Axel Jordan-Interview with the Musician and Model

Axel Jordan-Interview with the Musician and Model

Today, at The Reading Cafe, we would like to introduce musician and model Axel Jordan. Hope everyone enjoys getting to know today’s cover model !!

TRC: Hi Axel and welcome to The Reading Cafe.

We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Follow Axel: Twitter / Facebook / Website/

Axel Jordan 1AXEL: Sure thing! I’m a musician. Born and raised here in NYC. I keep myself pretty busy. Constantly studying music; my craft. And castings around the city.

TRC: What were your goals and aspirations growing up?

AXEL: I was also a performer of some sort. Even as a little kid, I knew I wanted to sing at the top of my lungs. I was either going to be a performer or a veterinarian. I love Animals. Always have.

TRC: Will you please tell us about how you got started in the modeling/cover modeling business?

AXEL: Fortunately, I was blessed and modeled as a kid. It allowed me to meet a lot of people. As I grew up I still maintained contacts with my agents and work pretty consistently. It’s a great way to keep myself busy, make some money and meet a lot of people.

SparkTRC: You recently appeared on the covers of Brigid Kemmerer’s SPARK and BREATHLESS. Many YA and romance novels use the cover model as the
depiction of the storyline hero. What do you say to all of the ‘fans’ who imagine YOU -Axel Jordan- as their storyline hero?

AXEL: To that I say, Thank You. It’s quite flattering when I receive messages about how readers relate the characters to me. I can
personally relate to both characters, Nick & Gabriel, so I take it as a compliment.

TRC: Do you know the number of novel covers that your image has appeared?

AXEL: To date, I’ve appeared on the cover of 4 novels.

TRC: What was your first PUBLISHED cover and by which author?

BreathlessAXEL: The first were the covers of Brigid Kemmerer’s novels.

TRC: At times, there has been a stigma surrounding the male model and the romance-cover industry. But the popularity of the paranormal romance and YA (Young Adult) storylines has skyrocketed in the last few years. What is your opinion about the recent popularity and the very busy industry of the ‘romance and young adult cover model’?

AXEL: I think in the past, YA stories weren’t as honest as they are today. In today’s society, young adults are actually talking truthfully about their feelings and encounters. They aren’t hiding behind the idea of what is considered to be “Right” or “Wrong”. Whether it’s on TV shows or in novels, you’re really getting a close idea of how the minds of young adults actually work. As an artist, I personally believe in living your truth. All day, everyday. So I give it two thumbs up*!

TRC: Have you ever had a photo shoot that went completely wrong?

AXEL: Completely wrong, No. But I’ve certainly had shoots where things weren’t going right. But it’s a job and I’m pretty dedicated to work so I pull it together and make it work.

Axel Jordan2TRC: Nudity in modeling or acting can be controversial. Some pictures can cross the line between sexuality and pornography. What would you tell young models just entering the business about nude modeling?

AXEL: Not always and not all models, but often times models are looking for recognition and are looking to be the best they can be. That can sometimes leave you open to be taken advantage of. Truth is, yes, modeling is about knowing your body. It’s about sexuality and sensuality. But it’s also about confidence. Know yourself and know your boundaries. I always say, know the job and know your worth. If Calvin Klein called and wanted me to shoot partially nude or nude, I would consider it. Till then, no thanks.

TRC: What is your most embarrassing moment?

AXEL: I don’t know if I have any. I can roll with the punches and tend to find humor in most things. So, I’m not easily embarrassed

TRC: When you are not modeling what can we find you doing-in other words-what is your ‘day job’? ;)

Axel Jordan 3AXEL: I’m a musician. Currently working on an album. Released my debut single on iTunes a while back. Go check it out. Via my website
AxelJordan.com or on iTunes. Song is titled “Release You”

Click HERE and download a copy of RELEASE YOU for only .99cents from iTunes.

TRC: What three (3) things would you like to accomplish in the next ten (10) years?

 

 

AXEL: In 10 years ….
– Receive many Grammy’s
– Travel the world. Several Times over.
– Start a family. This one will be closer to the 10 year mark though.

TRC: What is something that few people (if any) know about you?

AXEL: I love to go to Live Stand-up Comedy shows. Oh, and I’m a total Sci-Fi geek.

TRC: Would you please tell us what you do to relax?

AXEL: I run. I run a few times a week. Either outside (if its nice out) or indoors, I can just zone out for 6-miles. It clears my head andeverything just makes sense afterwards.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

AXEL: ummmm nope. I think you pretty much covered it all.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food

- Pizza

Favorite Dessert

- Cake

Favorite TV Show

- Game Of Thrones

Last Movie You Saw

- Frozen. On a plane yesterday.

Dark or Milk Chocolate

- Milk

Secret Celebrity Crush

- Mila Kunis

Last Vacation Destination

- Puerto Rico

TRC: Thank you Axel for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on all of your success and we look forward to many more covers.

AXEL: Thank You! I Look forward to sharing more with ya’ sometime.

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A Strange There After (Savannah Shadows #2) by Missy Fleming-Review & Interview with the Author

A Strange There After (Savannah Shadows #2) by Missy Fleming-Review and Interview with the Author

A Strange There After

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk/

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 26, 2014

Ghosts exist. Quinn Roberts knows this because she is one – kind of. The spirit of a dysfunctional ancestor, Catherine, has evicted Quinn from her own body, forcing her to live in a world with the paranormal. No one can see, touch or hear her, except the ghosts she grew up with and the bane of her existence, a self-centered paranormal investigator named Boone.

Forced to watch the growing bond between her boyfriend, Jason, and the body snatcher, Catherine, Quinn delves deeper into the history of her family in search of a way to reverse what’s been done. What she finds is a dangerous entity more terrifying than anything she’s encountered before. He’s willing to grant all her desires…for a price.

As Quinn faces painful decisions and makes unlikely alliances, she learns how far she will go to get her life back. Desperation is a wicked thing and she soon realizes that recovering her body may only be the beginning of her end.

••••••••••••••••••••

REVIEW: A STRANGE THERE AFTER is the second instalment in Missy Fleming’s contemporary, young adult Savannah Shadows paranormal storyline focusing on a centuries old curse that has followed Quinn Roberts family through the generations. As the sole surviving Roberts family member, Quinn has become the target of ghosts and spirits avenging their death at the hands of Quinn’s ancestors. Now that Quinn’s spirit has been forced from her own body, she must find a way to let everyone know that the spirit inhabiting her body is not Quinn but someone who hopes to make the switch permanent.

Missy Fleming continues the world building from book one where Quinn’s life read like a Cinderella fairy tale including the wicked step-mother and step-sisters but in A STRANGE THERE AFTER the fairy tale takes on a more sinister note. With her extended family out of the picture, Quinn will discover that not everything they did was under their control. With the Savannah, Georgia area notorious for hauntings and magical incantations Quinn, along with the help of her best friend and a young psychic with connections to the other side, Quinn sets out to find a way to reverse the curse set upon her family for hundreds of years.

A STRANGE THERE AFTER is a young adult storyline (written in first person POV) with all the hallmarks of the genre-a love triangle; absent parents; misguided and misunderstood youth; villainous adults; and the requisite mean girl who pushes Quinn from her body and takes over her life as well as her boyfriend. Quinn’s friends try desperately to find a way to reverse the curse but Quinn takes it upon herself to make a deal with an otherworldly spirit only the Devil himself would love.

The storyline is well paced; there is mystery and suspense; perceived betrayal and broken hearts. The secondary characters are colorful but Quinn’s long suffering boyfriend plays only a small role in the second storyline. The reader is pulled into a story where voodoo, magic and revenge have crossed hundreds of years to finally come full circle with the last of the cursed family. Once Quinn is out of the picture, what’s an angry spirit to do for fun?

Reading Order
1. Happily Never After
2. A Strange There After

Copy supplied by the author.

Reviewed by Sandy

Interview orange:black

TRC: Hi Missy and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the release of A STRANGE THERE AFTER.

WE would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Check out Missy’s Website

Missy FlemingMissy: I live in beautiful Bozeman, Montana, not far from Yellowstone National Park. Being outside, especially in summer, is a bit of a necessity, so that often leaves me with less time for writing than I’d like. I love traveling, am an adoring aunt, and spend a lot of time with my family. When I’m writing, I always have to have something on in the background; music or the TV. For some reason, I am not the type who does well with silence.

TRC: What or who influenced your foray into writing?

Missy: As much as I hate to admit it, I’d have to say it started with Stephanie Meyer. If it weren’t for Twilight and the craze causing me to pick the book up, I might not have fallen as hard and fast as I did for the Young Adult genre. Although I grew up reading Nora Roberts, I find it MUCH harder to write adult books. My other biggest influence is my critique/writing partner. She has been amazing at giving me tough love, helping me become a better writer. I will always be thankful to her.

A Strange There AfterTRC: A STRANGE THERE AFTER is the second installment in your young adult, paranormal Savannah Shadows series. Would you please tell us something about the series and book premise?

Missy: Quinn Roberts has grown up in the shadow of her stepsisters, often neglected by her stepmother, and can’t wait to get away from them, even if it means leaving her beloved childhood home. Quinn is a sensitive, meaning she can hear and see ghosts. But there is something evil in her house, affecting her stepmother. The further she delves into the history of her family, the more disturbing things she finds. And as the series progresses, she winds up in a position she never imagined, fighting for her life and to get back all she has lost.

TRC: The first book –HAPPILY NEVER AFTER- followed the ‘Cinderella’ outline. What was the deciding factor to use an established fairy tale formula for the introductory storyline?

Click HERE for our review of Happily Never After

Happily Never AfterMissy: Personally, I love fairy tale retellings and I love ghost stories—much like what Marissa Marr has done with her Cinder series. Putting those beloved stories into a modern setting makes them relevant to new readers, makes them more relatable. I wondered what it would be like if the fairy godmother was a ghost and the prince, an actor. In the second book, I kind of flirted with the whole Rumplestilskin tale, about trading favors and making good on a contract or partnership.

TRC: Why Savannah, Georgia? Do you have a connection to the town and the people?

Missy: Savannah is steeped in history, especially the kind centered around the paranormal. It is said to be the most haunted town in America. It seemed to be the perfect place to set the story. The town has always fascinated me.

TRC: What challenges or difficulties (research, logistics, background, history,etc) did you encounter writing this particular story and series?

