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Category Archives: Our Favorite Authors – For Readers

XX Author Interview Featuring: Olivia Hardin

CLR: Give us the deets – genre(s), length of writing career, how long you’ve been writing – all the basics.

“Women are fantastic creatures and I love writing them.”

OH: In 2011 I published my first book, Witch Way Bends, the series starter for my (currently) 12-story Bend-Bite-Shift Paranormal Romance series. Since then I’ve dabbled in contemporary romance and urban fantasy genres. I also write erotic romance as Lili Von and I’m just launching a brand new cozy mystery brand as C.H. Sessums!

CLR:  How do you feel about female characters?

OH: Women are fantastic creatures and I love writing them.  With my female characters, I tend to write what I know, focusing on the characteristics I’m familiar with. My first few stories I think there was a lot of me in those women. Devan in Witch Way Bends didn’t realize her own power and strength and had to be taught how to channel it for good. In my contemporary romance All for Family I even touched on my own body image issues by writing a woman who was self-conscious about her weight. I think as long as I’m listening to the characters and learning who they are, it is all good!

CLR: Male characters, same question.

OH: I tend to go with what I know. All the males in my stories have tidbits of the men in my life. They’re strong yet flawed and my favorite thing about writing them is revealing how they open up their female counterparts and encourage her to get out of her safe zone to grow.

CLR:  What is the hardest thing about being a female author?

OH: I don’t imagine being a female author is any harder than being a male. The business itself is tough and learning how to muddle through writing a great story, packaging a great story and then selling a great story isn’t easy. I write romance and I’d say that the greatest majority of my fellow authors are also female (and frankly the majority of my readers tend to be as well.) I have seen though, with my husband who is also an author, that he tends to be a lot more secure in his writing than I am. He’ll talk to anyone about his books and a lot of the time he’ll sell them one. And I seem to see that with other male authors too. It’s hard for me to tell a stranger about my books, to essentially brag about myself and when I’ve talked to my female author friends they say the same thing. Thankfully for me though, my fantastic man will tell everyone about my writing for me!

“I can shoot a gun and I’d step into a fight if I had to.”

CLR:  Do you make a conscious effort to include feminist themes in your writing?

OH: I don’t. The definition of feminism has been changing so I’m not sure I even clearly know what that is. In my stories, the partners—men and women—are better because they’re together, either as friends or as lovers. They have different strengths, but none of them are better than the other. Equity and not equality because in my mind equality doesn’t really exist. I’m a true southern lady (at least the hubby tells me I am.) I can shoot a gun and would step into a fight if I had to. I don’t necessarily believe I can do anything a man can do. Some women can, yes. Some men can do things just as well as women, but not always. I think we expend a lot of energy trying to bridge gaps and break through glass ceilings. Now don’t get me wrong. If a woman has a passion to do something and has to fight her way through discrimination to get there, I applaud her and will lift her up. I just don’t think we all have to do those things to prove our strength. Men and women are inherently different. I don’t “need a man” because he’s a man. I need a partner who has strengths in areas I don’t. I try to do that with my characters too when I’m writing.

Author Bio:

Olivia Hardin always realized how strange she was to have complete movie-like character dreams as a child. Eventually, she began putting those vivid dreams to paper and was rarely without her spiral notebooks full of those mental ramblings. Her forgotten vision of becoming an author was realized when she connected with a group of amazingly talented and fabulous writers who gave her lots of direction and encouragement. With a little extra push from family and friends, she hunkered down to get lost in the words. She’s also an insatiable crafter who only completes about 1 out of 5 projects, a jogger who hates to run and is sometimes accused of being artistic, though she’s generally too much of a perfectionist to appreciate her own work. A native Texas girl, Olivia lives in the beautiful Lone Star state with her husband, Danny, and their corgi pup Bonnie and their brand new hound Heidi.

For more on Olivia and her books, check out her links:

WEBSITE | NEWSLETTER | FACEBOOK | BOOKBUB | GOODREADS


XX Authors Featuring Julie Morgan

Today, we take a look behind the scenes with best-selling author Julie Morgan. Welcome to the Pages, Julie. Let’s chat!

Best-selling author Julie Morgan

CLR: Give us the deets – genre(s), length of writing career, how long you’ve been writing – all the basics.

