Showing posts with label Interview. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Interview. Show all posts

Monday, September 18, 2017

Finding You by Lydia Albano - Book Blitz

Finding You
Lydia Albano
Published by: Swoon Reads
Publication date: September 19th 2017
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult

Taken from home and family, all they have is each other.

Isla is kidnapped from a train platform in broad daylight, and thrust into a nightmare when she is sold to a sadistic aristocrat. Locked in a dungeon with a dozen other girls, Isla’s only comfort is a locket and the memory of the boy she loves. But as days pass and more girls disappear, she realizes that help is not coming… If they’re going to survive, they’ll have to escape on their own.

Swoon Reads is proud to present Lydia Albano’s debut novel, a powerful story of a teen girl finding strength and hope in even the worst circumstances.

Interview with Lydia Albano 

Welcome and thank you for taking the time to talk to us.

Thank you for having me!

Q1.  What does your writing process look like?

A1.  Hmm. I usually try out a few first sentences until I find one that I love, and once the story starts to take shape I end up with a pinterest board for it which is always a lot of fun.  It’s taken me years to learn not to edit-as-I-go and to just write instead, but now I can usually crank out a novel pretty quickly from one of the great little hipster coffee shops that Cambridge has so many of.  I need at least a couple of hours to write at a time or else I can’t dive deep enough into a story to get any real work done, but then my first drafts turn out to be 100K+ words. That’s when I make some notes for myself and the self-editing begins.

Q2. Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)?

A2. Honestly I’m kind of boring like that- I just kind of sit down and write.  I can’t snack at all though!  If there are snacks near me I get absolutely no writing done.

Q3. What book do you wish you could have written?

A3. Oh man, definitely The Night Circus; I wish my brain could call up magic like Erin Morgenstern’s.  A close second might be The Ordinary Princess by M. M. Kaye.

Q4. Just as your books inspire authors, what authors have inspired you to write?

A4. The very first one was Beatrix Potter- it was one of her stories that first opened my eyes to what books could do to you, how they could make you feel.  Gail Carson Levine was and still is also a really big inspiration to me.

Q5. If you could cast your characters in the Hollywood adaptation of your book, who would play your characters?

A5. Oh, this is one of the best things about pinterest, isn’t it?  Isla would be Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Tam would be something like a blond, teenage Heath Ledger. Phoebe is a lot like Abbie Cornish, Des like Ed Westwick, Marion a bit like Denée Benton.  In my head they’re all really specific, borrowing features and mannerisms from all different people. Alistair is definitely David Anders though.

Q6. How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recommend?

A6. Names might be my favorite thing about writing- is that weird?  As I visualize a character in my head, their name often just kind of comes to me, but there are definitely moments where I just can’t put my finger on the right one.  I love because if you know the kind of name you’re thinking of, you can look it up and they’ll tell you “sibling name” suggestions.

Q7. What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?

A7. Oh, I’m bad at this kind of question.  I guess finishing my first book ever; I was homeschooled and my mom- recognizing that I loved to start projects and loved finishing them less- told me she wouldn’t let me graduate until I typed “the end” on a novel, and so I did.  Finishing others in the years since has felt amazing but nothing was like that first hurdle.

Q8. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

A8. Practically, or ideally?  Ideally I’d love an apartment in Kenmore on Commonwealth Ave (kinda near Fenway), writing by a window with a dalmatian or a great dane waiting to be walked.  I like to imagine I’ll be writing full time by then, but who knows really.  In reality my life might not look a lot different than it does now- I think I’d be okay with that as long as there were fewer emotional breakdowns, you know?

Q9. Were you already a great writer? Have you always liked to write?

A9. But this question implies that I’m a great writer now and I don’t think we can go that far! But yes, I’ve loved telling stories most of my life.  Writing them down - while it started as a fun thing because I wanted to be like my brother - became a way for me to process heaviness and hurt, and also to find empathy and joy because I loved learning people’s stories.

Q10. What writing advice do you have for other aspiring authors?

A10. I guess I have three things, and I tell them to anyone who asks me this: Don’t give up even when you think you suck! (Original, I know.)  I think I suck almost every day I write, and whether that’s true or not, I’ve got a book now!  A real book! You can do it.  Second, read your work out loud to yourself- it does wonders for working out the awkward phrases and making the conversation flow.  Lastly, find friends to write with.  Beta readers, other writers, facebook friends who’ll encourage you when you’re doubting yourself. Writing seems like a loner “sport” but it’s not.

Q11. If you didn’t like writing books, what would you do for a living?

