Author Cheryl Holloway Pay-It-Forward Quote

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Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet 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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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

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Guest Author Interview – Carole Price

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Title: Vineyard Prey: A Shakespeare in the Vineyard Mystery (Shakespeare in the Vineyard Mysteries Book 3)

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

Synopsis: Cait Pepper, owner of the Bening Estate vineyards, and navy SEAL Royal Tanner return to help friends who recently acquired a vineyard in Livermore, California. Sadie, an Amish girl, and her husband, Danny Lord, are excited about their new adventure of owning their own vineyard until agents from the Drug Enforcement Agency knock on their door. When Danny bought the property, he neglected to check the previous owners’ background and didn’t know about their drug connections. Desperate to save her friends from danger and embarrassment, Cait is torn between helping the Lords or the actors in her Shakespeare Festival. Will Cait’s cop skills be enough to save the Lords from the drug dealer—and the DEA—while avoiding another tragedy that could put her Shakespeare Festival in peril?

Carole Price, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Carole Price. Carole is a member of Mystery Writers of America and Sisters in Crime. Welcome to my blog, Carole.

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

CP: Cait Pepper and Royal Tanner help friends from drug dealers at the same time that Cait’s Shakespeare Festival is running.

CH: Your book deals with the realities of life, such as vineyards, Navy Seals, Amish, DEA, and Drug Dealers—usually not all mixed together. So, how did you come up with the premise for this book?

CP: I’m from Ohio, and although vaguely familiar with the Amish, I researched their lifestyles, homes, and habits. Cait is also from Ohio. I like to draw from my background, as well and bring that into my writing and my characters, but I started from scratch with the SEALs and the DEA, when I began this series. Learning something new is part of the fun of writing.

CH: With that in mind, was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

CP: As a police volunteer for almost fifteen years in Livermore, California, where I live, I have access to officers to ask about police procedures, drugs, ride-alongs, and role play in various situations.

CH: Since this book is a mystery/thriller with lots of suspense, did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

CP: Working without an outline is a challenge, but I keep a binder that covers the background on every character. I know their likes and dislikes, their schooling, religion, and love interests. This is critical when writing a series. I have tried using an extended synopsis to keep me in line, but that too didn’t work because ideas would come to me while writing and before I knew it, I’d wandered off and occasionally written myself into a corner.

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

CP: My series takes place in Livermore where I live. After I settled on the design and floor plan for the estate, I added a vineyard, and created two Shakespeare theaters. In creating the indoor and outdoor theaters, I referred to my experience at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, where I’d visited many times, toured their theaters, and spoke with theater personnel about costumes.

CH: I, too, enjoy the Shakespeare Festivals. What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

CP: It’s been fun and exciting for my readers who live in Livermore. They’ve even driven around looking for the estate. I had to get permission from the police chief and city attorney to use an interview room in the station to make scenes appear authentic.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?                            

CP: Probably, Cait Pepper, my protagonist. She inherited the Benning Estate from an aunt she’d never heard of, gave up her job as a cop in Columbus, Ohio, and moved to California to manage the estate and her Shakespeare Festival.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

CP: Fumié Ondo, by far, who is a recent college graduate, and she works part-time at the Bening Estate helping Cait. She sings like an angel for visitors, while they wait for the plays to begin. Soon she’ll head off to Park Ranger school, leaving behind her recent romantic interest.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

CP: Marcus Singer, an ex-con, who doted on Cait’s aunt, while she was alive, but was reluctant to approve of Cait.

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

CP: Not until I fell in love with the characters and couldn’t let them go.

CH: Are there any additional books in this series?

CP: Twisted Vines is Book 1, Sour Grapes is Book 2, and Vineyard Prey is Book 3. I’m hoping Cait and RT will resolve their problems in Book 4.

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

CP: Mostly very good and readers are eager for the next book in the series. Unfortunately, I’m not a prolific writer. I tell myself that it’s because I didn’t start writing seriously until after I retired.

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

CP: My husband and I attended an author book signing event where I met an author who inspired me to start my own book. That was twenty years ago. Today, we are still in the same critique group.

CH: How wonderful. Are there any authors that provide inspiration for your writing?

CP: The author I previously mentioned is Penny Warner, who has over sixty books published. Without Penny or my critique group, I wouldn’t be published, today.

CH: What is your next writing project?

CP: Many. I still want to publish the first book I’d written. Still unnamed, it’s a mystery and takes place on Martha’s Vineyard, a place I love and have visited several times. I’ve also started a cozy series about a girl and her stained-glass shop, something I know about. I’ve written one short story and am eager to write more.

CH: How to Find Carole Price:

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

CP: It is sold on Amazon, Barnes & Nobel, and Kobo

CH: Any closing remarks?

CP: My thanks to you, Cheryl Holloway, for this opportunity to discuss my Shakespeare in the Vineyard series. Exposure like this is a real blessing for authors and one I appreciate. I also hope readers enjoy my books, as much as I love writing them.

CH: Thank you so much, Carole Price, 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, Carole Price 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.

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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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

 

 

Books or Authors…Any Suggestions for Cheryl Holloway

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Hi Readers, Fans, and Followers,                                                                          Does anyone have a suggestion? Email me at AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com                                                    Thanks!

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.

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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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

 

Guest Author Interview – Carolyn Killion

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Title: The Alchemist’s Children

Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Paranormal

Synopsis: After their mother disappears, fourteen-year-old Gabriella and eleven-year-old Holden decide to search for her. The problem is, she’s a human-sized leprechaun and has traveled to the leprechaun world, which they have never seen. With the help of their Uncle Robert, they journey to this mysterious realm, where they encounter goblins and dragons and unexpected surprises. What they find is both more enchanting and more dangerous than they ever could have imagined. A leprechaun king is determined to invade Earth through a magical portal. To save their mother, Gabriella and Holden must find a way to stop a war between leprechauns and humans.

Carolyn Killion, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Carolyn Killion. She has her head in the clouds, but her feet are firmly planted on the ground. Welcome to my blog, Carolyn.

CH: Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read this Sci-Fi/Fantasy. 

CK: It opens up a new world of fantasy, where Leprechauns have the power of alchemy and they control other fantasy creatures such as dragons, gargoyles and sea monsters.

CH: This book is about children looking for their mother in a world that they’ve never seen. How did you come up with the premise for this book?