JM: I’ve been writing almost my entire life. I started with songs and poetry as a child, then moved into storytelling, and eventually, my first novel. The first-ever book I wrote was never published. I wrote it 14 years ago and it still sits away, nice and neat. Never to see the light of day lol!

CLR: What made you choose paranormal and contemporary romance?

JM: I’ve always had a fascination with all things paranormal. I can remember back to reading about demons and vampires as a child through our encyclopedias. Back then, we didn’t have internet so it was the big books and the library card catalog. I’ve enjoyed all things dark as far back as I can remember. As for contemporary, I love this genre as well. For me, the only difference is the universe the story is told in.

CLR: How do you feel about female characters?

JM: I love them and all of my stories focus around a strong female.

CLR: What are the dos/don’ts of writing them for you?

JM: I don’t make them weak, need to be rescued, need a man in their life. I do make them strong, make them the dragon rather than the damsel, make them beautiful. I don’t make them unrealistic. I make them relatable.

CLR: Male characters, same question.

JM: I love strong male alpha characters, but I do NOT enjoy assholes. Give me strong, focused, and fierce, but dammit, be a nice guy. No woman wants to be talked down to. Put me on a pedestal and whisper me sweet nothings!

CLR: What is the hardest thing about being a female author?

JM: Not wanting to eat all the things in my house when I write! LOL!

CLR: What is the best thing about being a female author?

JM: Having my female and male writers support.

CLR: How does being female affect your writing – or does it?

JM: It doesn’t affect my writing.

CLR: What do you think about the “strong female character” trope in literature?

JM: I don’t necessarily find it a trope. I find writing strong female characters gives you a chance to be something you’ve always wanted to see in yourself. Not having to rely on anyone but yourself, being able to walk away when sometimes it’s the most difficult thing to do, and giving your heart fully knowing the character she’s giving it to will accept it without pause… because I’m writing him/her.

CLR: How do you treat misogyny in your writing, or do you?

JM: I don’t.

CLR: Are there any special challenges to writing female characters in your genre? If so, what are they?

JM: There can be. Writing a slim female vs full-figured. Sometimes I write a character so flawed and relatable, then turn around and write someone thin, strong, and someone who needs serious redemption.

CLR: What does your writing day look like?

JM: It all depends on when I can get time. I’m married and have a daughter. My schedule revolves around them.

CLR: Do you think the industry treats male and female writers differently?

JM: Yes, from romance to non-fiction, each genre is treated differently.

CLR: Do you think the market treats male and female protagonists differently?

JM: That honestly depends on the author creating the story/world.

CLR: What outside influences, if any, do you see having an impact on your writing?

JM: Everything around me influences my writing. From a kid in a candy store to a woman praying over a headstone. Everything around us can become a story.

CLR: Favorite author? Why?

JM: I have too many to list!

CLR: Do you make a conscious effort to include feminist themes in your writing?

JM: No I do not. It’s not who I am and I don’t put anything like this in my stories, feminist or any other topics of this nature.

CLR: What themes are your favorites to include in your writing?

JM: Angst! My favorite! Steamy, romance, second chance romance, starting over, girl/boy next door, forbidden romance (also a fav!)

CLR: What advice would you offer to new women authors coming up?

JM: Find your tribe. Find people who will have your back and support you. Never be afraid to ask for help. Not everyone will have your best intentions so be careful who you give your time to when starting out. Research, get a GREAT editor, great beta readers, and people who are not afraid to tell you the truth.

CLR: What are you working on now?

JM: I just wrapped up my first story for Waterhouse Press in the Misadventures world. It’ll come out Spring 2020! Misadventures of a Firefighters.

CLR: What are your “next steps”?

JM: Next I’ll be outlining my second Waterhouse book, Misadventures with my Lawyer, plotting out Enzo, book two with Gracen Miller in our Private Dick series, and I’m starting a collaborative effort with someone new. We haven’t shared details formally yet, so look for news of this, and who it is, coming soon!

Julie Morgan is an award-winning USA Today best-selling author. Her forte is writing strong heroines who are more likely to be the dragon than the damsel. Julie reads a wide array of genres from paranormal romance to horror, and her writing reflects that variety. She lives with her family in Florida and loves playing board games and reading.

To find out more about Julie and her books, visit her website. Other places you can find Julie:

Book bub | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Newsletter

Hint: signup for her newsletter and receive a free book!


