Blog 140: The Magic of Woven Words – Author Interview #30

Dear Readers,

Hope you are well! How many books have you managed to devour so far? Let me know below.

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

Daisy Watson – The A-Z of Nostalgia (Available on Amazon for purchase.)

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

 Hi, I’m Daisy Watson. I was born and bred in Bedford, UK, where I still reside today, along with my husband and two naughty West Highland Terriers. My mum and dad introduced me to the most incredible books from a young age. The likes of Raymond Briggs, Janet and Allan Ahlberg and Shirley Hughes to name a few. When I grew up I adored authors such as Jacqueline Wilson and Louise Rennison. I have always been a keen reader, with reading being my favorite past time along with music and exploring different genres. My favorite quote is by the poet, Hafiz. This short poem is taken from his book of poems called “The Gift”. 
“And still, after all this time,The sun never says to the earth,”You owe Me.”
Look what happens with A love like that,It lights the Whole Sky.” 

Question 1:  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:  As this is my first book as a self-published author, I am giving myself plenty of time for promotion and getting out to the masses. I do have an idea for a second book, in the very early stages, taking a comical look back on children’s TV through the years.

Question 2: When did you first consider yourself a writer? How do you do research for your books?

Author’s Response: I first got into writing during the COVID lock down. As it has been for so many, this year has been a struggle for me. Whilst being out of a job during the pandemic I felt at my lowest mentally. I knew I needed to get positive thoughts back in my life and my creative juices flowing, but felt uninspired. I decided to write a piece about the best years of my life as a sort of therapy and it transpired into a book which I have since published. My love for nostalgia and pop culture, combined with my experience in content writing inspired me to take up writing. 

Question 3:  How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing?

Author’s Response: With my book being non-fiction, world building doesn’t really take place. I have an idea on the format of my book very early on and what I want the finished book to look like. The contents of my book is all factual, but the imagination comes with the comedy.

Question 4: What are you reading now? What book is currently on your bedside table? 

Author’s Response: I have just this morning finished reading “Christmas Shopaholic” by Sophie Kinsella. It’s the most recent addition to the Shopaholic series. The series as a whole is very funny and relatable for a lot of women out there. I was saving the Christmas book until the festive period and it didn’t disappoint.

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

Author’s Response:

The Butterfly Lion by Michael Morpurgo – Aimed at a younger audience but I think great for all ages. It was one of my favourites as a child and it still is today. It’s about a boy who finds an orphaned, white lion cub, the bond they build and the heartbreaks they face.


Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck – An absolute classic. Some may think English lessons in school ruined this book, but not this girl. A touching book about friendship and loyalty ’til the end.

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon – An amazingly well written story about a boy with ASD who finds a neighborhood dog dead and is determined to solve the mystery.

Until next time!

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 139: The Magic of Woven Words – Author Interview #29

Dear Readers,

I have just started my first book of the month and my pick is – Cemetery Boys which I will be reading with my bookish Insta buddy and we are very elated. I am about a quarter into the book and I must say it is just brilliant.

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

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

I am a working mom of one awesome 12-year-old who is my constant motivator in working on my book (if only so I don’t have to hear “Mom, is your book finished yet” anymore!) – I work a regular full-time job in marketing and focus on my writing on the weekends. 
I grew up reading anything and everything I could get my hands on. I have fond memories of biweekly trips to the local library with my mom and coming home with a stack of books. Reading was such a thrill to me. I loved Roald Dahl as a child and, as I got older, really enjoyed adventure books and historical fiction. I was obsessed with literary heroines like Jane Eyre, Jo March, and Elizabeth Bennett.
As for writing, that started as far back as I can remember. I always knew I wanted to be a writer – it was a seed planted within me at a very young age and one that I think grew because of my love for reading. It wasn’t that I wanted to be an author so I could be famous – I think I always just knew that I had a story to share, but it took me a very long time to consider writing professionally.

Question 1:  Tell us about your first published book? What was the journey like? Can you share a snippet that isn’t in the blurb or excerpt? What was the inspiration for the story?

Author’s Response: I am not yet published, but I look forward to publishing my current work-in-progress someday soon! It is a story of adventure, magic, and mystery that takes a spunky, young girl on a journey to a mystical realm where she discovers a sisterhood of women that she was born into – and a gift that was passed down from generation to generation, from mother to daughter, for hundreds of years. 
The inspiration for the story came from a Chinese folktale about a magic brush that kind of sparked a little idea in my head and over several years developed into its own adventure. The main character, whose name is Penny, is inspired in part by my own personality and feelings as a child. But it was also inspired by my daughter, as I wanted to write a story for her that provides strong, female role models.

Question 2:  What is the future for the characters? Will there be a sequel? Do you write while listening to music? If so, what music inspired or accompanied this current book?

Author’s Response: This will be a 3 book series at least, though I have possible plans for as many as 5 or 6 books. 
I always write while listening to music, but it’s always different and depends on what mood I’m in. I’ve listened to a lot of Ella Fitzgerald while writing this book, and that’s worked its way into the story a bit!

Question 3: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? How do you do research for your books?

Author’s Response: I’d say my most interesting writing quirk is that I am a big doodler. Some might call it procrastination, but I think doodling helps open my mind up a little. Also, my best ideas tend to come to me in the shower – no idea why that is. I’ve done a lot of research for my book because there are elements to it that are tied to other countries and languages, so I’ve spent a lot of time on Google!

Question 4:  Describe your writing space. What does your writing process involve? What are you reading now?

Author’s Response: I have an office in my house where I can shut out the noise and write uninterrupted. So, I do try to get some writing done throughout the day. But I most often find myself writing late at night when everyone in my house has gone to bed. I think it’s just easier to focus on writing when I know there’s nothing else going on. My process has involved a lot of organization, or at least attempted organization! Judy Blume says she has a messy mind as a writer, and I totally identify with that because there’s so much going on in my mind at all times! I have to stay organized, at least on paper. So I storyboard scenes and I print out physical representations of characters and places in my book. It makes it easier for me to write when I have something physically sitting in front of me. 
I’m currently reading Song of Achilles by Madeline E. Miller.

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

Author’s Response:

Circe by Madeline E. Miller – beautifully and expertly crafted

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood – such a complex and interesting story

The BFG by Roald Dahl – best children’s book ever!

Author’s Favorite Quote: One of my favorite passages of writing is found in Tolkien’s Return of the King: “There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tor high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end, the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.”

Until next time!

