Blog Tour, Giveaway, and Author Interview for Finding Me by Kelly Gunderman

FindingMeTour

Link to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43530716-finding-me

Tour Schedule:

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/tour-schedule-finding-me-by-kelly-gunderman/

Purchase Link

Amazon

Giveaway Info:

  • One (1) winner will get a Swoon Romance ebook title from a previous publication year of their choosing.

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Find Me by Kelly Gunderman

Publication Date: July 30, 2019

Publisher: Swoon Romance

Can you ever truly love someone who robbed you of everything?

Sixteen-year-old Claire Williams spends most of her days feeling angry and alone. After a car accident took her mother and Claire’s ability to walk, life in a wheelchair is the new normal.

When she’s sent to live with her grandmother, away from school and friends, Claire has a chance for a fresh start. Just when Claire thinks she can handle things, she runs into Todd – the son of the man who caused the car accident.

At first, Claire wants nothing to do with him, but the more time they spend together, the more she hates to admit her feelings. She’s slowly falling in love with Todd.

Now, Claire’s father wants to move and take Claire with him. But she can’t go. Not now when everything is falling into place, and she’s just now finding herself. Claire’s defiant. She won’t leave Greenwood, her new friends, her grandmother, or Todd.

Can Claire find the strength to let her dad go on with his life while leaving her behind to live hers, or will she allow the guilt and shame of surviving the accident pull her back under?

Author Interview

  1. Tell us about your writing process. Do you aim for a daily word count, page count, or a couple of scenes each day?

When it comes to my writing process, it kind of varies from day to day! Sometimes I try to write at least one or two chapters a day, or 2,000 words. Other days I’m happy if I find the time to write 500 words. I have two daughters who are home with me all the time, so it can be difficult to find a designated time to get writing done. If I’m in the middle of a chapter, though, I refuse to leave it hanging and come back to it later; I don’t want to lose any of the inspiration that I’ve come up with for the part I’m writing, so I will at least complete the rough draft before doing anything else! One thing I always make sure to do, though, is write something every day, even if it’s just a basic chapter outline or character overview. It allows me to stay close with the characters and the plot, so I remain familiar with their personalities.

  1. What gave you the inspiration for your book (and the series)?

I’ve always wanted to write. Growing up, my mom was an avid reader, and she brought me up to be one, as well. While I always wanted to write, I never really was able to come up with any good ideas for stories, nor did I know which genre I wanted to write for.

After running my book blog, Here’s to Happy Endings, for a few years, I decided that I was ready to start a book. I brainstormed, and decided that I wanted to write a young adult novel about a character with a disability who was able to overcome what life had thrown at her and learn how to forgive and be happy. I also love books with family drama, so I had to incorporate that into Finding Me, as well!

As far as the series goes, I’m still considering how I should tackle the rest of it. Do I want to write another story about Claire, facing more obstacles and potentially getting better? There is a lot of unexplored territory with the relationship between her and Todd; not to mention Claire’s father and that side of her family, as well. I also have pondered writing a story from Claire’s best friend, April’s, point of view, including why she pulled away from Claire. I feel like I have a lot of options available!

  1. What sort of research did you do for this book?

When I wrote Finding Me, I wanted to be sure that I was able to create an accurate depiction of Claire’s disability, so I did a lot of research involving that, including the possibility that someday, there may be a chance that Claire actually could make at least a partial recovery, allowing her to walk again.

I also had to do some research on prison sentencing (for Todd’s father), and ways to make accommodations for those who have disabilities, such as Claire’s. I really did in-depth research, looking into sites such as the American’s with Disabilities Act website, to really come up with a solid plan for Claire’s character and environment.

  1. Are you a pantser or a plotter? A bit of both?

 I have to say, a bit of both! Sometimes I like to just wing it – for instance, when I wrote Finding Me, I kind of just went with it. I didn’t have any real plotting or plans for the book, no outlines. I just wrote what I thought should happen next. I liked writing that way, and I thought it was a great way to let my creativity flow.

Other manuscripts that I have written (three, actually!), though, I have done a lot of plotting and perfecting before even beginning the story. I wanted to know exactly what was going to happen and when, and how I should arrange events so that I could get the perfect ending that I had in mind. Honestly, both ways work well, although I’m partial to just seeing what happens more than I am to plotting – I like things being open and having the ability to create the story as it comes to mind.

