Guest Author Interview – Stephanie Nicole Norris

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Title: Mistaken Identity

Genre: African American Romance

Synopsis: The only thing Briana and Tiana have in common are their identical looks. For Tiana, life is one challenge after another, but her greatest struggle is sharing a face with the sister she despises. Tired of living in the shadows, she comes up with a plan to finally have everything she ever wanted.

Everything seems to come easy for Briana, including her beautiful children, loving husband and dynamic career. Briana’s charmed life is ripped apart when she wakes up in the hospital with no idea who she is and no memory of her former life. With the help of the handsome stranger who saved her, Briana builds a new life and finds new love, while Tiana won’t rest until Briana has no life at all.

Stephanie Norris

Stephanie Nicole Norris, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Stephanie Nicole Norris. She grew up a lover of reading and has always had a talent for writing. Welcome to my blog, Stephanie.

CH: Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

SNN: Love, drama, jealousy, and deceit.

CH: Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

SNN: My storylines come from a variety of ideas. Sometimes, I have crystal clear dreams that are so strong that I can’t turn away from them. I’ll pick up a recording device and record what the dream was about and then I’ll add details around it, to give myself a small outline.

Other times, I may have an idea to challenge myself and bit by bit I’ll put together an outline for a story.  Many things trigger my creativity—music, reading, T.V., or real life—it just depends on what’s happening at the time.

CH: Most twins are very close to each other. Tell us a little bit about your book. Where did you get the premise for this story? 

SNN: I always wanted to write a story about twins, but I wanted to go against the norm. Most twins do get along, but when they don’t, it’s bad. I decided to have one twin envy the other, because she was more successful, committed and trustworthy. I also wanted the reader to take notice that the envious twin also had great things going in her life, but she was so jealous that she didn’t take notice of the blessings she had. That happens every day to everyday people. Often times, we may look at someone’s popularity or financial income and wish we had what they do, but overlook what we have.

CH: Did you find anything challenging while writing this book?

SNN: The biggest challenge for me was bringing it to a close. My previous books are a part of a series and the excitement of reading about the same characters going through different things is what I love. However, this story stands alone, so I needed to bring it to a solid end with no cliffhangers.

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

SNN: My stories have a variety of trials in them. I like to put my characters in situations it’s hard to get out of. That also challenges me as a writer, so although I write romance, it’s mixed with drama, violence, suspense, thrills, action and sometimes, adventure. I’ve been compared to James Patterson and my editor tells me my romance is more complex.

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

SNN: It didn’t all come to me at one time. I created an outline, put it to the side for many months, then went back to it and revised it, adding more intricate parts.

CH: Nowadays, everyone is writing a series, what made you decide to write a stand-alone book?

SNN: I have a series that’s comprised of four books, Trouble In Paradise, Vengeful Intentions (part 2), For Better and Worse (part3) and Until My Last Breath (part 4). I not only wanted to write a series of books. A lot of people like to read stand-alone novels and I wanted to make sure I could supply those readers, as well.

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

SNN: I always take pieces of real life and put them in my stories. It’s the best way to mix up a good read. Then, of course, I add fictional details that help make the story a memorable one.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

SNN: I’m going with Charles Finnegan. He’s the hero in the story, who falls in love with Briana, the good twin. I loved bringing his character to life. He’s so charismatic, strong and loveable.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

SNN: For me, it’s always hardest to write the nemesis, which in this case is the evil twin, Tianna. When I write I have to put myself in the character’s mind and it takes a lot out of me to be so evil and conniving. It’s almost like when an actor plays a part in a movie. Cuba Gooding, Jr. played the part of O. J. Simpson in his autobiography movie and he said it took him two and a half months to shed O. J.’s full persona and get back to his regular self. There is no doubt that having to play such characters, even when writing one, does the same to me.

CH: What do you want readers to grasp from this novel?

SNN: No matter how good someone else’s life looks, you never know what they endured to get there and you should always count the blessings you have in your own life.

CH: What type of feedback are you receiving?

SNN: Nothing but positive feedback. It’s really a pleasure to have people love the storyline.

CH: Can you tell us a little bit about your success as an author and your writing journey?

SNN: Success can be defined in so many different ways. It’s really what you make it. For me, being able to publish my first book, Trouble In Paradise, was my biggest success. Writing comes fluent to me but the business side can be stringent. That said, I love to write and will always do it.

CH: What’s next for you as an author?

SNN: Recently, I’ve decided to enter some books into awards programs to see how far I can go with my stories. It would be delightful to win or even get close to winning and taking myself to the next level.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

SNN: Yes, it is www.stephaniennorris.wordpress.com

CH: Can you tell my audience where they can purchase your book?

SNN: For paperback my books can be purchased at Amazon and CreateSpace. For ebook you can find my books on Amazon, Barnes & Nobles, Kobo, Ibookstore, and Smashwords. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/2a5Twsn

CH: Any closing remarks?

SNN: I want to thank you very much for allowing me to visit your blog today, Cheryl and keeping you and your readers company.  I do have pop up contest and giveaways that I send out to subscribers of my newsletter. If you would like to sign up here’s the link! http://bit.ly/1PX4OCU

CH: Thank you, Stephanie Nicole Norris, 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 writing journey and your book with my audience.  

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Stephanie Nicole Norris.

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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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Coming Soon…Deborah Fletcher Mello

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Coming Soon…August 15th

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Celebrity Guest Author:                                                                                         Deborah Fletcher Mello

Her Latest Book:                                                                                                                Guilty Pleasures (Bad Boys of Boulder Series)

“Join us for this exciting interview that can’t be missed!”                                                              ~Cheryl Holloway

Coming Soon…Kimberla Lawson Roby

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Coming Soon…August 19th

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Celebrity Guest Author:                                                                                         Kimberla Lawson Roby

Her Latest Book:                                                                                                                A Sinful Calling (A Reverend Curtis Black Novel)

“Join us for this stimulating interview that shouldn’t be missed!”                                                         ~Cheryl Holloway

 

Guest Author Interview – Ashea S. Goldson

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Title: Count It All Joy (2016 Re-Issue)

Genre: Urban Christian

Synopsis: Although Alex Benning is newly married to her dream man, soon-to-be Minister Joshua Benning, this sweet romance quickly turns sour. Alex, still suffering from the physical consequences of a botched abortion, feels pressured to have Joshua’s baby.

Although Joshua already has a daughter from his deceased wife, his longing for the perfect family becomes an obsession. He attempts to develop a secret relationship with a surrogate mother, but when Alex discovers what Joshua is planning, she decides that enough is enough. In the midst of a controversial offer to pastor his parents’ mega church, a relentless plan to father Alex’s child, an international adoption disaster, a church scandal, and the everyday woes of trying to make an instant family work, their world is beginning to fall apart.

Sometimes up and sometimes down, when marriage and ministry are put to the test, will love be enough to make them count it all joy?

