Guest Author Interview – Shyla Colt

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Title: Twist of Fate (Kings of Chaos Book 6)

Genre: Romantic/Multi-Cultural/Interracial

Synopsis: Shayne Spencer wasn’t the man of my dreams.

A twist of fate placed us in the confines of my family’s food truck. The attraction between us was a force of nature we couldn’t ignore. The bonds we formed made me believe in forever, and gave me the courage to break free from the chains of tradition.

Then fate took another turn, and I learned Shayne wasn’t who he said he was. Now, I’m forced to question everything I thought I knew.

I went on a mission for the Kings of Chaos looking for, redemption and reconciliation with my hate-filled past. What I found was the greatest treasure I never knew I was seeking, Xia Foley. I should never have gotten involved with the brown-skinned woman. My hands are stained with the dirt I’ve done and the choices I made.

Will my past as the reformed son of a racist traitor ruin my chance at creating a future worth living?

Shyla Colt, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Shyla Colt. Three of her favorite writing areas are strong females, pop culture, and alternate routes to happy ever after. Welcome to my blog, Shyla.

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

SC: Two lost souls, find more than themselves when fate places them together. They discover a love worth fighting for.

CH:  A twist of fate…how did you come up with the premise for this book?

SC: I love reality tv, where people compete. I was watching Master Chef with my family, and this story hit me.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?

SC: I wanted to do something fun, with the competition in the book, and I wanted to write a coming of age story for an older woman. Sometimes it takes more time to figure things out, and become the adults we want to be.

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

SC: I don’t believe so.  I think we’ve all been cast into roles that don’t suit us at one time, and we stay for one reason or another.

It takes courage to break free, take risks, and in some cases go against our family. As someone who has a job in the creative field, I understood that feeling well. People don’t always understand what you do, or why you do it.

I also related to the theme of racism and the change that can come from understanding, and knowledge, because I’ve seen that happen, and I wanted to tell that story.

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

SC: My ideas come from all over the place. I might see a movie, or a tv show. It could be sparked by a place I saw on a road trip.

I’m a character-driven writer, so often the character comes to me and tells me their story, or something happens that triggers me developing a character to match it.

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

SC: I’m not sure how to answer this. I’m a pretty unique person, and I think my perspective, and the things I write about can be unique, i.e., the food truck business in this story.

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

SC: I did a decent amount, to get the food truck business and contests correct. Because I once lived near the areas I wrote about. I didn’t have to invest as much time on the setting, as I usually do.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

SC: Oh wow, I think Xia. I loved her unique style, determination, and drive. I admired her.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

SC: Hmmm. I think Xia’s father. I didn’t like some of the things he did, but I had to stay true to him as a character.

CH: When you wrote the first book in the series, did you realize it would be a series then? Which book in the series was hardest to write?

SC: I did know it would be a series. I really enjoy world building, so I was excited. Wow, the hardest one to write…maybe For the Love of Dixie, because of the very sensitive subject matter.

CH: Will there be other books in this series?

SC: Yes, there will be a few more.

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

SC: Love is for everyone and tragedy, or hard times don’t last forever.

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

SC: I get the good, the bad, and the honest. (Shyla laughs) I’m blessed to have readers who take the time to tell me what they enjoyed, didn’t enjoy, and would like to see more. I appreciate them so much.

CH: What can we expect from you next—more series or a stand alone?

SC: A mixture of both. I try to keep things varied.

CH: How to Find Shyla Colt:

CH: For my audience, where is your book sold?

SC: Amazon

CH: Any closing remarks?

SC:  Cheryl, Thank you for having me. It’s been a lot of fun.

CH: Thank you so much, Shyla Colt, 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, Shyla Colt 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 – Toki Smith

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Title: Them Inside Me

Genre: African-American Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

Synopsis: Several women come together to support each other while trying to find healthy ways to deal with the traumas each has faced. But during the course of their 8 week support group, betrayal, self-doubt and even murder begins to threaten their path to becoming survivors. “Them Inside Me” is a look at sexual assault and the long-term consequences.

Toki Smith, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Toki Smith. She is a passionate writer who takes real situations and creates an inspiring novel. Welcome to my blog, Toki.

CH: Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book.

 TS: My book is, not only a murder mystery, but also elements of my own journey as a sexual assault victim.

CH: This book is about a support group of women dealing with traumas. Why did you decide to write this book?

TS: I haven’t read books about “real” characters in a trauma support group.  Many books have the standard few characters that are so one dimensional, it will falsely leave you thinking all victims present have the same cookie cutter behaviors.  I wanted to show, from a personal experience, what it was like for me in a support group.

CH: Was it hard creating believable situations and issues?

TS: It was hard to express my life situations in a way that drove the fictionalized elements of the story.  I wanted to be true to my history, while not making this a biography, per se.  I haven’t known pimps and prostitutes, so I drew on some of those 1970’s TV shows for inspiration!

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

TS: My first book, The Plan, featured an assassin and I wanted to tell a story about how that person became a killer and a human being without regard for others.  During my journey, I’ve wondered why I became a law-abiding citizen and not a hard, hostile and unforgiving person.  So, I got to explore the dangerous side through my writing.

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

TS: The feedback has been universal—the characters speak like people they know.  I tried to use an honest voice, as I think the character would want to express their truth.

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

TS: Yes, I set my story in a fictional town in West Virginia, but my son, who is a West Virginia University student, made me a map of the downtown area, so I could use it for the story.  Otherwise, I relied on my clinical skills, I’m a clinical social worker (mental health therapist) and a survivor of rape and incest.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

TS: My favorite character to write was Yvette!  She was a ‘tell-it-like-it is’ girl and I wish I could be more like her and not care about the consequences.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

TS: Penny for sure…she was a professional dealing with the long-standing consequences of being raped by a cousin.  Reliving my own rape to write her storyline was very painful.

CH: Tell us a little about your first book and whether you will decide to make your second book a series?

TS:  My first book, The Plan, introduced us to an assassin, but it’s definitely a stand-alone book.  I’m not sure if Them Inside Me will be a series.  Although, I have gotten feedback that certain characters should have their own books.

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

TS: Yes, a few take-aways would be:

  • Don’t assume you know how the victim feels;
  • Some families do make it back from trauma;
  • Don’t assume every victim is the same;
  • Suicide may not be an option to you, but respect that victims may see it as a very real option; or
  • There is help out there…keep living till you find it.

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

TS: Sexual assault victims have reached out to me with thanks for giving them a voice.  One lady’s mother committed suicide years ago and she wanted to thank me for giving her some idea of what her mother may have been dealing with.

The Center for Abused Persons asked me to be their guest speaker (Victim’s Vigil) and from there, the Charles County Commissioners invited me to speak at a town hall meeting about childhood sexual abuse.

Lastly, one of my first therapists wrote that she was proud of me and my book was “on par with the mysteries I read.”

CH: Who are some of your writing influences?

TS: Janet Evanovich and James Patterson.

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

TS: Meeting other victims and having them tell me I got it right!

CH: What can we expect next from you?

TS: I would really like to write a story where Barbra Streisand and Robert Redford get back together!  I can’t believe The Way We Were has been left for so long with their characters still apart!

CH: How to Find Toki Smith:

CH: For my audience, where is your book sold?

TS: My above website and Amazon; also found at Southern Maryland libraries!

CH: Any closing remarks?

TS: Thanks Cheryl for offering your platform to support other writers.

CH: Yes, I pay it forward to other authors as much as I can. Thank you so much, Toki Smith, 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, Toki Smith and Cheryl Holloway.

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Guest Author Interview – Jeanna L. Pryor

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Title: Every Penny Counts: Become A Middle-Income Millionaire

 Genre: Personal Finance/Money Management

 Synopsis: Are you fed up of living paycheck to paycheck? Every Penny Counts shows you how to become debt free and build wealth using the money you make. Middle-income workers make hundreds of thousands of dollars during their working lifetime, but struggle to live day-to-day and retire at near-poverty levels. You don’t have to! You can live the American dream using your take home pay. You don’t have to be rich to become rich. You can live in comfort, buy a home, pay for college, take vacations, and stop robbing Peter to pay Paul. Follow the techniques and principals outlined in Every Penny Counts to begin a chain reaction of financial success.

Jeanna L. Pryor, Author and Financial Coach

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Jeanna L. Pryor. She is a Financial Coach and helps people to become middle-income millionaires. Welcome to my blog, Jeanna.

CH: Please tell us in sentence, why we should read your book.

JLP: Many struggle with getting the most with the money they make, this book tells you how.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?

 JLP: I began writing the book in 1982 when I began teaching and assisting individuals with their finances, in 2009, I finally put all of my notes together and wrote the book over a two-week period.

CH: Why is it important for middle-income people to have financial freedom?

JLP: It’s important for everyone to achieve financial independence.  The difference between financial freedom and independence is independence is a level of financial security that only the individual can determine.  Freedom is rarely achieved, because laws and needs change.

CH: What is generational wealth? Why is it important to our generation?

JLP: Generational wealth is created when a financial inheritance of assets (money, property, stocks, etc.) are left from one generation to the other.  These assets continue to increase in value and are used as leverage to achieve more wealth.  It’s important because it catapults each generation financially forward to achieve a legacy, create jobs, and more assets.  Great examples of generational wealth are the Hiltons, Kennedy’s, Walton’s, and Rockefeller’s etc..

CH: What is a fiduciary? Are you a fiduciary?

JLP: A fiduciary is a financial advisor that is under law to place their client’s interests above their own when providing financial advice.  This is important because while they could benefit financially and make more money providing a recommendation, if the recommendation is not in the clients’ best interest, they cannot make the recommendation.  Yes, I am a fiduciary.  But more importantly, without the legal requirement to do so, as a person of integrity and moral character, I would not make a recommendation that is not in the best interest of my client.

CH: What type of services does a financial planner provide?

JLP: It depends on their license and competence.  The services could include, financial planning for retirement, college, etc., investment executions, banking, and insurance.

CH: Do you offer sample financial plans?

JLP: Yes

CH: What are ‘penny’ stocks?

JLP: Penny stock is stock that cost less than $5 per share.

CH: Is there a special investment approach that middle income families should use?

JLP: No.  Each investment approach is unique to the individual, their financial goals, the funds they have available to achieve the goal and how much risk they feel comfortable taking. There is no one-size fits all.

CH: Should people use eTrade?

JLP: Self-trade and eTrade platforms are great for individuals that are willing to do their own research and investing.  I recommend self-traders consult with a fee-based financial advisor at least annually to get a comprehensive check-up on how they are progressing with their financial goals.  Making trades is only one component of financial planning and goal setting.

CH: Is financial planning a one-on-one process or do you work with a team of advisors?

JLP: The consultation should be a one-on-one or family process to ensure the individual’s needs are met.  The consultation to create the best financial platform should be a team process.  By this I mean, tax, accountants, banking, legal, etc., experts work with the financial advisor to create the best solution for their client.

CH: What are some of the most important financial resources ordinary people need?

JLP: Like the previous answer, the resources are experts in finance, law, banking, taxes, and accounting for starters.  Each considers the implication each of their expertise can be used to help their client achieve their financial goals.

CH: Realistically, can a middle income person become a millionaire?

JLP: Absolutely.  Most middle-income persons will make over a million dollars during their working lifetime.  The key is having strategies to keep and grow most of what they make.  That’s where their expert financial team can help.

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

JLP: Most are surprised at the budget strategy I teach in the book.  Those that have employed it have eliminated their debt in less than three years.  They also share how they became more aware of where they were spending money and how to redirect those funds to achieve the goals they wanted.

CH: How to Find Jeanna L. Pryor:

CH: For my audience, where is your book sold?

JLP: Amazon is the best place to find it.

CH: Any closing remarks?

JLP: Ms. Holloway, thanks for this opportunity to share my thoughts on Every Penny Counts.  The principals taught in the book have been used with great success, since 1982 with my clients and students.  Try them for yourself.

CH: Thank you so much, Jeanna L. Pryor, 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, Jeanna L. Pryor 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 – Rachel J. Good

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Title: Buried Secrets (Sisters and Friends Series )

 Genre: Religious/Inspirational/Romance/Amish

Synopsis: Overcome the past and any other obstacles that stand in the way of the future God has planned for you.

Three years after the accident that almost claimed her life, Emma Esh has recovered physically, but has no memory of the year before the accident. When she moves to a new community to help her sister Lydia and brother-in-law, Caleb, prepare for the birth of twins, she falls for their neighbor Samuel.

But the twins’ premature birth, a visit from the Englisher Emma once dated, and the sudden return of her memory threaten Emma’s romance. After the secrets of her past are revealed, will love be able to overcome all obstacles?

Rachel J. Good, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Rachel J. Good. Rachel writes heartfelt tales of faith, hope and forgiveness. Welcome to my blog, Rachel.

