#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.

#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.

#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