  1. Do you prefer a certain type of music to listen to when you’re writing, or are you better with silence?

It depends on what I’m working on! When I was working on Finding Me, I listened to a lot of Taylor Swift (my daughter is obsessed with her). I did like the quiet time, too, but that was mostly for editing. When I wrote my second manuscript, I listened to a lot of Silverstein – mostly the album Dead Reflection, because it was a lot darker than Finding Me. For uplifting work, I love listening to uplifting music.

  1. What book(s) are you reading now?

I just finished The Girl in Red by Christina Henry, and I found it to be one of the best books that I have read in a very long time. I’m currently reading In at the Deep End by Kate Davies, and while it’s not a young adult novel (which is what I typically read), it’s quite funny, and sometimes I like to read something that can really make me laugh out loud. My TBR list is absolutely enormous, and I have a difficult time keeping up with it!

  1. Just for fun — what TV shows or movies have you really enjoyed (or disliked?) recently?

 I binge watched the entirety of Stranger Things 3 on Netflix with my husband on July 4th, and I practically cried when it was over. I absolutely adored it! I also just finished watching the third (and final – so sad) season of Marvel’s Jessica Jones last night, and loved that, as well. As far as movies, I saw Spiderman: Far From Home with my husband in theaters the other day, and I was so impressed! I love anything Marvel related (if you can’t tell!).

About the Author

Kelly Gunderman

Kelly Gunderman was born a child of the late eighties in small-town Pennsylvania. A bibliophile in her own right, she is hoping to one day surpass the number of pages she has turned with those she has written of her own accord.

Having recently completed her Bachelor’s in Early Childhood Development, Kelly suddenly found herself with a bit more free time than usual, and began her immediately successful foray into blogging and Freelance Writing, which subsequently led to her renewed desire to finally put her ideas and imaginings “on paper.”

Focusing primarily on the Young Adult genre, Kelly has recently finished and her first novel, Finding Me, which is set to be published in early 2019 by Swoon Romance.

She currently resides in her original home town with her husband, their two daughters, and a few cats that constantly challenge the sanity of all with their ill-advised attempts at what can only be assumed to be world domination.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

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Book Tour and author interview for The Thirteenth Guardian by K.M. Lewis

 


The Thirteenth Guardian
by K.M. Lewis
Genre: YA Sci-Fi/Apocalyptic Fantasy
Release Date: June 11th 2019

Summary:

Da Vinci’s secret pales. Michelangelo concealed an explosive truth in his famous Creation of Man fresco in the Sistine Chapel at the Vatican. Everything we have been taught about Eve is wrong—she didn’t cause the fall of man. Instead, Eve carried a far more devastating secret for millennia; one that will change the world forever.

As the modern-day world suffers the cataclysmic effects of the “Plagues of Egypt”, Avery Fitzgerald, a statuesque Astrophysics major at Stanford, discovers that she is mysteriously bound to five strangers by an extremely rare condition that foremost medical experts cannot explain. Thrust into extraordinary circumstances, they race against time to stay alive as they are pursued by an age-old adversary and the world around them collapses into annihilation.

 Under sacred oath, The Guardians—a far more archaic and enigmatic secret society than the Freemasons, Templars, and the Priory—protect Avery as she embarks on a daring quest that only legends of old have been on before. Avery must come to terms with the shocking realization that the blood of an ancient queen flows through her veins and that the fate of the world now rests on her shoulders.

Excerpt

As he approached the Sant’Angelo Bridge, he stopped for a moment and looked left at Castel Sant’Angelo, which was once the tallest building in Rome. Castel SantAngelo was built by the Roman Emperor Hadrian, around 125 AD, as a mausoleum for him and his family. At the top of the castle is a statue of the Archangel Michael—renowned for leading God’s armies against Satan’s army in the final battle in the Book of Revelation.

Something about standing in the shadow of the Archangel Michael this evening caused Eli to stop and stare at the statue. He noticed, for the first time, that Archangel Michael appeared to have just unsheathed his sword—as if the time for that final battle, prophesied in the Bible, had finally arrived. Eli observed that Michael had a calmness etched on his face that evoked both sadness and resolve.

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This book is on sale for $0.99 throughout July 2019! 

Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07PNDJ7TW

BookFunnel link to the book – https://dl.bookfunnel.com/mn6ccg5rjy

Author Interview

  1. Tell us about your writing process. Do you aim for a daily word count, page count, or a couple of scenes each day?

I travel a lot for work. A LOT. So I do most of my writing on the move. When I write, I have the story saved in the cloud – so I will start a new chapter on my MacBook at 5am in my hotel before I head to the airport to catch a flight. I will pick up the writing on my iPhone in the back of an Uber—sitting in traffic—or waiting in a long airport security line, and then finish the chapter onboard a long flight. One of the chapters in the book was started in a hotel lobby in central London, finished somewhere over the Atlantic and spell checked in an Uber from JFK in New York.

