#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

 

#ASI: Jen Winters

Hi Jen Winters, thank you for agreeing to this interview. Tell us a little about yourself and your background?

Hey Courtney! I am a stay at home mother of two with one on the way. Little Blobby is about 12 weeks along now and looks healthy on the ultrasounds. I have a background in religious studies and ancient languages, so you will discover in my books that I use a LOT of ancient cultural and religious references. Congratulations!

Discuss your newest book.

My most recent publication is Falling Angels which is free from March 25th to March 29th! This one is about Ambrose, a Fallen Angel with a grudge against basically everyone. While this is a paranormal romance, it reads more like an Urban Fantasy where the romance takes second place to the plot.

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Free book link!

Amazon: US, UK, AU, CA, IN

Do you recall how your interest in writing originated?

My BFF in high school got me started writing. We wrote together for years before I took it up solo and started publishing.

What are your current projects?

I am working on Raising Hell, the third of my Guardian series. I am also working on a novella in my Guardian series starring the infamous Candi Fox, and I have a Young Adult Urban Fantasy series I am excited to be keeping on the downlow. But if you ever hear me mention Hannah, she’s my YA main character and she is going to knock your socks off.

What books have most influenced your life most?

Easily the Bible. I’ve been a Christian my whole life and that book has certainly influenced nearly ever path I have taken as both a youth and an adult.

What inspired you to write your first book?

I figured I could do what Sherrilyn Kenyon does. I wasn’t correct about that. Sherrilyn Kenyon writes straight up PNR, whereas I love my UF enough that my PNRs definitely read like urban fantasy. So much so, I am thinking of changing genres for book 3.

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

Let’s talk about Ambrose:

Ambrose’s main problem is that he can remember every moment in history from the beginning of the universe to it’s very end…except that he remembers it before the war in heaven that damaged the perfection of the universe. So now, he’s struggling with the idea that the world isn’t as it’s supposed to be. Which leads into the next question in this interview:

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?

Absolutely! Kissing Demons, Falling Angels, and Raising Hell are all about REDEMPTION. I don’t believe that anyone is beyond redemption, so I have made my characters the stereotypical types that you might think can never be forgiven: a werewolf/demon, a fallen angel, and a demon.

Which actor/actress would you like to see playing the lead character from your most recent book?

For Ambrose? I’m thinking the hunk would be perfect: Jason Mamoa!

When did you decide to become a writer?

This wasn’t really a decision I made, so much as a person I grew into during my adolesence. When did I decide to become an author? When my daughter was 8 months old and I was suddenly a single mom with no prospects.

Why do you write?

Sometimes I write because I have to, and sometimes I write because I need to. Either way, I enjoy writing.

Do you write full-time or part-time?

I am a full-time mom. I write when I can and that has been less lately than usual. Normally, I write about 3 hours a day.

What is the hardest thing about writing?

For me, when I get about two thirds into my books, I start to hate them. So much so that I cannot continue writing on them. That is the hardest for me. I have to stop and then I have to force myself to restart.

What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

The one I am currently working on, Raising Hell, is sitting on my computer untouched for the last two-ish months because I hate it. I really, really, really hate it. I am having a beta reader read it and tell me why I hate it so much. She knows me. She will be able to tell me where I went wrong with it, but I think I saved someone I shouldn’t have.

What is the easiest thing about writing?

Letters become words; words combine in a logical progression; sentences form; ideas come to life.

 

What book are you reading now?

Uh…looks at Kindle…Infinite (Xandrian Circle Book 1) by Allainia Daniels

 

What is one random thing about you?

These days I am becoming more and more vegetarian because Blobby hates meat, apparently.

 

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

Give me a keyboard. I can get my thoughts down as fast as they come this way.

 

Which social network worked best for you?

Facebook is where I hang out. I have twitter and tumblr and pinterest, and a blog, and G+, but the fact is, I prefer Facebook. I’ve been using it since before it went public.