Boldly Exploring Audio Space

Guest Post by Bria Burton

My first foray into audio began many years ago as a listener of speculative fiction podcasts, and an eventual participant (more on that shortly). Some stories have a single narrator while others include a full cast production of voice actors, music, and sound effects. The more I listened, the more the itch intensified within me to hear one of my own stories produced on a podcast.

Some examples of speculative fiction podcasts include Escape Pod, Podcastle, Pseudopod, Clarkesworld Magazine, Lightspeed Magazine, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Dunesteef Audio Fiction Magazine, Journey Into, Starship Sofa, Cast of Wonders, and many more.

Fast forward several years and I’ve now done voice acting for podcasts. On one occasion, I produced a story with sound effects, music, and my own narration. In 2014, I received my first speculative fiction acceptance from a podcast, and it was thrilling to hear my sci-fi story as a full cast production. An upcoming publication will appear on the Journey Into podcast this month. The short story is called “Journey Into the Dying Light of Stars.”

How did I go from casual podcast consumer to amateur voice actor and producer? I started with voice work. Podcasts featuring stories need narrators and/or voice actors, and when a casting call was made on one of the podcast forums I’d been perusing, I thought, why not?

Through the advice of the podcast host, I downloaded a free, open source software program called Audacity where I could do my recordings. Next, I purchased a $35 mic from Amazon. There are much better mics out there, but the one I use is decent enough for amateur voice work. Plus Audacity has some useful editing tools to help with things like removing background noise. If I decide to narrate my own audiobooks, I’ll probably buy a better mic.

One of the great things about podcasts? Many of them are completely free to listen to, such as the ones I listed above. If you’re interested in checking out free stories where I’ve been a voice actor, or free stories I’ve written that have been produced on podcasts, here’s a list:

Stories by Other Authors

Journey Into IFC by R.C. Anderson

The Dragon Muse by David B. Coe

Journey Into the Cosmic Lottery by Emily Asad

Like a Good Neighbor (Part One and Part Two) by Rish Outfield

Beggar’s Canyon by Rish Outfield

A Slight Delay by Rish Outfield

Hope on the Rocks by A.W. Gifford

Wikihistory by Desmond Warzel

Stories by Bria Burton

Journey Into the Dying Light of Stars – Coming Soon!

Switching

A Dream Within A Dream

Questions for the reader: what podcasts do you enjoy? Have you ever considered narrating for a fiction podcast?

Award-winning author Bria Burton lives in St. Petersburg with her wonderful husband, her darling son, and two wild pets. Her fiction has appeared in over twenty anthologies and magazines. Her novelette, The Running Girls, was a 2017 Royal Palm Literary Award Finalist. Her novella, Little Angel Helper, won a 2016 RPLA and earned high praise from the 25th Annual Writer’s Digest Self-Published Book Awards. While she writes, her dog and cat do their best to distract her, which is why they star in her family-friendly short story collection, Lance & Ringo Tails. She writes under pen name Shayla Cole for her epic fantasy trilogy, Livinity (awarded a First Place RPLA in unpublished fantasy). At St. Pete Running Company, she’s a blogger and customer service manager. A member of the Florida Writers Association, she previously led the St. Pete chapter and served on the statewide FWA Board. She’s also a member of the Alvarium Experiment, a by-invitation-only consortium of outstanding authors who created The Prometheus Saga Volumes 1 & 2, Return to Earth, and The Masters Reimagined anthologies.

You can find Bria on Amazon or on her website.


Guest Post: Terri A. Wilson

I love crime shows, especially if there is some type of unique twist. One of my favorites is the show Leverage. It fascinates me that these anti-heroes save the day while still struggling with their own pasts. They do things their way and live by their rules.

“I love crime shows, especially if there is some type of unique twist.

So when the opportunity to write in the Federal Paranormal Unit Book World came up, I knew right away that I would create characters who were criminals. It gives them a different skill set than a detective who always follows the rules would have.

I have also been determined to look at the shifter world differently from most. My main character becomes an Alpha even though he doesn’t want to, and has to develop not only leadership skills, but people skills.

I mean he was an enforcer for goodness sake! People didn’t want to see him.

This was a fun book to write and it was the first time I played with the idea of carrying over one plot thread. Much like a TV series, this book has one complete story with a HEA, but there are two threads that aren’t solved. If you like bad guys with good hearts, women who challenge their men, and snark, you’ll like this book.

