The 12 Slays of Christmas is Here!

Today’s the day–The 12 Slays of Christmas is live!

Thanks to everyone who has preordered the set and to everyone who plans to order it. We’re very excited to be donating all the proceeds from the sale of the set to pets displaced by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. If you haven’t ordered a copy yet, you can click this link and it’ll take you to our website, where you can click to order the set for 99¢ on your ereader of choice.

Anyone who gets my newsletter will find this post redundant–I’m too tired at this point to come up with something sparkly and new!

I’ll be back here next Tuesday with a recap of a chocolate tasting I attended last weekend, so stay tuned!

Until next time,

Amy

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Book Lovers’ Tag

 

photo courtesy of ulleo/pixabay

Waaay back in October author and blogger Diana Peach published a blog called “A Book Lover’s Tag” (you can read it here) and I’ve been eager to play the game. Below is a list of questions in the game of Book Lover’s Tag. I encourage you to consider yourself tagged if you want to play! Just leave your responses in the comments below. And, like Diana, I will compile a list of favorite books and post it at a later date. Enjoy!

Do you have a specific place for reading?

No. I will read anywhere and everywhere. I’ve read in doctors’ offices, hospitals, schools, cars, buses, my bed, my couch, my desk, the patio, the beach, the pool, other people’s houses, parking lots, libraries, and the list goes on and on. You get the point.

Bookmark or random piece of paper?

Yes! I use anything at hand, whether it’s a bookmark or any piece of paper. I’ve also been known to use candy wrappers, nail files, my Kindle, ribbon, pens, etc.

Do you eat or drink while reading?

Not usually. I don’t want to get drips or spills on what I’m reading.

Music or tv while reading?

No! The only time I can tolerate that is when I’m in the car (as a passenger, not the driver!) and the rest of the occupants vote for music. Even then, I can only read magazines, not books.

One book at a time or several?

Several. Usually three.

Do you prefer to read at home or elsewhere?

I prefer to read at home, but I’ll read anywhere.

Read out loud or silently?

Silently, unless I’m reading non-fiction and it’s something I need to remember.

Do you read ahead or skip pages?

I try not to, but sometimes I just can’t bear to wait to see what happens next.

Break the spine or keep it like new?

I would love to keep my books like new, but I always end up breaking the spine. Well-used books are well-loved books.

Do you write in books?

Not usually.

What books are you reading now?

Whose Body? by Dorothy L. Sayers, Fifty Shades of Cabernet (a mystery anthology), and The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson.

What is your childhood favorite book?

That depends on what part of childhood you’re talking about. By the time I was eight I loved the Nancy Drew mysteries and I remember those very fondly. I also loved The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder.

What is your all-time favorite book?

I would say it’s a three-way tie: Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, For Whom the Bell Tolls by Ernest Hemingway, and Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. And, of course, I love anything by Phyllis Whitney (my favorite is Black Amber) and M.C. Beaton, author of the Agatha Raisin and Hamish Macbeth series.

Tag, you’re it!

Until next time,

Amy

Blog Tour: Gus Kenney

You  might remember today’s guest from a post back in March of this year. Gus Kenney is the author of The Changeling and the Cupboard and The Complications of Being Lucy, among other books, and he’s here again to discuss his newest work, Traitor’s Niece, Book Three in The Complications of Being Lucy series.

Tell us about your new book, Gus.  

Traitor’s Niece: The Complications of Being Lucy Book 3 is categorized as Sci Fi/Fantasy / Action & Adventure / Folklore & Legend / Fantasy & Magic. Here’s a blurb:

Sever all ties.

Lucy is a pawn. A dark means to a deadly end.

An enemy, burning with centuries of betrayal, has made the opening move to shatter an already divided empire. His first step, the slaying of one of Lucy’s guardians. Broken with grief and compelled by rage, Lucy embarks on a journey of vengeance to the shadowed and forgotten corners of the five lands. With those she has left by her side, sacrifices will be made to bring her closer to retribution but only if she doesn’t succumb to the manipulations of a ruthless enemy first.

Buy Link: http://smarturl.it/traitorsNieceb3

Author Bio

Gus lives in western New York with his amazing wife and five four legged children. He decided he wanted to be a writer when he realized that he could never be a spy as good as Timothy Dalton’s Bond and that Hired Sword was not part of any growth industry. When he is not semi-busy writing, he spends his time pretending he knows what he is doing at a nine-to-five job and the rest of it complaining that it is taking way too long for them to start showing new episodes of his favorite cartoons. If you’re bored, or just a creeper, you can check out the insanity that doesn’t make it into his books on his social media outlets.

