Guest Author Interview – D. L. White

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Title: Dinner At Sam’s: A Ruby’s Novel

Genre: African American Romance

Synopsis: Vanessa Jackson is just trying to get her life together. It’s been a year since her marriage ended and her husband left her and their children destitute. If she could just divorce the son-of-a-bitch, the future would be bright, but Warren is fighting the process every step of the way. If she wants a divorce and to move on with her life, she will need an attorney.

Gibson Kincaid is the youngest of four brothers, all attorneys at Kincaid Family Law, operated under the watchful eye of Sylvia, the “Silver Shark” Kincaid. Gibson is the rebel, the one who’s never going to do what Mother wants him to do. Instead of serving the interests of wealthy and high profile Kincaid clients, Gibson prefers to serve the ‘down on their luck’ sector, earning him the nickname “community lawyer.” When Sylvia rejects Vanessa as a client, it’s a lucky break that she—literally—runs into Gibson.

The attraction between them is immediate, smoldering, mutual, and distracting. Vanessa’s just trying to get divorced, not pick up a new man, and certainly not her divorce attorney! Gibson is trying to do right by his new client, but he can’t lie; he wants to help Vanessa get divorced. So, he can have her to himself. But Warren still has a few tricks up his sleeve, and Vanessa is hiding a huge part of her past that she’s not ready for Gibson to know.

D. L. White, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is D. L. White. She wants others to share in the joy of writing. Welcome to my blog, D. L.

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

DLW: My books are a great escape of sweet heat for a few hours from real life.

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?

DLW: They come from a variety of places—sometimes an overheard conversation, a song, a movie, or a situation. One of my books was born out of the Atlanta Public Schools Cheating Scandal, and another out of an eavesdropped conversation about a woman’s husband being investigated by the IRS for tax evasion. There are a lot of times I hear something and think…that has to go in a book.

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

DLW: Many of the situations my characters find themselves in come from real life. Especially, when someone says, ‘I don’t know if that’s believable.’ Then I tell them, oh, it actually happened, believe it or not. I generally take the base situation and change the circumstances. I use them for inspiration. I don’t take them straight from people’s lives.

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

DLW: The only ‘series’  I currently have is the Ruby’s novels. The first came, as I mentioned earlier from the Atlanta Public School Cheating Scandal. As I was listening to reports everyday on my way to work on NPR, my mind started swirling with what if…they were talking about indicting the Superintendent and I just thought, what if someone did something that got them into a world of trouble? Not the Superintendent, but maybe a Principal. What if…she made a mistake, someone found out and now she’s faced with her life falling apart. I was also part of a monthly brunch group of women of different ages from all walks of life and we got along, so well. I wanted to incorporate that sisterhood, give her a little bit of support, and add some conflict, when the friendship begins to stretch and strain through everyone’s life struggles.

The second book in that series is a romance featuring a minor character from the first book. Her life was SUCH a mess and I just wanted her to have a happy ending!

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

DLW: No. I’m not a series writer, so when I put a book to bed, I am done with those people and that world…but I did leave a lot open at the end of Ruby’s, just in case I wanted to write more about them.

CH: Which book in the series was hardest to write?

DLW: The first book. Ruby’s took me four years to write. When I came up with the idea and started writing, I really wasn’t ready to write the book. There was a lot of stumbling, mistakes, quitting and restarting. I finally got tired of feeling like a failure, so I ripped it apart and started over in 2014.

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

DLW: I like to think I’m a little bit funny, a little sexy, and very real. My characters aren’t billionaires or high society and even those that are well-off have problems that I don’t solve by throwing a bunch of money at them. I like to write stories where a reader can insert themselves and feel like it’s realistic—like it could actually happen.

CH: Since readers say that your characters are relatable and likeable, who was your favorite character to write? Who was the hardest character to write?

DLW: My fave AND the hardest was Maxine Donovan, from Brunch at Ruby’s. She’s not your typical friend/side-kick character. She is materialistic, but not shallow; one of those women, who says what’s on her mind even when she shouldn’t. Her personality wasn’t going to change, but she still had to have a character ARC. I love Maxine, because even though she is a pain in the butt, she loves hard and her love is genuine. She would lay down her life for those who are in her inner circle.

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

DLW: I identify a lot with Renee, the bookstore owner, but none of them are me. I make stuff up on purpose. I do live my life. The last thing I want is to write me or read me in a book.

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

DLW: I don’t write with a central message, just an entertaining couple of hours, but I always make sure that love wins in the end—any kind of love, whether friendship love, or romantic love.

CH: What type of feedback are you receiving from readers?

DLW: Most of them like my books, I am happy to say!  Realistic, sexy, believable, someone even said that they laugh a little at how some of my characters talk. I always have a character willing to hurt feelings to get a point across.

CH: What can we expect next from you?

DLW: More of the same! I’m working on ‘an enemies to lovers romance’ between dueling business owners in a small town, and another book in the Ruby’s world, following up on Renee, Debra and Maxine.

CH: What has been the most exciting thing to happen on your publishing journey?

DLW: Getting to participate in a book signing. It was so much fun to meet readers face-to-face and see people excited to grab a copy of my book.

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

DLW: Oh, gosh, I don’t even know. I do LOVE Atlanta Author Tayari Jones. I’d love to just sit and talk writing with her, maybe Bernice L. McFadden, or Terry McMillan—those classic authors that capture black fiction, so well.

CH: How to Find D. L. White:   

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

DLW: You can find all of my books in electronic format on Amazon or in paperback on www.lulu.com.

CH: Any closing remarks?

DLW: Cheryl, Thank you for this interview and for the interest in my books! It’s so appreciated! 🙂

CH: Thank you so much, D. L. White, 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, D. L. White and Cheryl Holloway.

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

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Guest Author Interview – Vivian Ward

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Title: One Wild Night (A MFMM Ménage Romance)

Genre: Romance/Women’s Fiction

Synopsis:  What could possibly go wrong during a drunken game of truth or dare?

Some couples have their kinks, and Tom and Beth definitely have theirs. Being exhibitionists is a fun thrill that the two of them share, but Tom has a hidden fantasy that his wife doesn’t know about.
He’s always secretly hoped that one day a stranger would join them.

But then the perfect opportunity presents itself one wild night on a camping trip that his wife was never supposed to go on. When the couple starts playing drunken truth or dare with a couple of guys next to their campsite, things quickly get out of hand.

How far is too far when it comes to a dare?

Vivian Ward, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Vivian Ward. She has been writing and creating fantasy worlds most of her life. Welcome to my blog, Vivian.

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

VW: It gives you an up close look at why people do the sexual things they do and how to deal with them.

CH: How did you come up with the premise of ‘truth or dare’ for One Wild Night?

VW: You might laugh at this, but I came up with the game of Truth or Dare for the story because of my kids. They’re always playing, and I play with them. I thought, ‘You know? This could be really interesting with adults, especially if they were drinking.’

CH: Is there a message in One Wild Night that you want the readers to grasp?

VW: The message in One Wild Night is that it’s okay to explore your sexual fantasies, especially with your spouse. Your partner should be the one person that you can trust and do anything with, including, but not limited to sexual exploration. Not only did Tom and Beth explore their sexual side, but they talked about it afterward—in great detail. Communication is always the key.

CH: Have you considered writing a series versus writing a standalone book?

VW: I’ve never written a series, but I do have a couple that I’ve been mapping out for some time. As for now, all of my books are standalone novels.

CH: Where do your ideas come from? 

 VW: People! I’m an avid reader, so sometimes I come up with story ideas from books, and sometimes they come from reading message boards. There have also been plenty of nights where I had a dream and woke up to email myself the dream—so I wouldn’t forget—because it was such a good story.

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

 VW: I don’t have a standard formula. I try to make each book different.

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

VW: For me, it’s a challenge that I welcome. I like to find out what makes people tick and I like to ask, ‘What if?’

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

VW: I try to walk in my character’s shoes and give the readers an honest story. A lot of them are based on real life experiences—either my own or ones that I’ve read—and all of my characters have a little of me sprinkled in them. That always makes for an entertaining person. LOL

CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?

VW: When I wrote One Wild Night, I wanted them to be a fun, connected couple. I drew a lot of that from my own marriage because my husband and I are so close. What can I say? He’s my partner in crime.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

VW: Out of all of my books? Corbin from Rock-A-Bye Baby was the hardest to write. The reason for this is because I had a hard time connecting with him and because of that, I think my readers did, too.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

VW: Hmm. This is so hard. I can’t say any one character, but I loved writing Blake and Tasha from The Baby Is Mine and I loved writing Cathy and Brett from Our Dirty Secret. I might be biased though, because those are my two favorite books that I’ve written.

CH: Who would you consider to be a mentor for you as an author? 

VW: I can’t pick any particular author, but I use all authors as a mentor. You can learn something from everyone. I try to take away what I can and put my own spin on it. I do tend to favor Indie authors over traditionally published authors, but maybe it’s because I feel more connected to them.

CH: How long have you been writing in this genre?

VW: I’ve been writing contemporary romance since 2015. Before that, I published short erotica under several pen names.

CH: What can we expect next from you?

VW: Hot heros with strong heroines, who can lean on their (stronger) man and lots of HEA’s (Happily Ever After).

CH: How to Find Vivian Ward:

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

VW: My entire catalog is exclusive to Amazon.

CH: Any closing remarks?

VW: Cheryl, I appreciate the opportunity for the author interview and look forward to meeting new readers. I’m a social butterfly, so don’t be afraid to say ‘Hi.’

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

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

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

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Guest Author Interview – Alexandria House

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Title: Stay with Me (Strickland Sisters Book 1)

Genre: African American Romance

Synopsis: Twice unlucky in love, natural hair vlogger, Angela Strickland, has settled into a life centered around avoiding men and relationships like the plague. Unwilling to risk another broken heart, she resigns herself to being a perpetually single woman.

Corporate man and self-professed womanizer, Ryan Boyé, doesn’t believe in relationships or love and thinks anyone who does is a fool. But there’s just something about Angela Strickland he can’t shake…

When these two cross paths, their attraction to one another is undeniable. Will they find that the love they’ve both evaded is exactly what they both need?

Alexandria House, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Alexandria House.  She loves writing steamy stories about real black love. Welcome to my blog, Alexandria

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

AH: You should read Stay with Me because I can guarantee it’ll make you smile, laugh out loud, and squirm in your seat.

CH: What a match—a perpetually single woman and a womanizer. How did you come up with the premise for this book?

AH: It honestly just popped in my head. I’m obsessed with all things YouTube, so I knew the heroine would be a YouTuber. I had the concept from day one, but a lot of the story kind of just unfolded as I wrote it.

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

AH: No standard formula, really. The overall story comes to me, but I don’t know the details, until I start writing. I start out with a word-count goal, but never meet it exactly. I either go over it or fall just shy of it. I also know how I want the story to end and let the characters get me there.

CH: Since this book this is part of a series, I presume future books will include her sisters Nicky and Renee. Will any other family members, such as her mom, be included in the series?

AH: I just finished writing Renee’s story, and yes, Mom and Dad both make an appearance or two. I’ve just begun Nicky’s story and plan for them to pop up in there, too.

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

AH: Well, I have natural hair and I don’t play about my coins. And I’ve known heartache. Dang, I guess I’m Angela. Just realized that, LOL.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

AH: Ryan, hands down. He was a blast to create. He’s so funny and a bit crazy, but he loves his woman. Nicky would be a close second.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

AH: Actually, none of them were difficult to write. This was a chatty bunch, who virtually never shut up, LOL. The story kind of wrote itself. I think, I wrote it from start to finish in under three weeks.

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

AH: Well…my characters like to curse and have a lot of sex—A LOT, LOL. And then, there’s the humor. I’m a pretty funny chick!

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

AH: Yes, when love hits, you can’t dodge it, no matter how hard you try. The right one will break down all of your walls.

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

AH: Overwhelmingly positive. People really seem to be enjoying it and I couldn’t be happier.

CH: What are your three biggest accomplishments in writing?

AH: 1) There are four books out there with my name on them because I wrote them all by myself; 2) People have read and enjoyed said books; and 3) There’s money in my account because people read said books!

If I could add a fourth achievement, all four books have portions written from a male’s perspective in first person. I’m not a man, so I definitely consider that an achievement.

CH: How important is social media to your marketing?

AH: It’s of the utmost importance. I don’t think, I’d have an audience without social media.

CH: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?  How did you handle it?

AH: Hmm, that my work was a watered-down version of the work of a popular romance author. And get this, at the time, I hadn’t even read that author’s work! Ever! I didn’t respond to it, because my general attitude about most things like that is whatever, but I’ll say this now: everything I write is authentically me. It is not deep and super angsty because I don’t want it to be. I want to make people smile and swoon, make them believe in and know that black love still exists, and take them away from their problems for a bit, and if I can accomplish that, I’m happy.