Missy: Believe it or not, I have never been to Savannah, so I have to always consult maps and visitor guides. In book two, I had a whole new set of obstacles. I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t read the first, but involving Quinn became nearly impossible. I had to get inventive and introduce new characters to make it work. It frustrated me to no end, but I am extremely happy with how it turned out.

TRC: How many books do you have planned for the series?

Missy: Three. I will be starting the third book very soon. Been jotting down notes and ideas so it’s time to make sense of them.

TRC: Why your interest in writing ‘young adult’ storylines? Have you considered writing other genres? Adult storylines?

Missy: I love the younger voice. The stories come easier to me. It’s hard to explain. I have an adult/women’s fiction I’ve been trying to tweak for years, but it never feels just right. While I can pop out a YA book in a few months. I think I may venture into New Adult eventually, but right now, I am happy where I am. I love the genre and I think it still has a lot of places to go.

TRC: If you could virtually cast the leading characters (Quinn, Catherine, Abby, Jason, Boone) in this storyline, which models or actors best represents your ideal image?

Missy: To me, Quinn has always been either Victoria Justice or Vanessa Hudgens. They both have the same look as Quinn and I’d totally cast either of them.

For Abby, I would choose Taylor Swift. I think she’d be great in that part, feisty and determined.

Jason is a tough one. Maybe Brant Daughtry from Pretty Little Liars or Chase Crawford.

Boone was based off of Zak Bagans from Ghost Adventures, a little embarrassing to admit, but I can’t see him being cast as anyone else. Maybe Zak wants to try out acting!

TRC: How do you keep the plot unpredictable without sacrificing content and believability?

Missy: I like to think of the least predictable road, what would be the least cliché option. I don’t want to ever be just another paranormal. I want to be different. It can take a couple tries, but eventually you find something that fits and it feels good.

TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?

Missy: The characters direct me. There’s been plenty of times I am surprised by where the story has gone, how a certain character has evolved. I never intended to bring another love interest into the story for Quinn with Boone, but it happened that way. I wasn’t sure how this experience would change her but it does. She surprised me and I love it when that happens.

TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writer’s fail in this endeavor?

Missy: Sometimes, I think writers try too hard, they overreach, have the characters react to something and go overboard. To me, emotion comes from the simple things, from a struggle the everyday reader can relate to. And it has to feel real.

TRC: Writer’s Block is a very real phenomenon. How do you handle the pressures and anxiety of writer’s block?

Missy: I don’t force it. Even if it puts me behind schedule, I don’t force it. It will only make me more frustrated. Often, I will switch to some other project for a bit or lay in bed at night working through it in my head. Walking away is often the best medicine.

TRC: Many authors bounce ideas and information with other authors or friends and family. With whom do you bounce ideas?

Missy: My sister is a good one. She’s read most of my works in progress. The best person I have is a fellow writer. We write and edit together and I have learned so much from her. She’ll tell me exactly why she doesn’t like something and often, I have to mull it over to realize she is right. We have our routine down to an art.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Missy: A historical Young Adult set in the 1860’s gold rush in Montana. While that may not sound like something a lot of teens would read, I’ve added the whole Hatfields & McCoys element, or more recognizable, Romeo and Juliet. It’s about a girl who has lost everything and takes a chance to go west, leaping into the unknown, and is caught between two warring families. It does have a love triangle and the gold rush town it is set in actually still exists today. The boom and excitement of instant wealth is just the backdrop to the story. It’s my first historical and I’m really happy with how it’s turning out. Well, I still have to figure out the end, so we shall see.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Missy: Thanks for this opportunity! As an author, I am still learning the ins and outs of marketing myself. Sites like this have helped immensely. I am that writer, and reader, who gets so caught up in their current project, they often forget the real world exists out there. I’d love to hear from any of my readers so feel free to contact me through Goodreads or my (very neglected) website.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food
Love any kind of seafood. And popcorn. That’s my go-to snack.

Favorite Dessert
A certain chocolate cake of my mom’s. And angel food cake.

Favorite TV Show
Once Upon a Time – go figure – and Scandal. Also ADDICTED to Game of Thrones

Last Movie You Saw
New movie? I’d have to say that would be Frozen. And I am in love with it.

Dark or Milk Chocolate
Dark!

Favorite Song (at the moment)
Happy by Pharell. It’s just a happy song. How can anyone hear it and not want to smile or move?

Secret Celebrity Crush
Ian Somerhalder. Not only is he hot but he is into environmental awareness and an animal lover. Whole package

Last Vacation Destination
Just got back from Orlando two days ago. It was a work thing, but we spent a couple days extra going to Magic Kingdom and Animal Kingdom. Lots of people but something about that place is amazing. So much to see and do.

Pet Peeve
Oh wow. Not sure. People who think they are entitled to certain things. Like on an airplane. Just because you get on first doesn’t mean we’re leaving any sooner, so stop pushing your way through the crowd!

TRC: Thank you Missy for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on all of your success. We wish you all the best.

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Releasing Me by Jewel E.Ann -Reviews, Interview and Giveaway

Releasing Me by Jewel. E.Ann-Reviews, Interview and Giveaway

Releasing Me Banner

Releasing Me
Holding You #2
by Jewel E. Ann
Release Date: April 18, 2014
Genre: Adult, contemporary, erotic, romance

Releasing Me

NEED LINKS: Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk/ Barnes and Noble / KOBO / The Book Depository

RELEASING ME (Holding You #2) by Jewel E. Ann

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 18, 2014

A tragic accident. A hidden past. An unbreakable love.

Never goodbye …

I thought Addy stole my soul.

Her beauty blinded me.
Her heart called to me.
Her touch healed me.

She gave everything and asked for nothing. Then I broke her. The depths of her pain were veiled by the reflection of my own. I didn’t deserve her, but I wanted her––I needed her. In my darkest hell, I heard her voice. That’s when I knew …

Addy was my soul.

Deep breath … I am peaceful, I am strong.

Quinn was worth the risk.

He took away the numbness and gave me unfathomable pleasure. Every emotion felt magnified, every moment felt like the last.

My heart found purpose.
My body came to life.
My soul returned.

His weakness gave me strength, and his past held my future. He saved me by … releasing me.

•••••••••••••••••••••••

REVIEW: RELEASING ME is the second and final instalment in Jewel E Ann’s contemporary, adult romance Holding You duology and readers are in for an emotional ride. Releasing Me continues the story of Adler Brecken and Quinn Cohen. At the end of Holding You an accident left our couple fighting for survival. Release Me will reveal that words said in anger; actions meant to hurt; and betrayal of both the heart and the soul will break even the hardest of humans-but when someone is already broken, the cracks will weaken the spirit until there is nothing left on which to hold. Sometimes pushing too hard means losing everything and everyone that means anything in your life.

The storyline focuses on recovery, addiction and fighting for the one you love. Painful words, heartbreaking betrayal and, buried pasts find our couple in a hell of their own making. Hidden secrets will force Addy and Quinn into a battle for both their lives and their love but in the end, pain and sorrow may be all that is left at the end of the day.

Jewel E. Ann has written a story where one woman has suffered so many losses and heartbreaks in her life that one more seems inevitable and revealing. At times RELEASING ME is a difficult storyline with the amount of devastating and emotional pain that our heroine must endure. And when she finally puts her heart on the line she is pushed into the abyss by a man who is floundering in the knowledge that he did not really know the woman with whom he had fallen in love. His actions are unforgiveable; he is weakened by both physical and emotional pain; yet our heroine is willing to stand by and watch the disaster play out to its’ final demise.

RELEASING ME is a storyline with a little mystery, plenty of secrets, and a whole lot of emotional heartache. The secondary characters are pulled into the turbulent life of two people who love beyond the present but continue to hurt one another through their actions, their secrets and their hidden pasts but sometimes the past must remain in the past or the memories wound like daggers of the mind and the heart.

The relationship between Addy and Quinn is sexual, sensual, angry and seductive. There is betrayal of the heart; of the mind; and of the soul for two people so emotionally injured that they can’t see beyond the present-a lack of maturity fueled the pain and the ever present ghost in the room.

Jewel E Ann pulls the readers into a story where love and hatred straddle a infinite line; where betrayal and anger are the fuel for words meant to wound; and where the heart knows that there will never be anyone who can compare to the one who holds your life and your soul –for all time. Releasing Me is a story of love between two people who refused to give up and in the end realized that there was more of a connection to one another then anyone could ever have imagined.

Copy supplied by the author.

_______________

Holding You
Holding You #1
by Jewel E.Ann
Release Date: February 21, 2014
Genre: adult, contemporary, erotic,romance

Holding You

Special Price .99cents for a limited time: Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk/ Barnes and Noble / KOBO /

About the book:

Deep breath … I am peaceful, I am strong.

Free-spirited Addy Brecken is Milwaukee’s most talented vegan chef and co-owner of Sage Leaf Café. She has a genius IQ, a padded savings account, an amazing view of Lake Michigan, and a heart that won’t stop beating.

An early April morning finds her drowning in the seductive fragrance of lilacs and the warmth of the morning sun when she’s nearly hit by a car in front of her café. The peaceful existence she’s desperately tried to maintain after the horrific loss of her family is suddenly shaken by the Range Rover driving, arrogant, sex-on-legs Quinn Cohen.

A successful, Latino businessman from New York, Quinn has a taste for the finer things in life. A typical playboy, he has the money, the houses, the cars, and the women. Quinn is everything Addy avoids. Where she lives simply and prefers to help the less fortunate, he has no problem spending an obscene amount of money on a briefcase. Their opposite personalities lend to several heated encounters, and Addy finds herself propositioning Quinn for the one thing she never imagined needing … sex.

Offering only her body, Addy tries to keep Quinn at a safe distance from her heart and a world away from her past. Their passion-filled connection makes Addy feel something unfamiliar, alive. But with passion comes more feelings: anger, jealousy, love. When Addy surrenders to the unimaginable and lets go of her past, she’s faced with the impossible … holding on to her future.

Deep breath … I am peaceful, I am strong.

•••••••••••••••••••

REVIEW: HOLDING YOU is the first instalment in Jewel E. Ann’s adult, contemporary, erotic series by the same name. The storyline follows vegan chef Adler (Addy) Brecken and millionaire Quinn Cohen as they navigate the mine field that is their life.

Addy has a secret- a past mired in pain, sorrow and heartbreak and, one that she is reluctant to talk about or revisit. Quinn doesn’t do relationships-at least nothing longer than six weeks so embarking on an almost-friends with benefits kind of relationship suits both Addy and Quinn –for the moment. But, like all sexual relationship between two people both physically and emotionally attracted to one another the heart will fall before the mind has had a chance to catch up. And in this, Quinn will ensure that Addy’s knows he is not the man for her.

