Guest Author Interview – Olivia Gaines

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Title: On A Rainy Night in Georgia (Modern Mail Order Bride Book 5)

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Synopsis: On a rainy night in Georgia, Ezekiel Neary lights a fire in the old hunting cabin in the mountains where he, his two brothers and father would come to get away from it. Healing from a gunshot wound, the post-traumatic stress has left him less than fit for human company. Company was more than he bargained for when a naked pregnant woman in labor shows up on his doorstep.

The roads are washed out and Aisha Miller has no choice, but to run from her captor or risk bringing her child into the world in a dark cabin. Praying, she runs wildly through the woods, ending on a washed out road. The only glimmer of hope is a blue mailbox, partially rusted, halfway sticking out under the sparse moonlight.

The lone cabin sits on a hill, with two large windows looking down on her as if to pity her circumstance. Half crawling, the contractions are one minute apart and she prays that the figure in the window will be a Godsend versus the nightmare she just escaped.

Olivia Gaines, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Olivia Gaines. She writes contemporary romance with heart and humor. Welcome back to my blog, Olivia.

CH: Please tell us why we should read this book on modern mail order brides.

OG: I played with the premise of what if what you always prayed for came to you, but via a different route?  I think the readers are going to enjoy this book and the opportunity to read something fresh from me.

I am taking a chance by writing something a tad bit different with a scale back on the humor, a bump up in suspense and an alternate route to the happily ever after.

CH: In the beginning Aisha is held captive and escapes, how did you come up with the premise for this book?

OG: There are times when I free write.  I sit down and allow the words to flow, which is what happened with this story. I am fascinated with the psychology of the bad guy meeting the unbreakable woman and that is where this story starts.  He can’t break her spirit and she escapes, running, in the throes of labor and winding up on the doorstep of a man who himself came to Georgia to heal, but through her he finds new meaning for his life.

CH: Did you have to do any special research to write this book or is it all imagination?

OG: There wasn’t a great deal of research needed for the first book in this trilogy, but the other two brothers require some work.  We meet Gabriel, the middle brother in Blind Date.  Well, Gabriel is back, as well as, Nathaniel Mann, our hitman, who lives next door. The stories are all tied together with the brothers, so we get to experience Aisha’s healing process over a year’s time and evolution of their marriage in several books.

I didn’t see a way to wrap it all up with one happy bow for Aisha, so she is in a standalone novel, that interlaces with the other two stories. Her two friends, Cabrina and DeShondra, set out looking for her with a fresh clue, but for the sake of their safety, our main character, Zeke, intervenes for his brother. This creates the other two stories.

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

OG: I have a unique style of hard core word play, laced with humor at the most inopportune moments, having readers laughing out loud.  In one of my books, I take you through the gamut of anger, joy, laughter and tears.

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

OG: It was.  Halfway through the book I realized Zeke had delivered the baby, but didn’t cut the umbilical cord.  He was also giving the baby a bath a submersing her in water.  I had to go back and address that with quickness.  One other really relevant factor I had to take into consideration was that she’d had a baby and underwent a traumatic life event. There are no hot steamy sex scenes, but rather, caring intimate moments in the book.

I think it is tastefully done and appropriately addressed.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

OG: Zeke.  Here we have a character that has had a sole and single purpose for the past 12 years—to protect and serve.  After a terrible accident, his left leg is full of pins, he’s had a shoulder replacement and his hand has an unsteady tremble.  His primary mission and purpose in life has been taken away from him and Zeke has to find a reason to get up every morning. Viola, arrives this woman and child.

Aisha is not conscious for the first three chapters of the book.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

OG: I love Aisha’s character.  Life has handed her all of this ugly and in it, she finds beauty that she takes out, toys with and finds the happy in simply being alive. The other characters envy her ability to do this; yet, are concerned that she is “sugar coating a shit sandwich.”  The readers are going to connect with her, because she is a realist and a survivor.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

OG: Michelle, the baby.  Although, she has no words, she is an integral character in the story.  She is the one piece, which ties all of the sections of the story together.  She brings Nathaniel Mann to Zeke’s doorstep; heck, she brings Aisha to Zeke’s doorstep.  Zeke’s parents are pulled into the story because of the baby and she holds the main characters to task in the story.

Writing a silent character is tough.

CH: That is so true, Olivia. Is there a message in your novel that you want the readers to grasp?

OG: Yes.  How much of your life and freedom are you taking for granted?  Freedom isn’t free; yet, we have an abundance of it that we waste each day. Aisha understands this from having lost nearly a year of her life to her captor.  Each day she wakes, she is grateful, which is unnerving for those around her. Yet, she faces each day with an optimism, which is almost infectious.

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

OG: Pre-release threats from readers, who want it in their hands and they can’t wait until the day it releases. Note: The book has been released.

CH: Where did you get the idea for the series—modern mail order brides?

OG: It started as a joke between me and another author, but the more I worked with the concept, the more I loved the idea.  What if…we had all of these successful women, who have shattered the glass ceiling, made the money and found it all to be empty.  I pair them with very blue collar men, who live off the land and now, we have a story.

I get to write fresh stories, exploring a myriad of different jobs, a ways to live off the grid.

CH: This is book 5 in the series, how many more books are there in the series?

OG: I am doing all the states and even considered a couple of provinces, as well.

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

OG: The outline is a snap.  I use a three-act model and jot it all down hitting the six major plot points.  I then make a loose outline of chapters and what happens in each.  My draft is a final version.  I don’t do multiple rewrites.  You lose something in the storytelling when you second guess yourself. The hard part for me is the emotion. I can feel it.  I have to layer the words, so that the person on the other end absorbs the words and holds onto the story—days after they have read it.  That is the hard part.