CH: What can we expect next from you?

AH: Believe in Me (Renee’s story), Book 2 of the Strickland Sisters Series, is coming in July.

CH: How to Find Alexandria House:

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

AH: Yes, it is sold exclusively on Amazon and is FREE with Kindle Unlimited.

CH: Any closing remarks?

AH: Yes, Cheryl, thank you for having me! And never stop believing in #blacklove.

CH: Thank you so much, Alexandria House, 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, Alexandria House and Cheryl Holloway.

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

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Guest Author Interview – Rick Sulik

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Title: Death Unmasked

Genre: Mystery/Thriller & Suspense

Synopsis: A reincarnated evil is stalking the women of Houston. With each murder, the madman quotes an excerpt from the Oscar Wilde poem, “The Ballad of Reading Gaol.” A huge smokestack belching smoke, a ragged flea market double-breasted wool coat, and an old antique picture frame, bring the distant past back to haunt Houston Homicide Detective, Sean Jamison. With those catalysts, Jamison knows who he was in a past life and that he lost the only woman he could ever love. Searching for his reincarnated mate becomes Jamison’s raison d’être as he and fellow detectives scour Houston for a brutal serial killer. The memory of timeless love drives Jamison’s dogged search for a serial killer, determined to finish what he started decades earlier. Each clue brings Jamison closer to unmasking his old nemesis. Tenacious police work, lessons learned in the past, and intuition may be the only weapons he has in preventing history from repeating itself.


CH: Today’s Guest Author is Rick Sulik. He worked over thirty years as a policeman, before retiring.  Welcome to my blog, Rick.

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

RS: A Houston homicide detective investigates a double murder—his and his wife’s—in his next lifetime.

CH: Where did you get the inspiration for your novel? 

RS: The inspiration to write my story came from three entrancing tunes that dramatize the storyline in Death Unmasked. The songs are ‘Greensleeves’ by Mantovani; ‘Think of Laura’ sung by Christopher Cross; and ‘Mary in the Morning’ sung by Al Martino. These songs are all available on YouTube.com. I was also inspired by Oscar Wilde’s disquieting poem, ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol (Jail).’

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

RS: I have no standard ‘formula’ for putting an ‘unusual’ novel together.

CH: Since this book also has reincarnation in it, how did you come up with the premise for writing this book?

RS: Through my own belief in reincarnation. When I was young, my mom and I would walk a mile in the evenings after dinner around a lake near our home. On our last walk together before she passed away, she looked up at me, and said with a sweet smile, “If I had to do it all over again for you, and your brothers, I would.” Instinctively, without her saying another word, the look in her beautiful hazel eyes communicated her thoughts, and it all came together ‘in-a-blink-of-eye,’ and I fully understood what my mom had meant…she had been my mother, in other lifetimes.

CH: Can you tell us a little about your belief in reincarnation?

RS: I thought it interesting, since Army General George S. Patton Jr., (born 11-11-1885) believed in reincarnation, that his Warrior ‘spirit,’ in foresight, would choose to incarnate (Free Will) back into the ‘physical’ on the date, 11-11. General Patton’s poem, ‘Through a Glass, Darkly’ is evident of his resolute belief in reincarnation. I quote, “So as through a glass and darkly, the age long strife I see, where I fought in many guises, many names, but always me.”

To Patton, who strongly believed in God, the date 11-11, might symbolize ‘spirits’ re-entering the ‘physical’ (earth) by way of the top left inside 11, and eventually departing by way of the lower right inside 11, back to the ‘spirit’ world, only to be ‘reborn’ again (a cycle) at some future date by using – The All Merciful Father’s (God) greatest gift to humanity…’Free Will.’

At 11:00 am, of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, WWI came to an end, and it was to be the war that would end all wars…Patton lived half of his adult life at this point in history.

Patton’s Warrior ‘Spirit’ might have foreseen, before reincarnating on his latest birthday, 11-11-1885, that years after WWII, his birthday (November 11) would be remembered as a National Holiday and would honor all veterans, and that Armistice Day, would be eventually changed to Veterans Day.

“I’m a soldier, I fight where I am told, and I win where I fight. There is only one proper way for a professional soldier to die…the last bullet of the last battle of the last war.”   General George S. Patton Jr.

CH: Is the main character, Det. Sean Jamison, a combination of any of your partners? Where do you get inspiration for your characters?

RS: The protagonist is a combination of police personalities (veterans) of all my Houston Police Department, Field Training Officers (FTO’s), during my training/probationary period in the late 70’s. They are Houston homicide detectives Sean Jamison, Roman Addison, and Captain Virginia Schaeffer,

CH: Did you have any challenges while writing this storytelling novel?

RS: Yes, I found it a real challenge to switch from ‘descriptive’ police report ‘fact’ writing to ‘creative,’ and colorful storytelling ‘novel’ writing.

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

RS: Close your eyes, clear your mind, and meditate. Let your ‘mem-‘ory, shine through, so you can re-‘mem-‘ber. I quote, ‘Souls are poured from one into another of different kinds of bodies of the world.’ Jesus Christ from the teachings in the Gnostic Gospels.

CH: You have two out-of-print books, Cold Kill and Random Ransom. Of the three books, which book was hardest to write?

RS: Death Unmasked. It was like fitting small pieces together to a much larger puzzle.

CH: Is this book a reprint of a previously written book?

RS: The first edition of, Death Unmasked, was published by, Itoh Press, in Bowling Green, Kentucky in 2012. My publisher developed a health problem, and had to close her publishing company, and released all of her authors.

CH: You have combined poetry with your serial killer. Why did you decide to include poetry in your book?

RS: ‘The Ballad of Reading Gaol’ by Oscar Wilde is a story within itself, and I felt the poetry added flavor, which enhanced the storyline.

CH: You have many reviews, so what kind of feedback are you getting from readers for your book?

RS: Mostly 5 star and 4 star reviews on Amazon and Goodreads.

CH: What can we expect next, is there a new thriller/suspense book in the making soon?

RS: I’m saving my next ‘unusual’ story, for my next lifetime.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

RS: I do not have a website. My publisher’s website is: http://christophermatthewspub.com/death-unmasked/ 

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

RS: It is sold on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Books-a-Million. It is also featured on Goodreads.

CH: How To Find Rick Sulik:

CH: Any closing remarks?

RS: Death Unmasked is a suspenseful mystery thriller spanning lifetimes, using reincarnation, karma, psychic ability, remote viewing, and out-of-body experience, to outwit an evil incarnated entity stalking women in Houston, Texas. Death Unmasked is an afterthought from my superconscious, which compares ‘physical’ ballistics to ‘spiritual’ reincarnation. Ballistics is the science of flight dynamics—the trajectory of an unpowered ‘physical’ object in ‘free-flight.’ I am not a skeptic. I firmly believe in reincarnation. It makes perfect sense. We cannot learn in a ‘blink-of-an-eye’ all about life in one lifetime. It takes many lifetimes for our spirits to evolve, and come around full-circle, in order to become completed spirits with Our Creator.

Cheryl, thank you for the interview.

CH: Thank you so much, Rick Sulik, 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, Rick Sulik and Cheryl Holloway..

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

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

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

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Guest Author Interview – Selena Haskins

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Title: Yesterday Was A Long Time Ago

Genre: Romance/New Adult & College

Synopsis: Southern gal, Germaine Landry wants to become a writer in the big city of Washington, DC. She meets a privileged heartthrob and college football player, Angelo Pearson, who is used to having anything and every girl he wants. A loner by nature, Germaine is not easily impressed with Angelo’s bravado, but he eventually charms his way into her heart. This pair of opposites attract develops a friendship that catches fire. Their love is seemingly shatterproof until a malicious scheme leads them down a dark path that could end tragically. Twenty years later, thoughts of yesterday still haunt Germaine, until an unexpected encounter leads her to the pearls of truth. Germaine just may have a second chance at love or finally free herself from the memories of a long time ago.

Selena Haskins, Author

 

 

 

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Selena Haskins. She says that writing wakes her up to new ideas giving her an adrenaline rush. Welcome to my blog, Selena.

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

SH: It’s a story that will wheel you in emotionally, fill your heart with nostalgia, break it, and heal it again.

CH: Where do your ideas come from?

SH: My ideas come from my five senses—anything I see, hear, taste, smell, and touch from life and nature, I can pretty much write a story about it.

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

SH: I’ve always had a vivid imagination. I know it sounds cliché, but since I was a kid my mind was filled with imaginative things. I never knew what would become of daydreaming or playing make believe, but eventually it led to becoming a bestselling author.

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

SH: This is a story that’s loosely based on my college experiences.

CH: Since you are a bestselling author, what is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

SH: I’ve been told my character development is spot on and that my stories closely resemble real life.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

SH: Germaine Landry was my favorite character to write about. She’s smart, humble, and kind of reserved. She stays in her own lane. It’s easy to write about characters with a good heart.

CH: Which character was hardest to write? 

SH: Lisa Dupree-Landry was the hardest to write about. She’s very pompous and shallow, the opposite of who I am as a person, but it was fun exposing her to the bare bones. LOL.

CH: What are your three biggest accomplishments in writing? 

SH: My three biggest accomplishments are I’ve been an Amazon bestseller; my readership is still growing, and I’ve met some wonderful people in the publishing industry to help me along the way.

CH: How important is social media to your marketing? 

SH: Very important. It’s an avenue that reaches people in places I’m not able to travel to in person.

CH: What has been the toughest criticism given to you as an author?  How did you handle it?

SH: I’m a perfectionist by nature, and sometimes that makes me a little impatient with the publishing process. I recognized this myself, but per the advice of others who’ve been in this business longer than I have, patience is truly a virtue. Anything worth having takes time.

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

SH: True love never fades away with the passing of time. It lives in our hearts forever.

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

SH: I would love to work with Carl Weber. I love the twists and turns in his books, and if you add the emotional drama that I create, I could foresee a bestseller.

CH: Are there any writers that you consider your mentor? If so, who and why?

SH: There isn’t one particular person, but I have a few author friends in the industry, who I can turn to for advice.

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

SH: Positive feedback, so far!

CH: What can we expect next from you? 

SH: I’m working on a short story comedy for this winter (2017).

CH: How to Find Selena Haskins:

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

 SH: It is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KOBO.

CH: Any closing remarks? 

SH: Thank you Cheryl for giving me this opportunity to share with your audience. Thanks to my readers, and also please purchase my latest novel, Yesterday Was a Long Time Ago, and kindly leave a review. You can follow me on Facebook @Author Selena Haskins, Twitter, Instagram, and Periscope @booksbyselena.

CH: Thank you so much, Selena Haskins, 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, Selena Haskins and Cheryl Holloway..

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

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Guest Author Interview – Essence and Schertevear Watkins

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Title: Never Too Young To Dance

Authors: Schertevear Watkins and Essence Watkins

Genre: Children/Blooming Readers Reading Paragraphs

Synopsis: Everyone in Pointer Ridge loved to dance. Xena, was no different. But every time she asked someone if she could join in with their dancing, they’d shew her off and say that she’s too young. Will Xena ever find the perfect dance crew that’s just right? See how a little hope and determination makes things happen in,   “Never Too Young To Dance.”

 

CH: Today’s Guest Authors are Schertevear Q. Watkins and her 8 year-old daughter, Essence T. M. Watkins. They are planting seeds of  character, wisdom, unity and love. Welcome to my blog, Essence and Schertevear.

 

 

 

 

 

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

SQW/EW: Our book, Never Too Young To Dance, overall shows children that though there may be obstacles or a lack of support in reaching their dreams, you should never give up, because dreams do happen.

CH: What inspired you to write this charming children’s book?

SQW/EW: We wanted children to realize that they have to work at the things they want. Everything doesn’t always come easy, or on the first go around. They need to know that there is always a place for them everywhere, regardless of what others may feel they are capable of or where they should be.

CH: How did you find an illustrator?

SQW: I own my own Publishing Company, Baobab Publishing. Also, the first book that featured these same characters, I illustrated myself. On this go around, another illustrator just matched my characters.

CH: Can you tell my audience a little about the age group who is reading this book?

SQW: This book is actually an early reader, where the target age range is 4-6, or those that are now reading simple paragraphs.

CH: What inspired you to begin writing for children?

SQW: My love for children, their wonderful stories and the need for diversity, unity and inclusion in early childhood literature.

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

SQW: My writing style is realistic multicultural fiction, for the most part. This means I use human characters with regular situations and challenges that all children face and can relate to. As a teacher, mother and former resource parent, I think, I know children well. This makes it easy for me to write from their point of view.