A11. At the moment I work full-time as the administrator for my church, which I love but I think if I could pick any non-writing job in the world, it would be theater manager/stage hand/usher/something that would let me work in the theater industry without actually performing.  That’s my favorite world.

Q12. What method do you use to plot your book?

A12. I don’t!  I actually can’t outline at all because once I know what’s going to happen, I lose interest in writing it!  That’s one of my favorite things about writing, is discovering the story myself as it goes. Usually I have a vague idea of things that will at some point happen, but never the order or exacts.  I just stick a bunch of stuff on pinterest for inspiration and hope for the best.

Q13. Do you read your reviews? Do you respond to them, good or bad? Do you have any advice on how to deal with the bad?

A13. I do read them, so far.  I keep telling myself not to but then I can’t help it.  I’ve had a couple that have felt pretty crushing and a couple that have sent me over the moon, and I’ve responded to some, but something that was strangely helpful to me was reading reviews for a series that I loved and seeing that there were people who hated it or picked it apart.  It made me realize that some people are bound to hate my book and there’s nothing I can do about that.  It was kind of freeing.

Q14. What is your best marketing tip?

A14. Haha, I wish I had one!  I’m a terrible self-promoter; I can’t even describe my own book to people without awkwardly promising that it’s better than I’m making it sound.

Q15. What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing process?

A15. Copyedits!  Not because they’re bad (where would we be without them?) but because when you get a document back covered in colorful markings it can look a bit overwhelming.

Q16. Is there one subject you would never write about as an author? What is it?

A16. I’ve never been asked this before! Hmm.  I don’t want to offend anyone but I’m sure I will- I don’t really love the vampire/paranormal world, which puts me at odds with a lot of other YA readers. I don’t see myself ever writing about it because I don’t really like reading it.

Q17. Do you have a favorite conference to attend? What is it?

A17. I’ve actually never been to a writer’s conference, but I’m planning to try and got to YALLWEST in 2018 if I can!

Q18. Is there a certain type of scene that’s harder for you to write than others? Love? Action? Racy?

A18. Haha yes, “racy” sounds about right. I heard some advice to “write in a way that scares you a little” so I try to do that- push past things that make me uncomfortable but still, I do get squeamish sometimes.

Q19. How many books have you written so far?

A19. I’ve finished five so far!

Q20. What is your next project?

A20. I don’t know what I’ll start next, but at the moment I’m finishing up a rewrite of one of my favorites that I wrote, about masquerades and spying and a girl who can’t read very well but makes up her own stories, and gets betrayed and decides to take matters into her own hands when she realizes she’s being used by the same people who killed her father.  It has a long way to go but it’s one of my favorite things I’ve written.

That was very interesting. Thank you for your time.

Thank YOU!  This has been so much fun.

Author Bio

Lydia Albano is a (self-proclaimed) Bunburyist living in Cambridge, Massachusetts, where she promotes Oxford commas, spends her money on musical theater, and demands the Myers-Briggs letters of everyone she meets. Her debut novel, Finding You, will be released in September, 2017, with SwoonReads/Macmillan.

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Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Claimed by Power - Zoey Ellis - Book Blitz

Claimed By Power
Zoey Ellis
Publication date: April 3rd 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Not all angels are angelic…

Thea Robinson has never needed anyone’s charity. Sure, her impoverished existence isn’t desired by most, but her ability to manipulate people’s emotions helps her to blend into the shadows of an unforgiving city. When hideous creatures threaten her life, a surly but gorgeous stranger shows up revealing a world she didn’t know existed. She refuses to put up with his rude, arrogant attitude, but how do you dismiss a warrior angel? And does she really want to when his stormy gaze sends delicious thrills straight to her core?

Cam is one of the most ruthless Power angels in the fight against evil. His devotion to kill demons has made him a celebrated warrior in the Angel Realm, even though his motivation stems from grief. When he is assigned to train and protect a half-angel just coming into her abilities, his rage is unparalleled. Until he realizes Thea isn’t like any others. She stirs a carnal passion in him that he can’t shake. He never counted on her being so beautiful… so fierce… so most definitely his.

Claimed by Power is the first book in the Empire of Angels series, a paranormal alpha angel romance series. If you’re a fan of alpha heroes, powerful heroines, paranormal worlds and falling in love, Zoey Ellis’ riveting, sexy tale is perfect for you.

About the end: Although this book can be read as a standalone, Cam and Thea’s story does continue over the next two books.

Sexual scenes and strong language included. Not suitable for readers under 18. 

Q&A with author Zoey Ellis

What motivated you to become an indie author?