CK: This book started as short story that was a mixture of elements to entertain my daughter. It was blend of fantasy, but also rooted in reality, as it was based on a child that had physical scars. I’ve watched my child struggle with fitting into the fabric of society, with facial scars from a rare disease. I wanted to create a story where the character had these flaws, and show how—even though different—you can possess strength and overcome obstacles.

CH: Since the children have to stop a war between leprechauns and humans, did you have to do any special research to write this fantasy book or is it all imagination?

CK: Most of it was imagination, as I was re-imagining the mythology of Leprechauns.

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

CK: I strive for simplicity and to keep the pace flowing. My daughter has always struggled to read and my biggest goal with this book was to create a story that was fast paced, and not mired in details and items that would lose a young adult reader.

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

CK: I thought about how children would react to situations, and the way I viewed life when I was that age. This is how I created the situations and solved the issues.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

CK: The character that was the hardest to write is one that makes a minor appearance at the end. The father of the two children returns, and will play a major role in the next two books. It was difficult to write a small amount about him, when he has such an explosive story to tell.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

CK: The two main characters were my favorite and it is hard to choose between these two. It was fun putting them into situations and sending them along an adventure that would change their lives in fantastical realms they barely knew existed before their journey began.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

CK: The character of Gabriella was hardest to develop. I wanted to include so much more about her, and her personality and why she reacted to situations the way she did. Yet, I did not want to lengthen the book or get too involved where a young reader, that struggled to read, would have difficulty. I wrote a lot more that I have reserved for the second book.

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

CK: The message in this novel is that people are not necessarily good or bad, and that adversity can be overcome.

CH: Does your fantasy audience consist of adults and children?

CK: My audience does consist of both adults and children.

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

CK: The main feedback is that it was quick, enjoyable, and ‘When is the next one coming out?’

CH: Are there any Sci-Fi authors that provide inspiration for your writing?

CK: Neil Gaiman, Phillip Pullman, C.S. Lewis, Rick Riordan are all a few of my favorite authors. They create amazing worlds, and I love how easy it is to escape into them.

CH: What motivates you to have the imagination to create fantasy worlds?

CK: It is an escape from the reality of life, and a way to entertain others. Also, as an avid reader, I tear through many books. Sometimes, I yearn to read more than what I can find about some fantasy/sci-fi worlds, so I create my own.

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

CK: I started writing when I was a young child, and have always done it on the side. I was never serious about publishing until recently. I have so many stories that I’ve created and set aside, and it was finally time to focus more seriously on what I have always been passionate about in my life.

CH: What is your next writing project?

CK: I am finishing up the next novel in the Alchemist’s Children series and also working on an adult urban fantasy.

CH: How to Find Carolyn Killion:

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

CK: The book may be found at Barnes and Noble online and Amazon. It is available also as an eBook. There are also links on my website to where to purchase the book.

CH: Any closing remarks?

CK: Thank you for featuring me on your blog. I hope that you enjoyed the book. I always am welcome to feedback, and a link to contact me is also available on my website.

CH: Thank you so much, Carolyn Killion, 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, Carolyn Killion 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.

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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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

 

 

Guest Author Interview – Marissa Campbell

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Title: Hot in Aruba: An Unabashedly Sexy Contemporary Romance

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Synopsis: Vulnerability is Samantha Mackay’s kryptonite, and she keeps her emotions—and her men—at arm’s length. But when her good friend, Carlos Naldini, invites her on an all-expense-paid trip to Aruba, her resolve waivers.

Tired of being relegated to the friend zone, Carlos enacts his foolproof plan, inviting Samantha to join him in Aruba, hoping the trip to paradise will soften her reluctant heart.

Samantha agrees to Carlos’ proposal, giving him exactly ten days to prove he’s boyfriend material. After some wild Aruba nights and hot, sexy days, things appear to be progressing swimmingly, until Carlos’ ex-girlfriend arrives, exposing an intricate web of deception and betrayal. When news from home shatters Samantha’s hopes further, she leaves Aruba, giving up on her dreams of happily ever after. Devastated, Carlos is determined to do whatever it takes to bring Samantha back to Aruba and into his arms.

Secrets, lies, and heartbreak lurk in the shadows behind sunshiny days of sex on the beach, cocktails by the pool, laughter, and friends. It’s getting hot in Aruba—but the sparks might just consume them.

Marissa Campbell, Author

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s International Guest Author is Marissa Campbell. She is a proud member of the Historical Novel Society and Romance Writers of America. Welcome to my blog, Marissa.

CH: Please tell us in two sentences why we should read this book.

MC: I tend to blend genres together in my writing, so if you think you might enjoy an unabashedly sexy contemporary romance with the depth and resonance of a memorable women’s fiction, then Hot in Aruba might be for you. I even managed to say all that in one sentence, lol.

CH: Your sexy book deals with the realities of life and love. So, how did you come up with the premise for this book?

MC: Hot in Aruba was inspired by a short story I wrote, called Italian Delicacy. I fell in love with these two characters and decided they had a bigger story to tell. I had just finished writing the second book in my historical romance series and knew I wanted to try my hand at a contemporary novel. I also wanted a location I knew and loved. Aruba was a great fit. It gave me a timeline to work with and an exotic location to set the story in.

CH: Did you have to do any special research to write this hot and sexy novel?

MC: For the first time writing a book, I didn’t have to do any extensive research. That was the captivating draw of writing a contemporary romance. While I wrote Avelynn and Avelynn: The Edge of Faith, book one and two in my historical fiction series set in 869 England and Wales, I was immersed in research. For my next book, I wanted a refreshing change. Fortunately, I had been to Aruba, so I could give a reasonable account of some of its features. For parts where I wanted to branch out beyond what I had experienced, I interviewed friends who had also been to the island to get an idea of where they stayed and what they did while on holiday there.

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

MC: As mentioned, I like to blend genres, specifically looking to add or tweak elements I discover when reading. For example, I tend to gloss over some of the internal thoughts that are typical of the romance genre. Readers, of course, will know what Samantha and Carlos are thinking, but for me, in a typical romance there’s just too much repetition of why the two protagonists can’t be together. My style of writing doesn’t fit with that.

The other thing that I need when reading a book is some seriously sensuous heat. I love the depth of women’s fiction, or chick-lit if you will, but I find they typically shy away from sexy scenes. Most sex scenes are off the page, behind closed doors, or are short and sweet. I wanted to bring readers a truly memorable and emotionally resonant love story, with lots of character development, but I wanted to titillate with enough heat to satisfy the most discerning romance or erotica reader.