Author Links

https://www.facebook.com/gus.kenney

https://www.facebook.com/Lucybison/

https://www.twitter.com/LucyBison

https://www.tumblr.com/blog/telleroftalesoflucy

https://www.instagram.com/lucybison/

http://linkedin.com/in/gus-kenney-3599a2138

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13628983.Gus_Kenney

https://www.amazon.com/Gus-Kenney/e/B00UPGZ7SY/

http://bit.ly/ComplicationsOfBeingLucySeries

Email: guskenney@yahoo.com

Other Books In the series:

The Changeling and The Cupboard (The Complications of Being Lucy Book 1)

http://smarturl.it/CompOfLucyBk1

The Changeling and the Borrowed Family (The Complications of Being Lucy Book 2)

http://smarturl.it/CompOfLucyBk2

Care to share an excerpt with us?

“I feel bad for them.” I whispered to Frankie.

“Why?” He screwed up his eye as he pushed his glasses up his nose.

“Spending their whole life trapped in a fake world and having to constantly be under harsh scrutiny. Feeling like they have to act a certain way in front of total strangers. Not free to be themselves.” I shrugged. “Not to mention their diet.”

“I guess.” Frankie consented my point. “Sounds like it would be better to be locked up like an animal than be a popular kid.”

We watched as Regina and her clique posed by the fence while a trainer led a zebra over to stand behind them. They took multiple pictures with their phones of the animal they had been allowed to feed the watchful eye of the zoo staff while the rest of us got to hear all the interesting facts about the creature. So far they were leading the class in animal interactions, mostly in regard to things that were either very safe or cute. The teacher, a sucker to their machinations, let it happen as long as the other students turned down the opportunity to do it first. There were none that dared oppose them. It was only because kids from other schools that were touring the zoo today getting to the pens, cages, or habitats first that prevented Regina’s monopoly of feedings and petting.

“Trust me. I know what I’m talking about.” A fun phrase that I didn’t feel I often got to use on Frankie. “Popularity is overrated. Right, Palmer?”

Frankie and I glanced around and found the boy standing by the otter tank where we had been ten minutes ago. With the popular kids demanding the most attention, they congregated at the head of the tour and the rest of the class trailed behind like a comet of social hierarchy. Frankie, Palmer and I were at the back like little pieces of debris that get pulled from the trail when the comet’s flight takes it too close to an object of immense gravity. Right now that object, for Palmer at least, was otters.

“Buddy system.” I reminded Frankie, and he trudged over to get his friend. Uncle Mort turned around from his post amidst a few of the other parents and gave me a concerned look. I didn’t know if it was concern for my well-being or his own dissatisfaction with the situation. Mingling with the other adults he was forced to endure conversations about parenting woes, pro sports stories, job worries, and other problems faced by normal people. I managed a weak smile and this seemed to pacify him slightly. I almost felt bad for getting him involved with the field trip. I thought it might be fun going to the zoo, as I had never done so before, and he had been insistent that I travel nowhere, school function or otherwise, without him. Luckily for me the school was trying to save the money for getting us a bus and had parents volunteer to chaperone and drive. It had all worked out until we actually got here. The whispers and comments started quickly as my guardian, the mortician, joined us and his stern personality sealed my fate as forever a target of ridicule. He had asked me once after one particular comment reached his ears if I wanted him to speak to the teacher, since he was not prepared to assault a child in front of witnesses(his words), and I told him it wasn’t necessary. In truth it would only make things worse.

But worse came when I saw the animals and felt bad for their situation. It seemed that the first ten years of my life had been spent in a cage and some of these majestic creatures had been incarcerated long before I was born. They looked depressed and broken of spirit. Made me wish I could set them free like me. That’s a lie, I reminded myself. I was only living the illusion of freedom. As long as no one found out who I was then I was safe and free to live my life as my family saw fit. Monthly reports from Lord Cid’s adviser so far reported the illusion was holding. Just like the illusion that the animals around me were happy.

“He says he doesn’t agree with you.” Frankie said, walking back with Palmer in tow. It took me a moment to recall what we had just been talking about.

“Is that so?” I looked Palmer up and down, from his buzzed head to his ragged shoes.

“Yes.” He admitted. It was the longest conversation I had ever had with the boy.

“Well, you’re entitled to your opinion.”

“That’s it.” Frankie sounded shocked. “You normally argue with me whenever I say something in opposition to your ideas.”

“That’s because you’re my friend and therefore available to friendly discussions and disagreements about our views. Palmer is your friend and not privy to such treatments from me.” I informed my stunned friend.

