#ASI: Kat Green

Hi Kat, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background? Hi thank you for having me. I was born in November 1979 into a military family and moved around a lot during my childhood. This shaped me into the person I am today. My family roots are from Stoke-on-Trent, Staffordshire. I now live with my husband and son on the south coast of England, Portsmouth. I don’t pretend to be the best, I am still growing as a writer and having lots of fun along the way. I love books and have a busy imagination. My love for music plays a big part in my first novel called Strings. I love to watch live bands and can usually be found at gigs around the UK. In 2010 I lost my mother to blood cancer and it was time to put my words on a page and stop worrying about what people might say ‘Life is too short and precious to waste’ is my motto. Writing is my passion and my escape. I’m sorry to hear about your mom.

Discuss your newest book. I have two books out at the moment.

Strings & Encore, part 1 & 2 of my trilogy. It’s a rock romance with a twist of mystery, thriller and suspense.

KatG

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? I’ve always wanted to do it, always been in my head. I wrote a story at 11 but never showed it to anyone. Handwritten to and 150 pages and it was very similar to Strings just without the rock band side of things.

What are your current projects? I am working on book 3, the final part of my trilogy

What inspired you to write your first book? My mum was a massive inspiration. If she could smile through the pain of cancer. I could write a book. Self-doubt stopped me for a long time but when I lost my mum to blood cancer everything changed and I realized life was short and I didn’t want to have regrets. I decided to live life to the full and be brave.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? Melissa Webb is a normal girl one minute, next she’s public property dealing with a lot of things that come with fame, but she never lets it change her. She stays strong and true to herself and her friends no matter what get thrown at her. She’s beautiful inside and out.

 Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Yes, friendship, family and having loyalty can get you through any dark times. That no matter what happens you can survive.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? That is really hard because I have tried to put together a cast list so many times. I actually can’t decide as for me there isn’t anyone I feel is perfect for the roles. These are people who I’ve created and don’t exist.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? The loss of my mum. Once my grief had eased I decided to go for it.

Do you write full-time or part-time? Part-Time. I would love to be able to do it all day every day but with family life and a family business it isn’t possible right now. I write mostly in the evening.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? As it is the final part of a series, not letting my readers down and making sure they get the ending they’ve been waiting for.

What is the easiest thing about writing? I find coming up with a basic plot quite easy but it’s getting the whole thing to work and flow is the tricky bit.

What book are you reading now? I recently finished, Girl on the Train and I loved it.

What is one random thing about you? I’m scared of planes. It isn’t just about flying, it’s the actually planes that make me shudder. If we were meant to fly, we would be born with wings, is my thought.

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

What does your writing process look like? I write the first draft without worry too much about it being perfect. Then I read it through over and over, editing along the way until I am 100% happy with the finished the final draft.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? I don’t, boring I know.

How important are names to you in your books? Really important. My two main characters had several names at the start. I really think about the characters and the name has to fit.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? The only thing I remember at the very start was using twitter to gain followers, it worked really well but there were a few occasions where I did the ‘read my book’ mistake. People don’t like that and I quickly realized that the best way to get readers is to engage with them. Get to know people and once you’ve built up a relationship they will take a chance on your book. That has been the most important lesson. Your readers are important so make sure you treat them well.

What is your favorite book and why? I don’t really have any favorites. I like many different genres and styles of writing but I did go through a stage of reading Dean Koontz about 10 years ago. I loved Twilight and The Mortal Instruments. I also love horror and crime books.

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? Spending time with my family. Blogging for unsigned bands. Music is another passion of mine.

From where do you gain your inspiration? Music and life in general.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? It seemed the easier option. I wanted to get my work out there and getting a publisher is not easy. I like having control over my work and being my own boss, in a sense.

Any decisions can only be made by the individual and what they are looking for. Both options are great but if people decide on Self – published they will need to be ready to work hard to promote. It is time consuming and sometimes things don’t always go to plan. As long as you can shake it off and carry on you’ll be fine. When it does go well it’s the best feeling in the world.

How do you market your books? Social media and word of mouth.

Would you or do you use a PR agency? I do everything myself. I self- publish and for the time being I am happy with how things are going.

Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? Firstly, be brave and go for it. Join events online that are designed to promote and connect you with readers and other authors. Social media has been a major fact in getting my name out there. Book blog tours are really good for getting exposure and being active with readers.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book? I try to market as much as possible with events etc. There are days where I am promoting which can mean less writing time but it has to be done.

What do you do to get book reviews? How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? I have been very lucky with reviews so far, most have come from readers who happen to download my book. There have been some that have been from book blog tours where reviews have been part of the package.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? I don’t have a strategy, I feel that reviews are something that is down to the reader and I feel very humbled for everyone I get.

Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? Everything has gone really smoothly for the most part, however there is an American author with the same name. We have on occasion been mixed up. I was booked in for a takeover at the start and hadn’t had any notifications, it turns out they’d been tagging the wrong Kat Green into things. It was quickly sorted out.

Which social network worked best for you? Facebook has been amazing as this is where most of the events I have talked about take place.

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work? I use my social media pages to make people aware of my work, although now I’ve gained more knowledge, for book 3 I will switch things up a bit. I have a street team now so I have more back up.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? Marilyn Monroe. I would love to know who she truly was and what really happen.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? I really don’t know, so many but maybe Twilight, only so could have hung out with Robert Pattinson. Ha ha

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Just be brave and write what is in your heart. Enjoy it and most importantly be at peace with the fact not everyone will like your work. Once that fear of criticism is faced you can do anything.

How can readers discover more about you and you work? They can follow me via the following links

http://bit.ly/1gjY7u1

 

https://www.facebook.com/KatGrn00/?fref=ts

 

http://bit.ly/1K7evq9

 

https://www.amazon.com/Strings-Black-Eagles-Trilogy-Book-ebook/dp/B00KZ6DO8O/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1463347914&sr=8-1&keywords=kat+green

 

 

 

#ASI: Angela Roquet

Hi Angela, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background? Hi there! A little about myself… I’m an urban fantasy author from Missouri. I’m happily married to my best friend, and we have one very awesome son. We recently relocated to Lake of the Ozarks, where my husband and I both enjoyed our summers as kids, and now I feel like I’m on permanent vacation. It’s magical here. As far as background goes, I was actually more drawn to art growing up, and my degree is in art, too. I wanted to be an animator for Disney or Cartoon Network, and I was constantly drawing up storyboards and writing scripts for shows I wanted to create. A high school English teacher nudged me toward writing novels, after I showed her one of my script notebooks. It was at that point that I realized it was the storytelling element that really spoke to me. Before I made enough from writing to call it a career, I learned on my artistic talent and did a lot of freelance graphic design work. I miss my home state!

Discuss your newest book. “Ghost Market” is the sixth novel in my Lana Harvey, Reapers Inc. series. War in Limbo City has been thwarted, but there’s still a period of adjustment everyone is going through, including the now leaderless rebels. Some of those rebels have fueled the ghost market (like the black market, except they deal in poached souls) into a prominent problem that Lana is assigned to fix. If that wasn’t bad enough, the council, who are now fully aware of Lana’s unsanctioned special abilities, have decided that if she doesn’t fix the problem, her past transgressions are enough for them to vote her out of existence. Sounds ominous!

What are your current projects? Right now I am working on “Death at First Sight” book 2 in my Spero Heights series.

What books have most influenced your life? There are so many… but “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn and “The Age of Spiritual Machines” by Ray Kurzweil both come to mind first.