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

MC: I think emotions are universal. In order to write a compelling love story, an author needs to tap into the feelings we’ve all experienced and bring them to life on the page. Even if the situations I’m creating are new, I remember what it felt like to fall in love, to feel betrayed, to feel lost or alone. I bring that reflection to the scenes I create for my characters. Though, I will say the story of Catharine and Mr. Lewiston was based on my own grandparents and the love and life they shared together for 60 years.

CH: Which character was the hardest to write?

MC: I always find my lead protagonist, in this case, Samantha, the hardest to write. I tend to be a very deep methodical thinker, and my main characters are not prone to fantasy. They are practical, down to earth, and typically stubborn. This makes them a little closed when it comes to trying to understand what’s going on in their heads. They don’t make it easy for me. I have to remove a layer of insight one scene at a time until I know them like the back of my hand. Carlos and Mr. Lewiston for example were a breeze to write in comparison, lol.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

MC: I enjoyed spending time with Mr. Lewiston, Samantha’s mentor and only real father figure in her life. Because I based the love story of Mr. Lewiston and his wife, Catharine, on my own grandparents, it was like they were with me, as I wrote the novel. I cherished that.

CH: With secrets, lies, and heartbreak, is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

MC: They always say your personal style reflects themes and guiding principles. I never really thought about it until I finished writing Avelynn. It was only after reading a craft book about theme that I realized the novel had a strong theme, though I had interwoven it subconsciously. I’ve since come to realize that I do have key messages in my books and in a way, they guide my entire life: Follow your dreams; If you are passionate about something, it’s worth fighting for; Everyone deserves happiness; and Always know your worth.

CH: How long have you been writing? What attracted you to writing in the first place?

MC: According to my kindergarten reflection sheet, I was always going to grow up and be a writer. Who knew? Lol. I find it fascinating that at 5 years old, I had a sense of who I was. Of course, it took me another thirty years to truly embrace it, but I’ve spent my entire life writing in some capacity, whether penning articles for newspapers and local magazines, writing blog posts, or tinkering with stories that will never see the light of day. It took me a long time to own the title, Author, and to actually take a chance on writing novels.

As for what attracted me to writing in the first place, that’s a good question. I think I needed an outlet for a hyperactive mind. Most writers I know have minds that just won’t shut down, and at some point, you need to do something with all that clamor banging around in your head. I used to write poetry to help make sense of my emotions and feelings, but writing a novel allows you to experience someone else’s feelings, and someone else’s life. It lets you channel and focus your thoughts into something new, rather than constantly rehashing the same internal melodrama of your own life. It’s like an escape, like travelling to Aruba for a blissful vacation.

CH: What is your favorite romance book? And Why?

 MC: I’m a huge Outlander fan, an amazing historical romance series by Diana Gabaldon. I’m pretty sure everyone on the planet has read the books, but just in case you haven’t, you really should read the books. 😉  I fell in love with the main characters, Jamie and Claire, in the first book and continued to follow their adventures, savoring every moment they were on the page together. Not only does Diana do an incredible job of creating and then sustaining that romance through each book in the series, but she also writes wonderfully sensual love scenes. A trait I admire greatly.

In fact, I’d say Diana is my greatest inspiration as an author. It was because of my love for Outlander that I found the courage to write Avelynn, and I continue to be captivated by her words. I’ve had many authors move me with their stories, and each one has helped shape who I am as a writer. I learn something new with each book I read.

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

MC: When I was very young, I wrote wild tales of strange lands and knights and damsels. Then as a teenager, my thoughts turned dark and existential, and I explored my emotions and feelings through poetry. After that, I found myself starting a family, and in my spare time would write articles for parenting newspapers and local magazines. It wasn’t until I became a yoga instructor that I co-wrote my first book, exploring how to live life to the fullest. Life: Living in Fulfillment Every Day was a labor of love, taking five years to complete, but when it was done, I had something meaningful to give to the world, and the satisfaction I took away from that, as well as the knowledge that I could in fact complete a book, despite the countless false starts sitting on floppy disks (yes, I’m dating myself, lol), was intoxicating. I wanted to do it again. Then, after one cold Outlanderless night, having just finished reading An Echo in the Bone, I decided to write my own historical romance to fill the void. Thus, the Avelynn series was born. My debut novel, Avelynn was published by St. Martin’s Press in 2015. The sequel, Avelynn: The Edge of Faith, I indie published in 2016. And, this year, 2017, I tried my hand at contemporary romance with Hot in Aruba. It’s certainly been a journey.

CH: What is your next writing project?

MC: Fans of Avelynn would want me to say book three in the series, and while that’s somewhere on the horizon, I have been toying with an LGBTQ romance story, which may be my next venture. However, this past September I returned to college full-time. So, my writing has taken a bit of a hiatus, and studying has taken over.

CH: How to Find Marissa Campbell:

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

MC: Hot in Aruba is available through all the regular channels: Barnes and Noble, Amazon, Chapters, etc. The eBook will be available strictly through Amazon for the time being. I may expand the distribution down the road, but I’m giving Kindle exclusivity a try.

CH: Any Closing Remarks?

MC: I’m incredibly proud of Hot in Aruba. I took a chance and blurred the genre lines, but I think readers will appreciate the effort. I’m excited to see what everyone thinks! Thanks, Cheryl.

CH: Thank you so much, Marissa Campbell, 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, Marissa Campbell 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.

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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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

 

Cheryl Holloway is Guest Blogger in Australia on March 11th

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I will be visiting my down under friends at ARRA on Sunday, March 11, 2018. More information to come. Please join me.

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.

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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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Erin Trejo

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Title: A Love Like War

Genre: Mystery/Suspense/Romantic Suspense/Contemporary

Synopsis: Nash Lamont Kingston: I knew what I wanted from a young age. Born a piece of trailer trash, I had bigger dreams. I wanted it all. I wanted to run the drugs that keep Miami hot. I would become the King one way or another. Sadie was the girl that I loved. I couldn’t commit to her though. I was far too gone for that, but when her life is put in the line of fire, I’m forced to choose between her and the empire I’ve built. The choice wasn’t any easy one to make and when I do, I may be shoving her into the arms of one of my best friends.

Erin Trejo, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Erin Trejo. She loves being able to create different characters and spin a web that makes them come together in the end. Welcome to my blog, Erin.

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

ET: A Love Like War is a raw gritty glimpse into the life of some lifelong friends that want more out of there life than what they started with.

