Author Interview Heart of Mist

How long have you been writing?

 I’ve been writing since I was about seven years old, but I wrote my first (albeit terrible) novel when I was about 12. From memory it was about a clairvoyant lady pirate…

 

  • What is your favorite genre to write?

I used to write literary fiction, but in recent years I’ve fallen back in love with fantasy. I love how much fun it is to write, and the freedom that comes with creating your own world and rules.

 

  • Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

I’m deep into the fantasy genre at the moment so it’s hard to think about writing anything else, however, I think I could potentially see myself writing contemporary YA fiction…

 

  • Please tell us about your book.

 Don’t mind if I do! Heart of Mist is a YA fantasy novel, the first in a planned trilogy called The Oremere Chronicles. In the novel, we follow 19-year-old Bleak as she seeks a cure for her power, trapped in a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic is forbidden.

 

  • Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

Ahhh that’s a tricky question! Without wanting to give too much away, one of my favourite characters is Henri, who is the leader of an elite warrior race called the Valia Kindred. She’s cold and fierce, and has the deadly fighting skills to match.

As for my least favourite… I’d have to say Maz, who’s the blacksmith’s son in Bleak’s hometown. Let’s just say – he’s not a nice guy.

 

  • What was the hardest part about writing your book?

I’ve never written a series before, so I suppose one of the more challenging aspects was figuring out how to plot the story over the space of three books, and knowing where to start and end each novel.

On a similar note – working out how the characters relationships with themselves and with each other would change over the span of the series was quite difficult.

 

  • What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

Generally I need to be at my desk, with a steaming cup of tea at the ready. I work best in the mornings, so my routine involves dragging myself out of bed at around 6.30 -7am, making a tea and plonking myself down in front of my laptop.

I also work best when I’ve got a few dots points of the scene I’m working on plotted out – just so I know where to take the writing and the characters.

 

 

  • How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

If we’re talking about the first draft – I wrote most of it during NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month), I’d say I wrote the whole thing in about 6 weeks or so. However, the redrafting and editing processes took much, much longer.

I’d say it was about a year from putting pen to paper until I had a manuscript that was ready for copyediting.

 

  • Can you tell us about your editing process?

I’d love to! While working on Heart of Mist I discovered the life-changing benefits of using beta readers. I was so lucky to have an incredible beta reader team who helped me identify the structural issues of the manuscript.

From there it was a matter of brainstorming solutions and building more detail into the world I’d created. After I’d done a structural edit, the manuscript was ready for my copyeditor, who did an incredible job of ironing out any kinks and inconsistencies.

For me, editing is a very collaborative process, and I was lucky enough to have very talented writers and editors help me along the way.

 

  • Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

It is indeed! It’s the first book in a planned trilogy called The Oremere Chronicles. The production schedule at the moment is Heart of Mist 2017, Book II 2018 and Book III 2019.

 

  • Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

I get asked this question a lot, and I always end up giving out different advice depending on where I’m at in my own process… So today I’d say: have trusted writer friends read and critique your work. Get beta readers for your books. I can’t tell you how much this process will improve your book (and also get you ready for reviews and criticism in the real world!).

 

  • Why should everyone read your book?

Haha, I love this question! I’d say, if you like Sarah J Maas, V.E. Schwab or Sabaa Tahir, there’s a good chance you’ll enjoy Heart of Mist. It’s packed full of strong female characters, intrigue and danger.

 

  • If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

I can only pick three??? At the moment they’d have to be… J.K. Rowling, Sarah J Maas and Diana Gabaldon. Preferably over a bottle or two of wine!

  • What inspired you to write your book?

At the time, I was working on a literary fiction novel and was going through some very difficult structural edits. I had been reading a lot of YA fantasy as a means of escape and then it occurred to me – I should be writing what I loved reading. With NaNoWriMo just around the corner, I decided I wanted to try my hand at writing in the genre I’d loved since I was a child. As it turns out, it was a great decision, and the fun I had writing that first book inspired my whole series.

 

  • Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I’m currently working on Book II in The Oremere Chronicles. It’s very surreal having Heart of Mist due out for release so soon while working on this next instalment. I can’t really say too much about Book II without giving away big events in Heart of Mist, but it’s safe to say – the adventure is far from over for these characters…

About the Book

In a realm where toxic mist sweeps the lands and magic is forbidden, all Bleak wants is a cure for her power.
Still grieving the death of her guardian and dangerously self-medicating with alcohol, Bleak is snatched from her home by the Commander of the King’s Army, and summoned to the capital.
But the king isn’t the only one interested in Bleak’s powers.
The leader of an infamous society of warriors, the Valia Kindred, lays claim to her as well, and Bleak finds herself in the middle of a much bigger battle than she anticipated.
Heart of Mist is the gripping first book in The Oremere Chronicles, a fantasy series of epic proportions.

Author Bio

Helen Scheuerer is a YA fantasy author from Sydney, Australia. Heart of Mist is the first book in her high fantasy trilogy, The Oremere Chronicles. It explores themes of identity, belonging, loyalty, addiction, loss, and responsibility.
After writing literary fiction for a number of years, novels like Throne of Glass, Elantris, The Queen’s Poisoner and The Queen of the Tearling inspired Helen to return to her childhood love of fantasy.
Helen is also the Founding Editor of Writer’s Edit (www.writersedit.com), an online literary magazine and learning platform for emerging writers. It’s now one of the largest writers’ platforms in the world.

Buy the book from Amazon.

Author Interview The Beautician’s Notebook

  • How long have you been writing?