CH: Can you sum up your Amish/Inspirational novel in 20 words or less?

RJG: Secrets from the past threaten to destroy Emma’s budding relationship with Sam and make her doubt God’s love and forgiveness.

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

RJG: I created this story from my imagination, but I take the feelings and reactions from real situations that are similar to those in the book. I chose three sisters for the first three books because I’m one of three girls, so that was a conscious choice, but the sisters don’t really resemble my family. But in the first novel of the series, Change of Heart, I discovered after I wrote it, that it had many parallels with my life and that of close family members. Interestingly enough, while I was writing it, I wasn’t thinking about those events. The other things I find is that the spiritual truths I’m exploring in each book are usually lessons I need to learn.

CH: What made you decide to write this series about sisters and friends?

RJG: Because I have Amish friends, I like being able to introduce readers to Amish lifestyles and beliefs, which I hope will make them more respectful of the Amish culture and lead to a greater understanding. So many people are curious about the Amish and admire their lifestyle, but I want to show that they have problems and challenges the same as the rest of the world, but I also want to reveal the depth of their faith and, in this book, the emphasis they place on forgiveness.

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

RJG: For this book, I spent time in the Northern Dauphin area, which is where Emma travels from her Lancaster home. I do a lot of research for all my books, spending time in the areas where they’re set, visiting all the places I mentioned, meeting the Amish in that area, reading about physical and mental healing (and going to Amish healers), checking with professionals about all the topics in the book. Once I’ve completed all the general research, I talk to Amish friends and have beta readers check all of my information. I try to select people who have been through some of the experiences in the book to be sure they ring true.

Sometimes, I stumble upon great ideas for other books while I’m researching, which is an extra bonus. One of my friends in the Northern Dauphin area gave the Amish school the right-of-way through their land, so I spent time observing the Amish children driving their pony carts to school. It was fascinating to see eight-year-olds driving down country roads to get to school. Those visits sparked one of my next books, The Amish Teacher’s Gift (April 2018). Of course, that meant I needed to visit Amish schools, which was fun. Next, I will be tagging along with a Lancaster County midwife for The Amish Midwife’s Secret.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

RJG: I love Emma, the main character of the book. She was the troubled younger sister in book 1, Change of Heart, who rebelled against God, her family and her community. I’ve always been partial to troublemakers. I think they often rail against lies and hypocrisy. Sometimes, they speak truths that others refuse to see. But they’re often hard on themselves.

After Emma’s wildness during Rumschpringa (the Amish teens’ running around time), she ends up in a lot of trouble. When Buried Secrets opens, Emma has amnesia because of an accident and doesn’t remember what she did in the past. Over the course of the book, her memory slowly returns. She must face some devastating secrets from her past, which make her doubt her worthiness to be loved or forgiven. I like that Emma is willing to be honest and courageous, when she chooses not to conceal the truth.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

RJG: I had two characters I struggled with writing. The first was Emma’s oldest sister, Lydia, who interferes in Emma’s life. In the first draft, she came across as mean and bossy. My editor suggested writing some chapters from Lydia’s point of view. To do that, I had to really dig into Lydia’s personality to uncover her love for her sister and the caring that lay underneath her critical exterior.

The other character was Emma’s father. He reveals a shocking secret from the past, but I wanted readers to empathize with him rather than judge him. It was a delicate balance to keep him likeable despite what he’d done to hurt others.

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

RJG: When I signed the contract, the publisher offered a three-book deal, so I had to come up with two more ideas for the series. I decided to tell one story about each of the three Esh sisters. Since then, I’ve come up with three more stories about the characters in this series, but some of them will be put out by different publishers.

Once I finished writing the first three books, I found myself wanting to explore the lives of some of the other characters in the books. So, Lights, Camera…Love tells the story of Rebecca, the head teacher and best friend to Sarah, the youngest Esh sister. Many readers wondered about Kyle, the headstrong Englisher (non-Amish) Emma dated, and his story will be in The Amish Midwife’s Secret. Ada, who appears in Gift From Above, is the schoolteacher in The Amish Teacher’s Gift. Several of my minor characters also show up in the anthologies Springs of Love and A Plain Hearth.

I think the reason for the continuation of the series is that the characters become so real to me, and I want to tell their stories. I also find that I subconsciously include details that don’t seem very important at the time, but later I realize that those details are important to another character’s story and they make a perfect set-up for a new story. I’m not sure exactly how the mind works that way. Perhaps the best explanation is that it’s God’s leading. He knows what I’m going to write next, even if I don’t, and He prepares the seeds for that story.

CH: So far, which book in the series was hardest to write?

RJG: I struggled the most with the third book, Gift From Above, which tells the story of the sweet youngest sister, Sarah. A lot of readers said she’s their favorite character. She’s near and dear to my heart too, because she always tries to do the right thing. That’s terrific in real life, but when you’re trying to write stories, you need tension and conflict. It’s hard to create conflicts when a character is so nice. I really struggled to come up with problems for Sarah, but I managed to put her in a moral dilemma, where she must decide about keeping someone’s secret, which she promised to do, and telling the truth when it appears that secret will endanger her best friend and others in the community.

CH: One of your reviewers said that this is a well-layered story of love, loss, growth, forgiveness, and redemption. What overall feedback have you received from readers?

RJG: I’ve been amazed at how many people were drawn to this story. On the website, ChristianBooks.com it has 4.9 stars and on Amazon it has 4.8 stars.

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

RJG: For me, one of the main messages is that we often underestimate God’s forgiveness. Sometimes, we harbor the feeling that God (or others) could never forgive us for something we’ve done. The truth often is that we can’t forgive ourselves. God’s mercy is unending.

In addition to God’s forgiveness, the characters in the book are faced with situations that must be forgiven—often for sins many of us consider unforgiveable. But healing comes when we open our hearts first to God’s forgiveness and then extend that forgiveness to others who have hurt us.

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

RJG: I try to write faster-paced books with more action and drama than are usually found in typical Amish novels. In Buried Secrets, I touch on a taboo topic I haven’t seen before in any Amish stories I’ve read.

CH: Who are some of your Amish writing influences?

RJG: This is a hard question to answer. I admire so many authors, but I try to bring my own style to the stories I tell.

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

RJG: For me, connecting with readers and fans of the Amish genre has been awesome. I find them so loving and supportive. It’s been such a joy to meet each and every one of them.

As for the actual publishing part, I’ve been thrilled to have an awesome agent, who does so much to help my career. I’ve been humbled that several major publishers have been interested in acquiring my work. It was especially exciting when one of the publishers I’ve always aspired to work for emailed me out of the blue with an offer because of her interest in Buried Secrets. I can’t say more about that yet because we haven’t finalized the contract, but I was thrilled to have a publisher seek me out.

CH: What can we expect from you next?

RJG: I have quite a few books under contract and/or coming out soon. Book 3 in the Sisters and Friends series, Gift From Above, will come out in Nov. That will be followed by Book 4, Lights, Camera…Love (2018).

This fall, I’ll have a story in an anthology, A Plain Thanksgiving, with authors Laura Hilton and Thomas Nye.

I’m also writing the Love & Promises series, which includes The Amish Teacher’s Gift (Apr. 2018), The Amish Midwife’s Secret (Oct. 2018), and The Amish Widow’s Rescue (Mar. 2019). I have 2 books coming out in the Hearts of Amish Country series (Jan/Apr. 2018)—Hearts Reunited and Secret Identity.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

RJG: I’d be happy to (below) and readers who love Amish novels, can sign up for my newsletter on my website.

CH: How to Find Rachel J. Good:        

CH: For my audience, where is your book sold?

RJG: Online at Amazon and Christian Books; some Walmart stores (will be coming soon to many more), and many bookstores. If your local bookstore doesn’t carry it, you can ask them to order it in.

CH: Any closing remarks?

RJG: I’m so grateful to God for leading me down this path. I’ve always been a reader, but it’s been a joy to write books for others to read. I just want to encourage anyone who has a dream to follow their passion. God put that dream in your heart for a reason. Sometimes, it seems like there’s no way to reach that dream, but trust God to lead you. Start small and do something every day to move yourself in the direction you hope to go. Each step will bring you one step closer.

Thank you so much for having me, Cheryl. I appreciated your insightful questions.

CH: Thank you so much, Rachel J. Good, 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, Rachel J. Good 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 :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Angelica Kate

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Title: Scars of Yesterday

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Military

 Synopsis: Jordan Kuriel was tough as nails, immovable and unflinching which were the very characteristics that propelled her into a decorated military career serving multiple tours overseas, until the moment a bomb ended that trajectory and sent her state’s side for good. Upon her return home, she found her younger sister’s lifetime of bad choices come to a head making Jordan a single mother causing her life’s mission to take a drastic turn. Balancing her grief, healing and an infant Jordan finds peace with the past and focuses on building the life she desires for her new son. Over time Jordan comes to cherish her close-knit family, a career she loves and is making the best of all her blessings while never allowing herself to focus on the sacrifices her injuries forced upon her and ruin that peaceful existence. That balance is upended the day she comes home to one of the richest men in America standing on her doorstep demanding her name a number for her to turn over custody of her son.

Domninic Bansuelos runs his families multi-national company with firm but fair hands and puts his duty to the masses of employees and his family above his own happiness. The scar across his heart honed by hordes of people who only seek his company to better their bank accounts, company position or other selfish endeavors causes him to always feel alone even in the most crowded of public spotlights. He was raised by parents who only ever had eyes for each other until the moment his father passed on the reigns of their kingdom to him. His parent’s marriage provided him a blueprint of the ideal relationship that no woman has ever been able to attain and give him a reason to break his bachelor existence. When his mother demands he once again clean up his baby brother’s mess, and try to gain custody of the nephew he never knew existed he crosses path with the indomitable force that is Jordan Kuriel. He had hoped for a simple showing of force to back her down but soon finds out that where this woman is concerned nothing is that simple.

Angelica Kate, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Angelica Kate. She is a lifetime scribbler who has always enjoyed writing as a release of her creative juices.  Welcome to my blog, Angelica.

CH: Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book.

AK: This book is filled with feel good characters you want to cheer for from the first page.

CH: What made you decide to write about a good/bad set of brothers and a good/bad set of sisters in your book?

AK: As the oldest sibling in a large family, I like seeing the way that elder siblings react to situations that many times are in direct opposition to how others might react.  I enjoy exploring these bonds that are strong despite the differences, and no matter what love of family—triumphs, trials and tribulations occur.

CH: Military, foster care, rich lifestyle and romance are all in one novel. How did you come up with the premise for this book?

AK: My family has always fostered children and had strong military ties through multi-generations serving in various branches of the military. I enjoy honoring these relationships in my own life by weaving them into stories.

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

AK: I took them from news stories I have read of veterans loosing limbs and wanted to honor that sacrifice, while expanding the dimensions of these polar opposites.  I always enjoy writing contemporary stories that are familiar and also uplifting and inspiring.

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?

AK: I tend to find my stories in headlines in the news. I enjoy reading about people and imagining the other side of the story. The murder victim that isn’t a victim, foster kids that rise up above their situation, the abused mom who pulls herself up and starts over inspiring others around her through their own struggles.  It seems like every time someone tells me the news is all depressing, I have to disagree because I see the start of a great story beyond the headlines.

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

AK: My husband is a veteran, his brothers served, his father served and hordes of other friends and extended family. I love listening to their stories and asking questions of their experiences to weave into my stories.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

AK: I loved Jordan, she is strong in all she has survived, but soft in how she loves her family and nephew/son. She is driven by a duty above all others, and need to protect those around her from everything that duty drives her to see and experience. I felt she was a wonderfully complex and enjoyable character to bring to life.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

AK: Dominic was tough for me, as he had so much and that was difficult to write and balance it with scars so deep it could overshadow nearly everything he had. Finding a good balance in that level of wealth and privilege, with the solitude, anger and grief his past causes him to live with daily. I couldn’t imagine how someone in this status would exhibit his emotions. I had to read other stories and articles and hope I could do him justice.

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

AK: Absolutely, never judge a book or person by their outward appearance and belongings. The heart and emotions of anybody is a hard thing to know, so always give everyone the same amount of respect and consideration you yourself would want provided.

CH: Since you’ve written several books, what is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

 AK: I bring stories of common people, in uncommon situations that climb above their station and circumstances. I want characters that anyone can relate to and want to cheer the story through to completion due to investing in the characters themselves.

CH: You seem to have written several books about the military and war. Were you in the military, and do you use your experiences as a backstory for your books?

 AK: I was not, but my husband was and still goes through putting little routines related to his service every day. I think we owe a debt of honor to those that serve, and find that calling to be one that I myself want to honor through my writing, whenever possible.