CH: Does being an adult give you a different perspective on writing children’s literature? If so, how?

SQW: As an adult, I am able to see and explain the story from all perspectives. But again, by working with children, I’m able to relay my overall message from a child’s point of view, still allowing for the problem to be solved and lessons learned in the end.

CH: What do you find to be the hardest part of writing for children?

SQW: To me, it comes very easily. Often, I have so many ideas running through my mind that I have to suppress them because they become so numerous.

CH: Do you write books for different age levels of children?

SQW: Yes, Ages 3-10, but mostly ages 6-9.

CH: Is it hard to write a story on a child’s level?

SQW: No, not at all, only because of my background.

CH: Where do you come up with ideas for children’s story?

SQW: Some ideas come to me, and the words will just flow from my thoughts. I can write a 1,500 word book anywhere from 15 minutes to 3-4 days. Chapter books can take a week to 3 weeks to get the story down properly.

CH: What was the book you loved as a child?

SQW: I loved the Box Car Children Series and Charlotte’s Web. All of the Little Golden Books and Goosebumps.

CH: What are your favorite children’s books?

SQW: The Little Engine That Could, The First Doll and Hansel and Gretel.

CH: What kind of feedback have you received?

SQW: From anyone who has read and commented on my books, they have all given excellent feedback.

CH: Is this the first book that you and Essence have written together?

SQW/EW: No, we’ve written several books together.

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

SQW: There are several brands that Author Schertevear Watkins writes under and they all have numerous series or books within them. This would include the following brands: Characters Like Me, Blooming Readers, Fairytale Endings, Color My World and more to come.

CH: How to Find Schertevear Watkins:

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

SQW: Amazon.com and soon, our website store will be ready. We also go to schools and organizations, who are looking for fundraising or book fair products.

CH: Any closing remarks?

SQW: I’d just like to say that, reading is the key to knowledge and the road to freedom. There’s not much that you can achieve without reading. Every child should own books. Each child should have at least 5 books, on their grade level. Also, any child who reads a book from myself or any other author under the Baobab Publishing umbrella, will receive a character building experience.  We are devoted to creating quality literature that stimulates the imagination, as well as, builds self-esteem, character, and encourages faith and unity.  Cheryl, thanks for the interview.

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

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Schertevear Watkins; 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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Celebrity Guest Author Interview – Graham Diamond

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Title: Black Midnight

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

Synopsis: Detective Sergeant Yvonne DiPalma is near the top of her career…a member of the elite Terrorist Task Force. DiPalma will do anything to stop terrorism, even if it involves getting her hands dirty.
But when a bomb explodes on a train track, killing the driver and horribly wounding a police officer on board, DiPalma will be under more pressure than ever before. Not only does she have to catch the bombers, but she has to do it before they strike again.

All they have to go on is a note, a note that promises another bomb in barely more than a week. A note signed by someone calling themselves Armageddon.

DiPalma may have been prepared to get her hands dirty, but as the clock ticks down, she will be forced to do things she never would have imagined.
She must stop Armageddon…no matter what kind of person she has to become to do it.

Graham Diamond, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Celebrity Author, Graham Diamond. He is an acclaimed writer of speculative fiction, fantasy, and nonfiction. Welcome to my blog, Graham. 

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

GD: Black Midnight is extremely relevant in the world we live in today; although fiction, the characters will be recognizable as your friends, your neighbors, and yourself.

CH: Where do your ideas come from?

GD: My ideas come from the world around me. I am a people watcher, a follower of politics, religions, and cultures. I love meeting people from everywhere, and I am proud to say that I have made friends with men and women from every continent.

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

GD: I never have a ‘standard formula.’  A story for me comes with a broad idea of what I want to say and where I want it to go.  As the plot deepens—whatever the subject—the characters come to life and they tend to tell me what they would or wouldn’t do. They are as alive as anyone, with their own voices and needs. I listen to them, and observe them through the personalities I have created. Then, the real work begins of having fully drawn characters react and find a way to come to the tale’s conclusion, much as I had anticipated.

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

GD: I always look for the offbeat, or the road less traveled. Most of my novels reflect that aspect of my personality. A good example is my choosing to do a romantic tale based around the happenings of the Zulu War of 1879. First titled, Tears of Passion, Tears of Shame, and now Cry For Freedom (Endeavour Press UK). I sought out a location and a piece of history never done before. This way, I know I can bring far more to the reader than a typical novel in its genre.

CH: Since you are a bestselling author, what is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

GD: Location, location, location. I look for the exotic and unusual among my settings. Examples are the cities of Samarkand, and Marrakesh, around which I based several series. In my fantasy writings, I create locations where anything may go. The world of wolves brought to life in The Haven and Lady of The Haven. I want unlimited horizons, and through my stories hope to expand the minds of my readers.

CH: You write across many genres and even with a pen name, Rochelle Leslie. Your books have been published in several countries and you have a wonderful literary career, so what has been your key to success as a writer?

GD: I like to think it’s the inner child inside me. Children have an innocence about them, and a wonder of the world around them. I try to keep that wonder and wonderment with me. I am a searcher, something of a dreamer. Often, I ask myself the simple question: What if?  And then, I begin to answer it, hopefully in entertaining ways that will keep my readers enthralled and wanting more. As for Rochelle Leslie, used as a pen name, they are the names of my two beautiful daughters, Rochelle and Leslie.

CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?

GD: Inspiration for my characters comes from necessity drawn from the situations of the stories I write. For example, in this book, Black Midnight , my protagonist Yvonne DiPalma, NYPD Terrorist Squad detective, was drawn from among individual police contacts I made, and especially, a woman detective I met, who worked in the borough of Queens, NY. She told me she carried her snub-nosed .38 in her purse. I liked that. I knew Yvonne would also. Detective DiPalma, who was always close to my heart, does indeed carry her weapon in her purse.

CH: Which character was hardest to write? Which character was your favorite to write?

GD: The hardest characters to write are my protagonists. I need to get into their minds, into their hearts. What makes them tick? What are their problems and life situations—both negative and positive. They become real, far beyond being written on paper. They exist, ready to spring to life on the pages from my first book to my last. Whether it was Nigel, the young botanist in The Haven, struggling to make his leaders see how their fate will be doomed unless his people begin to accept this fact and change it, or Vlad Petrovsky, the well-meaning Public Relations specialist, in my well-received satire Chocolate Lenin. As with Nigel, Vlad is given an almost impossible task, and somehow must tackle it and find a successful solution before revolution overtakes the world.  As for favorites, well, each has become a friend, a confident. As with the story itself, I have given birth to each of them, and like my children, I am proud when they are able to muster all their resources to succeed in whatever plight they are thrown into.

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

GD: If there is a single, overriding message it is one of hope—never to give up in your beliefs. Always stand up for what you think is right. Believe in yourself. Give of yourself.

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

GD: My favorite authors include: Thomas Hardy, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Thomas Wolfe, Gabriel Garcia Marquez.  If I had the opportunity to speak with any of them, I would sit and listen to everything they had to tell me!  Sometimes, it really is better to keep your mouth shut and listen!

CH: Which writer do you admire most and why?

GD: I would say Gabriel Garcia Marquez. The genre of ‘Magical Realism’ he created is, for me, a modern wonder of writing. In his books, especially, One Years of Solitude, has more creativity on every page than most novels in a handful of chapters.

CH: What kind of feedback are you receiving for this book?

GD: Feedback has been really good. I have been told that my characters are believable, and the situations they find themselves caught in are sadly all too real in our world.  Also, I have been complimented on my descriptions of the New York Police Department, as being accurate down to the smallest detail.

CH: You worked for many years at the New York Times. Do you think this enhanced your career as a writer?

GD: Working at the New York Times was the most incredible education of my life—every day of the week, 24/7, 365 a year. I was exposed to the world as stories broke before my eyes. Each day brought a different landscape, and although, my role was small in comparison, I had the pleasure of knowing and working alongside some of the greatest journalists of modern times.

CH: As you continue your writing, citing that you will ‘never retire.’ Tell us how you feel about your writing passion.  

GD: I love storytelling. Ideas are always bouncing around in my mind. I doubt I could ‘retire’ even, if I wanted to. As long as, I feel I have good ideas, the magic of the written page will continue for me.

CH: What can we expect next from you?

GD: I don’t talk about new work underway, but I can tell you that what I am doing now has something of an ancient biblical theme.

CH: Can you tell my audience about your website?

GD: I have a brand new website that I’m very excited about.

CH: How to Find Graham Diamond:

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

GD: They are available on Amazon and Amazon.uk. Almost all of my books are now available through kindle and all digital formats. Many are still available in print. Personally, I love the feel of a real book.

CH: Any closing remarks?

GD: In closing, let me thank you, Cheryl, for the chance to be interviewed and speak about myself and my books. If any of your readers would like to contact me, I will answer as soon as I can.  I can be reached at: caAuthorny@aol.com.

CH: Thank you so much, Graham Diamond, 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, Graham Diamond and Cheryl Holloway..

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

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Guest Author Interview – Steve Snyder

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A Must Read for World War II Enthusiasts!

Title: Shot Down: The True Story of Pilot Howard Snyder and the Crew of the B-17 Susan Ruth

Genre: History/Military/World War II

Synopsis: Winner of 20 national book awards, SHOT DOWN is set within the framework of World War II in Europe and recounts the dramatic experiences of each member of a ten man B-17 bomber crew after their plane, piloted by the author’s father, was knocked out of the sky by German fighters over the French/Belgian border on February 8,1944.

Some men died. Some were captured and became prisoners of war. Some men evaded capture and were missing in action for months before making it back to England. Their individual stories and those of the courageous Belgian people who risked their lives to help them are all different and are all remarkable.

Even before the dramatic battle in the air and the subsequent harrowing events on the ground, the story is informative, insightful, and captivating. Prior to the fateful event, the book covers the crew’s training, their journey to England, what life was like on base as well as in London and the English countryside, and the perils of flying combat missions over occupied Europe and Germany.

Through personal letters, oral and written accounts, declassified military documents, and interviews – all from people who took part in the events that happened over 70 years ago (even the German Luftwaffe pilot who shot down the Susan Ruth) – the stories come alive. Adding to the feeling of “being there,” are more than 200 time period photographs interspersed throughout the book.

To add background and context, many historical facts and anecdotes about and surrounding World War II are entwined throughout the book so that the reader has a feel for and understanding of what was occurring on a broader scale. SHOT DOWN is an account about brave individuals, featuring pilot Howard Snyder, set within the compelling events of the greatest conflict in world history.

Steve Snyder, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Steve Snyder, an author and military historian. Welcome to my blog, Steve.

CH: Can you sum up your book in two sentences?

SS: Set within the framework of World War II in Europe, Shot Down recounts the dramatic experiences of each member of a ten man B-17 bomber crew, after their plane, piloted by my father, was knocked out of the sky by German fighters over the French/Belgium border on February 8, 1944. Their individual stories and those of the courageous Belgian people who risked their lives to help them are all different and are all remarkable.

CH: Since this is World War II history, can you tell us how you compiled the information for your father’s journey in aviation?

SS: My father had kept all his records and orders from the war. He wrote a diary, while he was missing in action, about his plane being shot down that was riveting. My mother had kept all the letters he wrote to her while he was stationed with the 306th Bomb Group at Thurleigh, England. In them, my father wrote about bombing missions, what life was like on the air base, and what life was like in England and in London. In 1994, I accompanied my parents on a trip to Belgium for the 50th anniversary of the country’s liberation from Nazi occupation and of his plane being shot down during which we visited many of the locations where the events took place.

My mother also kept letters written between family members of the crew after they were shot down and letters written by members of the Belgian underground, who hid my dad. In 1989, a memorial was erected at Macquenoise, Belgium in memory of the B-17 Susan Ruth crew. My father along with the three other members of the crew, who were still living, attended the dedication and waist gunner, Joe Musial, filmed the entire trip, during which the men told stories about their war experiences.

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

SS: Yes. I spent hours on the internet doing research and downloading declassified military documents, such as the 306th Bomb Group Mission Reports and the 369th Bomb Squadron Diaries. I also obtained a copy of a War Department War Crimes Report. However, the highlight was finding Hans Berger, the German Luftwaffe pilot, who shot down my dad’s plane and interviewing him for the book. Fortunately for me, Hans became a translator after the war, and speaks English. He provided me with wonderful information about what it was like to go up against the 8th Air Force. He’s 93 years old now, and last year I visited him in Munich, Germany.

CH: Did you interview other family members for their stories or recounts of what happened?