I started back in the 8th grade when I began writing the world’s most awful poetry.  I still have a few of them and they are really funny! I’ve just been writing for as long as I can remember.

  • What is your favorite genre to write?

I’m not sure I have a favorite.  I seem to do a little of everything—I have a memoir, short story collection, poetry chapbook and three novels.  I write what comes to me and in whatever form it wants to take. I guess I could tell you my least favorite and that would be memoir.

  • Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

I’ve never tried a play or movie script.  I’m terrified of them because I know nothing. But maybe someday.

  • Please tell us about your book.

The Beautician’s Notebook was inspired by my own beautician, DeLana Holden, who owns A Cut Above in the small town near where I live.  The book is a cozy mystery with a little romance sprinkled in. When Willa Jo Temple is found stabbed through the heart on the floor of her beauty shop, the good folk of Summerset, NC are sent into a tizzy. Rumor has it, Willa Jo kept a notebook detailing all the secrets her customers had told her over the years, and she was going to write a tell-all book. Everybody in Summerset has secrets.  Is there a secret worth killing for?

  • Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why? What was the hardest part about writing your book?

My favorite character is Avenelle Young, the preacher’s wife.  She’s a middle-aged woman who has tried for years to be the perfect minister’s wife. Yet, there is another side to her, a side her husband has no idea exists. She is funny and a little crazy—like me, I guess.

My least favorite would have to be Ralph Myers.  He is very wealthy, married but a philanderer. He is completely selfish.

The hardest part about writing this book was finding the time to write.  That is always my biggest challenge.

  • What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

Ideally, I write in the mornings, until around 1 pm. But life is seldom ideal. I have to carve out the time, tell my friends and family I’m working on a new project and my mornings are sacrosanct. Then, I have to have the discipline to get my bottom in that chair and work! I need Diet Coke, snacks (sadly—for me, writing is fattening!) and quiet.  I also need time to veg out. I need what I call ‘dream time,’ a time when I can sit and let the ideas cook. A daily walk and daily meditation/prayer time.   I am not perfect at keeping these habits, but I try.

  • How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

This one took about three months.

  • Can you tell us about your editing process?

I’m very lucky in that I have a couple of dear friends who are also writers who are my early readers.  My husband, Frank, is my first reader and he usually helps a great deal. After I hear what they have to say, if the comments resonate, I fix those points.  I read and read and read until I feel I have it ready.

  • Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

No, though a lot of readers have asked for a sequel. I don’t have one planned but who knows?

  • Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

Read the great writers of the past and the respected writers of the current day.  Read about your craft. David Huddle’s The Writing Habit, John Gardner’s The Art of Fiction, Walking on Water by Madeleine L’Engle, On Writing by Stephen King…there are just so many great books about writing.  Far too many to list here.

  • Why should everyone read your book?

It’s funny, poignant, and of course, we all want to know ‘who dunnit.’

  • If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

Oh, that’s a tough one.  I’d pick Shakespeare, Gerard Manley Hopkins (the poet) and Thomas Hardy.

  • What inspired you to write your book?

My beautician.

  • Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

I’m working on three books at the moment.  Two are set in West Virginia where I grew up and one is set in North Carolina where I live now. One is about a madwoman, one is about a man who wins a girl in a poker game and one is about mothers-in-law and daughters-in-law. I’m about halfway finished with each book, so my plan is to finish them this year.  We’ll see if that happens.

 

The Beautician’s Notebook by Anne Barnhill

Publication Date: April 12, 2017
Moonshine Cove Publishing, LLC
eBook & Print; 304 Pages
 
Genre: Mystery/Romance/Contemporary
 
WHEN WILLA JO TEMPLE IS FOUND STABBED THROUGH THE HEART ON THE FLOOR OF HER BEAUTY SHOP, THE GOOD FOLK OF SUMMERSET, NC ARE SENT INTO A TIZZY.
 
It’s up to her ex-husband, Sheriff Tal Hicks, to investigate. Evidence points to four possible suspects: Willa Jo’s business partner; a town socialite; a preacher’s wife; and Willa Jo’s live-in lover.
 
Willa Jo kept a notebook containing all the secrets she’s learned while doing hair. Rumor has it Willa Jo is going to write a book, exposing everything. But now, Willa Jo is dead and the incriminating notebook is missing, leaving the sheriff with very little to go on. As he interrogates the suspects, he finds himself attracted to newcomer, Clarissa Myers. He delves into her past only to discover she has deeper ties to Summerset than anyone imagined. Before the sheriff can complete his interrogations, however, another suspect, Avenelle Young, confesses.
 
The sheriff is skeptical about Avenelle Young’s guilt because she refuses to discuss what happened with Willa Jo. Her statement is a terse declaration of guilt, with neither motive nor method explained. The sheriff has no choice but to incarcerate Mrs. Young.
 
During the investigations, as the secrets of Summerset are slowly revealed, each family touched by Willa Jo’s death must come to terms with the new information being unearthed. The repercussions are far-reaching, and forgiveness hard to come by. However, at the heart of the book is the possibility of reconciliation among the town folk as they learn the real ‘truth’ about one another.
 

Praise for The Beautician’s Notebook

 
“…a great who-done-it” that will keep you reading until the very last page.—Brenda Bevan Remmes, author of The Quaker Cafe and Home to Cedar Branch.
 
“What a treat! Anne Clinard Barnhill has penned a mystery with heart and soul. Her characters are so likeable—even lovable—that I hated to think of any of them guilty of a heinous crime . . . despite their many motives. An intriguing and heartwarming novel.”—Diane Chamberlain, NYT bestselling author of The Silent Sister.
 