I’ve always written stories, mainly to entertain myself, and would usually include friends and family in my tales. Sometimes life was so crazy, I’d just recount things that happened! Other times I made up new scenarios and worlds. Eventually, I entered competitions, took courses, wrote online group stories and shared my work frequently online. I received lots of feedback and therefore improved over time.

I felt discouraged to pursue writing as a career because of the lottery jackpot nature of the traditional publishing industry. When I realized writers could be successful at indie publishing, I thought ‘ah, maybe I could give this a try’ and hoped I could write something others would want to read. And even though I’m a baby indie, all the bloggers, writers and readers who I’ve been in communication with about my book have been so lovely and helpful. It’s really encouraging.

Why do you write Paranormal Romance?

I think deep, passionate, sexual romance is a beautiful part of human nature that is sometimes trivialised and boxed in when actually it can be such a powerful part of a real connection between people, even if other personality flaws get in the way. I also have a deep love for all things fantastical and so it only made sense to blend the two. The challenge of both together make it an enticing sub-genre to tackle.

Could you tell us a bit about your most recent book and why it is a must-read?

Claimed By Power is about a warrior angel with a troublesome nature finding his natural mate in a fiery and distrustful half-angel, who grew up not knowing what she was. They have different ways of approaching their relationship and this causes problems and misunderstandings for them both, but they are drawn to each other and come to understand each other.

I think it’s a must-read because of the idea that angels can mate and shift, just like werewolves! The warrior angel is an alpha but is deeply attracted his mate’s independence and fiery nature. He respects who she is and does everything he can to preserve and protect that throughout their story.

How did you come up with the idea for Claimed By Power?

I didn’t see a story about angels that was in the same vein as the one I wanted to read, so I decided to write it. I pulled on all the things I love about shifter stories and blended them with angels, demons, heaven and hell, passionate love and a developed paranormal world.

How do you select the names of your characters?

Camael is documented as the name of an angel, though different sources claim different facts about him. I liked the one that said he was the ‘chief angel of Powers’, and I knew that had to be the Hero’s name. With the rest of them, I figured out the shortened name I wanted to use and then came up a longer version with the aid of research.

What did you edit out of this book?

My beta readers didn’t connect that much with the character Amber, so I tried to adapt it to make her more likable. I’m not sure I succeeded but she appears throughout Cam and Thea’s story, so hopefully she’ll grow on anyone that isn’t convinced.

What is your favorite part of the book?

It’s a section I added on the advice of one of my brilliant beta readers, and it’s Chapter Ten where Thea is being trained by Cam. He is cold and stern with her while she’s trying to figure him out. I think the goofy and tempestuous side of her character comes across well and it’s clear from other chapters how Cam really feels. I looooved writing it.

What’s next for this series?

There are two more books planned that cover Cam and Thea’s story, which is a bit unusual with the sub-genre I’m targeting, but I couldn’t fit it all into one book (and I probably wouldn’t have finished it if I tried). After that there are two more couples in the same world whose stories need to be told. I won’t say who – it’d spoil the surprise!

Tell us a little about your plans for the future. Where do you see yourself as a writer in five years?

Cam and Thea’s story will all be released this year. In five years, I hope to have released a number of interesting series that are uniquely ‘me’ but also familiar enough to readers of adult Paranormal Romance for them to enjoy. I have an idea for a dragon shifter series next but at the moment, I just want to see how this one does!

Where can we find you online?

Twitter: @authorzoeyellis

Come say hello!

Author Bio

Zoey Ellis spends her most of her time thinking up stories that explore how love and romance can be tested by the darker side of our personalities and the heart-wrenching challenges that must be overcome for love to win, even if two people belong together.

A lover of the fantastical, Zoey enjoys how intense and vast the challenges can be for couples in the paranormal romance genre. Her goal is to build a body of work depicting thrilling, fantastical romances between demanding alpha heroes and fiery heroines hoping the love they make will scorch ereaders and melt hearts. With a soft spot for angels, dragons and alpha shifters, Zoey blends her love of a Happy Ever After with strangely unique worlds and complex plots.

If you're interested in hearing about Zoey's new releases first, as well as her bonuses and giveaways, sign up to her newsletter.

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Monday, September 26, 2016

Julie Cross Author Interview

Julie Cross is a NYT and USA Today bestselling author of New Adult and Young Adult fiction, including the Tempest series, a young adult science fiction trilogy which includes Tempest, Vortex, Timestorm (St. Martin's Press). She's also the author of Letters to Nowhere series, Whatever Life Throws at You, Third Degree, Halfway Perfect, and many more to come!

