Blog 163: Blog Tour 15 – Book Review #61

Dear Readers,

Happy Monday!

Today is my stop in the blog tour organized by Blackthorn Book Tours . Thank You for your consideration and inviting me to participate in this blog tour.

BOOK REVIEW ALERT – Review, Recommendation, Rating & Opinion are my own.

Title – Keepers of the Gate

Author – E Denise Billups

Genre – Horror Fiction

This book is set in the historical background of Iroquois Confederacy &Sullivan Expedition’s Route – 1779. At the beginning of the book, Pilan & Teka die only to be reincarnated.

The Newhouse family are the present owners of the grand Victorian B&B (Bed & Breakfast) -Twilight Ends on the hillock. But this isn’t any ordinary inn. Tessa’s daughter – Skylar and granddaughter – Twyla have a lot on their plates and the paranormal activities that are going on at the inn need to be taken care of.

  • What is going on at the inn?
  • What is the mystery surrounding it?
  • Will the family be able to solve it?
  • Why does it take us back in time?
  • Do all the pieces of the puzzle fit together?

Rating – 4/5 Stars
Recommendation – High

This brilliant read alternates between past and present. Takes us back in time and brings us to the present seamlessly. This book is very engaging even though it isn’t a page turner. The plot development is amazing and the character development is wonderful. Very well written and I thoroughly enjoyed this read.

P.S – Thank You Blackthorn Book Tour for organizing and inviting me to be a part of this magnificent blog tour. Thank You for providing the ecopy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 162: The Magic of Woven Words – Author Interview #45

Dear Readers,

Happy Friday!

A huge Thank You and a Loud Shout out to the Author Lauren Dow –  for agreeing to participate and kind enough to send prompt response to all my questions.

Lauren Dow   –  In Body I Trust . (Available on Amazon for purchase.)

–>  A Brief Bio (As is written by the Author)

As a kid, I always read Little Nino’s Pizzeria. And I mean I read that book at least once a day. As I got older into middle school, I became obsessed with mystery novels. I wanted to be Harriet the Spy that I even had a yellow rain jacket and created my own utility belt to wander my tiny town with a notebook jotting down everything I saw. I can even say I proudly solved the mystery of my missing bicycle. Turns out I left it at my friend’s house. Through my “adulting” years, it developed into a world of female comedian memoirs. I know, very specific. But I wanted to dive deeper into their hilarious endeavours of starting from nothing and pursuing their every dream.
I first started writing probably around the age of six when I was gifted with my very first journal. I wrote elaborate fiction tales of my family, dreams I had, and boys I had crushes on. It didn’t really evolve until 2014 when I was first published in the Winter 2014 Dragon Poet Review when I discovered I had a passion for writing far beyond what my tiny tales were telling.

Question 1:   Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?

Author’s Response: In September of 2020, I came out with “Your Wild Journal,” a 30-day series of writing prompts to dive deeper into your creativity, shift your perspective, and discover the wild that already lives within you.
Originally when I created this journal, I had no idea it was going to help me so much in terms of writing my first novel, In Body I Trust. In order to do so I needed to look back into my old journals from traveling. In doing so, I started pulling out different prompts for myself. Things I wanted to revisit, to see how I would view these situations and ideas a year into recovery from my eating disorder. It was so life changing for me, I wanted nothing more than to share this with the world. 
Now I’m releasing In Body I Trust, which is my first full-length novel that takes you through the mind of Amelia, a woman who struggles with depression, bipolar II, and several eating disorders. Amelia was me, and to some extent still is. But creating this story of a week in her life, inside her actual mind, has helped me so much through my own journey of recovery. 
She self-medicates with alcohol and sinks lower into vivid flashbacks of her and Dominic backpacking the world together. One day he went to Guatemala, the next he vanished like a ghost, leaving Amelia to remain in the depths of her eating disorder alone. That is, until she meets Emmett, her new neighbor with schizoaffective disorder she’s deemed as her guardian angel from afar. Amelia has to fall in order to rise, she has to experience pain and suffering in order to understand what it takes to get back up and thrive, not just survive.
Although it is fictionalized, it’s based on a story that is very true, raw, and real to me.

Question 2:  What comes first, the plot or characters? How do you develop your plot and characters?

Author’s Response: That depends. Sometimes a situation occurs in my life or I observe something that makes me say, “this story deserves to be told.” Other times, I’m listening to music that creates this character in my head I want to elaborate on. Then their life story unfolds as I build upon them. It really just depends on where the creativity and inspiration comes from for me to determine what comes first.

Question 3: With the new year round the corner do you have anything special that you’ll be focusing on this year? Do you have any bookish resolutions? 

Author’s Response: 2021 is already off to be an incredibly exciting year for me. In Body I Trust is available for preorder starting February 22, 2021 and will be available for distribution in over 40,000 retailers, independent bookstores, universities, and libraries around the world. I really can’t wait to see where this book ends up and the hands that get to hold it. 
My bookish resolution this year is to dive deeper into books that are out of my usual element. I’ve always stuck around the same genres of self-love, self-help, memoirs, and contemporary fiction. I’m excited to dive deeper into romance, rediscover my love for mystery, and definitely need to add much more humor into my life. 

Question 4:  Do you listen to audiobooks? If so, are there any you’d recommend? What do you like about audiobooks?

Author’s Response: Honestly, I haven’t listened to audiobooks before. I love being able to have my fingers flip through the pages and create the characters’ voices in my own mind as opposed to being told to me. Not to say that I wouldn’t want to… maybe I should add this to my bookish resolutions for 2021 too!

Question 5:  Recommend three of your favorite books to the readers.