“More red herrings than in a fishmonger’s wheelbarrow.”—Molly Weston, Mystery Writers of America Raven Award Winner.
 

About the Author

 
Anne Clinard Barnhill is an award-winning, internationally published writer who has published two historical novels (AT THE MERCY OF THE QUEEN and QUEEN ELIZABETH’S DAUGHTER), a short story collection (WHAT YOU LONG FOR), a memoir (AT HOME IN THE LAND OF OZ: Autism, My Sister and Me) and a poetry chapbook (COAL, BABY). She has also written hundreds of articles, features, book reviews and essays published in a variety of newspapers, magazines and blogs. Ms. Barnhill has received four regional artist grants, one writer’s residency and has taught writing and creativity workshops in various places across North Carolina, West Virginia, South Carolina and Mississippi. She has three grown sons and lives on the NC coast with her husband and a very energetic dog.
For more information please visit Anne’s website. You can also connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, August 7
Kick Off at Passages to the Past

Wednesday, August 9
Feature at A Holland Reads

Thursday, August 10
Review & Interview at The Book Junkie Reads

Monday, August 14
Feature at Rimpy’s Reads

Thursday, August 17
Guest Post at Must Read Faster

Tuesday, August 22
Feature at A Literary Vacation

Friday, August 25
Interview at I Heart Reading

Monday, August 28
Review at Book Nerd

Friday, September 1
Review at Buried Under Books

Monday, September 4
Guest Post at Brooke Blogs

Wednesday, September 6
Feature at Mello & June, It’s a Book Thang!

Wednesday, September 13
Feature at CelticLady’s Reviews

Wednesday, September 20
Review at Locks, Hooks and Books

Monday, September 25
Review at A Chick Who Reads

Wednesday, September 27
Review at Adventures Thru Wonderland

Giveaway

To enter the giveaway for a copy of THE BEAUTICIAN’S NOTEBOOK, please see the GLEAM entry form below. Five copies are up for grabs!

Rules

– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on September 27th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to US residents only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE

Release Blitz: Seduction en Pointe

  1. How long have you been writing?

I’ve always been a writer – I come from a family of artists and poets, and storytelling just sort of went along with that. My mom taught creative writing classes for kids, so I put it officially around eight, but unofficially forever. Professionally, I’ve been writing fiction since about 2014, which was when I started to seriously pursue self-publishing and then moved toward the Indie market. A lot has changed in three years, for sure.

  1. What is your favorite genre to write?

I’m a romance writer, so obviously the big umbrella of romance, but it’d be really hard for me to pick a subgenre. I write contemporary and historical, and I wrote both erotic and more traditional romance. This year I have a contemporary ménage series coming out and then a historical BDSM series, so I really can’t pick! Romance is full of new and exciting challenges, and I look forward to pushing the limits of writing with each new book.

  1. Which genre have you never tried before, but would you like to try out?

I definitely want to get into fantasy. I think I’ve always been a little intimidated by world building, but in a sense every book we write has some element of world building – a ranching town in Montana, a ballet school in Paris, so I think I’m ready to take on the challenge.

  1. Please tell us about your book.

When successful TV star of the Queen Anne’s Revenge, Nicco Castillo, finds his boyfriend in bed

with another man, he goes full-on Hollywood trainwreck that lands him in ER. Next thing he knows, the producers are shipping him off to Paris to shape up and learn to dance for the next season’s story arc. But his incredibly tempting Parisian ballet instructor, Isabelle La Croix, makes that all too difficult, especially when he learns about her decadent desires–desires Nicco is all too pleased to indulge in. Against the ballet barre, the balcon railing, and wherever and for however long Isabelle is willing to have him.

Seduction en Pointe was definitely my most difficult book to write! It started as a spin-off for a novella, but the company that owned the novella went out of business, so I scratched that story and started again. And again. And again. I must have rewritten this book four times in full. At one point, I had this big white board laid out in the foyer with each scene written out in explicit detail. Let’s just say that my mom is one patient woman.

  1. Which character was your favorite, and why? Which character was your least favorite, and why?

I loved writing Nicco. Isabelle is wonderful, but her struggle is more about pain and grief, and Nicco’s internal challenges are focused on figuring out who he really is after he becomes very famous, and I think determining who we are is a real challenge everyone faces. I struggled with writing Nicco because I was really hard on him, and I need to soften the edges, but I think we’re often very hard on ourselves, which I hope came through a little in his character. The journey for self-discovery is never really over, though.

Seduction en Pointe doesn’t have a real antagonist, but I guess I could say that the person Nicco was is the least likable main character. It’s his struggle to escape this Hollywood persona that leads to most of the events in the book, and that Hollywood persona isn’t very likeable. But his own recognition and drive to fix himself is the redeeming quality there.

  1. What was the hardest part about writing your book?

Like I said, I rewrote this book a lot. And let me tell you, I’d rather write a full manuscript from scratch than have to go in and start changing major plot points and elements in an otherwise written manuscript. The character of Giancarlo started out as a real SOB, and that just made it hard to justify Nicco’s loyalty to him, so I had to evolve his character into something totally different.

The entire plot had changed about four times over the process. When I first started writing the book, I only aimed for about 35,000 words, but the final draft came in a little over 70,000.

  1. What is your writing routine? Are there things you absolutely need to start writing?

With this book, the routine was to keep fixing issues until something actually clicked into place. For the most part though, I outline and prep books before diving in. I love work in series because there’s an establishment of characters and locations and it’s a lot easier and more fun than starting from scratch. I don’t think I could ever go full Pants-er though. It terrifies me. How long did it take you to write your book from start to finish?

