Nick Wilford’s “Black & White”

I am happy to introduce Nick Wilford, a ‘new to me’ author sharing an interesting interview and a book that sounds like a great read!

 

Hello, Nick…welcome! Please tell us a little about yourself, where are you from? Where do you live now? Family? Pets?

I’m originally from Brighton, England, but moved to Glasgow, Scotland in 2003 to study journalism. As I enjoyed writing, I figured it would be good to pursue a career that involved doing it on a daily basis. I met my wonderful wife the following year, and since then I haven’t looked back! I’ve got one daughter, Eve, and two stepdaughters, Hannah and Emma. My stepson Andrew, who sadly passed away in 2013, is now our guardian angel. We’ve also got five boisterous pups who keep us on our toes – Pippa, Rudi, Tobi, Charlie, and Benji.

Where did you get the idea for Black & White?

My book is all about an ideal, disease-free society that has a darker side. There’s no dirt, and the initial idea came from a passing thought I had about how much more I could get done if everything stayed clean all the time – but it developed into something much bigger.

Why did you choose this genre (is it something you’ve written in before)?

I have written speculative fiction, with a previously published novella that was set in contemporary times, but this is the first time I’ve written a dystopian. I wouldn’t say I chose that genre though, it was just what seemed to most closely fit the genre.

Was there anything unusual, any anecdote about this book, the characters, title, process, etc, you’d like to share?

I used NaNoWriMo twice when writing this series – the first time in 2012 to start the first book, and the second time in 2014 to finish the draft of the second book. That latter occasion was the only time I’ve won! 

What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?

I’m tempted to say the title; that always seems to be the most difficult for me. With this series, however, I sat down and brainstormed one day, went out to walk the dogs, and came up with titles for the whole series!

What was the most difficult thing about this one in particular?

With this book, the society had a complete reset of history when the ruling party came into power; in other words, they deleted everything that came before, for their own nefarious purposes. I constantly had to bear in mind that there were certain things the characters wouldn’t know, and even phrases they wouldn’t say.

Do you have another occupation, other than writer? If so, what is it and do you like it?

Yes, I’m a full-time freelance editor. I definitely enjoy it, as it takes a lot of brain power, it keeps me engaged when I’m not writing, and I learn things from it all the time.

What do you love that most people don’t like and wouldn’t understand why you do?

I love getting up early to write – like 4 a.m. early. It’s perfect for me because I get pretty much total peace and it’s almost a magical time – it’s hard to write during the day because we’ve got a pretty crazy house with kids and dogs making plenty of noise. I find it really hard to sleep in late any more, and usually that’s not an option because the dogs want to get up anyway! 

What was your first job?

My first job was a paper boy – I did that from age 13 (well, a week before my birthday, which was technically illegal) up to nearly 17. It got me used to early starts, because I now get up before work to write (and work starts at 6am). I also get to tell people that I’ve always worked with words in some form!

What do you want readers to come away with after they read Black & White?

I hope that it will make readers think about issues of acceptance. Our society doesn’t seem to be getting any better in that regard, only worse. It’s still hard to believe that someone like Donald Trump can be president – and in the UK, we’ve had Brexit, which many voted for out of xenophobic reasons. None of that had happened when I started writing this, but I think it’s made it more relevant. There’s also the idea that it’s possible for one person to make a difference, which is inspiring.

Would you rather have a bad review or no review?

That’s a tough one. Is it better to have a strong adverse reaction or one of indifference? I would hate for anything to write to be greeted with “meh”. If it’s a less favourable review that has some constructive criticism, something to build on, then I’ll take it.

What genre have you never written that you’d like to write?

I would love to try my hand at a historical one day, because history is a passion of mine. It would mean a lot of research, of course, and I’m always impressed by authors who go to great lengths to make sure everything rings true. An alternate history is something that’s quite appealing, because it contains greater scope for invention.

What character in your book are you least likely to get along with and why?

Probably Ezmerelda, one of my two young teen protagonists. She’s very smart and matter-of-fact, and she’d probably get annoyed with me for failing to keep up with her speed of thinking!

How did your interest in writing originate?

The first proper things I wrote were sketches for my drama club at school. I had an idea about being some sort of comedian, and even started writing a TV sketch show with a friend. I still like to have some element of humour in my writing, even with a story that can appear quite grim, but I soon realized that I’m more comfortable staying behind the screen than trying to perform for others to see! 

Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? 

My favourite author is Terry Pratchett, and what I like about his work is that, even though it takes place in a fantastical world, it features characters you can relate to and recognize and even messages that are relevant to issues that affect us. That side of it has a large bearing on some of my own work, particularly this new series.  

Your favorite…?

Music 

My favourite band is Mansun, and my favourite album of theirs is Six, which I’m actually listening to as I write this. It’s an amazingly creative cocktail of musical ideas and lyrical thoughts, some of which overlap each other, but you can make out of it whatever you want. It’s like a haunting dreamscape and inspires me a lot.

Place you’ve visited

 I went backpacking when I was younger and visited Uluru in Australia. It was a breathtaking sight, especially watching the sun go down behind it and the sky sift through changing shades of pink and orange into black. Getting to climb up it and sit on top was cool too! 

Place you’d like to visit 

I’ve always wanted to see the pyramids and Sphinx in Egypt and still hope to get there some day. 

TV show from childhood 

My favourite program as a kid was Red Dwarf, about the last survivor of the human race who is stranded on a spaceship 3 million years in the future, with a hologram, a robot, and a humanoid creature who evolved from his cat as company. It’s brilliantly observed character comedy, with some neat sci-fi concepts in there as well. 

TV show from adulthood 

Well, actually my favourite show is Red Dwarf. I’m kind of stuck in my ways! But The Big Bang Theory is something that I’ve really enjoyed recently. 