SS: Yes. During my research, I went on a quest to find as many relatives of my dad’s crew as possible. Through the internet, Facebook, obituaries, etc., I found relatives (brothers, sons and daughters, nieces and nephews) of all the crew, except bombardier, Robert Benninger. They provided pictures, written accounts, newspaper articles, and letters.

CH: What made you decide to include photos?

 SS: After the war, many Belgian people who helped hide my father from the Germans sent pictures to him. In addition, two Belgian gentlemen, who were young boys during the war and became local historians later in life, provided me with all sorts of pictures taken in 1944.  I know of no other story or book that has such unique, historical, and personal photographs taken in an occupied country. I also included many photographs taken by the Air Force and other military entities that are in the public domain.

Including photographs of the people, places, aircraft and other things described in the book makes it much more enjoyable and personal for a reader. There are more than 200 photos in the print editions.

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

SS: Most books about the air war are either very large in scope; addressing many bomb group, many crews, and many missions, or very narrow in scope; addressing one man’s experience, often as a prisoner of war. Shot Down addresses one ten-man crew and the different experiences of each man. It is also unique in that there is so much detail about the Belgian underground and resistance, who fought against the tyranny of Nazi occupation.

CH: Where did you get the idea to write this book? Did your background as an amateur historian help in writing this book?

SS: After I retired in 2009, I had the time to really delve into my father’s war history to find out more details. However, I had no intention of writing a book. I just wanted to go through all the material my parents had kept from the war years. After doing that, I was hooked. I started reading book after book about the air war over Europe and spent a tremendous amount of time doing research on the internet. I also joined several World War II organizations and went to their reunions, where I listened to veterans tell their stories. Finally in 2012, I decided to write a book, After all that I had learned, I came to the conclusion that the story of my father and his crew was so unique and so compelling that people needed to know about it and read about it.

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

SS: What I want readers to grasp is the sacrifice of the men who fought and died for the freedom that we enjoy today. People need to be aware of what they went through. Although the story is specifically about the crew of the B-17 Susan Ruth, it is also about the men of the 306th Bomb Group, the 8th Air Force, and in a sense everyone who served in World War II.

When the war ended, there were 16 million veterans of which 97% are no longer with us. Soon, we will no longer have the honor and opportunity to show them our appreciation. No other event in history affected more people than World War II. No one alive was untouched by it, and no nation was spared the cost and horror. World War II changed the course of America and the world forever. We must never forget the sacrifice of those brave, young men, who without doubt are ‘The Greatest Generation.’ “It is our duty to remember.”

CH: What was the hardest part of writing this book and which challenges did you face?

SS: It was a challenge to organize so much information and then put it all together in a logical fashion and make it a readable manuscript. I had no formal writing background, so I wrote like I talk, which is to the point without using a lot of flowery language.

Another challenge was trying to make sure that everything in the book was accurate and 100% correct. This was difficult because there is so much information and so many details included in the book, besides the story of B-17 Susan Ruth crew.

My final challenge was writing a manuscript that would not only appeal to World War II and history buffs, but also appeal to the general public. I didn’t want it to be just a war book for guys, but one that was about people and the human spirit, so it would be an enjoyable read for anybody.

CH: These men were American Heroes. Was it hard writing with suspense and excitement to tell their tale?

SS: I didn’t have to. The tale of the Susan Ruth crew members and the Belgian people, who helped them was filled with suspense and excitement. I purposely made no attempt to embellish it, whatsoever. It was their story, and it told itself. Although, everything in the book is factual and based on first-hand testimony by the people who were involved in the events that took place, it reads like a novel. As Mark Twain said, “Truth is stranger than fiction.”

I just organized everything and tried to put it together so it flowed. What I did add was a significant amount of historical information and anecdotes about and surrounding the war to put the story in context and give it background. Therefore, Shot Down is also a history book about the B-17 Flying Fortress, the 8th Air Force, the air war over Europe, and a little about World War II, in general.

CH: This book is the winner of 20 national book awards. Can you tell us a little about the awards?

Awards from 2014 thru 2017 included: Top Shelf Magazine Editor’s Choice; Independent Press Military Nonfiction; Online Book Club Book of the Year; The Author’s Show 50 Great Writers You Should Be Reading; National Indie Excellence – US History and Military Non-Fiction; Beverly Hills Book – Non-Fiction Military; Global eBook Awards – Non-Fiction Military; Shelf Unbound Best Indie/Self-Published Book; Books and Authors Book of the Year  – Non-Fiction Military; Next Generation Indie Book –Military; International Book – General History: Readers’ Favorite Book Awards – Non-Fiction Historical; Kindle Book  – Non-Fiction; Next Generation Indie Book – Historical Non-fiction; Independent Publisher Book -US History; Independent Author Network Book of the Year – Outstanding Non-Fiction; NABE Spring Pinnacle Book Achievement – Best Books Military;  Non-fiction Book; eLit Awards – History; Foreword Reviews’ IndieFab Book of the Year – War & Military; USA Best Book – History General; USA Best Book – History Military; and Southern California Book Festival – Honorable Mention General Non-Fiction.

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

SS: Not at the moment. I am working on making a Shot Down documentary. From a trip to Belgium and Munich, Germany last year, I have 16 hours of raw footage.

CH: What has been the best compliment you’ve received about your writing of this book?

SS: There are many spectacular ones which appear on Amazon, but by far the highest compliments I receive are from combat veterans of the 8th Air Force, who were there and went through it themselves. When they tell me how much they enjoyed reading Shot Down, it is the highest praise possible.

It’s also very gratifying when readers tell me that after reading Shot Down, they now have an understanding about what ‘their vet’ went through during the air war over Europe.

CH: What kind of feedback have you received?

SS: It has all been absolutely wonderful; both from reviewers and readers. Shot Down has a 4.9—a wonderful 92% of 5-star reader review ratings on Amazon.

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

SS: On Amazon, Barnes & Noble; and any independent bookstore or library can order it. Signed copies are available on my website.

CH: How to Find Steve Snyder:

CH: Any closing remarks?

SSL Writing and publishing Shot Down has changed my life. I went from a relaxing retirement life to, now, basically having a full-time job again. I spend hours each day promoting my book. I make PowerPoint presentations to all sorts of different organizations, and I attend air shows around the country signing copies of my book.

Doing all this, I have the pleasure of talking with many World War II veterans, and I meet so many wonderful people. I am so very blessed to do what I do, which is to remind people to remember, and be thankful for the heroic efforts of a special generation of men.

Cheryl, thanks for the interview. It was absolutely my pleasure.

CH: Thank you so much, Steve Snyder, 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, Steve Snyder and Cheryl Holloway.

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

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Guest Author Interview – Georgette Littlejohn

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Title: Miracle’s Destiny

Genre: Fiction/Family Life

Synopsis: Miracle had no clue that keeping her brother Joseph’s secret would blindside her marriage. She’s also holding back about Karma, her husband’s sister. Mychal isn’t without his own discretion and when faced with Joseph’s reality Mychal is peering in the closet at his own skeletons. Miracle is the confidant of the family and is expected to hold it together, but her life is evaporating before her eyes. Will Miracle heal from her untruths and get her hectic life back that she often complained about?

Georgette Littlejohn, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Georgette Littlejohn, a debut author. Welcome to my blog, Georgette.

CH:    Can you sum up your book in a few words?  

GL: Forgiveness is hard, but it’s liberating and powerful; however, when dealing with life challenges, you have to learn that your future isn’t defined by your past.

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?

GL: I wish I did…I would be famous already. The ideas come from life. Honestly, I just let the words flow for this novel. I wrote it during Nano Month, so, it was about hitting my 50,000 words, but it worked. The ideas kept coming, so I kept writing.

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

GL: At times, it was hard. One scene in particular was challenging for me and I still think I could have written it differently. Others came naturally, because it was close enough to things I, or others I know have experienced.

CH: Will this book be part of a series?

GL: Possibly…maybe I’ll let the readers decide!  🙂

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

GL: No doubt, Patrick was my favorite character to write.

CH: Who was the hardest character to write?

GL: Mychal was definitely the hardest character to write.

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

GL: Lol…she’s a part of every women that I know.

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

GL: Yes, we all have a past, but do we let that define our expectations of the future? Also keeping secrets is ultimately damaging.

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

GL: A bit of reality with a touch of humor, while focusing on the principles of everyday life. We all go through things, but you must stay rooted in your faith and realize there is a higher power that you must turn to daily.

CH: Since you are a debut author, what has been the most exciting thing to happen on your publishing journey, so far?

GL: Even though, I was not selected by Amazon’s Kindle Scout Program, it opened the door of exposure and the support was ‘phenomenal,’ considering I’m a new author.

CH: What has been the hardest part of your publishing journey, so far?

GL: Formatting for the various websites and continually going back thinking I should have changed one more thing. And asking myself, is it ready?

CH: What can we expect next from you?

GL: If all goes well with Miracle’s Destiny and readers want more, there very well may be a follow-up book (hint..hint-wink). I have a couple of unfinished projects I’m fishing through. I like challenging myself with different genres, so we’ll see.

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

GL: Janet Evanovich…it amazes me how she brings her characters to life. Her characters are ‘freaking’ hilarious, as well. Her writing skills are off the chain!

CH: Can you give my audience your social media info:

  • Facebook: Author Georgette Littlejohn
  • Twitter: @geeloves2write
  • Instagram: Author Georgette Littlejohn
  • Email: authorgeorgettelittlejohn@gmail.com

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

GL: The eBook is currently sold on Amazon. Miracle’s Destiny can be pre-ordered for $0.99 and the Official Book Launch date is June 1st.

CH: How to Find Georgette Littlejohn:

CH: Any closing remarks?

GL: Words can’t express the overwhelming feeling I get when I see that I actually accomplished a dream that I’ve had for a long time. To be able to sit in your vision is amazing. I thank God for the journey, even though it wasn’t the path I would have chosen—each curve, bend, or side-swipe has made me a better person. I pray that I learn something new every day and I can use that to help others along the way! I hope readers enjoy Miracle’s Destiny and I look forward to giving readers more. Please post reviews after reading the book. I would love to hear from my readers.

Thank you because without readers there would be no authors!

Thank you for the interview, Cheryl.

CH: Thank you so much, Georgette Littlejohn, 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, Georgette Littlejohn and Cheryl Holloway.

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

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Guest Author Interview – Paul Hollis

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The Hollow Man Series

Title: The Hollow Man (Book 1)

Genre: Thriller/Suspense/True Crime/Espionage

 Synopsis: A terrorist’s plot, the assassination of a prime minister, holds the key to an apocalyptic plot to destroy Europe’s economy. It’s impossible to stop, but one man doesn’t know enough to think the world can’t be saved. He’s no hero; not clever or capable, talented or tested. The Hollow Man is just trying to survive in an uncertain climate where terrorism is changing the rules of how we live.

 

Title: London Bridge is Falling Down (Book 2)

Genre: Thriller/Suspense/True Crime/Espionage

 Synopsis: In an exhilarating blend of adventure and international intrigue, U.S. field analyst Doc and his partner, Zita, an MI6 agent, are drawn into the harrowing world of espionage where terrorism casts its ugly shadow over innocence. Doc and Zita are the most original characters to appear in years. London Bridge is Falling Down heralds the arrival of a new breed of lightning-paced, intelligent thriller – surprising at every twist, absorbing at every turn, and in the end, utterly unpredictable—right up to its astonishing conclusion.

Paul Hollis, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Paul Hollis. While Paul is an active member of International Thriller Writers and a world tourist, he brings his own unique viewpoint to his thriller series. Welcome to my blog, Paul.  

CH: Can you sum up The Hollow Man Series in two sentences?

PH: In over his head, a U.S. government analyst is no hero; not clever or capable, talented or tested. The Hollow Man is just trying to stay alive in an uncertain world where terrorism is changing the way we live.

CH: Where do your ideas come from?

PH: Finding ideas isn’t hard. Ideas come from our environment and personal experiences that bring them to life. Applying ideas to create believable characters that do what you tell them to do is much harder. And putting one word after another to construct sentences, paragraphs and finally chapters is the hardest thing a writer can do: making it interesting, making it new.

CH: Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept? Did you have to do a lot of research?

PH: I don’t have a particular plot formula. Since my books are based on true experiences, the stories came to me as a whole concept. I lived with the consequences of those times for forty years. With The Hollow Man Series, there was a bit of research to get the facts reset and memory searches to refresh the sequencing of events but the plots were always there.

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

PH: Based on true events during the early 1970’s, The Hollow Man Series traces some of my experiences as a young man traveling in Europe. At the time, terrorism was on the rise and I had been assigned to learn as much as I could about it. Most early acts of terror were specific, personal and damage was focused on a distinct, definable enemy. But terrorism was beginning to change its strategy to the familiar, senseless chaos we recognize today. The death of political figures no longer seemed to bother us, as much as these new, random attacks against our children. Targets of innocence became preferable, because they hit closer to our hearts and the fear inside us grew larger with each incident.