The reader is pulled into a heartbreaking storyline about two people afraid to commit to one another; afraid to tell the truth; afraid to allow their emotions to guide them through the fall-out of every revelation. This is a story where the heart is broken when the reality of the situation comes crashing home-after all-they agreed to friends with benefits –ONLY. Quinn never promised fidelity and Addy never promised to lose her heart.

Addy and Quinn’s relationship follows a love-hate path where one man is unable to commit and his actions speak to his betrayal. Addy is afraid to love again and with Quinn’s history, she knows that her choices are probably for the best. But falling in love is often out of our control. The sex scenes are plentiful; there is no holding back and nothing is off limits for Abby and Quinn.

Jewel E. Ann has written a heartbreaking story where two people who love one another are afraid to acknowledge the demons from their past, but the demons from Quinn’s past resurface at every occasion. Addy’s secrets weigh heavily on her mind and in her heart but the man with whom she is falling in love has never pushed for the truth until now. As Addy’s secrets begin to reveal themselves to Quinn, it may be too late when the biggest secret of all, comes crashing down.

HOLDING YOU is a story about an independent, strong and centered woman who knows what she wants and she wants Quinn Cohen-a man who has never wanted for anything in his life. If you like a storyline with betrayal and heartache; pain and sorrow; billionaire lifestyles of the rich and famous than Holding You is the perfect read.

Copy supplied by the author.

Reviewed by Sandy

releasing me teaser 3

 

Interview white:black

Jewel E AnnTRC: Hi Jewel and welcome to The Reading Cafe. Congratulations on the release of HOLDING YOU and RELEASING ME.

Jewel: Thank you for having me!

TRC: We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Jewel: Sure! I live in Iowa with my fabulous husband, 3 boys, and a dog.

TRC: HOLDING YOU is your February 2014 release focusing on Addy Brecken and Quinn Cohen. Would you please tell us something about the premise?

Jewel: The premise behind Addy and Quinn’s journey is life is fragile, love is unexpected, and forgiveness comes from within.

TRC: You heroine Addy is the owner and chef at a vegan eatery. Are you a vegan? And if so, do you encounter ‘negativity’ as it pertains to the ‘special dietary’ concerns at private and public functions?

Jewel: Yes, I am a vegan or basically I try to eat a whole foods diet. I don’t obsess over the specifics of “veganism” for example, honey, leather goods, etc. I strive for living a life of compassion toward all life which includes not judging other people and their lifestyle choices. I find, like the Golden Rule, this compassion usually comes back. When it doesn’t, it’s not really my problem.

As for “negativity,” it’s pretty rare. I don’t make a point of drawing attention to myself and my “special dietary,” needs. I usually don’t show up hungry so it’s easy to find something to throw on my plate so the focus of the gathering stays social instead of 21 questions about my eating habits. If anything, most people are curious about a vegan diet since the health benefits of a plant-based diet have become more mainstream.

TRC: What challenges or difficulties (research, logistics, background) did you encounter writing this particular story and series?

Jewel: Fortunately, not too many. Holding You is my first novel so I chose to write what I knew or topics that family and friends could be “experts” on. I wanted to focus on developing a writing style that felt natural and uniquely mine. Too much research might have hindered that process. Don’t get me wrong. There were a few challenges, such as the timeline. The series doesn’t take place over days or even months, it’s years and keeping the timeline accurate was sometimes overwhelming.

TRC: Are any of the characters in your storylines based in reality or a compilation of people and your imagination?

Jewel: Definitely a compilation of people and my imagination. If we look hard enough we can see reflections of ourselves in everyone else. I hope my characters are that way too.

TRC: If you could virtually cast the leading characters in this storyline, which models or actors best represents your ideal image?

Jewel: Ugh! You’re going to wish you asked me a different question. I’d have a terrible time casting Addy and Quinn. While it’s fun to look at Pinterest boards where fans have put faces and oh so hot bodies to my characters, nothing matches the physical descriptions, especially facial, in my head. However, because this is a popular question I will say Sienna Miller could pass for Addy and Marcos Pitombo would be an acceptable Quinn.

TRC: RELEASING ME (May 2014) is the second and final installment in the duology. Do you have any plans to continue the storyline with novellas or short stories to keep your readers up to date on the lives of Quinn and Addy? Or perhaps another duology concentrating on Jake? Mac and Evan?

Holding You Series

Jewel: No, I don’t have plans for Addy & Quinn. I love their story and it’s complete. I hope readers trust me to take them on new journeys and open their minds and their hearts to the unknown again.

As for Jake, my husband thinks Jake deserves “more.” I haven’t shut the door on him, but it would take a huge surge of requests for me to consider a literary resurrection of Jake.

Mac and Evan’s story feels complete too. It would be possible to do a novella on how they met pre-Holding You. I love Mac’s personality and I could write about her all day.

TRC: How do you keep the plot unpredictable without sacrificing content and believability?

Jewel: I try to keep readers in the moment. If I can fill the journey with lots of emotional peaks and valleys then what’s over the horizon doesn’t matter. As for believability, there seems to be a lot of wiggle room. Readers believe what they want to believe. I love the Edmond Wilson’s quote: “No two persons ever read the same book.”

TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do youdirect the characters?

Jewel: A little of both. Initially, I direct the characters. Then, much like children, they take over and that in my mind is when the story gets really good!

TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writer’s fail in this endeavor?

Jewel: I can only speak for myself. But I have to completely immerse myself into each character. If I’m not 100% emotionally invested in my characters then I certainly can’t expect my readers to be. I haven’t reached my emotional target until I’m laughing out loud, or bawling my eyes out, or so turned on that I have to take a break from writing and proposition my husband for sex. I know I’m on to something when I tell my husband, “I’m so excited to see what happens next.” I know it’s weird, but I actually get excited about the ideas that are cultivating in my head but have not yet sprouted in my conscious mind.

TRC: Writer’s Block is a very real phenomenon. How do you handle the pressures and anxiety of writer’s block?

Jewel: I let go. Whenever words start to feel forced I stop. Sometimes for a few hours sometimes a few weeks. The solution is not always the same either. Sometimes it’s yoga or walking the dog. Sometimes I binge on books and Netflix, like a mini-vacation. Then other times all it takes is the right song or playlist to ignite the emotions I need to feed my creative rhythm.

TRC: Many authors bounce ideas and information with other authors or friends and family. With whom do you bounce ideas?

Jewel: My best friend, my sister, my mom, and my husband. They are great about it too. Most of the time they are more of a sounding board. But sometimes they see things I don’t, and they’re never offended if I don’t take their advice.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Jewel: Undeniably You – It’s a sexy, humorous, and unexpected love story with a tomboy turned sexy twenty-three-year-old art history graduate/housesitter, a talented, college football wide receiver turned doctor, one handsome and socially awkward veterinarian, and one crazy Weimaraner. In thirty days they find love, break hearts, shatter dreams and find their lives changed forever. It is a standalone book … no cliffhangers! The release date will be in August 2014.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food
fresh guacamole and corn chips

Favorite Dessert
carrot cake

Favorite TV Show
How I Met Your Mother

Last Movie You Saw
Endless Love

Dark or Milk Chocolate
Dark

Secret Celebrity Crush
Stephen Amell

Last Vacation Destination
Colorado

Pet Peeve
Overusing plastic bags. Really, a bag for lipstick and candy bar?

TRC: Thank you Jewel for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulation on the release of HOLDING YOU and RELEASING ME.

Jewel: Thanks again for having me and taking a chance on my books!

 

Website: http://www.jeweleann.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjeweleann
Intagram: http://instagram.com/authorjeweleann
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JewelE_Ann
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7505427.Jewel_E_Ann
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/jeweleannauthor/

 

Giveaway -black and white

EXCLUSIVE GIVEAWAY

Jewel E Ann has an exclusive giveaway at The Reading Cafe- a paper copy of HOLDING YOU and a paper copy of RELEASING ME (ebook if international) to ONE (a) lucky commenter.

Holding You Series

1. Please register using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

4. LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

5. Giveaway=>  Paper copies available to US/Canada only: ebook open to international 

6. The giveaway runs from April 20  to April 25, 2014

Rafflecopter Giveaway Black and White

NOTE: The Reading Cafe is NOT responsible for the rafflecopter giveaway. If you have any questions, please contact the tour promoter.

-Signed paperback of both Holding You & Releasing Me
-$25 Amazon Gift Card
-$25 Gift Certificate to Allison’s Gourmet Desserts.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Rising Assets(Maverick Montana #3) by Rebecca Zanetti-Review and Interview with the Author

Rising Assets (Maverick Montana #3) by Rebecca Zanetti-Review and Interview with the Author

Rising Assets

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk/ Barnes and Noble / KOBO /

RISING ASSETS (Maverick Montana #3) by Rebecca Zanetti

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date March 31, 2014

Friends with benefits was never the plan…

Melanie Jacobs is in trouble. With three jobs—including running her ranch—and dwindling funds, she’s exhausted. Not to mention desperately trying to hide a secret. Unfortunately, her best friend Colton Freeze knows all too well that’s something is going on, and he won’t give up until he knows exactly what he needs to fix.

Then Colton learns the truth—that Melanie’s future happiness rests in the fickle hands of fate, and her chances for having a family are shrinking with every passing day. Her only comfort is Colton, but when a heated argument between them turns into an even hotter kiss, the boundaries of their friendship are erased, leaving only a scorching-hot hunger for more.

Every kiss—every touch—is a stolen pleasure. But will their new friends-with-sexy-benefits arrangement bring them closer together, or destroy everything they once shared?

REVIEW: RISING ASSETS is the third storyline in Rebecca Zanetti’s contemporary, adult, romance MAVERICK MONTANA series focusing on the Lodge/Freeze family and the people in their lives. This is Colton Freeze (CEO of Lodge-Freeze Enterprises) and Melanie Jacobs‘s (ranch owner) story. A friend to lovers storyline RISING ASSETS focuses on the push and pull of a friendship that will find our couple in love and none the wiser.

RISING ASSESTS follows down-on-her-luck Melanie Jacob as she struggles with three jobs while holding down the ranch her grandfather left her after he died. But money is tight and Melanie’s health issues have burned through any savings she had stored. Enter childhood friend Colton Freeze-the man with whom she has been in love most of her life and the last person she is willing to bare her secrets and dreams.