Which do you prefer: Board games/card games or television?

We don’t play board games as much as we watch TV, so I’d have to say I enjoy them more as they’re more of a treat. They do bring out my competitive side a bit too much though!

Thank you, Nick…I enjoyed learning more about you. I am so glad you joined me today!

Nick’s Question to readers:

Do you enjoy speculative fiction? Is there a particular type that you prefer and why?

a Rafflecopter giveaway

I’ll pick the winners after the tour. The prizes are three e-copies of my collection A Change of Mind and Other Stories and a $10 Amazon giftcard.

Blurb:

What is the price paid for the creation of a perfect society?

In Whitopolis, a gleamingly white city of the future where illness has been eradicated, shock waves run through the populace when a bedraggled, dirt-stricken boy materialises in the main street. Led by government propaganda, most citizens shun him as a demon, except for Wellesbury Noon – a high school student the same age as the boy.

Upon befriending the boy, Wellesbury feels a connection that he can’t explain – as well as discovering that his new friend comes from a land that is stricken by disease and only has two weeks to live. Why do he and a girl named Ezmerelda Dontible appear to be the only ones who want to help?

As they dig deeper, everything they know is turned on its head – and a race to save one boy becomes a struggle to redeem humanity.

Excerpt:

(This is the opening of the book)

At first no one could explain how the strange boy came to be there in the middle of the street. One minute it was just the gleaming and silent hovercars, the next minute there he was, like a blot on the landscape. One of the vehicles bumped him as he materialised, but it didn’t seem to bother him. That, at least, was no surprise to the crowd of onlookers who quickly gathered around this curiosity.

“Who are you, boy?”

“He just popped out of thin air!”

“What is that dark substance on your skin, and clothes? I’ve never seen the like!”

Mallinger was a sight unlike any ever witnessed by the citizens of this unnaturally clean city. Black streaks of grime marred what would otherwise have been an appealing face. His brown hair hung shoulder-length, lank with grease, and seemed to contain things that were… alive. And his clothing seemed to be one loose thread away from falling apart: he wore a grubby tunic that could have been white in a different millennium, a brown waistcoat that seemed to be made from some sort of muslin cloth, and ill-fitting britches worn to a shine not just at the knees, but over their entire surface.

All were just as dirty as the boy’s face and other areas of skin that could be seen through the various holes in these garments. But of course the onlookers had no words for things like “dirt” and “grease”. The boy seemed just as alien to them as a visitor from the planet Zarglemoof, a place of which they also had no concept, being outside the confines of the land of Harmonia.

The lad was shielding his eyes, as if blinded by his surroundings. Nonetheless, he became aware of a tall and officious-looking man in front of him, who gave the impression of being in charge. He wore an immaculately tailored suit and bowler hat, which were – like all the other citizens’ clothing – all white.

“Where did you come from, boy?” His tone was not unkind.

The boy kept his eyes fixed on his threadbare shoes, as if trying to anchor himself in this unfamiliar environment.

“Fusterbury,” he managed at last, in a voice which seemed too guttural and deep for a boy of his size.

The man frowned. “Where? I know of no such place in the land of Harmonia.”

“Perhaps he’s a devil,” shouted a woman in the crowd. “He should be arrested!”

“Hush!” said the man. “I see no grounds for such an accusation.

“Now tell me, boy,” he said, hunkering down to meet the boy’s eyes. “What is this strange substance on your face and hands?”

The boy rubbed his fingers down his cheek, frowning in confusion. “Well, it’s just… dirt.”

“Dirt?” The man said the word as if trying it out for the very first time. “Is it… a part of your skin?”

“Well, it feels like it is. It’s been there for as long as I can remember.”

Buy links: Amazon US / Amazon UK / Smashwords / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / iBooks

Add on Goodreads

Bio: Nick Wilford is a writer and stay-at-home dad. Once a journalist, he now makes use of those early morning times when the house is quiet to explore the realms of fiction, with a little freelance editing and formatting thrown in. When not working he can usually be found spending time with his family or cleaning something. He is the author of A Change of Mind and Other Stories, a collection featuring a novella and five short stories, four of which were previously published in Writer’s Muse magazine. Nick is also the editor of Overcoming Adversity: An Anthology for Andrew.

Contact links: Blog / Twitter / Facebook / Goodreads / Amazon

 

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A Plethora of #99Cent Ebooks!!! September 2017 #BargainBooks

99 Cent Ebooks galore

Check out our monthly list of 99 cent reads. All different genres, all great bargains!

Hope you discover some excellent reads!

PLEASE CONFIRM BEFORE ORDERING!!! – We are not responsible if prices are no longer 99 cents

 

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Let’s Make a Baby! by Jacqueline Diamond (romantic comedy)

 

 

She’s a virgin. All she has to do is seduce a stranger, get pregnant and disappear. What could go wrong? But Lisa’s daring plan to produce an heir for her aristocratic family and circumvent an arranged marriage goes wildly astray.

Find Jacqueline Diamond here: http://www.jacquelinediamond.com/

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A Scarlet Woman: The Fitzgeralds of Dublin Book One by Lorna Peel (Historical Romance)

 

 

Can Isobel escape her past? Or will she always be seen as a scarlet woman?

 

Find Lorna Peel here: https://lornapeel.com

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The Pilot (An Outer Rim Novel: Book 1)

 

 

Sparks fly between a free-spirited risk taker and a rule-bound administrator in this out-of-this-world adventure.

 

Find Diane Burton here: http://amzn.com/e/B00683MH5E

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Lady Tamsyn and the Pixie’s Curse by Deb Marlowe (Regency)

 

 

Her father inherited an earldom and a castle. Has Lady Tamsyn inherited a curse? It’s what it feels like when she discovers that she can see the truth behind the lies that men tell–except for Mr. Gryffyn Cardew–in a sea of lies, he is the one who always tells her the truth.