CH: Your book deals with love, drugs and thugs. So, how did you come up with the premise for this book?

ET: These are things that we have all dealt with in some way, shape or form. I think it brings a lot of things to light that some readers have been exposed to. I wanted my book to be as real as possible.

CH: With that in mind, was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

ET: A little of both. I’ve had a lot of crazy experiences in life that I like to use in my books. I think it creates a much more real setting for my characters.

CH: Since this book is a mystery/thriller with lots of suspense, did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

ET: I did! Creating a plot that I could toss, twist and what it turns into was a challenge. The basic storyline just wouldn’t have been enough to draw attention. It needed more.

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

ET: I did research on some of the mafia aspects in the book, since they are my weakness.

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

ET: I think that my background and the way I twist in some real situations is different. Not every single book will have purely fiction. I think tossing in some real is what makes the books come alive.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

ET: Tristan, for sure. He was a bad boy with a good heart. I think trying to make that presentable was the hardest part.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

ET: Nash. He has no filter when it comes to something he wants. He doesn’t take no for an answer, at any time.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

ET: Nash again. I had to find a way to make his “not so nice” persona have a heart, later on in the book. He was for sure my biggest challenge.

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

ET: Never give up on your dreams. When you find something to love, love it with all you have.

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

ET: The feedback has been positive. They feel the connection to the readers and it really helps them feel like part of the story.

CH: Are there any authors that provide inspiration for your writing? 

ET: No. I don’t tend to read much, as strange as that sounds!

CH: Since you’re a stay-at-home mom, was writing your outlet to real life?

ET: It can be, yes. I always have a lot going on and mainly in my head. When my kids are at school, that’s when I can really get things out!

CH: Have you received any awards for your writing?

ET: I’ve been International Best Seller on Amazon more than once. That’s a huge thing for me!

CH: What is your next writing project?

ET: I’m finishing up a new MC series for next year, Soulless Bastards.

CH: How to Find Erin Trejo:

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

ET: This one is on Amazon only for the time being. Eventually I will have it on multiple platforms.

CH: Any closing remarks?

ET: Thank you so much for inviting me for this interview. Cheryl, it’s bloggers like you that keep us Indie writers going. I don’t think you guys truly get the recognition you deserve. Without you we wouldn’t get anywhere so you guys mean the world to me!

CH: Thank you so much, Erin Trejo, 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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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 Boost for A Sisterhood of Women Living Life by Cheryl Holloway

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Please enjoy the link here:

http://freeboostmarketing.com/

Read more here:

http://tiny.cc/0mewpy

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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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Readers’ Favorite 4-Star Review for The Bane Bath Salts by Cheryl Holloway

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Readers’ Favorite 4-Star Review

Please read the wonderful 4-Star Review by Edith Wairimu at:

https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/the-bane-bath-salts

“This is one of my all-time favorite reviews of my books!”

Amazon Link: http://tiny.cc/58ivpy

 

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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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A Writer’s Idea Instead of A New Year’s Resolution for 2018

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January is usually a time of change and new beginnings. Most people see January as a time to start over and begin making New Year’s Resolutions, which they think will improve the quality of their life in the coming year. If you’re like most of us, the majority of your New Year’s resolutions will fail (92%). Eating healthy and going on a strict diet usually goes out the window by Valentine’s Day and all the chocolates.


I have suggested this before in 2014 and decided to bring it up again. So, since we’re all writers, let’s try a new concept to this.

My suggestion:  Let’s pretend that we are Dan Fogelman, an American creator and writer; Kay Oyegun, writer; Donald Todd, writer; or Aurin Squire, writer,  for the award-winning television series, This Is Us.  You are writing a new series about you and your life as a writer.

 

 

 

 

 

Your character wants to begin anew for 2018 and plan ahead for the many successes, as well as challenges of his/her writing career. The character must reflect on the past writing years and writing accomplishments of his/her life. The character will contemplate ideas for that much-waited-for award, the well-deserved bestseller or the prestigious moment when their book is #1 on the New York Times Bestseller List. Your character has been through the rough times when he/she couldn’t get a traditional publisher; through the changes when their agent finally got them a publisher of choice; and when he/she had to evolve into the great writer that he/she always knew they could become.  So, instead of picking a New Year’s Resolution you will pick a “theme” for your writing career in 2018. Sample themes: “Moving on up in the writing world,” or “The next stage in my writing career,” or “Finally getting the perfect or not-so-perfect writing deal and advance.”

Keep in mind that according to Wikipedia, Fogelman grew up in what he has called an “endearingly dysfunctional”  Jewish family. So, it hasn’t always been a perfect world for Fogelman. His life and career may be on top of the world today, but back in past, it wasn’t. I’m sure the same applies to the other writers, because obviously that is where they get the material for their script.

First, think back through 2017, and ask yourself, “What was the highlight of my writing career in 2017?”  Then, make a list (minimum of 3) writing events that you want to look forward to in the coming year.  This writing exercise will probably be more attainable than any New Year’s Resolution list.

My author friend, Georgette Littlejohn, had a great writing year—A GRO-c-ERY STORY, children’s book; Miracle’s Destiny, debut novel; and Bad Girl Blues, stage play production.

My author friend, Libby Campbell, published Lydia’s Revenge in eBook and paperback. I love the cover!

I had a great year as an accountability coach by helping other writers get their writing out in the eye of the public, but 2018 is my year for getting more of my books out there. Four of my projects are: The Lady In The Trunk; How to Enhance Your Life With Prayer; The Gift of Love; and A Sisterhood of Women Living Life: A Short Story Collection Book 2.

So, think it over carefully and put pen to paper and make those ideas become a reality in 2018!

P.S. (to two good writing friends) Pat Crews, we can hardly wait on The Taming of Mama and Winona Addison, we are eager to read Balloon Acres.

If you like this blog post, share it with your friends. 🙂

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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 New Year’s Eve From Cheryl Holloway

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From the Cheryl Holloway Blog Family to you and yours,  We Wish that this New Year’s Eve is filled with merriment, good tidings and joy for you and all of your loved ones. Thanks for being a blog reader and a blog follower during 2017.

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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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5 Reasons Writers Procrastinate by Cheryl Holloway

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Don’t Let Procrastination Steal Another Year…Write Your Book, Now!

 

If you want to be a writer, here are some serious questions for you to think about.

Are you are in danger of letting procrastination take yet another of your opportunities?

What is procrastination?

