Category Archives: Interviews

Welcome… Sage Ardman, Author!

Good Morning, Sage. Thank you for being here today. Can you please tell everyone here a little bit about yourself?

I’m 60 years old, married, and have two sons in their twenties, both of whom have left the nest. I live in California, but spend every summer in Ontario, canoeing and enjoying the beautiful waters.
I have always been a huge reader of fiction, but I never knew about romance novels until last year when I wrote “Executive Sweet”. At first, I started reading romance novels because it helped me write my book. But I soon fell in love with romances (well, most of them, anyway) and so far I’ve gobbled up 70 of them. I prefer contemporary adult, but I’ve read a few historical, paranormal, young adult, urban fantasy, etc.
So what was I doing with myself for the 59 years before romance grabbed me by the throat? I’ve been a computer programmer! These days, computers seem less and less interesting, and I spend all my time reading and writing romance.

Executive Sweet is a romance novel. What inspired you to take the leap into writing in the romance genre?

“Executive Sweet” was the result of a huge “what if” question. What if (I asked myself) a CEO intentionally tried to distract his adversaries by bringing a beautiful woman with him whose job was to tilt the negotiation in their favor? Besides being sexy, the woman would have to be business savvy, and also quite adept at playing such a “con game.” At first, I wrote some vignettes about these sorts of business deals. But then, I realized that the love interest would be compelling, and so the vignettes got woven into a romance novel. Although this seems to have a pretty standard “CEO and beautiful woman” formula, it is nothing like the other romances in that category (I know, I’ve searched in vain). In my case, the two of them start off as friendly colleagues, and the hero is much more modest (the usual attitude such men have is that they’re more powerful than everything else that walks the earth).

Your main character, Kay Samson, has found herself in an interesting business situation. Would you have the same confidence as her, if faced in a similar scenario?

One of the things that I did to prepare myself to write “Executive Sweet” was to learn about con games. I’ve read books, watched TV shows, and seen a number of movies. It takes some serious nerve to be able to pull that stuff off, and as much as I wish I could do it, I doubt I’d be able to.

What is your perfect reading/writing day?

I prefer writing to reading, so my perfect day is when I get to work on new material. The characters seem to live in my head, and I can sit for hours, typing dialog that I hear them saying. Later on, I go back over the dialog and add inner thoughts, emotions, and physical actions.

When I’m not writing, I read and read. I can sit for hours reading. And ever since EBook readers came on the market, I’m in love with them. In fact, when I’m forced to read a paper book, I hate it, and can’t wait to finish it.

Besides Executive Sweet, are there other books that you have written or books that you plan on writing soon?

It turns out that “Executive Sweet” is the first of a 3-book series that I’m now calling the “Westerley” series. Book two is nearly done and I expect it in a few months. Book three is already taking shape in my head. All three books share the same characters, but stand on their own as romances. The nice part is that they fill-in for each other, providing further character development, and sometimes even replaying a scene from a different point of view.

One thing that I’m doing (that I hope doesn’t alienate my readers) is that I’m switching genres with each book in the series. “Executive Sweet” is mostly a suspense story. Book two (tentatively titled “A Good Little Girl Like You”, a line from The Wizard of Oz) is a comedy. Book three (no working title yet) will be a paranormal romance.

Now if you want to go backwards in time, before “Executive Sweet,” you will find that I’ve written two other books. But they’re computer books, and believe me, you don’t want to read them. I know I don’t.

Bonus Questions for Giveaway:
1. What is the first romance book you ever read?
a. Sonia Singh – “Goddess for Hire”
b. Susan Elizabeth Phillips – “What I Did For Love.”
c. Joelle Charbonneau – “Skating Around the Law”

2. Out of the books list above, is there one that you wish you could “live in”?
a. Sonia Singh – “Goddess for Hire”
b. Susan Elizabeth Phillips – “What I Did For Love.”
c. Joelle Charbonneau – “Skating Around the Law”
d. None of the above, because your life has the best romance of all.