Ashea Goldson

Ashea S. Goldson, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Ashea S. Goldson, a Kingdom writer and also a film producer. Welcome to my blog, Ashea.

CH: Can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book?

ASG: Being an excellent storyteller, I am told that my stories are so captivating and compelling that they are hard to put down.

CH: Why did you decide to write a Christian novel covering the trials and tribulations of a Pastor and the First Lady?

ASG: Actually, Count It All Joy is Book 2 in a three part “Joy” series. I started writing about Joshua Bennings and Alex Carter before they were Pastor and First Lady. At first, they were two very ordinary, but troubled people. But as you will find out, they’ve gone through quite a few transformations.

CH: When you are coming up with a new idea for a book, do you look at the market for trends? Or do you just write your own story?

ASG: I definitely do not follow trends. I follow my own heart and write my own story.

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

ASG: What I bring to my readers that is new and exciting are unique stories about everyday people with real issues and real character flaws told from a Christian perspective of love and grace.

CH: This book is a re-issue. It was originally issued in October 2011. Can you explain to my audience why it is being re-issued? And what is the re-issue process?

ASG: The book was re-issued in a different format which is mass market paperback. And the re-issue process usually happens once a book has reached a certain sales level.

CH: What was the most exciting thing to happen on your publishing journey with Urban Christian Books?

ASG: From the moment I received my first phone call, offering me a two book deal in 2007 to the six published trade paperback and four mass market paperback deals, it has all been exciting.

Note: Difference between trade and mass market paperbacks—the text pages are identical to the text pages in the hardcover edition, and the only difference is the binding and that the quality of the paper is usually higher than that of a paperbackTrade paperbacks are typically priced less than hardcover books and higher than mass market paperbacks.

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

ASG: Yes, the message is that Jesus is love and that there is enough grace to cover any and everything under the sun. No matter what you’ve gone through, no matter what you’ve done, I believe there is healing power. Your life can be restored!

CH: Who are some of your Christian writing influences?

ASG: That’s difficult because there are so many but let me just name a few of my colleagues and friends: Rhonda McKnight, Tia McCollors, Sherri Lewis, Vanessa Davis Griggs, Rhonda Bowen, Jacquelin Thomas, Victoria Christopher Murray, Angela Benson, ReShonda Tate Billingsley and Vanessa Miller just to name a few. These are some of the Christian fiction writers I most admire.

CH: What is the hardest part of writing for you? (outline, draft, edit, write)

ASG: For me, the hardest part of the process is the outline because I am not the most organized person. I’m really more of what is called “a seat of the pants writer.”

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

ASG: It wasn’t hard because I’ve always had a vast imagination.  I can come up with a storyline, characters and descriptions in my head in minutes. No, I did not take the characters from real life.  I always pray about what I will write next, start with a main character and then I decide what will be this character’s biggest problem and I go from there.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

ASG: It was probably Joshua Bennings, only because I had to see things from a male perspective.

CH: Are any of your personal experiences reflected in your writing?

ASG: I usually try not to use any personal experiences in my writing, only because my stories are not memoirs. I want everything to be completely fictional. But of course, everything I write encompasses the human experience and I am human.

CH: What kind of advice do you have for those aspiring to write Christian fiction?

ASG: For aspiring writers, I say stay true to the call; so many have fallen away, but persevere. Write and read every day, no matter what. Study the craft and the industry of writing so you can become ‘writing savvy.’ And don’t let fear or criticism stop you.

CH: What can we expect next, is there another book in the making?

ASG: Yes, there is another book to be released in September and it’s called What Won’t Die. I have also written and produced a short film, entititled, Pieces From the Bottom, which will be released in the fall. And since I do a lot of screenwriting now, you may see a feature-length film coming in the next couple of years, as well.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

ASG: My websites are currently under construction, but they are goldwritepublishing.com or asheagoldson.com.  I can also be found on facebook.com at Ashea Goldson the author or asheagoldproductions.

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

ASG: Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Books-a-Million, or wherever books are sold online or in stores. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/29Tlqwy But given limited shelf space these days, call ahead to make sure they still have it in stock; if not, they can order it for you.

CH: Any closing remarks?

ASG: I consider my writing a gift and I am honored and grateful for this opportunity to share it. If you want to connect, you can reach me anytime at asheagold@yahoo.com.

CH: Thank you, Ashea S. Goldson, 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 writing journey and your book with my audience.  

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Ashea S. Goldson.

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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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How Ironic…Amazon Bookstores

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       In My Opinion                                                         Expect Opinion

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How Ironic…Amazon Bookstores

Amazon was founded with the ambition of putting brick and mortar bookstores out of business. How ironic…Amazon is now opening its third brick and mortar bookstore—first, Seattle, then, San Diego and now, Portland.

In the last five years or so, they’ve driven Borders out of business, along with a lot of mom-and-pop/local bookstores. Barnes and Noble is the largest U.S. brick and mortar bookstore still in existence. Is Barnes and Noble in jeopardy, too? Who knows?

I heard that Amazon is planning to open even more brick and mortar bookstores. What is Amazon up to? Nobody really knows, but they are getting rich from writers and readers…is this a Monopoly® game? Should I pass Go and collect $200?

Well, I’m going to check out one of the Amazon bookstores.

I’m going to an Amazon brick and mortar bookstore on a scavenger hunt to find…a Cheryl Holloway book!

What’s your opinion on the topic?

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Note: Clip art and photos 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.Thanks for Sharing

Become a Subscriber_meme

 If you find us deserving, please nominate us for Writer’s Digest “101 Best Sites for Writers.”  Email: writersdig@fwpubs.com with “101 Sites” in the subject line.  Type: “Cheryl Holloway Author Blog http://www.CherylHolloway.net/blog in the body of the email.  It’s that simple!  And “thank you” from all of us!

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 – Fredrik Nath

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Title: The Promise:  A Brutal Outsider with A Grudge in Wartime France (World War 2 Adventure Series Book 6)

Genre: War & Military

Synopsis:  Jean and Rebecca, whose parents have died, journey back to France from Brazil – desolate. Rebecca has an on-board romance with an older right-wing Frenchman, Philippe Darnand. Despite Jean’s reservations, Rebecca marries Philippe but Philippe, who is viciously right-wing, wants to further his career in the Milice. He gives up Rebecca and her baby to the Nazis. Now Jean, taught to kill by S.O.E. and disdaining restrictions set by the French resistance, is compelled to exact his revenge as an outsider. A ravening grudge bearer, Jean rescues the beautiful Nicole from the Sicherheitspolitzei’s clutches in Bergerac and they travel to Paris – a little stop over to bring his plans to fruition. He returns to England under a cloud but his promise to always protect Rebecca eats away at him and in the end, he risks all to keep that promise in an impossible mission deep into enemy-occupied Poland.