CH: Who are some of your writing influences?

AK: Erma Bombeck, Shel Silverstein, Sandra Day O’Connor, and Suzanne Collins.

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

AK: Seeing my first book on Amazon will remain the best day of my journey so far, having a bestseller go number one on Amazon and finally becoming part of a boxset with a large group of women authors.

CH: What can we expect from you next?

AK: I am writing an expanse science fiction trilogy that I am hoping to bring out in 2018, and have one more romance novel due out Christmas of 2017.

CH: How to Find Angelica Kate:

CH: For my audience, where is your book sold?

AK: Amazon for my ebooks; itunes/audible for my audio books; and my paperbacks on most online platforms.

CH: Any closing remarks?

AK: Thank you so much for taking the time to interview me, Cheryl. It was a great honor to discuss my passion of writing with you and I hope your readers find one of my books to enjoy in the future.

CH: Thank you so much, Angelica Kate, 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, Angelica Kate 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 – Lynne M. Spreen

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Title: Key Largo Blues (Karen Grace Book 2)

 Genre: Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Romance

 Synopsis: When Karen Grace turned fifty, she lost her husband and her job. Now she’s starting over, and this time, she’s determined to build a new life on her own terms. However, she’s being pulled in multiple directions: her family and friends want more of her time, her hometown sweetheart wants a commitment, and her fledgling business is on life support.

With the hard-won confidence of midlife, Karen knows what she needs to do, and pays the heartbreaking price for pursuing her dreams. And while grieving that decision, another challenge lands: Frieda’s granddaughter arrives on her doorstep in Key Largo, pleading for refuge.

In this life-affirming sequel to Dakota Blues, Karen Grace completes her journey, deciding what can be saved and what must be jettisoned as she navigates passage into the second half of her life.

Lynne M. Spreen, Author

 CH: Today’s Guest Author is Lynne M. Spreen.  She says, “As an author, I write about older people, because I’m fascinated by the incredible drama we go through.” Welcome to my blog, Lynne.

CH: Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book.

LMS: My novels are a fun and emotional read; and they’re geared to positive aging, so readers of every age will feel uplifted about the second half of life.

CH: This book is about a female mid-life crisis. Why did you decide to write this book?

LMS: I enjoy reading and writing about women who are age fifty and over. Dakota Blues was the first, and when readers asked for a sequel, I was happy to oblige them.

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

LMS: It wasn’t hard, and they sprang from my imagination and real life. Dakota Blues was more autobiographical. I think a lot of first-time authors draw from their own lives. But Key Largo Blues was more imaginary. Although, now that I think of it, some parts, like what it feels like to experience domestic abuse, were not made up—unfortunately.

CH: Where do your ideas come from?

LMS: Lots of authors are asked that question, but I’ll bet few of them give this answer: advice columns! I grew up reading Dear Abby and Ann Landers, and I’m still hooked on Carolyn Hax, Ask Amy, and E. Jean’s column in Elle Magazine. I’ll be reading and all of a sudden, I want to know more about the person who wrote in, but since I never will, I get to make it up. Or maybe, they sound like a character I’d like to include in a book. I print out the column, make notes about why it compels me, and put it in my idea folder.

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

LMS: I don’t have a standard formula for plots. I wish I did! But each book is its own creation.

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

LMS: People have told me two things about my style: that it pulls hard on your emotions, and that my descriptions of settings affect them deeply. For example, After Dakota Blues, a neighbor sold her house and became a full-time RVer. They say my writing makes them feel as if they are there, smelling the salt air and feeling the soft, warm air on bare skin.

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

LMS: Oh, for sure, Cheryl! Being the diligent writer that I am, I made several trips to the Florida Keys to do research—long and arduous research.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

LMS: My favorite character was probably Frieda, in Dakota Blues. She just popped in one day and I couldn’t get rid of her. My readers loved her, because (down side) I have this quirk in my writing: my sidekick characters threaten to take over! Karen, pretty much, is me. But Frieda and Fern and Jessie are all inventions, who just flew out of my head onto the page and now, they feel like real people! All of them were easy to write.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

LMS: The only time a character is difficult to write is if I’ve made some kind of mistake with them. Like the worst reason ever to invent a character is to reflect some creepazoid in your real life. It’s innocent fun, I guess, but it never works. They just go nowhere, which has to be karma. When they fall flat, you deserve it. So, when a character turns out to be a dud, I pick them up, look at them for a long time, ask them if there’s any way they can change to legitimately serve the story, and if the answer’s no, they go in the ‘Some Other Time’ folder.

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

LMS: No, I had no idea that Dakota Blues would turn out to be the first book, and Key Largo Blues, the second, in a series. In fact, when readers said they wanted a sequel, I had to put aside a different book and write Key Largo Blues. Now, I’m working on another sequel, Palm Springs Blues, and after that I’m mapping out Sedona Blues, so the die is cast.

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

LMS: Oh, Dakota Blues for sure was the hardest, because I was a newbie writer. Dakota Blues took me about eight years. Every time I took a class on structure, plot or characterization, for example, I had to go back and redo a bunch of pages. I think of Dakota Blues as my Master’s Degree in Fiction. And it won an award, so I guess all that time was worth it.

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

LMS: Yes. I want readers to get a sense from every book I write that the second half of life is amazing! That you’re not alone. That people everywhere are going through what you’re experiencing and they’re finding solutions, and becoming happy again. Authors aren’t supposed to have messages, so I’m not supposed to admit that. But if anything drives me, it’s that.

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

LMS: People telling me how much they enjoyed my books, and why. When they get attached to a theme or character, or draw out some special, personalized meaning, that just floors me. I feel like we’ve connected in a deep way—heartwise— and that’s the best part of being human.

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

LMS: Very encouraging. I wish I could write faster! They want more books. I get lots of great reviews.

CH: What can we expect from you next?

LMS: Palm Springs Blues is the sequel to Key Largo Blues and it’s kind of interesting in that it’s a novel in four parts. Each part is an epilogue for characters that appeared in the two earlier books. Part One is a crisis affecting Fern and Belle. Part Two is Rita, the trucker, and her boyfriend, Grady. Part Three is Jessie and her mother, Sandy. And Part Four occurs in North Dakota, tying up loose ends and making new beginnings for Karen and Curt. The book is in first person, in Karen’s point of view, and she travels to four different cities visiting friends and dealing with the crises.

CH: Wow. Lynne, that certainly sounds like a great sequel! I will have to invite you back.

CH: How to Find Lynne M. Spreen:

CH: For my audience, where is your book sold?

LMS: The best source is Amazon.com.

CH: Any closing remarks?

LMS: Only to tell younger people that getting older is a blast! And that I’m so blessed to be able to do this, after waiting a lifetime for the chance. Cheryl, thanks for inviting me.

CH: Thank you so much, Lynne M. Spreen, 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, Lynne M. Spreen 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 – Lachlan Walter

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Title: The Rain Never Came

Genre: Sci-Fi/Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic

Synopsis: In a thirsty, drought-stricken Australia, the country is well and truly sunburnt. As the Eastern states are evacuated to more appealing climates, a stubborn few resist the forced removal. They hide out in small country towns – where no one would ever bother looking.

Bill Cook and Tobe Cousins are united in their disregard of the law. Aussie larrikins, they pass their hot, monotonous existence drinking at the barely standing pub.

When strange lights appear across the Western sky, it seems that those embittered by the drought are seeking revenge. And Bill and Tobe are in their path. In the heat of the moment secrets will be revealed, and survival can’t be guaranteed.

Lachlan Walter, Author

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s Guest is International Author, Lachlan Walter. He has completed a PhD that critically and creatively explored the relationship between Australian post-apocalyptic fiction and Australian notions of national identity. Welcome to my blog, Lachlan.

CH: Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book.

LW: Told in an unmistakably and undeniably Australian voice, The Rain Never Came will show you a different end of the world, one of thirst and drought and baked earth, of mateship and laconicism and black humor.

CH: Since this book is about a drought in Australia, was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

LW: A great deal of The Rain Never Came is extrapolated from real life. Almost a decade ago, I moved back to my hometown at the tail end of a ten-year drought that devastated much of Australia’s south-east. My hometown is a tiny country town, deep in the bush—at that time, it was suffering from the effects of this drought. Life was strange: communities were fraying; some people who depended on water for their livelihood began abandoning the land and moving to the city; and water theft had become common.

It seemed as if the past had returned—a world of hard work, dust and thirst. And yet, we were surrounded by the trappings of 21st Century life. More than anything else, this world of old and new seemed like the beginning of some post-apocalyptic world you would find in science fiction. From there, based on my own experience, it was easy to imagine the parched land only a handful of years hence. And so The Rain Never Came was born.

CH: What made you decide to write this book?

LW: I returned to university in my late twenties, to finish a Bachelor’s Degree that life had interrupted. I’d already had the idea for The Rain Never Came, but turning it into a book seemed like a fantasy. However, during my degree and my honors year, I took quite a few writing classes, and rediscovered a passion and enthusiasm for writing that I thought had disappeared.

I practiced a lot, trying to find a voice and point-of-view all my own. I finished my studies and returned to real life, writing as much as I could, whenever I could. And then one day, the opportunity arose to do a PhD, which would involve writing both a novel and a piece of literary criticism. I seized it, realizing that it would be the perfect environment to bring The Rain Never Came to 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?

LW: Like most writers of science fiction/speculative fiction, the big ideas at the heart of my stories are really just frameworks upon which I can hang explorations of the ways in which people might react to their new situations and new worlds. After all, an idea isn’t a story—it’s more like a spark—a spark that ignites a fire. As I want my fires to contain what-ifs and maybes (that nonetheless still connect to the world we live in), I’m always on the lookout for real-life stories that seem to point towards our future—changes in technology, politics, culture, the environment, medical science, communication devices, interpersonal relationships, infrastructure systems, and organizational, learning and teaching methods.

And then it’s just a matter of extrapolating a new idea from any particular real-life stories that grab me, and working out how this new idea might affect everyday people. To do this, I rely on every writer’s trick: observing and eavesdropping, creating characters and situations by recombining the people I know and see and the minutiae of life around me. Once I’ve got the first inklings of my characters and a plot, I then tend to just spend time with them and let them reveal themselves through the process of writing—their formation should be a bottom-up process, based on attempts at realistic actions and reactions, rather than a top-down process, whereby the stricture of a predetermined plot guides them with an unwavering hand.

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

LW: Most of the way of life portrayed in The Rain Never Came was based on observation, guesswork and my own prior knowledge—the only real research that was necessary was on the effects of dehydration. And even then, we’ve all been thirsty at some time. 

CH: Who was your favorite character to write? And which character was hardest to write?

LW: I didn’t have a favorite character to write, or a least favorite. Likewise I didn’t find any one particular character harder to write than any other. What I did find was that there were some character moments I thoroughly enjoyed, and some that I didn’t enjoy much at all. Funnily enough, these two disparate moments both involved the same characters: Bill and Tobe.

Even though Bill and Tobe are almost entirely fictional creations, there is one part of their relationship that is steeped in reality: the shit-stirring, knockabout sense of mateship that they share. Here, I drew upon the same kind of Australian-style trash-talk that exists between some of my own friends and I, and thoroughly enjoyed the process – the roughness and dismissiveness that they show towards each other, which masks genuine concern and compassion, never failed to make me smile. And so, without giving things away, I found writing the flip-side of their relationship to be a difficult and sometimes enjoyment-free process, so invested was I in the light-hearted and affectionately derogatory vibe that exists between them.

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

LW: I don’t really like highlighting particular messages that I want readers to take from my work—I feel that the beauty and the joy of literature is that the act of reading is all about the reader, rather than the writer. I might want people to find specific messages in The Rain Never Came, but I can’t force them to do so. Reading is the most individual of individual acts; whatever messages we take away apply only to ourselves, as they’re solely dependent on our own points of view and personal philosophies.

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

LW: First and foremost, I want people to be excited by an Australian voice that is steeped in Australian-isms—this is something that I’ve tried hard to achieve, as we have some fascinating terms and colloquialisms that are as interesting as those of anywhere else, and what might be called our stereotypically ‘Australian’ way of looking at the world can provide a refreshing perspective.

As well, I hope that readers will find my style both straightforward enough to avoid affectation, and literary enough to avoid being boring or seen as riding the coattails of the bare-bone sparseness common to so-called literary science fiction/speculative fiction. I’ve always been an admirer of both types: the straightforward science fiction voice that simply gets the job done, and the literary voice that flaunts a love of words, language and story. But above all, I’ve always preferred those writers who can walk the fine line between the two.

That’s not to say that I want my ‘voice’ to sound like any of theirs. What I do want, though, is for mine to affect people in the same way as theirs do, and to straddle the same kind of line as they do. And lastly, I hope that readers find it to be unique without being precious, earthy without being coarse, learned without being pretentious.