I would like to thank Sage Ardman for stopping by here today. She is offering one lucky commenter a paperback copy of her book, Executive Sweet. For your chance to win, just leave a comment below between now and Tuesday, October 1, 2013 at 11:00pm EDT. Each comment will count as one entry, however, if you choose to answer either (or both) of the bonus questions and each correct answer will count as another entry. Winner will be selected using Random.org, and will be announced Wednesday, October 2, 2013. You can find my review of Executive Sweet here. Good Luck to you all!

Enjoy!
~Ariesgrl

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Welcome… Leanora Moore, Author!

Hi Leanora, thank you for joining us today. Could you please tell the followers here a little bit about yourself and your books?

Thank you for having me! As you may know my name is Leanora Moore, and I’m a romance author. I have four romance novels out in stores now. My first novel is titled The Caress of a Younger Man, which I released in 2009. Then you have my second novel, Heavenly Kingdom, which was released in 2012. Then in 2013, I started my Voluptuously Curvy and Loving It Series, and in February is released Smooth As Silk, to be followed by Finding Love Within in August.

You mention in your bio that you used to write your dreams and fantasies down in a notebook, when you were little? Do you still have your notebooks? Were they filled with fairytales and princes?

Yes, I do still have those notebooks, and I still write in them to this day. They are filled with romance of all kinds, such as plus size heroine love stories, Damsel in distress love stories. I just love all kinds of happy endings.

If you could meet up with your younger self, what advice would give her, or what part of her would she help you reconnect with?

If I could meet up with my younger self, I would tell myself not to listen to all the negative people in my life that held me back from reaching my dreams for so many years. Also live each day like it’s your last!

You have a series, called “Voluptuously Curvy and Loving It.” As a woman who has always had more curves than most of her friends, I find stories with a fuller figured heroine enticing. What was the motive behind writing a series that women could not only relate to, but also (hopefully) learn to accept their own body shape?

As a plus size woman myself, I know how hard it can be to accept yourself, and be accepted by others. I also know how we can let self-doubt and low self-esteem keep us from finding true happiness and love. So when I created this series, I wanted to write about women that everyone can relate to, and to show women that you can find love no matter what size, shape, or color you are.

You have recently released book number 2 in the Voluptuously Curvy and Loving it Series. Are there any more works lined up in your future?

Yes there is, right now I’m working on Volume Three, Her Forgotten Lover. Which will be released in January 2014, so be on the lookout for it.

Where can readers find you?

Website: http://www.leanoramoore.net/

Facebook: www.facebook.com/leanoramoore78

Twitter: www.twitter.com/leanora_moore

LinkedIn: http: //www.linkedin.com/pub/leanora-moore/64/a48/771/

Goodreads: http: //www.goodreads.com/author/show/6059867.Leanora_Moore?from_search=true

Bonus Questions for the Giveaway
1. What was your favorite book growing up?
a. Danielle Steel – Heartbeat
b. Debbie Macomber – First Comes Marriage
c. Nora Roberts – Public Secrets

2. What is your favorite go-to book for relaxation/inspiration?
a. The Edible Woman by Margaret Atwood
b. Meant to Be by Rita Coburn Whack
c. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings by Maya Angelou

Thank you once again for joining us here today. I would also like to thank you for your generosity and giving one lucky commenter a chance to win an ecopy of one of your books.

If you would like to be entered to win an ecopy of one of Leanora Moore’s books, please leave a comment below, between now and 11pm EDT on Tuesday, September 24, 2013. Each comment will count as one entry, however if you decide to answer the Bonus Questions you will receive an extra entry for each correct answer. Winner will be selected using Random.org on Wednesday, September 25, 2013. Good luck to you all and I would like to thank Leanora Moore for stopping by today.

Enjoy!
~Ariesgrl

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Welcome… Ali Berlinski, Author!

Hi Ali, could you please tell everyone a little bit about yourself?