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

PH: The reader won’t find James Bond or Jason Bourne in these pages, but he/she will find a memorable read. I like to say 80 percent of my books are 90 percent true. In conjunction with flawed, yet, identifiable characters, vivid imagery, and nonstop action, The Hollow Man Series was made to be experienced with the senses. Smells and tastes are as important as sights and sounds. And if the reader comes away feeling something too, then I will be satisfied.

It’s important for me to completely immerse the reader, drawing him/her totally into each scene. I want the reader to see what’s going on around them, feel the excitement, and hear the voices. When readers tell me The Hollow Man Series should be on the big screen, I feel like I’ve made the story completely real.

CH: Where did you get inspiration for your characters?

 PH: The Hollow Man Series is rooted in my personal experiences, so I’m sure you can guess the characters are derived from real people.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

PH: The terrorist, Chaban, was the most complex character. Though I knew him well, I didn’t know how he thought or what exactly drove him. Not being a stereotypical sociopath, I had to completely separate him from my own memories and feelings then look at him objectively. As I say at one point: ‘He (Chaban) was going to shoot me and go about his day. I peered into his steel-grey eyes and saw something I hadn’t expected. I wanted to see a total lack of empathy. I wanted to see the black bottom of fourth-world paranoia. I wanted to see swamp alligator crazy. Instead, the crystal-clear sanity of reason and right was staring back at me. I saw the calm intelligence he used to calculate and recalculate every brush stroke in his masterpiece. I saw the untroubled conscience allowing him to pull the trigger without another thought.’

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

PH: The main character was easiest to write. He is exactly like me when I was 24 years old. Doc is adventurous, more than a little impulsive, certainly headstrong, and probably reckless, as well.  He doesn’t know enough, to know what he doesn’t know. Doc is just a guy who asks more of himself, than the world believes he can do. But still, that’s not the kind of man we want responsible for protecting us.

Zita also easily came alive on the pages. As an MI6 agent, she is Doc’s counterbalance. She keeps him grounded and adds some sensibility to his lack of focus. She is smart, sensual, sexy, and a trained killer. These skills save their lives more than once in the dark, unfamiliar world of espionage. I left her a bit mysterious, since every woman should have her secrets.

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

PH: I intended to write one book and be done with it. But half way through The Hollow Man, I realized I was going to have a twelve hundred page War & Peace (or more precisely, War & War) epic or I needed to break it up into a series. There was a natural segmentation by country and assignment, so it became easy enough to separate the books into three full novels.

CH: Which book was harder to write Book 1 or Book 2?

PH: For me, The Hollow Man was more difficult than London Bridge is Falling Down. I was new to writing and needed to experiment with voice, characterizations, plot sequencing, phrasing—everything. Rewrites were difficult and plentiful, as I learned the finer points of the tradecraft. I finally found my voice and settled into a workable rhythm half way through the first book. Editing (all 26 versions!) was a struggle as I learned to rewrite and tweak my early experimentation.

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

PH: I’m a pantser—little to no outline preparation. I write from a very shallow sketch, partially on paper and the rest bouncing around my brain uncontrolled. Because my work is mostly character driven, I’ve talked myself into believing this is an advantage. The plot is laid out in chapter boxes using a few sentences to keep the action moving with the characters. As the characters come to life, change, grow, etc., the plot changes in the same way.

Although, I try to remain true to my superficial plot outline, occasionally it strays because of character development. So, my biggest struggle is keeping the characters within the bounds of the hollow storyline. It’s important to me that plot and character exist in sync like words and music. Otherwise, a fully plot driven novel is just a story told without the sound and passion of real life and a wholly character driven novel is at best, characters looking for something to do to give their lives meaning.

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

PH: My message is simple. Get out, see the world, and broaden your perspective. I’ve lived in some exotic places, such as London, Brussels, Paris, Madrid, Rome, Tokyo, Hong Kong, Sao Paulo, Anchorage, and many more. I’ve been fortunate enough to work in all fifty states and almost as many countries. If you’re thinking of your dream vacation spot right now, I have probably been there.

These experiences have allowed me to interact with people within their own cultures, experience their spiritual and political environments, and understand their hopes and dreams. Consumed with an overwhelming fascination to learn something from every person encountered along my journey, I was able to understand the world through their eyes; its animosities, ambitions, and motivations. As a result, The Hollow Man Series has a ring of realism that pulls the reader into the scene with the characters, whether it’s entering a dark alley in Madrid or sitting in a café on the Champs Elysees in Paris.

CH: What can we expect next, is there a book 3 in the making soon?

PH: My work in progress is Surviving Prague, the third installment of the series. A British MI6 agent and an American field analyst are running for their lives after being implicated in the murder of a high ranking government official. Trapped in a Communist country with no way out, the two are forced to find the killer to save their own lives. But the treacherous trail leading through the dark underworld of terrorism takes them right to the center of a plot to dominate Western Europe.

CH: What has been the best compliment you’ve received about your writing of this series?

PH: I have been lucky enough to enjoy many positive reviews and comments about The Hollow Man Series. Most reflect the following sentiments from one of my very first reviews:

“Paul Hollis is a very visual writer. I could see the countryside unfurling from the train window. I could picture the blood spurting from one of the many villains’ carotid arteries. I could picture the ghost, a murdered little girl forlornly gazing into a camera, or into the main character’s eyes.

“Speaking of cameras, The Hollow Man belongs on the big screen. I’m hoping the author ships this novel to either Indie filmmakers or perhaps to the titans in Hollywood. I predict that if this is adapted for film, it will be a mega hit.

“What audience will enjoy The Hollow Man? Fans of literary fiction will appreciate the craftsmanship. Male readers will love the pacing, the action, and the likable lead. History buffs will appreciate the early 1970’s time period, which almost amounts to a separate character in itself. Former intelligence officers will likely chuckle about the author’s take on the spy world. Anyone with a pulse will enjoy reading The Hollow Man.”

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

PH: My books can be found in both electronic and paperback formats on Amazon.com, Createspace.com, and Smashwords.com to name a few. Barnes & Noble also carries the paperbacks. If they are sold out when you ask, they will happily order copies through their regular channels.

 CH: How to find Paul Hollis:

CH: Any Closing Remarks?

PH: Thank you for the opportunity, Cheryl!

CH: Thank you so much, Paul Hollis, 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, Paul Hollis and Cheryl Holloway.

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

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Guest Author Interview – Tiffany Patterson

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****Warning: This is a BDSM romance. ****

Title: My Storm

Genre: Erotica/Romantic/Multicultural

Synopsis: Writing has always been Tasha Edwards’ means of escape. When the world around her was falling apart, and the adults she was supposed to depend on turned on her, it was her vivid imagination and storytelling that got her through the rough times. As an adult, it is this very passion for writing that has made her a New York Times’ bestselling author. She couldn’t ask for much more, with a thriving career and now being reunited with the older sister, who always looked out for her. Tasha’s on the cusp of writing the fourth book in her highly popular series. But what happens when the words stop coming? After months of writers’ block, Tasha looks to somewhat unconventional means to distract her from her inability to write; a distraction by the name of Jeremy Bennett, the very sexy cousin of her new brother-in-law.

Jeremy noticed Tasha the first time he laid eyes on her. He also told himself she was off limits. That look of sadness that always hid deep in those golden-colored orbs warned him that she had an ugly past. It takes one to know one. After one dance with Tasha at his cousin’s wedding, Jeremy promises himself he’ll keep away from the beautiful woman with skin the color of dark chocolate, killer curves, but a dark past. Now, if he can only keep her out of his dreams at night. He manages for a while, but when Tasha initiates the first move, can he turn her away? Is Tasha ready for everything that comes with being Jeremy Bennett; floggers, ball gags and nipple clamps included?

Tiffany Patterson, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Tiffany Patterson.  She writes diverse and interesting stories centering around women falling in love and being loved. Welcome to my blog, Tiffany.

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

TP: My Storm is the story of two people who’ve endured traumatic pasts to find love in one another, in an unconventional relationship.

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?

TP: My ideas come from everywhere. I can have a conversation with a friend and get an idea for a book. Songs are another big motivator of my work. I don’t have a standard formula. Typically, a character will reveal themselves to me and the story develops around who the characters are.

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

TP: I’ve wanted to write a BDSM story for a long time, but didn’t feel ready until now. When I first wrote about Tasha and Jeremy in This Is Where I Sleep, I knew it was time to write this story.

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

TP: Some aspects of the story I took from real life. I’ve read articles about young Black and Latina girls being sex trafficked and it being ignored by the mainstream media for a few years now. I often seek to bring issues that are happening in society into my work, so real life definitely impacts my writing.

CH: Was it hard dealing with the deeply rooted scars of abandonment for Tasha and Jeremy?

TP: It was hard to an extent. When I wrote about Tasha’s background or how Jeremy had to confront his mother, I could feel their pain, which is what I wanted to make it believable. But I was okay with writing the hard stuff because it is going through that, when the true healing can occur, which is what I hope I encapsulated in My Storm.

CH: Where did you get inspiration for your characters?

TP: Everywhere: pictures, music, the gym, work, my family, friends, etc. I’m a people watcher by nature, so I can watch a random person and make up a whole story in my head about them. I’ve done that for years, long before I started writing.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

TP: Definitely Tasha’s character. She had been through so much as a child and teen and she was so vulnerable. I was also a bit fearful of doing victims of that type of trauma wrong, so I wanted to make sure I made her character believable and triumphant at the same time.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

 TP: This question is SO hard, but I think little Trudy is. She really has a wonderful spirit despite what she’s been through at such a young age. And I know she’s going to have a great life with Tasha and Jeremy.

CH: Since this is an erotica romance, where do you get inspiration for the passionate encounters in your writing and do you find them easier to write from the male or female perspective?

TP: I get inspiration from my interest in “the life,” as it’s called. I spent a lot of time researching and reading about what makes BDSM relationships work. The female perspective may be a little bit easier just because I am a woman.

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

TP: What I’m learning about my own self and my writing is that I am a teacher by nature. I love learning new things and sharing it with others. So, while you’ll always get a romantic love story from me, you’ll also learn some interesting facts about society along the way.

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

TP: One, I want to make it clear that people who engage in BDSM relationships are not “abnormal” or solely come from “broken” childhoods and backgrounds. Also, I want to make it clear that BDSM is ALL about consent, trust and communication. We all get our pleasure in different ways and what is good for one person, may not be fun for you and that’s okay. But everyone should have their boundaries and pleasures respected, as long as they are not harming anyone else.

CH: Did publishing your first book change your process of writing?

TP: Not particularly. It did make me more aware that people would actually be interested in what I wrote. LOL.

CH: What have been the key factors to your success as a bestselling author?

TP: Hmmm…Giving the readers a good, fun, and interesting story. That is always the goal.

CH: What can we expect next, is there a book 3 in the making soon?

TP: My next book is going to be my first African-American romance which I’m super excited about! We’ll see some characters from past books pop up in that one. Then, I have a couple of series I’m thinking about writing. Lots of ideas percolating, so stay tuned!

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

TP: Amazon. All books are free via Kindle Unlimited.

CH: How to Find Tiffany Patterson:

CH: Any closing remarks?

TP: I would like to thank you for the opportunity to share my books and writing process with your readers. Also, I can be found via my website, on FaceBook as Author Tiffany Patterson, or email at TiffanyPattersonWrites@gmail.com

CH: Thank you so much, Tiffany Patterson, 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, Tiffany Patterson and Cheryl Holloway.

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

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Guest Author Interview – Peter C. Bradbury

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Title: Burnt

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

Synopsis: It was supposed to be a simple kidnapping with a quick exchange. They got the money, but then the kid recognized a tattoo.
It then turned into a multiple rape and murder, but one of the victims unexpectedly survived…Barely.

Horrendously burnt, Tiffany spends years recuperating, hoping to one day return home, and get justice for her family.

Peter C. Bradbury, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Peter C. Bradbury. Peter is an entertaining writer and he is a strong advocate against bullies, human traffickers and those who mistreat other people and animals. Welcome to my blog, Peter.

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

PCB: A kidnapping with tragic consequences, but moving and emotional.

CH: Since this book is about a kidnapping gone awry, where do your ideas come from?

PCB: Mostly from real life, especially, my earlier books. This one though, was because I wanted to do something around a severely burned person. I think they are sometimes forgotten about; yet, what they go through is horrendous and they then are subjected to ridicule from bullies.

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

PCB: No, I don’t have a standard formula or a whole concept. It’s basically just a beginning and then, I take it from there. I’m quite open to changing the end I may have envisaged, if research and the character warrant it.

