moments. His heart began to beat faster.

‘Aye, go right ahead,’ he said with a warm grin. ‘I think they’ve got a shot against Celtic this week though. Their striker’s out, you never know.’

‘Ach yer full o’ shite,’ chortled the old man as he shuffled back to the bar.

Don’t forget to tune in tomorrow for the next episode with Kristin at https://sevendaysaweek.co/

CS Duffy, author, writes psychological suspense thrillers with a healthy dose of black humor.

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s Guest International Author is CS Duffy. 

How to Find CS Duffy: https://www.csduffywriter.com/

Darkness Series Amazon Links:

CH: Thank you so much, CS Duffy, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure being on this crime fiction treasure hunt. It was so much fun! And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this series.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, CS Duffy and Cheryl Holloway.

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Cheryl Holloway Says, “Exercise Your Right to Vote in 2018!”

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

      

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? SInterviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Benjamin K. M. Kellogg

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Title: The Noah and Logan Children’s Book Series: Volume One – Stories One to Five

Genre: Children’s Daily Activities Books/ Children’s Diet & Nutrition Books

Synopsis: Noah and Logan are the main characters in five colorful illustrated children’s short stories.

One – How they clean their room.
Two – How they learn to share toys.
Three – How they learn to tie their sneakers (shoes).
Four – How they care for their pets.
Five – How they make new friends at their local playground.

Benjamin K. M. Kellogg, Author.

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Benjamin K. M. Kellogg. He has autism and he created The Noah and Logan Children’s Book Series as a way to help other children with autism learn the social and life skills he struggled with as a child. Welcome to my blog, Benjamin.

CH: Can you sum up this book about helping children with autism to learn simple daily tasks?

BKMK: The Noah and Logan Children’s Book Series is a collection of stories featuring two young boys, who learn about the social and life skills, which I found most difficult to learn when I was a child.  The series, so far, includes topics on cleaning, sharing, tying sneakers, caring for pets, and making new friends. My hope is that my stories will help children on the autism spectrum, as well as, all other children have an easier time gaining a grasp of what I feel are valuable skills.

CH: Did the short stories come from real life experiences of yourself, as well as, family and friends?

BKMK: These stories are based on my experiences with learning the skills I write about.  I had difficulty learning the topics featured in each story.  Tying my sneakers was a skill that was especially difficult for me to learn, as a boy. For many years, I did not have the fine motor skills required to tie shoelaces, and I relied on Velcro fasteners.  With practice, I mastered the necessary motions and am now able to do this task on my own.

CH: Did you have to do a lot of special research to write this book?

BKMK: For this series of stories, I rely upon my own experiences and difficulties that I had as a child, so no real research was needed to complete the books.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

BKMK: I do not have favorite characters in this series, but I do enjoy that the main characters have real-life inspirations.  The characters of Noah and Logan are based on two of my young cousins with the same names, and I love them both equally.  I first conceived the idea for the “Noah and Logan” series shortly after Noah and Logan were born.  I felt they would make good characters a young reader could identify with and, fortunately, their parents thought so, too.  They do greatly enjoy seeing themselves in each story.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

BKMK: I do not find characters challenging to develop for these stories. Whenever I need more kids for the boys to interact with, I include their other cousins who have all been born as the series has progressed. You will find this illustrated in the Noah and Logan Learn to Make New Friends book, and I will continue to use their cousins in future stories, as they are needed to complete that book’s theme.

CH: Did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

BKMK: There have been no significant challenges beyond deciding the precise details to be included in each illustration.  Some books do, however, require a bit more care to make sure the skill is being demonstrated correctly.  For instance, in Noah and Logan Learn to Tie Their Sneakers, there are illustrations showing close-up shots of the boys’ feet and the individual steps in the shoe-tying process.  My mother, my illustrator, utilized photos she took of me tying my own sneakers to complete the illustrations.  It took many painstaking hours to ensure that each step was accurate, and she also had to “shrink” my hands, so their proportions would correspond with Noah and Logan’s smaller hand size.

CH: Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from when you write?