Explaining my background is difficult, hence the book. Culturally speaking, my family is like a mini United Nations. My mother’s Filipino and my father’s Polish, making me biracial. Through my mother and father I have older and younger siblings who are also part Italian and Puerto Rican. Since my parents divorced when I was only a year old, I grew up in two distinct households on two coasts. Needless to say, I had a very unconventional upbringing and it has in every way shaped who I am as a person and a writer. If Carrie Bradshaw and David Sedaris had a literary lovechild, it’d be me.
I wrote the book during a very challenging period in my life. I had just gone through two intense breakups. The first was with my ex-boyfriend who also happens to be a celebrity, a situation that truly warrants the facebook status—it’s complicated. The second and even more crushing breakup was with my mother. It was that crucial moment in life when you realize you’re in a bad situation and something needs to change. Hoping to gain some clarity through distance, I quit my job and moved to Spain where I began writing. Nine months later a beautiful mess was born. It was the most therapeutic thing I’ve ever done.

If you could summarize A Beautiful Mess in one sentence, what would it be?

My book is collection of personal essays that use humor to talk about some of the messes we all face in life-family problems, growing up, illness, breakups, and loss.

What was your inspiration behind A Beautiful Mess?

One of the reasons we read is to experience something. The experience I hope to provide is empathy. Perhaps your situation isn’t exactly like mine, but I’m sure that you’ll find a part of your story in the book. If I can laugh at my life then surely you can at yours too. That’s why I created #mymess. The #mymess movement is all about embracing life’s crazy moments though humor. Let me help you say yes to your mess.

What are your plans for future books?

I’d love to write another book. Since I draw inspiration from my own life the next book will probably be about my time in Spain.

Anything you would like the followers here, to know about you or your book?

It’s not always easy but I think it’s important to be able to laugh at life. If you enjoy sarcastic, off color, or dark humor, then you should definitely read my book. Also, for every book you buy, a book is donated to a charity that promotes literacy. So if you like helping kids read and dark comedies, buy my book.

To see my review of A Beautiful Mess, click here. I would like to thank Ali Berlinski and her publisher for participating in this interview.

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Welcome Author T. C. Harrelson!!!

Hi Everyone,

Author T. C. Harrelson is hanging out here today and participating in an interview. Gain some insight into his story, The Beast of Macon Hollow. Plus, take a guess at one of his favorite books for a chance to win your very own copy!!!

 

 

  • Hi, Cris. Can you tell the followers here a little bit about yourself and your book?

Hello, Nicole. First, let me say how pleased I am to be with you today. There’s nothing I like more than talking about good stories. Now, about me. I grew up in the late seventies and early eighties, a period that was rife with good storytelling both in print and on celluloid. However, I began to write only about five years ago. Before writing, I exercised my creativity through drawing, painting, building, and (an attempt at) music. But when I tried writing, it opened my eyes to new possibilities. Endless possibilities, I should say. I found I could create whole worlds and populate them with characters and circumstances—the town in which they live, who they love, who they hate…everything! Even down to the weather they’ll have a particular day. It was a very satisfying feeling.

  • What was your inspiration behind The Beast of Macon Hollow?

A few years ago, my wife and I were talking about the Beast of Bladenboro—the legend of our hometown. She suggested that I try my hand at writing the story behind the legend. However, once I started, the Beast had other ideas. It soon began to reveal layer after layer of its history and personality until a totally new story emerged. Maybe one day I’ll revisit the original beast and tell its tale.

  • Did you have specific stories/books/shows that encouraged some of the characteristics of your main characters?

As I wrote Beast, the characters emerged as themselves. So, to answer your question, no. The characters in The Beast of Macon Hollow aren’t based on characters in specific stories, books, or shows. However, as I wrote for Will Shepard, some of my own characteristics certainly manifested themselves.

  • This book ends with a sense that there could be up to six more books. Is this a possibility? What are you working on now?

I’m working on a couple of ideas, one of which is a 2-3 book series that will continue the Beast story arc. The series will take Will Shepard in a totally new direction. Some new characters will be introduced and we’ll revisit some old favorites. I have big plans for these books, so stay tuned!