What inspired you to write your first book? It’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the macabre, and the grim reaper is a just such a fun character to play with. I’m also fascinated with world religions—their similarities, differences, influence on history and art. The question of how an all-inclusive and modern afterlife might look and function was such a natural angle for me to approach with my writing. “Graveyard Shift”, my first Lana Harvey noel, began as a short story with a female grim reaper transporting a soul to the other side, through the harbor of Limbo City (the capital of the afterlife) and over the Sea of Eternity, where all of the heavens and hells waited on the outlining coast. I had a friend read that story, and they quickly informed me that it needed to be a novel, and not just a novel, but a series.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does he/she do that is so special? Lana Harvey doesn’t appear special at first. She’s a standard, low-risk soul harvester at Reapers Inc. That all changes when she’s assigned to collect a very special soul. The hazards of the new job end up revealing that she was not cast from the same mold as other reapers. She was given something extra that made this particular job something only she could do when the time came. She can see the importance of a soul—the very aura that determines their value, and whether or not they’re an original believer of a particular faith, something that is of the utmost value to Grim and the structure of Eternity.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? As a fantasy author, my main goal is to entertain with a good story, but, like many other authors, I do believe that my values shine through to some degree. The message in my Lana series is aimed toward religious tolerance. People tend to fear what they do not understand, so slipping in bits about other religions and mythologies is something I hope will lend readers insight into faiths they are unfamiliar with. Knowledge is power, and it is also a means of compassion.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? My answer for this one is constantly evolving, but at the moment, I think Ellen Page would make a fantastic Lana. Her sense of humor is totally on point. I think Christina Ricci would be awesome too though. Both great actresses in my opinion.

When did you decide to become a writer? I think I’ve always been a writer. I can remember stories that I wrote in 5th grade. But professionally, I believe that happened when I was 16. I went on to get an art degree, but my first novel was actually published before I finished that degree. Writing has always been part of my personal story.

Why do you write? Because I can’t help it. lol.

What made you decide to sit down and actually start something? The first time? That might be too long ago for me to remember. The one week mark after editing for my latest novel is complete is what makes me sit down and start something these days.

Do you write full-time or part-time? Full-time for the past year. : )

What is the hardest thing about writing? Scheduling my writing sessions. I am a serious creature of habit, and having my daily routine disturbed is a big challenge that I still struggle with constantly. The trick is to block out more sections of time than you actually need, so if you have to forfeit one or more for any number of reasons (doctor’s appointment, school play, funeral) you’re not totally thrown off track and miss deadlines. I have not mastered this yet. Maybe by book 10 I’ll have it figured out.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book? Scheduling my writing sessions. For real. This one kills me.

What is the easiest thing about writing? Dreaming up stories. I have more story ideas than I will ever be able to flesh out into novels. Unless science unlocks the secrets of immortality in my time. Fingers crossed!

 What book are you reading now? “The Darkest Part of the Forest” by Holly Black. I love her.

 

What is one random thing about you? Hmmm. My favorite band is Our Lady Peace.

 

What is your preferred medium of writing? Pen and paper or strictly tablet and computer? I’m good with whatever I can get my hands on, though I can type faster than I write by hand, and it’s definitely more legible that way too.

 What does your writing process look like? I outline everything with large post-it notes on a poster board, and then I type up a document with all of my chapter headings and add a typed chapter summary under each one. Then I go from there, occasionally jumped from chapter to chapter if I feel like working on something in particular that day.

Do you have any strange writing habits (like standing on your head or writing in the shower)? I don’t think so. Like I said, creature of habit here. 95% of my writing is done in my office, and the other 5% is done at the island in my kitchen, usually only if something on the stove or in the oven needs to be watched.

How important are names to you in your books? In my Lana series, many of the names were already determined by the various mythologies and religions I employed. Others were just names I liked, but there were a few that I researched for something more meaningful.

 Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Challenges change day to day. There are certain times that I find writing angst and sorrow hard to do, or writing a death scene for a character that I like.

Did you make any marketing mistakes or is there anything you would avoid in future? I’ve made my fair share of mistakes along the way, but it’s hard to say, when it comes to marketing, what will work tomorrow or next year. It could be vastly different from what works today, so mistakes will happen. What I have learned to do differently is not beat myself up over them. The most productive thing I can do is keep moving forward.

What is your favorite motivational phrase? In with the Buddha, out with the Hitler. LOVE IT!!

 What is your favorite book and why? The Wizard of Oz. Always has been, always will be. ♥

 Do you have any advice for other writers? The internet is magical, and it’s a good place to find or form your inner circle. You’ll have access to thousands of like-minded writers all across the globe. This is how I found my critique group, the Four Horsemen of the Bookocalypse. Having a circle of friends all on the same path, who are dedicated to helping one another along the way, is such a wonderful thing. When I feel lost or unsure about something, I turn to them. And when I find something useful, I share it with them. Writing can be a lonely career, but it doesn’t have to be. You’ll want someone to share your ups and downs with.