BKMK: The “Noah and Logan Children’s Book Series” is based on experiences from my young life.  Each story reflects the challenges I faced learning the skill depicted.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

BKMK: My writing style for these stories is intentionally very simple.  I want young readers to be able to understand the topic in each story, and to understand precisely how the boys are feeling, what they are doing, and what they have learned or gained from each new experience they face in their lives. The difference for me in writing this series is that in writing on a child’s reading level, I have to resist using a “larger” vocabulary than a child would use or understand. It can be a challenge, at times, to maintain the simplicity and clear message needed for the series to work. Hopefully, I also bring the excitement of learning a new skill or a different perspective that would help a child complete a task with my writing and through my ideas for each illustration.  When I learned something new as a child, I gained more independence and confidence. I hope to pass on the same to other children.

CH: Is there a message in your book that you want the readers to grasp?

BKMK: I want my young readers to understand that they are capable of learning and mastering anything they set their minds to.  If these stories do indeed help kids to do that, then I know I have done a good job helping them.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of this book?

BKMK: I get wonderfully positive feedback from all types of readers after each story is published.  Kids, parents, teachers, and therapists are excited about the series, and it does seem to be benefiting kids on the spectrum, as well as, all children.  I promote the series at numerous events in my area throughout the year, and there is always an enthusiastic response to the stories.

CH: What do you enjoy most about writing books for children with autism?

BKMK: The most enjoyable part for me is simply being able to serve children with the same condition I have and can readily identify with.  Growing up, it was difficult for my parents to find resources which would benefit me.  When they did, the cost was usually high. To be able to create an affordable children’s book series that is both helpful and entertaining has been an absolute pleasure, and serving children on the autism spectrum is a privilege I do not take lightly.

CH: What is your favorite children’s book?

BKMK: My favorite children’s book is The Cat in the Hat by Theodore “Dr. Seuss” Geisel.  It is one of the first books I can remember reading on my own, and I did so very often.  It is a fun story with great rhymes and sublime illustrations. It began my admiration for the “Good Doctor” and his considerably large body of children’s books, which all maintain a permanent place on my reading shelf.  This book will always remain my favorite.

CH: What is your next writing project?

BKMK: I have several writing projects I am working on at this time.  A sixth story in the Noah and Logan Children’s Book Series is in development, called Noah and Logan Learn to Use Their Manners.  I am in the editing stages of a novel about professional wrestling, a “sport” I love to follow and have always wanted to write about. Also, I am writing two collections of poetry, one about my life with autism and the other about pop culture and other topics that interest me.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

BKMK: Readers can learn more about me and my books at www.benjaminkmkellogg.com.  There they can browse the entire Noah and Logan series in both print and eBook format, as well as, see a number of videos in which I share my favorite pages from each story.  There is also a video page that features speeches I have given at various special needs benefits and plenty of photos from different events I have been part of over the years.  I also maintain a blog at www.kelloggthoughts.com in which I talk about writing, my life with autism, and other topics.  I have two Facebook pages on which I share information about the books and upcoming events I attend, “Noah and Logan Children’s Book Series” and “Benjamin Kellogg, Author.”

CH: How to Find Benjamin:

CH: Can you tell my audience where this book is sold?

BKMK: It is available in print form with the first five stories collected in one volume, and each story is available individually as an eBook.  They can all be purchased through Amazon, and my website.

CH: Any closing remarks?

BKMK: I hope readers enjoy the “Noah and Logan” stories, have an easier time learning valuable social and life skills, and never give up on anything they set their minds to. Thanks, Cheryl, for having me on your blog.

CH: Thank you so much, Benjamin K. M. Kellogg, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Benjamin K. M. Kellogg and Cheryl Holloway.

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On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Guest Author Interview – Kianna Alexander

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Title: Couldn’t Ask for More

Genre: African American Women’s Fiction/ Multicultural Romances

Synopsis: Fake engagements are a dangerous business.

Bryan James’s job is on thin ice unless he can secure a contract with a popular design house. He knows his best friend’s sister can help—but her terms are more than he bargained for.