CH: Can you tell us about the awards you’ve won?

OG: Let’s see.  I am a two-time Georgia Author of the Year Nominee.  I won Best Contemporary Novel in 2015 for Thursdays in Savannah (Slivers of Love Book 3) and recently, the 2017 IRAE Award for Best Contemporary for Wyoming Nights.

CH: What is your next writing project?

OG: I am completing this trilogy, but I have an exciting new project debuting in June with Siera London.  I am totally stoked about the concept of this five-book series that readers will be able to get all in one read.  It is called, “The Men of Endurance.”  A small-town series set in California in the Endurance Capital of America.

People come from all over the world to test their mettle against time, distance, nature and very thin air.

CH:  How to Find Olivia Gaines: 

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

OG: Amazon, Kindle, Kindle UK, Nook. iBooks, Kobo, and Universal.

CH: Any closing remarks?

OG: Thank you for giving me this opportunity to talk about my latest release. And for your followers, please enjoy the prologue to On the Rainy Night in Georgia. Due to space limitations, email authorCherylHolloway@gmail.com for your copy of the Prologue. I read the book and loved it!

CH: Thank you so much, Olivia Gaines, 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, Olivia Gaines 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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A Sisterhood of Women Living Life is Available on Amazon

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

Print Book and eBook are Available on Amazon

Cheryl Holloway’s A Sisterhood of Women Living Life: A Short Story Collection Book 1 is inspired by real-life women and real-life events. These stories will make you laugh, cry and want to give them a hug. The power of love, loneliness, heartache, revenge, and lies… What would you do if your life changed in a second?

A wonderfully entertaining read that will fit in with a cozy chair and a glass of chilled wine or a cup of hot tea.

Amazon Link: http://tiny.cc/0gd9qy

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

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

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The Proposal: A Leap of Faith by Cheryl Holloway is Available on Amazon

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The Proposal: A Leap of Faith  

eBook is Available on Amazon

Cheryl Holloway’s The Proposal: A Leap of Faith is inspired by a real-life woman and real-life events. This contemporary romance is smart and sophisticated, with a plot twist that will give the reader a jolt!

Will Marvin ask Carol to marry him or does he have something else on the agenda?

Amazon Link: http://tiny.cc/xwa9qy

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

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

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

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Guest Author Interview – Amie Denman and May Williams

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This Valentine’s Day, spice up your reading life and fall in love with a love story!

Title: Valentines at the Grand Hotel (White Pine Island Stories Book 5)

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Holidays

Synopsis: Hazel and Ian – Love requires just the right recipe.

When Hazel Weaver lands a dream internship as a pastry chef at the famous Grand Hotel on White Pine Island, she pours her heart into sweet desserts and stunning wedding cakes. Icing and confections fall under her spell, but the reclusive head chef at the hotel keeps her at a bittersweet distance.

Ian Dodd learned a painful lesson when a kitchen romance turned to disaster, and he vowed never to fall for someone in the restaurant business again. Especially, not a beautiful and sweet baker assigned to his kitchen as part of her training. He resists her as long as he can, believing he’s protecting both of them until a Valentine’s Day Ball provides some magic and a secret ingredient.

Francie and Christopher – Can two hearts heal in time for Valentine’s Day?

Francie Donati loves making fine wines in her family business on White Pine Island. Along with her brother and grandfather, she carries on the tradition even after a tragic sailing death takes the life of her father. A year after his loss, she can’t get her mind off the heroic Coast Guard Commander who tried to save him. Although, he seems unapproachable, Francie knows there is plenty of heart bubbling beneath his surface.

Lieutenant Commander Chris Sparks believes in honor and service at his island Coast Guard Station. Saving lives and keeping the ocean safe are beliefs that run through his veins. When a beautiful vintner tempts him with her sweetness, he relives his regret of the night he failed to save her father. More than that, Francie Donati believes in the power of family so strongly that she won’t look the other way when Chris gives up on his own parents. Is Francie’s love strong enough to make Chris stop bottling up his feelings and risk his heart?

Amie Denman, Author

May Williams, Author

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CH: Today’s Guest Authors are co-authors Amie Denman and May Williams. They write the popular Grand Hotel series. Welcome to my blog, Amie and May.

CH: Amie, can you tell us why we should read the story of Hazel and Ian?

AD: If you like beautiful hotels, amazing desserts, and falling in love, I hope you’ll enjoy this story. I think I gained five pounds writing it because talking about cakes and desserts made me want to bake and eat! Write about cake, bake a cake, eat the cake, and repeat.

CH: So, how did you come up with the premise for this story?

AD: May and I work together to create the characters for each book in our Grand Hotel series. We try to realistically think about who would be visiting or working at an island resort hotel, and that’s how we came up with a renowned chef and an apprentice pastry chef. The next step was to imagine what would keep them from falling in love with each other and then challenging that idea.

CH: Was it hard to intertwine the two stories into one book?

AD: May and I work together almost daily on our books, so intertwining them is an organic process. Lots of wine and conversation!

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

AD: This is my favorite question! May and I took the Amtrak from Ohio to Chicago (about a 5-hour trip) to attend BookCon in May, 2016. On the train on the way back, there was a crying baby in our car, so we escaped to the dining car and stayed up all night with our notebooks planning our White Pine Island series. When we got on the train, we knew we wanted to do a series of connected novellas together, and when we got off the train, we had our idea for a Grand Hotel on an island off the coast of Georgia. I’ll never forget that night on the train!

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

AD: I loved writing about Hazel because she’s sweet, but she’s not a push-over. And, wow, is she a fabulous baker!

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

AD: Ian was a little tougher to write because he’s an emotionally reclusive executive chef. So many chefs on television seem rude and callous, but I didn’t want to go with that stereotype for Ian. He has a good reason for guarding his heart, and that touch of vulnerability is what Hazel loves about him.