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Fredrik Nath, Author

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International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Fredrik Nath, an International Author and a full-time Neurosurgeon, who gets up earlier and goes to bed later, so he can , who write.  Welcome to my blog, Fredrik.

CH: Can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book?

FN: I think any readers interested in people would be interested in my books, because they are character-based and they are books about people like you and me, but in bad situations.

CH: Where did you get the premise for this story?

FN: The premise of The Promise (almost rhymes – doesn’t it?) is that some men will do anything to keep a promise to someone they love. It’s a noble aspiration and one I hope we will all have. As for where it came from, maybe I would have to rummage somewhere deep in my subconscious to search for an answer to its origins.

CH: Why did you decide to write a series on World War II?

FN: My six book journey of French resistance dramas began in 2010 in the market square of Bergerac in the Dordogne. I remember looking at the monument dedicated to the brave partisans who gave their lives during the Second World War. There were quotes from local people, as well as from Charles de Gaulle. I found it inspiring and felt sure there was a story somewhere there, if only I could write it.

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

FN: No, I had no initial aspirations of writing six books. The Cyclist, whilst I was writing it, could well have been the first and last. I wrote the sequel, Farewell Bergerac, because it is always interested me how two people can witness the same event and come up with two different versions. In my first three books and also in The Promise, there are chapters which overlap the other books. An example would be the scene in the train station, which is the start of the book Francesca Pascal.  The same scene is described in The Promise, but from a different character’s point of view.

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

FN: What’s different about my books in the World War II Series, is that each story takes characters in different occupations and spheres of life and examines what might have happened to such people in both the physical and emotional sense. I do include action and strong emotion. As far as being different, it depends on whose writing you are comparing my books to. They are certainly not about warfare. The pace of the books, however, makes them different from most historical dramatic writing these days. They are all quick, easy reads.

CH: Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

FN: Where indeed do an author’s ideas come from? The basic story obviously comes from a writer’s imagination tinged by a tiny bit of experience and the writer’s own view of other people’s psychology. I don’t have a standard formula for a plot, but I usually start with a short synopsis which I split into bullet points and then enlarge on each of those until I have probable chapters, bearing in mind, as Lajos Egri (The Art of Dramatic Writing: Its Basis in The Creative Interpretation of Human Motives) might have suggested, that one has to have rising tension before a final resolution. So the answer is no, I don’t have a basic formula, I let character develop the plot.

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

FN: My first published book, The Cyclist, took three months because I was obsessed with it. The Promise took around six months to produce a first draft. This was just because of the pressure of work. If my free time was truly freem, I could have rattled it off as quickly as The Cyclist.

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

FN: Each situation that the main character finds himself in, is a natural consequence of how the character behaves. Don’t they say “character” is plot? I think the trick with historical fiction is to pick a real background arc and fit the characters into it. I used some real names of people in that historical period, but fitted them around the issues and situations my main character found himself in.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

FN: Funny really, I can’t say I found any of the characters difficult to write; they just jumped out of the page at me!

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

FN: I think my favourite character was probably Bruno the codename for the lady who did costumes and make up to hide the resistance characters from Nazi scrutiny. She has a sense of humour.

CH: You said that you ran out of novels to read and felt you should write your own. So, have you always wanted to write?

FN: At odd times during my life I’ve attempted writing, even as a kid. The main trouble was whenever I read what I had written it would make me cringe. With my very first book, I obtained a critique from a very good writer and I suspect my writing made him cringe too, but he was very kind and very tactful and guided me through the possibilities.

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

FN: I try not to bog down the plot and the story by putting too much historical detail into the book. For me, writing historical fiction is all about making characters behave in a certain way, but make the environment just part of the backdrop. Only your readers can say whether my books are over or under-researched. The Fat Chef is based on a head chef in a very posh hotel in Paris but I couldn’t afford to stay there ($1,200 per night), so I settled for online research!

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

FN: Well, I guess we’re back to the premise of the story. One should be true to one’s word, especially when one gives it to someone one loves.

CH: What kind of feedback are you getting from your readers for this series?

FN: The Cyclist sold 30,000 copies on Kindle and the reviews ranged from vitriolic to excessively kind. It was Editor’s choice in the Historical Novels review 2011. Currently, it is rated at 3.9 stars. All the others are rated between 4.2 and 4.4 stars on Amazon. I guess any writing is a bit like Marmite (a British product)—some people love it and some just hate it, man!

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

FN: Sure: http://www.frednath.com

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

FN: The Promise is available both in paperback and on the Kindle platform from Amazon. Amazon link: http://amzn.to/29SY7l8

CH: Any closing remarks?

FN: All I would say is that I’m publishing books to entertain and if in some measure I achieve that, then I’m delighted. Many thanks for the interview.

CH: You are quite welcome and thank you, Fredrik Nath, for taking time out of your very busy schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your writing journey and your book with my audience.  

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Fredrik Nath.

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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 – Sarah Stuart

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Title: Illicit Passion: Royal Command Volume 2

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis: Showbiz superstar, Lisette, flees a blackmailer threatening to reveal to the scandal-hungry media that she bore a child of incest. Michael, her father and ex-lover, initiates an audacious plan to set her free that leaves the whole family hovering on the brink of emotional and financial disaster. Their adult daughter, Harriet, learns the truth and vows vengeance on all who conspired to hide her birth by registering her as the twin of the man she loves. “The night will end in death.” The story, the scene set with a meeting between Lisette and her rejected, blackmailing, would-be lover in the prologue, goes on to show Harriet growing up and the sibling rivalries between Michael’s, and his wife Lizzie’s, five offspring. Lisette, knowing she is guilty of seducing her father, keeps the secret of blackmail, which has progressed from the extortion of money to a life of torture and perverted sex for sixteen years. She joins Michael for a European concert tour to promote the music of Kit Marsh, due to open at the Opéra Bastille in Paris. A scream in the night alerts Michael to Lisette’s distress and guilt drives him to risk his career, and his liberty, to defeat his old enemy. The Book of Hours that belonged to Margaret, James IV of Scotland’s queen, which she used as a diary and carries the secret royal command to her heiresses “find love where ye may” is given to Harriet. She plots to follow the dangerously immoral example of the queen’s great-granddaughter, Lady Harriet Allanach, who falls in love with her own brother, until Harriet herself discovers that she is the child of incest and love for her whole family turns to hate.

Sarah Stuart

Sarah Stuart, Author

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International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Sarah Stuart, an International Author who has a lifetime ambition to embrace the freedom of creating characters in depth. Welcome to my blog, Sarah.

CH: Can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book?

SS: Against a backdrop of showbiz glitz, the story plays out with racy elements of betrayal, blackmail, forbidden love, kidnapping, paparazzi hounding, and revenge, which rock the foundations of a family empire.

CH: Tell us a little bit about your book. Where did you get the premise for this story? 