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 138: The Magic of Woven Words – Author Interview #28

Dear Readers,

I had a good reading month in January. I did a dozen books and if you want to see the books I read, here is the link to the post, https://booksfortheloveofwords.wordpress.com/2021/01/29/blog-137-january-wrap/

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

Abby Broomfield – Summer at Bramblewood and Snowflakes at Bramblewood Farm are available on amazon. They are ‘The Bramblewood Farm series.’

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

I’m a farmer, reader and author from the Isle of Wight. I definitely grew up reading. My parents read to me at a young age and then as soon as I could read I used to stay up late reading to my little brother from my library books. When I was younger I loved fantasy books but then grew up and pretty much only read romance and thrillers but will read pretty much read anything.I started writing for fun at about age 7/8 years old and then properly when I was in high school. I started publishing books at 19 years old.

Question 1:  What inspired you to start writing? How long have you been writing? When did you start writing?

Author’s Response: I was inspired to start writing in my primary school when we used to do story writing on a Friday. I used to find it so easy to invent stories and loved it! So I’ve been writing since I was about 7 years old. I used to love letting my mum read my books.

Question 2: What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out? What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Author’s Response: If had to give some advice, although it’s said allot, it would be to KEEP writing and to do it all the time. When I was 15 I thought I was amazing, I’ve read that stuff back as a 19 year old and realized how far my writing has come. When I reach 25 I’m sure I’ll look back on my recent writing and see even more progress. You can only get better if you do something enough. Also to read allot! You wouldn’t direct a movie if you’d never watched one before.The most important element of writing in my opinion is the passion you out into your books. I always say to never over plan. Have a rough outline but leave yourself space to go where the book takes you. If you know exactly what’s going to happen in your story then you risk getting bored and loosing your passion. Stay excited about your plot and you readers will feel your passion in your writing.

Question 3:  How do you develop your plot and characters? Describe your writing space. Describe a typical writing day. What books or authors have most influenced your own writing?

Author’s Response: When it comes to developing my plot and characters things happen very randomly. Sometimes I’ll be driving or in the shower and suddenly get a whole book idea from start to finish. I grab my phone or paper and write it down really fast. Sometimes that initial plot changes into a completely different story but that’s fine. The characters normally come after for me. I create characters that would fit into my plot. I don’t have a typical writing day. Some days I write 10,000 words, some days I write none. I like to write when I’m in the mood. If I read my writing back I can tell if I was forcing it or if I was in the writing mood so I’m sure my readers could as well. The writers that most inspired me and also happen to be my favorites are Kate Morton, Jill Mansell, Holly Martin, Christie Barlow, Kirsty Greenwood, Michael Morpurgo and Nicolas Sparks.

Question 4:  Is there lots to do before you drive in and start writing the story? How much ‘world building’ takes place before you start writing? What book is currently on your bedside table? 

Author’s Response: I don’t do allot before I dive into writing. Since I always write about what I know I don’t really have to do allot of research. I like everything to feel fresh. If you leave a plot too long it goes stale and the characters and world you’ve created become hazy. I like to write my first draft very fast (in a matter of months.) I then perfect it later on. I like to dive straight in to keep the excitement and passion in my plot.
I’m currently reading The House by the Sea by Louise Douglas.

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

Author’s Response: My three favorites that I’d recommend to readers are,

The Lakehouse by Kate Morton

The Longest Ride by Nicolas Sparks

Big Sexy Love by Kirsty Greenwood (that one made me cry!)

Author’s Favorite Quote:  “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The person who never reads lives only one.”

Until next time!

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 137: January Wrap!

Dear Readers,

It’s Friday and I am here with my Monthly Wrap Up post. I just realized I won’t be finishing another book at the weekend and might as well put up my pollyanna post today.

I have decided to add post these wrap up posts a wee bit different from last year and I hope it’s well received by you wonderful people.

Here is the Highlight:

No. of Books Read: 12

No. of Hard Copy: 2

No. of Audio-books: 10

Genre: A mellifluous mix of Non-fiction, Mystery, YA, Lit Fic, Paranormal & Humor.

Here is my detailed stupendous list,

A.) Book – 1

Title: Five A.M Club

Author: Robin Sharma

Genre: Self Help

Originally Published: December 2018

Format: Audio

Rating: 4/5 Stars

B.) Book – 2

Title: Guilty Wives

Author: James Patterson

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Originally Published: March 2012

Format: Audio

Rating: 3/5 Stars

C.) Book – 3

Title: A Twist of Karma

Author: Wendy Wanner

Genre: Paranormal Fiction

Originally Published: April 2020

Format: E Copy

Rating: 5/5 Stars

D.) Book – 4

Title: Transcendent Karma

Author: Yaa Gyasi

Genre: Domestic Fiction

Originally Published: July 2020

Format: Audio

Rating: 2/5 Stars

E.) Book – 5

Title: Mrs Fletcher

Author: Tom Perrotta

Genre: Humor

Originally Published: August 2017

Format: Audio

Rating: 3/5 Stars

F.) Book – 6

Title: Three Women Disappear

Author: James Patterson

Genre: Mystery/Thriller

Originally Published: August 2020

Format: Audio

Rating: 4/5 Stars

G.) Book – 7

Title: Clap When You Land

Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

Genre: Fiction

Originally Published: May 2020

Format: Hard Copy

Rating: 5/5 Stars

H.) Book – 8

Title: Midnight Sun

Author: Stephenie Meyer

Genre: YA/Romance/Fantasy

Originally Published: August 2020

Format: Audio

Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

I.) Book – 9

Title: The Bromance Book Club

Author: Lyssa Kay Adams

Genre: Humor

Originally Published: November 2019

Format: Audio

Rating: 3/5 Stars

J.) Book – 10

Title: When Crawdads Sing

Author: Delia Owens

Genre: Literary Fiction

Originally Published: August 2018

Format: Audio

Rating: 4/5 Stars

K.) Book – 11

Title: The Poet X

Author: Elizabeth Acevedo

Genre: YA

Originally Published: March 2018

Format: Audio

Rating: 4/5 Stars

L.) Book – 12

Title: How the Light gets in

Author: Louise Penny

Genre: Mystery

Originally Published: July 2013

Format: Audio

Rating: 3/5 Stars

I just realized that doing Audio books is so much easier and faster. And the best part, I can listen to it while I am doing work, be it office or home work. I know , I know, there is joy and thrill in picking up a hard copy and reading it, but I have finally found my comfort in Audio-books and I am reeling in joy exuberance right now. So, let it last while it lasts.

I have decided I will add a Classic every alternate month and I have my book ready. I am excited. You can check my New Year Reading Goals. 🙂

That’s it from me for this post.

Happy Feb Reading Beautiful Peeps!

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 136: The Magic of Woven Words – Author Interview #27

Dear Readers,

Few more days left to say bye bye to January and I am hopeful to read a couple of more books to post my wrap up. Fingers crossed.