CH: Was a Valentine’s Ball imperative for the Grand Hotel series?

AD: A ball with beautiful gowns, delicious desserts, and the promise of romance is imperative for everything! But, yes, a resort hotel should host at least one formal ball a year—more if possible!

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

AD: Pride and Prejudice is my favorite romance, and I enjoy reading it over and over again. It’s the model for a great romance with memorable characters who give their hearts away, but not until they’ve put up a fight.

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

AD: I have always loved reading and dreamed of being a writer. My first book was published in 2011 by a small press, and I have written over 20 books since then. I have seven books published by Harlequin, and many self-published or co-authored. There were times it seemed my dream would never come true, but I’m so glad I never gave up and kept working until I found my voice.

CH: What is your next writing project?

AD: May and I are hard at work on Weekend at the Grand Hotel (our next White Pine Island book), and our next book in the Coastal Cruise Line stories which takes place on a luxury cruise ship called the Grand Islander. I’m also working on a fun summer novel, The Mayfly Summer Resort, and a series set on the coast of Maine called Kenyon Cove. I think/hope/believe I will have 12 books released in 2018!

CH: May, please tell us in one sentence, why we should read the story of Francie and Christopher?

MW: Francie Donati has every reason not to fall in love with Coast Guard Officer Christopher Sparks so, of course, she does.

CH: So, how did you come up with the premise for this story?

MW: In Autumn at the Grand Hotel, Francie’s brother finds love in a second chance romance. When Amie and I decided to continue the series with Valentine’s Day, Francie was a natural choice. Readers had already been introduced to Christopher, the Coast Guard Officer. Francie and Christopher had a little history and plenty of reasons why they shouldn’t get together, which made them perfect for a Valentine’s couple.

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

MW: Amie and I planned the first four books (one for each season) on an Amtrak train between Chicago and our homes in northern Ohio. We sat in the club car and created the concepts of the Grand Hotel and the family who owned it. As the books gained a following, we decided to continue the series. And we love writing them. Readers get to escape to the Grand Hotel when reading the books, but Amie and I escape when writing them, as well. And who doesn’t want to visit the Grand Hotel?

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

MW: In terms of dedication to the craft and the business of writing, there’s no greater influence than Marie Force. I love her books and her attitude about making her own success.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

MW: Francie was my favorite from this book. On the surface, she’s lighthearted and caring, but underneath she’s struggling with her own problems. I think, she’s a true representation of many women’s experiences.

CH: Was a Valentine’s Ball imperative for the Grand Hotel series?

MW: Absolutely. Guests at the Grand Hotel love to celebrate and what better celebration is there than Valentine’s Day? Especially, when characters are looking for love.

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

MW: I love Julia Quinn’s Bridgerton Family series. I’ve read them all several times. The novels appeal to me because each is different in character and tone, giving them so many layers to enjoy.

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

MW: I started writing historical romances, because I enjoyed reading them. I wrote WWII era and Victorian novels to start. Amie convinced me to try writing contemporary romance, and I love it. It’s freeing when I don’t have to worry about historical accuracy of clothing or houses or anything else. I published my first contemporary trilogy, Animal Prints, Snow Prints, and Finger Prints, in 2015. I plan to remain a contemporary romance writer.

CH: What is your next writing project?

MW: Amie and I will continue to write the Grand Hotel series. We’ve started a connected series set aboard a luxury ship that cruises the southern waters from Charleston to Key West. We’ve published One Christmas aboard the Grand Islander and Two Weeks aboard the Grand Islander so far, with more to come in 2018.

CH: How to Find Amie Denman and May Williams:

CH: Any closing remarks?

AD: Thank you for hosting Valentines at the Grand Hotel and promoting romance books in general. Reading and writing romance is good for the heart, and I’m so grateful I get to visit beautiful places like the Grand Hotel and the Grand Islander with my best friend and writing partner May Williams. I wish everyone a wonderful Valentine’s Day, no matter how you celebrate!

CH: Thank you so much, Amie Denman and May Williams, 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, Amie Denman, May Williams and Cheryl Holloway.

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

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

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Guest Author Interview – Ju Ephraime

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Title: A Knight’s Love: Medieval Time Travel Romance (Campbell Brothers Book 2)

Genre: Historical Romance

Synopsis: Fighting alongside his two brothers, Garvin Campbell of Clan Campbell is content to remain in the shadows. After all, he’s lived most of his adult life as a Knight Templar, and that requires him being in the shadows, not seen or heard. “Non nobis, Domine, non nobis, sed Nomini tuo da gloriam; (Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy Name, give glory). That was the rule of the Templars until they were forced to disband at the request of King Philip IV “the Fair” of France.

Many of the Order’s members in France were arrested and tortured. However, Scotland did not get involved in the arrests and prosecution of the Knights. There was no recognized king of the Scots, and with the Bruce having already been excommunicated, the Roman Church had little say in Scottish politics, so Garvin returned to his clan to use his skills in the fight against the English for Scottish independence.

Having been told all her life to avoid the Campbells, the last thing Lady Helen is thinking about is falling in love with a Campbell, and a Knight Templar at that. She is aware the Templar Knight has taken a vow of abstinence, so when Garvin Campbell comes to her clan to deliver the decree from Robert the Bruce, Helen is unprepared for the connection she immediately feels for the knight. She dismisses it as butterflies at meeting a knight, but fate has other plans for her and Garvin, as he becomes her reason for living and he forgoes his training of remaining in the shadows as he surrenders to love.

Ju Ephraime, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Ju Ephraime. She loves to indulge her over-active imagination to write the high heat romances she enjoys reading. Welcome to my blog, Ju.

