#FindingSanta: First Book Blurb and Cover Reveal

The title of Santa Claus is held by one person for a hundred years, passed down from father to son or son-in-law, before he moves on to become Father Time. Candy is the only child of the current Claus family. Her father is in his last year as Good Ol’ Saint Nick and has to find the next Santa before New Year’s Eve or hell will come to Earth.

With the help of Jessiy and Steelwell, members of the Legends’ Survival Squad, she sets out to find a man worthy of taking over. Along the way she meets three potential candidates but everything goes wrong from the minute she hears of her task.

As the days pass and her prospects look bleak, she begins to doubt herself and the magic of Christmas. Will she be able to restore her faith and save the world?

Release Date: Deceomber 23rd, 2016

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#BookReview: Loki (Highland Clan Series Book 1) by Keira Montclair 4/5 Stars

Loved it, but about halfway through I began to lose interest. It just seemed like the book should have been split into two but kept going, which is why it took me so long to get through it. Still worth a good read.

#ASI: Ellen Chauvet

Hi Ellen, thank you for agreeing to this interview.

 Discuss your newest book. My newest book is also my first book and is titled “When Darkness Falls”, The First Vampire Redemption Story. It is the first in a series of at least 3 books. It tells the story of Lexie, a vampire executioner who doesn’t know she is one. When her best friend is murdered by vampires, she is thrown into a five-hundred-year-old secret and meets her Amant de Sange or Blood Mate, Etienne Benoit. She chooses to step into her legacy as a ‘Chosen One’ and begins her journey into a dark and dangerous world. Lexie and Etienne fall in love and when he betrays her she vows revenge. Read it recently, loved it!

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 Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I’ve always been an avid reader and thought that ‘someday’ I would write a book. I’ve loved all of the Anne Rice novels and when a friend introduced me to Buffy, The Vampire Slayer I became intrigued by the idea of ‘good’ and ‘bad vampires’. I started reading as many vampire books as I could get my hands on including Charlaine Harris, Laurell K. Hamilton, Kelley Armstrong, Christopher Pike and Stephanie Meyer. They were my research, and when my work commitments changed, I decided it was time to write. I wrote the first draft in 9 months, took a year off when my husband became terminally ill, and then pursued the dream when he died. I found a great writing coach and the next 4 years were spent in rewrites, editing, and polishing. A great publisher found me and we published the book in March of 2016 on Amazon’s Create Space and Kindle. I’m sorry for your loss.

What are your current projects? My current project is writing the second book in the series.

What books have most influenced your life most? When I was a teenager I read a lot of Hemingway and loved his style of writing, so definitely Hemingway. Probably most of all though would be Anne Rice.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? I have two main characters.

Lexie is a Southern Belle from Atlanta, Georgia and was brought up in a strict Southern Baptist household. She’s rebelled against the suppression of her Mother and lives in Paris working as a translator for the United Nations. She’s attractive, sassy, a bit promiscuous and wonders if this is all there is to life.

Etienne is a 500-year-old vampire who was turned against his will and has created an organization to fight against ‘dark’ vampires. He’s sophisticated, handsome, ruthless when he needs to be and resigned about ever finding his Amant de Sang (Blood Mate). He falls hard for Lexie and when he is forced to turn to the ‘dark’ side, vows he will find a way back to her.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?  The message is that there is good and evil in all of us and it’s ok. It’s part of being alive (or undead as the case may be). Every day we have a choice between good and evil.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? I’d like to see Olivier Martinez play Etienne and Jessica Chastain play Lexie.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? I had the time and the dream.

Do you write full-time or part-time? I’m lucky enough to be able to write full-time. I don’t write every day full-time, but when the story or the characters are demanding my attention, I’m disciplined and write 3 to 5 hours every day.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? The rewrites. Then I realized they are the key to honing my craft and producing something that people want to read.

What is the easiest thing about writing?  Creating the story.

 What book are you reading now? I’m reading “Find Me When The Sun Goes Down by Lisa Olsen.

What is one random thing about you? I love horses and music

What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer? Tablet and computer

 What does your writing process look like? My writing coach trained me to do a lot of what she calls “laying on my bed writing”. In other words, really thinking about where I want to go in a particular paragraph or chapter and making sure my characters are always in character. Also doing the required research – I’ve learned to love research. When I’m on a roll, I’m always in my office by 9am anxious to discover what my characters have been up to overnight.

 Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? No

How important are names to you in your books?  Names are very important as they have meaning.

 Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? I’m still in the marketing process and so far so good.

What is your favorite book and why? I gave this a lot of thought and I don’t really have a favorite book. I have favorite authors.

 Do you have any advice for other writers?

  1. Never give up – just keep writing.
  2. Don’t listen to the little voice in your head saying you can’t or you’re not good enough or no one wants to read what you want to write about.
  3. Don’t edit your work as you go – get that first draft done and then edit.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? See friends, listen to music, watch TV, travel – in many ways I’m never not writing. I’m always thinking about writing even when I’m not sitting at my computer.

From where do you gain your inspiration? Everywhere – but particularly other authors who write about vampires.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? I don’t have an opinion about that – I’m traditionally published and I love my publisher.

How do you market your books? Facebook, Twitter, word of mouth, author interviews, pod casts

Would you or do you use a PR agency? I would and I don’t.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? Authors need to also be entrepreneurs. Writing is not only creative it’s a business and I think many authors are not business people. I’m lucky in that regard as I was a business woman first and then became an author. Create a marketing plan and stick to it and keep talking about your book – to anyone who will listen.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book?

Right now a lot. The book is newly published and it takes time to build an author platform and develop one’s readership. I’m willing to put in the time and energy to get my book known.

What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? My publisher has been extremely helpful in that regard. She discovered a tool we’ve been using and it’s been extremely productive. We’re still working on attaining reviews and know that it takes time and energy on both our parts.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? Not really.

Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? No

Which social network worked best for you? At present Facebook seems to be working well. And I’m also creating a presence on Twitter.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work?

 

I did a press release for the Horror Writer’s Association – not sure how successful or productive that was. I did a book launch here in Vancouver and it was extremely successful. Sold out of books I had on hand and could have sold more. Launch was promoted through Facebook.

 

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? I’d like to meet Bram Stoker. Fascinating mind.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

 

Sit down and write – don’t critique – just write.

Everything I said above

 

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

 

I have a blog – ellenchauvet.wordpress.com

Website – ellenchauvet.com

Find me on Facebook

#FindingFamily Chapter V

Yes, the hostel looked like it should have been condemned quite a few years ago and it is in a bad part of town but it is cheap and I’m only here for a couple of weeks. I can tough it out, but the look on John’s face said he wanted to do the “action-hero” thing and blow it up without looking back. I was barely out of the cab when he grabbed my arm, “You’re not seriously staying here are you?”

“It’s not so bad and it’s just somewhere to crash until school starts and I get a job,” I smiled confidently. “Thank you for the dinner and seeing me back. I think you better head on home, the cabbie looks ready to leave you.” I nodded toward the grumpy looking driver.

“Be right back mate.” He said throwing the driver a couple of big Bill’s and stepped out, “I’m sorry but I can’t let you stay here. Let’s collect your things and get out of here.”

“John, I appreciate the concern but I couldn’t impose on you and your husband. We just met. I could be a crazy person for all you know…especially after our earlier conversation.” I whispered.

“I trust you are not like your father and Mama Barrowman would skelp my behind if I wasn’t the gentleman she raised. Scott won’t mind, he’s a pushover.” He started up the stairs as I stood there wondering if I was in a dream.

Stuff like this never happens, especially to me. I don’t deserve it, would it be horrible to enjoy my crazy miracle? I looked up at him just as the door opened behind him, causing a halo of light to circle his gorgeous hair; giving him the appearance of an angel of mercy, a lifeline in my dead end world.

I joined him and continued in, listening to the creaking floorboards and voices of other patrons floated through the walls. “My room is on the third-floor.” I informed him at the second-floor landing.

“Is that British or American numbering?”

“Crap, I forgot the first floor is zero here, so my room would be the first door on the left of the second.” We went up two more flights and found my room open with a woman going through my things.

John cleared his throat, startling her. As she jumped away from my suitcase, I noticed I had already lost my favorite pair of jeans and my only sweater to her sickly thin frame. “Maybe staying with you is a good idea.” The unknown woman scattered before we could do anything.

He placed an arm around my shaking shoulders, “I am glad you changed your mind. Let’s get your stuff together and get home.”

“Agreed.” It only took five minutes to shove my pillow and the few clothes the stranger had discarded onto the floor back into my suitcase and go back downstairs.