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

Margaret Amatt – A Winter Haven (Available on Amazon for purchase.)

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

I’m Margaret Amatt, author of A Winter Haven, the first book in the Scottish Island Escapes series.

I have been writing and dreaming up novels for over twenty years, but my love affair with books started long before that. At five years old, my primary school teacher wrote on my school report, “Margaret is excellent at creative writing and her stories are very entertaining”.

There hasn’t ever been a time in my life when I wasn’t thinking up stories in one way or another. Growing up, I enjoyed various books and genres. I also collected a lot of historical costume books. I still have them as inspiration because one day I plan to write historical fiction. This is genre I enjoy reading along with any kind of romance – I’m a sucker for it! I also like classics and sometimes fantasy.

Question 1:  What inspired you to start writing? Have you always wanted to be a writer? What, in your opinion, are the most important elements of good writing?

Author’s Response:  Becoming a writer has always been a dream of mine and although I haven’t long been published, I feel like I’ve been a writer for many years. Good writing is about finding your voice, putting words on paper, and once you’re confident with that, getting down to the nitty-gritty of editing. My favorite stories are the ones where I really hear the characters’ voices.

Question 2: How do you handle writer’s block? Describe your writing space. What time of the day do you usually write?

Author’s Response: I’m so lucky, I very rarely get (or have ever had) writer’s block. Usually, if I get stuck in a story, it’s because I can’t get the direction right. When this happens, I tend to make a mind map or brainstorm where best to take the story. Often this brainstorming is me playing out a scene in my head. This quite often happens in my car!

I have a little office room at home with a vintage writing bureau where I like to work, though sometimes I’m naughty and sit on the sofa with my laptop on my knee! During the lockdown, when my son wasn’t at school, I would take him a long walk to the river where we found a cute little beach. While he was building sandcastles, I learned to write on my phone. It wasn’t too efficient, but it got the job done.

I write at any time of day and whenever I can; I don’t find one time better than another.

Question 3: Who is your favorite author and why? What are you reading now? What book is currently on your bedside table?

Author’s Response: I’d be hard pushed to choose a favorite author. There are many I like and admire for different reasons. I’m currently reading through a pile of Christmas books and the one I’m on just now is called My Christmas Number One by Aussie author, Leonie Mack.

Question 4: Tell us about the process for coming up with the cover. What do you like to do when you are not writing? 

Author’s Response: For my series Scottish Island Escapes, I have made my own covers. It was hard work but I love art, graphics and photography. My covers are a combination of all these interests.

When I’m not writing, I enjoy drawing, photography, and walking.

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

Author’s Response: Three of my favorite books I read in 2020 are:

One In A Million by Lindsey Kelk

The New Guy by Kathryn Freeman

Probably the Best Kiss in the World by Pernille Hughes

Author’s Favorite Quote: “In the end, we’ll all become stories.” This Margaret Atwood quote is a favorite of mine. And I believe everyone has a story and a part to play.

Until next time!

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 135: The Magic of Woven Words – Author Interview #26

Dear Readers,

Hello Hello Hello! A new day, a new week and the the last few days for the first month of 2021 to be over. How are you all doing? I have managed a total of ten books so far and I hope to wrap up a few more books. How about you? I hope you are all able to be in sync with your reading goals.

A huge Thank You and a Loud Shout out to the Author Katharine Wibell– for agreeing to participate and kind enough to send prompt response to all my questions. And to LOLA BLOG TOURS for facilitating this.

Katharine Wibell – The Twelve Tasks 

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 Twelve Tasks has been in the works for most of my life. Its initial inspiration is heavily influence by all the “worlds”, characters, and their relationships that were invented during childhood play with my sister. Because of this, I am extremely fond of the main character who serves as a variant of myself in my childhood. When writing Katie, I had to think back on what my own beliefs, interests, and ideals were at the age of thirteen. As I work on subsequent novels in the series, I update my character’s personality to mesh with what mine was like at whatever age she is.

Another character, a young witch named Sar’ra, was influenced by my sister. Though I altered her physical appearance, I wanted to capture the essence of a highly intelligent, homeschooled teen. Though she initially appears to be a rival for Katie’s objective, the two girls develop a close relationship almost as if they were sisters.

Question 2:  What is your work schedule like when you are writing?  Describe a typical writing day.

Author’s Response: My work schedule is a bit different than other authors since I am also a reverse glass painter. With that said, I know that I work best in the mornings. Typically, I skim over emails and socials as I am eating breakfast then work on new material from nine until noon. After lunch, I will either work on marketing, editing, social media and advertising or switch over to painting. Regardless, I try to make sure I respond to everyone who contacted me that day before I retire for the night.

Question 3: What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk?

Author’s Response: When I am working on a new manuscript, I keep a “rolling” list of notes at the base of whatever chapter I am writing. Some of them are important characteristic traits. Others are snippets of conversations or scene descriptions that I felt compelled to write out of order and are waiting to be inserted at the appropriate place.

Question 4:  Is there lots to do before you drive in and start writing the story?  What are the tools of the trade?

Author’s Response: For me, most of the initial stories of a series manifest suddenly as if my characters are demanding it is their turn to be written down. The books which follow typically form as I am developing the first volume. So, by the time I complete the final chapter, I have a good idea of how many books will be in the series and what their core plots will be about.

As for tools of the trade, I live on my computer. I also value having bookshelves full of anthologies of myths, epic poems, sagas, translations of or original texts from various publications all in arm’s reach. I also use a number of online resources to promote and advertise my work. I do believe that every author would benefit from a writers’ group, beta readers, as well as an editor. One final “tool” I will note is my golden quill pen. Though nonessential, my dream is to utilize it to sign books at various events. To that end, I am brushing up on my calligraphy.

Question 5: Who is your favorite author and why?  What book is currently on your bedside table?

Author’s Response: When asked who my favorite author is, my answer is different than what most expect. I love reading epic sagas including Nibelungenlied and the Ramayana. Many of these stories do not have authors attributed to them. They often appear dry at first glance, but they are the core of most mythos of today. For that reason, I love them.

As for a current author, I am fond of J.R.R. Martin and the way he finely crafts each of his books. He is not afraid to kill a beloved character nor will he be rushed to put out a novel until it has been perfected. Currently, I have just begun reading The Saga of Erik the Red. As I said before, I do love my ancient epics!

Question 6: Recommend three of your favorite books to readers.

Author’s Response:

For fans of children’s literature: I suggest His Dark Materials by Philip Pullman

For fans of historical novels and biographies: Out of Africa by Karen Blixen

For all those who have appreciated novels like Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings or Game of Thrones: I suggest reading The Nibelungenlied since they all utilize some of the myth from that epic.