With all its complications, this one was well over a year. For the most part though, my books turn around more quickly than that. I tend to think about books for awhile before I actually write them, so when it comes down to getting my butt in the chair, I already feel confident in the story and character.

  1. Can you tell us about your editing process?

How much wine do you have? This one was rough. We changed fundamental elements from the original story, down to Isabelle’s name and the chronology of her marriage. I wrote and rewrote both Giancarlo and Nicco and it went through my amazing editor a solid three times before we officially signed it. The last big edits we made were to change the opening scene. I never thought I’d get an email that said how about we start with him having a seizure during a blow job?

  1. Is this book part of a series? If so, how many installments do you have planned?

Yes! So Nicco is one of three main actors in the Queen Anne’s Revenge an uber successful historical pirate television program. The Full Swing series follows Adrian and Luke, the other two main actors, who get introduced in the book. In truth, Adrian’s story with Julianna is running parallel to a large part of Seduction, which we’ll obviously get more of in book two! I’m really excited to explore more of their relationship, as well as Luke’s.

 

  1. Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?

I’m sure you’ve heard this before and you’ll hear it again, but write. Write every single day and read all the time. Read newspapers and memoirs and fiction and mystery and the back of cereal boxes. Write short stories and long stories and poetry and plays. I keep a Faulkner quote by my desk that says it best, Don’t be a writer, be writing.

There’s also something else, and this one definitely came as more of a surprise. Treat your writing like a business. Work every single day. Don’t take rejections personally. Plan, organize and double-check. View writing as a path, just like going to school or taking vocational training, and you will prioritize it, as will those around you. Treat it like a business and no matter how many rejections you get, stand up and brush off and get back to work.

  1. Why should everyone read your book?

Seduction en Pointe is fun! If you like the idea of falling in love running through the streets of Paris, or luxury apartments and ballet classes in ancient buildings, art and music and erotic dalliances, this book is right up your alley. Setting and aesthetic play a huge role in this book, and there’s just no better background in the world for sensual fantasies to come to life than Paris.

  1. If you could meet three authors, dead or alive, which authors would you choose?

So hard! I have to say Jane Austen, Juliette Marillier and J.K. Rowling. All three of these women have fundamentally inspired me in both art and life, and I’m a better, more rounded, more discerning person because of their influence.

  1. What inspired you to write your book?

So I had written the novella about two years ago, and I always planned to get around to writing Nicco and Belle’s story, but I figured it would be a short addendum to the original. Obviously, this book  took on a life of its own. In the original story, Nicco is all charmer and flirt so I knew he’d be a hell of a lot of fun to write, and he delivered! It’s been amazing watching the transformation from a side story to my first full length novel.

  1. Are you working on something at the moment? If so, can you tell us more about it?

Yes! The Lovin’ Is Easy, book one in the Triple Diamond series, is coming out for general release in September. The series is a season-based collection of male/female/male ménage stories set on The Triple Diamond Ranch in Wolf Creek, Montana, which my heroine from The Lovin’ Is Easy, Madison, inherits from an uncle she’s never met. I’m working on book two in the series right now, fall in the mountains, and it’s been such a fabulously fun process.