The storyline is a friends to lovers trope with our couple unaware of the direction of their relationship. While the entire town has placed a bet on Colton and Melanie’s love life, our couple is oblivious to the whispers of their hearts.

The world building continues from the first two instalments with the inclusion of many of the previous storyline characters for a familiar feel. The characters are likeable; no one has plans to destroy the relationship or the love. This is a story about a close knit town and family who are supportive but meddling; friendly but concerned; loving and willing to give a little push when someone is lost and is having a difficult time finding their way home.

The relationship between Colton and Melanie is sensual and the sexual tension is palpable. These are two people who have been in love with one another for most of their lives but are too stubborn and afraid to admit the truth.

Rebecca Zanetti pulls the reader into a romantic storyline where love definitely does conquer all; where friendship leads to romance; and where a small town knows a little too much about the personal lives of everyone who lives in and around.

Click HERE for our review of AGAINST THE WALL (Maverick Montana #1)

Copy supplied by the publisher.

Reviewed by Sandy

Interview-GREEN

TRC: Hi Rebecca, and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the success of your SIN BROTHERS series and the release of Rising Assets-book three in your Maverick Montana series.

Rebecca ZanettiRebecca: Hello! Thank you so much for having me over to play at The Reading Café! I love being here!

TRC: We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Rebecca: Sure! I live in the Pacific NW with my hubby, two kids, two dogs, and a crazy cat. We’re in the process of moving houses right now to my dream home, and the move is, ah, a pain. I can’t find my favorite coffee cup, although I have somehow found tons of lost socks. I think the insane cat has been hiding them.

TRC: What or who influenced your foray into writing?

Rebecca: I think I’ve always wanted to write, and in December of 2008, we became nearly snowed in, so I figured it was time. Being a trial attorney actually helped with the structure of telling a story and getting to the point, so my former career kind of assisted with my writing career.

Rising AssetsTRC: RISING ASSETS is the latest release in your contemporary, western Maverick Montana series. Would you please tell us something about the premise and how it connects to the other two storylines in the series?

Rebecca: Absolutely! RISING ASSETS is a best friends to lovers story set in a small Montana town where everybody not only knows everyone else’s business but feels just fine getting involved in private matters. In fact, there are no private matters. So, when Colton Freeze starts to fall for his best friend, Melanie Jacoby, the town creates a bet on when they’ll actually get together. This is the third book in the series. In the first two books, Colton’s older brothers find their own sexy happily ever afters.

TRC: How many instalments do you have planned for the series?

Rebecca: There are at least four stories, and we’ll see after that. The fun thing about writing a sexy small town series is that there are many people in the town who could have their own book. So, I’m open to writing as many as readers want.

TRC: Are any of the characters in your storylines based in reality or a compilation of people and your imagination?

Rebecca: Hmmm. This is a great question! Can I say both? I mean, a lot comes from my imagination, but that’s fed by people in my life, so I really think it’s both. I have two sisters, and a lot of my heroines have their characteristics because they’re awesome. And my husband is a hottie, so there are definitely parts of him in many of the heroes.

TRC: What challenges or difficulties (research, logistics, background, Native History) did you encounter writing this particular story and series?

Rebecca: To be honest, I live close to Montana and go there often, so I didn’t have to research much. The main thing I wanted to make sure of was that the tribal name, the city name, and the county name weren’t actual names anywhere. Although, I have spent many hours watching cowboys at work and finding just the right pictures to inspire me and post on Facebook. Yes, it has been rough. ☺

TRC: BLIND FAITH is the third instalment in your successful SIN BROTHERS contemporary, slightly paranormal/slightly sci-fi (because of the genetic engineering), romantic suspense series. Would you please tell us something about the premise?

Click HERE for our review of FORGOTTEN SINS

Click HERE for our review of SWEET REVENGE

Sin Brothers Series

Rebecca: Sure! The series is about a group of brothers who were created in test tubes by a paramilitary organization and trained as killers, until they finally escaped one day. Unfortunately, they have kill chips adjacent to their spines that will detonate in a short time if they don’t figure out a way to get them out. Each book in the series features a brother who falls in love as they fight to live. BLIND FAITH features Nathan Dean, the brother who kept them all together through childhood, and the guy who feels responsible for all of them. It’ll be released on May 6th.

TRC: If you could virtually cast the GRAY brothers from your SIN BROTHERS series, which actors or models would best represent your ideal image?

Rebecca: Hmmmm. The picture on the cover of FORGOTTEN SINS is exactly the guy I’d pick to play Shane Dean, the hero of that book. He’s just perfect. I used a tough model with cool tats down one arm as inspiration for Matt Dean in SWEET REVENGE, and I don’t know his real name. For Nate Dean in BLIND FAITH, I thought about Jensen Ackles at his darkest in Supernatural. For book four? I’m not telling yet. ☺

TRC: You write storylines in several different genres. Which do you prefer? Which do you find most difficult to write?

Rebecca: I write in the different genres because I enjoy each one. It’s very nice to take a break from the darker stories in the Dark Protectors and even the Sin Brothers series and write about cowboys and falling in love with your best friend in the Maverick series. After that sexy lightness, I’m usually ready to get back to the darkness or the intrigue in the other books. I think writing in three genres is a good way to stay fresh and keep learning and growing. Whichever genre I’m writing at a particular time feels like the most difficult to write. LOL!

TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?

Rebecca: This is a wonderful question, mainly because I’m not sure how to answer it. I think the characters direct the writing, because sometimes I’m not even aware of the actual words on the page as I write, if that makes sense. I read the same way. No words, just images like in a movie. I don’t think I’ve ever actually admitted that before.

TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writers fail in this endeavor?

Rebecca: Well, let’s see. I think you have to create empathy for your characters by showing their weaknesses, their hopes, and their struggles. Once you do that, the reader is invested, as is the author, and you both cheer for the characters at that point. You have to make the characters relatable. So say somebody has never met a real cowboy. But most of us know what a sexy guy striding across a bar looks like. Just add the boots…and you’ve got it.

TRC: Writer’s Block is a very real phenomenon. How do you handle the pressures and anxiety of writer’s block?

Rebecca: You know, I was on a panel a while back with another author who was asked about writer’s block, and she answered that she didn’t have the luxury of writer’s block. Her answer really struck a chord with me because I write for three publishers and have tons of deadlines. There’s no time to be blocked. However, I do get anxiety, and I’ve struggled a bit more with that the last year while being so busy. To be honest, I’m still working on the best way to deal with this. One thing I did was quit my day job as a college professor. I’m also working out, eating right, and have just started yoga and deep breathing. I’m pretty ambitious, and I work hard, so I need to just learn to enjoy the moment and breathe. That’s my current plan, anyway.

TRC: Many authors bounce ideas and information with other authors or friends and family. With whom do you bounce ideas?

Rebecca: Honestly? It’s usually just me and the computer and the voices. ☺ Sometimes I will bounce ideas with my agent, and sometimes with my editors. But I usually like to have something on the page before I consult them.

TRC: If you could have drinks (or coffee) with ANY ONE dead or alive, who would it be and what question would be foremost on your mind?

Rebecca: Man, this is a great question. I have so many answers to this one, that it’s difficult to pick just one. But I guess if I have to choose, today I’d choose Einstein, and I’d ask him about the biggest thing he learned during this life. For some reason, I think he’d be a kick in the pants to hang out with, you know?

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Rebecca: I’m about to turn in MARKED, which is the tenth book in the Dark Protectors and features Janie Kayrs and Zane Kyllwood. Finally…the answer as to who/what Zane is will be on the page. MARKED will be released in December, and I’m really excited for that one! Then I’d like to write Dawn and Hawk’s book from the Maverick MT series. I’ve written the first chapter, and I’m ready to dive in.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food
Angel hair pasta with olive oil, feta cheese, black olives, and tomatoes.

Favorite Dessert
Huckleberry pie

Favorite TV Show
Supernatural

Last Movie You Saw
Ug. Um…huh. Wow. What was the last movie I saw?

Dark or Milk Chocolate
Dark chocolate

Secret Celebrity Crush
Jensen Ackles…and not so secret. LOL!

Last Vacation Destination
Cabo in Mexico in a private home with five couples. Awesome!

Pet Peeve
Somebody crunching their ice cubes or sniffing constantly.

TRC: Thank you Rebecca for taking the time to answer out questions. Congratulations on the release of RISING ASSETS and the upcoming release of BLIND FAITH. We wish you all the best in your writing career.

Rebecca: Thank you so much! I had a ball with these questions and truly appreciate the time you put into creating them.

Follow Rebecca

Website: http://rebeccazanetti.com/
Blog: http://rebeccazanetti.com/blog-2/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/RebeccaZanetti
Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/RebeccaZanetti.Author.FanPage
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4149342.Rebecca_Zanetti
Newsletter: http://www.writerspace.com/newsletter/rzanetti-signup.html

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J.E. Fishman-Review, Interview and Giveaway

J.E. Fishman-Review, Interview and Giveaway

JE Fishman Banner

The Long Black Hand
Bomb Squad NYC: Incident #3
by JE Fishman
Release Date: April 2, 2014
Genre: suspense, mystery, fiction, law enforcement

The Long Black Hand

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk/ Barnes and Noble / KOBO / The Book Depository

THE LONG BLACK HAND (Bomb Squad NYC: Incident 3) by J.E. Fishman

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date April 2, 2014

Bomb Squad Commander Lieutenant Joseph Capobianco fields an unusual request from a friend of the mayor’s: Do a bomb sweep at the famed Julius School of Music and at the luxurious apartment of their visiting star tenor, Claudio Spotto. At first the team that Joe sends finds nothing in the way of bombs, but other signs of trouble mount rapidly. Someone doesn’t want Spotto to remain in New York — and that someone is threatening violence via bomb.

The commander soon realizes that this case has echoes of the Bomb Squad’s origins in extortion from the Black Hand, evoking threats made nearly a hundred years before against the great tenor Enrico Caruso. What does this new Black Hander know about these parallels? Is this a personal challenge to Joe’s early tenure as Bomb Squad commander? And, as the Black Hand grows bolder, can Joe’s team stop the extortionist before someone dies in the escalating violence?

