#BookReview: Seized by the Highlander by Fiona Knightingale

1 out of 5 Stars

An abused wife is kidnapped by a Highlander.

Too short, a few typos, hardly any action or romance. Then the biggest sin of all, the title story is only 3% of the book. I was looking forward to a good long Highland romance and was highly disappointed.

#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

#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

 

 

#BookReview: Craving the Alpha by Kate Kent 5/5 Stars

Overview: Kristin has just finished her camp counselor job for the summer and is hanging back to clean up with Beverly and Todd when the camp owner drugs them and feeds them to a pack of wolves. A second pack, in need of child-bearing aged women, save them and bring them into their home. Upon waking, Kristin learns that werewolves are real and two have chosen her as their mate. Under the gun to choose now, she picks one with the assistance of a natural pack member. Now she is regretting her choice as the first night of her turning is upon her and he is nowhere to be found.

Review: I love it. I hate that it is so short, but can’t wait to read the next book! It keeps you on your toes, wondering if she made the right choice and if she is going to stick with it. It’s full of suspense, comedy and steamy.

Recommend: Yes

#BookReview: Highland Repress by Riley Morano 3/5 Stars

Overview: Ashley and Tristan celebrate the arrival of their first child, but the day is soon turned dark when the clan tart appears to badger them about her child being his. She persists and later insists that Ashley’s father is the father of her child instead. A battle is stopped before it is begun and a second almost takes the life of brother and sister.

Opinion: Way too fast paced. You almost get whiplash from all the action. It is just go, go, go without a break in between one child being born, to a wedding, then almost death and sudden premature labor.

Recommend: Maybe.

#ASI: Krihstin Zink

Hi Krihstin, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background? Thanks, Courtney! I’m Krihstin Zink: the bestselling author of Scarlet’s Torment (a dramatic romantic suspense) and the owner of Heliotrope Editing. When I’m not editing, reading/reviewing, or writing—I’m making memories with my family. For the most part, I’m a homebody who loves to escape into books. Love your name!

Discuss your newest book. My latest release, Scarlet Unleashed, is the continuation of Scarlet’s Torment. In SU, Scarlet Rodrick is hurtled into her own personal hell. While Scarlet’s Torment is a dramatic romantic suspense, Scarlet Unleashed is an erotic thriller—and only for mature readers.

Kirhstin

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? As a child, I enjoyed journaling and spinning telltales. I found comfort in books because, at that time, I found the escape I needed from my childhood hardships.

What are your current projects? At the moment, I’m completing the rough draft of 3 Grams: it’s Ophelia Santos and Lena Avila’s survival from their horrific experience as victims of human trafficking.

What books have most influenced your life most? To be honest, I couldn’t just pick one or even five. I believe every book I’ve read or edited has changed my prior perspective to the premise depicted.

What inspired you to write your first book? I completed Scarlet’s Torment’s rough draft during a difficult time in my life. Writing had become a therapeutic outlet, which allowed me to distract myself long enough to not worry about the things that kept me up at night. Who needs a spa day when we have writing!

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? Scarlet Rodrick is a twenty-four-year-old with a tormented past: she endured years of childhood neglect and was later abandoned, and then adopted by a loving and wealthy family. She used her childhood as fuel to achieve her career goals, but severely neglected her love life. Because of her childhood experiences, Scarlet became a materialistic workaholic. Once she’s introduced to Dr. David Jensen, she’s quickly forced to evaluate what’s truly important and what’s worth letting go.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Yes, the impact that one’s childhood has on overall adult behavior. Although Scarlet’s Torment is a romantic suspense—and most readers focus on the romance—I had hoped to introduce how damaging a negative childhood could become. With Scarlet Unleashed, my intent had been to showcase the dangers of negative choices.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? Honestly, I’m not sure . . . I’d be happy just to have my books made into a movie.

When did you decide to become a writer? I never decided to become a writer, it just happened. I picked up a pen and released my thoughts onto paper, and then never looked back.

Why do you write? In the past, I used writing as an escape, but now, I write to entertain.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? Starting anything is the easy part, completing a project is where things become tricky. I started Scarlet’s Torment as a distraction, but I completed ST as a way to prove to myself and those whom didn’t believe in me—that I could accomplish what I had aimed to do.

Do you write full-time or part-time? At the moment, I write part-time because I’m also a stay-at-home-parent and my children are my main priority. However, I do make time to write—every day. Once my youngest starts full-time school, I plan to make more time to write. Well, if my editing schedule allows it.