Julie lives in Central Illinois with her husband and three children. She's a former gymnast, longtime gymnastics fan, coach, and former Gymnastics Program Director with the YMCA. She's a lover of books, devouring several novels a week, especially in the young adult and new adult genres. 

Outside of her reading and writing credibility's, Julie Cross is a committed--but not talented--long distance runner, creator of imaginary beach vacations, Midwest bipolar weather survivor, expired CPR certification card holder, as well as a ponytail and gym shoe addict. 

Welcome and thank you for taking the time to talk to us. 


When did you first realise that you wanted to be a writer?

"I didn't begin writing until I was 29 years old. I hadn't really thought about it prior to then but I've always loved reading, especially YA novels."


How long does it take you to write a book?

"Usually around 4-6 weeks to write a first draft but I don't always get to write from beginning to end without interruption so it's hard to keep track of exactly how long."


What inspired you to write Chasing Truth?

"I have always wanted to write a YA character who is from a family of con-artists. And my editor, Liz Pelletier wanted a Veronica Mars type YA series. I basically fused those two concepts together and Chasing Truth was born." 


Eleanor Ames (Ellie) is an interesting character. Did you have to do any research on her personality? 

"I did some research on con-artists and different types of fraud, but mostly I created her as I went along."


How did you develop Miles' fascinating character? 

"Miles character began with the background I needed him to have (I won't give much here because too many spoilers) and the rest of him shaped around where he came from and the skills he possess as a result."


Who is your favourite character in Chasing Truth  and why? 

"Definitely Ellie. She's not perfect, far from it, but she has tons of potential. Potential to do great things, but also just potential to do really interesting stuff." 


What does your family think of your writing?

"My kids enjoy pitching in ideas here and there and my husband is great at helping me figure out technical things. He's a wealth of random facts." 


What do you like to do when you are not writing?

"I like to read. I also homeschool my kids and even though I didn't enjoy school, I enjoy doing school things with them. I love coming up with new ideas and lessons and challenges for them. I recently bought a laminator and I've become obsessed with laminating things. Seriously, it's out of control."


Have you started to write the sequel to Chasing Truth?  What can we expect? 

"I just started it actually. As far as what to expect, definitely more of Ellie's family, in details but possibly in person. Plus there's so much still to uncover about what Simon was hiding before his death." 


Out of all the books that you have written, which one (s) is/are your favourite (s)? 

"I can't possibly pick! That would be like choosing a favorite child. Each book has had a favorite something for me. Something I maybe wasn't getting from writing the other books." 


What is your favourite book genre? 

"Definitely YA. By a mile."

Thanks again and it's been a real pleasure talking to you. All the very best. 

Chasing Truth available from 27 September 2016  

About the book 

At Holden Prep, the rich and powerful rule the school—and they’ll do just about anything to keep their dirty little secrets hidden. 

When former con artist Eleanor Ames’s homecoming date commits suicide, she’s positive there’s something more going on. The more questions she asks, though, the more she crosses paths with Miles Beckett. He’s sexy, mysterious, arrogant…and he’s asking all the same questions. 

Eleanor might not trust him—she doesn’t even like him—but they can’t keep their hands off of each other. Fighting the infuriating attraction is almost as hard as ignoring the fact that Miles isn’t telling her the truth…and that there’s a good chance he thinks she’s the killer.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Interview with HAVANA SCOTT/Gaby Triana - Excerpts of Surrender Isle ( Paradise Bay)

Interview with HAVANA SCOTT/Gaby Triana

First of all, welcome and thank you for taking the time to answer these questions. 

Q1: Tell us a little about yourself? Perhaps something that not many people know about?

A1: I've had several careers in addition to writing. I was a 4th grade teacher for 12 years and a cake designer/baker as well. I've made cakes for celebrities, including Pitbulls 30th birthday cake. I've published 6 young adult novels under my name, Gaby Triana, the latest of which comes out in August (WAKE THE HOLLOW, Entangled Teen). 

Q2: What made you want to become a writer?

A2: My 3rd grade teacher made me feel great about my writing, and since then, I've been moving in that direction. Reading Stephen King novels also made me want to write, and winning writing contests all through school encouraged me too. 

Q3: What's your preferred method of writing? Pen or keyboard?

A3: I brainstorm all my stories by hand then outline and write on keyboard. 

Q4: Do you like to write where everything is quiet or do you have background music? 

A4: I wish I could write with background music on, but I need total quiet or at least some white noise like rain or a track of thunderstorm or ocean sounds. I've developed quite an attention deficit problem as I've gotten older, and anything will distract me! 