  1. What gave you the inspiration for your book (and the series)?

I have always been intrigued by Bible and religious mythology. For many years, I have wondered if the apocalyptic events described in the Bible (past and future—i.e. Revelation), were/will be caused by a physical catalyst. What is absolutely fascinating to me is that many of the apocalyptic events described in the Bible appear in several other religious texts from around the world, and also appear in the earth’s historical record. For example, the story of Noah and the Flood is almost precisely similar to flood myths from China, India, Polynesia, Mesopotamia and many other communities around the world. Many of these myths involve a huge global flood and a group of people that were saved because they somehow knew the flood was coming and built some type of boat to save their family. They also stored grain and brought some animals along for the ride too.

I tried to ignore the obvious questions for years but they kept nagging at me. So, I finally decided to start reading and digging. And whoa! Our history may be much more interesting than we have known. The Thirteenth Guardian Trilogy is a fictional account that explores some of what I found over the last ten years of looking.

  1. What sort of research did you do for this book?

Over the years, I have visited many of the locations featured in the book – The Vatican, The Capitol Building in Washington DC, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Salt Lake City, Tokyo, Rome, The Greenbriar Resort; and more. The descriptions of these locations are based largely on my experiences when I visited those locations, and also reading up on them in detail to make sure that all the details captured are as accurate as possible. I have also read A LOT about world myths and religious beliefs, and I have spent quite a bit of time researching ancient religious texts and artifacts e.g. Hindu, Egyptian, Mayan etc. There is so much rich information that is available to anyone who wants to dig into this topic – you can spend weeks and weeks, reading up.

  1. Are you a pantser or a plotter? A bit of both?

A Panster. Many of the scenes that I think are the most compelling in the book unfolded as I wrote. I had no idea how the chapter would end as I wrote the first word in the chapter. I wrote the first book really fast – it just kept pouring out, and I could not go to sleep until all the thoughts were on paper. So I would just start writing and see where things would go. At the end of some of the chapters, I would stand up, look back at the computer screen, and think, “OK – where the heck did that come from?!”

  1. Do you prefer a certain type of music to listen to when you’re writing, or are you better with silence?

I always write listening to musical scores. For some reason, the genre clears my mind and opens up a channel into my mind. I am a big fan of Hans Zimmer when I write – so I put on my head set and just go to his Pandora or Slacker channel and start typing on my Mac or iPhone.

  1. What book(s) are you reading now?

I have re-read a couple of Dan Brown’s books, and I have Michelle Obama’s book sitting on my table staring back at me. I really need to find the time to read it.

  1. Just for fun — what TV shows or movies have you really enjoyed (or disliked?) recently?

Huge fan of GoT. But not for the reason that most people love the show. I think there is a much deeper layer to the show that struck me as soon as I started watching it. Has to do with ancient knowledge and the cycle of ancient history that always seems to repeat itself – Samuel Tarly is the one character that touches on it a bit in one of the seasons. If you read the Thirteenth Guardian, you can almost see the parallels.

About the Author

K.M. Lewis has lived in multiple countries around the world and speaks several languages. Lewis holds a graduate degree from one of the Ivy League Universities featured in his book. When he is not writing, Lewis doubles as a management consultant, with clients in just about every continent. He does much of his writing while on long flights and at far-flung airports around the globe. He currently resides on the East Coast of the U.S with his family.

Social media: twitter.com/kmlewisbooks and instagram.com/kmlewisbooks

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Blog Tour and Author Interview for Legend by Nicole Conway

Link to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42120181-legend

Purchase Links:

Google Play | BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | TBD | iBooks

Giveaway Info:

  • One (1) winner will win a Starbucks giftcard

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Legend (Dragonrider Legacy 3)

by Nicole Conway

Publication Date: May 7, 2019

Publisher: Month9Books

In a war of gods and tyrants, the will of the dragonrider must never falter.

Captured and tortured by the brutal tyrant, Argonox, Reigh’s worst fears have now been realized. Argonox has successfully twisted his mysterious dark power for a truly evil purpose—reanimating the long-deceased legendary dragonrider, Beckah Derrick, and her monstrous king drake. But Argonox’s cruelty won’t end there, and Reigh fears the worst is yet to come. Rescue is unlikely as the Tibrans prepare to make their final strike, poised to break Maldobar’s ranks of proud dragonriders once and for all.