AUTHOR BIO:

Terri is a former English teacher and librarian. She taught middle and high school and college. Now she works from home homeschooling her two daughters and living out her dreams via her stories. She began escaping into books a little later than most but was hooked after the first book. It has been her dream to give back to the book world since second grade. When she’s not writing or reading, she enjoys binging on Netflix and painting. Due to her crunchy lifestyle and free spirit, she considers herself a recycled hippie. Her most important goal is to help others jump and learn to fly. To find out more about her characters and the lives they live, check out her website below.

LINKS:

WebsiteNewsletterGoodreadsTwitterFacebookInstagramBookbub

ABOUT Her Damaged Guardian:

Lincoln Talbert lived by two rules; get the money up front and kids were off limits. That’s what made him a standout enforcer for the Mikhailov family. But when faced with the choice to break rule number two, they weren’t very happy with his choice, turned their back on him, and turned him into the FBI. Recruited by James Brock, head of the Federal Paranormal Unit to work with the U.S. Marshals, he now leads a powerhouse team specifically trained for witness protection and paranormal criminals.

Savanah Delacour hides her true identity to keep herself and her family safe. But when she witnesses a murder she must risk persecution in order to save her grandmother and stay alive. Protected by a man who views personal connections as a weakness, she must breach the wall around his heart to save him, his team, and herself.


Balancing Paranormal

Are you like me, when it comes to finding a good paranormal story?

Nothing warms my heart – or chills my cockles – more. Especially if it includes romance. Make that romance frustrated, suppressed, and kind of skewed, and I’m hooked.

What if you woke up one day and found a wild paranormal romance unfolding in front of you?

In 1999, I had an NDE. At least, “Near-Death-Experience” is the best description I’ve found so far. I often try to invent a word that expresses what happened to me… maybe someday I’ll nail it.

This experience happened while I was asleep… or at least in an altered state, lying in bed, thinking I was asleep. A Being made of white light approached me. All I could see were hands: glowing, insubstantial, inexplicable.

The hands touched mine, and everything exploded into brilliant white light. He swept me out of my body and off on an adventure so overwhelming I can’t recall details. Showed me the universe – how vast and multilayered it is. When he returned me to my body, I drifted back into it, re-filling and warming it, resonating with ecstasy from the journey.

When I woke, I wanted more. I had to find that Being. Who was he?

Like a story with a great hook, I couldn’t put it down. And each chapter brings new adventures.

My journey since 1999 has been about teetering in balance. Trying to find ways to live with the memories of that journey, and searching for that Being, while also paying the bills.

After almost twenty years of living amidst alternate realities, two approaches help me find some of that elusive balance.

First, I’ve realized I must play along… figure out how to make things work in this plane. Follow its rules. I can’t muster the power to make up my own rules, and I know checking out of this place won’t help me find my dream-buddies. I’m making lemonade with the lemons, you might say.

Second, I find solace in writing. It’s a way to take the reins more and live through these experiences. I’ve begun crafting stories to share with others, each offering glimpses of what I’ve seen.

These strategies for living my story make it less frightening for others, and more tangible for me. Paranormal becomes okay.

When I view my life as a story I’m writing, I’m a character striving towards a goal: to reunite with my brilliant Light-Friend. Conflicts and tension crop up daily. The more time passes, the higher the stakes get. Obstructions thread through my plot, like villains that just won’t die.

But the more I write more about my life, the more sense it makes. The more I share, the more I connect with others. And best of all, I find I’m not alone.

Each of us writes our own story. I know, you’ve heard that before. But when we take an author’s – or reader’s – view, we can step back, away from the craziness or boredom, and notice how it weaves together.

What will my heroine do next?

That’s my plan for tomorrow.

About the Author:

Writing and creating images have been Leslee Hare’s most passionate creative outlets since childhood.
Leslee draws upon her experiences as a Buddhist, a teacher of kids’ Dharma classes, an Architect, a Writer, an Illustrator, and a participant on the Autism Spectrum to share her insights and view of the world.
You can see more of her work on the web here.
These days, Leslee lives in Pine Lake, Georgia, with Lucas the Game Designer, Sylvie the Cat, and as many flowers as will fit.


Writing What I Know: Guest Post by Leslee Hare

Writing what I know. That tired writer’s adage has taken on fresh meaning for me over the past couple months. I’ve been working on a memoir for a few years, and last fall I published two children’s books. These contain things I “know”, for sure.