 

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I enjoy a lot of things. Mostly, I like spending time on the lake with my family. But I also enjoy painting and drawing and singing. And of course I LOVE to read, so I do a lot of that too.

From where do you gain your inspiration? Everything. There’s so much in this world. I try to be a sponge and soak it all up.

What would you say are the main advantages and disadvantages of self-publishing against being published or the other way around? Self-publishing, like I do, can be challenging. I think it helps when an author has some experience in something other than just writing. I was lucky in that I had graphic design experience. I’m able to design a lot of my own promotional materials. I also have a bit of marketing experience, heavily linked into my freelance graphic design work. Not having this experience doesn’t mean an author can’t adequately tackle self-publishing, it just means that it might cost them a little more up front if they want a professional looking book.

Traditional publishing allows an author to turn over all other aspects of book publishing to a team of professionals, but that also means they’ll be turning over a larger chunk of royalties. Is it worth it? Sometimes. I’m happy with my self-published novels, but I can definitely see the appeal in letting someone else handle all the extra details of the job. It’s something I would still consider for future novels.

How do you market your books? I use a lot of different methods, but lately, I prefer BookBub and hosting Facebook parties.

Why did you choose this route? It’s fun, and readers seem to enjoy the silliness and prizes. : )

 

Would you or do you use a PR agency? I have not used a PR agency before. I think if it was something my budget would support and the company had plenty of testimonials from familiar authors, I might give it a try.

 Do you have any advice for other authors on how to market their books? Do your homework. A quick Google search can save so much time and money.

What part of your writing time do you devote to marketing your book? It seems to take up a larger part of the pie lately. Maybe 30%.

What do you do to get book reviews? I include a short, polite request in the back of all my books. I also send out a handful of ARCs to readers who have been following my series from the beginning. It’s a great way to get a few early reviews on Goodreads.

How successful has your quest for reviews been so far? Considering I have over 800 reviews for my first novel, I think it’s going pretty well.

Do you have a strategy for finding reviewers? I just have a short mailing list for the ARCs, but I did try something new with my latest book. I hosted a Facebook party and gave away about a dozen extra ARCs as prizes.

What are your thoughts on good/bad reviews? Reviews are great! I try to read them all, even the bad ones. Sometimes the bad reviews will have good points that I’ll consider in future novels. Sometimes they’re just flat out mean and I try to chalk it up to that person was probably just having a bad day or my book wasn’t their cup of tea. Not everyone will like what you write. There is no writer who pleases 100% of readers. Take the last Sookie Stackhouse novel for example. I rather enjoyed it, but there are over 1000 1-star reviews on Amazon alone. : /  Even Harry Potter has negative reviews. It’s part of the business. If there’s a silver lining here, it’s that negative reviews will at least make your good reviews more credible and should assure readers that more than just your friends and family have read your book.

 Any amusing story about marketing books that happened to you? Erm… I once tried to set up a signing at what I thought was an indie bookstore in state I would be traveling through soon, only to find out that it was actually an “adult” bookstore. The name was very misleading, and it was quite awkward explaining that my book was not a picture book of that nature. lol lol

 What’s your views on social media for marketing? I think it’s great if you use it right, and more of a noose if you use it wrong. Blasting “buy my book” non-stop is a great way to turn off potential readers. Social media should be used to connect with and entertain fans. Think like a writer, not a telemarketer.

Which social network worked best for you? I’ve dabbled in most of them, but I still prefer Facebook 80% of the time. Twitter the other 20%.

Any tips on what to do and what not to do? That’s a novel for another day. ; )

Did you do a press release, Goodreads book launch or anything else to promote your work and did it work? I have a mailing list, and I have a few friends who blog and post to social media the week of the release. I also have a really awesome reader, Andrea, who does Twitter countdowns a couple weeks before release day. I think it all helps. I might try a Goodreads book launch in the future though, now that you’ve mentioned it. Thanks!

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why? Terry Pratchett. He was the king of world building and humor. I didn’t start reading his work until shortly after I published my first novel. A reader mentioned his grim reaper character in the Discworld series, and I immediately picked up the first book from the library. I’ve been smitten ever since, and it was a sad day when he left us.