Author’s Response:

1. Women Who Run with the Wolves: Myths and Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype by Clarissa Pinkola Estés, Ph.D

2. Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone by Brené Brown

3. It’s Okay to Laugh (Crying is Cool Too) by Nora McInerny Purmort

Author’s Favorite Quote:  One of my favorite bookish quotes would have to be from Brené Brown’s Braving the Wilderness: The Quest for True Belonging and the Courage to Stand Alone. 

“Being ourselves means sometimes having to find the courage to stand alone, totally alone.”

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 161: The Magic of Woven Words – Author Interview #44

Dear Readers,

Half an year is going to be over in a few years and I am definitely start to freak out. Anyone else experiencing mid year freak out? I hope to pull up my socks and get a few more books done this year.

A huge Thank You and a Loud Shout out to the Author Jennifer Kay Davies –  for agreeing to participate and kind enough to send prompt response to all my questions.

Jennifer Kay Davies   –  A First for us Both. (Available on Amazon for purchase.)

–>  A Brief Bio (As is written by the Author)

Reading and writing were important forms of escapism for me as a teenager. I was always writing something: whether that be diary entries, short stories, various attempts at novels. English was my strongest subject at school, and I ended up studying it at university. I read a lot of horror as a pre-teen and teen in the 90’s – the Point Horror series was very popular back then. My favorite book from my childhood though was ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’. We studied it at school. I’ve read it so many times since then. It really opened my eyes to racial injustice, something that, as a white person, I’d never even realized existed.

Question 1:   Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?  What was the inspiration for the story?

Author’s Response: My novel, ‘ A First For Us Both’, is a story about a single mother who is convinced she is a terrible parent and feels so guilty about it that she doesn’t feel like she deserves to continue living. Single mothers can have such a bad reputation, but no one ever questions the absent father: why did he leave a partner with his child to raise alone? Why isn’t he offering any support? What gives him the right to do that? Instead, people make assumptions about single mothers: that they chose that way of life, that they want children just for the benefits that come with them, that they must be promiscuous, etc. But in the end, she is the one left raising the child with, often, limited resources, while the absent father gets to live his life however he chooses and without blame. This novel sheds a light on yet another aspect in which women are blamed entirely for something which isn’t always their own fault. The novel is semi-autobiographical. I would find it difficult to refer to myself as a single mother: although I am a mother, and single, my daughter has a wonderful relationship with her father who is extremely supportive. However, there have been difficult situations that I’ve had to go through as a mother living alone which are reflected within my novel, although exaggerated as I certainly didn’t have many of the issues that the main character, Emma, has to face.

Question 2: When did you first consider yourself a writer? How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

Author’s Response: I think for me personally, I first considered myself a writer once I’d finished a first draft and new that I could actually write a book. Writing a book is something that a lot of people want to do, but never quite finish. Now that I know I can do it, I’ll go on to write others. My method of writing tends to be less ‘planning’, more ‘pantsing’. For example, with my new novel that I’m currently writing, I have a vague plot with some vague characters, but as I write more, the plot and the characters become more defined. I’m too impatient to plan everything in advance. I just want to get on with writing!

Question 3: Writing can be an emotionally draining and stressful pursuit. Any tips for aspiring writers?

Author’s Response: I’m not sure if I’m really experienced enough to be giving advice to other writers yet, but the one thing I would say is to just get that first draft done. Once you have a first draft, you’ve done the hard bit. Editing it and creating it into something linear and structured is much easier than writing a first draft.

Question 4:  Do you write while listening to music? If so, what music inspired or accompanied this current book? What book is currently on your bedside table?

Author’s Response: I need complete silence while I’m writing, otherwise I can’t concentrate. The TV is off, the music is off, and there is no noise whatsoever. I would love to be able to write with music in the background, but I just can’t do it. I’m currently reading ‘The Guest List’ by Lucy Foley. I’m about half way through and it gripped me right from the very beginning, which I love in a book. The ‘whodunnit’ scenario never seems to get old. 

Question 5:  Recommend three of your favorite books to the readers.

Author’s Response:  I’ve read so many amazing books over the years, but I do definitely have some clear favourites:

The Winter Rose by Jennifer Donnelly – this is the second book in a trilogy (The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose and The Wild Rose), and it is absolutely my most favourite book ever. It is set in the early 1920’s between London and New York. It follows the journey of one of the country’s first female doctors working in Whitechapel. She seeks to halt the sale of opioids, believing that they are oppressing the poor and, therefore, stopping them from having any chance of living without preventable illnesses. Little does she know that she’ll end up falling in love with the biggest dealer in London, as does the reader. How this hasn’t been picked up by Netflix yet, I don’t understand!

On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves – the story of how a private tutor and her student end up castaway on a desert island after a plane crash, with only each other for company. This book just sucks you right in and is impossible to put down. Such a unique storyline, with beautiful scenery – just what you need during lockdown!

Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult – it’s difficult to choose from all of her books as they are all incredible, but this one is particularly beautiful. Jodi’s prose is almost poetic. In this story, a girl tries to trace her mother who disappeared a decade ago or so. There’s a chance she may have murdered, but she doesn’t believe her mother is dead. She appoints a psychic and a retired policeman to help her in her search. This book has the most amazing twist to it which completely turns the story on its head.

Author’s Favorite Quote:  I think Roald Dahl captured perfectly why people enjoy reading: ‘The books transported her into new worlds and introduced her to amazing people who lived exciting lives’.

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 160: The Magic of Woven Words – Author Interview #43

Dear Readers,

How are you all doing? How is your reading goal for this month? I haven’t set any goal for the month, but I hope to read a few books. I have been reading very little and I hope to read better this month. (Fingers crossed.)

A huge Thank You and a Loud Shout out to the Author  Shawna Bennett –  for agreeing to participate and kind enough to send prompt response to all my questions.