 

Find Deb Marlowe at http://www.DebMarlowe.com

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Yours, Mine and Ours by Jacqueline Diamond (romantic comedy)

 

 

She’s the new nanny to her own triplets! After Robin donated eggs, she never knew whether children resulted. Then she starts work for widower Flint Harris, whose children keep driving away nannies. Robin isn’t looking for love or for her kids, but she’s about to find both.

 

Find Jacqueline here: http://www.jacquelinediamond.com

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Dear Lonely in L.A. … by Jacqueline Diamond (romantic comedy)

 

 

He’s a billionaire. She’s a high school teacher. They’re both in disguise, on the trail of a crook… and falling dangerously in love. Affair de Coeur called this romantic comedy by the USA Today bestselling author of Designer Genes an “unforgettable romance!”

 

Find Jacqueline here: http://www.jacquelinediamond.com

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Surrender to Sanctuary by Leah St. James

 

 

FBI agents Anna Parker and David Owens go undercover into a world of domination and submission to solve a murder at the Jersey Shore.

 

Find Leah here: http://www.LeahSt.James.com

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ADAM: Her Deal Maker by Monique DeVere (Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Romantic Comedy)

 

 

Making a sexy deal with the deal-maker… Flying sightseers over California is part of helicopter pilot Lacey Sanders’ job. The other part is denying her attraction for hot-bod fellow pilot Adam Swank.

 

Find Monique DeVere here: https://www.facebook.com/moniquedevere/

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DILLON: Her Rule Breaker by Monique DeVere (Sweet ‘n’ Spicy Romantic Comedy)

 

 

Breaking the rules with his best friend’s sister has never felt so right! when Dillon agreed to keep an eye on his buddy’s little sister, he was certain he’d have no problem honoring their friendship. Until…

 

Find Monique DeVere here: http://moniquedevere.blogspot.co.uk/

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Blame It On Chocolate by Joan Reeves (Contemporary Romance)

 

 

Chloe was a good girl–until Hunter Cole returned to town. (A Moment in Time Short Story Romance)

 

Find JOAN REEVES here: https://www.amazon.com/author/joanreeves

S

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Last Chance New Year (Contemporary Romance) by Joan Reeves

 

 

If you can’t yield to insanity and confess your love at New Year’s, when can you? (A Moment in Time Short Story Romance)

 

Find JOAN here: https://www.amazon.com/author/joanreeves

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Kiss Me, Thrill Me by Joan Reeves & Others (Contemporary Romance Collection)

 

 

All of these emotion-drenched love stories will touch the hopeful romantic in you and make you believe in the magic of love.

 

Find JOAN REEVES here: https://www.amazon.com/author/joanreeves

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Naughty Escapes: Eleven Naughty Vacation Getaways by The Naughty Literati (Romance)

 

 

Last chance to grab this vacation romance! Naughty Escapes: Eleven Naughty Vacation Getaways including BBW, BDSM, Contemporary, Dark Fantasy, M/M, Ménage, Paranormal, & Shapeshifter romances from bestselling authors writing as The Naughty Literati!

 

Check out the Naughty Literati Bookshelf for more anthologies! http://naughtyliterati.com/naughtybookshelf/

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Naughty Flames: Eleven Fiery Romances by The Naughty Literati (Romance)

 

 

Last chance to grab this romance! Naughty Flames: Eleven Fiery Romances includes Contemporary, Fantasy, Historical, Menage, New Adult, Paranormal, Romantic Comedy, Romantic Suspense, Rubenesque, Shapeshifter, and Stepbrother romance from bestselling authors writing as The Naughty Literati!

 

Check out the Naughty Literati Bookshelf for more anthologies! http://naughtyliterati.com/naughtybookshelf/

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A Merry Little Christmas (sweet contemporary romance)

 

 

Merry Connor is struggling to feed her two children, pay heat bills and fix her secondhand car. Though she’s barely making it financially, life is good–that is, compared to two years ago when she lost everything—thanks to her lying, deceiving ex-husband. She’s come a long way since then and doesn’t intend to look back. Even so, it’ll be a long time before she trusts anyone with her heart again.

 

Find Denise Devine here: http://www.amazon.com/author/denisedevine

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Thicker than Water – Romantic Suspense Short Story by Alicia Dean

You can run from your past, but you cannot hide… A story about lifelong friendships, deadly secrets, and a cursed doll.

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Ten Things I Learned On My Writing Journey by Liz Tyner ~ #Giveaway & The Wallflower Duchess

Please help me welcome my friend, Liz Tyner. I LOVE this girl so much!! She’s talented and sweet and funny and smart. What’s not to love? She has some excellent advice for us today. PLUS, she’s giving away a prize!! One lucky commenter will receive a copy of her book,  Wallflower Duchess and a Swag Surprise Gift from RWA17.