Q5: Where do you put most of your efforts when writing a story?

A5: For me, characterization is everything. A good plot is important, but well never find out what that plot is if we don't care about the characters. I put my heart into creating believable, 3D characters that talk like real people, act like real people, and fight like real people. 

Q6: Do your characters sometimes take over when you are writing or are you always in control?

A6: I might start out with an outline, but somewhere along the way, one or more characters will decide what they want to happen. I think it's important to leave room for surprises, but for the most part, I try to stay in control, so the story doesn't go off on tangents. 

Q7: What is the toughest criticism that you have ever received about any of your books?

A7: I dont really let reader criticism affect me. Everyone has a right to their opinion! I keep doing what I do, writing books that I would want to read myself and hoping that others will too.

Q8: How to you respond to such criticisms? 

A8: (see above)

Q9: What about the best and most memorable comments about your books and writing style? 

A9: The best compliments I have received are from people who arent avid readers, claim to hate reading, but they enjoyed my books. That's huge to me. It's like making someone without a sense of humor laugh out loud. ☺

Q10: Where did you get the idea for your latest release, Surrender Isle, Paradise Bay, the steamy contemporary romance? 

A10: I noticed there were a lot of dark, gritty romance novels out there, lots of alpha male billionaire books, and while my hero, Tristan, is rich and super good looking, I wanted to write about a colorful, tropical place like the area I'm from (Miami) to try to offset the darkness. Also, I grew up vacationing on beaches, islands, and cruise ships, and I know they are perfect locations for plenty of drama and trouble in paradise!

Q11: Are any of these characters based on real people or are they all purely from your imagination? 

A11: There's a lot of me and my life in this one, so it was a little hard to write at times. In fact, every book I write contains characters and situations based on my life in some respect. There's no way to avoid that. I could set a story on Mars with blue aliens and the blue aliens might closely resemble me, my ex-husband, and my family in the way we interact. 

Q12: What are your favourite parts and who are your favourite characters in this book and why? 

A12: My favorite character is Paris. She's flawed but well-meaning, lost but strong in her will to change. She knows she's not perfect, and yet she is, because she's Every Woman trying to navigate her way through sticky situations, trying to be kind to those who need it but independent enough to grow on her own. She's trying to be a good person despite the pain in her life.

Q13: I find the essay Paris wrote for the competition intriguing. Where did the idea come from? 

A13: I've come across a few of these essay contests online that advertise winning a dream house or dream vacation and thought about entering them, but I never do, because I feel like I'd never win anyway. I thought this would make a great springboard for getting Paris, who's lost faith lately, to jump back into love and life. 

Q14: What other genres of books do you write, besides contemporary romance? 

A14: I write YA novels and have 6 published. WAKE THE HOLLOW is my next release on Aug. 2. It's reimagining of The Legend of Sleepy Hollow with a modern-day plot, and I can't wait for it to come out!

Q15: Which one is your favourite genre and why? 

A15: I don't have a favorite genre. As long as the characters are real and solid and I can follow them through a plot line, I don't care what that plot line is. I do have a guilty pleasure for scary stories, as well as love stories, so I guess I'm all over the map as far as personal tastes. 

Q16: Do you use any websites or resources which have been helpful to you as a writer?

A16: Not at this point. I use everything that I've learned along the way, information I've gained by going to writing conferences, and I try to use common sense and intuition. I find if I listen to others and borrow ideas too much, my writing won't be my own anymore.

Q17: What do your friends and family think of you being an author?

A17: I think they're proud of me, I don't really know. Most family members don't promote any of my work, so I think they're just used to it, because I've been writing for so long.

Q18: Is there any question that you would like someone to ask and never has? If so, what would that question be and what would be the answer?

A18: Miss Scott, to whom do I make out your million-dollar check? To Gaby Triana, of course. And thank you. ☺

Thank you so much and  all the very best wishes for your forthcoming YA novel, Wake the Hollow. It sounds fascinating.

Thanks so much!!! ☺

About the Author 

HAVANA SCOTT is the open pseudonym for Gaby Triana, the award-winning author of six YA novels—Wake the Hollow (August, 2016), Summer of Yesterday, Riding the Universe, The Temptress Four, Cubanita, and Backstage Pass, as well as fifteen ghostwritten novels for best-selling authors of romance and science fiction. Originally a 4th grade teacher, Gaby earned Teacher of the Year in 2000, then left teaching to launch a full-time writing career. She went on to publish young adult novels with HarperCollins and Simon & Schuster, win an IRA Teen Choice Award, ALA Best Paperback Award, and Hispanic Magazine’s Good Reads of 2008. She obsesses over Halloween, Christmas, Disney World, cats, whimsical jewelry, cakes, and may be found posting excessive food pics online. She lives in Miami with her three sons, Michael, Noah, and Murphy, has one dog, Chloe, and two cats—Miss Daisy, and the reformed thug, shooting survivor, Bowie. SURRENDER ISLE is her first indie romance series. 