Shawna Bennett   –  Soul Song

–>  A Brief Bio (As is written by the Author)

I loved reading for as long as I can remember! I lived in a small town and the librarian would let me check out up to 15 books once a week in the summer. In the fourth grade I read Sacajawea and since the book was an adult book my teacher offered to let me only do one book report that entire year, I refused of course! I read so many different genres, but three writers had a huge influence on me. The first was Judy Blume and I loved how she wrote about real problems we were facing as young girls going through puberty. Next came S.E. Hinton and while I loved all of her book The Outsiders was my favorite. I must have read it over 100 times. I can still recite the Robert Frost poem from the book. Then at about 14 I discovered Stephen King and loved his writing. I loved how he would have catch phrases and weird sayings for some of his characters.I started writing in the sixth grade and did a lot of short stories growing up. Later in life I wrote two books under a pen name and then about a year ago started the Fairy Tale Series for my grandchildren.

Question 1:  What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?  Who is the author you most admire in your genre?

Author’s Response:   I think the elements for good writing are to have a story worked out in your head and go for it. No one ever did something by wishing! I think if you go into understanding that not everyone will like your book, because no book has been written that everyone loves, then you will be fine.The author I think in the romance genre I loved was Jackie Collins.

Question 2: What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

Author’s Response:   Try and keep trying everyday. It’s hard at first but over time it gets easier.

Question 3: How do you develop your plot and characters?

Author’s Response:  The first thing I do is imagine a story and keep working it out in my head. Then I start writing in a notebook. As I’m writing I find music that will influence certain scenes and build around them. Every book I write has a soundtrack to it. Then when I’m done I begin typing the whole thing and I’m able to add more depth and nuance as I type.

Question 4:  What book is currently on your bedside table?

Author’s Response:  None, I don’t read while I’m writing because I don’t want to accidentally take ideas or writing styles. That being said the last book I read was a Discovery of Witches.

Question 5:  Recommend three of your favorite books to the readers.

Author’s Response:  All time favorites are  The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton, Are you there God, it’s me Margaret by Judy Blume and I have to add as the third the only book I have been scared while reading was The Amityville Horror. I love the horror genre and it is still the scariest book ever.

Author’s Favorite Quote:   “Let’s do it for Johnny” from The Outsiders.

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 159: The Magic of Woven Words – Author Interview #42

Dear Readers,

Happy Friday!

A huge Thank You and a Loud Shout out to the Author  J.S Ellis –  for agreeing to participate and kind enough to send prompt response to all my questions.

J.S Ellis  – The Secret Kept ; The Rich Man ; In Her Words

–>  A Brief Bio (As is written by the Author)

Few lines about me grumpy introvert 😊 Cat worshipper, devoted foodie. 

Funnily enough, I hated reading as a child, but I always loved writing. The love of reading came in my teens. My favorite genres are Dystopia and Psychological Thrillers.

Question 1: Can you share a snippet that isn’t in the blurb or excerpt? Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?

Author’s Response: Main characters that I will forever hold dearly in my heart is Theodore and Dean of my recently published book called Theodore: The Neighbor’s Cat. The story is told from a point of view of a beautiful tuxedo cat, Theodore. He’s a pet of a serial killer. Both are characters are special to me as I wrote them in a quite challenging time my husband was having.

Question 2: Do you write while listening to music? If so, what music inspired or accompanied this current book?  If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it?

Author’s Response: Yes, I write with music but self-edit without it. For Theodore, I listened to lots of rock music. If the Theodore would be a movie for Dean I have casted a few actors in my head:

Robert Pattinson

Cody Fern

Alexander Skarsgård.

Question 3: How many plot ideas are just waiting to be written? Can you tell us about one? Do you have any bookish resolutions for 2021? If yes, what are they?

Author’s Response: On February 2nd I’m going to publish another book called The Rich Man. It’s about a girl who falls a handsome wealthy man who has secrets of his own. Bookish resolutions? I don’t think I have any.  

Question 4: If you could ask one successful author three questions about their writing, writing process, or books, what would they be?  Do you listen to audio books? If so, are there any you’d recommend?

Author’s Response: I would ask Taylor Jenkins Reid about how she manages to convey such emotions in her writing. Yes, I listen to lots of audio books it is how I keep track with my reading goal every year which is 80 to 100 books a year. Good audio books? You by Caroline Kepens, The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks, and We are the Aunts by Shaun David Hutchinson.

Question 5:  Recommend three of your favorite books to the readers.

Author’s Response:

1984 by George Orwell

Killing Me Softly by Nicci French

The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 158: The Magic of Woven Words – Author Interview #41

Dear Readers,

It’ been a while since I last posted. Life sometimes doesn’t go the way we envision it to go. How is your reading coming along? I finally managed to pick the much awaited book in my TBR – The Last Queen by Chitra Divakaruni. I am excited. Review to follow soon. Stay tuned.

A huge Thank You and a Loud Shout out to the Author Melissa Face –  for agreeing to participate and kind enough to send prompt response to all my questions.

Melissa Face  – I Love You More Than Coffee

–>  A Brief Bio (As is written by the Author)

When I was a child, my mom was a teacher and a librarian. Books have always been part of my life, and my earliest memories of reading independently include Little House on the Prairie, Judy Blume, and my mom’s Cherry Ames books from her childhood. I remember clearing items out of my closet so I could sit in there and read on summer afternoons. I felt I had really escaped.

Question 1: Tell us about your first published book? What was the journey like?

Author’s Response: I Love You More Than Coffee is my first published book. It is an essay collection for parents, and it’s a perfect gift book for the holidays, Mother’s Day, Valentine’s, or for moms to indulge at any time. The journey is so much fun. I am enjoying meeting new people, swapping stories and memories with other mothers, and generally talking about my collection. I have been thrilled with the support I’ve received locally and online. 

Question 2: Have you always wanted to be a writer? When did you start writing?