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

PCB: I do like to use real issues and lives when possible. I’ve done that since my first book, Stonebridge Manor, and continued with that. When I was half way through this story, I came upon a real life event that was very similar in some aspects. What happened to that victim, actually inspired the ending to the book.

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

PCB: Quite a bit, yes. The medical issues that a burn victim develops were enlightening. You kind of think that when someone gets burned, that it’s mainly just skin issues. Most of the time, it is, but 3rd and 4th degree burns are something else and way more destructive to the internal body.

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

PCB: I write simply with very believable characters. My readers get hooked from the first page and read the books quickly. Even slow readers confess to reading my books in a record time for them.

CH: Where did you get inspiration for your characters?

PCB: I always use real people, but change their names. I also change their descriptions a little, but not too much. It is the same with their characteristics. I usually have a certain person in my head, when I write about them.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

PCB: Tiffany. I’m so happy that a lot of my readers are women, and none of them so far, has said that I messed up with writing about a young girl.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

PCB: Again, Tiffany. I really enjoyed, if that’s the right word, getting into her head and understanding how it feels to be almost destroyed.

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

PCB: To understand that the person you may see, who’s face may have been deformed by fire, is not the monster. Don’t avert your eyes, give them a smile and offer your hand.

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

PCB: I’m getting nothing, but love. They adore how the story evolves and twists. Not to mention the supernatural element!

CH: What has been the most exciting thing to happen on your publishing journey?

PCB: Just the feedback I get. Hearing how much enjoyment a reader gets from my books is intoxicating, even when they don’t like the ending. (Prospects)

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

PCB: Either P.G. Wodehouse, so that we could do a Jeeves book together. I’m a butler by trade. Or Dan Brown, who mixes fact with fiction and it’s hard to determine, which is which.

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

PCB: Yes. I have a lot of readers in the golf club where I work, and a few of them want me to kill them in a book. So, I’m doing a murder or two, at a golf community in a small town!

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

PCB: Amazon

CH: How to Find Peter C. Bradbury:

CH: Any closing remarks?

PCB: My books, according to my readers, are engrossing, fun, and very entertaining. I’m often asked why I’m not a best seller, or why they are not movies. That is the reaction I get all the time. For my part, I just want to entertain and make people aware of some issues that are important.

Cheryl, Thank you kindly for this interview.

CH: Thank you so much, Peter C. Bradbury, 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, Peter C. Bradbury and Cheryl Holloway.

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

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Guest Author Interview – Malcolm Colley

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Title: Gideon: Boer Blood

Genre: Adventure/Historic Fiction

Synopsis: By 1902 the war was over. It has taken three years and 330,000 soldiers to hammer 30,000 Boer men and boys into submission. The British employed a scorched earth policy and removed the women and children on the farms to stop the Boer Commandoes from obtaining supplies. Also with ammunition in short supply the Boers signed the Treaty of Peace of Vereeniging on May31 1902. The Boers were forced to surrender their arms and sign a declaration of allegiance to the Queen. Paul Kruger, the Boer leader, left the country, but prior to him leaving, he attempted to negotiate a deal with Holland and Germany for arms and ammunition in exchange for gold. The arms and ammunition reached the port of Lorenco Marques, but the gold, sent by Kruger, went missing. It never reached the port, so the ships sailed for home.

Into this chaos of the aftermath of the war with men, woman and children trying to make it back to the farms, Gideon Barron, an Irishman born in South Africa is accused of helping to steal the gold and hunted by his fellow Boers for treason. With the help of what becomes his friends, he attempts to prove his innocence. Travelling across, what was then, the Transvaal Republic they follow the path of the robbers. Meanwhile, the true robbers manage to get away with most of the gold, some travelling into the Portuguese Protectorate of Mozambique and some beyond, but some gold is left behind due to a misunderstanding.

This is just one of the many stories about the disappearance of the gold. According to many stories, the gold never left South Africa. Some say the gold was worth £500,000 in the value of that time. Some say that there was no gold, and that the boxes were filled with ammunition destined for the Boer Commandoes fighting on the front.

Malcolm Colley, Author

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s Guest Author is International Author Malcolm Colley. Malcolm’s love of his native South Africa is apparent in the descriptive writing of his fifth book, Gideon: Boer Blood. Welcome to my blog, Malcolm.

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

MC: Gideon Barron is accused of being involved in the robbery of Kruger’s gold. Wounded, but he finally proves his innocence.

CH: Since this book is about history, how much is fact and how much is fiction?

MC: The fiction is interwoven with fact, so approximately 30 percent fact.

CH: Where did you get the inspiration for this book?

MC: The disappearance of Kruger’s gold has always intrigued me. There are many stories, myths and legends about the whereabouts of this treasure. In this work of fiction adventure, I have put forward one possibility. I grew up in this area amongst these people, whose stories to their grandchildren in the lamplight around the kitchen table, tell of the gold that may have changed the course of the war, told with the bitterness against the English.

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

MC: All the locations were revisited by the author together with Google and book searches.

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

 MC: The whole concept of the story is thought of and the detail is filled in as the story unfolds.

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

MC: I try to keep the story fast flowing with not too much fine detail and short enough to hold attention from start to finish.

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

MC: Having grown up with the type of characters in the story and having spent my teenage years in the bush, the situations were taken from real life and elaborated.

CH: Where did you get inspiration for your characters?

MC: Inspiration of the characters came from memories of people that I knew and from my own experiences.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

MC: It was most difficult to write about the females, to try to think as a young lady. I was helped by my female editor.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

 MC: My favorite character is the main character.

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

MC: I would like to work with any historian because of my interest in most history.

CH: Which writer do you admire most and why?

MC: It is difficult to say which writer I admire the most. For style, I would say Louis L’Amour, and for pure pleasure I would say Lee Child.

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

MC: There is no intended message in the story.

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

MC: My website is not yet set up, so I am not receiving much feedback, except from friends and family, which has been positive.

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

MC: I have started two new stories. The first one has the Battle of Blood River as the background. The second one, which seems to be progressing, has the South African history of the 1980’s about a young man struggling to save his marriage by choosing between his occupation and family life.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

MC: I am in the process of setting up my website.

CH: How to Find Malcolm Colley:

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

MC: The book is available on all the Amazon sites in paperback and kindle.

CH: Any closing remarks?

MC: My writing comes from my love of history and adventure, at present of the South African bush, but could take place anywhere. Cheryl, thank you for the interview.

CH: Thank you so much, Malcolm Colley, 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, Malcolm Colley and Cheryl Holloway.

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

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

   

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

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

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Guest Author Interview – T. P. Miller

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Title: It Should Have Been You

Genre: African American/Romance

Synopsis: Joshua Coleman had it all—a good life, a good job and a great group of friends. The only thing that kept him up at night was the fact that he thought his girlfriend, Nycole, was using him for all she could. It wasn’t until he started looking in another direction when he realized that Nycole wasn’t her.

 

T. P. Miller, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is T. P. Miller. She decided to pick up her pen as a hobby and has been writing ever since. Welcome to my blog, T. P.

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

TPM: I spend a lot of time trying to create realistic characters that go through real life things.

CH: Where do your ideas come from?

TPM: Different places—some come from real life, some come from random ideas, and others come from people watching. It just depends on what strikes me and interests me; and how I can shape the story and the characters.

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

TPM: It depends on the book. Sometimes, I have the whole concept and I just outline and write. At other times, I have to write the beginning and I have to listen to the characters to see where the story goes.

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

TPM: It Should Have Been You was a book that I came up with when I was first starting out. It was very loosely based on my husband and I. We were best friends before we dated and I wanted to show how love could grow.

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

TPM: What I think is different about my writing style is I try to create strong women leads. Women that establish themselves and aren’t afraid to work for what they want. Honestly, most of the characters that I write are strong.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

 TPM: In It Should Have Been You, my favorite character to write would have to be Nycole. She had so many issues! So many false ideas of what love should be.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

TPM: Joshua. This was the first time that I’ve written a book in the male point of view. So, I wanted to try to be as authentic as possible. I asked my husband a lot of random questions to piece together what the character would do.

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

TPM: In this book, my message is love is everywhere—if you take a chance and look in the right places.

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

TPM: Readers ask if there’s going to be more from these characters and I can’t say that I won’t come back to their lives. Any standalone could have a sequel.

CH: You’ve written a few books in different genres. So, what has attributed to your success in your writing career?

TPM: I think being able to write in different genres makes it exciting for both me and the readers. I love coming up with different storylines and seeing how the readers react to them.

 CH: Are there any writers that you consider your mentor? If so, who and why?

 TPM: I do have a few people that I consider my mentor. There are so many to name; however, Leslie Esdaile and KR Bankston are two amazing authors that I can say took time out to answer some of my questions when I first started out. I was fortunate enough to work with KR, so that’s a major accomplishment for me.

CH: Do you have any writing tips for new authors?

TPM: Do what comes natural. Don’t follow the fad and just write what you know and like.

CH: What can we expect next from you?

TPM: I’m working on the sequel to my urban paranormal novel and a book with my husband that we hope to have out this year.

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

TPM:  On Amazon

CH: How to Find T. P. Miller:

CH: Any closing remarks?

 TPM: I hope that your audience will take a little time to live the world of Joshua and Cynthia and enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it. Thank you so much for having me!

CH: Thank you so much, T. P. Miller, 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, T. P. Miller and Cheryl Holloway.

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

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

   

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

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

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Guest Author Interview – J. T. Hume

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Title: Saturday’s Child: An Emma Parks CPS Novel

Genre: Contemporary Fiction/Urban

Synopsis: In her second book, CPS social worker Emma Parker is forced to face her turbulent past as she tries to solve a young girl’s kidnapping; yet, events are not as simple as they appear. Emma’s family is facing their own life and death struggles, but they won’t reach out to her because of their own dark secrets, plus the family’s powerful matriarch is in town demanding Emma’s attention and seeking answers. The worst revelation is the kidnapped girl’s neighbor may be the prime suspect, and he’s one of Emma’s bosses, the city mayor. Could Emma lose her job and her lover in the police department when the truth comes out?

J. T. Hume, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is J. T. Hume. His books are flavored with love and romance. Welcome to my blog, J. T.

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

JTH: Saturday’s Child was written to remind us that while we may be victims of other’s mistakes, we can find the strength and maturity not to be victims for the rest of our lives.

CH: This book is contemporary fiction/urban life. So, where do your ideas come from?

JTH: Like every writer, I draw on personal and professional experiences, as well as, a random imagination that doesn’t quite sync up with the real world. On long walks, I juggle ideas like a circus clown, trying to fit disparate pieces together in some sensible combination. For my first book, Duties Faithfully Executed, it started with two polar opposite concepts: a government employee and the out-of-the-blue idea of, ‘How can a broken person become better than he views himself?’

CH: This is the sequel to your favorite book. Was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

JTH: Both books, Hope Knocks Twice and Saturday’s Child, revolve around a newbie worker in Child Protective Services. I was fortunate to be employed in a supporting role to CPS workers, whose great strength and endless empathy for their kids can only be admired. In fact, that first book is dedicated to my former colleagues in CPS. The situations described emulate real-life CPS cases—both local and found on the internet—but are not exact copies of real-life situations, as that would be invasive to the victims.

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

JTH: Not even. I’m still trying to find my writing strength, candidly, so my books are sort of all over the place. One day, someone demanded a sequel to Hope Knocks Twice as a Christmas present, which was a relief. I’m a terrible shopper, and in this instance, it was easier to write the book than spend hours at the mall finding that one perfect gift. So, boom, an unplanned sequel.

CH: How did you decide to make the prime suspect her boss? Wouldn’t that situation make it hard to investigate?

JTH: Without too much spoiling, the main character and the boss have a negative history and quite a bit of unresolved business. This history shaped the main character’s life for years, and sent her down paths best not taken. Does this book resolve those issues? The reader must decide for themselves.

CH: Where did you get inspiration for your characters?

JTH: Loved ones, colleagues past and present, acquaintances, the usual suspects. People are complex and multi-dimensional, and they don’t live in books, though that’s where we meet them. They are living, breathing creatures with memories, experiences, and feelings that can be expressed and hurt. My hope is that readers feel the characters’ emotions as they travel alongside the characters.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

JTH: Any of the negative people, I suppose. My worldview is individuals are good people, down to their souls, and that there is something redemptive and positive about everyone we meet. There are those who do not or cannot hear their higher angels, and their actions are ultimately guided by avarice and anger. I cannot relate to these personalities, and sometimes find it difficult to make them believable characters.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

JTH: The main character’s grandmother and family matriarch. I’m not ashamed or embarrassed to admit I used my own grandmother as a guide, as she continues to this day to be a role model for my family. Women of strength and good character should be lauded in print, and emulated in real life, as often as possible.