With many of its cities already captured by the Tibran Empire, all hope now rests with Jaevid, Princess Jenna, Phillip, and their mismatched band of dragonrider allies to lead the last stand and save their kingdom. Even in such frightful times, Jaevid may find he still has a few old friends ready to take up their weapons and stand at his side again. But facing down Beckah is perhaps the one thing that might break Jaevid’s resolve. Can he really strike down the woman he used to love in order to save the kingdom?

One final battle will decide the fate of our heroes. Can the strength dragonrider prevail once again? Or will the Tibran Empire become Maldobar’s new legacy?

“Bravery is not an immunity to fear—it is rising up to meet it with the hope that nothing is impossible.” — Sile Derrick, FLEDGLING

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

1. Are you a pantser or a plotter? A bit of both?

A bit of both – sort of. I tend to write out scenes in little paragraphs sort of like storyboarding a movie. Then I shuffle things around as needed. I don’t like going into too much detail because then, honestly, it’s boring. I like having some freedom to let the story take on a life of it’s own.

2. Do you prefer a certain type of music to listen to when you’re writing, or are you better with silence?

I can write with silence, but I prefer to have music. I have playlists for various “moods” during certain points of the story. For instance, LEGEND has a lot of battles, so I listened to my “fight scene” playlist a lot … which consists of Sabaton, Skillet, and some movie soundtracks.

3. What book(s) are you reading now?

Right now I’m reading The Stolen Throne by David Gaider. It’s a “backstory novel” from the video game series I’m madly in love with called Dragon Age. I adore everything about those games and the world, so it’s been a fun read to learn some of the history.

4. Just for fun — what TV shows or movies have you really enjoyed (or disliked?) recently?

I just finished Death In Paradise, a British TV-mystery series, and I really loved it. I like a lot of BBC shows like that. The character and plot development tends to be a bit more … cerebral than what you find in a lot of American shows. But there are a few I like. I re-watch The Office, Breaking Bad, and House M. D. about once a year. I love those shows!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

NICOLE CONWAY is an author from North Alabama. She graduated from Auburn University in 2012, and has previously worked as a graphic artist. She is happily married with one son.

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Book Tour and Author Interview for Lucid by Kristy Fairlamb

Tour Date:

April 24-May 1

(Please note that tour posts must be up by 08:00 hours EST)

Link to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42902280-lucid

Purchase Links:

BAM | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | TBD  

Link to Tour Schedule:

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/tour-schedule-lucid-by-kristy-fairlamb/

Giveaway Details:

  • Mini Cadbury’s English Wicker Hamper
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Lucid (Lucid #1) by Kristy Fairlamb

Publication Date:  April 23, 2019
Publisher:  Lakewater Press

A terrifying power. A horrifying curse. 

Lucy Piper lives a lonely existence on the precipice between life and death. She possesses the horrifying ability to resurrect real-life tragic events in her nightmares, reliving over and over, as if she were there, the last few moments before the victim takes their final breath. Car accidents, drownings, plane crashes – Lucy has seen it all. No one understands what it’s like living death by night and fearing sleep by day.

When Tyler Sims and his family move to town to escape past traumas, Lucy is drawn to him. The two of them are linked through their dreams, and with Tyler’s trust and friendship, hope for a brighter future returns to Lucy’s world. But Tyler’s presence awakens something else in Lucy, and with this new knowledge, she will be forced to make impossible decisions. Decisions that will change history, and the future.

Chilling, haunting and compelling, this novel is the first in a two-part series for fans of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer and The Hidden Memory of Objects that will leave you breathless for days.

Author Interview

1. Tell us about your writing process. Do you aim for a daily word count, page count, or a couple of scenes each day?

When I wrote my first book, Lucid, I didn’t know what I was doing, or even if I could write a book. So, I just took it as it came, and it took me a year to write. The following two novels I wrote, the sequel to Lucid and a stand alone, were both written during NaNoWriMo, or at least started, I never finished them within a month, but I came close. I aimed for around 2000 words each day, sometimes getting a bit more, other days falling short. I change my schedule during the first draft writing stage. I wake at 5am and before I’ve even had a coffee, I sit and write. That way, most days, I have a good chunk written before my family wake up.

Editing is less structured, I pretty much fit it in where I can.


2. What gave you the inspiration for your book (and the series)?

I think it all started when I would talk about my dreams with my daughter each morning. And wondering what it’d be like to live with nightmares that were way more serious than anyone else could truly understand? And what if they were more than just nightmares. From that surfaced a character and one thing led to another until eventually LUCID was born.