Author’s Response: I have wanted to be a writer as long as I can remember. My mom tells me there was a time when I wanted to be a cashier, but that was because I thought I would get to keep all the money customers paid me. I was probably about five at that time. 
I have always written as a way to escape and to sort out my problems and make sense of experiences. In high school, I wrote a lot of terrible, dramatic poetry, and I wrote in my journal frequently. I began writing creative nonfiction in my twenties, and I’ve been in that genre ever since.

Question 3: How do you develop your plot and characters? 

Author’s Response: Since I write mostly nonfiction, I am not conscious of either of these. I try to write with as much accuracy as possible, and as true as my memory allows. I incorporate dialogue whenever possible.

Question 4: Who is your favorite author and why? What book is currently on your bedside table?

Author’s Response: On my bedside table is White Fragility. I’m reading it because I’ve been meaning to and because I’m writing an article about antiracist parenting. I do a bit of freelance writing, as well. And I love it.My favorite author, however, is Elizabeth Gilbert. She has become my favorite in recent months though, and I’m now going back and reading her older works.

Question 5:  Recommend three of your favorite books to the readers.

Author’s Response:

City of Girls – really fun, delicious novel by Elizabeth Gilbert

Big Magic – also by Elizabeth Gilbert, this book is about nurturing the artist’s soul. I found it life changing, and I plan to read it annually – more often, if needed.

The Great Gatsby – It’s a classic. I love the 20s, and I love Fitzgerld’s gorgeous prose. It’s also a very complex tale of love, class, and values. 

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 157: Blog Tour 15 – Book Review #61

Dear Readers,

Happy Friday!

Today is my stop in the blog tour organized by Blackthorn Tours. Thank You for your consideration and inviting me to participate in this blog tour.

BOOK REVIEW ALERT – Review, Recommendation, Rating & Opinion are my own.

Title – Gold

Author – Thomas Greenbank

Genre – Family Saga

The Kincaid Saga #1 revolves around Malcolm Kincaid. A self made man in every sense. But he is as ruthless as one can think of. He has built an empire all by himself and he is an opportunist. His goals need to be achieved. But only time will tell as to how far and long he is prepared to go to achieve his goals.

Rachael, Malcolm Kincaid’s fiance and his business partner is made to work with a man she isn’t fond of one bit.

Lachlan, unaware of this own parentage sets on his journey filled with challenges at every step.

  • Does Malcolm Kincaid succeed?
  • Does Lachlan overcome his challenges?
  • Who betrays whom?
  • Can they overcome greed?
  • How does it all come together?

Rating – 4/5 Stars
Recommendation – High

Conclusion,

This family saga captured my attention right from the beginning. I found myself right in the middle and it satiated my curiosity to the brim. Not a dull moment in this book, I loved it right from the start.

Trigger Warnings: Contains description of rape and murder.

P.S: Thank You Blackthorn Tours for providing me with an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 156: The Magic of Woven Words – Author Interview #40

Dear Readers,

Happy Wednesday!

A huge Thank You and a Loud Shout out to the Author Margreit M –  for agreeing to participate and kind enough to send prompt response to all my questions.

Margreit M   – Runaway at Sea

–>  A Brief Bio (As is written by the Author)


Writing has always been a dream, floating in the back of my mind for as long as I can remember. I used to talk about it in high school and college. A love for literature was instilled in me by my mother and family in general from an early age. While growing up, I read a wide range of books from the classics to something quick and fun. I can’t pinpoint a specific genre as I read everything I could because I adored getting lost in a story. A few stand-outs would be Tom Clancy’s espionage novels, Danielle Steele’s romances and Agatha Christie, Carol Higgins Clarke and Jane Austin. I also read a lot of Stephen King. 

Question 1: What inspired you to start writing?

Author’s Response: I always loved to read and always wanted to write something unique. I have always been creative. When my grandfather gave me the journal of Robert’s life, I was fascinated and set out to find the best way to bring his story to life. It was the unique story I was waiting for, even if I didn’t really know that until I was done with the first book. 

Question 2:  What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Author’s Response: If I had to pick one of many, I would say bringing imagery to the reader. I try to focus on including as many of our five senses as I can on a page, this way I feel my readers can experience the scene just as the character is. 

Question 3: How do you come up with the titles to your books?

Author’s Response: I think of action words that are related to the story and then use the thesaurus to make lists of words. Then I play around until I find something that has movement and intrigue.

Question 4: What are you reading now?  What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Author’s Response: Right now I am immersed in writing the second book of the series and so all my reading is related to research for this book. I have a list of books I can’t wait to read when I finish book two! 
As a young reader I read a wide range of books from quick fun romances to classic literature. I think Jane Austin and Agatha Christi were very influential for me. Also, JK Rowling’s story of triumph and success is one that keeps me going, as her’s is recent and her perseverance is inspiring. 

Question 5:  Recommend three of your favorite books to the readers.

Author’s Response:

Gone With the Wind  

Anna Karenina

Pride & Prejudice

Author’s Favorite Quote: My favorite book is Gone With the Wind and so my best quote would be “Tomorrow is another day!” It gives me a sense of a chance for another chance, a renewal of sorts.

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 155: The Magic of Woven Words – Author Interview #39

Dear Readers,

Happy Monday!

How was your weekend? Did you guys read anything fun? Or do anything fun? Let me know in the comments below.

A huge Thank You and a Loud Shout out to the Author John Peter Legaspi  –  for agreeing to participate and kind enough to send prompt response to all my questions.