But lately, my imagination and fingers itch to try something new. Up popped short stories.

I’ve had enough drama in my life to keep friends amused (or irritated) for hours with tales, so finding familiar material isn’t an issue.

Here’s the kicker: I’ve only recently learned that my “normal” is “paranormal” to most people.

You see, I’ve got a very active inner world. Stories arise out of it and float on a whole other plane of something. I learned in 2018 that this is unusual. In fact, it played a large part in my receiving an Autism Level One diagnosis from my therapist.

I had no idea that most folks don’t experience the sensations that play a central role in my life. I just thought I felt them more than most people. On one level I still wonder if my therapist was playing a cruel joke on me. This is the only reality I know. But a dear friend, who’s also a therapist, corroborated it.

So, I’ll take their words for it, like a blind person trying to understand another person’s description of the color blue.

In light of that, “writing what I know” comes into play in the new ways I’ve been craving. Plenty of folks enjoy paranormal fiction. It occurs to me: instead of keeping my stuff bottled up inside because people might think it’s too weird, I can just write it into paranormal, sci-fi, and fantasy stories. Relief.

Why am I just now figuring this out? Because I’ve been self-conscious about being thought “weird” since I was a little kid, like Allie.

Allie’s Roses, a new short story I just published on my website, illustrates this. It’s based on several autobiographical elements, and weaving these into the story brings healing and reconciliation that I’ve longed for. It celebrates the intense bombardment we feel on the spectrum: anxiety, racing thoughts, and a blurring of dimensions that calls to question what makes things “real” for us.

Writing this way eases the pressure of the emotions and over-stimulation that come with sensory issues. I highly recommend it to anyone with similar tendencies.

So now I’m working on stories that enlist characters, places, and concepts I’ve known for what feels like ages. And you, the reader, get to speculate about what parts I consider real and true versus totally made-up. And we’ll call it fiction, just for laughs.

Author Bio:

When she was a child in Alabama, Leslee Hare would lie in the grass and wonder how an entire universe could fit into those radiant blades hit by the sun.  And what happened to all the life that was once in the parts now hinting at a brown edge?
From those early years, her vivid dreams took her to worlds and people she’d never seen before, even in books and movies.
Where did they come from? Were they real?
Curiosity spurred Leslee to ask an annoying number of questions about why this world seems the way it does. And why different people see it differently.
Writing and creating images have been her most passionate creative outlets since childhood.
Leslee draws upon her experiences as a Buddhist, a teacher of kids’ Dharma classes, an Architect, a Writer, an Illustrator, and a participant on the Autism Spectrum to share her insights and view of the world.
You can see more of her work on her website.
These days, Leslee lives in Pine Lake, Georgia, with Lucas the Game Designer, Sylvie the Cat, and as many flowers as will fit.

Image credits: Image by Leslee Hare, using files from Wikimedia Commons:

By Erixsen – Own work by uploader: ok, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=7051077 andhttps://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/5/5e/Writing_hand.jpg


Origin Story: Guest Post by Tracie Roberts

After listening to a couple of podcasts on the topic and with the release of Aquaman last week, I thought I’d share my own author origin story.

I’m not one of those writers who always knew I wanted to write. I never had this burning desire to record all of the stories I made up when trying to trick my cousins when I was little or to impress friends at school. And, TBH, I’ve always been a pretty truthful, forthright person. If I fibbed about an accomplishment, the lie would eat at me until I admitted the truth. Now, honesty is one of the qualities I most admire in others, so I try to display it in myself.

Writing fiction, by definition, is lying. It’s making up stories to entertain others, and though I was okay at telling some wild stories when I was younger, I never wrote them down until I got to college.

At FSU I took a lit class where we were expected to write fiction – poems, short stories, and character bios. This was my first foray into fictive writing and, honestly, I sucked. I wrote a short story, “Control,” about an abused wife who was contemplating suicide only to be confronted in the woods by her husband. He almost talks her into coming back in the house with him, but somehow she finds the courage to knock him unconscious with the same shotgun she was going to use on herself. With him unconscious, she is able to consider a life free of him and that’s where the story ended.

I never had any experience in the topics included in that first story. I hadn’t been married or abused—not even by a boyfriend. I’d never contemplated suicide and didn’t know anyone who had. What I did have experience in was strong female role models to base my main character on. That is something I still utilize in my stories today—women who can stand on their own two feet, but prefer the balance and support of a loving partner.