CH: Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read this historical romance novel Valentine’s Day release.

JE: This story has many of the elements that make for a great romance:  A knight’s first love, a beautiful female, strong alphas, all set against one of Europe’s most romantic and fantasy filled locations—the Scottish Highlands.

CH: Finding love is pretty special, so how did you come up with the premise for this book?

JE: The premise for the book is about finding love when you least expect it.

CH: What made you decide to write an enchanting romance?

JE: Again, it was not planned that way, but all the stars were aligned to make this happen.

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

JE: Yes, lots and lots.

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

JE: Oh. I can’t answer this without sounding vain and egotistical, but I’ve been told, I can hold my own with some of the best in the industry—tongue in cheek.

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

JE: It was not hard at all. I did take a lot from real life and elaborated on it.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

JE: The opposing side.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

JE: The youngest brother of the main character.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

JE: The main character. As an ex-Templar Knight, I had to be very careful what I had him saying in the dialogue scenes.

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

JE: From places I’ve visited or want to visit, with rich interesting historical backgrounds.

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

JE: No one in particular, I read quite a wide selection.

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

JE: Stephanie Laurens, a #1 New York Times bestselling author.

CH: What is your next writing project?

JE: My third and final installment in this highlander trilogy.

CH: How to Find Ju Ephraime:

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

JE: This book is sold wherever fine books are sold and online at Amazon.

CH: Any closing remarks?

JE: I enjoyed doing this interview and hope my answers will give your audience an insight into the mind of an unbelievable romantic.

CH: Thank you so much, Ju Ephraime, 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, Ju Ephraime and Cheryl Holloway.

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

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

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

   

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

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

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Guest Author Interview – Eric Wilder

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Title: Sisters of The Mist (French Quarter Mystery Book 6)

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Paranormal

Synopsis: It’s Halloween in the French Quarter as P.I. Wyatt Thomas traces his missing girlfriend to a mysterious convent hidden deep in south Louisiana’s Honey Island Swamp. Even if he manages to find her and they both survive, will their relationship ever be the same?

Eric Wilder, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Eric Wilder. He is a master of Louisiana mystery writing. Welcome back to my blog, Eric.

CH: Can you sum up this New Orleans paranormal mystery in 20 words or less?

EW: It’s a diverse mixture of fantasy, reality, and the paranormal set in arguably the most haunting and exotic city on earth.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book on this topic?

EW: There is nothing normal about New Orleans. Its culture, religion, cuisine, etc., is a complex mixture of many people from all over the world. In New Orleans, voodoo and Catholicism are inextricably intertwined. In writing Sisters of the Mist, I wanted to explore this connection and do it by adding a dollop of fantasy to see what flavor I could achieve.

CH: Did you find anything challenging while writing about a convent?

EW: I once lived across the street from a Catholic convent where the nuns stayed cloistered for life. No one, neither friends nor family, ever visited them, and once they entered the compound, they never left it. Questions percolated in my brain for many years, until it became too much for a fiction writer not to probe the ether for answers.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues to mingle with New Orleans history?

EW: The complex cultural history of New Orleans is what makes the city so haunting and mysterious. Numerous plagues, slavery, killer hurricanes, and Civil War has shaped its history and made it unique. Because of this, I find it easy to use the Big Easy as the canvas upon which I apply the layers of color to create my stories.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

EW: Because of his intense family tragedy and the ensuing events leading to his spiritual development, Lando Impeke was the hardest character to develop. There’s a thin line between the complex, tragic character Lando is and the cartoon figure he could have become, if not portrayed correctly. I only hope I succeeded.

CH: Which characters experienced growth and change over the course of the story?

EW: Abba Gigoux experienced the most growth and change—her views on life, self-perception, and religious beliefs evolving dramatically.

CH: There were multiple themes in the book, how did they relate to each other and to the plot?

EW: I usually have two storylines intertwined throughout my books. Tony Nicosia, former N.O.P.D. homicide detective, turned P.I., is usually hot on the trail of a New Orleans’ mystery. This storyline is always related to a third person narrative and mostly lacks paranormal shadings. The primary storyline always involves Wyatt Thomas. It’s told in the first person, from his perspective and always involves fantasy, voodoo, and the paranormal.

CH: You have captured your readers when writing about New Orleans, and most of your readers come away from your books wanting to read more. How have you perfected this hook?

EW: I try to make the characters real, complete with warts including bigotry, racism, biases, and flaws. I also try to place the reader firmly in the Big Easy by using my knowledge of the city and its citizens to paint a vivid and very real picture of the place.

CH: Is there a special attachment that you have to New Orleans and this genre?

EW: New Orleans is one of the most interesting, complex, and mysterious cities on earth. I want my readers to feel as though they are actually there, and I always strive to make the city my main character.

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

EW: After reading The Exorcist many years ago, I didn’t sleep well for a month because it seemed so real to me. I do my best to bring my stories to life and make everything, no matter how unbelievable, believable.

CH: From a feedback perspective, and without a spoiler, did most readers find the ending to be satisfying and met their expectations of the plot?

EW: I wanted to leave a cliffhanger at the end of the book that no one was expecting. So far, everyone I’ve talked to that has read the book likes the ending.

CH: This is book 6 in the series, how many more books are there in the series?

EW: I honestly don’t know how many books this series will ultimately have. I love the characters and the setting, and I think I could go on forever. Guess I’ll stop when the readers stop asking for more.

CH: What is your next writing project?

EW: I’m working on French Quarter Mystery #7, which is tentatively titled, New Orleans Dangerous. It’s about an NBA player that gets traded to the New Orleans Pelicans and begins to learn he has a connection he didn’t know about that involves voodoo, incest, and murder.