John Peter Legaspi   – Waiting

–>  A Brief Bio (As is written by the Author)

Hi there. First let me thank you for conducting this interview with me, Mrswiftnib. I’m J. Peter Legaspi, proud father of four, aspiring writer and dabbled in literature for most of my adult life. For nearly 25 years, I’ve worked in pathology which has provided me precious perspective on life and the uncertainly of tomorrow. I’ve always loved darker novels, sci-fi and horror as well as suspense and thrillers. I recall taking an elective creative writing class in college (Syracuse University) and shockingly having my weekly paper read aloud. I feared that I was being targeted for some mysterious reason. One day after class, the teacher approached me and asked how my semester was going. Although odd and met with reluctance I told her that thus far, everything had been fine. As I rattled off my classes her face crumpled into abhorrence. She asked what was my major and I responded, “Engineering. Why?” (Yes I started out life as an engineering major). She promptly chastised, “Oh goodness, why?” For many reasons, I switched to pre-med and then landed in the bizarre, yet fascinating world of Pathology. I do regret not transferring into the Uber-prestigious Newhouse school of communications at Syracuse. But that is ancient split milk. I never lost my passion for writing and here I am with my self-published book.  

Question 1: Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb? Where do you draw inspiration from?

 Author’s Response: I must say, I’ve always been an avid fan of comic books and subsequently graphic novels as I grew older and gained more access to more adult subject matter books. I’ve always had a soft spot for romantic comedies ever since watching When Harry met Sally.  It wasn’t until my past failed attempt at publishing a full-length manuscript, a psychological suspense thriller, that my friends and family (my beloved focus group) and my prior editor relayed to me that one of my best scenes are the romance scenes and interpersonal relations hips. So I pivoted and tried my hand at the romance genre.     

Question 2: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

 Author’s Response: I then to have a wide range of imagination and so often, when all alone I’ll pretend I’m speaking into a large audience, like a grand Broadway play sized venue. I’m a complete center staged guest speaker and either I’m doing a reading of my material or doing stand-up. In this way I read aloud my material and gauge the audience’s response. Usually, can then scrap my notes and revise. Sometimes the audience goes nuts and sometimes I get pelted with rotten produce. 

Question 3: How do you do research for your books? On a typical day, how much time do you spend writing?

Author’s Response: For this book in particular, I blended a lot of my own persona and person interest and past experiences, but I still had to research names, contemporary Characters and drug reactions and the book industry. All this is because my main characters, my two destined lovers met while in cosplay make-up at New York City Comic Con, this biggest nonfamily event of the year for me. Ben is an aspiring writer and so much of my self-published research was double dipped for his character. Ida is a power suit type A, in-charge lead strong female corporate superstar. I had to observe and speak to many women who hold similar positions to get a grasp of nuances in the business world that may not have occurred to me. It was eye-opening and invaluable. Additionally, my editor for Waiting to be Written, Caroline Knect fact-checked me and contributed quite often to correct some inaccuracies. She has been an invaluable resource helping me avoid an egg splattered face.  And my format and cover designer Natalia j   With a full-time job and a full home, I write with an irregular schedule, basically whenever I can. Weekly I’d try to aim for twenty hours of cumulative writing. Some weeks can be only a handful of hours while if fueled by transpiration, I’d break night. Throughout the day, I’d leave myself notes on texts, scribbles on napkins and my palm. Covid and handwashing has pretty much eliminated the palm notes.

Question 4: Who is the author you most admire in your genre? What book is currently on your bedside table?

Author’s Response: I have such a wide array of interests and I’ve read a good variety of authors. Of course, I am an avid fan of Stephen king but also enjoy reading Alessandra Torre, Nicolas Sparks, Mitch Albom, Steig Larson, Helen Hoang, and so much more. Right now, have Cloud Alas by David Mitchell.

Question 5:  Recommend three of your favorite books to the readers.

Author’s Response: I really was moved by Mitch Albom’s Five people you meet in Heaven. For all those that struggle with guilt or so-called failures in life, it’s a profound reminder that the good we do, although often forgot may have resounding impact even if not successful and even through death. Plus, if you want a good cry the last few chapters will tear into your soul, provided you have one.I am going chalk here but, I absolutely loved the Notebook by Nicolas Sparks. Its timeless, a quick read but again offers perspective in life choices and second chances. A lifetime of joy despite a crippling illness and loss of memory. Love does conquer all things. And finally, A few years ago, I was browsing for something different, something out of my comfort level and I came across the Girl in 6E, by Alessandra Torre (A.R. Torre). It was dark, sensual, erotic, suspenseful and captivating. It read like a psychological thriller but had deep self-love and real love issues. As I explored more about the author, I discovered that she was an Independent author and self-published her book with unexpected success. So, on a duel level it inspired me. 

Until next time!

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 154: The Magic of Woven Words – Author Interview #38

Dear Readers,

Happy Friday!

What is planned for the weekend to read? Anything that you are excited about? I have a book that I am excited about to read and I hope to start that book.

A huge Thank You and a Loud Shout out to the Author Johnnie Bernhard  –  for agreeing to participate and kind enough to send prompt response to all my questions.

Johnnie Bernhard  – How we came to be ; A Good Girl ; Sisters of the Undertow (Books are available as a paperback, Kindle, and on audio at Amazon, Walmart.com, Target.com, indie bookstores, Audible, and i-Tunes.)

–>  A Brief Bio (As is written by the Author)

I’m a former English teacher and journalist – reading and writing is my passion!  I loved reading as a child and was fortunate to grow up in a home where this was encouraged!  My favorite series was Nancy Drew mysteries. I thought her a fabulous role model for girls! She was smart and brave, plus she drove a sports car.  As I became a more mature reader, I loved the classics and American literature.

Question 1: Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb?  Does one of the main characters hold a special place in your heart? If so, why?

 Author’s Response: The characters Sean and Little Red Rambo are homeless in the novel. They frequent the library where the main character works. They are avid readers and extremely honest, philosophical at times. Sean is a homeless VET and Little Red Rambo is displaced, because of Hurricane Katrina. The library becomes their home! 