SS: I’ve worked backstage in the theatre and attended closed rehearsals front-of-house, so the showbiz aspect comes from genuine insider knowledge, of how musicals and concerts are produced and staged, and the lifestyles of real-life performers from wannabes to superstars.

CH: This book has blackmail, sex, family secrets and death. Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

SS: Only one thing is taken from real life and that is the key to everything; Michael’s showbiz lifestyle, where he’s parted from Lizzie and their first two children for long periods, is based on a true story told to me by a superstar of stage and screen, though in his case it ended in divorce.

I thought “what if” and took it from there with an incestuous affair in Dangerous Liaisons. But “what if” the past came back to haunt them? In Illicit Passion, it does, and that’s what leads to blackmail, and the whole rollercoaster journey, with danger and death along for the ride.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

SS: Michael. I’m as crazy about the platinum superstar as the rest of his fans. There’s a point in Illicit Passion where I didn’t know if he was going to live or die. It took me days to pluck up courage to carry on writing and find out.

CH: How much of your leading lady is based on you?

SS: Not very much, though I guess there’s a little bit of me in all of them. I sure have to “get inside the head” of every character. It’s the best way to get them to live for my readers.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

SS: Greta. She’s a strange child and I had no idea why she’d been born until I was two-thirds of the way through the book!

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

SS: The insider showbiz stories, the link back to Margaret Tudor, one of the less written-about queens, the wildlife theme, and American fans just love to read about Europe, so this time there’s a tour of twelve cities…Paris, Rome, Madrid, Berlin, Kraków…plus London’s West End and the Scottish Highlands

CH: This is book 2 in a family saga series, which book was hardest to write?

SS: The first, Dangerous Liaisons. I wrote several drafts and published three editions before I was satisfied with it.

CH: How many books will be in this series?

SS: Three. I’m working on Dynasty of Deceit right now. I hope to publish it later this year.

CH: Take us through your writing process. You get an idea, do you map out the book beforehand, or do you allow the characters to write their own story?

SS: They’re all very strong characters, who do exactly as they please. I just make sure the plot stays on track, even when it’s their track, not mine. When I was writing Illicit Passion, I needed notes to remind me who had whose cell phone, and I do a lot of research. I check everything as I go, chapter by chapter, and again after the final edit; even airport names can change, though nobody has suggested renaming Times Square or London’s Green Park, yet!

CH: As far as accolades, awards or achievements, what would you say has been your greatest achievement?

SS: Amazon Reviews: the fact that people take the time to tell me they enjoy reading my books and an author can’t ask for a greater accolade.

CH: That is so true. What are some of your awards?

SS: Both books have five star reviews from Readers’ Favorite. Dangerous Liaisons was a Romance Finalist in the Independent Author Network Awards for 2015.

CH: What do you want readers to grasp from this novel?

SS: “To err is human, to forgive divine.” That, with God, anything that is truly regretted can be forgiven: we shouldn’t be so quick to condemn.

CH: What type of feedback are you receiving?

SS: Very favourable, and I’m grateful for all of it. Readers leave messages on the website, with email addresses. That is very useful; I can let fans know about special offers and how the third book in the trilogy is going. Illicit Passion has 30+ reviews on Amazon with an average rating of 4.8. Individually, they are very interesting; readers hone in on so many different threads. The historical link to Margaret Tudor is popular. They are also a guide as to which characters interest people most. A family saga has a large cast and sometimes quite minor characters are mentioned; so, if possible, I increase their importance in the next book. The saddest thing is losing characters in old age, but death is part of life and we’ve all experienced loss.

CH: You seem to have fans all over the world, so tell us a little about your fans?

SS: They constantly surprise me; roughly, a third of them are men. Snow (weather) in Canada wins me fans; they stay home and read my books. I have many in the UK, some of whom know London’s West End and/or the Scottish Highlands. The biggest group is in the USA and they love Illicit Passion. Many of them haven’t visited Europe and it takes them on a tour of twelve cities.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

SS: www.rebeccabrynandsarahstuart-novels.co.uk  I can also be contacted on Facebook and Twitter. https://www.facebook.com/Sarah-Stuart-1640446799559640/ and https://twitter.com/sasspip.

CH: Can you tell my audience where they can purchase your book?

SS: Both books are available as eBooks or in print from Amazon. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/2a8gsg1 

CH: Any closing remarks?

SS: A big thank you, Cheryl, for inviting me to do an interview. It’s been a pleasure to share my thoughts with you, and your audience won’t be mystified by my accent! I’ve done blog spots on American radio and a Texan fan says they’re great, except for the comments that she doesn’t understand because my English voice defeated her. 🙂

CH: You are quite welcome and thank you, Sarah Stuart, for taking time out of your busy schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your writing journey and your book with my audience.  

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Sarah Stuart.

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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 – John L. French

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grey-monk

Title: The Grey Monk: Souls on Fire

Genre: Crime Fiction/Thriller/Suspense

Synopsis: “Vengeance is Mine, sayeth the Lord… and I am His Agent!”… A grim, hooded figure armed with blazing .45’s stalks the streets meting out justice to whatever evil he encounters, from Drug Dealing Hoodlums to Thuggees of the Cult of Kali…

CH: Today’s Guest Author is John L. French, a crime scene supervisor with the Baltimore Police Department Crime Laboratory. He writes crime fiction. Welcome to my blog, John.

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John L. French, Author

CH: Can you tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book?

JLF: It’s full of action, adventure, and bad guys getting the justice they deserve.

CH: Where did you get the premise for this story? 

JLF: I’ve been a fan of characters like the Shadow and the Green Hornet ever since my father told me about the radio shows he used to listen to. An AM station used to replay them on Sunday afternoons. Later, he bought me a used copy of the book, The Shadow Returns. My first Shadow novel was the last one his creator ever wrote.

When I started writing I did stories for Tom Johnson’s Fading Shadows magazines. These were new pulp stories done in the old style. My first series character was Frank Devlin, a brave cop, out to clean up a corrupt city any way he could. His adventures are collected in my book, The Devil of Harbor City. After the Devlin stories I wanted to do something different. I thought about a female crime fighter who hid her identity—and her gender—in a voluminous monk’s robe. The female aspect of the character didn’t work out, but the idea of the Grey Monk did. One story led into another and, eventually, there were enough for a book.

CH: Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

JLF: Ideas come from all over. Some come as a result of my training and experience as a crime scene investigator. Sometimes, what happens in one story will result in a follow-up story. And as a short story writer, I am invited into an anthology with a specific theme—genies, mermaids, and spaceships shaped like animals. One of the Grey Monk stories was written because I was invited into an anthology which was to feature the goddess Kali. The anthology was never published, but “The Living Goddess” is part of The Grey Monk: Souls on Fire.