CH: What can non-Australians understand by reading this book?

LW: I hope that The Rain Never Came will open the eyes of non-Australian readers to the uniqueness of Australian science fiction/speculative fiction, and I hope that these readers see The Rain Never Came as a deliberate addition to this subgenre/offshoot/micro-genre/call-it-what-you-will. Of course, every nationality has a different way of telling stories, both in general and about themselves; no two national perspectives are the same, nor are any two senses of national identity or foundational myths. But being Australian, in my book I want Australian-ness to shine through.

As well, I hope that in The Rain Never Came readers will see how the inherent potential and unreal nature of science fiction/speculative fiction allows for a creative exploration of what it means to be ‘Australian,’ a device used by many other Australian authors operating in the same genre. I also hope that after reading it, readers will imagine the Australian bush in much the same way as they imagined the Australian desert after seeing Mad Max—as a place of desolate beauty and ancient stillness, that doesn’t need dressing up to resemble a world after the apocalypse.

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

LW: Most of the feedback I’ve received so far has been positive, or at least encouraging. I’m more than ready for anything negative, though nothing creative is ever perfect, and nor should it be. Luckily, I’ve got pretty thick skin. The writer’s lot has given me this ‘you can’t let rejection letter after rejection letter stop you from persevering,’ you just have to have confidence, determination and an honest eye, and realize that you can always get better.

Remembering that taste is in the eye of the beholder also helps. Even better is doing the best job that you can, and resisting the urge to grow complacent or lazy with your work. We write because we love writing and literature, books and stories. There’s no point in phoning that love in.

 CH: Who are some of your writing influences?

LW: I like those writers who have a singular ‘voice’ and focus on the emotional states of their characters, and on their characters’ psychological development. Within science fiction/speculative fiction, these kinds of writers normally use their science fiction ideas as a framework to support an exploration of these states and developments, rather than as an end unto themselves: people like J. G. Ballard, Kurt Vonnegut, Debra Biancotti, Steven Amsterdam and Margaret Atwood. Their work, while full of ideas, is truly memorable for the way it makes us feel, rather than the way they make us think.

Outside the umbrella of science fiction, I like writers who do the same kind of thing, and possess a similarly singular voice and focus on the emotional and psychological states of their characters: Charles Bukowski, William Kotzwinkle, Katherine Dunn, Franz Kafka and Peter Carey.

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

LW: The Rain Never Came hasn’t been out for that long, so I’m only really taking my first steps as a published author. But I don’t think that many writing accomplishments will ever feel as good as the first time I saw my book as an actual book, something I’m sure most published writers will agree with.

CH: How to Find Lachlan Walter:

CH: What is your next writing project?

LW: I like to have a lot of projects on the go at once—the trick is knowing which one to focus on first, something I’m not that good at. And so right now, I have a decent second draft of a book-length story cycle, which looks at giant monsters with serious eyes, and have also made a start on two other books: a post-apocalyptic western, and an offbeat piece of metafictional science fiction. Did I really just use the word offbeat?

CH: For my audience, where is your book sold?

LW: You can find The Rain Never Came at all the usual places: Amazon, the Book Depository, Booktopia, iTunes, Barnes and Noble, and Odyssey Books’ website.

CH: Any closing remarks?

LW: I’ve banged this drum previously, but I’m going to beat it some more: as fans of science fiction/speculative fiction, we must ensure that we make an effort to explore beyond the boundaries of those countries that produce the majority of it: Europe, the UK, the US and Japan.

From South-East Asia to the Antipodes, from the Indian Subcontinent to Eastern Europe, and from Africa to South America, science fiction/speculative fiction allows all of us to express our hopes for the future and our fears of it, regardless of our nationality or background. All we need to do is look a little further and dig a little deeper. Cheryl, thanks for the opportunity to be on your blog.

CH: Thank you so much, Lachlan Walter, 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, Lachlan Walter 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 – Stephen Murray

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Title: Murder Aboard the Queen Elizabeth II

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

Synopsis: Wealthy Beverly Hills socialites, Brian and Sylvia Sinclair, are celebrating their 25th Anniversary on a cruise from London to New York on the luxurious QEII. Joining the couple’s joyous excursion is their rebellious daughter and her controlling husband, their scheming son and his wily girlfriend, six of their longtime friends, and a surprise person from their past. Also on board is private eye Richard Manning, who volunteers to investigate when a member of the party dies an unnatural death. Manning’s search reveals dark secrets and everyone becomes a suspect. Ferreting out the truth is a daunting challenge, and time is short—once the ship reaches New York, the parties will scatter—making it almost impossible for authorities to solve the case. Will Manning figure it out in time? Follow him on his quest to unmask the killer in this captivating mystery.

Stephen Murray, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Stephen Murray. He enjoys traveling and has explored the world extensively, which gives him background for his writings. Welcome to my blog, Stephen.  

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

 SM: My novel is a fun, clean, cozy, page-turning, murder mystery with a very diverse cast of intriguing characters as suspects.

CH: What made you decide to write this book about a cruise from London to New York?

SM: I originally wrote a murder mystery for a dinner party in my home! The short story centered around a wealthy Beverly Hills couple celebrating their silver wedding anniversary with family and friends. The murder mystery was set in their mansion. After I published my first two novels, I wanted to have a shot (no pun intended!) at writing a murder mystery novel. I thought it would be interesting to expand my original story line from my dinner party, and set it against the backdrop of the QEII to (hopefully) make it more entertaining. I had the good fortune to travel on the Queen Elizabeth II many years ago, and thought it would be interesting to blend the two experiences.

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

SM: My novel involves the ‘lifestyles of the rich and famous’, a way of life with which I am totally unfamiliar.  The situations and characters were pure imagination. That is what makes my writing journey such an enjoyable one.

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?

SM: In all my novels, the ideas are original. I never base any of my characters upon people I know or have met. I generally create an overall concept in my mind, and see the beginning and the end of the novel. I then have to figure how to get from start to finish. That often takes me down very interesting side paths. As part of a standard formula, I do try and include the gamut of emotions in all novels—sadness, joy, grief, love, passion, and always a dose of humor. The characters must be credible and have contrasting personality traits.

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

SM: In Murder Aboard the Queen Elizabeth II, I tried a slightly different concept. In many murder mysteries, the victim becomes apparent in the very early stages. In my novel, the murder doesn’t actually take place until quite far into the book. The entire cast of characters is introduced, and any one of them could be the victim. I thought it might be fun to offer the reader a twofer—first to figure out the victim, and then to figure out the murderer.

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

SM: Not really. I did have to rely heavily on recall, since it had been so long since I had travelled on the QEII. But having lived in London and in Los Angeles (albeit, not Beverly Hills), I was familiar with the places and localities mentioned in Murder Aboard the Queen Elizabeth II.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

SM: There was no favorite. They were all fun and challenging to develop. They all have their good sides, but they all have their dark elements—and all have a reason, if not the capacity, to commit murder.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

SM: Sylvia Sinclair, the character who is celebrating her Silver Wedding Anniversary. She is very stoic, refined, straight-laced, controlled, dignified, and very upper-class British. And she does not reveal her emotions easily.

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

SM: I would just like the reader to enjoy the escapism, wrap themselves in the luxury and elegance of the environment, knowing that even the wealthy and famous have their demons.

CH: Some of your books are about love and romance. Is this your favorite genre for writing?

SM: No. I like writing in all genres. I was encouraged to write for the female reader and stumbled across the idea of writing a novel focused on a day at a fictional Las Vegas Wedding Chapel. The book tells the stories behind the couples that travel to our city to get married, and, in so doing, have made it the marriage capital of the world. The idea spawned my first published novel, The Chapel of Eternal Love: Wedding Stories from Las Vegas, and its unintended sequel, Return to the Chapel of Eternal Love: Marriage Stories from Las Vegas.

CH: Who are some of your favorite writing influences?

SM: Charles Dickens. Who else could come up with such delicious characters as Ebenezer Scrooge, Fagin, the Artful Dodger, Mr. Micawber and Uriah Heep?

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

SM: There have been many exciting happenings on my publishing journey, not least are the amazing people I have met along the way who have enriched my life. If I had to cite the most exciting though, it would probably have to be when The Chapel of Eternal Love: Wedding Stories from Las Vegas won First Place Award in the mainstream fiction category in the Authors Talk About It book contest.  It was totally unexpected. The most exciting happening will be if it is ever optioned for a TV series.

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

SM: Fortunately, very favorable. All three of my published novels have been well received. It has been very, very humbling and extremely gratifying.

CH: What can we expect from you next?

SM: I am currently in the middle of writing another murder novel, this one set in Las Vegas.

CH: How to Find Stephen Murray:

CH: For my audience, where is your book sold?

SM: They are available on Amazon and Kindle. If readers would like signed and personalized copies, it can be ordered from my website, where credit cards and PayPal are accepted. All of my books are distributed internationally through IngramSpark and can be ordered at any book store.

CH: Any closing remarks?

SM: Thank you, Cheryl, for this wonderful opportunity, and for your very thought-provoking questions. I would like to thank your audience for taking the time to read about my books and my journey as a writer. I certainly wish you and your followers every success and much love and happiness in all future endeavors.

CH: Thank you so much, Stephen Murray, 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, Stephen Murray 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 – Barb Warner Deane

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Title: On The Homefront

Genre: Historical Women’s Fiction

Synopsis: In 1941, WWII begins for the United States, and life will never be the same for three women as they send their husbands, brothers, and friends off to war.

Ruth, a young wife and teacher, Lilly her teenaged sister-in-law, and Helen, a British war bride, learn to cope with rationing, change, fear, loss, humiliation, and brutality, while they forge an impenetrable bond and grow to be stronger than any of them ever dreamed possible. They lean on each other for support, aided by the family and friends who surround them, but when one decides to go to the front lines as part of the American Red Cross Clubmobile program, how can they cope with her absence—and more telegrams reporting loss?

Barb Warner Deane, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Barb Warner Deane.  Her book was inspired by a trip to Normandy, France. Welcome to my blog, Barb.

CH: Can you sum up your historical fiction novel in a few words?

BWD: On The Homefront is historical women’s fiction set in the U.S. during World War II, following 3 young women after their men marched off to war, which shows how they stepped up and one even joined the American Red Cross Clubmobile program and going to the front lines.

CH: What made you decide to write about strong women who step up when their men go off to war?

BWD: I learned about the Clubmobile program when visiting the American Cemetery in Normandy, France and started researching these little-known heroic young women. As the ideas grew, I realized most American women had to become heroes during WWII, whether on the front lines or the home front, in order to keep the country operating and to support the war effort.

CH: Did you have to do any special research for the historical accuracy of this book?

BWD: When I practiced law, my favorite part was the research and writing, and that holds true for writing historical fiction. I spent hours reading first-person accounts, in letters and books, of former Clubmobilers, as well as reading books, watching film, and visiting many WWII historical spots, to research life on the home front, the men on the front lines, the battles in both theaters of operations, and the overall effect of the war on Americans.

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

BWD: Some aspects of the story just came to me while writing, but for some I took situations from real life. For instance, when I was visiting the WWII Museum in New Orleans, one of the WWII veterans working there told me to be sure to check out an exhibit about a soldier whose life was saved by the life-preserver made by his own mother back in the U.S., where she was a ‘Rosie-the-Riveter’ type of factory worker in a plant back in the U.S. I found the story so compelling, I had to work it into my book.

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

BWD: Each book comes to me in different, but similar ways. I lock onto the people in the story—they are what catches my interest from the start. For On The Homefront, it started with a real Clubmobiler and grew as I dug into my research to incorporate these three women working in different ways to support the war effort. For Killing Her Softly, my new release later this month, I woke up one morning with the nugget of the story clear to me from a dream. I knew who the people were and went from there. For my current work-in-progress, a connected book to Killing Her Softly, I had an idea of a heroine I wanted to write about and realized she was going to fall in love with a character from Killing Her Softly, which started the wheels in motion.

CH: What made you decide to write this book?

BWD: I have always been interested in history and writing, so I guess the surprising thing is it took me until my fourth completed novel to finally write historical fiction. When I read about the Clubmobile program, and realized how little was known about them, I realized this was a story that needed to be told. I just had to work to make it right.

CH: Where do you get the inspiration for your strong women characters?