The cabbie must have been jumpier than I thought, he was long gone when we made it back to the door. It took twenty minutes for John to order a new cab, for it to arrive and then we were off for his home.

I do not know how I made it through the ride, let alone the day, without freaking out. Some part of my brain had taken over and I was as cool as a cucumber on the outside, while inside I was a teenage girl drooling over being so close to my movie-star crush. Ok, I admit, I wasn’t that smooth. I had my fangirl moments, I would glance at him and grin wildly before turning away. Half a dozen times I would get ready to start a conversation with him, but thought I would sound stupid so I wouldn’t say anything and look out the window at the dark streets and mentally kick myself.

Tune in next week for Chapter Five and don’t forget to like my Author page for updates on this and more!

#BookReview: When Darkness Falls by Ellen Chauvet

Amazing! Honestly, I have fallen a bit out of love with vampires, but this book has brought the love back. Poor Lexie has a week from hell, from losing two best friends and the love of her life, and now she is prepared to kill and gain a sense of normalness to her life. There is a hint of Buffy in the heroine, but the author manages to eclipse the show and surpass it with ease.

About the #Author: Chantal Gadoury

Chantal Gadoury is a young author who is originally from Muncy, PA. Chantal enjoys to paint in her spare time, drink a good cup of coffee when she can and appreciates watching her favorite Disney classics with loved ones. When she’s not busy crafting or reading, Chantal is dedicated to her family at home: her mom, sister and a furry-puppy-brother (and her Dad, who has now lives in heaven.) As a 2011 college graduate from Susquehanna University, with a degree in Creative Writing, writing novels has become a dream come true!

Twitter: https://twitter.com/cgadoury16

Blog: http://chantalgadoury.blogspot.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chantalgadouryfans

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8059023.Chantal_Gadoury

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cgadoury16/

Amazon Author Central: http://www.amazon.com/Chantal-Gadoury/e/B00MTLD0P0/

Chantal

 

 

Another #BookExcerpt from Allerleirauh

I could feel my whole body shaking as I stood in front of my Father’s chambers. I could see my hand shaking as I lifted it towards the wooden door. I had not ever been so nervous to see my Father before. The idea of my Father now frightened me after what had taken place in my room earlier in the morning; the idea of my own unknown fate terrified me the most. I slowly brought myself to knock and wait in silence. Lord Haven’s face greeted me as the door opened slightly.

“Princess…” he said with surprise in his voice. He should not have been surprised. He should have known I would keep my word and come to the King. I could hear my Father asking, “Is that her? Is that Aurelia?” Lord Haven gave a small nod towards the other side of the room, where I could imagine my Father leaning over his desk; his fingers tousled in his hair. The door parted more for me and Lord Haven gestured with a bow for me to enter. I tucked my hands behind my back and took a breath. I had to remember the plan Myriah and I had created.

“Could I speak to my Father, the King, alone?” I asked delicately as I kept my gaze to the floor. I could hear the silence between the two of them; the unspoken questions and commands. Perhaps Lord Haven already knew I had come here to agree to my Father’s wishes, and perhaps my Father felt as if he had won. I just hoped my plan would work.

“Aurelia, the King has much to speak to you about.” Lord Haven’s voice was nervous, shaky even and I nodded in reply.

“Yes, I know.”

“Leave us.” My Father’s voice caused an array of shivers to run down my spine. The hairs on my arm rose as I watched Lord Haven leave the room, and my Father took a step towards me. He looked regal and different from the night before in his cloak, his hair matted against his forehead and his crown, the large weight of his responsibility on his shoulders. I felt his finger touch my arm gently, rising and falling up and down my skin. I wanted to shrink away, but knew I could not. I had to stay firm and strong just as Myriah had told me to be.

“Aurelia…” he whispered softly. I took a step towards his desk and placed my hands on the oak wood, remembering him here, snapping his fingers at me as if I were a dog just the night before.

“Your Grace.” I replied, turning to look at him. I felt as if it were the first time I was truly seeing my Father for who he was now, then whom he had been before with my Mother. I hoped the way I spoke to him made him realize the change which had occurred. He was no longer a Father, but a stranger to me.

“I’ve come to make an arrangement with you.” I said directly.

“And what is your arrangement?” There was a hint of amusement in his voice as he spoke to me. I bit my lip and looked down at my bare hands, trying to remember everything Myriah and I had spoken of. “What is it you wish from me?” He asked again.