What is the hardest thing about writing? Finding time to write for prolonged hours at a time.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? I would rather leave those experiences in the past, however, I’d say the hardest thing about writing any book is working with a book team whom believes in you. An editor should be a guiding mentor who sees your strengths and helps you succeed. Too often, especially within the self-publishing industry—authors are forced to work with freelance editors whom aren’t as experienced as they claim to be, and that can lead to disasters. Nonetheless, my past experiences influence my drive to be the best editor I can be.

What is the easiest thing about writing? Creating characters: I enjoy fostering characters that induce readers to reflect on their own behavior and past experiences.

What book are you reading now? With my editing and writing schedule, I do not leisure read as much as I would like. However, I am slowly making my way through Shadows of Jane by Amy Hale—I highly recommend it.

What is one random thing about you? Typos make me uncomfortable to the point that if I don’t correct them, I’ll become mildly anxious.

What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer? I’m old-fashioned: I enjoy pen-to-paper. Old School, I like it!

What does your writing process look like? Long! Haha! First, I long-hand write my rough draft. After a few weeks/months, I return to the draft and type it out. Following several rounds of rewrites and self-editing, and once the story feels ready—I email it to my editor.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? Well, sometimes I take breaks and do yoga—but I don’t find that strange.

How important are names to you in your books? Vitally important—like I will research to make sure no other character has the name I selected.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? I’d say, finding more time to write.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? Yes, I would avoid trusting individuals whom say that they are professional—but are far from it.

What is your favorite motivational phrase? My body is healthy; my mind is brilliant; my soul is tranquil.

What is your favorite book and why? Honestly, I do not have a favorite book. As mentioned earlier, I learn from every book I edit or read. I’m a bibliophile whom finds the good in every book.

Do you have any advice for other writers? Yes. Never rush a book: take time to pour all the love and attention you can offer—into your stories. Readers expect stories that will keep them flipping pages, and thus, stories that succeed are those that show time and effort.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Edit. Ha! If I’m not editing, I’m reading/reviewing or spending time with my family. I’m a bit of a workaholic.

From where do you gain your inspiration? My writing reflects my life experiences: every character I’ve created steams from my past.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? Self-publishing is an investment of time and money. It should never be tackled by any person whom just expects to hit publish and then become famous. Unless your story is spectacular and unique—it doesn’t happen that way. Self-publishing is a sacrifice and a job that never ends. Independent authors have to be their own everything: publisher, agent, marketing guru—etc.

How do you market your books? Fanatic Review’s by Jess promotes my books on social media, and when I have the time I also use social media to promote my work.

Why did you choose this route? Because it is a daunting task to promote myself. Also, I once paid for Facebook ads, but someone hacked my credit card and tried to charge a trip to India. So now, I have to depend on a promotional agent to help.

Would you or do you use a PR agency? If I reached the caliber to need a PR agent, yes—definitely.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? Yes, take the time to prepare a well-edited book before you self-publish. Also, focus more time on writing than promoting. Readers want to read, and authors who continuously publish well-edited books are the ones whom have the largest fan base.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book? Honestly, it’s sporadic—as in, whenever the time presents itself.

What do you do to get book reviews? I have offered books—for free—in exchange for a review, however, some readers just take my books. So now, I periodically market my books as free and just hope for the best. Be kind, review it!

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? Disappointing. I try to focus more on writing and editing than reviews, otherwise, I’d lose hours to worrying about why people make promises they can’t keep.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? In the past, yes—but now I just hope for the best.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews? Reviews are for customers . . . however, I do value readers’ input and do apply what I can to improve my writing.

Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? Besides Facebook banning me from posting in groups—for two weeks—no.

What’s your views on social media for marketing? Honestly, social media can be a great outlet to connect with readers. However, only authors who write what’s trending succeed with social media.

Which social network worked best for you? Facebook.

Any tips on what to do and what not to do? Keep your opinions about negative reviews to yourself and avoid being banned from sharing.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work? No, I just shared on my social media. And yes, I believe it has.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? I’d want to meet Jesus, and ask what he did after birth/before his death.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? Hm. I’ll have to get back to you on this one.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Find an editor whom believes in you, and everything else will work out as it should.

 

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Through my like page: Krihstin Zink

#ASI: ErinTrejo

Hi Erin, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?  I’m a stay at home mother of 4. I was born and raised in Illinois before my parent’s moved us to Georgia. I’m happily married to an amazing man. For the most part I’m a goofball that just enjoys writing.

Discuss your newest book. My newest book is Tank Fallen Angel’s MC 2. It’s the second book in the series. Tank is your typical alpha but has a heart of gold. His family means the world to him but his definition of family is different than most peoples.

erin1

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I was listening to some music and an idea just kind of popped into my head and I went with it. It helps calm me to be able to write. Music is great inspiration!

What are your current projects? My current projects vary. LOL. I have a few I’m working on that are a little more dark romance than my normal books. I hope they turn out well!