BWD: Ruth is named after my mother; and certainly, inspiration from my mother, my aunts, and other members of the Greatest Generation served as inspiration for the women in On The Homefront. In fact, there are a number of names pulled from my family tree—I’m big into genealogy, too—and the Walker farm in the story is inspired by the Walker family farm that has been in my Aunt and Uncle’s family for more than 100 years. Mostly, I have always been surrounded by strong women, from my mother, mother-in-law, aunts, sisters, sisters-in-law, daughters, nieces, and friends. These women all serve as inspiration.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

BWD: In OnThe Homefront, I was sure Ruth would be my favorite, given that she was named after my mother and she was the inspiration for the story. But I found each woman compelling in her own way. Lilly came from a loving home, but had to endure a lot at a fairly young age, so she grew into a fascinating woman for me. But, I think it was Helen, who came from a very difficult upbringing, who had low self-esteem and was functionally illiterate, but was at her core a strong, loving, caring, and dependable woman, who really surprised me the most.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

BWD: Each woman had her own challenges and surprises, but I think the hardest to write was Lilly, because she was so young and innocent at the start of the war, but even on the home front, those qualities couldn’t survive during the war.

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

BWD: One of the things that draws me to the WWII era is the clear delineation the world saw in right versus wrong, but the many shades of grey that remained for individuals trying to do their best to survive and save their world. I think the main message I see in On The Homefront is that life is a group effort. It takes a village, not only to raise a child, but to have a full and fulfilling life. We need to support and care for one another in order for any of us to really succeed in life.

Again, the main message is that your life is a successful one if you surround yourself with people you can help and who help you. My parents raised my sisters and I to believe that we are obligated and privileged to help others where we can, just by the fact that we are alive and have the ability to help. Life is not meant to be a solitary endeavor and the most rewarding life is one lived in service to others.

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

BWD: I think one of the distinct differences that readers are enjoying about On The Homefront is the fact that it is written in alternating first person point of view of all three women—Ruth, Lilly, and Helen. Readers feel a stronger sense of connection to each of these women, because they are in each woman’s head. For me, this era is so much about the feeling that we were all in this together, I wanted to ensure that my readers really felt that they were a part of the story, as well.

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

BWD: The feedback and reviews of On The Homefront have been better than I had hoped for and I am truly grateful. I think it currently has a 4.8 out of 5 star rating on Amazon and Goodreads; and the emails I’m getting from readers telling me they couldn’t put the book down; and cried and laughed; and loved my characters. The feedback tells me that it is hitting the right notes with so many readers. I’m extremely happy and fortunate that so many readers are ‘getting’ what I was going for and enjoying the story.

CH: What can we expect from you next?

BWD: My second book, Killing Her Softly, will be released on September 29, is a very different type of book. It is a contemporary romantic suspense, set in a fictional town next to my hometown of Watkins Glen, NY. The main characters are Kate, a woman trying to escape her abusive marriage, and Jack, the new sheriff in town, who happens to be Kate’s long-ago friend and brother-in-law. I dedicated this book in part to the late Nancy Richards-Akers, a wonderful romance author who was killed by her abusive husband.

I am working on two more books right now. I’m about half-way through writing a contemporary romantic women’s fiction that will be a follow-up to Killing Her Softly, set in the same town of Harper’s Glen, with several of the same characters having roles in the new story. I foresee at least a third book in the Harper’s Glen series down the road. I’m also in the research stage of my next historical, also a WWII-era story set on the American home front.

CH: Can you tell us about your website?

BWD: My website (listed below) is designed by my talented daughter, Miranda. I’m also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/barbwarnerdeane

CH: How to Find Barb Warner Deane:

CH: For my audience, where is your book sold?

BWD: On The Homefront is available in both eBook and paperback from The Wild Rose Press and Amazon. For anyone who would like to buy an autographed copy of the paperback, they can contact me directly, via the contact page on my website. Interested readers can also sign up for my mailing list on my contact page and, if interested, qualify for the lottery drawing for free tickets to For The Love of Books & Chicago, a large book signing of 40+ authors at the Pheasant Run Resort in St. Charles, IL on October 14.

CH: Any closing remarks?

BWD: Thanks so much for interviewing me about On The Homefront and my writing career, Cheryl. It is a privilege to be able to share my passion for writing, reading, and books with you and your audience.

CH: Thank you so much, Barb Warner Deane, 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, Barb Warner Deane 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 – Nicholas Kontis

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Title: Going Local: Experiences and Encounters On The Road

Genre: Travel

Synopsis: Today’s traveler seeks authentic experiences, not just viewing awesome sites, and taking must-see photo opportunities, while checking an item off of a bucket list. Experiential travel, also known as immersion travel, is about travel experiences that resonate on a deeper emotional level—A focus on experiencing a country, city or particular place by connecting to its history, people and culture. If a picture is worth a thousand words, what is an experience worth?

Travel is life-changing. We all become better world citizens when we learn from other cultures. Real life experiences are compelling people to travel and bridge cultures together. Travel opens us up to the wonders of the world, and to the serendipitous occurrences when different cultures merge. At the forefront of any journey, travel begins with people and protecting local society and wilderness. It’s a powerful lesson that cannot be learned by staying home and viewing travel shows on television.

Nicholas Kontis, Author

 CH: Today’s Guest Author is Nicholas Kontis. Nick says that 2/3 of Americans do not have passports, does anyone care about travel books? Welcome to my blog, Nick.

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

NK: The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.

CH: This book is a collection of authentic travel experiences. How did you come up with the premise for this book?

NK: Travel was instilled in me at a young age. I was blessed to have been born in Greece, and raised in America’s culture capital of San Francisco. It seems like all that one hears about in the travel industry is immersing into local society, while seeking out unique experiences. Airbnb, being the poster child of peer-to-peer travel, showed me that concepts of sharing living spaces, sharing meals, learning to cook a meal, learning from local society is here to stay. I’ve been sleeping on friends and relatives couches and helping prepare meals since my childhood. The idea just came to me, and I ran with it.

CH: Can you briefly summarize some of the places visited?

NK: Too many to count, but a few of my special favorites include trekking the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu; traveling all throughout India and Nepal; traveling over from Kenya to South Africa and from Darwin to Sydney in Australia. Greece is where I’m born, and Mexico is where I live part-time.

CH: How did you select the travels that would be included in this book?

NK: My book is more about a philosophy and inspiration to get off the couch and travel the world. Travel changes us like nothing else. I cover why and how to live experientially; and the importance of learning from local society. I mention foods pivotal role in planning a trip; why we should all take 6 months to a year off and travel the world; also, how we all should do volunteer work on our travels; and ‘Responsible Travel’ and why it matters.

CH: Did you decide to include any travel tips or relevant facts in this unique book of travel encounters?

NK: Many! I have a whole section on apps, web sites, responsible tour operators, food tours, cooking classes and volunteer organizations. I cover meal sharing which is an interesting concept to go to the home of a local, and see how the chef/owner cooks dinner. I guess one could argue that my book is mostly travel tips, and that’s okay with me. If I can inspire even a small number of people to take a chance on travel, that works for me.

CH: How can a traveler learn to bridge cultures and meet locals without speaking their language?

NK: You know it really sickens me to see bombings, fighting, and senseless killings. Travel teaches us tolerance, understanding of people and a lack of prejudice. Richard Branson (an English business magnate, investor and philanthropist) once said to me that we’re less likely to want to bomb a place that we have visited and met the locals. If you make an effort to learn a few words of a local language, your efforts will be rewarded with kindness and acceptance.

CH: What is your favorite thing about traveling?

NK: I have a perpetual wanderlust. Not that I’m not happy wherever I may roam. But, my wife says, put me in Mexico and I want to be in London—on and on. The countless chance encounters of making new friends over say ciccietti—small happy hour nibbles and drinks in Venice. Serendipity! Or getting lost in Kenya—only to meet new Masai friends.

CH: Of your travels, which country or place was your favorite to visit?

NK: Again, a tough question for a traveler, but I’m of Greek decent.  I live in Mexico, but I can be seen biking the streets of San Francisco. Italy took what my people did, and made it even better. Okay, then add in Australia, New Zealand, Scotland, Peru, Spain, Brazil, S.E. Asia, Nepal, Kenya, and Spain—the list is too long. Oh, Burma, my how Myanmar mesmerized me. I recommend that if you can, go to Myanmar—where time really stands still.

CH: When you are travelling to so many places, does your travel start to feel repetitive?

NK: No, I can go to Paris a thousand times and I’ll always find something new. I’m also a photographer, and many times a good one. I see the view of the grand dame of world bridges in my city by the bay, the Golden Gate Bridge or I even see the light at different times of the day, the angles, or different vantage points. Even in my second city of Puerto Vallarta, I find new ways to get enthralled. Maybe a new beach, or even a scrumptious taco truck that I somehow missed. I can go back to Greece 1,000 times and it never feels repetitive.

CH: How do you keep each destination exciting?

NK: I try to view a destination through the people—who know it best—the locals. I want to know what makes them happy and sad. The world becomes a better place, when cultures collide. I seek the road less traveled, when at least for me, has rarely let me down.

CH: How did you decide to write the book to keep readers from being bored?

NK: My book is not a Don George anthology book of travel tales, but then we’re all different. However, my biggest challenge in my home country is the 66% of Americans many who rarely depart their home state, and who could care less about a book that preaches and teaches people to learn from a live person like a local from a different country.

CH: Did you include photos of your trips? If so, was this decision before or after you began writing the travel book?

NK: I did not want to make my book all about my trips, but I’m included throughout the book in photos from the trips. Whether I’m in Greece, Mexico, or Peru, since I have many interviews and subjects based on material in the book, such as moving to another country, or taking a trip around the world.

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

NK: From the well over 100 reviews on Amazon (and believe me, that’s a ton of reviews for a travel book), I’m told that my book inspires people.

I’m blessed—and people are loving my book. If you go to Amazon, almost all of my reviews are 5-Stars. I guess it’s kind of difficult for a responsible traveler not to follow my mantra of “Going Local.” Especially when the founder of Lonely Planet Guidebooks backs my subject matter (you can’t get much better than that).

CH: What is your next writing project?

NK: I want to gather travel tales from select travel experts, authors, bloggers, and create a book around people’s encounters with people. There are so many worthwhile stories to be told around the kindness of people.

CH: How to Find Nicholas Kontis:

CH: Can you give my audience your website?

NK: My website, www.nicholaskontis.com, is being redone, and I have a site for discount business class/first class airfares, Circle the Planet at www.circletheplanet.com

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

NK: My book is sold on Amazon and select book stores throughout North America.

CH: Any closing remarks?

NK: I’ve learned that 95% of people are good. Do you know that I’ve been to 85 countries and never been mugged or harmed? There’s a reason for that. People are just as curious to learn about you—the travelers—as you are excited to learn about your new destination. Cheryl, thanks for having me on your blog.

CH: Thank you so much, Nicholas Kontis, 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, Nicholas Kontis 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 – Lindsay Townsend

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Title: A Knight’s Vow (Re-Issue)

Genre: Historical Romance/Medieval

Synopsis: A crusader, haunted by grief and guilt. A bride-to-be, struggling with old yearnings and desires. Can Sir Guillelm de la Rochelle and Lady Alyson of Olverton rediscover the innocent love they once had for each other? When Guillelm makes a fearful vow on their wedding night, is all lost forever between him and Alyson? And will the secret enemy, who hates their marriage, destroy them both?

Lindsay Townsend, Author

International Author on Cheryl Holloway’s Blog

CH: Today’s Guest is International Author Lindsay Townsend.  She is an English novelist with a passion for writing historical romance. Welcome to my blog, Lindsay.

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

LT: A troubled knight makes a terrible vow on his wedding night. Will their love win through for Guillelm and Alyson?

CH: This book is a re-issue. Can you explain to my audience why you re-issued it?

 LT: This story was first published as A Knight’s Vow by Kensington Zebra back in 2008. Since then, eBook publishing has really taken off. I wanted new readers to have a chance to discover the novel in that format.

CH: It has a new cover and new price. What made you decide on this?

LT: I loved my first cover of A Knight’s Vow, but felt it didn’t quite capture my hero. This new design, by Melody Simmons, brings together Guillelm and Alyson in a vivid, striking way that suggests their tenderness and feelings for each other. As to the price, seeing it was a re-issue I felt it only fair to set it at a reasonable cost for readers.

CH: Since this is a tale of romance and chivalry, was it hard creating believable situations and issues or did you take them from real life and elaborate?

 LT: The crusades as a backdrop were real. The civil war between the followers of King Stephen and the Empress Matildia was real. Both these gave me lots of opportunities for conflict, threat and issues. I have one character plainly suffering from a version of post-traumatic stress, brought on from serving in battle overseas, and having to be “talked-down” and also retrained by the hero. Also, the medieval sexist attitudes of the church to women and magic gave me lots of areas to exploit. For example, in one scene I have Alyson’s old nurse offering a loving cup to Guillelm and Alyson, an action for which she is violently berated by one of Guillelm’s crusader knights and accused of witchcraft through a love potion, a charge which later returns to make trouble for Alyson.