Book Excerpt

And walking through the door to his producer’s office, he stopped dead. In that moment he absolutely believed that everything happened for a reason.
She faced away from him, but even at a distance he could see the smooth curve of her neck, the beautiful line of her back, arching against the chair. She was a small woman, but a shadow of muscles adorned her shoulders and upper arms where they weren’t hidden behind the waves of white-blonde hair pulled into a tight ponytail. She was something from an erotic fairy tale, all subtle power and ephemeral beauty.
And it wasn’t just that—though there was plenty of that. But it was the way she held herself, too, full of strength and self-possession and confidence. This woman knew exactly who she was in a way that Nicco envied and respected all at the same time.
He schooled his features and checked in with the receptionist for his appointment with the French production team before turning around to face her. If he’d thought her beautiful from the back, he hadn’t been prepared for her face, for the expression in her pale-blue eyes, for the softest, sweetest curve of dusky-rose lips as they parted slightly.
She read a magazine, and Niccolo cursed himself for having let his written French lapse, because he didn’t have a clue which glossy it was.
Still, never hurt to try, and something about this unknown woman made it impossible for him to walk away or pick one of the seats at the far end of the waiting room. She called to him, a modern-day siren, all enticing and impossible to ignore. So he sat beside her, catching a hint of her scent. She smelled like lemons, sweet and fresh, and that seemed to fit her, as did the pointed sharpness of her neck, which grew considerably more rigid once she realized he planned on talking to her.
“What is it you’re reading?” he asked, thickening his Spanish accent. As long as he’d been chasing lovers, the Spanish charm had always worked wonders. Hell, it did wonders for getting him starring roles too.
“Who wants to know?” Her accent was light, as though she’d learned English alongside her French, studied in Sweden or London or New York City. But for all of the softness that came spilling out of those pale-rose lips, there was a steel core that told Nicco she wasn’t having any of his charm. Her words came out strong, self-possessed, and confident, and they made him curious about the woman below the slight frame. Despite appearing so soft, she held her head at a tilt that signified power, kept her neck straight, her shoulders arched. Everything about her stance told Nicco exactly how she felt at his intrusion into her space. Normally, he took his cues and left the obviously uninterested alone, but this woman was enchanting and mysterious, and Nicco found he couldn’t quite look away from her, even as he knew that he tempted the serpent, perhaps because he did.
“Niccolo.” He extended his hand. “Here for a meeting with Monsieur La Montagne.” According to the terms Parker had laid out, Nicco would be working alongside La Montagne’s office on a PR tour of Paris while he took his dance classes, giving a few interviews here and there, a signing or two, onward and upward.
The woman beside him, however, appeared abjectly unimpressed. He liked that, liked that she didn’t buy into his bullshit the way everyone else did, the way he’d been doing for so long.
“That is a remarkable coincidence,” she replied, her eyes taking on a sardonic glint he knew came at his expense, “given that you are in his office, after all.” Feisty, this one. She obviously enjoyed goading him, and Nicco felt a wash of something dangerous at the thought that men probably attempted to charm her quite often. For some reason, his visceral reaction to this strange, nymph-like woman grew stronger each time she stabbed him with her barbed tongue. That was inconvenient, to be certain, but it didn’t stop him from wanting more.
But there was something about his—well, he wouldn’t necessarily call it just an attraction—to this woman that went deeper than lust. Nicco had had lovers, more than his fair share of them since everything with Antonio had gone so royally tits up, and he’d never lacked for a partner if he wanted one. No, whatever had him suddenly desperate to learn more about this mysterious woman went deeper than that, to some fundamental part of himself that might even long for redemption.
“I’d heard about the French,” he said. He should just turn around and leave her to her magazine, but he just couldn’t seem to do so. “Seems the rumors about witches and the smell of cheese aren’t so terribly off.”
She raised an eyebrow, and he took some satisfaction in the small quirk at the corner of her mouth that told of a repressed smile. He’d bet a week’s pay that her smile would light up the city, and he promised himself that at some point, he would be the cause of it. He didn’t know how or why, just that it would happen one way or the other.
“American, is it?” she asked, ignoring his slight.
“Mostly,” he replied. “Spanish sometimes. Occasionally English.”
From her confused expression, Nicco wondered if he had been spending too much time in California. Normally, folks didn’t question his various origins. Of course, the French were reputedly distrusting of anyone who wasn’t French. Still, he had to admit that there was something simple and altogether enjoyable about flirting with a woman who didn’t want to sleep with him just because he was a celebrity or because she angled to get her face in the papers. It felt good to just be himself for what seemed like the first time in a very long time.
“Of course,” she replied, breaking his train of thought. “All that ego can’t be exclusively American, can it?”
Nicco almost laughed out loud.
“You already know me so well,” he said. “Would you care to know me better? Dinner, perhaps?” It was bold, and the moment the words were out of his mouth, Nicco knew it had been too audacious. Something flitted across her eyes, and he could almost see her folding into herself. No, he didn’t like that, didn’t enjoy seeing this confident person turn into something else so quickly. He might be an ass about recognizing the signs in his own life, but someone or something had clearly hurt her—recently, if the ache across those beautiful pale-blue eyes was anything to go by.
“No smart remark,” he commented, hoping to bring back some of the devil he’d seen in her expression. “I’m surprised.”
She squared her jaw, and Nicco found himself happy to see even a little of the fight fill her eyes, even if it was at his expense. And, as he had anticipated, she turned a cold tongue in his direction, murmuring low under her breath.
“You don’t know the first thing about me, so I’ll ask you kindly to take a walk.” Fury, for all it was leashed and low in her whisper. And it made him ache, made him feel some of the hurt in his own chest, because the first week after he’d discovered Tony with his lover, Nicco had lashed out at everyone and everything, taking the whole wide world down to his level of hurt and sadness.
He didn’t doubt that he was nothing more than the proxy for her fury, and it made him feel bad, made him ache for her and for himself a little too.
“Miss La Croix?”
Before she could say anything that might cut him to the quick—would most definitely cut him to the quick—the woman beside him nodded in answer to the receptionist and stood without another word. If he had thought the slope of her neck enticing, he wasn’t prepared for the way her long, powerful legs, visible below her light-blue dress, mesmerized him. She didn’t so much walk down the hall as glide, her body so completely under her command that it made him wonder about putting his body in her hands too. She didn’t give him a second look as she slipped away, and that made Nicco’s heart ache in a way he didn’t want to analyze.
Her magazine still sat on the corner of the table, one of the pages bookmarked with a thick, folded corner, as if she planned on going back to it. Thinking quickly, he pulled out a pen and scribbled a note down on the back cover.
If you ever need a stranger for a friend, give me a call. There are some things we don’t heal from so easily.
Below that, he jotted his e-mail address and then took a short jog down the hallway to catch up with her. The simple note, just like the few extra moments he had spent with his fans outside, felt like color returning to the black-and-white version of himself. He still couldn’t see the full picture, not yet, but just being out of LA helped him focus.
She looked surprised and not all that happy when he drew level with her.
“You left this,” he said, handing her the magazine but not letting go.
She pursed her lips. “And what do you want in exchange for it?” Her tone sounded almost resigned. Bored, almost. He knew better, though. Her expression had a fire—blue and burning—and he rather enjoyed inspiring a reaction in her, whatever it was.
“What’s your name?” he asked her, suddenly desperate to know. By the smallest amount, her expression softened, and Nicco had to wonder what she had expected him to ask. He’d never push a person to do anything they didn’t want to do. He had retained some standards over the last few months of going full-on Hollywood.
“The catch?” she asked, her lips still pointedly pursed in his direction. And what lips they were.
Nicco shook his head. “No catch. I just want to know your name.” He really, really did. She sighed and nodded, sending the white-blonde ponytail swishing across her shoulder. Then she squared her jaw and lifted her chin.
“Isabelle La Croix.” She offered nothing else.
“Isabelle,” he repeated, because he couldn’t seem to stop himself from doing so. “A pleasure.” He handed her the magazine with his note facing down and watched as she gave a sharp nod and continued down the hallway, watched her far after there was nothing left to watch. What about this woman set his body to flame and his mind to far more carnal images than would ever be appropriate for a chance encounter in a producer’s waiting room and so, so much more?
Something hidden that came in bursts of emotion across her pale-blue eyes, something that came in the cut of her shoulders and the grace of her walk.
Miss La Croix. It fit her. She was so utterly French, petite, graceful, sharp around the edges and beautiful beyond the pale. Nicco trod in dangerous waters. He had only just left California behind, and already he panted after a woman he would never see again, unless her facade cracked and she actually decided to contact him. He could hope, kind of had to hope, because there was something about her that was so unlike anyone he had ever met. She had a self-possession, a self-awareness that almost made him envious, would have, if it hadn’t impressed him so.
The whole thing made him…a little relieved. He’d had lovers since Antonio, of course, men and women to waste the lonely nights with, to party with and get drunk with. But to actually find himself feeling a deep, intense connection—and with a person he had only just met—it gave him hope that he might not be on his own forever. Maybe Tony’s infidelities hadn’t completely destroyed who Nicco had been before, after all.