According to the dictionary, procrastination is the action of delaying or postponing something.

Why do writers procrastinate?

Here are my top five reasons why writers procrastinate and don’t finish writing their book.

  1. They don’t believe that their writing is good. I think this is the number one reason writers procrastinate. Everyone doubts themselves at one time or another, especially a writer who has never been published before.
  2. They don’t allot time to write each and every day. I think this is the number two reason writers procrastinate. Remember…writers write. 
  3. They don’t make attainable goals. I think this is the number three reason writers procrastinate. Give yourself deadlines to help you meet goals and keep you writing daily. Set a daily writing goal that is small and attainable. Note: 250 words a day is about one page. If you write one page a day for one year (365 days), you will have a complete book. Now, you’re ready to organize and edit it. 🙂
  4. They have too many distractions. I think this is the number four reason writers procrastinate. They read their emails (on several accounts), visit social media sites (such as facebook and twitter), and search the internet (google anything and everything). If you are serious about writing a book, you need two things—a quiet space and a designated time.
  5. They are not accountable to anyone. I think this is the number five reason writers procrastinate. Get a writing buddy that you are accountable to and vice versa. It will help you stay on track with your writing. I am an Accountability Writing Coach. You pay me to keep you on track. I am your writing mentor, who encourages you and supports you—even at your lowest point.

Here are some facts:

In the U.S., 82% of people say they want to write a book, but only 2% actually write a book.

Of the writers who are bold enough to start writing a book, only 3 in 5 writers actually finish writing the book.

Jan 1st is an opportunity to fulfill your dream of writing a book.

But, before I go, let me leave you with a final thought: On writing your book…Where will you be this time next year?

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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 – Penny Warner – A Writer’s Path

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A Writer’s Path on A Writer’s Day

The title is one that I hope will spark some constructive discussion among writers. Yes, it’s A Writer’s Day on the Cheryl Holloway Blog. We will share writing tips, information and advice for writers.

Penny Warner, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Penny Warner. She is an American mystery writer, who has written more than 60+ books in a variety of genres and she has won multiple awards. She also writes under the pseudonym Penny Pike. Welcome to my blog, Penny. Below are some books by Penny Warner.

   

CH: It is not often that I meet a successful writer who has written numerous books over decades and who has been traditionally published and self-published. So, let’s ask her some important questions about writing—information for the new and seasoned writer.

CH: Penny, what do you attribute your long-term success to as a writer?

PW: Perseverance! I just keep at it and don’t give up.

CH: You write on a variety of subjects ranging from cooking to parenting guides to party and activity books. In addition to the Connor Westphal mystery series and the Code Buster Club series, you write books on all subjects for children and adults. So, do you try more to be original or to deliver to readers what they want?

PW: A combination – I want to be fresh, but writing mysteries has a traditional formula that readers expect.

CH: Do you want each book to stand on its’ own, or are you trying to build a body of work with connections between each book?

PW: Each series stands on its own, but I have a certain style/ sense of humor that connects the books.

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

PW: I hope my books are informative, as well as entertaining. I try to include interesting topics but not bore the reader.

CH: How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

PW: Tons! But I keep them handy, just in case…

CH: What does literary success look like to you?

PW: Having readers read your work and letting you know they enjoyed it.

CH: How long were you a part-time writer before you became a full-time one?

PW: I’m still part-time. I need to work outside of writing to stay topical.

CH: Do you read your book reviews? How do you deal with bad or good ones?

PW: I used to read them, but I realized I couldn’t please everyone.

CH: What was your hardest scene ever to write?

PW: I can’t write sex scenes so I’ve given up. I need to do more research… 😉

CH: How do you select the names of your characters?

PW: I try to make them related to the character’s background, and make sure it’s age appropriate.

CH: How long on average does it take you to write a book?

PW: Six months for an adult mystery, three months for a kid mystery, like The Code Busters Club.

CH: What advice do you have on the best way to market your books for new writers?

PW: Attend conferences, do blog tours, host book signings, talk at women’s groups, and speak at schools for kid’s books.
CH: What one thing would you give up to become a better writer?

PW: Wow—certainly not chocolate, lattes, or wine…what’s left?

CH: You’re in a writing group, how has this helped your writing? Was there inspiration from the writer’s group?

PW: I have a great group, all published writers but one. They give honest feedback without hurting my feelings!

CH: Can you tell my audience where your books are sold?

PW: Amazon and bookstores.

CH: How to Find Penny Warner:

CH: Any closing remarks?

PW: Great questions! Lots of fun! Thanks so much, Cheryl!

CH: Thank you so much, Penny Warner, 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, Penny Warner 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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Christmas Greetings to Everyone From Author Cheryl Holloway

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Merry Christmas 2017 From Author Cheryl Holloway

Cheryl Holloway, Author

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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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Wanted BOOK REVIEWERS For Cheryl Holloway Books

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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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Cheryl Holloway Wishes Everyone A Happy Christmas Eve!

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Cheryl Holloway, Author

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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 – Elaine Everest

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Title: Christmas at Woolworths

Genre: Saga

Synopsis: Even though there was a war on, the Woolworths girls brought Christmas cheer to their customers.

Best friends Sarah, Maisie and Freda are brought together by their jobs at Woolworths. With their loved ones away on the front line, their bonds of friendship strengthen each day. Betty Billington is the manager at Woolworths, and a rock for the girls, having given up on love…until a mysterious stranger turns up one day—Could he reignite a spark in Betty?

As the year draws to a close, and Christmas approaches, the girls must rely on each other to navigate the dark days that lie ahead…with so much change, can their friendship survive the war?

Elaine Everest, Author

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s Guest is International Author, Elaine Everest. She also runs a writing school. Welcome to my blog, Elaine.

CH: Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read this World War II saga.

EE: A story of its time set in a real town, true history and honest characters.

CH: Your book deals with the realities of life during a war. So, how did you come up with the premise for this book?

EE: My sagas had to be set in a world that I knew—albeit later than WW2. I knew so much history of Erith as that is where I was born and grew up. I also knew the people of Erith to be hardworking and reliable. Knowing how loved Woolworths was, I was ready to write my stories.

CH: With that in mind, was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

EE: I have four timelines for Christmas at Woolworths. The first is WW2 as what happened in my country at that time had to influence the story. Next, came the history of the town itself. I was putting my story into a place that many readers still remember, so I had to be true to my readers. Third, was Woolworths. I had to show the Erith store, as people remember it. An iconic company has to be treated with respect and the history of Woolworths has to weave through my story. Finally, comes the fictional timeline. My characters need to go on an adventure that fits in with the other three timelines.