https://www.harlequin.com/shop/books/9780373629053_the-wallflower-duchess.html

Ten Things I Learned On My Writing Journey

  1. A novel is a series of mini stories. Little scenes, one leading to the next.
  2. Each scene should move the story forward. You can test that quickly by summarizing, in one sentence, what happened in the scene. Those sentences, read in order, are a novel’s plot.
  3. Something in the scene should make it real or individual. For instance, a character takes a bite of an orange and grabs a napkin.
  4. A scene should have a “sense” included besides visual, such as the taste of the orange, the feel of the juice sticking on the face or the sound of a napkin box falling to the floor.
  5. Usually, the minor characters shouldn’t pull attention from the main characters or plot, but background is very important to create reality for the reader. Try to point out a bit of individuality in each background character and each scene. A chipped tooth on a smile. Straightening a picture of the leaning tower of Pisa.
  6. Boredom is bad. Imagine how many times you walk by pictures on the wall in your home, and no matter how much you liked them at first, you ignore them. Put new art up, and it’s fresh for a while, but then you start ignoring it again. Push yourself to put freshness throughout each book.
  7. No matter how stunningly wonderful your story is, it’s not going to appeal to most people because most people only read one book on average per year. They prefer other things. You’re writing for a select group of people, and one in particular—yourself.
  8. If you want people to read your book, plan to market. With millions of books to choose from, a reader who would like to read your story simply cannot find you without help. Marketing creates a road map to the location of your book. A chance to tell someone who is searching for that style of story where they can locate it.
  9. Don’t compare yourself to people quickly volunteering information about sales and income. People “spin” their writing lives. Most multi-published authors are a “bestselling author” or “prize winning author” in some form or another.
  10. The paperwork on a writing business is a pain, and grows as the business grows. You’re going to have expenses. If you’re serious about writing, you’ll have income taxes to pay. Plus the social security tax is around 15%. Add an agent, and a good rule of thumb is to halve your royalties by 50%. In other words, an agented author with a major publisher will most likely only net about half an advance.
  11. (Bonus) Writing is hard, but most important journeys are And copyrights are scheduled to last about 70 years longer than the life of the author. Which feels good. Now—imagine how many free books those authors starting 100 years from now will have to contend with…

Wow…fabulous, Liz!! Very helpful info. I’m definitely going to keep this handy. Thank you so much for joining me today!

BIO:

I’ve had six novels published, which in today’s writing world, is a small number. But I’ve had editions published in ten countries and my author copies arrive with the Harper Collins imprint on the box. My last novel, The Wallflower Duchess, hit a bestseller list. (See point number 9. Immediately.)

http://www.liztyner.com/

 

Excerpts:

“Capt’n. There’s yer mermaid.”

–First sentence in A Captain and a Rogue.

“I don’t eat hearts,” Bellona inserted, directing a look straight into the vile man. “Only brains. You are safe.”

–Forbidden to Duke

“My husband confessed to me that he’d only married me because his parents hated me so much—and that they’d been right.”

—The Notorious Countess

An unmarked grave would not fulfill her dreams.

—The Runaway Governess

“The two of you are not to fight. Brothers must be kind to their sister.”

“I am. She likes hitting me with the doll and I like calling her names.”

—Safe in the Earl’s Arms

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August Featured Books – #Suspense #Paranormal Romance #Contemporary Romance #Horror

Looking for something new and fabulous to read? Try these…

 

Vengeance is Mine by Kat Henry Doran

$3.99

Ever consider going back to study hall and face down the school bully?
The mean girls?
The brainless jocks who made your life a pure misery?
For Dru Horvath, gypsy orphan turned Pulitzer Prize winner; Rafe Archangeli, once the Scourge of Summerville and now leader of a multi-million dollar trust; and Fiona “Fat Aggie” Thorpe, current high fashion model with her own A-list agency, the opportunity to exact revenge is too good to pass up.
Will they find vengeance they crave?
Or something more valuable?

What they are saying about. . .
“Mad Dog and Archangel”
“. . .intriguing character . . . awesome depth and complexity. Can’t wait to see what this awesome author has in store for new [and old] fans. . .”
Reviews by Molly
“The List”
“. . . you gotta love a woman that strong. . . at one point in our lives we all had one like that . . .”
3 Hearts, Sizzling Hot Books

“. . .one woman’s quest to prove old classmates wrong. . . a very good read and one I’d recommend. . .” 4 Hearts, The Romance Studio

“Embraceable You”
“. . .profound characters. . .poignant and meaningful subplot put this one near the top of the list of favorites. . . grab your lunch box and don’t miss this one!”
Nights and Weekends

“. . . Author does a good job making clear the instant attraction between the hero and heroine . . . kept me interested from the prologue to the very last page. . .”
5 Hearts, The Romance Studio

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A Deep Thing by A.K. Smith

$2.80

What was her husband hiding in the jungles of Mexico?

Rocked by her husband’s tragic death, Kendall Jackson strives to put her life back together. But Ryder, her nineteen-year-old stepson, is bitter and wants nothing to do with her. And she can’t keep the grief at bay. Sometimes, it’s so strong, she wonders if life is worth living.

A call from a cave diver in Mexico gives her hope of mending the relationship with her stepson. Before his death, her husband arranged a diving expedition as a birthday gift for his son. Kendall persuades Ryder to honor his father’s last wish.

From the campus of Western Maryland College to the woods of Camp David and the caves of the Yucatán, Kendall and Ryder take a journey to discover what her husband worked so hard to hide, and to protect his treasured secrets from falling into the wrong hands. The choices they make will decide their fate and the future of others. Will they risk everything for the truth?

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Haunting of Hotel LaBelle by Sharon Buchbinder

$3.99

When hotel inspector, Tallulah Thompson, is called in along with her pug, Franny, to investigate renovation delays, she meets an extremely annoyed and dapper turn-of-the-century innkeeper. The only problem is he’s in limbo, neither dead nor alive, and Tallulah and the pug are the first to see him in a hundred years.

Cursed by a medicine woman, “Love ‘em and Leave ‘em Lucius” Stewart is stuck between worlds until he finds his true love and gives her his heart. When he first sees Tallulah, he doesn’t know what he’s feeling. Yet, her stunning beauty, and feisty attitude pull him in.

With the fate of Hotel LaBelle on the line, Tallulah with the help of a powerful medicine woman turns Lucius back into a flesh and blood man. She and Lucius team up to save the hotel, but Tallulah can’t help but wonder if he will ever let go of his past love and learn to love again.