“So because he is not your friend you aren’t going to disagree with him?”

“No. I’m not going to argue with him about his opinion because it doesn’t matter to me.” I glanced at Palmer and his face betrayed no sign of caring what I was saying about him. Clearly he shared my opinion on some level.

“But mine does?” Frankie scratched his head of unruly hair. “Because I matter to you?” He left it as a question which meant it was up to me to answer it or not. I decided not to since Frankie tended to draw his own conclusions. “I don’t think it works that way.”

“How about we go into the reptile house and discuss it?” I suggested, veering toward the enclosure in the center of the zoo. The class was being split up as the skittish and not surprisingly popular kids put up a fuss about dealing with the creatures contained within the building. The teacher left a few parents in charge of the group going inside and I whisked in behind them quickly. “Maybe you can find John Smith a girlfriend.”

“I think he would prefer a domesticated partner.” Frankie said, already excitedly running up to the first habitat he saw.

“You should mention that to your mom and dad and see what they say.” I laughed on the inside at the fun Cecilia and Tim would have with their son on the topic. I was unsure if my friend even heard me as his eyes were glazed in wonder at the large creatures piled up within their own coils in multiple enclosures. My fear of snakes had diminished thanks to Frankie’s pet python but being in a room full of them made me squirm as much as they did. I abandoned my friend to look at a few tanks full of turtles. Nice safe turtles. When I got bored watching them just look like parts of the scenery, I turned to find my friend. The room was mostly empty except for a man standing by the exit. I wasn’t sure if he had just arrived or was just leaving, but his presence was alarming to me. Not because of the large nose on his face or the tough look of his skin; it was simply because the Troll was looking at me with what felt like above average interest. I looked away to see if Uncle Mort had noticed him and discovered that he was not in the room.

Trying for calm and orderly, I went to the adjoining room and found the class and some adults, but still no uncle. He must be with the others, I grumbled in my head. How he would let that happen was a mystery, however I it put from my mind when I realized that the troll had followed me. I settled on finding Frankie and hurried to him.

“Do you recognize that guy?” I hissed in his ear and tried to not look obvious as I pointed the man out with a jerk of my head.

“No.” Frankie shook his head. “Do you think I know every Fey?”

“No. Just the famous ones.” And I was relieved that the Troll wasn’t one of them. “How do you approach someone that is probably glamoured?”

“You want to know how to go talk to a total stranger?” Frankie asked, and it made me feel like an idiot for even voicing the question. I had always figured that the Heralds had some kind of protocol, statute, or heck even a hand shake that let each of them know they were dealing with one of their own in the world outside the mounds. But Frankie was right, if you didn’t know them, why approach? And if you needed to you were probably someone of authority.

“Let’s go get my uncle.” I whispered and pulled Frankie from the class.

“Why? He is probably just some guy here to look at the–oh. Nope.” His eyes got huge in the refraction of his thick glasses as he saw, at the same moment I did, the shadow of a blade that appeared in the Troll’s hand. “Should we walk slowly and casually toward the exit?”

“I…” I shot a quick look to the man as Frankie and I angled from the group and around the central display, putting it between us and the Troll for a moment. He carelessly bumped an adult from another group of students and didn’t utter an apology. They say manners cost nothing but in this case it cost the Troll the illusion of being there on friendly terms. “No.” I took a deep breath to ready myself for what was to come next. “Run!”

I needn’t tell Frankie twice. He burst away from me in a blur that took me by surprise; much as seeing the Troll aggressively shoving people out of his path as he took chase. Knowing that looking back only impeded my progress, I focused on the distant exit and Frankie’s back, which I was gaining on. I caught up with him as the floor beneath us buckled and folded. Several people in the reptile house shouted in surprise at the tremors felt. I tripped over a piece of rock that suddenly jutted through the tile, skinning my knee when I hit the floor. I hissed in pain but knew better than to lay there. The Troll had managed to gain ground once the shifting ground settled back down.

“Ow.” Frankie moaned as I yanked him to his feet and we continued racing for the exit. By now several bodies were piled against it, sounding panicked.

“Capricorn.” I discovered the panic was because the frame had been crumpled in the Art induced quake and the heavy wooden doors would not budge.

“This way.” Frankie tugged my hand and I didn’t fight him as I thought he was leading me toward another exit. I didn’t see one beneath the dark shadows that formed when many of the light fixtures shook loose or just blew a bulb. “Sorry.”

“Oh no.” It dawned on me too late where Frankie was dragging me and I would never have been able to slow down anyway. “Nononononono!”