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

EE: Saga writers always have to undertake research. At times I feel I would love ‘just to write a story’ but I have too much respect for the time period to do that without checking facts. For my research, I use national archives, reliable non-fiction books and local history experts. I couldn’t write my books without the excellent Woolworths cyber museum, where I gained inspiration and advice.

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

EE: I’m not sure about ‘different and exciting’ but I like to stay true to the people of the town and what life was like ‘back then.’ For example, Ruby Caselton lives on Alexandra Road in Erith. The street of Victorian houses is still there—I lived at number 13 for over twenty years, when first married. I absorbed the stories and the lives and I hope this comes through in my writing.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

EE: That is a hard question. My three main characters Sarah, Maisie, and Freda are known to me, I have always known how they will live during the war and what will happen to them in the future. To me, they are real. However, there is one character, Ruby Caselton, Sarah’s Grandmother, who is the linchpin to the book, as she not only has her own hopes and fears and lives by the rule of being honest and helpful. How she advises and acts, can at times make for pivotal moments in my stories. If she gives the wrong advice to ‘the girls’ there can be life-changing effects.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

EE: I love writing Betty Billington’s story. Her life was set from the moment she lost her husband to be in WW1. A spinster and manager at Woolworth her future was set in stone. Or was until I decided to make some changes…

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

EE: Sarah Caselton/Gilbert. She was the main character in the first of the Woolworths books and as my readers loved her so much I have to be very careful what happens to her in future books.

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

EE: I had no idea that my publisher would decide to carry on with the stories. Readers took The Woolworths Girls to their hearts and so the series began. It did cause a problem as anyone who has read The Butlins Girls would know. This book is set in 1946 and Freda plays an important part in the story. She mentions her mates at Woolies and so, when I came to write Carols at Woolworths, Christmas at Woolworths and the two following books, I’ve had to remember what was mentioned in that one other book.

CH: Are there any additional books in this series?

EE: Yes, Christmas at Woolworths is the third book in the series, Carols at Woolworths is an eBook, and there will be more books. Wartime at Woolworths will be published in May 2018 and I’m writing another book at the moment for the end of 2018.

CH: There is a lesson to learn and a reason to celebrate Christmas, especially during a war. Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

EE: I’m a storyteller. I’m not sure that I give messages in my books. However, I’ve found that younger readers learn from my books about how people lived through the war and that patriotism carried us through dark times. Celebrating weddings and Christmas gives normality to families at a time when no one knew what would happen next.

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

EE: Readers have been very generous with their feedback. I hear from people who worked at Woolworths in its heyday. They send memories of their working life and tell me that I have helped them remember happier times. It is an honour to hear from ex Woolworths workers from around the world and to know that for the time, they are reading my books, they are taken back to their youth.

CH: What is your favorite Christmas book? And why?

EE: My favourite book is The Christmas Carol. Charles Dickens is the best storyteller of the period and can carry me away to a time when Christmas really meant something.

CH: Are there any authors that provide inspiration for your writing?

EE: True saga writers, who write beautiful characters and strong storylines that stay with me are Harry Bowling, Dilly Court and Dee Williams, to name but three. It is an enjoyable part of my work as a saga writer to study those who have mastered the art and set their books in areas I recognize.

CH: What is your next writing project?

EE: At the moment, I am halfway through writing another Woolworths book due for publication in November 2018. This book brings the war to a close and sees my girls looking to the future and peace.

CH: How to Find Elaine Everest:  

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

EE: Christmas at Woolworths, along with most of my other books, can be found on Amazon, as well as in all good bookshops.

CH: Any closing remarks?

EE: Thank you so much for inviting me to your blog, Cheryl. It is an honour to be invited to talk about my books.

CH: Thank you so much, Elaine Everest, 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, Elaine Everest 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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Wanted BOOK REVIEWERS For Cheryl Holloway Books

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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 – Lindsay Townsend and Deborah MacGillivray

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Title: One Yuletide Knight (Box Set)

Genre: Historical Romance/Medieval/Holidays

Synopsis: Travel back to medieval times to celebrate Yuletide with these dashing knights and their spirited ladies in a wonderfully romantic boxed set of stories you won’t want to put down! Lose yourself in this collection of eight exciting stories of medieval days penned especially for this most joyful time of year.

With exciting tales by talented authors such as Deborah MacGillivray, Lindsay Townsend, Keena Kincaid, Cynthia Breeding, Angela Raines, Patti Sherry-Crews, Beverly Wells, and Dawn Thompson, you’ll find it hard to put this collection down until you’ve read to the very end! Don’t miss these adventures of holiday romance spiced with medieval danger in One Yuletide Knight!

Lindsay Townsend, Author

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

 

 

 

 

CH: Today’s Guests are International Authors Lindsay Townsend and Deborah MacGillivray.  Both are English novelist with a passion for writing historical romance.  Welcome to my blog, Lindsay and Deborah.

Let’s discuss one of the novellas included in the box set, Sir Constantine and the Changeling by Lindsay Townsend.

CH: Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read this Christmas historical novel.

LT: If you are looking for passion, magic and adventure set in a  past when Christmas was also Yule and the darkness of the year and the Solstice were more than simple night, please read this collection of novellas.

CH: You seem to enjoy writing about dashing Knights, their spirited ladies and their romances.  How did you come up with the premise for this novella?

LT: I was re-reading Steven Runciman’s ‘History of the Crusades’ and was struck by how many Knights went abroad on crusade, sometimes for many years. What impact did such a long absence have on their families back home and on their relationships? That thought was the germ of the idea behind my novella, Sir Constantine and the Changeling, particularly when married to medieval beliefs concerning changelings. After a long time apart from his wife Kari, my knightly hero Constantine falls prey to the insinuations of his brother, and that trouble forms the backdrop to the story between Constantine and Kari.

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

LT: It was very satisfying to use real medieval beliefs to shape my story and to make it more realistic and compelling. I took the fear and distrust that some medieval churchmen had towards women and used that to drive a dangerous wedge between my main characters. In the middle ages, winter was a time of danger and hunger, so I could use that to add to the stakes, plus I took the figure of the Yule Goat and put that in as part of the climax of the novella.

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

LT: I needed to refresh my knowledge of medieval Christmas customs and also Yule-time food and drink.