  

  

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“10 Moments That Changed My Life” by Allie Boniface ~ New Release: Summer’s Song

Please help me welcome author Allie Boniface. She’s sharing a riveting list of moments that changed her life, PLUS, her new release sounds like a fantastic read!

First off, thanks to Alicia for hosting me here today! I’m excited to be celebrating the re-release of my 4-book Pine Point series with Entangled Publishing: Summer’s Song, Winter’s Wonder, Spring Secrets, and Autumn Allure. They’re all set in the small town of Pine Point, where secrets, suspense, and quirky characters abound. I hope you’ll check them out!

And now, a little about me. Thinking of 10 moments that changed my life was a rather challenging task for this blog post. I’m sure there are others that might have made the cut, but in sitting down to write, these are the ones that came to mind (in roughly chronological order):

    1. Going to college – This wasn’t really a single moment, but freshman year of college was so profound for me because I went from living in a small, very homogenous town to a competitive, prestigious university with students from all over the country. I met so many people from all walks of life, so many vastly intelligent people who’d experienced life so differently than I had to that point. It really opened my eyes.
    2. Adopting my first fur-baby – After I’d finished graduate school and was teaching in the community college system, living on my own in Cleveland, OH, I adopted my first cat, Smooch, from the local shelter. It might sound silly to some, but being wholly responsible for another living being for the first time really taught me a level of responsibility and compassion that I didn’t have before.
    3. My first (and current) full-time teaching job – In 1997, I accepted the job I currently have, teaching English at a career & technical education center. In the course of 20 years, I’ve learned a lot about teaching teenagers, won a couple of teaching awards, developed curriculum for a brand new program, mentored I-don’t-know-how-many other teachers, and met my husband. It definitely changed my life!
    4. My wedding day – My husband was actually on the interview committee that hired me. We started dating 6 months later (we were also team teaching in the same classroom!) and got married on July 6, 2001.
    5. September 11, 2001 – I live about an hour north of NYC, so the terrorist attacks literally hit close to home. I lost a friend from college, as well as neighbors who were working as firefighters that day. Most profoundly, though, that day was what kick-started my pursuit of writing seriously for publication. I had always said “Someday I’d like to publish a book.” September 11 reminded me that “someday” isn’t guaranteed. If we want to do things, we should do them now, and not wait for some other, better time down the road.
    6. Traveling abroad for the first time – I didn’t leave the USA until 2005, when my husband and I joined my sister and brother-in-law on a 10-day trip through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and the Czech Republic. It was amazing, to say the least. I now love traveling to other countries, not just for the beauty and the history, but because you can learn so much about yourself and others when you’re out of your comfort zone. I recommend international travel to everyone!
    7. Publishing my first book – About 6 years after I decided to get serious about publishing a novel, The Promise of Paradise (originally titled Lost in Paradise) was published by The Wild Rose Press! I went on to publish with Samhain Publishing, Lyrical Press, and most currently, Entangled Publishing. I’ve also indie published several titles and hit the USA Today best-sellers’ list in 2015 with a boxed set, Passionate Kisses.
    8. My father’s death – On January 10, 2009, my father passed away from cancer. We were very close, and he was a young 66. I miss him every day.
    9. Losing my dream teaching assignment – In 2014, due mostly to political reasons in my school district, the program I had built from the ground up was dismantled. That was my dream job, teaching college English to honor students and mentoring students who wanted to pursue careers in the education field. Though I continue to teach at the same school, my assignment is now very different. I do miss my old position, though the change has forced me to find new ways to define myself outside of teaching.
    10. Founding a non-profit organization – One of these “new ways” has taken place in my very own small town, where I’ve joined a group of 8 other people in establishing a non-profit organization that recently bought a 100-year old school building in town, saving it from demolition. Our plans are to renovate the building and turn it into a community center that offers classes, events, activities, resources, and more for our rural area. It’s something I’ve never been involved with before, and I’m learning a lot!

    Well, that trip down Memory Lane was kind of fun. Thanks for sticking around to find out about my “10 Moments.” I hope you’ll take a peek at Pine Point and my small town romance series before you go. Each book is only $0.99 through August 27th!

     

Blurb:

  • Summer Thompson doesn’t remember the night her brother died, and she certainly doesn’t want to go back to Pine Point and face any memories that might be awoken there. But ten years after leaving her small hometown, she’s back to settle her estranged father’s estate and be rid of the half-renovated mansion she’s inherited. What she doesn’t expect is to find the house occupied by a hunky handyman reluctant to talk about his past.Damian Knight has been helping his mother and sister hide from a brutal stalker, but now the peace and carefully guarded safety they’ve found in Pine Point is in danger. The refuge they live in is about to be sold out from under them by the lovely but haunted Summer, a woman who quickly finds her way through Damian’s defenses and steals his heart.But in a small town full of powerful secrets, the past won’t remain buried. Summer has to face her memories and could lose the man she loves, and maybe even her life.Each book in the Pine Point series is a standalone story that can be enjoyed in any order:

    Book #1: Summer’s Song
    Book #2: Winter Wonder
    Book #3: Spring Secrets
    Book #4: Autumn Allure

     

Excerpt:

  • “Hey, you can’t go up there.” A strong hand grabbed her elbow.Summer turned with a start. “Why not?”“Not safe yet.” He motioned to the steps, and when she looked closer, she saw a missing riser that gaped like a placid crocodile, ready to snatch up her unsuspecting foot.“Oh.” She smiled an apology at Mac’s assistant.