Any tips on what to do and what not to do?

Do write what you want. Do not publish without a professional edit.

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

 

Have enough contact with bloggers, authors, friends, and family that when I publish I have it out there on a crazy number of sites. I haven’t had to pay for promotion yet, but I am going to start with Raising Hell. I have goals, and it is now time to start paying for ads.

Which famous person, living or dead would you like to meet and why?

Gawd… I don’t care about celebrities… I guess… maybe… I have no idea! I can’t think of a single famous person I want to meet.

If you could have been the original author of any book, what would it have been and why?

Nope. I have no real desire there either.

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Write every day. Read what you write. Make yourself better. Take other writer’s advice, but not to the point you lose your unique voice. And EDIT! Edit, edit, edit. I can’t read unedited books. If there is a problem in the first chapter, I DNF, because as books go on the editing can start to get worse. EDIT.

How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Like I said earlier, I am EVERYWHERE! But if you want connect, here are the ways you can! Feel free to message me on any of these platforms (though I barely even look at Twitter).

Amazon, Facebook, 2nd Facebook, Smashwords, WordPress, Tumblr, Twitter, GoodReads, Email: jenwintersne@yahoo.com

HURRY AND PICK UP YOUR FREE COPY OF FALLING ANGELS NOW! And don’t forget to leave a review for the wonderful Jen Winters!

Guest Post: Jen Winters’ Paranormal Romance Spectacular!

Happy Halloween, Readers! Jen Winters here, guest posting on Books & More! Thank you so much Courtney Wendleton for having me and giving me the chance to chat with you today!
For those of you who don’t know me, I write paranormal romance as well as homeschool my kids, and stay at home mom. You can tell I do all these things because my house is only clean once a month…for about two hours…
I am also a staunch supporter of the indie community! I promote and advertise other indie authors as much as I am able, and I admin a very special Facebook group called Author Promo Co-op. We don’t actually promote to each other, we help each other promote to our readers! This is an author’s resource group and a close knit circle of friends. We welcome any supporter of the indie community and liberally use the ban button to keep the spam away.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/1605983442956270

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This week, I am happy to announce that Kissing Demons is going on its first Kindle Countdown Deal!! It will be available for download FREE from October 29th through November 2nd! Woohoo!! Can’t beat free, right?! http://www.amazon.com//dp/B00R28094U/

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Why am I giving away my first book this week? Because I am having a PART-AY! October 30th I am hosting a paranormal romance SPECTACULAR!! We have an amazing line-up of authors taking over from 2:30-10pm CDT. We are having a huge competition to see who represents their favorite supernaturals best! Are you a vampire? Shifter? Spell-caster? Or Fae? Pick a team. Participate in the daily competition questions leading up to the party. Participate in the competition at the party, and we will find out who is the best! https://www.facebook.com/events/735560049903373/

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I am looking forward to getting to know you and your favorite supernatural! Don’t forget to share this post and show our host some love! And remember…

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#Book Review: Falling Angels by Jen Winters 4/5 Stars

Overview: The Devine made machines to create the world. The machine Lucifer started a fight, forcing the others to choose, him or them. Ambrose is a fallen angel, he didn’t choose either side but wanted only to do his job. This caused him, and others with the same opinion, to become scattered throughout time and space. Once landed somewhere they were forbidden to leave, forced to live their days cut off from everyone. Yuruch is a machine that chose Lucifer, but soon regretted it and made a deal with Ambrose in 9017 BCE, Earth. The deal was protection for nourishment, Ambrose fed him energy and Yuruch would keep other demons away. Through the ages, the pact was fine and the two worked together shaping the world. Present-day Yuruch went off the deep end and blew up Fort Worth. Ambrose is dragged to Texas by his sense of duty and some friends, to find and stop him from more damage.