The senses-deadening darkness of the world inside the shadows swept over me as I was unwillingly shifted for the first time in almost a year. I thought my fear had peaked at running from a strange and hostile Troll, but being pulled into the land that Crouchers roamed ramped it up to nauseous levels. In times past I had, under my own volition, used Frankie’s ability to Shadow Shift to get places I needed to in a hurry. It had been uncomfortable and disconcerting every time, but being dragged into the darkness made the old fears of the first time I had shifted swell up in a suffocating wave that turned my insides nearly out. Blissfully, it lasted only a second and we were soon running (mostly Frankie dragging me for the first delirious steps) from the shadows just outside a thick canopy near the reptile house. My eyes screamed a discomfort to match my stomach as they adjusted and I searched for direction in the crowded zoo.

“Where’s your uncle?” Frankie asked the question I had been screaming in my head. I had a vague idea of where the tour was supposed to progress but quickly realized that we were running the wrong way. I jerked Frankie to a stop, needing a moment to catch my breath and explain. Before I could open my mouth to do more than suck air, the doors to the building we just fled exploded outward and the Troll came rushing toward us.

Thanks for stopping by, Gus! Best wishes with your new release.

Until next time,

Amy

 

Author Spotlight: Linda Berry

Today’s guest author is Linda Berry, whose new book, Pretty Corpse, was recently released. It’s getting fantastic reviews on Amazon and I’m honored to have Linda here today to talk about the book. The subject matter of the story is a little out of my comfort zone, but in Linda’s capable hands I think I’m going to enjoy it. I invite you to share your comments at the end of the post, but please note that Linda is very busy this week with promotion and other activities and may not be able to respond right away.

Tell us about Pretty Corpse.

The year is 1999. A serial rapist is targeting teen girls in San Francisco. While on patrol, Officer Lauren Starkley discovers one of the victims, and she’s shocked to find out the girl is a close friend of her daughter. The case instantly becomes intensely personal. Because she isn’t a detective, Lauren is restricted from investigating, but she does so nonetheless on her own time. Lauren has an uncanny ability to find obscure clues and link them together. Her relentless pursuit of the rapist draws her deeper into his world. He in turn, starts getting closer to Lauren and her daughter. Lauren needs to lure him out of hiding, fast, before her daughter becomes his next victim.

Your novels are filled with an interesting mix of characters. Tell us about that. 

My stories reflect the range of characters each of us knows in real life. We all have people we admire, people who threaten us or are just plain loony. I like to keep readers alert and surprised by creating several interrelated stories that and ebb and flow through the main story. We are all multi-dimensional, and have many stories happening simultaneously in our lives, and sometimes conflict erupts on many fronts. I like to get into those emotional tsunamis and explore a person’s breaking point, and how they deal with the challenge. Complex characters that are bitterly wounded or pathologically twisted are interesting to me. I like to contrast the most vile and repugnant aspects of human nature to the most heroic and noble, and throw some quirky characters in for good measure.

How did you research this police thriller?

To write authentically, I do extensive research. That doesn’t mean I let my fingers do the walking. I have to give a big thank you to the police officers at Mission Station in San Francisco in 2001, when I wrote this first draft. My research for Pretty Corpse came in the form of dozens of ride-alongs I did with various female patrol officers. I chose the night shift when the city was rife with criminal activity, and I got to see these courageous women in action. Several of my characters were inspired by the female cops I came to know, and also by the captain of the station, who gave generously of his time to help me authenticate my writing. Many of the side stories in Pretty Corpse are based on actual events relayed to me by police officers from Mission Station. 

Where do you write?

I write in a sunny office in my home overlooking a canal and peaceful wooded area. I live in Central Oregon, a resort town in the shadow of the Cascade Mountains.

You were an award-winning copywriter and art director for twenty-five years, and worked part of that time for the film industry. How did that experience shape your decision to become a novelist?

I had the privilege of collaborating with talented writers and some of the best editors in the business. I love books and have been an avid reader my entire life. I wrote novels as a passionate hobby. In fact, my three novels released this year by Winter Goose Publishing are the result of my efforts spanning a decade. Now that I’m retired, I write every day. It’s so much easier to produce good work when you can keep your train of thought moving forward, and are not constantly interrupted. 

What do you love most about your work?

I love the creative process itself—the challenge of developing and constructing plots that continually surprise the reader and hold them in a state of suspense. Writing is both a passion and a compulsion—a truly satisfying form of escape. My reward comes when a reader tells me they couldn’t put my book down and they talk about my characters as though they’re real people. Then I know I did my job well.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?