 If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why? That’s… a new one. Hmmm. Probably Peter Pan. It’s such a magical classic, and it has inspired so many other works: Hook, Pan, Return to Neverland, Jake and the Neverland Pirates, and the Tinker Bell movies (which I love to watch with my son).I mean, my kiddo thinks I’m pretty cool as-is, but if I had written Peter Pan, I’d be the coolest!

How can readers discover more about you and your work? My first book “Graveyard Shift” is FREE on Amazon, Nook, iBooks, Kobo, and more. You can also connect with me on Facebook or Twitter. Or find me at http://www.angelaroquet.com

Love & Drugs #LandD

Love & Drugs is about college student Magdalene Potter who works at a local flower shop selling POTted plants. Her life is good as she enters her last year and is planning where to go next. She finally catches the eye of a roommate, and business is doing well. Then her abusive ex-husband struts back into her life hoping to take over her business, and her life. Last time she had nothing to lose, now she has everything and is going to fight for it. Sneak Peak:

Three months ago…

“Miss. Potter, will you please tell us the events leading up to the death of Mr. Alexander Addams?” My lawyer asked.

I sat in front of him with my head bowed, fidgeting with my bloody hands. They had picked me up before the cops had even showed. I haven’t had a chance to clean up. “Sir…I don’t remember what happened. Is Alex really dead?”

“We both know he is. I want you to start at the beginning of the school year, and tell us every small detail. We are here to help you, but we need to know what happened in order to know how to spin everything.”

“I don’t know what happened. The last thing I remember was…” I had to sit and think for a few minutes. “The party. Something happened at the party.”

“That’s good, but go back farther than that. Just tell us everything. Don’t worry about getting into trouble, that’s my job.” The lawyer said.

“Where’s Mr. O’Reilly? Is he mad?” I was suddenly scared of my big boss wanting to kill me for what they say I did.

“He is at home. He understands your predicament and trusts me to solve this. You are a valued employee and he wants to help you.”

“What’s the catch?” There is always a catch with him. Not knowing what I’m getting into could cost me a lot.

“No strings. This is how he takes care of his clients. I know it’s hard, but I really need you to tell me everything you can remember, let me help you.”

“I don’t remember everything, but this is what I do remember…”

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Legend Series: #Revealed

Revealed picks up where Innocence leaves off, with Alexa-Jordyn learning she is a Legend and her boyfriend’s dad is a jerk. With the help of hunter friends and her best friend, Alexa-Jordyn searches for ways to control her new powers and track down her biological family. The head hunter intervenes with her plans, forcing the foursome to go on a rescue mission and into hiding after blowing up a building. Sneak Peak:

“You’re a Bean Sidhe?!” J.P. and his dad asked when they came through the door.

“What’s a Bean Shee?” I asked mispronouncing whatever they were saying.

J.P. came and stood next to me, “Dad, I think you should go spend time with Kavanagh before midnight. I need to talk with Alexa-Jordyn.”

“Yeah, what I said earlier just forget it. It was nice meeting you, even if we didn’t actually meet.” His dad tipped his hat to me and put an arm around the guy who still looked shocked.

I nodded back, too afraid to talk. I looked down as I pulled out my phone and started texting my best friend to have her do an internet search. She texted me back way too quickly to have done a search, “call me now!”

“Excuse me, where is the bathroom?” I asked quietly, afraid to leave his side.

J.P. pointed to a door behind his dad. “Through there. It’s OK he won’t touch you.” He walked me to the door, passed his dad and stayed outside of it as I closed it. I also locked it, not thinking that it was useless, because if they wanted to come in they could just break down the door.

I dialed Olivia’s number and waited half a ring, “Alexa-Jordyn? Are you OK? What happened? Was it J.P. you wailed for?”

“Olive, calm down. I’m fine. It wasn’t J.P., it was one of his dad’s thugs. He came at me to hurt me or kill me. But before he could get close enough I let out a loud earth shuddering scream. Then the rest came in talking about a Ban sid-hee or something.”

“It’s Bean Sidhe. I figured you would have picked up some Gaelic by now. It was a wail not a scream and it is normal. Get some rest I will be on the next flight out, my mom has already arranged it. I will explain everything when I get there.”