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

JLF: I try not to do the same things other writers are doing. I’ve written four zombie stories, three of which have less to do with zombies and more to do with crime. One of them, The Undead Killer, features a zombie hit man and is the lead story in my collection, The Nightmare Strikes. In the Grey Monk stories, I’ve tried to give the reader more than just “kill the bad guys” stories. At first, the Monk may not be who you think he is and, as a religious man, worries about God’s justice vs His Mercy. Also, my stories, although, each stands alone, are connected so that reading them all tells a larger story.

CH: Your writing is often referred to as pulp fiction. Why do you think this tag was given to you?

JLF: “Pulp fiction” was not a tag given to me. It was one I embraced. Pulp magazines were originally called that because, since they were meant to be disposable, were printed on the lowest grade paper—pulp paper. And the pulps originally embraced all genres—war, westerns, crime, costumed heroes, romance, etc. Since then, it has become a genre in itself, one where action is key element and right and wrong are more black and white and not presented, may the Monk forgive me, in shades of grey.

CH: Since you are experienced in crime scene work, does your background have any influence on this book?

JLF: My crime scene work does influence most of my work, but in this case and in the case of The Devil of Harbor City and The Nightmare Strikes, less so than usual.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?

JLF: I’m a writer, it’s what I do. Why this book as apposed to some other? I’m a short story writer. When I get enough stories about a particular character I collect them and submit them as a book to whatever publisher I feel might be most repetitive. Regarding the Grey Monk, I’ve been lucky enough to find two such publishers. The Grey Monk: Souls on Fire was originally published by Wild Cat Books. When Wild Cat stopped publishing Padwolf Publishing picked the book up, publishing it and The Nightmare Strikes, at the same time.

CH: Did you find anything challenging while writing this book?

JLF: Balancing the Monk’s self-imposed mission of being God’s Agent of Vengeance with real life sensibilities.

CH: Since this book’s revenge is rather morbid, where did you get inspiration for your characters?

JLF: The book is more about Justice—what the Monk sees as the Vengeance of God—than about revenge. The Monk isn’t out to avenge any one particular crime, but bring Justice to all those who escape the law. As for the characters, their inspiration is found in pulp, crime, and adventure fiction. There’s the hero, the one who helps him, and his police contact. Think Batman, Alfred, and Commissioner Gordon.

CH: You’ve told us a little about the main characters, do you have anything to share about the supporting characters?

JLF: Characters weave in and out of the stories. There’s Tremaine, the Monk’s nemesis. There’s Little Kev, a low level drug dealer; there is the Pure Race Fellowship, a neo-Nazi hate group; and there’s a hidden serial killer.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

JLF: That of the man who helps out the Monk. I can’t say anything more without giving something away.

CH: Is The Grey Monk: Souls on Fire part of a series?

JLF: Not exactly. I have no plans on writing any more Grey Monk stories. That’s not to say those plans won’t change in the future. But this book does fit in with my other pulp collections. They start with the Nightmare books, The Nightmare Strikes and From the Shadows. The latter is written with Patrick Thomas and teams the Nightmare with his characters—Nemesis, the goddess of vengeance, and The Pink Reaper, a female crime fighter in the style of The Domino Lady and The Phantom Lady. These two books are connected with The Devil of Harbor City where the same villain appears in all three and Matthew Shaw, who is the Nightmare, “guest stars” in The Devil of Harbor City. The Grey Monk connects with the other books in that the Nightmare “guests” in a section of “The Living Goddess.”

CH: What do you want readers to grasp from this novel?

JLF: I just want to give the people who buy my books a good time and a good read.

CH: What type of feedback are you receiving?

JLF: All positive. I sell my books at conventions (The next one will be the Mid-Atlantic Nostalgia Convention in September) and people have bought other books from me based on their reading on The Grey Monk. 

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

JLF: I don’t have a website but I am on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/John-L-French Anyone wanting to reach me can email me at jfrenchfam@aol.com

CH: Can you tell my audience where they can purchase your book?

JLF: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or from the publisher. For The Grey Monk and The Nightmare Strikes at Padwolf Publishing http://www.padwolf.com/ Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/29tuldE

CH: Any closing remarks?

JLF: Just to say “Thank you” for asking me to do this interview.

CH: You are quite welcome and thank you, John L. French, for taking time out of your busy schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your writing journey and your book with my audience.  

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and John L. French.

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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’s Books Are Nominated For Awards

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Two of Cheryl Holloway’s books have recently been nominated for awards.

Nominated for the 2016 Annual Best Indie Books Award

Novella Category – Winners will be announced in November 2016

Best Indie Book Award

A Sisterhood of Women Living Life: A Short Story Collection Book 1

by Cheryl Holloway

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The stories will make you laugh, cry and want to give them a hug…
The Dreaded After Call—a young editor runs away from a love triangle and works to drown out the pain but …Will she have a second chance at love?
Wine A Little or A Little Wine—a beautiful overweight woman can’t find love and all she does is wine…Will a bottle of wine help?
A Widow Moves On—an older widow opens her heart to love again but…What skeletons does he have in his closet?
Rape’s Revenge—her boyfriend rapes her young daughter…rage and revenge prevails…Will she kill him?
Dark Secrets and White Lies—she’s dating two men of different races and is pregnant with interracial twins…she is in a dilemma…Who will be the father?

The book features ten must-read stories here in all, including 5 really short stories. It introduces an interesting collection of characters, who are just like your best friend and your sister. The characters are each very unique with a compelling story to tell.

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Nominated for the 2017 EPIC (Electronic Publishing Industry Coalition) eBooks Award – The Voice of ePublishing

Short Works Category – Winners will be announced in Spring 2017

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EPIC eBooks Award

Cougar Tales: Jamaican Love 

by Cheryl Holloway

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This is Book 3 of 3 in the Cougar Tales Series, but can be read as a stand-alone novella and can be read without needing to buy subsequent books.

Joi meets a Chef in New York City that is interested in dating her. Joi is not ready to be in a new relationship with anyone, especially a long-distance relationship—he lives on the East Coast and she lives on the West Coast. But Spencer doesn’t give up easily. They go their separate ways. Fate brings them together again while on vacation. Can Spencer sweep Joi off her feet with Jamaican love?

I am so excited to be nominated for these prestigious book awards. 

 

Guest Author Interview – Jean Nicole Rivers

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Title: The Unwanted: Black Water Tales Book 2

Genre: New Adult Horror/Psychological Thriller

Synopsis: In the remote, eastern European town of Borslav there is St. Sebastian orphanage, a place where people discard their unwanted children. For the American, Blaire Baker, it’s the perfect place to volunteer her services. Paired with a cheerful volunteer nurse, Blaire is enthusiastic about the possibilities, but is quickly discouraged when she encounters the nefarious nature of the staff and the deplorable conditions of the facility and the children.

Upon arrival, one of the children informs Blaire, “There’s something in the basement.” It isn’t long before strange things begin happening, including Blaire’s flashbacks of the accident that killed her parents. The children soon suffer injuries that Blaire, first, fears may be the deeds of the callous workers but she soon thinks the abuse may originate from a source that is less than human, something unwanted.