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

LT: I hope that my readers enjoy my characters, who are not kings and queens, but more down-to-earth people, each struggling with situations and dilemmas that are timeless—love, betrayal, trust, and so on, very human problems. I try to write as vividly and with as much immediacy as possible, so readers feel as if they are part of the developing plot.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

LT: I found Constantine’s Templar brother Hadrian difficult to write because he is so certain and unyielding in his narrow faith. I found him almost impossible to develop since, unlike his younger brother Constantine or Kari, he does not want to change and consider anyone else. In the end, I was glad when he went away!

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

LT: That couples should talk to each other and to never let the sun go down on a quarrel without some kind of resolution, however grudging and hard to reach.

CH: This book is part of a Christmas box set.  What kind of feedback are you getting from readers of your novella?

LT: It’s only just out, so early days yet. I know the other Christmas box sets have been well-received. People seem to enjoy slipping back to the Middle Ages, especially over Christmas. I think the colour, chivalry and spectacle of that age is interesting to savour in the depth of winter, when outside can be gray, cold and dark.

CH: Is this your favorite genre to write?

LT: Yes! I love writing romance and historical romance, particularly romance set in the distant past.

CH: What is your favorite historical Christmas romance?

LT: I love Mistletoe Everywhere by Linda Banche. It’s a Regency romance, full of the magic of mistletoe, the plant of peace and reconciliation. I find it a perfect escape for Christmas.

CH: What is your next writing project?

LT: I plan to promote the upcoming re-issue of my medieval romance novel, A Knight’s Captive, and work on a new medieval story, Ugly Meg.

CH: Any closing remarks?

LT: Only a large ‘Thank you’ to you, Cheryl, for hosting me, today, and wishes for a happy, healthy and peaceful Yule for you, your readers and everyone!

 CH: Thank you so much, Lindsay Townsend, 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. 

CH: How to Find Lindsay Townsend:

Next, let’s discuss another novella included in the box set, A Marriage Made in Hell by Deborah MacGillivray.

Deborah MacGillivray, Author

 

 

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

 

 

 

 

 

CH: Can you sum up your historical Christmas novel in 20 words or less?

DM: Probably not…lol…but I shall try.  A woman, who lives in the shadows of her beautiful sister, finally gets the chance to find love and happiness.  Okay, I guess I can.  20 exactly.  Ta Da!

CH: You write historical romance novels. Can you tell us how you started writing historical romance novels?

DM: Originally, I began writing suspense and contemporary romance.  History was such a strong part of my life it’s not surprising that I was pulled in that direction.  I found a story about a distant part of my family, complete with an ancient medieval trust that remains a riddle to this day.  The intrigue took hold and wouldn’t let me go.

For many summers, I was a researcher to my grandfather, a retired historian.  During WWII family records were moved from southern England, fearful of the buzz bombs hitting, or that Hitler was going to invade.  The kids in the family were packed off to the States to keep them safe.  The extensive records, going back for centuries, were boxed up and sent to the Hebrides in Scotland, hoping to protect them.  Only, my great-great-grandfather and great-grandfather were not appreciative of the records, of history.  They were dumped in a seldom used thatched house.  Some papers were damaged when the roof leaked.  Thankfully, my grandfather set about the task to salvage, restore and record, as much of the papers as he could.

From childhood, I had a deep love for knights and their chargers, ladies in the beautiful costumes of the period, so naturally I loved reading old letters, diaries and writings from the various periods.  Later on, I was a trained typist, so I moved to helping my grandfather in his work.  I guess instead of dry facts from the distant past, I heard the voices of people.  Men and women, who had laughed, loved and fought to survive.

Old places call to me.  I always see a castle, or manor home and wonder who lived there, what were their lives like?  I supposed it was a natural extension to pick out some piece of the past and use that as a launching pad for my series, lending voices to the force of their love, what brought a man and woman together, wove their lives, and their destinies into one.  That power transcends dates and facts.  To my romantic heart that is pure magic.

CH: This book is about the adventures of a holiday romance spiced with medieval danger.  So, how did you come up with the premise for this book?

DM: This novella, A Marriage Made in Hell, launches a new series: Hell Knights: The Knights of Hellborne. It is a spin-off from the current medieval historical series I pen—the Dragons of Challon (Prairie Rose Publications now, originally Kensington Historical Books).  So, I already had a setting, and a period fixed.  After that I just needed to figure out the premise.  And what could be more dreamy, than a holiday romance where deepest wishes come true?  In a novella, you have such limited space to flesh out characters and plot.  You have to jump into the story and get things moving quickly.  Christmas being a wondrous time, when dreams could come true, I imagined a young woman wanting a marriage desperately; yet, it was beyond her reach.  In contrast, I saw a man, a fourth son, who didn’t ever expect to marry.  Suddenly, you have all sorts of room for amusing situations.

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

DM: I rarely take my characters anywhere.  They take me.  I create names, a setting, give them the seeds of the story, and then breathe life into them.  Once that conjuring is done, my characters awaken and tell me their tale.  I literally see the plot like a movie inside my head.  The scenes, and the emotions are there.

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

DM: I actually find I have to do more research for my contemporary novels.  Things are changing so quickly.  When I began the Sisters of Colford Hall series,  there were no cell phones.  Mobile phones were just coming into use.  Originally, I was writing the series by hand and on a word processor.  Nothing like laptops were about to help you.  Fortunately, they came along by the time I finally got to the point of seriously submitting.

I spent so many of my summers working with the family records, along with other historical projects, such as archaeological digs, so I often feel more comfortable with one foot in Medieval times.  When I was small, my grandfather used to read me history instead of fairytales—William Wallace, Robert the Bruce, and Sir James, the Black Douglas.  I think I was about nine before I understood that William Wallace wasn’t an ancestor!  Before I began my Dragons of Challon series, I created a massive ‘bible’ for the novels.  Extensive bios, maps, where were Wallace, Bruce and Edward Longshanks on any given day—several years worth of work.  Now, I will check details to make sure there are no conflicts, but I don’t research the Medievals.  I just have one foot firmly planted in the 13th Century these days.