REVIEW: THE LONG BLACK HAND is the third instalment in J.E. Fishman’s contemporary crime thriller series Bomb Squad NYC. With the focus on the members of the NYC bomb Squad this is Commander Joseph Capobianco’s story. When a favor is called into Capobianco’s office, he has no idea that the situation at the prestigious Julius School of Music may be connected to a century old threat against the original Bomb Squad members. Mysterious notes, crude pipe bombs, illegal fireworks and jealous lovers all roll together to make the Bomb Squad’s job a little tougher. Add a famous Italian tenor and you have the makings of an international disaster.

The focus of the storyline are the threats against guest tenor Claudio Spotto and the connections to the famed Julius School of Music. The reader is pulled into an investigation that will uncover an affair that is not so secret; a singer whose star has never quite reached the top; and a connection to the past that very few outside of law enforcement-are aware.

J.E.Fishman writes an intelligent, compelling and well paced story of mystery and suspense; where secrets are revealed and jealousy ignites a powder keg of betrayal; where family connections and political favors blur the lines of right and wrong. Commander Capobianco is a loving family man whose personal and public life find middle ground-a hard concept for many public figures these days.

The secondary characters are colorful, realistic and spirited. Told from third person point of view and two to three different perspectives THE LONG DARK HAND reveals the trials and tribulations of law enforcement and the unknown threats to our everyday lives. The world building continues with the familiarity of the NYC Bomb Squad members from previous storylines.

Like his previous instalment in the series J.E. Fishman ends the story rather abruptly. There is no epilogue or resolution, which is a little disconcerting. It doesn’t change up the storyline but it does feel like there is something missing-closure.

Copy supplied by the publisher.

Reviewed by Sandy

Interview yellow:black

TRC: Hi Joel and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the release of your new Bomb Squad NYC series.

JE FishmanJoel: Thanks. I’m delighted to have you asking me tough questions. By the way, what do I win if I answer correctly?

TRC: Um…nothing? *snort*

TRC: We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

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Joel: I’m one of the luckiest people alive, but I still get overcome by neuroses on a regular basis. Is that normal?

If you meant professionally, I’ve worked in and around publishing for most of my adult life, which may explain the neuroses. Deep down, all I ever really wanted to do was to tell stories. Life circumstances finally conspired to allow me to do that about six years ago, when my wife and I sold a house and a business and moved from Westchester County, New York, to the Brandywine Valley outside Wilmington, Delaware. Since then I’ve published seven books.

TRC: Your bio says you are a former editor, literary agent and a ghostwriter. What do each of these titles entail?

Joel: I was an acquiring editor at Doubleday, where I covered business, sports, popular science, and narrative nonfiction, mostly. I’d field queries and manuscripts from agents, pitch what I liked to the editorial meeting, negotiate purchase of those books if I got the go-ahead, edit them, position them with the marketing and publicity teams, and finally see them into distribution. In that role I worked with many journalists and experts in their field, as well as a few well-known sports figures, such as Jim Kelly, quarterback for the Buffalo Bills at the time, and Ronnie Lott, who was a free safety for the San Francisco Forty-Niners. I tried to buy a book by Wilt Chamberlain once. Although it didn’t work out, I had the distinct privilege of walking down Fifth Avenue with him on the way to lunch. A guy steps in front of us on the sidewalk, points, and says, “You’re still the best there ever was, Wilt.”

Cool, right? But it was all very corporate and getting more so. It occurred to me that I spent more and more time pitching books within the publishing house, so it was a small step to pitching book projects to other houses. I decided to leave and establish my own agency, which mostly represented journalists – New York Times, Wall Street Journal, San Jose Mercury-News, etc. Eventually I sold the agency to Jane Dystel. Years later, she became my agent.

The ghostwriting thing was more of an interlude. Ironically, I took it on to get myself writing, as I was distracted by another business at the time. But it didn’t really get me into the fiction-writing flow just then, because the distractions of business and life remained, and the ghost writing was time-consuming.

TRC: What is the purpose behind the business of ghost writing?

Joel: The purpose is to make money by providing expert authors the writing skills they often lack.

TRC: BOMB SQUAD NYC is your latest series focusing on the people who work in the bomb squad unit headquartered at a fictionalized police precinct in New York City. Would you please tell us something about the premise of the series?

Bomb Squad NYC 1-3

Joel: I wanted to do a series with all the urban grit of old-line police procedurals like those of Ed McBain, but modernized and with more of a thriller element introduced. The NYPD Bomb Squad is the oldest, busiest, and most technologically sophisticated bomb squad in the world—plus, they’re operating out of a headquarters in one of Manhattan’s hottest neighborhoods, the West Village. I’m telling this elite squad’s story in a fictionalized way, of course, but they’re true heroes. What interests me is portraying them as real people, flawed and vulnerable, who set aside their personal challenges and their troubles to keep eight million citizens safe from bombings. And, this being New York, there’s always the threat of another bomb going off.

The series shares three things with the real-life NYPD Bomb Squad: their history, their equipment, and most of their procedures. The rest is fictionalized.

TRC: Would you please tell us something about the premise of each of the following:

Joel:

A DANGER TO HIMSELF AND OTHERS-Click HERE for our review.

FREE to KOBO users: KOBO

.99cents ebook special: Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk/ Barnes and Noble / KOBO / The Book Depository

The central character is Manny Diaz, one of the newest guys on the squad, but with an extensive army EOD (explosives and ordnance division) background. Veterans with prostheses are blowing themselves up in front of army recruiting stations, and Manny doesn’t believe these are suicides. He has to buck his sergeant and his own demons to find the truth before someone else gets killed.

DEATH MARCH- Click HERE for our review.

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk/ Barnes and Noble / KOBO / The Book Depository

In Death March, there’s a credible terrorist threat against the Thanksgiving Day parade. Somehow three dozen detectives have to defend the two-and-a-half-mile parade route. Manny’s sergeant from the first book, Sandy Kahn, ends up having to outthink the terrorists. Two other characters, Kenny Ridley and Cam Fowler, also end up laying their lives on the line.

THE LONG BLACK HAND
In this one, Bomb Squad Commander Lieutenant Joe Capobianco is tormented by extortion threats against a famous tenor visiting the Julius School of Music near Lincoln Center. The case harks back to the earliest history of the Bomb Squad, when an organized crime group known as the Black Hand planted hundreds of bombs a year and extorted money from the great tenor Enrico Caruso.

TRC: How many books do you have planned for the series?

Joel: Who knows? My attitude is: Read all you want. I’ll write more.

TRC: Will the characters overlap with each successive storyline?

Joel: Yes, as you can see from my descriptions, there are overlaps, but it’s not a single-detective kind of series. More of an ensemble cast, with different characters stepping forward for different cases. That’s how it is in real life, and in totality it will give readers a portrait of an entire squad.

TRC: Will we see a resolution to Manny’s personal problem in a future storyline?

Joel: You mean, you didn’t think his problems resolved at the end of the first book? Ha! I don’t think most people’s problems resolve in real life—more like they e-volve. I think you’ll definitely see Manny change over time. But I caution you that he’s not a major character in another book for a while.

TRC: What challenges or difficulties (research, logistics, background) did you encounter writing this particular story?

Joel: Well, I got the idea for this series because NYPD Bomb Squad headquarters is a couple of blocks up the street from my apartment in New York, but I didn’t personally know a single cop—big challenge there—and most information on bomb squads is pretty closely held. I started out researching on the internet and through books, but I knew I had to drill deeper. Fortunately, a friend eventually introduced me to the FBI’s leading bomb tech, who in turn introduced me to the squad’s commander, Lieutenant Mark Torre. He became my technical consultant and opened up a whole world to me.

TRC: Are the storyline characters based in reality or a combination of fact and fiction?

Joel: There’s no character based on a particular real-life person, but I’ve gotten to know how these guys really think and the challenges they face, so I hope that comes across.

TRC: If you could virtually cast the leading characters in the series, which models or actors best represent your ideal image?

Joel: I’m terrible at questions like that! It needs actors who can do real, down-to-earth, and gritty with New York accents. People—at least, in my opinion—like Edward Norton, Matthew McConaughey, Mark Wahlberg, maybe Sean Penn. There will eventually be a female character—no women in the Bomb Squad at the moment, in real life or fiction—and I’d like to see Ellen DeGeneres playing that character straight. I don’t mean sexually straight, mind you, but unfunny.

TRC: How do you keep the plot unpredictable without sacrificing content and believability?

Joel: Well, the million-dollar question for all novelists isn’t so much how you keep it unpredictable but how you keep it unpredictable while having it make sense in the end. It’s easy to have something be unpredictable and conclude with complete nonsense, but having the reader sit up and say, “Of course! How did I not see that coming?!”—that’s the trick, isn’t it? A lot of it is about introducing key elements while distracting the reader from their significance at first. The most important thing is to respect readers’ intelligence. If you let them get a step ahead of you, their experience of the story may be doomed.

TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?

Joel: I like to start with premise, so in the beginning that’s me directing. What if I dropped a guy like this in a situation like that? But characters are built one decision at a time, and once you’ve had them make a few decisions, a lot of doors close. At some point, then, the characters have to act “within character,” and you can’t fully direct that. You have to let it happen or their actions will ring false.

TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writers fail in this endeavor?

Joel: Great question. There isn’t any one thing. Some comes from point of view. Even though this series is written in the third person, it’s a close third, so the reader is over a given character’s shoulder and in his head—not only thinking, but feeling with him. But there are lots of smaller things, too. Using all five senses, for example. And withholding information. We live life blind. For the most part we have no idea what’s going on inside another person’s head. When someone does something slightly unexpected, it hits us in the gut as much as the brain.

TRC: Writers Block is a very real phenomenon. How do you handle the pressures and anxiety of writer’s block?

Joel: There’s only one way. You sit down and write. You accept that you might not do your best work that day, but imperfect is better than nothing. And you remind yourself constantly that you can always go back and fix your mistakes later. (Presuming, of course, that you actually will.) Expectation of perfection is the main enemy of productivity.

TRC: Many authors bounce ideas and information with other authors or friends and family. With whom do you bounce ideas?

Joel: I like to tell people a premise or a scene and see whether their eyes light up. I’m also fortunate to have an experienced editor on my team, Patrick LoBrutto. He has no stake in lying to me, because if he does so, it only makes more work for him later!

TRC: What three things would you like to accomplish in the next five years?