What books have most influenced your life most? I don’t read a lot surprisingly.

 What inspired you to write your first book? Music. I think that music is a huge factor in my writing. It’s very inspirational. lol true!

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? Tank is an alpha male. He views his family as the people that mean the most to him. His family isn’t always blood-related and he knows that.  He plays a big role in the MC world.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? There is! It would that family is what you and who you make it.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? Vin Diesel! He would be amazing! Definitly Alpha male material!

When did you decide to become a writer? About a year ago.

Why do you write? Writing helps me calm my brain. At times I feel like my head spins in circles and writing helps me calm it.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? I thought that I’d try it one day. It helped a lot and it gave me a freedom to write whatever came to mind. I loved that.

Do you write full-time or part-time?  In between! Lol. I don’t have a regular job so I guess full time!

What is the hardest thing about writing? I would say the hardest thing would be how hard I am on myself. That self-doubt is horrible! I’m always asking for opinions when I feel like something isn’t good enough. I’m my own worst critic.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? Deciding how to end it. I wasn’t sure which direction to take the ending. Endings can be tricky.

What is the easiest thing about writing? The easiest thing about writing for me is that I can make it into what I want it to be. I can twist the characters or plot into what I want it to be.

What book are you reading now? Sadly, I’m not reading anything at the moment.

What is one random thing about you? Just one??!! I’m a very random person. LOL. My favorite color is black. Always has been. Oohh! It’s a good color, so many things bring about its darkness.

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

What does your writing process look like? I usually write at night so after all the kids are in bed, I climb in too with my laptop.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? Strange? No. I do yell at my characters out loud. LOL. Sometimes I have to send myself a random text to keep an idea.

How important are names to you in your books? Names aren’t really important. I think you can turn any name into a story.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? As I said before, I’m my own critic so I think that letting something go and moving on is a challenge for me.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? I haven’t found any mistakes yet. Everything we’ve tried as seemed to be helpful in its own way.

What is your favorite motivational phrase? THE CROW! “It can’t rain all the time.”  It holds many meanings to me.

What is your favorite book and why? I couldn’t pick one.

Do you have any advice for other writers? The only advice I would give would be to not give up. If you love it and it means something to you that’s all that matters. You can’t please everyone so please yourself. You are the most important.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I spend time with my family. I also have 2 bearded dragons that are my babies!

From where do you gain your inspiration? Music. All kinds of music. There isn’t just one genre that I listen to.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? That’s a tough one. I was never published with a company so I’m not really sure about that. I think self-publishing is amazing though. You can choose your platforms and marketing.

How do you market your books? I personally use facebook, twitter, etc.

Why did you choose this route? Social media is a big industry. There are so many ways to connect with new people.

Would you or do you use a PR agency? I haven’t! If I found an agency that worked well with indie’s, I may look into it.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? Just share. Anywhere and everywhere. If you’re not sharing no one will see your books.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book? Not much. I’m more into my writing than marketing.

What do you do to get book reviews? To get reviews I sometimes give away copies. I hold random giveaways on my page and things like that. If I get a new like to my page I like to send them a book of mine, kind of like a get to know me sort of thing.

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? Not too bad. I don’t have many but I’m proud of the ones I do have.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? Not really. I will sometimes ask friends to ask friends and things like that.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews? There all reviews! I think the bad ones help me to see what someone didn’t like. That way I can go back and look it over. Maybe it wasn’t working for that story. If I get a bad review I take it as a learning tool.

Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? NOT YET! LOL. I’m sure there will be in the future.

What’s your views on social media for marketing? I think it’s great. As I said early, there are so many ways to reach new people with social media.

Which social network worked best for you? Facebook. Facebook has so many groups that you can get into and promote and meet new people.

Any tips on what to do and what not to do? Don’t be pushy. Don’t expect to get a hundred 5 star reviews instantly. It’s a hard long road to gain a few reviews. Be patient.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work? As far as press release, I’ve only used facebook. I ask blogs for support on release day.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? Kurt Cobain. I think he had a powerful mind and I’d love to pick through it.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? I don’t think I could pick one. I wouldn’t want anyone else’s work but my own.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Keep your head up. It takes a long time to get noticed. I’m still working on that part. It isn’t instant success and it is hard work.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Facebook! Amazon! Twitter! I’m kind of all over. A quick search of my name on any of those and you will find me!

In case you don’t, here’s my links 😉

Erin’s  newsletter sign up url: http://eepurl.com/bKFqqb

Erin’s website: http://erintrejo.my-free.website/

Facebook like page: https://www.facebook.com/indieauthorerintrejo/?fref=ts

Facebook friend page: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100009168797091&fref=ts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/trejo_erin

Amazon url: http://amzn.to/1OLCYUm