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

DM: I bring hands on experience.  Besides learning about history, my grandfather thought we should experience it.  So, for summer projects, the grandkids would do unusual things like making lye soap, collecting honey, creating wax and dipping candles.  One summer when I was nearly fifteen, I was painted blue with woad from head to toe.  That was an experience!  When I was twelve I was clomping around in armour, thus I have dressed in plate and mail, and know how it feels on your body, what it does to your movements.  I learned to fight with claymores, throw knives, shoot bows and arrows, sew medieval gowns and weave baskets.  I have gone through secret passageways and prowled hidden rooms.  I messed up my knee in a bike accident when I was about ten, so I missed the lessons on looms, which I later regretted.  I tried to learn to spin wool.  While I wasn’t very good at it, I do understand the process.  I have sheered sheep, carded wool, cared for horses and cows.  I have cut and split wood, built fires using only a flint, and cooked on open fires.  I washed clothes outdoors in huge kettles.  Dried fruits.  I have shod horses, and even spent time in a real forge seeing how horseshoes and swords were made.  I loved the experience, though it was too hot for my comfort.  Thus, my medieval stories have a sense of how things were, a realness.

CH: Wow. You had an interesting childhood, full of the unusual. Which character was hardest to write?  Which character was your favorite to write?

DM: The character I am writing about at the moment is always my favorite.  I feared after creating Julian Challon that I might never love another hero as I loved him.  I soon learned I could fall for Des Mershan, Damian St. Giles, Redam Maignart…well, I love them all.  I have to bring that love for my hero to the story to make the reader love them, too.  Julian was also likely the most troublesome to write.  Originally, I plotted him in a much darker vein.  I am a BIG fan of Anne Stuart.  She writes Gamma rogue characters like no one else.  I wanted that dark edge she imbues in her bad boys to be the platform for Julian.  I quickly learned he truly didn’t appreciate that.  One night, after I fell asleep, I was ‘awoken’ by a man sitting on the edge of the bed.  He said, “My name is Julian…and we need to talk.”  LOL   That was the first time I realized characters were demanding and would permit me to tell their stories—if I listened to them.

In my novella,  I think the secondary character of Elspeth was most problematic.  Her complete naive selfishness was hard to maintain.  I feared her coming out two-dimensional.  I was setting her up to be the heroine in the second novella in the series, On The Road To Hell, where she finally grows up and gets past her childish, self-centered ways and becomes a caring woman.  She needed to be bitchy in the first novella, but not to the point readers won’t believe her transformation in the second story.

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

DM: I am not big on messages.  I write to give the reader an adventure they won’t find elsewhere—an escape to another world.  However, often the thread of being true to yourself, being who you really are, who you are meant to be, tends to be something I see again and again in my works.  It’s not conscious, but I think we start out believing we will be one type of person; as we grow, life experiences will reform those self-opinions and how we see life, and how we go through this world.  Also, for us to strive for our dreams.  If you stand back and wait for life to come for you, then you might miss something very special.  You have to reach out and try.  Even if you fail in trying, you change and grow.

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

DM: Very positive.  I have a strong reader base.  I have been very lucky in the faithful readers that have been following me for over a decade now.  I think if I commit any sins, it’s in not getting the stories out quickly enough.  Christmas stories always are a magical way to enjoy the season by curling up with a cup of Earl Grey, by the fireside, and slipping away to a magical adventure.  The novellas at Christmas are perfect length.  You have less reading time, so these give you the heartwarming tales of a different time, of love and hope.

CH: You often review books by other authors, how important are reviews for books?

DM: I no longer review books.  I was on several review sites for nearly a decade, a member of  Reviewers International Organization (RIO), and a top reviewer on Amazon.  I am still on staff at Paranormal Romance Reviews, but I don’t think I have reviewed a book in several years.  I continue to run their promotional site.  Basically, I don’t have the time any more.

How important are they?  I think that has been the question for a long time.  Most reviews you see out there are not reviews anymore.  They are opinions.  Reviews cover the structure of the book, the craft, how special or original they are.  Maybe you address how this book compares to other books from the same author.  Most opinions posted on novels are just that.  They will overlook those things and post how they like a book.  Liking should come into play, but I don’t have to LIKE a book to think it’s a five star novel.  I might not care for it because it simply isn’t something I found fun to read.  However, the book could have thought-provoking purpose, or show me a great skill at wordsmithing to make me see others would find the book super.  I have often really liked books that had problems.  A book that comes from the heart and makes me enjoy my time spent with it can make me forgive problems in structure or plot.  I don’t see many postings showing that objective view of a book.  If you reviewed an erotica novella, but you don’t like erotica, your opinion of the book could be very bad.  However, maybe they penned such an amazingly original story, that you have to see the talent behind that and anticipate they will grow and sharpen that ability.

Also, Amazon now restricts authors from posting reviews.  Very odd, since Montlake (Amazon’s Romance publishing) keeps encouraging me to write them.  However, another branch seems to be going around warning authors not to post them.  They miss a balance, I think.  Author’s understand what it takes to make a good book, what is interesting voice or writing style.  Perhaps, they just need to label the review as such and let the readers decide if that review helps or not?  I have seen books getting horrible reviews go on to become bestsellers.  Some books with no reviews, do well.  Still, I think we all look to find feedback from readers.  What they enjoyed about our works.  Questions they might have.  So, I cannot really say if reviews help or not.  Bad reviews often provoke readers to buy the book just to see for themselves.  You simply don’t know.

CH: What is your next writing project?

DM: I am currently finishing up with redoing the third Dragons of Challon novel, One Snowy Knight.  Then, I will be finishing up and releasing the fourth in the series, Redemption.  It’s a book that has haunted me.  I finished it once:  the night my house burned down.  I had to rewrite the whole thing from scratch.  It’s been a bit of a bugbear for me, because of memories, but I am determined to move past that, now the historicals have a new home.  I will also do the novella On The Road To Hel,l which will be a sequel to the novella in One Yuletide Knight.

I will also be penning the fourth in the Sisters of Colford Hall series—Some Things Never Change.  Also, I am helping Candy Thompson get out a book that her late sister, Dawn Thompson was in the process of publishing when she died.  Dawn has a novella in this same anthology, A Wish Under a Yuletide Moon.  Candy and I made a promise to get her final novels and novellas out and keep them out, something we take to heart in seeing is done.

I am never without a cartload of projects waiting for completion…lol.

CH: Yes, you seem to be quite busy. Any closing remarks?

DM: I want to thank you for allowing me to visit with your readers.  I wish each the Happiest of Holidays and a very special Happy New Year.  May 2018 bring peace to us all, to the world.

CH: Thank you so much, Deborah MacGillivray, 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. 

CH: How to Find Deborah MacGillivray:

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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.

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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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net