CH: How to Find Eric Wilder:

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

EW: My books are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and Smashwords. Paperbacks can be ordered from your local bookstore.

CH: Any closing remarks?

EW: Thanks, Cheryl, for spotlighting my new book. You are a great author in your own right. Your blog is a wonderful platform for authors, and your interviews are astute, intelligent, and illuminating.

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

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Guest Author Interview – Patrick Parker

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Title: Six Minutes Early

Genre: Thriller/Suspense/Espionage

Synopsis: Max Kenworth, a former Delta Force officer and nuclear weapons expert, is tasked with stopping a major attack on US soil in this thrilling adventure.

FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) has stolen a cache of man-portable nuclear devices from a secure American facility in Panama. The weapons end up in the hands of ex-special forces officer Bart Madison. With the help of ISIS, drug cartels, and a US senator, Bart is planning to use the devices to create an atrocity in the American heartland.

Max is briefed on the situation by SOCOM (Special Operations Command) and teams up with FBI agent Gail Summers and Mossad agent Danya Mayer to find the weapons before they can be used against American citizens. The three will face opposition from both foreign enemies and so-called allies as they follow Bart’s trail across the continental United States. Their foe is intelligent and well connected, but the three of them are determined to stop this terrorist before more lives are lost.

Patrick Parker, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Patrick Parker. He has spent several years working in the defense industry. Welcome to my blog, Patrick.

CH: Can you sum up this espionage thriller for my audience?

PP: With the help of a traitor, ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) plots to attack the American heartland with a weapon of mass destruction.

CH: Your book, a sociopolitical suspense novel, deals with the realities of today’s life and terrorism. So, how did you come up with the premise for this book?

PP: I am a retired Army officer with a background in nuclear weapons. After retiring from the military, I spent an additional fifteen years in the defense industry. In both army and corporate jobs, I was involved in numerous classified, as well as, unclassified projects that dealt with the security of our country. Knowing the terrorists want to attack the U.S. with a nuclear type device, I drew on my military and corporate experiences to come up with the relevant, timely, and realistic story.

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

PP: I always do research on my books. Even if I have done something in real life a hundred times, I will still do research on it when I put it in a story. I want the story to be realistic. I want my readers to walk away and ask themselves, “What was real, and what was fiction?”

From the feedback I have received, I have accomplished that.

CH: Since this book is about recovering stolen nuclear weapons, did you run into any challenges while writing this book?

PP: I think every author has challenges. I had to ensure nothing I wrote was classified and that it was close to reality. I was able to find through open sources those items I needed for the story.  Not too many years ago, I couldn’t make that statement. I probably couldn’t even write the story the way I did, as it would be classified. My background was an asset in writing this story. I have always heard, “write about what you know.” So, I did.

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

PP: I make my stories very realistic, and I write through the eyes of someone that has experienced many of the places, events, and situations. In Six Minutes Early, terrorists with the help of an ex-Special Forces Officer, steal man-packed nuclear weapons from a classified site in Panama. Man-packed nuclear weapons are real. Terrorists are real and want to attack the heartland. My writing is realistic and usually contains things that have actually happened. There are challenges and I fill in the pieces.

My stories are fast-paced and keep the reader on the edge of his or her seat.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

PP: All of the characters are different and I have to keep them separate, then stay true to the character.  I would say that Danya Mayer was the hardest.  I’m a male and she is female. She had to be a believable female character, as well as, a professional from Mossad. It was a challenge to get her thoughts, actions, and what she might say to be believable.

FBI Special Agent Gail Summers was another, “tuffer ‘n woodpecker lips,” female. She is a professional that matured in the man-dominated world of the FBI. Gail was patterned after a real female FBI agent.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

PP: I enjoyed writing all of the characters, because they were all different. Probably, Max Kenworth was the most fun. He was quiet, resourceful, and skilled. He had to navigate through the politics of the different agencies and the personalities of the women he worked with to accomplish his mission.

I also had fun writing the terrorists. They were a different bunch. Aside from the Muslim terrorists, there were several Americans working for them.

CH: Which character was hardest to develop?

PP: In a way they were all hard to write because they were all different and had different agendas. Probably, the terrorist were the hardest.  They don’t think like Westerners. So, when one of those characters was in the scene, I had to think like I envisioned them to think. They spoke and used mannerisms the way I imagined them to do.  They were a challenge, but also fun.

CH: Since this book is full of suspense, action, and intrigue, do you prefer writing books with a lot of twists and turns and ups and downs?

PP: Yes, I think that adds to the suspense. This is especially true if it is realistic and contains real things or events. Real life is that way. The protagonist must overcome a situation to succeed. In Six Minutes Early, Max Kenworth, the protagonist, is facing an equally capable antagonist, Bart Madison. Max must draw on every bit of his experience, but Bart manages to stay one step ahead of him. Max is not only challenged by his adversary, but his allies, as well. As the clock ticks away, egos of those he must work with in the U.S. Government Agencies become hostile roadblocks to him completing his mission. All of the twists and turns, ups and downs, in this book keep the reader on the edge of his or her seat.

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

PP: They should feel satisfied that their time was well spent. I want a reader continue to ask, “What was real and what was fiction?” My goal is to entertain them. I want the reader to walk away knowing that I write a good book and that I have worked hard to eliminate errors. The next time they buy one of my books, they will know it will be a great ride!

I didn’t really plan to convey a message when I started Six Minutes Early, but one did emerge. The U.S. is vulnerable to an attack, much as I described. There are some people that do have a hand in our security that will do whatever is necessary to get a “gold star” on their report. Often, there are those in charge that don’t have the necessary skills to be in the position they are thrust into. Also, there are those that will readily prostitute themselves for a piece of the limelight. This is the real world we live in today. I hope the reader will ask: “What is real, how vulnerable are we, and what is the real motivation of those in charge?”