Happiness comes to me in many forms. Appreciation of life itself is the foundation of happiness. I find this planet miraculous, from subatomic matter to the galaxies in space. I enjoy the beauty of ecosystems, how so many forms of life—plants, birds, mammals, reptiles, insects—the smallest creature to the largest, are dependent on each other for survival. My idea of perfect happiness is living on a healthy planet where people live together in peace and are trusted guardians of nature.

What is your greatest fear?

Being impoverished, homeless, or mentally or physically impaired and dependent on others. I did undergo some terrible threats to my health six years ago. I had a bout of debilitating pain for about 8 months, which diminished my ability to enjoy life. I’m now completely recovered, and feel I’ve been given a second chance at life. The experience sharpened my awareness of how fragile life is, how it can be taken away in an instant, and how one might be forced to languish in pain for a period of time. It heightened my appreciation for the quality of life I have now, for every precious moment I’m healthy and independent.

What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?

Lack of patience. Sometimes I get caught up in the everyday demands of life, and the illusion that I don’t have enough time to do everything I want to do.  I have to remind myself at times to live in the moment, address what is happening right in front of me, and listen to people, even when I feel I’m short on time. Giving another human being a few minutes of conversation can make a huge difference in that person’s life. Kindness goes a long way.

Who in your profession do you most admire?

I read everything, and admire countless writers, from journalists to screen writers to poets to authors. I especially love mysteries, and I read an average of two books a week. If the writing is solid, and the story is well-constructed, I’ll read it regardless of genre.

What is your greatest extravagance?

Disconnecting from the world. Getting out in nature with my husband and our dog in our motorhome. I love being on a lazy schedule and disconnecting from social media, where the only decision I have to make is when to eat and what hikes to take. I can write in uninterrupted peace for hours at a time, surrounded by nature, sometimes listening to the gentle patter of rain, watching water drip off leaves. I love going to national parks, off season. We went to Bryce and Zion and Arches and the Grand Canyon two years ago. Last year we went to Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons, and this year we may be going to Yosemite.

On what occasion would you lie?

I don’t tell big extravagant lies, but I do tell baby lies frequently, mostly when complimenting people. For example: “no, your ass doesn’t look big in those jeans” or “you look marvelous” when in actuality, you look hungover, and you have stains on your shirt.

What do you dislike most in your work?

When I hit a brick wall and I have to stop writing, sometimes for days, while I process my story and play out different scenarios in my head. I never force the creative process. What generally helps me break through the logjam is reading. I’ll bury my nose in a good book, and before long, ideas start percolating to the surface. I also have a muse, my nail goddess, who’s held captive doing my mani/pedi for 2 hours, and I bounce ideas off her. She has a creative mind and has been a wonderful contributor to my stories for years.

When and where were you happiest in your work?

This current period in my life is the happiest. Now that I’m retired, I have the luxury of writing every day. I wake up eager to get to work. I take my coffee up to my sunny office and dig in. I believe I’m at my most happiest when my husband and I are traveling and we’re parked in a beautiful wilderness area and the peace of the place seeps into my bones. I can write with no interruption.

If you could, what would you change about myself?

I would take twenty years of physical wear and tear off my body. Mentally, emotionally, and spiritually, I would change nothing. If I had to lose twenty years of life experience to be in a younger body, I would say no. I’m more at peace with myself at this stage of life than I have ever been.

What is your greatest achievement in work?

Having three novels completed and coming out this year, 2017. It’s a wonderful sense of accomplishment to see the culmination of years of work and endless rewrites in a physical book. Hidden Part One and Pretty Corpse are out, and Hidden Part Two comes out in September. I’m expecting my fourth mystery, Quiet Scream, to be out in December or January.

What is your most marked characteristic?

My friendliness, and my sense of humor. I have always had a keen interest in people and I’m a good observer, passionately interested in humans and the world around me. I’m an optimist at heart, and I’ve been blessed with a jolly spirit. I enjoy socializing but the greater part of my waking life is spent in solitude, writing, reading, and doing projects.

What is your most inspirational location in your city?

I like to get out on the wilderness trails with friends and dogs. We have a beautiful river, the Deschutes, that meanders through town and its character changes every foot of the way. There are many meadows, sagebrush flats, waterfalls, and breathtaking views of the Cascade Range. The look of a wild river, the various sounds of water rushing, falling, cascading over boulders, is invigorating and soothing. Hiking clears my head of thoughts and worries and puts me in a state of peacefulness.

What is your best advice for beginning writers?

Write about something you love and then your passion will come out in your words. Write often, everyday, if possible. Read, read, read. I read one or two books a week, and I also watch movies and TV productions that tell good stories. I take notes. I have volumes of notes, and refer to them daily.