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?

LT: My stories tend to come from a single mental image, or from a “What if?” question that develops along with the main plot. I write romance, so I love a happily ever after (HEA) ending, but how that ending is reached and the way my hero and heroine meet, get to know each other and begin to fall in love is something I enjoy writing about. Within the romance genre, I try to be as vibrant as possible, to give twists to favourite tropes. I have an overall idea of the story arc when I begin, and where I want the story to finish, but don’t over-plan, so that I can retain freshness.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book originally?

LT: I wanted to write about a hero and heroine who fell in love for each other at a young age, but then were forced by others and by circumstances to separate. When they come together again, will they re-discover their feelings? That idea intrigued me very much, so I wrote A Knight’s Vow.

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

LT: I strive to show the full scope of the medieval period and to give my readers a feel of the time—its sounds, scents, tastes and sights. I hope to transport people through my writing, so they can see and share what my hero and heroine experience, before their HEA.

CH: Did you have to do a lot of research on romance during this time period for this book?

LT: I read about medieval courtly romance, and customs, plus the giving of favours at jousts, and details of things like clothing, castles, houses, landscape, animals and what people liked to grow in their gardens.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

LT: My hero, Guillelm and the battered crusader knight, Sir Tom.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

LT: I enjoyed writing all my characters, even those I considered to be the baddies. I admit that showing intolerance and cruelty was very hard, but such forces were present in the Middle Ages and at times, I needed to express it.

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

LT: People and feelings have not changed much, since the first humans and the cave paintings. We love now, as others did in the past.

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

LT: People enjoy the splendour of the medieval times; its gallantry; and also the adventure and danger.

CH: Do you have any historical writing mentors? If so, what is the experience like?

LT: I love to read and I read a lot of historical romances when I was growing up. I love the sweep of epic romances and J. R. R. Tolkien remains a favourite, and also Mary Stewart and her Merlin Trilogy.

CH: How to Find Lindsay Townsend:

CH: What is your next writing project?

LT: I’m working on a Christmas story at the moment.

CH: For my audience, where is your book sold?

LT: A Knight’s Vow is available on Amazon. Readers can also read an excerpt at http://bit.ly/2vQXkMI

CH: Any closing remarks?

LT: Thanks again for hosting me, Cheryl. I love the whole romance genre, with its scope and variety, and its willingness to tackle difficult issues. I find all of its writers and readers truly amazing and inspiring. Best wishes, Lindsay

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

Note: Photos/Clip art are compliments of the Internet, Lindsay Townsend 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

Guest Author Interview – Amarie Avant

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Title: Fearless: A Sports Romance

Genre: Romance/Multicultural/Interracial

Synopsis: Zariah Washington-When my best friend is beaten to within an inch of her life, I step into Vadim’s Gym, where her boyfriend exercises, and go off. Though, I’ll one day become a district attorney, there’s nothing graceful about how I seek justice, which is all a big mistake. One: I’m at the wrong damn gym. Two: I’ve cussed and disrespected every male in the place. Oh, and the Russian fighter I encounter, whose jacked with muscles and packing heat, won’t let me go! He promises to extract vengeance. His loyalty comes at a price. Not to mention, my father is the Chief of Police.

Vassili Karo Resnov-Zariah and I had a misunderstanding when she walked into Vadim’s Gym. The beautiful, black vixen came into my life and cussed everyone out before I could say a word. I introduced myself, the anger and desire she felt gave way to fear… But we’ll fix that, because now she’s mine.

Amarie Avant, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Amarie Avant. Amarie says that her books are not your ordinary romance. Welcome to my blog, Amarie.

CH: Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book.

 AA: You’ll always be transported into a story surrounded with emotion while the hero and heroine fall in love.

CH: What made you decide to write a sports romance book?

AA: Romantic suspense is my go-to; however, I wanted to add another dynamic into my favorite genre.

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

AA: It’s actually easy for me to create situations and placing my characters into turmoil, because I work in the social sector. Deescalating issues and dealing with trauma and tragedy are at the forefront of my 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?

AA: My ideas sometimes come from dreams. My latest book, Fearless, started from a dream I had. I have lucid dreams, which have helped me in being creative through my hobby as a writer.

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

AA: Yes, I started watching “Kingdom (U.S. TV series),” which is a Mixed Martial Arts (MMA) show. Each of the males in that show dealt with serious power struggles. They were all alpha males in their own right, and regardless of their faults, I came to care for them. I also had Bellator MMA recorded on my DVR and also the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Champion) matches. Though I’ll skip the heavyweights for their slow, Neanderthal techniques, I enjoy watching other matches. Welterweight is my fav.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

AA: My favorite character to write was Vassili. If I don’t fall in love with the main male character, I don’t even like the book. That’s only happened a select few times for me, while writing. What I loved about him is that he did not care one bit about others perceptions of him. It took time to gain his trust. He also had witty, bad boy “comebacks” for all of Zariah’s arguments.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

AA: I don’t have characters that are hard to write per se. Although, I have villains that readers will mention in their reviews. It is always awesome to step into a villains shoes. In my Deceptive Desires series, there’s a serial rapist, who just so happens to hate black women. So guess what, I had to get into his mind. I’ve had to deal with a few sociopaths in my career. (One of which I cannot get rid of now…the woes of case management). In Devil In Her Bed, I forced myself to enter the stalker’s mind. He was you’re prototype for antisocial, flat affect, liar, misconstrued outlook on life. The villains are always fun.

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

AA: You’ve gotta give it your all in a marriage or relationship. There will be hard times, don’t give up.

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

AA: From the reviews I’ve read, I’ve been told a good number of times that my stories are like watching movies. I love movies more than I love…I want you to feel the emotion. 🙂

CH: You’ve written quite a few books. What are some of the frustrations of being an author? What are some of the perks?

AA: Frustrations…I’m introverted. Making friends is hard. So is finding good editors. Perks…I’m introverted. Learning that I have a reader in a different country or one who I’ve encouraged enough to reach out is shocking in a good way.

CH: Are most of your books standalones or part of a series?

AA: I prefer series books. As I work in the mental health field, I rather enjoy learning more about a person. Books in a Series will allow your characters to evolve and you can root for them. Standalone books are something that a good number of my readers like. So, I am forced to do it.

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

AA: That depends on the book. All of my stories are different. Fearless has readers telling me that they’ve fallen for Vassili and Zariah. Zariah is strong willed and sophisticated. An Alpha’s Desire has readers wanting a man who loves them, flaws and all…at least that’s what the reviewers say. Devil In Her Bed gave some readers chills, others learned about how crazy one can be, while others loved how Lincoln Zager was the underdog hero, who literally saved a life. And my oldie but goodie series, Fear, had people in lust, shock or love.

CH: Who are some of your writing influences?  

AA: Angela Marsons, Omar Tyree, Sandra Brown, Steve Demaree, Mary Monroe

CH: Those are some of my favorites, also. So, what can we expect next from you?

AA: Killing Mary Jane is a Twilight Zone and American Horror Story (without the scare) new release I should have it out soon for free. It will keep you wondering until the end, as it is psychological thriller in nature.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

AA: On my website readers can sample Fearless for free: https://dl.bookfunnel.com/5mu5na2qd1

CH: How to Find Amarie Avant:

CH: For my audience, where is your book sold?

AA: On Amazon.

CH: Any closing remarks?

AA: Thanks for having me, Cheryl.

CH: Thank you so much, Amarie Avant, 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, Amarie Avant and Cheryl Holloway.

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

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Cheryl Holloway’s Paperback, A Sisterhood of Women Living Life, is Here!

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A Sisterhood of Women Living Life: A Short Story Collection Book 1 is Now Available in Paperback! Get your Copy Today and Write a Review on Amazon.

The Author Reception on August 19, 2017 at Waldorf West Library.

Cheryl Holloway is discussing her book with one of her loyal readers.

Cheryl Holloway and Telfair Graves.

 

 

 

 

 

Cheryl writing a personal inscription .

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

        

 

 

 

 

 

 

It’s also available in eBook, too.

A “special thanks” to all of the fans who attended the Author Reception.

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

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

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

   

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

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Nancy Cole Silverman

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Title: Room For Doubt: A Carol Childs Mystery Book 4

Genre: Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

Synopsis:  When radio reporter Carol Childs is called to a crime scene in the Hollywood Hills at five thirty in the morning, she’s convinced it must be a publicity stunt to promote a new movie. That is, until she sees the body hanging from the center of the Hollywood sign. The police are quick to rule it a suicide, but something doesn’t add up for Carol. Particularly after a mysterious caller named Mustang Sally confesses to the murder on the air and threatens to kill again. With the help of an incorrigible PI, her best friend, and a kooky psychic, Carol is drawn into the world of contract killers and women scorned. As she races to find the real killer, she finds herself faced with a decision that will challenge everything she thought she knew.

Nancy Cole Silverman, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Nancy Cole Silverman. Nancy began her writing career in radio and she says that like every writer, she hopes her characters are fascinating, her dialogue crisp, and her word choices clever. Welcome to my blog, Nancy.

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

NCS: Carol’s sense of justice is challenged when a deranged woman calls the station and confesses to murder.

CH: You take pride in crafting believable stories. So, where do your ideas come from? Do you have a standard formula for plots or do stories come to you as a whole concept? 

NCS: Most of my ideas are loosely inspired by news stories.  I spent twenty-five years in news and talk radio, so I guess you could say I have an ear for it.  Matched with my imagination, the subject matter in each book is probably best described as a mash-up of both.

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

NCS: I think the fact that Carol works for a talk radio station, adds an element of mystery from the get-go.  With radio, a listener and host never see one another.  For me, it’s that faceless voice across the airwaves that starts the mystery.

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

NCS: People who know me think Carol Childs is me.  The truth is, she’s younger, thinner, smarter and gutsier than I could have ever been.  It’s always easiest to play Monday morning quarterback on a story you’re writing versus one that you’re living.

CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?

NCS: I’m a people watcher.  I enjoy crafting characters after people I’ve seen interact with others around me.  My characters are seldom based on anyone I know or have worked with, although friends will tell me they think so.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

NCS: Obviously, my protagonist Carol.  She’s a complex character. In so many ways, she’s like a lot of modern young women, she wants it all—a career, a home, and a relationship. It’s her balancing act and fear of losing herself to a relationship at the expense of her job and self that keep her from being too predictable.

CH: Which character was hardest to write? 

NCS: Misty Dawn, the once famous Hollywood Psychic to the Stars.  I love her character, and I wanted to make certain she showed up on the page, as I saw her in my mind.  She and Carol have a complex relationship because Carol doesn’t believe in psychics and Misty, who is now retired, has begun to lose her psychic abilities.  Like many former, aging actors and people in the industry, she didn’t have a lot of money put aside for retirement and is close to destitute, but not without ideas.  When she shows up on Carol’s doorstep in book four, Room For Doubt, she suggests Carol might need a housekeeper.  Under Carol’s care, Misty’s abilities will start to return, which is both a good thing and bad thing for Carol.  Stay Tuned.  I’ve more planned for Misty.

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

NCS: Not really.  It was my publisher who suggested I sit down and start writing a sequel.  Only then, did I start to map out the idea for a series.

CH: How long did it take you to write your first novel? And how long did it take you to write this novel? 

NCS: Shadow of Doubt, book one of the Carol Childs series, took me about two and half years to write. However, this was not my first book, but it was my first traditionally published book.  Before that, I wrote about a half dozen books. It takes time for a writer to find their voice.  Subsequent books in the Carol Childs series have each taken about a year.  I think a series in many ways is easier to write than a stand-alone book.  The author knows the characters, and the plot seems to come together much quicker.

CH: Is there anything in particular that you have learned about writing that you would like to share?

NCS: Writing the book is just the tip of the iceberg.  I don’t think most readers begin to understand that once the book is written how much more is involved in marketing the book, and that so much of that, regardless of whether or not the book is traditionally published or self-published, falls upon the author to do.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s a privilege to do it, but between blog tours, speaking engagements, etc., I don’t have as much time to write as I’d always like.

CH: Which writer do you admire most and why?

NCS: There are so many.  I like Joyce Carol Oates.  I recently finished JoJo Moyes book, Me Before You—the woman can pull tears from me like no other author.  I also am a big fan of Stephen King, Michael Connelly, Raymond Chandler and just about any mystery author.

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

NCS: I think the most exciting thing is that my books have found their way into the hands of readers who have enjoyed them.  Writing fiction is the next step for me, and knowing that there are those who take pleasure in my work is such a reward. Thank you.

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

NCS: I’ve always written.  I knew from the time I was a child, I wanted to be a writer, and went to college and got a degree in journalism because, for me, that was where the action was.  The big difference was when I retired, I suddenly found that as a former broadcast person, I had to write copy that was longer than thirty and sixty seconds long.  That’s about 75 to 150 words and a big stretch from an eighty-thousand-word novel.