    He was tall, with light brown hair and deep blue eyes, and his broad, shirtless chest shone with sweat. Muscular biceps, no doubt made strong from summer labor, twitched as he reached for an itch between his shoulder blades. Summer swallowed and tried to chase away a crazy urge to scratch the spot for him.

    “I’m Summer Thompson, by the way.” She reached out a hand in greeting. “The—ah—the new owner of this place.

    He studied her with a serious expression. “So I guessed. Damian Knight.”

    The one who’s renting the farmhouse. “Listen, I…” She meant to talk to him about that, but she couldn’t quite process the words as his blue eyes locked with hers. He hadn’t yet dropped her hand, which she didn’t mind in the least. Strong. Warm. Sending electricity straight through her

    “Summer!”

    Mac’s hand on her shoulder broke her reverie. Summer turned and plastered on a smile she hoped looked normal. “Hi, Mac.”

    “Can’t believe you’re here.” He shook his head and grinned, and she glimpsed the chipped front teeth she remembered from high school.

    “Well, I wanted to see the house. I just…” She faltered. “I just found out about it.”

    “I know. Your father wanted it to be a surprise for you. Sorry about your loss, by the way.” He looked over his shoulder. “He did a great thing, buying this place. Wish he could have seen it finished.” Mac gestured around the yard. “We’re working on the roof today, obviously. Got another day or so before it’s done. There’s some interior work to do after that. And don’t use these front steps, okay? We still gotta replace a few.”

    “Can I see the inside?” she asked. She wanted an idea of the mess she was dealing with. But her doubt grew as she looked around. The needed repairs seemed overwhelming, and those were just the ones she could see.

    Damian ran one hand through his hair and sent a cloud of sawdust flying. A grin touched his eyes and, for a brief second, Summer saw her own reflection in his gaze. She looked small and dark, a little girl floating on the blue of his iris. He smiled, and in the sunlight, the blue deepened until she felt like she was falling inside it, floating, forgetting who and where she was. Something jumped in her stomach, and her palms tingled. Knights in Pine Point? There hadn’t been any for as long as she could remember

    Don’t fall for the guy whose heart you have to break tomorrow…

    Buy link(s):

    Entangled Store: https://entangledpublishing.com/summer-s-song.html

    Amazon: http://bit.ly/SummersSongAmazon

    Apple: http://bit.ly/SummerSongApple

    B&N: http://bit.ly/SummersSongNook

Bio:

  • Allie Boniface is the USA Today best-selling author of over a dozen novels, including the Cocktail Cruise, Hometown Heroes, and Pine Point series. Her books are most often set in small towns and feature emotional romance with relatable characters you’ll know and love.A graduate of the University of Rochester and Case Western Reserve University, Allie is a full-time high school English teacher in the beautiful Hudson Valley of New York. When she isn’t teaching or writing, she and her husband love to travel.Take some time to browse around Allie’s website, check out new and upcoming releases, and sign up for her newsletter. You can join Allie’s All-Stars too, an exclusive readers’ group on Facebook where fans and friends chat about life, characters and story ideas, and have exclusive access to prizes, giveaways, and early sales!
    Contact links:
    Website: www.allieboniface.comFacebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorAllieBoniface

    Allie’s All-Stars: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AllieBonifaceAllStars/

    Twitter: @AllieBoniface1

    Newsletter Sign-up: http://bit.ly/AlliesNews

 

 

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Book Cover Strategy with Sorchia DuBois_

Please help me welcome… (Be sure to check out her adorable author pic!!)

Sorchia DuBois__Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones currently for sale and a preview of upcoming release Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen

Book Cover Strategery

Don’t judge a book by its cover is a great metaphor for life and relationships, but when it comes to literal books we do literally judge them by their literal covers. In a few weeks, I’ll be sending my request for a cover to my publisher. While I don’t have total control over the result, I can make suggestions. Trouble is—I’m never sure what to ask for. So I’m asking for help.

We authors put a lot of time and effort into designing covers people will notice. We try to make the cover an illustrated promise of the content. Two things that have a huge impact on a cover are genre and audience.

Now my book happens to be:

  • A romance.
  • The second in a series of three.
  • About witches. Not green ones, but modern-day, cat-loving, job-having, curly-fry eating, car-driving witches who just happen to have a particular skill set.
  • Set in present day time in locations including Arkansas, New Orleans, the Gulf of Mexico, the Yucatan jungle, and Scotland.
  • Infested with voodoo and modern day pirates along with seductive male witches, evil priestesses, Columbian emeralds, betrayal, hurricanes, and true love.
  • About the protagonist’s growth as a woman as much as about romance and mystery and magic.

My audience is primarily women over 21. I don’t think there is an upper limit because I’m mumblety years old myself but I still think of myself as a vibrant and youngish person.  They are a free-thinking, independent group and they have the scars to prove it. They like challenges and mystery, and they like men—or is that redundant? They also like diversity, adventure, and spooky stuff. They want steamy romance as long as it isn’t gratuitous and they dearly love twists and turns. They are intelligent and will not put up with stereotypes. Each and every one of them has a quirky sense of humor. They do not adhere to cultural norms unless said norms make sense to them—they don’t follow the crowd.

So how do I appeal to these gals with a cover that begs them to read the book? What will pique their interest? This is where I need your help because I suspect the preceding paragraph is a description of YOU.

If you want to help, follow this link https://goo.gl/forms/g9tzwNtXosXeHaYi1 to fill out a short survey of your cover preferences. It will take you about a minute and a half to do this and your responses will help me immensely. If you are interested in seeing the results, I’ll post them on my blog at www.sorchiadubois.com on August 25. You can hop over there and follow the blog or you can follow me on Twitter or FB.

As a reward, here’s a tiny preview of Zoraida Grey and the Voodoo Queen, book 2 in my Zoraida Grey series. I hope to release this book Fall 2017.