Visit her at

About Surrender Isle


PARADISE BAY - Resort 1 of the Surrender Isle Series by Havana Scott (Steamy Contemporary Romance):

A filthy rich resort mogul and the one woman he can't buy make for one sizzling summer romance. 

When recently-divorced Paris Jones enters an essay contest to win a month-long vacation in Paradise Bay, a hot luxury resort in the French Indies, she doesn't believe dreams can come true. Everyone knows they choose winners with compelling sob stories, not aspiring authors needing time to work on their novels. But Paris's talent for bringing snarky humor to her writing catches the eye and heart of Paradise Bay's sexy affluent owner, and before she knows it, she's packing her bags and flying to the heart of paradise. 

Tristan Giovanetti has seen it all, done it all, spent it all. After business school, he owned restaurants, clubs on South Beach, and now a private island resort with his two business partners. He has less than a year left to pay off his biggest investor, ex-lover, Tatianne Moreau who's about to arrive. He's bedded the most beautiful women in the Caribbean, but nothing rocks his island more than the arrival of a witty, beautiful travel copy writer from Ohio who's lost all faith in herself and love. 

Can Tristan restore Paris's zest for life despite Tatianne's jealous interference? Will Paris give love another chance after her marriage failed so miserably? A tale of restoring balance and enchanting island romance, Paradise Bay - Resort 1 of the SURRENDER ISLE Series will have you surrendering to love again. 

Book Trailer 


PARADISE BAY by Havana Scott (contemporary romance, adult)

Yes, the thought of winning did scare me. Because there was no such thing as paradise on Earth. Because happily ever afters dissolved soon after they began. Because real people didn’t vacation on exotic islands. They stayed stuck at their dead-end jobs. Real people brought leftover soup for lunch. Real people drank reused coffee grinds. 

I stared hard at the photo depicting diamond-studded turquoise waters surrounding Sorendi Isle. I imagined myself there and thought I even felt a breeze blow across my sun-kissed cheeks. Best of all, I imagined coming home with a completed novel under my belt.

Grace was right—I had nothing to lose. It was just money.
“Fine,” I grunted, “but I’ll pay for it. I have some money left.” I would have to eat ramen noodles the rest of the week, but it wouldn’t be the first time.

I closed my eyes and sighed. What would I write? A regular description of the kind of day I would like to have on Sorendi Isle would never do. They would receive hundreds—if not, thousands—of boring entries all saying the same thing. If I was going to do this, my essay had to be different somehow, but still me. Staring at the blinking cursor of the entry field, I began to type:

Dearest Judges,

If I were to win your getaway vacation, each day, I’d awaken to glasses of fresh coconut water on a bed scattered with hibiscus petals, as my tanned feminine arms stretch across gauzy sheets. I’d gaze upon rays of tangerine sunshine filtering through billowy, gossamer curtains. My cabana boy, Serge, a smart-ass alpha male with a heart of gold who spanks me when I’m impertinent and kisses my feet when I step on sea urchins in your crystal blue waters, would flash me his emerald green irises from the goose down pillow next to me. 

“Care for some…breakfast?” he’d coo, swiping my feet into his strong hands, sending rivulets of passion from my toes to my loins.

With lazy brown eyes, I’d stare out the window at your island paradise, as Serge rolls onto me, but I’d pin him onto the bed and make passionate love to him. Because I am one saucy woman with an untamed wild side. With his biceps and abs so hard and sinewy, it’d be like having sex with stone—ancient island stone.

I’d arch my back in wanton pleasure. Our quivers would subside, and I’d send Serge away until I’d need him again later. I’d spend the rest of my day writing my crime novel, The Gates of Lahore, while eating key lime, coconut, and passion fruit macarons, because I admit, I am not dying of cancer. I am merely a writer of fiction, a teller of lies, and writing is all I’d do with my month anyway. Because that’s what we writers do—make shit up for a living. Please pick me. 