 

Watch Linda’s Youtube trailers:

Hidden: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B-bNoFgaD9U&t=7s

Pretty Corpse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QHSvirTYdw&feature=youtu.be

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/linda.berry.94617 

Website: www.lindaberry.net

Twitter:@LindaBerry7272

Contact: lindaberrywriter@gmail.com

Best of luck with the new book, Linda!

Until next time,

Amy

Meet a Reader: Sharon Aguanno

  • Sharon Aguanno Reader interview
  • Here on Reade and Write I’m trying out a new idea- I’ve had such a great response from my interviews of authors that I thought it would be fun to interview readers, too! My first reader interviewee is Sharon Aguanno, a woman I met just after my first book, Secrets of Hallstead House, came out. She sent me a message on Facebook asking a question about the book and we’ve been in online contact almost every day since then. If you read the comments after each post here on my blog, you’ll notice that Sharon has been a faithful commenter every week. I’m so grateful for her friendship. Welcome, Sharon!
  • How often do you read?
    I try to read daily. If I am not reading a book, I am reading blogs, which I love!
    What is the name of the last book you finished?
    If audio counts, I just finished listening to Murder and Mayhem in Goose Pimple Junction, by Amy Metz. Although I had previously read it, I wanted to hear the southern speak. And I just finished Maggie King’s Murder At The Book Group.
    Audio books definitely count! What are you reading now?
    I just downloaded Memory of Light, by Mollie Cox Bryan (This is outside of my genre, but I love Mollie’s writing style, so I am going to read it.)\
    I’m also looking forward to reading Memory of Light. What is your preferred genre?
    Mysteries, Women’s Fiction, Historical Fiction, Crime, Detective stories and Law and Order.
    How often do you venture outside your preferred genre?
    That’s a good question. A year ago I would have said never. However, last year I read 75 books- 40 new (to me) authors and many genres. The only genre I will stay completely away from is horror. I am a big
    scaredy-cat.
    What was the last book you read outside your preferred genre?
    The Retreat, by Chariss K. Walker.
    Are you in a book club?
    No, I don’t have the patience to read a book at a slow pace. However, I do like when an author adds discussion questions at the end of the book.
    Where do you obtain most of the books you read- from a bookstore, online, the library, borrowed from a friend, etc.?
    Online, and occasionally someone will send me a book via mail.
    How do you decide which books to read?
    I follow lots of author and Facebook pages. When I need a book, I go out to the blogs and pick one.
    What is in your To-Be-Read pile?
    I was upset in January and I discarded my TBR. I figured I would never get to them. Now it’s July and I realize I should have kept it… LOL. There are a handful of books that I downloaded when they were free. Mostly cozies! Kathi Daley, Mollie Cox Bryan, Sarah Hobart, just to name a few. Also, my TBR usually contains authors and books. I see an author on a blog or Facebook page and I go out to Amazon and check them out. For example, if it’s a series, I like to start with the first book rather than their Work-in-Progress.
    Do you pay attention to especially bad reviews of books when deciding whether to buy or read them?
    Absolutely NOT. I have found that bad reviews usually come from people who haven’t even finished the book. A little criticism or suggestion of what a reader would like to see is one thing, but rudeness in a review is unacceptable!
    Amen to that! Lots of people don’t have a favorite book for a variety of reasons. Do you have a favorite? What is it?
    Reading is my passion; I don’t have a favorite book, but lots of favorite authors. When I find somebody I like, I will read everything they write!
    Where is your favorite reading spot? 
    My bedroom. I have a cozy chair and I face a big window looking out onto the street. Since I am on the second floor, I look at roof tops and trees, and I love the sunrise as it comes over the homes in the morning.
  • Anything else you want me to know?
    Yes; since reading is my all time favorite thing to do, I follow many authors and blogs. Occasionally I will come across one that I disagree with and I don’t have a problem stating that. Having said that, I want you and all authors to know that I have the utmost respect for your profession. Being able to create characters, dream up a plot and tie it all together is a talent that the avid reader, like me, only dreams about!
    Thank you! That’s such a nice way to end the interview. I loved having you on Reade and Write! Sharon didn’t mention it, but she has her own blog where she talks about all things books. You can check it out by clicking the following link: https://newyorkarmymom.wordpress.com/.
  • I’m looking for more readers who would like to share their love of reading! If you’re interested in being interviewed, let me know in the comments below and I’ll be in touch. Authors, you’re welcome to put on your reader hats and join in!
  • Until next week,
  • Amy
  • P.S. You may have noticed these bullet points throughout my last several posts. I can’t, for the life of me, figure out how to get rid of them. I’ve tried everything.