Alexis Devers’s debut fashion line is a hit. But when Alexis’s publicist tells buyers that it landed her a wealthy, gorgeous fiancé, Alexis needs to come up with one—fast. Bryan’s offer to strike a deal is perfectly timed. She’s more than willing—on one condition…

It’s the perfect plan…until feelings start getting in the way. Suddenly, the dangers of mixing business and pleasure become much more real than either of them expected.

Kianna Alexander, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Kianna Alexander. And she loves writing. Welcome back to my blog, Kianna.

CH: Please tell us why should we read this story about fake engagements and the consequences?

KA: It subverts the common trope because the heroine sets the terms, not the hero. I love flipping tropes this way, I think it makes for a fresher story.

CH: Yes, it does. Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

KA: Not really. I draw from a very active imagination and a bit of real-life experience.

CH: Did you have to do a lot of special research to write this book?

KA: I did a good amount of research into the fashion and textiles industries because those are Alexis and Bryan’s careers.  The story setting, Raleigh, NC is already familiar to me.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

KA: Sydney. I love a good best friend character.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

KA: Maxwell. I know his story is next in the series, so I had to be thoughtful about how he was portrayed.

CH: Did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

KA: Only the sort that real life throws at you. There was a lot of personal stuff going on in my life that created a bit of distraction for me.

CH: Where do you get your inspiration and ideas from when you write?

KA: From music, film, and observation.

CH: Did you know that this would be a series when you wrote the first book?

KA: Yes. Generally, I get my ideas as a group of related stories.

CH: What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

KA: I incorporate my passion for music in everything I write, and I’m told I write very immersive settings.

CH: Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

KA: There are a few, relating to the importance of mentoring, supporting a loved one through domestic abuse, and the power of true friendship.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of this book?

KA: Generally, the feedback has been positive and I’m very pleased with that. I’m really proud that Booklist had such glowing praise for my descriptions of Raleigh.

CH: If you could work with any author, living or dead, who would that be and why?

KA: Either Beverly Jenkins or Brenda Jackson, because I’m a huge fan of their work.

CH: Can you briefly tell us about your literary journey?

KA: I started writing as an adolescent, pursued publication right after marriage and college, and was first published in 2009. Since then I’ve published about 38 titles.

CH: What is your next writing project?

KA: My last Kimani novel, as yet untitled, due out September of 2019.

CH: How to Find Kianna Alexander:

CH: Can you tell my audience where this book is sold?

KA: Everywhere books are sold: Amazon, B&N, Apple Books, etc.

CH: Any closing remarks?

KA: Thanks for having me . 🙂

CH: Thank you so much, Kianna Alexander, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Kianna Alexander and Cheryl Holloway.

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

   

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Happy Author’s Day 2018 from Cheryl Holloway

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Note: Photos/Clip Art are compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

      

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? SInterviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Upcoming Events for Cheryl Holloway

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SORMAG is an online magazine for readers and writers of multi-cultural literature. The Book Festival begins on Saturday November 2 at 12 Noon (Eastern Time)

Registration Link:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/SORMAGBookFestival/

Book Festival Link: https://www.facebook.com/groups/SORMAGBookFestival/

I will participate in the Readers Love Books Panel Discussion.

I will discuss Book Bloggers and Why Is The Book Review Still Important?

Please join me. I’d love to hear from you.

I will also be available for Meet The Romance Author. Join in the Fun.

I will give away some FREE Books. So stop by to get your copy.

I’m excited to be taking part in this unique blog tour event for the latest in CS Duffy’s “Darkness” series. It is not the usual kind of blog tour—this one is a crime fiction treasure hunt with a short prequel to the series being published across a number of blogs over the coming days! Each chapter will have a link to the blog to allow you to follow the story and perhaps discover some new book bloggers along the way!

Please join us on www.CherylHolloway.net/blog on Wednesday November 7.