3. What sort of research did you do for this book?

Not much to begin with. I like to write first, edit later. Eventually my research for this book involved a strange mix of things; what it’s like to die a certain way, concussion, certain medication side effects, causes for a plane to realistically crash, specifics on Queen Victoria, and how Jet is made.
When things got serious, I called in the experts. A doctor friend of mine helped make a particular series of events more believable, and a contact through a writer’s group was an expert on aeroplanes so he came in very handy.


4. Are you a pantser or a plotter? A bit of both?

Mostly plotter. I plot out most of the book and create the characters enough that I know who they are and why they might act a certain way. But I get to about ¾ of the way through the plan and then I just want to write. I usually know the ending but not those last scenes that get me there. But this works really well, because as I write, the story often changes, especially as I near the end. This allows me to know what’s going on at the same time as having the freedom to go where the story takes me.


5. Do you prefer a certain type of music to listen to when you’re writing, or are you better with silence?

I like both. Sometimes I accidently write a tonne of words and only when I’m done do I realise it’s been complete silence the whole time. But I do love music too. I have a writing playlist I’ve created on Spotify

It’s a mix of all sorts of songs that I like but have no lyrics.  

6. What book(s) are you reading now?

I’ve just started The Year After You by Nina de Pass. It’s set in a Swiss boarding school and is about a young girl who’s struggling to come to terms with the loss of her friend 9 months earlier. I’m enjoying it so far.
I’m also about half way through A Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy by Mackenzie Lee. I loved A Gentleman’s Guide to Vice and Virtue and couldn’t wait for this one to come out about Monty’s sister.


7. Just for fun — what TV shows or movies have you really enjoyed (or disliked?) recently?

I don’t watch a lot of T.V. but there are certain series that I stop life for. Game of Thrones, Stranger Things, and Outlander are my current loves.

And I love going to the movies. I recently saw Five Feet Apart with my daughter. I may have shed a few tears.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kristy Fairlamb is an Australian author of the Young Adult Lucid series coming out in 2019.

She spends her days drinking coffee and torturing her characters with loads of tension – both love related and the nail biting kind.

Long before her days of writing began she spent half her childhood in a make believe world; daydreaming about growing up, falling in love, and travelling the world.

She’s worked as a nanny in country England, a junior matron in a boy’s boarding school south of London, a governess in East Timor, and made coffees and cleared tables in the New South Wales snow fields.

She lives with her husband, teenage daughter, and two sons in the beautiful Adelaide Hills where they’re lucky enough to get occasional visits from the local koalas.

She’s terrible at gardening, likes her bookshelves sorted by colour, and recently checked off a lifelong dream of jumping from a plane.

When she’s not writing or daydreaming about her stories you’ll find her reading, cooking for her family, or doing anything to avoid the housework.

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Blog Tour and Author Interview for Tudor Rose by W.H. Doyle

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Tudor Rose

In 16th-century England, two teenage best friends find themselves on an exciting journey from the country to the Queen’s court in the hope of being named ladies-in-waiting. But Sybille and Rose soon discover they aren’t the only girls who have their sights set on attending Her Majesty.  The girls must compete against worldly and cunning opponents, among them mean-girl Avis and her entourage of back-stabbing co-horts, tipping the balance in their already-tenuous friendship.

Soon, the grand hall is more like the hallway of a prestigious finishing school, with girls fighting for the attention of a dashing, young earl, amid parties fueled by drinking and indiscriminate dalliances. As the tension between Sybille and Avis heats up, the focus on Rose wanes, allowing her to turn her attention to more important matters – like getting close enough to the Queen to learn her secrets.

But being close to the Queen is not without its challenges. And when rumors of Rose’s influence make their way around the castle, no one, not even the Queen, will be safe.

Buy on Amazon | Barnes and Noble

 Giveaway Info:

 One (1) winner will win a Starbucks Gift Card

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Link to Giveaway:

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Link to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/32173384-tudor-rose   

 Purchase Links:

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 Tour Schedule:

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/tour-schedule-tudor-rose-by-w-h-doyle/

Interview with the Author

  1. Tell us about your writing process. Do you aim for a daily word count, page count, or a couple of scenes each day?

I’m a word count guy. If I get caught up in the “scene or two a day” mentality, I can lull myself into a false sense of accomplishment…and that’s an easy way to fall behind deadline, which is something I pride myself on (almost) never doing. You know what I  mean? Say I just wrote a quick scene that’s only a couple paragraphs long…does that get me off the hook for the day? No way. The same is true for page count…when you know all you have to do is get through the next page to meet your quota, your subconscious can step in and start some pretty creative paragraph breaking and tab action. Word count sees through all the tricks.