 

Meet Kristina Stanley

Avalanche Cover Final

Today I welcome Kristina Stanley, author of The Stone Mountain mystery series and other books of both fiction and non-fiction. Glad you could stop by, Kristina!

Tell me about your new book.

Avalanche: On a cold winter morning, the safe at Stone Mountain Resort is robbed, and Kalin Thompson’s brother, Roy, suspiciously disappears. As Director of Security, Kalin would normally lead the investigation, but when her brother becomes the prime suspect, she is ordered to stay clear.

The police and the president of the resort turn their sights on Kalin, who risks everything to covertly attempt to clear Roy’s name. As threats against her escalate, she moves closer to uncovering the guilty party. Is Kalin’s faith in her brother justified? Or will the truth destroy her?

Who is the audience for the book?

Avalanche is for mystery readers who like a little it of adventure along with the story.

Tell me about the setting of your book—how did you choose it, what kind of research did you have to do, why did you choose it?

Avalanche takes place in Stone Mountain. A mountain as deadly as it is majestic. I used to be the director of security at a ski resort in the Purcell Mountains. That job was my muse and inspired me to write about life in an isolated mountain resort.

What was the hardest thing about writing the book?

This was the first novel I wrote. After working with a literary agent, we decided together it belonged as the third novel in the Stone Mountain Series, so I rewrote the story to fit later in the series.

If your book were made into a movie, who would you like to see playing the main characters?

This is hard. Kalin Thompson would have to be played thirty-something, fit actor. She’s tender yet tough, and I’d like an actor who can portray those characteristics.

Tell me about your other books.

Descent and Blaze are the first two novels in the Stone Mountain Series. I’ve also written Look The Other Way, a mystery novel that takes place in the Bahamas, and I have just finished receiving feedback from my beta readers. I’ve also written The Author’s Guide to Selling Books To Non-Bookstores, to be released May 28th, by Imajin Books. This is my first non-fiction title.

Are you in one or more critique groups or partnerships?

I have five beta readers. I live in a small community in the Purcell Mountains, and there are no writer groups here. My beta readers all have different skills. One is great on checking character motivations, another on inconsistencies in the story line, another is a fabulous proofreader. I ask all my beta reader to mark in the margin when they think they know who the killer is. I also ask them to tell me when they skim. These are very important areas for a fast paced murder mystery.

Do you write every day?

That depends if you include blogging in this question. If you do, then yes. But I don’t write stories every day.

When you read a book, what authors do you like best? What genres do you like best?

I love to read mysteries, hence that’s what I write. I don’t have favorite authors. I try and read as many as I can. I also try to read every author who posts on my series, Mystery Mondays. Amy’s very popular post can be found at https://kristinastanley.com/2016/04/25/mystery-mondays-the-best-time-to-start-promoting-your-novel/ (Thank you!)

Where would you like to go more than anywhere else on earth?

I’ve been to every province in Canada except for Newfoundland. I’d like to go there one day.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Once you’ve finished your first novel, start writing the second one. Publication takes a long time, and it’s great if you have a second book ready after your first one is out. It also keeps you writing instead of waiting to hear back from wherever you’ve submitted your novel to.

What is your favorite movie and why?

I loved watching World War Z. Very scary, but not real. I actually hid under my coffee table during the scary parts. Pretend villains are much more fun to watch than real ones. Alien was also one of my favorites.

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I would tell myself not to throw away anything I wrote. While in my thirties, I wrote the start of a fantasy novel. I also wrote a murder mystery that took place in Aruba. For some reason, I didn’t keep this work. I now wish I had. I’m sure it wasn’t great, but I’d be curious to see what I’d written then. Who knows? Maybe I could have rewritten the stories.

Describe yourself in three words.

Happy, adventurous, loyal.

Where can readers connect with you?

I’m on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/KristinaStanley.Author/), and twitter (http://www.twitter.com/StanleyKMS), and my website is http://www.KristinaStanley.com). I love building my network and am good at following people back.

Where can readers find your books?

Thanks for asking. Descent and Blaze are for sale on Amazon world-wide. Avalanche will be published by Imajin Books in June. Descent will be published in Germany by Luzifer-Verlag later this year. The Author’s Guide To Selling Books To Non-Bookstores is available for pre-order on Kobo, Amazon, iBooks and Google Play. It will be up shortly and Smashwords.