Until next time!

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 134: Blog Tour 10 – Book Review #55

Dear Readers,

Today is my stop in the blog tour organized by Lola Blog 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 – Death and Decluttering (A Sparks & Joy Mystery)

Author – Nancy McGovern

Genre – Cozy Mystery

Joy Russo is a chaotically busy reporter who loves her family to death. Messy, Sassy and in your face Joy is full of life. She lives her name to the fullest. One fine day, her Nonno, Ricardo Ricci passes away and she is left with his property to her name. But, what is bamboozling is that she is left only half the property.

Aurora Sparks is a neat freak. She is far from being chaotic and loves to maintain order with neatness around her. One day, she receives a news which surprises her beyond wits. Ricardo Ricci, whom she has never met in her life, has left half his property in her name. Bags packed, job quit, Aurora packs herself in a car and moves to the town of Bent River. Curiosity in her eyes, eagerness in her heart and anxiety in her mind she is set to own her property. And ready to meet the owner of the other half of the property.

When things begin to settle, Joy and Aurora are in for a shock of their lives. Joy’s father, is a prime suspect in an attorney’s death. Charlie Chip, the attorney, who handled the splitting of Ricci House is found dead. Everyone in town knows that Joy’s father and Chip are at logger heads always and when Chip is found dead, Joy’s father becomes the key suspect.

  • Will Joy and Aurora ever get along?
  • Who killed Chip?
  • Why does Joy’s father become the suspect?
  • Will Aurora lend a helping hand?
  • Will Joy and Aurora be able to solve this case?

Rating – 5/5 Stars
Recommendation – Very High

Conclusion,

This book was the first in the Sparks Joy Mystery series. The first book was such a darling read from beginning to end and I must admit that I didn’t have one dull moment in this book. The plot centers around the two main characters – Joy Russo and Aurora Sparks. And the best part is both of them are polar opposites. One swears by tidiness and the other lives a mad chaotic life. Enwrapping them is a cozy murder mystery and how the two of them seamlessly come together to solve this case. Overall a wonderful and delightful read. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Trigger Warnings: Cozy murder

P.S – Thank You Lola blog Tours for organizing and inviting me to be a part of this magnificent blog tour. Thank You Nancy McGovern for sending me a signed hard copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 133: The Magic of Woven Words – Author Interview #25

Dear Readers,

Happy Wednesday!

I just started my 10th book for the month and it had to be – The Cemetery Boys by Aiden Thomas. Have you read this book yet? Let me know your thoughts about it.

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

Anita Frank – The Lost Ones (Available on Amazon for purchase.)

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

I was born into a farming family and grew up in the beautiful county of Shropshire. I was an avid reader as a child and was raised on Enid Blyton – I absolutely loved her stories – but as I grew older I read anything and everything, from sci-fi to romance to historical to fantasy to crime. I also read a lot of history, especially Vietnam veterans’ memoirs, and I’ve always loved reading the biographies of High Society figures from the twenties and thirties, as well as Hollywood’s Golden Age movie stars. Basically, if a book appeals, I read it!

Question 1: When did you first start writing?

Author’s Response:  I wrote two dreadful romances in my late teens which I submitted to Mills and Boon – they were quickly rejected! I read History at university knowing that I wanted to write historical fiction, but after university, paid work, marriage, and motherhood took over. In 2005, my friend encouraged me to enter a writing competition run by my local library in conjunction with Historical Mills and Boon. To my amazement I won, but shortly after my infant son was diagnosed with a rare form of epilepsy that was to leave him severely mentally disabled, and my writing aspirations were swiftly set aside. I continued to come up with story ideas and fill notebooks with plot outlines and dialogue, but as the years went by my confidence faded and I lost the courage to write – while I didn’t try, I couldn’t fail and thus I could keep my dream alive. It wasn’t until 2017, following encouragement from a friend, that I finally began to write again – and The Lost Ones was born a year later.

Question 2:  Can you share with us something about the book that isn’t in the blurb? Can you share a snippet that isn’t in the blurb or excerpt? 

Author’s Response:  There’s an exorcism in The Lost Ones that goes horribly wrong. After, the book’s heroine – Stella Marcham – sees the officiating vicar out:

Words of farewell were forming on my lips when without warning he lunged at me, catching hold of my arm. ‘For God’s sake, take care, Miss Marcham,’ he hissed, his breath hot on my face as I tried to shy away. ‘I fear the devil himself is in this house.’

Question 3: How many books have you written?

Author’s Response:  I have my three failed Mills and Boon, The Lost Ones, and my second book, The Return – a love story set around the Second World War – will be published in July 2021.

Question 4: What is the most surprising thing you discovered while writing your book(s)? 

Author’s Response:  With The Lost Ones, the most surprising discovery was how prevalent reports of the supernatural were during the First World War. I knew about the popularity of spiritualism at this time, but what I hadn’t appreciated was that from the very start of the conflict newspapers were filled with astonishing accounts from the front of supernatural events: angels hovering protectively over British lines; ‘white comrades’ – some allegedly bearing the mark of Christ – tending to the injured; wounded soldiers swearing blind they had been carried from the battlefield by dead stretcher bearers, and phantom cavalry units coming to the rescue of beleaguered troops. There were also accounts from home. So called ‘crisis apparitions’ – dead soldiers appearing to their loved ones at the moment of death – were reported in their hundreds. Whilst many can be attributed to hallucinations born of exhaustion, others are not so easy to explain and I find them all fascinating.

Question 5: Where do you get your inspiration?

Author’s Response: From all sorts of things, to be honest! It might be a documentary, or some historical event I’m reading about, or a snippet of social history that I hear on a podcast. I might take inspiration from a film that leaves me wondering ‘What if instead…’ or music – song lyrics can really get the old imagination going. Some of my ideas even develop from improvised dialogue, which I make up as I’m doing the housework!

Question 6: Is there lots to do before you drive in and start writing the story?

Author’s Response: I usually write quite a detailed plan of the story before I begin: what happens, why, character backstories, bits of dialogue, snippets from individual scenes that might already be forming in my head. I have a general understanding of what life was like in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, which is when my stories tend to be set, so often I know enough to get started, and then I do further research as I go along. My memory is dreadful these days (I suspect caused by sleep deprivation due to my son’s condition!), so if I try and do extensive research beforehand, even though I write copious notes, I find I can’t effectively retain enough of the information to call upon it later.  So, for me, it’s more sensible to research specific points as and when they crop up and incorporate the detail directly as I need it.

Question 7: Who is the author you most admire in your genre?