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

PP: It has all been great! Here are a few snippets: “…high tension, rapid-paced, edge-of-your-seat ride….” “A thriller with unmatched suspense!” “Six Minutes Early is full of suspense, action and intrigue.” “This book is the real deal.” “He’s pulled off an international thriller without leaving the sexy bits.” “I enjoyed every minute reading about the story and the characters…”  “I enjoyed Patrick Parker’s nail-biting adventure written from a vast store of military and weaponry experience. Six Minutes Early has an immensely authentic and frightening theme that one might fear could be read flashing across the screen as a FOX news Special Alert.”

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

PP: From a lot of places: people, events, and history. Usually, something happens and that has a relationship to something else. I take a ‘what if’ approach. That gets me going.

I get my ideas from either history or something that has happened. A fiction writer could not make up what has been happening in the news over the last several years. Some of it is hard to believe. It is fantastic fodder for a writer and I take advantage of it. I have gleaned several ideas from what has been in the news, which makes my stories, although, fiction, more believable. I think my readers love it!

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

PP: Good question. Several authors inspired me. Ken Follett, Robert Ludlum, John Le Carré, and, of course, Tom Clancy. They are all great suspense storytellers and I like their style and topics. I’d probably have to say Ken Follett would be my top choice.

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

PP: Another good question. Each of my favorite authors have a lot of great books. My favorite would probably be, Eye of the Needle by Ken Follett. The story is set during the World War II era, just before the Normandy invasion. The master spy, code name, ‘Needle’ was the object of one of the most desperate manhunts in history. I like that era in our history and the way Follett writes the story kept me on the edge of my seat.

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

PP: My journey as a writer started out as a challenge. I was traveling a lot and I would usually pick up a book to read on the plane. After two books in a row, I complained to my wife how poorly the books were written with various errors. They were published by big name, traditional publishing houses. When I said I could write a better book, she said, “Well, do it.” I wrote Treasures of the Fourth Reich. I had fun writing it and achieved my goal.

With the success of my first book, I decided to write War Merchant. It turned out great, then next I wrote Six Minutes Early. All three have received four and five star reviews.

The first thing is the idea. If it’s something I’m interested in enough to work on for the time it takes to write a book, usually a year or so, I will go on to the next step. I proceed to explore it and then come up with an ending. With the idea (situation) and ending, I then work backwards to get a rough idea of how to get to the end. What must happen, what type of characters are needed to get to the ending. Everything along the way must be believable. Usually, I take something from history, something that really happened and go from there. For example, in Treasures of the Fourth Reich, that story was based on the true Nazi looting of Europe and what could have happened forty-five to fifty years later.

I don’t really plan everything out, but capture the points that will get to the end. Usually, the characters take control and write the story. I just get out of the way.

I do research before and while I’m writing. It could be about a character, place, or event. I try to write so that the reader is constantly asking, “What is real and what is fiction?”

CH: What is your next writing project?

PP: I’m working on a suspense book that has actually turned out to be a sequel to Six Minutes Early. I didn’t originally plan it that way; the characters did it. At the height of the 2016 Presidential election, an attempted coup d’état happened in Turkey. Chaos and turmoil was the norm in the U.S. The election was full of corruption, dirty tricks, and shenanigans. Internationally the U.S. and lame duck President were not respected. So, I took the situation and came up with the idea.

The story is full of suspense, corrupt politicians, murder, treason, terrorists, and all the other makings of a great story. Keep watching for it.

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

PP: My books are available in paperback and Kindle versions through Amazon.

CH: How to Find Patrick Parker:

CH: Any closing remarks?

PP: I can’t think of anything else to add. This has been thorough.

Thank you for interviewing me, Cheryl. I hope you have enjoyed it as much as I have. I would love to hear from your readers and get their comments about my books.

CH: Thank you so much, Patrick Parker, 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, Patrick Parker and Cheryl Holloway.

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Guest Author Interview – Ken Stark

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Title: Arcadia Falls

Genre: Horror

Synopsis: Something is wrong in Arcadia Falls. The first boy vanished without a trace and with just as little fanfare. Even the second disappearance amounted to little more than a few passing remarks and another name skipped over in the classroom roll call. As far as Riverside High and the rest of Arcadia Falls were concerned, it seemed, it was as if nothing had happened at all. Tyler John was no different. He had barely given the matter a second thought, but then a wrong turn sent him on a path straight into the dark heart of the mystery, and the deeper he peered into the shadows, the more he realized that something was looking back. Now, the hunter has become the hunted and time is running out. With nowhere else to turn, it’s up to Tyler and his handful of friends to stop the evil thing that’s been preying on Arcadia Falls, and if they fail, they might just be the next ones to vanish. Yes, something is desperately wrong in Arcadia Falls, and it’s like nothing anyone has ever seen before.

Ken Stark, Author

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s International Guest Author is Ken Stark. He writes stories to chill the blood. Welcome to my blog, Ken.

CH: Can you sum up this young adult horror in 20 words or less?

KS: Something is preying on Arcadia Falls, and a small group of friends have to either stop it, or die trying.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book on this topic?

KS: I asked my best friend’s teenaged daughter one day what kind of book she’d most like to read, and her answer was, “Something scary, with a monster, and some kind of mystery.” Well, scary was right up my alley, and a mystery could only add depth to the story, but it was her insistence that the monster be something entirely new that really hooked me. I mean, what horror writer doesn’t want to unleash a whole new monster on the world? I started hashing out a story that very night, and the more developed the ‘monster’ became, the more I knew I had to let it loose.

CH: Did you find anything challenging while writing about kids disappearing and the townspeople not seeming to care?