Note: Photos/Clip Art are compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

      

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? SInterviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Pam Metivier and Greg Helmstetter

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Title: STEAMTeam 5 Chronicles: Mystery of the Haunted Cider Mill

Genre: Children’s Halloween Books/ Children’s Action & Adventure

Synopsis: It’s almost Halloween, and Ariana Artist and the other members of STEAMTeam 5 set out to solve the mystery surrounding the Old Cider Mill, where something terrible happened long ago, and legends say it’s been haunted by a tortured spirit for 150 years! Get ready for spine-tingling chills and unexpected twists in this Halloween tale that has all the makings of a timeless, autumn classic.

Pam Metivier, Co-Author

Greg Helmstetter, Co-Author

 

 

 

 

 

CH: Today my Guest Authors are Pam Metivier and Greg Helmstetter. They write about five girls of the STEAMTeam 5 group and their adventures. Welcome to my blog, Pam and Greg.

CH: Let’s start with Pam. Can you tell us why we should read the children’s mystery about the Haunted Cider Mill around Halloween?

PM: It’s a modern take on a children’s ‘ghost story’ book. It features unexpected twists that have all the makings of a timeless, autumn classic.

CH: What made you decide to write about a legend claiming that the mill had been haunted by a tortured spirit for 150 years?

PM: The setting of a cider mill seemed like a great way to tell a haunted building story, because it’s old and historic; yet, it doesn’t rely on a haunted Victorian mansion or other cliché. Also, the connection to cider and apples ties it to the harvest and the season. The fact that a cider mill can be powered by a water wheel made for good visuals and evokes all kinds of folk connotations.

CH: Where did you get the idea for the series?

PM: We had come up with dozens of short story plots for possible television episodes. The STEAMTeam 5 Chronicles stories are episodic and don’t fit into the sequence of our main STEAMTeam 5 books. The main books are richly illustrated and so, take a long time to produce. We realized that we could produce a spin-off series of shorter books with fewer illustrations, produced in parallel, as the main books are being illustrated. Our fans are always asking for more, so the Chronicles books can help keep them engages, while we’re producing the big books.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

PM: There’s a little piece of the 10 year-old me (and my friends) in all of the characters, but I enjoyed writing about Ariana, the best. I think it’s because her character is so creative.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

PM: Mattie, the Mathematician, was the most difficult to develop, because we wanted her to be relatable to younger kids, who don’t yet have complex math skills. We gave her some really fun hobbies and interests related to math (such as solving puzzles), which helped bring depth to her character.

CH: What is your favorite children’s book?

PM: Danny and the Dinosaur has always been one of my favorite children’s books.

CH: Can you tell us a little about your writing journey?

PM: I set out to write a story that the 10 year-old me would have wanted to read. I was nervous at first, because I had only ever written a business book, but I found that the process flowed much easier than I had expected it to. I had a lot more fun writing these books than I ever imagined I would.

CH: What is your next writing project?

PM: We’re currently neck-deep in writing the next Chronicle book about Evelyn, the Engineer. It’s about a buried treasure. We expect to have it out in time for Christmas.

CH: Pam, Any Closing comments?

PM: Our goal with the STEAMTeam 5 books is to help kids understand that developing (and using) STEAM skills can be fun. You don’t have to be exceptional to be a future STEAM leader.

CH: Great! Let’s ask Greg some questions. How did you come up with the STEAM Team idea for your stories?

GH: I developed the five characters to teach STEAM concepts to my young daughter. Over time, I created backstories for each of them. Pam and I decided that we needed to bring these characters to life in an adventure book series.

CH: How did you come up with the premise for this Halloween story?

GH: I had wanted to write a Halloween story for years, because I love Halloween, and autumn, in general. Growing up in the desert, we don’t have fall, and I always romanticized autumn, as something exotic. Pam and I had worked out the basic premise, based on the idea that the main character, Ariana (who is an artist), would be hired for a freelance project by the owners of an old cider mill, which local legends said was haunted. The plot must have been simmering in my subconscious for a few weeks, because I woke up one morning with the story fully worked out. I conveyed it to Pam and she cranked out the first draft really fast. I wish it was always so easy!

CH: When you wrote the first book in the series, did you realize it would be a series then?