Author’s Response: Sarah Waters. She seamlessly weaves history into the story, totally transporting you to that time and place. She is also an incredible wordsmith. Her prose is superb.

Question 8: What famous author do you wish would be your mentor?

Author’s Response: Daphne Du Maurier (yeah, I know…she’d dead!)

Question 9: If you could ask one successful author three questions about their writing, writing process, or books, what would they be?

Author’s Response: John Boyne. What comes first for him, characters or plot? Does he ever suffer self-doubt and if so, what are his tips for overcoming it? What advice does he have for achieving longevity?

Question 10: What do you like to do when you are not writing?

Author’s Response: Read. I would like the time to read even more!  

Question 11: What is the best part of your day?

Author’s Response: Taking the dog for a walk. I just love getting out into the countryside – whatever the weather! Great for plotting and unraveling tricky plot knots too! 

Question 12: Describe your writing space.

Author’s Response: Let’s just say: it has long been my ambition to have a room of one’s own.

Question 13: Describe a typical writing day.

Author’s Response: My starting time is really affected by my son and whether he’s going to school that day, and if he is, what time he fancies going in – mornings can be rather tricky! So, I’ll take him in as soon as possible, do a few chores on my return, and then I’ll sit down and write – on a good day this may be 10/10.30 AM, on a bad day it may be closer to midday. I’ll then write through until the early afternoon, when I tend to take the dog out for an hour. I try to squeeze a little more in when I get back, finishing up at 3.30 PM when my son gets dropped back from school. I don’t tend to write when he’s around because he’s quite distracting, but if needs must, I will sometimes edit in the evening, and I tend to do my social media and interview obligations at night too.

Question 14: Recommend three of your favorite books to the readers.

Author’s Response: Random selection!

Playing James by Sarah Mason – laugh out loud, feel good romance (Asking for Trouble by Liz Young was a very close second here!)

When All Is Said by Anne Griffin – a beautiful book that made me cry.

Swan Song by Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott – compelling and immersive.

Author’s Favorite Quote –

My favourite quote is from Pride and Prejudice, and I have no reason for it being a favourite quote other than the fact it made me laugh out loud when I first read the novel aged fifteen, and it still makes me laugh out loud when I re-read it now. It comes as Mrs Bennet forces her husband to confront Lizzie over her refusal to marry Mr Collins. Mr Bennet duly informs his daughter:

‘An unhappy alternative is before you Elizabeth. From this day you must be a stranger to one of your parents. Your mother will never see you again if you do not marry Mr Collins, and I will never see you again if you do.’

Until next time!

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 132: The Magic of Woven Words – Author Interview #24

Dear Readers,

Sunday is welcomed with a beautiful read and a book I am reading with by book buddies. We are very excited to get to our discussion at the end of the month. Are you all reading any books with your buddies? Let me know in the comments below.

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

Dominique Atherton – The Darkness is Light (Available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited for purchase.)

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

  * Hi! I’m Dominique Atherton. I’m thirty years old. I live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada. I have two cats who I adore and an amazing fiance.  I didn’t get into reading until my early teens and devoured the Harry Potter series. After that I read all the things. When I was in high school the first book of the Twilight Saga came out and after that I was all about romance and paranormal genre. I have been obsessed with it ever since. I started writing about three years ago and only published my first novel less than a year ago. This is all over new and exciting! I have a lot of other books in the works, including different genres. 

Question 1:  What inspired you to start writing? Have you always wanted to be a writer? How long have you been writing? 

Author’s Response: All my favorite authors have inspired me to become a writer. I love being drawn into a world so thoroughly that I don’t ever want to leave. They make you feel so much, whether it be happiness or tears. And I love that. It’s a gift and I want to be able to give it to others. I have so many ideas floating around my head and I want people to be able to immerse themselves in them with me.  

I started writing a few years ago, but felt defeated and took a break. It wasn’t until I came across Meg Tilly and she told me to not give up that I picked up my pen again and I haven’t stopped since. 

Question 2:  What advice would you give a new writer, someone just starting out? Describe your writing space. What time of the day do you usually write? Describe a typical writing day.

Author’s Response: To a new writer I would say … just do it! Don’t let fear or rejection stop you. It’s inevitable but don’t allow it to become a wall that keeps you in. You may just have to scale it instead.  

My writing space is usually on the couch, computer on my lap, headphones in, and a cup of tea next to me. Writing whilst listening to music is my favorite way to block out the real world and focus on the one I’m creating. 

Question 3:  If your book was to be made into a movie, who are the celebrities that would star in it? What was the highlight of writing this book?

Author’s Response: Definitely something I’ve thought about! Theo James for sure would play Ace. And Ian Somerhalder would be a great Hades. As for my girl Aradia… I could see Lucy Hale doing her justice for sure.  

There are so many highlights of writing this book but because it was my debut I would have to say hitting that publish button. It was such a rush of joy and accomplishment, accompanied with pure fear! It was amazing. 

Question 4: What famous author do you wish would be your mentor? What book is currently on your bedside table? What do you like to do when you are not writing? Do you have a library membership?

Author’s Response:  So many authors to pick from! I would have to go with Jennifer Armentrout. Her stories always drag me in and leave me wanting more. I’ve read everything she has ever written and think she is brilliant.   My current book is an M/C series by Autumn Jones Lake. She has written this amazing, intricate series that just keeps going and never loses its pull.  I do have a library membership but don’t remember the last time I used it! I always buy my books in my kindle now. However, I used to love going to the library as a kid. 

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

Author’s Response: 

  * The Lux series by Jennifer Armentrout    

* The Hades Hangmen series by Tillie Cole   

* Hush Hush series by Becca Fitzpatrick

Until next time!

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 131: Blog Tour 9 – Book Excerpt

Dear Readers,

This is my stop during the blog tour for The Heaven Falls series by Christopher C. Starr. The Heaven Falls series contains 2 books so far: The Road to Hell and Come Hell or High Water. This is an epic fantasy/ religious fiction series.

This blog tour is organized by Lola’s Blog Tours. The blog tour runs from 10 till 23 January.

The Road to Hell (Heaven Falls #1)

Author: Christopher C Starr

Genre: Epic Fantasy/ Religious Fiction

Age category: Adult

Blurb:

My name is Lucifer and I was first…

…and, yes, I am that Lucifer. Fall from Heaven, Prince of Darkness, ruler of Hell, Satan, the Devil, the Adversary, and a thousand other names.

Forget what you think you know. You’ve never heard this story before—not from me. Others have tried. None of them got it right. 

See, I don’t want you.

I’ve never wanted you.

I want Him.

Everyone else is just in the way.