“You have told me this morning I am to be your bride.”  I caught his gaze, keeping it as long as I could until he turned, brushing a hand through his hair.

“Yes.” he replied simply. “I’ve searched long and wide for a wife to meet the late Queen’s…”

“My Mother.” I interjected. He stared at me; a tense moment between the two of us.

“The late Queen’s request.” He finished as he rounded his desk. He began to take steps closer to me as his hand very close to mine; his face seemed to draw itself even closer.

“You are so very beautiful Aurelia. I’ve watched you grow in the past two years, and I never knew. Never knew how truly beautiful you were.” I felt a strange disgust build in the coils of my stomach. I wanted to turn my face away from him, to turn my back and stride out the door; I wished with all of my soul, I would never have to face him again, yet, I knew it would never resolve so easily. I could not stay a moment longer in his presence but I knew I must.  As he came closer, thoughts of the night before flooded my mind; how easy it had been for him to press me against his bed, for him to take my clothes and to take me in a way only a husband should have.

“It is very lonely without a partner to live a life with. The late Queen knew how to entertain our people and myself. She knew how to hold herself with poise and grace, and she knew how to tend to her husband diligently. I see much of her in you.” It seemed strange he would. I hardly thought I was anything like my Mother. Perhaps, yes, she was graceful and delicate, but she hardly knew how to take care of anyone but herself. I began to think of the ball, and the golden dress and how I had resembled her so much it seemed my Father fell in love with me.

My Father took another step towards me and I backed away instinctively. His hand grabbed mine and pulled me towards him, so that I was standing pressed against him.

“Have you forgotten your Mother’s last wish? I promised her I would marry someone as beautiful as she. You’re the only one who has the same golden hair, the same smile, the same beautiful eyes. You are the only one who will do, who I can love. The only one worthy of my love, my power, my body. You will be my bride.” He declared as he ran a finger through my hair. My teeth clenched at his touch; the only thing keeping me in the room was the hope my arrangements would ultimately save me from this fate. I could not live this life with him.

“If I am to marry you,” I began softly, letting out a deep breath. “I have four simple requests.”

My Father grinned and nodded, “Go on…anything.”

Perhaps he thought he was about to have everything he wanted. Perhaps in this moment, he was. I slowly uncurled my fingers from the fist I had created and licked my bottom lip.

“For my marriage, I will require new gowns. I request three gowns, one spun from the ray of sunbeams, the second, as silver as the moonbeams that dance along the night sky, and the third, woven from the star dust that falls from the heavens.” My Father looked slightly surprised but continued to listen. I knew he would remember these from the night he had declared he would do anything for me to keep me happy and by his side.

“My last request,” I continued, “A fur coat made of all the Kingdom’s wild animals, so when the harsh winters come I can keep sickness and death at bay.”  I could feel my hands shake from trepidation; I couldn’t believe I actually made these demands to him. What would the people think once they heard of him going to these lengths to marry me? Would they think I was a harlot? Would they think I encouraged my Father’s inappropriate behavior towards me?

“And this is all you request from me?” he asked, surprised. I could see the amusement light up upon his face as I slowly nodded to him. Maybe this would actually work. Perhaps he would not see through the façade and agree to these. If he did, this would grant me more time to collect my things, arrange an escape from the palace, and more forward with my plans. I would never again be Princess Aurelia, but I would avoid the marriage between my own Father and myself.

“And if I agree to these things, you will marry me?” A smile crept upon his face as I gave a fast, curt nod as I swallowed my fear.

“Consider it done then, my love.” My Father embraced me as he pressed a kiss upon the corner of my lips. I felt his finger lift my chin gently and I quickly took a step back away again. My eyes darted to the ground and I twisted a part of my dress around my finger nervously. I needed to play the park but protect myself.

“I have much to plan.” I said quickly, fumbling and turning towards the door. For those who heard me, perhaps they imagined I’d create a beautiful wedding, but for me I knew I had other things to plan.

“Dearest,” My Father’s voice caused me to stop in my foot-steps at the door. My hand had only been inches away from reaching the doorknob.

“I shall have these gifts to you within a week. Mark my words, the day after I present them to you, we shall marry.” There was no question in his voice. This was how it would be. I only gave him a silent nod as I avoided his eyes and opened the door. I escaped quickly out into the hallway, far away from him before he could see the tears I fought so hard to keep at bay.