An undiscovered author,
Paris Jones

Purchase Links 

Monday, April 11, 2016

Blog Tour for Three Week Arrangement by Sarah Ballance (Review & Interview)

Three Week Arrangement Tour Banner

Sarah Ballance
Chase Brothers, #3
Publication Date: April 4, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Entangled Lovestruck

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Ethan Chase isnt interested in dating. After losing the woman he loved more than life itself, hed much rather ride solo, but his family is dead set on fixing him up. To get them off his back, he hooks up with ultra-adventurous, ultra-temporary adventure photographer, Rue Campbell. All he has to do is survive three weeks in her orbit and hell be single again, only without the pitying looks and pressure to move on.

Rue is literally counting the days until her plane leaves New York City. The last thing she wants is a relationship, but being Ethans pretend girlfriend cant hurt, right? Wrong. With Ethan, theres no faking anythingin or out of the bedroom. With the sheets burning hot and the clock ticking on their arrangement, Rue realizes shes falling for a man guaranteed to derail her goalsand break her heart. 



Ethan is a grieving widow who worshipped his wife. Now that she is gone, he lives with her memories and getting involved with another woman is out of the question as far as he is concerned. He works for the family business and his apartment is his sanctuary. 

Rue is an assistant photographer who is biding her time to leave New York to further her career. She is an adrenaline junkie and dedicated to animal welfare. Her mother is a socialite and if she had it her way, Rue would marry someone rich and forget about her career. Rue isn't slightly interested but her mother can be very persistent. 

On the anniversary of his wife's death, Ethan retraces his steps to where he used to live when she was alive. Rue has locked herself out of her car and recruits Ethan for assistance. He is not very enthusiastic about having to interact with a woman! They soon discover that they could help each other. Rue can get out of a date that her mother is trying ever so hard for her to accept, whereas Ethan can pretend that he is seeing someone to get his family off his back. They soon become friends and Ethan is fascinated by Rue's outlook on life. Rue is very taken with Ethan but due to her past experience with the opposite sex, she tries to concentrate on their arrangement. Can they resist this mutual attraction? If they do, will Ethan be able to move on instead of being consumed by guilt? Will Rue's jetsetting career put a spanner in the works? 

This is an easy to read romance. Despite the sad aspects of the story, there is humour, love and laughter. The emotions are very palpable. The characters are very well developed. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this novel and would recommend to other readers. 

I received a complimentary ecopy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


Five Things I Love About You Book #1


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California landscape artist Estelle Donovan hates big cities. Between the grime, the smell, all the drab concrete, and the suffocating summer heat, how can anyone breathe? Housesitting her brother's New York apartment, complete with broken elevator and smoking air conditioner, is her kind of hell. It's only for two weeks, though. What could possibly go wrong?

Dumping a jar of pickles on the hot girl at the grocery store wasn't Crosby Chase's finest hour, nor was getting bitten in the butt by the demonic cat on her fire escape. But he is going to change her mind about his beloved city, damn it. In fact, if they could just make it five minutes without falling into bed, he bets Estelle he can find five things she'll love about New York.

Falling in love wasn't part of his plan. And with an entire country between them, Crosby realizes he doesn't need five reasons to make Estelle love New York.

He needs one big reason to make her stay...

Each book in the Chase Brothers series is a standalone, full-length story that can be enjoyed out of order.


For Seven Nights Only Book #2


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Kelsie Reed is over bad luck and bad men. Newly dumped, shes now the pathetically single maid of honor in her sister's weddingand her ex is the best man. Her bad luck continues when a plumbing meltdown in her apartment sends her sexy neighbor running to her rescue. Hes got "serial dater" written all over him, which is unfortunate because the man is hot.

Sawyer Chase loves women, but settling down? Hell leave that to his brothers. But when Kelsie confesses shes a dating disaster and is about to become the laughing stock of her family wedding, Sawyer takes control. He's got one week to teach her how to land the man of her dreams, and hell do it on her terms: no touching, no kissing, and definitely nothing more.

But some rules need to be broken, especially when, for once, theres something on the line worth fighting for.



Sarah Ballance

Sarah and her husband of what he calls many long, long years live on the mid-Atlantic coast with their six young children, all of whom are perfectly adorable when theyre asleep. She never dreamed of becoming an author, but as a homeschooling mom, she often jokes she writes fiction because if she wants anyone to listen to her, she has to make them up. As it turns out, her characters arent much better than the kids, but nevertheless, youll find her writing sexy contemporary romance for Entangled Publishing until they throw her out. To learn more, visit

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Author Interview
Huge thanks to the author for taking the time to answer these questions. 


What does your writing process look like? 