Here are the links:

Descent: myBook.to/Descent

Blaze: http://myBook.to/BLAZEbyKristinaStanley

Avalanche will be released June 2016. https://kristinastanley.com/books/avalanche/

The Author’s Guide to Selling Books To Non-Bookstores

On Amazon: myBook.to/SellingBooks

On Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-ca/ebook/the-author-s-guide-to-selling-books-to-non-bookstores

On Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Kristina_Stanley_The_Author’s_Guide_to_Selling_Boo?id=S40JDAAAQBAJ

KS 75 High Res

Thank you for visiting Reade and Write to answer all these questions! I enjoyed the interview.

Until next week,

Amy

 

Meet Densie Webb!

You'll Be Thinking of Me
This week I welcome Densie Webb, author of You’ll Be Thinking of Me. Nice to have you here on Reade and Write, Densie!
Tell me about your new book.
My novel, You’ll Be Thinking of Me, is the story of a young woman who has a chance encounter with a celebrity, takes an innocent video of the two of them and when it gets posted online, she becomes the target of celebrity stalker, who thinks the young woman is interfering with her relationship with the celebrity. There’s a healthy dose of both suspense and romance and, I’ve been told, a very surprising ending.
Who is the audience for the book?
I’ve had women ranging in age from 19 to 60 read it and say they enjoyed it. I’ve even had a few male readers. But women are the primary audience.
Tell me about the setting of your book—how did you choose it, what kind of research did you have to do, why did you choose it?
Everything takes place in New Jersey, Manhattan and Brooklyn. I lived in all 3 places and have a good friend who lives in the town where one of the main characters is from. I didn’t really have to do much research on the setting, since I lived it.
What was the hardest thing about writing the book?
Everything! I rewrote the beginning and the ending countless times. The time line with seasons changing was tough to keep track of after a certain point. I don’t like using outlines, but I did eventually have to lay out the months, so there wasn’t ice on the steps in August!
If your book were made into a movie, who would you like to see playing the main characters?
I think every author thinks about that. For the main male character, Mick Sullivan, I would say someone like Robert Pattinson (Edward from “Twilight”), Kit Harrington (Jon Snow on “Game of Thrones”) or Max Irons (son of Jeremy). They all have that tortured pout down pat. For the female lead, I’ve thought about Dakota Johnson (“50 Shades of Grey)”, she has a very girl next door look about her; maybe Jenifer awrence, she can be dressed up or down; and Analeigh Tipton (“Stupid, Crazy Love,” “The Two Night Stand,” and “Warm Bodies”). These are all comedies, but she’s great in drama too and very girl next door.
Have you written any other books?
This is my debut novel, but I’m working on two others. One is a contemporary paranormal romance, which may or may not have a sequel, and the other is women’s fiction—a family drama.
Are you in one or more critique groups or partnerships?
I have an awesome critique partner. We meet once or twice a week. We get each other’s writing and it just works. I’ve belonged to several critique groups, but I’ve found that the one-on-one is working best.
Do you write every day?
No. I wish I did. I write and edit non-fiction for a living and sometimes by the end of the day, I’ve got nothing left. But I try to squeeze in a few words whenever I can and the brain is willing to cooperate.
When you read a book, what authors do you like best? What genres do you like best?
I hate answering this question. There are so many wonderful authors out there. But if forced to answer, I’d say Liane Moriorty, Jo Jo Moyes, Emily Giffin, Mary Kubica. I love women’s fiction, and I like it to have some romance and heartache or, I guess I should say I like books that contain some relationship back and forth, which all of these books do in some form or another. I prefer a Happy For Now or a heartbreak ending over a Happily Ever After ending. But a tortuous road to Happily Ever After works too.
Where would you like to go more than anywhere else on earth?
I don’t get to travel outside the U.S. much, so I haven’t given it much thought. But if
someone were to hand me a ticket to anywhere, I guess I’d like to visit Croatia or maybe
Prague (in the summertime, of course).
What advice would you give to aspiring writers?
Never give up and be prepared for criticism and rejection. It comes with the territory.
What is your favorite movie and why?
That’s just as hard as picking a favorite book. I love movies. I’m a sucker for “The Notebook;” I cry my eyes out every time. “When Harry Met Sally” is just a feel-good movie that I never tire of watching. “Jumper” is a sci-fi movie about moving through space at will. I’ve watched it countless times. “500 Days of Summer” is romantic comedy with a dash of sadness. I’m sure I’m missing some.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
Start writing sooner!!
Describe yourself in three words.
Laid back, accepting, flexible.
Is there anything I haven’t asked that you wanted me to?
I think that about covers it.
Where can readers connect with you?
My website: www.densiewebb.com
Where can readers find your books? 
Densie Webb_2013