Come Hell or High Water (Heaven Falls #2)

Author: Christopher C Starr

Genre: Epic Fantasy/ Religious Fiction

Age category: Adult

Release Date: 11 December, 2020

Blurb:

My name is Lucifer…

I told you my story in The Road to Hell. It was only the beginning.

Now the war in Heaven is over; the damned souls have fallen. All is as it should be. But Heaven is a fractured, broken husk. The Host is silent. The angels do not sing. The Father does not speak. All of it is frozen. Dying.

Except for Michael. Michael the Archangel is busy hunting. Everyone.

And I’m in Hell. This horrible place is a living cauldron of agony that engulfs the damned and burns them for eternity. And in the midst of all this chaos is me. But don’t despair: this is just a means to an end.

A means to The End.

The Father made a mistake and I’m going to make Him end it. Because I know what scares the Father. And when you know what someone fears, there’s no limit to what you can make them do.

My name is Lucifer and I will be the last.

Here is an excerpt from – THE ROAD TO HELL

RAPHAEL

Lucifer heard me; as soon as my feet touched the glass surface of his platform, he laughed aloud and doused all the light in Heaven.

“I know why you’re here, Raphael.” Lucifer spoke into the darkness. “You’re afraid.”

I was afraid, but I wasn’t willing to admit it. Instead I said, “Why should I be afraid? The Father is with me.”

“You sure about that?” I could see Lucifer’s teeth glinting in the light wafting from my body. He was smiling. “You think he’ll still back you up now that you’re failing him?”

His face was the color of fire, deep and red, and a haze made him seem like a mirage. Even in the darkness, in the heat of his rage, Lucifer was still beautiful. His thin face, the angular cheekbones, his wide and open eyes, his halo of shimmering hair—all presented a portrait of absolute perfection. Even in this dark hour, I envied the crude formation of my own round face, my pudgy nose, the softness of my jawline. 

I tried to sound as sure of myself, as certain as he was, but my voice cracked. “I’m not failing—”

He pounced on me, laid long, thin fingers on my shoulders, pushed that gleaming grin into my face. “Sure you are! Why else would you be here, Peace Keeper? Angels are dead, Raphael. Everything is slipping through your fingers. Sounds like failure to me.”

“This is your doing!” I pressed him back.

“Raphael, you insult me. Finger pointing seems so…beneath you. Besides, I’m bound, remember?” He fondled the chains streaming from his wrists and ankles, smiled at me again. “You chained me up so I couldn’t cause any problems for the others. Weren’t those your words?”

He was right. And I hated him for it. “Yes.”

“So you failed them, or you failed him. Either way, you’re a failure, kiddo.”

“I want to talk about what we do next.”

He was walking around me now. I could hear the chains scraping the surface of the glass.

“And I want to talk about your fears.” His voice sounded like velvet in my ears.

            “This doesn’t help us, Lucifer. It doesn’t help us end this nonsense. ”

“Maybe I don’t want to end it. Maybe this is exactly what we need.”  His voice became louder, bolder. Closer. “Does that scare you, Raphael, that you won’t be able to keep it together? Is that why you tremble in the darkness? Because when it’s just you and the Father and all the light and noise is gone, you know you’re going to have to tell him you failed?”

He had me. I understood in that moment how Lucifer could enflame the deepest of emotions. His words touched the very root of me; they spoke directly to the futility flexing in my palms. It was out of my hands—I knew that much. Lucifer knew it too. By virtue of the fact that I was there, standing before him, while he taunted me, it was out of my hands.

I tried to turn it back on him. “What about your fears? What about what you’re afraid of?”

“I’m scared,” he whispered, “that the Father won’t want me back once I’m finished.” The smile was gone.

I was taken aback by his honesty, his vulnerability. Lucifer acted as this impregnable fortress of a soul—deep and impenetrable. Everything seemed so calculated with him, like he was some celestial chess master moving all of us as pawns. I’d never known him to be a being of emotion—even his rage seemed intentional and justified. But here, when it was just him and me, Lucifer showed his face. He showed me his heart.

“Finished? Finished with what?” I said.

Lucifer was right in front of me, his slender frame alive with light and fire. “Got to even the playing field, Raphael. We have to make it fair. He destroyed my Heaven over a few souls. I think turnabout is fair play. Don’t you?”

“They call you the Satan for a reason, Lucifer. Don’t prove them right.” I reached for him, but flames licked at my fingertips.

“It is what it is, Raphael. What else can it be?” And his voice was sad.

Heedless of the warning, Lucifer had taken his mantle of the Satan and embraced it, owned it. I had hoped he would hold it like a talisman, keeping it at arm’s length as something to ward the darkest parts of him away. I had hoped it would be something that would keep him from falling over the edge. But he took the title—the name—and cherished it. Held it close. Satan was no longer a label for him; now it was an identity. A shadow that haunted him.

“You can’t let them tear themselves apart, Lucifer. You can’t. They’re innocent!”

“THEY ARE IN THE WAY!!” Lucifer was roaring now, fangs filling his mouth. His robes flailed with his animated movements. “The Father wanted something from me, and I didn’t understand it then. But I understand it now. I know what he wants now. And these—these animals—are a poor substitute for the real thing. They’re in my way.”

“What are you—?”

Lucifer calmed and dropped to his knees. He began to cry. “You know, there was a time, Raphael, before all of this. Before Heaven and the angels and you and Lilith—even before Gabriel—there was a time when it was just him and me. When I was all that he needed. And I messed it up. I ruined it! And I’m going to make it right. No matter what.”

There was something in Lucifer’s voice that frightened me. That let me know he was serious. That he meant every single word.

I sank down to his level, put an arm around him. “And you think making millions of souls slaughter one another is making it right?”

He walked away from me. “I’m not doing this! I am not responsible for their anger. You are. You’re in charge here, remember? This is your problem. Not mine.”

“And what happens when they finally turn on you?”

Lucifer chuckled. “They can try.”

There was nothing left to say, nothing to persuade him with. I played the only card I had left. “If I set you free, will you make it stop?”

Lucifer spun about and walked toward me quickly, with purpose. There was fire in his eyes and a wicked smile ripped across his face. He tapped his fingertips together. “You’ll set me free? Really?”

I dropped my head. “If you help me, help us, yes. I will release you.”

He cupped my chin now and brought my eyes to his. The smile was gone, replaced by the coldest look I’ve ever seen. His eyes were aflame and he stared at me until my eyes hurt. “I can’t make it stop, Raphael. I can’t. And I wouldn’t if I could: they’re getting what they deserve. But that’s not the best part,” he said.