About the Book

Seduction en Pointe, Gemma Snow
Contemporary, Erotic Romance
Full Length 

When successful TV star of the Queen Anne’s Revenge, Nicco Castillo, finds his boyfriend in bed with another man, he goes full-on Hollywood trainwreck that lands him in ER. Next thing he knows, the producers are shipping him off to Paris to shape up and learn to dance for the next season’s story arc. But his incredibly tempting Parisian ballet instructor, Isabelle La Croix, makes that all too difficult, especially when he learns about her decadent desires–desires Nicco is all too pleased to indulge in. Against the ballet barre, the balcon railing, and wherever and for however long Isabelle is willing to have him.

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Author Bio

Gemma Snow is the author of several works of erotic and romantic fiction in both the contemporary and historical genres, and enjoys pushing the limits of freedom, feminism, and fun in her stories.  She has been an avid writer for many years, and recently moved back to her home state of New Jersey from Boston, after completing her education in journalism and creative writing.
 
In her free time, she loves to travel, and spent a semester abroad living in a 14th century castle in the Netherlands. When not exploring the world, she likes dreaming up stories, eating spicy food, driving fast cars, and talking to strangers. 
 
Find her on: 

Giveaway

As a thank you to everyone who checked out Seduction en Pointe, I’m raffling off a stack of fantastic romance novels, bookmarks and other fun treats – and it’s super easy to enter! 
All you have to do is send confirmation of purchase for Seduction en Pointe to GemmaSnowRomance@gmail.com with the subject line Raffle Entry, before 11:59 p.m EST on August 31st! It’s that simple! 
More info: https://gemmasnow.com/raffle-entry/

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? (117)

itsmonday

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? is a weekly meme hosted by BookDate. It’s where book bloggers gather to talk about what books they read and reviewed last week, what books they’re currently reading and what books they’re planning to read. This is a great way for me to plan my reading week, and to take a sneak peek at what others are reading.

Finished Reading

Currently Reading

Book Tours: Starter Day Party Hunted

I’m hosting the starter day party today for the book tour for paranormal thriller / urban fantasy “Hunted”. I’m also reviewing the book in September. Stay tuned for my review!

Tour Schedule

August 28th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

August 28th: Book Excerpt @ Stormy Night Reviewing

August 30th: Book Excerpt @ Dark Treasury

August 30th: Guest Post @ Tiffany Shand’s Blog

September 2nd: Author Interview @ Mythical Books

September 6th: Guest Post @ JB Bookworms

September 9th: Book Excerpt @ Indy Book Fairy

September 12th: Book Excerpt @ Books, Dreams, Life

September 14th: Book Review @ I Heart Reading

September 18th: Guest Post @ The Resistance

September 20th: Book Excerpt @ I’m an Eclectic Reader

September 22nd: Book Review @ The Pursuit of Bookiness

September 24th: Book Excerpt @ T’s Stuff

September 26th: Book Excerpt @ Bright Street Books

September 28th: Author Interview @ The Single Librarian

September 30th: Book Excerpt @ Lisa Queen of Random

October 2nd: Book Excerpt @ Nesie’s Place

October 4th: Book Review @ Mythical Books

October 10th: Guest Post @ Just Books

October 12th: Book Excerpt @ Books are Forever

October 14th: Book Excerpt @ Silver Dagger Scriptorium

October 16th: Book Review @ Nesie’s Place

October 18th: Book Excerpt @ The Book Daily

October 20th: Book Review @ Lukten av Trykksverte

October 22nd: Book Excerpt @ Bedazzled Reading

October 24th: Author Interview @ Majanka’s Blog

October 26th: Book Review @ Natural Bri

October 28th: Guest Post @ Editor Charlene’s Blog

About the Book

Title: Hunted: A Jonathan Harker Novel

Author: Christopher Draven

Genre: Paranormal Thriller / Urban Fantasy

Slinging Spells with Broken Ribs Isn’t Easy

Jonathan Harker, mage and life-long demon hunter, wakes to find himself tied to a chair and severely wounded. His captor, a demon in service to a summoner who wants Harker alive.

Armed with impossibly powerful magic and a gang of demon toughs, the summoner has snared Harker in a deadly trap. Nothing is ever easy, and being new in town has left Harker with few allies. However, with help from a Fortune-Teller named Clover and a self-described “Kitchen Witch” named Momma Dee, Harker fights back.