The wooden screen door, swollen with the summer humidity, rasps as he pushes it open. “I never knew such a place existed where you could go naked and still be too warm.  It is like walking about in a warm bath all day. ”

“So––feel better after your shower? A little less like an asshole, maybe?”

“I said I was sorry.” Shea balances his sandwich, two glasses, and the depleted bottle of Laphroaig in one hand. Even in the near dark, his gaudy Bermuda shorts give off a subtle glow.

“Who picks out your clothes anyway? Or do you find them in dumpsters?”

The whisky he hands me is cold but neat. He sinks into the lawn chair beside me. “I’ll have you know these shorts come highly recommended as standard American togs by no less than Constable MacCaig himself. I have three more just like them.”

Short, round, nearly bald, but with a detective’s discerning gray eyes, the image of Constable MacCaig makes me smile. Nothing in Black Bridge, Scotland, gets past Constable MacCaig––not even the witches in Castle Logan.

“Who knew Constable MacCaig was such a fashionista? At least we won’t have trouble finding you in the snow, come winter.” The faint light of the crescent moon shimmers faintly from indigo tattoos twining up his right arm and down his torso. I give myself another mental shake and concentrate on my whisky. “How did you and Constable MacCaig get so chummy?”

He does not reply immediately, but takes a drink. The muscles in his jaw knot. “We did not start out as chums.”

“And thereby hangs a tale, I guess.”

“Not a pleasant one. He accused me of spiriting his daughter away.”

After he pulled me out of the oubliette, Shea sent me to Constable and Mrs. MacCaig. A nurse, Mrs. MacCaig bandaged my wounds. Since I fled wearing only my underwear and bathrobe, she gave me clothes for the journey back to Arkansas––her daughter’s clothes. The coat, sweater, and jeans are tumbling in my dryer right now.

“MacCaig wouldn’t accuse you if he didn’t have reason.” My tone is harsher than I intend. I am an expert in the way male Logan witches manipulate, persuade, seduce. “That’s something I would expect from Michael, more than you.”

“Really?” His profile is black against the glow of the streetlights and the sky. “In this case, you would be mostly correct.”

A chill crawls down my back like a spider with eight cold feet. “What happened to her?”

He shakes his head, concentrating on the glass of whisky intently before he drains it. “I’m not certain.”

How deep into Michael’s plans is Shea––how much has he done and how much more does he plan to do to keep Michael’s trust? Whether he intends to prove his loyalty to Michael or to take Michael’s place as laird of the Logan witches, he’ll need help. He’ll need the Stone of Adamantine.

Johnny Lee Hooker slinks along the porch rail. His tail twitches and his ears cup toward the woods as the moon breaks free of the tree branches. A whippoorwill calls from the fringe of woodland, but this bubble of peace extends only so far. Outside, the world is uncertain and scary. On my very own porch, Shea Logan is proof of that.

Pick up the first book in the series, Zoraida Grey and the Family Stones.

Blurb:

Granny’s dying, but Zoraida can save her with a magic crystal of smoky quartz. Too bad the crystal is in Scotland––in a haunted castle––guarded by mind-reading, psychopathic sorcerers.

Getting inside Castle Logan is easy. Getting out––not so much. Before she can snatch the stone, Zoraida stumbles into a family feud, uncovers a wicked ancient curse, and finds herself ensorcelled by not one but two handsome Scottish witches. Up to their necks in family intrigue and smack-dab in the middle of a simmering clan war, Zoraida and her best friend Zhu discover Granny hasn’t told them everything.

Not by a long shot. 

Barnes and Noble: http://bit.ly/ZGandFSBN

Amazon:   http://bit.ly/ZGandtheFS_AMZN 

KOBO: http://bit.ly/ZGandFSKOBO

Wild Rose Press:http://bit.ly/ZGandFSWR

Author Bio:

Sorchia DuBois lives in the wilds of southern Missouri with seven cats, three fish, one dog, and one husband. She enjoys a splash of single malt Scotch from time to time and can often be found at Scottish festivals watching kilted men toss heavy objects.

Her stories blend legends, magic, mystery, romance, and adventure into enchanted Celtic knots. Halloween is her favorite time of year (she starts decorating in August and doesn’t take it down until February) and her characters tend to be mouthy, stubborn, and a bit foolhardy. Nothing makes her happier than long conversations in the evening, trips to interesting places, and writing until the wee hours of the morning. Well, chocolate cake makes her pretty happy, too.

I’m online everywhere.

Blog/Website:

www.SorchiaDubois.com

Twitter:

https://twitter.com/SorchiaDubois

Pinterest:

www.pinterest.com/SorchiaDubois/

Facebook:

www.facebook.com/SorchiaD

Amazon author page:

http://www.amazon.com/SorchiaDuBois/e/B00B60NOUQ/

Goodreads  author page:

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6879978.Sorchia_DuBois

Google +:  google.com/+SorchiaDuBois

 

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Getting to Know Leanna Sain ~ New Release: Half-Moon Lake

I’m extremely happy to introduce today’s guest. Leanna Sain is one of my authors at The Wild Rose Press, and I LOVE her writing! 

 

Please tell us a little about yourself, Leanna

I’m a NC girl through and through. I live in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of western NC on a small organic farm where we grow an abundance of fresh fruit, veggies, and cage-free eggs. I’ve been married to my best friend for almost 32 years, and have two grown sons and  one grandson. My husband and I own and operate a high-end custom Amish furniture store, and when I’m not writing, I do free-lance portrait paintings.

How did you come up with the idea for Half-Moon Lake?