KS: I tend to get caught up in the details, so the logistics of this story were a bit of a challenge. Without giving too much away, the ‘thing’ that’s been preying on Arcadia Falls has a way of hiding in plain sight, so it was a constant balancing act with different characters knowing a little more than the others and with how long each one might retain those memories.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues?

KS: It isn’t easy to keep a story grounded in reality when it’s specifically designed to scare the snot out of the reader, but if it’s going to be scary, it has to be believable—and to be believable, it first has to be imaginable. I can create any kind of monster I want, but if the reader can’t imagine such a thing existing or if the characters don’t act the way real people would in those situations, then the whole thing falls apart. It’s like capturing that single moment where we’re just waking up from a nightmare and everything is familiar; yet, anything is possible. That moment is fleeting at best, but I have to make it last through an entire book, so it can be tricky at times.

CH: There are several characters in the group of teens. Which character was hardest to develop?

KS: Niki is by far the most complex character I’ve ever created, so she was a handful to say the least! She’s sweet and she’s snarky and she’s vulnerable and she’s strong, and I was never really sure which side of her was going to show up at any given moment, so she demanded a lot of attention. But it was important to me that I get her right, so all of that work really was a labor of love.

CH: Which characters experienced growth and change over the course of the story?

KS: Certainly, everyone was affected by the experience, but where most of them were changed more was in how they perceived one another and the world around them, than in any physical sense. I think Roly underwent a real metamorphosis along the way. He showed his true colors, he proved his courage, and he might just have become the hero no one ever thought he could be.

CH: Which character was your favorite to write?

KS: Niki was my favorite character, but Sarah was my favorite character to write. She’s sarcastic and she’s a smart-ass, so it was a sheer joy to me every time she opened her mouth. Plus, she has a heart of gold underneath that tough exterior, so it was great letting her reveal her gooey center to the others, if only in tiny little glimpses.

CH: You have captured your readers, teens and adults alike, when writing horror stories, and most of your readers come away from your books wanting to read more. How have you perfected this hook? 

KS: Honestly, I have no idea! I simply write what I write and hope that someone out there likes it. When I first started out, I figured my stuff would appeal to a fairly tight demographic, but the feedback I get is from everywhere across the spectrum.

The best I can figure, it’s because I write from the heart. I try to screw words together in a way that will scare the crap out of people, yes, but there’s always within it a glimmer of hope. The world may be crashing down around your ears and every nightmare you’ve ever had might be coming to life, but as bad as things get, there might just be a way out, and maybe, just maybe, you don’t have to go through the nightmare alone. I guess that kind of story just resonates with people. Tell you what, though…if you can figure out for sure what makes one book successful, while another gathers dust, you tell me and we’ll patent that sucker.

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

KS: Well, I don’t feel particularly compelled to adhere to rules of grammar set out by some bespectacled professor centuries ago, so I write in a very natural way. When you’re talking to a friend, you don’t worry about dangling participles or splitting infinitives, so why should it be any different just because it’s in print?

Arcadia Falls was written with a younger reader in mind, but I didn’t do anything different to fit the story into the ‘YA’ genre. In fact, I don’t think that there should even be a specific genre based on age. Young people are every bit as smart as their elders, and quite often smarter, so they are perfectly capable of deciding what they want to read.

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

KS: They can come from anywhere at all, and I mean that literally. Sitting in traffic? What if that kindly old gentleman one car over has a child’s body in the trunk. Or that sound that woke me up in the middle of the night? What if that was the last dying gasp of a neighbor? Literally anything and everything can be turned into a horror story if you look at it a certain way. A visit to an elderly aunt, a stray cat, a knock on the door, a siren in the night, sitting on a toilet, taking a shower…

Tell you what, the next time you’re about to pull back that shower curtain, take a second or two and let your mind wander. How many horrors can you imagine waiting for you on the other side?

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

KS: I admired so many authors growing up; Poe, Asimov, King, Conan Doyle, Wells… I’d love to meet them all, but I honestly don’t know if I’d want to work with any of them. Writers are a solitary bunch after all, and we all want the story to come out as we see it in our heads, so collaborations are tricky. If I worked with any one of those masters, I’m sure I’d be relegated to coffee-monkey, so I’d much rather just hang out and pick their brains and maybe steal a peek over their shoulder from time to time, as they went to work.

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

KS: I have to go with a classic: Bram Stoker’s Dracula. Yes, scarier books have been written since, but for sheer creepiness, nothing beats the book that first introduced us to the modern vampire.

CH: From a feedback perspective, and without a spoiler, did most readers find the ending to be satisfying and met their expectations of the plot? 

KS: I’m happy to say that from what I’ve heard, the ending fits the story perfectly—scary, exciting, and with a surprise or two thrown in for good measure.

CH: What is your next writing project?

KS: I’m hard at work on the third book of the Stage 3 series, entitled Stage 3: Bravo, and I have a couple of short stories in the works as well, one of which will be part of an anthology due out for Halloween. Everything else is up in the air for now, right where I like to keep them.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

KS: Absolutely! I invite everyone to drop by and have a look. There’s no mailing list or newsletter to sign up for, so stop in, read a short story or two, and use the contact page to drop me a line. I can’t promise to answer every message, but I promise I’ll read them all.

CH: How to Find Ken Stark:

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

KS: Arcadia Falls is on Amazon right now, with a special release price of 99 cents, but the sale will only last until mid-February, so act fast!

CH: Any closing remarks?

KS: This was a lot of fun! Thank you, Cheryl! I’m always grateful for the opportunity to share a little bit about myself and my books and the writing process, and if anyone wants to know more, they can find me on my website or on social media. Just search for my name or PennilessScribe, and you’ll find me.