Opinion: Great. I’m not usually one for this type of reading, but the way the myths and religion is recreated is very crafty and inside the box (Doctor Who reference) thinking. To find angels and demons working side by side to shape the world is interesting as they find common ground and deeds that are in the middle of their opposite spectrums. We bounce back and forth between the past and present learning more about what the two had done together, or how Ambrose arrived to his life today, and find out why each is so fond of the other and how their characters react to the same situations.  The whole concept is intriguing and pulls you in from the first sentence.
Recommend: Yes

Creative Writing Assignment-Screen Play

I know it’s not formatted correctly on here, sorry about that. I now know why I am not a screen play writer, formatting is a pain in the arse! I was up all night just formatting and figuring out where everything goes for two short scenes, equating to 7 measly pages!. Not by best work but hey I still like it.

Title: True Evil Queen

SCENE ONE

Int. High school gym-1:00 PM

Girls and boys in a circle around Jezebel, who is crying and holding broken glasses. Kids taunting her and pushing her every so often.

All
(chanting)
Jezzey-bell the big fat whale

Mid-Twenties Daemon walks in dressed in am all white suite. Breaks up the crowd and pulls Jezebel to the stage.

Daemon
(caring)
Are you OK Jezebel?

Jezebel
(sobbing)
No, they broke my glasses. I can’t see anything. It’s all fuzzy.

Daemon waves his hands over her eyes.

Jezebel
(astonished)
I can see! How did you do that?

Daemon
(happy)
That is nothing compared to all I can do. I can change my age as well.

Poof of white smoke and Daemon is a 12-year-old boy dressed in a black hoodie and black jeans.

Daemon cont’d
See nothing to it.

Jezebel
(amazed)
Who are you?

Daemon
(chuckling)
Daemon. I’m here to make you an offer. A chance to get back at every single one of those kids tormenting you.

Jezebel
(interested)
How? I’m not like you, I can’t do any of that magic.

Daemon
There is a…another plane of resistance. One that I can take you to and you can learn the same tricks, plus more.

Jezebel
(cautious)
How? Why me? What’s the catch?

Daemon
(contemplating)
The way the other plane works is, you must make a sacrifice to enter. The bigger the sacrifice, the better your position there. My meager sacrifice allowed me to shed my old enemies, make this world a better and become the most powerful man on the other plane.

Jezebel
What type of sacrifice?

Daemon
Nothing too big, but it is sort of a two part sacrifice. Or some combine it into one to get it over with. The bigger the sacrifice makes it easier.

Jezebel
(irritated)
What type of sacrifice?!

Daemon
(glaring)
You have to unlock your true nature. To do so you must end someone’s life. The more people, the better off you are when you shed your corporeal form and join me.

Jezebel
(bored)
That’s it? Seriously? I’ve been working on how to get rid of my class for months now.

Daemon
I know that’s why I’m here. The other plane has a knack of knowing where to find people like you.

Jezebel
(inquisitive)

What if there was someone I wanted dead more than all the kids in my class? Would this person be the counted as just one or multiple?

Daemon
(confused)
No matter how much you want one certain person dead that one only counts as one. Leading to you just being a soldier instead of a queen by going with six or more.

Jezebel
So even if my hatred for this person can equate to that of a whole class of fourteen, I’d still be a low man on the totem pole?

Daemon
Maybe…I could move you up to controlling a whole army. It would take some work, but I could do it.

Jezebel takes two steps away from Daemon. The lights fade out with one spotlight on her.

Jezebel
(aside)
I don’t think this fool knows whom he is really talking to. This is going to be too easy.

Taking two steps back toward Daemon, light fades in.

Jezebel
I can work with that.

Daemon
Whom do you have in mind?

Jezebel
My mother.

Light fades out

SCENE TWO

INT. 2nd FLOOR HOUSE-MIDNIGHT

Medium sized circular room with purple walls and purple shag carpeting. On the bench seat is 12-year-old Jezebel. Dressed in black jeans and a black hoodie, staring at the middle of the room.

JEZEBEL
(curiously)
Why should I kill her Daemon?