To prevail, Harker must walk unprepared into a pit of demons and black magic – and come out alive on the other side.

Author Bio

Christopher Draven has worked as an instructional designer, newspaper journalist, and ghost writer.

One soggy Monday morning, he committed to leaving behind the soul-stealing work of corporate puppetry and escaped to a meadow where he could concentrate on his passion. Since that fateful day, Christopher has focused on learning the craft of fiction.

Links

Amazon (Print)

Amazon (eBook)

Website

twitter: @writerdraven

email: info@christopherdraven.com

Goodreads

Facebook

Book Tours: Starter Day Party Denai Storm

Last but not least, I’m hosting the starter day party today for the book tour for urban fantasy / paranormal romance “Denai Storm”. The tour runs from August 28 to September 4.

Tour Schedule

August 28th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

August 30th: Author Interview @ Bright Street Books

September 1st: Book Excerpt @ Books, Dreams, Life

September 2nd: Promo Post @ Nesie’s Place

September 3rd: Book Excerpt @ Indy Book Fairy

September 4th: Book Review @ Kim Knight Author

About the Book

Title: Denai Storm

Author: Tiffany Shand

Genre: Urban Fantasy / Paranormal Romance

After her husband, Jason is kidnapped, Denai witch Cate McCray will stop at nothing to get him back. Along with her team of enforcers, Cate and her allies venture into the country of Setara to find Jason and bring him home.

But going into the heart of the Covenant’s territory comes with its own risks and saving Jason could have dangerous repercussions. Back at home, the team faces a killer lurking on the streets of their city. What kind of new enemy have the Covenant sent after them now, and what price will they all have to pay for going up against them?

Author Bio

Tiffany Shand started writing short stories when she was a child. She has always done writing in one form or another and started writing novels in her early teens.

Tiffany loves to read books and discovered her love for fantasy and paranormal romance.  She writes both non-fiction and fiction, and love helping writers to build their author platforms.

After doing a creative writing course in her early 20s, she is now a freelance writer and professional editor.

Tiffany lives in Essex with her two spoiled cats and one very nutty hamster.

Find Tiffany on:

Denai Storm Buy Link

Tiffany’s Website

Tiffany’s blog

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

Bewaren

Book Tours: Starter Day Party Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail

I’m hosting the starter day party today for the book tour for YA fantasy “Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail”. The tour runs from August 28 to September 28. I hope you enjoy the tour, and stay tuned for my review on September 6.

Tour Schedule

August 28th: Starter Day Party @ I Heart Reading

August 29th: Book Excerpt @ Author C.A. Milson’s Blog

August 30th: Book Excerpt and Giveaway @ CTRL Alt Books

September 2nd: Book Excerpt @ I’m an Eclectic Reader

September 4th: Author Interview @ The Resistance

September 5th:  Book Excerpt @ Editor Charlene’s Blog

September 6th: Book Review and Giveaway @ I Heart Reading

September 7th: Author Interview @ Mythical Books

September 8th: Book Excerpt @ Cassidy Crimson’s Blog

September 9th: Book Excerpt @ Morbid Romantic Reviews

September 10th: Book Excerpt @ T’s Stuff

September 12th: Book Review and Giveaway @ Bookish Madness

September 14th: Book Excerpt @ Books, Dreams, Life

September 16th: Author Interview @ The Single Libarian

September 18th: Book Excerpt @ Just Books

September 19th: Book Excerpt @ Lisa Queen of Random

September 20th: Book Excerpt and Giveaway @ Nesie’s Place

September 22nd:  Book Review @ Books are Forever

September 24th: Book Excerpt and Giveaway @ Silver Dagger Scriptorium

September 25th: Author Interview @ JB Bookworms

September 26th: Book Excerpt @ Indy Book Fairy

September 28th: Author Interview and Giveaway @ Majanka’s Blog

About the Book

Title: Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail

Author: M. Gail Grant

Genre: YA Fantasy

The enchanted secret of Lily Brooke was safe and sound, until Magdalena and her thirteen-year-old friends accidentally unleashed the revengeful demons of the past. How were they supposed to know that a friendly expedition in the woods on a stress-free Saturday morning would lead to the most intense and scary moments of their lives? So many mysterious happenings have occurred ever since they found that crooked trail leading to the sacrificial cave, and hidden monstrosity of a treehouse. With the chanting voices and shrill noises that only Magdalena could hear, the friends decide there is something sinister living amongst them. Time is of the essence to save Lily Brooke and their childhood club, the Mystical Alliance of Lily Brooke, knows it is up to them to capture the demons hiding in their community and set the town free. Witches, wizards, and some black magic may just be what it takes for Magdalena and her best friends to save the day.

Author Bio

Melinda Gail resides in Canton, Georgia with her three daughters, husband of over twenty years, and two adorable fur babies.  Surrounded by the north Georgia mountains, the scenery provides for inspirational settings for her novels. Being raised in the south, she brings a little southern flair and tradition to her characters, all the while remembering the adventurous nature of middle grades to young adult age children. With a passion for the extraordinary and imagination, Melinda hopes you enter a world of fantasy as you see life through the eyes of the characters.

Writing has always been her underlying passion in life. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, and a minor in Sociology, she felt understanding and studying human behavior on the individual and collective level, would apply to anything and everything chosen to do in life. Identified as being a strong writer for her age at the time, she attended a summer literary writer’s camp around age twelve. She flourished and loved every moment of the experience and it has stayed with her throughout adulthood.