  • Growing up, did you read a lot of paranormal thriller books?

(laughing) Oh, yes…almost exclusively. I loved to read and I read almost anything I could get my hands on. But my favorite genre was paranormal, whether it was contemporary authors like Stephen King and Dean Koontz or masters like Poe and Lovecraft. I liked the thrill of a good supernatural story (and still do). Like many of the entertainment industry’s authors, screenplay writers, and movie directors, I read Famous Monsters of Filmland. In case you’re not familiar with it, FM was a pulp magazine filled with behind the scenes stories of both modern and classic horror and science fiction movies and the men who brought them to life. Like many others, I owe a debt to editor Forrest J. Ackerman for introducing me to the genre and feeding my imagination for so many years.

  • Do you feel that we as a culture are more open to reading this kind of storyline and accepting of others’ differences or do you feel like our world is still set in Macon Hollow times?

Thankfully, we are not trapped in Macon Hollow. I think we’ve come a long way in the past 10-20 years. The world is now flat; the giant leaps we’ve taken in communications alone has opened doors to cultures around the world and leveled the playing field for any country who would like to contribute to the world of entertainment. For instance, I can live in small town Bladenboro (one stoplight for those of you who are wondering) but interact with people in India and China. I couldn’t say that twenty years ago.

  • If you came face to face with The Beast and it took the form of your greatest fear, what would it look like?

(Sighs) Boy, I have so many… I could be super shallow here and say ‘spiders.’ I hate the spindly-legged, hairy, …well, you get the point. Or I could go with a really deep answer and say ‘failure.’ I’ve always held myself to a high standard, setting the bar higher and higher when I succeed and beating myself up pretty badly when I don’t. But, I’ll compromise and go with ‘demons.’ Anything from the spirit world scares me into a stupor. I can’t see it…I can’t control it… and, by definition, it’s just unnatural.

Book Giveaway Question:

  • My all-time favorite author is Stephen King. He’s a master story-teller who (lucky for me) writes within the paranormal/horror genre. I’ve read all of his books.

For a free, signed copy of The Beast of Macon Hollow, what is my favorite seventies/eighties-era Stephen King novel?

a. The Stand

b. Pet Sematary

c. Salem’s Lot

d. It

 

I want to thank T. C. Harrelson for conducting this interview and offering a giveaway! For your chance to win, leave a comment with your guess. Contest will run until Monday, February 25, 2013 at 11:00 am EST. All the people who guessed correctly will be entered to win. I will use Random.org to pick the number of the winner. The winner will be announced Monday afternoon. Good Luck!

Have a wonderful day everyone!

Enjoy!
~Ariesgrl

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Welcome Lindsey Beth Goddard!!!

Hi Everyone,

      Earlier this week, much earlier and I apologize for the delay, author Lindsey Beth Goddard honored me by agreeing to an interview. I am pleased to announce that she will also be giving away two copies of her book, Quick Fix. So please join me in welcoming Lindsey Beth Goddard, and then comment with your guess at the answers to the bonus questions, for your chance to win.

1. Hi Lindsey. Thank you for taking time to conduct this interview. I was wondering if you could tell the followers here about your writing.
Hi, Nicole. I’ve been writing for a very long time. Some of my school teachers took notice of my knack for writing and encouraged it. If you spoke with any of my old math teachers, they might say I was prone to dozing off during class, but not the English teachers. They always loved me. I got my first story published in a small-press magazine at the age of fifteen. I was paid one contributor copy, and I was in love! Life has kept me busy, but I’ve made an effort to write and submit stories the past four years, just to get my name out there. I will publish a novel (or possibly a novella) within the next two years. I’m bouncing around ideas for it as we speak.

2. You write horror stories, and the book I am reading is a collection of short stories. Do you prefer a short, tangible fear or a long, mysterious fear?
I love them equally. I am a book worm, and I tend to alternate between short story collections and novels. What people don’t realize is that their favorite episodes of Masters Of Horror, Fear Itself, Twilight Zone, and Tales From The Crypt are based on short stories. There is power in short pieces. Novels are great, too. They allow you to live inside the story much longer.