Daemon appearing as a 12-year-old boy dressed the same as Jezebel. Standing in the middle of the room holding a sharp knife carefully by the blade, offering it to her.

DAEMON
(urging)
She must die for you to join me.

JEZEBEL
But she’s my mum, certainly I would get in trouble with da.

DAEMON
(calmly)
You cannot join me unless you make a female sacrifice.

JEZEBELLE
My life ain’t enough? Why her and not someone else?

Stairs creak outside the closed door. Mum and Da can be heard laughing off stage.

JEZEBEL Cont’d
(nervous)
They’re coming. Put the knife away.
Daemon fades into the shadows, the knife slides across the floor by his unseen hands. Jezebel quietly jumps into a single bed and pulls the covers over her head. Light creeps in as Mum opens the door, pops her head in.

MUM
(whispering)
She’s asleep.

Mum pulls her head out and closes the door. The couple are heard stumbling down the hall and a door thuds shut.

JEZEBELLE
They gone?
Daemon is still invisible but voice is coming from left of the bed.

DAEMON
(irritated)
Yes, they’ve gone to bed.

Jezebel pushes the blanket down to her chest and looks for Daemon. He appears in swirling black smoke.

JEZEBEL
(frightened)
Please don’t be angry Daemon. I’ll do it, if you want me too. Just please don’t leave me.

DAEMON
Why shouldn’t I just leave you here? You’re worthless. Pathetic, I don’t know why I ever chose you. Jezebel, you could never lead my army.

Daemon shows what Jezebel believes to be his true self, handsome 25-year-old man in an all-white suit. He stretches.

DAEMON
(relieved)
That’s better. Sorry, I get a little cranky as a boy. Look, if you want to join me and become the woman you are supposed to be you will do it. Otherwise I’ll have to move on.

Jezebel gets out of bed and on her knees

JEZEBEL
(desperate)
Please Daemon, I want to go with you! There is nothing for me here, you promised me a better life if I would just kill myself and one other.

Daemon sits on the edge of the bed, head resting on hands.

DAEMON
(aggravated)
If you remember correctly, I promised you your own queendom if you committed mass murder of more than six women. Then we negotiated down to one woman of my choosing for fighting by my side. If you back out now, I disappear and you become the next target.

Jezebel stops crying and stands up.

JEZEBEL

(determined)
I’ll do it. Where is the knife?

The knife appears in her left hand. She grips it firmly. Jezebel stalks to the door, knife raised.

Daemon
(happy)
Finally…go on my little minion.

Daemon follows behind, Jezebel stops at the door.

JEZEBEL
(quietly)
Just one thing. I don’t want to rule just one queendom.

Jezebel spins quickly around and stabs Daemon in the heart.

JEZEBEL
(evil)
I want it all!

End Scene

May #WrapUp

CLTBRChallenge15 and GoodReads Book Challenge Progress- 21 of 65 and 30 of 65 books read. I really need to start reading books from my TBR pile again! But I have the next Night School preordered and an ARC of RSVP From Heaven to read as well. I am a failure at diving into my long list of TBR.

May books:

Night School: Resistance

Pines non-CLTBR

Wayward non-CLTBR

The Last Town non-CLTBR

Spearwood Academy Vol 6 non-CLTBR

Spearwood Academy Vol 7 non-CLTBR

My Camp NanoWrimo book, #LoveandDrugs has been sent off to a Beta Reader (no word back yet). If there is anyone interested in Beta Reading it, I would happily send you a copy for honest feedback!

lad

I continued #Musical Monday Reviews and will continue them into May. Sanctuary Edits is still open for new clients. Sadly I think my guest post author has backed out, but if anyone else would like to step up send me a message and we can talk. Any topic you would like, I don’t mind. Also still taking author interviews!

As you saw there have been some posts from my creative writing class and I’ll continue to post them. I have also posted my poems and there may be more in the future…I’m not sure as I don’t write them that often.