Joel:
1. See my daughter graduate from high school a complete and happy person.
2. Continue to love and appreciate my wife more every day.
3. Yeah, write a mega-bestseller.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Joel: Incident 4 in the Bomb Squad NYC series. It’s called Blast from the Past. Kieran Lehane, a dog handler who’s the oldest member of the squad, never believed the official explanation for the destruction of Flight 699, which blew up five minutes out of JFK. The story begins when he goes to a hearing on the subject, and since he’s late from work he has to bring his dog. As the hearing is breaking up, the dog alerts: there’s a guy in the hearing room with explosive residue on his person! Lehane gives chase but the guy gets away. But Kieran’s a stubborn guy. You can bet that won’t be the end of it.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Joel: Um. If you buy all my books I’ll be your best friend?

TRC: ;)

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food
Anything the great sushi chef Masatoshi “Gari” Sugio puts in front of me.

Favorite Dessert
Chocolate chip cookies from Jacques Torres

Favorite TV Show
Breaking Bad

Last Movie You Saw
The Wolf of Wall Street

Dark or Milk Chocolate
Dark—and the higher cacao content, the better

Secret Celebrity Crush
Go ahead. Get me in trouble. Gwyneth Paltrow.

Last Vacation Destination
Virgin Gorda, BVI

Do you have any pets?
Yep. Two French bulldogs, a Labrador-ish rescue dog, an evil calico cat, and several horses.

Last book you read
Swamplandia! by Karen Russell

Pet Peeve
People writing about New York who don’t know New York.

TRC: Thank you Joel for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on the release of the BOMB SQUAD NYC series. We wish you all the best.

Joel: Thank you very much.

Giveaway-Black and Yellow

Shelton Interactive and Joel are offering a paper copy of A DANGER TO HIMSELF to two (2) lucky commenters at The Reading Cafe.

1. Please register using the log-in at the top of the page (side bar) or by using one of the social log-ins.

2. If you are using a social log-in, please post your email address with your comment.

3. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

4. LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

5. The giveaway is open to USA and CANADA only.

6. The giveaway runs from April 17 to April 21, 2014

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To Catch A Ripple by K. Rosemont-A Review and Interview with the Author

TO CATCH A RIPPLE by K. Rosemont-a review

To Catch A Ripple

Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk/ Barnes and Noble / KOBO /

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date November 1, 2013

Helen Knight, 32, has fallen in love for the first time, but under the Seagrave curse love is forbidden. Robert Seagrave, a charming, elusive novelist, is bound to the spell which chains him to Lord Gabriel, the head of the family who dictates what the Seagraves can do, where they can live, who they can love. No one can leave the community and no outsider can enter.

To free the man she loves, Helen tries to break the spell and as she unearths secrets darker than the curse, she becomes the focus of Lord Gabriel’s wrath.

••••••••••••••••••••

REVIEW: TO CATCH A RIPPLE is a contemporary storyline that borders the genres of mystery, suspense, romance and thriller. When a family curse binds the Seagrave family to the patriarch and the surrounding Toronto area, accidents, illnesses, death and disappearances befall each member who refuses to acknowledge and follow Lord Gabriel’s demands.

TO CATCH A RIPPLE focuses on outsider Helen Knight and her attempts to break the Seagrave family curse. When Helen is pulled into the family web of deceit, destruction and betrayal her own haunted past drives her forward until the man in charge faces his own immortality.

To Catch a Ripple is a story about dysfunctional family dynamics where fear and intimidation keeps the family together in the face of threats and murderous rampages. This is not a story for everyone. Although there is a building romance, the premise focuses on breaking a curse that has brought sorrow and pain to every family member.

TO CATCH A RIPPLE is a storyline that crosses many genres including suspense, romance and thriller. The writing style is simple yet there is plenty of information and background to absorb. There is a building relationship between Rob Seagrave and Helen Knight-one forbidden by the family curse; Lord Gabriel is the archetype of pure evil, a monster who breeds fear into a family for his pleasure and control; he is an exaggeration of darkness and malevolence. The numerous secondary characters meander throughout the storyline hiding secrets, cowering in shadows and betraying family to one another-herein lies the conflict-those that are loyal to Lord Gabriel out of spite and those that are loyal out of fear and reprisal. K. Rosemont uses authorial instrusion using Helen Knight as her vehicle to question much of the story and the plot.

TO CATCH A RIPPLE is an interesting story where one family is controlled by a despicable family ruler. Fear of punishment holds the family together until one woman is willing to step outside of her comfort zone and confront their demons as well as her own-head on.

Copy supplied by the author.

Reviewed by Sandy

Interview beige

TRC: Hi K and welcome to The Reading Café. We would like to start with some background information. Please tell us something about yourself.

K. RosemontK:  I’m based in Toronto, and have lived here my whole life. As my day job, I work as a high school supply teacher in a district north of the city. Travelling and cooking are my passions. I also like to read a variety of books from classics, to sci-fi, to history. I have a degree in history, and have also studied publishing and journalism. I’ve always been interested in stories and writing. I write a variety of styles, but fantasy is my favorite genre. It allows my imagination to go anywhere.

TRC: What or who influenced your foray into writing?

K: As a child I wrote fan fiction based on my favorite TV shows like “Little House on the Prairie.” It started as a wish to change stories I didn’t like. Soon, I was writing my own original fiction.

TRC: TO CATCH A RIPPLE (November 2013) is your debut urban fantasy novel. Would you please tell us something about the premise?

To Catch A RippleK: The story is about Helen Knight, who has never fallen in love in her thirty-two years. As a child she was abused by her stepfather, so she has a hard time trusting people. Then, she meets her roommate’s cousin, Robert Seagrave, who is an author. Helen is an aspiring writer, so they share a connection. However, as Helen and Rob’s friendship grows, she learns he’s harboring a dark secret. Rob, Vincent and their kin are part of an extended family, the Seagrave community, and they are under a curse which chains them to the patriarch, Lord Gabriel. Gabriel dictates everything the Seagraves can do, and if they disobey, he punishes them. Helen sets out to break the curse and in doing so she stands up to Gabriel, a man who is as abusive as her stepfather but many times more dangerous.

TRC: If you could virtually cast the leading characters of Robert, Helen and Lord Gabriel, which actors or models would best represent your ideal image?

K: I would cast Nicole Kidman as Helen, Ashton Kutcher as Robert and Greg Vaughan would be Lord Gabriel.

TRC: How many books do you have planned for the series or is this a stand alone novel?

K: To Catch a Ripple is a stand alone novel.

TRC: How do you keep the plot unpredictable without sacrificing content and believability?

K: The best way to make a plot unpredictable is not to copy the books that have already been written. Follow your own voice. Tell your own story. The result will be authentic and believable.

TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?

K: I’d like to think I direct the characters, but often as I’m writing they take a life of their own and direct the plot. My final stories are half of what I had planned and half of what the characters decided to do.

TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writer’s fail in this endeavor?

K: The key to pulling a reader into a story is to make characters that are relatable. In other words, the characters have to be human, flawed, but still likeable. No matter how compelling the plot, if readers don’t care about the characters, they won’t care about the story.

Where a lot of writers go wrong is they identify too much with a character, creating an idealized version of themselves, gorgeous, brilliant, perfect. This kind of character is called a Mary Sue/Harry Stew. Readers can’t identify with perfect characters; they want to see characters grow throughout the story, and there is no growth if the character starts out perfect.

TRC: Writer’s Block is a very real phenomenon. How do you handle the pressures and anxiety of writer’s block?

K: When I’m stuck on a story, I go on to other projects. Sometimes that works, but usually when I have writer’s block I can’t write anything. Developing outlines helps, but forcing my stories only leads to frustration. Writer’s block is caused by stress, and making myself write just stresses me out more. I hate to admit it, but I just have to let writer’s block pass, like a cold. I have to believe that my writing ability hasn’t gone away; it’s just taking a breather. It always comes back in full force.

TRC: What challenges or difficulties (research, logistics, background) did you encounter writing this particular story and series?

K: This is a hard question to answer without giving away the plot, but let’s just say the curse was a particular challenge. I had to do something original and also make it believable to the characters.

TRC: Many authors bounce ideas and information with other authors or friendsand family. With whom do you bounce ideas?

K: I bounce my ideas off of my sister. She’s a writer, too. We’ve been doing this since we were kids and have developed our own vocabulary. We call the middle of the plot which usually lags “the middle chunk,” and an ending that’s not quite happily ever after is a “bittersweet ending.”

TRC: On what are you currently working?

K: I’m working on a YA fantasy series called Infinity Blue. It’s about Astra Starlighter, a seventeen-year-old who discovers she’s a goddess, but where she lives magic is illegal. When she’s caught using her powers, she’s enrolled in a magic martial arts school where many students die in training. For her initiation, she has to kill Kronos, the most feared warrior in the universe. In order to stay alive, she has to ask the help of Sankaro, the leader of an international crime syndicate, the most dangerous man in the world. Astra finds herself in the center of a deadly plot and she has to use all her abilities just to stay alive.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

I love to connect with readers. My facebook page is https://www.facebook.com/K.Rosemont

Twitter: @wernstberger

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/4962838.K_Rosemont

Blog: http://krosemont.wordpress.com/

Website: http://krosemontauthor.weebly.com/

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food: Gyoza bibimbap

Favorite Dessert: Oreo Cheesecake

Favorite TV Show: Storage Wars

Last Movie You Saw: Catching Fire

Dark or Milk Chocolate: Milk

Secret Celebrity Crush: Bai Yong Jun (a Korean actor)

Last Vacation Destination: Cambodia, Thailand, Japan, Hong Kong

Pet Peeve: People who don’t flush (like, eww!)

TRC: Thank you K for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on the release of To Catch A Ripple.

K: Thanks so much to you, Sandy, and The Reading Café.

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How to Handle a Cowboy by Joanne Kennedy – Review, Interview and Giveaway

How to Handle a Cowboy by Joanne Kennedy – Review, Interview and Giveaway

How to Handle A Cowboy Banner

How To Handle A Cowboy
Cowboys of Decker Ranch #1
by Joanne Kennedy
Release Date: April 1, 2014

How To Handle a CowboyLinks to order How to Handle a Cowboy:
Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo / The Book Depository

Description:
Sidelined by a career-ending injury, rodeo cowboy Ridge Cooper is desperate to find an outlet for the energy he devoted to his sport. He decides to teach rodeo skills to the kids at the Phoenix House, a local group home for foster children. Here he falls for a big-city girl who just might make him the perfect wife.

Inner-city social worker Sierra Dunn has been exiled to a last-chance home for foster kids in a remote Wyoming town for blowing the whistle on her boss. Her only goal is to prove herself and move back to the city, but the town’s rodeo hero is going after her heart.