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

NCS: I read a lot of Sue Grafton and Janet Evanovich. Both these women have huge followings, and I figure they must be doing something right, so I’ve read nearly everything they have written.

CH: How to Find Nancy Cole Silverman:

CH: For my audience, where is your book sold?

NCS: My book is available through any book store or at online retails like Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

CH: Any closing remarks? 

NCS: I love writing the Carol Childs Mysteries, and I’m thankful to Henery Press for allowing me free rein with my plots and twists.  So often, I hear writer friends say their publishers have pushed for traditional, nicely wrapped endings. Henery has allowed me to put on the page the story as I feel it deserves to be told and end.  I like to leave with a wow, which frequently is anything but traditional. Hopefully, it gives my readers something to think about.

Thank you, Cheryl, for hosting this interview.  It was a pleasure.

CH: Thank you so much, Nancy Cole Silverman, 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,Nancy Cole Silverman 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

Coming Soon in Paperback…A Sisterhood of Women Living Life by Cheryl Holloway

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

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

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

   

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

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Questions? Comments? Interviews? Contact :

AuthorCherylHolloway@gmail.com or Cheryl@CherylHolloway.net

Guest Author Interview – Tracee Lydia Garner

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Title: Deadly Affections

Genre: Romance/Multicultural

Synopsis: A crime romance, mystery suspense, romance novel. Psychologist Leedra Henderson has a hidden motive in abandoning everything to accept a new job at the Anchored Empowerment Center. She secretly hopes that the new position will help her to investigate her own past—and to finally uncover the real story behind a string of mysterious deaths at her childhood foster home. Now a strong, independent woman, Leedra doesn’t need help: she wants to seek justice, and she will. Alone. Dexter Parker needs his own answers about that time in the foster home so long ago. A grown man reeling from the fallout of a broken marriage, Dexter’s rational mind tells him never to try the risks of love again—but he knows he could fill in the blanks for Leedra, if only it doesn’t end up costing him his heart. More urgently, Dexter needs to save the determined Leedra from the results of her detective work, before it all blows up in her face and costs both of them their lives. Can the pair set aside their painful histories, avenge the lives that have been lost and—who knows—discover new love?

Tracee Lydia Garner, Author

 

 

 

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Tracee Lydia Garner. Tracee has been writing since she was in elementary school. Welcome to my blog, Tracee.

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

TLG: That’s hard but okay: Deadly Affections—a suspense about seeking justice for your loved ones and healing ones pain to forge loving relationships.

CH: Crime, mystery and romance are all in one novel. How did you come up with the premise for this book?

TLG: I love suspenseful tales. I think there is something fun about trying to ‘figure out’ who has done what or who is hiding something and who is worthy of trust. The backdrop of the crime and the mystery, for me, even in my reading choices, makes for more entertaining stories.

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

TLG: I have always been a news junkie, I seem to have on the four, five, six and seven o’clock news (with Lester Holt) each and every evening. I wonder about the snippets of people’s lives that make their way across my screen. I wonder about stories that include missing persons and the details that emerge daily about someone’s disappearance, I keep hoping, waiting for an end, for a resolution of some sort and I’m so disappointed when the news fails to give me one, some weeks later. These are real people to me and I guess a way to satisfy my own curiosity is to write their beginning and their end. Only their middles are sensationalized briefly on the evening’s news and I happily try to create a tale that perceivably gives you the “rest of the story.”

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

TLG: Ripped directly from the headlines of the day. I’m a certified news junkie.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?

TLG: I LOVE writing period. My goals in my career include a play, a script and perhaps a made for television movie. I write because the ideas just yearn to be freed. This book visits with the second brother of three that I’m exploring and what he faces as he tries to build his life and maybe find love again, after his wife’s betrayal and subsequent mysterious death. The love for writing is the impetuous behind every book.

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

TLG: I think that a lot of my writing stays plausible. While I write romance, many people may have snippets in their prose where you are like oh come on, that’s so unreal. I never, ever want people to feel that way and so sometimes, I feel my romance is not all that traditional. I don’t think my male characters are unbelievably romantic and I try to make my females as real as possible. I never want people to have that statement so I try to be as real as possible, while still delivering an escape.

CH: Did you have to do a lot of research on the foster care system for this book?

TLG: For Anchored Hearts, I had to learn what the process is like for readying your child and yourself for a home and I have actually -for my own plans to adopt, someday- been through the first few steps of the process. It’s been a thought I’ve had sometime but it has also waned due to various issues.  In some ways, I hope that expressing some of the issues may be enlightening to people that consider adoption and for others perhaps a way for them to make peace with a type of nontraditional family creation and know that it is completely okay, too.

CH: What made you decide to write about a string of mysterious deaths at her childhood foster home?

TLG: The entire series follows three of five adopted brothers. The same woman and her husband raised them all, known affectionately as Momma G and David. I think that foster care/adopted children, especially in African-American romance isn’t often written about, so I simply wanted to give people a small glimpse of the perils that some can face and how they may even struggle to get to their own peace and adulthood.

CH: Why was it necessary to avenge the lost lives of their childhood?

TLG: In Deadly Affections, part of the underlying story is the helplessness you feel as a child. You can’t do anything but watch the people around you make decisions FOR you and leave with you choices—sometimes wrong—that impact the adult you will become. Leedra was one of those children that had to leave her foster home after the murders of the other children in it. She left the area, joined the mercy ship but one of the children—which a body was never recovered—was her sister and she wanted to be brave and find out what happened and bring whomever she could to justice, and if her sister was really gone, she wanted to accept that. Much like the mercy ship, there was a part of her that always felt adrift somehow, unanchored. It was always a part of her life that she needed to solve in order to feel hope and to feel whole.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

TLG: The heroines are always my most favorites to explore. I loved writing Allontis in Anchored Hearts, she and Cole had a lot of work to do to become the central unit that would hold the family together after Cole’s adoptive mother passes away at the opening of the story. Allontis would have to sustain the family and help bring everyone together and she’s seen again in Deadly Affections and upcoming Fatal Opposition.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

TLG: I don’t find my characters hard to write, their professions are sometimes challenging, both Dexter, who is a doctor and a single parent; and Leedra, who spent most of her life on a Mercy Ship as a missionary. It was interesting to read about missionary life and the mission of the Mercy Ship. It was fascinating and I was so thankful to dig deep through the Internet to find an actual nurse who is/was on a Mercy Ship and blogged about her experience.

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

TLG: In all my work, even my nonfiction, I want readers to find hope. Whatever the character faces, should be like real life, adversity, loss, grief and personal /professional challenges, and overcoming all of that to win in the end.

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

TLG: I love the reader mail that I receive. They love the characters and they find the work a real suspenseful tail and those are things I love to hear. I, particularly, enjoy readers that tell me the characters seem so real that they wonder what the characters are doing after the final page is turned. I, too, wonder what they are doing; they become a part of my life like a good neighbor.

CH: Do you have any writing mentors? If so, what is the experience like?

TLG: I was so fortunate to meet someone that I think will be a mentor for me at this year’s Romance Writers of America (RWA) National Conference, held in Orlando, Florida. I just got back. I have not solidified our relationship, so I can’t mention them just yet, but they were warm and friendly and just super kind and welcomed an ongoing contract. For the other parts of my career, I have not had a lot of success with mentors.  I’ve asked and not gotten very far. With that said, I have always had a few authors that I try to study and review their career trajectory over the years. Adult-to-adult mentoring relationships are so hard to come by that I just encourage people that even when an author you admire doesn’t have time, perhaps just send them questions every now and then or try to follow them, set up Google alerts so you can see when they are in the news and read their interviews through the years. There’s a lot of wisdom you should find as an author’s career progresses and that can be just as helpful as a live relationship.

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

TLG: Please reach out to me and visit www.Teegarner.com. There, you’ll also see I have a Writer’s Resources page that strangers and aspiring writers actually have written me to tell me how helpful and comprehensive it is.

CH: How to Find Tracee Lydia Garner:

CH: For my audience, where is your book sold?

TLG: My books are sold on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo platforms.

CH: Any closing remarks?

 TLG: Thanks so much for the opportunity, Cheryl. Be blessed.

CH: Thank you so much, Tracee Lydia Garner, 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,Tracee Lydia Garner 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

Miracle’s Destiny Book Launch Pictures – By Request

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Title: Miracles’s Destiny

Genre: Family Saga

Synopsis: Miracle had no clue that keeping her brother Joseph’s secret would blindside her marriage to Mychal. She’s also holding back about Karma, her husband’s sister. Mychal isn’t without his own discretions; 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 back her hectic life that she often complained about?

So many people have asked me, “How was the book launch event?” Well, here are some pictures, so you can see for yourself. It was indeed a classy affair, thanks to Georgette Littlejohn, author. 

The author and her book as they greeted hundreds of attendees.

A table full of books and items for sale.

  

Her hand got tired signing so many books.

The proud writer turned author, Georgette Littlejohn.

This is just a few of the pictures. The photographer took hundreds of photos. The cake was beautiful, the food was delicious and  topped off with Sangria wine. A good time was had by all—Georgette’s family, friends and fans!

Signature LogoNote: 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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Guest Author Interview – Shelia E. Bell

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 Title: The Real Housewives of Adverse City 2 (Volume 2)

Genre: Spiritual/Inspirational/African American

Synopsis: Fabulously rich housewives, Avery, Meesha, Peyton and Eva are dealing with the damages each one of their decisions has cost. Meesha Porter is pregnant with her fifth child by her husband, mega pastor, Carlton Porter while Carlton wants out of his marriage. Peyton Hudson struggles to find a way to get back in the good graces of her estranged husband, Derek and their teenage son, Liam, after secrets about Liam’s past rise to the surface. Eva Stenberg is devastated and heartbroken after her husband, Harper, throws her out of their mansion when she tells him she is pregnant with a child he told her he was not ready to have. And fragile Avery Mitchelson is in love with another man and wants out of her relationship with Ryker. What will happen to these four housewives as they come to terms with living lives of the rich and famous while dealing with the consequences of their decisions?

Shelia E. Bell, Author

 CH: Today’s Guest Author is Shelia E. Bell, an award winning and bestselling author. Welcome again to my blog, Shelia.

CH: Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book.

SEB: The stories I write are entertaining, realistic, exceptionally great, and definitely page turners!

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

SEB: It is not hard creating believable situations because I use everyday life events, circumstances, situations and problems that many people face in the world today. My tagline is ‘Perfect stores about imperfect people…like you and me.’ I believe this tagline sums it up.

CH: Since these women are all fabulously rich housewives, did you have to do any special research?

SEB: I always do research when writing. This book is no different. I researched the fictional city based on the exclusive little known island in Florida called Fisher Island (a place only the elite rich and famous reside) as well as, the careers of the husbands and numerous other things that happened in the story. I want my stories to be as true to life as I can possibly make them.

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

SEB: I believe it is dialogue. I use narrative, of course, but my books are primarily dialogue driven. I get into the lives and personalities of my characters and allow them to speak in everyday language according to their backgrounds, education, and upbringing, etc.

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?

SEB: I have no standard formula, other than I write according to titles. I do not outline, I do not have notes written down beforehand, I simply say a prayer and ask God to direct and guide me and then I sit down at the computer (after I have a title) and I began to write. My son says I’m like the well-known rapper, Jay Z, who freestyles. He says I write freestyle because I literally do not know any of what is going to occur in my stories beforehand. It all comes to me, as I sit before the computer and my mind and fingers connect to weave a fantastic story. God is good!

CH: Why did you decide to write this book about rich housewives? Was your decision based on any of the housewives tv series?

SEB: Actually, I have only seen one, maybe two episodes of any of the housewives reality shows. Again, I write according to titles and I thought The Real Housewives of Adverse City was a great title and that I could deliver an even greater story around this title.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

SEB: I have no favorite character. Each of the ladies have their own struggles, shortcomings, family drama and life’s decisions to make and so they are all equally important.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

SEB: Perhaps, if I had to choose, I guess I would say Peyton because her struggles with addiction are so real and so many people struggle with some type of addiction, whether it’s addiction to drugs, alcohol, food, relationships, religion, and the list can go on and on. We all struggle with something and I felt extremely sorry for Peyton because of her addiction.

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

SEB: Yes, I did. When the title came to me, my spirit had already prompted me about making it into a series.

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

SEB: I have only two books, so far in the series. I would say book 2 was more difficult. In Book 1, I am basically introducing the housewives and Book 2 goes more in depth about their situations and what they are dealing with. It delves deeper into their overall lives.

CH: Will there be other books in this series?