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

JTH: As I said, my imagination is not quite in sync with the world, and I try to push as much of that chaos into my books. The eternal struggle is to hold the noise down to a reasonable level. I’m a great believer in giving readers facts to believe the words in front of them, but adding enough seasoning so they can suspend their disbelief a tiny bit. I tend to err toward believability, a challenge I continue to work on in my current works in progress.

CH: Is this book considered a novella?

JTH: Technically, yes. The book rings in at a relatively short 202 pages. It’s a Christmas present, not the great American novel. But I caution folks about getting caught up in word counts and such. While I am not a Hemingway by any stretch, The Old Man and the Sea was a novella that changed the modern literary scene and won the Pulitzer. Whenever people start counting pages, they should start with The Old Man and the Sea  to shape the discussion.

CH: You’ve only written four books, so what has attributed to your success in your writing career so far?

JTH: Success is relative to each of us. If you count books and sales, my awesome daughter SM Reine is a far more successful writer than I’ll ever hope to be. My personal vision of success is getting my odd combination of words and phrases out into the public view where they may or may not make some kind of impact. Perhaps someday, I’ll make enough money to have to declare the dollars on my tax form, but for now, I’m content to write, publish, and move on to the next novel.

CH: Do you have a writing partner?

JTH: A partner, a muse, a lover, and a soulmate, all wrapped up in one person, Cassidy Carson, another would-be writer struggling to find her voice. We’ve been bouncing ideas off each other and building mutual memories for thirty-five years now. Saturday’s Child was written for her. Cassidy is stuck with me for the rest of my life, lucky for me.

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

JTH: A month. I’ll usually have most of the book outlined and written in my head before I touch a keyboard. On the other hand, the editing takes three to four months. Editing is far more stressful than writing, and I do employ professional editors. To me, this is the phase that separates the professionals from the amateurs. If readers are going spend time and money on my books, then I believe I must do my absolute best to polish the final product.

CH: What has been the most important thing that you’ve learned about writing?

JTH: There’s no rest for the wicked. Writing is a 24/7 experience, and plot lines and character development are never far from my thoughts, whether I am at work or play. I’ve lost sleep because of ideas pinging inside the old cranium, but I wouldn’t have my writing life any other way.

CH: What can we expect next from you?

JTH: Maggie is a small-town sheriff in eastern Nevada trying to find a balance between life and work, all while trying to solve murders and keep the peace in the lawless West. The drafts of the first chapters are on my web site.

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

JTH: Amazon Kindle.

CH: Where to Find J. T. Hume:

CH: Any closing remarks?

JTH: I’m deeply appreciative of your energy and efforts to give a voice to independent authors such as myself. This is a special service you’re providing, giving your followers a chance to see books and learn about authors who may otherwise be lost in the tidal wave of 21st Century publishing. Thank you and kudos!

CH: Thank you so much, J. T. Hume, 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, J. T. Hume and Cheryl Holloway.

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

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

   

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

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Guest Author Interview – Isabel James

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Title: The Crow’s Nest (The White Pearl Series Book 2)

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Romantic Suspense

Synopsis: It’s a tapestry of self-discovery, woven together with mythological symbolism, raw emotional scars and unvarnished sexuality that surrounds the lives of Jack Cavallaro and Linzi Basset, who, by pure chance, come together to share their crippled lives, warts and all. It is a confessional treatise, a mutual acknowledgement of their own demons. And through the painful process of baring their souls to each other, they unburden their feelings in a story of death, sex and violence.

With their fate now sealed, they have no recourse but to follow the uncharted course that lies ahead. Their destiny was decided before they met when they opened their hearts to each other, resulting in an explosive, white-hot passion that detonated between them until Jack’s past caught up with them and threatened not just their newfound love, but their lives.

Isabel James, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Isabel James. Isabel is a confluence of two imaginative minds. Welcome to my blog, Isabel.

CH: Can you sum up your book for my audience?

IJ: The White Pearl is a journey over a number of books of self-discovery, woven together with mythological symbolism, raw emotional scars and unvarnished sexuality that surrounds the lives of two lovers, who by pure chance, come together to share their crippled lives, warts and all. It is a confessional treatise, a mutual acknowledgement of their own demons. And through the painful process of baring their souls to each other, they unburden their visceral feelings towards each other that unfolds into a tapestry of death, sex and violence.

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?

IJ: The ideas are drawn from a reservoir of personal life experiences. There are no standard plots other than that of the human condition and how it is affected by the evolution of real events. What is written is a composite of real characters who inhabit a particular time and place emotionally and physically.

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

IJ: It’s a combination of fiction and non-fiction embellished with the real and the imagined. The hard part is making it sing.

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

IJ: We wanted to wrap a trilogy into a package containing a series of emerging events, real and imagined, that surround a cast of characters who become engulfed by the powerful imprint of their own emotional past.

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

IJ: No. The first book was a short story to see if we would be able to write a book and once we did, it naturally developed into the next book.

CH: Which book in the White Pearl series was hardest to write?

IJ: I think the one that will be the hardest to write is book 3, which is now in the beginning stages. It’s a prequel—based on reality—that shines a light on the chaos and it’s after effects.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write? Who was the hardest character to write?

IJ: The two protagonists in the first two books are based on the authors. The hardest part was to re-open and expose emotional wounds from the past to my co-writer and the reader. But the spiritual journey was worth it.

CH: Is this story more about one person than the other?

IJ: This is a story about both authors—warts and all.

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

IJ: Yes. Socrates spoke it and lived by it and it is that the unexamined life is not worth living. Never be afraid to face your inner demons and be open to emotional growth and spiritual enlightenment.

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

IJ: To put the reader into the scene as a spectator using the  power of the written word as a device for them to see and feel the raw, unvarnished and unexpurgated thoughts and behavior of the characters that inhabit the pages of the books.

CH: What can we expect next from you?

IJ: We’re in the process of writing a novella—a paranormal series involving vampires, werewolves, etc.—in the modern world, The Rogue Chronicles and book 3 of The White Pearl is in the beginning stages, as well.

CH: What has been the most exciting thing to happen on your publishing journey?

IJ: We’ve been able to connect with readers with a writing style that is descriptive, intensely intimate and unashamedly provocative. We openly explore the powerfully sensual and erotic emotions that rule human nature.

CH: What type of feedback are you receiving from readers?

IJ: This is one five-star review that said it all:

“The narrative is rich and thought-provoking. I think the writers are each other’s Yin and Yang. To really get the essence of this book, you need to dig deep and find that spiritual lilt of mind. The description of the bike ride and how it unfolds is very riveting. The handful of characters are well developed. Written from the POV of both the lead characters, the story is indeed an emotional unravelling of feelings.”

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

IJ: Shakespeare. Because he was a master wordsmith.

CH: Where else can you be found?

IJ: Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100012476927575

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/isabeljames_1

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

IJ: Our books are available on Amazon.

CH: How to Find Isabel James:

CH: Any closing remarks?

IJ: Cheryl, Thank you for the opportunity to share our book with your audience.  To really get the essence of this book, you have to love the written word and want to feel and taste them as they are brought together and used to construct these stories. Readers, be brave and read our story. It is guaranteed to take you on an emotional journey of your own.

CH: Thank you so much, Isabel James, 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, Isabel James and Cheryl Holloway.

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

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

   

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

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

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Guest Author Interview – Jim McDonald, Jr.

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Title: Twilight to Son Shine: The 1st poems (Thoughts Into Poetry) (Volume 1)

Genre: Poetry

Synopsis: This is a book of poetry, describing different times in my life. Ranging from my parents, then through an era of drinking and drugging, while raising my two sons (without their mother), into depression and subsequently, quitting the drink and drugs and surrendering to the blood of Christ Jesus.

Jim McDonald, Jr., Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Jim McDonald, Jr. He recently published his debut book of poetry. Welcome to my Blog, Jim.

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

JM: In a sense, this book of poetry is my memoir and each poem describes an everyday life situation that you might be able to relate to.

CH: What inspires or motivates you to write poetry?

JM: My life has been filled with drinking, drugging and depression, while raising my two sons (Jamie and Billy) without their mother. The three of us made it through all of that with the help of my mom and God.

To answer your question more concisely though: God, mom, my sons and my grandkids inspire me.

CH: How do you begin writing a book of poetry?

JM: I started writing poems to get recurring thoughts out of my head and heart. It became very therapeutic, so I continued to write them. I maintain a running total of new poems for the next book of poems in the series entitled, Thoughts Into Poetry.

A friend read a couple of them and said, “We need to get these published.”

CH: How do you chose which poems will be included in your book?

JM: This particular set of poems are set in a chronological order: early on thoughts of family, the hole that depression pitted me in, some everyday issues, then Twilight to Son Shine ends with the spiritual up lifting, that only God can provide.

CH: Is this book of poetry considered a memoir?

JM: Yes, it is. As you might have gathered from the above questions, my first wife left Jamie, Billy and myself, when they were four and two. I raised them with help from my mom and whatever woman was in my life at the time. I drank and drugged for the next twelve years, until Jesus and Bill Wilson led me out of the fracas and into sobriety.

I lost my home, when I got sick and became a disabled carpenter. Having no desire to become a burden to my family or friends, I bought an old beat-up houseboat and started writing about my life as I floated up and down with the tide and this memoir is what became of it.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book of poems?

JM: The book actually started with doodles on napkins, backs of receipts and on scraps of paper. At some point, I gathered all these up and started putting them on my computer.

More importantly, now it’s a book that my grandkids might read, when I’m not around anymore.

CH: What do most poorly-written poems have in common?

JM: I can’t really say, because I’m new at this, but I think that poetry should make sense and not an abstract set of words—just my opinion.

CH: What do most well-written poems have in common?

JM: Again, this is my opinion, but I would think good poems have a meaningful message in them and pull the reader along with it.

CH: Has your idea of what poetry is changed since you began writing poems?

JM: Yes. In the past, I didn’t know how to read poetry. So, it was difficult to understand. In 2012, I attended the local college, College of Southern Maryland, to learn how to write. I have a lifetime of hard luck stories, but learning how to write them in a clear and coherent manner took some time and I’m still learning.

CH: Do you use social media—facebook and twitter—to help get the word out about your poetry?

JM: I try, but who knows how well it works. The following are my sites.

Facebook –  https://facebook.com/jimmcdonaldjr

Twitter –  https://twitter.com/hats_a_plenty

LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/jim-mcdonald-8119b256

CH: What poets do you read?

JM: Langston Hughes, Edgar Allan Poe, Walt Whitman….

CH: What genre of books do you read? What book are you currently reading?

JM: Normally, human interest stories. Right now though, I’m writing more than reading. However, I do have a book mark in Brother Against Brother (Civil War) by William C. Davis.

CH: How long did it take you to write your book of poems?

JM: Six months, after I started compiling the notes, but it took sixty-two years to live it.

CH: What can we expect next from you?

JM: I used to play a game with my sons; I would give them three unrelated words and they were supposed to tell me a story using them.

However, now on my blog,  From My Head to Yours, which I’m in the process of upgrading to become my Website, https://jfmcdonaldjr.com/your-three-words-my-little-story, I ask people to give me the words, then I write little stories using them. It’s called, ‘Your three words, my little story.’

I will probably compile that book next. Each story will be accompanied by a picture that I have personally taken. The pictures might not have anything to do with the stories though.

After that, probably another book of poetry.

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

JM: Amazon, and Barnes and Noble.

CH: How to Find Jim McDonald, Jr.:

CH: Any closing remarks?

JM: Cheryl, thank you so much for taking the time and interest in my life and book. Also, each poem has a corresponding photo that is meaningful to that particular poem.

CH: Thank you so much, Jim McDonald, Jr., 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, Jim McDonald, Jr. 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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Celebrity Guest Author Interview – Mary Crawford

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Title: Tough: A Hidden Hearts Novel Book 5

Genre: Romance/Inspirational

Synopsis: Savannah Lyons has her secrets. She buried them in the past long ago, and she’d like to leave them there. She never talks about her past with anyone—especially wickedly handsome restaurant owners like the guy next door.

Casey Moore has met women with moves and instincts like hers before but not since he was a teenage runaway. He lost his best friend to the streets, and for once, he hopes his razor-sharp intuition is dead wrong, because there’s just something about Savannah that turns him from a tough guy to a tender heart.

Authors note: This book contains descriptive memories of sexual abuse. It may be disturbing to some.

Mary Crawford, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Celebrity Mary Crawford. She writes because love matters and differences don’t. Welcome to my blog, Mary.