The unwanted is coming but in order for Blaire to fight it, she must dig into St. Sebastian and herself in search of truth. Blaire wants nothing more than to help the children, but when she discovers the tragedy that happened in the basement and learns that the same evil forces are still at work, it will be Blaire who needs help…There’s something in the basement.

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Jean Nicole Rivers, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Jean Nicole Rivers. Jean Nicole is a great lover of reading and writing. Welcome to my blog, Jean Nicole.

CH: Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

JNR: When Blaire goes to St. Sebastian orphanage to help the children, it will be her who soon needs the help.

CH: Most children think that there really is something in the basement. So, where did you get the premise for this story?

JNR: Soon after completing my first book, The Secret Keepers. I found myself watching an inordinate amount of documentaries and I came across one on orphanages in other countries and what I learned was frightening. I don’t much care for jump scare horror, I prefer horror that chills one to the core that makes you question, not what’s in the closet but what’s in the mirror. This documentary on the deplorable conditions of the facilities and the failing health of the children haunted me, how could things like this still be happening all around us? And while I was intrigued, I was not yet fully inspired to write the book, writing the book still hadn’t occurred to me. It wasn’t until one evening after watching this documentary when I woke in the middle of the night and there they were, those children who were severely malnourished and abused among other things, all standing by my bedside looking down on me. When I woke the next morning, I knew that I had to tell their story.

CH: Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

JNR: Everything inspires me. Constantly, I study the world around me and I work really hard to keep myself open to it. Just the other day as I was driving into my office, this was after a week of rain storms in Houston, I noticed a man on the side of the road cutting up a tree that had fallen and blocked the driveway. Immediately, I began composing a story involving two neighboring families that had been feuding notoriously for generations. How did it all begin? When neighbor A’s tree fell into the neighbor B’s driveway. In the process of neighbor B cutting the tree and removing it from his driveway, he was gravely injured and so began the feud. between neighbors that were once good friends. Boom, I have a story.

My stories usually come as whole concepts, even if not complete at first. I have a beginning, middle and end, then I just have to figure out how to successfully get between those points.

CH: You are a relatively new author. What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your horror writing?

JNR: I try to put people in touch with more primal fears. I love horror, but I despise jump-scare horror, it’s cheap and only stays with the audience for the moment. I prefer horror that burrows deep beneath the skin of my audience, staying with them for weeks, making them question things not like what is under the bed, but what is in the mirror, which is sometimes the most frightening thing of all.

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

JNR: I’m from a very small town where everyone knows everyone and I always thought what if we really don’t know our neighbor, what if that banging in Mrs. Wilkins basement isn’t just the pipes?

CH: In the series, which book was hardest to write?

JNR: I think that your first book, whether you are writing a series or not, is the most difficult book to write. Writing a book takes an incredible amount of discipline and dedication that many have a hard time generating. Being able to shed all of the fears and insecurities and dive blindly into the task for the first time is difficult and can even be terrifying.

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

JNR: At times, it can be hard creating horror/paranormal situations that are practical enough to be considered believable, but still abnormal enough to keep your audience on edge. Many situations I take from real life situations and stretch them just a little, but not too much.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

JNR: Travis, who is my main character’s side-kick, was fun to write. He is a lot like myself in that he doesn’t believe in all of the ghost stuff. I absolutely adore that character who just won’t believe. While reading, we sometimes get annoyed with that character because we really want to get into what we already know is a horror book, but most of us are like Travis in real life. If someone brought a ghost tale to you more than likely you are going to work as best you can to demystify the situation before you believe, I would, which is why I enjoyed him and his skepticism.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

JNR: My villain was the hardest to write, because it was difficult at times for me to understand her psychopathy. At times, it’s challenging to put myself in the mind frame of a killer and trying to figure out who they are, why they do what they do and what motivates them.

CH: What do you want readers to grasp from this novel?

JNR: I want people to tap into their own unwanted and all of the fears and insecurities that come along with that.

CH: What do you think is the universal scare factor?

JNR: The universal scare factor is deeply embedded in primal human fears (the dark, being alone, etc.) and I try to incorporate those types of fears into all of my works.

CH: Who, in your opinion, is a great horror author and why?

JNR: For me, it is Stephen King, hands down. The man is a phenomenal writer, but he is an even better storyteller. Stephen King knows how to get deep beneath the audiences skin and rip them from the inside out.

CH: What type of feedback are you receiving?

JNR: Most feedback has been really awesome! You will always have a couple that didn’t care for the story or the characters and I appreciate their reviews and insights just as much as the positive ones, they help me learn and grow as an author.

CH: What’s next for you as an author?

JNR: I just finished the rough draft of my next novel, The Sandman (working title) and I am SUPER excited. It is currently with beta readers and I am SOOOOO anxious to get it back, so that I can start on the first edit.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

JNR: www.Jeannicolerivers.com

CH: Can you tell my audience where they can purchase your book?

JNR: Amazon Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/28UcIc0

CH: Any closing remarks?

JNR: Thank you and keep reading!

CH: Thank you, Jean Nicole Rivers, for taking time out of your busy schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your writing journey and your book with my audience.  

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Jean Nicole Rivers.

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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 – Dianne Harman

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Title: Murdered By Country Music: A High Desert Cozy Mystery

Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Romance

Synopsis: What part did mollies and Fireball whiskey play in a murder at a country music festival held outside of Palm Springs, California? Why was the celebrity chef, Jacques Rushon, owner of the French Food Obsession food truck murdered? The suspects at the top of the sheriff’s list are Marty Morgan’s friends John, the owner of The Red Pony food truck, and his assistant, Max.

Or was it the ex-wife who was owed back child support? Food truck competitors John and Max? The owner of the White Stallion Ranch where the music festival was held? Jacques’ drug dealer? Jacques’ partner in the food truck, Ned? Or Ned’s wife, Rita? In order to save her own life, Marty has to solve the murder mystery. Fortunately, she has a little help from Jeff, her police detective fiance.

This fast-paced cozy mystery gives the reader a behind the scenes look at music festivals and food trucks. As always, there’s lots of food, recipes, and a black Labrador retriever who refuses to give up his pink booties!

Dianne Harman

Dianne Harman, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Dianne Harman. Her love of cooking, food, and mystery led to the making of Cozy Mysteries. Welcome to my blog, Dianne.

CH: Can you sum up your book in 20 words or less?

DH: Mysteries, women sleuths, food, dogs, and an occasional cat.

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

DH: I have no idea where the Cedar Bay and Liz Lucas series came from. The Midwest series came about when my son suggested I write a series about the Midwest, where I grew up, and maybe something about the small college town where I went to college. The High Desert series is loosely based on a compound my husband’s uncle lived in with three other artists outside of Palm Springs, California.

CH: Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept?

DH: I don’t have a formula. The ideas and plots come to me as I’m writing each book. It’s as if the characters write the book, and I simply listen.