GH: Yes. We developed a plan (and long story arc) for a five-book series from the very beginning.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

GH: I like writing all of the characters, but I have the most fun with Treeka, the technologist and hacker of the group. We haven’t written the Chronicle book focused on her; yet, but that will be fun.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

GH: Mattie is challenging because it’s tricky to use math in stories in a way that kids will both understand and enjoy. It would be lame to have the character just going around counting everything like the Count in Sesame Street…we have her solve problems by thinking mathematically. Meaning she thinks abstractly…she’s not just an bookkeeper. It requires some extra effort to get that just right for readers age 7-12, while avoiding clichés and stereotypes.

CH: What is your favorite children’s book?

GH: My current favorite children’s book is Voyage of the Dogs. I’m reading it with my daughter.

CH: How to Find Pam and Greg:

CH: How do you work together on writing one story?

GH: It’s been an amazing process. First, we brainstorm about the storyline. Then I write an outline. Then Pam writes the first draft. Then I make a pass. After that, we collaborate on changes until we both love the final.

CH: Can you tell us a little about the upcoming Chronicle books?

GH: We’re writing more Chronicle books about Evelyn, the Engineer, and Mattie, the Mathematician. We expect to have them out in time for Christmas.

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold? 

GH: Yes, Amazon and Barnes & Noble.

CH: Greg, Any Closing comments?

GH: Thanks, Cheryl, for having us on your blog to discuss the Chronicle books.

CH: Thank you so much, Pam Metivier and Greg Helmstetter, for taking time out of your very busy writing schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your book with my audience.  And readers, if you’re like me and would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Pam Metivier, Greg Helmstetter and Cheryl Holloway.

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Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

   

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

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How to Price Your Book to Boost Your Sales by Cheryl Holloway

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How to Price Your Book to Boost Your Sales

Since I have been a Writer-Editor for many years, several new authors ask me this magic question. Most often, my answer is to price your book to sell to a reader—not what you think it’s worth.

Keep in mind that deciding to price your book to suit your market will actually help encourage potential readers to buy your book. If you price your book too high, you will send a potential reader off to purchase a book more within his/her price range. When I say “potential readers,” I’m not talking about family and friends, because they will purchase your book regardless of the price—I’m talking about strangers.

Most self-published authors are proud to have a book on Amazon, but how many of them have books that actually sell beyond the “family/friends purchase” phase?

Note: Potential readers are less likely to take a chance on a new writer/unknown author, unless the price is right.

New self-published authors all say the same thing:

  1. There is blood, sweat and tears in my book;
  2. I’ve been working on that book for months/years;
  3. For months, I lost sleep working on the book;
  4. I missed valuable time with my family, while working on the book; and
  5. My book is obviously worth way more than a few dollars!

Remember: That is your perceived value of the book—not the market value of the book. Nine times out of ten, new self-published authors never listen to pricing tips.

Keep in mind: Amazon, the largest and most popular marketplace for self-publishing authors, will pay 70 percent commission for books priced between 2.99 and 9.99, but only 35 percent for books over or under these amounts.

Here are a few tips:

  1. Check the pricing of similar books in your genre and authors on your level. (Do not compare your book to books by James Patterson, Stephen King or Nora Roberts.)
  2. An eBook is never the same price as a print book. (A potential reader will not buy an eBook priced at $9.99 and up and pricing your book isn’t a one-size-fits-all-books deal.)
  3. All books are not equal and the same price—400 pages vs. 50 pages.

I recommend the following Pricing Suggestions:

Fiction – Best Prices $2.99 to $4.99

Novella – Start at $1.99

Novel/Short Story Collection – Start at $2.99

Short Story – Start at $0.99

Non-Fiction – Best Price $4.99 and up

Overall, the best book pricing is between $2.99 and $9.99.

Note: Photos/Clip Art are compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.

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Don’t Keep this Blog a Secret…Tell Your Friends about it!

Readers and followers, please share this post with your friends.

      

On this blog, I “Pay it Forward” to other authors by spotlighting them with a Guest Author Interview. I only ask that they too “Pay It Forward” to any other author.                                              ~ Cheryl Holloway

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Questions? Comments? SInterviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

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