Question 2: What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book? What do you hope your readers take away from this book?

 Author’s Response: Some of the challenges I faced in writing the book is keeping the characters realistic, so the reader can identify with what they are saying and doing. I write Upmarket Fiction, which means I am trying as an author to make commentary on social issues. My greatest desire in writing is hoping the reader will connect with a character or a scene, which moves him/her to think and feel. Empathy and self discovery are important themes in my work.

Question 3: Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about? Where do you draw inspiration from?

 Author’s Response: I am currently completing a work of fiction involving human trafficking along the Texas-Mexico border.  My family home is located 100 miles from the border. I am inspired by the cultural diversity of the region, as well as the need to address the horror of human trafficking. I began working on this novel after reading a sign in a public restaurant about victims of human trafficking. From there, I began researching and writing.

Question 4: Who is your favorite author and why? What book is currently on your bedside table?

 Author’s Response: It is difficult to have one favorite author! I have never been disappointed by the writing of Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Jesmyn Ward, and Barbara Kingsolver. 

Question 5:  Recommend three of your favorite books to the readers.

 Author’s Response:

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

Sing Unburied Sing by Jesmyn Ward

One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez

Author’s Favorite Quote : My favorite author quote is from the Nobel Prize winning author Ernest Hemingway, “Write hard and clear about what hurts.” 

Until next time!

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 153: RomantiConn Event Post

Dear Readers,

Happy Wednesday!

I’m very excited to post today as I have something very interesting for all of you. Read on to know what this wonderful post is about today.

Kitty Berry Books, LLC. is excited to announce the 2nd RomantiConn author event coming on July 24, 2021! It’s a fun-filled event where authors and readers share their love of fangirling, book-boyfriends, and all things related to books and romance. RomantiConn offers a day to get away from the stress and spend time with friends.

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General Admission (12-4pm) $25. This ticket will come with a tote bag (while supplies last) filled with book related goodies and swag from the signing authors, sponsors, and donating companies.

VIP All Access Pass Ticket (Signing 12-4pm & Cocktail Mingle 4:30-6:30pm): $70. This ticket will come with a tote bag (while supplies last) filled with book related goodies and swag from the signing authors, sponsors, and donating companies. It also includes your entry into the mingle from 4:30-6:30pm. Open bar and food stations will be available while you mingle with and get to know your favorite RomantiConn authors.

Unicorn Ticket (11am-12pm) $40. This ticket provides you with a one-hour lunch where you’ll be able to sit and chat with your favorite authors from the event in a low-key, informal setting prior to the event. You’ll have your choice between three sandwiches (veggie, turkey, beef), a drink, chips, and a salad. It also comes with a cookie!

Have you visited Falls Village, Maine? Have the pleasure of joining fellow RomantiConn authors in this hybrid anthology to bring readers 14 books all set in the town of Falls Village, a harbor town in Maine.

There’s enough time to binge-read the collection before July. Find out more about Falls Village here: https://www.kittyberryauthor.com/falls-village-collection.html

Want a signed copy of the books? Come meet the authors at RomantiConn on July 24! https://romanticonn2021.eventbrite.com

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 152: Blog Tour 14 – Book Review #60

Dear Readers,

Today is my stop in the blog tour organized by The Write Reads . Thank You for your consideration and inviting me to participate in this blog tour.

BOOK REVIEW ALERT – Review, Recommendation, Rating & Opinion are my own.

Title – Kate is Waiting

Author – Becky Albertalli

Genre – Rom Com

Kate and Anderson are the best of friends. They are practically attached at the hip. Inseparable is what one can safely vouch for these two. But everything is not hunky dory in their lives when the most unexpected thing happen in their life.

On one camp that Kate and Anderson take, they both land up falling for the same guy. Both of them fall for Matt and then on nothing seems to be the same in their lives after that.

  • Does Kate and Anderson’s friendship survive?
  • Who wins over Matt?
  • Is it difficult to maintain their friendship?
  • What drama unfolds?

Rating – 4/5 Stars
Recommendation – High

I loved the drama that takes place in this book. All the characters have been developed well and the plot is really interesting and to the point that it notches one’s curiosity levels a lot. I enjoyed reading this book a lot.

P.S – Thank You The Write Reads for organizing and inviting me to be a part of this magnificent blog tour. Thank You Penguin Publishers and Netgalley for providing the ecopy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 151: The Magic of Woven Words – Author Interview #37

Dear Readers,

Happy Thursday! One more day to go for the weekend to be here. What are you all reading?

A huge Thank You and a Loud Shout out to the Author A.L. Berggren  –  for agreeing to participate and kind enough to send prompt response to all my questions.

A.L. Berggren The Secret of the Crying Minds and The Hunt of the Crying Minds are available on Amazon (Paperback, Kindle and Kindle Unlimited)

–>  A Brief Bio (As is written by the Author)

Hello, my name is Louise, a proud single mother with two amazingly strong forward thinking daughters, a business owner and a keen new author that in general manage to find the positives in most situations no matter what life throws at me.
My books are written under the name A.L. Berggren which is my maiden name, I’m Swedish by origin and was born and raised in Stockholm but have lived in London since 1996. 
From as early as I can remember growing up in an incredibly bookish family, I have always loved reading and being the creator of my own stories. Hugely inspired by Elsa Beskow’s magical tales that taught me to read and Astrid Lindgren’s books with the strong female protagonists followed by a range of detective and mystery books such as: The Famous Five by Enid Blyton, all Agatha Christie’s and later a range of Stephen King books. To be fair, I read everything I could get my hands on from Margaret Mitchells Gone with the wind (that made me skip school for two whole days so I could finish the book) and Kafka’s – The Metamorphosis to Sidney Sheldon and the more inappropriate books for my age written by Jackie Collins.  
My favourite author of all times is Paulo Coelho especially his book The Zahir, his words and thoughts just hit straight into my heart, mind and soul every time. One of my favourite book quotes are from one of his most famous book The Alchemist:  “There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.”
Still, my favourite genre will always be crime and psychological thrillers.
As a child my own stories were created in many ways; through hours of Lego or playing Barbie, dressing up, pretend play, drawings or paintings. Not a day went by when I didn’t create a story in my head, written or outspoken with vivid characters and plots. I still do it; on the tube, in the car, at work, there are no limits how much you can spice up the everyday life with a bit of fantasy! I wrote my first book as a four-year-old “The Birthday Party” on my dads old type writer. The second book got co-written with my best friend Paula when we were eight-years-old called “The HighJackers” which we entertained our classmates with on our dedicated weekly “fun hour”. During my teenage years, I wrote poetry and song texts but luckily for my eyes only.