3. You dedicated this book, Quick Fix, to your children. Are they allowed to read your books, or will they have to wait until they are older?
No, they aren’t. Quick Fix isn’t too bad on the adult content scale, but its predecessor, Respect For The Dead, is chock-full of 18+ subject matter. I haven’t had any terrible feedback, but a few people have told me they were a little shocked! Respect For The Dead is available on Amazon here: http://www.amazon.com/Respect-Dead-Lindsey-Beth-Goddard/dp/0615567797/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1353897076&sr=8-1&keywords=respect+for+the+dead

4. The horror genre is not something most people get involved in. How did you start writing terrifying stories?
I’m not sure! When I was nine, I wrote a story about an evil princess who let her villagers live in poverty while she kept all the riches. Thieves attacked the village, looking for something of value. The villagers pointed them toward the castle and allowed them to kill the princess. The guards, having been badly treated as well, did nothing to stop it. This is heavy subject matter for a nine year old! Perhaps I was always destined to write horror!

5. I feel I must mention scary movies, so were you always a fan of them growing up?
Yes, and I was scarred by a few of them. Not “scared” with one ‘r’. I mean mentally scarred! I watched them too young. I was insanely curious. I just HAD to see them! I don’t let my kids see R rated movies yet. Horror is my favorite genre of movies and books, but it must be age-appropriate, because I certainly saw too much growing up. My favorite movies were Pet Sematary, The Changeling, Tales From the Crypt, Carrie, Child’s Play, and Night of the Living Dead. I have new favorites now that I’m older, but we won’t get into that, or we’ll end up with a mile-long list.

Bonus Questions:

1. Freddy, Michael or Jason?

 

2. Who’s your favorite bone-chilling author?

a. Stephen King

b. Clive Barker

c. Thomas Harris

d. Ray Bradbury

 

I want to thank Lindsey Beth Goddard for agreeing to do this interview and giveaway and for demonstrating extreme patience with me as I had delayed the original posts. As for the giveaway, same rules apply. Leave a comment with your guess at the answer to either/both question(s) and the names of the people who guessed correctly will be placed into a hat and a random name will be drawn for each question. The giveaway will end Monday night at 7pm est. Thank you all and in the mean time, please go check out her website.

Enjoy!

~Ariesgrl

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Welcome Author Byron Suggs!

Good Evening Everyone,

     I want you all to help me welcome author, Byron Suggs. He is the author of the latest book that I reviewed, Rockapocalypse. Rockapocalypse is an amazing book, that I recommend everyone read. Earlier this week, Byron Suggs was kind enough to conduct a small interview for us. He has also been kind enough to offer to answer two bonus questions. Leave a comment with what you feel is the answer to either bonus question. The people’s names that answer correctly will be placed in a hat and one name will be selected for each question. The two people selected will win a paperback version of Rocakapocalypse! Drawing will be held Sunday, November 25, 2012 at 7 pm EST.

1. Hi Byron. Can you tell the followers here a little bit about yourself and your book?

Hi, Nicole. First, thanks for having me. I’ll spare your readers the usual promo bio stuff and keep it spicy, okay? Let me start by saying I’m an old man who writes books. I’m eclectic in what I absorb, but my preferred literary realm arcs sharply between the fantastical and gravel-under-your-skin writing. There are three things I always try to infuse in my writing: a sense that Good will prevail over Evil, humor (of any flavor), and “soul exposure”. That last one is based on the fact that characters are developed from the inside out: soul-to-flesh. That’s the only way I believe you can draw your readers in and bond with their emotions. Beyond all of that, I’m pretty much like any writer. I’m vulnerable to the world outside of my imagination and share the common traits that all writers share.