Lucifer’s chains ignited. The worms that held him, that bound him to the floor of Heaven, screamed and pulled at his flesh, clamping down on his bones while being incinerated from the inside out. Finally the beasts jutted free from Lucifer’s form, [BE3] but it was too late; they melted to puddles of silver that pooled at my feet.

“I’ve always been free, Peace Keeper. It was just more fun this way.” He began to laugh hysterically.

“How? How?” I could only stutter.

“Aww, you look surprised,” Lucifer said. “You didn’t see this coming? Okay, let me break it down for you since you’re a little slow. I know this place. I’ve been here for a long time. Sure it’s dressed up real pretty for all of you, but I know what it is. I know where it came from. And I know how it works. Did you really think I would let you hold me here?” Lucifer vaulted into the air.

“Got work to do,” he said. “See you around, kiddo.”

And the platform exploded, raining shards of glass, and me, into the darkness below.


#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 130: Mudita Book of January 2021

Dear Readers,

I’m a tad bit late to this post but truth be told I had totally forgotten to post this. Our little book club has chosen its first read of the year and it is a much anticipated read. Are you all ready to find out the book? Well, I am very eager to share it with all you wonderful people.

Here is our Mudita Book of the Month,

The Midnight Library by Matt Haig is what we are reading this month and I can’t wait to post my review soon. Stay tuned everyone!

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 129: Modish Milestone

Dear Readers,

This blog is special to me. Little did I know, when I started my blog in April last year that a day would come when I would dedicate a blog to highlight my meritorious milestones. It makes me giddy with joy. A feeling that leaves brings a huge smile on my face. A huge Thank You and a loud shout to you all for making it happen. Your perpetual support means the world to me. I look forward to your continued love. I have nothing but gratitude and proclivity for making this teeny dream of being a book blogger come true.

Milestone Mark,

–> Two Hundred Followers and Counting : I crossed the 200 followers mark and I am so indebted to each one for you for making this happen. Thank You!

–> Five Hundred Likes and More : My blog received a total of 500 likes sometime back and when that message popped up, I was so joyous. Thank You Again!

–> Two Hundred Posts : So far, I have posted a lot of blogs and when I touched the 200 posts mark, I received a notification. Woo Hoo!

–> One Hundred Book Mark: I read a total of 134 books in 2020 which means I crossed the 100 book mark. I can’t tell you all how happy I was to have read so many brilliant books last year.

So, Thank You Once Again everyone for being a brilliant support and here’s to 2021 and the milestones I carve out to post yet another subtle brag blog. 🙂

Happy Reading, Happy Blooging!

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 128: The Magic of Woven Words – Author Interview #23

Dear Readers,

The weekend is almost over and it is time to start preparing for the week ahead. So far, I have managed to wrap up 4 books and I’m almost done with my 5th book. Check out my Instagram account (link on my home page) to see what I have read so far. How is your reading coming along so far?

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

Katharine Ann Melton is the author of Duology – Behind the Mirage (Available on Amazon for purchase.)

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

I grew up in Northern California where I lived for over 30 years.  I moved to the east coast about ten years ago.  My favorite genre to read is paranormal romance and urban fantasy.  I began writing in the seventh grade; poetry and screenplays.

Question 1:  What was the inspiration for the story? What do you hope your readers take away from this book? Tell us about the process for coming up with the cover.

Author’s Response: The inspiration for the story was my interest in Greek mythology.  I would like the readers to be transported into the story and see themselves in the different characters and if the situations presented would change if it was their story.  The process for the cover was researching images of ancient Greece to modern times.  Popular destinations; wanting to put the protagonist on the cover because it is her story that is being told.

Question 2: What were the key challenges you faced when writing this book? What was the highlight of writing this book? What comes first, the plot or characters?  How do you develop your plot and characters?

Author’s Response: The key challenges was to make sure the story flowed; getting multiple ideas down to one.  The book started out completely different and I wanted to make sure I stuck to one idea.  The plot came first in the story because the characters kept changing; their personalities, their priorities.  I feel as though I can come up with a plot fairly simply.  It is funny to say, but characters do not always behave the way they are supposed to.  Developing the plot and characters is just coming up with different ideas and trying to figure out what character fits better with what plot.  I have multiple stories, multiple ideas, and if I don’t use a character in one story, I will use them in the next.

Question 3:  What is your work schedule like when you are writing? Is there lots to do before you drive in and start writing the story?  How do you handle literary criticism?

Author’s Response: Usually my work schedule when writing is sporadic.  I never stick to a schedule; I just dive in and start writing.  Some scenes are never put together; I might have one scene for the middle of the book and another for the beginning or end.  I actually write the ending before the beginning, than fill in the rest.  It has seemed to work so far.

Question 4: What famous author do you wish would be your mentor? Who is your favorite author and why? What are you reading now? What book is currently on your bedside table?

Author’s Response:   The author I would love to be a mentor and my favorite author is Karen Marie Moning.  Her world building is amazing; I always feel transported to the locations and that is what I want for my stories.  I actually visited Ireland because one of my favorite series she writes is based in Dublin.  Unfortunately I haven’t read anything for a bit because I am focused on writing the second book in my series and I have devoted a lot of time to that. 

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

 Author’s Response: The books I recommend are,

Karen Marie Moning: ‘Fever Series’

Claire Farrell: ‘Chaos Series

Laura Kreitzer: ‘Timeless Series’ 

Until next time!

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 127: Blog Tour 8 – Book Review #54

Dear Readers,

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

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

Title – A Twist of Karma

Author – Wendy Wanner

Genre – Paranormal Suspense

About the AuthorWENDY WANNER writes supernatural suspense novels based on folklore and cultural idiosyncrasies, with a touch of the paranormal. With a BA in Cultural Anthropology from UCLA, Wendy’s interest in cultures and religions drives her to travel the world, encountering different beliefs and traditions which surface in her novels. A passionate reader and traveler, Wendy is also an avid dancer, yogi, and SCUBA diver who surfs and paddle boards every chance she gets. An Arizona desert girl at heart, Wendy is the mother of two boys and now lives in Dubai with her Scottish husband.

Author links:

Jennifer has not been herself in a while now. Suzie, her only daughter died a few months ago in a diving accident at home in Santa Monica. She was so lost in devouring a book that she didn’t realize her daughter dead at the bottom of the pool. Ever since she has not been able to come to terms with her her daughter’s death and her negligent laxity.

Depressed and deeply grieving, Jennifer seeks no solace in anyone or anything until one day something happens. Her sister Tracy, coaxes her into a three month healing program. This brings her to the healing retreat in the jungles of Sri Lanka surrounded lush greenery and serenity.