SEB: Yes, I’m not sure how many. We’ll just have to see what all these ladies have to say and want to share with the world about their lives. I do not have a preconceived number of books in the series in my mind. I just let the characters lead me.

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

SEB: We are not perfect. Money does not equate to happiness and cannot bring true love. I always close my books out with Words from the Author, which gives a deeper insight to the situations involved in my books. I think in this instance, many people believe that money can solve many of life’s problems, and it can solve many, but not those hidden secrets, desires, or battles, that we often face.

CH: Who are some of your Christian fiction writing influences?

SEB: That’s a tough one to answer. I don’t look at any particular Christian fiction person, author/writer as an influence. My long time mentor was author J. California Cooper, who passed many years ago. I fell in love with her innate ability to tell a story. I knew I wanted to write stories and books that could transform, inspire, and touch people’s lives all because of Cooper.

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

SEB: I have to smile on this question because I never knew I had so much to write! I had no idea I would be a national bestselling author. That was not my plan. But God. This journey is not an easy one. I had to learn to get out of my feelings because this is not a get rich quick industry. Sometimes, we can equate success with how much money is in our bank accounts and that’s not evidence of true success, although it can be a byproduct of it. But continuing to do what I do, and write what I write is my passion. Yes, I want to makes thousands upon thousands of dollars doing it like some authors are fortunate to be able to do, but God has not yet bestowed that upon me, although I enjoy a measure of monetary success. As I write, I seem to understand more and more that like the housewives I write about, money cannot offer the essence of true happiness and abiding spirituality. There was a time recently, when I said I was not going to write another book. I was discouraged, disheartened and disappointed because of low book sales and a meager bank account. The hustle is real but when you hustle and hustle and you don’t actually see the monetary fruits of your labor, it can be tough to keep hustling, so I gave up on writing. That only lasted a good six months and because of faithful and loyal readers, who contacted me asking about the date of my next release, I realized once again that I had a gift that money can’t buy. I have the talent and the ability, the desire and the passion to touch people’s lives in a good way through the stories I write. I love it! Now, I’m back on my grind and churning out book after book after book. God is amazing!

CH: Can you give my audience your website address?

SEB: Sure, I would love for your audience to join my mailing list. I promise not to bog them down with unnecessary emails or newsletters. I only use it to share the blogs I write from time to time and to keep my subscribers updated about new book releases or book events. My website is sheliawritesbooks Be sure to note the correct spelling of S-H-E-L-I-A

CH: How to Find Shelia E. Bell:

CH: For my audience, where is your book sold?

SEB: My books are sold primarily online at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Kobo, Books A Million and numerous other online eRetailers.

CH: Any closing remarks?

SEB: I want to say ‘thank you’ Cheryl Holloway for yet another opportunity to talk about what I love. Thank you for your literary support and for your kind heart. I want to thank every reader and every person, who will read my work. Kudos to all the authors, whether veteran or aspiring. Most of all thank you to God for choosing me, his Amazing girl, to write the stories I write.

CH: Thank you so much, Shelia E. Bell, 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,Shelia E. Bell 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 – M. Pax

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Title: FreeFall (The Backworlds Book 7)

Genre: Sci-Fi/Space Exploration

Synopsis: The first shot of a new war echoes through the galaxy. Craze has high hopes for what the alliance with an old enemy, the Foreworlds, will do to defeat a worse enemy, the Quassers.

The test of a highly-advanced weapon, created by the efforts of the alliance, pushes tensions over the brink and kills thousands. To make it worse, the Foreworld ambassador is keeping secrets.

Conventional warfare against the Quassers isn’t working, and if the alliance ends, Craze has become the most hated man in the galaxy for no reason.

With nothing left to lose, Craze sets in motion one last chance for survival.

M. Pax, Author

CH:  Today’s Guest Author is M. Pax.  She has been fascinated by space and what’s out there, since her childhood. Welcome to my blog, M. Pax.

CH: Please tell us in one sentence, why we should read your book about the far future?

MP: Humans constantly struggle against each other, but can we ever come together to fight a common foe?

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

MP: My characters face real problems on made up worlds in an imagined future. As the series goes on, the problems become larger and how each character must decide how they want to survive, or if they do.

CH: With space exploration and colonization writing in mind, can you describe your writing style? What is different and exciting that you bring to your readers through your writing style?

MP: Terraforming takes a lot of resources and time. Instead, I genetically altered people to survive on different worlds. We haven’t moved too far from home; yet, still in the same spur of the Milky Way. My characters are regular people doing their best to cope with the aftermath of a war with another faction of humans. Now, a new threat comes along.

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?

MP: My ideas come from everywhere. I was inspired by Firefly, one of my favorite shows.  Then, I heard a song on the radio. One of the lines said, “What if the good guys lost?” I used that as a premise. I usually start with the character arcs and where I want to take my characters. I add the big plot points and then, how I move from point-to-point isn’t always clear, until I’m writing.

CH: Why did you decide to write this book?

MP: The idea of The Backworlds was a short story at first. I submitted it to a big science fiction magazine, which rejected the story. The editor, however, sent me a page of feedback. There was a lot she liked about the story, and she pointed out where I could improve it. That was when ebooks were starting to take off. So, I expanded the idea and took the suggestions she made. So, here we are seven books into the series.

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

MP: I did research on physics and space travel. I’ve done research on mechanics and biology. I did research on making alcoholic beverages, too. My main character is a bartender.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

MP: The main character, Craze, is very comfortable for me to write. He came to me fully formed, and I can see and hear him very clearly when I write for him.

CH: Which character was hardest to write?

MP: The hardest is a character from Earth, Barnabus Manalo. His goals put him at odds with the other characters more often than not.

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

MP: It began as a short story, which was actually the beginning of book 2. I wrote book 2 first, then the first book. Then, I realized it would be a series.

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

MP: The sixth, Precipice. When I was halfway through, I received the worst phone call of my life. My baby brother had been found dead. It was so unexpected, so devastating. It broke my heart, and I didn’t know what to feel other than sad. A month later, my cat became ill. I nursed her for a month, but finally had to let her go. She was my constant companion, and my brother was one of my best friends. It’s probably the darkest book in the series, just because I was in a dark place. I poured a lot of my emotions into that story.

CH: Wow. That was a dark place and I can definitely understand why that book was hard to write. Your readers are on edge waiting on Book 8 in the series, when will it be released?

MP: I started a new job, which slowed me up a little. But I’ll be getting book 8 out in 2018. I can’t wait to start on it. The title is Endpoint.

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

MP: My stories are about regular people, who are dealt a bad hand, doing the best they can to survive. They find ways to be courageous and go on with life.

CH: Who are some of your sci-fi/fantasy writing influences?

MP: Arthur C. Clarke is one of my favorites. So are Ray Bradbury, Kurt Vonnegut, and Frank Herbert. John Scalzi writes a fantastic story, and I really enjoyed Lois McMaster Bujold’s series. The Valor series by Tanya Huff is a great favorite of mine, too.

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

MP: The most exciting thing is fan mail and having devoted fans. It’s been a joy to connect with them and to continue writing for them.

CH: How to Find M. Pax:

CH: For my audience, where is your book sold?

MP: I sell wide: Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords, iTunes, Nook, Kobo, iBook, Googleplay, Bookcessories, and more.

CH: Any closing remarks?

MP: It’s been a pleasure meeting you, Cheryl. Wish we lived closer, so we could get together regularly and chat over a coffee. I love to write and will keep writing. Work life may slow me up, now and then, but I’ll keep writing. I have to. If I don’t write enough in a week, I get rather cranky.

CH: Thank you so much, M. Pax, 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, M. Pax 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 – Nicole Blanchard

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Title: Toxic

Genre: Contemporary Romance/Dark Romance

Synopsis: “John Doe” was just another patient. A criminal.
As a prison nurse, I knew the rules: do my job, don’t get involved, and never let a prisoner get under my skin. I broke all three.
My passion, my obsession, my addiction. I risked my entire life, so we could be together.

I thought helping him escape from prison would be the hard part.
It turns out when you fall in love with a villain, you also turn into one.

Nicole Blanchard, Author

CH: Today’s Guest Author is Nicole Blanchard. Nicole survives on a diet of too many books and substantial amounts of root beer and slim jims. Welcome to my blog, Nicole.

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

NB: Can a villain fall in a love?

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?

NB: My stories come from situations. What happens when I force two characters into dire circumstances? How they react and what drives the story and fuels my muse.

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

NB: Somewhat of both. In Toxic, I tried to make the prison as realistic as possible, drawing from my Mom’s experience as a correctional officer. Of course, I take creative license with all the details, so any mistakes are my own.

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

NB: The inspiration for Toxic comes from the song Gangsta by Kehlani https://open.spotify.com/track/1W7zkKgRv9mrLbfdQ8XyH3

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

NB: Dark romance is a bit of a departure (I primarily write romantic suspense), but I like to think I can connect with readers on a human level, so they can empathize and even sympathize with some of the decisions my anti-hero make.

CH: Where do you get inspiration for your characters?

NB: The simple answer is everywhere—books, movies, music, and real life. While a story ferments in my mind, I’m constantly drawing inspiration from the world around me. When I come across something that reminds me of a character, I either pin it to the book’s board on Pinterest or save the song on Spotify to create the books “mood.” I often revisit the board and playlist as I’m writing to get myself in the mindset for whichever book I’m working on.

CH: Who was your favorite character to write?

NB: Gracin’s interactions with Tessa, especially in the beginning of the book are fascinating to me. I think, because he’s so intrigued by his response to her. No matter how heartless he is, he couldn’t let her go and that’s what drew me to the story. He’s a man who deals in death and then can’t shake his feelings for a woman.

CH: Who was the hardest character to write?

NB: At the same time, Gracin, because he’s not a hero in any sense. The decisions he makes are hard to rationalize, but that’s why I like it.

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

NB: More than a message, I hope readers are as intrigued by the dichotomy of love and villainy, as I am. Is it possible for the bad guy to fall in love? Is it even love? Is it obsession? The question still fascinates me.

CH: This book will be released in August. How do you advertise it for the pre-release?

NB: We just finished celebrating the cover reveal. Throughout July and August, I’ll be sharing teasers and counting down until the release on August 22nd. Advanced Readers and Bloggers will receive their ARC at the beginning of August. In addition, there will be giveaways galore!

CH: Is social media important in pre-release advertising?

NB: I think social media is more important to connect with readers than advertising. Sure, it’s useful, but readers want to know more about the author rather than being constantly sold to. With that in mind, I try to approach my social media as a way to grow friendships. What would I want to see from my favorite author? What do I love about my favorite authors’ social media accounts? I try to offer sneak peeks into upcoming books, behind the scenes shots like my office or pets, and the inspiration behind my books, such as my Pinterest boards or Spotify playlists.

CH: You are a New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author. Can you tell us a little about your publishing journey?

NB: I’ve always wanted to write. It’s never really been a question. I started writing more seriously around four years ago when I published a short Christmas story with a bit of a horror twist. Since then, I attacked publishing like I do most any of my other obsessions—with an insatiable appetite. I like knowing everything about the process from the first word to the finished project. This allowed me the opportunity to publish with a box set in the Summer of 2015, aptly titled Summer Fire. In it, I included the precursor novella to what would become Anchor (available for free everywhere). I learned so much from the wonderful women I was able to work with. I’ve never seen a group of people so dedicated and seriously fierce. Through a combined effort, Summer Fire debuted #13 on the NYT list and I think the feeling comes in second only to the birth of my daughter. 🙂 Since then, I’ve written several more books in the series (with 5 more to come) and with each one, I continue to learn and grow.

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

NB: The response to my first full-length novel, Warrior; it has gone unrivaled. It was the book of my heart, at the time. One I’ve started and stopped in several incarnations throughout the years. Publishing it was a cathartic and I experienced a level of joy surpassed only by the response from readers. I do think Toxic may top it, though. 🙂 But we’ll keep that between you and me.

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

NB: J. K. Rowling!!! Or Dean Koontz. They are my favorite authors.

CH: Are there any writing projects in progress? What can we expect next from you?

NB: So many. My next book is the 6th in my military romantic suspense series, entitled, Traitor. It will be released this fall, followed by a three book romantic fantasy series this winter.

CH: How to Find Nicole Blanchard:

CH: Can you tell my audience where your book is sold and what date it will be released?

NB: Toxic is currently available for pre-order at iBooks and will be available for pre-order everywhere the beginning of August. It will be released on August 22.

New release alert: http://www.subscribepage.com/newreleasealert

Amazon Print: http://amzn.to/2rlae0w

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/toxic/id1244433496?ls=1&mt=11

CH: Any closing remarks?

NB: Cheryl, Thank you so much for having me!

CH: Thank you so much, Nicole Blanchard, 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, Nicole Blanchard 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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