Oh my gosh. It goes something like this: write a synopsis, get all excited, the book will be GREAT FUN. Become mired in edits from previous book (I have a novel due every two months, yall), do promo and marketing for previous book, realize I havent done the blurb and cover art forms for the book I havent written yet, look at a calendar and realize Im down to a month to write the book. The entire book. Make a schedule that promises 2,000 words a day. I got this, right? Two weeks later, I know Ive been busy every day but why isnt this book written? Write the book in three weeks. Im now a week into my eight weeks of writing for the next book, and then edits arrive. Repeat.


Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? 


See previous answer. (That counts, right? It SO should count.)


How important are names to you in your books? Do you choose the names based on liking the way it sounds or the meaning? Do you have any name choosing resources you recon? 


Names matter, but its weird, and I say that because a name I like just fine as Im walking around, going about my day might feel terrible for a given book. Ive actually chosen names a few times and Ive tried to write the book and the name just didnt fit, so I went back to find another one that did. My absolutely favorite resource is Ive consulted it for years and still dont know what an environmental science and conservation news site has to do with a list of names, so going there amuses me to no end, but theyve sure named a lot of characters for me. *fist bump*

A side note, if youre easily amused (I am, I admit it), when I wrote the first Chase Brothers book (Five Things I Love About You), the series was never supposed to be about the brothers. So I put zero thought into naming anyone other than Crosby. Once I found out the series was going to be theirs, I had a mild ERMAGERD moment because I DIDNT PROPERLY CHOOSE THE NAMES. But by that point, theyd grown on me. All was well. 


What do you consider to be your best accomplishment?


My husband and I have piled our six precious children into our nine passenger Suburban and traversed the country twice now, for a total thus far of 11,000 miles. We did so pulling (and sleeping in) a 20 RV travel trailer. So what Im saying is the eight of us were together 24/7 for 11,000 miles over a period of 18 days, and no one killed anyone else. This, if not my best accomplishment, is certainly one of the most astounding things Ive ever witnessed. 


Where do you see yourself in 10 years?


My kids will be older, so Ill be able to drink more. (#responsibleparenting) Also, because my kids will be older (thats called a recurring theme, folks), Im going to have to up my eSalon order (thats hair color by mail, if you didnt know) to every 3-4 weeks instead of the 5-week recurring interval at which I currently have it set. Teenagers, man. Oy. It never occurred to me that by having six sweet little babies that Id end up with six teenagers. I missed an epic piece of fine print there.


Were you already a great writer? Have you always liked to write? 


I never wanted to write. I dont even like English or Language Arts of any kind. Ill take math, please. (Im pretty sure my love of math and spreadsheets and financial planning is why my husband keeps me around. But I digress.) The only reason I ever wrote a single word of fiction was because someone said I should, and I said nope, I cant do that. And a few days later, it hit me that I said I couldnt do it and for whatever reason, I accepted that as a triple dog dare to prove myself wrong. I still dont know if I won or lost that particular point, but here I am.  


If you didn't like writing books, what would you do for a living?


My husband and I made the decision to homeschool before we conceived our first child, so Ive been a stay-at-home mom since day one. (And a biology and biochemistry double major, though about 11 credits short of both degrees. Guess who hates organic chemistry?) Now, I have six kids Im homeschooling in grades K-12 and my husband and I are in the process of incorporating his business and were also in the early stages of DIY building a house. Sometimes I even sleep. So Im guessing if I didnt like writing books, Id just sleep some more. #careergoals 


What is your least favorite part of the publishing / writing Author? 


The 24 hours after I get back first round edits. Dont get me wrong. I love edits. My editor is BRILLIANT. Her suggestions are always spot on and I wish Id thought of them myself. But for a solid day after I get that first freaking email, Im all, OH MY GOD THIS IS TERRIBLE SHE COULD HAVE JUST PUT NO AT THE TOP AND I WOULD HAVE GOTTEN THE POINT AND COULD SHE JUST RUN OUT OF INK ALREADY. (That very last part is an exaggeration because Microsoft Word never ever runs out of ink of any color, which is surely a design flaw someone forgot to address. The rest of it? Entirely reasonable.)


How many books have you written so far?


Nineteen since I began in 2010. THE THREE-WEEK ARRANGEMENT makes 12 currently available. I have two more ready for 2016 release, plus another five that were out there at one time but are no longer. Four more are under contract but not yet written. 


What is your next project? 


Im finishing up Liam the fourth book in the Chase Brothers series then Ill start the second book in my new Indulgence series, which kicks off in July. 

That's good news. Can't ever have enough of the Chase Brothers!  All the very best with Indulgence, the new series. 


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