Rockapocalypse was my first full foray into novel writing. When someone sees it on a shelf, receives it from a book retailer, or downloads it on a Nook or Kindle, they would never guess that 2 ½ years went into the final product. There were three re-writes in producing Rockapocalypse, the first version being cut and edited down to a mere toothpick of a
manuscript. There were times when I came dangerously close to filing it in the wastebasket and hopping on a different train altogether. The book you see today came from parts frustration and anger after two re-writes and endless rejection. But, I was determined to tell Pete’s story and nothing would stand in my way. So, angry and frustrated, I threw my conventional mindset out the window, opened the mental doors and stepped outside the box, so to speak. And it was a good thing I did, too. Rockapocalypse: Disharmony of Justice was “the” story all along. It just took awhile to cull it from the rest of the madness in my skull. I like to think that the central theme of this book actually embodies three parts: the possibilities of the impossible; the timeless power of music; and Faith, however you define it.
2. Rockapocalypse is a wonderful Southern Lit novel. Did you grow up in the south? If
not, what drew you to writing Southern Novels?

Oh, yes. I grew up in rural North Carolina in the 60’s and 70’s. I’m as southern as you get, although I’ve spent a great deal of my adult life exploring the world beyond southern borders. As for what I write, I think the advice that many seasoned writers extol holds true: write what you know. As for me, I write what comes from inside, and what comes from inside is as southern as mint juleps, hand fans and front porch rockers on a sultry Sunday afternoon.

3. Buddy Holly and a few other famous rockers play a huge part in your book. Music itself is vital to the plot. Did you ever dream of being a rock star? Besides rock ‘n’ roll, is there another genre of music that influences your writing?

Ha! What boy growing up in the 60’s didn’t want to grace the cover of Rolling Stone magazine in cool threads while holding an electric guitar? Let’s just say that I probably fancied a carefree rock and roll lifestyle when I was young and naïve. But I had more imagination than talent, which fits right in with “possibilities of the impossible”, right? While classic rock and roll will always be ingrained in me, my preference, with age, has tilted more towards country music over the last fifteen years or so. While that’s had no direct influence on my writing, maybe we could assume it reflects a need to slow down and put more meaning in the words and actions, and less in the “shock and awe”. But, that doesn’t mean I can’t throw a little “shock and awe” in there on occasion.
4. Your book has several life-altering battles such as love vs. hate and good vs. evil, but you also focus on the connections between life and death. (One of my favorite lines is at the beginning on page 23, “Never had a clue that all things in the universe are connected.”) If you could choose a soul connection with someone from the past, who would you want it to be? What would you hope to pass on to your soul’s future connection?

Tough question. Where do I begin? I would probably go to the edge of the abyss and say Edgar Allen Poe. The mystique is irresistible. Then again, H. P. Lovecraft would be a good choice, too. I mean the whole Cthulhu-Mythos-Gothic-Disney thing…really, could it get any better? As for what I could pass on, all I can say is— “me’. Whatever exist of the whole of “me” would be theirs for the taking. But they would have to take it all, God help them.

5. You mentioned to me the other day that you are working on your next novel. Will the next novel have a similar style as Rockapocalypse? Do you ever see yourself writing a follow-up on the characters from this book?

I’m afraid that the fans of Rockapocalypse will have to wait…at least for the time being. My current novel, Bone Whispers, is the second in a series of southern murder mysteries. I use “series” lightly at this stage. I’m not sure I want to go down that road, but at the conclusion of my second book, Cold Currents, I felt the protagonist, Bobby Taylor, had more to offer the readers. Cold Currents was the book that captured the attention of my agent, Joyce Holland from D4EO Literary. As for Rockapocalypse, a second book is certainly not out of the question, but it will have to go a step farther in concept. As of right now, the timing doesn’t feel right. I will write no book before its time!

 

Bonus Question(s):
1. What is your favorite Buddy Holly song?

a. Peggy Sue
b. Not Fade Away
c. That’ll Be the Day
d. Oh Boy!

2. Who is your favorite Southern Literature author?

a. John Hart
b. Joe Lansdale
c. Reynolds Price
d. James Lee Burke

Thanks for stopping by and good luck! In the meantime please visit the Byron Suggs website. 

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

Enjoy!
~Ariesgrl

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