  1. What gave you the inspiration for your book (and the series)?

When my sister was planning an after prom party with two friends, things went supremely sour and the trio went their separate ways…continuing to plan their own individual parties. Drama ensued, to say the least. I know it feels done and like an 80s movie, but once I combined it with my love all of the things Tudor it seemed to truly crackle. I couldn’t resist.

  1. What sort of research did you do for this book?

Reading, reading, and more reading. I have two shelves filled with books. I also have a friend who’s a college professor, and her area of expertise overlaps with the world of my book. She was an invaluable resource and advisor.  

  1. Are you a pantser or a plotter? A bit of both?

Ha! I’m so sad I’ve never heard the term “pantser” till now. Where’s it been all my life? Yes, I’m a bit of both. Of course, I have a picture of what the end might be. But as I’m writing I try not to jam the characters into the scenes…when you do that, you can damage them or misshape them…and no one wants that. I try to be as flexible as I can with this middle story-telling territory and with my image of the ending. All the while keeping my characters/plot on track and staying true to the major dramatic question.

  1. Do you prefer at certain type of music to listen to when you’re writing, or are you better with silence?

Music! I was big into Vivaldi with TUDOR ROSE.

  1. What book(s) are you reading now?

I just finished a Joe Hill book and have started THE DRY by Jane Harper.

  1. Just for fun — what TV shows or movies have you really enjoyed (or disliked) recently?

Loved: SEX EDUCATION, BETTER CALL SAUL, and REIGN.

About the Author

W.H. Doyle

Author Bill Doyle was born in Michigan, and wrote his first mystery at the age of eight. He has gone on to write critically acclaimed and bestselling children’s books, including stories of real-life war heroes in “Behind Enemy Lines: True Stories of Amazing Courage”; the pick-your-own-adventure “Worst Case Scenario Ultimate Adventure: Everest”; the historical fiction mystery series Crime Through Time; the Henry & Keats series including “Attack of the Shark-Headed Zombie”; the Scream Team series about Bad News Bears-type monsters playing sports; and soon-to-be released series “The Prizewinners of Piedmont Place.”

Additionally, Bill has served as editor at Sesame Workshop, TIME for Kids and SI Kids. He’s written for LeapFrog, Weekly Reader, Rolling Stone, Comedy Central, National Geographic Kids, and the American Museum of Natural History. He is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds an MFA in Dramatic Writing from the film school at New York University where he was taught by the likes of Arthur Miller and David Mamet.

Bill lives with two dachshund-headed canines in New York City, and you can visit him online at www.BillDoyleBooks.com.

Website

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Author Interview with C Hope Clark on her latest novel Dying on Edisto

It is my great pleasure to welcome a special guest to the blog. I’ve been a fan and follower of C Hope Clark for longer than I can dare guess. She is the founder of Funds for Writers which is an awesome source for grants, publishers, agents, competitions, and jobs in the writing world.

Here to promote her latest novel, Clark has graciously offered to be interviewed for us here at bookblogarama.

AUTHOR INTERVIEW

Q: Tell us about your writing process. Do you aim for a daily word count, page count, or a couple of scenes each day?

HOPE: When it comes to writing my novels (I write a lot of freelance and editorial material, too), I strive for 1,000 words per day. I go over and under, some days easy and other days like sludging through mud. For instance, I started writing on the current novel on March 2. So by March 31, I need 30,000 words. I’m behind due to the release of the current book, Dying on Edisto, but I have through Sunday to catch up. I keep track on a spreadsheet along with where the 25%, 50% and 75% marks are in the book, because those need to be major turning points. Sounds formulaic, but I don’t get more detailed than that. It helps maintain the pace and avoid the sagging middle so many writers struggle with.

Q: What gave you the inspiration for the book? Is it part of a series?

HOPE: Dying on Edisto is indeed past of a series – book five in the Edisto Island Mysteries. However, it is unique in that it is a crossover book. In other words, the protagonist of this series runs across the protagonist in my other Carolina Slade Mystery Series. The inspiration for this book came from my publisher, who wanted the fan bases for each series to learn more about the opposing series they might not have read. Smart, actually.

The Edisto Island protagonist is Police Chief Callie Morgan who used to be a top-notch Boston detective until the Russian mob killed her husband. She went crazy chasing the killer, took to the bottle, lost her job, and moved herself and son back down South, planting herself on South Carolina’s Edisto Beach, her childhood vacation place. Recognizing the talent, the beach offered her the badge, and there she resides and solves crime. . . crimes most of the lazy beach community  never knew it had.

Great detective, but still needs to work on herself.