Review:

There’s just something about a cowboy that gets my blood pumping, so when asked to read and review How to Handle a Cowboy by Joanne Kennedy, I wasn’t passing up the chance.  I’m very happy that I read this one and hope there will be more stories to come regarding the cowboys of Decker Ranch.  We get to meet the Decker cowboys in this one, but the story focuses solely on Ridge Cooper, a recently retired rodeo cowboy due to a career ending injury, and Sierra Dunn, social worker from the city of Denver.  These two are pretty much opposites, but as they say opposites attract, and boy do these two ever have that combustible kind of attraction for one another.  From their first scene together their mutual attraction for one another is palpable and the story just flows from there.  Ridge and Sierra run away with this story and take us on am emotional journey of finding what it really means to find that special someone that you can call home with.

As I said I was very happy to have read this one.  Ms. Kennedy has a way with words and sets up the story just so. I was hooked from the first chapter and knew I needed to learn more about our battered cowboy and social worker from the city.  Ms. Kennedy sets a nice easy going pace to her story and never rushes anything.  We get to learn who Ridge and Sierria were before they met, who they are now, and who they’ve become because of meeting one another. I really enjoyed getting to meet both Ridge and Sierra and see them as two separate entities but missing that one key ingredient, that special someone who brings out the best in you and makes you feel like you’ve finally come home.  Even though they are opposites, for some reason they bring out the best in the other, and it feels right, like it was meant to be.  However, they are both very stubborn and proud personalities and due to their pasts, have a hard time just letting go, and letting someone else in.  If it wasn’t for Sierra’s foster kids, and Ridge teaching them the ins and outs of ranch life, who knew if these two lonely souls would ever have met. Thanks to her foster kids, Sierra and Ridge both discover a different side to themselves and start to think that maybe, just maybe they can have everything they ever dreamed of.  The romance between Ridge and Sierra is sweet and unrushed. I enjoyed watching these two come together and realize they are better together then apart.  

As I said I’m a sucker for a good cowboy read and this really hit the spot for me.  For some reason I’ve always loved a book with a hero who feels he’s broken and doesn’t deserve the life he’s always wanted.  I got this and more with Ridge Cooper. My heart broke for him and his brothers and what they went through as kids, and now dealing with a career ending rodeo injury.  At first he thinks rodeo is all he ever had to live for, but once Sierra and her band of misfits enter the picture, he sees a side of himself that can relate to those kids and knows he can make a difference in their lives, just like the Deckers did for him and his brothers.  I really enjoyed watching Ridge transform from a sullen and bitter cowboy, to one who feels with all his heart and wants to make a difference in the lives of a group of foster kids and win his lady’s heart. For anyone who is a fan of cowboys, then this one is a must, and I only hope Ms. Kennedy will have stories to tell for Ridges’ brother’s Shane and Brady.  Having met them in this story and learning a little about them, I’m rather captivated by these other cowboys and want to learn more about them.  Here’s to hoping for more wonderful cowboy reads from Ms. Kennedy. 

Until next time, Happy Reading pardners, Yee Haw!!

Reviewed by Marcie

Copy provided by Publisher

Interview beige

Joanne KennedyTRC: Hi Joanne and welcome to The Reading Café.

We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

Joanne: I’m actually an Easterner who fell in love with the West on a vacation to Yellowstone National Park when I was eight years old. I loved the fact that the chipmunks ate out of your hands and I thought jackalopes were real, so vowed I would move West someday. Twenty years ago, I did just that, running away from home to Montana, then Colorado, and finally Wyoming. I was a little disillusioned about the jackalopes, but otherwise the West has exceeded all my expectations.

I’ve worked in the book trade all my life, as the owner of a used and rare bookstore, the manager of an independent, and the manager of a Barnes & Noble. I’d always wanted to write a book, and finally, at 45, I decided it was time. My first published book was “Cowboy Trouble,” and I’ve written about cowboys and the West ever since.

TRC: HOW TO HANDLE A COWBOY is the first installment in your new Cowboys of Decker Ranch series. Would you please tell us something about the premise?

How To Handle a CowboyJoanne: My new series centers on three cowboys who were all foster kids until they were taken in as teenagers by rancher Bill Decker, who taught them to ride and rope and schooled them in the Code of the West.

In the nearby town of Wynott, the elderly residents are struggling to keep their community alive. When an old Victorian mansion is turned into a foster home for boys, the cowboys see a chance to pay it forward and give the kids there a chance to learn the cowboy way.

TRC: How many books do you have planned for the Cowboys of Decker Ranch series?

Joanne: I’m planning on three books, so I can tell the story of all three Decker Ranch cowboys: Ridge Cooper, Brady Caine, and Shane Lockhart. But there are a lot of stories in Wynott, Wyoming that want to be told, so there may be a spin-off in the future.

TRC: Will each storyline have a different male and female lead? And will the previous storyline characters play any significant role in future storylines?

Joanne: Yes. Each book will feature one of the brothers and the woman who is his destiny. I just finished book two, which is Brady’s story, and although the book stands on its own (that’s very important to me!), there are lots of fun connections to the previous story. For example, Tornado, the bucking bronc who ended Ridge’s rodeo career, continues to pose a challenge to the cowboys. And Isaiah, one of the kids from the foster home, brightens up the heroine’s lonely life after Brady accidentally injures her in a roping accident.

TRC: If you could virtually cast the leading characters in this storyline, which models or actors best represents your ideal image?

Joanne: Sourcebooks really got it right this time. Ridge looks like Wade Russell, whoever he is. He’s listed on the copyright page as the model for the cover, and he looks very much like I pictured Ridge. Just picture him saying, “Howdy, Ma’am” in a Sam Elliott growl and then not saying another word, and you’ve got Ridge.

But I hesitate to define characters in that much detail. I try to tell just enough about a character so they can create their own image, and I hope it’s as strong as the image in my head. It doesn’t have to match; it just has to be real to the reader. I think books are a collaboration between the reader and the writer, where the writer brings a story to life and the reader creates the pictures in her head that make it real. I hope that makes sense to people!

TRC: Most, if not all, of your books focus on cowboys and western romances. What or who was the driving factor behind your foray into this particular genre?

Joanne: I’m not sure when my fascination with cowboys started. Partly it was from watching The History Channel years ago. I got interested in Western history, and of course cowboys are a huge part of that. Then, when I moved West, I was fascinated by how different Western culture is. It was like going to another country. And once I met a few cowboys, I discovered that no matter what their age, they had certain traits in common: old-fashioned values, a deep connection to the land, and a reverence for home and family as well as tradition. That makes them perfect romantic heroes for me.

TRC: Have you ever ridden a horse?;)

Joanne: Yes! But have I ever ridden a horse well? No! I’m not any kind of athlete, and that extends to horseback riding. I love horses and had one of my own years ago. At the time, I could afford the horse, the feed, and the vet bills, but that didn’t leave anything left over for a saddle. So I rode bareback most of the time, and fell off a lot. My horse was a wise old Arabian mare who would respond to the slightest movement from her rider. It felt like she could read my mind; I’d just think about where I wanted to go, and she’d go there. She was wonderful and taught me so much.

TRC: How do you keep the plot unpredictable without sacrificing content and believability?

Joanne: It’s hard, because all romances are predictable to some degree. You know the hero and heroine are going to end up together; the trick is to make the reader forget that fact. I believe that if you set a story in a believable enough world, the reader will forget she’s reading a romance. Hopefully, she’ll forget she’s reading at all, and be swept away by the story as if it’s real life. So the content itself is the key to believability. You need characters that seem real, events that mirror real life, and a setting that draws you in and makes you feel the story with all your senses.

TRC: Are you a plotter or a panster (write by the ‘seat of your pants’)?

Joanne: I try very hard to be a plotter, but my inner pantser refuses to let that happen. I once tried to slavishly follow an outline for a story, and a third of the way through the story up and died. Nothing seemed real, nothing was believable, and my characters felt like cardboard cutouts. I had to start over and loosen up a little, and then it became one of my favorite books (Cowboy Fever).

Now I write a very general outline that will keep the story on course, and then let my inner pantser loose. I rein her in once in a while, going back to the outline to make sure I haven’t lost the thread of the story, but I love to write intuitively.

TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?

Joanne: I create the characters and the situations they’ll have to deal with. Their reactions to those situations are what drives the story.

TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writers fail in this endeavor?

Joanne: I think it’s essential for a writer to feel the characters’ emotions deeply and completely. You have to be able to put yourself into a character’s head and heart and live their life. Empathy is the most important skill a writer can possess, because it lets you feel the joy and pain others experience.

TRC: Writer’s Block is a very real phenomenon. How do you handle the pressures and anxiety of writer’s block?

Joanne: Every writer has to discover what their block means. For me, it’s usually a sign that there’s something wrong with the story. The flaw, which can be subtle and hard to see, keeps me from enjoying the work and I suddenly don’t want to write. I have to step back and look at the story objectively to find the problem. Sometimes the issue is at the core of the story, and I have to do a lot of soul-searching and rewriting to straighten things out. Naturally, my mind resists this—and that’s writer’s block.

TRC: Many authors bounce ideas and information with other authors or friends and family. With whom do you bounce ideas?

Joanne: My husband. I call him the “Plot Monkey.” (Although he bears no resemblance whatever to a monkey. Honest. Well, sometimes his personality…but not his looks! He looks like Sam Shepard. Lucky me!) Whenever I can’t figure out how to get a character out of a jam, he can figure out a way. This might have something to do with the fact that he was a fighter pilot. Those guys get in a lot of trouble, and always manage to find a way out of it. Trust me – it’s still happening!

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Joanne: I just finished the second book in the Cowboys of Decker Ranch series, How to Wrangle a Cowboy. It’s the story of Brady, the youngest of the Decker Ranch cowboys, and what happens when he causes an accident that puts a barrel racer out of commission for the rodeo season. Brady might seem like a guy who’s just out for a good time, but he’s determined to take care of Suze Carlyle until she’s back in the saddle again. The fact that she doesn’t want him around since their disastrous one-night stand a few months earlier doesn’t faze him at all.

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Joanne: Just a huge thank you to you in particular and bloggers like you in general. You are the connection between authors and their readers, and add a wonderful new dimension to the reading and writing experience by bringing us together and letting us get to know each other. Thank you for all your hard work.

And, of course, thank you to my readers for caring about my characters and their stories.

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food
Roast chicken.

Favorite Dessert
Bread pudding.

Favorite TV Show
NCIS, on the rare occasions when I watch TV. I also love Storage Wars, because I used to go to a lot of auctions and buy box lots, which is a similar experience.