Happy reading to you all!

CH: Thank you so much, Ken Stark, 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, Ken Stark 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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Book Boost for A Sisterhood of Women Living Life by Cheryl Holloway

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Please enjoy the link here:

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Read more here:

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

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

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Readers’ Favorite 4-Star Review

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

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

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

Amazon Link: http://tiny.cc/58ivpy

 

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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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Wanted BOOK REVIEWERS For Cheryl Holloway Books

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

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Wanted BOOK REVIEWERS For Cheryl Holloway Books

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

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

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

   

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

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Coming Soon in Paperback…A Sisterhood of Women Living Life by 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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Readers’ Favorite 5 Star Review for The Proposal: A Leap of Faith

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Readers’ Favorite 5 Star Review

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Please read the wonderful 5 Star Review by Rosie Malezer at:

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“This is my all-time favorite review of any of my books!”

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

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Guest Author Interview – 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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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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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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If You Love These Books, Leave An Amazon Review!

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If you LOVE these books, please leave a REVIEW on Amazon.com.

 

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

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

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

   

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

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Readers’ Favorite 5 Star Review for The Proposal: A Leap of Faith

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Readers’ Favorite 5 Star Review

Title: The Proposal: A Leap of Faith

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Short Story

Synopsis: If you love contemporary romance with real-life events…

Carol and Marvin love each other and have dated off and on for over ten years; however…Carol becomes jaded about the relationship when Marvin won’t ask her to marry him. Marvin’s commitment to the relationship never wavers despite being afraid to commit to marriage. Finally, he wants to move their relationship to the next level—on Valentine’s Day. After a heartbreaking event and crying for days, Carol is ready and at last she thinks he is, too. Will he ask her to marry him or does he have something else on the agenda? Will commitment-phobic Marvin take the plunge…

Smart and sophisticated, with a plot twist that will give the reader a jolt!

Similar to books written by Shirley Wine and Becky Wade.

Cheryl Holloway’s The Proposal: A Leap of Faith is inspired by a real-life women and real-life events.

Please read the wonderful 5 Star Review by Rosie Malezer at:

https://readersfavorite.com/book-review/the-proposal

“This is my all-time favorite review of any of my books!”

 

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

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

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

   

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

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Guest Character Interview – Carol from The Proposal: A Leap of Faith

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Title: The Proposal: A Leap of Faith

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Short Story

 Synopsis: If you love contemporary romance with real-life events…

Carol and Marvin love each other and have dated off and on for over ten years; however…Carol becomes jaded about the relationship when Marvin won’t ask her to marry him. Marvin’s commitment to the relationship never wavers despite being afraid to commit to marriage. Finally, he wants to move their relationship to the next level—on Valentine’s Day. After a heartbreaking event and crying for days, Carol is ready and at last she thinks he is, too. Will he ask her to marry him or does he have something else on the agenda? Will commitment-phobic Marvin take the plunge…

Smart and sophisticated, with a plot twist that will give the reader a jolt!

Similar to books written by Shirley Wine and Becky Wade.

Amazon Link: http://amzn.to/2nyl2J3

Cheryl Holloway, Author

Note: This interview was prior to Leap Year Day 2016.

CH: Welcome, Carol Anderson. She is the main character in The Proposal: A Leap of Faith. My readers and followers would like to find out a little about your life as a character. Let’s begin, since you are in a contemporary romance book tell us about your love life, are you in love and with whom? And how long have you been in a relationship?

CA: Yes, I’m in love with Marvin Brewster. We’ve dated, on and off, for about ten years.

CH: What is your idea of perfect happiness?

CA: Finding a man that I love and who loves me in return, and ultimately, getting married. I’m half way there. I’m so excited. I think, he’s going to propose to me on Leap Year Day. (Carol laughs with joy in her heart and a smile on her face.)

CH: Do you have any secrets?

CA: I just have one secret that I hold near and dear to my heart. It is that I want to get married—sooner, than later.

CH: Wow, that’s a big one. So, do you have any fears?

CA: My only fear is my significant other doesn’t seem to think it’s important.

CH: When and where are you the happiest?

CA: When I’m with Marvin. He makes me smile and makes my heart beat fast. We can be anywhere. He always holds my hand when we are walking. And he gives me the best hugs—ever.

CH: What is your favorite memory?

CA: When me and Marvin were walking in a light rain, holding hands, while laughing and talking. It was a beautiful moment.

CH: What is your favorite flower?

CA: Marvin gave me a single red rose for Valentine’s Day.

CH: What is your favorite possession?

CA: A Tiffany & Co. Heart Tag bracelet engraved with “Will you marry me?”

CH: What is your favorite pastime?

CA: I would say going to dinner with Marvin.

CH: Wow, every question I ask, you refer to your life with Marvin. I take it, he’s very important to you.

CA: Yes, indeed. I love him with all of my heart and I can hardly wait until we get married and start a family.

CH: Let’s change the subject a moment and talk about your author. What is Cheryl like?

CA: Cheryl is a nice person and a talented writer, but sometimes I have to make sure she doesn’t diss my man. I think Cheryl doesn’t like Marvin.

CH: Oh, really. Well, since you seem to have a one-tract mind, this interview is almost over. Do you have any closing comments?

CA: Yes, love is often the fruit of marriage. So, I just want Cheryl to write about our June wedding with 250 guests, a made to order chocolate wedding cake and hundreds of pale pink roses—everywhere. I think that would be absolutely stunning. Don’t you?

CH: Yes…Well, thank you, Carol, for giving this interview. And one thing is for sure. You are definitely in love with Marvin. And readers, if you would enjoy this book.  I suggest you pick up a copy at your earliest convenience. 

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

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

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

   

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

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

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