One of the criticisms of “Control” that I received from a peer review was that the abused character wasn’t realistic. The critic’s sister had been in an abusive relationship and, after I volunteered to read my story to the whole class, he announced that battered women don’t behave like that. They’re too frightened of and brainwashed by their abusers to fight back.

That criticism has stuck with me for twenty-four years. And that may be why, when I started writing seriously five years ago, I chose to write a series that included a number of strong, realistic female characters. My lead characters are flawed. They harbor self-doubts and make mistakes, but they’re determined to live their truth while finding a partner that will support and love them for who they are.

You can read the short story “Control” here on my blog. And you can find my first series, The Destined Series, exclusively on Amazon. If you’d like to receive Spirit, The Destined Series Prequel, for free, sign up for my newsletter The Circle here.

The Destined Series

Author Bio:

Tracie Roberts is a native Floridian who laughs loudest at her own jokes, ODs quite frequently on 80s nostalgia, and eavesdrops on perfect strangers to glean story ideas. She’s been writing for all of five years but has been telling stories since she was old enough to realize she could make people believe her lies. She writes all shades of romance—sweet to steamy, contemporary to paranormal—all with happy endings.

Find out more about Tracie’s future works at tracieroberts.com or connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Sharks for Christmas ~ Guest Post from John Hope

Sharks! Often, the terror of the ocean. One of the greatest fears of mankind is being eaten alive, especially underwater, whose darkened mysteries can tickle the imagination, conjuring up horrific and frightening scenarios. But consider this: in the past sixty years there have been 2,785 confirmed shark attacks throughout the world, yet in the past year alone about 100,000,000 sharks have been killed by people. Makes you wonder how much sharks fear humans.

When I was a kid, I loved sharks. Every time I’d visit the public library, I’d dash to Dewey Decimal section 597.3­­­––the shark books. Even as a kindergartener when reading was still new, I’d carefully flip through the pages, my eyes raking over the deep blue photos like a fat kid in a bakery window. At night, I pictured myself swimming with sharks or sometimes being a shark myself, majestically gliding through the ocean in search for my prey. Being a small, quiet kid, I’d slip away from my mother’s hand in the mall and carefully weave through the unsuspecting shoppers like a trolling tiger shark selecting the perfect victim.

My biggest problem with finding more shark literature to appease my cravings was fiction. The nonfiction books were great. They cut to the chase and focused on what was cool about sharks.The fiction books that had sharks, however, always showed the sharks in anegative light. They were the bad guys, the daemons, the evil presence that ourheroes had to eradicate. The more I learned about sharks and how cool theywere, the more this bothered me. Why couldn’t sharks be the good guys? I wantedto root for the sharks, not against them.

As a writer, I finally got my chance.

Silencing Sharks, my first and likely NOT my last shark novel, portrays sharks as the good guys. In this book, the main character, Peter lives in a silent world. Thirteen, deaf, and tormented by neighborhood bullies, Peter seeks solace in summertime snorkeling outings with his eccentric Viking-horn-helmeted Uncle Sverrir. But after a dangerous encounter with a giant hammerhead predator, Peter discovers he has a unique gift; he can talk to sharks.

Peter quickly learns that the sharks near his Florida home are being mysteriously killed off. They need his help. Thrust into a scary but exciting adventure, both above — and below — water, Peter is distressed to learn that his dad, a chef, is connected to the crime — being blackmailed by his boss to cook up illegal shark-fin soup. Peter sets himself  the daunting task of saving both the sharks and his father, butto do so, he must rely on the very bullies who have tormented him.

This is the book I’d been searching for my entire childhood. As a young boy, I would have loved this story. In it, the main boy swims and works together with sharks to fight off the real bad guys –– thieving, money-grubbing adults. In the process, I get to have the adventure of a lifetime.

Book available here: www.johnhopewriting.com

John Hope is an award-winning short story, children’s book, middle grade, young adult, and nonfiction writer. His work appears in paperback, hardback, audiobook, and short story collections. Mr. Hope, a native Floridian, loves to travel with his wife, Jaime, and two kids. He enjoys suffering through long distance runningadventures with his friend Ben Brown. He gives informational and inspirationalpresentations to schools, writing groups and clubs, and various conferences.And in his spare time, he sings in his car. 


Author Spotlight: Terri Wilson

Our guest today is the awesome Terri Wilson. Welcome, Terri!