Last Movie You Saw
Twelve Years a Slave. I loved it. Lupita Nyong’o was incredible.

Dark or Milk Chocolate
Dark. Especially Dark Chocolate Kit Kats!

Secret Celebrity Crush
Sam Shepard. Handsome and smart. And the young Clint Eastwood. I love a tough guy:)

Last Vacation Destination
Polebridge, Montana for my son’s wedding. This tiny town consists of a Mercantile and a saloon. My daughter-in-law’s family has a homestead there, and it’s as close to heaven as you’ll get – partly because of the Mercantile’s incredible Huckleberry Bear Claws.

Wait. Can I change my answer on favorite dessert? Is it too late? Because it’s Huckleberry Bear Claws! They’re also my favorite food. Rewrite!

Pet Peeve
When my husband blames me for stuff I didn’t do! Every time he loses something, he is convinced that I took it, moved it, or hid it for some nefarious reason of my own. Why would I take his dirty old chainsaw-sharpening thing-a-majig? I don’t even know what it’s called! I didn’t take it!

TRC: Thank you Joanne for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on the new release and new series.

Joanne: Thank you. I loved this interview – it really made me think! Thanks also to all my readers for bringing my stories to life. I hope everyone will feel free to join this conversation and ask their own questions in the comments.

Giveaway beige

Sourcebooks and Joanne are offering a paper copy of HOW TO HANDLE A COWBOY and a ‘cowboy themed’ gift to one (1) lucky commenter at The Reading Cafe.

1. Please register using the log-in at the top of the page.

2. If you are using a social log-in such as Twitter or Facebook, please post your email address with your comment.

3. LIKE us on FACEBOOK and then click GET NOTIFICATION under ‘liked’ for an additional entry.

 4. LIKE us on Twitter for an additional entry.

5. Giveaway open to USA and Canada only.

6. Giveaway runs from April 10 to April 14, 2014

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I’ll See You In My Dreams by Michael Edwin Q-A Review and Interview with the Author

I’ll See You In My Dreams by Michael Edwin Q-A Review and Interview with the Author

I'll See You In My Dreams Banner

I’ll See You In My Dreams
by Michael Edwin Q
Release Date: November 2013
Genre: romance, mystery, fantasy, adventure

 

I'll See You in My Dreams

ebook only $1.99:   Amazon.com / Amazon.ca / Amazon.uk/

ABOUT THE BOOK: Release Date November 3, 2013

85 year old Christopher Goodman and 84 year old Irene Kelly live thousands of miles from each other. But ever night they meet in a shared dream where they are young lovers. It’s time they meet in the real world. Christopher runs away from home, and with the help of his grandson, Walter Jr., they journey on a quest to Irene – his intentions – marriage! A cast of characters you will never forget. There’s Romance, Mystery, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, but most of all LOVE! You have a date tonight! Don’t forget I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS.

•••••••••••••••••••••

REVIEW:  I’ll See You In My Dreams is one of the most unique and entertaining books I’ve read in quite awhile. The premise begins semi-unique but the twists and slant on the story line bring it fully on its own. Michael Edwin is a new author to me, but has made me a fan! Can’t wait for more by this enchantingly witty author.

There are chapter heading of songs, with a dream theme. I had no idea there were so many and certainly not so many that fit with this tale, just a little added inspiration.

It starts with an old man hitching a ride near a Texas cornfield, on his way to San Diego. A pretty ambitious undertaking when you learn he’s eighty-five! And get this, my friends, he’s going to see his girlfriend and get married; she’s eighty-four… got you interest yet?

While romance among the elderly is not a new thing, this is certainly a much more exciting one. I don’t do spoilers, but this was just so hard to put down. The story is told in different POV’s such as “Before the Journey”, “The Journey”, “After the Journey” and last but certainly not least, “A New Journey”.

What makes this such a wonderful read? Oh, so many things. Learning of his life before his wife died; living with his daughter and her family; his relationship with his second grandson; the lives he touches on his journey. The list could go on and on and on!
Here’s the really intriguing thing. He begins dreaming of an island and on this island he’s a young strong man again. Then he meets a woman, not just any woman (although he loved his wife with all his heart while she lived – she’s not the woman on the island, this perplexes him) his old sweetheart from high school. They begin a nightly, and sometimes more often, trip to their island and fall back in love.

They both know it’s a dream, but they love it! This is just the beginning!

That’s all the spoilers I’ll give out. Please, please read this marvelous tale for yourselves. This is one that must be enjoyed to be believed. This is thought provoking, entertaining and so incredibly surprising! I promise you won’t regret a minute of it.

Grab a bottle of your favorite beverage, some snacks (you won’t want to stop reading), and don’t forget a few tissues!

Enjoy, I certainly did! I’ll be looking for more from this author…

Copy supplied by the author

Reviewed by Georgianna

Interview seafoam:black

TRC: Hi Michael and welcome to The Reading Café. Congratulations on the release of I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS.

Michael: Thank you, I’m excited. I’ve been following The Reading Café for a while now – very impressive.

Michael Edwin QTRC: We would like to start with some background information. Would you please tell us something about yourself?

FOLLOW: Facebook / Twitter

Michael: I sold my first piece when I was twelve, and I’ve been at it since. I’ve always written short stories, articles, and poems for magazines with some success, especially in the past ten years. I’ve written many books, but I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS is my first to publish. I just felt like the time was right.

TRC: What or who influenced your foray into writing?

Michael: The list of books and authors is huge. My love of reading is kin to my love of writing. Sometimes I can’t tell where one begins and the other ends.

TRC: I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS is your November 2013 release. Would you please tell us something about the premise?

Michael: Eighty-five year old, Christopher Goodman and eighty-four year old, Irene Kelly live thousand of miles from each other. Every night they met in a shared dream as young lovers. Chris decides they need to meet in the real world. He runs away from home. With the help of his traveling companion, his grandson Walter Jr., he journeys to Irene. His intentions – Marriage!

I'll See You in My DreamsTRC: Are any of the characters, including Christopher Goodman based in reality or a compilation of people and your imagination?

Michael: All my characters are a combination of real people, the same with all the incidents that happen. The more real you put in a story, the more real it feels.

TRC: What was your inspiration for the dream island and the whole ‘Death’ after them, the temple and underwater city etc?

Michael: I needed them to be alone, to relate and rely on each other – what better place than a desert island. As for Death, when Death comes, he doesn’t come to rob you of something or take someone you love away. He comes for everything and everyone. He’s the ultimate villain. Yet I didn’t portray him as evil; because I don’t think he is. He’s just doing his job. The temple denotes that there is something scared about True Love. It’s underwater because the sacred is not easily obtainable. It’s in an ancient city because True Love is sadly becoming rare and forgotten.

TRC: Did Gabriel have a special significance?

Michael: When you say the name Gabriel, most people think of an angel. He’s always in the background ready to step forward and help; he guards and guides. I like his aloofness and dry sense of humor.

TRC: Will Walter Jr. get his own story line?

Michael: At the end of the book it’s clear Walter Jr. is better for going on the journey. There’s a sweet hopeful magic about the ending. As any magician will tell you, when the audience looks too long and too hard the magic disappears.

TRC: How long did it take to complete this wonderful story?

Michael: I toss around an idea for one to two years. I write all the time in my head, even in my sleep. Once I sit down at the computer, it takes about a year to get it down. Then I let it sit for another year, and then I can look at it critically. That’s when I take another few months to rewrite. It’s a long process, but it works for me.

TRC: How many books do you have planned for the series or is this a stand alone story line?

Michael: I enjoy writing about the human condition, relationships, life. I’ll always write in that genre. So, in a way, though this will not be part of a series, I’LL SEE YOU IN MY DREAMS will not stand alone.

TRC: If you could virtually cast the leading characters in this storyline, which models or actors best represents your ideal image?

Michael: Richard Farnsworth would have been perfect for the elderly Chris, but he’s not longer with us. There are plenty of good actors and actresses nowadays, but being an old geezer, I don’t know their names.

TRC: When writing a storyline, do the characters direct the writing or do you direct the characters?

Michael: It’s a group effort, we all pull together. But I must admit they do get pushy at times.

TRC: The mark of a good writer is to pull the reader into the storyline so that they experience the emotions along with the characters. What do you believe a writer must do to make this happen? Where do you believe writer’s fail in this endeavor?

Michael: Write in a way people can relate. Touch what’s in us all. We only connect with what is familiar to all of us. Don’t make it so personal. Drop the I, me, mine, and think more us.

TRC: Writer’s Block is a very real phenomenon. How do you handle the pressures and anxiety of writer’s block?

Michael: I always have four to five projects going at the same time. If I go dry for awhile on one topic, I just switch to another, got to keep writing.

TRC: What challenges or difficulties (research, logistics, background) did you encounter writing this particular story and series?

Michael: In my twenties I hitchhiked across the country for a few years. All the little road stories that happen in the book are variations of things I experienced in real life. I did plenty of research on Texas and American Indian history, and all the cities mentioned in the book.

TRC: Many authors bounce ideas and information with other authors or friends and family. With whom do you bounce ideas?

Michael: My wife is a great help. She reads a lot, so if she doesn’t get it, it’s time to rewrite. As for stories, I won the 2013 Art Affair Literary Award for a story my wife felt was only so-so, and second place in the 2009 People’s Choice Awards with a story that didn’t even impress me. Just write for the joy of writing. No one truly knows.

TRC: On what are you currently working?

Michael: I’m writing two new books, I’m rewriting two others; I’m working on a short story, and a couple of poems. (Honest, this is what I do)

TRC: Would you like to add anything else?

Michael: I’d like to thank my readers, encourage all the young writers out there, and I wish you peace and joy. But most of all I wish you love

LIGHTNING ROUND

Favorite Food
Anything someone else prepares.

Favorite Dessert
Moscato (with bubbles)

Favorite TV Show
We don’t own a TV

Last Movie You Saw
If I Were You – a great Canadian film with Marcia Gay Harden

Dark or Milk Chocolate
If I’m going off my diet, it won’t be for candy.

Secret Celebrity Crush
Crushes? I can only think of my wife, but that’s no secret. (She saw the cover of my book in a dream, before the artist sent it)

Last Vacation Destination
Santorini, Greece

Pet Peeve
Life’s too short for such things.

TRC: Thank you Michael for taking the time to answer our questions. Congratulations on the release of I’ll See You In My Dreams.  We wish you all the best !

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