CH: This fast-paced cozy mystery gives the reader a behind the scenes look at music festivals, food trucks and even some recipes. So, what is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your mystery writing?

DH: Murdered by Country Music came about when I overheard a couple of physical therapists talking about upcoming musical festivals near Palm Springs. I became curious and found out about mollies, Fireball whiskey, and music festivals. The concept for the book fit in well with my High Desert series, and since one of the residents of the compound owns a food truck, the idea evolved. It includes romance and how a father deals with his daughter’s addiction. I think it’s a pretty fair assessment of all of that.

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

DH: When I wrote the first book in the Cedar Bay Series, I had no idea it would become a series, and then people started telling me they wanted to know what the characters were going to do next. Since then all of my books have been in series.

CH: Is this the last book in the series?

DH: No.

CH: You seem to have a lot of main and supporting characters in this book. Do you have anything to share about any of the characters?

DH: The characters are kind of blendings from people I’ve known over the years with a lot of attributes that are simply imagined. For twenty years I was an antique and art appraiser, so Marty’s profession stems from a lot of my experiences.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues?

DH:  No. It’s as if the situations, plots, and people come about as needed.

CH: Are there any books that influenced you while writing this book?

DH: I read constantly, so I couldn’t point to one book and say it had influenced me, but I know at some level many of them have influenced me.

CH: How long does it take you to write one of your books?

DH: I can usually rough draft a book in about ten to twelve days, but then I have an editor read it, then I do the edits, have the editor read it again, take care of those edits and let it sit for a few weeks. I reread it and edit it again.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

DH: I would have to say that Gertie in the Liz Lucas series is probably my favorite. Actually, I kind of like the quirky personalities. There always seem to be one or two in my books.

CH: What type of feedback are you receiving?

DH:  I have been very fortunate in my writings and the feedback is generally very positive. Probably the one thing that people write me about is asking when my next cozy will be published. That’s pretty gratifying!

CH: Which social media do you use the most and why? 

DH: I use Facebook a lot. I like to interact with people on it, and there are some really good groups for writers, as well as marketing tips.

CH: Last but not least, why do you write, and what do you want readers to take from your novels?

DH: I write because it’s the most fun I’ve ever had. I know the books I write aren’t going to result in a Pulitzer Prize, but if people spend a few hours enjoying them, that’s good enough for me.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

DH: Yes, www.dianneharman.com  If you go there and sign up for my newsletter, you can get some free books. Enjoy!

CH: Can you tell my audience where they can purchase your book?

DH: Amazon and Barnes and Noble. Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/28Uyst9.

CH: Any closing remarks?

DH: Thanks for having me. It’s made me think about why and what I do!

CH: Thank you, Dianne Harman, for taking time out of your busy schedule to join me and my blog followers.  It has been a real pleasure discussing your writing journey and your book with my audience.  

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Dianne Harman.

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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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Frustration…Cheryl Holloway

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Frustration

Frustration…

During Slavery Era

Tuskegee Institute recorded 3,446 blacks lynched between 1882 and 1968; and Equal Initiative reported 3,959 black men, women and children were lynched in 12 southern states between 1877 and 1950.                                                                     Compliments of Wikipedia.com

During Civil Rights Era

1955- Emmett Till, 14 years old, was fatally beaten, mutilated, shot and lynched by a white store owner and his brother in Money, MS.

1965- Jimmie Lee Jackson, 26 years old, was fatally shot by an Alabama State Trooper for participating in a Non-Violent Voting March in Marion, AL.

During Today’s Era (A Few High Profile Cases)

2012- Trayvon Martin, 17 years old, was fatally shot by a Neighborhood Watch Volunteer for looking suspicious in a gated community in Sanford, FL.

2014- Michael Brown, 18 years old, fatally shot by Police for stealing in Ferguson, MO.

2015- Tamir Rice, 12 years old, was fatally shot by Police for having a toy gun in Cleveland, OH.

2016- Alton Sterling, 37 years old, was fatally shot by Police for selling CDs and DVDs in front of a convenience store in Baton Rouge, LA.

THE NEXT DAY 2016- Philando Castile, 32 years old, was fatally shot by Police for a broken tail light with his girlfriend and 4-year-old child in the car in Minneapolis, MN.

A Thought: When will it stop?

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

Happy 4th of July 2016 From Cheryl Holloway

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Happy 4th of July…all my family, friends and readers near and far!

May you have a Safe & Blessed Independence Day!  

I’m Proud to be An American/God Bless the USA

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Guest Author Interview – Gwendolyn Cahill

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Title: Out of Love

Genre: Mystery/Romance/Comedy

Synopsis: Out of Love, a romantic historical comedy features Susan and Omari, who are the proud African-American proprietors of an award winning Afro-Caribbean Art Gallery and Jazz Café. The adventure begins when an unexpected storm leads to a change in their travel plans. Who would know that a sudden encounter with a wayward cab driver would lead to their abandonment in a deserted area in New York City and the theft of rare art pieces?

This comical romantic Christian novel explores the seldom spoken about world of art theft—a crime that carries many injustices. A colorful cast of characters springs forth from Out of Love. Detectives Swoop and Newman are assigned to the Omari Boutique Art Theft case. If you love comedy, International Espionage, intrigue, and suspense leads, then you will fall in love with Out of Love. Out of Love will rock your world. This book is inspired by actual events in the author’s life.

Gwendolyn Cahill

Gwendolyn Cahill, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Gwendolyn Cahill, who has received awards and recognition of her poetry and now has written a mystery novel. Welcome to my blog, Gwendolyn.  

CH: Can you sum up your book in twenty words or less?

GC: Out of Love is a gripping comical detective novel about art theft, love and injustice.

CH: Where did you get the premise for this story?

GC: The premise for this story is partially based on real life experiences, my imagination and my fond love of music and art is inscribed in the plot and characters. Much of my professional life included many years of experience as a CPS worker. CPS workers are investigators without guns. CPS workers collaborate with police departments. It’s in my blood. Writing a detective novel came naturally.

CH: Where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept? 

GC: Many of my ideas come from my personal struggles, joys and determination to dissuade people from walking on the wild side of life. I wanted to develop an entertaining novel that’s witty, intriguing and funny. No, I do not have a standard formula for plots. I’m not sure that all stories require a protagonist to be exciting. As you can see, I am still learning. Out of Love has transformed over time. The concept for my stories usually unfolds slowly overtime.

CH: You have a background in the art world. Can you tell us how it influenced this book?

GC: I am a self-taught computer arts cartoonist and illustrator. I have also sung in a number of gospel choirs in NY, NJ and VA. I no longer draw because of cyber-theft. I realized that many of my illustrations distinctly African illustrations were stolen from my computer. My love for art greatly influenced the story line and plot. I bet you did not know that art theft is the third biggest crime in the world.