CLR: I see that this box set is from a collection of different authors. What was it like working from so many different perspectives?

TW: It was motivating. They are all such a great group of ladies, I didn’t want to be the weak link. So it pushed me to make my story better. Every time I had a question or a need I got great response and help.

CLR: For me, attending reader/author conferences is one of the best perks of being an author. What is your favorite thing about conferences and/or signings?

TW: Synergy. It’s a phenomenal feeling to be around people who are like-minded. So far I’ve only attended as a reader, next summer I’ll attend my first as an author.

CLR: From the title of the box set, I’m thinking each story has a hero as the protagonist. In your experience, what does it take to create a really great hero?

TW: Honesty, sincerity, and relatability  (a nice set of six-pack abs helps too.)

CLR: What’s next for you?

TW: At the end of this month, I release the first of a trilogy, Forgiveness for Mate It’s coming out in the Milly Taiden world, Sassy Ever After. Book two will be out in October. I have three more anthologies coming shortly after the first of the year.

CLR: You are the force behind a great video blog as well, can you tell us a little about that?

TW: Popup Interviews started because I love to meet people, but prefer to talk one on one. In groups, it’s hard to give people the attention they deserve. I interview authors, readers, industry professionals, and bloggers. We talk about books, writing, and anything else that comes up in my head. It’s not scripted so it’s very spontaneous. I took some time off this summer, but plan on hitting it again this fall. If you’re interested, fill out this Google form:

https://goo.gl/forms/YT0ahzWpZyp7FteL2

CLR: I know Tracie Roberts and I had a great time on your show. Thank you for joining us, Terri.

In collaboration with a group of wonderful authors, Terri has a new box set out that readers of contemporary romance are going to love. Here’s a little snapshot.

Kiss Me: An Asian Hero Boxed Set

Two Worlds, One Kiss, a Lifetime of Love

This set features EIGHT sweet contemporary romance novellas featuring handsome Asian heroes.

From Australia’s vineyards to the bright lights of Hong Kong, these stories have something for anyone looking for a little international flair in their romance.

This set will only be available for a limited time only, so don’t miss out!  

Joanne Dannon – An Unexpected Forever –   

A world of differences, an unexpected forever.

Because of her upbringing, they can’t date and they can’t live together. Their differences leave them worlds—and soon to be oceans—apart. With such a gulf between them, can they find a way to bridge it together and seize their unexpected forever?

Khardine Gray – Kisses and Blossoms-  

Akihiro Kimora was the kind of guy you’d imagine in a dream. If only he wasn’t the cop investigating the theft of a priceless Japanese painting Helen was suspected of stealing.

Is this the case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time, but then how would they have met?

Imogene Nix – Hero of Heartbreak Hill-  

When Connor meets Kelly it’s clear that she’s been hurt before and the reason she fights against the growing attraction between them. When her past raises its ugly head, the question becomes: can the outback town of Heartbreak Hill—and Connor—heal her broken heart?

Aislinn Kearns – Until You

Dakota Harrison – Once Upon a K-Pop Prince-  

A hunky hardbody in her bed wasn’t what Andi ordered for her 40th birthday but when he has the face of an angel, the package is hard to resist.

A gorgeous woman in his bed might be any man’s dream come true, but for Min-Kyu, it could turn into a nightmare. If only she wasn’t HIS dream come true.

One little lie, a career at stake, and a match made in Okinawa.

Fiona Marsden – Beautiful Stranger-

She trusted him with her body but can she trust him with her heart.

Terri A. Wilson – A New Ending-  

As a single parent, Jamie has no time for love and spends all her energy creating a better life for her daughter. When faced with a choice between the life she once led and a man she barely knows but wants to be with forever, will she have the courage to face her mistakes and trust that love is unconditional?

Zena Oliver – Seven-Day Cruise-  

Riley and Taite kept their careers as their top priority. Neither was willing to sacrifice for love. When they met on the cruise, neither intended to become more than friends. But their hearts didn’t get the memo.

GoodReads    Universal buy link

About Our Guest:

Terri is a former English teacher and librarian. She taught middle and high school and college. Now she works from home homeschooling her two daughters and living out her dreams via her stories. She began escaping into books a little later than most but was hooked after the first book she read. It has been her dream to give back to the book world since she was in second grade.