The story seed for Half-Moon Lake came while my husband and I were travelling through the Nantahalla Valley on a furniture delivery. It was while winding along that mountain road that I saw a school bus that was almost completely covered in kudzu. Ding! My mind immediately set to work. My genre is romantic suspense, so I needed a couple. Ta-Dah! Kate and Levi. Kate is an identical twin, but doesn’t know it. Her sister drowned in the waters of Half-Moon Lake when she was nine and the trauma caused her mind to block all memories prior to that time. It’s not until she’s summoned back to Half-Moon Lake for the reading of her father’s will that she discovers everything about her life has been a lie. Digging for truth only seems to uncover more mystery and danger. Levi is the childhood sweetheart she can’t remember, but there’s no problem with making lots of new memories.

What is the most difficult thing about writing a book?

To me, the most difficult thing about writing a book is the re-writing, and re-writing, and re-writing. Bleh! I have a blast with the initial writing. It’s the monotony of re-writing that gets me bogged down.

Do you have any tips or tricks to share about your writing?

A trick I try to use with my books is tying the stories together if I can. So far, I’ve been able to tie both books in my GRITS series with my “Gate” trilogy. I think it’s a special treat to those who have read those books already and I hope it piques the interest of those who haven’t yet.

Is there a book you wish you’d written?

A book that I’ve read (multiple times) that I wish I’d written is Outlander, by Diana Galbaldon. She’s the ultimate story-teller as far as I’m concerned.

What is your favorite quote?

My favorite quote is from one of the Harry Potter books. Albus Dumbledore speaking: “Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it.”

What is your most prized material possession?

My laptop. All my notes, and stories, and photos, and music are captured in it.

Have you written other books that have not been published?

Yes, I’ve written other books which haven’t been published…yet. Two are complete, one is about half done and two more have been started.  Also notes and outlines for another trilogy. Ideas for a hundred more. I’ll have to live forever to get them all written.

Are your characters taken from people you know or completely made up?

My characters share characteristics from people I know (sometimes a bit of ME,) but mostly they’re from my imagination.

How do you come up with your titles?

The titles come up with themselves. None of them have been changed by my publishers yet.

Thank you for joining me! It was fun getting to know you better. Now, please tell us about your book:

 

Blurb

When Kathryn Dorne is summoned to Half-Moon Lake for the reading of her father’s will, she discovers a shocking truth: everything in her life—including her name—is a lie.

Learning that her name is Katelyn Eubanks is only the first surprise. Second, she had an identical twin sister who drowned at the age of nine. Since Katelyn can’t remember anything prior to that age, it seems more than mere coincidence. The biggest surprise is that her father, a man she never knew existed, left his entire estate to her, enraging other would-be heirs.

With her unremembered, but closest childhood friend, Levi, as well as help from the estate’s deaf-mute gardener, and the outspoken cook, Katelyn searches for answers to questions that have plagued her all her life, but doing so, opens the proverbial Pandora’s box.  As her memories return, so does the terrible danger she escaped fifteen years earlier.

Excerpt

I awakened to the sound of my own scream. Breathless, heart pounding, pajamas drenched in sweat, I was desperate, clawing at the tangle of sheets wrapped around me.

“Nooo,” I whimpered. “No, please…no!”

I stared, with wide eyes, at the ceiling, concentrating on the shimmery patterns cast by the outside lights around the pool, and gulped deep breaths in an effort to calm down, all while my heart and mind raced.

The nightmare was back. It had plagued me almost every night since I was nine, but about two years ago it stopped, and I thought I’d finally outgrown it. Looked like I was wrong, and begging wouldn’t change anything. Disappointment left a bitter taste in my mouth Why now? What made it return? What could’ve triggered it?

The letter. That had to be it. Everything had been going fine…well, as fine as I could expect things to go in my dysfunctional life, and then I’d gotten yesterday’s mail. There had to be a connection. Maybe—

No! If I allowed my mind to start thinking about it, picking apart every sentence, mulling over what every little thing could mean, I’d never get back to sleep. Tomorrow would be—I glanced at the clock—correction…today was going to be a big day. I needed all the rest I could get if I expected to be able to face it. “Go back to sleep, Kate.”

I flipped my pillow over to the “good dream” side, and twisting my long hair up away from her neck, I sank back into the pillow’s cool softness. It might be silly to still practice such a childish ritual, but it reminded me of my mom and right now, I needed that. The familiarity brought a measure of comfort, which in turn, calmed me. If clinging to the fairytale helped me go back to sleep, then so be it.

I’d face the rest later.

 

Buy links:

https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com/search?controller=search&orderby=position&orderway=desc&search_query=half-moon+lake&submit_search=

https://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=half-moon+lake+leanna+sain

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/half-moon-lake/id1241572035?mt=11

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/half-moon-lake-leanna-sain/1126450434?ean=2940157456566

https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/half-moon-lake-1

Bio

North Carolina native, Leanna Sain, earned her BA from the University of South Carolina, then moved back to her beloved mountains of western NC with her husband. Her “Gate” books have stacked up numerous awards, from Foreword Magazine’s Book-of-the-Year to the Clark Cox Historical Fiction Award from the North Carolina Society of Historians. Sain’s fourth novel, WISH, is a stand-alone, YA crossover.

Her Southern romantic suspense or “GRIT-lit,” showcases her plot-driven method of writing that successfully rolls the styles of best-selling authors Mary Kay Andrews, Nicholas Sparks, and Jan Karon into a delightfully hybrid style that is all her own. Regional fiction lovers and readers who enjoy suspense with a magical twist will want her books.

She loves leading discussion groups and book clubs. For more information or to contact her, visit: www.LeannaSain.com

 Contact Links

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Leannasbooks

Twitter: Leanna Sain@Leannasbooks

Website and blog:  http://leannasain.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/LeannaSain

 

 

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Filed under Author Blog Post, New Release