The desire to write has always been an integral part of who Melinda is, and about eight months ago she decided it was time. Having always been an avid reader of topics from intense young adult fantasy and thrillers, to light hearted summer romances, she chose juvenile to young adult ages for her book. In middle school summers, she would stay up to the wee hours of the morning reading because she just couldn’t put the book down. This basic idea, not being able to put a book down, is the principal she built on while writing Magdalen Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail. It has moments of ease, moments of intensity, moments of humor, striving to offer some of her own personality in her writings. There is a time for sweetness, a time for seriousness, and always a time for kindness and life lessons. Her style isn’t made up. It is simply who she is, on paper.

Links

For author signed paperback and hardcover editions:   http://www.MelindaGailBooks.com

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Book Tours: Starter Day Party Krait’s Redemption

Tour Schedule

August 28th: Starter Day Party and Giveaway @ I Heart Reading

August 28th: Promo Post @ Author C.A. Milson’s Blog

August 29th: Book Review @ Book Nerd Paradise

August 31st: Book Review @ Adventures Thru Wonderland

September 2nd: Book Excerpt @ Books, Dreams, Life

September 4th: Book Excerpt @ Nesie’s Place

September 4th: Promo Post and Giveaway @ Tome Tender’s Blog

September 5th: Promo Post @ The Reader and the Chef

September 8th: Book Review @ Inkspelled Faery

September 9th: Promo Post and Giveaway @ Lukten av trykksverte

September 10th: Book Review @ The Resistance

September 11th: Promo Post @ We Booking Love It

 

About the Book

Title: Krait’s Redemption

Author: T.L. Shreffler

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release Date: September 12, 2017

With winter solstice fast approaching, Sora and her companions are running out of time. She must stop The Shade from awakening the Dark God, yet a powerful force has overtaken her Cat’s-Eye necklace, rendering the stone almost useless. To use the stone, Sora must learn to trust her instincts and embrace her own inner strength. She joins forces with unexpected allies, Lord Gracen Seabourne among them, to protect the City of Crowns. As the city dissolves into chaos, she finds herself barreling toward an epic battle that will decide the fate of mankind.

At risk to his own life, Crash returns to the Hive seeking aid against Cerastes. However, the events that led him into exile have not been forgotten. Will the Hive offer him redemption, or will they demand he pay the ultimate price for his transgressions?

Join Sora and Crash in their epic battle to save the City of Crowns!

Author Bio

T.L. Shreffler is a noblewoman living in the sunny acres of San Fernando Valley, California. She enjoys frolicking through meadows, sipping iced tea, exploring the unknown reaches of her homeland and unearthing rare artifacts in thrift stores. She holds a Bachelors in Eloquence (English) and writes YA Fantasy, Paranormal Romance and poetry. She has previously been published in Eclipse: A Literary Anthology and The Northridge Review.

Website

Twitter

Facebook

Google Plus

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Goodreads

Amazon Author Page
 

Pre-order available now!

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Bewaren

Book Review: Seven Threads by Jason Atkinson

Title: Seven Threads
Author: Jason Atkinson
Genre: Short Story Collection
Rating: 4 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

Seven Threads is a book of 7 short stories full of twists and turns. A girl on the run, a man accused of murder, a homeless man who finds his way, and much more. While each story is unique, they all offer the same human compassion that is sometimes lacking in today’s world. The reader is sure to find each story a page turner full of emotions, and left wanting more!

Seven Threads by Jason Atkinson is a collection of 7 short stories. The stories are different genres and feature unique, different characters but they all deal with a common topic: human compassion (which may or may not be lacking in the stories). One of the stories is about a man murdering his friend. Another deals with a homeless man trying to find his way. A girl running away on a train. A man saying his goodbyes to a relative.

All the stories are different but they do connect in a way, through the common theme of humanity and compassion. The stories are of decent quality, and although I preferred some over others, there weren’t any that I didn’t like at all; they were all quite enjoyable.

Fans of short stories should give this collection a shot.

Book Review and Giveaway Black and White

Title: Black and White
Author: Ben Burgess Jr
Genre: Contemporary
Age Group: Adult
Rating: 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon
Review copy provided by Enchanted Book Promotions in exchange for an honest review.

When the prestigious law firm of Wayne, Rothstein, and Lincoln catches two major cases—a rape case where a White NBA star allegedly raped a Black stripper, and a murder case where a Black rapper allegedly killed a gay couple and two policemen—Bill O’Neil and Ben Turner are tasked to handle these racially charged litigations. The cases hit emotional chords with the two lawyers and force them to reckon with their interracial relationships and families. Will the racial tension of their cases destroy them or make them stronger?

“Black and White” won the Literary Titan Book Award.

As a lawyer, I’m always intrigued when I can read books that take place in law firms or deal with the law, and Black and White fits that bill perfectly. Wayne, Rothstein and Lincoln, a prestigious law firm, is tasked to deal with two racially charged litigations in two major cases. The first case involves a white NBA star allegedly raping a black stripped. The second case involves a black ripper allegely killing a gay couple and two policemen.

Bill O’Neil and Ben Turner are two young attorneys tasked to handle these cases, which hit emotional chords with both of them. The cases are nearly impossible to win, and they will also make them question their own morals and integrity, and their relationships with others. They must also overcome their own stereotyping, and the stereotyping done by just about everyone around them, if they want to win these cases.

The story is a gritty, raw, realistic tale of injustice, of racism, of how cruel the world can be even when we believe (or try to believe) the world is fair or we act fairly. The writing is excellent, and the story pulls you in from page on. The tension is extremely high, and you can’t help but reflect yourself in the characters, relate their views to your own and learn some startling truths about yourself and the world around you.

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