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

GC: There’s a revelation in this book that will stun the readers. In fact, it stunned me. There are many clues, but there is also a hidden link that is not exposed. Because of my experiences in life, I realize that many injustices are not resolved. Unresolved conflicts often lead to frustration and sometimes violence or unrest. Art theft is a crime that is seldom resolved. I also bring a religious flavor to the table. Sometimes, boulders are thrown in one’s path. The readers will quickly realize that the main characters love and strong belief in God carried them through life’s challenges.

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

GC: Some of these situations are unbelievable, but true and are based on real life experiences. I elaborated or should I say exaggerated on some of the situations, such as the protest scene.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?

GC: My first published book consisted of poetry. The publisher of Sequins in the Sky presented a contract to write a memoir. I quickly realized that there are a lot of missing links in my life that I can’t explain. In fact, the only way I could write this novel was to infuse bits of my life in the purely fictional setting of Omari Boutique art gallery.  I also wanted to leave a legacy for my twins, Twinkle and Sean Slade whose father, Bob Slade opened the doors to people of color at KISS-FM New York.

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

GC: Yes, research was necessary, but I did it backwards. At first, I wrote the book and then completed the research. I was amazed to find out that a man named Martin Cahill was responsible for the largest art theft in Ireland. I also researched locations, art theft investigations, church history. gang names and behavior in Mexico, police salaries and codes.

CH: How long have you been writing? How did you start writing?

GC: I wrote my first story when I was in the seventh grade—a story about Charlie Brown.  Growing up alone often forced me to entertain myself. I always loved cartoons and used to watch cartoons with my father. I guess that is what sparked the writing bug in me. I am a former caseworker. I can remember wanting to escape into creative case notes.

CH: Is there a famous or not-so-famous author that you would aspire to be like?

GC: I’ll be honest with you. I always envisioned Out of Love as a movie. My father was a musician and motion picture projectionist, who broke the production color line at the Apollo theatre. I never worked in production, but I believe that my book’s destiny is to be a movie. I aspire to be the next Terry McMillian of crime drama. After all McMillian’s books and James Patterson’s are highly successful and their books became movies.  Alex Cross here I come.

CH: What type of feedback are your receiving?

GC: Well it’s hard to judge at this time, but I know that many people tried to steal my book. That includes a well-known person who I will not mention.

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

GC: Most definitely, the last line in the book states, “Stop the Violence and Dare to Say No to Drugs.” I have also experienced the negative impact of drug use in today’s society.

CH: Are you a self-published author?

GC: No, I am published by a mainline publisher, Tate Publishing.

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

GC: It’s been a difficult journey. Like James Patterson, I too have changed the name of Out of Love a number of times and have had to re-write scenes and extend the plot. As you know, book covers are important. In the next life, I think I will come back as a graphic illustrator. The hardest challenge in my journey has been editing. Tate includes editing in their publishing package. I met an editor who charges $65.00 per hour. That’s more than some police make.

CH: What’s next for you as an author?

GC: I recently completed the James Patterson Writer 2016 online course. Since completing the course, I completed They Shall Swoop, a book that is currently in production at Tate Publishing and Twisted Sister. They Shall Swoop includes an out of love exercise that can be promoted in churches. We have all had an out of love experience in life. They Shall Swoop also contains two new chapters that answers questions that are left unaddressed in Out of Love. Twisted Sister is the sequel to They Shall Swoop. I just put the final touches on a short story entitled The Bagel Hunters. All of those books feature Detective Swoop. I am currently seeking a publisher for Twisted Sister. I also submitted an excerpt of Twisted Sister to the Eleanor Taylor Bland literary contest. One day, I’ll submit my play about the Harlem Renaissance to a publisher.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

GC: Sure, my website is www.gwendolyncahill.tateauthor.com. Feel free to email me at OmariIrene@yahoo.com or FlameCahill@gmail.com.

CH: Can you tell my audience where they can purchase your book?

GC: Out of Love can be purchased online at the Tate Publishing bookstore, Amazon, Barnes and Noble. Amazon Link:  http://amzn.to/25LVDgj

Also, it is available in store at the Chesterfield Town Center in Richmond, Virginia. I also have 100 copies on hand. I would love to engage readers in a lively discussion about my book at a book signing.

CH: Any closing remarks?

GC: Writing is like acting, you got to feel the character.  I’ll leave you with this quote from Out of Love,It seldom melts into a clear crystal river that rolls smoothly into a bountiful oasis of life. It drags others down and imprison the very ones who love them.”

Matthew 16:26 reads, “For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”

CH: Thank you, Gwendolyn Cahill, it has been a real pleasure discussing your writing journey and your book with my audience.  

Note: Photos are compliments of the Internet and Gwendolyn Cahill.

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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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Book Review: Jumpstarting Your Inner Novelist by J. E. Thompson

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Title: Jumpstarting Your Inner Novelist

Genre: Reference/Writing

Synopsis: Jump Starting Your Inner Novelist is a concise manual that provides inspiration, motivation and practical tools for crafting award-winning novels.

Julius Thompson

Julius J.E. Thompson, Author

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Note: I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review. So…

This is a quick and easy-to-read book of the essential tools to jump start your inner novelist.

If you are like me, you have a collection of several books that discuss writing as a craft. This book is well-worth adding to your collection.

Julius teaches Creative Writing and Publishing at Evening at Emory University and this book is to the point and doesn’t over teach. He provides information and motivation for the inner novelist; plus, he tells you what worked for him and provides some examples. He discusses his writing success with his books, while encouraging you to be creative and find your own writing style.

Julius says, “One thing I’ve learned about the writing process is that you never stop learning.” In my opinion, that is so true for most, if not all, writers.

Thompson discusses some important topics for new writers:

  1. How to Choose a Point of View
  2. How to Establish a Setting
  3. How to Build Your Characters
  4. How to Write Subplots Without Losing the Reader
  5. How to Construct a Scene

He also discusses the importance of good grammar and a professional editor. You can even email him for a list of publishers and literary agents.

Since I am a Writer/Editor myself, I had a few issues with the editing and page numbering. But…we all have our own style. I thought the front cover was great!

This was a well-thought out book. I read it in one short sitting. I wish Julius J.E. Thompson much success in his writing endeavors.

I rate this book

starstarstarstar

Action Steps:                                                                                                                    

1.  View/read this blog and comment  

2.   Invite your friends to view/read this blog                                                                 

3.  If you read the book, let me know what you think.

Note: Clip art compliments of the Internet and Cheryl Holloway.

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We’d love to hear about what you’re reading and enjoying on our blog, so please drop us a line in the comments

DISCLAIMER

Endorsement Disclaimer: All reviews posted on this site and written by Cheryl Holloway are personal opinions of the book by the reviewer. The reviews are NOT paid endorsements of the book or the author. They are not advertisements. All reviews are honest, forthright and the opinion of the individual reviewer, freely given. Our opinions are not for sale.

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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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