Enter Carolina Slade, aka Slade because she hates the feminine sound of her first name which says a lot about her from the outset. Originally a Department of Agriculture bureaucrat, she once found herself in the middle of a bribery investigation, and after almost losing her job, family, and life, still decided she loved solving cases. Coupled with federal agent Wayne Largo, whom she met on that case, they travel the state of South Carolina handling department criminal activity. You haven’t seen crime until you see it in the country where you can more easily get away with all types of creative wrongdoing.

You haven’t ever seen crime solved Slade’s way.

The combination turned out to be so much fun to write, though the initial concept scared me to death. To keep the characters true to themselves, I wrote Slade in her stereotypical first person voice, and kept Callie in third. Worked beautifully.

Q: Are you a pantser or a plotter? A bit of both?

HOPE: I handwrite story ideas, a loose sort of outline, for three to five chapters at a time. Then I write the chapters. When I’m out of my handwritten notes, I go back to my porch and bounce ideas until I have enough scribble to go back to the computer for more chapters. I do not know the ending of the book until I’m within eight to ten chapters of it. (My books run about 30 chapters.) I like discovering the plot and unraveling the mystery just one step ahead of the protagonist. To have it all outlined sucks the energy out of the story, in my experience.

I have a notebook reserved for said notes, and a dry erase board on my wall to remind me of the ends that need tying up as well as the long list of characters so I don’t misspell names.

And I read chapters aloud. Every two to three chapters, I go on the porch and read aloud to my husband. At the end of the book, I read the entire manuscript aloud. Sometimes I hire an editor to go over it again, then I send it to my publisher. The publisher then puts it through at least three more detailed edits.

Q: Do you prefer a certain type of music to listen to when you’re writing, or are you better with silence?

HOPE: Dead silence. If I can hear a television, I have to close my door. I used to reserve my fiction for the middle of the night, but when my parents were diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and one parent entered the hospital for eight weeks, I learned I had to rise early and write whenever and wherever. But whenever I write, wherever I write, I much prefer silence so that I can dig deeper. I firmly believe that the best magic happens in silence, when nothing else steals your attention.

Q: What books are you reading now?

HOPE: I try to read at least two novels a month. I’m reading Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier right now. I just finished The Woman in the Window by A. J. Finn. I have a TBR stack of forty books, but the next ones appear to be The Case for Jamie by Brittany Cavallaro (a YA, female Sherlock Holmes set in modern times….love this series), Behind Her Eyes as well as Cross Her Heart, both by Sarah Pinborough. In my to be Reread stack is The Lewis Man by Peter May and all the Paul Pine Mysteries by Howard Browne (yes, I spent $60 for that book). I like mystery, suspense, and especially love noir. I do not enjoy cozy or romance. I’m a believer in reading what you write to better your craft, and I firmly believe that nobody accidentally plagiarizes another author. It’s black and white – you do or you don’t.

Q: Anything else you’d like us to know about this book or any others (past or future)?

HOPE: Well, the Slade books originated from my own life with agriculture. I met my husband during a briber investigation, where I was offered the bribe and he was the federal agent assigned the case. The roller coaster was so crazy, I felt it deserved a book. . . which became a series.

Callie and the Edisto series originated because the publisher wanted me to diversify my portfolio. I’m glad they pushed me to write it. The Edisto Series does very well in the Carolinas.

There is a third series on the back burner, but I believe that to elaborate on a work-in-progress is to lose its power, so I’ll let folks know more about that one when it’s closer to a release. But….I love it! A female protagonist. . . again. Only she’s a private investigator.

Q: Just for fun, what TV shows or movies have you really enjoyed or disliked recently?

HOPE: My favorite all-time series is Justified. Such fantastic story telling in that one. I binged on every episode, bought the DVDs, and intend to rewatch it one weekend when I want to veg in my recliner. I’m binging on Breaking Bad now, and I adore its plotting, loving the foreshadowing. Fantastic character development. I’ve seen 24 seasons of Midsommer Murders. Very nice series to learn how to plot. I love Lucifer for its dialogue. Terrific one-liners. I enjoy Blacklist for Raymond Reddington, but I can do without his daughter Elizabeth Keen. She has only two or three facial expressions and adds little to the story advancement, but Reddington…God, I love him. Fantastic dialogue lessons to be learned there. I can watch dark FX shows as well as Hallmark stories. I just want good storytelling, and when it rings plastic to me, I’m done with it.