Storytelling kept being part of my life, in the form of customer case studies and product presentations, daily good night stories to my two girls, comedy material, through pictures, or to cheer a friend up with something fun. In 2012 until now, throughout a breakup, divorce and the hideous experience of eight years in secret family court, I started to write a fictional story – The Crying Minds.

Question 1: How many books have you written? Which is your favorite? What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book(s)? 

 Author’s Response: I have published two books so far The Secret of the Crying Minds (June 2020)and The Hunt of the Crying Minds (Dec 2020)

It’s hard to pick a favorite as it is a series and they belong together. I do think book 1, part 1 is a bit slow for my own liking but I couldn’t see a way out of it as I really wanted the readers to get a good insight to the background of both the antagonist and protagonist before the story begin to ramp up from Book 1 part 2 and onwards. 


It took me by surprise that it would be such a nail-biter to invite the world to be part of my fantasies, real courage was needed to press the publish button. Never knew I was such coward…It feels good now though after some five star reviews are in.

Question 2: Where do you get your inspiration? Do you write while listening to music? If so, what music inspired or accompanied this current book?

 Author’s Response:

My inspiration comes from real life experiences, observations, hardship, real people and my many different relationships, things I read, hear, see and research as well as political topics I am passionate about. Most of all the hope that good will always outweigh the bad even if the journey can be long and hard to get there.
Injustice, entitlement, slavery, abuse and bullying makes my blood boil which inspires big parts of my more “dark” writing. 
Personally I strongly believe in doing good now and every little helps to make a positive change, so 15% of all my book profits goes to a selection of chosen charities close to my heart. At the moment I work exclusively with the charity Do Good Now to support them in their phenomenal work against modern slavery and building a safe house and education centre in Nepal for trafficked victims.    

Absolutely. I am, as my main character in my books, a big fan of Spotify playlists full of Swedish House Mafia, Faithless and Avicii, the louder it is the more creative I get. You can find my own composed playlist for The Crying Minds here  https://open.spotify.com/user/louiseedwards1/playlist/1MeSKLjav6pBBAkjg9NWuO?si=fS2fNO8ERCiTzwrthbz_Vw 🙂

Question 3: What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel? Are you working on anything at the present you would like to share with your readers about? 

     Author’s Response:

Yes there will be five books in total, the next book is called  The Battle of the Crying Minds followed byThe Revenge and The Future of the Crying Minds

All characters keep on growing throughout the series and inline with the expanding plot, especially the protagonist Roze who is only a child in book 1 and coming of age in Book 2. From book 3 and onwards she has become a young, very powerful and unique adult working for the MI5 – a new age female “James Bond” with extreme mastery of her EQ, mind and body reading skills. A person everyone wants to make use of but no one wants near. Hydra the antagonist is rapidly expanding his “heads” through a network of brainwashed gamers across the globe.


A
t the moment I am working on the third book in the series: The Battle of the Crying Minds that is planned to be published in June 2021 plus the audio book for The Secret of the Crying Minds

Question 4: Describe your perfect book hero or heroine. How do you do research for your books? What are you reading now?

Author’s Response: Perfection is a difficult goal to aspire to and I believe the Heroin shall, just like Roze in the Crying Minds, have some imperfections to make her the perfect, relatable character. She is strong, incredibly intelligent but also cynical and somewhat dishonest. She is determined and tenacious but that means sometimes walk over “dead bodies” to get what she want. She has beautiful external features but unhappy deep in her lonely soul with a persistent migraine and no sense of smell. Athletic and competitive. She means well but makes mistakes. She is a human with feelings, just like you and me despite being a victim of a scientific experiment enhancing her emotional intelligence and mind reading skills.

Research is a constant part of my life not only for my books but also because I am very curious about things in general. Google searches, Wikipedia, factual books, maps, articles, videos, TV, research documents, behavioural studies on social media, to interviewing people are all part of my daily life… 

At the moment I am reading Deadly Secrets by Gordon Bickerstaff and Purpose Driven People by Alize Hofmeester.

Question 5:  Recommend three of your favorite books to the readers.

Author’s Response:

Three books from different genres that I would like to recommend would be:

Life changing – The Zahir, Paulo Coelho Thrilling Fiction book: – Millennium Trilogy, Stieg Larsson Self reflection and leadership inspiration – Finding Flow, Kristina Zumpolle

Until next time!

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 150: The Magic of Woven Words – Author Interview #36

Dear Readers,

What are your reading goals for this month? Do you have a set number of books to read? Or do you have a set of books to wrap this month? I haven’t decided yet, but for sure I look forward to reading a few books this month. Let’s see how this month unfolds.

A huge Thank You and a Loud Shout out to the Authors Andrew Underwood & Cristal Underwood –  for agreeing to participate and kind enough to send prompt response to all my questions.

Andrew Underwood & Cristal Underwood  – Secret of 8 and The Wandering (Available on Amazon Kindle and Unlimited.)