“Olivia, you don’t have to fly all the way out here just tell me what is wrong with me and how not to do it again.” I started freaking out, maybe there was something really wrong with me.

“No, I have to come and help. I can’t believe your mom sent you off to that island, she should have known better. My mom is all in a tizzy about it and sending you off to live with hunters that really was insane. What was the name of the guy you wailed for?”

“I think it was Kavanagh. Something like that.” I tried to remember. “Am I safe around Julian?”

“As long as his last name isn’t Kavanagh you are fine. I should be in by morning or afternoon. Just take it easy…and stay away from women. If you’re this upset about predicting a man’s death, I would hate to see what you’re like when you start predicting babies.”

“I what? What do you mean predicting babies?” I looked in the mirror to see if anything had changed about me, but nothing looked different about me.  It seemed impossible that everything had changed and yet nothing had.

“Just stay where you are. I’m sure the bloody hunters can care for you.” She said.

“I’m out in the country not at the O’Reilly’s. How did you know they were hunters anyway?”

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#ASI: Montana Ash

Hi Montana, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background? I am an Aussie from a relatively small town in country New South Wales and my debut novel released late in 2015. Now here I am in April with another book hitting the shelves! I write paranormal and fantasy romance and I am a book junkie of almost every possible genre out there! I’ve met my first Aussie!

Discuss your newest book.  Paladin is book two in the Elemental Paladins series and follows directly from the conclusion of book one – Warden. Paladin sees a shift in the leading romantic couple with Diana and Darius having their time to shine. But don’t worry, I promise there is plenty of Max and the rest of the gang too!

Honour. Duty. Loyalty. Control. These are the principles Darius lives by – almost to the point of obsession. They had forged him into a noble knight but had also cost him the woman of his dreams and wrought a non-relenting hatred for his personal nemeses; the chades.

When a tiny, redheaded, whirlwind of trouble descends upon him and his fellow knights in a flurry of questions and impossibilities, Darius finds himself struggling to reconcile his past values with his future desires.

For Diana, the arrival of Max brings with it a portent; revolution. As a paladin of death, acceptance is at her core. So embracing the sarcastic powerhouse as her sworn liege is easy. But embracing a certain air paladin who is a pathological rule-follower? Well, that isn’t so easy, despite the attraction they have shared for centuries.

With Darius confronted by his demons and a bitter Warden bent on exacting revenge, will the two knights ever reach their happily ever after? Sounds great!

Montana 2

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated? High school English! I was lucky enough to have a couple of wonderful English teachers who were supportive and critical at the same time – just what a budding writer needs 🙂 #TeachersWriteOn!

What are your current projects? I am currently working on book three in the Elemental Paladins series – Chade. I also have a couple of other series that I have fleshed out and also a stand-alone that I would love to finish off. But all in good time … I would love to get book one in my Reluctant Royals series out next! It’s all about demons and angels … and a tough female assassin called Saber!

What books have most influenced your life most? There are so many and all for different reasons. I remember the first science fiction books I read that sparked my love for that genre; the Tripods Trilogy by John Christopher. The very first romance books that lit my internal fires for a happily ever after; Across The Barricades by Joan Lingard. And of course Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austin – a strong woman writing about strong women!

What inspired you to write your first book? I have a very active imagination and so many voices bumping around inside my head. Essentially, they finally wanted out and publishing my very own book has always been on my bucket list.

Give us an insight into your main character. What does she do that is so special? Max is the main character in Warden, book one of the Elemental Paladins series. She is also the heart of the entire series. I think she is the perfect balance of all of us out there and a wonderful contradiction; she is strong yet vulnerable, funny yet serious, friendly yet lonely, fiery yet solemn. She is a strong, independent, feisty heroine who is loyal and gives affection freely to her chosen few. She can also beat the crap out people twice her size and delivers one-liners with her sharp tongue like a queen.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Balance and acceptance. Life is all about balance; good times follow the bad, if you take; you must give back. With all the marvelous diversity in the world, acceptance of all of our little eccentricities is so important.  

Which actor would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book? I would love to see a buzz-cut Hugh Jackman playing Darius! YUM!