Jennifer struggles at retreat at the beginning. But as days pass, she meets Anuradha, the local doctor at the retreat who encourages her to visit the local Buddhist temple. Here, strangely but slowly, she begins find calmness and deep meaning in the beliefs of Buddha. She befriends a little girl Dharshini but she doesn’t survive an illness that wraps her. When she visits the temple, she finds a coin. She keeps the coin as a lucky charm only to find out other wise later. For stranger reasons, she sees herself getting entangled in the mystic yet dangerous world of village folkways and karma that envelopes her like a onerous cloak which begins to weigh her down a lot.

  • What actually happens at the retreat?
  • Does Jennifer recover or revert to her depressed self?
  • Is she able to find love again?
  • Is the coin really her lucky charm?

Rating – 5/5 Stars
Recommendation – Very High

Conclusion,

This book had me wrapped right from the beginning. I must admit, this was my first paranormal fiction, and it enthralled me to bits. The plot development blew my mind and the character development elevated beautifully. The best part about this book for me, was the description of the wellness retreat in Sri Lanka. Reading about it was soothing and relaxing. This book centers around Jennifer’s healing journey. Her body, heart, mind and soul were on a quest to deep cleanse. Everything was so well connected that I didn’t find one dull moment in the book. Overall a brilliant and very enjoyable read.

Trigger Warnings: Deals with death, killings and paranormal activities.

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

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

Blog 126: The Magic of Woven Words – Author Interview #22

Dear Readers,

I finished my first book of 2021 yesterday and I started my second book today. Both are audio-books as I find doing audio-books are much more easier for me to multi task. How about you? Have you finished your first book of the year? Let me know int he comments below.

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

Skylar Shoar  is the author of Duology – The Power of Us & The Perseverance of Us (Available on Amazon for purchase.)

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

Thank you so much for having me here today. This is my very first author interview and I am beyond excited!!

I live in the UK with my husband and two sons. Skylar Shoar is my pen name and I write romance novels. My debut novel, The Power of Us, is the first installment to the Us Duology and is available on Amazon. The sequel, The Perseverance of Us, will be available on Amazon from 1 December 2020.

As a child, I didn’t really read to be honest. I grew up in South Africa only a stone throw away from the beach, so I spent most of my time there or in the pool. But I’ve always had a vivid imagination and I love to tell stories. It wasn’t until later on in my teens that I started expressing my thoughts and emotions through writing poems. Once that seed sprouted I fell in love with the satisfaction of bringing thoughts to life in the form of written words.

My favorite genre has to be romance. Life can be brutal and emotionally draining at times, so getting lost in a well-written love story is the best medication.

Question 1: What comes first, the plot or characters? How do you develop your plot and characters? How do you come up with the titles to your books?

Author’s Response: Definitely characters. At times, a plot idea may pop into my head but it can only come to life with a well-developed character or characters. To me, a new character is like making a new friend. I get to know them, and like with any relationship, this takes time. The characters from the Us Duology, Cassidy and Harly, have been with me for more than ten years, so I am ecstatic to finally introduce them to the world. Like me, they’re flawed and frustrating at times but that just makes them more real to me.

I’m currently getting to know the characters of my two future novels and it’s exciting! Having a great plot is golden, but in order to write a compelling story, you need characters with a voice. This is my driving force. The characters speak to me and I translate their messages into words. At times, the story writes itself – I’m just the messenger. Other times it’s daunting when you hit a wall, some might call it writer’s block. During these times, I find myself jumping to scenes further along and it’s a magical feeling when all of a sudden the haze lifts and you find yourself able to fill in the blanks. 

Every story has a dominant message. That is how I choose my titles.

Question 2: Describe your writing space. What is the most difficult part about writing for you? What would you say is your most interesting writing quirk? Who is the author you most admire in your genre?

Author’s Response: During the summer months, I love to sit in the garden and write. Unfortunately, life is hectic, so it’s not often that I get a lot of time to myself to do this. Most of my writing is done at night once the kids are asleep and chores have been done. Usually, there’s a bag of sweet treats or a huge chocolate bar close by. I’m a massive chocoholic!! I’m blessed with an amazing husband who supports me, so he’s used to me tapping away on the keyboard at night.

The most difficult thing with writing is finding the balance between wanting to lock yourself away in a quiet room and spending time with your family. There are days when the characters are screaming at me and all I want to do is write. But I also have other commitments and a family with who I want to spend time.

I’ve been known to wake up in the middle of the night to jot down lines on my phone and it’s frustrating because all I want to do at that moment is get up and reach for the laptop.

I’m a huge Nicholas Sparks fan. I’ve read the Notebook several times and each time I love it more!  

Question 3:  How do you do research for your books? Is writing your full-time career? Or would you like it to be? When you’re writing an emotionally draining scene, how do you get in the mood?

Author’s Response: I would love to be a full-time writer! Most of my career has been office-based but since moving to the UK three years ago, I’ve been a stay-at-home mum. This has allowed me the time to focus more on writing. Most of my research is done online and I find useful information on writing groups. The Power of Us is set in New York, and as I’ve never been to America, I had to research a lot of things from terminologies to spelling. The sequel, The Perseverance of Us, contains medical issues, so I spent a lot of time researching specific topics because I wanted the book to be as accurate as it can be.

When I’m writing, I picture the scene as if I was watching a movie. With that comes a soundtrack, so I have a specific playlist that I listen to when writing, especially with emotional scenes. For the Us Duology, it contained music from Avril Lavigne and Rachel Platten.

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

 Author’s Response: My favorite author, as I’ve already said, is Nicolas Sparks but I’ve discovered that I love reading debut novels by Indie authors. I’m currently reading an ARC copy of Awakening by Jennifer Leigh Pezzano and I’m loving it! I can’t wait to write the review.

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

 Author’s Response:

Fiction,

The Notebook by Nicolas Sparks – this has to be one of the best love stories I’ve ever read. I laughed, cried, and swooned all the way through. I’ve read this novel many times and it won’t be long before I reach for it again.

Beast by Eva. K More – this debut novel had me turning the pages faster than my eyes could read. It has tension, suspense, and hot chemistry.

Non-fiction:

The Diary Of a Young Girl by Anne Frank – this is a book I think everyone should read at least once. Anne was a happy and vibrant young Jewish girl until her family was forced into hiding from Hitler and his Nazi army. It’s an eye-opener and whenever I think of Anne, which is often, I’m so grateful for the family and life that I have. 

Author’s Favorite Quote

Of all the books I’ve read, my favorite quote has to be from A Dance With Dragons by George R.R. Martin: “A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” This quote has stuck with me for many years because it sums up my passion for bringing characters to life.

Until next time!

#Stayhungrystaybookish

Lots of love,

mrsswiftnib

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