–>  A Brief Bio (As is written by the Author)

Andrew Underwood: I am 55 years young; I was born in a small farm town out west and had the mountains as my playground. “Salem Utah” I was one of 6 kids and found out very early on that I was a weird kid.  My imagination was on 24/7 I had two modes of operation, fast and stop, always jumping from one thing to another.  Today they call it ADD/ADHD.  Yes I read and my books of choice were anything scary, or out of this world.  Favorite Genres, Scifi, horror, fantasy, adventure.  I tried writing off and on since I was a kid, but without direction the stories never really made it past the first 4 or 5 chapters.  My favorite quote came from a book I read in my thirties. Way of the Peaceful warrior by Dan Millman.  (Where are you? Here, What time is it? Now. What are you? This moment).  To me, it is living in the moment, the journey is the adventure not the destination.

Cristal Underwood – Iam 53 years old and was born and raised in Erie, PA. I was a shy and sensitive child that struggled with anxiety. I grew up with my mom reading Richard Scarry and Dr Suess books to me. My Dad is dyslexic so he was the one that encouraged it. I read everything I could get my hands on but my all time favorites were The Secret Garden, Little Women, and all of James Herriot’s books. I started writing in grade school and entered yearly writing contests within the school, of which I won several. Most of my early writings were poetry. My favorite quotes are: “My hope still is to leave the world a better place than when I got here.”- Jim Henson and also, “Nothing is impossible for a determined woman.” -Louisa May Alcott.

Question 1:  What inspired you to start writing? What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out?

Author’s Response:

Andrew – My overactive imagination for starters, but the real question is what got me to finish a story and the answer to that question is My wife and writing partner Cristal.  Advice – Write what you know, what you are passionate about, write every day, even when you don’t feel like it.  Just write.  

Cristal – I was a very observant child. I noticed things most people overlooked. Facial expressions, smells, colors and textures fascinated me. Once I turned 8 years old, I devoured all the books I could. I read the entire yearly reading list for school in a matter of 3 months. While my teacher looked for new books for me, I wrote little stories about my classmates, my home life, my pets and my dreams. 

For new writers- My advice is don’t worry about spelling and grammar. Get it all out on paper first. Sometimes it will flow freely and sometimes you will struggle to form sentences. Just don’t give up!

Question 2: What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing? What time of the day do you usually write?

Author’s Response:

Andrew – Passion, imagination, courage, empathy, longing. Mostly I write during the day and it is when the ideas hit.  

 Cristal – Good writing is when it is descriptive enough to form a movie in my head but vague enough that I can fill in the blanks with my own imagination. I write whenever it comes to me. I have a tablet and pen on hand at all times so I can jot down ideas or notes.

Question 3:  What are the tools of the trade? What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Author’s Response:

Andrew – My tools of the Trade? My imagination, My stories come from the movie theater in my head.  I am like a reporter, sitting in the front seat of an old theater and I have to write down as fast as I can what is playing on the screen.  That is the closest thing I can say as to my writing process.  

Cristal – Tools? Laptop, thesaurus, full cup of coffee and my glasses (Can’t see without them!) I tend to write out chapters first on tablets and edit, cross out and scribble notes in the margins before transferring to the laptop. I write better when it’s inconvenient- In the line at the grocery store, at work, sitting in traffic, sleeping.. LOL!

Question 4: What books or authors have most influenced your own writing? Who is your favorite author and why?

Author’s Response:

Andrew – I am an avid reader and to choose just one book or one author would not be fair. Asimov, Bradbury, Orson Scott Card, Clarke, Tolkien, Brooks, Hickman, King, Feist, Barker, Koontz, just to name a few.  They fed my imagination, I adventured across the stars, fought dragons, and became scared to go into a dark basement.

 Cristal – I have read so many books, it’s hard to choose just one. I love strong women authors and autobiographies of successful people. Nancy Drew books influenced my love of mysteries, while Stephen King inspired the twisted horror side of me. I’m also fond of a good romance as long as there is substance to the characters and it’s not focused on the raunchy parts. 

Question 5:  Recommend three of your favorite books to the readers.

Author’s Response:

Andrew The Hobbit, Enders Game, The Stand.

CristalStephen King’s IT, Big Little Lies and The Time Traveler’s Wife

Until next time!

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 149: Blog Tour 13 – Book Review #59

Dear Readers,

Today is my stop in the blog tour organized by Blackthorn Tours. Thank You for your consideration and inviting me to participate in this blog tour.

BOOK REVIEW ALERT – Review, Recommendation, Rating & Opinion are my own.

Title – Colony

Author – Benjamin Cross

Genre – Thriller

Callum Ross is a Professor of Archaeology. Harmsworth, a remote island in Russia. Here, the Professor makes a discovery of his lifetime. A prehistoric ice mummy is discovered by him in the island preserved for ages. But the discovery isn’t what it is and what it appears to be. Death here definitely isn’t from a natural cause.

Callum is determined to find out the the death surrounding the mummy, but things go terribly wrong. He and his team struggle to stay ahead and someone out there is hellbent on making it very hard for them.

  • How did the mummy die?
  • Is Callum able to discover the truth behind the death?
  • Who wants Callum and his team to stop?
  • What is the shocking discovery?
  • Does Callum and his team win this race to find the truth?

Rating – 5/5 Stars
Recommendation – Very High

Conclusion,

This book is a racy read and an utterly captivating one. Right from the start, I loved the journey with Callum and his team. The character development is done well and the plot development is brilliant. A stunning page turner, it is a thrilling book in every sense. From mummies to the arctic, from discovery to death, this chilling, yet thrilling book takes us on a ride from the beginning to the end. I thoroughly enjoyed this super fast paced book.

P.S: Thank You Blackthorn Tours for providing me with an ecopy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

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