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

MC: You should read my book because it is a fascinating look into the psychology of overcoming.

CH: Where do your ideas come from?

MC: My ideas come from everywhere. It could be a conversation I overhear in the line at the grocery store, from a story-line I see on the news, or a song I like.

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

MC: I am a dyed in the wool pantser. I basically start with characters and a blank sheet of paper—or, in my case, a computer screen—and start from there. Sometimes, I don’t know where my characters are going to take me.

CH: This book is about sexual abuse in Savannah’s past. How did you come up with the premise for writing this book?

MC: The character of Savanna came into being in Love is More Than Skin Deep. In that book, she was more of a minor character with a mysterious past. I started thinking about what would make her be so secretive. Given the set of circumstances under which Shelby and Savannah were brought up, it seems likely to me that she would be naïve enough to fall victim to a predator.

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

MC: My tagline is ‘Because love matters, differences don’t.’ My books celebrate inclusion and diversity. I want to make different more acceptable. Differences between us are more than just race or gender. It’s a disability, body type, age, economic background and life experience. I want my characters to seem like normal people you could meet on the street in your town.

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

MC: How you view yourself is not necessarily how others view you and you are not the sum of your past.

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

MC: To the extent that Savannah is a tough survivor who tends to take blame for things that are not her fault, probably a great deal. However, I am less like Savannah than some of my other characters.

CH: Over the years, you’ve written several books. So, what has attributed to your success in your writing career?

MC: I am persistent. What I don’t know, I try to figure out. I am naturally curious. I write almost every day, seven days a week.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

MC: In the Hidden Hearts Series, Ketki is my favorite character to write just because her response to the world is so unique and different from my other characters.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

MC: It was a little difficult for me to write Savannah’s father. I just don’t share his worldview.

CH: Since this book this is part of a series, do readers need to read the previous books in the series? 

MC: All of my books can be read as standalone novels. It is fun to read the whole series because you can see how characters grow and change, but you don’t need to do so to be able to understand a new book in either series.

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

MC: Generally, the vast majority of the feedback is positive. If someone has a negative review, I try to take any usable information out of the review and apply it to future works.

CH: Are there any writers that you consider your mentor? If so, who and why?

MC: Linda Kage was the inspiration for my career. I started as a beta reader for her and she encouraged me to write my own stories. She held my hand a lot during the first book. She was a phenomenal cheerleader and tough coach.

CH: Do you have any writing tips for new authors?

MC: Yes, write every day and be accountable to someone. Sprints are magic, and start a Story Bible from your first book.

CH: What can we expect next from you? 

MC: Tayanita’s story is next in a book entitled Rectify. It will be released May 16, 2017. Right now, I am working on two novellas for charity anthologies. However after I’m done, I will be telling Katie’s story in a novel entitled Pieces. I expect to publish Pieces sometime in the middle of July.

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

MC: My books are currently available on Amazon, Kindle iBooks, Nook, and kobo. They are also available in paperback. You can find out more by going to MaryCrawfordAuthor.com/books

CH: How to Find Mary Crawford:

CH: Any closing remarks?

MC: It is my practice to name a charity in conjunction with each book to receive 15% of my net profits. If you have a charity which has national or international reach, and you would like to see me highlight it, please let me know at mary@marycrawfordauthor.com. Thanks, Cheryl.

CH: Thank you so much, Mary Crawford, 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, Mary Crawford and Cheryl Holloway.

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

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

   

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

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Guest Author Interview – Robert Skuce

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Title: Kiss of Death

Genre: Suspense/Thriller

Synopsis: Homicide detective, Bruno Norcross, is called to investigate the brutal murder of a college call girl. This isn’t just any other crime scene. Bruno has seen this scene before, only the last time, the killer got away leaving Bruno feeling as though his career is incomplete. Nobody escapes Bruno’s grasp twice and when his nemesis arises again, it’s time to bring him in. A serial killer, only known as the Kiss of Death, is back, only this time he made a mistake. A witness, like no other, was left behind and this witness knows the victim better than anyone.

Rosie’s stalker, Ashley Truelove knows everything about her, from what she wears to who she sees. The question isn’t can Ashley help Bruno catch the killer, but will he? With meager and confusing clues, two known victims and time running out, Bruno realizes that the cost of bringing the murderer to justice will be paid in blood. With the police Sergeant on his back to catch this killer and provide justice for the death of his daughter, Bruno is racing against time. Kiss of Death only hunts occasionally and time is running out before he vanishes again. Can Bruno find the evidence to stop him or will he escape his clutches once again?

Robert Skuce, Author

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Canadian writer, Robert Skuce. After dabbling in different genres, he found himself at home as a thriller/crime writer. Welcome to my blog, Robert.

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

RS: It’s a great mystery that has me challenging anyone to figure out who did it in the end.

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

RS: Honestly, it was just a discussion I was having with my wife. She mentioned I would be good at this kind of story and in the end, I wrote Kiss of Death from an idea that I had that would stump people.

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?

RS: No standard formula or any real structure to my writing. I get an idea in my head, either watching television or in a dream and it develops as I start putting the idea on paper.

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

RS: It was tough to make it realistic. Mainly because of the research that came with it. It was a difficult process, but eventually the story just came together.

CH: Where did you get inspiration for your characters?

RS: I get inspiration from the people around me. I take those I meet in real life or see on television and it helps me to put my characters together. I get an idea of what I want and I add real people to the mix and this is the result.

CH: Which character was hardest to write? 

RS: Bruno was the hardest to write. I needed him to be very knowledgeable, very deceptive and he was a difficult character to write. He turned out exactly like I wanted.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

RS: I loved writing Ashley. He is the stalker with true love fantasies and quirky ideals. I really enjoyed developing him.

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

RS: I try to create stories that are believable with endings that are unpredictable. It’s like taking a roller coaster ride and I try to keep that thrill going from beginning to end.

CH: Your book has a lot of ups and downs and potholes and high rises, so do you prefer writing a book with a lot of twists and turns?

RS: Absolutely. I love taking my readers on a ride that will keep them wanting to turn the pages. I watch my wife read and when she is hooked on a book, she can’t put it down. It was my desire to do that for my readers.

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

RS: A lot actually. Not in the sense that you can read something and say that it’s me, but more like the concept of things. I like to take things that I have either experienced personally, or experienced through others and put it into my books. It helps make the book more personal and relatable.

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

RS: Stephen King, for sure. I love how twisted his mind must be to write the books he does and to me that is a mind I would love to pick. It would be a fantastic opportunity to work with him. I have a lot to learn and I know he can teach it to me.

CH: Which writer do you admire most and why?

RS: Once again, Stephen King. I love how detailed his books are and his style. It is what I hope to strive to be or at least come close to.

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

RS: Many are telling me how they didn’t guess what would happen at the end. I like that as it was what I was aiming for.

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

RS: Yes, I am currently working on another book.

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

RS: You can find my book online in most online retail stores, such as Amazon and Smashwords, etc.

CH: How to Find Robert Skuce:

CH: Any closing remarks?

RS: Cheryl, Thank you very much for this opportunity. I hope those who read my books will enjoy them and I look forward to future projects.

CH: Thank you so much, Robert Skuce, 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, Robert Skuce and Cheryl Holloway.

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

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

   

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

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Guest Author Interview – K. M. Jackson

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Title: To Me I Wed (Unconventional Brides Romance series)

Genre: African American Romance

Synopsis: Have your cake—and true love too…Nightmare bridesmaids’ dresses, tasteless fondant icing, budget-busting wedding expenses—some women just aren’t about it. They’ll laugh off tradition, make their own rules—and find the most outrageous ways possible to flip wedding day lockstep into true love.

She’s done, finished, had it. Between her family’s expectations and being always-a-bridesmaid, Lily Perry is fed up with being nagged to find a husband. She’s happy with her life—and tired of being burned by “nice guys” who demand she fit their dreams. So she’s going to settle the issue once and for all: by marrying herself. And celebrated chef Vincent Caro’s fabulous restaurant is the perfect place for a big-time, blow-out, not-hearing-it-any-more wedding. Lily doesn’t care if everyone—including Vincent—thinks she’s crazy. Especially when his mouth-watering talent and no-commitments style ignites one sizzling, no-strings fling, or two…or more.

But no matter how hard they try to keep things light, their relationship keeps getting hotter. The more Vincent helps Lily tackle unexpected trouble, the more he finds she might be everything he’s ever wanted. Can she afford to forget caution and finally let go? And can they both take a risk to discover if what they have is meant to last long after the dessert course?

K. M. Jackson, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is K. M. Jackson. A few years ago, She took the leap of faith and decided to pursue her dream of becoming a writer because she felt that we needed diverse romance. Welcome to my blog, K. M.

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

KM J: First thank you so much for having me here and thank you to your readers for joining us. Now, wow, 20 words or less… here goes… Lily Perry is fed up with being nagged to find a husband. So she’s settling the issue by marrying herself.

CH: Where do your ideas come from?

 KM J: My story ideas come from anywhere and everywhere. I can listen to a song on the radio and it can spark a story idea or a news story can bring on an idea. The funny way I got the idea for Insert Groom Here, book 1 in my Unconventional Bride Series is that I first heard my then pastor say those words during a sermon and I thought it would be a great book title, so I developed a story around it.

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

 KM J: For me no story is standard. They all have lives of their own. If they were standard they would be pretty dull. I don’t always get the whole concept but a grain of an idea and then I build off that. Ultimately though, the characters take the story where it wants to go.

CH: This idea is different—marrying yourself. How did you come up with the premise for writing this book?

KM J: For To Me I Wed, book 2, I got the idea from an internet article I read about a woman who threw a wedding for herself and I was intrigued. With a bit of research I found out she wasn’t the only one.

CH: When you start a new story, do you have a title for it? Or does the story trigger the title?

 KM J: Both. Sometimes the title comes first, as it did with Insert Groom Here and sometimes the story comes first. With traditional publishing, you don’t get to always keep your working title, so you do have to be flexible.

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

KM J: I like to think my voice is what sets me apart. I tend to let my characters go and say pretty much exactly what they are thinking on the page. I also don’t go for heroines who are perfect, because I’ve yet to meet those type of women in real life, so I like to show women who are us as we are or like the friends we’d like to hang out with.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

KM J: Now, this is so hard. It’s like picking your favorite child and as a mother of twins I don’t like to choose favorites. I will say I loved writing Lily Perry in To Me I Wed. She’s so take charge but also vulnerable and shows it. I like that about her. But mostly my favorite character to write is the one I just finished writing. LOL

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

KM J: That’s easy. The hardest is always the one I’m currently writing.

CH: Since this book this is part of a series, do readers need to read the first book in the series?

KM J: It’s always nice if readers do read the books that came before because I have other characters who make cameo appearances, but it’s not necessary because the stories are of new couples falling in love, so they can stand alone.

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

KM J: Yes, love can come at you in unexpected ways when you least expect it. Just be open.

CH: What other genre that you haven’t written in would you like to write a book?

KM J: That would probably be historical or mystery. I enjoy reading those genres.

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

KM J: Gosh this is so hard. There are so many authors I admire. I was lucky enough to be in a holiday anthology called Holiday Temptation with Farrah Rochon and Donna Hill and that was such a thrill for me. I’d love to work with either of these women again.

CH: Which writer do you admire most and why?

KM J: For me, I admire any writer that sits in the chair and gets the work done. Writing is a tough job and you don’t know how hard until you make the commitment to sit down and actually do it. I tip my hat to those that persevere and don’t give up because it’s truly not for the faint of heart.

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

KM J: My journey is quite a long one. But the short story is I started writing seriously when I left my job as a fashion designer to be home with my twins after losing our sitter. It took many years and more rejections than I cared to count to finally get picked up by a small digital and POD publisher. I, ultimately, parted ways with that publisher and self-published my work and one of my self-pubbed books, Bounce won a Golden Leaf Award from the New Jersey chapter of Romance Writers of America, which helped me get my foot in the door with my traditional publisher Kensington Books. My story is definitely not one of overnight success.

CH: What can we expect next from you?

KM J: At this time, To Me I Wed Book 2 in the Unconventional Brides series is coming out on April 25th and up for pre-orders now! Yay! The third book in that series The Betting Vow will be released in September.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

KMJ: I can be found on the web and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/KmJacksonAuthor/

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

KM J: My Unconventional Brides Series is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, iBooks, Kobo, Kensington or wherever books are sold.

CH: How to Find K. M. Jackson:

CH: Any closing remarks?

KM J: Once again thank you so much for having me. It has been an honor to be here and meet your readers. Happy Reading everyone!

CH: Thank you so much, K. M. Jackson, 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, K. M. Jackson and Cheryl Holloway.

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

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

   

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

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

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