As for movies, I’m a friggin’ comic book lover! Avengers, Marvel, etc. etc. I may not be an aficionado, but I have loved comics since I could read. But when it comes to movies that stick in my head, I can think of Casablanca (the best movie to teach storytelling and dialogue), Gone with the Wind, The Kingsmen (yep, both one and two), and too many others to name. The Maltese Falcon. Almost anything noir. Even Sin City. It’s all about the storytelling.

Goodreads  |  Amazon  |  Website

 

On behalf of bookblogarama, I want to thank Hope for her time. You can find her at her website: chopeclark.com, her author bio on Goodreads, as well as her social media accounts on Facebook and Twitter. And if you don’t already subscribe to Funds for Writers, do yourself a favor and head over there as well for everything related to the writing community.

 

Blog Tour and Author Interview for The Winnowing (Stanley & Hazel 2) by Jo Schaffer

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Link to Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/42111232-the-winnowing

Pre-order Link

BAM | Google Play | Chapters | Indies | Amazon | B&N | kobo | TBD

Tour Schedule:

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/tour-schedule-the-winnowing-stanley-hazel-2-by-jo-schaffer/

Giveaway Info:

  • One (1) winner will win a digital copy of any previously published Month9Books title of their choosing

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Link to giveaway:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/c08c9e8e740/?

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The Winnowing (Stanley & Hazel #2) by Jo Schaffer

Publication Date: February 26, 2019

Publisher: Month9Books

Darkness descends over St. Louis, a city already rocked by the Great Depression. More and more people are disappearing, and some have turned up dead. A sinister secret society is putting forward their plan known as “The Winnowing,” designed to wipe out those they consider “undesirable.”

After Stanley and Hazel foil the diabolical plans of Charles Chouteau, they become instant celebrities. Hazel is thrust into the role of debutante, and risks loses herself in it. Meanwhile, Stanley must deal with the horrific tragedy of his best friend’s death while being threatened by the unseen forces of the Veiled Prophet.

With things spiraling out of control, Stanley and Hazel’s relationship is tested, possibly beyond repair. As bodies pile up, people become more desperate. The divide between wealthy and poor grows ever wider, threatening to tear their worlds apart. Now, the two must find a way to work together if there is any hope at all of saving their relationship and their futures.

Interview with the Author

  1. What is your writing process? Do you aim for a word count daily or maybe just a scene?

Before I start writing I do a lot of research and note taking. Then I create a rough outline—I like to leave some wiggle room for the creative process. I don’t pay attention to word count as I write but I try to move forward with a scene as much as possible. I usually progress through the book chapter by chapter and rarely skip around to write a scene. The way forward influences where the story goes. I learn about my characters and the story as it evolves.

2. What sort of research did you do for this book?

The 1930s was a fascinating time. The glamor and the poverty that coexisted in America created a little bit of a split personality in the culture while Hitler rose to power in Germany. I read a lot about the Great Depression era and watched a lot of movies from that time period to get a feel for the culture.

3. What are you working on now? Any hints about the next book in the series?

I am working on several YA projects, and an anthology. Also, Book 3 of Stanley and Hazel is in development. In the third installment a lot of intense things happen as the kids go head to head with Legion and the Veiled Prophet. Some characters will not survive and others will surprise you as loyalties are called upon.

4. How did you come up for the idea of your book?

I was raised on classic film and I’ve always been fascinated by the era. And I wanted to explore how history tends to repeat itself. I became very interested to look at what things we’re doing now as a society that mirror back then. The ideologies and divisions according to class and race that gave birth to the ideas of genetic cleansing. Nobody wants to believe that their culture is capable of atrocities but it is a road we all travel in denial about where it leads. My best friend Jonathan and I talked about these things a lot and together we came up with the world of Stanley and Hazel.

5. Just for fun — what TV shows or movies have you really enjoyed (or disliked?) recently?

I haven’t had a lot of time to watch TV lately but I like shows that have great character development and intelligent plot lines, humor, drama and metaphor. My all-time favorite show is Buffy the Vampire Slayer. But I enjoy shows like The Office, Parks and Rec, Pushing Daisies and Psych.

About the Author

Jo-Schaffer

Jo Schaffer was born and raised in the California Bay Area in a huge, creative family. She is a YA novelist, speaker and a Taekwondo black belt.

She’s a founding member of the nonprofit organization that created Teen Author Boot Camp, one of the nation’s biggest conferences for teens where bestselling authors present writing workshops to nearly a thousand attendees.

Jo loves being involved in anything that promotes literacy and family. She is passionate about community, travel, books, music, healthy eating, classic films and martial arts. But her favorite thing is being mom to three strapping sons and a neurotic cat named Hero. They live together in the beautiful mountains of Utah.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads

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