Do you write full-time or part-time? Part time, unfortunately. I have a full time day job and write in my spare time.                                                            

What is the hardest thing about writing? Letting it go once it is finished. Being able to stop re-reading it and searching for tiny issues, and just trusting that somewhere, someone is going to enjoy it.

What book are you reading now? Take You Apart by T.J. Spade. It is a crime thriller with a side of romance. I am loving it!

What is one random thing about you? I have three tattoos; a wolf, a gothic rose with sharp thorns and also a squiggle on my big toe that I decided was a brilliant idea at 2am in Turkey! LOL

What does your writing process look like? Chaos! Absolute chaos! (lol) I write scene by scene so I end up with patches of a storyline. I then stitch them all together into some semblance of an actual book, just like a patchwork quilt. I never write chapter one first. In fact, I have always written the end scene of each book first.

Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Killing characters off! I hate it and I don’t have any clue how I could sleep at night if I ever offed one of my main characters!

What do you like to do when you’re not writing? I am an embryologist and genetic counsellor by day. I mix babies up and put them back every day 🙂 I like to read – naturally – and play with my fur-kids … Montana and Ashby. WOW

What advice would you give to aspiring writers? Just write! If you write it, they will come …

How can readers discover more about you and you work? I have a website, Facebook page, Twitter account, Goodreads page … and all the usual places to stalk an author 🙂  Please chack out the links below. Stalk nicely!

Website

http://www.montanaash.com/

Facebook author page-

https://www.facebook.com/montana.ash.author/

Amazon Author Page

http://www.amazon.com/author/montanaash

Twitter-

@ReadMontanaAsh

Goodreads page –

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14661560.Montana_Ash

 

Widowed

I have posted this before, but in light of Veterans’ Day I thought it would be nice to post again.

Widowed

Lightning flashes as Kitt Raynes sits on her beat-up porch swing, listening to the rain pelt down on the tin awning. “You were born in the middle of a thunderstorm, you know?” She glanced down at the sleeping baby in her arms and gently readjusted the pink blanket to fit more snugly. “I still can’t believe your here with me. Charlie, I miss you so much.” Tears she held in for so long, now flowed freely.

On the seat next to her sits her husband’s best friend and a member of the Casualty Assistance Calls department. Mark and a Navy Chaplain arrived on her doorstep a little over a week ago with the news of Charlie’s death. The loss of her soul-mate had sent Kitt into labor, before she could even process the idea of being a single-mother.

Charlie Little Raynes was born as thunder clapped at 2345, one exact day from her father’s death. Named after the father she will never meet, and will attend her first funeral before she is even a month old. “Kitt, are you sure you can do this? I think everyone would understand your absence and it really isn’t the best place for Charlie Little.”

“Mark, I love you for being with me through all of this but Charlie’s unit is going to be there…and his parents who don’t even know about Charlie Little. I have to go, for them and myself. We need to support each other and I have to have this closure.” Kitt said as she wiped the river of tears away. “I just have one request, seven gunmen. My great-grandfather only had three. Every shot was another stab to my heart. Three shots are better than seven.”

“Yes ma’am, I have all seven boys ready to go.” He pulled Kitt closer to him as they watched the storm in silence for the rest of the evening.

#Book Review: Graduation Day by Joelle Charbonneau 4/5 Stars

Overview: Malencia Vale is tasked by the president of The United Commonwealth to take down those responsible for The Testing, that kills many college applicants annually. Between her studies, security officials after her and the impending rebellion she takes up the quest. Enlisting her boyfriend and a select few of trustworthy friends, they set the plan in motion when an accidental bomb goes off in Cia’s room. As her body count rises, doubts are planted in her head that what she is doing may be wrong and she is just another pawn in the political testing system. Ready to give up, her life is put in danger but saved by one she was supposed to kill. Though her plan goes wrong, the ones marked for death are murdered and she is free to return home as an unhappy student.

Opinion: Good, very good. But the big twist at the end was a bit predictable about half way through, though throughout the series it is hinted at as CIA doesn’t follow her father’s instructions. It lacked a bit in the suspense department, I kept picturing more things going wrong or being betrayed by different people because it seemed to be missing something, something more realistic. Overall, I find it a fitting end and open for more additions to the trilogy.

Recommend: Yes