When she’s not writing or reading, she enjoys binging on Netflix and painting. Due to her crunchy lifestyle and free spirit, she considers herself a recycled hippie. Her most important goal is to help others jump and learn to fly.

To find out more about her characters and the lives they live, check out her website, http://www.terriluvsbooks.com. Follow her on Amazon and Goodreads, or connect with through Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

You can find Terri at the following links:

Newsletter- http://eepurl.com/dCKgkj

Twitter- http://twitter.com/terriawilson

Facebook- http://www.facebook.com/wilsonterria/

Instagram- http://www.instagram.com/terria.wilson/

Amazon- https://www.amazon.com/author/terriawilson

 


Guest Post From Val Penny: Why We Love To Write Crime Novels

People like crime, at least in novels! Often, I meet dentists and bank managers with clever plot ideas, or nurses who read every crime novel they can lay their hands on. If I visit a writing group, there are always members keenly producing new murderous plots. Lawyers and convicts show equal enthusiasm for this genre. For those who want to write a crime novel, there are several reasons to want to do so. Here are a few of them.

Emotional Release

Often, those who write crime novels find an emotional release in their craft. Crime novelists deal with the dark things that people usually push to the side of their minds in order to get on with everyday life. The cathartic attraction of writing can be decisive.

Some crime authors tell of poor sleep patterns, punctured by nightmares that are repaired when they start to write. Others, panic, constantly scanning doorways for signs of danger. The stiffening fear that afflicts them resolves when they are busy writing crime.

The Story-Telling Urge

The sources for crime novels are many and varied. Ideas can spring from the news and current affairs; memories from the past and historical events or things that puzzle or fascinate the writer. Once an author begins to exercise their creative muscles, they often find that they run into stories demanding to be told. The stories demand to be told and will not stop coming.

For Companionship

It is often said that writers can be difficult people: gloomy, competitive and quarrelsome. However, for the most part, I have found crime writers to be an inclusive and convivial bunch. They are certainly hard-working. The pressure of producing a book a year is intense, yet they never seem to turn their backs on fun. If you have a chance to go to a crime-writers’ convention, do take it. They are exhausting, exhilarating and irresistible.

An Outlet for Aggression

Most crime-writers will tell you that they are good company because they channel all their belligerent thoughts into their stories, so in real life, the authors are meek and mild. It is not always true, but I can confirm the crime novel is an excellent place to park your rage! The prospect of giving vent to righteous anger in a safe form can be a particularly pleasing device. When characters require to act in a violent way or commit violence the reader is willing to witness this on the page but they would shy from it in real life. Crime writers can let rip on the page in a way they avoid doing in the real world.

The Thrill of Research

I can personally confirm that the research you do for crime novels and for academic purposes are equally satisfying. It is also extremely diverse. It may involve visiting prisons, refuges, police stations or drug dens. Police are often very willing to be of assistance to crime writers, even if it is just to avoid being irritated when otherwise the writers would get police procedures wrong. This information is most useful and helpful. Indeed, when you are writing a novel, no information or experience is wasted!

Author Bio

author pic 2Val Penny is an American author living in SW Scotland. She has two adult daughters of whom she is justly proud and lives with her husband and two cats. She has a Law degree from Edinburgh University and her MSc from Napier University. She has had many jobs including hairdresser, waitress, lawyer, banker, azalea farmer and lecturer. However, she has not yet achieved either of her childhood dreams of being a ballet dancer or owning a candy store. Until those dreams come true, she has turned her hand to writing poetry, short stories, and novels. Her first crime novel, ‘Hunter’s Chase’ set in Edinburgh, Scotland will be published by Crooked Cat Books on 02.02.2018. She is now writing the sequel, ‘Hunter’s Revenge’.

 

 

 

 

Hunter by name – Hunter by nature: DI Hunter Wilson will not rest until EdinburghHunter's Chase book cover is safe.

 DI Hunter Wilson knows there is a new supply of cocaine flooding his city and he needs to find the source but his attention is transferred to murder when a corpse is discovered in the grounds of a golf course. Shortly after the post-mortem, Hunter witnesses a second murder but that is not the end of the slaughter. With a young woman’s life also hanging in the balance, the last thing Hunter needs is a new man on his team: the son of his nemesis, the former Chief Constable. Hunter’s perseverance and patience are put to the test time after time in this taut crime thriller.

To find out more about Hunter’s Chase and its awesome author, check out the links below:

www.authorvalpenny.com

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